Quest of the Brokenhearted- a new book by Charlies Yallowitz- on sale for 99¢ for the month of July

A battered soul faces a city of monsters in

Quest of the Brokenhearted!

Cover Art by Sean Harrington

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

*****

Book Excerpt: The Farm

The blast of warm air hits and swirls around the area to make all those in metal armor feel like they are about to faint. As the wind billows out, it carries the fog away to reveal broken fences and an abandoned farmhouse. The porch is partially collapsed with a swing sitting in the mud, its chains still connected to the fallen roof. The front door is closed, but a large hole is in the middle as if something tried to punch its way inside. Rusty pots and tools are scattered about the ground, some of them having been plunged into the ground. Not far away is a large barn, which shows no sign of damage beyond peeling paint and cobwebs dangling from the eaves. A crooked weathervane sits above the hay loft, the bat-shaped object spinning wildly even though the wind has died. Wilted crops stand in the fields among those that have already rotted into mush. Piles of hay dot the landscape, each one having turned black and become surrounded by swarms of thumb-sized flies. When the last of the fog clears, the entire area is bathed in a sickly orange light that causes the adventurers’ skin to crawl.

An animal call erupts from a nearby pasture, the grass a light brown and showing signs of being repeatedly trampled. In response, the sounds of chickens drift from the farmhouse and they are soon joined by other familiar noises. The ear-wrenching symphony continues to grow as the adventurers spread out across the road and into the fields. Most are focused on the farmhouse door, so they are caught off-guard when the attack begins. Zombified pigs, horses, goats, and sheep burst out of the barn to charge the nearest warriors. With acidic foam flying from their mouths, the undead livestock crash into the armored figures and rip into whatever flesh they can reach. The goats and pigs cause the most damage, their teeth breaking through metal and bone while the horses do more harm with their hooves. Flapping wings from the farmhouse are a slight warning before a flock of chickens and ducks explode from the windows. Lacking teeth, they have a harder time killing their prey, who swing wildly and blindly cast spells that miss half of the time. Chaos is consuming the crowd when the first animal call erupts from the right and four knights are sent hurtling through the air. Flesh dangling from its horns and blood splattered across its rotting face, the zombified bull barrels into the adventurers. The grunting beast tramples everything in its path as it crashes into one of the fields and sends a broken cart rolling away. Turning around, the animal ignores the arrows that stick into its hindquarters and charges back into the crowd.

While the others try to retreat, Kira swings her sickle at the bull’s side and gets the weapon stuck between the exposed ribs. She holds on while she is dragged and uses the blunt end to swat chickens out of the air. As she passes a stallion, she swings her kusari-gama to get the chain wrapped around its hind legs. With the horse galloping away from the bull, Kira plants her feet and pulls hard on her weapon. Her strength combined with that of the zombified steed allows her to shatter the larger animal’s ribs. Spinning around, she whips the sickle into the side of the stallion’s head and uncoils the chain as it crashes to the ground. Without turning back, the adventurer dives to the side and narrowly avoids getting gored by the bull. The moment she hits the ground, she pounces to grab the jagged hole in its body and pulls herself close enough to punch inside with the blunt end of her weapon. Kira continues striking the rotting heart until the confused animal rears back and exposes its stomach for a pair of spearmen to impale it. They are unable to support its weight and are promptly crushed while the young woman flips up to slam her sickle into the base of its skull. Hanging onto the bucking bull, she violently twists the blade until the zombie finally falls over and rapid decays. The others are about to cheer when the call of another bull bursts from the pasture.

“They just keep coming,” Kira mutters as she watches more animals pour out of the buildings.

Grab your copy on Amazon for 99 cents throughout the month of July!

*****

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or more interested vampires? Then check out War of Nytefall: Loyalty:

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

LET THE TOURNAMENT OF LACARSIS BEGIN!

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Book review: Sector Eight by Michael Atamanov

Sector Eight by Michael Atamanov Perimeter Defense Book# 1 is a interesting book in the relatively new LitRPG genre.


First off, I’d like to discuss just what LitRPG is:

LitRPG (Literary Role Playing Game) for those of you who haven’t heard of this genre yet, is a subset of fantasy and sci-fi, where the story revolves around a real person thrust into a RPG (Role Playing Game), normally a computer or console version with pop ups and the whole works.

I’ll admit that I hesitated in trying any book in this genre, but I finally gave in and tried this one. While my experience in this genre is limited to just this book at the moment, I enjoyed it much more than I had expected and will try them again.

Now onto the review!


I apologize for not using the characters names, but I’m afraid either I, or autocorrect, would mangle them as for the most part they are, I believe, Russian names.

In this book, the main character, a Russian man, is a computer gamer who gets approached by someone claiming to be a wealthy guy involved in playing a game so in-depth that the player can be found wondering if he’s playing the game or living it, it’s supposedly a very exclusive game, but this wealthy guy has a problem: he stinks at strategy and the section of space he’s supposed to protect in the game is being attacked, so he does what anyone would do and finds the main character who he convinces to take over playing the game for a few months, the only hitch is that the main character can’t reveal that the switch has happened.

It should be mentioned here that the wealthy guy claims to have an exceptional Virtual Reality setup on the way.

Thus begins a story of adventure, exciting space battles, political intrigue and much more.

All throughout the story, the main character uses his wits to change things, building up a fleet and convincing people to like him more, however he is also constantly wondering if it’s really a game, or if he had been placed in the body of the character in real life.


Final thoughts:

The story is fast paced and very enjoyable, however the downside is that it’s part of a series and the book ends in a cliffhanger.

I would be interested in reading more of the series, however I can’t fully recommend it to anyone who is bothered by cliffhangers.

Ark Royal by Christopher G. Nuttall

Ark Royal by Christopher G. Nuttall is a sci-fi novel set aboard the books namesake space carrier, Ark Royal.

In this book, humans have been colonizing distant planets, never finding any sign of intelligent alien life, but having some squabbles among themselves, then the aliens arrive and start attacking.

As with many books with this plot, it all comes down to one, outdated, out classed, undermanned ship normally with only a misfit crew on board, to save the day… yet Ark Royal is different, while it leans heavily on those tropes, it adds in a reasonable excuse for why it’s the only ship that can do the job, it has heavy armor that few ships still use, but which stands up to the alien weapons.

The characters are well written, they stand out as more or less real people rather than cookie cutter stereotypes and most of the science makes sense and it’s fun to boot.

This is the first book of the series, which if they all are as fun to read, will be a great series.

I really enjoyed this book and I fully recommend it to anyone who wants a good sci-fi book to read.

Book review: Inspectre by D.W. Rigsby

Inspectre by D.W. Rigsby

This was a very interesting story. It’s set in Victorian times, centered around a man, Lucius Samuel Stockhelm, who is being haunted by the ghost of a man he killed. While it starts out as a normal haunting (if there is such a thing in fiction) the ghost quickly becomes invaluable as a sidekick in an investigation that Lucius gets involved in for the one man who claims he can get rid of the ghost.

It’s a very exciting story, though at first it’s hard to know who you’re supposed to root for, Lucius, or the ghost, however by the end it’s clear that the two are not the enemies that they seem to be at the beginning.


Light Spoilers ahead!!!!


Last warning!!


While this was a very interesting and at times fun book to read, it was a little odd that a character was introduced toward the beginning and then forgotten about until the last quarter of the book when everything hinged on her knowledge.

There were several loose threads running through the story, but one can hope that they will be resolved in future books, such as who is in charge of the Inspectres and just what all they do. It would also be of interest to learn more about the ghost, which is likely as somehow he seemed to be suffering from amnesia for most of the book.

Lucius Stockholm seems to have a lot of secrets as well, he claimed to have been a solider, a fighter and a postman, yet no real indication of his age was given, also since he lost his job as a postman and was worrying about money most of the book, it seemed odd that by the end he didn’t seem to have any worried, I’d normally think that this Inspectre group was paying him, but his neighbor who introduced him to the world of the Occult implied that they didn’t have vast amounts of money.

Last thoughts:

While an enjoyable book all in all, the author played loose with facts and ignored a lot of descriptions. I for one enjoy descriptions in a book and feel this one could use more.

I still recommend this book if you can look past the small problems as it is a good story.

The Land of Falling Stars by Troy Hallewell – Short story review 

The Land of Falling Stars By Troy Hallewell is a short story set in his post apocalyptic destopyion world. It is more like a prequel to the first book in his series, “RazorWire: After Civilization”

 

 It’s an interesting story, following the first adventures of Rock as he first sets out on his adventures, in this story he’s just a boy thrust out into a world where no one can be trusted, basically. There are few good people in this world, a number of bandits but most people are neither fully good or evil.

 

 As this is a short story, it is hard to reveal much about the story without spoiling it, however I can tell you a bit about the world both in this story and the first book in the series:

 

 It’s set in a world that is nothing like what we know today, something happened and destroyed civilization as we know, leaving few if any people who know how to repair the technology that survived, only solar batteries and gun really lasted very long and those have begun to wear out as well, ammunition for the guns didn’t last too long, but somehow a few people managed to reload the empty shells and cartridges, yet even these wear out after hundreds of years and by the time Rock lives in, they are getting very rare and even more valuable, as are the few surviving books.

  

It’s a very interesting look at what could happen to humanity is some disastr would hit… it’s also just a very fun series to read.

I fully recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fn short story to read.

 I will be reviewing the first book in the series,  series, “RazorWire: After Civilization”, in a few weeks.

Anthology review: The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks 

Just under two weeks ago I helped announce the launch of The life and Times of Ichabod Brooks, I thought it would be fitting to add a bit of a review today.

 To be perfectly honest, I must admit I was one of the beta readers for this anthology.

  

 While I’ve only recently really started reading more short stories, I can honestly say very few collections of stories are as well written as this one, the characters are well written, even the villains have a well developed background, or at least as much of one as you can have in a short story.

This collection of short stories covers several different kinds of adventures, including one set on a mountain, one on an island, underwater, inside a dangerous and deadly toy tower and many others, the one connection thread is they are all the adventures of one man, Ichabod Brooks.

 Ichabod Brooks isn’t the normal kind of hero that you see in fantasy stories, he’s not trying to save the world, there is no one wrong he’s trying to right, nor is he seeking power or fame, in fact he hates the fame and is just trying to make a living. He also happens to have an amazing array of weapons, from enchanted arrows, bows, rings and even quivers, he is an adventurer who is ready for every job, or as ready as possible.

 

I found this anthology to be perhaps the most fun one I’ve read to date, I personally think that Charles E Yallowitz is one of the most creative fantasy authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading and I’m hoping that he decides to continue the adventures of Ichabod Brooks in many more anthologies.

 

Final thoughts;:

 If you are looking for an anthology of short, sometimes whimsical, fantasy stories, chose this one, you will not be disappointed.