#SPFBO : My First Batch of Books

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300 books           10 Judges            1 winner

The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  My Introductory post is here.

As with previous years I’m hoping to read a batch of books each month.  I will read at least 30% and hopefully will choose one or two books from each batch to roll forward and read fully and review before choosing semi finalists and a finalist.  My book list is chosen randomly and the six books I will be reading this month are outlined below:

The Curse of the Jenri by Stephanie Barr

CurseThe world of the Jenri is a dangerous, primitive world, where women are prized as chattel, but the Jenri women, every one from the eldest archivist to the smallest babe, strike fear into battle-hardened mercenary hearts. It is a world where battle steeds are mythical beasts and magic is as deadly a weapon as a sword. Those who wield both are doubly dangerous and those who cross them are thrice damned. The Jenri are mistresses of all these things. If you love one of these marvelous women, you must best her in a contest of her choosing to win her love in return.

These were women who needed no one to take care of them. Until now.

It wasn’t enough that Jenri women had been stolen, including his wife, Layla It wasn’t enough that those who had stolen them had nefarious plans. And phenomenal magic powers. And could escape in seconds. And an underground fortress in the midst of frozen mountains so cold Tander was afraid he’d shatter if he stumbled one more time. It wasn’t enough that he was surrounded by angry husbands worried about their wives and willing to take their tempers out on him if he was leading them in the wrong direction. It wasn’t enough that he was also surrounded by the remaining women from his tribe who were equally angry and more than capable of kicking his butt.

No, on top of all those little issues, he discovered he’s no longer “just” an extraordinary swordsman, but also a great and powerful sorcerer with absolutely no idea how to use his powers. He was not just any sorcerer, either, but one chosen by six tiny kitten familiars who did know how to use his powers and who had no problem telling him. All the time. While they demanded to be carried all over his person, purring and taking inopportune naps. He didn’t want these powers or a flock of noisy but helpful kittens, but he was going to need them. He’d need all the skills and talents he and his companions possess in order to save their women—and Layla.

But we love you, Tander! Solace insisted, purring and licking his neck.

Things have got to get better soon.

Author Info : 

 

Chains Carried on Wings by Marina Ermakova

ChainsSaig had always lived on the edge of acceptance. Unlike a proper daughter of the head family, she longed for the freedom of the open woods over the confinement of her home. It was enough to drive away the two people who should, by rights, have been her closest companions.

But her perfect, responsible cousin Auris–destined to be the city’s headwoman and resentful of Saig’s inability to conform–would never be her friend again.

And her surly cousin Trei–aware of how his foreign ancestry undermined his own standing in society–would always look at her as a reminder of their shared differences.

Until a series of mysterious disappearances forces all three of the cousins onto the same side. Driven to protect their city and prove themselves, they join the effort to hunt down the perpetrators. What they find is a trap designed to bring their society crashing down, and the power to reshape their city’s future. There’s just one problem–the three of them have always bitterly disagreed on what that future should look like.

Author Info : 

Twitter : @marina_erving

 

Incursion by Mitchell Hogan

IncursionA corrupted power stirs from beyond the grave.
A sacred order of knights sworn to protect the world from evil.
The Necromancer Queen will rise again.

Seventeen years have passed since the Necromancer Queen Talia was overthrown and slain, and her capital city destroyed by the Knights of the Order of Eternal Vigilance.

Anskar DeVantte, raised in the sacred disciplines of the Order, is now ready to face the brutal initiation trials to become a consecrated knight-sorcerer.

But the further Anskar rises in the ranks the more his faith wavers, and he is beset by harrowing dreams and uncertainty. As troubling powers awaken within him, a schism grows between Anskar and his hallowed Order, and he draws the hungry gaze of the vanquished queen’s fanatical followers.

As Anskar pieces together the mysteries of his early life, and begins to understand the malevolent forces gathering in his path, he finds himself with a crucial choice to make:

Remain loyal to the Order’s righteous mission, or control the dark powers growing within him.

Either way, his destiny is steeped in war. The only question is, which side will he be on?

Author Info :

Twitter : HoganMitchell

 

The Five Furies of Heaven by Ashley Capes

The FiveFighting the insect hordes of a malevolent God isn’t easy when you’re a young man with no special talents.

And it’s even harder when a Goddess makes your friends older and stronger – but gives you nothing.

While searching an old temple Kilek and his friends stumble across the Goddess Avendria who transforms them into heroes – all grown up, with weapons, magic, and skills.

But when she gives Kilek nothing at all – nothing except the impossible task of saving the lands – he must fight bitter doubts. Worse, a dark prince is massing his armies and more, agents of other Gods have been set loose in the world.

Only the long-lost dragons can turn the tide but Kilek must find them before it’s too late.

And somehow, he has to do it all without divine intervention.

Author Info :

 

Beyond the Spire of Navarene by M Warren Askins

Beyond theCurses, Wards, and Endless Hordes prevent the casual adventurer from getting very far.  At least, not without employing a Ranger… and their services do not come cheap.

A Young Knight undertakes an impossible quest deep into the fabled and perilous Fenrirfang in order to protect his sister from a conspiracy that involves the Church that he has sworn to serve.

A seasoned Ranger who believes she has seen everything the wilds have to offer soon discovers that she faces something altogether different with this journey.

BEYOND THE SPIRE OF NAVARENE is the first entry in the DEAD MEN ARE DYING saga.  Set in a world where humans born with a celestial mark are instilled with powerful, game-changing abilities.  And those without… survive as best they can.

Author Info :

 

Heartscale by Lola Ford

Heartscale

On one side of the world Graith discovers a dying dragon in his barn. While the country is hunting after the monster, he doesn’t hesitate in doing his best to aid her. Before she is fully healed, Azelia urgently needs to get back to her cave to protect her eggs. Unable to even fly, Graith decides to accompany her, worried of what might happen.

On the other side of the world, where the future ruler is decided by dragons, Nerie is chosen by the Kiriga, the golden hatchling. Raised as a merchant in the middle district of Roria, she’s shocked to learn that she is the king’s bastard. Thrown into a chaotic palace life, she’s forced to balance learning to be princess and being bonded to a dragon.

 

Author Info

 

 

 

 

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Finally, good luck to all my authors.  Also, a quick mention that if any of you would like to post excerpts over here by way of teasers for other readers then just let me know (if you’ve already left me a comment to that effect I’ll be in touch shortly :D)

#SPFBO5 My first batch of books

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Today is the official start of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off.  As with previous years I have divided my 30 books into five batches of six books (selected using a random sequence generator).  Each month I will highlight that month’s selection at the start of the month, providing details about the books and the authors.  As the month progresses I hope to have a clear favourite out of each batch – although things don’t always go to plan of course – I will provide mini reviews for each book and hopefully a full review for each semi finalist – which I’m thinking should be five books in total.  The aim being to then choose a finalist from those semi finalists.

I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck and I hope you all enjoy the competition.

On a separate note, if any of my authors wish to pay me a visit for either an interview, a guest post, or anything else then let me know.  Also, if any of my books have audio versions available then let me know – I’m happy to use audio too.

Without further ado here are my six books for July:

 

Courier'sThe Courier’s Code (The Kingdom of Bolaji #1) by T.S. Valmond

A rebellious teenage princess with a day job?

Rasha enjoys the independence that comes with being a professional courier with a perfect record in the Bolaji kingdoms, that is until she’s tasked to deliver a mysterious package from the tenth king to the prince of the first kingdom.

When the package is accidentally opened her hidden royal past could be exposed, and she might lose her precious freedom for good. Worse than that the troublesome package could ruin her entire life.

If you want to escape into a young adult fantasy adventure on a faraway world, you’ll love this one.

Author Info :

Website : http://tsvalmond.com

 

Dissident.jpgDissident (Forbidden Things #1) by Nikki McCormack

Ascard power can strengthen, heal and create. It also has great potential to destroy, enough to topple entire governments. Indigo’s country places strict limitations on the use of ascard so she must channel her talents into the healing arts or risk severe punishment. An orphan from a disgraced family, trapped by her father’s treason, Indigo struggles to reclaim her place in a society that has driven her into an abusive engagement.

Then a mysterious stranger from a neighboring country contacts her using ascard. He needs help escaping his prison so he can bring an end to his emperor’s oppressive rule or die trying. His unshakable devotion to his cause and the passion hidden behind his cool arrogance move her to help him at the risk of being branded a traitor herself.

When the politics of society bring them together a second time, Indigo decides to use her growing powers to help him fight his war. If only she dared fight for her own future with such passion. Perhaps she can find the courage to do so by helping the man she has fallen for win his revolution. She might have exactly the power he needs to succeed.

Author Info :

Twitter : Author_NikkiMc

 

CryHavocCry Havoc (Jack Frey #1) by Mike Morris

They say when the demons come, you either fight or you die.

The Black Dogs know this all too well. For three hundred years, the warrior priests have sacrificed their lives to keep the island nation of Abios safe from the flesh-eating Nostros, while the rest of the world fell under the demons’ savagery. However, an armada now stands poised to invade mankind’s last bastion.

Child thief Jack Frey is saved from the gallows and joins the mysterious order. Trained with the bullet and the blade, Jack finds himself on the front-line of a centuries-old war.

Across the Angel Sea, Lin is fighting for her life. As a slave of the Nostros, she knows death can strike at any time, either at the hands of her masters or her fellow humans.
Little do they know mankind’s fate lies in both their hands.

Author Info :

Twitter :  scifimikemorris

 

GhostGhost by Jordan C. Robinson

Recently released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Paul is working a dead-end job with little hope for the future. But then he meets Lindsey, a girl that has the potential to change his world.

Their two seemingly incompatible worlds meet a third when a dangerous trio emerge to bring magic and devastation to Portland. Fortunately Paul’s powers are revealed to him, giving him a way to fight back.

Paul must find a way to win the perfect girl with a less than perfect situation while using his developing powers to save Portland from the trio that bring nothing but trouble.

Author Info :

Website : https://www.jcrbooks.com

 

Childrenofthe.jpgChildren of the Different by S.C. Flynn

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.

Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.

Author Info :

Twitter : leftblank

 

TheNarrowsThe Narrows by Travis M. Riddle

“I can show you how to enter the Narrows to find what you seek.”

Oliver and his friends have returned to their hometown of Shumard, Texas for the funeral of their close friend Noah. They each grapple with the loss in their own ways, trying to understand the strange circumstances of their friend’s unexpected death.

While visiting the site where the body was found, Oliver stumbles across a chilling discovery that he knows must be related to what happened to Noah. Wanting to protect his friends from these newfound horrors, Oliver takes it upon himself to venture into the grotesque otherworld known as the Narrows to learn what happened to his friend and find a way to bring him back.

Entering the Narrows is one thing, but will whatever he finds there allow him to leave?

Author Info :

Twitter : traviswanteat

*Final note: if I have any of your details wrong then please let me know.
**Other SPFBO posts:

My Process

My 3 covers for the cover competition

#SPFBO My first batch of books

FullSizeRender-1The SPFBO has officially started and I’ve now chosen my first batch of books to read.  They’re listed below in the order I’m going to check them out – five books a month for the next six months before choosing one book to submit for the final.

Without further ado here are my books:

The Saga of Dirt and Poncho by Clayton D Baker and Michael H Kuecker

ThesageofdirtFrank sucks. Or at least his life does, not that he’d know. When he meets Dirt and Poncho his life changes from sucks to really sucks. But hey, at least it’s interesting now. Now he gets to almost die on a daily basis and generally have no idea what it going on around him. His new friends make it a point to put him in harms way all while telling him how important he is. Murder doesn’t seem important to Frank but he ends up trapped by his own indecision and possibly idiocy in an insane plot to end the world, or save it. It’s pretty hard to tell.

Frank thinks it’s all B.S.

The Emperor’s Horn by Jordan R Murray

The Emperor's HornDo not ask to fight me. The power I wield is more ancient than your blooded line. I will crush your soul and devour your essence until you are nothing but an empty, discarded husk.

The first Emperor of the Imperium banned the use of magic a millennium ago, and yet now, something is stirring in Falden Province. An unspoken truth begins to emerge: magic still exists.

As dark forces seek out ancient and powerful sources of magic, a mysterious horn resurfaces that was thought to be only a legend. Herbert Tanasen and Teguin Dorst—two young men with remarkable magic of their own find themselves pawns in a dangerous game. Will Herbert and Teguin learn to harness their abilities before the horn falls into the wrong hands?

The Emperor’s Horn is a breathtaking adventure that will immerse you in an imaginative fantasy world.

Wishful Thinking by James Beach

At the moment I don’t seem to be able to find a cover or description for this one so we’ll just have to wait and see…

The Tralls of Nindarry by Gayle Torrens

TheTrallsGermaine thinks that he is heading off for a funfilled holiday with his grandparents at Ninderry in Queensland, Australia but when he arrives, he finds his grandfather seriously ill. As his parents are committed to flying to Canberra to try to save Fraser Island from the ravages of sand mining, it is left to him to help his grandmother find the unusual cure – the only thing that will save his grandfather’s life. The journey to find the cure sets Gemaine and his grandmother on a fantastic journey into a parallel world that is amazingly beautiful but, at the same time incredibly dangerous. Along the way, Germaine uncovers a long held family secret. Will this secret bring his family even closer to each other or will it shatter his family forever?

Sand and Storm by Patty Jensen

Sand&StormAn ancient machine that produced icefire was destroyed twenty years ago, but the deadly magic is again on the increase. No one understands why or where it’s coming from.

King Isandor sends his Eagle Knights to investigate a concentration of icefire in the mountains at the border. It appears that the neighbouring country Arania wants revenge for a defeat in a war forty years ago, and is using icefire as weapon. The evil power source must be eradicated.

Lana is a student about to make a vitally important discovery about icefire, but the people in power, including her own father, are too busy talking about war to listen to her.