Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Watch: The Seaward Isle Saga by Joni Parker #fantasy


We're happy to be hosting Joni Parker and her new fantasy/action adventure series, The Seaward Isle Saga!



Title: The Black Elf of Seaward Isle
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

On the mysterious Seaward Isle, Alex, the young daughter of Count Dumwalt, escapes Wizard Mylar’s attack on her father’s fortress with the help of two men, Hamlin and Tyrone, who take her to her brother in the village of Nyla.  Disguised as a boy to stay at the Sword Academy with her brother, she learns of the death of her parents and vows to avenge their deaths.  At the same time, a witch on the far side of the island predicts the rise of the Black Elf, the only person with the power to kill a wizard.

Meanwhile, Alex’s stay at the academy is cut short when the headmistress arranges her adoption by a Scinthian Scout, an Amazon warrior and her Dwarf companion.  When her adoptive mother is killed in a pirate attack, Alex returns home to Nyla where Tyrone, now the Governor, takes her in as his ward as he accepts a cadre of Scinthian soldiers for training to restore their decimated Army.  Since Alex can speak their language, she becomes a training liaison, leading to her selection as an elite soldier and assassin known as a tracker.  Her first mission succeeds beyond all expectations and results in her selection as a training officer for the Scinthians, still involved in an extensive training program. 

Upon assignment to a remote border outpost, Alex discovers evidence of foul play—eight missing soldiers.  As she attempts to uncover the mystery, she meets with resistance and skepticism, but she leads a mission to save them.  As she basks in her glory, the wizard shows up to seek revenge on Governor Tyrone, forcing Alex to intervene.

For More Information
  • The Black Elf of Seaward Isle is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.  
Book Excerpt:

They arrived at the Governor's house and were shown to his large parlor.  When the Governor appeared, they saluted him, and he, in turn, saluted back.  He wrapped his arms around Alex and gave her a big warm hug.
          "How are you, Alex?"
          "I'm doing well, Governor.  It's good to see you.  You're looking well."
          "I am well.  Have you seen your brother recently?"
          "Not recently.  A few months ago, he challenged me to a sword match, and when I beat him fairly, he accused me of cheating.  He told me that I wasn't his sister anymore, and he wished I had never returned."
          Tyrone was dismayed by this news.  "Well, I shall speak to him and explain that he can't disown his own sister, even if she beats him at swords.  Now, for the business at hand, Alex, I want you to accompany me on a trip next month.  We'll go to Agana and visit Agamon, the King, and his brother, Pashamon, in Pashkina.  This will be an official visit where we'll represent the Kingdom of Northeast Forest and our King, Lord Ellsworth.  You'll be listed as my thirteen-year-old ward, Lady Alexin."
          "I'm fourteen," Alex said.
          "When did that happen?"  He stared at her.    
          "At the spring solstice a few weeks ago."
          "Well, happy birthday.  You should have said something.  At any rate, this will provide you an opportunity to visit another land, but you'll also aid me as a secretary.  I'll need help in recording the visit, keeping the itinerary, and so on.  In addition, you'll aid with security.  Major Dano will be my security advisor.  I believe he's a friend of Major Jonnbo's.  True, Major?"
          "Yes, Governor."  He bowed his head slightly.  "I know him well."
          "Major Dano is expecting you, and he'll explain the trip in greater detail.  Now off with you, I have other appointments."  Tyrone gave Alex another big hug and left the room. 
Alex glanced at Colonel Penser in distress.  "Can Mistress Penser help me with the right clothes to wear?"
          "Let's meet with Major Dano to find out what you'll need."  The Colonel chuckled.

          Alex was flattered that the Governor would take her on such an important mission.  What she didn't know was that he had been planning this for several months.  The King had ordered him to visit Agana to assess pirate activity in the south.  Governor Tyrone had expressed his confidence that Agamon had the city of Agana under control, but didn't know anything about Pashamon or Pashkina.  The King had strongly recommended that he take his wife with him to socialize with the women and find out what they knew.  The Governor saw no reason to marry someone just for the sake of this trip, so he told Colonel Penser to prepare Alex instead.  She was almost ready.  

Title: Tangled Omens
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Alex, now an experienced soldier and proven tracker, goes undercover to learn the fate of a pirate leader.  As she conducts her investigation in the market, she has her fortune read by the famous Witches of Winden, renown fortunetellers.  Unimpressed, she’s about to leave when a man barges into the tent demanding his fortune be read.  Alex observes and notices similarities to hers--their omens seem entangled, but she dismisses it as coincidence.  However, she learns that he’s the Horseman, the most dangerous pirate spy on Seaward Isle and wanted for treason by her King.  Although she attempts to follow him, he sails away on a ship. 

When she returns home, she reports the incident to Governor Tyrone who tasks her to find and kill him or die trying, her first tracker mission.  Although she doesn’t know his real name, she’s the only one who can recognize him.  His trail leads her north, deep into the pirate stronghold of Riverton, her first solo mission. 

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Book Excerpt:

By the time Alex got to the street, he was a block ahead of her.  She saw him trot up to a large house with a lot of carriages and people in front.  Two girls from Mistress Clarisse's house passed by in long elegant dresses, holding the arms of handsome young men who wore black top hats.  They smiled and laughed at her as they strutted by.  One of the girls turned back to Alex and giggled.  Alex realized they were laughing at her.  She stared at her clothes and wondered if she should go back to change into a dress, but she returned her attention to her quarry.  Where did he go?
Alex had lost sight of the Horseman in the crowd, but soon noticed him at the entrance of the house where he was greeted and welcomed.  She stood in place, uncertain what to do next. 
A man grabbed her arm and put his horse's reins in her hand.  "Take care of my horse, will you?"  He put a coin in her hand and rushed off towards the house. 
Alex stared at the horse and didn't know what to do with it.  On the other side of the street, Noel had another horse so she pulled it over to him.
"Noel!"
"Where did you get that horse?"  
"I was just standing on the street watching everyone, and a man put his reins in my hand and asked me to take care of him.  He must have thought I was a stable boy.  I don't know what to do with him."  She petted the horse on the nose. 
"I'll take him.  Let me this one in and come back."  Noel laughed. 
When he returned, Alex gave him the horse.  "Here you should have this, too."  She gave him the brassie the man had given her.
"Thanks," he said.  "If you want to earn a brassie, go up to the kitchen, and help them.  They need extra help tonight."
"I think I will.  Where do I go?"
Noel pointed to the open door at the back of the large house.  "The Governor's celebrating his new home.  All the rich people are here."

Title: Blood Mission
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

While on leave from the army, Alex visits her cousin, Prince Darin of the Water Elves, and arrives in time to thwart an assassination attempt ordered by the rogue Elf Mellen.  Although weakened by poison, the Prince assigns Alex a Blood Mission to kill Mellen.  However, Alex finds the Elf elusive as he organizes and trains his pirates to take over the harbor at Agana, the best deep water port on the island.

At the same time, Alex must deal with Colonel Jeffrey, a handsome young man determined to marry her for her inheritance.  Alex rejects his advances and faces his wrath, becoming the target of several murderous plots.  Unfortunately, her path to success includes Colonel Jeffrey as she needs him and his soldiers to stop the Elf Mellen before he takes over and destroys the fragile civilization on the island.            
   
For More Information
  • Blood Mission is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.  
Book Excerpt:

After she left Colonel Penser, Alex marched up to Major Jonnbo's bedroom and knocked on the door.  When he didn't answer the door, she pounded on it harder and shouted at him.
"It's too early."  Major Jonnbo yawned.  "Come on in, Alex."
"Colonel Penser wants to talk to us." 
"I'll get dressed."  He sat up in bed, yawning and rubbed his head.  He stretched his arms and stood up.  "So, what's going on?"  He opened the wardrobe, grabbing some clean clothes. 
"The Commandant gave me a new mission to kill the Elf Mellen.  Isn't it a little late to be sleeping?"  Alex turned around while he put his clothes on.
"That Elf again?  You're an Elf, aren't you?  You can use your Elfness and locate him that way, can't you?  I don't know much about them."  He put on his boots.
"Elfness?"  Alex wrinkled her brow.
"You know, Elf stuff.  Weird stuff."
"I'm not very good at that.  I don't know how to do it like the Elves, but I can hear what they say when they Elfspeak."
"What is that Elfspeak stuff anyway?" 
"They can talk to each other with their thoughts.  It sounds just like a normal conversation, but it's private.  They just don't know I can hear them.  It's a little weird.  I'm still learning how to use it." 
"When did the Commandant get here?"
"He's not here--I saw him at the Regiment before I left."  Alex pointed over her shoulder with her thumb.  "I think he wants to see me dead."
"It's his job to assign tough missions to the best tracker, Alex.  And that's you.  Let's go."  Major Jonnbo pushed her out the door.

About the Author:


Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan.  Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college.  However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate.  After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married.  She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy.  As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree.  She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.  When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job.  Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion.  She currently lives in Texas.  

Her latest fantasy books are The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens and Blood Mission.
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