Monday, July 7, 2014

CRIMSON & CREAM---A New Epic Fantasy Must Read!

Every once in a while I come across a book that completely takes me by surprise--in the best of ways--and I absolutely fall in love with it. CRIMSON & CREAM was one of these for me! I've admitted before that I'm a lover, not a fighter, therefore, my first loyalty lies with great romances. However, C.M. Skiera has woven a tale of such epic proportions that I was flipping pages, absorbed in the world of the story's main character, Jetsam, as he braved the harsh world in which he lives. I found myself gasping, crying, cheering, reeling, seething, and just about every other emotion conceivable, as I journeyed with him on his adventures and misadventures.

CRIMSON & CREAM is extremely well-written, I can honestly say I was genuinely surprised to learn that Skiera's story is self-published. I have read many, many self-published works, and his level of skill is impressive. Every self-published author could learn a thing or two. . .or three. . .from his level of devotion in submitting a polished product to the reading world. His work was a pleasure to read.

Skiera's aptitude for writing, however, was only enhanced by the clever, engaging story that is CRIMSON & CREAM. For those devotees of Fantasy/Epic Fantasy this is a definite "must read." I applaud C.M. Skiera for engaging this lover of romance so thoroughly. I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend CRIMSON & CREAM!

I look forward to reading this new author's next installment, completely, and am excited to endorse his work!

5/5 stars!

Here is more information about this up and coming author and how to connect with him.

C. M. Skiera
Author Bio:
C.M. Skiera is a Michigander who now lives in San Diego with his wife and two rescue Chihuahuas. He works as a professional environmental engineer to pay the bills and has been writing as a hobby since the mid 1990s.  Crimson & Cream is his debut epic fantasy novel.  He started writing Crimson & Cream in 1999, and after lots of twists and turns, 13 drafts, plenty of rejections, the arrival of the 21st Century and  the advent of online self-publishing, the ebook was self-published on Smashwords and in August of 2012.  C.M. Skiera is currently finishing book two of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy.

Book:  Crimson & Cream
Hounded by watchmen, trolls, goblins, and a relentless bounty hunter, 13-year-old Jetsam dreams of the day he’ll no longer have to run for his life.

In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eidryn and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Magic.  When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered.  Their deaths forfeited the twins' magical birthright and made them homeless fugitives.

Rescued by an orphan gang, the fleeing twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam.  To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly.  Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the boys are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.

Crimson & Cream recounts Jetsam’s adventurous tale of flight and discovery as the fugitive orphan unravels his tortured past while securing his tenuous future. 

Book Genre - Epic Fantasy
Published: Aug. 07, 2012
Words: 78511 (approximate)
ISBN: 9781476120133

"What a great adventure! I really enjoyed reading this book. Poor Jetsam had to do a lot of running from great enemies and creatures. You did a great job on the dialogue both making it sound natural as well as appropriate for each social class. This is a challenge for many authors, so kudos to you. You also had beautiful descriptions and story twists.  We look forward to reading more of your work in the future." – Compulsion Reads

“. . .  this book is an amazing example of the quality that should be expected from any self-published novel: the cover was professional, there were no discernable errors, and the writing was on par with many published authors. So, for anybody looking to self-publish, this book should serve as a model of how to do it right.”Fantasy Book Reviews

Excerpt from Crimson & Cream:
Exhaustion assailed Jetsam, and with a glance at his sweaty twin, he confirmed Flotsam was as tired, if not more so.  Jetsam also understood there were plenty of soldiers to join the hunt.  Running in circles’ll prove fruitless.  His legs burned and his soles ached from the pounding.  His worn leather boots offered no comfort.  Jetsam saw his brother gasping and grimacing.
     Upon spotting a shed tucked among a stand of oaks, Jetsam grabbed his brother once more.  A glance behind revealed the guards momentarily out of view.  Still grasping Flotsam’s arm, he pointed with his head and veered toward the shanty.  Flotsam’s face showed doubt and concern, but he followed Jetsam.  With his twin on his heels, Jetsam slipped through the shed door, closed it after his brother, and slid the latch into place.
     If the guard finds us, we’re trapped like rats, Jetsam comprehended.  Then to the mines we’ll go.  But running in circles was no longer an option.  Some birthday.
Jetsam panted in the darkness, and between his and Flotsam’s heavy breaths, he listened for the guards’ footsteps and clinking chain mail.
     So far, so good.
     When Jetsam’s keen eyes adjusted, he discerned they hid inside an old well house.  He groped around the brick-encased shaft.  The well appeared abandoned and without a windlass, as his hand waved in the void.
     Jetsam sat on the bricks and listened to Flotsam bite his apple, carried through their hurried flight.  The crunching fruit sounded louder than a rusty hinge.
     “Quiet,” Jetsam hissed.
     Mouth full of apple, Flotsam murmured in concurrence.  Jetsam shook his head, his spirits sinking.  As Flotsam devoured the fruit, Jetsam wondered how long they should wait until venturing out.  His heart stopped when the shed’s door rattled.
     For a few moments, the guards tugged, ultimately relenting to the door’s deceptive strength.  Jetsam gazed into the darkness, and through the cracks in the door spotted a thin blade poking in, trying to unseat the latch.  In a matter of seconds, they would be caught.
     As the short sword probed inward, a hand grabbed Jetsam’s shoulder. 


  1. Hey! I absolutely adored this review. This books sounds great, I'm definitely going to go and check it out based on your recommendation!
    I followed your blog, and would love it if you would do the same for our review blog, Novels At Night

    Thanks so much! x

    1. Do check out CRIMSON & CREAM, it's excellent! Thanks for the follow. I'll be returning the favor, soon. :-)

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