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The Open Portal: Conquest of the Veil Book 1 Book Review & Giveaway!!

THE OPEN PORTAL
Conquest of the Veil #1
by
MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal / Magical Realism Publisher: Book Liftoff Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 337 pages

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But with dreams, there can also be nightmares Lonely and plain-featured, Mona Parker is just another faceless teenager at Spring Hill High School. One day she runs afoul of Lady Anne Golightly, a beautiful and arrogant classmate who turns Mona’s colorless life into a hellish existence. Bullied relentlessly and with nowhere to turn, Mona considers suicide. One night, Thaddeus Finkle, her guardian angel, appears. He offers her a way out—swap lives with another.

The choice seems easy, and Mona takes the angel up on his offer. She awakens on Meredith, a parallel world of Earth where magic has replaced technology. Mona discovers she is Alexandria, a woman of breathtaking beauty, and the daughter of a Duke complete with servants and riches. Then she discovers the price of her bargain. Trapped behind the Veil, an impenetrable curtain of magic, the Duchy of Wheel is the last major province still unconquered by Marlinda, the creator of the enchanted barrier. Known as the Dark Queen, Marlinda’s cruelty includes a singular fondness for melding men, women, and children, with animals…and she has special plans for Alexandria. Tal, the Prince and Heir of the Empire of Meredith, burns with an intense hatred for Marlinda and her minions. The Dark Queen’s raiders regularly cross the Veil to prey upon the helpless citizens living near the magical boundary. Despite an elaborate system of Watch Towers along the enchanted barrier, it is impossible for the Empire to stop all the raids. Desperate to protect his people, Tal takes dangerous risks to prevent these attacks. Banished to a remote garrison for his reckless behavior, while on a routine patrol, Tal leads an elite unit that happens upon a group of raiders—one whose leader possesses the means for opening a way through the Veil. Thus begins the conquest of the Veil.
"The Open Portal is packed full of action from the time it begins in our mundane world, to when it jumps to another. It has all the elements of a good fantasy: a cruel queen; a frustrated prince; and beautiful girl with a pure heart. There are brave boys, werewolves, white priests, and watchtowers. I can't wait for the saga to continue." -- Abookanight





The author dives right into the action as the story begins. We are introduced to evil in Meredith in the form of dark magic and then evil on Earth in the form of bullies. I liked the fact that the author didn't wait to grab your attention. He grabbed it and then began introducing us to the key players Mona & Prince Tal. Young adult readers who have not had the best experience in high school are going to immediately relate to this heroine and her pain.  She had no one in her corner, not even her foster parents, and had to figure out how to just "make it" through high school.  Then we have the young Prince, Tal. He is sent away to mature and "settle" down so as not to get into trouble.  While away he runs into raiders who might have a way to deal with the impenetrable veil.

“What if you could make a difference which affects not just a handful of children, but the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people?”

The answer to that question will set Mona on a course of self-discovery and acceptance.  This story moves quickly and has a lot of moving parts. There are multiple characters to remember, some deliciously evil and one or two that are pure. Book 1 of a series is usually dedicated to setting up a series. So, I expected the extra time spent on revealing the world to us and developing the characters so that we were comfortable with them.  Mr. Clifton takes time to explain and develop the origin of the veil, the Watch Tower, the Raiders and the Dark Queen. Am I the only one who liked the Pulpit character?  There is a lot to take in, but it is well worth the ride if you like fantasy novels. I would probably recommend this to my teen book club member. She would love it.  I'll be honest and say there were times that I got a little lost because certain scenes didn't make sense to me. But, had impatience not gotten the best of me, it all came together. One final thing that made this story stand out were the randomly placed sketches. They added a certain something to it. Fantasy lovers sit back and get ready to enjoy a whole new world: the world of Meredith.

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Michael Scott Cliftona public educator for over thirty-eight years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas with his wife, Melanie and family cat, Sadie. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, he enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys...action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance. His fantasy novel, The Janus Witch, received a 5-Star review from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short story contests with Edges of Gray winning first place in the Texas Authors Contest. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. Clifton’s latest book, The Open Portal, launches the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil. In addition, look for the YA novel, Edison Jones and the Anti-Grav Elevator, to be released soon. He is available public speaking.
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-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS! One Signed Copy Winner, Three eBook Copy Winners
MAY 14-24, 2019
(Print copy U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
5/14/19
Guest Post
5/14/19
Character Interview
5/14/19
BONUS Post
5/15/19
Review
5/15/19
Review
5/16/19
Excerpt
5/17/19
Review
5/18/19
Scrapbook Page
5/19/19
Review
5/20/19
Review
5/20/19
Review
5/21/19
Excerpt
5/22/19
Review
5/22/19
Review
5/23/19
Review
5/23/19
Review
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