Apr 15, 2014

Shades of Avalon Release Day! BOGO, Plus Buckets of Prizes

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Shades of Avalon is now available! To celebrate the second in the series landing on Tax Day, Omnific Publishing is giving a FREE copy of Shades of Atlantis to anyone who buys the kindle version today.

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There is also a huge giveaway.

There are TWO Prize Packs containing

Print Shades of Atlantis

Print Shades of Avalon

A charm necklace

Hand-crafted dragons blood soap from Amas Veritas

other swag

Plus

There is a whole bunch of other books to win!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 12, 2014

Review - Challenging Destiny by Cherie Colyer

 

Published by Wild Rose Press

Summary

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.
Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.
Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.
Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?

My review

Ariana and Logan are siblings, Ariana the younger of the two. Disaster seems to fall like a shadow across these two and they’ve certainly been through the mill in their young lives. The glimmer of normality comes in a new school and the prospect of new relationships.

But, normality isn’t on the cards for these two, who have been marked as important players in a battle between the Blessed and Fallen. Logan and Ariana refuse to give in to their fate so easily. Especially if it means bring separated forever.

I went into this already a fan of Cherie Colyer’s writing from her Embrace Series. I admit I still didn’t fully know what to expect from this new series. At least I hope it’s a series, although the end is tied up enough that this easily reads as a stand alone.

Tense excitement simmers throughout. The writing style is descriptive, while not bogging down the action and development. The story flows with a few interesting twists and turns along the way to keep readers from getting settled.

I was not disappointed in the slightest. A very enjoyable and well thought out story. Another 5 star read from Cherie Colyer. 

Apr 1, 2014

Shades of Avalon Tour Sign Up

 

The Sign Up is open for the Shades of Avalon(Shades book#2) Tour. The fun happens April 14th to April 25. There’ll be prizes, of course, excerpts, guest posts, outtakes, and promo posts, hopefully a review or two. Sign up HERE.

Release Date April 15th

From Omnific Publishing

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Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.
When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.
With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.
In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.

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Prizes

There will be two levels of prizes – Young Adult and Adult

prizes

Young Adult

Main Prize Pack –

Signed print editions of Shades of Atlantis and Shades of Avalon

Triskele pewter pendant

Handmade Dragon’s Blood Soap from Amas Veritas

Set of promotional book cards

Signed bookmark

Other Young Adult Prizes

Print of Son of a Mermaid by Katie O’Sullivan

Ebook of Embrace by Cherie Colyer

Ebook of Legendary by L. H. Nicole

Ebook of Streamline by Jennifer Lane

Ebook of Shades of Atlantis and Shades of Avalon

Adult

Main Prize Pack –

Signed print editions of Shades of Atlantis and Shades of Avalon

Triskele pewter pendant

Handmade Dragon’s Blood Soap from Amas Veritas

Set of promotional book cards

Signed bookmark

Other Adult Prizes

Ebook of Of Silver and Beasts & Of Darkness and Crowns by Trisha Wolfe

Ebook of Poughkeepsie & Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Ebook of Hans and Greta by Nicki Elson

Ebook of The Guardian’s Wildchild by Feather Stone

Ebook of Devine Temptation by Nicki Elson

Ebook of Shades of Atlantis & Shades of Avalon

That’s not all!

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If you buy Shades of Avalon on Amazon Kindle on April 15th, Omnific Publishing will give you Shades of Atlantis absolutely FREE!

Mar 28, 2014

Challenging Destiny Release Party! Cherie Colyer Talks Inspiration

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The release part for Challenging Destiny is underway and today I’m delighted to welcome Cherie Colyer to talk about her inspiration for the book.

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Several years ago my husband and I were driving on a two lane road in what felt like the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but narrow road and fields for as far as the eye could see, until we approached a crossroad. Then a two story white building with very few windows, no landscaping, and a tiny porch leading up to double doors loomed in front of us. As we drove closer I was able to read the sign that said it was a church and I remember thinking it didn’t look welcoming.

A few weeks later, we drove by it again. Only this time I imagined an old vintage car parked behind the sign. Inside the car was a teenage boy, Logan Ragsdale. Of course, I wanted to know why he was hiding, but then I realized that whoever was in that building wasn’t his friends. Logan watched the door with hate running through his veins. There was someone inside that he cared about. A girlfriend crossed my mind, but then I thought it would have to be someone he’d risk his life for. His sister.

That’s about the time I heard a girl say, “You’re going to lose her forever if we don’t move soon.” Logan’s reply was laced with contempt, “Why should I trust you?”

Kira Rose’s character quickly formed and the pieces to the story fell in place. Logan and Ariana Ragsdale’s relationship formed. Who they are, what they’ve been through, and why their decision had led them to that church. It took me a few years to actually write Challenging Destiny, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you today.

I’d like to thank Carol for having me on her blog today. Be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Thank you, Cherie, for stopping by.

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Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Kindle Release Date: March 27, 2014

Worldwide Release Date: July 11, 2014

Synopsis:

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.

Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.

Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.

Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?

Click here to read Challenging Destiny on Kindle US today!

Click here to read Challenging Destiny on Kindle UK today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Cherie Colyer is the author of YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE and HOLD TIGHT from Omnific Publishing. Her latest novel, CHALLENGING DESTINY will be available this spring from The Wild Rose Press, Black Rose Imprint. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Goodreads to get the latest updates on her books.

Mar 26, 2014

Cover Reveal – Shades of Avalon

 

It’s time! It’s time. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been working on Shades of Avalon for a decade. It hasn’t been quite that long, but it’s not far off. After a number of rewrites and a POV change, I submitted to my publisher, Omnific Publishing, last year. Then the real hard work started.

Omnific Publishing will be releasing Shades of Avalon(Shades #2) April 15. But before that, we need a cover.

I’m delighted to say Fics 2 Flicks is hosting the reveal. Please visit for a first look at the Shades of Avalon cover, an exclusive excerpt from Shades of Avalon, plus a special giveaway.

To celebrate the release of book 2, the first book, Shades of Atlantis has been given a new look.

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Omnific Publishing    Amazon.com    Barnes & Noble

Mar 23, 2014

The Vikings Are Coming! The Battle of Clontarf

 

Find part 1 here – The Vikings Are Coming! Ard Rí na hÉireann

The Battle of Clontarf by Hugh Frazer, 1826

Máel Morda, still King of Leinster, continued to begrudge Brian Boru’s rule.

In 1012, he once again rebelled with the help of a regional king from Ulster and attacked Máel Sechnaill in Meath. Máel Sechnaill sought help from Brian. Enraged, Brian laid waste to southern Leinster for 3 months, but failed to take back a blockaded Dublin when they ran out of supplies and were forced to retreat at the end of December 1013.

The battle for Ireland was inevitable at this point, but neither king found much support on the island. Máel Morda sent his cousin, Sigtrygg, overseas to rally troops. This troops came in the form of 3,000 mercenary Vikings to add to the Vikings(both Irish and foreign)in their ranks already.

Brian Boru may have also hired as many as 1,000 mercenaries, although he also had Irish Vikings in his troops. Vikings had started arriving in Ireland two centuries before. They had planned to conquer but never did. There were assaults and strikes, pillaging and murderous rampaging, but for the most part they eventually assimilated into the Irish population. Many converted to Christianity. Boru and others still resented their presence in Ireland and wanted them gone.

April 22, after Máel Sechnaill withdrew his support for Brian, Brian heard the Vikings troops had deserted his enemy. This was a misdirection and at sunrise on April 23, longboats containing 2,000 paid Vikings landed in Clontarf.

Strangely, considering the death toll, the fighting began with just two men facing off while the forces either side threw taunts and edged closer. What followed was pure savagery, the worst the encounters were said to take place on Bloody Fields of Marino and the Battle of the Fishing Weir. While Sigtrygg looked on the carnage from the far banks of the Liffey, the boats of the Vikings who had arrived by sea had drifted, leaving them nowhere to flee to. They and their leaders were cut down in their hundreds or drowned as they tried to retreat.

Brian won. However, his victory was short-lived and the octogenarian was assassinated in his tent by Brodir, a Viking from the Isle of Man, who happened upon him while hiding in the woods. His enemy, Sigtrygg, continued as King of Dublin and Máel Sechnaill, who he’d continually besieged and who deserted Brian at the last moment, once again became Ard Rí. What followed was a time of relative peace. Ireland had had her fill of blood. The Irish and remaining Vikings lived in harmony, closer integration and commerce flourished. Sigtrygg, who had already founded Dublin’s first mint, also founded Christchurch Cathedral.

The landscape has altered slightly. Clontarf still boarders the river Tolka and the city, but not the Liffey. The battlefields of Marino are now in Phibsboro. Marino, named so because of the views over the bay, is now blocked by the reclaimed land of Fairview Park. However, in Clontarf the Vikings still come every year in a festival to commemorate the battle.

Please visit http://www.clontarf.ie/ to see pictures of the festival and Clontarf today.

Mar 22, 2014

The Vikings Are Coming! Ard Rí na hÉireann

 

I live in a house with an identity crisis. It sits on an invisible line between three areas of Dublin, each historic for their own reasons. One of these is Clontarf, meaning plains of the bull. Because of the noise the waves once made crashing over Dublin Bay rather than the presence of bulls.

Clontarf gave its name to one of Ireland’s most famous Battles, the one that ended a brief rule under the authority of one High King. 2014 is the millennium anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. Vikings mercenaries flooded in from the Irish sea. The forces of the High King fought off an uprising from the Kings of Dublin and Leinster. In all, it’s estimated 6,000 Vikings and between 1,400 –4,000 Irish men died in less than a day in a bloodly, savage battle.

Today and tomorrow, I will be talking about how Brian Boru rose to Ard Rí, the battle that saw 2,000 Vikings arrive in longboats along at the seafront in Clontarf, and the Clontarf today.

Is you’re name O’Brien? Do you know any O’Briens?

This is where the name comes from.

Ireland had a long history of kings, In 1002, when Brian Boru  first proclaimed himself Ard Rí na hÉireann(High King of Ireland), Ireland had a population of half a million and 150 kings. Brian, already in his sixties, and supported by the Church wanted a system more like that of England or France where only one king ruled.

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Ireland is made up of four provinces. Before that, there were Kingdoms, including one called Mide, the seat of the Ard Rí and The Hill of Tara. Clontarf is a coastal area just north of Dublin city on the east coast of the county.

Brian was born one of twelve sons in the Munster, to the lower left of the country. Coming from a family of politically ambitious warriors, his father died King of Tuadmumu(to the top left of Munster). He was succeeded by his son, Lacthna, for two years. Lacthna was then succeeded by his brother, Mathgamain. Over the next twenty three years Mathgamain extended his reach, dying as King of Munster and passing the title to his brother, Brian Boru in 976.  

Brian was a brilliant strategist and he had big plans. Once he secured Munster, he turned his attention to Leinster and Connacht, bringing him into conflict with Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill. Máel Sechnaill was King of Mide, ruler of the Kingdom of Dublin(which he had won back from the Norse) and Ard Rí. Brian and Máel Sechnaill eventually divided Ireland in 997. Máel Sechnaill was to rule Leth Cuinn(Mide, Connacht, and Ulster, while Brian was to rule Leth Moga(Leinster and Munster). Though there were still many regional kings below them.

The King of Leinster was thought weak for conceding to Brian and was quickly overthrown by Máel Morda mac Murchada, who immediately launched an uprising. With the support of his Norse cousin Sigtrygg Silkbeard Olafsson(king of Dublin), they met Brian in Kildare in 999, south of Dublin and engaged in a blood soaked battle, where it’s thought up to 4,000 died. Brian then sieged Dublin.

However, once he’d proven himself. Brian once again sought to politically strengthen his way to power through alliances and marriage. He returned Dublin to Sigtrygg and married him to one of his daughters. In turn, Brian married Sigtrygg’s mother AND the sister of Máel Morda.

Not content with ruling Leth Moga, in 1000, Brian again launched his plans for a united Ireland under one ruler and repeatedly attacked Máel Sechnaill. When Brian set his sights on a battle at Tara, Máel Sechnaill asked for a month to gather his troops. It’s unclear if a battle occurred but when Máel Sechnaill couldn’t rally the support of the lesser kings, he was forced to concede to Brian. Brian Boru claimed the title, Ard Rí hÉireannin 1002.

But, it wasn’t enough for him to claim the title himself. He wanted it to mean something. He wanted to rule as King of Ireland, which meant forcing every one of the lesser kings to fully submit power to him. The kings of Ulster weren’t so quick to give in. Brian invaded Ulster and systematically forced each king into submission. Forever the strategist, he hedged his bets with the Roman Catholic monasteries in gold. He declared Armagh in Ulster as the religious capital of Ireland. They would only remain so as long as he was in power. So, it was in their own interest to support Brian(now in his seventies) and in 1005, he was declared Imperator(a title once used by commanders and emperors of Rome) in the Book of Armagh, but it took another 6 years before he was outwardly recognized by all the kings.

Only a year passed with all Ireland under the authority of the High King, Brian Boru before the battles for rule began again.

Read Part 2 The Battle of Clontarf here