Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Daughter of Light $0.99 Sale!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews War & Grace

The short & sweet conclusion:

"Melia remains an engrossing protagonist ... Garrett’s prose is, once again, lyrical and serene ... A stirring, satisfying ending to an epic, otherworldly series."Kirkus Reviews

The full Kirkus Review:

WAR & GRACE

Pub Date: March 20th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9907691-4-9
Page count: 690pp

BOOK REVIEW

In this conclusion to a YA fantasy trilogy, the inhabitants of an enchanted realm face the impending— and foretold—battle between Dark and Light.

Half-faerie Melia Albiana is the chosen vessel for the entity Umbra. Umbra seeks the utter destruction of the Whole, which comprises all known worlds, including the mortal one. Surprisingly, Melia fought for the opportunity to be a vessel. The Grey Council, rulers of the enchanted world, has decided that Umbra’s incarnation is a necessity. For years, his presence in a realm called the Void has maintained a balance in the birth and death of mortal souls. But his rapid growth is now a potential danger, and the Whole can only evolve if he is no longer in the Void. Melia has about a year before Umbra incarnates, but she can still feel his presence and fears that he will ultimately take control. This makes her reluctant to marry her love, Ryder. Meanwhile, Melia’s cousin, Lilliane, princess of Illialei in the enchanted world, blames Melia for the death of the man she loved. The princess wants to stop Umbra’s incarnation, as Melia could use the entity’s power to unseat Lilliane’s royal family. That’s just what Melia plans on doing, in revenge for all the innocent blood the Illialei queens have spilled. This all seems to be leading to the prophesied Dark and Light confrontation, which Melia is prepared to fight, so long as Ryder is by her side. But then she faces a personal crisis after she’s understandably shaken by Ryder’s sudden arrest: Lilliane abducts one of Melia’s loved ones.

Though the final book in Garrett’s (Half Mortal, 2015, etc.) series dives right into the story, new readers (or ones who have perhaps forgotten details of previous novels) won’t at all be lost. The author pushes the narrative forward with subtle but lucid reminders of preceding events, and comprehensive glossaries of characters and places are included at the book’s end. Melia remains an engrossing protagonist while epitomizing the conflicting nature of the characters. For example, in order to challenge the sinister Lilliane, she becomes the embodiment of another, possibly worse evil. Other players are equally intriguing and often tormented. Melia’s older half-faerie sister, Melusine, like their mother, fell in love with a mortal who had broken the faerie troth by witnessing her transformation. Surprisingly, Lilliane is an appealing character despite her unequivocal status as a villain. Her retaliation against a ship’s cook who disrespects her is cruel but also innovative and darkly humorous. The forthcoming battle as well as Umbra’s arrival gives the story an overall sense of dread and quite a few somber moments. But tension is lessened by Melia and Ryder’s romance, which is endearingly strong even if it may be doomed. There are likewise instances of understated humor; Lilliane believes a dragon sighting is “rather fantastical,” as the beasts prefer drier climates. Garrett’s prose is, once again, lyrical and serene: “Her gaze returned to the moons, one white and one pale purple. She stared for hours, in silent communion with the Whole itself.”

A stirring, satisfying ending to an epic, otherworldly series. — Kirkus Reviews



In a time when the Realm of Faerie and Planet Earth exist in symbiotic union, the epic journey of a young half-faerie woman will transform the future of both worlds ...

My name is Melia Albiana and I stand on the edge of the abyss.
Before I leap, I exhale a breath out of time.
The beauty of the Whole unfurls before me—its intricacy, its complexity, its endurance, its mystery, its majesty.
I am filled with awe.
The universal awareness passes and I am left with the poverty of my personal legacy.
I will die young.
I will die broken.
I will die grief-stricken.
I will die lonely.
And I will die a monster.
I will also die consumed by love.

Whimsical and edgy, Daughter of Light is an epic fantasy with an intriguing cosmology and well-developed characters for readers of all ages.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Interspecies Communication?

Is it quantum communication?

Can we communicate with plants ... the trees, the flowers, the grass ... as much as we can communicate with other animals? Is that ability hard-wired into our biology only to be snuffed out by mis-education?

Vulcan would take Quasimi a gift. Something to delight him.

The dwarf god possessed as much skill over wood as he did over metal. He cut a branch from a towering white oak.

The spirit of the tree emerged. Crimson stained her fingers. She staunched the flow of blood from a gash in her side. “You bereave me with no consideration?”

Vulcan fumbled for words. His glance darted between the wood in his hand and the tree spirit’s wound. “I didn’t know you were alive.”

“Your lack of awareness is apparent.”

He held out the branch, to return it to her.

“No. It is like a child. Once born it cannot re-enter the womb. But know this: It will retain memory of the roots that birthed it.”

“I meant to use it for a gift.”

“Do with it what you will, but don’t steal from me again.”

“And your wound?”

“It will heal in time.” The tree spirit re-entered the white oak. — Excerpt from The Tale of Hermes' Wand, Isolt's Enchantment

I'll leave you with U2's One Tree Hill, a song about loss, honor, nature, and wonder ...

 
Song Lyrics:
We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy love
The sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars carved into stone
On the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You run like river, on like a sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in the world a heart of darkness
A fire zone
Where poets speak their heart
Then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon
In the hands of love
You know his blood still cries
From the ground

It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses
Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill
We run like a river
Run to the sea

We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining
Raining hard
That's when the rain will
Break my heart

Raining, raining in the heart
Raining in your heart
Raining, raining to your heart
Raining, raining, raining
Raining to your heart
Raining, raining in your heart
Raining in your heart
To the sea

Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea

Isolt of the Waters is an ancient water elemental whose betrayal and enchantment has forever changed the Whole. When a young scholar in Idonne discovers her story, along with tales of dwarf magic and the birth of Umbra—a malevolent entity dwelling in the Void—he dreams of a life filled with adventure and heroism.

Free eBook
Amazon  |  Amazon (UK)  |  Amazon (Canada)  |  Apple  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google play  |   kobo
Buy the Paperback

Friday, March 23, 2018

Is Confession Good for the Soul? Maybe Not.

Although, it's great for the State.

The inscription for War & Grace is:

Not with false guides, nor with false gods—Voltaire
voltaire beliefs, voltaire ideas, the enlightenment philosophers
I chose this quote because among Melia's adversaries are a priest who invests in structural hierarchies and a princess who yearns to be a despot. As leaders in different countries, they could fill the bill of "false guides".

Voltaire came to my attention when I read a fabulous book: Passionate Minds by David Bodanis (which I highly recommend!) while I was writing War & Grace. A literary trickster, Voltaire played a significant role in dismembering the Roman Catholic Church/Bourbon Monarchy oligarchy in France.

Plus, he became an avid gardener!

cultivate garden quote, cultivate garden, cultivate garden candide
"We must cultivate our own garden." — Voltaire

So ... back to my original question. Is confession good for for the soul? Maybe not. Although, it's great for the State. Since the beginning of time, human factions (whether they're nominally religious, nation states, monarchies or political parties) have been in search of information about rival human factions.

1. Sun Tzu (544 - 496 B.C.): The Art of War author touted the strategic advantage of foreknowledge. "Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men." That would be confessions from "(1) Local spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving spies."

sun tzu art of war, sun tzu strategy

2. The Roman Catholic Church: "It is almost impossible for us nowadays to grasp the sheer power of the Church in medieval Europe. ...Where there was a priest, there was an intelligence agent of Rome ... For over eight-hundred years Rome monitored, checked, steered, and often dictated European policy based on its control of information ... the Church reported everything to Rome. That was what it was for. That was its job. The Catholic Church's intelligence service rested on four pillars: the power of the confessional; a virtual monopoly of literacy and learning; good communications and the Inquisition." — The Puppet Masters by John Huges-Wilson Eww!

roman catholic church middle ages, roman catholic church hierarchy

3. Sigmund Freud: Cultural Dildo and author of (the gothic novel?) The Interpretation of Dreams performed a great service circa WWI and WWII for those concerned with obtaining otherwise private information about other human beings by shifting the confessional from the church to the psychoanalyst's couch, thus removing the religious stigma and easing us into secular-approved -encouraged admissions. Just as icky!

freudian psychology, freudian tools, sigmund freud dreams, anna freud

4. Now we have Social Media where confessions are made voluntarily, publicly, and the mechanisms themselves are financially subsidized (personal computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.) by the confessor. "Businesses that make money by collecting and selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as "surveillance companies." Their rebranding as "social media" is the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense."—Edward Snowden
facebook surveillance, social media surveillance
So let me reframe the question. Can false guides or false gods exist without the individual's confession?

mind control techniques, mind control technology, mind control device
"If every living creature in the Whole could harmonize minute by minute, day by day"—Anton snorted his contempt—"with the invisible energy permeating the Whole, there would be an evolution in consciousness, a single leap into a new age. I find it difficult to believe you of all people subscribe to such a ludicrous belief."

"I do," Melia said.

An enraged Anton responded: "There must be order and control. Documentation and research. Leadership and discipline." — War & Grace





In a time when the Realm of Faerie and Planet Earth exist in symbiotic union, the epic journey of a young half-faerie woman will transform the future of both worlds ...

My name is Melia Albiana and I stand on the edge of the abyss.
Before I leap, I exhale a breath out of time.
The beauty of the Whole unfurls before me—its intricacy, its complexity, its endurance, its mystery, its majesty.
I am filled with awe.
The universal awareness passes and I am left with the poverty of my personal legacy.
I will die young.
I will die broken.
I will die grief-stricken.
I will die lonely.
And I will die a monster.
I will also die consumed by love.

Whimsical and edgy, Daughter of Light is an epic fantasy with an intriguing cosmology and well-developed characters for readers of all ages.