Re-capping 2016 and a Big Thank You to My Readers

Holly 2016 news 1 Comment

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-50-23-pm2016 is winding down. I must say it has been a busy one. In January I joined Paper Gold Publishing and Ella Medler, (publisher, editor and all-round wonder woman) who decided to re-invent how my work was presented.

The Sage Seed Chronicles (5 book fantasy series) got all new covers. She, then, picked up on the trend of some people thinking their lives were too busy to read full length books and decided to publish my longer short stories as singles under my personal imprint of “Quick Reads”.

All of a sudden I had an impressive stack of books to my name. Wow! Throughout the year, at approximately six week intervals, a book was launched. Thirteen of the fourteen books are available in paper and e-book formats, the exception being Tendrils which is available in paper only. You can see the available books on my book page here on my blog. Buy links are available there.

Several multi-author boxed sets came out this year, too, and my work is in a number of those impressive collections. I’ve frankly lost track of how many but my estimate is 10-12?

Through my wonderful previous publisher, Paper Crane Books, I have my fantasy series: The Sage Seed Chronicles and my steampunk book: Sunstone out in audio book format also.

fullsizerender-11My last official public appearance this year was at a wonderful event: The Bellingham Holiday Book Festival. It was the first time I was able to debut the full collection of books. The place was so full of authors, space was at a premium. My new book rack came in handy to display all the titles.

Due to a freak accident I injured my foot and am awaiting surgery. You can just see the orthopedic boot at the bottom of the picture. This means I have time to get a start on 2017. Do not expect another fourteen books out this coming year. But I will do my best to have new reads for you.

Happy Holidays in what ever form you celebrate. Thank you for being a part of my wonderful year. You are awesome! Comment (the comment button is under the title at the top of the page) and tell a friend about my blog and I will draw a lucky name at random and offer them a free e-book of their choosing. My gift to you. Hugs.screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-56-53-pm

Who Doesn’t Want A Gift?

Holly prizes 8 Comments

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-10-04-53-amHi everyone! Just popping in to ask a couple of questions.

1) How many of you are signed up for my newsletter?

Every month I write and send out a newsletter, sharing with you the newest updates.

AND every newsletter I send out I draw an email out of the subscriber list.

That email address belongs to a lucky winner of:

bookmarks, Amazon Gift Cards, hand-made key chains and free ebooks.

This is why I’m asking.

5 of the last 10 newsletters, the lucky recipient has failed to claim their prize!

REALLY? Who doesn’t want a free gift?

2) If you are signed up for my newsletter, are you getting it?

(Please look in your junk mail box. The sender addy starts: author@holly…)

I’ve even begun choosing from only those recipients who open or click on the newsletter, regularly, to increase the odds of being able to give a prize.

3) If you are getting the newsletter, are you reading it all the way to the end?

I put the lucky winner at the end of the newsletter after I share my news.

There has been a lot of news this year with so many books being launched and I do like to celebrate with people. The newsletters and gifts are my party. 🙂

4) Is anyone out there reading this who would like to enter a drawing for a free e-book?

Just leave a comment. The button for that in under the title at the top of the blog.

And if you want to sign up for regular chances to win from my newsletter, the sign up is on the right side of the page.

Join me as I celebrate.

A Suspenseful Sixth Book in the Quick Read Collection

Holly danger, Paper Gold Publications, Quick Read, suspense Leave a Comment

TREASURED LEGACY

Quick Reads Book 6

by Holly Barbo

GENRE: Suspense Quick Read
With dwindling time, Leone uses the last of her strength to share important family history with her only living relative: her grandson David. Despite her final request to not sell the family heirlooms, David and Anne look into it because of their desperate need for money. But the pieces have secrets and the young couple finds themselves in unexpected danger.

The old woman pulled the warm shawl around her shoulders with frail, liver-spotted hands. Reaching for her cup of tea, she took a sip. The cup rattled in the saucer as she set it down on the side table and looked up at the young man who was setting up the small electronic device.

“Thank you for doing this for me, David. You are the last of my family and I wanted you to know about your history and ancestry.”

He smiled and tucked the colorful afghan over the elder’s lap and feet. “Are you comfortable, Grandmother?”

At her nod, he sat near the video camera and raised his hand to float above it. “Let me know when you’re ready.”

Her faded eyes twinkled. “Start it. I have stories to share, and there isn’t much time on my end.”

With a wink, his finger brushed the start button and he sat back to listen.

“Our family has several heritages. Thirty years before the terror of the French Revolution, a talented gypsy silver smith named Silas Rose married a daughter of a Jewish jeweler named Boehmer. In the next twenty-five years, the two worked together and gained fame for the remarkably skilled pieces they crafted. Their work came to the attention of Louis XVI and later of Marie Antoinette. It was an unfortunate situation. A very expensive necklace had been commissioned…”

***

The bell above the door tinkled as the young man entered the ornate jewelry shop. An old gentleman stepped out from the back, his face breaking into a grin at the sight of his visitor. “Valentine! It is good to see you! Come in and tell me of your journey. Are Silas and Rebecca with you?”

The dark-haired youth shook his head, his expression solemn. “Is it time to close the shop for the day, Grandfather? I have much to share with you.”

For a long moment, the grey-haired man studied his grandson’s face. “Lock the door and pull the curtains. I’ll get the wine out of the cellar.”

Turning from his task of securing and barring the door, Valentine called over his shoulder, “I brought whiskey. Just get the glasses.”

Taking his bottle to the workroom, he helped his grandfather, Antoine Boehmer, to put away several partially completed projects into the safe. They finally settled in some chairs by the fireplace. Valentine poured two glasses and passed one to the older gentleman.

“No one wants to buy that necklace. They think it’s cursed. First there is the taint of King Louis XV commissioning the piece for Madame du Barry but dying before he could pay for it. Add to that Marie Antoinette refusing it…twice.” The young man shook his head. “The fiasco and scandal with the cardinal and Jeanne de la Motte has sealed the issue. No one will touch it. Father was able to sell several of the stones to jewelers in Amsterdam and that netted 1,000,000 livres. It doesn’t pay for your craftsmanship but it compensates us for the stones.” He handed over the packet of remaining gems and money.

“You traveled the roads of France and the streets of Paris carrying this? Mon Dieu! You could have had your throat slit! This is a king’s ransom for ninety percent of the people!”

“I was with Mother and Father on the ship. I left them in Le Havre as neither were feeling well. They urged me to see you right away. I was also eager to return to Jaelle before she gives birth.” He gestured to his travel-stained appearance. “I purposely didn’t clean up and wore my oldest clothing.” Valentine stood and looking down at his soiled presentation, made a grimace of disgust. “I need to stop and bathe, then it is off for home.”

“I’ll have Margaux prepare a bath for you. While you are waiting I must show you some special pieces of furniture that were made for me. Jean Henri, a German fellow named Roentgen and I collaborated on their design. Jean wanted to gild everything like his pieces in Versailles, but I talked him down to using beautiful marquetry instead…”

A Beltane GiftThe Tin of HoneyThe Dragil: Broken MagicThe Battered BallBinding Contracts

When Chayse’s friend is murdered before he can get protective custody, she and her department in Homeland Security are thrust into a race to stop a destructive cyber worm from wiping out all bank and stock market records during the Christmas break.

The good news is there is an inoculating code which will stop the worm. The bad news is it is hidden in a special crystal concealed in the sculpted walls of a beautiful ice hotel in the lapland region of Sweden and the terrorists are searching for it too.

As the snow flurries of November becomes frozen December each side rush to find the crystal…with entirely different goals. Will the Christmas holiday bring destruction for western financial systems?

A Crystal Snowflake is a contemporary thriller. It has been previously published in Tendrils, The Edge of Madness boxed set and Wrapped with a Bow boxed set. It was also entered in a story competition seeking cinematic quality stories for movie potential, and made the quarter finals.

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

MoB Promotions

Autumn Reflections of 2016

Holly Win Leave a Comment

Autumn has always been a time of reflection for me…a time of changes and celebration. I guess the beginning of new school years and my birthday contributed to this. My post, today, is a recap and the announcing of wonderful things to come AND a chance for you, my reader, to win a gift. Surprise! Read this post. Leave a comment and you will be placed in a drawing for an e-book. YAY!

This year was full of wonderful events! Last December the press I was with since 2011, Paper Crane Books, closed. In January I became part of Paper Gold Publishing, in Ireland, and all of my books were relaunched. Details can be found on this site’s book page but I’m so thrilled about what’s happening…I’m throwing confetti

My Sage Seed Chronicles five book fantasy series went into second edition with new covers and fresh editing. Sunstone: A Steampunk Reality and Tendrils: A Collection of Short Stories were also re launched.

If that wasn’t enough, PGP decided to put together a new collection called Quick Reads. A Quick Read book is a short story available as a single small book. In both ebook and paper format, it is a perfect small gift or for escaping to another place and reality when you only have a tiny block of spare time. In today’s busy world many people feel they haven’t the time to read. That is very sad. Being able to escape into a book is a marvelous treat for yourself. A vacation in your own head.

Currently seven of my short stories qualified to be Quick Reads. Five of them are out: 1) A Beltane Gift is a cultural heritage (Scotland)/contemporary with a wee bit of Paranormal. 2) A Tin of Honey is dystopian. 3) The Dragil: Broken Magic is fantasy for all ages. 4) A Battered Ball is contemporary adventure (Africa) and 5) Binding Contracts is a thriller.

Now things accelerate even more! PGP has moved to England and in the October-November frame, two more Quick Read books will become available. 6) Treasured Legacy , a suspenseful cultural heritage (France)/ contemporary tale and 7) A Crystal Snowflake , a thriller.

*Yippee* AND I’ve just completed a new book which will come out at the end of November. This one isn’t a short story. It is a full length thriller. *Dancing in happiness* *YAY*
….Now don’t forget to leave me a comment.. you could win an e-book!

The First Quick Read Thriller Is Out!

Holly contemporary, Thriller 1 Comment

BINDING CONTRACTS

Quick Reads Book 5

by Holly Barbo

GENRE: Thriller Short Read
What do you do when you no longer want something? You discard it, right? Which is exactly what happens when Keith gets tired of his wife. But there are signed contracts and someone hasn’t read the fine print.

“Mr. John, it is good to see you.” She looked into his bloodshot eyes and noticed the circles of fatigue beneath them and the general pallor of his skin. “Still haven’t heard from the VA?”

John shook his head and took another bite. After he finished chewing and taking a swallow of coffee, he cleared his throat. He hadn’t talked much in days and hoped his voice was still working. “You have a good memory. I haven’t been here in three weeks. Thank you for the service you offer. The food, shower and clean clothes make me feel almost human.” Having run out of things to say, he took another bite as he watched the kind face framed in black.

She smiled. “It is a skill that comes naturally to me, thank you. But it isn’t perfect. I have forgotten your last name, if you’ve ever shared it, but do remember you saying you were a SEAL in Afghanistan and have worked in a similar but non-military position after that. I can surmise you are now homeless due to your PTSD?” She looked at him for confirmation and waited until he gave a curt nod. “The wheels of the VA move very slowly. Too slow for the people who need help. I also have noted, when speaking to you, that you are intelligent, educated, and I know the longer you stay on the streets the greater chance you have to die early. It would be a real waste.” She smiled and patted his hand. “Son, I’ve some news for you. A new clinic has opened its doors. I’ve watched them to see if they are legitimate and to see the quality of their care. It’s called The Destiny Clinic, and it is going through the paperwork to be recognized as a VA-affiliated treatment center. Instead of cash, the price for treatment is to help the community in whatever capacity you can, and if that is beyond the patient receiving services… it is free. The funding comes from a local company who made its money making prosthetics and body armor. This is their way of supporting the wounded veterans.” She handed him a card. “Here’s the address. It isn’t far, and they have several treatment programs and therapy strategies. The day is still young. You can go there after your meal. You’re a good man. Let them guide you back to us. Our city, our country needs quality people like you.”

He looked down at the card and back up into the kind eyes. “You don’t know me or what I have done, what I’ve seen. Those things return in my nightmares and in sudden sounds. Terrible flashes of memories. The military and later…” John’s voice dropped to a near whisper as he lowered the coffee mug to the table. “The CIA gave me a structure and purpose until I became broken and a liability to them. But you’re right. Living on the streets and under the overpasses is a game of Russian Roulette. Thank you for your kindness.” Pocketing the card, John picked up his empty plate and cup. He stood and looked down into the lined face of the nun. “Sister, I don’t know your name.”

“I’m Sister Mary Rebecca.”

“Thanks, Sister Mary Rebecca. My name is John Easton.” He gave her a nod of respect, then with a small smile he touched his forehead in a salute. He left his dishes in the pan beside the kitchen and stepped out into the late spring day.

A Beltane GiftThe Tin of HoneyThe Dragil: Broken MagicThe Battered Ball

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

MoB Promotions

The Final Book in the Series

Holly Final book in the series, Howey Award for Best Ending, low tech world Leave a Comment

THE LOST

Book 5 of the Sage Seed Chronicles
by Holly Barbo

 

GENRE: YA Fantasy
Long-lost artifacts lure people from a lost population out on a secret quest. At the same time, an unexpectedly strong winter storm forces Erin to take refuge in an isolated cabin. Unbeknownst to her, this was the last known location of the missing items that Kai, one of the lost, is looking for.
Dismayed to find Erin at the cabin, he reacts in the only logical way: Kill any witnesses to protect his people.
With a ferocious blizzard ravaging the realm, will the sages be able to prevent bloodshed? And what would it take to avoid war with THE LOST ones?
Prologue: The Penal colony on Obsidian Island

Bure glared at the old man, his whole body vibrating with his effort to suppress his frustration and be civil. He wanted answers and would prefer not to beat them out of the coot. The guy was older than him but looked tough. “How do you get out of this place? I’ve been all over this valley and I’ve not found even a crevice of a cave or a finger hold to scale the walls. You’ve been here awhile. Tell me!”
The grey-haired fellow met Bure’s eyes with a calm confidence. “I’ve watched you. I know. We all search this valley when we first arrive until we come to the same conclusion. So son, tell me, what part of ‘Once you’re in Obsidian Island there is no getting out’ don’t you understand?”
He chuckled when he saw the flare of rage in Bure’s eyes. “It’s true. There’s no exit. Look all you want. Let me tell you what you found: The walls of this crater are glass smooth and very hard so you can’t chip any climbing grips. The trees aren’t tall enough to reach the top if you climbed them. The stream that feeds this valley starts as an artesian spring in the small lake over there and exits in a seep at the west end of the basin. If it didn’t, this whole crater would be a lake with an island in the middle.”
Bure’s growl interrupted the recitation. “Yeah, well, what about that stone uplift?” He gestured to the huge column of stone rising from the floor of the basin.
The veteran mused, “It’s interesting, isn’t it? A former resident of this place had been a geologist. He said that before Obsidian became extinct it was trying to rebuild itself. That huge stone column is just as smooth and unscalable as all the other walls. It’s high enough that birds perched on the edge are beyond bow range, and even if you could get up there, you still would be out of reach of the outer walls.”
Bure snarled.
The older man shook his head. “It isn’t so bad a place when you accept the inevitable. You’ll see. There are resources to build a life here. We’ve all tried to escape and take revenge against those who sent us here but there’s no way out.” He studied the fuming young man. “So, what did you do? What laws did you break? My guess would be murder.” He watched as the new man clenched his fists.
Now the seasoned inhabitant threw back his head and laughed deeply. “Thought as much. I know the signs. I’ve been in this extinct volcano for nearly thirty years; killed a witch, I did. Murder is against the law on this world and one of the sure ways to end up here.” The old man’s gravelly voice took on a harder edge. “This crater is the exception, so don’t get ideas, son. I may be older than you but I’m fit and can defend myself. I can still kill you if you push me to it.”
Bure’s scoff of disdain was cut short by an unnervingly strong hand around his throat. The older man laughed with a mad glee, “You’ve heard the phrase, ‘I brought you into this world and I can take you out’? It’s very true, son. I’m Kald … your daddy. So nice of you to provide this little family reunion. Welcome to Obsidian Island.”

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

 

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Holly Anthology, Crazy Lady Authors, humor, not the usual fare, Romance Leave a Comment

THE CRAZY LADY AUTHORS PRESENT
Romantically Incorrect & Erotically Incorrect

 

Cover Designer: The Graphics Shed
Fall Crazy in Love with the Crazy Lady Authors
Not just crazy, but certifiable! Presenting ‘relatable romances’ for every woman. Falling in love takes the scenic route in this box set of sweet, hilarious, and downright awkward romances. Prepare to laugh, cry, and snort with these Romantically Incorrect couples. They are us, and we are them, and that’s why we love them so! The Crazy Lady Authors have done it again with this perfectly imperfect box set of love stories gone wrong, gone crazy, and finally, gone straight to your heart!
Heat Level: Sweet. Grandma would approve.

 

Queen Midas in Reverse by Diane Rinella

The main characters in this stand-alone novella first appeared in the novel Scary Modsters … and Creepy Freaks, and its prequel novella, It’s A Marshmallow World. Queen Midas In Reverse has been designed with those who have not read Scary Modsters in mind; however, Scary Modsters fans will find that this fills in Jacqueline’s story. The problems then occurring in Rosalyn’s life are ignored for the sake of new-reader experience.

Binding Contracts by Holly Barbo

What do you do when you no longer want something? You discard it, right? Which is exactly what happens when Keith gets tired of his wife. But there are signed contracts and someone hasn’t read the fine print.

Hattie Makes a Deal by Jayne Hyatt

Hattie Devine had taken a beating from life causing the loss of her marriage, her children’s understanding, the use of her leg, and even her personal dignity, but she was determined to fight back. Moving to Bedford Grove offered her the chance to regain her independence while rehabilitating from her injury. But independence could be lonely.
Nate Perkins left Bedford Grove for a life and career in the big city, but the fast pace, and disillusionment with both his career and personal life had left him tired, divorced. Once again, back home in the small town where he’d grown up, Nate found both peace and success along with what he thought was the perfect casual relationship arrangement, until he found himself dumped, and single once more.
Nevertheless, Nate knew exactly what he wanted, or so he thought, until a crazy, shabby old lady rode up on a three-wheeled bike wearing a floppy hat and offered him a deal. His first instinct was to refuse, because she was surely insane, but there was something about her, and her floppy hat, and her dogged determination that he could not ignore. Yes, Hattie Devine was a little crazy, a lot strange, and now that he’d met her, he would never be same again.

Father Made Me Do It by Jami Brumfield

Charm Livingston’s life is hell, literally. As a vengeance demon, she resides in the underworld until a furious soul calls upon her to exact revenge in exchange for ten years in hell. Being a demon is bad enough, but as the daughter of the devil himself she has very little wiggle room for escape. And escaping is all she’s ever dreamed of, leaving the bowels of hell and becoming human is the one dream she knows she cannot have… or can she?
When a man is murdered by one of her fellow demons, the now grieving fiancé calls upon Charm for help. Charm’s psychometric power helps her replay the events leading up to the man’s death. In the midst of arranging justice for her client she meets the angel that was the killer’s target. He’s injured and she saves his life, despite the repercussions her actions could have on her own soul. Daddy dearest wants the angel dead, and she derails the devil’s plans.
In return, the angel agrees to help Charm with her greatest wish, except that ascension isn’t going to be easy. She’ll need to pass through the thirteen levels of the underworld by passing thirteen tests in order to overcome the realm of purgatory and reach the Hall of Akashic Records where her soul can be reborn.
In Father Made Me Do It, she faces her first test and begins her journey from the underworld to mortal life while she continues to carry out her duty as the justice demon. The fine line she treads is fraught with danger, and her naivety in human ways will take readers on an emotional roller coaster of tears and laughter.

The Father-in-Law Effect by Cherime MacFarlane

His father-in-law is making Turk’s life miserable. Turk’s uncle has taken an extended leave of absence in Hawaii. With no authority to do so, the young husband and father must hold the business together. The time Turk does get for his family is about to be reduced because of an out of town job.
Morag doesn’t know how much more Turk can take. With little or no energy left for romance, it’s time to pull out the big guns and get her mother to take her father in hand. A job site incident may be the catalyst to bring change.

Calamity June by Ella Medler

Mid-life crisis hits June hard and she decides to re-start her life. Alone. She learns of a ‘green’ community in which people do just enough to stay alive; no money, no taxes, no worries. It’s just one big, happy family. Perfect for her needs.
Roy feels the ground slip from under his feet when he learns June intends to leave him. He can’t let her throw away their love of many years. Not without a fight. But how can he win her back?
On Midsummer’s Night, Randy, June’s new friend and commune handyman, asks her for a kiss. It feels wrong and right in equal measure. Wrong, because she isn’t ready for love yet. And right, because he reminds her of someone…

Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in USA Today Bestselling Author Diane Rinella‘s one hundred and fifty-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock ‘n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.


Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

AMAZON ✯ WEBSITE ✯ FACEBOOK ✯ GOODREADS ✯ PINTEREST ✯ TWITTER ✯ PGP AUTHOR PAGE ✯ PGP PINTEREST ✯ NEWSLETTER

Jayne Hyatt is a novelist who currently lives in Denver, Colorado. A lifelong bookworm, she especially enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, romantic suspense and mysteries. When she’s not writing, or reading, she’s very likely hanging out with her best friend, cooking up a storm, watching a movie, trying out a new restaurant, browsing in a used book store, or simply daydreaming. As she puts it: “I seem to spend a lot of time daydreaming about what my characters are up to when I’m not with them.”

New York Times Bestselling Author Jami Brumfield has a passion for the paranormal, supernatural, and mythological worlds for most of her life. She believes there is a kernel of truth in every story and loves playing detective to discover what that hidden truth is. She has written most of her life. She started with poems and short stories, then graduated to journalism working for online websites. It was only a natural progression that her love of writing and her passion for the unknown would combine. Her books are a product of that union. She lives in Arizona with her amazing husband and two fur-babies, Maximus and Zeus.

Meet author Cherime MacFarlane. A prolific multi-genre author, she has a broad range of interests that reflect her, been there-done that, life. Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, all sorts of characters and plots evolve from a vivid imagination.

I came to Alaska kicking and screaming in 1976, and I never want to leave. I cut firewood on shares for money to get through the winter. I swore I would not live above the Alaska Range because it was too cold there and wound up in the Copper River Basin where it got just a cold as Fairbanks.
My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I experienced hearing it from my in-laws. When my husband got on the phone to Scotland after five seconds, I could hardly understand a word. I was my second husband’s chief mechanic’s helper and roadie.
I live in a cabin which is slowly being surrounded by the city and wish I was further out. My two cats and Husky-Collie mix dog are happy in our little slice of heaven called Alaska. In the silence of winter dreams of people and places provide a rich pool of ideas to delve into.
Ella Medler is a U.K. author and editor. She writes fiction in many genres in a seemingly vain attempt to slow down her overactive brain enough to write non-fiction on subjects she knows a thing or two about. She also does not believe in the starchy use of English and ignores the type of rule that doesn’t allow for a sentence to be finished in a preposition. Her books are action-driven, and well-developed characters are her forte. Loves: freedom. Hates: her inner censor.
INTERESTED IN SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE SPICY?

The Crazy Lady Authors bare it all!

It’s hot, sexy, sweaty, smelly…wait! What? It’s Erotically Incorrect, that’s what it is! Let’s face it, sex isn’t always pretty. In fact, it’s often weird, hilarious, and downright awkward! What really happens when couples sneak a little ‘sexy time’ in between work and the kids, without Barry White playing in the background, when the participants have cellulite, unshaved legs, and may be falling asleep on the job? You get one funny, in-your-face look at the erotic escapades of every woman! From high drama to hijinks, meet the non-leading lady, leading ladies of Erotically Incorrect. We’re keeping it real! Trust us, we’ve been there, done that. There are probably pictures…maybe!

Heat Level: Hot! Grown folks language and situations. Not your grandma’s box set…unless your grandma is a real pip!

Price of the Little Blue Pill by Cherime MacFarlane
Hiring John by Xaviera Snow
No Reservations by RE Hargrave
Found at Last…Again! by Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough
Desperately Seeking Sixty-Nine by J.D. Frettier
Sex in the Crazy Zone by Teri Riggs
New Tricks: Plan A by Ella Medler

The 4th Quick Read Book is Here!

Holly adventure, Africa, conflict, contemporary, danger, Quick Read, short story, warring factions Leave a Comment

A BATTERED BALL
Quick Reads Book 4
by Holly Barbo

 

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
There are many things little Azizi has to learn about, like how the destruction of war can force people out of their homes, or take away a father in a blink. But the most important lesson of all bounces around on the frayed edges of a ball…
The government soldiers chose a moonless night to strike the village. Baakir slept curled against his little brother in the dusty darkness. He woke as his mother touched his shoulder. “We must go. Now!”
The boy didn’t question but rose from the sleep mat and, waking his brother, lifted the child to his feet. There were sounds from the end of the village: a cacophony of harsh shouts and screams. He took Azizi’s hand and hurried to the doorway where his mother crouched, peering out. The flickering firelight from burning huts glinted on her face and the wire jewelry around her neck. Shadowed figures moved around the far huts, silhouetted against the destructive flames.
“Stay low and follow me.” She looked at her sons to see if they understood.
Both boys nodded.
Slipping a bundle onto her back and carrying a second, Kofi melted into the blackness. Baakir was close enough to touch her skirt but didn’t loosen his grip on little Azizi’s hand. The three became part of the moonless night as they dashed for the depression of the wadi and the deep grass beyond. Each knew they could be discovered at any second.
From the darkness of the shallow gully, the three watched as friends and neighbors were hauled out of the huts and, at gun point, were forced into a cluster in the village center. It was dangerous to linger too long. They couldn’t help their friends.
Kofi motioned to her two small sons and, crouching low, the family moved through the deepest part of wadi. During the rainy season the wadi held water, and at night some of the wild animals drank there, but now it was dry so that was one fear they didn’t need to face right away. The rounded rocks at the bottom of the dry stream bed shifted beneath their feet. If they stumbled now and twisted an ankle they would be found, and Kofi feared what would happen to them.
Step by careful step, they made as much haste as was possible. Within ten minutes, the gully ended and the earth rose steeply. Kofi pushed Baakir up the sloughing bank to the top. Picking up little Azizi, she held him as high as she could and whispered instructions to the youngster. Arms above his head, he was in reach of his older brother, who pulled the child to the top. They lay flat on the ground as Kofi sought hollows for her hands and feet, only to have the bank crumble under her weight. They could still hear gunshots and an occasional scream from the direction of the village. Struggling, her breath choppy with her frantic efforts, she finally managed to get her shoulders over the rim and pull herself up.
She hadn’t been this way in about nine years and never at night. Hugging her sons, she whispered her praise, “You are very brave. I’m so proud of you, and I know your dad would be, too.” She stroked their cheeks. “You’re tired but we can’t stop here.”
Hugging little Azizi, Baakir asked, “Where are we going, Mom?”
“We’re going to my childhood home. I still have family there, and it is away from much of the fighting. We’ll be safer there, I think. It is several days away. Come. We need to find a place to rest.”
She got to her feet and, picking up her bundles, she helped her children stand. One more loving touch and a smile for both children and she was moving again. Baakir heard the throaty grourff of a hunting lion in the distance to his left and, swinging little Azizi onto his back, quickened his pace, to be within touching distance of his mother.
At dawn, they hollowed a place in the tall grass. Azizi slid off his back as Baakir sank to his knees. Within minutes, both little boys were curled up and sound asleep, the tears on Azizi’s cheeks drying to leave salt trails that glistened in the morning light.

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Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

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The 4th Book in The Sage Seed Chronicles is here!

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THE REWEAVING

Book 4 of the Sage Seed Chronicles
by
Holly Barbo
GENRE: YA Fantasy
A major event of cataclysmic proportions threatens Ose. The damage done by false gossip and accusations has infected people’s minds, and a misguided but deadly witch hunt hinders the remaining sages’ ability to concentrate on correcting the planet’s imbalance.
Their one chance to save the civilization comes with the next eclipse, but there are too few of them left, and very little time. The people, the weather, and even the planet itself seem to fight them at every step.
Can Drune and the other sages reweave the fabric of their world before the eclipse tears it apart?
Chapter 1: Plotting
Bure adjusted his seat in the saddle. His hands were chafed raw as the Great One’s security had bound him to his horse and had set their pace to cover as many miles as possible during each day. They thought they had him confined and under control. He knew they were comfortably complacent in their plans to exile him on Obsidian Island. He sneered to himself. They underestimated him. He was Bure: the smartest, strongest and most resourceful man in the whole realm. They would regret their treatment of him when he became the Great One. It was only a matter of time.
It was he alone who had devised the potent contact poison. The memory of its musty yet acidic smell came back to him and he smiled. He had tested it on a number of stupid animals before he used it on his aunt. She had been getting too nosey anyway, and her death just proved that his formula worked.
Bure’s eyes narrowed at the memory. It had been the final test, and its success proved that the Ancients smiled on his endeavor. He felt some people were different, and he set about eliminating them. There was something odd about them. He didn’t understand why they seemed distinct, but whatever it was, those people had to go. So they died. It was as simple as that. Too bad that some citizens held those individuals in high esteem.
Since he couldn’t be everywhere at once, he had recruited his brother, Targ, and cousin, Wras. He told them that their victims were witches, and they were more than happy to track down the people on his list and use his poison as he directed. It was a marvelous plan. Then Targ died of his own clumsiness and Wras unraveled — spilling information about Bure’s brilliance to the authorities. He’d take the personal pleasure of killing his cousin as soon as he became the Great One. Eliminate weakness and inefficiency.
He figured it out. First, he would overcome the men around him. The security force thought that they were safe and that fact meant they would relax their vigilance and slip up. He’d get loose and kill a couple. He’d been talking to them every chance he got. They were now aware of his brilliance. He had always got ahead because of his natural skills. This time would be no different. They would see that he was a superior leader. By the time they got through Tight Valley, the security team would be his.
Tonight would be his night, as tomorrow they would travel beyond the valley and reach Kunscap. His eyes glittered in anticipation. With their loyalty switched to him, he would establish himself as leader of the realm. His new forces would capture the Great One and those loyal to him and then take them all to Obsidian Island. He was merciful that way. They would live the rest of their life in the extinct volcano, never to escape. Then he would round up that little bitch Erin and those remaining on his kill list and take them to Obsidian to keep the old leader company.
Once he had the reins of the realm in his hands, things would settle down. He had it all figured out. He went over his plans in his head. Tonight, things would change.
The Lost, book 5, will be available fall of 2016.

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

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THE SAGE SEED CHRONICLES
Review tour for book 1 – 3
by
Holly Barbo


GENRE: YA Fantasy
There are no monsters on Ose. People can be monstrous enough.
Disaster strikes the beautiful world of Ose. Marisily is one of the Sages who can help heal the planet when nuclear winter pushes the civilization back to the brink of destruction. Only she doesn’t know her own powers yet.
It is survival of the fittest as vicious outlaws destroy all that remains, kidnapping, enslaving and killing those weaker than themselves.
With a bounty on her head, alone and betrayed by her own father, can a young woman find the strength and wisdom necessary to rally the good people of Ose and rebuild their culture?

Sari worsened as the day wore on. She was too weak to fight off the effects of the abuse and the fever at the same time. Marisily was at her mother’s side when she died. She closed her mother’s eyes and wrapped her in a clean sheet. Then she sat at her mother’s side and rocked back and forth as the tears rolled down her cheeks. Eventually, her sobbing breaths quieted and she wiped her cheeks.

Dazed, Marisily resumed her duties. She had made a stew in the afternoon with the thought that the broth would be nourishing for her mother. Now she served it to her father for dinner. Jed came in from his workroom and started eating when Marisily quietly said, “Mother’s dead. I have prepared her for burial.”

Jed gave his daughter a long look before he answered. Marisily sensed he was considering saying something that she wouldn’t like and she steeled herself for it, but when he spoke all he said was, “I am sorry to hear that. She was a good wife. The only thing she didn’t do was give me a son. I’ll move her body to the workshop before I go out tonight.” He scooped another piece of meat from the stew and chewed thoughtfully. “Daughter, I don’t think I can continue to support you. I will give you a choice. Rory, the herder, needs a wife. He’s a friend of mine. I don’t believe he has ever cleaned his place and though he is eight years older than me, he is lusty enough to keep you busy. I think he could take you to wife tomorrow. Or you could leave. It makes no difference to me. As your father, I don’t need to give you a choice, but since I’m grieving the loss of your mother, I will be generous. If you are still here tomorrow morning, I’ll know your decision is to wed.” He finished his meal and pushed back from the table. “I am going into Morraton to meet with friends. I’ll bring my new wife home after I bury Sari tomorrow.” Jed put on his heavy coat and smiled to himself as the door closed behind him. He didn’t believe his daughter had enough warm clothing to survive. She would either set out tonight and freeze to death or would stay and leave with Rory tomorrow. It didn’t make any difference to him. She would be gone either way.

Marisily cleared the table, giving her father time to go down the trail to town, keeping an eye on the window until he disappeared from sight. There was no way she was going to remain. Angry at her father’s offhand comments, total insensitivity and arrogance, she was also fully aware of her danger. Marisily had been very lucky that her father had given her a choice. She had been thinking about where she would go. There was a place that she had seen several years before. At the time, Jed had been gone on a journey to obtain yarns spun in Osily. Sari and Marisily had ranged miles from the cabin picking berries. They had separated, to cover more area. Marisily thought hard about where that place was. They had meandered through the foothills during that gathering trip.

She brought out her coat, and put on all of her warmest clothes as well as a few things of her mother’s. Her father would never allow her to leave with anything he deemed his property and that included everything in the home. Marisily knelt by her bed and, rolling back the rug, she removed the floorboard. She pulled out a heavy, knitted hat, scarf and gloves that she had made for her mother’s upcoming birthday and donned them. Her mother would be happy that she was using the gift to survive. Quickly, Marisily emptied her secret cubbyhole of her journal and other small treasures. Gathering what she could carry that she felt her father wouldn’t miss, Marisily stepped outside and disappeared from her childhood home. She had no intention of ever coming back.

There are no monsters on Ose. People can be monstrous enough.

A virulent disease sweeps through the budding civilization on the planet Ose. As people are dropping like flies, the healers’ guild is not making headway in finding a cure.
Just as every hope seems lost, young Ree comes into her sage powers. Despite having to fight the disapproval from those who think her too young and inexperienced, she comes up with a cure from unusual natural sources.
The race is on to get ahead of the epidemic. Time is tight, and a swindler’s “miracle cure” makes matters worse.
With Ree and the healers’ lives in danger, is the whole planet doomed?

Ree smiled and turned away to scan the verge of the grassland where it met the woods. There seemed to be a very subtle movement in the tall stalks as the inconsistent breeze moved the tassels of ripe grass seeds. Ree gazed with casual curiosity at the wind-kissed grass. Her nonchalance gave way to amazement as she realized she and Catri were not alone. Slowly, she sat up straighter and reached out to Catri.

At Ree’s touch, Catri opened her eyes and looked at the young woman’s alert posture. “What is it?” she whispered.

Ree barely breathed the answer, “I’ve never seen any animal like this. It’s beautiful, but what it is, I don’t know.”

The answer did not come from Catri, but instead was spoken inside of Ree’s head. “I’m a lyrix. We are ancient inhabitants of this world. My name is Raow. We prefer to stay hidden. There are few of us left now, but at one time, long before the race you call the Ancients arrived, we were the psychic species that held this world together.” Raow had both Catri and Ree’s undivided attention.

Catri, who had also heard the creature’s voice in her head, spoke first. “Your kind is legend. Stories from the Ancients refer to you, but I have never heard of anyone seeing you. Thank you for this gift.”

Raow continued to focus on the younger woman, though he didn’t seem to mind Catri’s involvement in the conversation. Ree studied the fascinating animal. Raow was about twenty inches high at the shoulder. He was covered in fur from his four paws to the tips of his pointed ears. His tail was no more than five inches long and he had a ruff of fur from under his jaw to behind his ears. Raow had intelligent, gold eyes. The rest of his coloring seemed to shift and change with what was around him as if he was a figment of their imagination. But Raow was quite real.

Ree spoke, all the time keeping his gaze. “I’m honored that you decided to make yourself known to us. Can you tell us why?”

Raow returned her scrutiny. “We lyrix choose who sees us and who will be accepted as part of our family. Ree, we share a special type of kinship. You are a sage with barely awakened powers. This is so new, you haven’t become aware of it. I’m here to provide guidance in these skills and to be in your life when you need me.

Something is shaking Erin’s world. Freak storms and disastrous earthquakes ravage the land, and perfectly healthy people are suddenly dying. Are these harmless coincidences or deliberate, connected events?
Erin’s parents die of a mysterious fever, but she isn’t fooled. It is clearly murder. Why would someone want to kill a weaver and his wife? Besides, Erin can feel that same malevolent energy hunting her down. Is that a new skill she didn’t know she had?
With no time to grieve, Erin leaves home and joins a merchant caravan for protection and to give herself time to solve the puzzle.
Who killed her parents? Why are they trying to kill her, too? And why is the planet unraveling?
There was a breeze in the moonlit forest; the shadows shifted and blended as the branches moved. A young woman raced between the trees, oblivious to the branches that tore at her hair and clothing. In her haste, her feet slipped on the leaves and decaying foliage, adding to her terrified flight. The slender girl whirled behind a tree and crouched low. Her large, blue eyes darted back over her trail, searching the flickering shadows for her pursuer. Her breathing was ragged. Where was he?
She tried to catch her breath so she could listen, but her heart was racing like a stampeding elk; her breathing was so choppy that her whimpers escaped her throat in short, ragged bursts. She looked around the tree at the terrain she had just covered. Was that a movement back there? With a gasp, she darted back behind the tree and staggered into motion. She knew he was following. Goose bumps raced up her arms as she tore over the small rise, her heart pumping like a smithy’s bellows.
Something brushed her cheek. At first the soft touch didn’t register through the overwhelming terror of her flight but it came again, this time with a voice. ‘Erin. It’s all right. You’re safe for now. Erin, hear me.’
The light contact came again and abruptly broke through her mind. Startled out of the nightmare that had gripped her, she opened her eyes and, with a shuddering breath, looked up into the gentle eyes of the merlin falcon that was standing beside her head.
“Thank you, Keir.” Her breath hitched as she spoke. She rose up on one elbow and reached up to touch the bird, but her hand quivered with the remaining adrenaline that still coursed through her blood. “That was . . . terrifying.”
The bird bobbed his head. ‘The nightmare is understandable. The murder of your parents is bad enough, but there’s also the fact that you have new abilities. Erin, you’re sensing the dangerous person who is seeking you. I am sure of it, and that had to play into your dream. But that person isn’t near. My kind have been watching. Rest. Dawn will arrive soon. There are some miles to go yet to get to Ree. She will have some answers for you. Rest. You are safe for now.’
Erin’s nod was a little shaky. She could feel the sweat from the nightmare drying on her skin. “You’re right. It was so real, it’ll take me a few minutes to be clear of it so I can sleep. I’m sorry I woke you, Keir.” She shook her head and her long hair slipped behind her shoulders. A few strands still clung to the sticky sweat on her face. Erin raised a hand that was steadier than it had been moments before and brushed the hair away from her forehead. “I know Ree will at least be able to advise me, because she’s a wise woman, and right now I need all of the advice I can get.” She looked off through the trees. “I think we are no more than several hours away.” Erin sighed then sank back down and pulled her blanket around her. “Thank you, my friend. You get more rest too,” she said with a smile.
Keir made a small sound in the back of his throat before flying to a low branch above her. ‘I may be gone when you wake but I will not be far. Just keep going to Ree’s home.’
BOOKS 4 & 5 OF THE SAGE SEED CHRONICLES
A major event of cataclysmic proportions threatens Ose. The damage done by false gossip and accusations has infected people’s minds, and a misguided but deadly witch hunt hinders the remaining sages’ ability to concentrate on correcting the planet’s imbalance.
Their one chance to save the civilization comes with the next eclipse, but there are too few of them left, and very little time. The people, the weather, and even the planet itself seem to fight them at every step.
Can Drune and the other sages reweave the fabric of their world before the eclipse tears it apart? 

Long-lost artifacts lure people from a lost population out on a secret quest. At the same time, an unexpectedly strong winter storm forces Erin to take refuge in an isolated cabin. Unbeknownst to her, this was the last known location of the missing items that Kai, one of the lost, is looking for.
Dismayed to find Erin at the cabin, he reacts in the only logical way: Kill any witnesses to protect his people.
With a ferocious blizzard ravaging the realm, will the sages be able to prevent bloodshed? And what would it take to avoid war with THE LOST ones? 

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.