Sunday, October 20, 2019

Welcome to the "MOMENTS WE LOVE" Blog Tour! @BalroopShado @4WillsPub #RRBC



It is my pleasure today to welcome a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Balroop Singh. Keep reading to learn about her poetry. Take it away, Balroop!

***


Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that  leets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with √©lan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.


Memories and moments merge here

Today when I return to share

The glow of rainbows

Embers of emotional entreaties

And smoldering debris.

Buying links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462


US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN


Many of my poems are inspired by nature:


This Fall

The fall adds wings to my words

The soft swish of breeze carries them away

Floating down merrily, they smile at me

And dance around with glee.


The ‘J’ of joy, the ‘M’ of melancholy

The ‘S’ of solitude, the ‘T’ of twilight

The ‘H’ of hope, the ‘C’ of calmness

All merge into each other


Enhancing the beauty of brilliant decay

Colors of fall highlight each ray

Of sun to inspire thoughts of twilight

Of forbearance, of change, of new days


At night the frightening wind

Brings sweeping somber thoughts

Of chilly gusts, of lonely nights

A yearning yells at those sights…


To get away, to stay adrift, to disengage

All those memories glide softly back

Into those enclosed caskets

Never shall I excavate.


This fall I am burying them deeper

This fall is more buoyant, more blissful

The resilience rests on my brow

The happiness lives with me now


In my thoughts, in my loving home

In all seasons, even in this fall

It brings sweet memories of moments dear

My words fly now with the same cheer.

© Balroop Singh

About the Author


Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life, Emerging From Shadows and Timeless Echoes – her widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships, Allow Yourself to be a Better Person, her latest poetry book Moments We Love has just been released.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting links: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

https://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author's tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you'd like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

RRBC Block Party: Two Magical Fantasy Series




Welcome to the Rave Reviews Book Club Book, Blog, and Trailer Block Party here at Better Living Through Fantasy! Please read and comment for a chance to win one of my door prizes.

Today I'll be giving away 

A $10 Amazon gift card plus bookmark


and


Two handmade Hexborn-themed book marks


Number of winners for this stop: 3


Our lucky winners: 

(1) $10 Amazon gift card + bookmark - Rhani D'Chae


(2) Handmade Hexborn bookmarks - Yvette Calleiro & John Howell

I'm thrilled to be sharing with you both of my fantasy series, The November Snow Series and The Hexborn Chronicles. Both of them feature strong heroines with world-changing magical power, complex characters, and villains both dangerous and fascinating. There, however, the similarities end.

Do you like vampires, werewolves, and fairies, with some adult language and the occasional sexual escapade? Then November Snow is your girl. 

Do you prefer a "clean" fantasy featuring kings, wizards, adventure, and a touch of romance? Then the Hexborn series has you covered. 

Are your interests flexible but your demand for quality writing unyielding? Then I invite you to check out both of my magical worlds.


This time of year always feels especially fantastical to me. We have Halloween at the end of the month, plus Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. On Halloween, we put on costumes to assume a new identity, to live in a fantasy for a short while. Reading is another way we inter into a fantasy, inhabiting a world of the author's creation. Within the story, the characters often also assume a new role or identity over the course of the book, transforming into something new. 

In She Dies at the End, my main character November goes from being a carnival fortune teller to a major player in a supernatural civil war. In Hexborn, my protagonist Shiloh goes from being an outcast mountain orphan to a powerful knight and courtier.

Learn more about my characters and their journeys below, and share some of your favorite character transformations in the comments.

Book 1 of The November Snow Series: She Dies at the End




She’s watched her own burial a thousand times. November knows she is doomed, yet when a vampire and fairy from her vision finally appear at her door, it’s almost a relief. Drawn into a supernatural civil war, the psychic teenager fights to protect the innocent from cruel vampire lord Luka, who seeks to steal his father Ilyn’s throne. As betrayals pile up around her, November can’t help forming an unbreakable bond with the grieving Ilyn, who cares for her in her hour of greatest need. When Luka succeeds in getting his hands on the young soothsayer, can November stay alive long enough to foil his plans and escape his clutches? All she knows for sure is . . . she dies at the end.


Mini-excerpt

Perhaps it would be better to lose all hope. It would be easier to just snuff it out, she told herself.

And yet, she was sure that she would have felt Ilyn’s death, even at this distance. She knew that her vision of her own burial was a true seeing. Thousands of times it had come to her, unchanging.

Whatever Luka intended, whatever he might do to her, however broken she might become, she knew that it would be Ilyn who brought her to her next incarnation. This was her fate. She had always known it.

So, rather than snuffing it out, she blew on that ember of her hope until it was a little flame, and then she hid it away where no one could see, where it could keep her warm in the dark. And she prepared herself for battle.

Book 1 of The Hexborn Chronicles: Hexborn




Hexborn. Abomination. Unclean. Young Shiloh knows exactly what she is. Her missing hand and the world at large are ever ready to remind her. Outcast she may be, but her broken body hides great magical power. The king’s servant Silas seeks to use that power to preserve the uneasy peace the kingdom has enjoyed since the end of the Siblings’ War. He'll slit her throat if she threatens it instead. Will Shiloh prove her worth? Or will past sins rise to destroy Shiloh, Silas, and the kingdom of Bryn?



Mini-Excerpt

Shiloh broke off an icicle from the tree behind which she’d taken shelter and yanked off her glove with her teeth, then grabbed the ice in her bare hand. With this makeshift wand, she harnessed the power of water to cast a shield of protection around them, one which allowed the curses from Hatch and Perce to pass through unimpeded. The arrows of the Feralfolk, meanwhile, didn’t simply stop dead upon hitting the ward; they turned and sped back toward their points of origin, betraying those who’d loosed them.

Silas threw his head back and fairly cackled in delight when he realized what she’d done, then continued to cast his curses. The rest of the men stood up now that they had no further need to fear incoming projectiles, save Gil who lay bleeding in the road.


Intrigued? To learn more, check out my website or Amazon author page.

Please also take a look at the rest of the tour, which you can find here. Don't forget to leave a comment below. And happy reading!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

School Days: A Hexborn Excerpt

Shiloh was, naturally, the first to arrive for Master Jonn’s tutorial. Tentatively, she pushed open the door to find a shabbily cozy office. A fireplace surrounded by a handful of upholstered chairs dominated the room; a desk piled high with books and papers stood opposite the hearth.

A set of open double doors separated the office from a large laboratory. The sight of it stole Shiloh’s breath. Six rows of work benches filled the well-lit space. Potions in progress dominated one bench, bubbling in elaborate contraptions of glass, while other tables bowed beneath the weight of various plants and captive creatures. Some of the plants Shiloh recognized as medicinal. Others appeared to be crop samples afflicted with various blights. A young man—Shiloh assumed him to be Master Jonn—peered down at a cage full of rodents, a water wand in his hand and a magnifying glass held to his eye. She fairly itched to examine it all.

The door behind her creaked, and Shiloh turned to see two other girls enter. One had kind eyes and gave her a hesitant half-smile, but the other kept her nose firmly in the air. They both took chairs near the fire. Shiloh followed their example but kept her distance, choosing a seat across from the pair.

“Ah, we’re all here,” Master Jonn declared, stepping in from the laboratory and closing the doors behind him. “Let’s get started. We have a new student joining us.” He looked down at one of the papers on his desk. “I’m Jonn Gateborn. Shiloh Teethborn, is it?” he asked, his smile warm and welcoming. “Silas mentioned you to me.”

“Yes, Master,” she replied, nodding her head in greeting. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Ladies?” Master Jonn prompted. “Shall we introduce ourselves?”

“I’m Penn Warwick,” the kind one offered. The other girl said nothing, and a long-suffering expression came over Jonn’s face. Penn broke the awkward silence by adding, “And this is Lady Hana Kramer, Lord Penfield’s eldest daughter.”

Jonn took the seat between Shiloh and Penn. “Now, Shiloh won’t have done the reading for today, but how did the two of you find the new article on Kirshan’s Hex?”

“Is it the one by Fergoss, from the university in Vreeland?” Shiloh asked, eyes brightening.

Jonn smiled. “Why, yes, it is. Have you read it?”

“Yes, Master,” she replied. “My teacher subscribed to their journal. I found it fascinating.” She was overcome with self-consciousness when Penn shot her an impressed look and Hana rolled her eyes.

“I found it dull as dishwater,” Hana declared.

“Of course you did,” Jonn sighed.

“Well, I’m not likely ever to be on a battlefield, am I?” Hana shot back.

“No, not likely, my lady,” Jonn allowed with a shake of his head. “Penn, why don’t you share your thoughts? How did you find his argument on the alternative use of Comfort Potion in a topical formulation?”

Shiloh felt her anxiety dissipate as Penn began to speak in a soft, shy voice, and as Jonn patiently encouraged her to elaborate.

I can do this, Shiloh told herself.

I can do this.

***

Intrigued? Download your copy of Hexborn here.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Fear and Feralfolk: A Hexborn Excerpt

Shiloh forced herself not to look away when they rode by what was left of the Feralfolk who’d attacked the previous winter. Edmun would have wanted her to face the truth. Their bodies had been mostly consumed by the fireball, but the scorched bones had been left behind. The elders had insisted on mounting the skulls for a warning, and Edmun had gone along with them.

So far, it had been effective. There hadn’t been a raid in eight months. Not so much as a single goat had gone missing. Shiloh wondered if the warning would continue to work once word got around that the pink-haired monster had left town.

“You have to accept what happened,” Edmun had insisted. She’d spent days after her father’s death sitting in the dark, neither eating nor sleeping, neither weeping nor raging. She’d just sat, like a stone. He had insisted on dragging her out into the light. “I know it is terribly painful, my dear poppet, but you simply must.”

It had been so strange, to watch her teacher puttering around her father’s house, doing her chores, fixing her meals, taking care of her as she had him for the previous decade. Watching the frail old man trying his damnedest to prepare her a bath had finally broken through her ice and allowed her to cry.

And she had faced it all, in the end. She had buried her father properly, with all the rites. She had faced the pile of smoldering corpses she’d produced in her paroxysm of grief. She had faced her terrified neighbors at Temple and at market. She had faced Edmun every morning, faced his sad eyes and his declining health. At least Edmun hadn’t been afraid of her, even after the Feralfolk.

She wondered how the people at court would see her. Would she just be a country mouse, poor and ignored by her betters? Would she be taunted for her condition, as she had been in her village? Would they learn to both fear her and need her, as her neighbors had? Would they know what she had done?

Will the king decide he doesn’t want me alive after all?

***

Intrigued? Download your copy of Hexborn here.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Dead Earth: A Hexborn Excerpt


Shiloh again stayed behind at the end of tutorial. Master Jonn had been kind enough to set a workbench aside for her in his laboratory. A dozen tiny ceramic pots sat in a neat row, ready to be labeled with the date of treatment and the method to be used.

“I only brought one jar of dead earth with me,” she told the healing master.

“Not to worry. I’ve got barrels,” Jonn assured her. “I make the stewards haul some back from the Vine and the Wood when the summer progress heads that way. They think I’m mad.”

“They’ll eat their words if you ever figure it out,” Shiloh replied. “Edmun told me the Deadlands cover thousands of square miles. If they can be reclaimed . . .”

Jonn winked at her. “If they can be reclaimed, we’ll be heroes. But that is a mighty large ‘if.’”

“Your notes say you’ve already tried Jalar’s Poison Remedy?” she asked.

“Aye, both formulations. And I added fertilizer from the gardeners for good measure. I was able to get sprouts, but they would die within hours. They’d turn crimson and shrivel up black as pitch,” Jonn confirmed. “Now, last month I read that a man named Hadrian, who teaches at the University of Vert in Estany, claims to have invented an all-purpose countercurse. It’s well-described in the literature, but I haven’t been able to get it to work on so much as a child’s hex. Of course, I’m a much stronger potioner than I am a spell caster. Such is the mixed blessing of wielding a water wand.” Jonn eyed her appraisingly. “You, on the other hand, little miss steel wand . . . you should give it a go.”

“Do you have the paper?” she asked eagerly. An all-purpose countercurse could come in quite handy the next time she became ill. And if it really did work on people, who’s to say it might not work on soil, with a few adjustments?

“Sure,” he replied, looking over his messy desk with a touch of despair. “Somewhere. I’ll dig up the translation for you.”

“The original is in Estan?” she asked. Master Jonn nodded. “You can give me original,” she told him.

“You speak Estan?” he asked, eyebrows raised.

“Brother Edmun taught me. Gernish, too. He insisted it would come in handy. My accent is probably atrocious, but I can read it well enough,” she assured him.

“My, my. Remind me never to underestimate you. Old Edmun gave you the education of a princess,” Jonn replied.

He said it with a smile, but something in his eyes made Shiloh uneasy. It wasn’t until she’d left him, research paper clutched in her hot little hand, that she identified the healer’s look.

Fear. It was fear.

***

Intrigued? Download your copy of Hexborn here.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Don't Scream: An Excerpt from She Dies at the End

November slept fitfully, waking up again and again, tangled in her sheets, chased by bad dreams and visions all in a jumble. She felt trapped: trapped in the house whose grounds she hadn’t left once in nearly a month, trapped in her apparent future as a vampire, trapped in this spider web of centuries-old plots spun by cruel strangers. For a few weeks, her infatuation with William had provided enough distraction for her to put out of her mind the fact that someone in this house was working for the enemy and intended her harm.

No longer possessing that luxury, she found that she was afraid. She feared being taken, hurt, forced to help Luka do bad things. She feared failing in the use of her gift to help win this fight. She feared that when death changed her into a new creature, she would become a monster. She feared finding out the identity of the mole and the pain that discovery might cause, but she feared even more continuing to live with the viper in her nest.

It was afternoon before she finally fell asleep, so she was still dozing when dusk came. She was finally up and brushing her teeth, still in her nightgown, when Pine and Greg fairly flew into her room without so much as a knock on the door. That was the first indication that something was seriously wrong. The second sign came when Pine threw her over his shoulder as Greg moved faster than she could see, clearing her room in a whirl and hiding all obvious evidence of her existence. Previously unknown to her was a false wall in the back of her closet. It concealed a cubby into which Greg tossed all her personal belongings.

Pine rushed her out the door with Greg hot on his heels, moving so quickly that November closed her eyes tight with instinctive fear, her breath frozen in her throat. Her fairy bodyguard threw open the door to the linen closet down the hall and revealed a hidden trapdoor in the floor. He then murmured, “We’re going through the chase. Don’t scream,” and dropped dozens of feet straight down, landing lightly on his toes.

***

Intrigued? Download your copy of She Dies at the End here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

We Must Exchange Blood: An Excerpt from She Dies at the End

“We must exchange blood.”

“I beg your pardon?” she blurted, sliding away from him. “Why would we need to do that?” she asked with alarm, turning to Savita to look for aid.

“So that other vampires and fairies know that he has a claim on you, that you are not prey available to them,” Savita explained gently. “You only need to swallow a drop of his blood, and he will need a sip or two of yours. It will not harm you. Then our people will be able to tell when they meet you that you are bound to William. He is Lord of California, so none of his vassals would dare molest you.”

“They’ll think I’m his pet human?” she asked with some distaste, wrinkling her nose.

“Essentially,” William admitted. “That will make them curious about you, as I have not had a favorite human in many years. They will be even more curious if they find out that you’re living in my home. That simply isn’t done unless a vampire plans to turn his human in short order, and you are too young yet to turn legally. You will be meeting dangerous people who will want your blood and your body and, once they find out about it, your gift. This blood bond will make them at least think twice about trying to take you, as it would be an act of aggression against me. It is well known that I am not a good man to have for an enemy, and I have a powerful family. The blood will also help us to find you if you are ever stolen.”

William leaned in to look into her alarm-widened eyes. “I know it must be horrifying, the thought that people will think of you as property. But it will help protect you. It must be done.”

November nodded. The idea of being seen as someone’s pet was horrifying; the idea of being seen as “free prey” was rather more horrifying. “Will it hurt?”

“A little, as the fangs pierce the skin. Like a needle. After that, no,” Savita assured her.

“Okay,” November said softly after a brief pause. She swallowed. “I’m ready.”

“You really are a brave girl,” William said with a touch of regret. Fangs appeared in his mouth, transforming his features in a rather terrifying fashion and quickening November’s heartbeat. He pricked his finger with one fang and held out his hand. November took a drop of blood on the tip of her finger, braced herself, and licked the crimson liquid from her hand, grimacing with anticipatory disgust.

Her mind was filled to bursting with image upon image, too fast to process or appreciate, one bitten victim after another, a millennium's worth of hunting and feeding and fighting and sex compressed into thirty seconds of whirlwind. She heard someone cry out in pain or pleasure; she couldn’t tell which. It took her a moment to realize the voice was hers. When she opened her eyes, she was on the floor, William, Zinnia, and Savita hovering over her with worried faces.

“That was rather intense,” she said, placing her hand upon her forehead as the struggled to sit up.

“You looked like you were having a seizure of some sort,” Savita said, helping her back onto the couch. “That is not the typical reaction to consuming our blood. What did you see?”

November hesitated. “A lot of feeding. A lot.” She colored again as she remembered what else she'd seen. “I’m alright. It wasn’t painful, just really, ah, vivid.”

William looked like he would blush if he could.

***

Intrigued? Download your copy of She Dies at the End here.