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Blog Tour: The Wizards by Louis Corsair @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheWizards

Welcome to the tour for The Wizards by Louis Corsair! Read on for details and a chance to win a $50 Amazon e-Gift Card!!!

The Wizards by Louis Corsair
(The Elohim Trilogy 1.5)
Urban Fantasy

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At the end of the original Absolution, the Executor went back in Time and altered Reality, setting in motion a plan that will destroy him, along with all of Creation. It is a titanic crime that does not go unnoticed. There are some who discovered the crime in the Past, and are trying to do something in the Present to prevent an unimaginable Future. And these men and women are, were, will be the Wizards.

The Wizards is more than just a collection of short stories. It is a multigenerational composite novel that delves into the lives of the Wendells, a patchwork family of orphans brought together by Wendell the Great. These too-human men and women struggle with mastering the Power as much as they do with one another and the landscape of Southern California. From the 1940s to the Present, The Wizards goes back and forth across Time to tell its story.

In the Beginning

Let us imagine a period sometime in the Past. Yes. Many years in the Past, but not so many that I cannot remember it. And let us imagine men and women with… with… well, see, this is a point we could not agree on. The things my siblings and I could do, can still do, they could be called “talents,” like Mozart’s talent. Yet, that implies biology, which hardly influences the extent and potency of our abilities. 

Our Father, a man I will later call Wendell, and Anita, who I came to love as a Mother, called it, “the Power.” I suppose now you are wondering why we can wield such might. 

Indeed, for what purpose are humans born who can wield the Power? Ah, but that mystery is at the heart of our story. We never figured out why. And so, we are the burdened. Regardless of the why, let us consider the who.

Who are these men and women, you ask? Well, during my childhood in El Salvador, we called them los magos del oeste. Ah, but that is an inadequate title for my tale, for it was the silliness of childhood. Here in America, there are many names for these individuals, thanks to mythology and literature. Let us pick one. 

How about wizard? I have always been fond of that title, though it belongs in the realm of fantasy and myth, now inherited by popular culture. The nomenclature is important to me because it was the name that Isis picked for our little gang. She called us the Wizards. Do not worry about Isis now; I will soon introduce her.

In the beginning–that glorious beginning!–there were three of these Wizards. The first was the man who rescued me from the conscript army in El Salvador. I knew him as Wendell, a name that served “both for Christian and surname,” as EB might have said. He was a statuesque African, for it was easy to tell when he spoke that he was from that continent. 

Let us go now to a specific place in the beginning, to the first time I entered Anita’s home in Beverly Hills. Up until then, I had been constantly awake with worry as we traveled through different cities, always looking, looking. And finally worry became wonder as we entered this great metropolis. Drinking up the lights of Los Angeles in great gulps. Drowning in its people. Every sight mesmerized me.

“Now, Quique,” he said to me in broken Spanish when we reached Anita’s door. I had not yet mastered the English language. “I will speak with my colleagues about you. But I am confident we will find you a place.”

This was a sentiment that bothered me. I still had family in El Salvador, my mother and sister. At that juncture, I feared for their safety. The civil war was brutal, you see, and casualties were plenty. I let Wendell know this and he gave me that potent smile that could convince you to take his side. 

“They are well.” 

That was all he said regarding their fate, and I believed him at once. He was a man who used words to shape truth. It was a skill I often tried to emulate with poor results. Wendell’s words could take physical shape too when performing magic. The mechanism for this art he took with him, for it was missing from his many lessons. 

Ah, Wendell! That cloud of mystery never left you while I was under your care.

With my heart easier knowing my family was well, I followed him into the house. And there I met his associates. One man. One woman.

The house belonged to the woman, who was White and Wendell’s senior by more than twenty years, or so I heard. But Wendell made up for that gap in height; she hardly reached his chest. This was Anita Sendler, a Jew who had survived the Holocaust. The experience served to strengthen her, though; she was hardly a victim. Anita noticed me first and like a hawk blocked our way in.

I am unsure of what passed between the two. My understanding of English prevented me from keeping up with their debate. What I was sure of, then and now, was that Anita was upset that Wendell had brought me, all willy nilly (as some might say). 

My childish scorn for her amuses me now, as it did the other man in the room. He was a carbon copy of Wendell, for they were brothers. This was Gathii Ra, a title he had given himself. 

Gathii Ra smiled when he saw my frown. He said something to the two and then went up to me. After messing up my hair, a behavior that became a habit with him, he stomped the floor with his heavy foot. 

This created some effect I hardly understood, but could hear. Gathii Ra’s words had become soothing, pleading, asking all of us to use our better judgment. 

¡Mago! ¡Mago!” I cried. Quickly, I ran behind Wendell’s legs. 

And while I hid, too scared to open my eyes, I saw… It was my first memory of the Stream. The glowing Anima of Gathii Ra ventured from his body and approached me. Scared out of my wits, I screamed and covered my face with my arms. But…that did something. I heard the adults gasp. Uncovering my face, I opened my eyes and saw that Gathii Ra and his Anima had been re-joined. I had banished it!

Anita’s hard face pruned and her lips formed a crooked smile, eyeing me differently. Gathii Ra laid a rough hand on Wendell’s shoulder, laughing all the while. It was enough to break the tension and give them a chance to speak. 

And they did. For hours. At the end of that conversation, the three came together in a circle and shook hands. Something had been decided. Something important. 

Anita offered me a simple meal of milk and some cake. The adults, all the while, drank wine and danced to some music, she taking turns with each of the brothers. After an hour of this, she caressed my cheek. And it was a happy time, one of my most cherished memories. The energy in that room, my friend, crackled. 

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Louis Corsair is an eight-year veteran of the United States Army. Currently living in Los Angeles, California, he spends his time reading books, going on walks, writing, and enjoying the occasional visit to the beach–while trying to earn an honest buck. As a Los Angeles writer, he feels the weight of famous Los Angeles novelists, like Raymond Chandler, John Fante, Nina Revoyr, among others.

In 2021, he hopes to finish the Elohim Trilogy and its connected novels, including The Wizards Collide, and Apotheosis: Book Three of the Elohim Trilogy.

July 12th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/
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July 13th
Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/
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I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
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July 14th
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July 15th
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
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July 16th
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
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Blog Tour: Catwalk by Nicole Gabor @nngabor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Catwalk #Books

I’m thrilled to share this new book with you all today! Catwalk is a coming-of-age NA (Mature YA) novel by Nicole Gabor! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book AND a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Catwalk by Nicole Gabor
YA/ NA Contemporary, Fashion, Modeling, Coming-of-Age

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Eighteen-year-old, shy, suburban aspiring model Cat Watson suddenly has it all as the New York fashion world’s new “It” girl and she thinks she has everything she ever dreamed of—until she realizes be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Leaving her good-girl image behind, Cat quickly learns things aren’t always what they seem on the catwalk, and she’s faced with a decision that will change her life forever.

WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 2021

When 18-year-old Catherine Watson disobeys her parents and ditches her Ivy-league acceptance to start fresh as an aspiring model in New York City, a chance encounter with fashion world bigwigs gives her a world-class agent plus a boyfriend she only dreamed about. But as she navigates the fickle world of modeling, she realizes that to get ahead, she’ll have to leave herself behind—but is it worth it? Catwalk is an expertly written tale of first love, coming of age, and high-fashion, from award-winning author and editor Nicole Gabor, inspired by her own experiences as a runway model.

In her suburban hometown, Catherine had what most would consider a charmed life: a 4.0 GPA, a good-guy boyfriend who had his whole life planned out down to the two kids, two dogs, two-car garage—and it scared her to death. She wasn’t ready to follow a traditional path to a paint-by-numbers existence. She longed for adventure, for a life less…ordinary. When Catherine moves away to pursue her modeling dream in New York City and moves in with Jon-Michelle “Jonnie” who tackles the newly-named “Cat” as “her next project,” she revels in her newfound career, thinking “this is what it’s like to be young and beautiful in the greatest city in the world.”

“At that moment, it hit me. I was a mere mortal in a room full of demigods: actors, actresses, bygone legends of the stage and screen; men and women who had traipsed down red carpets all of their lives, whom the rest of the country, no, the world, had pined for, had paid to know the secrets of. Here I was standing among them, cavorting with twenty-first century royals.”

Cat meets Seth, a beautiful and kind but troubled New York scenester, the son of a ‘70s fashion model icon who fatally overdosed during her prime, and she feels strangely protective. She wants to save him like he saved her on her first night out on the town in New York City’s gritty yet swanky meatpacking district club scene.

When Cat is “discovered” by the one and only Philippe Borghetta, the hottest fashion designer in the pages of Vogue magazine, she thinks she has it all. Her life is thrust into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolve around her like constellations. She tries to play the part. Her former self, “Catherine,” was now a shadow of who she was and what she was becoming.

Cat thinks she’s finally gotten what she wanted all along—a chance to start over, a redo, a refresh. But as the lines blur between who she once was and who she wants to be, she’s reminded of her mother’s words, “Sometimes the things that are most worth fighting for are the things you already have.” Cat finds she has to make a decision that will change her life—and possibly the modeling world—forever.

Drawing on her own experiences in the fast-paced fashion model industry, former model and author of more than twenty children’s books, Nicole Gabor masterfully weaves a timeless story of self-discovery, coming of age, and the heartache of first loves. Catwalk is her debut young adult/new adult novel, available in Summer 2021 wherever books are sold.

“She was discovered! Discovered by Philippe!” Clive, my new agent (yes, agent!) at Icon, chimed into the phone as I walked into his office to get my daily appointments in late-September.

“Yes, she is booked for the spring show and Philippe’s fall print campaign … Fashion week? Booked solid!” he said, winking at me. “Sorry, honey, she’s in high demand. But for you, maybe we could work something out. Say, time and a half?”

Time and a half? Ohmigod. I still couldn’t believe the turn of events here. This man was talking about me, Catherine Watson, and not some other incredibly fortunate girl.

Pinch me. Smack me. Punch me!

“Oh, she can’t walk out of the house for twice that! … I know, I know, but I’m telling you, she’s gonna be huge! Remember Fosgate?”

The last three weeks had thrust me into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolved around me like constellations. I tried to play along and not think about the catalyst of this sudden success — that fact that I was running around with the son of the dead woman I supposedly resembled. Given its Freudian implications, it wasn’t something I really wanted to dwell on.

Sitting there, waiting for Clive to get off the phone (yes, Clive of the “we have no place for you here” notoriety), I let my mind wander, reimaging for the three-hundredth time the scene in the Icon offices when, weeks earlier, Philippe’s personal assistant called up to ask if I was available for the showing of his spring collection at Fashion Week.

Jaws dropped, eyebrows arched, and coffee cups tumbled, no doubt. Wasn’t I that forgettable girl they had dared to take a chance on to appease their star, Jonnie, only days earlier? My god, yes.

Then miraculously and all at once, as if a fairy godmother had sprinkled dewdrops and glitter into the eyes of all who gazed upon me, I became the most enchanting creature, one worthy of the Icon name. Before I could ask for it, I had a portfolio with my name emblazoned on the cover, a new iPhone filled with go-see appointments, blond highlights framing my face, and hair extensions that would make the Kardashians jealous. I, Catherine Watson, had been “made.” AGH!

But perhaps most unbelievable of all, I had a new name: Cat.

“It’s hip, modern,” Clive had said.

Catherine, on the other hand, was what he called “stuffy, boring, old,” a person his mother would watch on PBS. There’s no denying that. In junior high, I tried shortening my name to Cate, but at the time Cate Winters (the most popular girl in 8th grade) was already a Cate with a “C” and there was no way a peon like me was going to steal her nickname. So, since Cate with a “C” was ruined for me, “Cat” seemed a welcome change.

It was all part of the branding process, Clive said. “Babe, you exude youth and innocence. It’s refreshing! I can read the headlines now: ‘Plucked from Obscurity!'”

Not completely true, but evidently we weren’t going for truth here.

“We’re gonna make you the girl next door, the one out in hicksville driving all the boys crazy with her kitty cat eyes …”

I was excited, but somehow listening to a balding, fat man say “kitty cat eyes” made me want to puke.

“So, I know you’ve got the good girl thing down pat, but you’re going to have to get a little naughty.”

“Naughty?” I said, hoping I misheard him and this wasn’t really the premise for a Hallmark movie.

“Step it up a bit,” he said. “Nice girls with no edge get nowhere in fashion.”

He handed over the contract — about 10 pages of tiny text. I flipped through it, trying to absorb all the information in the five-minute window he had allotted for this purpose.

“It’s standard,” he said. “We get a cut from each job you take, you take home the rest.”

I’d never had to sign something so official-looking before.

“Is it nonbinding?” I asked, having heard my father talk about contracts before and trying to appear in the know.

“Look, it’s what all our girls sign,” he said, slightly annoyed by my dilly-dallying. “Do you need more time? ‘Cause you gotta run if you’re going to make your go-sees in Midtown.”

A part of me wanted to hold back. I knew I should go over the contract with my father, but Clive wouldn’t have gone for that. That was part of the “little girl” mentality I was going to have to shed. I held my breath and signed on the dotted line.

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Nicole is a published author of more than twenty children’s picture books and an award-winning health writer and editor. Her debut young adult/new adult fiction novel Catwalk, is inspired by her experiences living and working in New York City as a model. Nicole is also a contributor at Highlights for Children and a senior editor at KidsHealth.org, the Web’s most-visited site for children’s health. She lives in Delaware with her husband, three young children, and their Goldendoodle named Ginger.

July 12th
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July 13th
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July 14th
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July 15th
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July 16th
J Bronder Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
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Blog Tour: Bake Believe by Cori Cooper @CoriCAuthor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #BakeBelieve #Books

Welcome to the blog tour for Bake Believe by Cori Cooper! Read on for details and don’t forget to enter the “sweetest” giveaway at the bottom!

Bake Believe by Cori Cooper
YA/ Middle School/ Urban Fantasy

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Available on Amazon and Immortal Works!

Cat Anderson doesn’t want much out of life. Give her a circle of friends to giggle with, a few boys to flirt with, a cute outfit and bouncy hair and she is good to go!

She especially could care less about food.

But food, it turns out, is a very big deal.

A scheduling mishap on her first day of 8th Grade lands Cat in a Culinary Arts class. Something happens when Cat bakes, something amazing, something impossible.

Can it be true?

Or is it Bake Believe?

“Hey, Pen.” I step into the room and shut the door softly behind me. 

“Hey.” She doesn’t turn away from the mirror. Her face is all scrunched up in concentration.

“You look good, you don’t even wobble when you hold that pose anymore.”

Penny grunts instead of responding with words. I know this is not the best time to bother her, but I also know she will feel much better if she eats one of these cookies. 

“I made something for you.” 

I hold up the plate of cookies with a huge grin, but she just sniffs. “Cookies? I can’t eat those before an audition. I will barf all over the floor.” 

My smile drops. What will I do if she won’t try one? I chew my bottom lip, “Um, these are special cookies.” I wiggle the plate around while I use my best mystical, magical voice, like Robyn did. 

Penny raises her eyebrows. “Do you think I’m four?”

I slump forward in defeat, “Come on Penny, just eat one. I’ll give you a dollar.”

“What?” She steps back, away from me, “You want to pay me? Why? What did you do to them?”

“Nothing,” I say, but the word comes out too stretched and kind of uncertain.

Penny crosses her arms and stares. 

“Okay, fine, here’s the thing.” I jump off the bed, leaving the cookies behind, and proceed to tell Penny the entire story about our family legacy. She doesn’t say anything, just taps her toes like I am keeping her from her warmup.

Which, I am, actually.

“This isn’t a joke, Pen. It’s for reals.” 

After a long pause Penny unfolds her arms to move them to her hips. “Really? That’s the truth? It sounds like make believe.”

“That’s what I thought too,” I place my hand flat on my heart, “But, it’s the total, honest truth.” 

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Cori Cooper lives in the magical Arizona Mountains, which she’s pretty convinced is the setting for all the fairy tales.

Besides writing stories, she adores hanging out with her family, playing board games, hiking and baking, baking, baking. Like Cat’s family, she’s positive Cinnamon Rolls fix everything.

July 5th
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July 6th
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Kam’s Place (Review)  https://www.superkambrook.com/
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July 7th
@gin_books_crochethooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gin_books_crochethooks/
Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

July 8th
@bookloverleah (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookloverleah/
@isbn_reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/isbn_reading/
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July 9th
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Blog Tour: Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Ulrik

Welcome to the book tour for Wendy L. Anderson’s latest novel, Ulrik! We have an exclusive excerpt for you and a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson
Genre: Fantasy/ Time-Travel Romance
Publication Date: February 24th, 2021
Publisher: Infinity Publishing

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Drowning when his ship went down in a vicious storm, Ulrik the Viking thought it was the end. Instead, he awakens on a new and brutal Earth. Believing he was banished to this strange land by the gods as punishment, he faces the mountainous wilderness alone.

Tessa, a lonely and broken-hearted woman, dies in her sleep on her 85th birthday. She too awakens surrounded by the frightful and the unknown. Both are mysteriously thrown into new bodies facing new lives, new hopes, new dangers, and new desires.

Cast through time and other dimensions, fate has given Ulrik and Tessa a second chance at life and love. They must survive on a ruthless new world against a brutal warrior race determined to use them to conquer extinction and enter into the age of metal.  All that stands against them is ULRIK!

Ulrik sat on the bank of a cool stream that ran down the mountain where he usually hunted. He watched as the water trickled over smooth rocks and sprayed the moss-lined bank. Down the mountainside, the stream narrowed and was eventually joined by another river, widening to become a rushing, roaring froth of cold, crystal blue water flowing swiftly over rapids. His gaze followed the stream as it meandered off into the distance and gently widened into a deep slow-moving river. He listened to the different sounds the water made. The roar, as it cascaded down the waterfall further uphill, to the trickle of the stream over moss-covered rocks, and finally the faint pounding of distant rapids. The forest was raucous with sound and full of breath-taking sights.

The forest’s majesty was lost on him today. Ulrik was bored. He reached for a stone and tossed it into the stream then stood, grabbed his spear, and walked up the hill toward the lake at the bottom of the waterfall. He decided he had better find something for his supper and thought fish sounded as good as anything else.

Memories swamped him as he recalled all the times he had fished with his brothers as a young man. Those thoughts led him to contemplate, for the hundred thousandth time, his current solitary situation. By his count, it had been around two years that he lived alone in these mountains in this strange place. Being banished by the Gods he knew, enraged him and his loneliness made him feel like less of a man. Two years without speaking to another soul or without seeing another human’s face made him angry. He cursed, kicking at a stone in his path. The stone shot forward, struck a tree, and fell uselessly to the ground.

“By Odin and all the gods! I wish I had a woman!”

He cursed out loud and continued stomping up the path until he came to his usual fishing spot at the lakeside. He hefted his spear and waded into the lake, not even bothering to remove his boots.

The warm spring wind blew across his face. As he had a hundred times before, Ulrik stood still, slowed his breathing, and searched the deep emerald depths for the flicker of a silvery tail. Quick as lightning he stabbed down and, wrenching his arm back, pulled an impaled fish out of the water. He grasped the wriggling tail, pulled it from the spear blade, and threw it to the bank of the lake where it flopped, struggling to breathe as its life leached away.

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Hello, I’m Wendy L. Anderson. I am a fantasy author! I will also reveal that my fantasy writing has a bit of romance thrown in. There is action, adventure, magic, danger, and intrigue in all of my books.

My first foray into the world of writing was my five book Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series. I have created an entire world full of fantastic and noble beings and it all begins with book one Of Demon Kind. Most of my reviewers have found this book series surprises them with its uniqueness.

One thing I love about writing fantasy is world creating. Would it be bad of me to admit that I love to escape into the worlds I make up rather than face the one I’m in?

I am a pantser which means I write by the seat of my pants and do not use a formal outline, process, or formula to write. I just sit down and start typing an idea I have or a scene that pops into my head and I just go from there. I also use many themes in my writing because they are my favorite things and places and they just happen. Being born in Colorado, it should not come as a surprise, that I love the mountains. I also love winter, forests, waterfalls, hot springs, crystals and jewels, prisms, and anything medieval. Knights, chivalry, swords, and honorable quests inspire me to write these fantasy adventures. Those favorites appear often in many of my stories, but I am always pushing the boundaries and I do try to expand my writing horizons.

In addition to my five book fantasy series, I have written a stand-alone Viking story titled, A Cut Twice as Deep. This is a beautiful tale I saw in a dream and is about twin sisters who only have each other in a world where women are not particularly valued. They have grown up serving their tyrant of a father when suddenly they find out that they have been given in marriage to the highest bidders. Forced to separate and travel great distances they are parted so that their father may increase his wealth and power. This story has everything danger, intrigue, and romance, and did I mention Vikings? I test the waters of historical fiction with my special brand of fantasy thrown in. A Cut Twice as Deep is an emotional tale of sisterly bonds and finding love in a land where blood and ice reign.

I once read, and perhaps you have heard the saying, that a true writer needs to write it is in their nature just like a painter needs to paint or a sculptor needs to sculpt. That is me. When it comes to writing, I live by Winston Churchill’s wise words, “Never, never, never, never give up.”

 I hope you have enjoyed this ramble. You can learn more about my books and my writing on my website http://www.wendylanderson.com. Be sure to subscribe and feel free to contact me about anything you’d like to know about me and my fantasy writing.

Until then… Enjoy the fantasy!

Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

March 15th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Books Rambling and Tea (Guest Post) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

March 16th
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 17th
@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/
Dark Whimsical Art (Review) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news
Lunarian Press () https://www.lunarianpress.com/

March 18th
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

March 19th
@bookishkelly2020 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BookishKelly2020/
Inked & Blonde (Review)  https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

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Reviews · Tours

Blog Tour: The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow @bryceraffle @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheLittlestDinosaur

Welcome to the tour for the most adorable story, The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow, illustrated by Tessa Verplancke! We also have a fantastic giveawayDigital Prize Packs which include the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze.

The Littlest Dinosaur
by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow
Illustrator: Tessa Verplancke
Genre: Children’s Literature
Publication Date: November 2, 2020

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Ty, The Tyrannosaur just wants to make a new friend.

Sadly, the other dinosaurs are all afraid of his sharp teeth! So Ty must go on an adventure to find a dinosaur brave enough to be friends with a Tyrannosaur.

International Giveaway!!!

To win a digital prize pack which includes the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze, click the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of this book from the Author and R&R Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Oh my goodness this was such a cute book.

The lesson of this story is you should not judge a person by their appearance.  

This is so important for children to learn and I know a few adults that would benefit from this too 🙂

Essentially this story is about Ty who wants to make friends but when he approaches other dinosaurs they see him and run away.  No one gives him a chance to even talk to them until he finds the Littlest Dinosaur.  The LIttlest Dinosaur and Ty become friends and when the other dinosaurs see them together they realize they might have acted rashly.   I won’t tell you why you have to get the book to see.  

Bryce Raffle was the lead writer for the video game studio Ironclad Games. He also writes stories for young adults and designs book covers.

Steven Kothlow is making his debut as a children’s book writer. He hopes to tell many more stories that help spread a message of diversity and inclusion especially in children’s literature.

Tessa Verplancke is a sound designer by day and an illustrator by night. She lives to tell stories through as many mediums as possible.

March 8th
Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com
Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
@geauxgetlit (Review) https://www.instagram.com/geauxgetlit/
Lunarian Press (Review) https://www.lunarianpress.com/
@_yay_books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_yay_books/

March 9th
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/
Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
@kathreadsya (Review) https://www.instagram.com/kathreadsya/
Michelle Meng’s Book Blog 4 (Review)  http://michellemengsbookblog4.simplesite.com/
Books Teacup and Reviews (Review) https://booksteacupnreviews.com/

March 10th
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
@jodys_ig (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/jodys_ig/
Books Rambling and Tea (Review) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/
@joanna.zoe (Review) https://www.instagram.com/joanna.zoe/?igshid=1xipr7pa6a9zl
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

March 11th
The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com/
@devoured_pages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/devoured_pages/
Ruby Red Romance Review (Review) https://rubyredromancereview.com/
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
@bookishqueendom (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookishqueendom/

March 12th
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://tsarinapress.com/blog/
Book Review Crew (Review) https://thebookreviewcrew.com/
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Bookish Laura (Review) http://www.bookishlaura.co.uk/

This Event Was Organized By:
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New Releases · Promotions · Tours

Blog Tour: A Conventicle of Magpies by L.M.R. Clarke @lmrclarkeauthor @RRBookTours1 @castrumpress #RRBookTours #AConventicleofMagpies #Bloodskills

I am thrilled to share this amazing new book! A Conventicle of Magpies is the first book in the Bloodskills duology, and today we have an exclusive excerpt for you, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

A Conventicle of Magpies by L.M.R. Clarke
(Bloodskill Duology #1)
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy/ Adventure/ Steampunk
Publication Date: January 6th, 2021

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Rook is a thief, and entirely unapologetic about it as she’s determined to do anything to ensure her mother and siblings survive the squalid and dangerous streets of Stamchester.

Rook slips in and out of the homes of the ruling elite of Stamchester, the Avanish,like a shadow taking what she needs without regret.

Why should she? Had the Avanish not stolen her own people, the Saouiasei, from their own homes years before and transported them across the ocean to Stamchester to work as virtual slaves?

And, now the Avanish had no more use for Rook and her people, where they not determined to dispose of them?

The Avanish had already laid waste to a swathe of Saouiasei homes, a region which had become known as ‘The Scar’, in an attempt to drive them out?

However, Rook was not the only person hiding in the shadows. A far more dangerous figure was haunting the filthy streets of Stamchester striking fear into Avanish and Saouiasei alike; Billy Drainer, a serial killer who not only murdered his victims but drained them of every ounce of their precious, life giving blood.

For within blood was a highly sought-after commodity, the ability to enhance a person’s natural abilities through the art of Bloodskill. To be faster and stronger than a normal person was something those with money were willing to pay handsomely for.

‘A Conventicle of Magpies’ is a fast-paced gaslamp fantasy adventure set in a Victorian-inspired world. Perfect for fans of Charlie N. Holmberg’s Spellbreaker and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Safe and sound in the Magpie’s Nest, Rook divested herself of her corseted dress and heels and returned to the comfort of a shirt and trousers. The young woman fell into an armchair, threw her booted feet onto the battered coffee table, and plucked up a newspaper. Even though she’d been out all day, she hadn’t seen the latest in the Stamchester Review. As she scanned the page, Rook shook her head, and a lock of black hair fell over her face.

YET ANOTHER BLOODLESS CORPSE

At two o’clock this morning, a police constable came upon the scene of yet another gruesome murder. The body, which has not yet been identified, was found on the southbank end of the Buxridge Bridge. Like the other five bodies found in similar circumstances over the last few months, the corpse appeared to be drained of every last ounce of blood. Suspicion for this killing falls once more on the elusive fiend known only as Billy Drainer, although Inspector Kip Kerstammen declined to comment on this observation.

Rook licked her thumb and flicked to the next page. Inches and inches of news stretched through the broadsheet, as always full of sensationalism and very little fact. Only two parties enjoyed Stamchester’s string of murders: so-called Billy Drainer himself, whoever he was, and the newspapers. Both made significant gains from the events. News was always a profitable commodity in Stamchester, but blood was more valuable than gold. Those corpses weren’t bloodless for no reason.

A cough came from the doorway. Rook glanced up from the grim columns. A slim figure stood in the doorway, a tiny girl at the end of her teenage years. Pigeon stood in the low doorframe that led to the main Nest bar and jerked her head. The action sent her mass of dark curls tumbling to one side.

GIVEAWAY!!

(International)
Click the link below for a chance to win a signed edition of A Conventicle of Magpies

Enter HERE

I received a copy of this book from the Author and R&R Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Conventicle of Magpies is the first book in the Bloodskill duology by L.M.R. Clarke.

This is a Gaslamp Fantasy story.  Gaslamp fantasy takes the historical elements from Victorian London and has a science twist.  

This story takes place in the town of Stamchester. A generation ago the Avanish have conquered this area and they brought the  Saosuíasei people over to work for them.  Now the government wants to rid itself of the Saosuíasei people. What they have not counted on is the Conventicle of Magpies and the Shadow Jaguars. 

This story was amazing!  Being a lover of steampunk I knew I would love a gaslamp fantasy novel.  And just look at that cover.

Once I got going in this book I found it hard to put down.  I was sucked into this world fully, the storytelling is wonderful and I was able to picture this setting with ease.  I loved Rook and Kestrel’s friendship and all of the mystery surrounding Rook’s family. I can not wait to find out more about all of these characters in book 2.  

Something is mentioned casually towards the end of the book so I am hoping to see an alliance form in the next book!

I’m LMR Clarke, though you can call me Rain, and I’m a writer from Northern Ireland. I’m thirty-something, a parent, and a teacher. I love books and I also draw.

I’m an enby (non-binary) and am still finding my way! My stories are all about identity and acceptance and trying to find your place in the world.

LMR ClarkeTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

February 1st
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Books Rambling and Tea (Review) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/
Debjani’s Thoughts (Spotlight) https://debjanisthoughts.wordpress.com/
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 2nd
Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/
I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

February 3rd
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
@better_0ff_read (Spotlight w/ Review to follow) https://www.instagram.com/BETTER_0FF_READ/
@joanna.zoe (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/joanna.zoe/?igshid=1xipr7pa6a9zl
@_ebl_inc_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_ebl_inc_/The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/the_magic_of_worlds/

February 4th
Book Review Crew (Review) https://bookreviewcrew.blogspot.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

February 5th
@ypsylynn (Spotlight w/ Review to Follow) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn/
Bonnie Reads & Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com
The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com
Michelle Meng’s Book Blog 3 (Review) http://michellemengsbookblog3.simplesite.com/
@hoardingbooks.herdingcats (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/hoardingbooks.herdingcats/

This Event Was Organized By:
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New Releases · Tours

Blog Tour: The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman @Project613Books @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheBookofUriel

Congratulations to author Elyse Hoffman on the release of her absolutely stunning novel, The Book of Uriel! 

“The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.”

Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Jewish Fiction/ Jewish Folklore/ Holocaust Fiction
Expected Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Project 613 Publishing

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In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…

Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.

In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.

With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.

Demons Without the Devil: How To Write Demons and Angels From A Jewish Perspective.

To say that Judaism has contradictory opinions regarding demons and angels would be an understatement. From a Christian point of view, telling a story involving angels and demons is made at least somewhat easier by the presence of Lucifer, the fallen angel, an opponent of God. But in Judaism, Satan never fell. The figure of Ha-Satan (literally Hebrew for “the Adversary”) which in Christian tradition became synonymous with evil is, in Jewish myth, little more than a heavenly lawyer who is, at his worst, a pessimist. HaSatan works in the Heavenly Court, and he does not cause sin, not directly at least: in Jewish thought, HaSatan is the equivalent of Mr. Slugworth from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: an employee of the big guy who tempts people to sin in order to test them, but is not actually devilish in nature.

So if you, like me, happen to be a Jew wanting to tell a story about angels and demons, you now face a problem: in Judaism, the devil does not exist. So how are you going to write a demon/angel story without the devil as an antagonist?

Fortunately, while demons are never actually mentioned in the Torah, there is a relatively rich Jewish tradition of demonology. Within the Talmud—the over 1000-page book of Jewish oral law—we are even told that while there is no devil, there is a king of the demons, a creature known as Asmodeus (sometimes also called Ashmedai). Asmodeus, despite his title of Demon King, is not quite a ‘devil’ figure. His first and arguably most villainous appearance in Jewish lore is in the Book of Tobit, where he kills the seven husbands of a woman named Sarah out of jealousy, but was eventually defeated by her eighth husband, Tobias. However, later tales from the Talmud portray the so-called demon king as, at most, obnoxious and even occasionally helpful—-teaching King Solomon humility in the old story of The Beggar King and setting a drunk man on the correct path in the Talmud. Asmodeus, then, is less of a Satan-like figure and is, in fact, surprisingly humanized throughout Jewish lore.

More devilish is his partner—Lilith. Lilith is said to be the first wife of Adam, created like him from the dust of the earth and cast out of Eden after she and her husband had an argument in which she refused to submit to him (the exact nature of this argument varies from tale to tale and often ventures into NSFW territory.)  she fled from the Garden of Eden (or was banished depending on the version.). Lilith is regarded in Jewish lore as the mother of all demons, a woman who slaughters human babies and seduces weak men away from their paternal and marital duties, and alternatively the wife of either Asmodeus or, alternatively, the Angel of Death.

Lilith, having a more fleshed out backstory and being more vicious than Asmodeus, appears in more works than the King of Demons—especially in darker stories, often involving adultery, witchcraft, and a child-murder. Lilith has the potential of being problematic if she is not handled with care; her backstory is laden with misogynistic overtones and undertones, as she is cast from Eden for refusing to ‘submit’ to her husband, turning her into a monster who ‘entraps’ weak but good-hearted men and who kills the descendants of her ex-husband out of pure spite. If reworked, however, Lilith can not only act as a frightening demonic figure but one with a tragic, sympathetic backstory that many feminists have latched onto. It is notable, however, that despite being regarded as a demon queen, the mother of demons, and despite being more wicked than her husband Asmodeus, Lilith is not herself a demon—she is a human woman, the first human woman in fact, and while that fact perhaps doesn’t say great things about Jewish lore’s opinions on women, it does demonstrate that throughout Jewish lore, humans are often portrayed as more evil than any demon.

The final creature in Jewish folklore that comes close to the Christian concept of the “Devil” is not a demon, but an angel, specifically the Archangel of Death, Samael. While some Jewish sources and scholars describe Ha-Satan and Samael as being the same person, many others separate the two. As with most Jewish lore, Samael’s characterization and backstory vary from tale to tale. Some stories describe him as the father of Cain, some post-Christian myths adopt a Luciferian take and say that he was the serpent who tempted Eve to eat of the Forbidden Fruit, and some take that a step further and describe him as a fallen angel who married Lilith.

Generally, however, these are from more Christianized stories and myths, and most folklore merely regards him as a dark angel—still within the Heavenly Court, but not a figure to be trifled with. Several stories even state that Samael, in addition to or even prior to being the Angel of Death, was the Guardian Angel of Esau, the brother of Jacob and traditionally considered the father of the enemies of the Jewish people. This generally puts him into conflict with the Archangel Michael, who in Jewish tradition is the guardian angel of Israel, and many times the two angels will come to blows over their respective nations. In this way, Samael represents not only death, but the specter of anti-Semitism who fights with Michael over the fate of the Jewish people—a tradition I utilized in my upcoming novel, The Book of Uriel.

Samael is certainly a backstory grab-bag of an archangel, and he offers a wide array of potential for any author seeking to write angel/demon stories from a Jewish perspective. If one feels better keeping with a more Luciferian fallen angel perspective, Samael offers the opportunity to write that without mischaracterizing poor Asmodeus. On the other hand, any one of his backstories—father of Cain, Guardian Angel of Esau, loyal servant of God with a nasty job—can potentially offer a sympathetic, interesting, even tragic villain. While most Jewish folklore does not make him a devil, Samael, even when he remains loyal to God, is significantly more dangerous than even the King of Demons.

If all of this seems confusing, you’re not alone! The diversity of the Jewish experience means that these folkloric figures range in character from friendly anti-hero to terrifying villain, from tragic fallen figure to ruthless monster. Their backstories are never consistent, their relationships to one another and other figures good and evil shift depending on the source.

There is no uniform mythology, which can be imposing to a writer. But all these contradictions and shifting backstories can be a blessing: it offers freedom to write what you want without stepping on any toes. Since these demons and angels are never or only briefly mentioned in the Bible, an author can pick whatever backstory suits them, whichever characterization will make their story better, and run with it while being fully backed up by existing lore. If you want a lot of freedom in what you write and how you write it while still having a lot of lore to fall back on, Jewish mythology is a great place to look! And if you want to add a lot of humanity and feature a lot of sympathetic villains in your angel/demon story, Jewish lore has a ton of lore bricks to build with.

If you’re interested in writing angel/demon stories from a Jewish perspective, the best thing to do is read some myths and get inspired! There’s a lot out there! I recommend anything by Howard Schwartz, especially his book Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism to get started! Lilith’s Cave also provides a lot of demonic Jewish lore to look at! The online Jewish Encyclopedia is a bit confusingly written, but pretty comprehensive. Gertrude Landa’s Book of Jewish Fairytales and Legends is free on kindle. Louis Ginsberg’s Complete Legends of the Jews is quite comprehensive and also free on kindle! Those are some bulk resources, but there are a lot of stories out there, and stories from a European Jewish perspective vary a lot from Mizrahi or Sephardic stories. Give them a read, pick whatever speaks to you, and go tell a great story!

GIVEAWAY!!

For a chance to win (International) a $25 Amazon gift card, enter the giveaway HERE!

Elyse Hoffman can write a lot of things, but finds her own story dull and difficult. She has been interested in the Holocaust and Nazi Germany since she was thirteen. Her somewhat morbid fascination is purely intellectual and emotional. She advises you to be careful when signing contracts. You never know where or when you may end up.

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