Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say


The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic,
Book One: Bloodseek
Copyright © 200
by Toni V Sweeney
Double Dragon eBooks
How to Buy

Son of a barbarian sellsword who is raised by the Margrave of Francovia after his father is killed in His Majesty's service, Riven kan Ingan is, by his own admission, a heretic, who doesn't believe in the existence of either magic or religion. Though he rises through the ranks under his own power, he's never allowed to forget his foreign ancestry, and schemes to marry the Margrave's daughter and become a true member of the Royal House, but the gods of Arcanis, insulted by his denial of their existence, have other plans for the young skeptic.
When Aleza is abducted by the soldiers of Mahldimir Djaan-Baih, a follower of Drel, god of Death, and Riven is wounded in her defense, he swears a Bloodseek oath to rescue her. Accompanied by Bar-Bara, a barbarian slave girl, his search takes him to the desert country of Izhmir. There, in the City of the Sunrise--where the sorcerer practices his black arts and his people live in fear of becoming sacrifices to Drel--Riven seeks the aid of a reluctant rebel in freeing Aleza.
Saving the princess, however, does not end the story, for there's no Happily Ever After for the Margrave's young soldier. Riven's punishment is only beginning as the gods make him fall in love with a woman he can't have. When he loses her to another man, there's nothing he can do to claim her and nothing he can do to forget her, because the gods aren't finished with him yet! — from the publisher

... The writing is subtle, almost humorous; a sheer beauty to read. Progression carries good suspense. Toniís power of narration and control injects something almost feverish into the text, and I trembled with animation reading it, roused to perturbing sensations that transformed. Superb dialogue; brilliant characterization; what stays with me is one spectacular scene that lifts the protagonist from agonizing death to a timeless life of centuries. He becomes a rebel Crossover, an Undead with a difference. The story takes a wide turn when he explores his yen to wander into space, causing rampage around planets, satellites previously little exposed to serial killings now caught in bloody havoc. The rest is an epic, a saga of love, suffering, victory and revenge. What a gem!
The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic, Book One: Bloodseek (Double Dragon Publishing, 2007): ... a novel utterly impossible to turn aside. From arresting cover graphics to Toni V Sweeney's impeccable approach, her marvel of beautiful linguistics ... this chronicle swiftly journeys tarnished innocence, explosive pairing, love gained ... and lost ... in the story of Riven Kan Ingan, a traveler, a young disbeliever, and the mysterious slave, Bar-Bara. Characters are well defined, intriguing, as they are charming: or odious. As a clandestine Weaver of Lives bends over her loom, Toni V Sweeney carves loose yet another sensation. — Eugen Bacon,

Vengeance from Eden
Copyright © 2007
by Toni V Sweeney
Double Dragon Ebooks
How to Buy

In the Texas border town of Rosarita, saloon owner Race Jago is killed by a stranger. Tried for the crime, Luke Brennan refuses to defend himself, and the judge has no choice but to sentence him to hang. But while Brennan awaits execution, deputy Kipling Wakefield convinces his prisoner to tell him the reason he shot Jago in cold blood. Finally, in the late night hours before his sentence is carried out, Brennan tells Kip his story of a man's love for his wife, a father's desire for revenge, of a hatred that destroyed two lives. — from the publisher

Vengeance from Eden (Double Dragon Publishing, 2007): "... Vengeance from Eden puts a spell on you right from the beginning. Who is Lucas Brennan? Why did he shoot a man in cold blood? Why did he lay down his weapon afterward and allow himself to be arrested? As his story unfolds, you'll find it both poignant and heartbreaking. You might think you've figured out what's going to happen before you reach the end, but you'll probably miss the mark like I did, which leaves the ending completely unpredictable, just as it should be.
Ms Sweeney brings her characters to life so well that you'll really care about what happens to them. All through the story, a pit of dread churned in my stomach, because I knew something bad was going to happen, but I didn't know what.
Vengeance from Eden will go on my bookshelf as one of my favorite westerns to date. — Margaret Marr, Nights and

Walk the Shadow Trail
Copyright © 2007
by Toni V Sweeney
Double Dragon eBooks
How to Buy

To Walk the Shadow Trail means to lead a life of pain and sorrow, to be deprived and alone forever...
Baron Karl Augustus Dietrich Wilhelm von Brandt was no different from any other fugitive from justice, although he was fleeing his father's crimes in Germany and not his own. Young, inexperienced and a foreigner, he is easily swindled when he buys a Nebraska ranch which is little more than a sand dune. At this point, Johnny Moon, a half-Pawnee cowboy, takes pity on the young nobleman and comes to Will's aid. Soon, Johnny has Will looking and speaking like a Nebraskan, and working together, the impoverished German noble and the half-breed ne-er-do-well transform Will's property into a thriving ranch. Through tough times, like the death of Will's fiancee, as well as the good, Johnny Moon is there as Will's foreman and his right-hand, closer than a friend and trusted like a brother. But when Will marries Silent Summer Woman, the headstrong daughter of a local Pawnee chief, the first wedge of distrust is driven between the two men. Relegated to the background by Summer's apparent hatred of him, Johnny accepts her dislike with good grace, and when Will's son, Shadow, is born, becomes a surrogate uncle to the little boy, transferring the friendship he feels for Will to the child. What Will can't know is that his friend is harboring a terrible secret and if it is ever discovered, it will not only destroy their friendship forever but quite possibly their lives as well. — from the publisher

Murder in Old Blood
Copyright © 2006
by Toni V Sweeney
Double Dragon eBooks
How to Buy

Who is killing the vampires of Albidon-7?
It is the year 2525, and at last, Mankind faces the fact that vampires exist, solving the problem by imprisoning the Undead in concentration camps throughout the Galaxy. When three of the Undead in the Detention Colony on Albidon-7 are destroyed by silver nitrate injected into their hemoglobin supply, the local police are forced to investigate. Officer in charge Lieutenant Katherine Dalia insists that Christopher Landless, the Colony's reluctant leader, assist her. Their association results in a love affair which estranges Kit from his Undead colleagues, and leads them to the discovery that old crimes never go unpunished. — from the publisher

Murder in Old Blood (Double Dragon Publishing, 2006): "... I haven't read a vampire novel this good since Ann Rice's Interview with the Vampire. Like Lestat, Kit is both good and bad, but you can't help liking him no matter what he does. Though these creatures are unnatural — and, to a certain extent, evil — you still care about their fate.
Some scenes involving sex and violence are graphic, but not overly crude, and they weren't just thrown in for gratuitous purposes. Each scene moves the story toward an explosive and bittersweet end.
Ms Sweeney brings a wealth of imagination to Murder in Old Blood, and I found myself wanting more after I read the last page. The ending has a surprising, but plausible twist. This is an author to watch; she's sure to go places in the vampire genre. — Margaret Marr, Nights and

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