Alma Boykin has another familiars tale out, Knowingly Familiar
As always, click on the cover for the Amazon link!
When Ghosts Walk . . .
Something moves. A Mesopotamian curse sends ripples through the magical community of Riverton. Mages André and Lelia Lestrang find themselves fighting ghosts from their past. The battle draws them closer to Master Saldovado and the clans, closer perhaps than Lelia’s heart dares to go. How long before Patrick Lee and Riverton’s other magic users demand answers about the clans? The Familiars are keeping the secret. For now.
But breaking ancient spells comes easily for shadow mages. Juggling parenthood, budgets, car repairs, school schedules, and a six-year-old daughter’s desire for a pet unicorn? (Or a house dragon, preferably pastel pink.) That’s difficult!
This one definitely takes a darker turn than the others in the series, but is exceptional well done, as always!
Next up is an anthology a bunch of friends are in, Divided we Fall: One possible Future
Political upheavals can be a very dangerous time, especially when ideologies are as far apart as they are now. Divided we Fall presents one possible future, one where powerful forces act behind the scenes to effect the change they’ve wished to create for decades, and have largely been held back. What happens when a nation is sharply divided, anarchistic forces allowed to run wild, and the police are held at bay or even defunded? Add in a presidential assassination, and you have all the potential for a world changing situation. In this world, Divided we Fall.
A collection of talented veteran bestselling authors and several new ones join together to paint a picture of the post 2020 election that none of us hope to see come about. But the more we watch events unfold, the more anything seems possible.
Some of these stories are prescient, to put it mildly!!! Scary how well some of these predicted what is happening…
And last but definitely not least, Ben English has another book on the Big Bend, Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend
When one opens the pages to this book they step into another world and place, and even on occasions, another time. No matter what you may know about the lower Big Bend or think you know about the lower Big Bend, here are thoughts, maps and photographs that bring together a heretofore unachieved mosaic of this rugged, lonesome land. In effect, ‘Out There’ is a work that others simply cannot compare to. Whether you might be a first-time visitor or have made many a journey into its more remote environs, there is so much contained within to both see as well as savor. It is a book meant not for sitting on a shelf and gathering dust, but one to be read and re-read time and again. If home is where the heart is, even the first few paragraphs leave no doubt as to where the author’s resides. And that is only the beginning…
The lower Big Bend area of Texas is rife with surprises, both big and small. That most are hidden in some way is the very nature of this land, like any living creature she conceals her greatest treasures with the greatest zealotry. One can take a certain creek, or nearly vanished trail or wagon track, numerous times but then wander a certain number of feet to either side and a different world opens to you. Such was the case with this photo, taken during the latter part of one of my prowls between Burro Mesa and Tule Mountain. I had started near the pour off and worked my way through Burro Spring and across to Tule Spring, both being well worth the effort in their own right. The day was crisp and traces of green were sprouting along the lower elevations, and the springs were flowing with more water than the uninitiated would think possible.
After circling through the ruins at Tule Spring and walking along the old earthen dam, I pointed my nose along a nigh forgotten trail that once ran northwest to the high side of Tule Mountain, where another such dam and sources of water are situated. My plan was to move into the very head of Javelina Wash as part of some ‘boots on the ground’ research concerning my third novel. About a quarter mile up from Tule Spring, I noticed an unusual splash of white along the northern side of a low, dark volcanic hill that sits just northeast of Javelina Wash. Sufficiently intrigued, I glassed the area with my Leupolds and made a mental note to swing further west on the way back to investigate. I could discern craggy, chocolate colored boulders and what appeared to be low ground at the base of that hill, and just the general feeling that I needed to go and see. After nooning at a half way point in the pass between Tule Mountain and Burro Mesa, I reversed direction and drifted down a northern branch for Javelina Wash. The day had turned glorious with a crystal-clear sky above a rainbow of colored rock and ground, mixed among the earth shades splashed about for good measure. Most folks don’t know it, but there are parts of the Big Bend that will give the so-called ‘Painted Desert’ a run for its money any day of the week. This area is one of them. Near where the low hill abruptly ended in white, I crossed the dry creek bed and walked into an almost surreal atmosphere. Large boulders of that dark volcanic tone were perched in every position imaginable, many sitting upon unlikely foundations of small spires formed from the whitish soil. It was almost like you had strolled into nature’s own trophy room. The area was only a couple of acres or so in size at best, but oh what a sight to behold while being hidden in plain view. And then I passed on through, heading upon another course through that same zealous desert.
I would like to think that I will go there again someday, but there is still so much that I know I’ll never see in this country.
And I was burning daylight.
Ben walks the walk, and his descriptions of the lower Big Bend, along with the photos and maps are both educational and evocative of the true nature of the land. Beautiful, deadly, and sere it contains a myriad of things found nowhere else!