Saturday, 10 March 2012

If You Like...Fantasy Romance

If you like fantasy romances that feature knights, romance, magic, and war, then I have the perfect trilogy for you!

KINGDOM OF ARNHEM

Book I - WOMAN OF HONOR

Reviews:

Nicole Zoltack provides a well crafted story that focuses on emotion and anticipation. Not only a book that a young adult would enjoy, but a woman of any age who wants to enjoy romance and a strong heroine and how she gained her strength. Em Epe - Dark Diva Reviews

With sword fights, passionate love, mythical creatures, and courtly games, Woman of Honor is my kind of book... Blending history with fiction, her writing is full of plot and adventure and her characters are strong and believable....In conclusion, I thoroughly recommend this book for everyone that enjoys fantasy, romance and adventure! Book Reviews by Aubrie

"Full of action and adventure, Ms Zoltak has created a wonderful tale which keeps the pages turning right up until the heart stopping conclusion and leaves the reader wanting more." Happily Ever After Reviews

Blurb:

Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.

Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.

The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

Excerpt:

"Is there anyone else that you have feelings for, Aislinn? Is that why you don't want to be with Geoffrey?"

Aislinn blinked, thinking about his question. "I haven't thought about such things. I'm too focused on becoming a knight. That's all I'm worried about."

Caelan pushed back his chair and stood. With him on his feet, Aislinn had to tip back her chin to look him in the face, he had grown so much in the years since they'd first met. "There is no one else?"

She shook her head.

Caelan took a step closer to her, stepping so close he only had to whisper for her to hear him. "What if I told you that Geoffrey isn't the only one who favors your company?"

His closeness overwhelmed Aislinn and she tried to take a step back. Her shoulders bumped the bookshelf behind her and several books shifted, but none made enough noise to draw the attention of anyone else in the library. Caelan lay a hand against her cheek, his thumb beneath her chin, and with a gentle touched, forced her to look at him.

Her heart pounded hard in her chest like a caged bird and Aislinn caught her breath.

"Caelan," she whispered softly, but before she could say more, his lips covered hers.

Aislinn froze for a second as he held his mouth against hers, then heard herself sigh when he pressed closer and moved his lips. Aislinn's eyes fluttered closed and she raised her hands to lay them on his chest, feeling his heart pound as hard as her own. Then reality snapped at her and she shoved him away.

"Stop it!"

She pushed past the prince and rushed from the library, with several squires and younger pages turning at her escape. Aislinn ran to her room and slammed the door shut. She leaned against it and slid to the floor, her head in her hands.

How dare he kiss me!

But the worst realization was that she'd kissed him back. Even the memory now made her insides tremble and her hands shake.

Aislinn stared into the empty space of her chamber for several minutes, trying to push aside the memory that refused to leave before she finally stood. Completing her work would occupy her mind. She collapsed onto her bed and promptly fell asleep instead.

Purchase links:

Purchase from DBP website

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Book II - KNIGHT OF GLORY

Reviews:

It is strongly recommended to all those souls who love a mixture of romance, history, and fantasy. The real battle and the quest for true love make this book a must read." Reader's Favorite.com

"I loved this book!... Sir Geoffry is the noble night with a vulnerable heart. Jenanna is tough, yet feminine; independent, but lonely. And Celestia turned out to be a complete surprise as to what I had expected.... Can't wait for the next." Shawna Williams, author of No Other (Posted at Amazon)

Filled with bitter foes, magical displays, a quest for true love in many cases, and a dash of enigma, Knight of Glory is a true delight. Raven and the Writing Desk Review Blog

Blurb:

Sir Geoffrey, along with some companions, has been sent away from Arnhem, entrusted by Queen Aislinn for a special mission, and has to leave behind the mysterious lady Celestia. On his journey, he uncovers seeds of a sinister plot, learns a horrible secret, and makes a new friend in exile Jenanna.

Their mission completed, Geoffrey and his companions rush to two different kingdoms to ask for aid. Danger and betrayal lurks around every corner, and even allies have secrets that could prove deadly. Geoffrey's feelings for Celestia grow and wane. After learning some of Celestia's secrets, he begins to have second thoughts about his love for her and is even drawn to Jenanna.

Rumors abound that the Speicans have enlisted a mage of their own, to work unspeakable, forbidden magic. The war between Speica and Arnhem has just begun. Will Geoffrey survive the battle to live another day and discover which woman he truly loves?

Excerpt:

When twilight fell, Geoffrey halted the party. "Let us rest now. Another day, two at most, and we will reach Lochmarsh. We need to prepare ourselves, mentally, physically, and spiritually."

Jenanna pursed her lips. If she thought it too close to night she refrained from mentioning it.

Geoffrey reached into a bag tied to Swift Flight's saddle and pulled out a blanket. "Here, milady, for you to rest upon."

Jenanna stared at the cloth. "I do not need your compassion."

"I offer it freely."

She stared at him, sizing him up, and grabbed it. Placing the blanket far from the water, she laid on it.

Geoffrey watched her for several moments before Raulin's snores reached him. He turned to Jacob. "You certain that I need not keep watch?"

Jacob stared at him with listless eyes and blinked twice.

Geoffrey took that as a negative. He laid down, using a rock under his head, but could not sleep. He glanced over at Jenanna. Although her eyes were closed, he knew that sleep did not claim her either. "Jenanna. I think I have been visited by the Kelpie."

Her eyes flew open. "When?"

"Last night. I dreamt of it. At least, I think I did."

"That can only be an ill omen." She shivered as her gaze fell upon the water. "We should continue on."

"Raulin needs his rest. So do I for that matter. We shall be fine." I pray...

"I hope so." She rolled over, her back to the stream, and to Geoffrey.

Geoffrey slept and woke a short time later. The others still slept, and Jacob paid him no heed. He slowly climbed to his feet and stretched his back. Turning, he spotted a small creature in the near distance. Walking toward it, he realized It looks like a lost pony. Its fur was grey black, and its main dripped constantly. The fur seemed sleek, and Geoffrey reached out to find out if this was the case. The pony was cold, deadly arctic, and Geoffrey's fingers froze to it, he was unable to move his hand away.

"No! Geoffrey, you have to stop touching it!" Jenanna cried out. She gripped his arm and tugged hard.

He tried to turn his head to look at her, but even his neck muscles tightened, frozen. "I can't move!"

Jenanna pulled and yanked some more, but Geoffrey could not be freed.

The Kelpie neighed, a loud sinister sound, and its saliva dripped, turning into ice as it left his foaming mouth. It blew air out its nostrils, the breath turning to fog, giving the land an eerie, unearthly feel.

Jacob and Raulin rushed over. They attacked the creature with their swords, but the horse bucked and kicked, and even with such wild, reckless movements, Geoffrey remained attached.

"Take this, foul creature!" Jenanna shrieked, shoving a flame tree branch into the creature's side.

The Kelpie wailed and neighed. With a sudden rush of heat, Geoffrey collapsed. A loud splash sounded as the three surrounded his fallen form.

"What was that?"

"Not now, Raulin! Now is the time for a larger fire. Build one," Jenanna commanded. "And you, Jacob, the healer, aye? Do you know how to heal freeze burns?"

Jacob's face looked stricken in the pale flickering firelight. "I can try."

"Try isn't good enough. You must succeed." She knelt down and placed Geoffrey's head in her lap. "It will be all right, Geoffrey."

"S-so c-cold." Geoffrey's teeth chattered so loudly he barely heard his own voice. His body shook uncontrollably, the chills spreading from his hand to the rest of his body, lowering his core body temperature and slowly freezing the blood in his body. "God's T-teeth!"

The fire roared to life, greedily licking up the small remnants of grass nearby. "Good, Raulin, now go fetch my blanket." Raulin didn't even pause to nod.

Jenanna grabbed Geoffrey's wounded hand and tried to warm it with her own. Her fingers felt red hot, compared to his iciness, and her fingers kneaded his skin. "Quick, Jacob."

Jacob nodded and began to mutter incantations. He placed his hand above Jenanna's and Geoffrey's, and a bright yellow orange glowed from his hand.

As the cold moved closer to his heart, Geoffrey's shivering worsened. His body buckled from the severe shock cold waves.

Raulin returned and threw the blanket on Geoffrey, but it did nothing to help the nearly frozen knight. Jacob's voice grew louder, and the light responded, turning brighter. Jenanna moved her hand away, and Jacob laid his on Geoffrey's. Immediately, Jacob pulled his own away. "Too cold. My God, he's frozen!"

Purchase links:

Purchase from DBP website

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Book III - CHAMPION OF VALOR

Reviews:

Every book left me craving more and I'm so glad this one continued the hook. Kingdom of Arnhem exceeded my expectations! By Me Posted on Amazon

This was probably my favorite of the three books in this series....Enthralling and exciting, the third installment to the Kingdom of Arnhem series was a page turner. For all fantasy, historical fiction, and romance lovers alike, this book's the book for you. From Bree on Goodreads

Blurb:

The Mystical Conch Shell of the Sea has been stolen, and it's up to Selliki, the selkie, to get it back. Selliki sets across the continent of Alethereia to find Arnhem, and Gabrael, the mage she loves. Selliki knows that no union between a selkie and a human have ever had a happy ending, but neither can ignore their feelings. Each night, they experience terrible, real dreams that show how doomed their love is.

The final war between Speica and Arnhem is threatening the entire world. Lucifer has aligned himself with Speica and wants nothing less than to bring about the Apocalypse before its time. In the last battle, cowardice is revealed, promises are broken, and many people die. Trolls fight icthyocentaurs, dwarves armed up against the Drow, angels against demons. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.

Excerpt:

Night came, and they set up camp. Gabrael closed his eyes, and sleep claimed him. When he opened his eyes, all he could see was white. Something appeared in his hands -- Selliki's seal skin. He shoved it into a trunk that materialized out of nothing and locked it.

Selliki entered a few minutes later, looking lovely in a long blue gown. "Come, dear, it's time to be married."

Days passed, weeks, months, years. The two were extremely happy together and even had two children, a precious little girl and a strong, hardy son.

One day, Gabrael practiced magic with their daughter, Yara, on the beach. "The fire comes from within, deep inside your belly. Just feel it, move it up to your throat and blow." Gabrael demonstrated as a shot of flame exited his mouth.

Yara clapped her hands. "I want to try!" She furrowed her brow and blew. Nothing happened. She opened her mouth to try again but her concentration was distracted. "Mama, why are you running?"

Gabrael glanced behind him. Selliki ran toward the ocean, something dark in his hands.

Raphiel hurried over. "I found your trunk, Father."

Gabrael muttered a curse and jumped to his feet.

"What's wrong, Father?"

"Where is Mama going?"

Gabrael ran toward Selliki. He reached out with his arms to stop her, so they could talk, but his arms touched air. She had already dived into the water.

Gabrael stood there, by the water's edge, all night long and for the following day, before the knowledge came to him. Selliki had forsaken him. She was never coming back.

A single tear ran down Gabrael's face and dripped off his nose onto the sand. He turned his back on the water and cried. Maybe love isn't enough. How can I ask Selliki to abandon her very nature?

Purchase links:

Purchase from DBP website

Purchase from Amazon

Purchase from Barnes and Noble

Purchase from Sony

Purchase from ARe

4 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

I'm already a fan, Nicole, of your beautifully-crafted fantasy romance. I love the 'champion' elements of them and the way your heroines can be warriors and I love the world-building.

With writers like you and Savanna yesterday, I'm in awe of your world-building.

Please, both of you, keep writing these super books!

Nicole - I'm espec impressed by everything you do - your many writing 'hats'. Kudos to you.

Savanna Kougar said...

Nicole, enjoyed your compelling fantastical excerpts!

LK Hunsaker said...

Nicole, your covers always draw me in. And very nice reviews!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks, everyone!