Saturday, June 28, 2014

Please help me welcome my friend Annamaria Bazzi's new novel The Incantation Paradox

Greetings, all. For those of you who do not know her, I'd like to introduce my friend Annamaria Bazzi.  I met her on Critique Circle and have known her for years. She has a number of self-published works and is about to add her novel The Incantation Paradox to her collection. I find her marketing efforts to be every bit as interesting as her writing. If you are a self-published author or thinking of becoming one,  you may want to check out her social media links and see how she does it.
And now, on with the novel:
Many critics say that everything has already been written. Can the human imagination be that small? Anyway, with this in mind, I decided to take an old theme and make it my own, adding a twist of deception, murder and intrigue into the mix. This is not Freaky Friday because evil lurks at every corner waiting to satisfy the inner selfishness of one of the characters.


Can magic be blamed for everything that happens?


From the point of view of the main character, Dolores, I never knew what Eric was thinking and why he did the things he did. I knew he was a bad person, I just didn’t understand how evil he was until I decided to rewrite the novel in third person to get inside his head.


I was shocked to find so much evil in one human being, but I must be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed writing his character. The third person also gave me the opportunity to bring forth Jason’s goodwill and feelings toward Dolores. To make the bit of romance between them work, I had to use some special event that happens only when they step into the veil of magic.


Yes, it is an overly done theme, but my version is very different and if you enjoy murder, deception and intrigue with a twist of magic, this urban fantasy might be for you.


I had a lot of fun writing the novel, and now I hope you will enjoy reading it.



Book Blurb:


A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?


Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.


An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.


Book Links:





Author Bio:


Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit Annamaria at:



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Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Border Reivers - British history you may not be aware of

The territory along the English-Scottish border is rugged and ill-suited for farming. Many of its residents supplemented their meager income by conducting raids across the border to steal livestock and other goods. These men were known as the Border Reivers.

They would typically conduct their raids between the months of November and February, when nights were long, yet the livestock still strong from summer grazing. The reivers were expert horsemen and proficient with the lance, sword, longbow, and crossbow.  Most wore armor composed of small metal plates sewn into cloth, known as jack. They also wore metal helmets.

The borders of both nations were divided into three marches. Each had a march warden, who was charged with keeping order in his territory. Once a month they would hold a truce day, in which the march warden would meet with his counterpart to redress wrongs. Merchants and entertainers would show up. There would also be heavy drinking and inevitable ruckuses.

A man who had been "spoiled" by a reiver had six days to legally mount a counter raid.  This was known as the hot trod. The party would identify itself with a piece of burning peat stuck to the end of a spear. Every neighboring man between sixteen and sixty was obligated to join. The hot trod also had the right to assistance from the first village they came to.  Anyone who refused to help could be prosecuted as if he were a reiver himself.

The border people usually took their livestock inside the villages at night. Men who were wealthy enough built strong stone houses known as bastles. They drove their livestock into the first floor, while living on the second floor. Local officials also built a system of towers, surrounded by stone walls. Each one had a brazier filled with roots and peat, which the garrison would use to light signal fires when they spotted reivers.

Sometime around 1650, authorities managed to bring order to the border. Also, local people became tired of the reivers, and they became outcasts even among their own people.  Over time the reivers faded and are now just a colorful piece of British history.