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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Continue The Rys Chronicles on Google Play Books - Judgment Rising 50% off



Enjoy new adventures with your favorite characters from The Rys Chronicles fantasy series and meet new players in this saga of magic. I'm currently promoting Judgement Rising with a 50 percent off sale at Google Play Books. That sale price is good through the end of July.

Even if you haven't read the first two books of The Rys Chronicles, you can jump into some epic summer reading with this novel that launches a new story five years after the rebellion that put Shan on the rys throne.

About the Novel:



The heroes of The Rys Chronicles epic fantasy series face new challenges when an ancient foe rises from the dust of a lost civilization. These ancient magic users join forces with the Atrophane Empire and give its human army the magic to challenge the rys. 

See more about Judgment Rising at Google Play Books.


My novels are also at other retail outlets listed on the left sidebar, but this sale price is specific to the Play Store this month. 


Prologue from Judgment Rising




Life stirred in a forgotten bunker. Locked in hibernation seemingly without end, it had taken refuge in cold stone to escape a freeze beyond the scope of mere winter. After the thaws of five springs unblighted by Onja’s magic, cells began the sluggish return to life.
The dark rock of the Tabren Mountains soaked up the warmth of the sun, and the elder slopes recalled their children who had once played at civilization on the knees of the world. At first, only a few grains of granite came loose from the mountainside. It was a minor loss to the mountain, yet it was different than erosion.
Then, with the sun at its zenith, smoke curled from where the grains had fallen. The rock began to glow red like the iron in the forge until a circular patch burned away. In the small hollow appeared two rows of teeth. Air hissed into the mouth as the life took its first greedy gasp after long centuries of deprivation.
For days nothing happened except the occasional rasping of air across the dry teeth. The spring advanced and the sun stayed longer with each passing until the snows dripped all day and a tiny stream channeled into the mouth. Then rain came and filled the imprisoned vessel to overflowing.
On the next morning, the rock had swollen and an organic form bulged forth from the secluded mountainside. As the day continued, heat radiated from the bulging shape until its outer shell evaporated in a thick steam. What was revealed had the same steel gray color as the remote mountain.
The body was perfect with broad shoulders and sculpted pectorals above a well-defined abdomen. A bald head with a slack face stared vacantly from the high lonely place. This statue carved from the mountain was male and he reclined against the Tabren like a young God from the beginning of the world.
When night came and the constellations wheeled across the sky, his eyes began to sparkle. The lights in the heavens, after crossing space for eons, on this night discovered a purpose and re-ignited the soul in that forsaken body. Gradually, his eyes gathered the white light until their glow illuminated his naked body. He lifted his hands and looked at them.
The fingers, with their sensitive tips, told him that he possessed a physical body. He could feel the blood pulsing inside the flesh, but then, as he continued to stare at his hands, he began to scream. The scream lashed out at the night and filled the chasm that separated him from the next mountain. After the wretched sound reached a peak of volume, the wailing faded and he was left with pain in his throat.
Pain?
It was a thought and it made him realize he had a mind. But more thoughts were not forthcoming. He experienced only the animal desires of an animal existence. Hunger, pain, fear. Perhaps without hunger, there would be no pain. And perhaps without pain, there would be no fear. And when that was gone, maybe there could be other things. Like memory. Like language.
But until then, there was only flesh that needed to be fed.

See more about Judgment Rising at Google Play Books.




A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Benefits of Perennials in the Home Garden

 
People often associate gardening with a lot of work. I suppose it is unless you enjoy it and recognize that it's a way to get great quality food. Then, it becomes a pleasant outdoor activity that yields food. I've grown a lot of food in my home gardens over the years, and I apply permaculture principles as best I can.

One tenet of permaculture is to use perennial plants. 

Perennials are plants that come back year after year, like a grape vine. Plants that only live for one season are called annuals. Many popular garden vegetables fall into the annual category.

Many tasty fruits, however, are perennial plants like apple trees and raspberries. I'm writing about raspberries today because they illustrate the benefits of perennial crops, such as:

  • Plant it once. You don't have to spend energy planting them every year. You don't have to dig holes and plant new seeds. Perennials grow back. This is a great energy saver.
  • Increasing yields over time. As the perennial matures, it produces an increasing yield -- all while you aren't doing much. 
  • Most plants in the wild are perennials because it is a successful botanical strategy. The plant can put energy into more growth instead of a mad dash to reproduce in a single season. 
  • Perennials form large, deep, and far-ranging root systems. This makes them more resilient and self sufficient. Translation: You don't have to rush out there to water them if it hasn't rained for 3 days.  Their large root systems also stabilize soil and improve its ability to soak up water.
  • They pull nutrients from deep in the soil that annual plants never have a chance to get to. They don't require frequent or intense applications of fertilizers to perform. Except for a few shovel fulls of composted manure and garden compost, I haven't personally given any nutrients to my raspberry patch this year or last year.

Raspberries Are Easy to Grow

I love raspberries, so they pass the "I'm going to eat them" test for inclusion in the garden. They are also darned easy to grow. The picture at the top shows my raspberry patch as it looks this year.  Although the picture does not offer any points of reference, the patch is occupying a space that is approximately 12 feet by 8 feet.

This patch started as two canes less than 2 feet in height. I bought them on clearance in July 2012 and stuck them in the ground. This is not a recommended method for growing anything, but I saw the sale and took a chance. As you might recall, 2012 was a historic drought in the Midwest. I had never seen it so dry and hot in the Great Lakes. Diligently, I watered the pathetic sticks, and they struggled to remain green and put out a few new leaves. Even under good circumstances, you would need to water them the first year they are planted because roots are still small and need time to establish.

Over the summers of 2013 and 2014, I watered the raspberries less and less. They grew more vigorously and put up more canes without seeming to need anything from me. They also, thus far, have endured two Polar Vortexes, which are absolute butt-kickers of winters. The winter of 2013/2014 was the worst I had ever experienced. It was followed by a nonexistent spring and a cold disgrace of a summer. But I got raspberries last summer. We ate fresh ones for snacks, and I squirreled away enough to make 3 half pints of jam.

Last year's crop would have been better, but the long six-foot canes that had grown had been killed by the severe winter except for where they were covered by snow. This meant I only got fruit off about 2 to 3 feet of cane. Raspberries produce fruit on second-year growth. The canes that are coming up this year will make berries next summer. So always let new canes grow. In the fall, cutting out the old canes that have completed fruiting will clear up the patch for the next season.

During the winter of 2014/2015, another Polar Vortex descended. Although it was somewhat less horrible than the first one, we still experienced bitter subzero temperatures for weeks upon weeks. This is the bottom range of Zone 5 for which most of my plants are rated. Because we did not get as much snow last winter, I went out and shoveled snow around my canes to protect them from the cold. I must have looked weird shoveling snow in my yard.

The canes came through very well, however, even the portions that were above the snow line. 

So far this summer, I've been picking raspberries for weeks. I have four quarts in the freezer that I will thaw and cook into jam in the coming days. We've also been eating fresh raspberries at will during this time.

There you have it. Raspberries are not much work, and they give me delicious berries year after year. They're also a fruit that is kind of pricey at the store because of its poor shelf life. Another great reason to grow them. I get them at the peak of freshness every time.  

And the most dazzling reward of all....

This lovely raspberry pie.





A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Save Big on Google Play Books on Great Fantasy Read


For a limited time, save 50 percent on The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book I by Tracy Falbe  


Opening from the novel...


Tytido looked up from his almost finished dinner and chuckled.
Dreibrand coughed a little then asked, “Why do you laugh?”
“Nothing, Sir,” Tytido replied.
“No, tell me,” Dreibrand insisted. “You looked at me and laughed.”
Tytido considered a moment, then decided it was safe and said truthfully, “You smoke funny.”
Dreibrand frowned and contemplated the pipe Tytido was sharing with him. The pleasantness of the smoke kept him from staying perturbed and he took another puff. Again Tytido smiled.
“What do I do wrong?” Dreibrand asked with exasperation, glancing around the tavern to see if anyone else was amused.
“I can’t explain, Sir,” Tytido said helplessly.
“See if I take you out to dinner again,” Dreibrand grumbled indignantly and returned the pipe to the Hirqua.
Tytido examined the half-charred contents of his pipe. “Forgive me, Sir. I don’t mean to be rude.”
Dreibrand gestured dismissively and relaxed back into his chair. He was not really upset. The food at the tavern had been excellent and he felt very warm, comfortable and happy. He had not had much of a chance to experience common Temu society and so far he enjoyed the atmosphere of Dengar Nor.
A good fire crackled in the great fireplace and Temu men sat around in small cliques drinking, smoking, eating, and playing games. One man tuned an instrument, preparing for the increased festivities of the later hours. On the wall by Dreibrand’s table hung the skin of a large speckled cat unlike any animal in the east, and he studied it with interest.
 A pretty girl, probably the tavernkeeper’s daughter, came by with a pitcher of wine. Tytido had his cup refilled but Dreibrand required no more drink.
Once she moved on, Tytido inquired quietly, “Do you think the Sabuto will be that much trouble to us?”
Sighing, Dreibrand admitted, “Actually, I think they will. Although the Temu like to think they are cowards, I know they are not. The Sabuto have to see our rebellion against Jingten as their big chance to hurt the Temu. They will assemble as large a force as they can.”
Tytido said, “I have never fought with a Sabuto, but they do not have the reputation of the Hirqua and Shan will bring us victory.”
“Yes, he will,” Dreibrand agreed.
The door of the tavern banged open and the draft of wind made the lanterns flicker. Redan and Misho entered in obviously high spirits. Misho’s face was scarred and still swollen and his hand was still bandaged. The healers had feared that Misho’s hand would be permanently crippled, and half of his face remained slack. Despite these problems, the young warrior seemed to have regained his vigor and he had become a close friend to Redan.
The Temu patrons quickly recognized the long loose hair of the Zenglawa and frowned. The hushed rustle of disapproving gossip circled the room like dry leaves.
Redan ignored them and proceeded straight to the bar. He slung his bow comfortably on his shoulder and produced a small pouch of coins. After he and Misho obtained drinks, they turned to find a table. The Temu had strategically spread out, making no seats appear available.
Redan spotted his general and Tytido at a table and brightened. Part of Misho’s face also showed relief to see his commanders because he knew he did not keep popular company.
“May we join you, Sir?” Redan asked.
Dreibrand nodded and they settled in happily.
“I see you have some money, Redan?” Dreibrand commented suspiciously.
 Redan and Misho shared a conspiratorial look. Patting his new bow, Redan whispered, “It is not hard to get a Temu to bet against a Zenglawa these days.”
Dreibrand wanted to show strong disapproval but only managed a paternal shake of his head. He had a sneaking suspicion that Redan had a pretty good hustle, and Dreibrand could not resist respecting that.
Dreibrand simply advised, “Do not win too much money from our Temu hosts.”
Gulping down some wine, Redan nodded. He knew too well the wisdom of his general’s advice, but he had had a very gratifying day and wanted to celebrate his success.
“We’ll all be hustling in the streets if we don’t get paid something,” Tytido mentioned.
“Yeah, I am working on that, Lieutenant,” Dreibrand responded, trying to hide his discomfort. “I think Shan has most of his finances worked out with the King. But for now the Yentay have shelter and food and you should not complain. And I am going to try and get everybody as much new gear as I can.”
“Sir, I know you will get us as much as you can, but Lord Shan offered pay after we volunteered,” Tytido pressed.
“We will all be wealthy when Jingten is taken,” Dreibrand reminded.
“Truly, but I wouldn’t mind something to spend now in case I get killed, Sir,” Tytido said.
Dreibrand laughed because there was no arguing with that point. “I will remind Lord Shan as soon as I can. He appreciates us and I am sure he will be generous. I could use some pay myself. I have the woman with a child on the way.”
The Yentay chuckled at his impending financial burden and Tytido congratulated his general again. Dreibrand had just enough wine left to share a toast with them.
Pushing back his chair, he announced his intention of returning to the castle.
“Please stay, Sir. We should drink a couple more toasts to your good fortune,” Tytido invited.
“No, not tonight, but thank you, Lieutenant. I should not get drunk and ask Shan for your pay,” Dreibrand joked.
Tytido agreed with a grin and the three Yentay stood respectfully as their general left the table.
“Do stay out of trouble,” Dreibrand ordered, giving Redan his particular attention.
On his way out, Dreibrand looked back at his men. Redan had called for more wine and held his cup close while the girl filled it. He admired her with less then proper Temu manners and it did not look to Dreibrand like Redan had any plans of staying out of trouble that night. With a shrug, Dreibrand stepped out into the street. He knew no one deserved their fun like soldiers. Thinking warmly of Miranda, he anticipated his own pleasures.


Through July 20th, save 50 percent on this fantasy ebook and read it for only $2.47 at Google Play Books worldwide. 

Download The Goddess Queen right now at the Play Store.

If you haven't read the first part of this epic fantasy series, you can also grab Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I at the following retailers:

Brave Luck Books
Google Play 
Amazon
Nook
iBooks 
Smashwords
Kobo




A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Sample the fantasy fiction of Tracy Falbe

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I

Download the free ebook and get a copy emailed to you.

FREE epub

FREE PDF

FREE Kindle Mobi

Additionally, you can download Union of Renegades from these ebook retailers:

Smashwords

Apple iBooks

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

Rys Rising: Book I

Download the free ebook and get a copy emailed to you.

FREE Epub

FREE PDF

FREE Kindle Mobi

Additionally, find Rys Rising: Book I at these retailers for $2.99:

Smashwords

Apple iBooks

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

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