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The Year-god’s Daughter Free on Kindle!

Click on cover

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

 

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

The Thinara King is OUT!

After many delays, the second book of The Child of the Erinyes series is out and available, at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon!

From the back cover:

“Goddess Athene’s white-hot rage incinerates Callisti and inflames the seas. Crete is left in ruins.

Chrysaleon of Mycenae inherits the crown of an annihilated world.

The Thinara King

As death looms closer, he stumbles upon an ancient prophecy foretelling the rise of the Thinara King. This ruler will possess unimaginable power and upend sacred traditions. Commandeering the title could save his life. But it could also destroy everything he has fought to achieve, and create an easy path for the brother he hates to step in and steal it all.

Will love transform him, or will he betray Aridela and defy the obligation of the labyrinth?

The epic Bronze Age tale continues as Athene tests her champions beyond endurance, beyond rescue, beyond salvation.”

Currently, The Thinara King is available for the KINDLE, the NOOK, and in paperback form.

Comments from those who have already dived in:

“Lochlann weaves raw passion and black betrayal into an epic tale of destiny–a master storyteller at the height of her powers.” Sulari Gentill, author of The Rowland Sinclair series and The Hero Trilogy, published by Pantera Press.

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At BOOKSQUAWK: “Author Lochlann does a fine job describing the destruction: inescapable waves of blistering heat and choking ash; the endless series of earthquakes and resulting tsunamis. The survivors are soon subjected to even more horror at the hands of a vengeful and opportunistic conqueror from the mainland, whose soldiers overrun the embattled island and pillage what little is left of the once proud and mighty civilization.” Melissa Conway, author of Xenofreak Nation and Selfsame.

“This is storytelling at its best!” V.R. Christensen, author of Blind and Of Moths and Butterflies.

Thank you for reading! I welcome and look forward to all comments!

A little excerpt from The Thinara King

From Chapter Seven:

Snow fell in a blinding squall, carried first one direction then another by mercurial winds. Bitter cold stung Aridela’s face and almost immediately penetrated her jerkin.

Slinging a bow and quiver of arrows over one shoulder, she scraped snow from the trunk of a cypress, clearing a bare strip all the way around. Barbs of gale-driven ice lashed her eyes and cheeks as she found what she was looking for, evidence of frozen lichen on what should be the north side. She staggered into the blizzard, hoping she’d successfully determined east, and Knossos.

I do your bidding, Athene. I follow your will. Please, please—

The plea died before it formed. Menoetius would never forgive what she had said. There was no use asking.

Snow fell like a cold white ocean from a darkly overcast sky. All sound was muffled. There was no way to be certain she’d chosen the right direction. If only the sun would come out, even for a moment.

Menoetius’s warning returned. What if this reckless escape sent her straight to enemy search parties?

Surely they wouldn’t be looking for her in such a storm.

Don’t you trust me? She fancied a thrum of laughter under Chrysaleon’s words. Don’t you know I will protect you?

She closed her eyes. Show me the way, my love.

But there was only the swish of snow eddying in the wind. Only Menoetius’s face when she called him ugly.

Then she heard it. The crunch of deliberate steps. She opened her eyes and stared into the face of a large wild goat, its long, arched horns almost invisible under a coating of snow. It stood the length of a half-grown fir tree from her, staring back, perhaps trying to understand the sight of a motionless human transforming into a snow-drenched pillar.

Its meat would provide food for a month. But something stopped her even as her half-frozen fingers felt for the bow. Athene. Lady of the wild things.

Losing interest, the ibex turned and lumbered away. Aridela followed, trying to keep a discreet distance.

It came to a steep hill, dotted with mounds of stunted juniper bushes and a few twisted pine trees. The beast climbed effortlessly, crossing beneath a curious rock formation that rose high and curved into an arch, like a doorway. Aridela craned her neck to see the rough crown, half hidden in storm fog. Forced to use her hands as well as her feet, she scrambled then slipped backward, unable to secure footing in the slick snow. Within seconds the animal had disappeared. “Wait,” she cried. “I can’t walk as fast as you,” but wind and a wall of snow stuffed her words back into her throat.

Eventually, she reached the summit. Snow was falling so copiously by now that she couldn’t see past the length of her arm. She stumbled along the ridge, calling, “I’m here. Where are you? Come back.”

Iphiboë materialized before her, arms extended. “Aridela!”

Shock drew Aridela up short. She tried to blink the snow from her lashes, fighting hope and disbelief. “Iphiboë?”

Before she could begin to accept this miracle, the image disintegrated into the dark, solid form of Menoetius. Snow caked his hair and beard. He squinted. His mouth lay tense and severe.

“What are you doing?” Without waiting for an answer, he picked her up like a twig and flung her over one shoulder. “Two more steps and you would have been over the edge. How much would that help your people, you lying dead at the bottom of this gorge?”

Thanks to all who entered my Goodreads giveaway, lovely people who are willing to take a chance on my books.

Of Moths & Butterflies: V.R. Christensen

Of Moths and Butterflies

This carefully, beautifully crafted novel takes the reader on a journey toward love, acceptance, enlightenment, insight, and trust. It really is written in the style of a Victorian novel (It brings to mind several authors) and it takes place in Victorian times. The book is filled with riveting characters, and each one is lovingly fleshed-out, so that the reader grows intimately attached to all (except Sir Edmund and Wyndham, the dark side of the mirror, so to speak), and learns to understand what emotions, life events, and histories are prompting their actions (and in some cases, inactions). While I liked and rooted for Imogen, I was perhaps most drawn to Archer. He is a complex hero in every sense. Young Charlie, too, was a well-drawn child who tugs at, and captures, the heart.

Imogen suffers an attack. This event affects her so profoundly that she runs away from home and what’s left of her family and pretends to be a servant. Her rashly-made choice will change her life, in some ways for the better, and in some ways for worse. Due to the act of running away, she is exposed to Archer, who also has mysteries and pain in his own past, and who is very much drawn to this captivating young woman he believes to be a low-born servant. Yet, subconsciously, he can tell that is not the case. She is also exposed to Sir Edmund, Archer’s uncle, one of the most despicable, unlikeable, cruel fictional characters I have ever had the misfortune and the pleasure of meeting in the pages of a book. Another of my favorites was the wise and inestimable Mrs. Montegue, who throws in her two cents at the most opportune moments, and it would be an error to not mention the tragic, heartbreaking Bess, (Charlie’s mother) who literally brought tears to my eyes; and the crotchety yet loyal Mrs. Hartup. Of the many twists and turns in the human relationships, one that was absolutely delightful, scintillating in every way, was the budding relationship between Clair and Roger. I loved it!

There is growth in this story, setbacks, danger, abuse, triumph and tragedy. There is everything a lover of historical fiction and romance could want. The dialogue is done so skillfully that one almost feels the characters are in the room conversing. I especially loved how masterfully the author wrote anger, confrontation, and arguments. Sexual-romantic tension runs underneath the misunderstandings and miscommunication. Archer and Imogen are obviously very much attracted to each other. Yet, time after time, something comes between them, preventing them from exploring these deeper feelings.

Of Moths and Butterflies is no light, fast, simple, romp. This is a book to sink one’s teeth into, and to curl up with on a long winter’s afternoon. It hearkens back (for me) to the books I read years ago: meaty novels that took their time and told a magnificent story. I wish more books would be written this way.

Highly recommended for those who love big, complex historical fiction novels with a strong romantic element. Clicking on the cover image will take you to its Amazon page.

Axios: Dolores McCabe

Axios

This is the first book I have ever read that is told almost completely in dialogue. There is very little description or narration, only just enough, and I must say, with a few minor exceptions, it works beautifully. This author’s gift is dialogue; she must have realized that at some point and she uses it brilliantly. It may well be the best book I have ever read when it comes to razor-like crystalline flow of conversation. So much character and setting comes through simply by the way these people converse. Impressive, and it’s clear the author feels very much at home and comfortable with these historical figures.

Axios is a fast read, not surprising, as dialogue reads more quickly than narration. I was swiftly drawn in to the fate of the protagonists, both good and bad. When the worst thing that can happen happens to Claudia Acte–a trained hetairi, Greek by birth and a slave-prostitute in Rome–(I grew quite fond of how she is almost always called by her full name, Claudia Acte) I was in tears. Her despair rang clear through me; I identified with her suffering as completely as though it was happening to me. I could imagine it all too well, every time she screamed, “Is it finished yet?” Tigellinus is an amazing jerk: even when he finally discovers why she fell into misery so profound only death could give relief, he doesn’t seem to really care, or seem to comprehend his part in it. I’m still not sure if he didn’t do it deliberately. After all, one of the first things he ever says to her is: “Reason? You have just been thrust from the gilded bowers of Reason into the twisted world of Survival. Learn quickly, Claudia Acte!” (I love that line.)

Axios is pure historical fiction. I have never studied Roman history, but the book appears to follow the lives of Nero, Tigellinus, Capito, Poppaea, Claudia Acte, and others of historical record.

Even if you aren’t a fan of straight historical fiction, or of Roman debauchery, or of Christian over-and-undertones, (I fall into all three categories) I can confidently recommend this book. The author paints all three aspects with a light brush, interweaving them together so that none takes precedence. Never did I feel I was being preached to or guided toward some particular belief. She leaves all that to each individual reader. Nero, in particular, is as I have always imagined him. Emotional, immature, selfish, cruel but thinking of himself as the opposite. A baby wearing a crown! He was wonderfully drawn. Tigellinus? I cannot to this moment decide how I feel about him. The first impression given lingered so that later, it was hard to see him in a more kindly light.

My only minor criticism would be that I needed a little more character development. Mostly I feel I can see the protagonists clearly, but still, I needed a little more, especially for Tigellinus, who came across cynical in the extreme, yet seemed to soften somehow, later, but I wasn’t quite sure how, or why. Acte, too, keeps much of herself hidden, even from the reader. I also hoped for a little more of Claudia Acte’s child, a daughter sent to Spain, but we never hear whether they were ever able to meet.

At the other end of the spectrum is the scene of the Great Fire, of which we have all heard something while in school. (“Nero sang while Rome burned.”) This scene was skillfully written. I visualized it all as I rode along with Tigellinus and his man Monsanus, who fought their way into the heat and danger searching for Claudia Acte. Also there is a scene of the classic Roman torture and death in the arena: this, too, was so skillfully written that I sadly envisioned it in detail.

I cannot say whether the author has a feminist intent, but for me, reading the way women and men treated each other in this era, a feminist manifesto shines through. On the one end, far too much of everything creates a sense of cheapness to life. On the other, life is a constant struggle to survive. Claudia Acte is envious of the poverty-stricken slaves who have nothing of their own. “They laughed, they gossiped. And when they were done they departed for their cramped, airless apartments over the stables. Acte listened to them. How could it be? They dwelt amidst squalor and severe deprivation, and yet they laughed. She sat amidst wealth and splendor and endured untold misery.” There seems to be very little in the way of honor, fidelity, or trust in Nero’s Rome. Simply everyone is at risk for all manner of evil, reminiscent of “Lord of the Flies.” One line stays with me: “Gods, Capito, didn’t you bring something to stuff in her mouth?” Capito replies, “I never stir without it. It’s my fist.”

Another line that stays with me, stated profoundly toward the end by Gaius Tigellinus: “I was once Rome’s lover. She is too possessive a mistress to submit to a lover’s abandonment.”
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