Monday, January 31, 2022

 Sirens Call Publication

It's always nice when I can include something personal on my blog.

And THIS is one of those occasions.

I'm pleased as punch to announce that a short story of mine


will be included in

The Sirens Call - Spring 2022 - Issue #57


For those of you who haven't availed yourselves yet, Sirens Call Publications are open to all sorts of well-constructed tales of horror or dark fiction. The more quirky, offbeat, macabre and quirky, the better. So, if you like to be intrigued by stories that conjure insane imagery in your minds, then why not give them a try?

Follow the link below:

Saturday, January 29, 2022

 Struggling For Something To Read?

Try This. . . 

The Strife of Camlann

For those of you who haven’t yet considered ‘The Arthurian Age’ series, The Strife of Camlann continues the events depicted within the first book: The Retreat to Avalon, (which I read and reviewed a few years ago). I found this particular series intriguing, because it’s not so much pure fantasy, as it is based on historical and archaeological research, woven into the legend that surrounds one of the most mystical characters ever known. Arthur. And that adds a weight to this story I’ve found missing from other tales in this genre.

Here’s the blurb to set the scene:


Arthur’s Men have returned to Britain to keep the peace between fractious allies. Gawain wants only to raise his family and forget the war, yet he carries a heavy burden: an oath to maintain a terrible lie.
But is it a lie?
Looming conflicts threaten more than any border or throne. The course of history, the future of the Britons, will be decided at Camlann.


So, what do we get?

A rather compelling tale. That’s what. And it comes – mainly – through the eyes of a warrior who experienced it. Gawain. And Poage has very skillfully blended fact with fiction. We see great attention to detail of life during the dark ages – what everyday people did; what they wore; what they ate; how they dressed and conducted themselves; under what conditions they lived, etc, merged beautifully with an imaginary war. A war caused by the very real friction that existed between the warring tribes and factions of that time.

And that’s what makes The Strife of Camlann so appealing. The attention to detail, merged seamlessly with the allegory of folklore. It makes the characters come alive. Adds credence to their struggles. Helps you reflect on what it must have been like to endure such hardships, especially during a time when ancient Briton was only just starting to gel into a nation that went on to form one of the most astounding empires the world has ever seen.

Most of all, it’s a story about the catalyst that burns in everyone’s heart, and how that catalyst can go on to become a legacy, inspiring others, long after you’re gone.

I rather enjoyed it, and I’m sure you will too.

Amazon Review

Saturday, January 15, 2022

 2022 Starts Off With A Real Bang

Maker’s Curse

It’s been a while since I read the previous book in the Millennium’s Rule series, (Thief’s Magic, Angel of Storms, Successor’s Promise), but I’m glad to say, it was well worth the wait.

For those of you who might not have availed yourselves of the previous books, the basic story arc centers on Tyen Ironsmelter and Rielle Lazuli. Two individuals from different worlds who discover they have a natural propensity for magic. The trouble is, such talents are either frowned on, or discouraged. In Tyen’s case, his home world is virtually depleted of magic, so its practitioners are few and far between. When he unearths an ancient ‘living’ book, it opens up a whole new universe to him. One filled with imminent and impending danger.

Life couldn’t be different for Rielle, for her land is ruled by corrupt, magic-practicing priests who teach the doctrine that using magic without permission is stealing from the angels. And as she find out, if you have a knack for something illegal, it gets you into trouble.

What follows is a journey of discovery. For the universe is immense, and there are sorcerers out there who are hell bent on seizing power and ruling a seemingly endless network of worlds. And Tyen and Rielle end up in the thick of it. In the midst of war and intrigue, Tyen fulfils many roles, only to end up as a teacher of magic, while Rielle discovers she is an actual creator of the raw essence of magic itself. And they are coveted by representatives of both sides in the war.

So, with that basic understanding of what has gone before, here’s the blurb for Maker’s Curse, the latest adventure from the Millenium’s Rule series.



Rielle is the Maker, restorer of worlds. She has lost count of the number of worlds she has been sent to save.

Tyen has cast off his old identity. No longer a spy, he now attempts to teach new sorcerers and find ways to counteract the war machines that are spreading throughout the worlds.

But when an old enemy brings news of a dark threat - something far worse than magically dead worlds and dangerous sorcerers - Rielle and Tyen must reunite if they are to have any chance of saving humanity.


Now, if that wasn’t a hook to draw you in, then I don’t know what is. Because the blurb is deceptively devoid of detail, allowing you to discover for yourself just what a great story Maker’s Curse is.

The universe is under threat from a vast, magically empowered machine army led by the enigmatic Kettin. A woman who is as cold-blooded as she is focused. She doesn’t view what she’s doing as wrong, and believes she is on a crusade to protect humanity, everywhere, from the evils of magic. She promises to end that evil, granting access to magic to a select few who will oversee the worlds on her behalf. All well and good?
The trouble is, her methods are draconian, for everywhere her army visits is left devoid of life. Their natural resources are stripped, all magical potential is drained, and the populace is destroyed. And that’s happening again and again, in world after world.

It’s up to Tyen, Rielle and their friends to stop them . . . if they can.

What follows is a rather engaging adventure that maintains a steady pace throughout. The machine army seems unstoppable, and will remain that way, unless Tyen and Rielle can discover a way to halt Kettin’s advance, and prevent her from doing any further harm. The only clue to doing so involves something called the ‘Maker’s Curse.’ Something that could prove devastatingly catastrophic in the wrong hands.

What that is, exactly, you can find out for yourself. But I rather enjoyed the way Trudi Canavan set up the finale so that it could go either way. And you don’t find out what happened until the final pages.

Excellent stuff!

And, if I may, give you something to ponder:

I noted from other reviews that some have complained that they think this story displays a poor/weak ending. As if the entire series has come to a sudden and hastily contrived end. I don’t agree. Canavan is a talented writer. You’ll see from this from her other series. She knows how to construct a sound story and how to conclude them in a satisfying way. She always has done.
The feeling I get from this particular story is that Tyen and Rielle’s journey isn’t quite over yet. There’s more to tell. That’s why this book ends in the way it does. She’s setting up a grand finale, and I can’t wait to see what that will be, even if we have to wait a while to get it.