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Powerballs Be careful what you wish for by Jimmy Clifton is a story about a middle-aged couple who unexpectedly wins the lottery and find themselves in a very different world, offering them a life vastly different from their challenging careers and financial struggles. Henry Ball, an accountant in a progressive firm, fantasizes about living a more exciting life, fantasies about his younger female coworkers and greater recognition at work. Likewise, Henry’s wife, Rose Ball, dreams of a luxury lifestyle that she sees her friend enjoy.

As the couple dreams about their ultimate life, they suddenly realize their most fantastic fantasy, winning the Powerball lottery. Quickly though, they learn how this transformation will create a new set of challenges for each of them. Things are not what they seem as they dive into this extravagant world. This growing tension and realization of their newfound financial freedom becomes a journey that leads them on separate paths. The couple’s new adventures lead to many exciting and humorous encounters that give them a changed perspective on life, but not without a few shocking lessons and opportunities.

Readers will enjoy this light and funny read that details the struggles of a couple’s journey from mediocracy to luxury and how they trade one set of tension and challenges for another, with higher risks and experiences. The author narrates a well-paced, lively tale that creates a sense of hope and adventure for a couple struggling with mid-life identity and goals while transitioning into the extravagant world of billionaires and how they transform into this world of privilege.

Powerballs Be careful what you wish for is a riveting, enjoyable read that’s quickly absorbed. It’s a fun page-turner that readers will find entertaining and witty, with brilliant character development, lots of action, and a well-structured story filled with drama. Readers looking for travel fiction or contemporary American fiction will enjoy this humorous, fast-paced read.

Pages: 250 | ASIN : B094DTBRPX

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The Other Side of Good

The Other Side of Good by E.A. Coe raises a profound and existential question we’ve all pondered at some point: is it possible to be both ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ or is it one or the other? This captivating police thriller explores the idea that the kind of person one is may not be so black and white and takes readers on an exciting and thought-provoking journey of the gray area in between right and wrong.

Author Coe introduces an exciting combination of characters based in Cincinnati intertwined in each other’s lives with intriguing complexity. First, we meet police Commander Denton Jones, who reconnected with childhood friend turned high-powered drug cartel leader, Theo Jackson.

Both men experienced childhood trauma together, leading them to turn to different sides of the law. However, they now find themselves fighting for the same cause-to take down an alarmingly powerful human trafficking ring. We follow the men through a fast-paced mission, full of unexpected twists and turns and unusual alliances. Add in police and government corruption, shocking acts from a Pastor, and international gang activity, and Coe gives us a page-turning tale we find ourselves entranced in.

This riveting crime novel gives readers a look into the horrible realities of human trafficking. It plays with the notion of a gray area between good and evil. Coe encourages readers to open their minds and explore if our intrinsic beliefs about those we see as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are really as cut and dry as we have thought. This suspenseful novel has a large cast of characters that the reader will need to pay attention to learn who is part of what faction. Once readers understand who the key players are, readers won’t be able to help but root for the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good.’

The Other Side of Good is a gripping and intensive police crime mystery novel. The action and suspense will keep readers on edge till the last page.

Pages: 356 | ASIN : B09M96X57D

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About Real People, Not Heroes

Helen Daniels
Helen Daniels Author Interview

We’re Not Heroes follows survivors of the apocalypses on their journey to reach loved ones in a world where everything they knew is changed or gone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Honestly, I’m a ‘what if’ kind of thinker. I love the post-apocalyptic genre, but was always disheartened by the need for authors to use a ‘hero’ – you know, the ex-SAS Soldier or retired Navy Seal. (Talk about coincidence that one might be on hand for every post-apocalyptical story). Anyway, I got tired of it, and decided to tell a story that I would want to read. About real people, not heroes.

One of the highlights of your novel is how detailed the scenes were, it was easy for readers to visualize the action. What was your favorite scene in this story?

Thank you, I’m so pleased that I was about to conjure the imagery. I enjoyed writing the scene where Maree and Leon come across the young mother with her children. I wanted to detail the horrific acts that some people will commit in a state of lawlessness, and yet others still will be compelled to hang on to their morals and humanity. In saying that, Luca intrigues me and I thoroughly enjoyed creating his character. His broken English made it difficult for him to fully express himself. I would love to find the time to explore his past.

Was there a reason why you chose The Great Southern region of Western Australia as the backdrops for your story?

Yes! I live here. The area is the backdrop to my life. I can see and feel the characters in and around where I live. The Great Southern is semi-isolated from the most isolated city in the world (Perth)! It is majestic and powerful and holds me captivated.

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

I am hoping to intertwine other sets of characters with Jon and Maree’s story, exploring the hardships after taking many things in life for granted. Ideally, this book is probably around 12 months away.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

A friendly barbecue turns to panic when what appears to be an earthquake shatters the lives of a group of friends. Deep in the heart of the Great Southern of Western Australia, the mountains are ablaze and with little to no communication with the world outside the farm gates, the need to grasp onto something comfortable and familiar is quickly overshadowed with the need to survive.
Struggling with a deep sense of foreboding, Maree struggles with the desperate need to find her family hundreds of kilometres away. A fight for survival and family she can’t live without.
Their world has changed. It’s time to survive.

A Collection Of Bizarre Vignettes

Scott Petty
Scott Petty Author Interview

The Fourth Wall follows an Army Captain to Afghanistan where he encounters supernatural elements that were responsible for a mass killing. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write something totally different from any other war novel. The memorable moments from my time in Afghanistan were the kinds of things you never read about or see in movies about war. I had strange encounters that inspired me to write of the fog of war itself, almost as an autonomous form. The Fourth Wall began as a novella, a collection of bizarre vignettes, but I decided to make it bigger and wilder. I wanted it to be an accurate description of modern warfare, but it also had to be adventurous and entertaining, fun for a reader but also fun to write. The supernatural elements grew out of that approach, but the main star of The Fourth Wall has always been the fog of war. I just gave it a different face.

Captain Thomas Jett is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Jett is an explorer. He volunteers for a combat tour in Afghanistan. He is familiar with the occult, and his home is haunted by ghosts. By volunteering to go to war, he is seeking an escape but also personal transformation and exposure to dangers he has never known but wants to experience. Something is out there waiting for him, he just doesn’t know what it might be. This openness to change, for good and bad, is what drives Jett. It is the cycle of external and internal conflict that sustains him and pushes him.

He wants to be a good soldier, though, to do the right thing. He wants to find himself and find a place in this war. When presented with so many dark mysteries, he sees this as a chance to do both.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The Fourth Wall describes the chaos of modern warfare in myriad ways, from top levels of command to troops out on patrol. Exploring warfare in this way, I was able to step out of my own boots and learn about the experiences of others and their job specialties. As I am still in the Army, this book has been a vessel to continue learning about military culture, doctrine, procedures, and technology, as well as to keep growing in my profession of arms.

Another theme I explore is Jett’s individual transformation within military society. He is only a captain, in his fifth year in the Army, but because of his assignments he is exposed to a variety of dramatic situations. In addition to The Fourth Wall’s outlandish qualities, other very real (and mundane) elements of military life have their moment. There are many layers to military society, and I wanted to present these diverse elements in new ways and go beyond the usual tropes of war literature.

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

I’ve been working on the sequel to The Fourth Wall, in which Jett goes on more adventures and further explores mysteries presented in the first book. I hope to have the sequel available in two years. I’ve planned a five or six book Fourth Wall series, though only the first two or three books will take place in Afghanistan.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Captain Thomas Jett, a U.S. Army Reservist, volunteers for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, in part to get away from ghosts at home. Things that go bump in the night. In war, he encounters monsters.

Jett is tasked to investigate a mass murder in Kandahar, which people say was not the work of the Taliban. Instead, it was a creature of smoke and fire, perhaps a jinni. As the chaos builds, revealing otherworldly evil, Jett must devise a new approach. He creates an imaginative system for an unconventional, dreamlike kind of conflict, calling his system “The Fourth Wall.”

Author Scott Petty is a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. Through a phantasmagoric show, Petty reinvents the war novel, interweaving reality with magical and paranormal elements. The Fourth Wall offers a panoramic view of modern warfare…one surreal piece at a time.

Ice Out

Francesca is a music teacher and professional flutist living the dream life in Vermont. She lives with her husband Ben, their four-year-old daughter Addie and their dog Cruz. Francesca starts from the present and goes back to the past, telling her story. Her narration takes place during a dramatic and challenging moment. Still, her flashbacks accentuate the happy and joyful moments she spent with her family, from childhood all the way to adulthood. The memories of meeting Ben, their marriage, and the birth of Addie all fade in and out in pieces. The lessons Francesca learned as a child from her parents about never breaking a promise radiating inside her. As she struggles in the ice-cold water, she finds the will to fight, believing Ben broke his promise to love and cherish her always. Her focus is finding Addie that she thinks she saw pulled from the ice by her ever-present companion Cruz.

Ice Out, by Susan Speranza, is a captivating metaphysical fiction novel. Life, death, and the question of what happens after death are insightful themes of this suspenseful and thrilling novel. Speranza writes in a detailed manner, giving the reader both moments of tension and action and moments of drama and detailed descriptions of the characters’ feelings.

This gripping novel starts with Francesca struggling to climb out of an icy lake with no information on how she ended up there. Then, the author takes readers on a winding path of flashbacks and present moments. Readers will find flashbacks build the anticipation as every one of them progresses the story and links the character’s thoughts in the present moment to critical moments in their past. A thought-provoking story of both hope and betrayal, readers will be left to consider is their life after death, what is the meaning of life, and differentiating dreams from reality.

Ice Out is an emotional rollercoaster with an intricate psychological plot. Readers who enjoy metaphysical fiction, thriller, or psychological fiction novels will be drawn into this riveting story.

I would like to end this review with an inspirational quote from the book itself: “From that moment of abandon, two souls merge. She understands then that he is her fate, her destiny. And their separate stories now become one”.


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Inspired By the Little Things in Life

Michael Tabor Author Interview

The Inquisition and Other Stories is the second book in your collection of short stories. Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I sometimes think that when it comes to story telling I’m a bit like a magpie in that I’m attracted to things that catch my eye (or my ear). Most of the stories were inspired by little things like an overheard snippet of conversation or a fleeting image of an interpersonal interaction. In other cases some stories are inspired by the arts; after all, a painting is just another form of story telling.

I enjoyed the creativity in each story. Which story from this collection is your favorite?

Of course, I’m biased and like all the stories for what each one has to say. Perhaps I can say that I get a lot of satisfaction from writing stories that involve a lot of research. In the current anthology, the story Catherine Lescault required considerable research about Nicolas Poussin and Honoré de Balzac. The story Cinderella involved learning about aphasia, and The Inquisition required learning about playwriting and cancer treatments.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in short stories?

Certainly who we are influences the way we write. However, I’m not a great fan of auto-fiction and do not like to inject myself into my own stories. To me, the challenge is to try and develop characters that are very different from myself in both personality and background.

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

I’ve started work on a historical novel set in the C12th. If things go very well it might be finished in 2023.

The Inquisition and Other Stories Book Review

Silver Heels

Silver Heels is a sequel to the book Silver Lights by author Michelle Lynn. The protagonist Skylar Lynn is a realtor who also makes a living dancing at Silver Lights, which is often frequented by influential and powerful men. The relationship between the character and the silver heels is similar to the analogy of the silver lights. The silver heels represent the confidence Skylar needs to walk her path, as well, as the silver lights accompanied her with the same intent. However, the dancer’s ambitions go beyond this; she wants to succeed in the movie business. After catching the eye of a billionaire at the club where she dances, she finds herself getting closer and closer to fulfilling her dreams.

This contemporary novel has a slow-burn start drawing the reader into the lives of the eccentric characters. There are a lot of key players that need to be introduced in this compelling story. From real estate agent to exotic dancer, Skylar will do anything in the name of getting her screenplay in the right hands and will put herself into a position to be seen.

Readers will be given drama, sexual content, exotic dancing, and dangers to keep the action flowing. However, the things Skylar craves for herself, romance and fame, are not the only focus. Corruption and its agents, the mafia and powerful billionaires, make this well-crafted book a page-turning experience for the reader. The author gives readers passion and the tension one feels from the high-stakes aura that permeates Wall Street. The mafia’s intrigue and mystery will pull readers in to see how Skylar navigates this new arena.

Silver Heels feels like the start of a bigger story. The action, romance, and drama will appeal to readers that love a narrative driven by a strong female character. This is a captivating and sensual novel that is an excellent choice for those who want a quick and exciting read.

Pages: 166 | ASIN : B085S6MN35

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Worldmaker of Yand – Polaris

Worldmaker of Yand-Polaris, by Andri E. Elia, is the second book in the spellbinding Worldmaker of Yand series. In this book, Yanara builds a new city in the aftermath of war. The story begins with Yanara, Frost, and Mandolen on a new planet after the war. While they recover from their injuries, they begin to make a new life in a place they name Tuncay.

There are so many revelations in this book that will appeal to fans of the series. Yanara’s backstory continues to get deeper and more intriguing as we discover more about her lineage while she is creating a new life for herself. She has a brother who was in love with the Queen, Stardust, and finds out her son can also wormhole. The leader, Wolf, uses another to get to Yanara and her family. On top of all those tantalizing revelations, we also discover that the k’tul leader, although shot in the head with an arrow during the war, had his body preserved in a pod.

Andri Eli’s writing style in this vibrant story has improved since the first book, which allows readers to appreciate the depth and creativity of the world and characters. With a much better pace and flow to the story, I feel like this book is very easy to read, even with its sometimes weighty ideas. The first book in the Worldmaker of Yand series built-up tension slowly and revealed the plot at a methodical pace while using a lot of descriptions along the way to give readers a clear idea of the events taking place. But this entertaining book places readers right in the middle of the action, which makes for a much more intriguing read.

The dialogue between characters is fluid and engaging, allowing readers to connect with the characters. I admire Yanara for her strength and her selflessness, and I really appreciated how well these character traits are drawn-out in the story. This book has an ensemble cast of interesting characters that sometimes make it hard to keep track of who is who but certainly adds to the epic nature of the overall story and shows how many people are involved, but I would have appreciated a little more clarity on who they were and what they wanted.

Worldmaker of Yand-Polaris tells the compelling story of the Worldmakers life after war with the k’tul. I enjoyed seeing Yanara build a new world and how she finally rids herself of the k’tul. This is a fascinating epic fantasy story with plenty of action to keep readers entertained and plenty of romance to keep you emotionally invested in this stimulating story.

Pages: 446 | ASIN : B09MF797VR

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