Harvest by Olga Werby is a fresh change in a genre that is littered with superheroes or with stories in a galaxy far away and distant future. These may be entertaining to our superficial senses; rarely these evoke deeper emotions in the way this book does.
Harvest takes place in the future, where colonies on other planets exist, necessitated in response to an asteroid impact 100 years ago. The story begins with anthropologist Dr Varsaad Volhard, brought on board an exploration expedition to explore an alien artifact. When Dr. Varsaad’s father starts making shocking discoveries back on earth regarding intelligent life forms, things start to go awry.
On the spaceship, things start going wrong soon after they lift off to Mimas, a site on Saturn’s moon where the alien artifact is located. Their voyage is wrought with tense emotion and thrilling suspense that kept me hooked. When the team starts exploring the artifact is when the story really got interesting for me. The character development and story progression were steady up to this point, but the intrigue is turned up to maximum when the team starts exploring.
This is a novel that shifts quickly. When things go wrong, the characters and the story shift and lead you in a new direction.
The author writes an amazing and engaging plot that kept me tethered to the story. The pace is excellent and the story never gets bogged down by the details. Characters are well defined and the origins of the lead characters are gradually explored as they uncover secrets that have huge ramifications for humanity. I particularly liked the realism integrated into the story combined with the technology from both humans and aliens, which gave the story a frightful combination that made me wonder if such a future would be possible.
The story is a delightful and enjoyable read that you can really immerse yourself in. It will prove to be a perfect novel for any sci-fi fan who really wants to dig their teeth into more than light saber rattling.
Pages: 420 | ASIN: B07R8HGKWN
Cian and Saxon’s meeting in the heart of the Amazon is more than an encounter of two people; it’s the coming together of two different worlds. Their explorations and adventures take them deep into the rain forest and then halfway around the globe in search of a peaceful place to settle down. But instead of finding peace, their shared sense of justice finds them traveling from Europe to New York and then back to Brazil where they must confront the evil network of the ambitious and heartless Oxana, who will stop at nothing to advance her trade in endangered animals as well as women and little girls.
Save Him by William M. Hayes is a time travel story about a scientist named Rydel Scott who works at the Genesis Lab in upstate New York creating new technology for the military. After he stumbles across a way to travel back in time, his terminally ill sister convinces him that he must use this discovery to prevent Jesus’s death on the cross. The Unit, an elite military group led by Ray Catlin, is sent to stop him before it’s too late and bring him back. But once on the mission, the Unit becomes divided. Will Rydel succeed in changing the past and saving Jesus Christ? And if he does, will the people in the present survive the repercussions?
I enjoyed reading this book. The story line was intriguing, and it was a unique take on a time travel action adventure story. I liked the descriptions of Jerusalem during the life of Jesus. It gave me a good sense of what it might have been like to live during that time period.
The technology described in the book was interesting. The story started out a bit slow, taking place in the Genesis Lab with a show and tell of the new tech rather than with action as the Unit is sent out on their mission. However, this did give me a chance to get to know the various members of the Unit, who might have been hard to keep straight otherwise, since there were so many of them.
The group became divided about the mission once they arrived in the past, which was something that didn’t sit well with me, since the Christian believers’ position did not seem logical. One of the foundations of Christianity is that Jesus died for our sins so that our souls would be saved, yet the Christian characters don’t act as though that sacrifice was necessary when it should have been a fundamental belief. I thought it was odd for them to think that saving Jesus would have no effect on the present when Christianity as they know it would cease to exist if Jesus did not die on the cross.
This was an intriguing book with an interesting plot, but I felt the book lacked a conclusive ending. If you enjoy science fiction stories with futuristic, yet believable, technology in a historic setting then this book is definitely for you.
Pages: 345 | ASIN: B07WQMP41B
Spectre: A Kirk ingram Action Thriller is practically a movie in its embryonic stages. It features a tortured protagonist accused of being the perpetrator of a heinous crime, a tragedy-stricken sidekick, and perhaps most interestingly, the history of Christianity woven throughout the plot.
The story begins in 33 CE with a vague and mystifying account of a Jewish household. We are then brought forward 300 years, where a power-hungry emperor attempts to popularize the new religion Christianity and claim it for his own. However, we discover that there are people with supernatural powers, almost otherworldly that add conflict to the situation. Now, in the present day, former FBI agent Kirk Ingram is thought to be the killer of nearly all of an abbey’s residents. Using his wits and increasingly untrustworthy body, he pairs up with the last remaining resident of the abbey, Jovanni, in order to solve the mystery and save the world from mysterious dark forces.
The book lives up to its title- it is most definitely an action packed, thrill heavy ride; I can almost visualize a Tom Cruise scene accompanied by a hardcore, brainy backstory. I particularly enjoyed this novel because it reminded me of my science nerd phase, where I was a hopeless Dan Brown addict. Some parts of Spectre reminded me of the Da Vinci Code– maybe because of the religion-forward detective work that was happening. But at the same time, Douglas Misquita’s own voice was unquestionably distinctive. I would think of it as Da Vinci Code meets James Bond meets Kirk Ingram’s particular brand of panache. I found myself comparing it to a lot of movies- which I would assign as a hefty compliment to the book. I have read so many thrillers where the authors waxed poetic on their knowledge of spy-related stuff, and while educational, I am hardly reading thrillers for their didactic value. Douglas Misquita kept it to the point: it was informative without losing its entertainment value.
The author’s incisiveness and knowledge also shone through in all the parts where he linked the past and present; religious movements and their effects. Kirk Ingram and Jovanni are also in no manner the flawless heroes. Kirk has a troubling past and faces ethical dilemmas throughout the book; not to mention a body that can betray him at any moment. I enjoyed this aspect of the character- it adds depth and dimension to what can often and unfortunately turn out to be a two-dimensional untouchable action machine.
Spectre: A Kirk ingram Action Thriller is a riveting and engaging story that I would recommend. Nothing like a religious conspiracy theory filled thriller to keep you up all night!
Pages: 359 | ASIN: B07YDV1YWT
It’s almost impossible not to come across a story every day about another victim of the opioid/mental health crisis that is devastating cities around the globe.
This ongoing tragedy encompasses so many issues and has so many facets but at the end of the day it is a tragedy of people. Real people who have real stories and whose stories have elements that anyone can relate too.
So, what makes a person succumb to pain, depression and despair? Why are some people able to stay clean and others can’t break free? The answer is not always the same, neither is the end of each persons tale. Taking a page from a true life news article, singer/songwriter Steve Murphy embraces the idea of the person behind the byline in a short story centering on Mark; a homeless man who battles his personal demons, usually without much success.
From the opening of Foul Play is Not Suspected Murphy asks the questions we should ask and take the time to think about. The characters of this short story could be anybody and like anybody, they have twists and turns in their lives; as well as a desire to find the best lives for themselves.
The crisis’ of drugs and depression often go hand in hand and by no means can be put into a box or a quick article but the authors considerable talent allows him to illustrate an accurate and savvy picture of how these problems affect all people in society.
At the center of Foul Play is Not Suspected is Mark an everyday man who becomes the symbol of a life interrupted by darkness and bad decisions and the inability to get past his addiction. But, there are more layers to Mark and to Murphy’s story in general. Thankfully, the message is not lost in complexity nor overwritten to prove a point. His vision stays true to the message and is clear as well as impactful.
Steve Murphy closes the story with links and ideas to be more active, as well as a link to the original article and a link to an informative article about the health risks of opioids.
Reading stories like Foul Play is Not Suspected will help put the right take on this overwhelming problem and should be part of any book club. A longer version of the story would have been wonderful.
Pages: 103 | ASIN: B07XC1QFZD
The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry follows a unit of the 7th Cav as they travel 2,000 years into the past where soldiers from past and present fight to survive. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
After Hannibal defeated the Romans at the Battle of Cannae, he had them at his mercy. But he didn’t follow up with an attack on Rome itself. Some historians believe he thought they would sue for peace. They didn’t and he roamed around Italy for years, allowing the Romans to rebuild their army which resulted in his defeat at Zama and the destruction of Carthage. So, I decided to send the Seventh Cavalry back in time to help him out.
The story is filled with well developed and interesting character. What was your favorite character to write for?
My favorite character in the novel is Private Katy Sharakova. She’s a tough soldier, a skilled fighter, and an outspoken buddy. She’s based on a good friend of mine.
I enjoyed the different relationships that developed throughout the course of the story. What were some ideas you wanted to capture while writing?
One of the themes I like to develop in my stories is the mechanic of relationships. A couple meet, clash, become friends, maybe good friends or even lovers, one of them makes a big mistake or cheats on the other, poisoning the relationship, they break up, then some event forces them into a situation where they must solve a problem together. They discover their feeling for each other are stronger than jealousy or disappointments in behavior. All this must be mixed in with a bit of adventure and danger.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’ve just published a new book, “Sea of Sorrows”. It’s about Vietnam vet who returns to Bangkok after a fifty-year absence. He thought his lover from long ago had died in a typhoid epidemic in 1969. However, he discovers she did not die and not only did she live, but she was pregnant with his child when he returned to the battlefield where he was critically wounded. Now he learns his past has been evolving without him.
A unit of the Seventh Cavalry is on a mission over Afghanistan when their plane is hit.
Sergeant James Alexander, Private Kady Sharakova, Private Charley Kawalski, PFC Autumn Eaglemoon, PFC Sparks Campbell, and nine other soldiers bail out of the burning plane.
When they hit the ground, they are not in Afghanistan. Not only are they four thousand miles from their original destination but it appears they have descended two thousand years into the past where primitive forces fight each other with swords and arrows.
The platoon is thrown into a battle where they must choose sides quickly or die. They are swept along in a tide of events so powerful that their courage, ingenuity and weapons are tested to the limits of their durability and strength.
The four women in the unit are trained soldiers, skilled in the art of combat, but they are not prepared for the brutal reality of war. They are more than capable of fighting alongside the men, and, at times, defending the others in close quarters fighting. But when the battle is won, they must come to grips with their destruction of life.
The Seventh is forced to join Hannibal’s army and fight his battles, at least until they can find their way home. However, as their journey takes them over the Alps and down the length of Italy, friendship and even romance begins to form between these hardened soldiers from past and present. Powerful bonds that reshape each soldier’s hopes and dreams for the future.
Posted in Interviews
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The relationship between the characters and seeing how they handle situations is always something I look forward to. What was a scene in the book that you particularly enjoyed writing?
When I am writing, sometimes I am just as surprised as the reader at what happens. It is especially fun writing the southern dialect because it comes naturally. I think the best part for me was watching Dillion’s character develop and change when faced with being the head of the family. Dillion had always been a follower, not a leader.
I always enjoy your characters because they feel real. Which character do you feel you relate to the most?
Aubree is based on myself and how I grew up. Though the novel is based on parts of my life, it contains mostly fiction. It will be hard to determine which elements are real and which are fiction — leaving a bit of a challenge for those who do not know me personally.
Will there be a Seasons III?
Yes, the third book is entitled, “Seasons III Unity of One.”
“The enemies of the past must unite with the community against a common enemy.”
I am writing this book as we speak.
In the first book, Seasons Once Upon My Innocence, the story began with a young girl who was still naïve and uncorrupted. Through her experiences, the harsh realities of life began to creep in, taking away her and that of her friends’ innocence. A community must bond together in the midst of tragedy.
In Seasons Justice is Not for the Weak, the story continues into high school. The teens face greater challenges and more difficult choices. Justice in the eyes of one may not be the same justice in the eyes of another. There is a fine line when judging others and taking matters into our own hands. Families, individuals, and communities may be destroyed.
My favorite poem from the collection is Heartbeat. What is your favorite poem from this book.
My favorite poem is Paradise Remains.
The art in this book is beautiful. What was the art collaboration like for this collection?
The artwork by Zunash Ashiqali is phenomenal. Her illustrations are as if she could see my poems through my mind’s eye. Zunash was so aligned with every word and knew exactly what I wanted. I did not have to say anymore than share my poems with her.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is a tribute to my 4 beautiful children. It is called The Adorables and it will be available by mid 2020.
“Keepsake – A Souvenir of Love” is a book inspired by the poet’s love and devotion for the Spiritual. Her poems are inspired by the wisdom of her spiritual journey and the values and ethics she has embraced.
The book contains several inspirational and meditative poems. Each one of them embraces values such as love and devotion, unity in diversity, the simplicity of miracles. The poems are in simple language and filled with emotion that readers can relate to.
The book has been illustrated by graphic designer and digital artist Zunash Ashiq Ali.
Operation Sustainable Human outlines four pragmatic steps that anyone can take to combat climate change. Why was this an important book for you to write?
As with all of my writing projects, the goal is somewhat simple: to help. I wanted to facilitate effective climate action. I felt that it could be made a lot easier for people and that we could be far more impactful with an optimized strategy. I loved the idea of focusing on the few areas that account for the vast majority of emissions. I also felt that there are many myths around the climate crisis that needed to be cleared up.
I appreciated the science and research used in this book. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
I am an active scientist and so I am always reading research papers and conducting experiments. And as a lot of my research is about sustainability, I had a huge head start before I sat down to research for the book. I went back to the source papers and tried to gather as many perspectives as possible. Almost a third of the book consists of references and so those who read it are getting a solid synthesis of the current literature. That being said, I also spent a lot of time ensuring that the book was really easy to read and understand, and so, while there may be a lot of scientific research behind the book, it is accessible to anyone. in fact, one of the most common pieces of feedback is that it is really easy to read (the book only takes an hour to complete).
What is one thing that people can start doing today that will help with climate change?
If you are looking for something that has immediate effects, then switching to a plant-based diet is a great place to start. To quote the book:
“Switching to a plant-based diet has rapid, measurable, highly significant results. In a single month, you personally would have saved 600 pounds of CO2, 900 square feet of forest, 1,200 pounds of grain, and 33,000 gallons of water. Just by modifying your diet you can stop funding the leading cause of deforestation, ocean dead-zones, habitat destruction, species extinction, water pollution, methane pollution, and nitrous oxide pollution. In short, it is the single biggest way to reduce your negative impact on our planet.”
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Right now we are working on the documentary version of the book. If anyone wants to be involved, now is the time to reach out. As for the next book, I have two that I really want to write and so I need to decide which one should go first.
Operation Sustainable Human has a refreshingly unique, no BS approach. No speculative theories. No time-wasting. Rather than bombarding the reader with a 100+ item to-do list, this short book offers four, deeply considered, pragmatic steps that account for the vast majority of the problem. Everything is backed by science, clearly referenced, and easy to read. High impact made simple.
Choose a reality… any reality explores how consciousness shapes our reality. Why was this an important book for you to write?
First of all, being a writer is something that I never imagined. My intention to share with everyone all my thoughts, made me start writing. I was always intrigued by the fact that there are countless angles in how everyone translates the concept of health, wealth, and happiness. Every day we see people that they seem to have access to everything they love and also people with a restricted attitude about dealing with their life, their dreams. It is easy for an open-minded person to come to the conclusion that everything is a matter of choice. I strongly believe that our lives obey a universal law which was demonstrated by Newton as the” Law of Action and Reaction”. The secret is when you “choose a reality”, to support as strongly as you can your choice. In my life’s journey, I realized that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. We are not discovering ourselves but we are creating what we want to be.
I appreciated the depth of the discussions in this book and how you incorporate science and philosophy. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
I wouldn’t call it research. Just my strong interest in that field made me persist in going deeper and deeper. So, one book brought the next and so on. The discoveries of the last decades in Cosmology and Quantum physics, in combination with several philosophical trends gave me the sparkle to try to unify them in a very balanced presentation, not strictly scientific and unapproachable to the most readers but the same time not oversimplified which underestimates the value of the science background.
I found this book to be enlightening. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I believe that the book will catch the interest not only of the readers interested in quantum physics but for anyone who wants to read about a different approach to life’s perspective. I brought theoretical philosophers and geniuses into one book for any reader to choose the path and reality they would like to adhere by. We ought to ourselves to rely on our willingness and consistency to reach our goals. Choose a reality….any reality is only “a finger pointing the moon” and a prompting that If you can be whatever you choose, why should you choose to be a “copy”?
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am very excited about my next book, and I love talking about it. It is a children’s book and I am in love with the main characters of that book. As you know, English is not my native language. I met great difficulties during the writing and editing in “Choose a reality….any reality”. There was a moment when I decided the next book to be in my mother tongue for experiencing all the fields of my writing skills. Also, I placed a “bet” about unleashing my imagination and explore what I can do. Please allow me not telling any details about the concept of that book at the present moment. Unfortunately, I am not able to tell you when it will be available because in the case of a children’s book, graphic designing is a great factor and it is a field completely unknown.
How many times have you thought of facing life in a totally different way? How many friends, books, and incidents in your everyday life have made you realize, that you are responsible for your own actions? Do you want to change your lifestyle?
In this book, you are given the opportunity to discover how your consciousness forms your world and your reality. It is time to accept that you are the reason, for all circumstances that transpire in your life. You are the actual force, which creates the motion within the universe. You are the one who directs all universal forces and develops the desires of your imagination.
In this “presentation”, you are offered the opportunity to reflect on yourself, as a forum of wholeness, because you do, in fact, have all the qualities and abilities of “One Universal Force”.
It is time to come to the realization of the famous phrase, “I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me”. It is time to be an “El Mago” (wizard) in embracing your life with all the magic, which is accompanied by the most powerful force of the universe, “LOVE”.
Love thyself, for all things, whereas, when you think about them, your heart begins to beat faster. You are given an opportunity to reevaluate the fundamental principles, which define all human kind, for creating a life as a piece of art, which ultimately is completely blissful.