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Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel (The Black Eyed Witch Book 2) by [Rowan Staeffler]

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel by Rowan Staeffler, is a thrilling tale set in a fantasy world. The main characters in the book are Lithia  and Ronan. Lithia is a witch and Ronan, a human, is her boyfriend. Ronan’s job is to protect the witches from people. The people want to kill the witches because they believe the witches are responsible for the many deaths in the battles against monsters. Lithia, Rononan, and other witches are on the hunt for who is really to blame for the deaths and save the world.

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel has a thrilling setup to an intriguing romantic fantasy that is filled with gruesome scenes. The author has a distinctive descriptive style that makes the grisly scenes lean towards the macabre a bit. For example this scene: “the bearded man continued to scream, watching his blood gushing out of the stumps.” (Chapter 1 page 3). Scenes like this showcase  the authors willingness to let the blood flow in some shocking ways that, for the right audience, can be entertaining.

The storyline on its own is interesting, it was something that kept calling me back to this book, and made it hard to put down, I wanted to see where it was all going. It made me wonder if they would actually end up capturing the Naguals and save the world. My favorite character is Ashley because she was fun, upbeat, and optimistic throughout the obstacles in the book. I also love fantasy, so I loved the scenes with the witches and their awesome powers trying to save the world. I really enjoyed this novel, and I think with a good edit it could definitely be a fantasy novel that I praise to everyone I come across. But as it is there are just a few sentences scattered throughout the story that feel oddly worded.

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel is consistently riveting and filled with imaginative characters. Author Rowan Staeffler has created an absorbing fantasy adventure that is perfect for fans of sword & sorcery.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B089FR4ZDS

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Beyond The Goodnight Trail

Roy V. Gaston brings us a Classic Western novel based on true historical events. This compelling story follows Pete, a former Texas Ranger, in an action-filled adventure. Pete rides with his friend, Charlie, with the goal of travelling across the state bringing cargo and other riders. All the while there is a dangerous threat looming over them. That is, they need to traverse through land owned by the Comanche; a Native American tribe who are tired of seeing other Natives being used, abused, and taken from their land.

Beyond the Goodnight Trail is based on historical figures and events, and author Roy V. Gaston effectively delivers an engrossing read that feels authentic. Not only did he choose a very intriguing time to write a novel about, but he was able to capture that time cleverly. The dialogue between characters captures the dialect and slang of that period especially well, this can get tiring depending on the reader, but it shows Gaston’s skill in depicting a certain time and place. The author puts even small facts in this novel, like calling Native Americans ‘Indians’ and describing fine details of riding in the West, which helped immersion immensely. Overall, this created a fully realized atmospheric setting that was easy to fall into, though this became easier after the first quarter.

I enjoyed this novel and felt that the pace was quick overall, but I did feel that the start was a bit slow as it was filled with long descriptions of characters. But characters in a novel are arguably the most important, especially for historical-based ones, so this time is beneficial in creating engrossing characters. Beyond the Goodnight Trail performs smoothly in this section as well with an antagonist you love to hate and charming protagonists and side characters. The small biography-like sections at the end of the book were a cherry-on-top as the reader gets to see what became of these historical figures afterward.

Beyond the Goodnight Trail is an exciting adventure novel filled with interesting characters and striking settings. Readers who enjoy a good western will truly appreciate this story, but anyone looking for an entertaining read will find plenty to enjoy.

Pages: 264 | ASIN: B08KSKYZ2P

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Before The Origin

Before the Origin by [F.S Bala]

Before the Origin by F.S Bala is an account of events in several people’s lives all connected by the change in pattern in the world’s occurrences. Amy Taff, an outstanding character in the book, is thrown into a world of magic, science, and mystery. Her life changes drastically after she gets a job at Scythe. Immediately she realizes that a thread holds the balance between life and death. Ash, a talented young man, partakes in scientific government projects but his friend Abel, has several conspiracy theories surrounding this project. The lives of all these people are connected in one way or another by the environment, science and technology.

F.S Bala has outlined every event in a systematic manner that creates a balance between different generations and lifelines. The writer has embraced vivid imagery creating in depth visual representation that brings depth and color to the magical realism genre. The story is not a far-fetched work of fiction but based on normal day to day life occurrences and the prediction of the future. Although the book leans more towards science and technology, Bala uses poetic language that is filled with humor to bring levity to what could have been a drab experience. I am impressed with Bala’s writing style and the author’s ability to incorporate African folklore into this story, which made this book educational as well as entertaining.

Before the Origin is a engaging action adventure novel that excels at creating alluring characters in an intriguing world.

Pages: 124 | ASIN: B08KJ3MTF1

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From Mystery into Fantastical

Otto Schafer
Otto Schafer Author Interview

The Secret Journal follows two teenagers that uncover a dangerous secret about their town. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

I am a huge fan of archaeology thrillers. I love Indian Jones and National Treasure. The Goonies was my favorite movie as a kid. But I also love fantasy and magic like Tolkien of course, and more modern stuff Like Brent Weeks Lightbringer series. I combined these influences and wrote the book I would want to read.

Petersburg, Illinois was my hometown growing up. It is a beautiful little town full of history and old Victorian era homes. Old Abraham Lincoln himself surveyed the town, and if you visit there you will see it’s a magical place. As a kid, I played in all the mysterious drainage tunnels and I’ve been in some of the basements of those old homes high up on the bluffs. The key locations in the book, including the library, the old Victorian basement, and even the mysterious tunnel are all real, and were described to the best of my memory. So you see, it only made sense Petersburg had to be the setting for the magical story I wanted to tell.

Garrett and Breanne are intriguing and well-developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

Garrett is a small-town kid from a blue-collar home who reminded me a lot of myself at his age. The problems I gave him were similar to problems I was going through at his age. Of course, I ramped it up as the story made the transition from mystery into fantastical.

My inspiration for Breanne was inspired by my wife and her father and brothers. I knew I wanted a diverse cast of characters in my book because I value diversity, and I think our culture needs more of it. So writing a young Black girl who wants nothing more than to be a world famous archaeologist like her father was my way of saying to any young girl out there, no matter her culture or background, you can and should be whatever you want to be! I also think it worked well that she couldn’t be any more different than Garrett. He is a poor, small-town kid who has to work side jobs for new shoes and has never really left home. While Breanne is a world traveler, cultured, and incredibly intelligent, yet they are drawn to each other.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was it planned before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

I am a panster at heart, so I didn’t plot much. I knew what needed to happen by the end of each chapter. I let the characters show me how to get there. Sometimes, I sat back in my chair completely surprised by the path they chose to take. Now that I am working on the third book of the series I plot a little more, but I still let the characters take me away and I am still surprised on a regular basis with the directions they choose to go.

This is book one in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book two?

In ‘The Secret Journal’ I took readers on a suspenseful mystery where the intensity built chapter by chapter. By the end of the book it is obvious all hell is about to break loose. From the early pages of Book 2 ‘The Keepers of the Light’ that is exactly what happens, and it doesn’t stop. The action picks up as the teens fight for their lives, come to terms with their new reality, and try to save the world. The magic picks up too as we continue to transition from ‘real world’ ‘to a world suddenly saturated in a magic that wasn’t meant for us. I should mention, Book 2, ‘The Keepers of the Light’ is out now and I am hard at work on the 3rd book!

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A history hidden from the world. A truth long sought, but better left unfound. Will two teenagers survive the magical secrets they unearth?
Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Breanne Moore blames herself for her mother’s tragic death. So when her archaeologist father is invited on an exciting new dig, she’s determined to tag along and keep him safe. But as the mystery leads them closer to the island’s secret, Breanne’s dreams are filled with visions of a strange boy she’s never met… and a world of flaming carnage.
Petersburg, Illinois. Sixteen-year-old Garrett Turek is the unofficial leader of his fellow outcasts. Grappling with a volatile relationship with his stepfather, he avoids his home life by helping an eccentric accountant restore a historic Victorian house. But when he and his crew stumble on a crusty journal in the basement, Garrett uncovers a dead president’s key to a secret world-saving society.
As Breanne and her dad seek clues to a treasure hidden deep beneath the surface, they trigger a dangerous magic that should have stayed dormant forever. And when Garrett closes in on the truth, he’ll question everything he thought he knew and find trust in a girl from far away as they prepare to battle a dangerous foe.
Can the two would-be heroes fulfill a powerful prophecy and save the planet from destruction?
The Secret Journal is the first book in the sensational God Stones YA contemporary fantasy series. If you like unusual pairings, well-researched historical backgrounds, and heated suspense, then you’ll love Otto Schafer’s coming-of-age adventure.
Destiny awaits those brave enough to turn the page!

Very Hard to Kill

Ben Meeks Author Interview

Petrified finds the state of Georgia under siege when demons threaten to bring the Keepers to their knees. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

It started when a friend sent me an article about a werewolf mythology from Scotland called Wulver. I based the Keepers of them. What I loved about them was that they were so much different than other mythologies. As someone with a deep love for shifters, it was exciting to find a story that I could expand on the traditional tropes.

Obie is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind the characters development?

As a rule, a Keeper has to be hard. Keepers don’t age and can heal very quickly. This means they are very hard to kill. It also means they put up with a lot of pain in their lifetimes. This kind of life could make someone bitter and jaded. I wanted Obie to have the resilience about him. one of his defining characteristics is his ability to keep doing the hard thing, the right thing, even when it would be easier for him to be more selfish. That’s not to say he always does the “right” thing but he is a character that is easy to root for.

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

Besides what I spoke about above, the book deals with loss, specifically the loss of a loved one. The inability to let go, anger, doing anything to keep them, and finally acceptance.

I also explore cruelty to a certain degree. There are some characters who are more apathetic than we would think is acceptable. Unfortunately the consequences for this are paid by the people around them.

This is book one in The Keeper Chronicles series. What can readers expect in book two?

There’s a line in the beginning of the book, “Everyone up here crosses the line at some point or other.” If the reader pays attention they can find a place in the story where every character “crosses the line”. In the second book many of the consequences of these misdeeds come due. Alliances and friendships are pushed to their limits.

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Thera, the Earth Mother, is under siege. Demons from other worlds sneak through magical portals and wreak havoc on earth. In response, she created the Keepers, a group of shapeshifters made from the world’s most skilled predators, to protect her, and us. The fate of North Georgia hangs in the balance when an unknown menace with a new magic threatens to bring the Keepers to their knees. It’s up to Obie, the Keeper of North Georgia, and some unlikely allies to put an end to the destruction before it’s too late. What will happen when the hunter becomes the hunted?

Can’t Ride Around It

Can't Ride Around It (Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 3) by [Ann Charles, Sam Lucky]

Clementine Johanssen is Deadwood’s slayer and also doubles as the town’s undertaker. She’s responsible for burying the dead and protecting the region from paranormal creatures. When dead bodies start disappearing from graveyards, Clementine understands what she must do next. Her instinctive reaction is to attempt to get to the root of the matter and stop whoever is behind the strange events. However, another problem arises when a massive infestation of flesh-eating beasts looms in other parts of the region. Now she must decide which problem she must tackle first. Which would it be? Dead men walking or murderous mad dogs? Whatever decision she makes, she can enlist the help of the dependable trio of Hank, Jack “Rabbit” and Boone to bring an end to at least one of the evils. Or at least try to.

Can’t Ride Around It is the third part of a series that cuts across several genres, including horror and mystery. Penned by talented couple Ann Charles and Sam Lucky, it’s one of those captivating wild western tales. But this one packs an extra element of intrigue in the form of a splash of the supernatural.

Ann and Sam take us on a fast-paced, nail-biting journey of camaraderie and bravery punctuated by checkpoints of light romance. Throw these themes in alongside the breathtaking battles with scary beasts, and you have a real page-turner on your hands.

Set in the town of Deadwood, Dakota, this book has all the elements of the 19th-century Western fiction it is. From the language to the scenery described by the authors, you get a good feel of the old Wild West. Plus the authors include in tales of the Black Hill gold rush that add figments of authenticity to the book. Historical tidbits never hurt anyone.

The authors deliver the story with a sustained flurry of infectious verve that keeps you engaged all through. There are hardly any dull moments, and that’s not because the characters hack down otherworldly beasts from start to finish. It’s mostly down to the authors’ adeptness at using vivid language and riveting conversations to keep you interested.

And speaking of conversations, there’s no end to the characters’ exchange of humorous banter. You have witty remarks, cheeky comebacks and a lot of hilarious moments too. You can tell both writers would be fun people to have around from the way they write.

I also loved how the characters’ personalities didn’t get lost amidst all the freaky stuff. Rabbit’s childish playfulness jumps out, and Clementine’s tethered tenderness doesn’t go unnoticed either.

With the way 2020 has been, we all need some sort of escapism to keep on keeping on. And if you prefer to get lost in another good book, I’ll recommend this one. It’s so good that I’m giving it 5 solid stars.

Pages: 308 | ASIN: B08K5XJYCT

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Hawaiian Kahuna Sorcery

Luigi N. Spring
Luigi N. Spring Author Interview

Sorcerers’ Prayer: Book 2 follows the Judge as he slowly fills his new role and guides his flock to the apocalypse. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?

The two parts of Book 2 were written concurrently with their predecessor – Book 1 Sacred Idol – in an endeavor to emulate the tryptic formula successfully embraced by Dan Brown and James Rollins. However, I didn’t pull it off.

In the second book, I wanted to give the backstory of how the Judge attained the ranks of immortality and Hawaiian kahuna sorcery. In addition, I needed to justify the bloodthirsty revenge enacted by the Judge in Book 1, as ritual mayhem was committed upon his Hawaiian brethren.

Judge Kaona goes through a large transformation in this book. What were some sources that informed his character development in this book?

The loss of his wife and unborn child predetermined Judge Kaona’s alternative career aspirations of pastor and everlasting sorcerer. In his quest to alleviate the intense depression and eventual bipolarism, he sought solace in the realm of narcotics. The Judge’s addiction to opium—which he called “God’s medicine”—instigated his kindred relationships with Priestess Kalehua and the party hearty King of Hawaii.

What do you feel draws you to the dark fantasy/horror genre? Or do you feel it is incidental to the story you want to tell?

The primary motive for writing this thriller series was to chronicle the recorded history of a Honolulu judge who had morphed into a pastor and mass-murderer. So, there weren’t too many options available for a suitable selection of genre.

What can readers expect in book three?

I currently possess extensive notes for Books 3 and 4 of the Sorcerers’ Prayer series. The third book is called Strego Scarpelli – which transports the Professor back to the middle age Venice inquisitions. In Book 4 – named Eutropos – the Professor and Judge tag-team to create a tropical utopia, which later engages its anti-thesis or antithesis. Priestess Kalehua is the name of the last novel of the planned Sorcerers’ Prayer series; those nocturnal ruminations are currently on the proverbial back burner.

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Book 2 I. Precious Blood An eighteen-hundreds Hawaiian judge is in the throes of manic depression due to the tragic loss of his pregnant wife and supposed unborn child. He tries anything to get over his state of anguish—even opium. The judge then finds out about a fountain of youth located beneath a church on the Big Island of Hawaii. Once he drinks of the precious blood flowing from the spring head, he becomes seemingly immortal. The judge will do anything to protect his font of everlasting existence, even by coercing his new pastoral flock—who call him the Prophet—to commit all kinds of mayhem to assure their chance of redemption during the imminent apocalypse.II. Honor and Majesty After a successful prison break, the fugitive Prophet—aka the Judge—makes fast friends with the King of Hawaii. They smoke opium in the royal palace and tour the catacombs and tunnel systems below the island of Oahu—containing treasures and amazing historical artifacts. Then they sail over to the island of Molokai where the Judge is conferred into the realm of Hawaiian sorcery. He acquires numerous magical powers, which include the ability to slay his adversaries by the power of prayer alone. The Judge later attends a Hawaiian secret society meeting— sanctioned by the Freemasons—at the royal palace. Later that evening, while taking part in an adult parlor game—which incorporates a ball of Hawaiian twine—a vivacious lady in red debilitates the judge for all eternity.

Betrayed

Betrayed by Joseph Lewis is a contemporary psychological thriller and the third installment in a series revolving around a family of adopted brothers, some of which have had traumatic experiences in the past. George Tokay receives a panicked phone call from his childhood friend, whose brother has mysteriously gone missing. George and his adoptive brothers Brian Evans and Brett McGovern take a trip to Red Rock, Arizona, to aid the law in finding their missing friend. Little do they know, they’re playing with fire in an adventure that will suck them into a world of greed, intimidation and murder. As they focus on solving the mystery a dangerous group on men seem intent on killing them.

The novel is mainly narrated through the point of view of the principal protagonist Brian. An introspective boy, who throughout his journey questions his sexuality and contemplates his place in the world and within his adoptive family; all while keeping a promise even if it could mean his own death. This makes for a believable and relatable character. I found it easy who to understand and connect with him. The story takes place in Red Rock, a small Native-American town located at the top of the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona. Lewis does an excellent job of alluding to the readers senses and creating realistic scenes, which make you feel like you are in the story. While the storyline is riveting, with action-packed chapters that make the book hard to put down, an element that was too hard to believe was the fact that the FBI not only recruited three teenage boys to aid them in an incredibly dangerous mission, but also provided them with driving permits, vehicles, and firearms. It is explained that the boys were owed a favor from law enforcement, and its understandable that it was a necessary development story-wise. All things taken into account, the setting and character descriptions were extremely detailed, the story is well paced, the tone is fun and easy to follow.

Betrayed by Joseph Lewis is an enthralling crime thriller that is persistently entertaining. I look forward to reading more books in the series to follow the characters I’ve come to love.

Pages: 339 | ASIN: B08GCTV2XH

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