Carnivals are usually noisy not silent

Ven'tarian Silence
(Of Cats And Dragons) #6
by Carol E. Leever (Author), Camilla Ochlan (Author)
Fantasy, Animals, Magic, Adventures
independently published
23 Aug. 2020

Guided by troubling visions and chased by death-dealing horrors, Omen Daenoth and the feisty talking cats find themselves center stage in the city of Ven'taria, a place of uncanny magic and jaw-dropping revelry. But when Omen and his companions -- an eminent Sundragon scholar, the notorious prince of Terizkand, a child prophet, and a paranoid Machelli spy -- unravel the dark source of the Ven'tarian Socerium's incredible powers, a desperate countdown begins.Can our young heroes and their chatty felines break the dreaded Ven'tarian Silence or will they bring on the forbidding reign of endless night?OF CATS AND DRAGONS, where the epic meets the adorable.

The next in the series about the cats and dragons and…

So off the whole crew go in a rather special ship through a wormhole and into their world’s equivalent of Venice. A city built on canals and islands but the canals aren’t smelly (wow – not like Venice in reality then, especially in August) and the city is going to hold its Carnivale – see Venice’s Carnivale – which not only has masked balls but artwork and sculpture and…

And everyone needs a mask – even the cats – and when dusk falls they find out why they not only need the masks but also why they need to have hotel rooms, and not just for the banquet.

Elephant Carnival mask stock image. Image of medieval - 110933327

Adventures befall them all as they try to help the small sprites and ethereal creatures that power the magic that runs the city (and as they realise the ship too). Take down one, take down all. And disaster comes close as there are monsters out there in the night.

A rollicking tale of trial and tribulation and terrors which follows nicely on from previous adventures. And yes, cats can fly too… I’m sure mine would love to as they find climbing fences a lot of effort!

Our own mini Tiger or great ginger cat! Oh, and he is very chatty too, but not in English…

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Let ’em Talk…

Night's Gift: The Adventure Begins Book Cover Night's Gift: The Adventure Begins
Of Cats And Dragons Book 1
Carol E. Leever, Camilla Ochlan
Fantasy, YA, Fairy tales
Independently published
(7 Dec. 2018)

Omen is a young warrior with a knack for finding trouble. Nobody's surprised when he unwittingly makes a deal with an undead alchemist. In over his head, Omen has to band together with the notorious prince of Hex to battle bloodthirsty giants, devious Night Dwellers, and arcane magic — all while trying to survive in the city's infamous arena fights.

But when Omen accidentally frees a talking cat, total disaster can't be averted.

In the shadows of the city,  an ancient evil awaits.

Can our young heroes protect the cat and the people of Hex, or will they end up as an undead nightmare's main course?

I started reading this book and then went on and bought the rest of the 7 book series!

Technically, this is a set of stories for younger adults or older children, in the same way Harry Potter was aimed that way but found an adult audience too. So can this series. Some parts are quite horrific and could give nightmares to younger more impressionable children so be careful especially in book 5 where Sable describes her life in the country of N’vel.

I loved all the books but especially the cats of course. Not just the various sizes but also the way they talked.

Now we have a talking cat too. Unfortunately she only speaks ‘cat’ but nonetheless she can tell you when she wants to go outside, sit on your lap or accompany her to her lunch – yes we have walk with her to her food. Just like a Princess she needs her servants and her maids. And whenever we have been away, she will tell us in great detail what has happened and who she has seen out the window while she has waited for us to come back – she waits in our window for this and knows the sound of our suitcases so she can meet us at the front door and give us a series of complaints that we left her.

So magical cats that can actually speak several languages was great fun and I am waiting now for the authors to write the stories of how the cats left their own land and found their humans. As at least one is a Prince there must be much to tell and the Fairies did kneel to them…

So yes, please read and enjoy these totally fantastical books.

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Emily speaks

All of Me Book Cover All of Me
Emily Duvall
Independently published
10 Jun 2019

Maren Cole survived adolescence by relying on her intellect, but has never felt more different as an adult. The diagnosis she received as a person with Autism makes functioning in a fast-paced city with bright lights and big sounds a challenge. Forget about dating. Forget marriage. She would like to survive a conversation. Independence has never been more isolating or confusing and is complicated by a situation that puts her directly in the path of arrogant lawyer Caleb Allan.Caleb isn’t interested in anyone except himself and his legal career. The one person he doesn’t need to spend time with is the awkward Maren Cole, but their interactions are unavoidable when she has the potential to push his career ahead. Forced to confront the fact that she’s unlike anyone he’s ever met, Caleb knows falling for her will destroy his work. He may also lose his heart to a woman who may never fully love him back.

Emily Duvall tells us about her book ‘All of Me’.

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

One question I get from people is, “What qualifies you to write about someone on the spectrum?” I am open about the answer, in that, one of my children was diagnosed with Autism. There is a cohort of children in our country with diagnosis that are aging into their early and mid-twenties. Initially, Maren was a lot younger and the book would have been a young adult story, but as her story came into focus, what I really wanted to write was about someone older than a teenager, and what dating, love, and independence might look like for them.

As a side note, this is the first time the romance genre is opening-up and accepting heroines like Maren and for that reason, the timing felt right. Ten years ago, there was no room for someone like Maren and her family in romance books.

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

The topic doesn’t take long to come up with but making sure the idea can stretch to an 80,000 word novel is a different beast. I have started stories, and, right around the 10,000 word mark I give the storyline and the potential for conflict more thought. Often, the story is scratched because there’s no way it can be turned into a full-length novel. I usually end up combining ideas from 3-4 stories to create one book. I have a notebook in my purse for writing down ideas because potential stories are everywhere!

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Usually, I don’t know how much research I need until I begin writing. As the plot unfolds and the characters find themselves in situations or dialogue that requires some type of specific knowledge, I write those questions down in a spreadsheet. Once the first draft is finished, and I cannot continue until I have these questions answered, then I reach out to someone who can answer them (I like to give all questions at once). Sometimes I look up other fiction books from authors who have had characters with similar problems and read their books or I check out nonfiction books at the library. It doesn’t take too long, once I know what I’m looking for. All of Me took about two months’ worth of research before I could get all my questions answered.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
  • If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

I interview people as much as possible, especially about a topic that all the Googling in the world wouldn’t give me the information I need. Sometimes I get rejected if I ask for an interview, but most of the time, people are willing to answer questions over email or meet. I offer to put their name in the acknowledgements as a thank you. Many writers shy away from this step and I encourage them not to. Sometimes, it can feel like cold-calling, except it’s cold-emailing, I’ll search for the type of business/specialist I need, and write an email explaining who I am and if anyone would take the time to answer some of my questions.

If I need specific information about a setting, I try to write about places I have been, although Google Earth can be useful if I need to get a snapshot of a street or downtown that I want to use to mimic in the story. There is no real substitute for writing a story set in a place I’ve experienced, which is why, most of my books are set in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia since I live in this area.

  •  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I have been rejected more times than I can remember. This industry is tough! I decided to self-publish this book because I had other projects I wanted to give my attention to and waiting for an agent to accept the work can takes months, and then even years to get the book on the market. Sometimes, the best call for a book is the one that makes the most sense to you as a writer. There are more “No’s” in this industry than “Yes” so I made the choice to publish and move forward.

  • Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

There are so many avenues to publishing these days that writers should do what is best for them. Self-publishing is a great way to build your audience and that matters, if, later on you submit a novel to an agent or a publishing  house, they can see that  you have a following and that you are active in your writing career.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Most writers I know, even ones that are best-selling authors, have other careers. The authors that do make the big figures are rare.

  • What is your favourite genre?

While the romance genre is my favorite to read, I am also a big fan of the YA genre and books with suspense.

  • If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

I love books by K.A. Tucker and Lauren Layne. They write romance and I just connect with their writing styles. My writing improves after I read their books.

As for a dead author, I would say L.M. Montgomery and her beloved Anne of Green Gables stories. I’ve always been drawn to those stories. They’re timeless.

  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

It’s been ages since I read my first romance book, but it came out of the early 90’s. Her name is Judith McNaught. I used to read every one of her books. Every now and then, I re-read some of her works because they not only take me back to a time that I discovered that genre, but because the tension between her hero and heroine is real and raw, and I need a reminder as to what that should look like. She wrote during the beginning of the “boom” in the romance genre and her books, along with authors like Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer, were on my bookshelf when I was supposed to be reading books for high school. I think the books a person connects with initially can set the standard for expectations for other books in that genre. 

  • Which of your books are you most proud of?

I must say, All of Me. It’s the first book that was different from my others. It was the biggest challenge to write because the characters both struggle with so much. Halfway through my first draft I remember turning off my computer. I asked myself, “How will there be room for love in this story because they’re both self centered?” I almost threw in the towel because in a romance, the romance MUST come first. That is the golden rule of a love story. Two characters like Maren and Caleb Allan are going to have a difficult time falling in love.

  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of being a mother and being a wife.

  • Do you have an unusual hobby?

I’m currently working on making ‘latte art.’ I got this awesome coffee/latte maker for Christmas and I’m elevating the art of drinking coffee to make those fancy leaves or hearts in the coffee. So far—no success. The foam just looks like a blob.

  • If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

I would like to be a character in one of Liane Moriarty’s books. There’s a delicious amount of drama that doesn’t happen in the day-to-day life of an author.

  • If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Recently, I visited London for the first time. I absolutely loved it! The city was incredible with the history and the architecture. I loved getting lost in the city and finding a café. I was a fan of the gated parks. I think there is a story with those, I just haven’t thought of one yet.  In the U.S. we don’t have gated parks in the cities like the ones there. I was tempted to jump the fence and pretend I was a local.

  • What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

Such an unfair question! I could narrow my choice down to ten, *maybe.*

Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this? What is the funniest thing you have seen that you have incorporated into a book? Or do you add some traits from your family and friends into your characters?

Oh yes. I do love to people watch. Sometimes I’ll see a look, a fashion style, or just their interaction with other people and some inspiration will hit. Oftentimes, a friend will tell me a story about something that happened at work or to a friend, and I’ll have a moment where I think, that would be a great story (or make for a great character trait/situation).

Author Bio

Where to begin? Emily has many favorite things. She loves coffee, books, and taking photos of the two together.

#Writer 💖 Story spinner 📚 Runs on coffee ☕
Award Winning #Author of contemporary & romantic suspense

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Why Awake?

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds Book Cover Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds
An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3
Carissa Andrews
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Independently published
Publication date: November 12th 2019

The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.  Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality. The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago? One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases. If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!

“Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular genre to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?”

When I originally went to college, I had big plans to become an archaeologist or anthropologist. I have always been fascinated by the idea of mythology, spirituality, and religion. But more than that, I have always loved the paranormal and supernatural side as well. I grew up in a very eclectic, open minded family who embraced dichotomous thinking—which basically means holding two seemingly opposing viewpoints as true at the same time. For example, being Christian, but believing other religions or spiritual traditions hold similar truths. Magical mindsets and energy work have always played a role in my life. In fact, in 2002, I started my journey to become a reiki master. I have also dived deep into comparative religion because the concept is deeply fascinating to me.

Then, on the other side (remember the dichotomous thinking), I love science. Physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry—you name it. So, being this strange person with seemingly opposing beliefs, I find I can look at subjects more… subjectively.

Awakening originally came to me as a way to make sense of the world after the 2016 election. I’m not gonna lie—it seriously felt light we were fighting a war of light and dark and the dark was winning. So, my question to myself was… what if there were angels buried in the subconsciousness of humans walking the Earth? What would that look like? How would that play out?

However, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around their mission. What would they fight for? How would they fix things? Then, at our local writers group’s Christmas party last year, we got an interesting writing prompt. There were actually something like seven of them, but the one I chose was: write something about the Jesus story from a totally different perspective.

Now, I have to place a caveat here – I am actually very eclectic spiritually because of my background. I don’t identify as one religion or another anymore. I just don’t feel it’s necessary. So, as a sciencey, fantasy jumbled up mess I am, I took an idea I’d had in the back of my mind for a long time about the Jesus story. It relied on the question of—what if Jesus didn’t exist? What if in the future, darkness had taken over and his light never shone on the world? (Okay, historically, there are actual questions about true existence, but there is no denying his story exists—and has had a huge impact on the world.)

But more than that, what if someone from the future could go back and make things happen? How could you tell this story where it seems both believable—and completely crazy at the same time? I mean, that’s what science fiction and fantasy are meant to do, right? Play with the bigger questions of who we are, why we’re here, and the stories we tell ourselves… right?

To my knowledge, no one has written a story quite like Awakening. It’s part urban fantasy – part alternative history – part science fiction. But what I am most pleased about with this book is that it must have placed its timing perfectly (I may have written it, but I swear the stories have their own timing). Both Christians and non-Christians alike love the story and the way the story was able to tread the wire between motivation and blasphemy.

About the Author:

Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites:, or

Author links:

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Strange inheritance

A Magical Inheritance Book Cover A Magical Inheritance
#1 (Ladies Occult Society)
Krista D Ball
Independently Published

Miss Elizabeth Knight received an unexpected legacy upon her uncle’s death: a collection of occult books. When one of the books begins talking to her, she discovers an entire world of female occultist history opened to her—a legacy the Royal Occult Society had purposely hidden from the world.However, the magic allowing the book to speak to Miss Knight is fading and she must gather a group of female acquaintances of various talents. Together, they’ll need to work to overcome social pressures, ambitious men, and tyrannical parents, all to bring Mrs. Egerton, the book ghost, back.

A really interesting book. I enjoyed the language used and storyline, and it had some excellent points made about the role of women in society at that time in our history. It is not a Regency romance. It is not light and frothy but serious in its discussions of family, marriage, education and inheritance in 1810. Not to mention men’s attitudes towards women and their very small heads that don’t contain enough brain power to be able understand Latin and Greek, riddles, puzzles, mathematics (other than household accounts),  let alone the Occult.

Now the Occult here is a type of magic, it combines supernatural, paranormal, spells and herbs and ghosts.

The novel tells us a lot about being frugal and what it really meant – wearing fabrics until the patterns fade and dresses until the seams fall apart, upon which time, the material is re-used for a child’s dress or a lining or…

I also like the idea of invalid food that was common – I wonder what our invalids would say if we fed them boiled turnips with a little butter, and bread soaked in the liquor left after boiling salt beef for hours.

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