Book Launch & Review for Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

As you saw a couple of days ago, I revealed the cover and book trailer for Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson (in case you missed it, click here). Well, I’m really excited to announce that today is the official launch day and as I was lucky enough to see the manuscript prior to it being available for sale, I decided to write a book review for you.

First though, let’s just have a reminder of the blurb:

Charged by the goddess Aeos, Wynn and his companions bicker and bumble their way through the Mountains of the Moon. Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies chase them through a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps.

Can they survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s crumbling castle before his minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

The Gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

And now, here are my thoughts on it.

Book Review – Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

MOTM Front Cover Final 6-18-2015

Having read Tower of Bones and Forbidden Road, I was thrilled when I discovered Connie was writing a story set two generations previous.

Wynn Farmer, the grandfather of Edwin (the main character in Tower of Bones), finds himself in what is, for him, unknown territory. He’s met by a mage who takes him to Aeoven, the main city in Neveyah, where he falls in love, marries, then finds out he needs to go on a quest with three others to stop a rogue mage from committing any further dastardly deeds.

I won’t say any more about the intricacies of the plot as I hate reading spoilers in reviews. However, I will discuss it in general terms.

The story begins slowly and gathers momentum as you continue through the pages, reaching an amazing climax just before the end – a bit like good sex really. But all innuendo aside, it has to be that way as the four questers train for a task that will test them to their limits. As the story unfolds, the main character grows into his skin, learning to control his magic along the way. Events affect all the companions prior to leaving for the quest which adds nicely to the story.

Once the quest begins and the four mages are on the outskirts of their destination, having had to deal with various strange creatures on route, the author turns up the heat. She twists and turns the fates of the four in ways which are totally unexpected. I’m not going to reveal whether they all make it out alive or uninjured – you’ll have to read the book for that – but suffice to say, the ending was momentous and satisfying.

Connie crafts her characters in totally relatable ways. None of them are without faults and some are more lovable than others, but all of the main cast are definitely memorable. The dialogue is as realistic as the characters. They have their strengths and weaknesses, fears, loves, and insecurities, just like you or I. My favourite character was Wynn, closely followed by Devyn D’Mal. Those of you who have read Tower of Bones will undoubtedly recognise that surname! Her ‘baddies’ are deliciously heinous, but are also realistic. They have aspirations to climb the proverbial ladder to success, which in their case is being rewarded by Tauron, the Bull God, but they also have their self-doubts, relationships, and varying degrees of arrogance and subservience.

Jasperson is one of the few writers on my bookshelf who can successfully build a world which is so exquisitely detailed, that it seems too real not to be fictional. She doesn’t go overboard with description, but gives just enough for the reader to fill in the gaps, yet does it in such a way that you don’t realise it. She knows the world she’s created as well as her own home town and it shows in her writing; there’s a confidence which runs through the writing as she talks about various places, which is a rare thing to find.

Overall, this book is well-written, gripping in all the right places, and a damn good story. I won’t hesitate to recommend this to fantasy fans, especially those who love epic fantasy, as I know for a fact there are more books being written in this whole series. And I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on them!

Buy Links – Amazon http://hyperurl.co/MountainsOfTheMoon

http://bit.ly/MOTMKindle

http://bit.ly/MOTMNook

Connie 2014

 

Connie J. Jasperson lives in Olympia, Washington.  A vegan, she and her husband share five children, a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, an editor for Myrddin Publishing Group, and is a writing coach. She is an active member of the both the Northwest Independent Writers Association and Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and is a founding member of Myrddin Publishing Group.  Music and food dominate her waking moments. When not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly. You can find her blogging on her writing life at: http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Connie J. Jasperson’s  body of work includes:

WORLD OF NEVEYAH series by Connie J. Jasperson

Mountains of the Moon – Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies, lie deep in a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps. Can Wynn survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s stolen castle before the Bull God’s minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

TOWER OF BONES, series based in the World of Neveyah

The gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

This epic fantasy series opens with Tower of Bones, and follows Edwin Farmer as he journeys deep into the lands claimed by the dreaded Bull God, in an attempt to rescue a girl he has only met in his dreams.

Forbidden Road takes up Edwin’s story six years later. When four mages are sent into the shadowed lands claimed by the mad priest of the Bull God, who will return unscathed? Sorrow, peril, and magic await in the Valley of Mal Evol.

OTHER BOOKS BY CONNIE J. JASPERSON

Huw, the Bard, a novel that takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive. Available as an ebook and in paper.

Tales From the Dreamtime – a novella consisting of three modern fairy tales told in a traditional style. Available as an ebook, in paper, and as an Audiobook, narrated by the wonderful voice actor, Craig Allen.

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Guest Post by Tiffany Shand

As my final stop on the tour bus for the Denai Touch blog tour, I requested Tiffany to write a guest post for me. I asked her what inspired her to write this book.

Book Cover

So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Tiffany…

My first guest post, exciting and slightly terrifyingly!

So, what inspired me to write Denai Touch?

I got bored of contemporary fiction when I was a teenager. My first urban fantasy novel was Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison and I absolutely loved it.

I’ve always had a fascination for witches and it was nice to read about them being portrayed in a different kind of way. I think this was probably what inspired me to start writing my own paranormal/urban fantasy novel.

As well as reading fantasy I also enjoy reading crime and studied law in college so that inspired me too.

I always knew I wanted to write a novel involving immortals who worked on some kind of law enforcement team and use their powers to help people and solve crimes.

The story went through several different incarnations before I finally settled on one idea.

The first character who I think was fully formed was my main character, Cate. The idea was there would be a woman who was extremely powerful and born with a lot of authority over people.

I wondered, what would this woman be like? And what kind of person would love her?

Thus began Cate and Jason’s story.

So there you have it. Thank you for that interesting post, Tiffany. If after everything you’ve read about this fantastic book you want to buy it for yourself, click here. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway here – you only have six days left!

It’s been great being part of this tour and helping Tiffany spread the word about her debut novel. I wish her the very best of luck with it!

Profile Picture

Tiffany Shand was born in Essex, UK and started writing short stories when she was a child.

She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance during this time.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, but mostly fantasy and paranormal romance.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s she is now a freelance writer and professional proofreader. She is currently studying for a journalism degree.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

 

I’m back!!

Hi Everyone!

It was a crazy 2014 for me and I got so caught up in my work, I just couldn’t find the time to write regularly on my blog as well – I’m really sorry for deserting you. I’m planning on changing that for 2015.

Last year, I became a principal editor with Eagle Eye Editors and the workload was heavy from day one. I also finished writing the final book in the Heart Search trilogy and I’m planning to launch it early this year. The book has been through a couple of rounds of editing and will shortly go to my beta reader for checking. Once that’s done, there will be one final edit and then the launch. A great deal of planning has already gone into the launch and there will be some spectacular giveaways. Keep checking in for details and if anyone is interested in hosting a spot on the blog tour, please let me know.

In January last year, I had this crazy idea for my writing group, Writebulb, to write and publish not one, but two anthologies. As I run the group and am one of only two professional editors in the group, it created even more work. However, we managed to do it. Magic, Mystery & Mayhem (for adults) was launched late summer and ‘Catching Santa and other festive tales’ (for children aged 7-11) came out in October. Both book signing events were a sell-out and we made quite a bit of money for our chosen charity – Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford.

Unfortunately, my health suffered a setback and I’m now officially disabled. Because of this and the fact I had a stalker, who amongst other things vandalised my car on at least two separate occasions, the second of which could have caused a serious accident, I had to move house. I’m now happily settled in my new home which is in the process of being adapted for some of my needs. I’m much more comfortable and at ease now. The good side to this is that I have even more time to write and edit, review books, and write blog posts.

I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo in November for the 4th year running, which is something I’m quite proud of. It really gave me a kick-start for my new novel, which is a standalone fantasy. I’ve written over 75,000 words on the first draft so I’m two-thirds of the way through. This is a really rough draft and I’ll have some serious work to do on it before it can go through editing, but as it’s so different from Heart Search, I’m quite excited about it. I’ll tell you more about it in the months that follow.

I guess that’s about it for now. It just leaves me to wish you all a happy, healthy, and successful 2015.

Review: Huw the Bard by Connie J Jasperson

I have to say, this is one of the most unusual fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. Set in an alternate medieval dimension, it is chock full of adventure, treason, rape, murder, and magical creatures the like of which I’ve never before encountered.

HTB New Front Cover copy

The main strength of this book, apart from the wonderful storytelling, is the depth of characterisation given to Huw. He is an eighteen-year-old bard at the height of his craft when disaster strikes and he is forced to flee the city he has called home since before reaching double digits. With nothing but the clothes on his back, Huw, now a wanted man, must make his way to safety if he wants to survive.

As you take every step with Huw, you feel his pain, desolation, joy, and sorrow, and by the end of the book, he’s become a friend to treasure. Jasperson has crafted her main character richly; you see his transformation from a talented, spoilt, and somewhat vain young man who’s used to being fawned over and adored, to a humbled, desperate, penniless one who finds courage and a good heart.

At no time is the emotion overdone; it is layered with sufficient detail for the reader to empathise with each situation Huw finds himself in and, in my opinion, strikes just the right balance.

Each of the supporting cast is given definable personalities and, along with Huw, leap off the page.

The world-building is expertly designed and described in colourful detail. The magical creatures are, in some ways, the stuff from nightmares yet in the author’s skilled hands, they are believable and realistic.

The plot is adventurous and well outlined. There is never a point when a reader will not want to turn the page to see what’s going to happen next, yet it’s not a ‘fun and frolics’ type of adventure (although there are a few amusing bits). There’s plenty of sadness, guilt, anger, and revenge, to accompany the bravery, battles, romance and light-hearted banter.

Already a big fan of Jasperson’s work, Huw the Bard, took me in an unexpected direction, showing what a versatile fantasy author she is. I loved this book and it gets a solid 5 stars from me.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for an exclusive excerpt from this great book!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connie 2014

Connie J Jasperson lives and writes in Olympia, Washington. A vegan, she and her husband share five children, eleven grandchildren and a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, and is the Olympia area municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo. Music and food dominate her waking moments and when not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly.

You can find her blogging at: Life in the Realm of Fantasy

http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Tower of Bones Series – Book I, Tower of Bones takes the reader to the world of Neveyah, where the Gods are at war and one man holds the key to winning that battle. Book II, Forbidden Road is the follow-up, and picks up the story six years after the end of Book I, Tower of Bones.

Tales from the Dreamtime, a novella of new fairytales told in a traditional style, consisting of two short stories and one novella.

Billy’s Revenge Series Huw, the Bard takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive.

 

COVER REVEAL: Huw the Bard by Connie J Jasperson

Every now and then, a fantasy book comes along that’s really different and unique. As a principle editor at Eagle Eye Editors, I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with the editing of this novel, but I’m not allowing this to colour my judgement. If it wasn’t truly special, I wouldn’t be bringing it to your attention.

Huw the Bard, the first in the ‘A Tale of Billy’s Revenge’ trilogy, is being launched in a few days and I’m so pleased to be able to share this cover reveal with you. It’s a lovely piece of artwork – so eye-catching. So without further ado. Fanfare please . . .

Check out this blurb:

Huw Owyn is the last true bard in Waldeyn.

Fleeing a burning city,

Everything he ever loved in ashes behind him,

Penniless and hunted, no place is safe.

Abandoned and alone, eighteen-year old Huw the Bard must somehow survive

It’s two-hundred leagues to safety,

And then two-hundred more.

A lot can happen to a man on a journey like that.

Piqued your interest yet? On the launch day of this medieval fantasy, I’ll be featuring an exclusive excerpt so check back in about three days. Believe me, you won’t want to miss it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connie 2014

Connie J Jasperson lives and writes in Olympia, Washington. A vegan, she and her husband share five children, eleven grandchildren and a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, and is the Olympia area municipal liaison for NaNoWriMo. Music and food dominate her waking moments and when not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly.

You can find her blogging at: Life in the Realm of Fantasy

http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Tower of Bones Series – Book I, Tower of Bones takes the reader to the world of Neveyah, where the Gods are at war and one man holds the key to winning that battle. Book II, Forbidden Road is the follow-up, and picks up the story six years after the end of Book I, Tower of Bones.

Tales from the Dreamtime, a novella of new fairytales told in a traditional style, consisting of two short stories and one novella.

Billy’s Revenge Series Huw, the Bard takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive.

 

 

Book Launch & Review – Burdens of a Saint by Joan Hazel

One of the coolest things about being with Myrddin Publishing Group (apart from the awesome writers, great friendship, and the support we give each other), is discovering when new books are going to be launched before everyone else. It’s exciting to find  some real gems and having the chance to review them, especially when they’re fantasy or paranormal romance. Such is the case here.

My good friend and Myrddin colleague, Joan Hazel, launched her latest book on Monday – Burdens of a Saint. Check out this fab cover:

Cover BOAS3

This is the blurb on the back:

Your life will change today…

When Janet Beesinger writes the words in red on her calendar, she has no idea what they mean. But, as a psychic, she knows when the Universe gifts you with personal information, you listen.  How was she to know the Universe meant an irritating and sexy shape-shifter who would challenge everything about her life?

Saint Wolfe can feel the gravity of his arrangement with the goddess Hel closing in around him, forcing him to confront his past and the betrayal of the woman he was to marry. Needing to make peace with his past, he returns to New Orleans in search of forgiveness, only to be confronted by his own immortality. His only hope for atonement lies in the hands of a woman claiming to be a psychic. Will she be able to help Saint find salvation before his debt to Hel comes due?

Intrigued yet? Well, if you want to know what I thought of it, read on. Here’s my review:

After reading, and enjoying, the first book in this series – The Last Guardian [What? You haven’t read it yet? Get over to Amazon now and click that buy button! Yes, I’ll wait for you to come back . . .] – I was looking forward to seeing how the story would develop. I was also a little concerned as to whether Burdens of a Saint would live up to my expectations. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.

I don’t like writing spoilers, although it’s going to be hard with this story running through my head, but I’ll try.

The characterisations in this book grew beautifully and organically from book one. I felt I got to know them in greater depth and found myself longing for Saint to achieve the happiness he’d been denied for so long. Ms Hazel created further nuances to the personalities of the characters which made them more fascinating, although with some, not always more likeable. Saint, the main character in this book, was like an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum – at times puzzling, occasionally a challenge, sometimes uncomplicated yet also with an endearing vulnerability. I love the way he was portrayed – the author did a great job of balancing the different facets of his personality while still making him relatable and believable.

The new cast interacted interestingly with the existing members. I particularly liked Janet and could empathise with her on many levels. I was intrigued by Eric; it was a tad exasperating not finding out from where his powers originated, but hopefully that will be covered in a future book. It was great to see how CJ (the Guardian) had grown into her role – I had to smirk a little when she exerted her authority – but I would have liked to see her do so a bit more often. However, maybe that’s yet to come; CJ wasn’t the main focus of this story.

The plot moved along at a steady pace and kept me turning the pages long after I should have stopped reading and switched off the light! The introduction of clairvoyance in this story was very realistic and the author obviously knows this subject well. The paranormal and magic aspects were believable and natural.

Thus far, this series has left enough cracks and lingering thoughts about what’ll happen to certain characters in the future for there to be more books about the Guardian and her wards. There are also some unanswered questions. There’s certainly plenty of scope for the author to do so, and I really hope she does.

Would I recommend Burdens of a Saint? ABSOLUTELY! I would advise you to read The Last Guardian first though, as it firmly establishes the relationships and hierarchy, and it would make reading Burdens of a Saint even more enjoyable.

My rating: 4.5 / 5

Now I’ve told you how good it is, click on one of these links and get yourself a copy:

Amazon US / Amazon UK

Oh, and check back next week for a character interview (and no, I’m not telling you which of the shapeshifters it is)!

About the author:

Joan Hazel Pic

Joan Hazel has written three novels that range from paranormal fantasy to contemporary to historical fiction. An accomplished actress and vocalist, she has performed with companies across the eastern United States. In her spare time, she plays with a colorful cast of characters who live in her head. She currently resides in DeLand, Fla., with her husband, Ricky, and their two fur kids.

Joan’s contact info:

Website: www.joanhazel.com

Blog: http://joan-hazel.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @guardianwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Hazel/362411800440684?ref=hl

Book Launch – DESPRITE MEASURES by Deborah Jay

I know, I know! I promised you a series of reviews and nothing’s appeared. In my defence, I lost internet for two whole weeks (I was devastated!), went to World Fantasy Con 2013, came back and launched straight into NaNoWriMo (which I completed, thanks for asking)! I’m now trying to play catch up as well as continuing to write the final book in the Heart Search trilogy.

But now I want to tell you about a fabulous new book which is launching today – Desprite Measures by the lovely Deborah Jay. I was lucky enough to meet Deb at WFC in Brighton and she gave me an advance glimpse of the fantastic cover. Take a look at this beauty . . .

Desprite MeasuresEBOOK

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Here’s the blurb:

On the surface she’s a cute and feisty blonde, a slender pocket rocket fitness coach. But Cassiopeia Lake has a secret; she’s really a force of nature – an elemental.

Water sprite, Cassie, has lived undisturbed in her native Scottish loch for eons. Now, one encounter too many with modern plumbing has driven her to live in human guise along with her selkie boyfriend, Euan. It’s all going fine – until a nerdy magician captures Cassie to be an unwilling component in his crazy dangerous experiment.

Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge.

She’s smitten by her fellow prisoner, the scorching hot fire elemental, Gloria. But how do you love someone you can never touch?

And what do you do when your boyfriend starts to hero-worship your persecutor? Not to mention that tricky situation of being the prize in a power contest between two rival covens of witches.

So when Gloria’s temper erupts and she sets out to murder the magician, can Cassie keep her loved ones safe from the cross-fire, or will she be sucked into the maelstrom of deadly desires and sink without trace?

Sound intriguing? Well, let me whet your appetite a little more. Deborah has graciously allowed me to treat you all to a wee excerpt. Feast your eyes on this:

“Cassie, meet WynterRain,” said Gloria.

WynterRain. Yeah, right.

“Pleased to meet you, I’m sure,” said the witch. Despite its lyrical Irish lilt, her voice was as rough as the rest of her. “I believe we almost met earlier today.”

She’d noticed. I was under no illusion; she could see right through my human shape to the sprite beneath.

“Likewise.” I kept it short, not confirming her supposition. Gloria already looked too interested for my liking, and I had no intention of relating my earlier humiliation.

“Wynter is going to help us with our little problem,” said Gloria. “Aren’t you, Wynter?”

Wynter glanced nervously towards Alastair, and I wondered what hold the vamp had over her. 

Alastair maintained his silence. I stared at him in suspicion. He was quivering, the minute, rhythmic clenching of his fists visible in the firelight, and I wondered when he’d last fed.

Alarmed, I turned back to Wynter and found my answer. Even in the half light, the peculiar mixture of fear and desperate longing that twisted her face was unmistakeable.

Wynter was a vampire junkie.

“Oh, do get on with it,” snapped Gloria. “We’ll wait out here.”

Neither of them needed a second invitation. Wynter started to turn back into her van, but Alastair was on her before she completed the move. He buried one fist in her untidy thatch of hair and yanked her head back. She uttered a little scream as his fangs sank into her neck, but there was no real protest in the sound, or fear.

Wynter moaned and squirmed in Alastair’s arms. The vampire’s body jerked sporadically, and loud suckling noises interrupted the quiet of the forest. It felt obscenely like watching someone being raped, yet their enjoyment was all too apparent.

I wondered what it must be like, to be so desperate for something that you were willing to surrender your whole self, mind, body and purpose to another’s control. Was the pain worth the adrenalin rush and the aphrodisiac in the vamp saliva? Or was pain an integral part of the whole thing?

Wynter uttered a groan that rose to a shriek. Consumed by a bizarre envy for an experience I was never going to have, I averted my face.

To be stopped cold by the sight of Gloria, her eyes riveted to the unfolding performance. Flames reflected in glittering splendour across the surface of her eyes, and something even hotter writhed in their depths. Her perennial scorching scent over-rode even the smell of the burning logs.

It was my turn to gasp. This time in recognition of my utter blindness.

Alastair was Gloria’s lover. It was so plain I couldn’t believe I’d missed it before. Pain stabbed through me. It had never occurred to me that she might have a regular lover. How stupid was that?

Has this little taster piqued your curiosity? If so, click on one of the links below to pick up a copy:

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H6UKH5A

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Desprite-Measures-Caledonian-Sprite-Series-ebook/dp/B00H6UKH5A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386609997&sr=1-1&keywords=Desprite+Measures+%28The+Caledonian+Sprite+Series%29#_

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-gb/Search/Query?query=1230000201660&fcmedia=Book

If you love a series, keep your eyes peeled for the next book in the Caledonian Sprite adventures.

And now to introduce you to the lovely lady who’s written this amazing story. Drumroll please . . . here’s Deborah Jay!

Debby

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, was published in July 2013, with THE PRINCE’S SON due out summer 2014.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the projected five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES.

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahjayauthor.com/ or follow Deborah on twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2, facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay and Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay