Phoenix the Brave Bird – Trailer

It does not matter what your eyes see, just believe.

After the evil came to the woods and destroyed all that was beautiful and good, his hope was the only clue that Phoenix had when he went out for the unknown help to restore it.

That hope was the magical power of love and friendship, which made Phoenix find whom he was looking for, and although the solution seemed to be simple, the degree of conviction inside of him had the final word.

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18 Cranes: Kaifeng Chronicles, Book One

18 Cranes: Kaifeng Chronicles, Book One by [Campbell, Robert]

For most of his life, Bing has prepared ceaselessly to take the civil servant examinations, with little time for anything beyond the collections of texts that dictate political matters. Passing the exams would be the first step in following his father’s path, and also determine nearly everything else about his future. Finally, the day to begin them has arrived, and Bing faces the grueling challenges before him with understandable anxiety, but also a necessary determination. Outside of the exam compound, however, his focus is frequently drawn to a mysterious dream that recurs almost nightly, as well as a glimpse into history from his beloved grandfather.

In 18 Cranes by Robert Campbell, we’re introduced to Bing, his loved ones, and some of the traditions of village life in 17th century China. With an engaging narrative and colorful descriptions of Bing’s world, 18 Cranes does an excellent job of holding the reader’s attention, even while discussing a subject as mundane as civil servant exams. Despite a lack of any real action, the story never seems stagnant. Of course, there’s more going on than just rigorous testing. Bing is also suddenly plagued by a recurring dream, the meaning of which eludes him. The reader learns a lot about Bing and his relationships with his loved ones over the course of several expertly crafted conversations that examine each part of the dream, which always ends with 18 red-crested cranes ascending into the sky. The number 18 in particular holds special intrigue and multiple explanations are suggested for its meaning. To further the feeling of mystery, toward the end of the story, Grandfather Ai begins to tell Bing about the origins of their family. The short oral history is enough to stoke Bing’s stifled imagination. Restricted by his strict studies, Bing has never had the opportunity to read many legends or works of fiction and his curiosity, although kept under control, nonetheless exists. Grandfather Ai’s revelations also provide an interesting twist for the reader.

The uncertainty of the future is an overarching theme throughout the book and is explored through both tangible avenues, like Bing’s performance in the exams, as well as in deciphering the symbolism of his dream. There is also a considerable emphasis placed on Bing’s age, with repeated mentions that he could be one of the youngest people to ever pass the exams on the first try. Because of this, it reads a good bit like a coming of age story.

18 Cranes is subtitled “Kaifeng Chronicles Book One”, in reference to the village that Bing’s maternal ancestors came from. I’d be excited to read the rest of the series and follow Bing further through the avenues of his life. The abundance of detailed descriptions make it easy to picture the aspects of Bing’s village life, from the shores of West Lake to the flowers in the gardens. This book is an interesting and well written story that moves at a good pace.

Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07C8LC32H

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What Anyone Can Do

Life gets in the way–this is something we have all experienced. The people with whom we choose to surround ourselves, the chances we opt to take, and the goals we set for ourselves set the tone for our success and, in many cases, our failures. One of the most effective methods for being successful is recognizing that you don’t have to go it alone. From learning with others to staving off those who ooze negativity, realizing that we are not expected to find our niche alone is the key to reaching goals of all types–not just goals related to business and career.

Leo Bottary, author of What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth, sets forth some tidbits of advice regarding reaching goals and the realizations he has made along his journey. Interwoven with his own brief, high-interest anecdotes are words of wisdom from those he admires and from whom he has gleaned the most effective advice.

One of the most striking aspects of Bottary’s work is the stress he places on finding individuals who provide the appropriate amount of support but, at the same time, push us to reach our potential. Bottary effectively points out that the time in which we are currently living is an integral part of our ability to reach our potential. We essentially have everything we need at our fingertips, and our access to experts and the opinions and advice from others with similar interests and goals is ever-increasing. Bottary brings to light many points I had not considered as I am considering a career change myself and face my own negativity heading forward.

As an elementary teacher, I am stunned at the revelation Bottary makes regarding the time in which people tend to lose that feeling of invincibility. He points out that we are born believing we have no limits, but life tends to change that rather quickly. Specifically, he shares that by the age my own students are in third grade, they begin to second guess the fact that they can be anything they want and have what they desire. That was an eye-opening passage worth a second and third read to this teacher and mother.

Page after page, Bottary hits on one relevant topic after another related to the plans we make during our lives. I especially appreciated Bottary’s words on the changes we make related to career and business. My teenagers are about to graduate and set out on their own. Bottary emphasizes that the feelings my son is having about making a career choice and the pressure he feels to be sure about it now are validated by Bottary. I am more confident, after reading, in talking to him about the way in which we tend to change our minds about school and career paths.

What begins with the feel of a business-oriented self-help book turns quickly into an excellent source of inspiration for all readers.

Pages: 186 | ASIN: B07GRD9YPT

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The Dragon Shifters at Southgate

Right from the very beginning the book has an air of suspense. The plot unfolded easily and the characters were easy to understand and like. All of this led me to flipping pages quickly. We are immediately introduced to Talwyn Sevi and her mother and sister running through the woods. The author expertly narrates how the three had been running away, passing through the woods and even hiding. I had no idea what they were running from but my anticipation was high, and I wanted to know more.

The story got juicier when I got to know Talwyn’s age. She was over three hundred years old, and all she was having were memories. The other interesting thing was that the events in her dream-memory had happened when she was just 8 years old. That was such a long time to remember some things. I loved that during their time, her people could live for over eight hundred years. I tried imagining how life was for them, and how they viewed life seeing that one could live for centuries. The other exciting thing was that Talwyn’s people didn’t experience adolescence until they were twenty-five or thirty years old. Thinking about it, it made sense because a thirty-year-old could not be described as a full adult considering how long they lived. This is reminiscent, for me, of the depth of lore found in well developed series like Dungeon’s and Dragons, or The Lord of the Rings series.

I enjoyed Talwyn character, she was not only loving but also cared for the people around her. I loved her sense of humor and how she was able to bring moments of levity into dark situations. Her whole personality was lovely. I, however, didn’t understand why she kept questioning her clear memory. As much as some of the things she remembered were unpleasant, I would not have minded having a memory as good as hers. Overall, Talwyn was my favorite character. Anwyl was another character I admired (I know, it sounds like every character is my favorite). Being the greatest metallurgist the seers had ever seen was an achievement. Anwyl was the only being Talwyn had who had been allowed access to the mountain. I love that he was useful, as most fantasy novels give someone a job with no real use; he mined rare metal and made whatever the dragonkin needed. I really loved the traits in the characters. That the shifters could shift between human and animal form at will was eccentric, but amusing regardless.

The Dragon Shifters At Southgate: Seers Book II is a creative piece of literature with an action-packed plot and well developed characters in a world with a rich backstory. This book has an enthralling story line that constantly hints at something larger. The author’s writing style is simple, making it easily accessible by anyone, and her way of narrating the story naturally capture’s the reader’s interest.

 

www.SherryLeclerc.com

 

Her Love Affair

L M Hedrick Author Interview

L M Hedrick Author Interview

The Rigel Affair is a thrilling love story following two young people caught up in World War II. Why was this an important book for you to write?

My mother took her box of Charlie’s letters down from a bedroom cupboard, and talked about them constantly… telling me all the stories of her love affair with Charlie and the mysteries behind it. Many years later, after her death, I finally had the courage to read them for the first time. She made me promise that these letters must always be kept special. They were so compelling… it was like Charlie was in the room with me.

This is a story based on the letters and stories your mother passed down to you. How has your perception of the stories changed from childhood to adulthood?

My perception has not changed. Even today, it is like my mother is with me when I view these letters.

What were some things in the story that you felt had to be 100% accurate and what were some things you took some liberties with?

The pathway of the USS Rigel had to be 100% historically accurate. When we approached the US Navy and they realized the scope of our project, they assigned me an Officer who supplied us with many of Charlie’s Orders, and also the position of the Rigel for every day of the war. Then we could research events that were happening around the Rigel from time to time, and knowing that Charlie was leader of the Navy Divers on board, we could pick out actions and events that were typical of his duties.

Took Liberties – Roxy, Mrs Frisken, Mattie, – while Charlie’s locations were actual, we did not know exactly what he was doing. But we interview some of his shipmates who filled us in on day-to-day activities. But many of Charlie’s missions were secret.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

We are working on the Sequel – mainly set in the early 1950’s, but this is a WIP. Hopefully, to be published circa late 2019.

Author Links: WebsiteYouTubeTwitterBlogFacebook | InstagramPinterestLinkedIn | Google Plus

The Rigel Affair by [Hedrick, L M]Abandoned by his part-Cherokee Ma, Charlie Kincaid escapes servitude with his uncle. He jumps a boxcar, accompanied by his schoolmate Roxy, who is escaping troubles of her own. Charlie becomes a US Navy Diver.Mattie Blanc is from a genteel New Zealand family. But when her brother’s friend persuades her to take a ride, it all goes horribly wrong. Desperate, she flees her family’s stifling expectations for a new life in Auckland.After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Charlie sets sail for Auckland aboard the USS Rigel. And there she is, the girl of his dreams. Mattie is everything that Roxy isn’t— sophisticated, tender, and patient. But the war intervenes… Rigel embarks for the Pacific war zones.Charlie’s letters are sporadic. Mattie is tormented by doubts; did he truly love her, or was it only a dream?The Rigel Affair produces a rip-roaring wartime romance and chilling danger unknown to most.

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The Choices We Make

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Eleanor Tremayne Author Interview

Destiny Revisited finds Gabby at an ex-boyfriends funeral where she is handed a ‘death box’ that sets off an unexpected chain of events. Where did the idea for the death box come from and how did it develop in the story?

In my first novel, Destiny Revisited, the objective was to encourage the readers to reflect on how the choices we make influence our entire lives. The novel is layered with irony, juxtaposition, and symbolism. The Death Box was one way to achieve this.

Preserving past memories is a well known practice. When Gabby Girard sees Jake Chevalier for the last time she has no idea that the cardboard box she hands him will forty years later be returned to her as The Death Box. Once Jake becomes the new keeper of this box, he now symbolically renames it The Death Box, representing the “death” of his relationship. Ironically , however, it also becomes Jake’s “lifeline” to Gabby. What follows after she opens that box is Jake’s final expression of love. It is a gesture that I know most readers will appreciate.

The Death Box was created in the early stages of the novel’s conception. It also becomes the catalyst for what follows in Gabby’s life, as well as, a link to the sequel novel, Destiny Revealed.. At that point Jake’s journals, found in The Death Box , becomes Gabby’s guiding light.

Gabby’s character is well developed and the relationships she has are heartfelt and heartbreaking. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating Gabby’s relationships?

Gabby Girard believes that literature has the answers to all of life’s questions. Creating this character my intention was to illustrate how powerful authors words are. To achieve this I relied on my own favorite writers, James Joyce, TS Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, and Dante. Inspiration also came from various cinematography heroine. Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Katie Morosky, in The Way We Were.

Every romantic relationship that Gabby faces, she hopes will lead her closer to happiness. Unfortunately, not until Jake Chevalier releases her will she ever find peace.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There are many complex issues that Destiny Revisited addresses. If there is one idea that I would like readers to contemplate, it would be how much control do we really have over own destiny?

This book is the beginning of a series. How many books do you have planned and how far do you want to take Gabby’s story?

Destiny Revisited ended as a cliffhanger. It was always going to end in that way. What I did not expect was how many readers would request a sequel novel. That was when I decided to write Destiny Revealed. This novel allowed me to include more details about Caden Cassidy Sterling Powers, and Selina Cassidy.

Understanding Caden’s life in Ireland before moving to Savannah, Georgia, adds depth to his character. Similarly, Sterling was a real mystery that I wanted the reader to learn more about.
Once I decided to add a new character, Maggie Mendoza, everything began to develop nicely. The novel took a new life of its own. No longer was it now only a romance, it became a mystery novel.. Although I once considered another Destiny novel, I came to the conclusion that I like the way it ended. Although it is difficult to “walk” away from Gabby, I knew it was time to move on.
My next novel, Seven Days in Lebanon, is a historical fiction, based on the real life story of my grandmother’s exile in 1917 from St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva. It is in the final editing stage. It will be released early next year. Currently, The Mermaid’s Grandson, a work in progress, is a fantasy fiction that will touch the heart of every reader who ever experienced the joy and loss of a child.

Author Links: Amazon | Twitter

Destiny Revisited by [Tremayne, Eleanor Tremayne]

When Gabriella is handed the death box at her boyfriend’s funeral, she has no idea how her life is going to change. Her life becomes more than a stage; it becomes the looking glass through which the past and future can be seen.

Destiny Revisited begins in a Boston chapel in 2001, where Gabby flashbacks to the beginning of her journey–to Savannah, Georgia during the early sixties. Her memories take her to the university where she escapes a tragic love affair and finds herself living an extravagant, but ultimately mundane lifestyle in Kentucky. That is, until multimillionaire Sterling Powers, introduces a naïve Gabby to his special world of sexual intrigue.

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Imprisoned Within The Pages

Danny Estes Author Interview

Danny Estes Author Interview

The Infinite Wisdom follows Braxton into a genetics lab, while looking for his fiancée as he stumbles across the origin of the hairless apes. The mythology of the world is that mankind has vanished. Are you looking to further that mystery or will we see the hairless apes reappear?

Book 3 of “The Snow Adventures”, will reveal more information concerning the hairless apes. In addition, new developments in the reason for the space station will come to light, but not without its costs. For this information will cause a tragedy amongst the animals which will change the characters’ lives. Shaking up the norm for the path of Book 4.

I enjoyed the underlying technological theme throughout the book. Did you conduct any genetics research for this book?

Although science can fascinate and inspire my writing as we continue to stubble into the future, I conducted no research into the making of this book. All genetic hypotheses and advance sciences presented within this book comes from the countless movies and science fiction books I’ve read or watched over the years. I merely laid out the ideals and incorporated what aspects of each I felt would best open imaginative minds to concepts our current technology are already adventuring within.

The cover art for this book is awesome. What was the development like for this cover?

For a writer the cover is the most important beginning for any book. Never mind all the hours, days, months or even years of hard work that goes into a book’s development. If the cover arts not appealing, all the investment an author has made will be for not. For a reader must have their interest peeked to invest their time in simply picking up the book for a curiosity look see. This is why I spend a lot of time considering the cover. It must convey an imagery of events to be found within the pages of the book while not promising any falsehoods. With these concepts I had to considered what would best convey the plight of the characters. Who besides Braxton should or shouldn’t be portrayed. The fact that Joann, his sweetheart is a driving factor in the book told me she had to be included. But how then do I present them? Escaping? Boarding the space shuttle? Talking with the unicorns, Mr. Thelin and his sister Ms. Thelin? All good avenues of presentation. Yet everyone’s desire to be free felt to be the most important aspect for the cover. For a reader will see our heroes’ plight and wonder as to how they got there and what must be done to escape. This then seemed the most obvious choice as it invited the reader to at least explore as to how they were imprisoned within the pages and I hope, would invest the reader to continue reading in order to see our heroes gain their freedom.

Where will we find Braxton in the next book in the Snow Adventures and when will that be available?

Braxton will find himself back into his old job of investigations. Though in truth he’s rather be with his wife, Joann and their growing family. Current circumstances however will lead him on a chase for an escaped murderer who somehow has vanished from a secured holding cell. How and why will leave the animals shaken to the core. This Book 3, of The Snow Adventures, I’ve slated for an appearance on amazon sometime in 2020.

Author Links: GoodReads Facebook | Website

The Infinite Wisdom (The Snow Adventures Book 2) by [Estes, Danny C]

Braxton Snow, P.I., big city arctic wolf, is back!

While escaping the glacial clan of his birth, Braxton lands in a sinister genetic laboratory established by the hairless apes long ago. With the help of his new allies, Braxton navigates this alien technology to find his jackrabbit fiancée. But the curious archaeologist red fox has nailed all their coffins by pushing buttons he shouldn’t. They know where the hairless apes went now—somewhere the animals should not have followed! Will they ever return home?

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A Trail of Honesty – Trailer

Summertime is vacation time for the Angelino family, and the two Angelino boys are excited about their upcoming camping trip. They’re going to the local state park, where they can swim, go fishing, and look for wildlife!

Being on vacation doesn’t mean the boys have to be careful. An encounter with a sneezing deer provides their father with an opportunity to teach the boys about respecting wildlife and staying alert for danger. Knowing more about the park’s wildlife helps the boys have more fun while staying safe. They discover staying quiet and moving slowly makes it easier to see the animals and birds that call the park home.

At the camp, the boys have responsibilities like the rest of the family. When they neglect one of these responsibilities and lie about it, they wind up in trouble—and learn an important lesson.

Beautifully illustrated, A Trail of Honesty teaches children about honesty while explaining actions have consequences. J. A. Angelo’s delightful story is an ideal way for parents to use consequences to teach children how to be better people—not simply to punish them.

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Real-World Conflict

Sarah Katz Author Interview

Sarah Katz Author Interview

Apex Five is a thrilling science fiction story following several races as they try to restore the balance of power to the Plane. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?

Thank you kindly! The inspiration for this clash of civilizations largely stemmed from real-world conflict, such as ongoing political strife in the Middle East and the colonization of the Americas and Australia.

We’re introduced to many different and distinct races throughout this book. What were some themes you wanted to capture in each race?

With the dominant nation of Tabira, I seek to capture an adamant emphasis on technology as the primary means of progress. With the Lir and Garo, I aim to capture two nations at war, though each representing a side two the occupier-freedom fighter coin. Each sees the other as the perpetrator of oppression and violence. Finally, the Ayam symbolize the nation least impacted by technology and industrialization.

I really enjoyed the character progression in this story and the ease with which you introduced each. Who was your favorite character to write for?

My favorite character has to be Rohem. Writing for a person who doesn’t even know where they come from is always interesting, as it allows for relatively free reign as far as their life decisions. That said, Oria is a close second, as her proximity to super-human individuals despite not being one herself provides the opportunity for much self-improvement and exploration as she learns how best to help protect her nation.

This is book one in The Plane series. Where will book two pick up and when will it be available?

Book Two will pick up quite literally from the scene where Book One left off. This sequel, Eon One, should be available by late 2019.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Apex Five (The Plane Book 1) by [Katz, Sarah]For millennia, the people of the Plane have worshipped five megaliths as relics of the mysterious Zaam. In recent years, the nation of Tabira has employed remarkably advanced technology to subjugate the entire Plane and eradicate all belief in the Zaam. 

Now, the three remaining nations must uncover the secret behind Tabira’s sudden forward leap in civilization. At the forefront, a doctor, three intelligence officers and a freedom fighter embark on their respective journeys to restore a balance of power to the Plane.

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Anticipating Temptation

I listened to this novel as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator’s voice and dramatic affect along with character voices. This sultry novel brought to us by Randi Perrin introduces us to Char Brown. She is a 30-something woman working at a magazine with her closest, and maybe only, friends. She admires the slim, physique of her best friend, Jenny, and begrudgingly attempts to eat salads in an effort to attain a slim physique of her own. She has a strange relationship with her boyfriend, one where he hides her from his mom, so she’ll allow him to continue living at home. When I heard that part, I knew that Char clearly struggles with her self-esteem and you see this theme permeating throughout the beginning of this story.

Things quickly change for Char as the boyfriend breaks-up with her, in a terrible way, and leaves her feeling low and unworthy. Fortunately, she has good friends who get her out and suddenly her world changes and she is caught in a web of seduction woven by a handsome cowboy type…who also owns a wine bar and has a literature degree! I absolutely love how Darryl is immediately drawn to Char. For anyone who has experienced love at first sight you know how that feels and that it exists. Some people might find it creepy that Darryl was able to hunt down her phone number in under 12 hours, but I understand that when that intense chemical attraction occurs there is nothing that will stand in your way. This book brought back happy memories of my own meeting with my husband and how it took me by surprise and swept me away. For that reason, I had an extra appreciation while listening to this story.

It is always refreshing to read romance where the male character is working hard to build the confidence of his female interest out of admiration and respect. He doesn’t just try to bed her but shows an interest in who she is and truly finds her beautiful. It is so common for a woman to experience low self-esteem due to the world and men beating them down. It is nice to see Char experiencing this affection and adoration and starting to realize her worth. There is definitely a kink in the sexy cogs where Char is disillusioned and brought back to her former beliefs about herself but that is totally normal, and I appreciated that it wasn’t all just roses.

I am not a drinker but there was a lot of wine knowledge embedded in this story that a true connoisseur would enjoy. There are a lot of sexy wine metaphors as well! There is a little erotic action, but it is done respectfully and not in a raunchy or distasteful way. This was a fun read with a beautiful and romantic story that got me feeling all warm and fuzzy and wanting to relive my romance all over again.

Pages: 126 | ASIN: B073HF2LG8

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