Book Review: The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon

The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon

by Lowell H. Press

The König is a tyrant. His subjects are starving. And all-out war is fast approaching. Will a pair of young, courageous brothers save their kingdom? When an emissary sent by the König himself stops by the remote mouse colony of Long Meadow, the peaceful life Sommer and Nesbit have shared is turned upside down-and the brothers are catapulted into separate death-defying adventures. Sommer, levelheaded and clever, is ordered to the palace to join the König’s illustrious Eagle Guard as it prepares to face a full-scale invasion by the nefarious Emperor Wolfsmilch and his army of a hundred thousand forest mice. Meanwhile, the small but spirited Nesbit is banished to the Forest of Lost Life for insulting the König, and must dodge hungry predators at every turn. The brothers struggle to reunite and defy the oppressors who threaten everyone and everything they have ever known and loved. But time is quickly running out for both of them-and the fate of the kingdom hinges on one last, daring mission. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria, The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon is an action-packed adventure story for young readers and adults alike. Ages 10 and up.

5 Stars

 Exciting Story in a Magical Setting reviewed by M. R. Campbell
Lowell H. Press has written an inventive novel about a hierarchy of mice living in the gardens and secret interior spaces of a castle inspired by the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

The colony’s king cares little for his subjects and is mostly interested in taking the food they save throughout the year for his own use during the winter months.Two brothers, Sommer and Nesbit, discover that all is not what it seems, including the king’s purported fear of a pending invasion of the colony by a massive army of woodland mice.

Sommer, who is drafted by the king’s minions for a suicide mission on the colony’s behalf and Nesbit, who insults the king and flees into the dangerous forest, take different approaches to survival and justices. Sommer becomes a cadet commander, while Nesbit becomes known as either a worker of magic of an exceptionally lucky mouse.

Set in a 1700s world, “The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon” is a delightful story with well-drawn characters and an underlying culture and myth that will delight young readers while keeping their parents engaged whenever this derring-do yarn is shared around the dinner table or at at bedtime.

Press used his visit to the Schönbrunn Palace to great advantage in developing a setting for his story that is well suited to the mice colony’s culture and history as well as to the people and cats who appear through the tale for better or worse.

Sommer and Nesbit of the Long Meadow Colony are tiny, as mice go, but they make up for it in bravery and guile.

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Book Review: The Wizard of Ends series by Vanessa Finaughty

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Wizard of Ends series – it was a fast paced and fun series of books to read, which was brilliant for me, who rarely has time to read anymore.

I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys an interesting story with quirky characters and a fast paced story-line.”
~ Samantha Dyer

Wizard of Ends, Book 1

When Lashlor Leaflin offers to escort Queen Narraki Dragonsbane to the Jeltar Woods, he’s unwittingly caught up in a magical adventure of the type he would rather not have.

The sorceress Assassa believes the Land of Ends to be rightfully hers, but King Lanaran refuses to hand over his crown. In retaliation, the sorceress conjures creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and end her life. Lashlor helps where he can, but it isn’t easy when the Guards of Ends who protect the queen believe him to be false.

A confrontation with Assassa will be the death of him, Lashlor is certain. However, the king insists on his help and it soon becomes apparent that he may have no choice.

Get your copy now from Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and other retailers.

Wizard of Ends Book 2 will be available October 23, 2014

Wizard of Ends, Book 1 Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature



Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’. Her passion for the written word started her career as an editor and copywriter, and she part-ran a writers’ critique group for close on seven years. She’s been writing ever since she learnt how, has always been an avid reader, and currently lives on coffee and cigarettes. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.

Book Promo: The Queen’s Blade by T C Southwell

The Queen’s Blade

By T C Southwell
A doomed kingdom, a young queen’s sacrifice and a killer who will bring an empire to its knees…
In a world where men share kindred with beasts, an ageless seer predicts a child who will end the Endless War. One man is the instrument who will change fate. He will usher in a time of strife and pain that will live in legend, and forever bear his name… the time of the Queen’s Blade.
author bio:
T. C. Southwell has written over thirty fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as five screenplays. Her hobbies include motorcycling, horse riding and art, and she is now a full-time writer.

Book promo: What if there is a secret society among us?

Book Description

The first book of The Ancestor’s Secrets series raises questions such as: what if there is a secret society exists hidden among us with its strict rules and fiercely enforced laws, and certain members come to possess magical powers? What if finding love, despite the obstacles thrown our way, is possible? What if we could have the power to create our own future and visit the ancestors in the past? Ilona is a young doctor settled into a world of logic and reason. She inherits a world of secrets, traditions, and magical powers and is left to piece together her clan’s past, using nursery rhymes taught to her by her mother. Learning some of the secrets not only confuses her, but places her in mortal danger. When a sinister man appears, Ilona connects his presence to a series of mysterious deaths. He can influence others to kill her, but why can’t he touch her? There are clues around every corner, and the elusive answers draw her further into the world of secrets. As if the mysteries aren’t enough, her life becomes more complicated when she meets the dashing stranger. Although he saves her life by putting his own life in danger, she senses evil in him.

Protected By The Falcon: The Ancestor’s Secrets Book 1    by Erika M Szabo


About the Author

Ms Szabo was born in Hungary and writes fantasies primarily dealing with alternative Holistic healing.

She says, “I’ve been writing Natural healing books, however it never satisfied my thirst of storytelling. I was playing with the idea of writing a romantic fantasy story with ancient legends, love, plenty of secrets and mystery. I am not a literary genius, but, not knowing how to do something had never prevented me from a accepting a good challenge. ”

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Book Promo: Mind Over Psyche by Karina Fabian

Deryl isn’t crazy; he’s psychic.  Desperate to escape the insane asylum, Deryl  teleports to Kanaan, a world of telepaths who regard him as an oracle.  But freedom comes at a price.  The Kanaan expect their oracle to teach them to use their powers to wage war.  Meanwhile, he’s falling in love, but to be with her means to share his psyche, which could drive her insane.  Most dangerous of all, he hasn’t escaped the Call of the Master, enemy of the Kanaan, whose telepathic manipulations were why Deryl was committed in the first place.  Now, the Master will forge Deryl’s powers into a weapon to kill all he loves or destroy his mind trying.

Mind Over Psyche by Karina Fabian

Book Two of the Mind Over trilogy



“Human.” Tasmae didn’t so much rise as uncoil and stalked her way to him, her shoulders hunched and her eyes hooded. Even without weapons or her lethal hairpiece, Joshua had no doubt she could do him serious damage. He stepped back.

She continued to close on him, stealthy, predatory, herding him away from the door. “You did this,” she snarled.

“What do you think I did, Tasmae?” Joshua asked, keeping his voice as calm as he could despite the fact that he was quivering inside. He found himself desperately wishing for a couple of big orderlies—Sachiko, even—a straitjacket and some Haldol. Or maybe an animal tranquilizer. Why don’t Leinad and the healer do something?

“Tasmae, I’m willing to listen, so why don’t you just tell me what—”

“Shut up! Don’t play stupid with me. I know what you planned to do. Human!” She spat the word. Even though she stood only inches away from him, her eyes were so dark that even if he knew the process of her thinking, he could not have seen it. He didn’t have enough information, and he knew with all his being that any wrong move would get him killed.

He used his only tool, his words. “Tasmae. I’m your friend. I know right now, you’ve got a lot of confusing tho—ungh!”

She hit him. Hard.

As he folded over, she caught him in the throat with her forearm and pinned him against the wall. She was tall enough that she could glare into his eyes with only a slight tilt of her head. “You thought I wouldn’t find out? You thought bringing the Ydrel here would make me trust you? That you could sing your pretty songs and make me forget my duty to my people? To the Remembrance?” She gave a maniacal laugh. “I know now. The Barins are a minor threat compared to humans! Humans, with their wild emotions and too many thoughts. Too many riddles. Riddles within riddles, thoughts within thoughts, feelings-within-feelings-within—” She shook her head, and when she looked up her eyes were shiny with tears. “You are contagion!”

She shoved her arm against his throat, and Joshua gagged. He clutched at her forearm, but he didn’t know how to break her hold. He couldn’t get a breath to answer her, couldn’t get a breath. Light and dark flashes dazzled his eyes.


“Taz, stop!” Deryl shouted from the doorway as he staggered into the room. He fought to hold himself together until he could draw her away from his friend. “Tasmae, please! It’s not Joshua’s fault.”

“Deryl.” As Tasmae turned to him her demeanor changed. First, it softened; she gently, almost distractedly, released Joshua. He collapsed onto hands and knees, taking in great gulps of air.

“Ydrel,” she spoke again, and this time, her voice was low and seductive and she sauntered her way to him. He blinked in confusion.

“Taz, don’t,” Deryl whispered, but she didn’t seem to hear him. Did she even see him? His eyes flicked to Joshua, but he was still on one knee, a hand braced against the ground, fighting for breath and consciousness. Leinad and the healer watched, though his muddled mind couldn’t tell if they were fascinated or horrified.

“Ydrel mentor, Ydrel guide,” she breathed as she moved in close, too close. He backed up until he was against a wall, a mere foot away from the plant, which seemed to turn its blossoms toward them like a plant turns toward the sun. He stood tense and trembling as she leaned into him, her face barely an inch from his. He could feel her mind flowing against his shields, and he knew if she got through, they were both lost.


  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Dragon Moon Press (September 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897492685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897492680






Meet Author Karina Fabian

Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has plenty of voices in her head without being psychic.  Fortunately, they fuel her many stories, like the Mind Over trilogy. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training.  Read about her adventures at

Hi Karina,
Thanks for joining me today in the Potpourri Parlor. This must be a very exciting time for you with the upcoming release of the second book in this trilogy. How do you feel about that?

Karina Fabian headshot Aug 2013 smallSometimes, people talk about “second book syndrome,” where the second book in a trilogy doesn’t match the energy of the first.  The characters refused to let that happen with Mind Over Psyche.  In this book, Joshua and Deryl accidentally end up on Kanaan, the planet of Tasmae.  Tasmae, you may remember from Mind Over Mind, was in psychic contact with Deryl, demanding information from him to save her world.  Now, he’s come to her, live and in person!

Joshua practices a form of psychiatry called neuro linguistic programming.  He used it extensively in Mind Over Mind.  Will he use it in Mind Over Psyche?

Some, but it really doesn’t work with aliens.  He will, however, save a child’s life with it, and will use some techniques to help Deryl and Tasmae out of danger.  This book, he also gets to exercise his musical talents.

What’s the challenge about writing about a psychic people?

They don’t communicate just in words, but also images, emotions, and simple knowing.  For example, why have a name for a person when you can pass on the knowledge of who that person is?  Ditto for places.  However, to reach a reader, I have to use words.  No one wants to read “the captain of the Kanaan guard” ten times a page, so some characters needed names, and I needed a reason for them to have one.  In the end, humans and the Barin (who also have verbal language) name certain things.  This will be fun in Mind Over All, because Joshua will joking name a young boy who clings to him, “Axel,” and it sticks, to Sachiko’s ire.

Also, with no written language, there needs to be a way to preserve history.  This is vital in Mind Over Psyche, as memories are stored in psychic plants.  You experience things as the person experienced them—no sanitizing, no skimming, no skipping the yucky parts (unless the plant allows it.)

What is your personal definition of success?

Fulfilling your worth as a human being.  For me, that means raising my children to be responsible adults, supporting my husband in his career, keeping a good home, and writing books that give people a few hours of escapist fun and/or help them in some way.

If you could have one power what would it be, and what would you do with it?

One of two:  The ability to focus more fully, because I’m way too easily distracted; or the ability to separate myself into different parts, do several things at once, then reintegrate.  I’d love to be able to clean house and walk the dog while writing my novels!

This is a year of changes for you.  What’s happening?

In the past 12 months, Aug 2012-Aug 2013, we lost our beloved dog to cancer, then adopted two others.  My husband was deployed to Iraq and came home just in time for our daughter’s high school graduation.  Our oldest didn’t do so well his first year of college and is enlisting in the Air Force.  Our third born went to Spain to volunteer at an English immersion camp, and Rob and I took the opportunity to fulfill a dream with an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.  Our youngest turned 13, so we have four teens in the house.

Rob retired Aug 22, and (as of the time of this writing) is searching for a job in the civilian world, preferably in manned space operations.  In September, we moved our daughter and her dog to college.  At the time of this writing, I’m not sure if my son will have gone to basic training yet or decided to go back to college, but either way, we’ll be down to two boys in the house.  So everything has changed from career to home to family, even pets.  As for my writing, I have taken on some nonfiction writing jobs and am exploring some new avenues for my fiction.  My hope is to have a more stable writing career, though I anticipate that might be a 2014 goal.

Are you a list maker?

Yes!  I make lists all the time.  Then I lose them, make new ones, find the old ones, and combine them into new lists.  Right now, I have a general To-Do list, a list of blogs I need to write, a list of things to fix to put our home for sale, a list of writing tasks and goals, a list of things my kids need, a list for marketing my books, a daily list…and, of course, this list of lists!

Where do you get your ideas? 

All over—from TV, from conversations with friends, from something on the news (or Facebook), from another book I’ve read, from a call for submissions for an anthology…  There’s actually a psychological term for it:  cognitive dis-inhibition.  People with CD do not organize/file away information as well as people who don’t have it.  As a result, we have a lot of stuff floating around in our minds, synapses snapping around until they link up with something else, and BOOM!  Idea!  Interestingly, schizophrenics also have CD, but on a more extreme level.  So to all the people in college who thought I was inhibited—HA!

What’s a common mistake new writers make?

Following “rules” too closely.  Really, there aren’t rules, just guidelines.  For example, I had a friend who tried to remove every single adverb in her novel because “the rules” say “No –ly words.”  Those words are a legitimate part of the English language and used judiciously (Look! -ly word), they can have an impact.

What one piece of advice would you offer readers who are working on their first novels?

Thicken your skin.  You need critique to improve, so be ready to listen with an open mind to what your fellow writers or readers say about your work.  Also, expect rejection and keep writing, anyway.

You can find more about Karina Fabian at:





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Come back on Sept. 30 to hear all about Karina’s new book

Exciting Things Are Happening at VHP!

The Sailor
by Malcolm R. Campbell

Book 2 of the Garden of Heaven Trilogy

When the Vietnam War pull pacifist David Ward away from Montana, mountain climbing and magic, he leaves for Navy boot camp with a suitcase of regrets. His fiancé ignores him, a close friend callously tells him to kill bad guys and have sex in every port, and an old flame sends devastating news, wrenching his life from its foundations.

Print Edition on Amazon


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 Can you hear it now? YOU BET!

  Sweet Victory  by Angela Kay Austin is now available as an AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon! Also in All Ebook Formats and  Print Editions. 

Sweet Victory tells the story of Victoria James… ‘Victory’ to her high school sweetheart, Chad. 

For her employees’ sake, Victoria James quits her job to save theirs. That decision loses her the man she thought she loved, and sends her back to Memphis, TN with everything she owns to face a neglected and forgotten relationship with her grandfather.

Everything she has is stolen. Chad Kirkpatrick, her childhood love, the first man to break her heart, now a police officer, comes to her aid.

Can she move forward, and put her past behind her? Will Chad forgive her?

Narrated and Produced by Diana Birdsall, 12 Time Telly Award Winning Voice Talent, an experienced voice in ‘the Biz’ for over 25 years.







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To Celebrate the upcoming release of Book 2 in Malcolm R. Campbell’s Garden of Heaven Trilogy, for a limited time we’re holding a price reduction on Book 1, The Seeker! Yes, it is a trick. A trick to get you hooked on Malcolm’s trilogy!

The Seeker
by Malcolm R. Campbell

Book 1 of the Garden of Heaven Trilogy

David Ward grows up on a Montana ranch where he develops an enduring love of mountains and the magic of the high country secrets he learns from his medicine woman grandmother. A vision quest at the summit of a sacred mountain opens his eyes to his future while blinding him to the details.

As a seasonal employee at a mountain hotel, David meets Anne Hill during the summer of Glacier National Park’s worst flood. Out of the ravages of water, they spend an idyllic summer in the beautiful Garden of Heaven.

When Anne is confronted by a stalker on a dark street in her Florida college town, the magic David uses in an attempt to save her changes her and leads them into the dark territory of misunderstandings and the blood of Tate’s Hell Swamp.

ONLY $2.99! in All Ebook Formats




for Sony, Nook, Kindle, Kobo and More


And for all of you who prefer the smell and feel of a paperback…

On Amazon   PRINT


Charmaine Gordon’s New Series!



The Beginning…Not the End. Mature Love, Romance, Suspense.

 And as announced in USA Today

 Book 1 

Instant Grandpa

by  Charmaine Gordon

Summer at the Jersey Shore just got hotter… Take one widower grandfather, add two little grandkids, and widowed grandmother with a small granddaughter. Mix well. Stir in sun drenched beach days and moonlit nights. What have you got? A kite flying high with a new tail; an author writing a book to sort out emotions; a talented boy with his mother returned to claim the prize. Family complications and a happy beginning… not the end.

From the new Charmaine Gordon series The Beginning…Not the End.

Mature Love, Romance, Suspense.

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Malcolm R. Campbell’s

Spooky Stories, Volume I Bundle pack


Cora’s Crossing

In the middle of a rogue thunderstorm, two young men are mysteriously drawn to an old bridge in the middle of a Florida swamp. They discover the dead are waiting to speak, their lives are in jeopardy, and they must help an injured young woman they find beside the road.

Moonlight and Ghosts

On a moonlit night, Randy’s intuition is drawing him back to an abandoned psychiatric hospital where he once worked. He and his friend, Alice, have heard the ghost hunters’ claims the building is haunted, filled with strange lights, apparitions and the voices of former patients calling for help. The Forgotten point Randy and Alice to a crime in progress… and there’s not much time to save the victim.

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Vanilla Heart Publishing is pleased to announce our most recent expansion! Audiobooks! In the coming weeks and months, professional narrators and producers will complete our long list of fabulous VHP works by our Core Group Authors, including our first audio catalog due out in mid-June and to be available on Amazon,, and iTunes!

Can you hear it now? YOU BET!   

Final Sin  by Chelle Cordero  is now available as an AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon!

Also in All Ebook Formats and  Print Editions.

Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full with the investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife when he meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. He is immediately drawn to her and finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. Julie finds herself just as drawn to him. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of their lives in extreme danger… Romance…danger…adventure…suspense…another great Chelle Cordero novel sure to grab readers from many genre! 

 Final Sin Review Suspense/Thriller, Romance;  Reviewer: Lototy, Rating: 5 Cups This story nearly vibrates with tension, and the impending doom will have you on the edge of your seat. The cast of characters is brilliantly depicted, each given both good and bad qualities that really enliven them to the reader. You actually get into the minds of several characters, and not just Jake’s and Julie’s. Final Sin is a real nail biter, and entirely too good to pass up, a true testament to Chelle Cordero’s talent… To read the entire Coffee Time Romance Review.    

Final Sin  audiobook is narrated by Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard, a professional narrator and voice-over artist, residing in the Pacific Northwest.



AUDIO – or      


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and the FREE Book Club Discussion Packet with full color printable bookmarks, author bio and photo, discussion starters, and synopsis –

Can you hear it now? YOU BET! 

Hunting Heartbreak by Marie Hampton is now available in Print, All Ebook Formats and is our first live Vanilla Heart Publishing AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon!

Hunting Heartbreak by Marie Hampton is the Winner of the Vanilla Heart Publishing Author Contest and is Marie’s debut novel, the first in a series featuring Kasumi, a female assassin involved in the Las Vegas Yakuza.

Hunting Heartbreak tells the suspenseful tale of Kasumi, a young woman deeply involved in the Las Vegas Yakuza, as she runs headlong into danger, both to her profession as an assassin…and to her heart.



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Can you hear it now? YOU BET!

 Emily’s Stories by Malcolm R. Campbell is now available in All Ebook Formats and as an AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon!

Emily’s Stories are three short stories that will delight and entertain readers (and listeners) of all ages, with the tales of the young girl, Emily Walters, as she explores her world and that of the world around her… both mundane and temporal.

Emily Walters is a sharp, inquisitive fourteen-year-old north Florida girl who loves maps, her rusty old bike, and the forest behind her house. Sometimes her dreams tell her the future and sometimes her waking hours bring wise birds and other spirits into her life. In these three short stories, join Emily in adventures and mysteries.

When her family vacations in the mountains in “High Country Painter,” a wise Pine Siskin tells her she must quickly learn how to paint dreams into reality to prevent an afternoon hike from becoming a tragedy.

In “Map Maker,” she’ll need her skills—and the help of a Chuck-will’s-widow—to fight a developer’s plans for from bulldozing the sacred forest behind her house and replacing it with a subdivision.

In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” she’ll learn the secrets of her grandmother’s favorite tree, the crumbling almost-forever house down on the river, and why some ghosts would rather visit than haunt.




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Vanilla Heart Publishing is currently OPEN TO QUERIES. We accept queries in the following genre only: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller (not gore), Fantasy, Adventure, and Historical Fiction. We have a full title lineup through Summer 2013 at this time, thanks to our terrific VHP Authors. We will be considering additional manuscripts after July 15, 2013. Please be aware that we do not publish poetry except as inclusions to specific anthologies. Nor do we publish children’s books, books that are epic in length, or erotica, which we define on a case by case basis.

We do not accept unsolicited manuscript submissions, and these will be discarded with no reply, as will queries not following our guidelines. For our Query Guidelines,

Visit the Vanilla Heart Publishing home Page