Birthday Surprise :) – 2021 edition

Hello and welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I walk out of the office, hungry, tired, and annoyed with those who surround me at work, I hear a soft voice calling to me from above and see a Tantalarian…. Wait, there are two of them. They looks so familiar, they remind me of Kyllan.

We have come to take you on a short trip.One explains.

I can’t believe I am hearing this, short trip? How short and by whose standards? Then again I have to question what I have to lose? Tantalarians, and they are dressed in their ceremonial costumes. I have no intention of making this easy on them though, even if I have nowhere better to go. I am also going to be alone in the apartment for hours before my son gets back from his outing with friends.

“I want to know your names.”

I am Kystan,one of the winged Tantalarians introduces himself.

I am Kyran,the other follows.

We are here to take you to see some of your friends,Kystan announces as he holds out a hand to me.

Past, present, or future? I tease.

Anything is possible on certain days of our lives, especially when we have friends with connections, Kyran snickers.

Oh yes, this could be interesting.

Within seconds we are all air bound and I have to stifle a scream at the speed we are traveling. I can hear Kyran speaking to me in my mind. You will be safe with us, my lady. We give you our promise. We are only taking you to the mother ship, everything is set up there. It would take too long to go to Tantalus.

My immediate thought is that Kyllan can’t be at the controls or he would show them what is too long or not, especially if Vasalon is playing the part of second in command.

The moment we arrive, I am whisked away to a large room where there are scenes set up for me to check out. The room smells of pine and starflowers, there are other exotic scents in the air that I cannot place and I wonder what they are. As the thought runs through my mind a dark haired Elf I remember meeting mere days ago walks out of a scene and smiles as he offers me his arm to escort me further into the room. It is Raven, and I am intrigued as he speaks, There are others who would like to be remembered by you awaiting you beyond.

I move forward, and it is like walking on a cloud. Raven takes me to the entrance of another scene, and I watch as a blond Elf comes to the opening and holds out his arms to me, Eniko, you remember me, your very first Elven lover? They say a woman never forgets her first.

Marious!I give a squeal and run into his arms to be embraced.You are so right, you never forget your first love, and you are still in my heart.

He moves aside and another blonde Elf takes his place, and I see my one true Emperor of love.

He holds out his arms to catch me and laughs happily then leads me further into the room where there is a fireplace that emits warmth, as well as the scent of burning pinecones. It seems you do remember me after all. Come, we will talk for a while, and then you will go on to meet others who are waiting to see you.

Are you real? I can’t help but wonder.

As real as anything in this universe,Loth answers with an enigmatic grin.

After a short time, another blond Elf walks through the doorway and smiles at me, It is time to move on. I know I was not one of your favorites, but I don’t mind. I should hope that you do remember me with some fondness though.

I smile. The silver-blue eyes are dead giveaway. Gabriel! You did manage to make me fond of you in the end though.I laugh while I wink at him.

Within moments I am standing before Kyllan and he is wearing his ceremonial garment, Hallelujah! He smiles at me and opens his wings to invite me closer for a Tantalarian hug. Before I emerge from within his embrace, there are others like him, Kystan, Kyran, Vasalon, Trysuil, and … shock of a lifetime, Mitchell! All wearing their ceremonial costumes. We barely have time to share greetings, hugs, a few memories, and I am being taken to another corner of the ship, there I am left alone.

The lights grow dim until there is only the glow of candlelight to lead me forward in the distance. The scent of starflowers saturates the air, and they line the path I follow. There in the opening to an opulent room stands a lone Elf. He smiles, holds out his arms to welcome me in, and I break into a run. “Athiän!” I cry as I am cradled in his arms and he kisses me. Happy birthday, my one and only. I have made it possible for us to spend time together on this day. For you, nothing is too much to hope for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Until next time, happy reading / listening!

Surprised by visitors from Tantalus

Hello and welcome!

Read on my surprise visit I got yesterday.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A knock on my door gives warning that I am about to have guests, and considering the time of the day, I assume it isn’t just anyone. I open the door and can’t stop the squeal of delight I give. “Kyllan!”

It has been ages.

I quickly open the door wider to allow Kyllan to come in, and note that he is being followed by an Elf, or someone I assume is an Elf. What is this about?

Kyllan opens his arms and invites me in for a hug, which I am more than glad to accept, as well as return. It has been entirely too long since we have met, Eniko. I am glad to see you again.

I agree, I reply, as I watch the man behind Kyllan. The Elf is gorgeous, but not the way Loth is. He is cheeky though, as he smiles at me before winking.

Kyllan catches the wink and frowns as he turns to make the introduction. “This is the newest member of our Tantalarian planet, or at least should I say the newest of many whom I have gotten to know about. I have come here to solicit your help. His name is Raven.

I hold out my hand to shake Raven’s and he smiles openly as he bows, takes my hand in his and presses a kiss to my knuckles. What a charming friend you have, Kyllan. You didn’t mention that we were travelling to meet such a gracious and charming lady.

I clear my throat, recognizing an act when I see one. Raven’s actions make me wonder what is going on here. I know how to play this though. Welcome to my home, Raven. Please come in, can I get you two some refreshments?

Kyllan smiles and answers with a smile that tells me he is amused and can see right through me. I frown at him and send him a thought, It isn’t polite to peek.

Kyllan replies, “You are broadcasting.In a more vocal manner, he adds, You know what I like.

I definitely do, but how about your friend, Raven? I wonder.

Raven’s eyes narrow slightly as he also smiles and answers, I prefer my water as fresh from a spring stream as I can get it.

I falter for a moment then nod, I can see what I can do, but distilled is probably as close to that as I can get.

Raven replies, I am sure it will be perfect, coming from you.

The man is up to something. He is being too obviously charming. I toss Kyllan a quick glance and send him a question, What is this all about?

Kyllan quells a grin as he answers me telepathically, I am not sure, I was hoping you could help me ferret the answer out of Raven.

As I place the bottles of cold water before Kyllan, Raven, and myself, I begin my interrogation, I am assuming that as you are with Kyllan, Raven, that M.A. had something to do with you meeting each other.

Raven gives no indication that he knows what I am talking about, M.A.?

Alright, now I know for sure I am being stonewalled. M.A. Abraham, the one who writes about Tantalus?

Ahh,Raven gives a nod of recognition, then takes a drink. I know of her, and yes, she did introduce Kyllan and I. However, she didn’t mention much about anyone from Earth. I assume we are on the planet Earth. Kyllan didn’t tell me where we were heading, but I know something about this system. The Phoenixes tell us much about the different world that surround Tantalus.

I reply, I am assuming she hasn’t done a lot of talking about you to anyone else though. Can you tell me why?

As I talk to Raven I can’t help but appreciate the view, shoot me, I am still breathing and he is stacked. He is also the polar opposite to Loth in coloring, having dark chestnut hair, bright blue eyes, and the type of physique a woman can appreciate. Oh yes, he is also dressed in leather from top to bottom.

Raven gives a shrug as he answers, The Phoenixes only tell what they want a person to know. I cannot tell you much more than that.

It looks like Raven is going to be a tough nut to crack. I ask, How long have you known about Tantalus and the Phoenixes?

Raven is open as he answers, All of my life.

I have to ask, Why is it that no one on Tantalus has mentioned you before?

Raven is vague in his response. We just met, so I assume the Phoenix didn’t tell them about us.

Would you like to fill us in on what we have been missing?I ask as I watch Raven drink the water and sigh. How do Elves make even the simplest things look sexy?

Raven finishes off the bottle and replies, You can ask, but I have no intention of telling you any more at this time than I did Kyllan. You can read about how we get to meet in ‘People of the Phoenix’ though. Perhaps the story will provide you with the answers you are seeking.Raven then shrugs as shoulder as he adds, Then again, perhaps it won’t. I do believe we have to leave now though. The mothership will be coming around again and we can’t afford to miss it. Am I right Kyllan?

Kyllan frowns and replies, Unfortunately, you are. I am sorry I can’t stay longer, but we can’t afford to leave Tantalus visible for any length of time. I am sure you understand, Eniko. I will return at a later date though.

As I stand, I answer, I will hold you to that promise.

This time Kyllan walks out onto my balcony, wraps his arms around Raven, and as he jumps into the air he spreads his great wings and takes to the sky. Kyllan and Raven are gone for now, but I can be sure they will be back, and I will be waiting to find out what this is about.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well? What do you think? Did it pique your interest?

If you read my posts before, you know Kyllan hails from the Tantalus series by one of my fave authors, M. A. Abraham.

Raven hails from “People of the Phoenix“, book 0.5, the intro in the new spin-off series “Tantalus United“, continuing the saga from the Tantalus series.

As Tantalus begins to come back to life from the ice age it went through, the population of Tantalus labour to create their idea of Utopia. They don’t realize there is more to this land than what they know.

Trysuil is haunted by a feeling of being excluded by the Phoenixes, something that should not be happening. He is the Adjudicator, he should be a part of what is going on in this developing world.

Under the command of The Great Phoenix, the favoured people of the Phoenix travel the girth of the planet to return to their homelands. It is time they were introduced to their new neighbours and returned to the outside world. They have lived in Sanctuary for long enough.

The ways are challenging and the tests they face, as they search for their identity to retake their place on the planet are many. Will they be able to reach their goal when so many obstacles stand in their way?

Add it to your Goodreads TBR list.

Find the buy links here.

My review: 5 stars

My dream became true, my two favourite worlds created by Ms. Abraham combined, I actually squealed in excitement when I found out. Elves are on Tantalus! YAY

The Elves have been on Tantalus, relocating to a better region and go through many trials getting there. Being shielded by the Phoenix, they remain a mystery that frustrates the rest of the Tantalus population, The Great Phoenix is not being forthcoming which made me question it for a while.

Being the giving type, all those living on Tantalus unite and jump in to help when is needed. Went through many emotions while reading this story, it had a good ending. Left me curious how the new world of Tantalus will progress going forward.

If you like fantasy and sci-fi genres, I recommend this story with 5 stars.

CONGRATS to M. A. Abraham on the new release!

Make sure you sign up to Ms. Abraham’s blog and follow on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.

To celebrate the release, Ms. Abraham will gift one of you with the ebook copy of ‘People of the Phoenix’. Tell me in the comments which one would you choose, if you had a choice, an Elf or a winged Tantalarian, for a Life Mate? Sexy Mr. Random will pick a name tomorrow after 3 pm, November 23, 2021. Good luck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Until next time, happy reading / listening!

Audiobooks to listen to: The Wolf and the Witch

Hello and welcome!

I recommend this story with 5 stars!

The Wolf and the Witch is book 1 in the Blood Brothers series by one of my fave authors, Claire Delacroix.

The three sons of a notorious mercenary should never have met…but now that they are sworn allies, the Scottish Borders will never be the same….

Denied his rightful legacy, Maximilian de Vries devised a plan to avenge himself upon his father and see his own future secured. Allied with his two forgotten half-brothers, he descends upon ancient and mysterious Kilderrick, determined to claim it at any price. A woman rumored to be a witch is the sole one bold enough to defy him but Maximilian has a solution – he will take her to wife, whether she be willing or nay, and seal his claim.

But this powerful warrior has yet to match wits with Alys Armstrong, a maiden with a thirst for vengeance and a fury that might exceed his own. Alys has no intention of capitulating to the proud and illegitimate son of the rogue who stole everything from her, and she does not share his avowed compulsion to fight fair.

Bitter enemies from the outset, Maximilian and Alys’ match is a battle of wills. When anger turns to passion, will either of them be able to resist temptation? And when Kilderrick itself is in peril, will they be able to join forces to save the unexpected love they have come to value above all else?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My review:

Story – 5 stars
Performance – 5 stars

I loved all the books by Ms. Delacroix that I listened to so far and this is no different.
The story is not what appears at the beginning, it emerges in stages, with many twists and it was a delight to be on this journey with Maximilian and Alys to their HEA. At times I didn’t think they will make it, but make it they did and then some. The characters will make you like, love or hate them, but all unforgettable. Loved the ending, left me with a happy heart.

Timothy Campbell is a new-to-me voice and oh so yummy, an ‘eargasm’ for sure, varied to reflect each character. My fave is the voice he gave Max, deep and rumbling. The voices given the female characters are equally good, without being sounding false. Looking forward to more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the author

Bestselling and award-winning author Claire Delacroix has published over seventy novels and novellas. Her first book, Romance of the Rose was published in 1993. She is USA Today and nationally bestselling, and her medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Claire Delacroix is a pseudonym used by Deborah Cooke for her historical and fantasy romances. Deborah also publishes contemporary and paranormal romances as Deborah Cooke and has written as Claire Cross.

Check out the website for more info and links to social media.

About the narrator

Tim Campbell is an award winning actor and singer who lives in Los Angeles, CA. He works primarily in audiobook narration and voice over and has narrated hundreds of titles spanning almost every genre. He has won or been nominated for almost every major award in the audiobook industry, including most recently a 2018 Audie, a 2019 Audie (nom), a 2019 Voice Arts Award, and several Independent Audiobook and Audiofile Magazine Earphones awards. Career highlights include Moby Dick (Brilliance Audio), Labarynth (Catherine Coulter), The Phantom of the Opera (Brilliance Audio), The Joe Dillard Legal Thrillers (Tim Campbell/Audible Studios), The Unhuman/Inspector Hobbes series (Findaway), The Mountain (HighBridge) and various short stories and novellas by Neil Gaiman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Ken Liu, Helen DeWitt, and many many others. He lived and trained in the UK and Germany, narrates as both an American and a Brit, and has studied performance diction in German, Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese, and Latin. He specializes in accents, dialects, and character work and holds three degrees in theater and music as well as graduating from the esteemed two year Great Books Colloquium of Pepperdine University.

In his other, musical life, Tim sings regularly with the LA Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera, and in studio sessions for TV and Film. Highlights include principal ensemble in Candide at LA Opera, Courfeyrac in Les Miserables at Fresno Grand Opera, Jud in Oklahoma with Cabrillo Music Theater, and Anthony in Sweeney Todd with Pacific Opera Project and singing on the soundtrack for Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker and films such as Creed 2, Venom, and many others.

Check out the website for more info and links to social media.

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Until next time, happy reading / listening!

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