World Book Day – Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads

Hannah Jenkins

With World Book Day on the 23rd of April, we compiled some lists of great books for you to enjoy. This is for those who love the Sci-fi and Fantasy genres!

Tales from the Rim by Bonnie Milani

Welcome to a pair of rousing adventures set on the edges of the star-flung human Commonwealth. ‘Liquid Gambit’ is a sci fi noir call out to ‘Casablanca’. It’s a tale of hope and sacrifice in Rick’s Bar – a lost souls hang out on the last station in human space. In ‘Cherry Pickers’, seventeen-year-old Nikki is determined to prove she’s a woman, even if she has to kidnap the only man on the planet to do it. It’s a rollicking coming-of-age story – with spiders. Romantically challenged spiders.

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Sing to Me of Dreams by Kathryn Lynn Davis

One woman’s journey of discovery…through all the mysteries of the human heart.

As a child, Saylah held the magic and wisdom of her Salish Indian people. But when tragedy ravages the Salish, she must leave them for the world of the Ivys – an English/Scottish family whose traditions are as strange to her as her spirit world is to them. The Ivys have come to fertile British Columbia in search of paradise, but the secrets and mysteries surrounding them are overwhelming – until Saylah comes to help them understand the darkness holding them back.

Frustrated Julian Ivy, in whom sophistication and fury entwine, is drawn to Saylah’s healing strength and disquieting beauty. Through sorrow and elation, the two discover the fullness of love…but no one can resolve for her the contradictions of her birthright. Following the songs of her heritage, she will finally make the most wrenching choice of all….

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Millie’s Angel by Kim Petersen

When her mother abandons her, Millie is left to pick up the pieces and care for her little brother, Ace. Just as she begins to accept her mother’s disappearance from their lives, Millie discovers the shocking secrets surrounding her birth; leaving her anguished and torn between her feelings for her father.

Through friendships, romantic connections and heartbreak, Millie learns that she is never alone to face the many obstacles life throws her way – for her life becomes centred on the celestial presence of an angel. As Millie becomes a young woman, she learns that in loving herself and directing the train of her thought-world, she holds the key to the Kingdom of Heaven: right here on earth.

When her mother contacts her a decade later, Millie visits with her just in time to realise her own angelic gift, when she finds she is not alone in discovering her mother’s whereabouts. With evil lurking between the cracks in her family, the appearance of Millie’s gift – a phenomenon that will heal and shine brighter than she could ever have imagined – changes her family’s perspectives and the direction of their lives forever.

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Fatemarked by David Estes

n the spirit of fantasy epics like George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, The Fatemarked Epic promises immaculate world building, an ancient prophecy, a mysterious source of magic, a diverse cast of characters, war, political intrigue, and romance.

The Hundred Years War has ravaged more than three generations of kings, queens, and citizens across the Four Kingdoms. Corrupt rulers dominate. Religious intolerance runs rampant. The cycle of vengeance continues to turn with the seasons.

An ancient prophecy by a legendary oracle has been long forgotten. The prophecy promises the return of peace to the Four Kingdoms on the backs of a chosen few, the fatemarked, individuals marked at birth and blessed with specific magical powers. One shall be the Kings’ Bane, and will bring death to the warmongering rulers, using fear to force peace; another shall be the Peacemaker, bestowed with the rare ability to heal. Opposite sides of the same coin, dark and light, death and life, the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker are responsible for the fate of an entire continent.

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The Name Keeper by Laura James

Your name is special and important. It has meaning and helps to define who you are. Without your name, who would you be? I don’t think you want to find out! But what if you woke up one day and your name was gone? What if all the names of the children in the world disappeared? Only a seriously bad character would steal something so precious.

This is the story of the Name Masters, a top-secret agency responsible for building and delivering names to all humans at birth and then protecting them at any cost. Wilfrid is an owl-like creature and leader of this elite organization. However, he’s not perfect, especially when dark forces are at play as a routine mission of name delivery gets derailed.

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The Way of The Fairy Godmother by Jennifer Morse MS PhD

I am a seeker of serenity, searching for the pathways of enduring happiness. Decades of exploring and synthesizing avenues to wisdom led me to my favorite fairytale, the tale of Cinderella. This time I didn’t interpret the fairytale from Cinderella’s viewpoint. Instead I apprenticed to the Fairy Godmother. I noticed the Fairy Godmother lives within uncompromising, radiant happiness. Her lifestyle is dangerously optimistic. As a result she expedites miraculous outcomes. It’s not that she doesn’t notice the problems of life. Cinderella didn’t have a dress for the ball. She needs a coach and driver. When you are grounded in reality you deal with the problems.

I don’t want to tell you how old I was before I began creating my life from the perspective of the Fairy Godmother. Let’s just leave it at, for much of my life I was in the habit of creating life from Cinderella’s point of view. More often than not I was disappointed. Like Cinderella I worked and worked to create harmony in environments that would not support harmony. Such an unstinting effort is exhausting, especially after several decades. To say it was stressful and no fun only scratches the surface of the issue. It was a harsh and bleak way to live. Imagine Cinderella in her thirties and forties scrubbing away at the kitchen floor, struggling to make beauty in an environment for people who cannot appreciate elegance. Living life from Cinderella’s perspective is to stay entrapped in the young maiden who longs for fulfillment. Hardship is her constant companion. Unfulfilled relationships are her unremitting burden.

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Ghosts of Bliss Bayou by Jack Massa

For sixteen-year old Abigail Renshaw, the terrifying nightmares are not the worst part. When apparitions start leaking out of the nightmares into her waking life—Well, that’s a problem.

But Abby’s dealt with hallucinations before, and she’s nothing if not resilient. Following clues from the nightmares, she convinces her mother to let her visit Harmony Springs, the small town in Florida where Abby was born, and where her grandmother still lives.

There, Abby finds unexpected help from new friends: a compulsive teenage blogger named Molly Quick, and Molly’s older brother Ray-Ray (a guy Abby really starts to like). The not-so-good news? Abby’s apparitions might be real after all. And one of them wants to kill her.

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Division One: A Small Medium At Large by Stephanie Osborne 

What if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was right all along, and Harry Houdini really DID do his illusions, not through sleight of hand, but via noncorporeal means? More, what if he could do this because…he wasn’t human?

Ari Ho’d’ni, Glu’g’ik son of the Special Steward of the Royal House of Va’du’sha’ā, better known to modern humans as an alien Gray from the ninth planet of Zeta Reticuli A, fled his homeworld with the rest of his family during a time of impending global civil war. With them, they brought a unique device which, in its absence, ultimately caused the failure of the uprisings and the collapse of the imperial regime. Consequently Va’du’sha’ā has been at peace for more than a century. What is the F’al, and why has a rebel faction sent a special agent to Earth to retrieve it?

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Rebirth: The Chronicles of the Reverie Volume 1 Book 1

What do you do when the unthinkable happens?

Renowned research chemist, Dr. Klov and his assistants make a startling discovery. Vocam, the North’s only energy source, is being depleted at an alarming rate. Terrified of the North’s collapse Dr. Klov gathers several of his colleagues and their teams together to tackle the dilemma. After their warnings are dismissed by their leaders the Klovis Group is forced to secretly go into Kepca to search for an energy source that can replace Vocam. Unfortunately, before their research is completed the Western Belt Sectors are attacked by mysterious invaders who are headed towards them.

A guard named Blorzen Skylynn agrees to take the Klovis Group south to his home in Sorsani along with several of the Kepcan families. Not having any other choice they choose to trust him and the others. As they are smuggled out of Kepca they can only wonder about the future. Now they must endure perilous travel to a land they know nothing about and depend on people they don’t know.

Can Blorzen and the Kepcans be trusted?

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Julia Dream by Favia Scali-Warner

In a not too distant future, a nuclear war has decimated mankind. Three centuries later, survivors live barricaded in cities controlled by the Human Empire, while the inhabitants of the countryside have been mutated by radiation and live in the forests surrounding urban settlements, waging war on the humans.

When both her parents die in a fire, Julia is left to cope alone with a highly bureaucratic and regulated system, with very few select allies. As her loyalty undergoes increasingly harder tests, Julia draws attention to herself with her cold blood and fierce resolve in battle.

Constantly on the edge between independent spirit and military discipline, Julia will have to decide how to use the power that has been granted her.

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Star Chaser: The Traveler by Reiter

Welcome!

You have just entered a new realm – a new Universe where there are worlds, races, powers, allies and enemies just waiting to be discovered.

Your place may be with the wielders of Iro… or perhaps as a Traveler… it could be that your destiny lies on a ship flying through the stars… or straining your skills on a battlefield… maybe you’re most suited to hours spent pouring over ancient tomes… or engaged in a game of chess that will shape the cosmos.

Whatever your place – wherever your destination – you will find yourself…

Beyond the Outer Rim

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Babylonian Harlot by Steven Ira

God’s end time saints will need to be warned. It has been fifteen months since the Rapture removed all Christians from the earth and something new, something big, is about to happen. Daniel Goldman senses this. And since he remains—as far as he knows—the only man on earth commissioned by God for these end times, the task falls to him.

Daniel’s intuition is confirmed when the Antichrist and the False Prophet begin to circulate among select Israeli leaders photos of an ancient ivory carving of a Jewish temple. Many believe the temple depicted by the carving represents an actual structure, the Jewish Second Temple as it appeared before its destruction in 70 AD. They also believe that with those circulated photos the Beasts are promising the Jews a Third Temple to be built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Although still new to his assignment, Daniel knows enough to recognize the problem with such a structure: a Third Temple in Jerusalem would ignite all-out war with Islam whose own holy structures already occupy that contested piece of real estate.

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I Dream of Fire by Daphne James Huff

When the world ignores a warning of destruction, it rebuilds itself around the Dreamers that can predict and prevent another catastophy. Dreamers are revered, rich, and powerful. They are protected from all the dangers this new world presents.

So when Charlie discovers she has the talent, she’s shocked that her parents want her to hide it. Her father spends years secretly teaching her the rules and helping those she sees in danger, rather than sending her away to be trained and protected.

Now in her final year at school, with her own future uncertain, she’ll be faced with the choice of following her Dreams… or her heart.

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Horns & Halos: Against The Giant by Becky S. Vickery

Fighting against the system sucks. It’s even worse when you’re only sixteen and you’ve already been devastated by it, while your parents stood by and watched. Allyster Williams started fighting the moment he realized that the life of segregation he’s always known is wrong. In his world, people are separated by their horns and their halos – physical characteristics that have borne lies, hate, distrust, violence, and rumors – and it’s only getting worse. Allyster may be young, but as he discovers others who are willing to hear the truth and change for the better, he must grapple with hope to try and find the strength to keep fighting.

To raise the flag.

To knock down the barricades.

To prove that things can get better, even as his greatest nightmare becomes a reality.

 

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Cytress Vee – A Dog Squad Story by Kalvin Thane

Across the void formed by two galactic spiral arms, vast forces face each other.
The tenuous Alliance, sixty civilizations united only by fear of invasion, prepare to resist the encroachment of their as-yet unseen enemy, known only as the Creeps.

The Void has become a battleground. Three thousand light years across, and populated by a scattering of ten thousand ‘dark’ worlds, it is the Alliance’s last chance to protect their way of life. Self-destructive, robotic drones pour across the Void in ever-increasing numbers, testing the Alliance fleets to breaking point.

In the midst of the surging tides of war, a single cruiser carries an incursion team between the dark worlds, striking at the advancing enemy as it establishes footholds. The team probes for a weakness that might be exploited before the odds become overwhelming.

But will Commander Trenn and her misfit squad of mixed-race marines be able to make enough of a difference, and can they hope to uncover the enemy’s plans for galactic domination before the Alliance falls?
Maybe they can—if they can stop fighting each other for long enough…

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Dearly Departed by Rachael Rawlings

Dorothy, or Dot to her friends, is the slightly eccentric daughter of the town’s funeral director. Her art is the only medium that she can express herself with, but it sets her apart. Until she meets him. He walks the cemetery looking for something. Something he cannot explain. In him she finds an acceptance she has never had. Yet to keep him, she has to help him find what he has lost. Whether it brings him home to her, or ends his existence completely.

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New Orleans Magic: Urban Fantasy Series by J.L. Hendricks

The Voodoo Dolls are an indie-rock band who also run a touristy shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They don’t have magic, so their items aren’t magical. But most customers swear by their voodoo dolls and love potions. The girls also make the best aphrodisiac fudge around. Don’t believe me? Ask the granny’s from the local senior center!

Two friends from high school seek The Doll’s help in finding their lost sister. The Dolls aren’t private investigators, but with the help from their wolf shifter friends, and an unlikely good guy, they discover what happened to the missing triplet.

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Picks for Children:

Supernatural Hero by Eran Gadot

Don’t try to be someone else, be yourself!
Reading this book will make you see that being yourself is the only way
for success, all you need is to believe.

Andy is the nerd everyone makes fun of. He’s really skinny, wears glasses and talks to himself, but he falls in love with the prettiest girl in the class. One day Grandpa dies and turns into a ghost. Then, Andy discovers a new power, he can see ghosts and talk to the dead.
Join Andy’s journey and find out how a nerd can become a hero.
Supernatural hero is a great children’s book with an outstanding story, for the whole family to enjoy. This book series will stay with you forever.

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Robyn Hood: Outlaw Princess by John Reynolds

Robyn Howard is a teenage schoolgirl. She lives with her father and her workaholic mother who always seems too busy for her. Robyn dreams of making a difference and wonders why there are so few famous women in history.

After her mother lets her down yet again, she finds herself having a really bad day at school, including quarelling with William, her boyfriend. There is a sudden violent lightning storm and Robyn is transported to a forest, dressed in medieval clothing and surrounded by young women who address her as Robyn Hood. She quickly realises that they regard her as the leader of their band — and that she’s in Sherwood Forest, about to launch a raid on King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robyn Hood: Outlaw Princess is based on a full-length musical of the same name for which the author wrote the storyline, dialogue and lyrics (music by Gary Daverne). The show has been widely performed in New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

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Talon, Come Fly with Me by Gigi Sedlmayer

Matica,an Australian girl, living with her parents and younger brother high inthe Andes of remotest Peru. A girl with serious problems, not the leastof them regarding her growth. A ten year old trapped in a two year old’s body, ostracized by the locals, their children forbidden to play withher for fear she would bring them bad luck. A lost, lonely little soulwho manages to bond with a pair of condors and finds herself entrustedby the birds with their one precious egg in the hope that she can saveit from poachers. It seemed unlikely, I thought. But I opened the bookas I felt I must and then did not close it again till the end which,alas, came all too soon.

The style is plain; it’s simple,straightforward English; very instructive to children, I thought. Yet in no time at all disbelief was suspended and rich imagery – that camefrom I know not where – had me soaring on a more than three meter wingspan, soaring with a pair of condors, high in the pure Andean air. Thatand waiting in nail biting tension with Matica and her family to see if the pair’s egg would hatch.

Does it? No way do I say. There will beno spoilers from me. But I will say that the tale has a high moralending which is extremely uplifting as well, particularly for Matica.Obviously the book is intended for children and young adults but if itcan entrance a hard bitten seventy year old like me it must be good foreveryone.

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World Book Day – Historical Fiction, Memoirs and More!

Hannah Jenkins

To celebrate World Book Day we thought we would share some great memoirs and historical fiction books that you might enjoy!

Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next read?

 

 

Uncle Otto: A Novel by Winfred Cook

In weaving fiction and family history alongside historical events, Winfred Cook offers a brilliant literary debut in Uncle Otto. The novel is complex in plot and character development, displaying one of the most sophisticated analyses of black migration from southern rural settings to those of the urban north during the early 20th century in the United States. The joy, struggle, and tragedy that pervades Uncle Otto is the best that contemporary novelists have to offer.

The novel is an important account of one family’s story. While the events my not all be true in fact, they are true to life, and represent a period of time and a perspective that is underrepresented in literature

 

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Dirty Mines: Coal Mining in Pennsylvania by John Fitzgerald

DIRTY MINES is a story about coal mining in Pennsylvania. For the first time many of the jobs performed by boys, as young as 8 years old, are described in detail. Cesar D’Angelo was 10 when his father was killed in the mines. Cesar, the oldest boy in his family, had to take his father’s place working for the coal company. His first job was working high up in the dangerous coal breakers. At the age of 12 he went down into the blackish, coal dusted mines to begin his long mining career. His first job was sitting in the dark alone for 10 to 12 hours a day as a door keeper. Later he became a spragger, mule driver, and had various other jobs until becoming a lifetime coal miner.

DIRTY MINES also addresses the rich history of this era; including the miscarriage of justice towards the Molly Maguires in their fight for union rights and the environmental disaster at the Knox Coal company that ended coal mining in North Eastern Pennsylvania.

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The Posse: 8 Historical Western Romances by Lyn Hormer

“One Way or Another” By Frank Kelso
A bitter water dispute twists two Texas cattle ranches one way or another after the son of one rancher takes a shine to the other rancher’s daughter, new from the east.

“The Schoolmarm’s Hero” By Lyn Horner
The Sheriff leads a posse after two drunken cowboys who kidnapped the spinster schoolmarm. The chase forces him to realize how much he loves her.

“Bad Day at Round Rock” By cj petterson
The pursuit of stolen gold culminates in a “Bad Day at Round Rock”–a story of greed, death, and love torn from pages of West Texas history.

“The Reckoning” by Charlene Raddon
A half-breed boy seeks his place in the world—with the Shoshone who raised him, or his white aunt and uncle where he has been sent for an education.

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SEDAHLIA by Cynthia D.Toliver

After fleeing post-Civil War Georgia, John Masters, Sr., his wife Virginia Masters, and their rebellious servant Jessie Lindsey have built new lives in Texas ranch country. Now their offspring, Johnny Masters and Rachel Lindsey, are in love. On the isolated, sprawling Sedahlia ranch, their youthful dalliances are largely overlooked until Rachel becomes pregnant, forcing Rachel to leave Texas for a freedman’s school in Georgia.

From the insulated Sedahlia ranch to the Jim Crow south, the rails both separate and unite – parting lovers, reuniting family, pushing out the old, bringing in the new. It is in these settings that the Masters and Lindseys live and love, and their personal needs and mores collide. The repercussions rumble through this family and the surrounding community, tearing them asunder and bringing them together as only love and tragedy will.

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The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, THREE FIFTH of all other Persons.

The Other Two-Fifths, historic novel detailing the fight for racial equality and its human toll on black Americans, follows the turbulent lives of the Carter, Amos, Oliver, Sturgis, and LeBlanc families through two centuries in their struggle for civil rights.

 

 

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The Horseman by Kristina O’Donnelly

As Ariadne, the American, Burhan, the Turk, and Mehmet Ali, the Kurd, emerge from the mists of 8,000 BC and reunite in 20th Century Turkey, they play out their star-crossed destinies upon an explosive stage of upheavals and changes.

A fiery love triangle with its roots in Prehistory …

Only a strong woman like Ariadne, the American, can tame a powerful firebrand like Burhan, the quintessential Turk!

… For A Love That Defies Time, Would You Pledge Your Soul to Eternity?

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Shanty Gold by Jeanne Charters

In 1849’s famine-ravaged Ireland, thirteen-year-old Mary Boland is found lying mostly dead on the side of the road to Cork Harbor, Queenstown, Ireland. She just buried her mother and baby sister after they both died of starvation. Now she is headed for Boston to find her father— no matter what. Raped and beaten by the evil crew of The Pilgrim’s Dandy, she is rescued by a fifteen-year-old Negro slave who had been used in like manner for some time and had vowed to throw himself to the sharks that very night. Together they survive the harrowing two and a half month trip, helping others as well. Their friendship is the key to the new world for both of them, carrying them through hardships and trials, and eventually to happiness.

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Fall of the House of Queens by Shelly Talcott

From the moment William Somers first set foot in Henry VIII’s palace his heart belonged to a beautiful kitchen maid and his loyalty to a great king. But fools are destined to witness history, not make it, and so William must watch and jest as Henry pushes aside a loyal wife for a woman capable of bringing a kingdom to its knees. But when William’s dearest friend Mabel is forced to bend to an equally cruel fate in the forgotten depths of the kitchens will he find the strength to defend her?

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The Eden Legacy by Harold Gershowitz

June 4, 1967, was supposed to be a high point in Noah Greenspan’s year. It’s the night before the grand opening of Potomac Centre, the urban development project he spearheaded in the heart of Washington, DC. But the outbreak of the Six-Day War in the Middle East eclipses the event.

In the aftermath of the short, bloody war, Noah’s fiancée, Palestinian American journalist Alexandra Salaman is assigned to Israel to cover the political implications for Israelis and Palestinians alike. It’s a dangerous task, partly because Alexandra was, years earlier, instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack and partly because she’s a Christian Arab engaged to Noah, a Jew. Such a marriage is certain to arouse anger from either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

As Noah deals with legal and financial challenges to Potomac Centre, he and Alexandra find their relationship challenged by her insistence on staying in Israel to do her job—and by reunions with old lovers.

 

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The Depth of Beauty by A.B. Michaels

In 1903, San Francisco’s Chinatown is teeming with vice just blocks away from the city’s aristocrats, but wealthy Will Firestone sees the district as a potential market for his shipping enterprise. Dazzled by an exotic young widow from Canton, he is drawn into the immigrant enclave, a decision that will rock his foundation, change his attitude, and lead him down a treacherous path.

Country girl Mandy Culpepper is only fifteen when she’s orphaned and brought under the protection of the Firestone name. Grateful for her privileged status, she’s determined to give back by helping Chinese immigrant girls in jeopardy, even if it means facing dangers that put her at odds with both her guardian and those in power.

Following their own divergent paths, Mandy and Will are caught up in the rising tension between city power brokers and the reviled foreigners. But an intruder no one bargained for will bring them together in a fight against a horrifying disease – a scourge that cares nothing for race or social standing or the love one person feels for another.

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The Road Ahead by Olivia Zikora

Young Nneka Uchendu never listens to anyone but herself, and her inquisitiveness and bravery worry her grandmother, Ogonna. It is 1967, and Ogonna’s home in Onitsha, Nigeria, is getting dangerous. The Biafran War has just begun, and Hausa fighters are out in full force. Ogonna dreads Nneka running into the brutal soldiers. Even her ordinary, unassuming neighbors could be spies for the other side.

When Ogonna realizes that Onitsha will soon completely fall, she comes up with a daring plan to spirit her beloved granddaughter away from the violence. Her plan succeeds, but the war follows them out into the country. Ogonna can sell her jewels one by one to help the family, but they won’t last forever.

Olivia Zikora’s powerful novel is about what happens when the only thing left is hope. Ogonna does whatever she can to protect her granddaughter, and the old woman’s strength in the worst of circumstances inspires and bolsters Nneka during her own ordeals.

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Living Past Being a Victim by Dannielle Gallant Simms

Someone living in an abusive situation has to endure not only fear and physical pain but also feelings of isolation, shame, and hopelessness. Why is this happening? Why doesn’t he just leave? I can’t let anyone know what’s really going on.

Danielle Gallant Simms, author of Living Past Being a Victim, has had these same thoughts. She was sexually abused by her own father for the first time when she was just four years old. That abuse continued for years as she suffered in silence, afraid to tell anyone. Simms wrote this book to share her own horrific story, and how she finally managed to escape the cycle of abuse and find peace and happiness. Her wish is to let others who have been victims of abuse know that they are not alone and that it is possible to escape, to forgive, and to move on.

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The Longfellah’s Son: An Almost True Irish Story by Michael Cassidy

This is an almost true story. Murphy was a child of the newly emerging 1950’s Irish middle class. He was raised in the environment of a conflicted marriage that never should have happened. While his privileged upbringing seemed idyllic to the outside world, his reality was starkly different. Life at home was always turbulent. Apart from constant beatings, he never knew what daily chaos would erupt. His thirteen year Jesuit education was academically excellent. But it also resulted in a childhood love of God being beaten out of him while confirming his condemnation to burn forever in hell. Murphy was unsettled by the rigid Irish class system where social status predetermined one’s future thereby condemning innocent children and adults to the inevitability of an impoverished life. Signs of his destruction from alcohol were evident in his early teens. He became a meteor raging through the lives of those who loved him and many who didn’t. At first successful in business, he became penniless, deserted his wife and son, then became homeless before finally sobering up. Murphy eventually left Ireland for an uncertain future as a penniless illegal immigrant in America. But it was there he successfully resurrected himself. Many years later, he returned briefly to Ireland for his mother’s funeral.

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Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey by Ruth Anne Caukwell

Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey speaks with a voice of courage and a spirit of discovery as it reveals the musings of a woman who has devoted her life to personal improvement through education, reflection, and transformation. The author, Ruth Anne Caukwell, entwines a collection of inspirational thoughts with a sequence of workbook entries. By spending time sharing the musings and then reviewing one’s own life, the reader of this guide for life’s journey can set out with determination to discover life’s deep truths.

Musings of a Blogger shares the story of a boy who sees a butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. Desiring to help it, he releases the butterfly, only to discover that the struggle to break free is what gives strength to the butterfly’s wings. Absent the struggle, the butterfly is too weak to fl y. The workbook gives shape to one’s struggle, serving to build strength so that one may fl y gloriously like a healthy butterfly.

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Buddha, Christ, and the Eagle: Finding Happiness by Frances Rinaldi

They used to tell stories about Shangri-La, a land of peace and prosperity hidden in the heights of the Himalayas. In the adventure that lies ahead, Janet Locke doesn’t find the mythical city, but she does find a new, joyous existence up on the roof of the world.

It starts with phone call. An old friend wants to know if Janet wants to join her on a bicycling trip through Bhutan. Janet knows absolutely nothing about the small, central-Asian country. When she looks it up on the Internet, she learns that its gross national product is happiness. Janet, frustrated with life’s challenging moments, decides that this sounds delightful.

After a quick stop in Thailand, Janet is on to Bhutan. She falls in love with the charming country. As Janet ventures out into the wilderness surrounding the awe-inspiring Himalayas, she learns lessons about the many worries she carries. Like so many others, this journey will change her life.

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Amazing Women by Charles Margerison

Who was the first woman to qualify as a doctor? Who is the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes? Explore these and other great stories in Amazing Women’. In this unique story collection from Amazing People Worldwide, the real lives of iconic women including Coco Chanel, Sojourner Truth, Edith Piaf, Marie Curie and Helen Keller, come to life. Understand their real lives and challenges and be inspired by what they did and how they achieved it. This is a must-read for every woman seeking motivation. The women in this title were trailblazers. Their stories are a source of inspiration and offer an interesting and easy way to learn from those who have made major contributions to our world. Discover how these amazing women lived, loved and worked in their own distinct ways. We can learn key lessons from each one of them. In particular, their achievements were a result of their determination to continue on, regardless of how difficult the journey. They believed in what they had to offer, and used their time well. Meet these amazing women through BioViews, a short biographical story, similar to an interview. These unique stories provide an easy way of learning about amazing people who made major contributions to our world and can help you achieve your ambitions in your journey through life.

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World Book Day – Our Romance and Spiritual suggestions for you…

Hannah Jenkins

We thought we would celebrate World Book Day with some good reads!

Below is a list of romance and spiritual reads that might be of interest to you..

Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next book?

Honourable Lies by Fran Connor

Set in Victorian England, this Romantic Thriller takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the mores of the times. A young orphan finds herself propelled into High Society as a reward when she saves the Queen’s life. There she falls in love with a wealthy and handsome young man. She can have it all, wealth, love and happiness. It all comes crashing down when he tells a lie for a honourable reason. She misunderstands. The green worm of jealousy eats into her while her pride overwhelms her chances of a life with him. To add to her woes, an evil aristocrat and enemies she has made in her young life conspire to bring about her downfall and death.

.Available Now!

Destiny’s Choice by Victoria Saccenti

No one evades Fate. Especially when the escape route is cracked and full of holes.

As a naïve young woman, Marité Muro nearly drowned in a maelstrom of confusing emotions stirred by two very different men. One whose tortured soul tugged at her heart, another whose scorching touch made her innocent body want…more.

Four years in a Spanish prep school gave her time to gain perspective, and now she’s come home to Florida knowing what she wants. The one man she’s never been able to forget, and she’s ready to prove their age difference is no obstacle.

Viet Nam left scars on Brian MacKay, some visible, some invisible—and infinitely more dangerous. His war buddy’s little sister has ripened into a tempting, irresistible woman, but she is forbidden fruit. Yet she challenges his resolve until, in a moment of weakness, his demons slip free.

Marité isn’t sure why the man who held her closer than skin is suddenly holding her at arm’s length, but she isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants. Even when someone returns from the past who could destroy everything. Her home. Her family. And Brian’s love.

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Destiny’s Plan  by Victoria Saccenti

One empty bus seat. Two aching hearts. A future written by Fate…

When Raquelita Muro’s overbearing mother rips her and her little sister away from their beloved Papa, one tiny, rebellious corner of Raquelita’s heart is grateful that the bus is crowded, and the only seat left is out of Mama’s sight. Next to a handsome young man.

Michael Buchanan’s beautiful traveling companion is more than something pretty to look at before he ships out for Viet Nam. Deep in her sad, whisky-colored eyes he glimpses a new dream to replace the ones he’s leaving behind. It breaks his heart to leave Raquelita in her tyrannical mother’s hands, but she gifts him with a token of love and a tender promise to exchange letters in secret.

But their first, shy “hello” has reached the ears of Fate. Fate is in the mood to see how far it can push two lonely hearts—to the brink of temptation, desperation, and despair—before they break. Perhaps beyond any hope of healing…

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Big Bad Boys Bundle, Bad Boys of SEAL Team 3 by Sharon Hamilton

You’ve loved these Bad Boys before, now you can enjoy them all together. This exclusive Sharon Hamilton bundled set is three books in one: SEAL’s Promise, SEAL My Home and SEAL’s Code. Enjoy your encounter with T.J. Talbot, Rory Kennedy and Danny Begay.

SEAL’s Promise: Special Operator T.J. Talbot had watched from afar as his best friend married the love of his life. Raised in and out of the foster care system and nearly ruining his chance to become a SEAL, he figured his Happily Ever After would never be. But Dr. Death plays a heartbreaking trick on him and he winds up being the man’s father confessor, where he makes a promise to the dying SEAL to look after his friend’s wife and baby.

Back in the states, Shannon Moore is grateful for the baby she is carrying, though she is a constant reminder of the man who no longer lives at her side. She is not ready for the attention from the community she receives, especially from T.J. She’s decided to honor her fallen husband by giving her whole life to the child he left behind.

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Ultimate SEAL Collection, Volume 1: SEAL Brotherhood by Sharon Hamilton

Ultimate boxed set of 4 full length and award-winning books and two prequel/novellas by NYT and USA/Today Bestselling Author, Sharon Hamilton. Boxed set includes: SEAL Encounter (prequel to Accidental SEAL), Accidental SEAL Book 1, SEAL Endeavor (prequel to Fallen SEAL Legacy), Fallen SEAL Legacy Book 2, SEAL Under Covers Book 3, SEAL The Deal Book 4. Over 900 pages of reads, with a value of over $22.00. For a limited time only

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The Highest Bidder: A Billionaire Fantasy Novel by Stella Andrews

The moment I saw him I knew. Tall, dark & dangerous, with a body inked to perfection, that could bring a woman to her knees.
He won me in an auction and paid a heavy price. Two weeks to live out his fantasy to the letter. He will control me, use me and make me submit to his every wish.
At the end of it I can walk away with Ten Million Dollars.
Love doesn’t come into it – it’s a business deal, a transaction, no emotion involved. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out – everything.

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A New Life: The Chronicles of the Reverie, Novella 1 by Natomi Karkael

Curiosity. A Journey. Misfortune.
Anastari had always wondered what lay beyond the borders of Sorsani. She yearned to see the places her new husband Blorzen told her about for herself and wanted to explore the other regions. Blorzen is just as eager to explore Rendal but was unsure about its people. With their prearranged lives as land owners set to start as soon as the celebration was over, they plan their trip and leave the farm.
As expected they encounter predators and exhaustion along the way, but see amazing landscapes and machines more advanced than anything in Sorsani. Soon frigid temperatures and elusive shelter hinder their journey. They continue north into the next region, headed towards a city that could hold treasures or tragedy. Will they survive and make it back home?
A New Life is the first novella in the Chronicles of the Reverie. If you like discovering new worlds, clean romances and action packed journeys then you’ll love this sci-fi adventure by Natomi Karkael.
Buy A New Life and start the journey today!

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The Last Valentine by Felix Alexander

When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector Sedeño finds it in her possession.

A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.

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Rage (The Marcy series Book 1) by Linda Burson

Marcy finds herself angry, frustrated, and confused because of nightmares that won’t stop. The love of her life gives her an ultimatum: seek help or lose him.

When held up at gunpoint during a robbery, Marcy is pushed over the edge. That night, she meets Liam, with whom she agrees to join on his quest to find those responsible for the murder of his family.

Delving further into the dark world of revenge, Marcy and Liam fall in love and instead of darkness, light envelops them.
Hearts are torn, jealousy ensues, and more uncertainty arises.

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All the Broken Places: The Healing Edge by Anise Eden

Cate Duncan is a promising young therapist, dedicated to her work. But after her mother’s suicide, she is seized by a paralyzing depression. To save her job, Cate agrees to enter a program with Dr. Angeline MacGregor, run by her stern son, Ben, and housed in a repurposed church. Cate doesn’t quite understand what the program entails, but she soon learns that the skills she will develop there may not only help her learn how to cope with her own problems, but will also lead her to a much greater purpose.

The MacGregor Group is a collection of alternative healers whose unconventional approaches include crystals, aura reading, and psychics. They know that their life’s work invites skepticism, and welcome the chance to prove naysayers wrong. But they need the unique abilities that Cate can bring, and as she slides ever closer to her own abyss, they will do everything in their power to protect Cate from those who wish her harm—including herself.

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Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances by Maggie Way

Twenty award-winning, USA Today and International best-selling authors have come together to bring you over 3,000 pages of love, lust, and lusciously sexy men.
From sweet second chance romances to bad boys, BBWs, and brides looking for revenge, this is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys Romance or Women’s Fiction. These pages are packed with cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures, and sweet heart-melting stories. Our authors bring you everything from hot cowboys to rockstar romances, elegant weddings to nuptial disasters, and blushing brides to bold women, all in a delightful celebration of love. You’re in for a wild, passionate ride on a breathtaking voyage to make your heart soar. This box set will leave you craving all things marital and wishing the honeymoon would never end.

Heat level: sweet to sensual

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The Band 4: The Air We Breathe by Marguerite Nardone Gruen

Marguerite is on holiday in London, finally free after 27 years of feeling like a hostage to her strict and overbearing parents. Also in London, and struggling with his thoughts of freedom, is Chase Martin―one fourth of the most successful band on the planet―who knows that freedom can only come at the expense of his band-mates. They come from completely different worlds, but when those worlds collide―on a rainy night in a small coffee shop―nothing will ever be the same again. Before ever laying eyes on him, his pain and anxiety somehow reaches her, and she feels moved to alleviate it… to offer comfort, which he desperately needs. After years of performing with his band-mates, they are closer than brothers. They are a part of one another, and the compulsion he is feeling to separate from them, is tearing him apart. The strange bond Marguerite and Chase discover goes beyond attraction or desire. It goes beyond love or lust or anything either of them have ever experienced. It is absolutely terrifying, but to walk away from its pull would be like choosing not to breathe. This is a story of love, loss and heart-break… of family and friendship. This is their story.

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First Rodeo: A Novel by Judith Hennessey

Kate, an attractive, thirty-something, workaholic, single mother, is in the business of pleasing others. At the top of her “yes” list is her sometimes surly and controlling boss: her father. But when a crisis at work spurs Kate to examine her life, she surprises everyone by taking her young son and heading where few high heels have ever gone: Wyoming, home to more cows than humans. There, at the Prickly Pear Ranch, she meets a young, sexy, bull rider, who’s lived a lifetime in just over two decades. He’s full of big dreams of training horses, and his passion fuels Kate’s dormant dreams of becoming an artist, and sparks fly—and once again, Kate shocks everyone, even herself, and jumps on for the romantic ride of her life.

Fast-paced and wildly entertaining, First Rodeo is filled with humorous scenes of city girl gone country, encounters with handsome cowboys, the struggles of the creative process, and a powerful message: the greatest love of all is the love you have for yourself.

 

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When Will We Ever Learn by Robert Newbrook

“The author relates to the thought processes and deeds of an average person who constantly seeks improvement in the way the human mind and the world works.
Moving through philosophy, belief, and relationship phenomena, the book also describes the author’s personal experiences of such events as took place in Libya during the six-day war in 1967 between Egypt and Israel, plus a historical incident in Canada involving the American Indian Movement and the FBI in the 1970s.”

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The Spirit of Love by Glen Bowyer

The Spirit of Love is a collection of short writings, poems and phrases written by a man, who took himself into some of the darkest and most destructive depths that one can go with drug and alcohol addictions back in his early twenty’s.

The collection of writings contained within The Spirit of Love is a reflection of one man’s healing journey within himself and the deep questioning that has arisen from within it.

With the love, support and guidance of his dear friend Edwina, in helping to bring these writings from the handwritten scribbles on paper to how they are presented today, The Spirit of Love is a reminder that no matter how dark, desperate, alone, helpless or trapped one believes they may be, the sheer beauty of the perfection of life in its totality is silently and patiently living within us all, and its love is so powerful that it can heal anything that has come to pass.

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Messages by Hooshi Khan

Messages is a collection of mystic poems by Hooshi Khan for those seeking inspiration and a closeness to God. This book contains 162 poems reminiscent of Rumi or Meister Eckhart. The inspiration for these messages first came to her while living in Singapore in 1987 and will offer positive words of guidance and inspiration.

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What the Hand: A Novel About the End of the World and Beyond by Todd Stockwell

What the Hand is the first and only black comedy based on the Book of Revelation. As the title, pulled from William Blake’s brilliant poem, “The Tyger”, suggests, the story involves the big questions of religion, just as Blake questions the apparent dichotomy of a creator of both good and evil. What the Hand follows the narrative of George Somerset, the reluctant Christian, who finds himself in paradise, having qualified for entrance by a “spider hair”. The book chronicles his life on the “Old Earth” as well as his experiences in the earthly heaven God has established for a thousand years. The disappearance in mass of believers in the event known to Christians as the Rapture begins George’s awakening as he meets up with a group of other “runners” while hiding in a cave from the minions of the Antichrist and the horrors of the Tribulation, a period of devastation predicted in the Bible.Together they face demons literal and figurative, hunger, thirst, persecution, natural and man-made disasters, and the question of martyrdom, as George comes to terms with his mortality and immortality. But What the Hand is not merely an adventure story or hardly one at all. It is cultural and historical commentary, a satire about the life and thoughts of a failed man, and weird and pressingly current novel unlike anything ever written.

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Historical Fiction Books To Read

Roisin Spragg

Historical fiction! One of my favourite genres. When people ask me what historical novel they should read I find myself pondering for a good while after. Well, what type? What era? Which setting? There are just so many good historical books out there, how can I tell you just one. It’s not such a simple question so here are eight varied historical novels I recommend for different age groups. I definitely enjoyed them.

 

‘Roses in a Forbidden Garden’ by Elise Garibaldi 

This true story of a Jewish girl and the boy she loved in Nazi Germany from 1938 to 1947 and the terrible problems they faced. This story is that of Garibaldi’s own grandmother and the very real atrocities committed against Inge and millions of others will shake you to the core. Though there was always a light turned on for Inge who managed to fall in love while at a camp. The photos of the family add to the atmosphere and the prose is wonderful to read. It is a history lesson that I recommend to teens and older and it will stick with you for years to come.

 

 

‘A Gathering Light’ by Jennifer Donnelly

A beautiful book about an event that changed the course of one girl’s life forever. Set in 1906 with the backdrop of the terrible murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette, an event that weaves the novel together, Mattie Gokey must find her way through adolescence and discover who she wants to be. Mattie herself is an interesting character who grows throughout the novel and her counterparts are just as entertaining to read about. Weaver in particular is an intriguing character. He faces deep racism from many of the white families and must cope with the adverse effect of these actions. Mattie starts a romance up with an ‘eligible’ boy, and that’s all women were ever meant to want, to be married to a good name. Mattie has other ideas about her how she wants her life to go and thus becomes a type of feminist to the readers. At it’s core, it is a feminist novel providing commentary on social status, race, and sex at the beginning of the 20th century. The prose is enjoyable and the descriptions are well written. I always recommend it.

 

 

‘Godwine Kingmaker’ by Mercedes Rochelle 

A historically accurate novel on Godwine, father to the last Anglo-Saxon king of England Harold, who gained immense power for his family and proclaimed the Kingmaker. This historical figure led a very captivating life and Rochelle details it in this book. Godwine was father-in-law to Edward the Confessor, father of King Harold, raised by Canute the Great, all these people impacted his life and he impacted theirs. He was a commoner who rose to the status of earl, what a feat. If you want a novel full of information about the period and Godwine while also reading like a novel then this is the one for you. Some describe this as ‘fact-ion’, not quite non fiction and not quite fiction. A prior knowledge of the period is not needed either, which is great for people who haven’t even heard of Godwine! This book and the rest of the trilogy are well worth the time it takes to read them.

 

 

‘Heat and Dust’ by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

This powerful novel takes place in the 1920s and the 1970s in India, both before and after the rule of the British Raj. The lives of two women, Olivia and her step-granddaughter, play out. Though they live in India 50 years apart they have similarities in how their lives play out, how India changes them. Having the two eras shown in the book lets us see the social changes that occurred from the ’20’s to the ’70’s. Olivia was not expected to engage with India, not the culture and not the people, while in 70’s, the narrator can live freely and immerse herself in the culture. The parallels between the two women are fun to watch play out and the ending is good in the sense it divides people greatly, it’s a fun book for discussions and there are many opposing views. This novel is quite useful to write about in English Literature or other such school subjects so I definitely recommend to young adults and late teens.

 

 

 

‘The Lie Tree’ by Frances Hardinge

Another feminist book on our list! This Victorian era novel brought something to the table I had not seen before. The characters and the plot twists had me on the edge of my seat and the climax was fulfilling. Faith had spunk and she feels like a girl who isn’t like other girls, though it turns out other girls aren’t like other girls either. The prose is beautifully written and the tale flows seamlessly. As well as having many historical elements we get a murder mystery halfway through the novel, which should entice more than just a history fan. The role of the sexes during this period was one of imbalance and Hardinge shows us that and shows us how the woman fought back, though they fought back in a silent way.

 

Hooks & Eyes’ by VL McBeath

This extraordinary tale of a young widow Mary Jackson in mid 19th century England and the choices she must make to protect her two children, herself, and everything she’s worked for. The power dynamics and the role of a woman in society, like ‘The Lie Tree’, during the Victorian period is a central part to the story. The affections from Mary’s boss leave her in a situation that reels you in. McBeath portrays the real gritty lives of Victorian women, the hardships and limitations. The characters are well structured and the atmosphere feels real. It is also ‘fact-ion’ as it is based on the real lives of McBeath’s ancestors. McBeath is working on the rest of the series which will all be based of her ancestors so if you enjoy this book you have more to look forward to.

‘The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips’ by Michael Morpurgo 

This is a historic tale for younger readers and a favourite of mine. The amazing story of a cat who survived everything and shaped the lives of the people around him, specifically twelve year old Lily. The story is told through letters that an old Lily gave to her grandson from 1943 to D-Day. The town she grew up in had not been affected by World War II until the D-Day landing tests began and 3000 people were moved from their home in Slapton. This novel is a good way to introduce the themes of war and it’s impacts to children. The characters are incredibly realistic and well structured and compel you to keep reading. Even though this book is recommended to ages 8 to 13 I say adults and teens should read as well, it’s a quick read.

 

 

 ‘Bog Child’ by Siobhan Dowd 

Set in 1981 in Northern Ireland this novel tells the story of a boy becoming a man. Fergus has a lot on his plate; his brother is in jail and on a hunger strike, he has uncovered an Iron Age body of what they assume to be a child execution, he is falling in love with the archaeologist’s daughter, and he needs to do well in his exams so he can become a doctor and leave Northern Ireland and the Troubles. There is a heavy politics aspect to the book which may be difficult for some readers and it’s quite helpful to have a prior knowledge of the Troubles as much is said in subtext and between the lines. Fergus as a character can capture my attention and keep it, his struggles and problems are very real; I can especially relate to the school related issues. The Irish history within the novel is useful to anyone studying the subject and provides a person’s experience rather than solely facts. The information about Celtic peoples in the Iron Age is also useful and rather interesting. This is Dowd’s most known piece and my favourite of hers. There are many mature themes so I recommend this for young adults and older.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Recommended Reads

Roisin Spragg

What makes a good Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel? The world building, diverse and fleshed out characters, the plausibility, the gripping plot? Well, the answer depends from person to person. So while I can’t answer this question I can answer another: what are some good Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels and series? Here are some much recommended novels you just might enjoy.

 

 

The ‘Graceling’ series (Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue) by Kristin Cashore

Each book is different and all are very enjoyable. Cashore’s writing manages to bring me to laughter and tears and sometimes both at the same time. These three companion novels are not only a fun read but provide different viewpoints on relationships, both romantic and platonic, loyalty to country and people, living through wars, and torn families. The world building is shown well and through beautiful prose. Each protagonist is a dynamic and unique woman with her own stories to tell. None of the books feel like a repetition of each other and can be read in any order though some suggest that you read them in order of their release. I have reread Graceling and Bitterblue three times and reread Fire countless more.

 

 

The Keys to the Kingdom’ series by Garth Nix

This seven-part series is a wonderful blend of sci-fi, fantasy, humour, and adventure. Nix introduces us to an unwilling hero, Arthur, in Mister Monday and we see him grow and learn throughout the series. His friends are all individuals with interesting personalities and motives. The betrayals and problems Arthur faces can be dark at times so I don’t recommend it solely for preteens, I think older age groups will enjoy them just as much and understand the subtext better. Having each of the seven ‘Trustees’ controlled by one of the seven deadly sins is another fun aspect. The religious features within the series provide new things to ponder about, as well as the historical figures such as the Pied Piper and the Ancient Mariner. It can be very reminiscent of old legends and fables, just look at the name of our protagonist.

 

 

Shatterbones’ by Robert Brown 

Brown’s novel is an interesting take on the whole apocalyptic/mutant scenario. Children, now vampires, battle with other great monsters such as giants and behemoth-like creatures, and so enjoyable fight scenes play out within the novel. Characters are interesting in how they use their gifts, for good or for bad, and Brown does bring to life some interesting characters (pun intended). The dialogue is entertaining and sometimes even inspirational. The political aspect is very readable. Shatterbones is a horror so I recommend this to young adults and older.

 

 

‘A Face Like Glass’ by Frances Hardinge 

This beautiful fantasy is set in the underground world of Caverna where people are born with faces ‘as blank as untouched snow’. The very premise of having skilled mastercrafts people teach others for a price to convey emotions on their face is incredibly intriguing. Hardinge’s cast of characters is so diverse and interesting that one can fall in love with it based on them alone. Our protagonist Neverfell, named so because she fell into a vat of Neverfell cheese, goes on a dangerous journey through courts and murder and mystery and takes us along so we don’t get lost. After all, it is very easy to get lost in the caves of Caverna. The world building is captivating and the plot is gripping. This book is a truly wonderful read and I constantly recommend it to the people around me. As a general rule I would say to always pick up a Hardinge book, I have yet to read one that disappointed me.

 

 

 

The ‘Rose’ series by Holly Webb

For the younger readers I recommend the four part series that bewitched me as a pre-teen. The story of a young orphan, alchemy, and magic in the streets of a British town is a delightful tale with mystery and fantasy. The details behind magic are not too intricate and complicated which makes them all the more enjoyable for that age. Rose and the ensemble of magic and non magic people captured my attention; it’s always helpful to have a likeable protagonist and some interesting villains, which this series does. The mystery of who Rose is is a question that stays with you throughout the series and the answer is not a disappointment. They are quick reads and, depending on your speed and time availability, can be read within a week though I drew it out so I could savour the books for longer.

 

‘I, Nemo’ by J Dharma Windham and Deanna Windham

This clever retelling of ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne provides a backstory to Captain Nemo is ‘his very own words’! The lost journal idea has been done before but it was fresh here in Windham’s book. The steampunk vibe paired with the jungle setting captures the attention and makes the book a fast read. The descriptions of the seas and the battles are well written and very vivid. The characters are well thought out with our protagonist having fun personality traits and an ambiguous morality. It’s a novel for so many people; adventure lovers, sci-fi lovers, steampunk lovers. This is definitely on my recommended list!

 

 

‘The Enemy Within’ by Scott Burn

This heartwrenching story of a teen who dreams of an apocalyptic future and finds himself institutionalised for suicidal thoughts as a result will pull you in and keep it’s hold on you after. Max and the friends he makes are fleshed out and well written characters who give you all the feels. Their dialogue is realistic, something that can be hard to find in many novels centered around teenagers. What separates this sci-fi from others published at the moment are the identity issues, morality issues, and the survival issues. It showcases real life but with aliens on the side. It also opens up the discussion on teenage suicide and abuse. Burn has a rich imagination and brings something fresh to the genre which I think many people would enjoy and should read.

Easter Reading Suggestions

Roisin Spragg

Let’s celebrate Easter with some great reads!

Looking for something to read? Check out these novels below! Genres range from Sci-Fi to Historical to Fantasy to Mystery! There’s something for everyone.

Easter is called so after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess whose symbols are the hare and theegg!

Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next read?


Forgiven by Geoff Lawson

Richard meets the love of his life and moves to a larger provincial town to pursue her, while she is the daughter of a successful entrepreneur and is used to the better things in life. Rachel is intelligent, cultured and charming, but things are not as well as they seem.
She reaches a low point in her life when she is brought down by rumour and innuendo, but with Richards support all is well until Richard volunteers to fight in South Africa and leaves Rachel under a cloud.
Once in South Africa, Richard is drawn into the murky world of counter espionage and misadventure, where he experiences more excitement than he bargained for and only in the face of imminent death does he realise the true value of what he has left behind.

Available NOW on Amazon


The Seventh Sentinel by Yolanda Ramos 

 

Moments before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the seven Archangels remove powerful, ancient artefacts from the Jewish temple. These are given into the safekeeping of seven men. Throughout the ages, these men and their descendants become known as the Seven Sentinels.

In medieval times, the Seven Sentinels formed various military Orders as a cover for their activities. Today, of the Seven Sentinels, two are dead and two have turned rogue, which means only three remain to carry out their roles.

A war rages between Heaven and Earth. It is up to the newly empowered Seventh Sentinel to stop the rogues and Fallen Ones, from using these artefacts to gain control of the souls of mankind. Can the Seventh Sentinel endure?

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon


Extropia: Mind Game by Robin Bootle 

 

 

An act of sabotage leaves Edward’s father trapped inside a virtual reality game, Extropia. In a desperate bid to save his father, Edward follows him, entering a world he knows he might never leave. A world full of artificially intelligent beings; beings subjected to a life of misery and fear in the name of human entertainment. Now one of them has found out about the real world and is determined to have his revenge…

Available NOW on Amazon

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The Long Road Home by Carolyn M Bowen 

 

Kate’s life was in turmoil after the death of her parents. She’d always been protected and sheltered by them. Suddenly she finds herself with a conniving fiancé living under her roof, a powerful businessman with terrorist ties from across the ocean trying to kill her and more family secrets than most American politicians. She was also unaware that a half brother she knew nothing of was about to enter her life. Her situation was getting precarious right at the moment she was least able to cope with it.

Available NOW on Amazon


Lesbian: House of Romance by Olivia Hampshire

 

Grace and Claudia are lovers and very good business women. They own a beautiful, resort hotel on the beach, 30 miles from Barcelona, Spain. The most beautiful women in the world go their to change their lives and enjoy themselves and others. Very strange things happen in this place. You won´t believe it. You will laugh, you will cry.

Available NOW on Amazon

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Gateway to Forever by Claude Nougat 

 

Climate change scares you? Don’t miss Alice’s escape from a burning world.  Born on the wrong side of the tracks, Alice is not among the chosen few who’ll board the escape ship and fly to another, greener planet. But with her beauty and good heart, she draws the attention of a journalist with powerful connections. Can he help her, will she make it?

This story, based on years of research by Hannah Fischer-Lauder, an experienced sociologist, is exceptionally realistic, predicting that the world as we know it will end 200 years from now. It will delight you as a thriller – it’s full of surprising twists and turns – but it will also make you ponder about the future that awaits us.

 

 

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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The Chronocar by Steve Bellinger 

Simmie Johnson was born the son of a slave. He was also a genius. After earning a PhD in physics from Tuskegee Institute, he wrote a paper outlining a theory for time travel, including plans for a time machine—called a chronocar—which was published in a scientific journal in the early 1900s . Since the technology required to build the chronocar did not yet exist, the paper and its brilliant writer faded into obscurity.

A century later, a young Illinois Tech student, Tony Carpenter, discovers the journal article and decides to build a chronocar so he can travel back to 1919 to meet the black scientist he hopes to emulate.

Unfortunately, time is not on his side.

Dr. Johnson is living in Chicago’s Black Belt with his beautiful daughter—and Tony arrives just in time for the bloodiest race riot in the city’s history. Can Tony use the chronocar to save his new friends, or will his attempt forever alter the future he hopes to return to?

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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Milijun by Clayton Graham

 

 

It is Australia in 2179.

On a moonlit Nullarbor night, Laura Sinclair and son, Jason, witness aliens descend to Earth. The extraterrestrials endeavour to form a symbiotic relationship with humankind, and Jason is chosen as a genetic link in a bizarre trial involving the impregnation of human females with hybrid embryos and exploration of spiritual compatibility.

Laura crosses swords with Major General Sebastian Ord from the Australian Defence Force, Eucla and Uriel, the enigmatic head of Milijun, a reclusive research facility in the outback. Following a disastrous armed attempt to capture aliens at Cocklebiddy Cave and a fierce confrontation at Eucla, Jason is abducted by an alien swarm.

What follows tests the resolve of Laura to the core. Caught in a relentless web of frightening new technologies and alien mystery, spurred by the undying love of her son, she gains a strength of character she never thought possible.

All she has to do is save herself, Jason and several women and unborn children from the scheming plans of man and alien alike …

Some would call Laura a reluctant heroine, but she is a heroine, nonetheless.

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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NOMAD ON THE RUN by Georges Benay

 

Beneath the golden desert and azure seas of Morocco lurks a hidden world of greed, deceit and financial terrorism. But the players are not who you might think.

Lured away from his seemingly idyllic life as a managing director for a major international bank in Toronto, Eric Martin returns to his ancestral roots in Morocco. Tempted by a mysterious offer from a boutique financial firm, Eric soon discovers he has walked into the middle of a whirlwind where everyone has their own secret agenda, and he unwittingly has become the key to unlocking them all. From the broad avenues of Toronto to the mean streets of Casablanca, Eric rushes to discover the truth before time runs out.

But who can he trust? The power and attraction of money is strong. In the midst of a dangerous cast of characters, Jeff Offenbach, bank president, knows more than he lets on. But how much does he know? Is he a key player in a scheme to terrorize the global economy, or is he just trying to save his firm from becoming another victim of the global economic collapse? Valerie is the unknown factor. Is she involved in the partners’ machinations, or is she as guileless as Eric?

Can he trust her?

And more importantly, will he survive long enough to find out?

 

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Raven’s Redemption: A Cybertech Thriller by John D. Trudel 

 


Durham had been a disaster. Everyone on Raven’s team had been seriously wounded, and now Josie, the woman he loves and a major American asset due to her paranormal abilities, is in a drug-induced stupor at a medical facility. Wracked with guilt over his inability to have adequately anticipated and prepared for the danger, Raven is recuperating at the remote private estate in California known by the resident staff as “the Ranch.” However, when his boss, Dr. Goldfarb, wants him to extract Josie quickly and quietly from her hospital, he doesn’t have to be asked twice. Although he doesn’t know it at the time, the mission will be the crucial first step Raven will need to take to redeem himself in his own eyes.

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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Return of the Fathers by T A Watson

Dandalus is the saviour of earth 57 and the most famous man on the planet. However, when he is abducted aboard a spacecraft he finds that not everyone is as impressed with his achievements as he thought. He stands trial and finds that he must undo all his good work if earth 57 is to survive. Returning to earth 57, he finds he has allies, and there is something else he has to do stop his former friend, now enemy, Wolfrun from succeeding in his attempt to overrun the planet with automatons.

Available NOW on Amazon

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Chosen Child by Linda Huber

 

Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.

Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.

And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O Howard 

 

 

In 1830, Lalin Bonheur, a young and beautiful free woman of color, not only heals her people with supernatural gifts but shape shifts into a cat to search for New Orleans’ secrets.
At a Quadroon Ball, Lalin meets French aristocrat Etienne Legendre. The two fall in love. However, Etienne must marry another. When his young wife, Minette, dies mysteriously, he is accused of her murder.

To escape prosecution, Lalin and Etienne sail upriver on a steamboat to solve the mystery of Minette’s death and prove Etienne’s innocence. As they strive to survive in new surroundings, they must battle many evils, including loup-garou, the savage wolf men of Louisiana, and a malevolent figure who can shape shift into a giant bird.

What Lalin learns about this winged menace may hold the key to the mystery of her lover’s wife’s murder.

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson

A breathtaking fantasy romance, the first in a sensational new series by British author Karen Tomlinson.

Magic awakens. Darkness stirs. The Wraith Lord is hunting.

The war raging in the South seems a remote danger for seventeen-year-old Diamond Gillon until her home is brutally attacked by the Wraith Lord’s monstrous hunters. Catapulted into a terrifying new world where legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned, and half-blood fae like her have no rights, Diamond is inexplicably drawn to her saviour. But Commander Hugo Casimir is a ruthless elite guard owned by a cruel, immortal fae queen who will murder her own people for magic.

As she sinks deeper into Hugo’s world, Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous, for the Queen desires her magic and covets the very same prize as the Wraith Lord. To discover who she truly is, Diamond must escape the Queen’s clutches—before her fate, and that of The Eight Kingdoms, is sealed in shadow and chaos.

Will Hugo prove to be her friend, her protector, or an enemy not worthy of her trust?

A Bond of Venom and Magic is an epic fantasy tale, ideal for mature Young Adult readers. Fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo will love to discover this spectacular new world steeped in dragons, monsters, and armoured winged warriors.

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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Postwar Dinosaur Blues by Darrell Bain

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After the Vietnam war, the hard drinking adventurous Williard brothers decide to go hunting for a purported dinosaur living deep in the Congo. Flying a beat up old seaplane, pursued by the Mafia, carrying a half million in drug money they don’t know they have; they are shot at, shot down, almost eaten by the Mokele Mbembe and finally are captured by a tribe of Pygmies.

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Available NOW on Amazon

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Dark Clouds by Phil Rowen 

 

 

Dark Clouds centres on al-Qaeda terrorists who hope to cause nuclear mayhem in London. The main character, Flynn, enjoys a drink and is empathetic with friendly females … but is he really up for tackling dangerous Islamic jihadists – people that see Westerners as misguided infidels who need to experience the purifying wrath of Allah?

The bad guys want to irradiate ‘decadent’ Brits, who are perceived as enemies of Allah. It is scary, but a US/UK Security Service team believe that Rudi Flynn can help them avert disaster. His Muslim American girlfriend, Faria, fell with the North Tower in New York on 9/11 and he is now working as a journalist in London. He is trying to forget what happened in Manhattan on that fateful Tuesday, but he still has some Islamic contacts. One of whom, Rashid, is in the loop with jihadists and wants to cross over.

Flynn is wary about going undercover, but an oil rich Syrian he knows is suspected of funding the bad guys. On the up side, he has just met Ingrid – an artist who invites him to join her on a Greek island where he can write about a fiery Fenian ancestor. This won’t happen, however, unless he delivers for Carla Hirsch: his ice cold and very focused US Homeland Security controller.

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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RAFFERTY & LLEWELLYN BOXED SET: BOOKS 1 TO 4

 

DEAD BEFORE MORNING #1

A murder victim with no face. A media calling for answers. And a detective with a family not averse to a little gentle law-bending.

Newly-promoted British Detective Joe Rafferty and his partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn in a murder mystery involving the killing of a young woman bludgeoned beyond recognition, with no ID and found in a secure place to which she supposedly had no admission. Who is she? How has she gained access? And who was responsible for her murder?

DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN #2

A murder victim with no enemies. A dead patriarch. And a detective who’s struggling.

British Detectives Joe Rafferty and his partner, Dafyd Llewellyn, in their second murder mystery investigation, set out to discover who killed Barbara Longman, a woman with no known enemies. But it soon becomes apparent that the murder has been committed by someone who must have known the victim very well.

DEATH LINE #3

A murdered seer who failed to predict his own future. A partner who refuses to see the murder as an inside job. And a Detective who’s coming up empty.

Third novel in the Rafferty & Llewellyn mystery series, Death Line sees the detective duo trying to solve the murder with his own crystal ball, of the famed ‘seer’, Jasper Moon. Gradually it becomes clear that Jasper Moon was a man of many parts, not all of them appeared very savoury.

THE HANGING TREE #4

A disappearing murder victim no one would miss. A witness destined to haunt him. And a Detective who felt ambivalent about getting a conviction.

The detective pair investigate the murder mystery of the vanishing hanged man. But when the hanged man turns up in Dedman Woods for a second time, the British detectives are able to confirm that he is a man many had reason to hate. Because Maurice Smith, charged years earlier with four child rapes, had escaped on a legal technicality. Was someone acting as the public executioner, dealing out their own form of justice on the legendary Hanging Tree?

 

Available NOW on Amazon

 

 

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Radiant Shadows by Sarah Baethge

 

Say there is an official organization to control how vampires and humans interact.
What would happen to violators of its ‘laws’?
How would the breaking of its rules be fixed?

What could even be the motivation for members of this alliance?

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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The Well House by M S Matassa 

 

The dream is back and Ben Carson is terrified. His pregnant wife, Anne, is locked in a coma and Ben is the only person who can save her but he has no idea how to accomplish this. His dreams contain clues but they make no sense. Ben can’t figure what a small white well house and black flying creatures have to do with Anne. Then he meets a mysterious woman named Thelma Grippe. What he learns from Thelma shakes him to the core, but gives him the knowledge to free Anne from the force keeping her in the coma. Once he locates the well house, Ben finds a passage to another dimension, where he searches for Anne. After a long, arduous journey, Ben faces the ultimate evil that holds Anne captive. The Well House is an exciting, unique and thoughtful story of a man’s fight against unbelievable odds to save his wife. Part drama, part fantasy and part parable, The Well House is a multi-layered tale that takes you on an amazing journey, from the mountains above Boulder Colorado to the depths of the dark zone.

Available NOW on Amazon

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Murder Is Collegiate by Diane Weiner 

A dead body, stolen jewelry, a barn full of secrets… not the vacation retired teacher Susan Wiles and her husband Mike expected when they decided to visit their old friends Emily and Henry. Are the ominous events related to the true crime book Emily is writing? To the ten year anniversary of the unsolved disappeared of a local college student? Or to a builder’s dream of a local college student? Or to a builder’s dream of creating a community of miniature homes at any cost? In a team effort, Susan, Mike, and their friends band together to restore harmony to the idyllic community of Sugarbury Falls, Vermont.

Available NOW on Amazon

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Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell 

When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent five years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned?

Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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The Pygmy Dragon by Marc Seccia

Yesterday, a Dragon kidnapped me from my cage in a zoo.

Stolen from her jungle home and sold to a zookeeper, Pip knows only a world behind bars, a world in which a Pygmy warrior and her giant ape friends are a zoo attraction. She dreams of being Human. She dreams of escaping to the world outside her cage.

Then, the Dragon Zardon kidnaps her into a new life. Pip rides Dragonback across the Island-World to her new school – a school inside a volcano. A school where Humans learn to be Dragon Riders. But this is only a foretaste of her magical destiny, for the Dragon Assassins are coming. They have floated an Island across the Rift and their aim is nothing less than the massacre of all Dragons.

Now, the courage of the smallest will be tested to the utmost. For Pip is the Pygmy Dragon, and this is her tale.

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters by Wendy J.Dunn

 

Book 1 in the Katherine of Aragon Story

Dońa Beatriz Galindo.
Respected scholar.
Tutor to royalty.
Friend and advisor to Queen Isabel of Castile.

Beatriz is an uneasy witness to the Holy War of Queen Isabel and her husband, Ferdinand, King of Aragon. A Holy War seeing the Moors pushed out of territories ruled by them for centuries.

The road for women is a hard one. Beatriz must tutor the queen’s youngest child, Catalina, and equip her for a very different future life. She must teach her how to survive exile, an existence outside the protection of her mother. She must prepare Catalina to be England’s queen.

A tale of mothers and daughters, power, intrigue, death, love, and redemption. In the end, Falling Pomegranate Seeds sings a song of friendship and life.

 

 

Available NOW on Amazon

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