Monday, November 23, 2015

Excerpt - Of Ice and Air by Carlie Cullen

Here's an excerpt from Carlie Cullen's new fantasy, Of Ice and Air. Epic!



Jaanis decided to be the one to answer and he explained all about Gengaruk, his exploitation of nearby villagers and why he requested an audience. He went on to explain what happened next and the banishment. “He and his men were escorted all the way to their new home in the east and due to magic cast around them, they cannot leave the area.”
“What about someone going into the area? If they belong to Gengaruk are they automatically stuck there too? What about anyone Gengaruk’s men brought into their encampment who isn’t one of their tribe? Wouldn’t they be stuck like the others?”
“Well, yes, you see the spells on the tribe are mainly for those wearing the bracelets. However, the magic is strong enough that anyone entering the area would be stuck there too.”
“I have a strong feeling that’s where mother is. I am intuitive and my feelings are rarely wrong. I think there were more men with Gengaruk who didn’t enter the throne room, but did come into the castle. I believe they somehow remained hidden until Gengaruk left the building with his escort and let them get ahead before they grabbed my mother and took her there. What do you all think?”
Surprisingly, it was Bellis who answered. “It’s certainly not outside the realms of possibility. We had fewer guards in and around the palace as one battalion were escorting Gengaruk while another two battalions took much needed food, clothing, and medicine to the northern sector of the country. Anyone with enough skill to sneak into Garalia’s room would certainly be able to get across the courtyard and out of the castle grounds without being seen.”
“By all the gods, I think you may be onto something there,” Jaanis said thoughtfully. His eyes stared at some distant thing only he could see. When he returned from his trance, he seemed a little confused and closed his eyes, shaking his head.
Kailani knelt beside his throne and held his hand. “Grandfather?” He didn’t respond. She tried again, this time shaking him. His eyes flew open wide and he looked down at her. “Grandfather, did you bespell the bangles Gengaruk and his men have to wear?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Would you be able to create one to make me immune to the magic? One I could remove once I’d returned to the palace?”
“Yes of course, but why . . .? No! Absolutely not! We have only just found you, dear Granddaughter, and I will not allow you to put yourself in danger.” Jaanis stared at Kailani with a stern expression.
“What is going on here?” Shivla asked.

“Our granddaughter has plans to go to The Land of No Souls to try and find Garalia.”

YOU CAN BUY OF ICE AND AIR HERE.

***

Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.

She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. Author of the Heart Search trilogy and Of Ice & Air, she writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.

Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.

She also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.




Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter. You can find out more about Carlie and her books on her website.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Of Ice and Air - Book Launch

I'm so excited for this launch - Carlie Cullen has a new fantasy, Of Ice and Air, and we lucky readers get to pick up copies tomorrow!


So what's it all about? Just take a look at this wonderful fantasy:


On her 21st birthday, Princess Kailani’s father tells her that when she was a baby, her mother was abducted. She also learns she has family in another world.

Defying her father, she travels from her Cloud Castle home to the ice kingdom of Idenvarlis where Kailani’s instincts drive her to find the mother she doesn’t remember.

Gifted with the magic of two worlds, and skilled in the use of weapons, she journeys into unknown and dangerous territory. Despite her determination to rescue her mother, she’s forced to overcome new fears and find a way to cope with all she encounters.

However, a person in authority will stop at nothing to prevent either of them returning.
Kailani faces isolation, wild beasts, rogue soldiers, and more as she battles to return to the Ice Palace. With the stakes so high, can she make it back alive?

YOU CAN BUY OF ICE AND AIR HERE.

***

Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.

She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. Author of the Heart Search trilogy and Of Ice & Air, she writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.

Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.

She also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.

Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter. You can find out more about Carlie and her books on her website.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rihanna, Janay Palmer, and Other Heroes

Remember when Rhianna was slugged in the face by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown? The event caused a media storm. It only escalated when she stood by him and didn't break up with the man who gave her a black eye and a cut lip.
photo courtesy of wikipedia

And what was the response?

"I can't believe she took him back."
"She doesn't deserve our sympathy."
"Rihanna's just asking for it now."

***

This is very difficult to confess: Once, when I was young and in love, a guy slapped me across the face.

And it changed my life.

It was the end of the 70's, the 'Me Era.' My friends and I had snuck to a pool where we hung out, laughed and chatted. We skinny-dipped, talked some more, and because it was a hot night, skinny-dipped again.

I completely lost track of time. My boyfriend and I had arranged to meet up later, but because the conversation was so interesting and the warm water felt so good, I was late. In fact, I was so late he tracked me down and confronted me as my friends and I were heading back to our shabby VW to go and get Denny's coffee.

My first thought was Hey! It's my guy! Hi, guy! That surge of delighted surprise exploded when he marched up to me, pulled back, and smacked me across my face so hard I nearly fell into the long, summer grass.
photo courtesy of deviantart: Flickan

It's a weird thing when that happens. My reaction was one of horror, of shame, of What the hell did I do to deserve this? Or maybe it was just shock. It happened so quickly I still can't catalogue my thoughts.

The boyfriend (let's call him 'E') was striding back to his own car, and the pool had no lights. As a result, my friends weren't able to see what had just happened. One of them gasped, "Did he just hit you?"

The smart answer would have been this: "Yes, he did. Please help me find a phone so we can call my parents and the police."

BUT YOUR BRAIN CHANGES WHEN YOU ARE HIT.

It just felt so shameful, so horrifying that this had happened to me. "No, he didn't," was my response. 

And when 'E' returned from the car and put his arms around me, the shame changed to some fearful kind of joy. "I'm so sorry," he murmured. "I just got so mad that you were late."

Wow, I thought. He really loves me.

***

Perhaps there's some chemical reaction that occurs when someone's hand or fist connects with soft skin and bruises deep tissue. I didn't lose consciousness or get light-headed. The smack didn't even bruise me much. However, was there a release of endorphins, of hormones, of some kind of mind-altering adrenaline when it happened?

I don't recall the rest of the night - if I went and sat in Denny's or took off with E. I just don't know. I do know that I was young, I'd been assaulted, and it changed me.

Changed me. Forever.
photo courtesy of wikipedia

When I did finally leave E, thank God, I made myself a promise: No one was ever going to hit me again. Ever. I've kept that vow.

But let's look at my background - I grew up in a mainly supportive household. I wasn't raised by the belt or made to believe I was less because of my gender. I went to college. I read a lot. My mother consumed poetry and taught Lit at the local university. We loved art and music and watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

If I had been raised in a house where hits and slaps were the norm, where I was expected to act a certain way because I'm female, who knows where I would have ended up? Perhaps I would have finally accepted E's constant proposals and had his kids. (The mere thought makes my stomach churn.)

I was a victim, and it changed my life. That's my point here. The slap propelled me into a certain way of thinking and very odd behaviors for a long time. 

THEY WEREN'T MY FAULT.

Those behaviors aren't Rihanna's fault either, or anyone's who puts up with abuse. I experienced one slap in my lifetime. Right now, somewhere out there, women and men live with daily physical or emotional abuse. The constant threats change them, warp them into saying and doing things they probably never imagined. The victims scrape by from hour to hour, from second to second with nothing more than survival as a reward.

Those people, the ones who do gather up the energy to walk away, are my heroes. The ones who can't quite find the money/strength/ability to walk away are my heroes as well.

Being a victim is a terrible thing, something one can never forget.

Please don't blame those who are victims. 

Please.