Tag Archives: justice

Book of the Month Contest

Dear Readers!

From now on I will be featuring a Book of the Month! There will be plenty of opportunities to discus the book, ask the author (me) questions about that book, plot, characters, anything! Plus a free contest with a prize! Visit the page: https://natasjahellenthal.wordpress.com/book-of-the-month/ and join in the fun!

So, for the first Book of the Month I have chosen ‘The Queen’s Curse’ since that was my debut novel and to celebrate it recently hit the 100 review mark on Amazon!

For the free contest all you have to do is submit a quote from that book. Whoever submits a quote from The Queen’s Curse that gets the most upvotes before the end of March wins.

What do you win? An e-version of my new book ‘The Immortal’ to be expected at the end of this month or beginning of April at the latest. It’s a bit of a secret as I have not announced anything about the book yet! The book cover and synopsis will be revealed here soon, so make sure you follow me here to get the update in your inbox, or sign up to my newsletter (go to “Sign Up” in the main menu)!

Here is the link to view The Queen’s Curse on Amazon: smarturl.it/thequeenscurse

Submit a quote from the book below to be entered in the free contest.

You can submit as many quotes from the book as you want, which can increase your chances of winning!

Just click on ‘Leave a Reply’ to submit the quote.

To upvote (one per person), go to the comment (the quote) and click on “like”

All quotes submitted should be from The Queen’s Curse by Natasja Hellenthal. The person being quoted should be an author of the book. This must be a short excerpt quoted verbatim from the book.

Quote Text: 250 characters max. Please be careful to write the quote exactly as it appears in the text.

Page Number (Required): Please list the page number or location (kindle version) in the book where this quote can be found.

At the end of the Month I will count the upvotes (the likes) on the quotes and will make an announcement of the winner.

Thank you!

ANY QUESTIONS? Just send me an email to: natasja.hellenthal@gmail.com

TQCCOVERSMALL

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under book of the month contest, Excerpts, Quotes

FREE Fantasy ‘City of Dreams’!

COD3D

FREE This weekend only! ‘City of Dreams: A Paranormal Adventure’
 
Trapped between the city walls of Traumermoure and his loyalty to the girl, Aigle must find a way to save a human he hardly knows by entering her dreams . . .
 
‘City of Dreams’ is a YA stand-alone fantasy novella that captures the enchantment of the world of art and dreams, and the power of friendship and hope.
 
“This is a brilliantly woven fantasy that will leave you thinking about the ending long past the last turn of the page. She raises many interesting points about the origins of art which will have you analysing the story.The characters are enchanting, the setting brilliantly visual and the author’s talents to keep your eyes glued to the page are mind-blowing. Loved it!” –Anari
 
One click to get yours here: hyperurl.co/COD

Leave a comment

Filed under Free download, Uncategorized

Lesfic Fantasy books makes for the best gifts!

Xmaspromo

Books make the best gifts! All my thought-provoking, non-violence Fantasy, LGBTQ, Lesfic paperbacks and e-books (FREE with KindleUnlimited) are for sale worldwide here: https://www.amazon.com/Natasja-Hellenthal/e/B00CMNVPX4 Happy Holidays! 

Leave a comment

Filed under My Books, SALE, Uncategorized

Vegan Fiction Book List

When you are vegan for compassionate reasons like I am and enjoy reading it’s often a question when buying a book whether it is going to be animal friendly, or not.

I more than often start a book, only to be disappointed how non-human animals are being portrayed and treated.

A book description doesn’t always prepare or warn us and I have come across too many, especially fantasy books, whereby violence against other creatures is accepted and tolerated. Even riding on horses, or how they are used for war, can bug me. And don’t get me started on the subject of dragons! When is someone ever going to save a dragon instead of treating them like monsters and slaying the poor mythical creatures in the fantasy genre? I think I might devote an entire article on that, or better yet, write my own dragon story!

Also, the story line may be good enough in many a book, but what if our characters gorge on the flesh of other animals or have hunting and fishing as their hobbies? Can, or should we, see past this? After all, we pick up a book to be entertained, to escape, or to even fight the good cause with the main character, not to be exposed like we already are in real life to the cruelties of human kind.

How then and where can we find vegan friendly fiction books?

When doing a search on Amazon for ‘Vegan Fiction’ you’ll get over a 10.000 results. That’s great you think, right? Wrong. Most of these are vegan cook books. . . That’s not fiction. Don’t get me wrong, it’s positive there are so many vegan cook books at the moment, but those books should really fall under non-fiction to make it easier for the reader to find. Sadly it’s all been thrown in one pile. You can, of course, also find vegan fiction books there. I know, as I have gone through most of the list.

I have also typed in Vegan Fiction in Google and found a vegan publisher: Ashland Creek Press. Their Website has tons of eco-friendly and vegan fiction books (VegLit).

And if you’re patient enough I’ll give you even more books! The list is at the bottom of the article.

First, let’s try to break vegan fiction down into two types: the entertainment side and the educational side. Vegan fiction can cover both types of fiction, but that is easily enough to determine from the book blurb.

  1. Entertainment and escapism. To not be confronted with the habits of the meat-eating and animal abusing world. To simply relax and enjoy a good story. To be entertained, and to forget. These books in any genre have a normal plotline with main characters that just happen to be vegan.
  2. Education and activism. The author has a clear vegan or eco-message wrapped up in the story with vegan or non-human characters. The author’s intention is to speak up for the animals, for the planet, and ultimately, for us all. For the reader to find a connection with the characters whom we as a vegan can easier relate to. To be faced with the current problems, future ones, or possible struggles. To help us think about our own situation, and what we could, or would do, to solve them. These novels can be dark, but they can also give us hope. They are often speculative and written to challenge us, vegan or not, to make us think hard about our values and questions our unquestioned morals. These books can even be life-changers for those who are not vegan yet.veganfantasy1

 

So, I have created a list of vegan fiction books that are currently available for all ages and covers most genres (although I do favour fantasy and lesfic for obvious reasons). It is not a complete list of course and I haven’t read all of them, but it gives a good idea of what is out there. I have also created a Top10 list of my favourite vegan books with short reviews which will be published on The Vegan Society’s website soon. I’ll post the link once it’s life.

On Amazon you can also read the blurbs of every book and samples by clicking on the “Look Inside” feature.

Also, if you have read a vegan fiction book that is not yet included in the list below, let me know: CONTACT ME as my aim is to compile a complete list to share with the vegan and literary communities world-wide!

Vegan Fiction (A-Z) with vegan characters or an animal rights’ plot:

 

A Report to the Academy – Franz Kafka (literary)

Amanda the Teen Activist – Feathers & Freedom (children’s fiction)

Among Animals 1 & 2 (a collection of stories) – several authors

Among Animals (Tiergeschichten) –  Manfred Kyber

Animals: A Novel – Don LePan (sci-fi)

Animal Lex talionis – Sunny Augustine

Balance of Fragile Things – Olivia Chadha

Beasts – Ana Levley (dystopian, lesfic)

Beef – Mat Blackwell (dystopian, humor)

Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2016

Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017

Bestiary: Three Weird Tales – Nicholas P. Oakley

Chained Freedom – Natasja Hellenthal (fantasy, lesfic)

Diary of a Dieting Madhouse – Paige Singleton

Don’t Bang the Barista! – Leigh Matthews

Escape (Diamond Song Book 1) – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)

Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee

Falling into Green: An Eco-Mystery – Cher Fisher

Fire Bringer – David Clement Davies (fantasy)

Float – JoeAnn Hart eco/romance

Forgetting English – Midge Raymond

Hackenfeller’s Ape – Brigid Brophy

Holy Cow – Ruth Hawe

Kings of the Jungle – Daniel S. Fletcher

Love & Ordinary Creatures – Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Lithia Trilogy: Out of Breath (1), The Ghost Runner (2), The Last Mile (3) – Blair Richmond (YA)

Memoirs of a Fighting Dog – Kaida Ashia

Mort (e) (War with No Name #1) – Robert Repino

Mother Nature’s Secret – Marian Hailey-Moss (children’s fiction)

My Year of Meats – Ruth Ozeki

My Last Continent – Midge Raymond

Minny’s Dream – Clare Druce

Outside Inside – Anne Grange

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (sci-fi)

Off the Reservation – Glen Merzer

Persimmon Takes on Humanity (The Enlightment Adventures: Book 1) – Christopher Locke (YA)

Popco – Scarlett Thomas (contemporary, adventure, science)

Quarterling – Natasja Hellenthal (YA lesfic fantasy)

Salazar – Seth Lynch (noir mystery)

Something in the Water – Ben Starling

Spireseeker – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)

Survival Skills – Jean Ryan

Strays – Jennifer Caloyeras (contemporary, YA)

Skinny Bitch in Love – Kim Barnouin

SkyWhisperers – Natasja Hellenthal (YA lesfic fantasy)

The Soul Thief – Beth Lyons (lesfic fantasy)

The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero – Marla Rose (children’s fiction)

The Awareness – Gene Stone

The Banished Craft – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)

The Bees – Laline Paull

The BFG – Roald Dahl (children’s fiction)

The Boy from Tomorrow – Camille DeAngelis historical/timetravel/paranormal/children’s fiction

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way – Frances Metzman

The Trap and the Chain (The Kinship Series) – Robin Lamont

The Comyenti Series (Call Off The Search (1), Children of The Sun (2) – Natasja Hellenthal (Supernatural Fantasy)

The Crows of Beara – Julie Christine Johnson

The Dragon Keeper – Mindy Mejia (thriller)

The Earthling Rebellions – Andi Hayes

The Echo of Others – S.D. Rowell

The Exile of Elindel – Carol Browne (fantasy)

The Fettered Flame – E.D.E Bell (fantasy)

The Green and the Red – Armand Chauvel (romance, eco)

The Gift that Time forgot – T.M. Dewfall (children’s fiction)

The Humans – Matt Haig (sci-fi, eco)

The Plague Dogs – Richard Adams (YA)

The Promised Land – Manfred Kyber

The Stone Gods – Jeanette Winterson – (sci-fi lesfic)

The Three Candles of Little Veronika – Manfred Kyber

The Tourist Trail – John Yunker

The Names of Things – John Colman Wood

The Lives of Animals – J.M. Coetzee

The Longing – Bridget Essex (lesfic)

The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood – Henderson Smith

The World of Wickham Mossrite – J.L. Morse

The Year of the Flood, (MaddAddam #2), MaddAddam (#3) – Margaret Atwood

Thornfruit – Felicia Davin (lesfic fantasy)

Vincent and the Dissidents (The Enlightment Adventures Book 2) – Christopher Locke (YA)

Watership Down – Richard Adams (YA)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves -Karen Joy Fowler (contemporary)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under My Books, Uncategorized, Vegan Fiction Books

Cover reveal and book launch ‘Quarterling’ count down!

Hey all!

I have been super busy writing my latest novel ‘Quarterling’ which is now in the final stages of editing!

The cover reveal is attached and I am thinking to release it within 2 weeks’ time, so stay tuned for the exact date!

Ready? Drumroll!!! Here comes:

QUARTERLINGCOVERfinal

So, what do you think of the cover and oh, the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Fay Comyenti has it all: lots of freedom, great parents, a budding romance, and super animal abilities most teenagers can only dream of. Only, those powers have to be kept a secret in order for her kind to stay safe. After being rejected by her love interest, Elodyn, Fay leaves her village to do some good with her skills in the world despite the concerns of her comyenti mother and human father. Even so, she is determined to use her powers to help animals in need, but that’s not always easy without anyone seeing you . . .

Zemandu, the last of the tracar people has been following Fay from a distance for a good reason. The demoness is dying. Attracted by the girl’s altruistic mission, her abilities and her benevolent energy she sees Fay as her last hope.

When Fay and Zemandu — two powerful women of a very different nature, yet both the last of their kind — cross paths, they’ll forever change the course of humanity, but at what cost?

Will Fay risk losing her heart and her innate empathy to the demoness — the very characteristics what makes her a comyenti in the first place —without jeopardising her vital mission?

Follow Fay and Zemandu in this animal-loving, suspenseful dramatic YA novel which is a full stand alone spin-off novel from the popular Comyenti Series.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under NEW BOOK RELEASE

Sample Chapter

Chapter 1

Awakening

Misery on a spring morning; the morning of my awakening

Full awareness of the pain and revealed lies

That morning an end came to my sleeping state.

When I was thrown back into those mystery games …

Morning had begun to spread its foggy wings over Ceartas; a land of golden hills and luscious green woods. The colours would change with the seasons; warm reddish colours in the autumn. Now that spring was here, a bright sparkling fresh green dominated the landscape. Flowers of every colour imaginable seemed to raise their tiny heads; in the dense woods, the hilly meadows and even the cultivated fields. It was a time of new life, a time of transformation.

A luminous red sun rose slowly above the hills and valleys of Ceartas, revealing tiny houses scattered about the land. The drowsy vale was still bathed in a thin mist that had formed in the cool night. Dew clung everywhere; on the sweet pine, the bitter scented oak trees, the new grass, the sleepy daffodils, the snowdrops and even the early bluebells; making the Royal Forest shine gloriously as if filled with diamonds in the light of the new day.

On the highest hill for miles around stood a huge old castle, surrounded by deep, dark icy water. Some said its moat held ancient fish-like creatures with the sharpest of teeth that would eat anything touching the surface within minutes. The grey castle had towers facing every wind direction, and each tower had numerous oval windows; they appeared small at first, but their sheer size became evident the closer one got. From the castle, the tiny houses in the valley below appeared to constitute a reasonable sized town. One could even consider it a city, with its big flat grey stones carried down from the mountains to the east, which the people used as a pavement. The town, Satrea was founded many centuries ago, and its castle, Tarac, was one of the first buildings constructed for the first king.

In this almost crime-free land, the mysterious young Queen Artride of Ceartas now ruled. She was as much feared and hated for her deeds, as she was loved for her enchanting appearance.

The castle towering over Satrea functioned as a constant look-out for the people. Most were hardworking farmers and craftsmen; using the rich soil to grow their crops in the fields or their skills to make their living as had the many generations before them. Everyone in Satrea worked for the RoyalKingdom; but only the servants, guards and the knights lived in the castle and surrounding buildings.

This particular spring morning was cool, and everything was quiet apart from the occasional singing bird. The people and animals slowly awoke with the rising of the sun. Like the earth beneath them, refusing to part from the protection and safety of the night with all its hidden mysteries. It was a time in between. Between night and day; a time of passing, of a quiet waiting; a time of listening and learning. A time where great things could be accomplished.

The castle square was deserted, and everything in and around the castle silent. It seemed that nothing could disturb this serenity; not even the soft wind rustling through the dry leaves of the dying Royal Oak tree in the square. It almost sounded like a sigh or a whisper calling out someone’s name; everything else seemed to hold its breath.

A sudden bang broke the silence; like thunder on a clear day. Only after a few skipped heartbeats did the sound appear familiar. It was the angry slamming of a wooden door; which had come from the courtyard.

A young woman was crossing the square taking big brisk steps. Dressed in the clothes of a knight, she was almost running. Her long, fair hair, almost golden in the light of the rising sun, danced across her back and shoulders with every step.

She wore tight fitting blue leggings with knee length black leather boots and a chain mail skirt, with a blue and white overcoat displaying purple shoulder pads. She was also wearing a soldier’s girdle without its sword. Her hands were coiled in tight fists.

She was heading for the castle doors, and while maintaining her fast angry pace she muttered through gritted teeth, ‘This time she has gone too far … too far!’

The knight did not slow down as she approached the castle guards. The two men steadily watched her as she came towards them; then raised and crossed their spears before the massive oak doors to block her way. No one other than Royal families, their servants and some knights, had ever entered before without prior invitation.

She did not care whether the guards could see her rage or not. She couldn’t care less about anything anymore after what she had learnt earlier that morning.

Coming to a halt in front of the two fully armed men, she glanced quickly at their emotionless faces. The left guard had a black moustache, a thin mouth and cold grey eyes like the castle walls. There was an unreadable expression beneath his helmeted head. The right guard merely looked impassive with his pale glazed-over blue eyes and big nose.

She had never really paid attention to the guards before, but she had assumed there were many of them, working shifts. Now, with this new morning, she had at last seemed to have woken; noticing things, actually seeing again after what seemed to have been a long time.

Knights had no reason to be in the castle, living in the outer buildings nearby; even if she was actually a commander and officially had to report the actions of her company to the queen or discuss situations with other commanders. Usually all meetings, which were very rare anyway, happened outside of the castle as was protocol, they were held mainly in the knights’ quarters or out in the hills. And the trustworthy queen’s messengers briefed her about new developments and relayed her demands back to the commanders.

She had therefore never met the queen in person; not many knights and commanders had in fact. Everyone knew she was avoiding contact and wild speculation was spreading because of this.

Only twice had she been inside the immense castle. The first was when she was knighted five years previously. The second and last time was about two years ago when she received a medal after a big conquest. It was at that moment the old king himself promoted her to commander. The two events in the castle seemed a blur to her now and she did not recall much of it, something she now regretted.

‘Open the door … please.’ She tried not to sound upset or polite; just nonchalant, like those men. She had learned to contain her emotions over the years.

The one with the moustache replied sternly, ‘Who is asking?’

She knew they had to ask this question, but she was annoyed all the same. She was after all a commander; who should be allowed to enter the castle with permission. If the guards only cared to look at her shoulder pads.

‘Commander Tirsa Lathabris of the Seventh Company of Ceartas.’

Now she had their attention and they stared at her and her shoulder pads! The Moustache cleared his throat and asked again with a blank face, his eyes staring at her, ‘State your business, Commander?’

‘I have something to discuss with her.’

‘With whom?’ the other guard suddenly barked at her, alarmed. The guard, protecting the castle and the queen had more authority than a commander, therefore her rank made little difference.

‘With Artride of course!’ They were really getting on her nerves now.

‘That is Queen Artride, even to you!’

‘All right, Queen Artride. Now I am asking you this again; will you open the door for me? She is waiting,’ she added, lying.

‘She is waiting!’ The Moustache repeated incredulously, shaking his head while his companion stared at her.

It was obvious they didn’t take her seriously and if she hated anything about how people treated her it was just that. She was young, slim and appealing; not the usual commander type, but why would they question her intentions? Surely they knew her reputation? Perhaps that was the reason why they were questioning her.

The man on the right examined her face more closely. ‘So you are the Commander Lathabris; the one from the stories, the heroine?’ There had only been one female commander in the whole history of Ceartas; so there was really little doubt that it was her. However, she had kept to herself and had no idea what stories had been circulating roundabout her; not that she cared. Perhaps they had expected her to be different: taller or more mannish or something? She had after all done what no one had ever done in the history of Ceartas.

‘I am here on official business!’ she added trying to contain her growing frustration about the time wasted talking.

The Moustache glared at her like she was some rare object. He said, ‘We’re sorry we did not recognize you.’ Tirsa had always refused permission to have her image painted, even though she was called by many a name, such as ‘The Snake’ and ‘Golden Angel’. Both guards noticed not only her fair beauty: her green shining eyes like jade, her straight nose and perfect mouth and skin, but also the unmistakable deep hidden fury within those eyes; a combination she was well known for. It had to be her.

‘I have not been around for a while; so perhaps I have become history already.’ Her lips tried to form a smile, but it was a sad smile and the two men felt a little uncomfortable.

‘Do you have an audience with her majesty, Commander?’ the Moustache asked a little more pleasantly, but in an aloof voice.

‘Yes!’

‘You are wasting your time, Commander. We know you haven’t. We are told this before we start our shift.’

Her face was set in lines of dissatisfaction. ‘What do you mean? I have to see the Queen today; it is a matter of life and death and I insist you open that door for me now … or … you’ll be in serious trouble!’ she added with such a furious fire in her eyes that both men became momentarily startled.

Her ominous tone did seem to have the desired effect; however, the guards quickly regained their composure. ‘That’s what they all say, Commander,’ the guard on the right answered. If it was a matter of life and death, he surely would have heard about it. Guards were rapidly briefed about those matters by the messengers, never personally by a commander. Therefore it couldn’t be as important as she claimed. It was probably a personal thing, the experienced Moustache figured. He had seen that kind of anger before with the folk of Ceartas during his night shifts at the castle gate, and afterwards he often heard it was about the penalties they did not agree with that had been imposed by the strict queen.

‘What?’

‘Sorry. You have to apply for an audience first. That’s the rule for everyone and you do know how it is with rules here,’ he added in a lighter tone, affected by Tirsa’s natural weight and charisma as a commander.

She did.

‘And how long will that take?’ she asked the Moustache, ignoring the other guard.

‘You can discuss it with the head of the Royal Guard. He keeps her agenda. If it is that important you should make contact with him.’

‘And where might he be?’

‘I am told he will be back on duty this afternoon.’

‘Who is replacing him at the moment?’

‘There is no need to.’

‘Yes there is! I want an audience right now!’ Her tone was becoming more threatening.

They ignored her.

She bit her lower lip and sighed, trying to come across friendlier, calmer. Holding her voice level she said, ‘Look. It is most important and I really do need to talk to her, so I insist on making an appointment.’

‘Understood, Commander. We will make a note,’ and the Moustache jerked a chin at the other guard to do so, which he did, quicker then Tirsa expected.

‘You will hear from one of the messengers of the Royal Guard later on today regarding when and where you can apply for an audience to meet the queen.’

Later today? Tirsa practically exploded inside, but was trying desperately to remain calm. She was known for her hot temper when she was angry and could come across just as cold-blooded; hence her nickname, The Snake. And of course she was fast …

Slowness when speed is needed is one of the many problems of this system!

‘So how do you decide what is urgent or not?’

The guards glared disdainfully at her and remained firm; shifting back into their straight positions, like statues as they were trained to do.

Protocol.

If she had just stressed that it was to do with the safety of the queen, she would have been in by now. She felt foolish for her lack of planning. She was never very good when it came to that. She was much too impulsive.

‘I see,’ she stated in a calm voice as she turned around. She knew she definitely could not wait until late afternoon or whatever time they had available for her. That would cost her more time than she could afford.

In a matter of seconds she turned her lithe body and caught the left guard full in the belly with a rapid and powerful side-kick. He immediately fell forward with a gasp; dropping his spear to the floor. Tirsa grabbed it and hit the other guard; who was too surprised to respond quickly, on the head. However, because he wore a thick bronze helmet it didn’t have much effect. He probably would have a headache later on, but he was still on his feet, pointing his spear dangerously towards her with wide eyes, ready to strike. With her ‘borrowed’ spear she managed to knock his spear out of his hands and with a puzzled look he watched it drop to the floor. She then struck him hard with the spear on the back of his knees. When he fell to the ground she whacked him unconscious with the wood on his unprotected neck. That did it!

In the meanwhile the Moustache was trying to get up, so she had to wallop him on the neck with the spear as well; which proved to be very effective indeed.

‘I am so sorry,’ she said dryly. ‘But, I’m sure you’ll remember me now.’

She dropped the spear and quickly glanced around. Fortunately nobody had witnessed the commotion.

The two men lay on the floor in rather awkward positions, so she placed them both into sitting positions against each side of the castle door. It was quite a heavy task, but in a matter of moments she succeeded. It looked as if they were asleep; which probably did happen, because normally nothing really threatening occurred around here. Perhaps that was why they responded so slowly.

The real threat lives inside the castle! she thought grimly.

Tirsa breathed in deeply; she knew there was no turning back now. A serious penalty hung over her head if the queen found out. She might even lose her job, but she couldn’t care less. Oh yes, she will find out soon enough!

Blind anger raged through her body like a furious flame as she thought about the merciless queen. She struggled to think clearly. With a lot of effort she lifted the heavy iron bar, which barricaded and held the massive doors shut. It slipped and fell with a loud metallic crash on the stone floor and she looked nervously around.

All was quiet in the courtyard. With all her strength she pushed against one of the doors and after a moment it slowly opened inwards and she hurriedly slipped inside, closing the door behind her with the same effort. She was in!

Leave a comment

Filed under Excerpts