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on July 30, 2017
Roxanne Bland was born in Akron, Ohio, but grew up in Washington, D.C. She attended the Duke Ellington High School of the Performing Arts. After graduating from high school, she attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she majored in Government. From Smith, she headed to New York City, where she took a series of jobs as a paralegal. She lived in New York for over two years, then moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane Law School. After law school, she returned to Washington, D.C. where she worked for trade and government organizations. She now works for a trade magazine, where she is a regular columnist.

Roxanne Bland has been a fugitive from reality since forever. She discovered horror, a little science fiction and fantasy and really got into high fantasy, like Lord of the Rings.  She was making up stories, but not writing them down. They were private. Besides, her family maintained she should be concentrating on her musical studies, and later, her college studies - she went to law school and after she graduated and entered the workforce, she finally started writing down her stories. Then she started writing a piece of fan fiction, though she didn't know that's what it was at the time. Then came a manuscript that would eventually become her first book, The Underground. Slipping into that alternate reality for hours on end, there was a time in her life when it was called daydreaming and she got into trouble.

Now Bland announced her latest fiction novel, 'The Underground: Second Edition', a spellbinding paranormal urban fantasy fiction novel set in Seattle. The characters in in the new novel include vampires, shapeshifters, elves, witches, demons and aliens. In her writing Roxanne is a builder of worlds. She takes readers on fantastic journeys that are extraordinarily different, yet somehow completely familiar. She blends topics such as forbidden love, political intrigue and bigotry into compelling storylines that allow readers to view their own culture and customs through the eyes of alien and paranormal races and alien territories specifically Syren Perritory and the Mjor village. The author creates new places, different time-lines and measuring units sending the reader to new worlds with unfamiliar protocol. Tehi was to be exiled to the Syren Perritory. Tehi felt dirty already and not allowing her to work on her red fever project was already punishment. She is sent to the Syren Perritory to steward Astoreth-69 because she missed the last Ohra and now Astoreth is punishing her. She is lucky Astoreth didn’t have her head. The Syren Perritory and the Mjor village with blue-uniformed hakoi, is a new landscape on the story's canvas with some strange scenes: Rituals, spells, meditative trances, strange powers bending wills, air vehicles elemental forces with entities changing form assuming supernatural power.

• A beautiful landscape:

There’s a gorgeous fountain in the pool. They’ll turn it on later in the spring.” Eresh turned and motioned for Tehi to follow. “Come on. I’ll show you where you’ll be staying for the next year.” He headed for the tower on the right. On this side, it was painted bright red with even brighter green diagonal stripes. “You’ll understand the reason for all these colors come winter.”

TehiI followed. “So what’s the set up here? How is the village organized?”

“Well, you’ve already met Laerd Teger. There’s a Council of eight people, and between them they govern the village Mjor.

The reader picks up knowledge of ancient times relating to gods, goddesses and mythology and partakes in rituals, protocols, inter-galactic travel, stealing of intellectual property relating to finding a cure for the virus red fever, spying, memory experiments, betrayal and punishment. We hear about an acient form of hypnosis with the aid of a pendulum. "It was beautiful. Shaped like a teardrop, it was made of white thalin, the same kind the miners had given to last spring. Its faceted surface caught the light, making the pendulum seem to shoot."

Hyme was a healer in the new territory and she helped him mix up some medications in his lab She thought about their hypnosis experiment. "Would there be enough time before my tour was over for Hyme to regain his skills as a hypnotist? There had to be—or else I was a dead woman." Tehi had a bad case of homesickness. She missed her lab and Temple life, with its rituals, music, and dancing. And despite what Eresh had said, the Mjorans didn’t always ignore her. Like the boy who’d thrown the rock her first day there, some were openly hostile.

There develops a relationship:

She thought about the massage she had given Teger, remembering the feel of his thick neck and back muscles beneath her fingers. He’d be a great subject for the massage classes at the Temple. Maybe for the more advanced students. They have stronger hands. Then she frowned, remembering the electric static-like sensation in my hands while massaging.

• Super power:

Tehi had Devi-enhanced senses. Two sets of vibrations belonging to two people who were not there now flowed through her. She opened her third inner eye. The first person she saw was Teger. But she knew he wasn’t the vandal who destroyed the lab.Then another person came into view. Her mental picture, though, was indistinct. In the near-darkness, she thought about Teger holding her in the woods, stroking her hair and back.
"How ironic—me, taking refuge and comfort in a hakoi’s arms. It would have been laughable if it hadn’t happened. Falling asleep, I wondered about the ground shift I’d felt. Do they have periquakes up here? I wonder if he felt it— Then I knew nothing." Characters shifting from place to place ......and darkness to awake in another form or scene.

• Mission:
A few of Laerd's people seem to have come down with something. Can Tehi take a look at them? "Laerd, I’m a healer. That’s what I do. I cannot just sit by while hakoi are dying around me left and right. Tehi thought about the way Syrenese healers shared knowledge with one another. In Uruk, finding new cures was treated like a competition between and even within the Temples, and healers worked on their projects in secret. How many more cures could we find if we pooled what we knew? By now we might have even found the cure for red fever. But she knew sharing knowledge would never catch on among Temple healers. The habit of secrecy was too deeply ingrained.

Tehi had to be the first to find the cure for red fever. And it’s also the reason for her memory experiments. She developed a drug that erases memories from the conscious mind—and only the conscious mind, at least she hopes. As for the hypnosis, well, that’s where Hyme comes in.

"While I’m under, you’ll shoot me with my drug and tell me what and what not to remember. You’ll also tell me I’m still a devotee of Astoreth. With Her psi powers, the last thing I need is for Her to learn that I know what She really is."

• Moving between dimensions, shifting bodies:

Tehi writhed on the stone floor, helpless while the violent seizure possessed her. Then she was booted into another reality.
"I lie on the green grass, my wings flapping in spasms. The black bird stands over me, kicking me with its taloned feet." A fight takes place. Tehi wants to fight in her new form, but she has no control over herself. "I could tear you apart right now, the black bird says." He want the pleasure of fighting her to your death. It laughs and launches itself into the air. "

As suddenly as it came on, the seizure stopped and Tehi was back in her body. Her brain spun. She lay on the floor, gasping. But that battle is not over yet. It was hate persuing her.

Her affection for Teger helped. When she was with him, all of those negative feelings disappeared, replaced by one of deep, abiding love. She tried to keep the feeling inside so to infuse that love to all aspects of her life. Sometimes she was successful—even for a few minutes or hours—but more often, not. Her worries and hatred that clouded her mind. She recalled the love she felt during Ohra and let the feeling spread through her. It pushed the negativity aside, leaving her bathed in a pure light that brought joy to my soul.
Then Tehi as a bird again she had a battle with a brown bird:
"It points a wing at my foot. Keep that. I look down. To my surprise, I still hold the black bird’s jewel in my talons.Why? I was going to drop it in the river.

"The river does not want it. And the jewel will forever remind you of what you were, and what you could be again if you let it. You mean the black bird isn’t dead? Oh, no. It waits and watches. And if you allow your hate to grow, you will be back here, fighting the same battle for your soul. The brown bird spreads its wings and lifts into the sky. Then I too launch myself into the air. I have no idea where I’m going. I just fly on and on, the jewel clutched in my foot. Then all goes black. I woke on the Temple floor, sprawled before the altar."

• Does Tehi complete her mission at the end?

Each of us need to account to a higher power. Tehi says: “Most Holy One. I broke my vows. And I know not even being Your granddaughter will save me. But before You pronounce sentence, I would bargain with You......My bargain is this. My life in exchange for the cure for red fever.”
“You defied Me and took your research to Mjor, anyway? I demand you give me the formula. Now. Then we will see about sparing your life.” ....“I don’t remember it, Most Holy One.”

• The formula as a bargaining chip

Did she write it down? Did she hide it somewhere?

A wave of psi power hit Tehi with pain ripping through her head and hearts, her body felt like it was on fire. Did she make a drug that erased her memory? But did she also make an antidote? Most Holy One wants the formula. Will Tehi go back to Mjor to take her drug and get the formula for Her?

• The Second Mission

Astoreth assured Tehi a quick and painless death.
“You would torture me then, Most Holy One. You may execute me, but can You really find it in Your heart to torture me?”
What is to stop Astoreth from executing her now, and then go to Mjor to look for the formula? "It is Mine. I am perfectly within My rights.”

“The Laerd would never give his permission for You or Your troops to enter the village. If You did, the Protocol would be broken."
"If I do break it?”

“You would start a war, Most Holy One. And I doubt the other Gods in the Great Pantheon would help You.” “Not if I told Them about the formula....Do You really want war with the Syrenese? And I would think You would want to keep the formula for Yourself. Imagine how many talents You could make selling it to the other Temples.”

It pains Astoreth that Tehi chose the Laerd over Her and then , there’s the question of her punishment. Violating the Protocol is a very serious offense. So is disobeying Her, not to mention breaking her vows enough to permanently exile her to Mjor?

“But you know what this means, do you not? You can never return to Kherah."

Will Grandmother visit her?

Space ships, bodies floated in and out of the magick being worked, getting lost in the sensations, smells, and sights of the ritual and the power of Astoreth and strange colonies, demons and interstellar travel, alien life, strange entities......, and the reader is welcomed to another dimension:

In the author's own words:

"Writing is a like a drug. Stumbling across whole new worlds lying dormant in my head and bringing them to life is an incredible high. I'm definitely an addict. I can't imagine not writing."'The Underground: Second Edition' is Bland's third novel. Her second novel, 'The Moreva Astoreth' was praised by readers and reviewers alike. Very few authors have the special gift of creating strangeness. A challenge to read but no challenge to write, as all comes so natural to her.

Scarlett Jensen
27 July 2017
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Roxanne Bland has always been a writer. Though trained as a musician, finishing college and law school to become a practicing attorney, the fantasy characters her mind molded became more and more in touch with her imagination and need to write stories to complete the ideas that circled in her brain. Now she courageously places her feast of fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and erotica before the public – and voila! THE MOREVA OF ASTOREH seeps out of the night and becomes part of our reality. To add to the flavor of this strange science fiction, metaphysical, fantasy, visionary and spiritual tale she uses Sumerian/ Akkadian terms for time, distance, volume, and weight. The terms can be singular or plural. Time measurements are products of the author’s imagination. Different time/different place – and a lot of magical imagination.

Roxanne wastes no time placing us in her strange dark story – she opens with “I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi,” Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple. Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine. “Yes, Most Holy One.” “You blaspheme by not celebrating Ohra, My holiest of rites. And this one was important— the worthiest of the hakoi, handpicked by Me, celebrated with us.” “I can only offer my most abject apologies, Most Holy One.” “Your apologies are not accepted.” “Yes, Most Holy One.” “Where were you?” “I was in the laboratory, working on a cure for red fever. Many hakoi died last winter—” “I know that,” my grandmother snapped. “But why did you miss Ohra? Did you not hear the bells?” “Yes, Most Holy One. I heard them. I was about to lay aside my work when I noticed an anomaly in one of my pareon solutions. It was odd, so I decided to investigate. What I found… I just lost track of time.”

Definitely an adult centered story, the plot is as follows – ‘The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.’

Sure-fire entertainment that plunges the reader into places with people we can hardly even imagine. Very fine writing from a pro! Grady Harp, July 17
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on August 30, 2017
The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland, 454 pages, Blackrose Press 1st Edition, November 3rd 2015, Genre: Science Fiction/Romance. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.

Review by Leigh Holland.

    I have a confession to make. I don’t believe in most ancient alien theories, the works of Zechariah Sitchin, or most of the theories proposed in “Chariots of the Gods”. However, I love the idea behind all of it. I’m a fan of Stargate. What if the gods of old, such as the Anunnaki, really did come from the heavens, literally? What if they weren’t gods at all but advanced aliens? What if they did breeding experiments on primates to create humans? What if they taught humans farming, warfare, pottery, and smithing? In short, what if mythology was fact?
    Roxanne Bland shows us the world of the Anunnaki gods, their descendants, and the humanoid hakoi of other planets they claim to have created. The gods are about power and control, using their part-hakoi, part-Anunnaki children and grandchildren to keep the hakoi satisfied using religious rites. These descendants are the Morev, a priestly class. Astoreth is the goddess of love. Her favorite Moreva and grandchild, Tehi, misses services. Astoreth punishes her by assigning her to a post as Moreva on a “backwater” hakoi village called Mjor. Tehi does as she’s told, but sneaks her lab equipment along so she can continue working on the cure for the hakoi disease, red fever. While on Mjor as Moreva, she befriends Hyme, the local hakoi healer, and is irritated by the village’s leader or “Laerd”, Teger. As time passes, she learns to respect the hakoi, falls in love, and narrowly dodges trouble at several turns. The only element that I didn’t care for was the repetition of her daily meals, scheduled services, etc. to the degree they were repeated. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.
    My favorite characters were Tehi and Teger. Tehi starts off with flaws, but overcomes them as the story unfolds. She is dedicated to healing the sick and willing to risk her neck for others. As a priestess of the goddess of love, she explores the meaning and nature of love at different points in the story. Teger is direct and determined. Once he makes up his mind about something, there is no dissuading him. He’s supportive of Tehi but isn’t afraid to challenge her when he thinks she is wrong. He teaches her about identity, love, and self-love.
    This book is a romance taking place within a science fiction milieu. If you enjoy both romance and science fiction, you’ll love this novel.
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on August 3, 2017
Fans of sci-fi/fantasy will enjoy this novel. There is much to like for fans of romance as well. The subject matter is adult, and there are explicit scenes that are not appropriate for younger readers. The story is set in a richly imagined world of stratified cultures. Initially the protagonist is not very likable, but as the story progresses she is forced to confront her prejudices and gradually changes her attitude, generating more reader empathy in the process.

Although the world in which the reader is immersed from the beginning of the novel is confusing at first, it is worth the initial confusion to continue reading. While I was initially going to suggest that the author include a preface with a bit of background information regarding the cultures of this imagined world, there are reasons that become apparent to not do this. So I would encourage readers to stick with the book despite the is absolutely worth it.

As far as pacing, there is a lot of repetitive action and day to day description that, while a bit dreary to read, is exactly the author's point I think - the protagonist is sent as punishment to a remote outpost where there is not much to do. As a reader you then share in the repetitive nature of her daily life. Despite that, the reader is introduced to the culture and daily lives of the people, which gradually become more interesting to both the protagonist and reader. So as a plot and story telling device I think the pacing is there for a reason.

As a general note, I've enjoyed everything I've read from this author and look forward to more of her books in the future.
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on July 30, 2017
I feel that author does a great job of the building the back drop for the worlds of Devi, Hakoi and Morevi. When we first meet Tehi, she is arrogant and uncaring. After finding out what the Ohra ritual is, I could understand why she  didn't like performing it. The characters are well developed. Tehi was not a likable character in the beginning but her time in Syren changes her for the better. She becomes able to accept and love herself which in turn changes her perspective about others. As a priestess, she has a strict lifestyle at the temple that doesn't truly suit her. How can you be a priestess of love but you don't know what love is? Teger is a strong handsome leader who Tehi falls in love with. Hyme is a wise old healer who becomes a close friend and role model to Tehi.

I will admit I was worried about the story length but the story line is so good I didn't notice it at all. Tehi finds herself and then realizes she has to find a way to be able to come back to her love, Teger. Teger also reveals to Tehi a shocking secret that rocks her world but ultimately helps her to understand the Mjoran hatred of Devi. The only complaint I have is I don't think the cover gives the book justice. Overall, a wonderful tale of personal growth and love mixed with science fiction and fantasy. 
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on August 3, 2017
I have already read a few sci-fi books, and I marvel at the thought that I could finally tolerate them (yes, I have little patience when it came to sci-fi books). The Moreva of Astoreth contains scientific experimentations, spiritual rebirth (religion) and forbidden love—something that I honestly didn’t expect to co-exist in just one book!

One thing I’ve learned to be crucial about sci-fi books though, is that the author should be detailed in describing a day in the life of a character, especially if that character is not a typical person. It could appear boring to some, but the author definitely did a good job in here. I mean, I don’t have a friend who’s a scientist, so it’s quite fascinating to be able to follow their life even through fiction.

As to the romance between Tehi and Teger, I was like , “oh my god, a sci-fi with a sex scene!” Yes, it was definitely a surprise for me, because, c’mon! This is just one of the few sci-fis I’ve read and this is one with that!

All in all, the story was well-written and well-plotted. I honestly didn’t think that words like “spaceship” and “blasphemy” could exist in just one book. The Moreva of Astoreth is a gem that should be in any sci-fi fan’s collection.
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on July 24, 2017
The Moreva of Astoreth is a tale about Gods and Goddesses and has shown the super powers with many human like qualities such as vulnerability, anger, love, passion, retribution, untruthfulness, etc. The story centers around Moreva Tehi who is a spoiled and headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity. Moreva is rude, arrogant and headstrong and hence is banished to Syren Perritory for a year. However, this banishment becomes a memorable time for the Devi and she does not want to go back. The problem here is that Moreva had engaged in a number of lies and continued to do so and all the lies came back to haunt her. Moreover, she disobeyed her grandmother by bringing along her experiment on red fever. The end is therefore really looking forward to.

The beauty of the book is that it completely transports you to a new realm. Here everything is different starting from time to distance measurements. Nevertheless, the author Roxanne Bland has guided us well and instead of getting confused, we ended up thoroughly enjoying the book.
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on July 24, 2017
I really found “The Moreva Storeth” a great promising read. The mixed genre that is composed of both science fiction and fantasy with a blend of romance was beyond interesting for a reader like me who wants nothing but a unique book to indulge. I particularly enjoyed almost everything in this book. The writing was decent, the plot was well thought-out, and the characters—especially our heroine Moreva Tehi is such a fascinating character to read about and it’s all because of her kickass attitude.

I loved that Tehi is curious at certain things that interest her and she’s determined to delve into those things. She’s also headstrong. The plot progression was okay. It moved gradually and as we go along chapter by chapter, we discover more interesting things.

I just have to point out that I didn’t quite like the cover of this book. If the cover is much more artistic and attractive to the eyes, I believe more readers will be lured into reading this book. Nevertheless, story-wise, it is fantastic and a winner!
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on August 1, 2017
First, I do agree that the artwork needs a re-do! It might turn potential readers away, but that’s just my own opinion. Some others may love it.

I love that Moreva, the main character, is a healer. She was completely spoiled her entire life and has a bit of a know-it-all attitude going on, but she’s an amazing healer who works hard researching for this cure. She’s a rule breaker, and got booted from her house via grandma, but that’s when we get transported to the Hakoi Village. This place is dreamy and magical.

The author is clearly very creative and does a fantastic job of really bringing alive the characters and the universe. You can expect adventure, romance, sci-fi, and a little bit of everything, really. A part of me was a little dreadful when I saw the length of the book, but I blew through it pretty quickly. I definitely didn’t want it to end, which is always a good sign of a GREAT read! (I would appreciate seeing this turned into a video game, too! How cool would that be!)
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on July 22, 2017
There have been several attempts into making one cohesive story into blending two very different elements into one, some had failed miserably while others had been decent at best, now I’m very confident in telling you that the wait is over.

Fantasy and science-fiction have been set apart for obvious reasons and while we can say there is some inclusion for both, this is for me the very first story that mixed these two successfully, welcoming us into a new universe with a lot of new things to see and learn from them for the first time. Is very rare to see so much creativity and wild ideas executed so flawlessly and I can easily see this become a franchise, there is a well amount of originality and tributes to tales and stories of this scale and yet everything feel so fresh.

While I am intrigued to write more about the story and everything I really should tell you to read and experienced this journey for yourself, trust me you are going to love it.
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