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Monday, 21 April 2014

Author SPOTLIGHT – Holly Barbo

Author Holly Barbo



I am absolutely delighted to introduce an outstanding Author and an all round classy lady Holly Barbo. If you haven't read her Sci-fi/Fantasy series The Sage Seed Chronicles then you are probably a lovely person, but you simply MUST keep your eye on the ball!! Everyone else is checking these books out right now! I promise you will be lost in Holly's world and it is a brilliant place to be! Read on and you will see.....

Biography

Holly Barbo’s world is shaped by her love of her family, the beauty of the natural world in Northwest Washington State and an irrepressible creative drive.
Living where the scenery is incredible with a rich abundance of wildlife “is so special and soothing that it feels like a quiet kind of magic,” according to Barbo. She is drawn to creating stories where there is just a bit of something unworldly, perhaps it is magic or psychic skills. Her stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building a discordant drama inside the peaceful frame.


In Her Own Words
You see, I never intended to write or to be an author though I have always written and told stories. I just never connected the two. I was working in my store.. actually nothing much was happening in the store. It was tax week of 2009 and things were very q.u.i.e.t. I was sitting at the computer and this story came out of my fingertips.
It probably started with me thinking of my Grandmother Chérie and how I would walk down the hill to see her at her cabin at the bend of the river. Throw in my love of raptors, the science/fantasy I enjoy reading and thoughts of the innocence we lose as we leave childhood. Sprinkle in characteristics of people I have known and places I have been. Add a dash of the only pet I ever had, even for a short time, my little skunk Thumper. (Yes, she had had her spray gland removed and I do still miss her.) Then finish with touches of my core beliefs and concerns about what is happening in our world.
These things were elements, colorful threads (“gems” as my cousin David would call them) that were woven into what ended up being a series of several books. The story was something that grew all by itself. Seriously! I don’t know where it came from. The first book was a little disconcerting as it was happening without my control. It was two years later, as I was querying for an agent, that I learned that I should have written a synopsis prior to starting the book. Oh. I missed that point.
I suppose all authors get attached to their characters. I have. I hope you do, too. There are currently five completed books in the Sage Seed Chronicles. I am working on an unrelated story called: Sunstone and a short story collection. Both are scheduled to be out later in 2014



The Sage Seed Chronicles


Follow the stories of 3 strong young women who are sages of the planet Ose. As sages, they help keep the planet stabilized and live for centuries.
Marisily’s sage abilities awaken when she flees for her life after watching her mother die. With more citizens becoming victims of the bands of outlaws, Marisily struggles to stay safe when she is targeted for slavery. She becomes key in the clandestine plan among the government to take back the society and reestablish the founding culture. But can they do it in time?
Centuries later, Ree’s abilities awaken during the time of a plague. With her unique sage abilities, she becomes vital to finding the cure to the virulent disease that has taken hundreds. In the middle of the crisis, a counterfeiter takes advantage of the events, putting several other lives in peril. The sages must right the multiple crises before anyone else falls prey to the events. Rare natives of the planet have important information to impart if the sages can decipher their cryptic message.
As the years pass, Erin is born. She is the child of two established sages. But when they are murdered, Erin manages to escape and must disguise herself as a boy to avoid being taken by the men who are after her. She later discovers that they’re not only after her, but all of the sages as they deem them “witches” of the planet. But these murders only upset the planet’s delicate balance and the loss of so many sages causes the planet to become unstable. Earthquakes and storms plague the denizens of Ose. Can the sages manage to fix the problem and restore balance and order to their planet?
Bonus short story included at the end of the collection: The Tin of Honey is a dystopian short story set in the near future. It will be included in Holly’s upcoming short story collection which will be released toward the end of 2014.




Excerpt from Book 1: The Founders
Marisily woke abruptly. The night was completely dark as both moons, Cear and Luna had set. She could hear the sound of the nearby Cascade River but it didn’t soothe her as it usually did. All of her senses were fully alert as if someone had screamed. She lay there a moment trying to figure out what had awakened her. Leaning on one elbow Marisily listened hard. The house was still yet the hair on her arms and the back of her neck were standing up with alarm; there was a tense knot in the pit of her stomach. The sense of foreboding was a low thrum going through her body with each heartbeat. Marisily carefully scrutinized the familiar surroundings of her room searching for the source of what woke her. The small space seemed to be as it had always been, simple with no fancy touches or possessions. Without making a sound Marisily got out of bed and kneeling beside it, folded back the small rag rug her mother had made her many years ago. She ran her fingers over the floor board it covered, skimming the edges until she felt the small knot hole. Carefully she lifted the board and touched the contents hidden beneath it with shaky fingers. She didn’t understand why but knowing that no one had found the secret hiding place eased her anxiety somewhat.

Sage Seed Chronicles 
Amazon book links for the Sage Seed Chronicles:
Holly’s blog: http://hollybarbo-books.com
Her FaceBook page: http://on.fb.me/1lYJA5d
Find her on Twitter: @HBarboWriting
Check out her visual storyboards on Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/hollybarbo/


The books can be purchased individually as shown above, and  Holly is also featuring the boxed set as a superb completed series!



Reviews

  • I became invested in these characters and could not wait to find out what happened to them and their world.– 5 Stars by Laio - Amazon
  • Barbo has done it again! Believable characters, fast-moving plot, twists and turns that keep the reader involved. Couldn't put it down till I'd finished it. I hope there is another book in this series! 5 Stars By Diane The Avid Reader - Amazon
  • My curiosity about the books (Sage Seed Chronicles "The Founders" "Divergent Paths" -- more are coming!) came from my personal interaction and deep respect for the author. She is a forward-thinking person with a good head on her shoulders and her feet firmly on the ground. Though set in a fictitious world -- her "reality" makes sense, brings out both the noble and base sides of humanity, while showing clearly, yet subtly, how a better world can be lived, even in the midst of chaos! Her noble characters are the best of humanity and her solutions both general and specific do not seem impractical, but very possible. She also treats the psychic gifts as natural qualities, rather than some superstitious deviance....the intuition and other gifts which are inate are not feared but used for the practical and common good. I love "living" in Holly Barbo's "world"! 5 Stars By Cynthia - Amazon

30% off as a set from the individual price!


Gripping Read!!

Dragonman: Face of the UnknownDragonman: Face of the Unknown by Ted Lazaris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an edge of the seat story, which begins smack bang in the middle of an apocalyptic event. The end of the world is a topic which has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time, but in this story it is just the beginning; not the final annihilation of humankind. The foreign object hurtling towards the earth is merely the first sting of a battle that will consume the heavens above and the earth below.
The threat introduces the DragonMan; a superhero already living on our planet, with access to different worlds such as ‘Spellville’; and he is not alone with his incredible abilities, of which more are revealed as the story continues. His family, with which he runs the family business ‘Starr Investigations’, are also endowed with their own fascinating skills, which invite further investigations of their own. Other characters from Spellville include ’Plupee’ and ‘Dooley’ who add a little light comedy in the midst of such dark and dangerous occurrences. Another lead character is Nathan, who has no abilities except for his skill with a pen. Luke and Nathan's lives become intertwined in the midst of the first catastrophe, and when Nathan has a series of personal disasters, he seeks out their firm for help. Thus begins a rollercoaster of explosive tragedies, spectacular fantasy, and murder mystery. The Author leads you through each one in a well written, intriguing and captivating way.

In summary I would advise that you set the scene to read this novel. Get your cocoa, your pyjamas, and go to your private place; switch off the tv and ignore the kids for a while, and step into Ted Lazaris complex and fascinating world of the unusual, the bizarre, and the downright terrifying creatures you are about to meet.


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