The Antrim Cycle

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Icarus Rising - A Second Chances Novel coming November 2016

My publisher has an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Icarus Rising, out now on their website. Check it out and look for more news coming soon about the first book in this new series.

Blurb:
Icarus flew too close to the sun and has been punished with a lengthy stay in Hell by the gods for his hubris. Zeus finally heeds his father’s pleas and releases the young man, but with one condition—he must wear his wings even though they can be hidden.

Eve Gregory runs a bookstore/coffee shop that’s in desperate need of a new salesclerk. When the scruffy stranger comes in to apply for the job, Eve hires him despite her reservations.

But the gods must meddle and before they know it, Icarus and Eve are sent off on a quest by Zeus to find a lost treasure. Will they also find romance along the way?



Enjoy your summer in Maine!

http://mainetoday.com/guides/summer-festivals-in-maine-40-ways-to-celebrate-moxie-whoopie-pies-windjammers-more/


Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Release: Collaborative Novel Parallel is on pre-order now!


Interactive Ramblings is the perfect mix of drawing the reader into the action and giving the author a writing adventure they won’t soon forget! Our innovative project will include five parts of 10,000 words apiece, each one continuing where the previous one left off. As they are completed, the sections will be published in e-book format and made available for $0.99. In between each installment, there will be a round of voting so the readers can decide how the next part of the story will be written.

Blurb: Ava has finally found true love with her boyfriend, Mason, and her life is absolutely perfect. Until one night, during a casual kayak ride, the two of them are pulled into a whirling vortex under a bridge, and Ava is thrown into another universe where unicorns and fairies exist in the human world. With her alternate-universe self, Avalon, and an annoying hunter named Hunter, Ava must find a way to get back through the portal and to Mason. She is able to access another portal with the help of a witch, but when Avalon and Hunter tag along, there’s no way of knowing where they’ll end up next.

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Trad Tuesday: Black is the Color sung by Ciara Considine


Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair is a song from the Appalachian Mountains, but musicologists believe that it originally came from Scotland as there is a reference to the River Clyde.

Ciara Considine is a traditional Celtic music performer and sings a lovely version here of this song.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

PreReleaseBlitz of Bad Boys After Dark: Mick by Melissa Foster.


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Pre­Release Blitz

Title: Bad Boys After Dark: Mick

Series: Bad Boys After Dark, #1

Auther: Melissa Foster

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 22, 2016


Cover
Blurb

The Bad Boys are a series of stand­alone romances that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger Love in Bloom series.

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Indulge your inner vixen...
You asked for naughtier lovers, with the same fierce loyalty as The Bradens ­ Meet the Bad Boys... Four sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies.
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Everything's naughtier after dark...
Amanda Jenner is done being a boring­man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she's researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She's waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action­­and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming­out party.

Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn't do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup.
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Amanda thinks she's hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man­­until she discovers the man she's made out with is her off­limits boss. Mick's already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction­­no strings, no regrets, and for goodness' sake, come Monday, no quitting­­the tables turn, and Mick's totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides.

***
BAD BOYS AFTER DARK
Mick
Dylan (releasing Dec 21st ­ pre­order here)
Carson (coming soon)
Brett (coming soon)

More After Dark books:
WILD BOYS AFTER DARK (Available Now!)
Logan
Heath
Jackson
Cooper

The AFTER DARK series are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand­alone novel, or as part of the series.


iscream add to Goodreads
pre­order links
Amazon US   Amazon PRINT   B&N   iTunes   iTunes   Smashwords   Kobo  


 Teasers
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About the author
Melissa

Melissa Foster is a New York Times USA Today bestselling and award­winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown MagazineThe Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 

 

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

 

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Release: Call of Brindelier by Missy Sheldrake

The Keepers of the Wellsprings Series

I’m excited to announce that the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Brindelier, is now available on Amazon! If you haven’t read the previous books yet, read on for a super-quick crash course.

When I started writing this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. They tell of uncomfortable moments. There is violence and wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder.

In Call of Kythshire, you’ll learn all about Cerion, a seaside kingdom which has celebrated peace for over a century. You’ll meet His Majesty’s Elite, a guild that is the right hand adventuring team of King Tirnon Plethore, and you’ll join Azi Hammerfel, a young squire who has grown up within the guild’s halls, through disappointments and triumphs. By her side is Rian, her childhood friend, an Apprentice of the Mage Academy. You’ll meet Flit, a fairy from Kythshire, who is as tricky as any fairy you might imagine, but has a depth of character and a sense of purpose uncommon for a typical fairy. You’ll see her world unfold, and feel the evil threat of Sorcery that looms, waiting to destroy it. You’ll learn a little about the Wellsprings, but not too much, for their existence and workings are a well-protected secret. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Kythshire.)

In Call of Sunteri, you’ll meet the strong-willed slave boy, Tib, who makes his first appearance as he escapes from the grips of Sorcery in the desert continent of Sunteri. He has help crossing the vast oceans to reach Cerion, but he doesn’t realize it at first. A mysterious being speaks to his mind, controlling his thoughts and making suggestions to ensure his own survival. In the meantime, Azi has been given the task of escorting the Prince of Cerion and his wife-with-child to the lakeside Kordelya Castle as the prince faces suspicion and ridicule after the events of Call of Kythshire. But a darker force emerges from the Dreaming, whose wicked intent is to use any means necessary to escape its prison and claim the magic of the Wellsprings for his own. In this book, you’ll see the devastating effects of the overuse of magic, and what it does to the Wellsprings and the creatures who thrive around them. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Sunteri.)

In Call of Brindelier, a dark force looms, more powerful and destructive than any threat Azi and her guild have yet faced. You’ll follow Celli, a scrappy street fighter, as she is enticed into the grips of a powerful Sorcerer. You’ll watch Tib come into his own as he sneaks through the streets of Cerion, uncovering the darkness while also working on a mysterious project. You’ll follow Azi on a quest set by Princess Margary to find proof of Brindelier, a city in the clouds which is the key to all of the Wellsprings in the Known Lands. But Margy is not the only one interested in Brindelier. A dark force has been gathering, poised to claim it for their own. Control over the Wellsprings hangs in the balance. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Brindelier.)

This series is appropriate for all ages, but I recommend 13 and up due to some violent themes. There is no sex, swearing, or excessively graphic violence in the Keepers of the Wellsprings. Throughout the series, you’ll encounter daring sword fights, violent magical moments, and a few quick deaths.

Call of Brindelier, the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon.  This weekend, I’m offering book one of the series, Call of Kythshire, for free, and book two, Call of Sunteri, for just 99 cents. 




Onward to Brindelier…

A selfish prince on trial for treason. A beloved princess hiding a talent for forbidden magic. The race between Dawn and Dusk to claim Brindelier, a hidden city in the clouds with a promise of ultimate control over the source of power in the Known Lands: The Wellsprings.

Azi and Rian are back! The newly-betrothed couple once again find themselves drawn into the plots of fairy-kind, bestowed with gifts of new titles and strange, powerful abilities. A threat is revealed; one which Flitt insists is worse than anything they have yet faced. Is she referring to the gathering of Sorcerers who call themselves the Circle of Spires, or is a darker, more sinister force at play? Tib knows. He’s seen the might of the Dusk firsthand.

The fates of Cerion, Kythshire, and all the Known Lands hang in the balance in the third installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Brindelier.

About the Author

Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young. The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.

Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.



LINKS

Call of Kythshire (Book One):
https://amzn.com/B00UVLQWGY

Call of Sunteri (Book Two):
https://amzn.com/B0187IG3HK

Call of Brindelier (Book Three):
https://amzn.com/B01FM8XR7W

Snowberry Blossom (Perma-free holiday short story):
https://amzn.com/B0196P041O

Website:
www.missysheldrake.com

Blog:
http://missyflits.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Missy-Sheldrake/e/B018CW7GTU/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake



Call of Brindelier Excerpts

EXCERPT ONE - AZI
“What is it exactly,” I pause and think hard, making every word count, “you really need me to do in regards to this rare purpose, which is so important you’d whisk me here against my will in the midst of a battle that could very well mean the end of peace in my kingdom and possibly the deaths of people I’m sworn to protect?”
“Whoa,” her eyes go wide as I come to a stop right in front of her. “That was brilliant. Really brilliant. Excellent question. See, you just had to focus, that’s all.”
“Flitt.” I press my hand to my brow. My head is starting to ache from frustration.
“Don’t hate me. I can’t answer it,” she says with a cute little shrug and an impish smile.
“What?” I can’t help it. I lunge at her. She’s too fast, though. She pushes off from the grass and flies up out of my reach. “So help me!” I shout up at her. “You’d better stay up there, I swear!” I glare up at her and then realize her mistake in putting distance between us. Instantly I think of Rian. I start to feel the shimmer around me and then she dives into me, pinning me to the ground.
“Don’t,” she pleads as she straddles my chest. She’s surprisingly heavy for a fairy. “I was just playing. Don’t go. I can’t answer it, but I can show you something else.”
“Get,” I shove at her, “off!”
“Uh uh,” she shakes her head. “You have to promise to stay. It’s important, Azi. Really important. World changing important. Things are happening that never should happen. Bad things. Wicked things. Worse than Sorcerers. Worse than Jacek. Really bad.” She leans over me with her hands on my shoulders and her rainbow-colored ponytails spill forward, tickling my face. “Really, really bad. Please. Do you promise?”
“Worse than Jacek?” I look up at her.
“You can’t answer a question with a—” she stops herself at my death glare. “Worse than Jacek,” she whispers. Her eyes sparkle with tears and change from blue to red to silver. This close I can see she has no pupils, just orbs of ever-changing light that shimmers softly and unpredictably. I’ve never seen them so clearly, never been so drawn to them.
“I promise,” I say, tempted by the familiar tingle of magic rising inside me. I want to see what she’s seen; I want to know what’s in a fairy’s mind.

EXCERPT TWO – TIB
I want to be annoyed by the magic. I want to hate the excess of it. There’s no reason for it except to show off. I can’t help but admit it, though. It’s kind of impressive.
When we reach the tower, the stone wall shifts and opens magically. Of course there aren’t any doors. Why would there be? Rian brushes his fingers along the stone as we go in. He’s really impressed. I bet he’s going to write it all down when this is over. Make a book of it for their ridiculous libraries.
Inside the tower, it’s dry and warm. The walls are adorned with colorful silks and tapestries. The circular entry is larger than I expected. It’s a little confusing. The energy is bright and overwhelming. It’s embedded in the stone. It pulses in the air. Power. Might. Majesty. Protection. Knowledge.
Otherwise, the place is dusty and full of cobwebs. Shelves and shelves of moldy books line the walls behind the coverings. Books and tubes and glass vials and stacked clay pots teeter and lean against each other. I sniff. Sea air. Must. Incense. Behind Rian, Shush blows out a wisp of fresh air that sends the white smoke swirling away.
“Master’s downstairs,” Loren says. His voice echoes up into the rafters and a passage opens up across the entryway. It glows with a merry orange light to welcome us.
The stairway down is lined with glass walls as thick as my arm. Loren takes this for granted. He jogs off down the steps without a glance, but Rian and I can’t help but stop and stare. Through the glass, a world stretches out before us. The depths of the ocean. The surf plunges above, bubbling and churning.
Waves scoop up the sandy seaweed bottom and push it down again. It’s like a field. A drifting, rhythmic meadow. Colorful fish swim past in schools of red, orange, and yellow. Creatures like I’ve never seen cling to bright pink and green stones. They wave long tendrils with the motion of the sea. Shells of every color catch the light of the spiral staircase which shines through the glass.
I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s simple. Pure. Beautiful. I had no idea there was a world like this under the ocean. I can’t tear my eyes away. I press my hand to the glass as a dolphin races past us, chasing a group of purple fish with long, flowing fins. It’s not just the sight of it that interests me. It’s the simplicity of it. There’s no magic out there. Not in the sense I’ve known it. It’s perfect all on its own.

EXCERPT THREE - CELLI
I nod my agreement and he smiles at me. I want him to keep smiling. I want to be his favorite. I never want to make him scowl.
“This is Dub,” he says after a long pause. It takes me a moment to realize there’s someone else here. He’s been lurking against the wall all this time. He steps out of the shadows as Quenson introduces him.
He’s in his twenties, maybe, lean and strong, and dressed all in leathers like me, except they’re black. His face is coarse with whiskers, and one eye is covered with a patch. The most remarkable thing about him, though, are all the knives. I can count at least a dozen strapped to his torso, his belt, his arms, and his legs. I wonder how many others he’s concealing.
His one good eye looks me over like Quenson did. Except when he does it, it makes me uncomfortable. I square my shoulders and cross my arms and raise my chin, trying to seem bigger. Tougher. He smirks, but doesn’t say a word.
“Go.” Quenson says.
Before I have time to think, Dub leaps at me, his knives flashing. He swings and I duck and roll away. He throws a blade, and I somersault and narrowly dodge the attack. His knife clatters and skids across the floor. I tumble to grab it and another one of his blades slices my sleeve as it whizzes past. I don’t know why, but this guy is serious. He means to kill me.
With Dub’s knife tight in my grip, I charge him. He’s nearly twice my size but I don’t care. If he wants to kill me, I’m going to make it difficult. He’s ready for my attack though. As I swing to stab him, he sheaths a knife and grabs my arm, twisting it painfully behind my back. He’s strong, but I’m a fighter. I elbow him hard in the ribs and kick him between the legs until he doubles over. That makes him loosen his grip on my arm, so I spin and punch him hard in the face. His nose cracks and he curses.
Quenson’s laughter somewhere to the side of the room is a musical sound that echoes up to the high-domed ceiling and back down again. It reminds me of how much I want to please him. It makes me fight harder.
Dub is furious. I punch his jaw and he growls and grabs my wrist again. With his free hand, he draws another knife from his endless supply. He overpowers me and shoves me against the wall, pressing my hand against the stone. His good eye is dark with madness. He raises the knife. He’s going to drive it through my hand, pin me to the stone with it.
I struggle to break free. I kick and swing and squirm, but he’s too strong. He thrusts the blade forward. I can’t escape him. He’s won. I brace myself for the strike and gasp as his empty fist smashes into my hand.
“Enough,” Quenson says.
Dub growls in frustration and throws my hand down. I open my eyes in disbelief to see the Sorcerer standing several paces away, holding Dub’s knife between his thumb and forefinger with a look of disgust.
“Such rudimentary, primitive things,” Quenson scoffs as Dub retrieves the weapon and shoves it into a sheath at his thigh. He wipes at the blood that trickles from his lip and sneers at me.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cover Reveal - Parallel

Cover Reveal!

 Parallel, a collaborative piece by Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing to be released July 1st, 2016!