Cultures in Fantasy Worlds

by Chrys Cymri

Dragons are people too.

And so are unicorns, gryphons, and snail sharks.

Why do I love fantasy? I enjoy the glimpse well-written fantasy books give into alternative worlds. After a long day at work, organising a conference or patiently answering emails, it’s wonderful to be able to pick up the Kindle and lose myself in a world where women take up swords in battle, the castles are magnificent, and the dragons are–

Oh, dear, the dragons. And the unicorns, gryphons, snail sharks…

But first let’s talk about the humans in fantasy books. Writers often seem to offer us a medieval society, set in a form of England which never existed. Kings and Queens, knights and cooks, stable hands and pig herders, all of which can seem like a quick shorthand so the book can focus on the characters and the action.

But a book which has a well considered social backdrop is all the better for it. How has this kingdom come into existence, and how does that history affect the way its citizens interact with each other and with other communities? Are people fixed into the social strata into which they’re born, or can they move between them? How does this affect the characters and the choices they might make?

The same cultural considerations can be applied to the non humans which feature in the story. What sort of culture do dragons come from? Do they live in groups, or are they solitary? Were they driven from the nest or did they never know their parents? Or what about unicorns? Do they live in herds, like horses, or do they have a very different social structure? Do gryphons take after eagles or lions?

Snail sharks, by the way, are my own invention, and the group noun is ‘a rabble’. You do not want to encounter a rabble of snail sharks. They have very sharp teeth and they can move very quickly. And they grow to be the size of a large dog.

When I started to write my ‘Penny White’ urban fantasy series, I wanted to offer something new to the genre. The main character, Penny, is a Church of England minister for a village in England which, strangely enough, isn’t that far from my own home. In the first book, ‘The Temptation of Dragons’, she stumbles across a dragon dying at the side of the road. To her amazement, he asks her for the last rites. And so she is made aware of the existence of Daear, a magical world which exists in parallel to our own. Lloegyr is the equivalent of England and Wales in this sister world, and it’s to this country that Penny often travels.

As Penny comes to know the non human characters, their own social structures become clear. And their cultures affect them, even as our own societies affect each one of us. For example, Raven, the dragon who has romantic intentions towards Penny, is a search dragon. Search dragons are rare, and hated by their own families for their abilities to find out treasure and secrets. Raven had to flee from his mother, or she would have eaten him. Perhaps this explains why Raven is a loner, and why he demands independence from others. ‘I’ll fight alongside Penny,’ he states, ‘but I won’t fight for her.’

Lloegyr is undergoing an industrial revolution, which is bringing all the different races (dragons, unicorns, gryphons, harpies) to live side by side in cities and towns. Cultural differences are causing tensions, particularly when cross-species romances develop. A group who are against this mixing, called Cadw ar Wahân, will attack those who dare to marry outside of their own type.

Morey, the cat sized gryphon who becomes Penny’s Associate, was once an ordained priest in Lloegyr’s Christian church. He left the Church, and his gryphon clan, when he insisted on marrying a were-fox. The loss of his two communities, church and clan, helps to explain why he has suffers from sarcasm management issues and always tries to be the cleverest person in the room.

Continue reading …

Manual for Colonists

by Judith Rook

“What are they?” Allen stared closely into the view screens. Receiving from exterior cameras, the monitors showed the planet surface around the landing area.

“No idea.” Brale set his face alongside the commander’s, peering at the images with equal intensity. “The surveys have picked up nothing like this before, and they’ve been over the whole place in detail, within a fifty-mile radius.”

Outside, in the half light of the planet’s dawn, two ridges appeared, seemingly pushed up from the rubble strewn plateau. Two waist-high ridges in concentric circles, the closest perhaps a hundred metres from the small craft.

“Could we have set up vibrations?” The commander’s eyes did not leave the screen. Yesterday, carriers had transferred the first of the colonising equipment to the surface. But those larger craft had returned to the ship in low orbit, leaving only the two leaders of the mission to keep a final watch overnight.

“Doubtful,” said his companion. “Where are the other waves? Why are those two the only ones? There should be more.” He straightened. “We need a sample.”

Brale was the planetary expert, appointed to be the colony’s head for ten years. Trained in exo-world physics, human psychology and international politics, he would be the person who very soon would formally step onto the planet in full view of billions of other humans, variously placed in this system and beyond, and claim it as Earth Colony Three.

On this particular landing, however, he was just general dogsbody and observer, until the commander gave the final word to bring the people down and begin the whole, irrevocable colonisation process.

He turned to the board beside him and began entering a sequence.

“No, Edmund.” Allen’s hand held his arm. “Not a rover.”

Surprised, Brale looked at his friend. The commander’s brown face was concerned. “I think we should keep this quiet, just for the moment, just until we have an idea of what these things are.

“If we send out one of the rovers, the main record will show it, and they’ll want to know why…” his hand waved upwards, indicating the colony ship. “But if the lander’s record drops out for a little while…?” After a moment, Brale grinned, slapped the commander’s shoulder, and reached for his helmet.

Half an hour later, Brale regarded the low ridges before him. He should have a companion, but who would have thought an excursion necessary at this late stage? Still, they were both almost fully suited, a programme requirement for small surface expeditions, and if anything happened, Allen could be outside the lander in ten minutes.

Please don’t let there be anything wrong. Brale could not bear the thought of abandoning the years of planning, building and preparation, of extinguishing the eager hopes and expectations spreading throughout the ship in these last days, as the possibility of settling grew into a reality for the people now four years out of Earth.

He had been here all through the exploration phase, with his base on Colony Prime, one Earth month away. He had gone as far as anyone across this terrain. He had seen that it was viable as a support for human life. He knew this planet better than anyone else, and already he felt it could become home. Come on, Three, he said inwardly, tell me what this is all about.

He bent as closely as his suit would allow. These were not ripples caused by vibration. They were a build-up of some material, but so evenly formed, so evenly placed. How could it have gathered in such a seemingly intentional shape? Cautiously, he lifted a scoop of what appeared to be coarse sand and poured it into a sample collector.

Some of the loose material seemed to stick to his glove. Then, under a form of static attraction, it moved along his arm. Other particles rose over his boots, disturbed by his steps. With careful strokes he brushed himself clear, making sure the particles fell onto the ridges, and turned back to the lander.

He and Allen would run the sample through the analyser carried by all landing craft. They would find what it was—and they would make a decision. He felt cold at the prospect, his mind contemplating the unthinkable.

Half-way to the lander now. He hoped no-one on the mother ship had picked up his unplanned excursion.

“Edmund!” Allen’s voice sounded through his speakers, alarmed, urgent. “Get back! Quickly as you can! Get back to the lander! The ridges behind you have changed. They’ve joined up. Only one now, but it’s big and it’s moving, closing in on you—fast. Edmund…!

In the suit he could not glance back, but he believed the commander and increased his speed. He heard nothing from outside—how could he?—but almost immediately there was a sensation. He felt something pressing on him, as sand had pressed against him once during a storm in the Sahara Desert back on Earth.

This sand was not driven by a fast wind, but it engulfed him. He was surrounded completely by swirling purple and brown particles, but not abrading, not buffeting, just covering him. They clung, moving slowly over his faceplate. Why didn’t they flow past, on their way to wherever dust storms on Earth Planet Three went?

He lost all sight of anything outside his suit, and the commander’s voice faded into the far distance. His legs grew heavy, walking became slow and finally stopped.

The interior mask display showed three minutes passing, then four. Then he began to hear Allen’s voice again, calling his name and “Do you copy?”

“Copy! I’m all right—I think.” The brown and purple dust was thinning. He could see the lander and at the foot of the steps, Allen outside and fully suited. Brale raised an arm


“It’s the prokaryotes!” Brale swung the chair around and stared at his friend. The analyser had done its job and identified what the sample was made of—the microscopic forms of proto-life which had caused the colonial programme to move so slowly, in case these simple organisms had complex cousins elsewhere on the planet.

“It’s only the bacteria and archaea—nothing else. But in the highest concentration I’ve ever seen! There are so many, they’ve turned themselves into sand.” Brale’s voice shook. “I have no idea what caused this. It’s not happened on any other colony planet.”

“Tomorrow’s landing is out. We’ll have to investigate…” The commander turned to the view screens, looking onto the set-down area once again and there was heavy silence in the lander cabin.

“Edmund, what’s that other type of basic organism? The one that builds potentially intelligent life? There is one, isn’t there?” The sudden sharpness of the commander’s voice took Brale across the cabin.

“You mean the eukaryotes?” Brale also looked at the screens and his heart began to beat furiously.

“Eukaryotes. Yes. You and I are made of eukaryotes, aren’t we?”

“Thirty-seven trillion of them, give or take.”

“It’s how life developed on Earth? The other two prokaryotic types got together?”

“They made cells with a walled nucleus. Walled nuclei build complex life.”

Outside the lander, the ridges had disappeared, leaving a stretch of brown and purple sand. It was an uneven surface, and it was moving. All over, wherever they could see, appearances of objects were emerging and collapsing back into granules. Brale thought he recognised a small lander.

As the two travellers watched in fascination, a half-formed shape of what might be a space-suited person rose near the ladder and lifted an arm, just as Brale had done not two hours earlier.

“Mission abandoned!” said Allen, his voice dull and defeated.

But in Brale’s mind, a gleam of understanding grew, followed by realisation, and a sudden surge of joy that the planet would become his home after all.

“No,” he said, placing his arm around his friend’s shoulders. “Don’t do that. It will be all right. Take the word of your expert. The people can come down. We’re going to be colonists.”

He went to the exterior hatch, keyed it open, and waved at the brown and purple sand below.

John Thornton

John Thornton has read science fiction since he was a small child. For over thirty years he has been making notes, writing outlines, and drawing deck plans of various colony ships. These jumbled ideas have finally coalesced into book form in his four series: The Colony Ship Eschaton, The Colony Ship Vanguard, The Colony Ship Conestoga, and The Colony Ship Trailblazer. He also wrote a stand-alone novel, the Battle on the Marathon. John Thornton worked as an RN for 10 years in various ICUs, cardiac, surgical, and medical. He saw lots of people die, and he also listened to some really amazing people share their life stories with him. For the past twenty years he has worked visiting sick, shut-ins, and others in need. He struggles with severe arthritis, but endures thanks to the help of his wife. They have four grown daughters.

Connect with John at the following links:

John’s series about the ship Eschaton mentioned in this story starts with the book in the image below.


Judith Rook

Judith Rook was born in rural Yorkshire in the UK. Now she lives in Western Australia.

In her early years, Judith wrote whatever she felt like writing—stories, poems, plays, reflections.  Then life intervened and her imagination went underground.  For some time, she worked in education and wrote articles and reviews about music.

When Judith began to write and submit novels, rejection notices came in. She joined two writing groups, developed her technical skills and learned how to write stories for other people.

Science Fiction is Judith’s favourite reading genre, then come the great classics.  Among her Sci-Fi authors are: Isaac Asimov, Ursula K.Le Guin, C.J. Cherryh, Arthur C. Clarke, Phillip K. Dick and Julian May.  Judith also writes short stories, generally about ordinary Australian life.

From time to time Judith rallies around important social issues and has been known to take to the streets in support, so long as there are good cafés along the way.

Blogs by Our Knights

It’s Alternate History, as in “What if…?”

by Mary Woldering

The next person I’m presenting is another Historical Fantasy author, Brent A. Harris. 

Brent A Harris is a Sidewise Award nominated author of alternate history. He also writes science fiction, horror, and fantasy. He resides in Southern California, where he’s become convinced that Joshua trees are in fact, real trees. When not writing, he focuses on his family, shuttling children around as a stay-at-home dad.

2. How long have you been a writer?

As early as I can remember, I’ve written stories. Dinosaurs and historic figures filled the pages of my first stories. Not much has changed since.

3. Are you Traditionally or Indie published? If not yet, what are you considering?

A Time of Need is traditionally published through Insomnia Publishing. However, they are a small, Indie Press, which means I face some of the same challenges in marketing and publicity that self-published authors tackle.

Continue reading …

Decolonizing Myself

by Mary Fan

The very first book I ever wrote was a space adventure. I was 12, going on 13. I’d recently discovered the delights of sci-fi (thanks to the Wishbone book Unleashed in Space, an adaptation of Jack Williamson’s classic Legion of Space, which led me down a rabbit hole of old school sci-fi). I wanted nothing more than to partake in the intrepid journeys across the stars, so I did what any creatively minded tween would do: I wrote self-insert fanfic. Except in my head, it was original because, of course, my ship had a different name, and my crew was unique. The main character was, of course, a brave renegade of a commander. And the second most important character? His clever tween daughter, along for the ride. Hence the self-insert.

Except something funny happened on the way to sci-fi-land: I whitewashed the character who was supposed to be me… I whitewashed myself. The commander, of course, had to be a chisel-jawed white guy who bore a strong resemblance to Kevin Sorbo (I’d also recently discovered Hercules on TV). And his daughter? A dead ringer for a tween Natalie Portman. I cast a white girl as myself (yes, I know that Natalie Portman is Jewish… at the time I thought she was white-white, and that’s part of the point of this post). Heroes were white. Protagonists were white. So if I wanted to come along for the space ride, the fictional version of me had to be white. I thought nothing of it… This was just the way things were. Girls who actually looked like me? They had no place on starships, and I accepted it. I didn’t even realize I was accepting it… it just was.
Continue reading …

Thinking about Martians

by John Hoggard

Today I went to see The Martian at the cinema with my eldest daughter, Milly. I have to say that I was impressed. There was always a chance that the film would be swamped by the vast Martian Landscape but it never happened. The focus was almost entirely on Matt Damon’s character, stranded, but resourceful Astronaut, Mark Watney. When we weren’t with Matt Damon’s pieces to camera then we moved carefully between the different characters back on Earth in NASA and the JPL, who are working hard to get their man home. Often the scenes reminded me of Apollo 13, focused, determined panic…

I’m telling you this not because I’m reviewing the film, because I’m not, but because I was impressed that the characters were the focus and the drivers behind the story. I was pleased to note that Andrew Weir, the author of the book on which this film is based is co-writer for the film. I think it shows. What of course is particularly interesting is that Weir originally self-published this novel (in 2011), it wasn’t picked up by Crown Publishing until 2014 (when, I guess, the film option was in the offing). Weir has a background in physics and computer science (just like me!) so there’s hope for me yet.

I’ve not read, The Martian, but I will, it’s on my wish list now. Continue reading …

Sales Model of an Indie Author (part 1)

by Assaph Mehr

One of the worst aspects of becoming an author, is marketing your own book. I mean, if I was some kind of extrovert, I wouldn’t have chosen to sit alone in a dark room for hours, typing by myself – would I?

But this is the life of an indie author. And, increasingly, of traditionally published authors as well. Unless your last name is Rowling, King, Martin etc., you just don’t get “little people” to do it for you. Most publishers actually would prefer you come with fans, before picking your title up.

This post is about reaching an audience – namely, my novel sales model, both current and planned.

It’s going to be a tad lengthy, but I hope it’s going to be useful for anyone who’s ready to progress from closet writer to published author. It might be useful to other indie artists as well.

Continue reading …

Angelique S. Anderson

Angelique S. Anderson is a lover of adventure, and all things steampunk. A fan of Chronicles of Narnia growing up, and an avid song and poem writer, she wrote her first novel in November of 2013. In it, her passion was born, and she went on to write the second and third to what would become a young adult fantasy series. Unable to quell the desire to write after the fantasy series, she went on to write an award winning sci-fi novel, Eden’s Serum. Always an advocate for foster children, she followed that up with her personal story of abuse and neglect in Award winning Little Lost Girl: The Complete Series. Her recent releases The Dragon Lady, The Phoenix Lord, and A Steampunk Christmas Carol play up fantasy aspects with a mix of steampunk. She enjoys reading indie authors, making new friends and cosplaying. You can follow her on Facebook at:

Connect with Angelique at the following links:

Interviews ~ November

Axis and Ayn Join Us for a Chat

Characters created by Lyra Shanti

Axis, the magical sphinx type creature in Shiva XIV interviewing the series protagonist, Ayn.

Axis: Hey, everybody! I’m here with Ayn, who is basically a God-

Ayn: No, I’m not, Axis. Please, don’t start the interview like that.

Axis: Sorry… but that’s what a lot of people think you are. Certainly the priests of Deius thought that of you.

Ayn: Well, they were wrong.

Axis: (sigh) Ok, anyway… Ayn, let’s start by me asking you something I’ve always wanted to know since the first day we met.

Ayn: What’s that?

Axis: Oh, should we talk about the weird way we met when you thought you were having hallucinations?

Ayn: No, Axis, just ask the question. Come on, concentrate.

Axis: Sorry! So, I wondered from the start why you wear your hair so long. Is it a Deiusian custom or something? Does everyone have such long hair, even the males?

Ayn: Well, not everyone has long hair, but it’s definitely a tradition in the Holy City, mainly in the temple and the palace. Why? Do you not like it?

Axis: No, I love it! I just wondered.

Ayn: Maybe you should grow yours really long too. (smirk)

Axis: I don’t think I’d pull that look off… not with my thick gold hair and all. I’d look silly. Your straight black hair looks wonderful though.

Ayn: (laughs) Thanks. Are we done talking about fashion now, Axis?

Axis: (bashfully) Yeah… um, anyway… So, what’s it like being The Bodanya?

Ayn: It’s… a lot of pressure.

Axis: What exactly is a Bodanya?

Ayn: I guess you could describe it as the term for “messiah,” coined by The Dei, who are the holy priests of the temple of Deius. I’ve been told since I was a small child that I would somehow balance the universe, which they feared was on the edge of doom because of rampant illness and environmental calamity.

Axis: Wow! I can’t imagine having that on your shoulders at such a young age. What did you do? How did you handle it?

Ayn: (shrugs) I didn’t really. (Slightly laughs) I guess I just tried my best to study, please my Lans (teacher priests) and do whatever I can to connect with The Un.

Axis: The Un is a shortened name for the universe, right?

Ayn: Yeah, well, it’s also a shortened name for the Un-Ahm galaxy, which is our planet’s galaxy.

Axis: Oh! Right! Anyway, next question! Do you dream about being something other than the Bodanya? Do you want to be something else?

Ayn: I’d love to be a musician and singer, but I can’t ignore my destiny.

Axis: You play the flute, right?

Ayn: Yes, I do. I love music so much. I feel most myself when listening or playing a lilting Deiusian folk tune.

Axis: Do you write your own music?

Ayn: Yes, quite often.

Axis: That’s wonderful! So, if you could stop having to be their messiah, you’d be a rock star?

Ayn: (smirks) Next question, Axis. Just so the readers know, no matter how much Axis grows, he always has the mind of a little boy. He isn’t being serious.

Axis: (giggles) Yes, I am! I’m always serious.

Ayn: (shakes head) Mmm, hmm.

Axis: So, what’s your favorite food?

Ayn: You know the answer already, but I’ll say it: MahMah stew is the best food in the universe.

Axis: You’re so predictable, Ayn. Don’t you like anything else?

Ayn: Hmm… I really like root vegetables with Deisuian spices. I also really love sweet bread.

Axis: You know, on Kri, they have these wild mushrooms with spiced cheese stuffing. I think you’d love those.

Ayn: How do you know about Krian food, Axis?

Axis: Oh, I just know these things. I’m a magical cat-bird, after all.

Ayn: (smirking) That’s your answer for everything, isn’t it?

Axis: Yeah, well, if you got it, flaunt it.

Ayn: Huh? (Suppressing laughter)What are you even talking about?

Axis: I’m not really sure, to be honest. Interviews are hard!

(Both break out laughing)

Ayn: Alright, cat-bird, let’s go get something to eat. All that talk of stew and sweet bread made me hungry!

Axis: Yeah! And stuffed mushrooms! Let’s go!

You can learn more about the world of Shiva XIV on Lyra Shanti’s website.
Artwork of Ayn by Julia Takagi
Artwork of Axis by Jennifer Juniper Varon

E.A. Copen

by JC Steel

Favourite quote or tagline: “There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers)

In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I don’t remember. I wrote my first book when I was 3 with crayons and printer paper. It’s just always been a part of who I am.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

Oh, lots. I’d say the top five are Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood.


Tell me about your book / series.

  • Give me a one-line ‘hook’ line: A federal agent solves paranormal crimes on a supernatural reservation in Texas.
  • Tell me more: Judah Black is an agent working for BSI—the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations, which polices supernaturals. While her every day job is solving crimes, each case seems to bring her closer and closer to uncovering a truth her employers don’t want her to discover. It’s X-Files meets Anita Blake.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Dozens and dozens. At least three for every one I’ve finished.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

I don’t think books should be banned. Books that challenge our perceptions and make us a little uncomfortable are the most important of all. That said, I’d consider it an honor to have something I wrote on a banned book list. It means I’m doing something write. Well-behaved women rarely change history, after all.

Continue reading …

Dan Bradfield from The Heir by Lynne Stringer

from Working Title Blogspot

This interview is with Dan Bradfield from Lynne Stringer’s novel The Heir (Verindon #1). Dan is a student at the prestigious Enterprise Academy in Connecticut and is from a wealthy family. At least, that’s what everybody at the school thinks, including Sarah Fenhardt, who’s secretly in love with him. Although sometimes she thinks there’s more to him than that …

Q1: What is the very best thing about being who you are and living where you live?
The best thing about who I am is the fact that I’ve been trained well and am confident in my abilities and myself. I know how to do my job, and yes, I do mean my job. I may be in high school at the moment, but it isn’t really me, if I can put it that way.
The best thing about where I live is that I know it’s definitely the safest house around, which is necessary, since we could encounter difficulties from … some people.

Q2: Do you have any really good friends or really bad enemies?
I don’t know if I’d consider the members of my squad my friends. I guess most people would think that but it’s different for people of our kind. As for Sarah, I can’t possibly consider her a friend, considering the differences between us. They are insurmountable.
When it comes to enemies, there are many of them. Most I have encountered are dead now but I imagine there will be more to take their place. It’s a by-product of this line of work.

Q3: If you could be anyone else in your world, who would you be and why?

High Commander Denzik.  Continue reading …

Also on Working Title Blogspot:

Interview of Diane Newby from My Undead Mother-in-law

“Hi. This is Sam Melvin lead investigative reporter of the Midley Beacon. Andy Zach, author of the zombie documentaries Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law asked me to interview Diane Newby, the zombie heroine whose adventures Andy details in My Undead Mother-in-law.”

“Diane, welcome to our blog.”

“Thanks so much Sam! Although we’ve known each other for years, I’m still excited as a school girl to be interviewed online!”

“Yes, we met years ago. Why don’t to tell everyone about how we met?”

“It was soon after I turned zombie, along with my husband George, my son Donnie, er, Donald, and his girlfriend Maggie.  I had my non-zombie son-in-law Ron Yardley and daughter Karen over for Valentine’s Day dinner. Donnie and I got into a little dustup and Ron blogged about it, which caught your interest in our family.”

“Um, yes. For our audience’s information, the ‘little dustup’ involved lots of blood and dismemberment and cracked plaster. That certainly got my attention. Not much was known about human zombies at that point, and I and the readers of the Midley Beacon we dying to know more.”

“That was the first time we met, Sam. You interviewed me and my family about our life as zombies.”

“Yup, why don’t you tell our blog readers what it’s like to be zombie? ”

“Why, we’re just like normal human beings! We hold down jobs and go to church like any normal Americans. We just happen to have glowing red eyes. And we’re twice as strong as we used to be. And we move twice as fast. And we can regenerate lost limbs and heads.”

“Other than that, you’re perfectly normal?”


“So, you don’t think you’ve changed at all since you’ve become a zombie, your personality, I mean?”

“Oh, I notice I’m a little more emotional, I guess.”

“Like how?”

“I seem to lose my temper more easily. But most of the time, I feel happier than I ever had before!”


Continue reading …

New Releases ~ November

New Releases from our member Knights



On Sale


New Releases

On Sale


Chrys Cymri

Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, Chrys Cymri lives with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond her current budget. Plus she’s responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. She loves ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and her job, in no particular order. When she’s not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) she likes to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, the Arctic, and North Korea.

Connect with Chrys at the following links:

Author of the Week – November

November 3 – November 9

Lyra Shanti

In this climactic volume of Shiva XIV, Ayn reaches what appears the height of success as chaos looms in the shadows and ancient monsters awaken.

Meanwhile, planets ready for battle as the fight for plasma and galactic domination continues. Ohr will stop at nothing to take complete control while Kri and Deius join forces to thwart the power hungry Prime Minister, Kurin Vax.

In a race against time to save the Un Galaxy, Ayn must face the deadliest foe imaginable. Will he succeed? Or will he fail, never becoming the prophesied “Bodanya” of legend?

Lyra Shanti is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter who currently lives in Florida with partner and spouse, Timothy, and their two insane cats. A lover of nature, animals, anime, music, theatre, movies, myths, and of course, great books, Lyra seeks inspiration from everywhere possible!

Author of the award winning sci-fi series, Shiva XIV, Lyra is a dreamer of worlds far away. Further information about Lyra’s stories, music, and more can be found at:


November 10 – November 16

Claire Buss

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Claire Buss is a science fiction & fantasy writer from the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict, Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her dystopian novel The Gaia Effect and set her writing career in motion.

Connect with Claire at the following links:


November 17 – November 23

Angelique S. Anderson

In book three of the Dracosinum Tales, A Steampunk Christmas Carol, Professor Langdon has taken over Octagon Inn, and the lives of those around him. Selfish and greedy, no one can do right by him, and he even goes so far as to cut the wages of those working at the inn.
Lord Adrian and Lady Wylie are still mourning the loss of their friend, Professor Cornelius, and are sure that the dreams Adrian had for his esteemed steam-powered carriage setting the precedence for transportation in 1850’s New York, are a thing of the past. As Professor Langdon has his own agenda with Adrian’s carriage.

Can a down-trodden ghost and three of the celestial beings known as the Immortal Ones, along with a feisty dragon, change Langdon’s heart and mind, in time for the Christmas season?
Find out in this fun steampunk twist on a classic tale!

Angelique S. Anderson is a lover of adventure, and all things steampunk. A fan of Chronicles of Narnia growing up, and an avid song and poem writer, she wrote her first novel in November of 2013. In it, her passion was born, and she went on to write the second and third to what would become a young adult fantasy series. Unable to quell the desire to write after the fantasy series, she went on to write an award winning sci-fi novel, Eden’s Serum. Always an advocate for foster children, she followed that up with her personal story of abuse and neglect in Award winning Little Lost Girl: The Complete Series. Her recent releases The Dragon Lady, The Phoenix Lord, and A Steampunk Christmas Carol play up fantasy aspects with a mix of steampunk. She enjoys reading indie authors, making new friends and cosplaying. You can follow her on Facebook at:

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November 24 – November 30

Chrys Cymri

‘You’ve never told Clyde?’ Morey asked. ‘About what happened to his mother?’

‘How can I?’ My pen drew an outline of a shovel on my notepad. ‘I killed her with a gardening tool.’

Life certainly hasn’t been dull since my first visit to Lloegyr, a magical country which parallels England. My household now includes a family of cat-sized gryphons and a hymn-singing snail shark, and I’m visited regularly by Raven, a darkly beautiful dragon. And I enjoy the excitement of planning our wedding day with Peter, my handsome fiancé.

But Lloegyr offers danger as well as wonder. My brother is recovering after being hunted by a pack of gryphons. I was dismissed from my dream position as minister of a church in Lloegyr. And something non-human seems to be stalking Peter.

Then there’s the mystery of Clyde’s true identity. Is he just a large carnivorous snail who loves beer and children’s TV programmes? Or does his unusual shell point to a far greater destiny, one which could threaten everyone who knows him?

Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, I live with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond my current budget. Plus I’m responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. I love ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When I’m not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) I like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, the Arctic, and North Korea.

Connect with Chrys at the following links: