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Nightshade: An Anthology Available for Preorder!

NightshadeI got an email from Sara Reine reminding me that Nightshade is coming out September 21st! The anthology has some GREAT authors on offer, including two of my favorites, Kate Danley and Deanna Chase – and of course, Sara herself! The other authors I haven’t read, and how cool is that?? I get to check out new authors!

The book is only .99 and is on preorder at Amazon.

Here’s the skinny:

17 original stories by some of today’s bestselling urban fantasy authors.

The Agency-Donna Augustine: Before Karma joins the agency, she’s just another assignment handed to Fate from the Universe. But she’s destined to become more than that.

De Facto-Annie Bellet: Verity Li’s just a bureaucratic cog, going through the motions until she interrupts a kidnapping next door, and now all the problems are hers.

Venom-Sarra Cannon: On the run from a coven of witches determined to capture and enslave him, Rend must overcome the limitations of the human world and embrace his true demon power. But will he survive?

Honeysuckle Memory-Selene Charles: Scarlett Smith’s on a mission to track down the man who sentenced her to an eternity of purgatory, but first she needs to pass the mental health assessment board of the paranormal investigative department.

Spirits of Bourbon Street-Deanna Chase: It’s Halloween and time to party, but when a spirit traps everyone in the past, white witch Jade Calhoun’s forced to forgo the cocktails in order to save those she loves.

The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay-Kate Danley: It’s Halloween and Maggie’s mother has invited all the ghosts of the neighborhood over for a party. Unfortunately, one of the ghosts is wanted by the Other Side’s finest. It’s up to Maggie and Killian to find out what caused this soul’s unrest and return him to his happy haunting ground.

Full Moon Mischief-Debra Dunbar: Getting summoned on Halloween isn’t any demon’s idea of fun especially when yanked from a rocking party into a coat closet. But rules are rules and Imp Sam must find a way to get rid of a gold-digger hussy then hope the pint-sized mage sends her back before the party’s over.

Dog Days of Summer-Hailey Edwards: When a fae boy goes missing, Thierry is called to lead the hunt for the rogue. But the closer she gets to locating the boy, the further she gets from the truth.

Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer-Colleen Gleason: Balls, beaux, dance cards….and stakes? Lady Victoria Gardella must juggle her responsibility as a debutante in 19th century London Society while fulfilling her family legacy as a vampire hunter.

Atomic-C. Gockel: Sigyn is prophesied to be the consort of a king. Instead she marries a fool. Centuries after his chaos destroys their marriage, the fallout begins .

Highland Magic-Helen Harper: The Veil has kept the Highlands of Scotland free from demons for centuries, and ensured relative peace for the Sidhe Clans. However, a strange encounter on a dark, heather-strewn hillside might mean all that is about to change.

Contents May Have Shifted-Shawntelle Madison: Return to the Coveted universe in this tale featuring werewolf Natalya Stravinsky. Two werewolf shopkeepers in a mystical flea market encounter deadly merchandise that has no intention of being sold.

Illusions-Christine Pope: Warlock Damon Wilcox is plotting to kidnap the most powerful witch in a rival clan. But Damon’s brother Connor has plans of his own.

Dying Night-SM Reine: Hell’s trying to squeeze its way onto Earth via the Grand Canyon. Elise and James, a demon hunting team, haven’t spoken about that thing that happened in Copenhagen for six months. With all the pressure boiling under the surface, something’s sure to blow.

Brea’s Tale: Arrival-Anthea Sharp: When a faerie girl is sent on a mission to the mortal world, she must learn to navigate the intricacies of life among humans – but will she survive undetected?

Angels and Demons-Colleen Vanderlinden: A mysterious woman haunts the streets of Detroit, dishing up her own version of vigilante justice. If the stories about her are true, she could end up being the city’s biggest nightmare.

Dragon’s Fury-Phaedra Weldon: A tragic part of Crwys Holliard’s past is revealed when his lover becomes a target in a serial killer’s vendetta against women who have crossed Crwys’s path. Unfortunately, this also makes Crwys the prime suspect in their deaths.

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My Interview With Deborah Jay!

debby
The lovely and talented Deborah Jay!

Today, I will be introducing you to one of my favourite people, Deborah Jay. I have reviewed both of her books here on my site, and am happy to have her visit with me. Deborah Jay is the author (so far, of course!) of two marvelous books, the most recent of which is Desprite Measures. Her earlier book, The Prince’s Man is, as Deborah so eloquently puts it, Think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings. She is also the author of Desprite Measures, the first in The Caledonian Sprite Series a fantasy set in the area of Inverness, Scotland – and the holder of my own, personal “Best Cover Ever!” award!

But that isn’t all – Deborah also writes under the name Debby Lush, offering two must-have non-fiction books for the aspiring dressage competitor: The Successful Dressage Competitor: Everything You Need to Know about Competing in Dressage and The Building Blocks of Training: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Gymnastic Development of the Equine Athlete.

This fascinating woman is incredibly interesting. Have a read of our interview and I am sure you will agree!

______________________________________

One of the things I get a kick out of when I read about you is your love of science fiction and fantasy “from birth.” So what was your favorite TV show, and how do your memories from that show help you write today?

ufo
Now I have to go see if I can find it on Netflix!

Without doubt, Gerry Anderson’s UFO. It combined all my favourite elements – aliens, space travel and secrecy. For those who haven’t come across it, the premise was of an alien invasion by an advanced but dying race, visiting earth to harvest organs for transplant. Sometimes they’d take just the organs, sometimes whole people. The governments of the world wanted the whole thing kept secret, so the headquarters of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation) were beneath a film studio – a great place to disguise strange comings and goings.

The space travel was only as far as Moonbase, but this was just a few years post the real moon landings, so a functioning lunar base was an exciting prospect.

Although I’ve moved into writing fantasy these days, my first love was science fiction, and for me this series had it all. The clandestine side in particular shows up in both my novels so far – the need to keep secrets from the general population is a theme that I like to play with, as it’s one I don’t really approve of!

Many writers take up the pen from a very early age. When did you first start writing stories?

I started writing stories down as soon as I mastered a reasonable ability to wield a pen. I remember dreaming them up and telling them verbally even before that. I tackled my first novel at age 9, and then wrote and sketched a comic book series for several editions. Sadly my artistic talents are minimal, so after a bit I went back to straightforward writing.

I grew up in an era before computers (makes me feel ancient!) so keyboard skills were not taught in general education, but with the idea that I wanted to be a writer I taught myself to touch type when I was 11 years old, although my first few manuscripts were written longhand as I didn’t own a typewriter.

 Let’s stay young (we all like that, right?) When you were a child you read voraciously. So tell me who were your favorite authors of the day and how do they influence you today?

Early on I read lots of space stories, borrowing extensively from the library. Probably my first series love would be E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s LENSMAN series – lots of action, subterfuge, space travel and heroic but vulnerable characters. I moved on to the SF ‘classics’ – Frank Herbert’s DUNE, which blew me away with its scope, Asimov’s FOUNDATION TRILOGY where I developed my abiding love for secrets within secrets, and his ROBOT series for their mix of futuristic setting and detective work. Love, love, love THE 3 LAWS OF ROBOTICS, and was thrilled years later when the positronic brain showed up in Star Trek TNG, with Data and his daughter, Lal.

Heinlein’s novels also featured in there, along with WINDHAVEN (by Lisa Tuttle and guess who? One George R R Martin, years before he was famous!) and Anne Mccaffrey’s Dragon series, which started to blur the lines between SF and fantasy for me. And then I found Marion Zimmer Bradley’s DARKOVER series. Sigh. Oh, to write like that.

So how did I end up writing fantasy? That started with Ursula Le Guin’s A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, which enthralled me with its exploration of the human psyche right along with magic and mystery.

If there is any direct influence from these authors, I think it comes out in my sheer love of entertaining story telling, with multiple plot strands and complicated characters undergoing life-changing experiences.

prince
The Prince’s Man is only a ‘click’ away!

Your first fantasy, The Prince’s Man is what I would call a true “Sword and Sorcery” novel. When did you first focus on the storyline, and how long did it take you to write the book? And another quick question: With oodles of 5-star reviews out there, is there anything you would do differently in the book now that it has been out there for a while?

It’s a long story, that begins some fifteen years ago. I wrote a work of fantasy for a publisher looking specifically for novellas. As luck would have it, the company folded just after I’d submitted my work. However, I was quite taken with the land and society I’d created, so I adapted an idea I’d had for a spy story in an SF setting, and put it into this fantasy world. I was amazed at how well it worked!

It probably took me a couple of years to write The Prince’s Man, and at least another to polish it. I’d entered the first chapter in a UK Arts Board competition and it won! The prize was a residential writing course, and the tutors were very encouraging, so I submitted it to an agent in the US and she took it on.

It went to all the big publishers, but all I got were encouraging negatives. While this was ongoing, I was building my writing credits, becoming a regular contributor to UK and US equestrian magazines, and when Prince’s Man failed to sell, I decided to have a go at non-fiction instead. This was more successful, and (as you’ll see further down) I have 2 non-fiction hardbacks in print.

At this point I still wanted a traditional deal with a fiction publishing house, so I tried again, this time writing my urban fantasy, Desprite Measures. This one was ready to query in 18 months, but by this time I’d started to become aware of the whole indie publishing scene, and after a couple of failed attempts to sell DM, I decided to go it alone. I spent a year researching and platform building before launching The Prince’s Man, including another spruce up because the manuscript was by now ten years old and my writing skills had moved on.

The Prince’s Man launched successfully to great reviews and an Amazon Top 100 ranking for more than 6 months – a huge thrill and the start of a new career.

Would I do anything different?

Yes. I wouldn’t use names starting with the same letters! My two main characters are Rustam and Risada. The gods are Chel and Charin, and Rustam’s surname is Chalice, while two of the kingdoms are Tyloc and Tyr-en.

Too late to change now, but I won’t make that mistake again.

Tell me about your writing ‘lifestyle’ if you would. Do you have a particular time you write, and do you hold to a fixed schedule or write when the “mood hits?”

I’m a night owl. It’s a hang over from Uni days – I write late at night when I’ve done everything else and the world is dark and quiet, so no interruptions. I do settle to my keyboard pretty much every night, though there’s so much other stuff, like blogging, answering emails, etc. (not to mention running my daytime business), so I can’t always guarantee to work on the current novel; that comes when I have a burning need to commit words to screen.

I do try to produce a minimum of 2500 words per week, but a sitting may produce 300 words or 2000+, I really don’t go in for daily word count goals. I’d love to be more disciplined, but I’ve tried that and my creativity dries up, so it’s a no go.

Desprite Measures is only a 'click' away!
Desprite Measures is only a ‘click’ away!

Desprite Measures” is actually the first of your books that I read, and I adored it. I know that some authors base their characters on personality traits of people they know. Were you thinking about any particular individuals while you wrote, and what were the things about them that drew your attention? And no, no names! 😉

Desprite Measures actually draws more on relationships I’ve experienced rather than individual personalities. I’m a bit of a disaster area in the relationship department, so I like exploring that area with my characters. Some of the real life situations I’ve got tangled up in would be way too far fetched for a novel…

Speaking of Desprite Measures, I love the setting of the story! Are the areas you describe places you have visited before? What do you like the most about the locations that you fold into your stories?

Pretty much all the places in Desprite Measures are real, and all locations I love and visit as often as I can – I have a page on my website devoted to photographs of these beautiful spots, all of them less than twenty miles from Inverness (Knock Knock – Leiah interrupting! Click on Inverness to go to Deborah’s Photo Page! We now return you to your regularly scheduled interview!). It’s such an awesome environment around there, wild and deserted and magical, yet so easy to get to. I’m can’t get enough of mountains and waterfalls, and the Scottish Highlands have them in abundance.

I have always heard the “old saw” that “Writers should write what they know.” What is your opinion? Should a writer only write about places they have seen themselves, or occupations they are familiar with? Of course, with books like The Prince’s Man that doesn’t really apply, but did you base the location upon locations you were familiar with?

Absolutely not. If we only wrote about what we know, we’d suffer a drought of great books! Research is one way – for Desprite Measures I researched Cassie’s occupation as a personal trainer by sitting in on some private gym sessions and asking a whole heap of questions.

Places are easy to research too, although it’s probably easier to write colourfully about locations you’ve actually visited.

In The Prince’s Man, you’ll find lots of little facts about horses and horse care; something I’m well able to supply with authority, as a way of weaving in personal knowledge to enhance the tale. Of course the setting is entirely fictional, so I mix up places I know with totally imaginary places designed to fit the story – there are enough real details for authenticity, but in fantasy, imagination can be all you need.

 I read that you have a degree in animal sciences and have studied coaching psychology. Do you use that training when you are developing your characters?

I’m a qualified sports coach – I’ve actually picked up the coaching psychology as I’ve gone along, because its useful, and because I find it fascinating. These days we focus a lot more on the mental side of preparing competitors because it can make all the difference between winning and losing at the elite level. For sure I find it extremely useful when developing my characters – I just wish I had time to study it more,

trainingLet’s talk about Debby for a moment. Many of your readers may not know this, but in our iteration of the space-time continuum, you are known as Debby Lush. Debby is a professional rider, trainer, judge and author of two books: The Building Blocks of Training and The Successful Dressage Competitor, published by J A Allen. How do Deborah and Debby work out their schedules? 

We micro-manage time! Without a closely planned schedule, neither Debby nor Deborah would be able to fulfill the requirements of both jobs.

I’ve become very adept at prioritizing, planning and scheduling; it’s the only way I can fit it all in. Just as well I only have animals to care for, not children!

On the other hand, I realized recently that I was in serious danger of not having any life outside of the two careers, so I’ve eased back on the self-imposed pressure, and allowed myself a little free time when I don’t feel guilty about not working!Dressage

 Indie authors are real people with real jobs. Does your ‘real life’ interfere with Deborah’s life, and how do you work around it? Do you have encouragement for other authors who are also working people?

It does and it doesn’t. I’m fortunate in that both aspects of my work are self-employed so I set my own schedules, although earning enough money to live on right now sometimes cuts into my writing, as that’s future income, not immediate.

Being an author is a compulsion – if it’s something you just have to do, you will find a way to fit it into your life. My advice on that is to find what works for you – we are all so different, leading such different lives, trying to copy someone else’s routine is unlikely to work. Be an individual – you will find a way.

Finally, the Summer Olympics in 2016 are set for Beautiful Brazil! Will you be competing? And if not, who do you expect to attend, and win, the dressage event? A horse loving girl wants to know!

2016_Summer_OlympicsI was fortunate enough to be an official at London 2012, so this time I’d like to attend as a spectator again (I went to both Athens and Hong Kong). I’d love to compete but I don’t have a horse of that quality.

As to who will win – well, the Brits of course!

Please check out Deb’s links here!

http://deborahjayauthor.com/

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debhorse
Equestrian website

 

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Leiah here! I think you will agree that Deborah is an extremely interesting and talented person! I want to Thank You, Deborah, for visiting with us today!

Let’s all give Deborah a ‘virtual round of applause’ and I, for one, will be watching closely for her next book!

An Easter Post

 All sorts of Pretties for Easter!! Have a wonderful Easter!

colorsheep
Pretty! Freshly dyed sheep run in view of the highway near Bathgate, Scotland. The sheep farmer has been dying his sheep with nontoxic dye to entertain passing motorists. Thanks to Vogue Knitting for the Photo!!!

 

 

A flock of orange dyed sheep brighten up the Isle of Mull
Click the photo to read the story!  One desperate farmer has given his flock a coat to dye for in a bid to thwart sheep rustlers on the Scottish islands. With the help of non-toxic orange dye the farmer has given the sheep the bizarre makeover as a result of ever increasing thefts

 

yelow
They call me Mellow Yellow!
coshp
Have you ever wondered how they make plaid? Well, this says it all! LOL

 

dyed_easter_chicks_1333418826
Here, chicky chicky chicky!! Check out the original photo by clicking on the photo!
bunny
Love to spin Angora? Well, this is a lop, but she is already dyed for spinning! Check out the photo, and others, by clicking the link!
neonsunset
If you love spinning, you can’t go wrong with the spinning yarn rolags, and other items from my good friend Holly at Blue Barn Fibers! Check out her Etsy site by clicking the photo of her Neon Sunset rolag! Aren’t the GORGEOUS??
uke eggs
Aren’t these Ukrainian eggs amazing?? Thanks to Nancy Sproull for the photo! Check out her Pinterest page by clicking on the photo!
natural-dye-easter-eggs
Click on the photo to go to Sonya’s site to see how she coloured these amazing Easter eggs. The blue one is coloured with RED cabbage leaves. How cool is that? Photo courtesy of radmegan. All Rights Reserved. Please click the photo to check out this and other wonderful information and photos on Sonya’s site!

Review: The Shadowy Horses – Susanna Kearsley – Highly Recommended

In the last fifteen years or so, the women’s novel has turned into the Amtrak of American literature; crashing through the gates at Aristotle, jumping the tracks at Horace, ignoring the flashing red lights at Boileau, and scooping up Alexander Pope in the cowcatcher. The rules are down and it’s every stylist for herself in this best of all Tupperware parties, where plot and characterization have been replaced by the kind of non-stop chatter that enabled the French Foreign Legion to meet its enlistment quota for a hundred and fifty years. In the unlikely event that future scholars will bother to give our era a cultural tag, it will be called the Age of Women’s Litter.  –  Florence King
shadowy horsesHonestly, Ms. King’s words have been a mantra for me more often than not these days. In this era of “50 Shades of Gag Me With A Spoon” I have been not only distressed, but horrified by the state of literature written by women. Not all women, of course. I have read, and reviewed, several books by women authors which are exceptional. However, the exceptional has been overshadowed by the inane and senseless. It is heart breaking.
Then, just when I despaired, something wonderful happened. I listened to The Shadowy Horses. Written by Susanna Kearsley, and narrated by Sally Armstrong, this book should be on every bestseller list in existence. If you haven’t read it, I highly, Highly recommended the audio edition. Sally Armstrong has a beautiful, lyrical voice which turns the smooth prose of Kearsley into pure poetry.
Kearsley’s story is set in Scotland as is well described in the blurb for the book and in other reviews. The story follows archeologists at a dig at Rose Hill, or, in old Latin, “Rouges Hill” a name which will come clear as the story unfolds. The voice of the book is beautifully paced, and draws you into the world of both modern and ancient Scotland, introducing the people both gently and with true understanding. Some are good, some not so much, but the people and the land are, above all, truly well written and make you feel that you are actually being drawn into the story.
This is a beautifully designed tale. The main storyline concerns an ancient mystery – what really happened to the Legio Nona Hispana, the 9th Spanish Legion of the Roman Empire. The last testified activity of the Ninth in Britain was reported during the rebuilding in stone of the legionary fortress at York, or Eboracum in 108 AD. After that, the 9th disappeared into the mists of history. Did they simply disappear in Britain about 117 AD? Were they slaughtered during the war with the Parthenian Empire much later on? The only known fact is that they were nonexistent during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. What truly happened to these thousands of strong, well trained Roman Legionnaires?
Kearsley builds on the stories and the mystery of the infamous 9th, following the theory of Miles Russell of Bournemouth University who has theorized that, “by far the most plausible answer to the question ‘what happened to the Ninth’ is that they fought and died in Britain, disappearing in the late 110s or early 120s when the province was in disarray”.  And Britain was, indeed, in disarray. For all the control and training of the Romans, Britain was not easily taken or controlled. Did the “savage” tribes of Britain really destroy a formerly invincible army?
While this may sound at first as if this is a dry text, it is very far from being so. Verity Grey has traveled from London to the village of Eyemouth, Scotland at the behest of her great friend and mentor Peter, an aging archeologist who has long searched for the vaunted 9th Legion. There, things become very strange, as she meets Robbie, a child with the “Second Sight” a psychic ability which has for centuries been believed to be inherited through family lines in Scotland and other countries with rich cultural histories. Robbie is a main character in the storyline, introducing Verity and the other archeologists to “The Sentinel” a ghostly figure wandering the lands of Rose Hill, who speaks the Latin, wears the clothing, and carries the arms of the Roman Legions. A lost and lonely figure who has great secrets and great heartache, secrets and pain which have apparently kept him tied to these lands for thousands of years. For why else would a wraith stalk these hills for centuries on end? Kearsley does a beautiful job with Robbie’s abilities – they are not overdone or unbelievable, but rather handled with a deft touch, much in line with how Second Sight is actually understood in Scotland. (For more info on Second Sight see The Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 13, Number 3, pp 351-372, 1999, or online at: Second Sight and Family History:Pedigree and Segregation Analysis by Shari A. Cohn  http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_13_3_cohn.pdf)
While others seem to have reviewed this as a “romance” this is absolutely not how I understood this beautifully written novel. Yes, there is a bit of romance, boy gets girl stuff. But that is such a small portion of the overall tale. This is a tale of mysteries, of history and culture and beautiful, beautiful words. Of an ancient land and ancient peoples, brought into the modern day through the use of story and theory woven into a ghostly tale of the horrors of a brutal time in history. Of love of family, the bonds of friendship in times of war, and the length one man will go through to protect and honor his friend and his family, though death take all.
This is, again, a beautiful and fascinating story for many reasons. I have visited that area of Scotland, and would do so again – only if I were to go back, it would be very hard to drag me away again. The history of the British Isles is rich and varied, brutal and savage, and deep as any Scottish Loch. And it calls to my heart and soul, a siren song of longing which I am loath to deny. I would wish you to know the beauty of those lands and its stories . . .
Highly recommended.

Desprite Measures Cover Reveal Friday!

debjay
Click the pic to go to Deborah’s site!

Deborah Jay’s cover reveal for Desprite Measures is Friday, November 22, 2013    12:00AM — November 22, 2013    11:00PM

I can hardly wait!!!! Looking back you can see my post for the beta read, but for now, here is the review I wrote then. I am SO looking forward to seeing the cover, and then reading it again. Join Deborah and her followers as we celebrate our first view of her cover!

Desprite Measures. Yes, that really is “Desprite” – it will make sense when you read the book. And when it comes out, you REALLY need to read this book. I am always positive when I start a new book. It is very much like entering a brand new world. A world of wonder and learning and exploration. Sometimes I am lucky, and the book is everything I hoped it would be. Sometimes – not so very much.

In this case I found another of the worlds I so enjoy visiting. I have a tendency to put myself in the place of the characters in books I enjoy, and that was quite easy with Desprite, on a lot of levels. The main character, Cassie, portrays, as odd as it sounds, an evolution of soul. The secondary characters are nearly as interesting as Cassie. Though with fully formed back stories, they still develop throughout the story in ways both fascinating and, in some cases, heartbreaking.

This is most definitely an Urban Fantasy, with all the myriad characters such implies. However, Ms. Lush goes deeper and wider than your everyday UF. She touches on real issues we are all facing today. And she does it in a way that weaves believably into her story. There are good guys and bad guys, and sometimes, the good and bad blend and meld in ways that make you wonder – where do the lines cross?

Relationships, beliefs, environmental and ecological questions. The beginning of this planned five-book series grabbed hold of me and didn’t let me go throughout. Keep an eye out, when Debby tells me when the book is coming out, I will let you know. If you like UF with a lot of action and adventure, fascinating personal relationships, and quirky characters, this is definitely a book to keep an eye out for!

****************

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

This summer will see publication of her debut novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, the first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award. She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at www.deborahjay.wordpress.com or follow Deborah on twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2 and facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

HE BIDS HIS BELOVED BE AT PEACE

Yeats
W. B. Yeats
Photo courtesy of WAMH 89.3 FM
http://wamh.amherst.edu/?p=352

 

by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

HEAR the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The North unfolds above them clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in pale dew and sighs passing away,
The South is pouring down roses of crimson fire:
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay:
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

Beta Read – Desprite Measures – Debby Lush

Desprite Measures. Yes, that really is “Desprite” – it will make sense when you read the book. And when it comes out, you REALLY need to read this book. I am always positive when I start a new book. It is very much like entering a brand new world. A world of wonder and learning and exploration. Sometimes I am lucky, and the book is everything I hoped it would be. Sometimes – not so very much.

In this case I found another of the worlds I so enjoy visiting. I have a tendency to put myself in the place of the characters in books I enjoy, and that was quite easy with Desprite, on a lot of levels. The main character, Cassie, portrays, as odd as it sounds, an evolution of soul. The secondary characters are nearly as interesting as Cassie. Though with fully formed back stories, they still develop throughout the story in ways both fascinating and, in some cases, heartbreaking.

This is most definitely an Urban Fantasy, with all the myriad characters such implies. However, Ms. Lush goes deeper and wider than your everyday UF. She touches on real issues we are all facing today. And she does it in a way that weaves believably into her story. There are good guys and bad guys, and sometimes, the good and bad blend and meld in ways that make you wonder – where do the lines cross?

Relationships, beliefs, environmental and ecological questions. The beginning of this planned five-book series grabbed hold of me and didn’t let me go throughout. Keep an eye out, when Debby tells me when the book is coming out, I will let you know. If you like UF with a lot of action and adventure, fascinating personal relationships, and quirky characters, this is definitely a book to keep an eye out for!

****************

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

This summer will see publication of her debut novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, the first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award. She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at www.deborahjay.wordpress.com or follow Deborah on twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2 and facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

 

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