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Stop Your Blather

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the Enchanters of Sye world today, with an excerpt from her award-winning short story, Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane.

It Had a Heavy Golden Chain. And Potent Spells.
It Had a Heavy Golden Chain. And Potent Spells.

Retired Enchanter Tredan is alone in his magical curio shop, unpacking a box of charms.

A routine shipment holds an unpleasant surprise–a rival magician called a Church Enforcer has planted a charm inside the box that captures its recipient within a powerful enthrallment.

Tredan poses as a harmless secular magician now, and thought he was far removed from the Enchanter versus Church politics. But he has a shameful secret. This Enforcer knows about Tredan’s spell book, and the day of reckoning has arrived for the retired Enchanter. The Enforcer talks to Tredan through this Compulsion Charm.

Tredan forced his fingers open and stared at the Compulsion Charm. Unlike the other cheap charms in the box, this one had intricate scrollwork etched into a sparkling outer casing. It had a heavy golden chain. And potent spells.

He Kept His Hideous Journal Safe All These Years
He Kept His Hideous Journal Safe All These Years

Come to me. Bring the journal.

He had been cautious and kept his hideous journal safe all these years. How could he have been so susceptible? He was now caught and could not escape. Tredan bowed his head. His world went dark. For a time, all else went away except his despair. If the Enforcer came now, Tredan would surrender and be done with his furtive struggle.

Time passed. His black stupor lifted. Tredan raised his head.

“I will not hand over the journal. My bane.”

You will, Tredan.

“My marriage would be a sham if I gave up the journal now. I would not have Lanith think I used her to hide my secret.”

Tredan's Marriage to Lanith Would Be a Sham If He Gave Up the Journal Now
Tredan’s Marriage to Lanith Would Be a Sham If He Gave Up the Journal Now

You failed long ago when you accepted His Divine’s magic.

“He tricked me.”

Enchanters were gullible then. That’s why you fell.

“The Enchanters trusted the Church then. There’s a difference.” Tredan took a deep breath. “His Divine’s magic forced me to write the journal. I accept what’s happened.”

You’re resigned. Good.

“I’ve hidden it well.”

I’ll find the journal despite your stubbornness.

Tredan dropped the Compulsion Charm into his pocket. “Stop your blather, Church filth. I have matters to attend to.”

(Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane excerpt Copyright 2011 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

Read more in Chapter 1

Wrath on Amazon US

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Review: My Déjà vu Lover

My Déjà vu Lover by Phoebe Matthews is a contemporary romance about April, a twenty-something woman who relives flashbacks about an alluring boyfriend in a past life.

Flashbacks Plunge April Into the Starlet’s Life
Flashbacks Plunge April Into the Starlet’s Life

April is an out-of-work store clerk with three inseparable best friends named Cyd, Mac, and Tom. Her life is going along just fine until a terrifying vision of a car crash that killed a 1950s Hollywood starlet drops April into this woman’s last moments. At the most inconvenient times, more flashbacks plunge April into the starlet’s life before the crash. The actress’s love-struck visions swirl around her infatuation with a married leading man.

Her three friends humor April, convinced that she is making things up. But the ongoing visions show the starlet’s name. Tom flies April to the actress’s hometown where April discovers that this starlet was a real person. The four friends write it off to coincidence.

Then the starlet’s reincarnated lover walks into April’s life. She cannot resist this modern-day married man, and her life becomes stuck on the same path as the doomed starlet.

The Kind of Guy That Mothers Warn Their Daughters About
The Kind of Guy That Mothers Warn Their Daughters About

My Déjà vu Lover is a page-turner story about a likable heroine who cannot resist temptation–again.

Past lives and reincarnation have a fresh treatment here, and the plot delivers a nice mix of mystery and forbidden love. Phoebe Matthews creates believable, modern-day characters. The reincarnated lover is the kind of guy that mothers warn their daughters about, but alas, these charming hunks are just irresistible.

Gentle Readers who love time travel romances would enjoy My Déjà vu Lover. Just remember mother’s warnings about those seductive leading men.

My Déjà vu Lover on Amazon US

My Déjà vu Lover on Amazon UK

My Déjà vu Lover on Goodreads

Phoebe Matthews on Goodreads

Phoebe Matthews website

Review: Shadow Over Avalon

Shadow Over Avalon by C. N. Lesley is a science fiction story about young Arthur, who puzzles out his heritage in the technology-filled underwater city of Avalon.

The Archive is Everywhere and Sees Everything
The Archive is Everywhere and Sees Everything

Arthur is a telepathic young man who rebels against the life dictated by others. He is an orphan, and haunted by nightmares about a courageous young woman who lives on the primitive surface of his world.

Not knowing why he does so, Arthur uses the ubiquitous computer system called the Archive to relive the recordings of her life. It dawns on him that he and this woman have a mutual enemy. These all-powerful manipulators will stop at nothing to destroy this harmless-seeming young woman. They also want to destroy Arthur’s idyllic city hidden under the ocean. By the end of the story, Arthur connects his twisty fate to this woman, and we learn the horrifying motivations of their common foe.

Not About This Merlin
Not About This Merlin

Shadow Over Avalon is a delightful redux on the classic Arthurian Legend. It translates the fantasy into a science fiction treatise. It recasts Arthur, Merlin, and others into new personas. They have the same motivations as the originals, but struggle in a vastly different world. The clever plot kept Lita second-guessing.

C. N. Lesley has an expert touch with creating sympathetic and engaging characters. And the bad guys? The innocuous introduction lulled Lita at first, but by the end of the story Lita was all but squirming when she learned their motivations. Lita must read the sequel to see how Arthur and his out-matched friends figure out how to beat these utterly despicable bad guys.

Gentle Readers who enjoy Arthur’s classic struggles would like Shadow Over Avalon. C. N. Lesley’s story has delightful surprises, and the best part is figuring out the villains.

Shadow Over Avalon on Amazon US

Shadow Over Avalon on Amazon UK

Shadow Over Avalon on Goodreads

C. N. Lesley on Goodreads

C. N. Lesley website and blog

Lita Celebrates: Clockpunk Books Now Just a Buck

Methinks Lita Lost Her Mind
Methinks Lita Lost Her Mind

Lita Burke has reduced the price of all her Clockpunk Wizard stories to just a measly buck each. Methinks she lost her mind. Get the books now before Lita regains her senses.

What is the Fuss About?

Lita is giddy.

She is pleased to announce that the first draft of the next Clockpunk Wizard story, called Glitter Ponies, is complete. It’s done. “Done” is a delicious word. To celebrate, Lita opened a bottle of champagne and shared the bubbly joy with Mister Lita. But that was not enough. Gentle Reader, you have been so patient, so why not join the celebration? Lita has reduced Ephraim’s Curious Device and Old Bony Blue Eyes to 99¢ to tantalize your reading enjoyment.

It is now easier than ever to visit the plate-shaped ocean world filled with wizardry, fantasy creatures, and Leonardo Da Vinci technology. But these book prices are for only for a short time. Catch the wizard’s airship today and get all three Clockpunk Wizard tales at this absurd discount while the bubbly distracts Lita.

Forever Boy (Clockpunk Wizard #1) always 99¢

A dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble



Ephraim’s Curious Device (Clockpunk Wizard #2) now only 99¢

A wizard seeks a legendary magical device to free his kidnapped familiar.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble



Old Bony Blue Eyes (Clockpunk Wizard #3) now only 99¢

A wizard goes on a journey to Death’s castle to win a spell book for a dragon.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble


Review: The Execution

The Execution by Sharon Cramer is a historical thriller about twin brothers separated soon after birth who reunite over twenty years later on the eve of one brother’s execution.

Raven and D'ata Were Orphans and Went to Different Homes
Raven and D’ata Were Orphans and Went to Different Homes

D’ata and Raven have lived very different lives. Both began as orphans. D’ata was left in a basket on the church steps, while a kindly man rescued Raven from his mother as she died from the plague. A rich family adopts the charming D’ata and he lives a life of privilege, while the moody Raven makes a family with his fellow orphanage children.

D’ata is destined for the priesthood and has the audacity to fall in love with a woman—his soul mate. A mercenary trainer takes the expert teenage huntsman Raven into his fold, and molds the boy into an assassin beyond compare. Life’s atrocity breaks one brother and scars the other beyond repair.

When D’ata visits Raven in prison to give last rites and hear the condemned man’s confession, the men realize they are twin brothers. During the long night before the execution, they share their life stories with the blood family they never knew they had. But the hangman will not be denied come morning, and Raven’s execution is nothing like what the brothers ever expected.

The Hangman Will Not be Denied Come Morning
The Hangman Will Not be Denied Come Morning

The Execution is an absorbing tale about love, profound despair, and hope. Each brother’s story was poignant and well told, making Lita smile in some places and wincing at atrocities in others. The descriptions had Lita wrinkling her nose at the reek and feeling the warm sunshine on her face. The story transported Lita into that rat-infested hole of a cell with the brothers; she sat on the chill stone floor with them and leaned close to catch every word.

Gentle Readers that enjoy absorbing storytelling about hopeful and heartbreaking young men who overcome awful odds would enjoy The Execution. Just be sure to bring a cloak to ward off the cold in Raven’s cell.

The Execution on Amazon US

The Execution on Amazon UK

The Execution on Goodreads

Sharon Cramer on Goodreads

Sharon Cramer website

Review: Irrefutable Proof

Irrefutable Proof by Abby L. Vandiver is a science fiction story about Justin, a writer who publishes a novel about the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and awakens a millennia-long conspiracy about the origins of humanity.

Justin’s Deceased Mentor Hides a Box of Secrets
Justin’s Deceased Mentor Hides a Box of Secrets

Justin plans to publish another book about the strange claims in ancient papers. Her husband and friends go with her to Israel to find a box hidden there by Justin’s deceased mentor. The box’s puzzling contents take her on a dangerous mission to meet indigenous ethnic groups that are untouched by modern culture. These ethnic groups have clues about ages-old mysteries.

Her sleuthing leads Justin to the Voynich Manuscript. This antiquity is a mash-up of ancient languages, apparent gibberish, and puzzling drawings. It holds the key to the origins of humanity. She must translate the Voynich Manuscript, an impossible task where everyone before her has failed. Her very life depends on it.

A Fold-Out Page of the Voynich Manuscript
A Fold-Out Page of the Voynich Manuscript (Photo credit: Public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Irrefutable Proof is a dandy science fiction mystery that swirls around ancient astronauts and deciphering clues in old scrolls. Abby L. Vandiver has a deft hand in mixing believable characters with dangerous situations.

Some truly evil people who will stop at nothing to keep ancient secrets safe come into Justin’s life, and they hide very well until they strike. At times, even Justin’s friends act suspiciously. Irrefutable Proof kept Lita guessing to the very last page.

Gentle Readers who love Science Fiction yarns and conspiracy thrillers about shadowy secret organizations would enjoy Justin’s world in Irrefutable Proof. Be ready to smell the musty papers and second-guess everything you read in these ancient puzzles.

Irrefutable Proof on Amazon US

Irrefutable Proof on Amazon UK

Irrefutable Proof on Goodreads

Abby L. Vandiver on Goodreads

Review: Black Diamond

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske and Eveliina Tommola is a YA fantasy about Shannon McLean, a 12-year-old girl who moves in with her magician father and is immersed in a demon-infested battle.

Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House
Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House

Three weeks after her mother passes away, a heartbroken Shannon leaves Boston and moves to London to live with a father she doesn’t remember. Connor McLean lives in a musty manor house and is aloof, mysterious, and a bit terrifying to his cheeky daughter.

The servants are either cringing like scared rabbits or lost in a thrall-like state. The strangest thing of all is that everyone has curious tattoos on their wrists, and the inked images move. Contrasting these hideous things is discovering she has a twin brother named Ian. Separated soon after they were born, Ian lived his whole life in this huge house with a father who has slowly descended into evil. Ian also has an unbelievable revelation for his sister. The twins are powerful witches, and they must combine their power and save their father from the demon that is slowly devouring Connor. The worst of all is that the demon infection is Shannon’s fault.

Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits
Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits

Black Diamond is a satisfying story about a couple of likable kids caught up in their parent’s dark magical past. Jennifer Loiske uses a deft hand in weaving a plot laced with unexpected twists and a shivery mood.

Gentle Readers who enjoy a story centered on a determined young lady with a sturdy sense of right and wrong, but is smart enough to listen to the wiser counsel of her brother, would like Black Diamond. This dark adventure is no diamond in the rough, but rather is a polished sparkling gem of a gothic fantasy.

Black Diamond on Amazon US

Black Diamond on Amazon UK

Black Diamond on Goodreads

Jennifer Loiske on Goodreads

Jennifer Loiske website