Shifter’s Heart – Book Excerpt

Shifter's Heart

Shifter’s Heart – Excerpt

 

Dustan stretched as he stood, knocking off the dirt and dried foliage that clung to his pants. The wind picked up speed around him and Dustan stiffened as the hairs on his neck rose. His eyes swept the Clan’s burial site, evaluating the shadows of the nearby woods and memorial monuments. Creaks of branches and the rustling of leaves met Dustan’s ears as the wind whistled through the trees. He breathed deeply, sniffing the air to catch any passing scents. Nothing. Balling his fist, Dustan stepped into a battle stance. Preparing.

What he hadn’t expected was a bright, blinding light to burst a few feet in front of him. Shielding his eyes with his forearm, Dustan attempted to see beyond the light for a form or bodily outline. His heart skipped a beat when a voice spoke from within it.

“Dustan, High Prince of the Shifters, mate and heart song to Laelynn, Princess of Aldonnia. The Lord of Heaven has heard your declaration. Do you also vow to love her above all others?”

The voice, powerful and slightly musical, filled Dustan’s ears and mind. He stood gaping at what was before him. He’d heard stories about Messengers from the Lord of Heaven, but he never believed any of them. The stories were always so farfetched. Too fantastical to be true.

“Warrior,” the voice sang again, “the princess of Aldonnia will face many things as darkness tries to overcome her. Do you vow to not only protect her, but to love her above all others? To be her light?” The musical voice boomed, and Dustan shook himself from his state of shock. He was Laelynn’s heart song? How? They hadn’t shared a kiss. That he would’ve remembered. Regardless, soul bonded or not, Dustan’s answer would be the same.

“Yes. I vow myself to Laelynn. I pledge to ensure that she is protected and loved above all others.” As the last words fell from Dustan’s lips the light sped forward, stabbing its way into his chest. Dustan clawed and yelled in vain. Intense pressure built as the Messenger invaded every cell of his being.

Dustan dropped to the ground. A cry tore from his mouth as searing pain radiated from his back; as though duel blades were cutting a jagged pattern down his spine. Light shone from his eyes and limbs, illuminating the burial site. His chest heaved with labored breaths and a mangled cry passed his lips as he watched his hands form into the impossible. Dustan’s feet and legs following behind them, his entire body morphed into a vision that would haunt him.

The Messenger slowly detached itself from Dustan, leaving his body to crumble to the ground. Dustan staggered to his feet, tossing his head to clear his mind. As the fog lifted he was again faced with the horrors of his new body. His mind raced to find the logic behind what his eyes were seeing, screaming that it wasn’t possible. That it wasn’t fair. The dreams of life he held just moments ago, gone in an instant.

A roar of agony ripped through the air. It was no longer a roar of a man, but of a monster.

About the Giveaway

Desiree is giving away Items: an Origami Owl “Leap of Faith” necklace; $10 Amazon GC; $15 Starbucks GC.

shifter giveaway

To enter click here→ a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the giveaway will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on Desiree William’s blog site, Facebook, and Twitter account the morning of 19 Dec at around 9am EST.

Author Bio

desiree

 

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com

Author Links

 

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

 

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Shifter’s Heart – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Shifter's Heart

 

Today is the much anticipated cover reveal and give away for Desiree Williams second book in the Heart Song Trilogy.

About the Book:

As the flames of Varkadon spread, war rips through the Shifter Territory…

With the Aldonnian kingdom celebrating the news of her brother’s soul bonding, Laelynn seizes every opportunity to drive herself to the brink of exhaustion. If her body is worn, then her brain would be too tired to dream. Laelynn knew the men who’d captured her were gone from this world, but that didn’t stop the haunting images from plaguing her mind. Not even the pesky thorn-in-her-side Shifter Prince could keep the dreams at bay. Though Dustan’s commentary through their mental bond had kept a lingering smile on her lips, despite the battles that rage within her.

Yet when Dustan distances himself Laelynn questions the connection between them. Those fears rise when her own talents begin to morph and growth into the unexpected. Torn between love and faith, Laelynn strives to find the purpose behind the evolving gifts. What she discovers is far more than she ever imagined.

As tragedy befalls the Shifter Territory and brother battles against brother, Laelynn knows what must be done. Face her demons and triumph, or she’ll never claim the song of her heart.

About the Giveaway

Desiree is giving away Items: an Origami Owl “Leap of Faith” necklace; $10 Amazon GC; $15 Starbucks GC.

shifter giveaway

To enter click here→ a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the giveaway will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on Desiree William’s blog site, Facebook, and Twitter account the morning of 19 Dec at around 9am EST.

HW Cumming – The Amazing Author of The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle: Rise of the Black Knight

adventures of George

 

Recently I reviewed the winsome children’s book, The Adventures of Horace, George and  Ingle: The Rise of the Black Knight. Now we get the opportunity to meet the amazing author, HW Cumming.

About the Author

HW Cumming

HW Cumming is a 21st century Renaissance man – in addition to being an author, he is a classical and jazz pianist, a college graduate with a degree in engineering from the University of Toronto, an avid outdoorsman…having skied and trekked all over the world – including Annapurna and Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a successful business executive with more than 20 years in the information technology industry.  Horace, George, and Ingle were originally conceived by Cumming as bedtime stories to entertain and guide his growing children…The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle – The Rise of the Black Knight is Cumming’s debut novel.

Facebook / Goodreads

Questions and Answers:

I’m so very happy to have as our guest HW Cumming, author of The Adventures of Horace, George, and Ingle: Rise of the Black Knight. Thank you for allowing the time from your very busy schedule to answer some questions.

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 I love to be creative and apply that to everything I do – whether that’s designing new technology, writing apps, music or stories – the creative process inspires me. I actually never set out to be a writer it just sort of found me. When I was younger I focused a lot more on music, songwriting and playing in bands and even wrote computer games for fun.  Having a creative outlet has been something that has been very important to me – especially given the demands of my professional life. Finishing this book has been great for me, and I already have the next one underway.

2. What inspired you to write The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle?

 The book initially started as a bedtime story and then grew into a book. The backdrop for the story comes from my fascination with all things medieval and from imaging a mythical world without the bounds of earth with my brother while we played together as boys. The roots of the story are inspired by the journey kids take from being completely dependent on their parents to becoming increasingly more and more independent and is told from a single dad’s vantage point. The most important thing for me was and still is to teach the kids to be good leaders and also to be good people- King Reynold is a reflection of the pride I have in my own kids.

3. Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by who you read?

I’d have to say that my writing has been influenced by many, but these 4 standout for me.

JRR Tolkien – because he imagined a world with magic and unseen forces bounded by a different set of laws and he did it so vividly and precisely that it was believable

Dan Brown – for taking complex historical events, facts and theories and surrounding them with a story that makes them interesting to so many

Jeffrey Archer – great mystery and intrigue, plot twists and surprising heroes

Kurt Vonnegut – for starting about 15 stories at the start of each book and somehow bringing them all back together in the end

4. What is your morning routine?

 Very Simple – shave/shower, a bagel with cheese and tomato and a coffee on my way to work

5. What was the last book you finished reading?

 Jeffrey Archer – A Prisoner of Birth

6. What is your favorite movie?

 Gladiator

7. Do you have time for any hobbies and if so what are they?

Writing, playing the piano (not as much as I’d like) and lots of active pursuits – Hockey, Hiking, Skiing – we go on a few trips per year to ski

8. As a busy professional/one-time single parent, how do you find a balance between working, parenting, your personal endeavors while trying to write a book?

Everyone asks this question when they find out that I wrote a book. For me it was never really an issue as I’ve always been good at compartmentalizing my life between work, friends, family & personal interests and trying to stay in balance (it doesn’t always work out that way, but I do try hard to stay balanced) – it also really helped that I didn’t have a timeline in mind and that kept it from interfering with my professional life – so I just kind of let it happen naturally and never forced it (which is probably why it took several years to finish).  Some of my best writing came while I was sitting on a plane taking an evening flight where I could really disconnect.  For the kids, they were very encouraging throughout the whole process-often waiting for the next part of the story to be written so that they could hear it  – so it never felt like a conflict and was very useful in getting them to bed at a younger age!

It wasn’t until I wrote the last page – probably back in September of last year that it hit me that I actually had a book.

9. Just for fun, some this or that questions:

Tea or Coffee? Coffee in the morning Tea in the afternoon

Call or text? text

Sneakers or sandals? sandals

Apples or Oranges? oranges

Cats or Dogs? Dogs

Spring or Summer? Winter

 

10. What is your favorite meal?

This is a tough one – I like spicy food – Indian, Thai, or Moroccan

11. Are you planning on writing any more books?

I do have the second book nearly 1/3 complete

12. Do you have any plans to include female characters in your next novels?

 It is definitely something that I think will add to the book – so yes

13. What was the time frame for writing The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle?

 I started the story in about 2006 , but really didn’t write anything down until 2008. This first 3 or 4 chapters are dated March 2011 – so it took me a while to get started. In 2012,  I started writing more regularly and the rest of the book took about a year and a half to finish.

14. How did you come up with the title for your book?

The names of the twins, Horace and George just sort of came to me while I was making up a story about 2 brothers that were knights for my young son. I think both names are reflective of the time-period and sound somewhat knightly to fit the part. Ingle came a bit later and started off as the cookie baking king to reflect my daughter who at a young age liked to bake. “The Rise of the Black knight” actually came after I initially submitted the manuscript with the title “Adventures of Horace and George – the long journey home”. The editor felt it didn’t tell the story – so I changed the title to add Ingle and the rise of the black knight which is the core theme of the book.

15. You originally conceived the idea for The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle as bedtime stories for your children. How much of your children’s personalities are in the characters?

 Horace and George in many ways are reflections on my son, Ethan, who has always really had two personalities – one is this crazy, reckless kid that breaks his arm longboarding down a hill and is always on the go with friends the other is the sweet kid that still wants to hang out with his dad and wrestle in the basement or head up to the ski hills for a day of snowboarding. My daughter, on the other hand who provided the inspiration for Ingle, is naturally gifted at the arts – pottery, music, painting, video making – she does all of these with a skill beyond her years. While not always wanting to pursue all things athletic like her brother, she is still very capable. Zoe is someone that always wants to do things as a family, which hopefully that lasts forever. She is a true animal lover and nature activist.

 16. You have trekked all over the world. Will Horace, George and Ingle venture into other territories?

I tried to reflect some of this in the stories – there was one section that was inspired by my trip to Nepal last year. We were trekking through some areas where the paths were stairs made of thousands of carefully laid stones that had been carried by monks. Travel is a big inspiration, and I will definitely look to expand the territory that they cover in upcoming adventures.

 << The route ahead in the valley was well worn; the meticulously placed stones were cracked from age, but didn’t slow the steady pace of the horses. They occasionally came across a section of the path that was untouched, revealing  the  shallow  impressions  left  by leather sandals from the pilgrimages that had taken place before the time of dragons.>> (Excerpt)

17. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The neat part about writing is that it never finishes the way it starts and the writing kind of finds its own path through the story and adds lots of new aspects to the initial outline. Although, I always have a short outline written for each chapter, which gives me a reference, the hard part for me is time. I will often have months between solid writing sessions because of the demands of work or family, and that means I have to re-read what I have written making edits along the way with an extra eye for details and consistency with my original idea – only then can I add new chapters.  I’m not entirely sure if I could finish in a couple months if it were something I did full-time, but who knows – in then end it’s still a creative process and it can’t be forced.

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle Give Away

During the end of July, HW Cumming and his publisher offered two free copies of his book to be given away.  Rafflecopter administered the process.  Thanks to everyone who participated.

I’m happy to announce the winners:

Tara C.
Amber I.
Congratulations

The Adventures of Horace, George, and Ingle – The Rise of the Black Knight is available for purchase in e-book, paperback and hardback at Amazon. com, Barnes & Noble and FriesenPress.com.

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingles – Book Review and Give Away

adventures of George

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle: The Rise of the Black Knight
Author: HW Cumming
Publisher: FriesenPress
Available in Hardback and Paperback: June 20, 2014
Available on Kindle: July 6, 2014
Available on Nook: June 26, 2014
144 pages
Age Level: 7 – 11

♥♥♥♥

sword

Book Description:

Horace, George and Ingle are three brothers, aged 15-17 growing up in a time of relative calm in a land once dominated by great battles. Galray – an expansive kingdom – has enjoyed peace and prosperity for many years under the watchfulness of the knights council and the strong leadership of their father, King Reynold. The boys didn’t know that tonight would be the start of an adventure that would change the course of their lives as they sat down for a game of chess. What starts as a simple storm turns into a race to save the kingdom. Dragons, myths and betrayal lay ahead as the three brothers are forced to lead and become men.

My thoughts:

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle by HW Cumming makes me think of childhood classics such as The Three Musketeers, King Arthur and his knights, and The Princess Bride.

It starts a little slow, but after a few pages, quickly picks up. It’s a fast-paced fun and
adventure. Fantastic read.

There are great illustrations throughout the book and its a great book to read aloud, My favorite of the brothers was Ingle, but all the brothers have their own separate unique personalities. I could tell the author really cared about them and their friend Roland.

The book is entertaining but also includes valuable life teachings such as the bonding of brothers, challenges that have to be faced as you grow older, and of course the age-old battle between good and evil.

I am highly enthusiastic about this book and the next books to see what other adventures the three brothers will eagerly encompass. I’m hoping the author will eventually weave a non-conventional female character into the adventures.

download (7)

Enter for a chance to win one of two paperback copies of The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle !

Enter here →a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is only open to those in the US who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW

dragons

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle: The Rise of the Black Knight – GIVEAWAY

adventures of George

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle: The Rise of the Black Knight
Author: Hugh Cumming
Publisher: FriesenPress
Available in Hardback and Paperback: June 20, 2014
Available on Kindle: July 6, 2014
Available on Nook: June 26, 2014
144 pages
Age Level: 7 – 11

sword

The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle –
The Rise of the Black Knight
by Hugh Cumming

Caution: Dragons, Myths and Betrayal Ahead!
NEW ‘COMING-OF-AGE’ FANTASY NOVEL REVEALS THREE YOUNG BROTHERS’ STRUGGLE TO SAVE THEIR KINGDOM

Horace, George and Ingle are three brothers, aged 15-17 growing up in a time of relative calm in a land once dominated by great battles. Galray – an expansive kingdom – has enjoyed peace and prosperity for many years under the watchfulness of the knights council and the strong leadership of their father, King Reynold. The boys didn’t know that tonight would be the start of an adventure that would change the course of their lives as they sat down for a game of chess. What starts as a simple storm turns into a race to save the kingdom. Dragons, myths and betrayal lay ahead as the three brothers are forced to lead and become men.

Enter for a chance to win one of two paperback copies of The Adventures of Horace, George and Ingle !

Enter here →a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is only open to those in the US who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW

dragons

Blog Tour and Give Away – Heart’s Song

Heart Song

Please join Desiree Williams as she tours the blogosphere with Heart’s Song! We are so fortunate to have Desiree with us today to answer some questions about her life and writing. You can also read the book review and enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Origami Owl necklace with charms, $10 Amazon gift cart and $10 itunes gift card!

Heart Song book review

Heart Song Giveaway – a Rafflecopter giveaway

hs-giveaway

Author’s Questions and Answers

1. What inspired you to write Heart Song?

When I set out to create Heart Song, I wanted to deliver a story that had meaning behind it. A story where the reader would not only feel the love, but the hope and encouragement behind the words. A tale where pure, genuine, heart-felt love conquers all. A love that ignites the kind of hope that overcomes the evil pounding at the door.

2. Who are your three (or four or five) favorite authors? Is your own writing influenced by who you read?

The two first self-published authors that I read were Chanda Hahn and Quinn Loftis. Reading their work got my mind to thinking, “Hey if they can do this, then why couldn’t I?” Then it was the lovely Heather Hildenbrand that drove my ‘big launch’. It was through her encouragement and support that I broke out of my shell.

3. What is your morning routine?

Most mornings I’m growling, grumbling, and rolling out of bed at 4:30am to go to my part-time job, carrying LOTS of coffee with me. Once that’s out of the way, I head home, do a devotion, scarf some food, and then crank out some book work.

4. What was the last book you finished reading?

Silver Siren by Chanda Hahn. And may I say, LOVED it!

5. What is your favorite movie?

   I’m a kid at heart and I love Disney movies. The Little Mermaid is one of my top favs.

6. Do you have time for any hobbies and if so what are they?

Reading tends to be the hobby that sticks. I like to do arts & crafts type projects (love making things) but I can’t get inspired to start a project. Usually I crash someone else’s craft making party or the kids craft sessions at church. =)

7. Just for fun, some this or that questions:

Tea or Coffee?                Coffee

Call or text?                Text

Sneakers or sandals?                Sandals! Love warm weather.

Apples or Oranges?                Apples. Green ones with caramel sauce – yum!

Cats or Dogs?                Dogs, hands down. So not a cat person.

Spring or Summer?                Spring. I love the bright colors, and warm days without the sweltering heat of summer.

Introvert or Extrovert?        Weird combo of the two. I get crazy shy at times (especially in social settings) and tend to be a wallflower. However, if you need someone to race office chairs with down a hall, I’m SO your gal.

8. What is your favorite meal?

Love Chinese food!

9.  The character of Alanna is so strong yet very sensitive. Was her character inspired my anyone?

Actually, Alanna was inspired by a collection of individuals. I work with so many lovely ladies (young and old alike), and watching how they faced different trials helped me determine who I wanted Alanna to be.

10. What was the time frame for writing Heart Song?

Heart Song was a 6 month writing project for me. At the time I was working full time and was squeezing in writing between my other responsibilities.

11. Will there be any new characters introduced in the second book of the Heart Song trilogy?

Oh, I’m getting so bubbly about book two! In book two, Shifter’s Heart, we’ll see more of Laelynn and Dustan’s relationship. Also, we’ll see more interaction with the Shifters, as well as more players in Alanna’s army.

12. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

That my fingers don’t type at the speed of my brain. =) Thoughts fly around up there like crazy and my fingers can only go so fast.

13.  Do you have a favorite bible verse?

I have so many! I also work in our church (pastor’s wife, Sunday school teacher, and children’s church director) so there are several scriptures that I’ve come across that’ve tug at my heart strings. One that’s been pressed on me lately is Romans 5: 3-5, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”(KJV).There are so many trials that we face in life, but in the end, no matter what we face, we have hope and the love of God. =)

14.  Thanks so very much, Desiree, for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?

First, thank you so much for your time! I’ve enjoyed myself and so honored to be here on your blog. =)

Second, for the readers. Thank you for being YOU! Not you as a reader, but you as a person. You rock, and don’t EVER let anyone tell you differently. =)

Author Bio

desiree

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com

Author Links

Blog/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Goodreads/ Newsletter

 

Heart Song – Book Review

Heart Song

Heart Song

Author: Desiree Williams

Genre: Christian Fantasy

227 pages

Kindle, paperback (June)

♥♥♥♥

Heart Song – Book 1 Blurb

 

In Aldonnia, the evil of Varkadon overflows its borders. War ravages the lands…

For as long as eighteen year-old Alanna can remember she’s lived in hiding, sealed off from the outside world. Despite a future built around a steadfast rule of seclusion, Alanna dreams of the impossible. Of a life outside of her parents’ cabin. A life with more for company than just birds and woodland creatures. A life she knows deep down is impossible for someone with gifts like hers.

That all changes the day Alanna finds a man floating face down in a stream. Despite her parents’ warnings, Alanna pulls the injured man out of the water and heals him with her elemental talents. Just another good deed. Until the man wakes and Alanna realizes so much more has happened than simply a life saved. The healing she performed on the stranger bound her soul to Jerric, the prince of Aldonnia.

Alanna’s heart wants to keep the prince, but duty and destiny intervene. Alanna’s world is rocked as her parents are lost. Left in the care of family she didn’t know, Alanna learns more than she wanted to about the evil threatening the lands. There is much more behind her parents’ drive to protect. Alanna learns her gifts were bestowed in order to fulfill a greater purpose. A greater calling. One her enemies seek to destroy at all cost.

Alanna’s choice is clear. To either ignore her destiny and remain hidden, or boldly fight to keep what sings to her heart.

My thoughts:

Heart Song by Desiree Williams is the first book in the Heart Song Trilogy. It has the element of a fairy tale. It’s enchanting and makes you want to turn one more page. One point that I’m so thankful for is the author used names I could pronounce. Many science fiction and fantasy authors create names that are impossible to remember how to pronounce and it distracts from the story. Williams made it easy to focus on the spellbinding supernatural tale.

My favorite part is when Alanna and Jerric go into the town and he wants to buy her everything, but she sees a woman and perceives that her landlord is terrorizing her and her daughter. Alanna tells her she will help her and she uses her powers and captures the man. She also buys all the lady’s wares and provides work for the daughter in the castle. I loved the descriptions of all the clothing.

The characters were super. Alanna is strong, a warrior, and Jerric so loving. My favorite characters were Alanna’s Aunt Tala and Jarek’s sister Laelynn. I regard this book highly for it’s references to the Lord of Heaven. For a quick read and a treasured story, I recommend this book and look forward to the rest of this trilogy.

HS giveaway

To celebrate her new book Desiree Williams is giving away a package consisting of an origami owl necklace representing the main character, Alanna, a $10 Amazon gift card, and a $10 iTunes gift card.

To enter this giveway click here →a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the giveaway will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the author’s blog site and Facebook account the morning of Jun 13th.

Author’s Links

Blog/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Goodreads/ Newsletter