Category Archives: YA fantasy

Guest post by Erika Gardner: Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles

I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each person’s day for the better.

It’s no less special than the stuff in my books though it’s easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before. And on that note I’d like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy coming home. Please enjoy.


“Siobhan,” Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.

I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.

Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. “It is something to see, yes?” His tone reflected true awe.

“Is this your first time seeing this?” I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.

“No, I have seen this many times.” He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. “But a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.”

To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. “Guys, are you kidding me?” In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.

They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. “What?” Alex said.

“Hey, what are you guys staring at?” Tim sounded defensive.

Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turel’s smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. “She comes.” His eyes shone as they met mine.

Alex glanced this way and that. “Does anyone hear that sound?” he asked.

Tim craned his head. “I hear it. It sounds like bells.”

“Wind chimes,” I corrected, still staring straight ahead. “It’s wind chimes.” The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. “Daisy.”

“Damn it,” growled Tim. “I can’t see anything even a bit like a dragon.”

“Unless it’s a super little one,” said Alex, his face downcast.

Turel laughed— a big, belly laugh full of joy. “Gwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.”

Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, “Certainly, Turiel, dear one.” Suppressed mirth laced her tone. “How’s this, children?”

When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.

TheDragoninTheGardenbyErikaGardner-200To purchase The Dragon in The Garden please see:




erikagardnerauthorpicThis post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.


Two Realms

realmToday, I welcome Marcia Carter on my blog, Inspiration, today. She will be giving us an insight into her books, Realm of Miotas, and Realm of Bynthcahal, and her inspiration behind it. Over to you, Marcia!

I’ve always been captivated and enamored by the many mystical places of the world. My favorites happen to be Stonehenge and Easter Island. I was amazed after completing and publishing my first book, Realm of Miotas, to find that in fact, there are many similar structures all over the world, but Stonehenge seems to get the most recognition. The Maoi statues that litter Easter Island, standing tall and proud, with little to no true explanation as to their creators or purpose, have also intrigued me. Their presence in our world has sparked my creativity and flow from their esoteric origin. Maybe I am a vivid dreamer, but I invite you to read about my dreams.

Realm of Miotas – Miotas is Gaelic for Myth – so in translation it is really Realm of Myth.

I have utilized a structure that was in ruins and reaffixed by Druids similar to Stonehenge in a forest. They unknowingly reassemble a portal to another realm. It only opens for a few hours, once every twenty years, when the hunter moon lies above the entrance, and aligns in the center of the stone formation. When it becomes close to dawn the doorway closes. All but one of the Druids crosses back and forth, until the doorway closes, leaving only one man to carry the tale of his friends disappearances. No one believes him and the man is deemed crazy.

The structure conceals itself in the forest to hide against anyone who is not true in heart. A group of gypsies later discover it, only to carry on the tale of the structure, until it is discovered again in the 1800’s by a couple families fleeing for their lives, hoping that the structure will be as it has been fabled about, a doorway to a new and magical world.

When the portal opens, the families enter, and they experience for themselves a world that Earth has been long disconnected from, Miotas. There they encounter many creatures and beings, such as fairies and odd looking creatures that resemble nothing like we’ve ever seen here. Also they meet the natives and begin to learn of their culture. A few surviving Druids that had long since crossed over to Miotas crave to return to Earth.

They find and reassemble another structure in Miotas; only to find that instead of being a portal to bring them back to Earth, it leads to a long closed Dark Realm, Druneul. Upon it’s opening, evil creatures cross over to Miotas to destroy and be released from confinement. Dormant guardian’s of the Realms of the Universe, Zemaxians, ten foot beings with Angelic features, awaken to aid the Miotian people, to fight against the darkness and try to close the doorway.

I do go into great length to build the plot in the book, for you to really get to know the main characters well, because many appear in its sequel, Realm of Bynthcahal.

Realm of Bynthcahal – Realm of Bynthcahal is the Realm of the Zemaxians.

I have given the Maoi definition for their creation, purpose, and value. In this story I was able to introduce many more creatures, fictional, as well as I used actual animals that have long been extinct in our world. My thoughts are, if a doorway did exist once, that they could have traveled back and forth between the worlds and could still exist there. Since the basics of the portals have already been explained in the first book, I dove into deeper depths with another world long disconnected from. One that has even more marvels than Miotas, but is an integral part to all of the Realms.

Thank you so much, Marcia. May I take this opportunity every success in your books, and writing career.

If you would like a copy of Marcia’ books, please click below:

41EiRgyf5nL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Get it here on Amazon – Realm of Miotas



yantA6NW-webGet it here on Amazon – Realm of Bynthcahal


Devil Music CoverWhat do we think of when we read the word Demon? What words pop up in your mind? Evil, Nasty things, frightening?This is a story about a Demon, who is neither of those, but is a gentle being who has been captured by a human, a Mr. Warwick, and brought back to his wealthy and controlled life to serve him and his family. The name of this demon is Cain.

To enslave a demon is one thing, but to control his magic via a charmed to hurt, dog collar is abhorrent! The reader feels sorry for the demon straight away, as we see a human quality in Cain. We follow Cain and watch how a normal (according to Mr.Warwick) order to bring Lance’s (his older son) fancy, Michelle, back to New York, turns Cain’s life around.

Finding himself in Los Angeles, Cain manages to become a rock star with three humans who are gifted (perhaps unintentionally) powers after an encounter with the Engineer!

Whoever is a musician, fears this Engineer, for his is a serial killer. When news of his victims reach the people in the music world, it becomes a frightening but curious ‘Who is it?’ game. Strangely, the police are not involved in this mystery. As the plot thickens, we come across a lady who can see things and can only direct but not react. We come to know of a curious man who sells drugs, who may or not be human. We also see a poor boy who is jailed for killing his mother, but he is no ordinary boy but someone who can see into the present time but somewhere else. He also sees things he cannot explain.

I mentioned Michelle, a girl who threw Lance’s advances off her. She is perhaps a link or part of the story to bring the plot forward, for she and Cain become lovers. Michelle is also the daughter of a Preacher, who abhors demons and people who practice cult magic. He believes his Michelle is a ‘good’ girl. Little does he know of her relationship with the demon!

Cain’s band consists of Vince, Sammi, and Izzy. All of them (apart from Cain) have been victims of the Engineer’s hand but somehow, they escaped. Or did they? My favourite from the new recruits is Sammy and Izzy. Sammi is level headed even though he does heroin, and Izzy is sweet but naive. Vince on the other hand, is a nasty piece of work and recieves a lot of punishment from his band mates! What is their magic that makes them so special? Well, I won’t be telling you that!

As the story advances, we pick up clues and secrets, and I have found myself shocked on many occasions.

Carly Orosz has done a brilliant job developing the plot, and the characters too. Her work is fast paced and easy to read.


About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Devil Music! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Devil Music tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Cain Pseudomantis leads a miserable life. Bound to the mortal world by a powerful spell no demon could hope to break, he must obey his human master’s every command or face harsh punishment. He finds solace in the rock music which he listens to when he isn’t running unsavory errands for his master. Then everything changes. While on a mission in a seedy section of 1980s Los Angeles, Cain impulsively buys an electric guitar and discovers an unusual talent for music, a talent that catapults him to hair metal stardom. With three superpowered human band mates and his beautiful girlfriend Michelle by his side, his life starts to look a lot better. But Cain soon finds that even rock stars have troubles. The crusading televangelist Nathaniel Breen—who happens to be Michelle’s father—accuses him of turning the city’s youth to Satan worship. Meanwhile a mysterious killer known only as the Engineer terrorizes the Los Angeles rock scene with a series of brutal murders. When Cain and his friends attempt to unmask the killer, they discover a deadly secret that could cost Cain his hard-won freedom, and possibly his life.Get Devil Music through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Carly OroszAbout the author: Carly Orosz lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband. She graduated from Kalamazoo College and went on to earn an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has been published in Wavelength Journal and SpoutMagazine. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, weaving on a hand loom, and studying the art and cultures of pre-Columbian Mexico.
Connect with Carly on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..




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Author Spotlight: An interview with Ruth Warburton

Author Spotlight



 It is great to have you with us, Ruth, and we are all eager to know about you and your books! I for one, am a huge fan of your work and having read them all, I want to know a lot more about you.

1. First of all, let’s talk about your Winter trilogy. How did you come up with such an excellent ideaA-Witch-in-Winter-jacket-195x300

Hi Malika, thank you for having me! Well… I have answered this question in lots of different ways because truthfully there were lots of different seeds to the Winter trilogy but the basic core of it came from one day when I was listening to the radio and it was a discussion about romance novels, and the commentator was saying how hard it was to write a convincing romance in the 21st century because you need a good reason for the protagonists not to fall into each others’ arms on the first page.

These days if you like someone, and they like you, there are not so many reasons why you can’t be with each other. And I was listening to this thinking that for me, the most compelling reason not to fall into someone’s arms would be if I wasn’t sure how they really felt about me. And that’s when the idea for the series came into my head: a girl casts a love spell on a boy and she gets his eternal love – but the price she pays, which gradually poisons their relationship, is that she never knows for certain how he really feels about her.

2. How long did it take you to write the first book, and was there any research involved?

I wrote the first book comparatively quickly – about 3 months. And yes there was lots of research – into ancient magical grimoires, and folk superstitions, and witchcraft history. I love research and some of my best story ideas have come from unexpected research avenues.

3. You have portrayed witch magic very differently in your book series, how did you come up with this inspiration?

I’m not really sure! I guess it just seemed like the natural way witchcraft would work to me – like it would be an extension of people’s personalities – not good or bad but a mixture of the two, of good intentions and mistakes and half-learned truths, and a mix of learned skills and gut inspiration.

4. Thank you so much for an insight into your first three books, but I can’t let you go yet! Your next story is set in the 1800s and follows the same concept of the Winter trilogy. I can see a lot of research gone into writing Witch Finder, can you tell us what part was the hardest to research?

As I already mentioned, I love research so I deliberately took on a historical setting because I knew it would take a lot of research and I’d have fun doing that. It was the tiny mundane details that were hardest to fine. Stuff like, could you just turn up at a blacksmith’s with a lame horse, or would you have to make an appointment like at a doctor’s? How much did a night at an inn cost?

WitchFinder_Anime5.  ‘Social class’ is a big issue in Witch Finder, and Witch Hunt. What do you personally think about it?

Oh my goodness – that’s a question that could take hours to answer! Well I think that  class, along with women’s rights, were the two big issues in Victorian times. There was horrendous inequality between the lives of the wealthy and the poorer members of society, and a lack of social mobility meant that people were often condemned to live the life they were born to without any chance to improve their circumstances.

In spite of this, there was a general feeling that people deserved their fate – that rich people had somehow done something to deserve being born this way and that poor people should be desperately grateful for the crumbs of charity which fell their way – crumbs which could be withheld if they didn’t behave in the “right” way or seem properly grateful. I suppose part of the reason I wanted to write about this was because I think as a society we’re in danger of slipping back that way.

Our levels of social inequality aren’t back at Victorian levels yet, but we’re facing a lot of the same issues – a London that’s split into the haves and have-nots, those with prospects and those without, and a general feeling that the poor are deserving of their lot. And although things are legally massively much better for women, we’re still, depressingly, fighting a lot of the same battles as we were in Victorian times – judged on our appearance and our behaviour in a way that men aren’t.

 To know more about you, here are some random questions.

 1. What books have inspired you to become a writer?

Too many to list – sorry! But a few that helped inspire the Winter and Witch Finder books – The Morte D’Arthur, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, the Earthsea Trilogy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Beowulf – many more!

2. Who are your favourite authors, please name three.

These are not my favourite three – I don’t think I could pick a top three – but three that I love – Diana Wynne Jones, JK Rowling, Nancy Mitford

3. When did you begin writing?

As soon as I could write!

4. Did you always want to be a writer/author?

Yes, but I never thought it would happen

5. What advice would you give to potential writers out there?

Keep plugging away, have a plan b, don’t lose faith. Writing is 93% perspiration, 5% inspiration, and 2% luck.

Thank you so much for your time, Ruth, and I hope to have you back one day with news of more books from you!



Hello Friends!added sharpness

Today and tomorrow I am offering you a fantastic opportunity to grab my new book Witch Crystal!

Here are few facts to get you all enthralled!

1. Witch Crystal is set on two planets – our very own Earth, the location being Robin Hood Bay in North Yorkshire, and Norway. The second planet is fictional, called Zrotaz, where fictional or mythical magical creatures reside.

2. There is an abundance of magical/mythical creatures in the book, some talk and some don’t. One of my favourite is the Unisus – a cross breed of a Unicorn and a Pegasus – a magnificent creature, if I do say so myself. There is also, Luille, my lovely comedian owl.

3.There are also villainous creatures too, such as the vile werewolves, and the evil Merpeople. Look out for them!

4.Teen romance – there is a sweet little romance that is not so evident as yet but it is there in the background. I would like to say it is a subtle romance that will grow in the next two books.

5. Spells, enchantments, and magical visual scenes – there is plenty of this throughout the book, that will leave you mesmerised, and that will bring the story to life.

  • The magical waterfall that won’t freeze in freezing weather
  • The trees that grow tea that help sleep
  • The luminous river
  • Enchantments that keep away unwanted company, spells that will throw you, lift you, and take you away to another place, and magically treated buildings that is a source of power for all witches and creatures.

Nothing is normal in Larissa’s witch world!

6. The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. This factor is very important to the book, and without giving too much away, let’s say without it, travel between Earth and Zrotaz would not be possible!

7. Some key characters to look out for:

The Witch Crystal




The Earth Spirits

The High Witch


The Sacred Witch

The Unisus and the Witches Council

 Witch Crystal, a story spells, charms, magic, and scenic locations!

AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON ALL AMAZON SITES!  Here are the links to the UK and the USA!





Witch Crystal

Witch Crystal – Book 1 of the Witches of Zrotaz trilogy.


added sharpness

The Witch Crystal was silent, hidden from the clutches of the High Witch, somewhere, where she couldn’t find him. The time has now arrived to show what it can do…

Witch Crystal, a fantasy story of a young girl, Book 1 of The Witches of Zrotaz trilogy, follows Larissa, and the discovery of something she never imagined. Her life was as normal as could be, for a low-key witch. She had a best friend, a great mother, and she liked the new boy in town. Her mother owned a florist, and she went to a normal school.

Strange things began to occur, and Larissa’s normal life was not so normal anymore. Her friends, her life, were not what she thought they were, or who Jake was. An abduction of her best friend brings the unknown to the forefront, and Larissa is faced with the task of finding the Earth Spirits, and to repair the Aurora Borealis. Will Larissa be brave? Will she be able to accomplish her task, to adhere to the prophecy?

Available from Amazon:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Witch Crystal by Malika Gandhi

Witch Crystal by Malika Gandhi

Larissa’s life is as normal as can be, for a low-key witch. She has a best friend and a great mother, she likes the new boy in town, and, by all accounts, is a regular girl.

Strange things begin to occur and Larissa’s life gets flipped upside-down. Her friends, life, and new crush are not what she thought they were.

When her best friend is abducted, Larissa is tasked with finding the Earth Spirits and repairing the Aurora Borealis. The Empire Crystal chose her, and only they can defeat the High Witch. Will Larissa be brave to face the reality of her life, or will her abnormal existence be too much to bear?

A YA fantasy of witches, unicorns, spells and magic.



UK –