Introducing a New Fantasy Romance Title

Happy Book Birthday to Black Wings!
Black Wings
by Iryna K. Combs
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 23, 2015
A new time. A new planet. A new world. New technologies. Two new humanoid species. A new war.

The two species separate, but in the removal, some of the best are left behind among the worst. Captured and held as slaves, they are treated cruelly for entertainment. Torture. Pain.
 Annabel, endures a year of such cruelty, kept alive only by way of syringes which, while healing, cause a greater agony. She discovers a secret held by their leader, and decides to help her own kind by escaping–even if it means a final death, preferable to the life she has endured.

Her escape succeeds, and she joins her own kind at the other end of the planet. Among her new friends she meets many who help her adjust to their happier life. Will Annabel find romance? Or will another war break her down?

PURCHASE LINKS

Print
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Digital
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Amazon (UK)
Barnes and Noble
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All Romance eBooks
Bookstrand
iTunes (iBooks)

About the Author:

From the pen of Iryna herself: “Originally from the Ukraine, I am still considered a new face to America. Speaking three languages including English, that became just as natural to me as my native Russian.

In the last year I discovered: an author lives inside me. Never did I think that I would write an English book and that I would love doing it. But I did! And I loved it! I am hoping my readers will enjoy it and will look forward my next books.

Black Wings – my debut novel – comes from a dream that I saw a few months before I decided to capture it on paper. After long thinking and developing an exciting story, I could not just keep it inside me. I shortly began writing. Within only a couple of months the story was completed. I found my first publisher within the next couple of months, and after a few more months of hard work – “sweat and blood” – the book is finally here for you, dear readers, to enjoy!”

~~~oOo~~~
GIVEAWAY!

A paperback copy of Black Wings and a 
$10 Amazon Gift Card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Release Day! Get your FREE copy here!

May 5th and Reflections from a Pondering Heart is being released into the wide world of readers.

Today, I’m offering readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of the book. I will give one eBook copy and one print copy (signed, of course) to randomly drawn commenters on today’s post.

Now, for the excerpt I have been promising for awhile.

What a welcome home! I bolted outside and heaved into the waste bucket until I thought my stomach might rend in half. I vomited until all that came out was a thick green slime. It burned my throat as it erupted from my mouth.

It was beginning. I pressed my sleeping shift against my stomach. Elisabeth warned me to expect as much as a month of nausea, usually just in the mornings. She kept flat bread beside her sleeping couch, claiming it helped to have something in the stomach before trying to stand up in the mornings.

I didn’t know if I would be able to convince Anna to let me leave food beside my bed. Even if she allowed it, my brothers might eat it before I did. Those three were always hungry.

I clutched my stomach and returned inside. Tonight, Father and I would meet with Joseph.  An honorable man like Joseph bar Jacob would find infidelity an unacceptable breach of contract. How could I defend my virtue when my body told a different story?

Darkness fell early. Father and I walked to the village and down a small street far from the town’s center to a sturdy brick building. Joseph’s house (would it ever be mine?), a simple two room box, had sturdy wooden furnishings. Two pillows were nestled together near the hearth. Father lowered himself onto one of them. I stared toward the ground and nearly missed Joseph’s gesture for me to sit on the other pillow.

Father shook his head.

“Thank you,” I said, raising my eyes as far as Joseph’s beard, “I will share with Abba.”

Joseph nodded. “Would you care for wine, Father Heli?”

“Not at the moment.”

I squatted beside Father on the edge of the pillow, my back resting against his side. Joseph folded his legs beneath him and nodded to Father respectfully.

In the light of the candles flickering on the nearby table, I studied this man, my betrothed. A few gray hairs dotted his dark brown beard, which he kept closely trimmed to his face. His skin was sun-darkened and weathered.

Pale brown eyes, flecked with amber and green, stared at Father. The planes of his face were broad and masculine, accentuated by his neatly trimmed hair, which hung to the collar of his robe in the back but was brushed away from his face in the front. It wasn’t a traditional haircut, but it made sense for a man who bent over wood and stone, working with tools all day.

The two exchanged greetings and small talk, while I watched Joseph from beneath my lashes. I pulled my shawl further forward to camouflage the inappropriate staring.

“This is more than a social visit,” Father said.

Joseph nodded. “Of course.”

I felt Father glance toward me. I clenched my skirts with suddenly cold hands. Tightness in my chest made breathing difficult.

“Something unexpected has mired our betrothal agreement,” Father said.

Joseph tilted his head toward Father, but his eyes swept in my direction. Heat clawed up my neck and burned my cheeks.

“Just over three months ago, Jehovah’s messenger visited Mary.”

A whisper of wind could have knocked me backward at that moment. Father said we would keep the truth from everyone, and yet he was telling Joseph. I glanced toward my future husband, wondering how he would react to the unbelievable account.

His face didn’t change while Father repeated the angel’s declaration. A calloused brown hand smoothed his beard. He cupped his chin in one hand, a finger straying to cover his strong mouth.

Father’s direct approach shouldn’t have surprised me. Of course he would tell Joseph. How else would he explain my condition?

“Mary is with child,” Father said. “Although she has done nothing to violate the marriage contract, the law gives you the right to divorce her.”

Joseph’s hazel eyes filled with emotion. I guessed it was disbelief. My experience spotting Anna’s disapproval and condemnation made it easy to rule out those emotions. He rested his gaze on me, and I tried to shrink into my robe, wishing for a larger shawl to hide my embarrassment.

If he spoke to me, what would I say? The whole thing sounded absurd when Father admitted it aloud.

“You realize how incredible this sounds?” Joseph drew each of his words out, as if carefully selecting them.

“Yes. Precisely why no one outside this room knows about it.”

“You are claiming she is carrying the Messiah,” Joseph said.

“I claim nothing. I am simply repeating what happened.”

“I’m expected to believe my wife is pregnant but didn’t have marital relations with another man?”

Father’s silence made my stomach clench. Bile burned the back of my throat. I gritted my teeth, keeping the churning acid from making an escape. If I vomited here, I would die.

“I expect you to accept my word, one honorable man to another.”

Silence filled the space around us. It was so complete I could hear the fire hissing against the lard on the candle nearest to me.

Father expected too much.

In order to be entered into the special drawing I’m running on my blog, comment below. When have you experienced the uncomfortable situation of sharing unbelievable news? OR what should Mary do to convince Joseph of her innocence?

I will draw a name in one week and contact the winners via email. Thanks for visiting. Share this page with any of your friends who might be interested in reading this book.

To purchase your copy, click here.

Or for another chance to WIN a copy, sign up for the Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Reflections from a Pondering Heart by S.L. Hughson

Reflections from a Pondering Heart

by S.L. Hughson

Giveaway ends May 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Travel through a magical portal in Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

I picked up book one in The Grimoire Saga in the usual way – it was a free book from the eBook newsletter delivered to my email inbox on a daily basis. Since it is a young adult fantasy, it adheres to the primary requirement for my reading list: genre I write.

Here is the description from Goodreads:

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she’s safe, her new “friends” show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea’s monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there’s something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

This book served me well on the treadmill. Except to finish it out, I only read it during that 40 minute span. Not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I am reading other books and pursuing a daily writing goal, as well.

The description in the first few pages pulled me into the story immediately. In fact, I still need to return to those early passages and copy some of the text into my writer’s notebook. Both setting and character felt real from the very first page.

The premise of a magical portal and a magical book have been done countless times. I enjoyed the idea of the Vagabond as an independent agent seeking the well-being of all inhabitants of Ourea. I’m still not sure how (or even if) the original Vagabond attempted this, nor do I have a grasp on how Kara will pursue it.

The romance between Kara and Braeden plays a very minor role in this first book. Their attraction is obvious. I like the idea of their friendship developing further before they experiment with any romantic feelings.

Tons of different creatures are introduced in the world of Ourea, which kept me engaged. Of course, there were a few old standards, as well, but their roles weren’t emphasized the way the yakona, isen and muses were. Intrigued. Get the book here.

I enjoyed the characters, but I felt this book served more as an introduction to the series rather than a story with its own problem and resolution. Kara has a clear character arc and grows from the troubled college student at the beginning to a committed Vagabond in the end. Somehow she has determined she knows more than the first Vagabond, which I believe is a mistake on her part and not necessarily in character.

The stakes for the series are high. I have predictions about things I think will happen next. Once my “to be read” pile diminishes, there is a good chance I will pick up the next installment in the series. I like the characters and the idea of a magical world joined to ours with magical gates intrigues the writer and fantasy lover within me.

If you want to find a new series, you will enjoy this book as a foothold into a new world (and it’s free!) with more books waiting to be read in the wings. If you want a book that stands alone, it isn’t really this one. I’m sure the author enticed us in this way to sell us on the whole series. I balk at that. I believe every book must have its own story problem that is resolved at the end.

Have you read this book? Please chime in with your own thoughts. Discussing books is one of my favorite ways to spend my daily words!