July 17, 2013

Spotlight: The Dysus Dreamer by J.A. Garland

The Dysus Dreamer
Book Two, The Halfling Chronicles
JA Garland

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July, 2013

Purchase Links:

"A powerful half-demon is kidnapped, bloodthirsty werewolves are on the rise, and a planet is dying. A demon warrior and dark elf joining forces are the least of their worries."

Demon warrior, Slade Aesus, is determined to destroy the werewolves controlling his cousin. But a beautiful elf, consumed by her own vengeance, finds the wolves first. Botching her assassination attempt, Annwyn has the most powerful Packs in the world biting at her heels. Both fiercely independent, can the two join forces long enough to fulfill their missions and stay alive?

A solid assassination operation takes one part opportunity, two parts discipline, and three parts disposition. Having two out of three this chilly Seattle evening, Slade considered himself in abundance of good fortune.
Parked in front of a solitary office building, in the zone clearly marked “No Parking,” Slade cleared his mind of distractions consisting of the little here and there that could creep in and throw him off, just a hair, but enough to jeopardize his mission. Satisfied, he slid out of the rental car and re-tucked a stylish black golf shirt monogrammed with “Constantine Vineyards” into a pair of crisp, steel gray slacks. In this particular scenario, image was crucial.
Tonight, the element discipline presented itself by his waiting for the precise moment to strike. He made a living analyzing people and their habits, so he knew his targets relaxed around the holidays and were less likely to see the danger lurking behind his smiling façade. The current festivity du jour was Christmas, and coupled with his gift, destined Slade a popular man. I'm counting on it.
He moved around to the trunk, where he heaved free a slatted, wooden case. It smelled of musky oak. The peaceful scent hinted at candlelit dinners shared with a long time lover. His jaw clenched. Not in my past and not in my future.
Slade lugged his precious cargo toward the sprawling metal office building. Immense, the structure stabbed farther into the heavens than any other in the area, yet fell short. Just like my target. Outwardly, Joe Larsen appeared a dedicated family man, a real pillar of the community whose flourishing internet and telecommunications business, ProCom, employed hundreds. In reality, the werewolf belonged to the Dirty Dozen, a group of the twelve most ruthless wolf Packs roaming the earth.
How ironic. I was once your target. A year ago, the Dozen kidnapped his cousin Amber, a half-demon, half-human. Able to keep a shifter from shifting, Amber's ability proved irresistible, since more times than not, the Dozen's meetings devolved into an unproductive, fur-flying brawl. We saved Amber, but left behind some unfinished business. Starting with Larsen, the wolves would learn a lesson...a demon’s memory rivals the most scorned woman, and paybacks were indeed a bitch.

Wow, this book had a lot going on! Fast paced and full of action, plotting, intrigue, and deception, it is definitely a page turner. I read the whole book in one day because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.

It took me a couple of chapters to get acclimated to the story and to this world that J.A. Garland has created, but once I did it was awesomeness. There are a lot of characters coming at you right off of the bat, and a lot of world. This book has two different planets that each have their own cast of characters. Tykol is the planet of the demons, and it is dying from blight. The blight is drying up the water supply, killing all vegetation, and literally turning the planet into a desert wasteland. This is where the Dysus come into play. The Dysus are an organization of demons that are looking for a way to save Tykol. They are split into two main groups - the Insurgents and the Conformists. The Conformists are searching for a way to repair the damage to Tykol so that the demons can continue to live there safely, and the Insurgents are searching for a way to genetically enhance demons so that they are no longer susceptible to vampire bites. Because in this world, Naga vampires can feed from demons and absorb their powers resulting in the Naga vampires turning into day walking super vampires called Kerkorians. This resulted in Naga vampires hunting the demons relentlessly on Earth until they were nearly extinct. That is why the sanctuary of Tykol is so important to the demons. They are the only species who can enter the wards that surround Tykol without being killed. Now if this isn't enough story going on for you already, Garland also throws in all of the Earth dwelling creatures: Dark and Light Elves, Demon half-breeds (who are very, very important to the story), and the Dirty Dozen werewolf packs, plus all of the unsuspecting humans wandering around. Whew!!

I have to say though that I thoroughly enjoyed this story and all of its ins and outs. There were so many different plots and characters to follow that the possibilities for this story and all the different ways that it can go are endless! It definitely kept me enthralled right up until the last page.

The only thing that I felt was lacking in this story was that there was no romantic entanglement going on with the main characters. Slade and Annwyn (a demon and a Dark Elf who are partnered up to save the half-breed demon Amber from the werewolves) have a moment when her magic is "exploring" him that seemed promising, and we know that there is a sexual attraction between the two of them, but after this small moment where her magic binds them together, it never comes up again. It doesn't necessarily detract from the story, but I really would like to have seen it go that way a little more. A kiss, a stolen moment somewhere, anything.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait for the next one to come out! I will definitely pick it up to see what happens next.

View all my reviews

Book One, The Halfling Chronicles
JA Garland

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 9781927454442
Released: September 4, 2012

Purchase Link:

"When war erupts among the Shadow creatures, can enemies become allies?"

Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber's relationship surges into more than either of them had bargained on. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is forced to do the unthinkable, or watch Amber become a slave for his species.

In the battle against Shadows, demons and all variety of monsters come out to fight. Can one wolf learn to trust in time to save them all?

Writing Vs. Running
You may not believe it, but writing is a lot like running. At least, it is for me. Some days I wake up with a smile on my face, put on my running clothes and am ready to go ‘get some!’ Other days I wake up, shove on my fuzzy slippers and can barely stagger to the coffee pot.

Sure, I concede, writing isn’t exactly physical in nature, but like running, writing requires repetition for excellence. To get up those hills without breaking stride takes perseverance and dedication. Sitting down and writing chapter after chapter takes commitment and devotion. Like you, some days I fall happily into the productive writer mentality with clever words dripping off my fingertips. Other days I agonize over each. And. Every. Word.

The important thing is: no matter how hard the struggle, either to get out the door and run, or to plant our booties in a chair and write, is that we don’t give up. We keep going over each and every speed bump. We continue to push up that hill, remembering there is a downhill ‘breather’ on the other side. We type with carefree abandon, letting the spirit of the characters and their worlds carry us. Knowing we can edit and polish later.

Being a dedicated runner and writer for as long as I can remember, I’ll pass this on… You’d be amazed at how many times the BEST run and the BEST chapter came after the hardest time getting inspired or focusing. So, to all you writers out there keep on plugging away. To all you runners out there, keep moving. And to all you readers out there, thank you for giving us motivation!

About the Author:
Writing urban fantasy under the pen-name J.A. Garland, Jennifer is a professional firefighter in the state of California. Jennifer is married and has two children, both of whom are as different as night and day. A graduate of Cogswell Polytechnical with a degree in Fire Administration, Jennifer always knew she wanted to be an author. (Except for a brief two month period after watching the movie "Top Gun," when she wanted to be a fighter pilot). 

Jennifer admits she is an addicted trail runner, mostly because she is a devout consumer of all things cheese puff. If she misses you at the next mud run, you can come back here to see what's new in the world "where fantasy becomes reality."



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Can't wait to read more!

  2. Drum roll please...Okay, so you already know who won. Congratulations to Catrina and Bobbye. I hope Catrina enjoys her $50.00 Amazon gift certificate, and Bobbye her big bag o’swag!
    Thank you to all the readers and writers who took the time to drop in. And to the wonderful hosts for allowing me to 'hijack' their operations. I had a wonderful time on the Dysus Dreamer Book Tour. I hope you had a good time too.


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