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Sarah's guest This Week

Welcome to my guest this week, bestselling author


Look for the books written by C N Lesley and you have found treasure!

Obtaining a photograph of a lady usually behind the camera is more difficult

but here she is, captured.

elizabeth hull


The book I am featuring is my own favourite


darkspire reaches cover


The wyvern has hunted for the young outcast all her life; a day will come when, after being rejected by civilisation and the tribes, she must at last face him.

Abandoned as a sacrifice to the wyvern, a young girl is raised to fear the beast her adoptive clan believes meant to kill her. When the Emperor outlaws all magic, Raven is forced to flee from her home with her foster mother, for both are judged as witches. Now an outcast, she lives at the mercy of others, forever pursued by the wyvern. Soon her life will change forever.

A unique and unsettling romantic adventure about rejection and belonging.


Author of ‘Love, War and Magic’, Artema Press

Raised in the world of Darkspire Reaches to heal the sick and fear the wyvern, Raven is an immediately accessible and lovable character, for whom the road from servitude to motherhood is paved with persecution, betrayal, and ultimately a showdown for who will command the loyalty of her mate.  At times, the book is heartrendingly brutal, and, at others, filled with a tenderness that inspires happy tears.  Comic relief, in the form of Raven and Connor’s wit, not to mention the antics of Kryling, a much smaller cousin of the wyvern, raises the book another notch from excellent to brilliant.  With layers of complexity that attain additional depth each time I return to the story, this is a book to be read again and again.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.


In C.N. Lesley’s “Darkspire Reaches”, when Emperor Chactar order the death of witches by burning, Raven and her foster mother, Margie, leave their village and seek shelter from the very man who is responsible for their misery. In exchange for a secret that Margie threatens to expose, they are granted shelter by the wicked emperor. From that moment onward, Raven’s life continues to change, and she will learn so much more about herself, about Samara Maidens, a Drakken male, and the beast Wyvern that has plagued her mind like a nightmare.


I love the cover art by Alex Boca, which grabbed my interest right away. The dialogue was confusing until I figured out the difference between ‘peasant talk’ and the normal speech that Margie and Raven use. The author’s beautiful writing style easily sparked off interest and my imagination about the story. I rooted for Raven from the beginning as I felt her pain and sympathized with the harsh life that she had to endure Honestly, I didn't like the things that happened to a protagonist who deserves so much more. I couldn't find it in me to like Connor, the Drakken male, at all. Only when Raven accepted him did I follow suit. A tumultuous and entertaining read, this is an adult fantasy novel with solidly-built worlds, characters, and creatures. If you love dragon-themed tales as I do, the Wyverns are definitely on a par with dragons as large, mythical, winged creatures.


From Kristell Ink

Darkspire Reaches is a dark romantic fantasy, richly told and with characters so real, you cry for them. C N Lesley is masterful. This is for lovers of Ilona Andrews, Karen Chance, Sherrilyn Kenyon and such like.


‘Despite the cover this is not yet another book about magic and dragons. It is about a young woman's journey of self-discovery. On par with the lowly Wart of Arthurian legend, fifteen-year-old Raven starts out as a foundling, a servant, bound by love to the only mother she knows.’ Review by Wendy Delmater


‘Despite this being a suspenseful read, however, Lesley's words are so rich, so well-crafted, that you don't want to finish it off so soon--you'd want to nibble the words just to make it last a bit longer. Highly recommended, especially those who have read a lot of fantasy books and are looking for something "deeper."’ Review by Meghan


‘Lesley knows how to build a world, and create--not just characters--but whole races of them, complete with speech patterns and a recognizable cadence that sucks you into her world. From the first chapter you know you are entering a new world, and by the third chapter, you are already familiar with it.’ Review by GG 

Book Trailler

And the vital BUY link, because how can you resist it? I couldn't, so here is my Amazon Review.

5.0 out of 5 stars         Do not go gentle into that good night, 5 Aug. 2015      
Verified Purchase(What is this?)      
This review is from: Darkspire Reaches (Kindle Edition)      
Do not go gentle into that good night, and the author doesn’t ask it of readers. She leads them gently into the apparently normal, but fascinating, world of an orphan living with a peasant woman. Margie. Raven’s foster mother rescued her when she was new-born and left out in the open as a sacrifice to the Wyverns. Raven’s affinity is with the woods, and the wild deer and rabbits. Margie, a herbalist and fortune-teller, is growing old and Raven helps her by learning about the brews she makes and uses to barter for food and other goods in the nearby village of the golden-haired Angressi people. Only one of them, Tomar, is kind to her and, as Raven, with her different raven hair, grows older, she falls in love and gives him precious potions in exchange for kisses.
Raven sees him seduce an Angressi man’s golden-haired daughter, Katra, and laugh because she’s jealous of kisses that obtained cures for his dog from the girl he calls a First Born savage. Heartbroken, Raven sees a lonely future, despite her magic powers that Margie covets, and her healing hands. The Angressi villagers accuse Raven and Margie of witchery, hurl stones, and give chase, intent on killing them. With nothing more than the clothes they are wearing Raven and Margie are forced to flee, but where? Is Margie wandering in her aging wits or is she Lady Margery Istentor, a high-born woman with a hold over Emperor Chactar who rules as a Living God in a far land?
Is that hold real? Will Chactar grant them sanctuary? Can Raven survive the fate of a Samara Maiden or suffer death at her saviours’ hands if Lady Margery fails protect her? Must she flee and face the danger from the Wyvern’s, the flaming creatures who would have taken her at birth, and have sought her, away from the protection of the woods, all her life? Every chapter, almost every paragraph, ends with a hook to tempt the reader on, right to the end.
This is a very different fantasy. It’s not based on a story that could stand alone as a thriller, as the best of that style of the genre do, or one that depends on instant violent action by werewolves, dragons and other mythical creatures to grab and hold a reader. It truly does start gently, but it’s impossible to leave unfinished if you read the first paragraph. Highly recommended.

When you have read this book, you won't resist the others for long.

Find out more at either of Elizabeth's links, or on Amazon.



















What else should we call her? This is Jan with James Ventrillo at the Readers' Favorite Award Ceremony.

Quite rightly, she enjoying herself :-)




How did this happen? She wrote a truly GREAT book!

However, there is more to Jan than books.

Read on.


I joined the (British) Royal Navy at the age of seventeen. I was a leading Naval Policewoman, equivalent to a sergeant in the Military Police. After the Navy, I went to work for a travel company as an overseas representative. During the first Gulf War I was a security guard at the BBC World Service radio station. After I left the BBC, I spent twelve years as a bodyguard for a Saudi Princess.

My final career outside the house was with British Airways. I was a cabin crew member on the worldwide fleet, which allowed me to travel extensively to every corner of the world, at least two or three times. Unfortunately, I had an accident on board a flight. The aircraft, a Boeing 747, was flying at 39,000 feet above Africa when it was caught in clear-air turbulence. As the plane dropped my body flew upward causing my head to hit the cabin's ceiling. As a result of this accident, I have had three major operations on my spinal cord and am now retired. I missed the busy and interesting experiences that my job had brought me, thus turning my attention to writing. I’ve lived in so many countries, I’m dizzy. I’m a jack of all trades but master of none. I’ve made so many mistakes in life that I often wonder how I managed to survive all these years – But, I feel blessed to be able to call writing, my last stand. Long may it last x

Not a jack of all trades now!

Why historical fiction?
I can still picture the day my passion for history was ignited. I was a little girl, sitting with my mum in a cinema watching a re-run of, Gone With the Wind. Whether it was the costumes, dialogue, accents, or horses that caught my attention, I don’t know, but that was the moment my love affair with the past began.

Do you stick to the same historical period, and do you have a formula?
No. I don’t really have a favourite historical period, or event. I’m a Gemini, and as changeable as the weather. It will be impossible for me to cover all the historical periods that I would like to write about, in my lifetime, but I’ll get through as many as possible, because I want to share as many historical stories as I can. There’s an old saying: We are only passing through. That’s so true when you think about thousands of years, full of historical events that we can only read about.
When choosing my books’ themes, I think about where I’d like to be and what I’d like to be involved in. When I write, I see, feel, and go with gut feelings. I enjoy the journey, and rarely plan ahead. There are no outlines, notes, or list of characters. My preparation is negligible, and I rarely follow rules. Right or wrong, this is my method, and I guess I’ll continue adhere to the proverbial saying, ‘going with my flow.’
The Guardian of Secrets
“An epic in every sense, The Guardian of Secrets is War and Peace for a new generation. Jana Petken is a natural storyteller and in The Guardian of Secrets she weaves an engrossing, passionate tale of family life, of love, of betrayal, of war and redemption. These are classic themes and they are combined here to produce a classic tale in the finest traditions of historical fiction.”
Dark Shadows: Mercy Carver Series
“Dark Shadows, is the first five-star book in Jana Petken’s exciting Mercy Carver series. This meticulously crafted and riveting tale had me captivated from the very first page.”
Blood Moon: Mercy Carver, Book Two
“The author did a fantastic job weaving this story. I admit I was surprised at some twist and turns. Many times, I found myself holding my breath!”
The Errant Flock
“A glorious read, I was totally captivated by this story. Her descriptions of the people, the country and the history put me right in the picture and I couldn't put it down. She is a great storyteller with lots of depth to her writing.”
Amazon page

 Twitter @AuthoJana

I don't know about you, but I'm off to spread the word about this very special lady. Twitter, Here I come!
























diana house 



Hi everybody and welcome from Sarah. Rebecca has now joined me to feature a guest each week, though on this occasion we are picturing ourselves driving to this beautiful house set in the English countyside, complete with stables. Horses are our favourite mode of transport, in my case because they have four legs rather than two wheels, but enough about us. 

Diana J Febry does ride competitively, but we have invited her to talk about her books.

Her latest is POINT OF NO RTURN

diana point of no return


The significance of the noose left hanging outside James Palmer’s barn is obvious to everyone in the village. When threats turn to violence DCI Peter Hatherall has to unmask a master of disguise determined to have their revenge. 

This is the latest review on Amazon.

***** Great Murder/Mystery!,8 Nov. 2015      

Verified Purchase     
This review is from: Point of No Return (Kindle Edition)      
I loved the author's murder story 'Bells On Her Toes' which was based in the same rural setting with Peter and Fiona making an excellent police investigation team. This second book is every bit as good as the first. The author is brilliant at describing an English country setting with all the  typical country characteristics of farmers, horses, pubs and closely knit locals. As with the first book, it is the larger than life characters who make this such a fun read. The relationship between Peter and Fiona remains interesting. The actual plot is clever and it takes a long way into the book before you start to unravel who is good and bad. I said about the first book, I thought it would make a great TV series and believe that to be even more the case now I've read this book. Will appeal to anyone who likes a well written, murder mystery.
Intrigued? We certainly were and Diana's book description is short, but I found this!
 Another great read from this author26 Aug. 2015
Point of No Return by Diana Febry begins two years after a horrible accident where a man named Dibgy was in an auto accident and the passenger was killed from being impaled by a tractor’s folks. The car Digby was driving careened over a hill and landed in a field where James Palmer was riding the tractor. Digby blamed Palmer. After both were cleared of the accident, he hung himself on a tree on Palmer’s ranch.  Now, Superintendent Rogers wants our protagonist, Peter Hatherall, and his junior officer Fiona, to investigate threats being made against Palmer. They go out to his farm to discover a noose hung on the same tree where Digby hung himself two years earlier and were told that a sheep was thrown against the front gate with a cut throat and note saying, “You’re next. The story is off to a great fast paced start with the same sardonic humor between Hatherall and the inspector, a carry forward familiar relationship from the prequel to this storyline, Bells on Her Toes, which makes this not only a page turning interesting read but an entertaining one that at times, despite the seriousness of subject matter, had me laughing out loud.
Entering into the story is a brief scene with someone named Emma, who was referenced earlier as a supportive friend of Digby’s. She’s putting on makeup while talking to her dog and getting ready for a new job. The story then jumps to Palmer going out to a pub and phoning a friend of his, Daoma Webber, an exotic beauty who is married to a man named Gordon. Palmer wants to stop by and talk to Daoma as he needs the support. When the conversation ends there’s some mention of Palmer’s farm and some maneuvering to get it to sell. ” Here the suspects start to surface. A bomb exploding in Palmer’s garage with his wife badly burned and disfigured follows this. The plot also thickens when we learn that Palmer is a player. Could the suspect be a disgruntled husband? And to complicate matters even more, he used to own a beauty parlor and has been accused of being gay. Is there a homophobic motive here?
While Peter and Fiona are on their way to a golf course where Gordon Webber is at, a call comes in that there’s been a murder. The body of an early twenty-something man is found pushed under the fence of the golf course. Is this murder related to the Palmer events or just some coincidence? We later learn the identity of the man and answer to this question. We also get another glimpse of the mysterious Emma who yells at her dog Honey to stay away from a coat on her floor that smells of smoke. Was she involved in the bomb explosion? Clues are also lining up; a wire to the bomb is the same type wire on the back of Palmer’s tractor. Did lover-boy try to do away with his wife? And then there’s Linda’s secret that is revealed well into the story and how does this tie in with an earlier mentioned clue? Peter and Fiona leave no stone-unturned right down the end. And when that last page is shut, there’s a disappointment that a great read has concluded. Luckily there are more from this author.
Anything else you need to know before loading your Kindle and deciding that, come what may, you will make time to read it?
I confess to spending more time on Amazon than it took to discover more than Diana says about POINT OF NO RETURN. She has also written BELLS ON HER TOES, THE SKELETONS OF BIRKBURY, DEBTS AND DRUIDS, TO EACH THEIR OWN, ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, and has a story included in YOU'RE NOT ALONE: AN INDIE ANTHOLOGY.
All of them have excellent reviews.




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