#CHRISTMASINJULY FETE: Changing Faces by @BarbCaffrey #ROMANCE #BOOKS #GIVEAWAY


Christmas in July Book Square - CF

 

Title: CHANGING FACES

 

Author: Barb Caffrey

 

Genre: LGBT-friendly inspirational fantasy-romance

 

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

 

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

 

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

 

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

 

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

 

Why?

 

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

Excerpt:

I woke up in a dark, strange room. I couldn’t see much, but I knew I wasn’t

home. The shape of the shadows was off.

 

At least my eyes are open, I mused. That’s something.

 

Then everything came back in a rush. The car—the accident. What happened?

 

I tried to sit up on a spare, single bed, but my midsection told me this was a very

bad idea. I flopped back down, and groaned as I came down hard on my left hand. It

felt wrong, somehow, so I picked it up and looked at it. Strange; in this light, it seemed

much smaller than usual.

 

I must have zoned out for a bit, because the next thing I knew, I heard, “Time for

your hourly check.”

 

“I’m awake,” I mumbled. Even my voice sounded—and felt—wrong. It was

much higher than normal.

 

What was wrong with me?

 

I saw a white light for a moment, but it blinded me to the point I could only see

sparkles. Then I felt something grab my hand. “Relax,” a male voice said. “I’m taking

your pulse, getting your vitals.” My hand was put down gently at my side, then the

insistent man asked, “Where does it hurt?”

 

“Everywhere,” I grumbled, still not able to see. “My head…my ribs…

everywhere!”

 

“Not surprising,” the man—a nurse, I realized—said. Then he asked me a

number of questions—what day it was, what year, where we were, who the President

was, all that. I answered fine until they asked me who I was, and I tried to say “Allen,”

but couldn’t. Then I tried to say, “Where’s Elaine?” but the only word that came out was

the last one.

 

The nurse nodded. “Yes, you seem to know who and where you are. That’s good

to hear.”

 

“I know who I am,” I said, trying not to sound frightened, “but I can’t explain it. I

feel so weird…can’t you give me anything for the pain?”

 

“We think you have a concussion, so we can’t just yet,” he said gently. “As for the

rest, I’ll check on you again in a few hours. Get some rest.”

 

Easy for you to say, I thought. But I tried to do what he asked; I just wasn’t able to do it. So I gave up after a few subjective eons and turned the light on. I still saw

sparkles, but through them, I was able to see white walls and the spare, utilitarian decor

of a hospital room. There were no tubes hooked up to my arms, but there was

something on my right forefinger—to get oxygen, maybe?—and a blood pressure cuff

was around my left bicep. Worst of all, there was no one waiting at my bedside.

 

What am I doing here? Then, after a beat: Where is Elaine? Shouldn’t she be here, even

if she doesn’t want to be with me, doesn’t want to marry me? Then I thought with rising

panic, Could she be hurt?

 

A familiar face poked her head into the room. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the

familiar face I’d been hoping for. “Elaine, are you awake?” Jolene called.

 

Elaine? I thought, and tried to say, No, I’m Allen! But the words wouldn’t come.

 

Feebly, I said, “I’m not sure I’m…” before my mind stuck on the words who you want and

couldn’t say them, so I substituted, “awake, actually” at the last moment. Why couldn’t I

even say my own name?

 

What’s wrong with me? I thought. What am I doing here? Why is Jolene here? Did I

really hear her call me by Elaine’s name?

 

And why did Jolene come alone? Where is my love?

 

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

$75 USD Amazon Gift Card

Three e-copies of Changing Faces

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Buy Links:

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

 

Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition:

It may sound strange, but we always ate mashed rutabagas at holidays. With a bit of sugar in the water to boil them with, and with a good amount of whipping cream or whole milk to add to them after being mashed, they are delicious.

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music. She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of Changing Faces.

 

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with romance.

 

She lives in Wisconsin.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

Advertisements

Changing Faces by @BarbCaffrey Moved Me to Tears! #bookreview #LGBT #FridayReads


 

CHANGING FACES cover

 

Title: Changing Faces

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Contemporary LGBT Fantasy-Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

Why?

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

My Review:

What if the person you love more than anything else in the world told you they were gender fluid and wanted to be the same gender as you? Would you love or leave them?

 

Allen and Elaine are university students, both play the clarinet and are deeply in love. Elaine holds a deep secret and knows that once she tells Allen the truth, he’ll leave her. When confronted, she tells him the truth: she’s gender-fluid and doesn’t feel content in her own body. She wants to live life as a man. Allen doesn’t understand why Elaine wants to leave. Sure, he panicked at first but he loves her, no matter what. He prays to God to help and with the help of two angels, Allen’s prayer is answered.

 

Allen wakes up in Elaine’s body and Elaine is in a coma, thanks to a horrific car accident. Allen must come to grips with what’s happened and decide for himself if life is worth living… in Elaine’s gender fluid body with Elaine (in his male body) by his side. It’s a tough decision but with the help of two angels, Allen finally understands why true love matters most to the Universe.

 

In this ground-breaking novel, Caffrey explores gender fluidity, love and coming to grips with self-identity. I was emotionally attached to both characters from the beginning and watching their love for each other grow through the most trying circumstances changed me. The plot moved at a good pace, although there were places where it lagged. The idea of gender fluidity portrayed accurately in this novel with honesty and heart stayed with me love after I finished reading. Being a romantic at heart, I highly recommend this book to everyone.

 

Favorite Character: Eli/Allyn. I loved the two once they were switched. First, dealing with being in the other’s body and then coming to grips with their new reality. Beautifully written, I felt such a connection with both Eli and Allyn. So many times, I wanted to hug them both.

 

Favorite Quote:

Inwardly, I prayed, hoping that God existed and would hear me despite my usual disbelief. Oh God, if you’re listening . . .please don’t take my beautiful Elaine away from me. I’ll do anything, absolutely anything…

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music.

 

She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of Changing Faces.

 

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with romance.

 

She lives in Wisconsin.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Meet Allen and Elaine from @BarbCaffrey’s Brand New Release #romance #LGBT #books


CF CI

An Interview with Allen and Elaine from CHANGING FACES

By Barb Caffrey

 

A lean, tall, dark-haired man of average looks comes in, sits down on a long, comfortable couch, and crosses his legs at the ankles. He seems nervous, but friendly.

 

“Hi,” he says. “I’m Allen Bridgeway, clarinetist, graduate student in Music at Willa Cather University, and the fiancé of Elaine Foster—also a graduate student at WCU. I’m partial to Weber, allergic to cats, and I’m thirty years old.” He smiles wryly, adding, “Is that enough detail for now?”

 

Then a shorter, rounder, beautiful woman of Hispanic descent comes in and sits next to him. After giving him a quick hug and a squeeze of the hand, she speaks.

 

“And as you may have guessed, I’m Elaine, Allen’s fiancée. Though I’m not quite what I appear. I might look female, and I always identify as female for whatever it’s worth—”

 

Allen butts in. “You’re a feminist scholar, love. How could you be anything else?”

 

Elaine gives him a fond look. “But I’m not straight, and more to the point, sometimes I feel more male than female.”

 

Allen shrugs. “Whatever you are, however you present yourself, I will always love you.”

 

Elaine blushes. “Good to know.” Then she turns to me, the interviewer—otherwise known as author Barb Caffrey, who wrote their story in the new romantic fantasy, CHANGING FACES—and says, “Can we get to the questions now? So we can get back to playing our clarinets and living our lives?”

 

“Of course,” I tell them. “What is your idea of perfect happiness?”

 

Allen and Elaine look at each other, smile, and say nothing for a long time. Finally, Allen husks out, “Any day with Elaine suits me fine.”

 

Elaine blushes again, nods, and squeezes his hand. Apparently she agrees.

 

Next, I asked them, “What is your greatest fear?”

 

“Living without Elaine,” Allen says right off the bat.

 

“Telling Allen who I really am, because once I do, he’ll leave,” Elaine says in a low tone.

 

Allen looks confused for one moment, until Elaine squeezes his hand. “I’ll explain later, love,” she says.

 

“What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?” Then I look at them both, and ask, “Can Elaine answer this first? Allen, you always jump in…”

 

Allen mumbles something, and motions with his hand to Elaine.

 

“Ah, I like it when he goes first,” she says playfully. “It gives me more time to consider my answer.” Then she turned serious. “I am often hasty, and while I try to think things through, sometimes I just don’t. This causes trouble, but I can’t seem to break the habit.”

 

“I like all your habits,” Allen said, giving her a sidelong look. Then, focusing on me, he added, “I am reserved. This makes it harder for me to open up to people, and it takes a long time for me to make new friends. That’s caused me a lot of trouble in my life, especially as musicians are supposed to be gregarious sorts and I’m just not.”

 

“Who you are is just fine with me, love,” Elaine put in loyally.

 

I raised an eyebrow, and told them, “I like you both. So stop all this nonsense and just answer the questions, will you?”

 

“But it’s so much fun to tease you,” Elaine said.

 

Allen just laughed.

 

These two. What could I do with them?

 

“All right. What is the trait you most deplore in others?” I asked.

 

Elaine went first again. “Hostility. I can’t stand it. And ignorance is a close second.”

 

“People who think the arts are silly,” Allen said after a long pause. “Without the arts, we’d not have any culture to speak of and we’d probably be brute beasts.”

 

“I never knew you felt that strongly, love,” Elaine said, squeezing his hand again. “But I like it.”

 

Allen blushed dark red.

 

“And in that vein…what do you consider the most overrated virtue?”

 

After a look at Elaine, Allen went first this time. “Charity. Because people who believe they are charitable often have problems with hypocrisy, and I can’t stand it. They also seem to think that they are the best people on the face of the planet, and that annoys me, too.”

 

Elaine nodded, but her answer was different. “I think faith is the most overrated virtue, because most people seem to think of it only as faith in the Higher Power, not as faith in yourself. And really, it should be both.”

 

“Interesting,” I told them. “Now, here’s an easy one. Which living person do you most despise?”

 

Allen and Elaine looked at each other, looked at me, and in one voice said, “Donald Trump.” Then Elaine continued, “That man never should’ve become President, and has caused all sorts of problems, especially for the LGBT community, of which I am one.”

 

“Donald Trump gives Americans a bad name,” Allen added. “I am embarrassed for our country. We should have Hillary Clinton as our President, right now.”

 

“So, would you say that Hillary is the person you most admire, then?”

 

Elaine nodded, saying, “Her work with women and children throughout her lifetime—not to mention the disabled—has been exemplary.”

 

“Personally, I admire Nelson Mandela more, but he’s passed away. I can say that, can’t I?” Allen gave me a worried look.

 

“Sure. Who doesn’t admire Nelson Mandela?” Then I smiled, and said, “Here’s another easy one. Who is the greatest love of your life?”

 

Both Allen and Elaine burst out laughing. “If we weren’t each other’s biggest love, we’d not be here, Barb.” Allen raised an eyebrow, but still looked amused.

 

“Yeah, why are you asking us this. You know better.” Elaine wagged her finger at me, playfully.

 

“All right. Here’s a more serious question, and it’s the very last one. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Elaine, you go first.”

 

“If I had the power, I’d allow my gender-fluidity freer rein. Some days, I would be fully male outwardly. Other days, I’d be fully female. Maybe I’d change during the day, for variety’s sake…that way, I wouldn’t feel so alien in my body all the time.”

 

Allen gave her a look of concern. “This is a tough one. When I was younger, I wanted more athletic talent. When I first met Elaine, I wanted to be bisexual like her, so we’d have more to talk about.”

 

“I never knew that,” Elaine interjected.

 

“You weren’t supposed to,” Allen muttered. “But I’m depressingly heterosexual.” He sighed. “Now, I think the only thing I’d change, if I could, is to be healthier. I had a gall bladder operation last year that should’ve been routine, but wasn’t because of a complication…and poor Elaine had to take care of me.”

 

Then, he smiled. “Thanks for interviewing us in our original bodies, by the way. It’s harder for us to explain who we are, looking like each other.”

 

“No problem,” I told them. “Glad to do it.” (If this throws you, gentle reader, you really need to go read at least the blurb, and possibly the sample chapters, of CHANGING FACES. And as it’s only ninety-nine cents/ninety-nine pence for an e-book for a limited time, it’s quite affordable. Really.)

 

CHANGING FACES cover

 

Title: CHANGING FACES

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Contemporary LGBT Fantasy-Romance

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

 

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

 

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

 

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

 

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

 

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

 

Why?

 

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

Excerpt:

 Two angels decide to take a hand and help Allen and Elaine by changing their faces.

 

From the ether, I watched as Allen’s little car crashed into something. No one saw it but us, perhaps because of the dense fog along with the ice and snow. “What is that thing?”

 

“It’s a road grader,” Michael said absently.

 

“Is there anyone around to help?” Surely we couldn’t just leave them in this condition—could we?

 

“I thought I’d help them,” Michael told me, sounding deceptively casual. Then, just like that, he wore a human body again and stood directly behind Allen’s wrecked car—to human eyes, he now looked like a healthy, compact young woman. I wasn’t sure why he’d picked that particular form, but Michael liked variety. The light around his body danced with his usual rainbow prisms—what I thought of as his true form— before he said, “You could help, too, you know.”

 

Stung, I incorporated also, using the form I’d used at Jolene and Paula’s wedding months ago. “Will this do?”

 

“I hope so.” He turned to look at me; his blue eyes were grave, unchanging. “We have about two minutes, maybe three, before this car blows up.”

 

“Why?”

 

“They had extra gas in the back of the car in case of emergencies.” As he said this, he opened the passenger side door. Elaine’s head had hit the windshield so hard, the windshield had cracked; fortunately, her seatbelt and airbag had protected most of the rest of her body. She was still breathing, albeit shallowly. “Help me get her out.”

 

On this plane, we could not tap into any primal energy sources; at least, I couldn’t, or I’d risk an explosion. I was limited to what this body could do, as it was the only one I knew well enough to summon; fortunately, Elaine didn’t weigh very much, and we were able to get her out of the car. I picked up her purse and put it beside her, along with a blanket that had fallen to the floor, before racing back to help with Allen.

 

This was going to be much harder. Allen’s body was wedged in between the steering wheel and the bent, damaged door. The road grader was firmly on the other side; no help there.

 

“Why can’t we keep the car from blowing up?” I asked.

 

“I can only interfere so much. Now, help me with Allen!”

 

“How?”

 

“Get the other blankets out of the car, and put them on the ground. This is going to be tricky.”

 

While I hastened to do that, Michael reached inside the car. I heard the seat belt unlatch, and as I ran back to the car, I saw Michael start to pull Allen away from the steering wheel. Then, I don’t know how, Michael had pulled him backward, out of the car.

 

“He’s got a pulse. But he’s got multiple fractures, minimum,” Michael reported.

 

“We have to use their cell phones to call an ambulance.” As I blinked, he added, “Elaine’s phone has a pink cover. Get it and call 911—that’s for emergencies.”

 

I raced back to Elaine’s purse, grabbed her phone, and ran back. By this time, Allen was on the ground, but only a foot or so from the car. And there was something going on with the car, now…it looked unstable, to me, as an energy-being, rather than solid. I’d only seen this in the elderly, who were about to end their existence.

 

My unfamiliar fingers fumbled with the phone, but I was able to use it. I reported the emergency, said two people were on the side of the road after a crash, and gave the location. Before they could ask anything else, the phone went dead.

 

“Here. We need to get them to safety. Now!”

 

I helped Michael pull first Elaine, then Allen, about thirty feet. We did our best to protect their heads, but there wasn’t much time; we had to get them away from that car before it exploded.

 

Just as we got them both onto the nearby sidewalk, the car blew up. Even the foggy sky couldn’t hide that conflagration…surely someone would get here soon to take care of them. Right?

 

But before I could ask Michael anything, he yelled, “Now! Shift to the ethereal plane!”

 

I shifted planes, and saw Michael—now the Big Man, in his accustomed rainbow-prism form—dance over Allen’s body, then Elaine’s. “What are you doing?” I asked in pulse-speech.

 

“Changing faces,” he said succinctly.

 

“Huh?”

 

He took Elaine’s soul and bound it into Allen’s body, then put Allen’s soul into Elaine’s and bound it there as well. As the ambulance came, he told them, “Be well, children. This is the best I can do.”

 

“Why do this, though?” I asked. “It’ll disrupt so many things.”

 

“Separating them wouldn’t?”

 

“True…”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music.

She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of

three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of

Changing Faces.

 

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise

known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of

places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick

series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see

from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with

romance.

 

She lives in Wisconsin.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

 

 

“True Love Matters to the Universe” Changing Faces by @BarbCaffrey #LGBT #Romance #ASMSG


portrait in garden

 

Title: CHANGING FACES

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Contemporary LGBT Fantasy-Romance

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

 

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

 

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

 

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.

 

Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.

 

Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.

 

Why?

 

True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

Excerpt:

“Look, love. You are the same person regardless of what you look like, whether you present as male or female. I will always love you. I’m not about to abandon you. I just don’t understand why, if Ruby Rose can stay in her body as a gender-fluid person, you can’t stay in yours.”

 

Elaine’s gloved hand reached out, but before we actually touched, she drew back.

 

“I wish I could explain it, Allen. It’s like a compulsion; now that I’ve told the truth about

myself, I need to find out where that truth leads. And I’m not sure where that path is

going to go.” Her deep brown eyes filled with tears. “I don’t want to deceive you. I love

you too much for that.”

 

“Honesty is important,” I agreed. “Even so, how do you know that it’s not just

your depression talking?”

 

“I am depressed,” Elaine admitted. “But it’s mostly because I don’t feel right in

this body. I have never felt right in this body, and the longer I go on in this body, the

more wrong I feel!”

 

The car had warmed up enough now, so I couldn’t delay this any longer. “Just—

don’t leave me, Elaine. Let’s try to talk this out…” I turned onto the dimly-lit street, and

started to drive.

 

Elaine sat, silently, next to me, for blocks. Then, she said, “If you can’t accept me

as myself, in whatever body I might have down the road, how can we stay together?”

 

“All I’ve said is that I don’t know if I can accept you in a male body. I would find

it hard to make love to another man.” I swallowed hard, adding, “I’ve tried to put

myself in your place, and I can’t do it. I don’t know how it feels to be transgender. I do

know how it feels to be in love with you. I don’t want to lose you. I’ll do whatever it

takes. But I want you to go to counseling—isn’t there a very long period of counseling

you have to go through, before you change sexes outwardly?” I seemed to remember

that from Chaz Bono’s story; that had been discussed often, a few years back. “And you

don’t like going to counseling as it is!”

 

“I’ve not run into good ones, thus far.” Elaine turned her head to look out the

window.

 

I glanced that way, and saw ice hanging from the trees just off the street. Was

that a rainbow prism at the edge of my vision? I told myself I was just seeing things,

and kept driving.

 

“Mind, Jolene asked me the very same thing, earlier…” Elaine said, sounding

very far away. “I told her I’ll start counseling after Christmas.” Then, she smiled wryly, a

brief twist of her lips. “She told me to marry you and stop putting you off, too.”

 

“I knew I liked Jolene.”

 

We shared a laugh. Then I blurted out what I’d been thinking all the while.

 

“Elaine, please—I need you in my life. I love you so much…I don’t care what you

look like; I care that you’re you. Please don’t leave me.”

 

She continued to stare out the window, and said nothing.

 

Oh, Elaine, I thought. How can you do this?

 

I turned my attention back to the road, which was getting worse by the second. It

was rutted, slippery, and almost impassable. Worst of all, a gray fog had started to

blanket the road. I started looking for places to safely pull off, but I didn’t see much. The

few gas stations were already closed, and there were a number of cars waiting in those

parking lots.

 

If this continued, we’d have to break out our emergency supplies from the trunk.

I’d packed blankets, food, water…we even had some spare gas in a gas can, just in case.

So we’d live through the night, even if we’d not be comfortable doing it.

 

“I don’t like this fog,” Elaine muttered.

 

“I don’t, either,” I agreed as I drove through another bank of icy grayness. “Are

you sure you can’t just come back home?”

 

“Not yet. I don’t know why.” Then Elaine added in a very quiet voice, “I’m sorry.”

 

I continued to drive, my gloved hands gripping the steering wheel. “Don’t be.

You can’t help what you are.” Then, before I lost my nerve, I added, “I love you. No

matter what you are, no matter how you present yourself. I want to be with you. I just

don’t know if I can handle you in a male body…you only told me about this tonight, so

how can you expect me to acclimate like that?” As we stopped at a light, I snapped my

fingers, even though inside my gloves, they couldn’t make a sound.

 

“You’re right. I can’t,” Elaine said.

 

Something about how she said that, though, made me nervous.

 

“I need time to figure myself out,” she said, biting her lower lip in concentration.

“Maybe you should take me to a hotel.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I’m asking too much of you. I have to be on my own.”

 

I felt like shaking her. “You need counseling, and we both need rest. Why don’t

we go back home instead?”

 

“I can’t be there right now. Not like this.”

 

“Dammit, Elaine! I love you. Can’t you see that? Why else would I be out on a

night like this, if I didn’t?”

 

“I love you, too, but this isn’t going to work.” The set of her jaw bothered me;

she’d obviously made up her mind.

 

“It won’t work only if you decide it won’t,” I told her, trying to keep the edge out

of my voice. “Why won’t you listen to me?” I snuck a peek at Elaine. The beauty of her

oval face, her liquid brown eyes, her pointed, determined chin…how anyone that

beautiful could want to become a man, I didn’t know.

 

“Let’s not argue, Allen,” she said wearily. “I can’t bear it.”

 

“Okay, then.” But while I’d stopped talking, I hadn’t stopped thinking. Why does

Elaine want to become a man? Why? What have I done wrong, that she should want this? I

must have done something wrong, something terrible, for her to want this…

 

Inwardly, I prayed, hoping that God existed and would hear me despite my

usual disbelief. Oh God, if you’re listening . . .please don’t take my beautiful Elaine away from

me. I’ll do anything, absolutely anything…

 

My reverie was broken when the car went into a skid. “Hang on!” I yelled, while I

turned into the skid. That should’ve gotten us safely off the road, albeit into a ditch…

but it didn’t work.

 

Instead, something big, something solid, was in the way.

 

Something that shouldn’t have been there.

 

“Oh my God!” Elaine screamed.

 

I tried to reach out to her, to reassure her, but I couldn’t. My body just wouldn’t

respond.

 

Before I could worry about that, the world went black.

 

Buy Links:

99 cents/pence for a limited time!

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music.

She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of

three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of

Changing Faces.

 

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise

known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of

places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick

series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see

from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with

romance.

 

She lives in Wisconsin.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

 

To Survive the Maelstrom by Michael B. Caffrey + @BarbCaffrey #bookreview #99cents #ASMSG


To Survive the Maelstrom

 

Title: To Survive the Maelstrom: A Tale from the Atlantean Union (Peter Welmsley Book 1)

Author: Barb Caffrey, Michael B. Caffrey

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Command Sergeant-Major Sir Peter Welmsley of the Atlantean Union has lost everything he holds dear. He wonders why he lived, when so many others died at Hunin — including his fiancée, Lydia, and his best friend Chet.

 

Into his life comes Grasshunter’s Cub, an empathic, sentient creature known to those on Heligoland as a “weremouse.”

 

Weremice are known for their ability to help their bond-mates. But how can this young weremouse find a way to bring Peter back from the brink of despair and start living again?

 

Note for readers: This is a novella.

 

My Review:

Peter is a commander in the Atlantean Union and he is at a crossroads. Everyone he loves is dead and he’s left all alone. Why was he spared? They call him a hero but that only makes him feel worse. Nightmares haunt him and he doesn’t know if he can go on.

 

Grasshunter’s Cub is an empath creature known to the humans as a weremouse. He’s fascinated with humans and goes out of his way to learn all he can about them. His mother warns him to stay away from the humans unless he wants to be considered “adorable”. Lol!

 

Grasshunter’s Cub can feel Peter’s anguish and ignoring his mother’s advice, he uses his abilities to comfort and heal Peter. When he feels the time is right, he wants to make his presence known. Will Peter accept his acts of friendship or will Peter pat him on the head and call him cute?

 

I absolutely loved this story! I haven’t read any of these stories from the Atlantean Union and if this novella is but a taste, I will be a huge fan. Told in alternating point of views, we get to experience the transformation that happens in Peter from despair to forgiveness not to mention what happens when you befriend someone (no matter the clan).

 

A must read for any science fiction fan and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

 

Favorite Character:

Grasshunter’s Cub. I love everything about him, from his inquisitive nature to being empathic towards the human, and the thing I loved most is his yearning to fly. He reminds me of the Redwall characters and I look forward to reading more from Michael and Barb.

 

Favorite Quote:

“They’ve called me a hero, Lydia, and I can’t – can’t bear it, not without you, or Chet –” ~Peter

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now for only 99 cents:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Survive-Maelstrom-Atlantean-Union-Welmsley-ebook/dp/B0105JDW6Y

 

barb-and-michael-picture-4

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician from the Midwest. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE.

 

Her stories and poems have appeared (or will appear) in many places, including the forthcoming STARS OF DARKOVER, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, and the BEARING NORTH anthology, at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group). She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).

 

She’s the widow of Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004), and has vowed that Michael’s work — his words — will live on as long as there are people to read them. It’s because of this vow that she’s republished Michael’s Adventures of Joey Maverick series, which currently consists of “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” (More stories are forthcoming — promise.)

 

She follows politics, loves sports, watches far too much reality TV and finds the “Maury” show cathartic. What all this says about her is anyone’s guess. Find her at Elfyverse (AKA “Barb Caffrey’s Blog”) for discussions of all and sundry, or visit her at Facebook . . . she promises she won’t bite.

 

Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004) was many things — a writer. An editor. An artist. A contracts administrator . . . but if you asked him what was most important, he’d say none of those things.

 

Instead, he’d say being Barb Caffrey’s husband is all he’d ever aspired to be, granted with a twinkle in his eye and a whole lot of self-deprecating mockery besides.

 

In his lifetime, Michael sold only one story, this a co-written effort with his wife, Barb, in BEDLAM’S EDGE (edited by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill). After his untimely passing, other stories were sold to the Written Word Online Magazine and to e-Quill Publishing.

 

Two of those stories have been re-released as independent e-books here at Amazon, “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” These are in his Joey Maverick universe, which takes place in the far-future Atlantean Union, and are works of military science fiction. (His wife, Barb, finished up the second story, and edited and smoothed out the first. But they are substantially Michael’s efforts.)

 

Michael wrote other things, too, including humorous fantasy, alternate history/fantasy, straight science fiction and more. But his first love was for military science fiction, which is why these stories have been the first to be re-released.

 

Michael was an effervescent presence, at once worldly wise and unassuming. He was a student of comparative religion, called himself a “Zen Sufi Pagan” and lived in San Francisco, California most of his adult life. He also loved to watch both professional baseball (Go, Giants!) and football (where the Joe Montana trade both irked and amused him, considering Steve Montana was waiting in the wings), was a witty and entertaining conversationalist, and was the type of guy who’d do anything for anyone without complaint.

 

Michael had many interests. He loved to read, especially sailing adventures (past, present and future), and thought of ships in space as just another type of sailing ship, albeit with more technology. He was a person of principle who believed the unexamined life was not worth living — but while you were examining your life, why not have as much fun as possible while you were going about all that dull and dreary stuff?

 

If you’re interested in reading more about Michael B. Caffrey, please stop by Barb Caffrey’s Blog anytime as she often discusses Michael’s influence on her life and career, and does her best to keep his spirit alive and well.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog – https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Want to Read a Free Copy of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE on 3/6/16? #ASMSG #MFRWAuthor #SFF


If you like fantasy (especially Young Adult) with dashes of romance, pick up Barb’s book for free! 🙂 Sunday, March 6th only!

MRS N

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, in honor of Read an E-Book Week, my publisher, Twilight Times Books, is giving away free e-books from March 6, 2016 to March 12, 2016 — one full week — at their website only. Every day, two e-books will be given away for free, including copies of SCHOOLED IN MAGIC by Chris Nuttall and THE CASE OF THE DISPLACED DETECTIVE: THE ARRIVAL by Stephanie Osborn later in the week.

“But Barb,” you say. “What’s this about a free copy of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE? I want details!”

a0bb9-anelfyontheloose_medOK. For those detail-minded among you, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE will be given away, free of charge, at the Twilight Times Books website starting at midnight 3/6/2016 and ending at midnight 3/7/2016. (Go to this page, and you will find the links when they become active.)

So if you love free e-books — and really, who doesn’t? —…

View original post 200 more words

Columba and the Cat by Michael B. Caffrey @BarbCaffrey #bookreview #99cents #ASMSG


Columba and the Cat cover

 

Title: Columba and the Cat (The Columba Chronicles Book 1)

Author: Michael B. Caffrey

Genre: fantasy, magical realism, short story

 

Book Blurb:

Meet Princess Columba of Illinowa. She’s a magician, a scholar, and is currently the heir to the throne…but she wants no part of it. Because she’s royalty, she’s had trouble meeting men, and she’s tired of dealing with people in search of a title rather than herself.

 

Into her life comes a mysterious cat. She rescues the cat, takes him into the palace, and starts having unusual dreams — dreams of a man who understands her, cares about her, and loves her. Not her title.

 

Unbeknownst to Columba, the cat is a shapeshifter. He, too, is royal, albeit from far away. And he’s the man of her dreams…that is, when he’s not in the form of a cat.

 

Then the dream-man shows up, and the cat disappears. Columba must decide whether or not to believe in her dreams — and hope that somehow, the magical romance she’s found is here to stay.

 

Note to readers: This is a novella.

 

My Review:

Love comes in all shapes and sizes; you’ll never know when it’ll appear. This is the premise of Columba and the Cat, a fantastic romantic fantasy short story. Meet Princess Columba, heir to the throne and a studying magician. She’s an independent princess and dreams of practicing magic at the highest level. She has no interest in the kingdom of Illinowa and doesn’t want the throne. She’ll leave that to her younger (and most annoying) brother. Love, according to Columba, is a mystery.

One day, she rescues a cat from the clutches of the royal dogs. Even though her father, the king, has banned cats from the kingdom, she takes the cat back to her quarters and takes care of him. She calls him Cat and finds him delightful company. It’s as if he understands her and a bond soon forms between them.

Princess Columba has no idea that Cat is in fact a shapeshifting royal prince from a distant land. He comes to her in dreams as himself and courts her. He loves her for what’s inside, not her title.

When the time comes, will their love overcome all or will they be destined to be star-crossed lovers?

I loved this romantic fantasy story! Michael Caffrey weaves a love story unlike any other and I was instantly captivated. He wrote this back in 2003, long before shifter romances became popular. He was certainly ahead of his time and it’s a shame he passed away in 2004.

If you’re looking for a quick romance with fantasy/magical elements, grab this story. I read it during my lunch hour and the best part is that it’s only $.99! I’m looking forward to more stories in this series.

 

Favorite Character: Princess Columba is one of those delightful fantasy heroines that you, the reader, immediate love. She’s intelligent, funny and goes against what’s expected of her. She’s a princess yet she more freedom than most women in her position. I loved her thrill at discovering the lost cat and keeping it in her sleeping quarters, away from her father and brother. I smiled at her pursuing magicks and the way she talks to the cat as if he can understand her. I want more from her.

 

Favorite Quote:

“Oh my friend!” she whispered as Cat sniffed her breath and twitched his whiskers, “you won’t desert me now, will you?” ~ Columba

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0105JPGVI

 

Author Biography:

Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004) was many things — a writer. An editor. An artist. A contracts administrator . . . but if you asked him what was most important, he’d say none of those things.

 

Instead, he’d say being Barb Caffrey’s husband is all he’d ever aspired to be, granted with a twinkle in his eye and a whole lot of self-deprecating mockery besides.

 

In his lifetime, Michael sold only one story, this a co-written effort with his wife, Barb, in BEDLAM’S EDGE (edited by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill). After his untimely passing, other stories were sold to the Written Word Online Magazine and to e-Quill Publishing.

 

Two of those stories have been re-released as independent e-books here at Amazon, “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” These are in his Joey Maverick universe, which takes place in the far-future Atlantean Union, and are works of military science fiction. (His wife, Barb, finished up the second story, and edited and smoothed out the first. But they are substantially Michael’s efforts.)

 

Michael wrote other things, too, including humorous fantasy, alternate history/fantasy, straight science fiction and more. But his first love was for military science fiction, which is why these stories have been the first to be re-released.

 

Michael was an effervescent presence, at once worldly wise and unassuming. He was a student of comparative religion, called himself a “Zen Sufi Pagan” and lived in San Francisco, California most of his adult life. He also loved to watch both professional baseball (Go, Giants!) and football (where the Joe Montana trade both irked and amused him, considering Steve Montana was waiting in the wings), was a witty and entertaining conversationalist, and was the type of guy who’d do anything for anyone without complaint.

 

Michael had many interests. He loved to read, especially sailing adventures (past, present and future), and thought of ships in space as just another type of sailing ship, albeit with more technology. He was a person of principle who believed the unexamined life was not worth living — but while you were examining your life, why not have as much fun as possible while you were going about all that dull and dreary stuff?

 

If you’re interested in reading more about Michael B. Caffrey, please stop by Barb Caffrey’s Blog anytime as she often discusses Michael’s influence on her life and career, and does her best to keep his spirit alive and well.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog – https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

#BookReview ~ A Little Elfy in Big Trouble by @BarbCaffrey #ASMSG #TuesdayBookBlog #SFF


alittleelfyinbigtrouble_med

 

Title: A Little Elfy in Big Trouble

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Comedy/Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies — human, Elfy, and ghosts — that the Dark Elf can’t possibly expect. Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?

 

My Review:

If you love Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, you’re going to love the Elfy duology by Barb Caffrey. I read and reviewed An Elfy on the Loose in 2015 (https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/id-like-to-introduce-you-to-barbcaffrey-authorinterview-yafantasy-review/ ) and I couldn’t wait for the follow-up, A Little Elfy in Big Trouble.

When we last left Sarah and Bruno, Dennis (the Dark Elf) had captured Roberto (Bruno’s mentor and teacher) and Bruno was helpless to stop him. He and Sarah barely got away with their lives. Now, it’s up to Bruno, Sarah, Lady Keisha and a host of allies to rescue Roberto and defeat Dennis before it’s too late.

In the first book, there was a lot of world-building and laying of plot foundation but in this book, it’s filled with intense, action-filled scenes. There’s a lot going on and the author does an amazing job describing each scene. Bruno is a likable hero and his view on the human world provides comic relief. His consternation on things like a microphone and a couch make me laugh out loud.

One of my favorite minor characters in the book is Bruno’s thinking backpack. This backpack not only talks but helps Bruno in whatever way he can. I could totally picture a bunch of kids walking around with thinking backpacks. Man, I could’ve used one when I was going to school.

The climax of the story kept me on the edge of my seat and there were times when I held my breath. So many twists and turns made this book one of the best magical realism/urban fantasy books I’ve read in a long time.

The only thing that prevented me from giving it five stars was the tiny bit of info dumping post-climax. I found it took me out of the story somewhat.

The characters are what really made this a fantasy gem for me. Not only are you dealing with the main characters, you’re also encountering minor characters that I loved. The “ghost” who helps Bruno was one of my favorites as well as the thinking backpack. Each character was fleshed out and multi-faceted.

All I can say is that it was worth the wait to read this conclusion to the Elfy duology. I enjoyed all the magic, good versus evil battling, action, quirky comic relief and of course, the sweet romance between Sarah and Bruno. The author told me there might be more from Elfyverse and that makes me excited.

If you’re a fantasy fan, I highly recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Favorite Character:

I could relate most to Sarah. She discovers her parents are teaming with the Dark Elf and she’s part-elfy. A shock to the system, especially for a teenage girl. Yet, she handles it beautifully and by the end of the book, she comes to terms with what it means to love someone and be loved without an agenda. Her empath abilities impressed me and she’s a definite role model.

 

Favorite Quote:

“I do love you. I did from the moment I saw you, even when I thought I was too young and you were too old, and that you’d probably not wait for me even if we were both Human, or both Elfy.”

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018B4699W

 

OmniLit: https://www.omnilit.com/product-alittleelfyinbigtrouble-1935228-234.html

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-elfy-in-big-trouble-barb-caffrey/1123003283?ean=2940157950910

 

Sample chapters: http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ElfyinBigTrouble_ch1.html

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees and is an inveterate and omnivorous reader. Her short fiction is available in Bedlam’s EdgeHow Beer Saved the WorldFirst Contact CaféStars of DarkoverGifts of Darkover, and the forthcoming Realms of Darkover, while her poetry has been published in the Due North anthology, Joyful Online, Written Word online magazine and the Midwest Literary Review.  You can find Barb at Elfyverse.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

 

Google-Plus: http://plus.google.com/101403408003727584589

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

New Release: A Little Elfy in Big Trouble by @BarbCaffrey #MFRWAuthor #ASMSG #SFF


alittleelfyinbigtrouble_med

 

Title: A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE

Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Comedy/Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies — human, Elfy, and ghosts — that the Dark Elf can’t possibly expect. Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Damn it!” a barely recognizable voice said through the darkness that surrounded Bruno. “Why isn’t he moving?”

 

Sarah? he tried to subvocalize, Is that you? But he was too weak; she didn’t seem to hear him, if, indeed, he’d subvocalized at all.

 

“He did a lot of magic today,” Rebecca said. “I think he overextended.”

 

“Why?” Sarah asked angrily. “Why did you let him do any magic at all?”

 

“He did it to save me,” Rebecca told her. After a brief pause, she went on in a tone Bruno was sure she normally reserved for her own daughter when Mikayla was being particularly obtuse: “And it wasn’t a matter of letting him. I couldn’t stop your young man doing whatever he wants even on my best day.”

 

How could I stand by and do nothing? he thought, before he passed out again.

 


 

::I need to talk with you,:: an old woman’s voice said imperiously, breaking through the cone of silence that seemed to surround Bruno’s awareness. ::But first, you have to wake up; Sarah needs you, needs your strength.::

 

::I’m …tired,:: he whined. ::All this stuff keeps happening, and now I hear someone else’s voice in my head when I can’t even be sure I’m hearing my own?::

 

::There’s a reason for all this, boy,:: he heard the old woman say. If indeed he heard her at all. ::You can’t afford to take time off. That Dark Elf will win if you aren’t there to oppose him. Besides, Sarah needs you more than she’s ever needed anyone, and you being like this has scared her half to death.::

 

::Why…do you care?::

 

::I care.:: She sniffed. ::But I won’t tell you why. Not yet.::

 

Bruno felt some energy trickling, then pouring, into him, and felt a second flow join it: two streams of energy, merging seamlessly into a single flood that brought in much more power than the two streams would have carried had they stayed separate. ::What? What?:: he sputtered.

 

::Sarah’s trying to Heal you,:: the voice interjected. ::I’m helping. You’re dangerously out of balance; you’ve done too much magic today without knowing what you’re doing.::

 

::I know that!:: Bruno replied hotly. ::I need more training. I wasn’t told that I was powerful, much less that I’m supposedly the most supremely powerful Elfy magician alive.:: He sneered. ::If I’m so zcucking powerful, why in the Hells is it that I keep fainting?::

 

::No need to swear, boy,:: he heard the voice say with what sounded like a ghostly chuckle. ::Although it is a very frustrating situation to be in, to be sure.::

 

::Why…the fainting?:: he repeated, trying to keep the swear words out this time.

 

::And the fact that you do need training, so what you’re doing is basically killing a flea with a sledgehammer. It works, certainly, but there are easier ways to do what you need.::

 

Bruno wondered why his own mind was talking with him like this; didn’t it just want rest? He set that thought aside and answered the voice with, ::Of course I don’t know them—I didn’t even know I was an Adept, much less so powerful that the Elfy High Council would throw me away.::

 

::What did they do, exactly?:: the old woman’s voice asked.

 

He summoned up a memory of the images he had garnered from Lady Keisha’s moving-picture show. As they flickered through his consciousness, he heard a hissing sound.

 

::They …dared?!:: the old woman’s voice sputtered. ::They dared that?!::

 

::Yes, they did,:: he said angrily, wondering why he was talking to his own mind this way—what could it mean? Was he going mad? ::And now I’m stuck here, and I don’t know much. I can communicate with Lady Keisha, but can’t go to her, and more importantly, my teacher Roberto is stuck here, too—so running away to anywhere else in the Human Realm with Sarah, even if we could, would be cowardly. I won’t do it. I have to help Roberto.::

 

::Let me think about this,:: he heard hollowly. ::I’ll get back to you soon. I need time.::

 

The old woman’s voice faded out, and he went back to sleep, wondering if it was all a nightmare.

 

* * *

 

“Bruno?” he heard Sarah ask.

 

He tried to open his eyes, but couldn’t; he had no energy. He couldn’t say anything, either out loud or by subvocalizing, and he was too tired to talk anyway. As he started to fade out again, he heard, “Stay with me, Bruno!”

 

“What’s wrong with him?” he heard Mikayla’s voice rising in the background. She sounds scared, he mused to himself. I wonder why?

 

“She’s scared, you idiot, because you’re ill!” Sarah yelled, apparently picking up his unwitting subvocalization. “Now, pay attention. I’m going to try to give you some more energy.”

 

You did that before, didn’t you? he subvocalized.

 

“Yes, yes, yes,” she said impatiently. “And you’ve roused, but you won’t stay that way unless I can give you some more. Rebecca and Samuel helped; they gave me the energy, and now I’m going to give it to you, you dimwit!”

 

He tried to smile; wasn’t sure he’d succeeded. Thank you, sweetheart, he said sincerely. I…he tried to say “love you,” but couldn’t get it out. He finished weakly with, care about you a great deal.

 

“I know you do,” Sarah replied, her voice soft. “Anyway, I’m going to give you some more energy now. Let’s hope it helps.”

 

What time is it? Shouldn’t you still be in school?

 

“It’s been hours, and I’m back. And I’ll be staying until you’re better, if not longer.” He had the sense that she’d stamped her foot, although he couldn’t hear anything; why was he so sure of it?

 

He faded out of consciousness again, only hearing brief snatches of words: “Imbalance…not sure what…keeps zoning out…” “Untrained…might hurt him worse…” “Lady Keisha…wouldn’t she…?” Then Sarah’s voice said imperiously, “Yes, she might know, but she’s not here, and anyway, I’m trying!”

 

You go, Sarah, he subvocalized weakly.

 

Sarah came up and grabbed his hand; he felt comforted by that, even though he couldn’t even open his eyes. He heard, “Something’s badly wrong, Bruno. I’m not sure what. Mikayla’s Mom told me you had to protect her twice today, and you used a whole lot of magic to do it. Maybe it has to do with that; I don’t know. I’m going to try to see what’s wrong; I thought I had a handle

earlier, but then you got worse again. Stay still.”

 

Like I can move? he pointed out subvocally, or tried to.

 

He felt something, something multicolored, opalescent, and caring, envelop his mind. He allowed this pleasant image to carry him away…

 

* * *

 

“Wha—” Bruno croaked, surprised to learn that his voice still worked after what seemed like ages since the last time he’d actually said anything out loud.

 

“He’s back!” he heard Mikayla cry out. “It worked, Sarah! It worked!”

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018B4699W

OmniLit: https://www.omnilit.com/product-alittleelfyinbigtrouble-1935228-234.html

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-elfy-in-big-trouble-barb-caffrey/1123003283?ean=2940157950910

Sample chapters: http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ElfyinBigTrouble_ch1.html

 

Barb2014Picture1

 

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees and is an inveterate and omnivorous reader. Her short fiction is available in Bedlam’s Edge, How Beer Saved the World, First Contact Café, Stars of Darkover, Gifts of Darkover, and the forthcoming Realms of Darkover, while her poetry has been published in the Due North anthology, Joyful Online, Written Word online magazine and the Midwest Literary Review.  You can find Barb at Elfyverse.

 

Social Media Links:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

Google-Plus: http://plus.google.com/101403408003727584589

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

 

 

The Importance of Friendship and Family in the Elfyverse and Beyond @BarbCaffrey #SFF #books #ASMSG


“The Importance of Friendship and Family in the Elfyverse…and Beyond”
by Barb Caffrey

Family is important. We all say that. But not everyone has a biological family. Much less a family that understands them, or why they do anything they do at all.

What about those people? Don’t their lives matter?

My late husband Michael B. Caffrey and I believed strongly that they did, and do. Perhaps that’s why, in my solo works, my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s solo works, and the work we did jointly, the nature of what a family is—much less the importance of good, solid friends—was incredibly important. And has remained so.
Why was it so important to us that we kept writing characters that didn’t exactly have traditional family backgrounds to call upon?

Maybe I should start at the beginning.

When I first started writing ELFY back in 2002 (later split into two books, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and the forthcoming A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE), I didn’t know yet that my hero, Bruno the Elfy, would find love, friendship, and a new family in the course of his adventures. All I knew was that he was an orphan—a ward of the state. He was young, a teenager by Elfy standards, but he had been lied to his entire life and actually thought he was much younger.

So what do you do when you don’t really have a family?

What Bruno did, as I found out over the course of writing ELFY, was to find friends who became his family. First, he met Sarah, whose parents were so worthless, they forced him to do tricks for their friends until he escaped. (She became his friend, then his girlfriend.) Next, his favorite teacher, Roberto the Wise, became involved in trying to help both Bruno and Sarah escape from Sarah’s parents…but failed, and instead was captured and tortured.

This, of course, led Bruno to contact Lady Keisha Madhrogan, Roberto’s formidable sister—and the foremost cleric in the Elfy Realm (the equivalent of the Pope, if you like). And, surprisingly, she took an interest in both Bruno and Sarah for themselves, not just because they both decided they had to rescue Roberto—or else.

Then a Dark Elf gets involved. This Dark Elf tries to subvert Sarah’s family. And the plot thickens.
The point is, family matters. And friendship matters. So of course you’re going to make friends and gather allies, even when you’re under enormous stress…maybe especially when you’re under enormous stress.

Now, Michael’s thought processes were slightly different in his novella “Columba and the Cat.” He felt Princess Columba, while royal and honored, would have a family that did not understand her. So she’s a magician and scholar, and that’s what makes her go—but because she’s royal, all the suitors she’s run into have been after her title rather than herself.

Columba, though, wants a romance with a man who actually understands her. And he finally arrives…in the form of a shapeshifting cat.

How does this happen? Well, Columba needs a magical familiar, so she “rescues” this cat—she thinks the rescue is legitimate, but he knows it’s not. And because she likes this cat, she tells him everything that’s on her mind.

In this way, the cat gets to know her. But how will she ever get to know him?

Fortunately, Michael had a plot-device in mind. Dreams.

Even though Columba doesn’t remember word-for-word what happens in her dreams, she does remember that she gives her permission for this dream-man to court her and get to know her.

Again, though, the nature of family is omnipresent. Columba can’t become a Master Sorceress until her brother becomes old enough to officially become the heir. When he does, she’s finally free to become who she wants…and free to find the right man—er, shapeshifter!—for her.

Finally, the importance of family and friends comes into sharp prominence with my recent novella, “To Survive the Maelstrom” (based on 2,000 words left behind by my late husband; story was completed in 2014). Command Sergeant-Major Peter Welmsley of the Atlantean Union (space-based) Marines just got through the horrifying Battle of Hunin. Though his actions were heroic, he wonders why he lived and so many others died, including his fiancée Lydia and his best friend Chet. And because he was in a medically induced coma for a while due to his injuries, he now looks much younger than his real age—which truly vexes him.

Peter’s plight is exacerbated because his own family doesn’t understand him any more. They seem to think looking young is a good idea. They don’t even understand how upset he is that his fiancée is dead, when his sister was Lydia’s best friend.

So he’s gone off into the woods to recuperate, as he can’t deal with any of them. And once he’s there, an empathic, sentient creature called Grasshunter’s Cub (a weremouse) becomes very important to Peter.
You see, Grasshunter’s Cub’s family does not understand him, either. Which is why he’s out there, looking for solitude…but finding Peter.

The main thing to remember here is, Peter loves his family. But they don’t understand, at all, what he’s going through.

So I had to introduce someone who did. Which is why the 2,000 words Michael left behind were so important; I knew exactly who (or what) would help Peter, and why, and what the outcome of that help would be.

In all three of these tales, family is important, even if they’re deceased or are complete idiots or just don’t have any understanding at all. And friends often become the family of your heart in these situations, even if some of them aren’t always formed like us or even the same species.

Because isn’t that the way of the world?

1000 x 1500

Book Blurb:

Meet Princess Columba of Illinowa. She’s a magician, a scholar, and is currently the heir to the throne…but she wants no part of it. Because she’s royalty, she’s had trouble meeting men, and she’s tired of dealing with people in search of a title rather than herself.

Into her life comes a mysterious cat. She rescues the cat, takes him into the palace, and starts having unusual dreams — dreams of a man who understands her, cares about her, and loves her. Not her title.

Unbeknownst to Columba, the cat is a shapeshifter. He, too, is royal, albeit from far away. And he’s the man of her dreams…that is, when he’s not in the form of a cat.

Then the dream-man shows up, and the cat disappears. Columba must decide whether or not to believe in her dreams — and hope that somehow, the magical romance she’s found is here to stay.

Note to readers: This is a novella.

Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Columba-Cat-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B0105JPGVI

Maelstrom3

Book Blurb:

Command Sergeant-Major Sir Peter Welmsley of the Atlantean Union has lost everything he holds dear. He wonders why he lived, when so many others died at Hunin — including his fiancée, Lydia, and his best friend Chet.

Into his life comes Grasshunter’s Cub, an empathic, sentient creature known to those on Heligoland as a “weremouse.”

Weremice are known for their ability to help their bond-mates. But how can this young weremouse find a way to bring Peter back from the brink of despair and start living again?

Note for readers: This is a novella.

Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Survive-Maelstrom-Atlantean-Union-Welmsley-ebook/dp/B0105JDW6Y

AnElfyontheLoose_med

Book Blurb:

One Elfy for an entire planet?

He’s supposed to be the Watcher for his people, the representative on Earth from his dimension, but the small being known to his enemies as “Jonny-Wonny” wakes up to big trouble — trapped in a bizarre house in Knightsville, California with humans straight out of reality TV. Jon knows that something has gone dreadfully wrong — he’s starving, lonely and dressed in funny clothes.

Enter the couple’s ten-year-old diminutive daughter, who is “Not Daisy!” but is brilliant, sweet…and using high level magic with ease. She’s also desperately in need of a friend.

Insisting her name is really Sarah, and christening him Bruno, his new friend asks him how they’re going to get out of there.

The only thing that comes to mind is for Bruno to ask his teacher, Roberto the Wise, for help. But Roberto’s attempt at help only enmeshes all three of them further in a web of deceit and treachery. Bruno finds out that, unfortunately, most of what he thought he knew about himself was very wrong…and much of what Sarah knows about herself is also wrong, including her age.

Worst of all, a Dark Elf is on the scene and is intent on corrupting the local Humans, including Sarah’s parents.

New names, new locations, a new mission–Bruno is going to get to the bottom of all the craziness, and Sarah will be there for him every step of the way.

Watch out, universe–an Elfy is on the loose!

Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elfy-Loose-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B00JMSPR5Y

Barb2014Picture1

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician from the Midwest. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE.

Her stories and poems have appeared (or will appear) in many places, including the forthcoming STARS OF DARKOVER, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, and the BEARING NORTH anthology, at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group). She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).

She’s the widow of Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004), and has vowed that Michael’s work — his words — will live on as long as there are people to read them. It’s because of this vow that she’s republished Michael’s Adventures of Joey Maverick series, which currently consists of “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” (More stories are forthcoming — promise.)

She follows politics, loves sports, watches far too much reality TV and finds the “Maury” show cathartic. What all this says about her is anyone’s guess. Find her at Elfyverse (AKA “Barb Caffrey’s Blog”) for discussions of all and sundry, or visit her at Facebook . . . she promises she won’t bite.

Cover Reveal for Michael B. Caffrey’s “Columba and the Cat” #MFRWAuthor #fantasy


My dear friend, Barb Caffrey, has a new fantasy book coming soon written by her deceased husband, Michael. I, myself, can’t wait to read it. Check out that brilliant cover!

MRS N 🙂

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, I’m very excited to announce that my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s story “Columba and the Cat” is going to be coming back out independently very soon as an e-book via Amazon Kindle — within a week if all goes well.

And now, I have a cover!

Ta da!Columba and the Cat cover

I edited Michael’s story, and I know it’s good.

“But what’s it about, Barb?” you ask.

“Columba and the Cat” is about Princess Columba of Illinowa. She’s a magician, a scholar, and is currently the heir to the throne…and wants no part of it. Because she’s royalty, she’s had trouble meeting men, and she’s tired of dealing with people in search of a title rather than herself.

Into her life comes a mysterious cat. (Literally. The cat nearly gets run over while she’s out riding.) She rescues the cat, takes him into the palace, and starts having unusual dreams —…

View original post 263 more words

I’d Like to Introduce You To… @BarbCaffrey #authorinterview #YAFantasy #Review


Today, I have a special treat for you! I am participating in my first joint blog post event. My good friend, Barb Caffrey, and I are featured on each other’s blogs. Check out my guest post here: https://elfyverse.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/introducing-author-n-n-light-and-her-novel-princess-of-the-light/

I first met Barb on Twitter and we instantly bonded over our mutual love of baseball. She’s a die-hard Brewers fan and I love the Twins. I soon found out she is an editor and the author of a fantastic book, An Elfy on the Loose. I feel blessed to call her my friend. Please welcome Barb Caffrey.

 

What is your writing process?

I tend to think a great deal about what I’m going to write before I ever sit down to commit words to a page. I do a lot of research, especially when I’m dealing with characters who aren’t from the United States (yes, you can research otherworldly characters – that’s why studying the myths and beliefs of other countries, such as Ireland, is so useful, along with Old Norse myths and/or classical mythology as well). Then I write, rewrite, edit, and repeat until I’m satisfied with the story.

 

What authors have inspired you?

 

My late husband, Michael B. Caffrey, was a writer and editor. He inspired me more than anyone else I’ve ever met. But there are a number of other writers who’ve also had great influence on me and my writing, including Rosemary Edghill, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Stephanie Osborn, Jason Cordova, Eric Flint, Dave Freer, Lois McMaster Bujold, and the grande dame of them all – Andre Norton. My husband was a huge fan of Miss Norton (and yes, she went by “Miss”), and one of the reasons we got along so well is because we both loved her stories so much. But there are dozens of other authors whose work I’ve read who have inspired me in one way or another – those are just the ones I can name right off the top of my head without effort.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose names based on the sound, or the meaning?

 

I definitely choose names based on meaning, as I think names are very important. I want to make sure I’ve given the right character the right name, as I want everything in my novels to feel right. (This is especially important when you’re writing comic fantasy. The underpinnings matter, probably because that way you can feel settled and allow your imagination to run wild otherwise.)

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

 

Oh, that’s easy. Marrying my late husband Michael after being divorced and thinking I’d never meet anyone good – much less anyone of Michael’s quality – is by far my best accomplishment. It’s because of meeting him, then getting married to him, that the Elfyverse exists. But the Elfyverse is by far the least part of why Michael was so influential, as he was by far the most encouraging person I’ve ever met in my entire life; I felt more confident and creative when I was around him. He also had an amazing sense of humor. I was very blessed to find him, and being able to work with him as a writer and editor was an unexpected privilege.

 

Have you always liked to write?

 

The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: I always enjoyed writing, but I didn’t always write the same things. I wrote poetry for awhile (some good, but most was horrid), I wrote for my college newspapers and some op-eds elsewhere, and I wrote fiction. Most of that was science fiction and/or fantasy, but I also wrote detective stories, romance (usually with a fantasy element), and some baseball stories, too. (This isn’t all that surprising, considering I’ve been a Milwaukee Brewers fan since early childhood.)

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

 

Write five days a week, if you can. You may not always have a great deal of time to devote to your writing, but try to get in at least a few hundred words five out of every seven days.

 

The best advice I’ve ever heard about writing, though, was this: carve out time for your writing, and guard it as best you can against interruptions – even friendly ones. (This, by the way, is the main reason I write in the middle of the night most of the time. Fewer distractions!)

 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

 

I’m half and half. I think a great deal about what I write, as I said before. But I also will redesign on the fly if something isn’t working out, and I’ve been surprised from time to time at how stories resolve themselves as whatever happened definitely wasn’t at all how I thought it was going to work out.

 

Is there one subject you won’t write as an author?

 

I doubt I’ll ever write erotica. Stories that must have R-rated (or even X-rated) sex scenes as part of the storyline are usually not stories I feel comfortable writing. (I have read it, reviewed it, and have sometimes really appreciated what I’ve read. But I can’t see myself writing it.)

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

 

Currently I’m readying the second half of the ELFY duology, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, for release later this year (I’m still hoping for late April, but my window is closing), and am working on a rewrite of my sweet transgender fantasy/romance, CHANGING FACES, also for release later this year (most of the action is set around Christmastime, so perhaps an October release date for that?) And I’m working on several short stories, too.

 

Do you write naked?

 

No. Though if it’s 100 degrees F outside and I’m on deadline, I’ve been known to write in as brief a slip as I can get away with.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

 

I play the lottery. I mostly do not win, know I am not likely to win, and yet I keep doing it anyway – isn’t that the sign of a vice?

 

What secret talents do you have?

 

I don’t know how secret it is, but I play the saxophone, the clarinet, and the oboe – I have two music degrees, you see. I also write music, and have performed some of my pieces in recitals. And I cook, though I’m not a gourmet…plain stuff, usually.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

 

France. Or Spain. I’d like to go to either or both of these two countries because they like saxophonists.

 

What were you like as a child? What was your favorite toy?

I talked a lot, but was also quite introverted. I mostly was misunderstood, took refuge in my books, and read out the school’s library before third grade. (Perhaps the school’s library wasn’t well-equipped; I don’t know.) I had a full adult library card to the local public library by that time also, though for the most part the only books I tended to check out until I was thirteen were books about baseball players.

And my favorite toy was a baseball glove. I used to play catch with my Dad in the backyard, and was working on a knuckler. (Whether I ever actually threw one was up for debate.)

AnElfyontheLoose_med

Book title: AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE

Author name: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Young Adult Comic Urban Fantasy/Romance

Book blurb:

Bruno the Elfy believes he’s very young, has no power, and has no enemies.

He’s wrong.

Quickly sent to our Earth (the Human Realm) and told to watch for magic, Bruno must unravel the lies, keep his mentor from being tortured, and—oh, yeah—figure out why he’s so strongly attracted to young, Human Sarah.

Because his life depends on it.

 

Excerpt:

He considered the situation anew. His friend and companion, Sarah, was gone. Would she really want to leave him? Bruno doubted that. Sarah had wanted to get away from her odious parents even more than Bruno had, and had been overjoyed when they’d managed to leave.

No, he couldn’t believe Sarah would deliberately leave him alone, nor did he believe she’d want to go anywhere without him. Looking back, Sarah had definitely treated him at all times with respect and dignity, and had in some ways offered him a kinship he’d never known before. Sarah definitely wouldn’t leave him on her own.

The next, extremely bitter, thought was, would Roberto abduct Sarah?

The answer that came back chilled him.

“Yes, if he thought it necessary. Or if those above him told him to do it. Or if he were controlled himself.”

Scarcely noticing that it hadn’t been his own thoughts that had answered him (uncanny things had often happened in Geadhail Mebrugud in the past, which is why it was to be strictly avoided by the common Elfy), Bruno asked, “What should I do?”

“Grab hold of the backpacks,” the disembodied voice said.

Not thinking, yet hoping for the best, Bruno went to the backpacks. First, he shouldered his own. Next, he shouldered Roberto’s, which was oddly thin for a mage/teacher of his caliber. Then he grabbed Sarah’s.

At that, Sarah’s backpack took off, dragging Bruno almost as if Bruno weighed nothing. “What—are—you—?” Bruno started to ask.

“What do you think I am?” the insouciant, somehow feminine voice came back.

“Female? Here? I thought only Sarah…”

“Sarah, yes. And me,” the voice said, and if a disembodied voice could be said to wink or smile, Bruno could swear this voice was doing both.

“What—are—you—?” Bruno tried again. Sarah’s backpack was pulling him at an astonishing rate, at least ten miles per hour. Since Bruno was no marathon runner and had short legs, this was not easy to maintain, and he was starting to get winded. Yet losing his grip was unthinkable.

“Oh, come on, Bruno! What do you think I am?” the voice said, and would say no more despite all Bruno asked or pleaded.

The backpack pulled him inexorably for at least an hour. Bruno could barely see and could only hear the heartbeat that proved he was still living, pounding loudly in his head. He knew if they didn’t stop soon, he’d probably pass out.

Up ahead, there was a blackness rimmed about by silvery, shadowy arms. Bruno wasn’t sure what it was. It didn’t feel inimical, exactly, but it also didn’t feel right.

He’d rather have stopped to figure it out, but the backpacks wouldn’t let him. Instead, they approached the blackness, Bruno hanging on to the packs for dear life.

It looked like a vortex, or maybe a Gate, though Bruno had never seen one so wild and untamed before. But why would a Gate be out here, and where would it take him?

The pack pulled him into the blackness until he felt a brief moment of nothingness, almost as if they were in the “no-time” realm. As he stumbled and nearly dropped the packs, he realized that he was out of Geadhail Mebrugud. But…but…but…

Ahead was a gently shaded street he somehow recognized. But how…?

He shook his head. There had been that very brief period of nothingness…oh, yes. Now he knew where he was.

He was back in the Human Realm. Back where he and Sarah had started from, except instead of returning to the attic, he’d returned to just outside the park where he’d appeared in the first place.

The sun had come up (which explained the shadows), but he had no idea what day it was, nor where Sarah or Roberto was. He asked the world at large, “Where is Sarah?”

There was no answer forthcoming, which chilled him. The only thing he could think of to ask next was, “Now what?”

 

My Review:

I personally love science fiction/ fantasy books. It’s one of my favorite genres and my love for SFF goes all the way back to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. An Elfy on the Loose reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time from it’s complex world-building to its intelligent dialogue.

An Elfy on the Loose centers around the relationship between Bruno and Sarah, but it’s so much more than just a teen romance. Barb Caffrey weaves together multi-layered characters(including Bruno, Sarah, Roberto and Dennis the Dark Elf), magic, elfs, humans and the ultimate adventure: falling in love. I laughed, cried, gasped and gripped my e-reader tightly. I was completely enthralled.

I must confess, however, I did get lost a few times in the plot and the dialogue went a bit over my head at times. This isn’t a bad thing as the masterful J. R. R. Tolkien’s books had the same effect on me.

The abrupt ending was a surprise (middle of the conversation) but I believe the sequel will pick up where this book left off. I can’t wait! 🙂

Rating: 4 stars

Buy links:

Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/1p6xvQj

Amazon (UK): http://goo.gl/dDoBnd

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/m8o49ad

Barb2014Picture1

Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician from the Midwest. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE.Her stories and poems have appeared (or will appear) in many places, including the forthcoming STARS OF DARKOVER, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, and the BEARING NORTH anthology, at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group). She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).She’s the widow of Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004), and has vowed that Michael’s work — his words — will live on as long as there are people to read them. It’s because of this vow that she’s republished Michael’s Adventures of Joey Maverick series, which currently consists of “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” (More stories are forthcoming — promise.)She follows politics, loves sports, watches far too much reality TV and finds the “Maury” show cathartic. What all this says about her is anyone’s guess. Find her at Elfyverse (AKA “Barb Caffrey’s Blog”) for discussions of all and sundry, or visit her at Facebook . . . she promises she won’t bite.

Social media links:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Barb-Caffrey/e/B00H8EROC8

Blog: http://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

Google-Plus: http://plus.google.com/101403408003727584589/posts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2843982.Barb_Caffrey