Guest Post: A Thoughtful Person’s Discussion of “The Queen of Xana”

Guest Post, Misc.

Meet Fred Pilcher.


Fred Pilcher is a retired college physics teacher who knows from experience with his pupils that through nurturing, nearly all young people can become productive citizens. His great sadness is that in American society and in many other countries millions of underprivileged children are denied this nurturing. Both the children and their countries are poorer for losing what they could otherwise produce. As a scientist, Fred understands that critical thinking and following where the evidence leads are the only reliable ways to understand the real world.

Away from the real world of hard evidence, Fred reads science fiction and fantasy. His favorite childhood movie was the Walt Disney 1950 cartoon, Cinderella, and he greatly admires women who are both strong and compassionate. Fred brings together all of these ingredients in this story of a princess who becomes a wise and inspired queen with a personal mission to achieve productivity, prosperity, and happiness for all of her people.

Fred says “In describing her means to achieve her glorious dream, I have, through a series of adventures, presented numerous viewpoints of moral, educational, and political philosophy with which readers may agree or disagree. If these viewpoints stimulate vigorous discussion and argumentation, pro and con analysis, and the like, then this book will have achieved a useful place in the world of literature.”

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The Guest Post.


Since the dawn of civilization and of writing, people have contemplated what qualities a good leader must possess, and what constitutes a just and equitable society.  Starting with the earliest writings, people have also introduced elements of fantasy and the supernatural.  “The Queen of Xana,” set in the Middle Ages, is a different kind of story combining these ancient themes. Might the methods to achieve the worthy goal of prosperity for all in the Middle Ages also work in modern times? I invite you, the reader, to decide.

Fred Pilcher The Queen of Xana.png“The Queen of Xana,” an adult fantasy, not for children, is complete with a princess beautiful on both the inside and the outside, her fairy godmother, and an evil sorcerer.  But this is not the usual story of the handsome prince finding his beautiful princess. To save her people from the ravages of the sorcerer and become a magnificent queen, the princess must identify her handsome prince incognito in the crowd, and on her first try. She will not have a second chance, and, if she fails, she and all her people will be destroyed. Most readers probably believe she will succeed, and it is no spoiler to say that she does. But you will have to read the story to find out how. I believe you will find it heartwarming.

The princess becomes a queen, and marries her prince. As in most fairy stories, they are thereafter devoted to one another for life. They have frequent and fabulous sexual couplings. In a land in which promiscuity is apparently rampant, the queen and prince set a wholesome example of absolute fidelity and monogamy.

But this story is just beginning. The new young queen asserts her right to rule and inspire her people to create “the greatest prosperity the world has ever known, and to be shared by everyone.” Since the origin of the written word, authors have pondered the worthiness of the ruler to rule. Can she remain calm and rational when her country is in profound danger? Does she spend the resources of her country on the welfare of her people, or on extravagance for herself and wars of conquest? Can she identify people both honorable and capable to assist her in running her country? Does she listen to her people express their needs and respond positively to them? In all of these measures and more, the Queen of Xana through a series of adventures proves herself meritorious.

People are given great freedom to do whatever they do well, but abusing others is not allowed. Abusers are prevented from ever repeating their wrong acts. People should keep the fruits of their labor, but also be required to do useful work and not be allowed to become welfare parasites. The society of Xana is both gender neutral and age neutral. Talented children are valued by the queen.  On nearly every page there are allegories about what constitutes good government, good education, good service. These allegories may be controversial, and provoke argumentation and discussion.

People who admire strong women, like occasional sexual innuendos, and whose sympathies lie with the common people ahead of the fabulously wealthy, will find much to like in “The Queen of Xana.” Diehard conservatives probably won’t like it.


“The Queen of Xana” is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions at


Blitz: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens


Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set 
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it…

Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.

Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.

Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!

One click now for your happily ever after.

Authors include:
J.A Armitage

R. Castro

Jennifer Ellision

Mira Crest

K.M Pyne

Laura Greenwood

Jacque Stevens

Scarlett Kol

Anne Stryker

Nikki Landis

Tracy Korn

Goodreads / Amazon


Balanced Scales by Laura Greenwood:

“What happens at the end of your version of the story?”

I shrugged. “Much the same as in your version, I guess. She falls in love with the Prince, he with her, they get married and live happily ever after.”

Erickson’s face fell. “That’s not the same as our version,” he responded. “Ours is a lot more sinister. She loses her chance to marry the Prince. When her sisters find out, they barter for a dagger. The mermaid could return to the sea if she stabbed the Prince through the heart with it.”

I shuddered. “That’s horrible. Did she do it?” If she had, then maybe it would explain why humans seemed to be so against the mer.

“No. She turned into sea foam and disappeared into the air. Some versions say she’s taken pity on by some sylphs and became one of them.”

“Sylphs?” I’d never heard of them and had no idea what he meant. They certainly weren’t part of the stories I’d been told as a child.

“I don’t know how to explain them. They’re made of air and hang around in the atmosphere.”

“And what do they do to her?”

“I’m not sure. In our version of the story, mermaids don’t have souls. When they die they turn to sea foam and just cease to exist.”

I laughed lightly as we turned down another street. “I can assure you, that’s not what it’s like.”

“I guessed. You can’t have a soul stolen if you didn’t have one to begin with.”

“Which do you think is the true version of the story?” My words came out barely above a whisper. Part of me didn’t want to ask at all. Especially if it would mean he said he thought his version was the right one. If that was true, then how had my people gotten souls to begin with…

“Neither. I think it’s nothing more than a story. Each side will tell it the way that puts their own people in the best light. Just like with every other legend like that.”

“I suppose…” Though I didn’t like to think of the mermaid I’d heard so much about as nothing more than fiction. She’d been an inspiration to so many young mer who wanted adventure. Not so much on land, but out in the open sea.

“You never know, maybe one day they’ll be telling our story like they do hers,” he said jovially.

From The Little Monster by Jennifer Ellision:

“Wait!” The little human lurched forward, a single hand outstretched, the other anchored firmly to the ship’s railing. It swallowed as the little monster raised a brow to her. The hand fell lamely back to her side.

“I… don’t even know your name.”


“What are you called?”

“I don’t understand.” What was she called? She was a predator, a hunter, a Mordgris, a…

“I am a monster,” she said simply.

“You’re all monsters,” the human breathed. “But you’re not quite like the rest. How am I to call you and you alone?”

Her. Alone.

A thrill spiked through the little monster. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She deserved her own name. She was the best of her kind. There was nothing in the sea that could best her except, perhaps, the sea itself. And that made choosing a name simple.

“You may call me Mara,” she said.

“Mara,” the human repeated slowly. “Mara… for the sea?”

Another thrill surged within her as she nodded, knowing the word belonged only to her. The little human had understood the meaning instantly. In a way that prey was not meant to understand its hunter.

“I am Amista,” she said, lifting her full lower scales to cross the bottoms of her fins and bob on deck. “And it has been a pleasure to meet you, Mara.”

Mara dove back into the cool embrace of the sea, feeling Amista’s eyes on her back as she swam away.

The little monster had become Mara.

The little human had become Amista.



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Blog Blitz With:



Charm Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway

Blog Blitz, Misc.

I am so excited that CHARM by J.A. Armitage is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by USA Today Bestselling Author J.A.
Armitage, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a Cinderella Prize Pack courtesy of J.A. So if
you’d like a chance to win, click on the link at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:

Title: CHARM
Author: J.A. Armitage
Pub. Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 291
Formats: eBook
Find it: AmazonGoodreads
You all know the story of Cinderella… 
The kingdom needs an heir and Princess Charmaine is quite aware that the
job rests solely upon her shoulders. The problem is, she has no intention of ever getting married, let alone pushing a child out of her ladyparts. When her elder sister dies, Charmaine has to take her place at the ball designed to find her a husband. The problem is, she doesn’t want to choose between a hundred eligible bachelors. She just wants to live her life in peace and find love in her own time. 

Cynder knows about the impending war between his people and those of his
masters, but working as an underpaid servant in the palace kitchens leaves him
with little power to do anything about it. On one hand, he’s a staunch
supporter of his own royal family, but he can’t deny the attraction he feels
for the daughter of the king and queen he works for. 

Charm is the first in the Reverse Fairytale series by USA Today bestselling
author J.A.Armitage. Take everything you think you know about fairytales and
turn it on its head.

My mother smiled. Her smile had a way of putting people at ease. I’d seen
her use it countless times on nervous subjects. That’s what made her a good
queen. She flicked her eyes towards my father who just nodded and then she
turned back to me. Reaching forward and taking my hand in hers she spoke softly
to me. Another trick of hers to keep me calm. I wondered briefly what exactly
she would need to keep me calm for.
You already know
The little voice was persistent.
“We cannot cancel the ball. Too much is at stake and, while it is
unfortunate timing, it would be madness to stop it at this late stage. Your
father and I have talked extensively about this and we have decided that you
are to take Grace’s place.”
I opened my mouth in shock. We had only just begun the official mourning
for Grace and here they both were, asking me to take her place at some stupid
“You mean dance with the men?”
“Not just dance with them. We need concrete ties. The country is in a period
of great instability and we need a leader to take our place when we are gone.
We need you to choose a husband.”
About J.A.:

Born in Leeds, I lived a very normal life until I got bored one day and decided to travel the
world. Since then I’ve worked on a Banana Plantation, cleaned ACDC’s dressing
room and been a professional clown.
I climbed to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of Kilimanjaro. Nowadays you’ll find me being a climbing frame for my two young children, working in a school, and
renovating my home.
Did I also mention I wrote some books? I hope you enjoy them!
For my free books, just sign up to my newsletter here
Giveaway Details:

I’m giving away a Cinderella swag pack, print copies of Charm and a $20 Amazon

1st prize: Cinderella Swag Pack with NYT bestselling book, DVD and print copy
of Charm

2nd Prize: $20 Amazon Giftcard and Ecopy of Charm 

3rd Prize: Print copy of Charm
Just click the link below to take you to the entry form


In Parternship with Rockstar Book Tours


The Great Hunt Review

Book Reviews

In honor of this month’s Writer’s Feature I reviewed Wendy Higgin’s latest novel.

Let the fairy tale begin!

Great Hunt Cover.jpg 

The Great Hunt Review

By: Rae


“I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.” – Wendy Higgins, The Great Hunt


The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is the first book of the Eurona Duology series… something I knew nothing about when I picked up the book after a shift at work. Enchanted by the cover and excited by the fact that there was another book on fairy tales, it is loosely based off the Grimm tale The Singing Bone, I couldn’t wait to read Higgin’s story. The excitement has only grown after finishing the first book and the anticipation of book two is going to be a long painful process.


Meet the magical kingdom of Lochlanach with a King and Queen, their three lovely children, and a content village of townspeople. The picture I painted is a nice one especially with Higgins wonderful description of scenery… and then the Beast comes into the mix. As such tales go the Beast is believed to be made up, a way to scare little children and a bawdy tale to share after a long day’s work. Unfortunately for everyone involved the Beast is very real and is bent on eating everyone – yum, right? Not so much. After the death *spoiler* on the first page, Higgins sweeps readers into a world where marrying for love is no longer an option after the King reaches a point of desperation as the village tips to the edge of mutiny.

Princess Aerity is a sixteen-year-old girl torn between two worlds. She understands that she will be Queen some day and wants to be treated like an adult. Yet she is still naïve in some ways and desires a romance like her parents. Presented as a typical princess, Aerity surprises us with her shy, yet determined, demeanor along with her courage in doing something she never expected. I admire her ability to take a stand. She doesn’t cower behind her guards and let someone else do the dirty work. I look forward to see what she does about the magic issue. *cough cough*

When the King announces the ultimate prize, his daughter in marriage, every eligible bachelor from Lochlanach and neighboring kingdoms come to attend the contest. The rules are simple, kill the Beast and win the girl. Among the eligible bachelors is a hunter named Paxton. The irony falls in the fact that Paxton has a grudge against royals and a secret that prevents him from marrying. So of course Paxton and Aerity will be attracted to each other. The cliché becomes less of a cliché as the story unravels and all these twists and turns reveal information about the history of the Eurona. This is where the big magic factor comes in but alas I cannot say more!

My favorite part of this story is the growth between characters. Mixed among the expected elements of a fairy tale love story shines Higgins ability to create characters that hold depth and make readers root for them. Even the secondary characters have a dynamic all of their that left me attached. Though I will confess I couldn’t get enough of Pax even if his stubbornness left me grumbling. Then there was the ending of The Great Hunt that I didn’t see coming. Did I mention it was heart wrenching… and I cannot wait till the sequel?? Left in suspense this book is certainly worth looking into.




To find out more about Wendy and her books, click here!

If you missed Wendy’s interview, check it out here.

For a peek at The Great Hunt, click here!