Welcome The Necromancer’s Daughter: #fantasy #book @Dwallacepeach #NewRelease

I am honored to welcome D. Wallace Peach, a wonderful author who has a new release. I am also sharing my review of the book at the end of this post. One of my favorite authors, Diana conjures a unique world in her novels – a different one in each book. I love her poetic style of writing and her descriptions are vividly exquisite.

She is a poet too!

There are two poems in The Necromancer’s Daughter, and she has shared the second one here with us. It’s an incantation that summons and animates the dead.

Here it goes:

Death seeks what is frail
your blood pooled and bones brittle
eye sockets empty
owls and flies hover, hungry
to consume your flesh
if death is the ice of night
you ride a stray wind
whisper from shores of nothing
dare not let crows comfort you
for I am the cusp
the gate-keeper, dawn-breaker
I lead you back to your bones
meld your blood with mine
rimmed in eagerness and fear
I restore your heart
summon the flame’s ardent breath
which raging seas cannot quell
by blade or infirmity
your apparition 
awakens from your slumber
begone Death’s black wings
for what I know of nature
the beauty of life grows back.

“I hope you enjoyed that. Like the other poem, this one is based on the syllabic form called the choka, but I needed more lines, so I wrote a variation using both forms of the nine-line poem, plus the shorter tanka,” says Diana. The true rules of the syllabic form can be found on Colleen Chesebro’s blog: https://wordcraftpoetry.com. 

Book Blurb:

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

Meet the author:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked. 

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography. 

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Amazon Author’s Page

Website/Blog

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 My Review of The Necromancer’s Daughter:

The Necromancer’s Daughter by D. Wallace Peach is a riveting saga of Aster, a still-born royal daughter who was awakened to life by a necromancer and raised with immense love. Peach doesn’t let you breathe and savor the beauty of her exquisite style but builds up the tension with each page, compelling you to keep clutching your emotions and watch how Aster escapes The Red Order, which believes healing death is evil and pursues her even after they had shattered her life, burnt her home, and ripped away her father.

The backdrop and the pictureque winter landscape adds a chilly charm to the challenges faced by Aster. The descriptions are vivid, the friendships exceptional and the kindness exemplary. Peach’s characters stay alive long after you’ve read the last page of her book and the characters in this book stay true to this fact. Can you ever forget Barus, an embodiment of kindness, with a pleasant face but a crooked spine and misshapen hands or lose sight of Teko, the loyal protector of Aster?

Oscillating between his beliefs and intense desire to help Aster, Joreh – the reluctant admirer – gets mired in faith, politics and emotion but he would

 win your heart despite his imperfections. Aster’s mysterious connection to dragons, her will-power and determination to accomplish whatever she thinks is right and her loving heart makes her an endearing protagonist. A female oriented story doesn’t forget to give ample attention to its male characters.

If you enjoy fantasy, if you admire vibrant characters that add to the story, if you like a sonorous style, with a rich vocabulary, this is a perfect book for you. Some magnificent quotes: “The sun surrendered to vermillion clouds and the nightlings flickered between evergreen limbs as they bowed beneath winter’s weight.”
“Sky wept frozen tears for the folly of men, covering their blood as it buried their sins.”
“When dawn pried its fingers through the cracks in her walls”

I am sure you would like to pick up your copy, here are the links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

Thank you. Happy reading!

#BookReviews: 5 #Stars for each one!

Some books inspire me to write a review midway and I usually makes notes on my Kindle, more so if the characters are endearing. There are others, which elicit no response from me even after I’ve finished it. The books I share today are the ones that belong to the first category – I made so many notes that the reviews were almost ready by the time I finished reading them.

Weathering Old Souls – My Review:

Weathering Old Souls is an excellent collaboration, in which two styles of James and Didi blend in a perfect manner. I have read many stories about reincarnation but this one has a unique angle with more than one soul speaking through Abigail, who slowly learns to set aside her fears and resolves to find the answers. Deeply embedded in a shroud of mystery, all the stories of the past have been woven in a brilliant manner, as nothing seems out of place. 

A powerful beginning sets the tone and ignites your curiosity about ‘Fashionista,’ whose identity is revealed just at the right time. Then the death of Abigail’s mother adds another dimension to her story, which unfolds slowly, with so many connections! It left me spellbound; it demands your attention at each step, as it doesn’t give you a moment to flutter your eye-lids!

James is a master-crafter of building relationships and his skill shines in this book too. Margaret grows up to be the angel sister of Abigail, supports her at each step and their love for each other is exemplary. Elizabeth and Bradford understand her better than her biological father and their relationship with Abigail is heart-warming. Each character displays a distinct characteristic and makes a significant contribution to taking the story forward. Even secondary characters have been crafted with incredible insight.

I marvel at the joint venture of two writers who have produced this coruscating work in a cohesive expression. I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommended!

The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley – My Review:

‘The Girl Who Loved Cayo Bradley’ by Nina Romano is an enlightening historical western, with an intense romance of two lovers, separated by choices and circumstances. The story allures you right in the beginning with gripping details of escape through a tunnel, and a chilling description of a ten-year old boy standing tall in the face of threat from Apache Indian. Native American culture comes alive on the pages of this book, as the plot revolves around Connor Bradley who had lost his identity the day he was abducted by Mbai. Torn between his white heritage and connection with Jicarilla tribe, Cayo learns to be physically strong but becomes an emotional wreck who could never forgive himself; his past clings to him, “riding like wings on the back of his guilt and self-hatred.”

Romano gets into the mind of Cayo to wrench out the emotions that rip him apart each time he thinks of his love, each time he thinks of his sisters and the man he grew up to be against his wishes. His guilt, his yearning for Darby and his struggle to reveal his true self to the girl he loves makes you ponder over the unknown shackles that bind us despite our efforts to break free.

Written in an exquisite style, poetic at places, this is a character driven story and therefore each character has been crafted with élan. If Darby endears herself with her simplicity, sincerity, dedication and independent decisions, Hanna is the one you would loathe. If Aunt Bea sounds cold, Aunt Mary is just the opposite. It is the plausibility of characters that makes this book truly remarkable. Highly recommended.

– Balroop Singh

Thank you.

#Bookreviews #Prose & #Poetry

Last month I’ve read and reviewed eight books but these two stood out due to their unique format and style. So I must share them with you.

Word Craft: Prose & Poetry by Colleen M. Chesbro is an excellent reference book for budding poets who want to learn the art of writing syllabic poetry. From finding poetic inspiration to exploring ideas, discerning your sixth sense and discovering your interests, this book is a perfect guide to writing haiku, tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and many more. Along with the definition and details of each form, there are tips about how to write various forms of poetry. Some brilliant examples add more charm to this book.

Reading this book has been an enlightening experience for me as, I had no idea about how a gogyohka or an etheree is written and that a senryu focuses on the awkward moments of life and does not deal with sentimentality. Chesbro’s pithy style is noteworthy and the clarity of her thoughts could hone the writing skills of even a beginner. Syllabic poetry and its discipline have always scared me but this book infuses a new confidence. All poetry lovers must keep this book on their desk. Highly recommended.

5 stars!

Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon is a perfect blend of fantasy and realism, poetry and prose that holds magical qualities. Short and sweet, the story of Harold and William highlights attachment to beauties of nature and loved ones. Annette’s presence holds the key to emotions that link us to each other. Mallon’s style of connecting human relationships with willow tree, dragonflies and flowers shines through out the book.

‘The Old Man of Snow and the Snow Snake’ may appear to be a fabulous fantasy but is a magnificent comment on the avarice of man, eager to plunder nature. ‘Bubble Monster’ is a delightful tale of talking bubbles, with a child-like charm but conveys a serious message – “atmosphere is everything.”

‘My Heart is a Cave’ is beautiful and poignant; as it brings out the loneliness of a sibling who is yearning to be reunited with her loved ones. Attachments cling to us. Mr. Sagittarius could forget the names of his lovers but remembered his orchid, his Ruth and his ballerina – all natural beauties! Just within an hour, this book would fill your heart with warmth that would linger around you for a long time.

5 stars!

Thank you.

Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry,  check my latest book: Magical Whispers

You can click here for more poetry.

Snow White: Another Perspective

Snow White has been an adorable character for children since time immemorial and who can forget the dwarfs? Have you ever thought that this timeless tale could be retold with a new flavor? Cathleen has done it brilliantly and that too in two volumes. Here are my reviews of both the books, which should be read in continuation to enjoy the story that goes much far to mingle with the historical facts of the civil war.

My Reviews:

Snow White and the Civil War #1 by Cathleen Townsend may remind us of the fairy tale of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ but this story moves beyond the jealousy and cruelty of a stepmother. It focuses on the development of Gwen, how she learns to survive and excels in various skills that make her a darling of her new friends.

It is Janet’s kindness, her eagerness to learn and her perseverance that makes her an endearing character, well versed with the wisdom that she picks up slowly from her devoted friends cum uncles. Gentle love gestures of Jack and Charlie add a romantic touch to the tale. The role of dwarves has been drawn with bold strokes, which raise this simple story to epic proportions. I really enjoyed reading this book. 

5 STARS.

***

 

Plot of Gold continues the story of Snow White and book -1 has to be read to understand why Jack is looking for Gwendolyn Hilton and why does he owe money to his father. New characters are introduced to give another dimension to the story. Would Jack succeed in his mission? Would he ever meet Janet? The doubts persist as he plans to marry Eliza. Major part of the story dwells on the Civil War, the role of military intelligence and how Jack proves himself worthy of the work assigned to him by Colonel Evans.

Cathleen’s characters contribute significantly to the story; their depth and dimensions are noteworthy and their development is impressive. Though the plot focuses on Jack but all the characters grow, change and emerge out of their conflicts except the wicked stepmother of Gwen. Even Eliza and Mrs. Hammond make their presence felt. I like how poetry, music and dance form an essential part of their lives. This is a fine combination of fairy tale and historical fiction. 5 STARS.
– Balroop Singh 

Meet the author:

“I always wanted to write fiction,” says Cathleen, “even as a child, but for many years I never had anything I thought was good enough to share. My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings, and that’s an intimidating standard.

I finally began by writing biographies of my family members, mostly those from the Greatest Generation, as a family history project. After that, the whole process seemed a lot more possible, as if something inside me had clicked into place. So, then I finally sat down and started writing novels, and it was like they exploded out of me.

I also enjoy writing short stories. Some I submit to online mags and publishers, but others go straight to my blog. I write mostly fantasy, but ghost stories, historicals, and even the odd contemporary tickles my fancy at times.”

Cathleen Townsend trained as a social scientist, and at various times has been a teacher, a waitress, a donut baker, and a construction worker. She’s survived parenting, scuba-diving with a Mako shark, and a plane crash.

Her stories, both whimsical and serious, are drawn from the rich sources of folklore and history to inspire the belief that a single person can make a difference in the world, even if that world contains a dragon or two.

Cathleen lives in California’s beautiful gold country, and in her mind, dwarves and pixies also lurk in the oak- and pine-covered hills. She enjoys chatting with readers on her blog at cathleentownsend.com.

Tina Lost in a Crowd #NewRelease by Miriam Hurdle

Please welcome my blogger friend Miriam who has released a new book for children. Over to you Miriam.

Hi Balroop, I’m thankful for your generosity to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.

The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 3

The Ideas and Messages of the Story

Did you like Aesop’s Fables? I did when I was a child. When I read them to my students, they would shout with me at the end of the fable “the moral of the lesson is…”

Other than Aesop’s Fable, most of the children’s book don’t spell out the lessons. In fact, even when the story has a message for children, it doesn’t need to make it loud and clear. The children are reading the story to have fun.

There are ideas and messages in Tina Lost in a Crowd: Tina took part in decision making for the summer activities such as swimming and a sleepover. She asked permission to invite her friend to go to the concert. She made a right decision when she and Erica got lost in a crowd which was a safety issue.

Children are smart, they read for fun, and they learn the messages on their own term. It would be interesting to have a discussion with the children after they read a book.

Book Blurb:

Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do? 

This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091M586M7

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162309741

Here is My Review:

‘Tina Lost in a Crowd’ by Miriam Hurdle is a cute little, heart-warming story of two girls who get lost while they are following their dad. Two friends Tina and Erica are excited when they get an opportunity to go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. During intermission, they get up to go to the restroom and can’t find Mr. Tyler, Tina’s dad. Do they get scared? How do they handle the situation? 

Well-illustrated and written in a simple style, the story conveys some subtle messages to children as well as parents. Mrs. Tyler is a loving mom and plans a number of activities for the summer, she agrees to invite Erica and understands her daughter so well. Tina is a calm and confident girl and could inspire many. She knows what to do when lost. I could connect with her, as I too got lost in a similar situation but wasn’t as wise as Tina!

I would recommend this book to all the parents of young children who wish to raise responsible children.

— Balroop Singh

Meet the Author:

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Links:

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