Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merlin's Shadow by Robert Treskillard (The Merlin Spiral Series)

This is the second book in this fascinating series. Merlin's Blade was the first book, and it was quite strong!
I have to tell you, I have always loved Merlin and King Arthur. From the time I was quite young, I read all sorts of versions of this beloved kingdom, its wizard and it's knights of the round table. I even went so far as to read everything I could about the "lesser knights".

Frankly, I have never gotten "enough". I've read Merlin as a wizard, a druid, and I've read about everything in between. I devoured Stephen Lawhead's The Pendragon Cycle. Sigmund Brouwer has some interesting takes on Merlin as well. With so many to choose from you need to know that with Robert Treskillard's books I have not lost interest at all, and I don't believe that you will either.

You can read my review of the first book by clicking up there where it says Merlin's Blade. I have been glad to have a different slant on Merlin's vision and his love of Jesu. Druid or paganism and Christianity fought a vast, long and bloody war that also encompassed the Knights of the Templar when we read history. Long before that, in this setting, that spiritual battle is being waged.

Merlin can see now, and you have to read how that happened in the first book. Morgan is part of the nemesis that surrounds King Arthur. She's been part demon, part evil fairy, just about everything you can think of, but now... now you will see her as someone a bit different. Someone who has a greater claim to Merlin than just a passing romance told in other tales.

Merlin's little half sister, who he loves, is now tearing at his heart. His allegiance is now to the High King and to Prince Arthur, so he can't stay and care for her and guide her. If that wasn't enough, the family problems just keep growing, and yes, they affect the kingdom and the realm because they don't just stay in the family and it isn't just Merlin having family issues. Merlin is quickly loosing Ganieda to the druids because of her Mother's death and her hatred of Merlin and the Christ he believes in.

One of his family member seeks to use an orb, and a tooth of power, and since the stone from the first book isn't available, he has sworn to destroy Merlin for what he has done. That family member is Merlin's Grandfather, and he is using Ganieda and these dark tools to track, to shadow Merlin. Young Author's life must be protected, even if it requires great costs. Meanwhile the knights are in progress, gathering to form and protect all that is held dear.

My review isn't even doing this book enough justice, but I hope that it will peak your interest and get you reading this well written series. I look forward to the third book in this series!

Carol :)

About the Book:


After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself to be a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga. 

But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin's destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful evil.

About this Author:
Robert Treskillard


Robert Treskillard is a Celtic enthusiast who holds a B.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies from Bethel University, Minnesota. He has been crafting stories from his early youth, is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith. He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country near St. Louis, Missouri.

It all began when Robert's son wanted to learn blacksmithing and sword-making. The two set out to learn the crafts and in the process were told by a relative that they were descended from a Cornish blacksmith. This lit the fire of Robert's imagination, and so welding his Celtic research to his love of the legends of King Arthur, a series was forged--The Merlin Spiral, now published by BLINK Young Adult Books.

Book 1: Merlin's Blade, released spring 2013
Book 2: Merlin's Shadow, released fall 2013
Book 3: Merlin's Nightmare, released spring 2014

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

Merlin’s Shadow -  http://www.amazon.com/Merlins-Shadow-Merlin-Spiral-Treskillard/dp/0310735084/
Author Website http://www.KingArthur.org.uk
Author Blog - http://www.epictales.org/blog/robertblog.php 

Participants’ links:

Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker

This book is two separate stories that tie together. Joss and her friend Reese have spent five years coping with Christmas not being the way that they rather wish for. They do spend it together, but this year Reese has a fiancé, and thus things change. Joss decides to take the trip anyway. Thus it begins! Joss is about to have the ride of her life! Planning to go on the Bah Humbug cruise (oh my!) Joss instead winds up in something she didn't plan. A boat full of people who love Christmas on The 12 Days of Christmas Cruise! There is, of course, a handsome guy, Patrick, on the boat and she is totally falling for him. Ship board romance is great, but does it last on land?

Meanwhile, Reese is off to meet the new family she will have once she gets married. Damian's family is wealthy, and Reese grew, pretty much a hippy. (There is an opposite for you!) Poor Reese doesn't feel like she fits in with his family at all! There are accidents, and issues, and will this man even love her or speak to her? How do you get down the isle if you can't even figure out your potential spouse's family?

The two stories are nicely interwoven, and have lots of giggles in them. It is a cute read to cheer up those with a bit of the Winter doldrums.

Carol :)

This week, the

is introducing

B&H Books (October 15, 2013)



For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."


A Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker. -- the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.

 In "Once Upon a Jingle Bell," A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.

In "It Came Upon a Midnight Deer," Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbug cruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Merry Humbug Christmas, go HERE.

Virginia can be reached through the Contact link on her Website 

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1433680750