Going in depth with The Gladiator & The Guard

April 25, 2016

Because Annie Douglass Lima shares so much of other people’s work, including mine, I really wanted to do something extra to help her out. In the past, I have shared other artists with you. I want to share writers as well.

The Gladiator & The Guard

A few days ago, I shared a blog on Annie’s new book. Now, I invite you to check out her world as she herself describes it in her Realm Explorers post on her blog. While you’re there, look around and check out other great authors she has featured. Happy exploring, discovering, and reading.


The Gladiator & The Guard by Annie Douglass Lima

April 23, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, my Sacred Knight series featured on a blog from Annie Douglass Lima. While working with Annie on this, I learned that she had a new book coming out. Since Annie and I have met and started chatting, it’s been fun getting to know her and her work. I started reading her novel, Prince of Alasia, and loved it, or as much of it as I’ve read so far. When I heard about her new book, I knew I had to help her out with launching her new book.

Imagine my excitement when I learned she was working on a blog tour! This way, she could get her work featured on many different blogs. I am overjoyed at being able to offer her my space now.

So, without further ado, here’s Annie:

I’m excited to announce that my young adult action and adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available for purchase! This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the CavvarachThe Gladiator & The Guard
First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 

The Collar & The Cavvarch


Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?


What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).
Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 28th!


And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

The Gladiator & The Guard


Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 28th!

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats)

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through April 28th!


Annie Douglass Lima (2)Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieDouglassLimaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnieDouglassLima

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn

Google Plus: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus


Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!  Rafflecopter giveaway


Wow! I hope you enjoyed hearing from Annie as much as I did. I’m glad she added how to pronounce the cavvarach — I’ve been pronouncing it way differently in my head. Hint: her way is so much easier!:)

I’ve been reading The Collar and the Cavvarach as quick I can, trying to get it read before the next book comes out. I’m nearing the end and can’t wait to see how it turns out. The sequel sounds good too, so I can’t wait to read it.

Thank you, Annie, for your guest post and best of luck to you and your newest book!

Is your life sad?

April 18, 2016

Last week, I was talking to a reader who is very excited about the next books in each series and was wondering when they were coming out. She asked me how I find the time to write while also working full-time. I laughed and told her it was because I didn’t have a life.
She looked at me and said, “That’s sad.”
Suddenly I was taken aback. I could see how someone might consider that a sad condition.
The truth of the matter is that we all get 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no “do overs.” And, there is an expiration date on the package and none of us can be exactly sure when that will be. But when you and your neighbor each have 168 hours in a week, the two of you can spend that time in radically different ways.
Now as I stood there in this moment, I realized that yes, there are some choices I make consciously so that I can have the time I need to create. I quickly explained that there was nothing I’d rather be doing than telling stories. I trade the hours of my life to do that so that I hopefully can bring joy and entertainment to people. If that means I miss out on many of the things that other people do, I can live with that. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to tell stories. Even when I was younger, I was trading all my “free time” to do that. I was always writing.
Now my stories have expanded into other mediums when I have the time (here I’m talking about painting and drawing mostly, but I am trying to also squeeze in time to produce my stories as audiobooks — yes, it really is happening!) and I am grateful that in do so I’m chasing other dreams I had as a child but that I didn’t realize I’d had until I was older. That could probably expand into more explanation, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet here. Suffice to say that art and audiobooks aren’t on orbits far out from what I was thinking about when I was growing up. The more I review my life, the more links I see.
My challenge really is getting all the tracks of my life to line up rather than being like LEGO pieces scattered all over the floor. I’m still working on getting it all snapped together, but each day I feel closer.
So how do I find the time to do what I do? Fifteen minutes a day on some projects. Deciding to make time for others. And lately, a calendar to make sure I really do make the time. You do only have those 24 hours in a day and you have to know how you will spend them. If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you whether it’s a spouse, your children, your TV, Facebook, etc. It is your life. Do you really want to hand the reins to someone else? When you reach the end of your life, will you be happy with what you traded your days for? That’s a question only you can answer.
For me, dedicating my life to my stories, to my creativity, to my imagination, is the most valuable thing I can do. I love every moment of it.

Discover the World of Sacred Knight

April 11, 2016
SK Cover complete 72 dpi

The Three Books (Legend #1 of the Sacred Knight series) Book & painting by Dawn Blair ©2011

I was recently interviewed by Annie Douglass Lima about the world in my Sacred Knight novels as part of the Realm Explorers feature on Annie’s blog. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what the story is about or go in-depth into my world, now is your chance.

As a special benefit, Annie and I wanted to do something extra special to get more readers into the Sacred Knight series, something I could share with my readers and hers.

Dawn Blair_Sacred Knight_books 2-3

For this week only, the first three books in the series are on sale with reduced prices starting at $0.99 for the first book and $1.99 for the other two. I rarely put Manifest the Magic and To Birth a Destiny on sale so please take advantage of it while you can. With Kindle Countdown deals, the price increases over time, so the sooner you take action, the more of a discount you’ll receive off the list price.

I hope you enjoy the Realm Explorers interview on Annie’s blog. If you’d like to know more about my world, please feel free to leave your questions. I’ll answer the ones I can (but I won’t give out spoilers).  I hope you enjoy.

Go now to read Annie’s post.

I Feel What You Feel

April 8, 2016

It’s so easy to forget all the things you’ve written. Just last week, I ran into a friend who said, “I loved that story about the slave girl.” Slave girl? “You know, the slave girl who posed.”

I was still stuck at, “I wrote a story about a slave girl?”

I have a vague inkling of that story, but it still doesn’t want to come back. Someday, I’ll have to go digging through some of my boxes of old stories.

Recently, I was going through some files and pulling out stories. No, the slave girl story was not in there, otherwise I would have known exactly what story my friend was talking about. What surprised me was the number of stories that I had but I didn’t remember until I started reading them. It was like visiting Wonderland.History of a Dead Man

Just the other day, I was thinking about History of a Dead Man, the companion novella for the Sacred Knight series. I recalled that I wrote a note from the author in the beginning and I got curious about what I had written. So I went to read it. Not only did I do this introduction, but I had written a section on notes about the story and the series in general. I had completely forgotten about it. In reading it, I found tears coming to my eyes. It took me right back to what I was feeling in that moment when I had originally wrote those words. It’s in that moment that time really becomes incredible. To get transported backwards in that flash… ah, yes, time is not quite as linear as we all believe it to be.


It’s also amazing to note, for as long as I’ve been working on my Sacred Knight story, I still love my character. Steigan and I have walked quite a distance together. I often feel like Mr. Spock, “I feel what you feel… I know what you know….” I literally have to remind myself (sometimes) that he’s not real. Figment of my imagination or not, Steigan has influenced my life in profound ways. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had an issue in my life and I’ve stopped myself to think, “What would Steigan do?” I always have my answer.

I’ve rattled on enough about Steigan for now. But do stay tuned for Monday, when I share an interview I did about Steigan’s world.

And, if you’re interested in more about those short stories I unearthed, please sign up for my newsletter. Some of those stories are a few of the things I’ll be sharing with readers of my newsletter. You don’t want to miss out. Sign up using the button in the right column near the top.

I might even at some point share my never before seen fan-fiction (hint: Doctor Who and Star Trek!)

A Mystery Should Remain a Mystery

April 6, 2016

Last week, I finished the draft of the 5th novella in The Loki Adventures. This novella will conclude this story arc. I’m hoping that now he (Loki) will let me get back to working on the series as I first imagined it.

Now, with this 5th novella, I plan on starting a new segment in the back — this first one will probably be the biggest because I have the 5 novella’s to look back on. This segment is going to be called Dial 0 for Operator.  So what’s going to be in it? As I envision it at the moment (and it may expand or change as I go along or as Loki sticks his nose into it), it’ll be my notes from writing the stories, a kind of behind-the-scenes look.

How many are already excited that I plan on continuing Loki? Oh, I can hear the moans coming from my Sacred Knight fans already — yes, I do hear you, I swear! Book 4 is coming in that series, I promise. Update coming soon in that regard.

When I first got the idea for Loki, I imagined it would be simple one-shot deals: discover a nasty, find the beast, and set it home. A gumshoe detective kind of read. Yeah, then Loki reared his head and told me what he thought of my idea. Now that I’ve written his story (and it really is his story, not mine, but I’ll include more details about that in Dial 0 for Operator), I hope he lets me get back to concept. We will see. Let’s just say that I started getting an inkling of an idea where this series would end up during the second novella (For Sale, Call Loki). No, I certainly can’t say I had it planned out. Each novella was a ride. I had no idea what was going to happen or where it would end until I finished it.

For More Mischief is no exception!

Like I said, I had an idea. I thought I knew where I’d end up.

Then Loki turned the screw. My head whipped around with a “What was that?!” I only hear laughter.

So I chase it down this new alleyway thinking that I’ve got a better story coming up. Wow, this is going to be so cool!


Oh, make no mistake, it was cool. But, Loki shifted the story on me again. Or actually, maybe I should say the story shifted on him. I really did feel the rug slide out from beneath both of us. It’s a weird sensation to realize that we both got blindsided.

Worse, we hadn’t even reached the end of the ride yet. There was one more surprise in store for both of us. The true culprit.

I have to say, that I had I known I was writing THIS story the whole time, I might have laughed and told the universe to go find a different sucker to write this series. I’m really glad that I didn’t know this was how it would end up back when I was writing For Sale or even For a Good Time. However, since I didn’t know what was happening until the end, I’m happy with the surprises along the way. I hope my readers will be too.

Anyway, this is a little sample of what Dial 0 for Operator will be like, except it’ll probably make more sense since I can go into details. I don’t want to give spoilers here. A mystery should remain a mystery until it is ready to be solved.

A release date should be announced soon. In my next email newsletter, I’ll be revealing the cover of For More Mischief, Call Loki. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter (you can do that near the top of the right hand column in the “Sign up for Dawn’s email newsletter” button). Sign up now so you don’t miss anything!

Quiet Lately

March 29, 2016

My brother  (Hi, Jim!) recently said to me that he can always tell when I make a new resolution with my blog. He implied that I would make a renewed commitment to it, then stop and there would be nothing for weeks.

He’s not wrong. He also doesn’t know the full story.

It’s a crazy cycle, and one that I’m sure you’ll find as familiar in whatever you do. I start really well, and then something happens to throw me off track. I kick myself for a few days/weeks/months/years then decide that I need to really commit to it again – this time “For Real!” as if it wasn’t the last time. I dig in and get things started again. Then, I get sick. Always! Without fail! That throws me off and my commitments once again get left by the wayside until I chide myself to get going again. Stupid cycle.

Well, I can’t continue on this way. It really has to stop. So, I’ve gone searching for a brain reboot. It’s made me quiet in a lot of areas of my life, my head included.  It’s said that it takes 21 days to start a new habit. I’ve been working on developing a few new habits to correct the course my life had been on.  And, I’ve been doing several of them for more than 21 days. I’m slowly adding more and more new habits now that I have older ones in place.

Result: A lot of my life has changed for the better.

Here’s one of them:

On February 24, 2015, I was talking to a guy studying to be a nurse practitioner and I found myself telling him about my “glory days” as a swimmer. I’ve put on 100 lbs. since those days. Yes, 100 pounds. I hated having pictures of me taken, something that’s really important in today’s age where selfies are being taken and shared all the time. I saw so many other artists and writers sharing their personal worlds with their audiences and I wanted to do it too, but it was hard because I was so ashamed of myself. In sitting here talking to this man 20 years younger than myself, I got really angry with myself. I had all sorts of excuses why I was overweight and I realized that I was putting off my life. I knew a line had to be drawn in the sand. So I did.

To date, I’ve lost 60 lbs., leaving me with 40 pounds to go. I’ve started drinking more water, another good habit in place. I’ve been writing regularly. And, I don’t get sick every single time someone with a sniffle gets around me.

Now that I have my health habits in line, I’m ready to get back my career habits. That includes my blog. I have been working on so many things and I can’t wait to share them with you. I hope you look forward to hearing about all of them. Let’s be on the way, shall we?


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