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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Helen C. Johannes #authorspotlight #fantasyromance #romance #middlegrade #kidlit #mustread

Welcome to my author spotlight! I’m Helen C. Johannes, author of award-winning adult and children’s fiction. By way of introduction, here are ten things you might want to know about me:


#1 I’m a born teacher. Daughter of a teacher, grand-niece of teachers, mother of a teacher, daughter-in-law of a teacher, member of a community of teachers. I’ve taught English Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing for high school and college students.


#2 I love to read. If there are words within sight, I’ll read them: backs of cereal boxes, headlines on magazine covers at check-out, channel crawl on news programs, newspapers, and books, books, books! My favorite genres are romantic suspense (all time periods), fantasy and quest tales, historical romance, mystery (all time periods), rom-coms, some sci-fi, middle grade fantasy (Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, etc.) and mystery.


#3 Travel is in my blood. I attended 12 different K-12 schools in five states and one foreign country, visited or traveled through at least half of the US states, plus at least a dozen countries. I like seeing where history has been made and absorbing the atmosphere of a place first hand.


#4 “Into the Mist” is my style of writing. I begin with character and situation and a general idea of where I want the story to go, but about three chapters in, the characters take over and wonderful surprises ensue.


#5 I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Stories have always percolated in my brain and kept me company when no other entertainment was available. As proof, I have a box of musty old paper scribblings sitting in my study right now!


#6 Making up whole worlds out of my imagination suits me better than writing in a specific time period or place. Four of my books are fantasies because that way I get to make the rules. For my fifth book, my children gave me the characters and I wove a story around them.


#7 I grew up fascinated by horses, knights, castles, Arthurian legend, Lord of the Rings, and fairy tales, so it’s no wonder my fantasies are set in a medieval-type time when honor matters and loyalty is something to be carefully sworn.


#8 You can offer me good, black tea and dark chocolate sea salt caramels, or a freshly baked blueberry scone with butter and jam, and I will sit happily for a chat. A cheesy pan pizza and a strawberry shake would work, too.


#9 My inspirations include Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, The Brothers Grimm, Disney’s fairy tale movies, the old Thin Man movies, Jennifer Crusie, Deborah Crombie, Ursula LeGuin, just to name a few. I enjoy rom-coms and comedy caper movies of the past and present, as well as Star Wars and Star Trek, Big Bang and MASH.


#10 I’m endlessly curious and pick up tidbits of information almost anywhere. What seems inconsequential today may several years in the future prove to be the inspiration for a storyline or character or setting.


For more about me and my books, or to see which authors I’m currently hosting, please visit my blog:




Title: THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, Crown of Tolem #1


Author: Helen C. Johannes


Genre: Fantasy Romance


Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb:


She’s all wrong for Prince Arn, this lowborn healer who keeps meddling in his march to conquer her homeland. If only she hadn’t helped him, and he hadn’t kissed her, he could stop looking for her everywhere, hoping to find her…again.


Prince Arn has a destiny-an ancient throne-but he’s not waiting for fate to deliver when he can act now, before his enemies organize against him. The healer Aerid longs for her barely remembered homeland. Marked out by her gift and her unusual looks, she insists she is no witch. The swordsman Naed hopes to honorably defend his uncle’s holding, but he harbors a secret fascination for the exotic healer. Prince Arn’s campaign against Aerid’s homeland throws them into a triangle of forbidden love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Only when they realize love is blood-kin to friendship, and neither is possible without risk, can they forge a new alliance and restore a kingdom.




“Tell me, witch, and tell me true—does Krenin know who you are or who you pretend to be?”


The question itself startled Aerid, not its harshness, for she had expected that. Twisting her head, she caught a glimpse of eyes like coals in a face dark and set.


“I—I think not, m’lord. ‘Twas dark and—”


“Then you’ll do nothing to enlighten him. Hear?”


She heard him clearly despite water-song and hoof splashes. She understood, too, what underlay his warning. He wanted no one to know that he, the exalted and invincible Prince of Val-Feyridge, had been tricked—trapped—into sparing the life of an Adanak—and a woman!—only to cover the fact he and all his army had been duped into believing—for weeks!—that she was a boy, and a D’nalian. Oh, he had chosen well the moment for his question, Aerid thought, a rush of indignation beating back her shivers.


“Aye, m’lord, ‘tis safe with me, your secret.”


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Author Biography:


Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. Multi-published, she writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her adult books. Fast-paced, fanciful, family-friendly fun inspired by her own children is the hallmark of her children’s books.


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Title: LORD OF DRUEMARWIN, Crown of Tolem #2

Author: Helen C. Johannes

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb:


“I read this book in a span of hours. I have work I should have done yesterday that I did not do today because I had reading to do damnit …. The romance was well done, steamy. A good book!” Netgalley Reviewer 613674


Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father's household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.


Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he's a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.


With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.


“I Truly loved this book the setting, the plot, the writing style, the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing. I would reread this again.Nicole b, Netgalley




“Raell, now is not the time—”


Aye, it wasn’t. They stood in torchlight on an open parapet while assassins stalked them, but this might be her only chance to reach him across that precipice he’d thrown up between them, to secure the future they were meant to share.


“Does my honor mean naught? When weighed with D’nalian honor, is mine lesser because ‘tis a woman’s honor? Or because ‘tis a Tolemak’s honor? Be honest and tell me that.”


The world had gone silent; Raell could hear nothing over the rush of blood in her ears, the terrible heavy beats of her heart while she waited, dizzy with fear, breathless with longing, for the man she loved to respond with a word, a look, even a blink. Even a shift of his gaze she’d take as a sign he’d at least heard, mayhap begun to consider—


“Yes, be honest, Lord Naed,” said a voice she’d heard but once, a voice that raised all the fine hairs on her body and made her innards contract into a cold, tight knot. “Tell us both how much honor means to a bastard who’s betrayed his countrymen and his blood.”


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Author: Helen C. Johannes

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb:


What if looking at the face of the man you loved meant death?


Years ago, warrior Durren Drakkonwehr was cursed by a mage. Now feared and reviled as the Shadow Man, he keeps to himself, only going to town to trade rare bloodstones—petrified dragon's blood—for supplies. Though he hides his face, he can't hide his heart from the woman who haunts his dreams...

Needing bloodstones for a jewelry commission, Mirianna and her father journey across the dreaded Wehrland where the beast-men roam. When their party is attacked, only the Shadow Man can save them. Strangely drawn to him, Mirianna offers herself in return for her father's rescue.

Living in the ruined fortress with the Shadow Man, Mirianna slowly realizes that a flesh-and-blood man—not a fiend—hides there in hoods and darkness. But are love and courage enough to lift the curse and restore the man?




“What about us? What do we do?”


          Only the hood rotated, cocking with exaggerated deliberation. “Why, you die, old man.”


          Her father blanched. His grip on Mirianna’s arms faltered.


          She saw the Shadow Man turn, saw the muscles of his thighs bunch as he prepared to leap down the hillside, saw, in the corner of her eye, shapes gathering along the tree line below, horrible shapes she’d seen only hours before rushing at her from a darkened clearing. With a shudder, she broke from her father’s grasp.


          “Please!” She reached out to the black sleeve. “Help us!”


          He recoiled at her touch like one snake-bitten. The sudden, sharp focus of his regard staggered her, but she backed no more than a step. No matter how he terrified her, he’d helped her once. She’d been led to him again, and not, her instincts told her, without reason.


          “Please,” she repeated. “Help us. I—we’ll do anything.”




          His voice was a whisper that caressed flesh. Mirianna’s stomach quivered. Her breasts tingled. Her mouth grew even drier. Without thinking, she slid her tongue along her lips. Vaguely, she wondered what she’d done. And why time seemed suspended, as if everyone but she and the Shadow Man had been cast in stone and all sound arrested. All sound except the taut, guttural repeat of his question.




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Author: Helen C. Johannes

Genre: Children’s Middle Grade Fantasy


Book Blurb:


“A fun adventure that was a hit with my nine-year-old!”  5 Stars, Amazon


What happens when Frederick, a champion fly-catcher, is confronted with a human? After all, humans are dangerous! And worse, this human is carrying a thing of troublesome, powerful magic. What if Frederick can’t get it to stop?


Children of all ages will love this one for its adventure and for the animals that talk.” 5 Stars, NN Light Book Heaven 2020 Book Award Winner




Air bubbles roared past Frederick. Horse legs crashed through the water all around him. Heart hammering, he dove for the mucky bottom.


Kersplash! Something big plunged past him.


Frederick tucked his long legs, rolled, and kicked away. One cattail stem smacked him in the face, another in the knee. He pulled himself across the third and braced his legs against it while it swayed.


He opened his eyes at the roiling surface, head out and body in. His nose smarted. Whatever had thundered through the pond was gone. Already the algae was closing ranks, filling the holes punched into it.


Frederick heaved a sigh and crawled onto a floating twig. He looked around for his friends—and froze.


From the reeds opposite, a pair of eyes stared out.


BLUE eyes.


BIG blue eyes.


Frederick pretended he was part of the twig.


The eyes blinked. They widened to June bug size.


Huh? What does something big enough to stir up a pond have to fear? 


The eyes looked beyond him, over the cattails. It was thundering again. Louder. More horses. The blue eyes opposite sank into the reeds.


Frederick clung to his reed. Queen Mama always said—there was a time for diving and a time for sticking. The time for sticking was now.


“The boy crossed here!”


“And went out here!”


“Follow him, you idiots!”


Three horses plunged into the water and galloped through the pond.


Frederick hung on while his twig bounced back and forth with the sloshing waves.

When the water stilled, Frederick looked straight at the reeds.


The blue eyes had surfaced. Now they rose. And rose. Over the top of the reeds appeared a thin, green-streaked face.


A human! A small human!


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Title: The Dis’Aster Family’s Halloween

Author: Helen C. Johannes

Genre: Children’s picture book


Book Blurb:


Meet the Dis’Aster Family!


The kids are creative. The parents are outnumbered. And the pets, well, they’re unusual.


When the kids decide to enter a Halloween costume contest, what could possibly go wrong?


Come along for the ride. Can Halloween survive?




The Dis’Aster family lived in a big, old house on the edge of town. It was a good place for them to live because there were lots of children in the family.


First up every morning were Bright and Smart. They liked to take their toy tools to the junk pile in the back yard and make things. Weird things. Everybody else stayed out of the back yard.


Pretty and Fine liked to get up early and play dress-up all day in the room with the big, long mirror.


Color and Paint drew pictures—all over the walls. Their mom washed their room with a hose two times a week.


Julie Ann and Jump could dance, sing, and turn somersaults—all at the same time! Whump! Thump! Ka-bumpa-bump-bump! In the big room right upstairs from the dining room chandelier.


Sit-n-Stare, who didn’t do much else but that, would watch it swing and shake. That is, if the TV wasn’t on.


They all lived together with their father who said, “Ooooh, kids!” about 9 times a day. And their mother who said, “Ooooh, kids!” about 90 times a day, but in a higher voice so you could tell them apart. And their big sister who said, “I’m never going to babysit these kids again! Ever!” about 109 times a week. But she always did because the money was good.


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