Spark, Feyguard, Book 1

Well, this is day 34 of staying home for us. So far, so good. In fact, I’m managing to finish some of those unfinished projects, like scrapping some birthday cards (enough for the rest of the year) and finishing a crochet project (closing in on that one.)

And reading. I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Best escape ever!

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For April’s read, which was supposed to be something from my shelf, I picked one of my favorite YA fantasies to re-read. Spark, a story set in Feyland by Anthea Sharp, is a vivid world where the Realm of Faerie meets gamer’s world. An immersive virtual game, Feyland, has a secret opening to the very real, very dangerous, fairie world, where the Dark Court is ruled by a sinister queen.

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Spark is a world-class gamer. Aran is a world-class hacker. And together, they must defeat the Dark queen.

What It’s About:

What if a high-tech computer game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? 

Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley’s life might look easy, but she’s part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

Aran Cole hacks code and sells his gaming cheats on the black market. It’s barely a living, and one he’s not proud of. But when he turns his skills to unlocking the secrets behind Feyland–the most exciting and immersive game on the market–he discovers power and magic beyond his wildest dreams.

Spark’s mission is clear; pull Aran from the clutches of the fey folk and restore the balance between the worlds. But can she risk her life for someone who refuses to be rescued?

My Thoughts:

Honestly, I’ve read all the Feyland books so far. It’s on my series favorites list. The world is rich in detail and well-developed. The characters are different and believable. And the in-game/in-realm battle scenes are phenomenal, as is the rising tension. It’s a high recommend from me, even the second time around.

Stay safe, everyone!

East of the Mountains

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I first want to send my fervent prayers that everyone is staying safe and healthy. COVID-19 is scary, especially for folks, like me, who are in the susceptible age group. I wish you all healthy environments!

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The March reading challenge was a book with a nature word in it. For that, I dug through my to-be-read pile and found East of the Mountains, by David Guterson. This is the same author who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars. I realized I haven’t read that one, either. Or seen the movie. After reading this one, I may well pick Snow Falling on Cedars up.

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What It’s About:

When he discovers that he has terminal cancer, retired heart surgeon Ben Givens refuses to simply sit back and wait. Instead he takes his two beloved dogs and goes on a last hunt, determined to end his life on his own terms. But as the people he meets and the memories over which he lingers remind him of the mystery of life’s endurance, his trek into the American West becomes much more than a final journey.

My thoughts:

I read the jacket – this story is about a dying man’s final journey. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it, but I’m glad I did. First, it’s an intimate look at the thoughts of someone dealing with a difficult diagnosis. Recollections of his life, including picking apples in the orchards of Eastern Washington and his time overseas in the war. The joy of meeting his wife. The despair that loss brings.

But there was also hope in this story. People who help him on his journey, both with time and wise words. When it ended, I smiled.  It was poignant, at times starkly human, and, well, it is an in depth look at the resiliency of humans under duress.

So it’s a recommend from me, but it’s also not for the faint of heart. Still, a smile touches my face as I think of it, so take that as you will.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

The Time Traveler’s Wife

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Month two of this reading challenge was another good book for me. I’m enjoying this challenge a lot so far.

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What it’s about (though I suspect most people already know this since it was first published in 2003):

Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals–steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

My thoughts:

I’m not sure why I hadn’t yet read this book, but I have now. I’ll be honest. I set it aside after the first page or two of chapter 1 (after the prologue.) The logical person inside my brain couldn’t understand how, if he is the time traveler, she is seeing him when he does not know her.

I’m glad I kept going. I got hooked. I had to stay focused, though. It’s not an easy story to keep straight, though the author does a great job of grounding the reader to time and place. I got involved. In Clare’s heart. In Henry’s head. It was well worth the time to read, though I felt the ending was a bit rushed. Still, I do like the image I was left with as I closed the book. So it’s a recommend from me. And now I need to watch the movie!

 

 

i’ll be your blue sky

Life has been pretty crazy lately. Between the holidays and other issues, it’s been difficult to find the motivation to write. So I’ve been taking some time off just to read and re-energize. Someone posted a reading challenge on Facebook, and for the life of me, I can’t remember who, but I’m grateful to them because I feel stuck in a rut. Here’s the  challenge:IMG_1143

I’ve decided to take this challenge, and for my January “color” book, I read:

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This story took a little getting used to, with third and first person. But I loved the two stories, Edith’s and Clare’s. And the way it all came together. I found it emotional and engaging. When Clare ends a relationship on the day of her wedding, her pain is real. Her metamorphosis moves along well, and the secondary characters made me smile. Well, most of them. After all, every story has to have an antagonist, right? Overall, a recommend from me.

One story down. Eleven to go…

I hope winter is playing nice with all of you! We’re rainy and gray in the Pacific Northwest. That bodes well for spring flowers. 🙂

Laurie Ryan

New Romance – Rudy’s Heart

RH Postcard1ReleaseToday is release day for my newest stand-alone romance novel, Rudy’s Heart. This story didn’t come to me like the others, which are generally sparked by something I see or hear. Rudy, the wonderfully intuitive horse in Rudy’s Heart came to me in a dream. I rarely wake up remembering my dreams, and I didn’t remember this one either, except for one thing. A brown and white horse.

I’ve loved horses my entire life, though I’ve never been around them much. As research for Rudy’s Heart, I got to spend some wonderful time with a woman who raises Friesian’s. They are such beautiful, graceful horses! IMG_8198

When I went to write Rudy’s story, I had to surround him with some pretty amazing characters. Enter Beck Hawthorne, an uncle-turned-father who’s drowning in guilt. Aubrey Gannet is mired in a grief she can’t dig out from. And 6-year-old Dani isn’t talking to anyone.

Rudy pulls them all together and is the key to their happiness.

Here’s the particulars about the story, along with links for more information:

What Rudy’s Heart is about:

An uncle-turned-father, terrified he’ll screw up, enlists the help of a burned-out, empathic woman with an oh-so-rightful chip on her shoulder.

Emotionally shattered from her hospice work, Aubrey Gannet journeys to a Montana ranch looking for peace and quiet to rekindle her grieving spirit. But will she be able to forgive the man who deserted his only sister when she needed him the most?

Stuck with an angry horse no one can get near and a child who refuses to speak, loner Beck Hawthorne is desperate to get through to them and hoping Aubrey holds that key. Only together can they break the bonds of sadness and find a brighter future.

Emotional. Sensual. Standalone. A romance novel that includes a wonderfully intuitive horse named Rudy and a six-year-old who will wrap herself around your heart.

Where you can find Rudy’s Heart:

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Many thanks to Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs for this amazing cover. And to Libby Doyle of Fairhill publishing for making my shine. And to you readers, who make it all worthwhile!

Laurie Ryan

Earth Legacy conclusion now available…

It’s here! I’m thrilled to announce that the conclusion of the Earth Legacy series is now widely available.  And, to celebrate, the first TWO books in the series are on sale for $2.99 through Monday! Coaster2

This fantasy series with a YA flavor has been a long time coming. Growing up, I immersed myself in the tales of Tolkien, McCaffrey, Brooks, and so many more fantasy authors. My brothers and I read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series many times each. We even took time off work to see the movies together when they came out.

This is not a story of goblins and orcs. Instead, there is a dedicated village, led by the burdened druid Bhren, who are the last vestige of strength against a dark Druid bent on subverting Earth’s magic. These are stories of angst and of growth, of betrayals and loyalties, and of hope for a better future.

Click on the links below to select your store:

Book 1 – Survival: https://books2read.com/u/bpp5MJ

Book 2 – Enlightenment: https://books2read.com/u/mYroPd

Book 3 – Birthright:  https://books2read.com/u/bWRx91

Survival

Guilt-ridden druid trainee Rianth Royan is on the run. From a Dark druid, from a betrayal, and mostly, from herself. She is not who they think she is. How can she be? She has no powers.

Earth is dying. Only she can free the magic intended to heal the earth before it’s eternally bound to the darkness. And only one person can protect Rianth while she seeks her magic. Kaiden Darcy, True-Named protector. Friend. Betrayer.

Together, Rianth and Kaiden must gather their allies, safeguard a magical talisman, and find Rianth’s suppressed powers to conquer a powerful evil. If they fail, Earth and every living creature will perish…

Enlightenment

For Kaiden Darcy, duty is everything. As True-named protector, he’s tasked with the safety of his home and Rianthe Royan, the prophesied one designated to save Earth from surrendering to the darkness.

Except Rianthe’s powers are stifled by some unknown cause. She needs help, so she follows a cryptic clue seeking insight. As she struggles to master her magic, the brother she raised from a babe disappears.

Kaiden, realizing the urgency of Rianthe’s quest, leaves his own responsibilities behind to go in search of the boy, unaware that search will bring him face to face with bad blood. Family blood. His blood.

Birthright

Rianthe Royan tried hard to deny her destiny, even running from it until it returned to haunt her. Now, she is left with no choice. She must accept who she is or Earth will perish and humanity founder.

In the final throes of survival and under threat of extinction if she fails to bring back the light, Rianthe must give everything she has, everything she is, to ensure the survival of those she loves. She must battle the Dark druid bent on binding Earth’s magic to her will and destroying everything in her path.

Together with her ally and protector, Kaiden Darcy, and the few left in their home village, Rianthe will take on their fiercest enemy yet.

Humanity believes Rianthe is their salvation. Now all she needs to do is believe in herself.

Links to Survival:

Amazon iBooks  Kobo  nook

 

R&R Addictions and a Free Short Story

I have a couple of R&R addictions. One is romance stories. I love reading them, and I love writing them. The other one is disaster movies. I don’t know why, but I get completely involved in them. Even the campy ones. Some of my favorites are:

  •             Armageddon
  •             The Day After Tomorrow
  •             Deep Impact
  •             Dante’s Peak

And don’t forget the ship disasters, like Poseidon or Titanic. Or the ones that make you go “Really?” like Volcano. In L.A.?

What can I say? They’re fun to watch. Better on film than in real life, right? And that addiction to disasters, coupled with a real-life concern that our planet has some issues, is a huge part of why I wrote the Earth Legacy fantasy series.

All Three Covers

The third and final book in the Earth Legacy installment, Birthright, releases on May 16th. To honor that, and to meld my two addictions, I’ve written a short story that I’m offering for free to any newsletter subscribers.NBcoverC

New Beginnings

Redefining love in a post-apocalyptic world

When the world is dying, your only focus is on survival. The war might be behind them, but the battle continues as Cait and Tom search for a safe place to love each other and raise their twin daughters.

If you’d like to be the first to hear about new stories and get your copy of New Beginnings, sign up here. As well, keep an eye out for forthcoming pre-order links for Birthright!

Enlightenment, Earth Legacy 2

It’s here! The second story in the Earth Legacy series is now widely available in eBook and print formats.

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Kobo   iBooks   Amazon   nook   google-play

What the story is about…

The past is only forgotten until it invades your present.

For Kaiden Darcy, duty is everything. As True-named protector, he’s tasked with the safety of his home and Rianthe Royan, the prophesied one designated to save Earth from surrendering to the darkness.

Except Rianthe’s powers are stifled by some unknown cause. She needs help, so she follows a cryptic clue seeking insight. As she struggles to master her magic, the brother she raised from a babe disappears.

Kaiden, realizing the urgency of Rianthe’s quest, leaves his own responsibilities behind to go in search of the boy, unaware that search will bring him face to face with bad blood. Family blood. His blood.

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And coming soon…Birthright, the trilogy’s finale.

For Fantasy Fans…

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On February 15, 2019, the first story in a dystopian fantasy series will be released, and it’s available for pre-order now!

Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  nook  google-play

What it’s about…

Earth is dying. One person can save it. If only she knew how.

Guilt-ridden druid trainee Rianth Royan is on the run. From a Dark druid, from a betrayal, and mostly, from herself. She is not who they think she is. How can she be? She has no powers.

Earth is dying. Only she can free the magic intended to heal the earth before it’s eternally bound to the darkness. And only one person can protect Rianth while she seeks her magic. Kaiden Darcy, True-Named protector. Friend. Betrayer.

Together, Rianth and Kaiden must gather their allies, safeguard a magical talisman, and find Rianth’s suppressed powers to conquer a powerful evil. If they fail, Earth and every living creature will perish…

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New Romance Release…

Lost and Found, a reunion romance novella, now available.

I loved writing this story. Several years ago, an attic scene came to me. I didn’t know the story around that scene and had other projects going at the time. So I filed it away. In 2018, I dug it out and wrote the story around that scene. Finally. It makes my smile wide to give Sarah and Rick their chance.

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This time, he’ll risk everything to convince her to give them a chance.

What the story’s about…

Sarah Bannon has had it with city life.

Ready to kick start her new business and her life, she returns to the small town she’d left eleven years ago. Her first client turns out to be the boy next door, the one who completely ignored her in high school, crushing her teenage heart. Except he wasn’t a boy any longer.

Silence didn’t help Rick Larson back then. Now that fate had brought her back into his life,  he didn’t intend to squander this second chance. He’d waited too long for this moment, so this time, he had a plan.

Will their small town roots give them a chance for a fresh start?

Where you can find it…

iBooks Amazon  Kobo  nook  google-play

I hope, if you get a chance to read this story, that you enjoy it. Please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you prefer is always appreciated.

Thanks!

Laurie Ryan