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Happy Holidays and self promotion

Hi everyone.

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas advent. Out of the 100+ books I have read this year it was really difficult to narrow my list down to just 24 to recommend.

I hope there has been something to pique your interest, and I just want to say thank you for joining me for my book advent calendar.

Now since Christmas, for me at least, is the time to settle down with a good fantasy, be it film or fiction, I’m going to sneak my book links below, yes, it is a little bit of shameless self promotion tagged onto the end of a thanks, but you’ll forgive me right? After all, I spend most of my time promoting other people’s work ūüôā

Darrienia – Will they discover the truth in time? Or will those who should be heroes, become nothing more than the pawns of evil?

51gtaxpsgklSettle down this Christmas with the winner of the IAN 2016 Outstanding Fantasy award.

It is said that the past always returns to haunt you. Yet some forgotten pasts have whispered names and a debt for collection. Dangerous curiosities stir a hidden darkness, one that patiently waits to seize control.

The subtle periphery between dream and reality is in peril and those chosen must face the evil behind this looming disaster. But lurking in the shadows, guiding their hand, lies the true threat and a hidden agenda.

Will they discover the truth in time? Or will those who should be heroes, become nothing more than the pawns of evil?

Book links: UK РDarrienia     US РDarrienia

The Severaine – There are some bonds even death cannot destroy.

Civilisations rise and fall leaving only dust and legend in their wake. Kingdoms were lost, and races forgotten. Across the countless span of time one threat rises, heralding the end41txp5pilql of man’s rule, and laying to waste those who defiled its mistress. It is known as the Severaine, a power that in vengeance could bring even the Gods themselves to their knees. Each era overcame this peril so a new world could rise from the ashes of old. Lost within such wisdom could be the answers our heroes seek, a means to stop the threat before a new cycle is born.

But legends can lie and history can be mistaken.

There is another tale, a fable on the lips of few, it speaks of the means to force this power into submission, and there are those who would seek to bend this devastating might to their will.

Creatures rise, guardians wake, and sometimes even the meddling hands of man can turn divine plans awry. The prophesies of old were reforged by death and whisper now a chilling truth. If this path continues unobstructed there is only one conclusion. The end of man and god alike.

But there are some secrets that should never be uncovered and paths which mortals must fear to tread.

When revenge knows no boundaries there are some bonds even death cannot destroy.

Book links: UK –¬†The Severaine¬† ¬† ¬†US –¬†The Severaine

Herbal Lore – An asset to anyone wishing to utilise the beneficial properties of herbs

51mkoysojxlThis book covers a wide range of herbs and their uses in both medicinal and magical practices, including sections detailing extraction and application. It also provides comprehensive step-by-step instructions on making a wide range of items encompassing creams, herbal bags, incense, salves, tinctures, and poultices.
Presented in an easy to understand format, with an added definition of terms, making it an asset to anyone wishing to utilise the beneficial properties of herbs.

 

 

Book links: UK РHerbal Lore     US РHerbal Lore

 

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget, all my books donate a percentage of the royalties to charity.

Happy Holidays everyone x

author, book review, reading

Book review: Battle of the Bannockburn: The Saga of Thistles and Roses (The Warrior Queen Book 3) by Karen Gray

Karen Gray remains to date my favourite author, and that is not a position I offer to just anyone. I find Karen’s work to be the very essence of fantasy at its best. She brings to life 51fpuMb7leL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_an enormous cast of characters, each with depth, backstory, and involved history. The stories themselves are emotionally gripping, full of twists, unexpected revelations and not to mention magic and creatures thought to be only legend. Karen easily creates a full and complete world, inclusive of strife, and it is a world that just becomes more engrossing with every turn of the page.

It took a few days for me to read cover to cover and I was once more left in awe of this author’s skill.

Book three, whilst progressing with the main story arc also Continue reading “Book review: Battle of the Bannockburn: The Saga of Thistles and Roses (The Warrior Queen Book 3) by Karen Gray”

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Book review: Breeder by K.B. Hoyle

Breeder by K.B. Hoyle is a brilliant example of dystopian fiction. Humanity has been forced 61k-1JE-MHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_to the brink of extinction, taking with it a large population of wildlife. Fortunately the Unified World Order has introduced a Controlled Reproduction Program, in the interest of survival only the most perfect genes will do. Flaws will not be tolerated so in order to ensure a perfect child Breeders are carefully selected. Seventeen is one such Breeder, one designated as genetically ideal. She is happy, her life is perfect. Or is it? An enforcer named Pax stirred such doubts while reminding her of a name she once possessed long ago, Pria. Doubts and curiosity are not tolerated. Forced to flee Pax aids her escape. She has never seen the world outside, a world of survival. Threat is around every corner and soon she discovers the existence of something Pax calls nests, a community of those with recessive genes, and his needing to find one is the reason he sought to rescue her. They need her, a Breeder, in order to stand against the UWO, can they convince her of the truth, of a reality conveniently hidden from all those within the UWO?

Breeder is one of the best examples of first person narrative I have ever read. It is engaging, descriptive and immersive. K.B. Hoyle introduces an array of diverse and interesting characters, conflict, and a gripping plot. To say I enjoyed this  is an understatement, I was absolutely captivated. This book was simply perfect in every way. It is well-written, well-balanced, thought provoking, and thrilling. Breeder is filled with imaginative ideas underlined with a subtle horror as the reader is forced to consider how easily the world created could come to pass, especially when we already place so much focus on appearance and physical traits. Breeder will certainly appeal to a wide audience. I myself can’t wait to read more, and will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Amazon link: Breeder by K.B. Hoyle

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Darrienia and Herbal Lore are now available.

Darrienia and Herbal Lore are now available.

If you enjoy fantasy, or would like to know more about the uses of herbs in magical or medicinal practices, don’t forget to pick up your copy today.

By buying one of my books you will also be helping to support either the neonatal department of the UHNM or the St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)

Herbal Lore

UK £1.99

US $2.99

Darrienia

UK £3.99

US $4.99

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And the winner of the Darrienia charity raffle is…

Thank you to everyone who helped me raise money for the UHNM charity for use by the neonatal unit.

The lucky winner of the ¬£20 Amazon voucher, my two books and all the other wonderful Darrienia goodies is…

Robert Glass‚Äč

I was so touched by everyone’s support that¬†I decided to offer a runner up prize of¬†a ¬£5 Amazon voucher, the runner up prize goes to…

Martin Green‚Äč

I have already contacted the winners to let them know, and I just want to say thank you again to everyone who took part, you support means a lot. Thanks to your help we have managed to raise a fantastic £95 for the neonatal unit at the university hospital UHNM charity.

To show my appreciation, I will be offering anyone who took part a Darrienia pen, just my way of saying thank you. I will be sending emails out later, and will send them out to anyone who wishes to have one.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you again for supporting the UHNM charity.

Sadly I can’t upload the video of the draw to my blog, but you can watch the winner being drawn¬†on my Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/Oneirois

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Darrienia Final teaser

For my final teaser I decided to do something a little different. I thought this image on its own was so fantastic that I didn’t want to add any text, instead I will leave you with this small excerpt.

teaser4

“The timeless room gave pause to their own mortality, before them countless figures had sat in this very place. The endless athenaeum was dedicated to one sole purpose, the obtaining of power. Within the great towers, every tome, parchment, or carving, of magical craft and prophecy could be found. Some mere facsimiles, but nothing, not even a single aged shred of parchment, would further deteriorate within these walls, nothing that was, except for the living.” Darrienia.

This is one of my favourite images, as the artist took numerous things from the book and included them in the picture.

It is now just days away, don’t forget to pick up your copy here:

Darrienia:

Kindle US $4.99 Darrienia (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 1)

Kindle UK £3.99 Darrienia (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 1)

Herbal Lore

US $2.99 Herbal Lore

UK £1.99 Herbal Lore

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Darrienia and Herbal Lore, why I chose the charities I did

Hi all,

I hope you are well on this wonderful overcast morning.

As you know my debut books Darrienia and Herbal Lore are both due to be released on September 1st. Darrienia, as well as the fund raising raffle (see here for details), is donating 10% of author royalties to the UHNM (University Hospital of North Midlands) for use by their NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit) and Herbal Lore is donating 15% to the DMWS (The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service) 

A question a number of people have asked me recently is why I chose those specific charities, so I thought I would elaborate.

Why I chose the UHNM – NICU

I chose the UHMN charity, not only due to it being my local hospital, but because I have experience with the NICU department and feel they are truly deserving of some support. My pregnancy seemed like an easy one, very few symptoms, and everything seemed great. Until he stopped growing at 24 weeks. I started to have to go for regular scans as it became apparent that he¬†was not only failing to grow, but he had problems with his heart and wasn’t moving as much as he should have been. Count the kicks became a nerve wracking part of my every day life, as did ultra sounds every other day. The aim was to keep him inside for as long as possible, but eventually, with his limited movement, and his heart concerns, it became apparent he would need to be delivered early. He was born at 34 weeks by C-section¬†weighing 3lb 6oz, I remember I could hold him in two hands, he was so tiny. After the C-section all I wanted to do was see him. When I was discharged it broke my heart to leave him, but the staff were so fantastic, they were all really nice and offered so much support and reassurance. I remember there are three people there who really stuck in my mind, the first was a lady called Libby, she was fantastic, she really went above on beyond, it was Mother’s day when I was there, in her own time¬†she had gone around every baby and taken a footprint so that all the mum’s could have a personalised Mother’s day card, I still have mine somewhere. Another lady was Julie, she was one of the nurses, she used to come onto the ward we were on to check on us,¬†I was reading Terry Pratchett to Kaine as we cuddled, seeing we had a mutual interest we swapped books and talked about so many things, she really put me at ease. The third person I remember is Rose, I joked at one point that we should call her Resus Rose as she was in charge of showing everyone how to do baby CRP, as well as the normal responsibilities. These three ladies, along with all the wonderful staff made what was a terrifying experience bearable. I felt safe leaving my son in their care. They really instilled confidence.

We were in the NICU for about six weeks, I met a lot of parents who had been transferred here out of the area because this area had the better NICU care, of course with all the transfers this meant they were often full to capacity. They worked hard, and just have a natural ability to put the parents at ease and they were always so loving to the babies, treating them as if they were their own. They were so great I feel the need to give something back. I still drop off chocolates each year at Christmas, but I hope with the raffle and the royalty donations to help support them in other ways too. Even if my book doesn’t make many sales, it is just a small way of saying thank you.

The left picture shows Kaine at a week old, the middle at about 3 weeks and the right one him now

SP_A0236 SP_A030320150416_154248

Why I chose the DMWS (The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service)

Unlike the UHNM NIC I have no personal connection to this charity. The DMWS provide practical and emotional support to military personnel, their families and other entitled civilians when they are in hospital, rehabilitation or recovery centres and support patients from all three services, wherever they serve.

I have a great respect for our armed forces and believe that they should get the best care possible, whether they are injured in combat, or civilian life. We owe these people a great debt. These are people who are willing to sacrifice everything they are, everything they have for our country, and they deserve to be treated like the heroes they are.

I am hoping by donating some of the royalties received from Herbal Lore to not only bring attention to this charity, but to the care and support available to those who need it.

You can find out more about the DMWS here

In case you are wondering, the reason UHNM gets 10% and DMWS get 15% is because as they are priced differently the royalties vary, this way each charity receive about the same.

My books are now available for pre-order

Darrienia:

Kindle US $4.99  Darrienia (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 1)

Kindle UK £3.99 Darrienia (The Forgotten Legacies Series Book 1)

Herbal Lore

US $2.99 Herbal Lore

uk £1.99 Herbal Lore

Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to join me on Friday for another Darrienia teaser.

Have a great week.

reading

Book review – For King and Country: The Saga of Thistles and Roses by Karen Gray

Good morning all,

Last night I finished reading For King and Country by Karen Gray. I have to say that so far this year it is one of the best books I have read.

The book itself follows the protagonist Morag as she starts to discover who she is and secrets she has been protected from since the time of her birth. The plot is exciting and well-conceived, not to mention fun. I really enjoyed the character interactions and watching the bonds grow, change, and develop through them. For me, one of the most important thing in a book is character development and interaction, I like to feel drawn into the characters, I like to root for them, and hate for them too. I have to admit, with such a wide array of non-cookie cutter characters I felt truly spoilt. Not to mention the author did a fantastic job in writing a character that really got under my skin.

The book is set in 27th century futuristic Scotland, in a place that is home to many mythical creatures¬† (although not everyone can see them for what they truly are) and turmoil as kingdoms battle for power, and unknown to her, Morag has plenty of that, a potential she is forced to unlock and embrace in order to survive.¬†I enjoyed how the author includes some typical Scottish dialect, without it being overbearing.¬†¬†For anyone who hasn’t heard the dialect, (which I love listening to by the way) it can seem quite harsh, yet not only could I read the¬†words with ease, it was written in such a manner I didn’t even have to pause to consider what was being said. The author found an ideal balance between adding a authenticity to the dialogue, and ensuring it remained reader friendly.

To be quite honest, I had a very difficult time putting this book down. I had finished within three days of first opening it, it would have been sooner but commitments meant I have not had as much time as I would have liked. Each night I would climb into bed and start reading, ‘just one more chapter’ I’d think to myself, only to glance at the clock and see it was already 2am, oops. Needless to say this book was the cause of few tired mornings, then again, that is nothing if not the sign of a good book.

I can’t wait until its next instalment, which I believe, according to the final page, is in December. I am marking it on my calendar, and you can bet that it will jump a few books before it on my reading list. I can’t express enough how fun this was to read. As always I have¬†included links to the book below, why not check it out for yourself, you won’t regret it.

Amazon Links

U.K. For King and Country: The Saga of Thistles and Roses (The Warrior Queen Book 1)

U.S For King and Country: The Saga of Thistles and Roses (The Warrior Queen Book 1)

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Darrienia raffle goodies.

Hi all, I Hope you are well.

Just a quick thank you, so far we have reached 50% of my fundraising target for the UHNM charity, thank you so much for your generosity.

The raffle has been detailed in the August edition of Literary review, so hopefully that will assist in making the final push towards the set target.

20150804_113647

Just a quick reminder of what’s up for grabs. The prize includes a copy of both¬†Darrienia and¬†Herbal Lore, a ¬£20 Amazon voucher, a mug, two bookmarks, pens, fridge calendar, keyring, and a 2016 calendar with Darrienia artwork (calendar, books, and voucher are¬†not featured in this picture)

forgrabs

I must say the calendar is fantastic, I had a very talented artist designing it for me. It is expected to arrive with my pre-release copies of the two books on August 19th, but some of the art work will be used as teasers which I will start to release on the run-up to release each Friday, so watch this space.

If you want to enter, the competition closed midnight (GMT) on 30th August 2015, go to
http://www.justgiving.com/kjsimmill and make a small donation to enter. Just to remind you, there is no minimum donation.

Thank you again for all your support, and good luck.

author, reading, writing

Herbal Lore, Cover reveal

Hi all,

Once again it is with great pleasure I reveal the cover for yet another of my books. My second title, Herbal Lore, is due for release on September 1st.

9780993269929

This book is the result of many years experience and work. Initially, and strangely, the idea to collaborate all my research into a book came from one of my characters from Darrienia. The end result far surpassed what I was hoping to achieve.

This book not only covers the application and use of herbs from a medicinal viewpoint, but also from a magical one as well.

It also contains detailed step-by-step guides on making many useful items for using the herbs in either craft.

15% of all author royalties received from this title will be donated to The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) who provide practical and emotional support to military personnel, their families and other entitled civilians when they are in hospital, rehabilitation or recovery centres and support patients from all three services, wherever they serve.

Registered Charity Number: 1087210

It is now available for pre-order in both Kindle and paperback format

UK Kindle Р£1.99

UK Paperback Р£6.99

U.S Kindle – $2.99

U.S. Paperback