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Malthus Revisited

Malthus Revisited: The Cup of Wrath (Lindsey McCall Medical Mystery Book 4) by [Wilder, Lin]

A threat that most readers can see as a real possibility considering how far science and technology has progressed. Coupled with down to earth characters that you feel a real connection to make this book an outstanding ‘end of world’ saga that has your heart racing right till the end. While overtly spiritual in it’s plot, even the most atheist person could come to enjoy this story because it is a masterful blend of science and religion. With horrifying villains and inspiring heroes plus a few characters who you are never quite sure of which side of the good versus evil fight they stand on, this story is well worth the read.

This book takes a little while to explain how the prologue fits into the narrative but after you see how it all comes together and with various chapters outlining the back stories of the various characters, you begin to understand why the author took time in slowly building toward the most eventful parts of the story.

Once you understand how everything fits together, it takes you on an edge of your seat ride where you wonder how things will turn out. Each character has their part to play and readers get to see both the best and worst aspects of each character, which allows you to become invested in their adventure more deeply than you usually would for a fictional story.

There are a few repeated phrases and words that could have been left out or replaced with a simplified explanation but the intensity of the plot line and anxiety inducing obstacles that are thrown in the way of the main characters do enough to make you forget these minor annoyances.

If you want a thrilling story that takes you to the depths of what an evil mind can cause in this world with the excitement of whether the heroes can triumph. This is a book for you.

My best piece of advice to any would be reader is to make sure you don’t give up on the slow build up toward the real plot because it is well worth the wait and actually helps you understand and feel more invested in the entire story.

Pages: 317 | ASIN: B078LWJ632

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Magic and Otherworldly Creatures

Navya Sarikonda Author Interview

Navya Sarikonda Author Interview

The Enchanters’ Child follows three unlikely allies on a quest to find the sorcerer as they try to keep their identities secret. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

A hero on a journey to defeat the main villain is a common story arc that I sought to put my own twist on. Since I was a kid, I have always been an avid reader and I often found myself being drawn to the magical worlds I could transport myself to. I loved the idea of creating a world where anything was possible whether that is through magic and otherworldly creatures. Inspired by these stories, I decided to write a fictional fantasy story of my own.

Wren, Quinn, and Zayne are all intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

The characters of Wren, Zayne, and Quinn are inspired by everyday teenagers. The way through which they struggle and attempt to find their identities is what makes them the most relatable. Despite this common journey to their identities, each one of them has experienced unique circumstances in their life that mold their beliefs and unique individuality. For Wren, the death of her parents causes her to become a determined, brave person that will do anything to find justice for the ones she loves. However, her thirst for revenge soon morphs into her own character flaw through failing to enjoy and live in the present. Zayne’s determining characteristic is his steadfast loyalty, whether that is to his kingdom or to his friends. His sense of duty is what drives him to aid in defeating the main antagonist as well as his empathy towards the world in which he lives in, as shown in his tenacity to find the killer of the many bodies that mysteriously begin to appear. Yet, his duty is the very thing that keeps him from his desires as he struggles with going against his father’s power and expectations. Last but not least, Quinn initially is a character portrayed to be callous and emotionless, with his only objective being to follow his orders, even if that means killing others to achieve it. Despite this, as the story progresses, readers discover that even the most notorious assassin has his own reasons for his actions, ones that can even be considered noble. Despite his sinister past, he learns to love the people around him. Quinn is unique in that his weakness is his own self. His own beliefs of his unworthiness and vileness causes him to push away those around him as he grapples between doing what is right and the sacrifices he must make if he chooses to do so.

The backstory to this world is intricate and captivating. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?

The setting of The Enchanters’ Child was designed to have an enchanting atmosphere, complete with magic and strange beasts. I wanted to capture a world that reminds readers of the fairytale-like worlds that they are familiar with while showing that even the most remarkable places coexist with darker facets such as greed and misused power. Along these lines, I also wanted to capture that there can be beautiful brilliance in the bleakest of places, whether that brilliance is the surroundings around the characters or each other.

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

As of now, the date for publishing my next book is tentative; however, I am in the process of writing another work.

Author Links: Book Trailer | GoodReads | Facebook | Amazon | Website

Wren has a secret. She’s the last of the Arobol, a group of magic-wielders. After her parents were murdered by a dark entity when she was young, she has been trying to discover who has killed them. However, it wasn’t just anyone; it was the Dark Sorcerer, a being who is believed to exist only in a fairytale. When an unexpected tragedy hits, Wren is forced to flee to town in hopes of finding the leader of the Gavreel Society, said to have information on her parents’ killer.

Zayne has been working for months to uncover the reason behind the dead bodies showing up in multiple towns and the mysterious symbol that is etched into their skin. As Trading Day approaches, he goes to meet with his Gavreel Society to formulate a new plan for uncovering the person behind these killings. Little does he know that he’ll find the solution in a girl, one who’s holding as many secrets as he is.

Quinn is an assassin, killing anyone his Master orders him to kill. Tasked with finding the Enchanters’ Child and bringing her back alive in exchange for his freedom, Quinn won’t let anything get in his way. Yet, when he finally discovers the Enchanters’ Child, he finds himself questioning his ability to fulfill his mission. Weaving a story of deception, he befriends the Enchanters’ Child, but wonders if she is worth his freedom.

As they race to find the Sorcerer, each for their own reasons, secrets come out, powerful enough to tear them apart.

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Immortals’ Requiem

Immortals' Requiem: An Epic Grimdark Fantasy by [Bobbe, Vincent]

The world is under siege after a thousand-year-old evil awakens threatening the modern-day world. Creatures of old and heroes alike resurface to fight this evil and reclaim the peace that is slowly slipping away. The story follows several unique characters as their lives, both past and present unfold and intertwine, slowly revealing their roles in the grand scheme of good versus evil.

Vincent Bobbe has a writing style perfectly fit for the grimdark fantasy genre. The battle scenes are gritty and realistic. The scenes illustrating magical feats flow perfectly within the context of the story. I thought the use of language and violence was acceptable and never crossed the border of unnecessary. However, at times the character descriptions seemed forced and unnatural, but the author made up for this with rich personality and believable characteristics. I did wonder why this book is lacking in female characters. Of course, there were female characters, but they were only there to serve the men of the story. There is so much rich world building packed into this novel, it is a shame there were no quality female characters to populate it.

Immortals’ Requiem is an epic adventure that would rightfully need the page count it comes with. I expected a slow burn but the first hundred pages are a bitter pill to swallow – time shifts drastically and the point of view switches often. I am a fan of a perspective change among the variety of main characters and Immortals’ Requiem lends itself well to this narration style. It keeps the plot moving and allows the various character plot points to develop simultaneously. But in the end, I felt that the the perspectives change so rapidly that it was difficult to follow along and establish a focal point for each character. I can tell that the author put a lot of thought into every aspect of the individuals, it would have been nice to get more time reading about each character before moving on to another. The quality of the writing is easy to read and there were no major mistakes. And while I appreciated the scenic details, some of the chapters were drawn out with too many specifics clashing together.

Overall the Vincent Bobbe does a fantastic job of blending the modern feel of Manchester to the old-world magic he so eloquently writes about. The two characters Cam and Grimnir personify this juxtaposition perfectly and quickly become my two favorites among the cast. The characters truly drive the plot and develop the story as you learn more about their history and evolving personalities. If you are a fan of urban or dark fantasy I would recommend you give this book a go.

Pages: 554 | ASIN: B07DDDVDR5

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Die to Live Again

Die to Live Again: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel by [Crane, David]

Die to Live Again is a story about Tanya, a young woman whose existence becomes a perpetual question when the world faces nuclear destruction. She is one of the lucky few who survive and for a time she is housed in one of the pre-prepared military shelters. This arrangement does not last. She goes from being a preferred informant for a budding dictator to an outcast, left to survive off the contaminated wasteland. For a while she has Jack, her boyfriend with her. This also does not last as two humans are no match for the unfiltered aftermath of nuclear destruction. Jack dies and she finds herself transformed but surviving. Soon enough Tanya realizes the existence of humanity is under threat and it is up to the survivors to decide what new Earth looks like, this time, with mother nature paving the way.

David Crane combines post-apocalyptic confusion and political drama in some exciting ways in this captivating book. Although most of the action takes place on the American mainland, we still get a glimpse of what happened around the world. This perspective was a very interesting take and political drama lovers will undoubtedly find it engaging.  All of this balances well with the friction between nature and scientific input. There is even a religious aspect that is explored. These aspects are the underpinnings of human existence, and I felt that the spiritual inclusion added an intriguing dimension to this novel. The combination of politics, science and religion makes for a possibly overwhelming experience but I felt that it was balances just enough to never become too much.  Additionally, although there are several drastic turning points throughout the novel, they are rarely, if ever, predictable.

Although this is a well written novel, I felt that there were some inconsistencies in the timeline, and a few things seemed too unrealistic. I  would have liked the buildup and explanations of occurrences to be more robust.

Overall, this is a fantastically engaging novel that I found to be both interesting and entertaining; both things I’m starting to associate with David Crane novels.

Pages: 334 | ASIN: B00FZW20AQ

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Literary Titan Book Awards August 2019

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

Kept Darkly (The Darkly Series Book 3) by [Smith, Tarrant]Surrendered Darkly (The Darkly Series Book 4) by [Smith, Tarrant]Resurrected Darkly (The Darkly Series Book 5) by [Smith, Tarrant]

One Fire Burns Out Another's Burning (Wheeler Book 3) by [Zalesky, Sara Butler]The Optical Lasso: Beware of Neptune's Dark Side by [Corwin, Marc]Scooter Nation (Unapologetic Lives Series Book 2) by [Funkhauser, A.B.]

Left for Dead at Nijmegen: The True Story of an American Paratrooper in World War II by [Nannini, Marcus A.]I Have Demons by [Adam, Christopher]

Bolan's Quest II: The Rise of the Gnarlis by [Simmonds, Paul]The Silver is Mine by [Phillips, Jason Roger]

W900 by [McNulty, Tom]Don't Drink the Pink by [Fegan, B.C.R.]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

"Bottom Down, Penelope Brown!" by [Pulliam, April B.]The Enchanters' Child by [Sarikonda, Navya]For The Love Of Alison by [Diver, Sahlan]

The Trial of Connor Padget by [Roberts, Carl]The Dung Beetles of Liberia: a novel based on true events by [Meier, Daniel V. Jr.]Wings at Dawn by [Balustrade, Marie ]

Burn Marks: A strange time for letters by [II, Robert D. Rice]FRAGILE MIND: Mental Health Poetry by [Thompson, Wesley]The Journal by [Stevens, R. D.]

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

Experiment X: Exposed

Experiment X: Exposed by [Haase, Nikki]

The first thing I noticed when I started reading this book was how calm the narrator’s tone was. It starts by telling how we hear about stories of women who, after a night out, end up in strange surroundings with sour legs and a bad taste in their mouth. I expected the plot to follow this narrative but Nikki Haase had a pleasant surprise for the reader as the story shifted to a more intense plot. The author is great at describing events that I could imagine everything she talked about. The vivid descriptions is one of the things that made this book a fantastic read.

I enjoyed Rebekah’s introduction into the story. Being able to view Rebekah through the eyes of Karen  made her a special character to me. Karen hated Rebeka, disliked her fake rosy red-lipped smile and could not stand her light brown eyes. I love when the author does this because it makes me more interested in a particular character. Rebekah was perceived to be one of the unlikeable characters at the start of the book. I kept reading about her, built my own perception of her, and came up with a neutral judgment of her. Despite the narrator making Rebekah appear like an evil character at first, I found her to be extraordinary and fascinating.

Enter Jack and the plot twists in the book. We are first introduced to Jack as he talks with Karen at the party. Jack seemed like a gentleman. I like how he appeared at the opportune moment when Dante had disappointed Karen. The interaction between Dante and Jack was obviously unpleasant as the two tried to flex their muscles on who the better gentleman was. Reading about the conspiracy theory about an experiment conducted by the military and the U.S government was not only thrilling but also frightening.

Who wouldn’t enjoy a story about a government facility that houses super soldiers? The breaking of the theory and the actions that followed were electrifying. The characters in the book were excellently developed. Karen was the main character in the book and also significant in the whole experiment. It was interesting how Karen was oblivious of her role until Jack showed up.

I liked how Jack enters the story as an antagonist but ends up… ah, I won’t spoil it. I enjoyed this fantastic, action packed, story immensely and I highly recommend it.

Pages: 262 | ASIN: B06W9NC7B7

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His Views on Life and the War

Marcus Nannini Author Interview

Marcus Nannini Author Interview

Left for Dead at Nijmegen follows the extraordinary true story of an American paratrooper in WWII and the challenges he faced to survive in enemy hands. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this biography?

In 2014 I was in the process of drafting a series of WW II first person “remembrance pieces” for a WW II publication. I came upon Gene Metcalfe while researching the subject and drove out to interview him. By the end of the first interview, which ran more than five hours, I knew I had a story that needed to be told in a hard-bound, full-length book.

Life interfered and I was unable to pick up again until the summer of 2017. A publisher, Casemate Publishers, in response to my query, stated an interest in Gene’s story. Gene was all for it so I transcribed my tapes and re-wrote all of my notes into a book outline and began researching. In October, 2017, Gene and I commenced twice weekly meetings. I learned his sense of humor, his views on life and the War and many other aspects of his personality.

I researched every facet of what he relayed to me, and quite a bit more. I found it necessary to read the 1968 biography of Heinrich Himmler “Himmler” (Roger Manvell and Heinrich Frankel) as well as “The Private Heinrich Himmler” (Katrin Himmler and Michael Wildt.) I expended in excess of 2,000 hours piecing together Gene’s story.

As an aside, there is reference to a castle in one of the chapters. I could find no trace of it until I found it was actually referenced in Himmler’s biography. I have a “no stone unturned” research philosophy.

Observing Gene as he described grisly details of his experiences and proceeded to explain how humor got him through the ordeal impressed me. His sketches have a humorous flair too, as one can see from those he drew for the book. I will admit there was more than one time he had me on the edge of my chair, even when I was hearing the story for the 8th time.

The war was a series of ups and downs, sometimes happening in a dizzyingly fast sequence. Gene found it to be a matter of bending to the flow of events or being overwhelmed and succumbing.

I intentionally set out to write a book that conveyed the essence of Gene Metcalfe. In my opinion it was the best approach to truly convey what, and how, he experienced WW II.

The historical accuracy was exceptional in this, even down to the smallest detail. What kind of research did you undertake to write this book?

I read three books, including one book that focused only on the Nijmegen aspect of Market Garden. I researched US Army debriefing reports of POW’s and information on every base where Gene was stationed. I also read after-action reports.

I am a researcher by trade. Along the way I accumulated an entire box of print-outs. What pleased me the most was coming across the most rare and perfectly timed photo possible, the encounter with two older German soldiers. It took me six months to get permission to use the photo. The uniformed Dutch guide in the photo apparently did the “dirty work” and is the man who disappeared before the combat patrol encountered the tank. Mike, the bazooka-man, was carrying a bag of hand-grenades as in the rush to jump from the plane he left his bazooka rockets on the floor.

I understand that your “intention was to convey the essence of” Eugene Metcalfe. What were some important ideas or themes you felt were important to convey to readers about Gene?

I felt it important to provide Gene’s background as the basis for better understanding who he was and why he was/is that man. The fact he was an only child, but “not my mom’s favorite” played a large part in the formation of his personality. He was on his own.

He was talented as an artist and musician and is gifted with the ability to draw or paint anyone or anything he has come into contact with. The sketches in the book, though produced by Gene in 2018, are accurate reproductions from 1944-45.

I wasted little time in establishing his sense of humor. Without it, Gene would not have survived and there would not have been a Left for Dead at Nijmegen.

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

Nannini: Midnight Flight to Nuremberg, from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the Explosive Skies of Nazi Occupied Europe in my next WW II biography and is ready to go. In this new book I actually spent weekends at the subject’s home interviewing him. I anticipate it will be considered to be at least as good as Left for Dead at Nijmegen and is jammed with photos, some of which have never before seen print.

I am in the process of placing Midnight Flight and, and four additional books, with an appropriate publishing house. If all goes as planned, I will have two new books on the market next year.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Left for Dead at Nijmegen: The True Story of an American Paratrooper in World War II by [Nannini, Marcus A.]

Left for Dead at Nijmegen recalls the larger-than-life experiences of an American paratrooper, Gene Metcalfe, who served in the 82nd Airborne during WWII. From his recruitment into the military at Camp Grant to his training with the 501st Paratroop Infantry Regiment at Camp Toccoa, it wasn’t until D-Day itself that he first arrived in England to join the 508th PIR.

When Metcalfe boarded the C-47 which would drop him at Groesbeek Heights, just outside of Nijmegen, Holland, he was handed a box of twelve dozen condoms by an over-confident British lieutenant. He was to be among the first to jump into what should have been a picture-book meadow, free of German troops. Instead, it was defended by three German anti-aircraft cannon emplacements.

As he jumped into a hail of bullets and exploding shells he watched his plane roll over and plummet into the ground. It was at that moment he realized the condoms had either been a bad joke or the planners of Operation Market Garden had seriously underestimated German resistance. Gene was listed as KIA and left for dead by his patrol, who presumed the worst when they saw his injuries from a shell explosion.

The rest of his story is equally gripping, as he became a POW held outside Munich, being moved between various camps ridden with disease and a severely undernourished population. Eventually, after making an escape attempt and being captured within sight of the snow-capped Swiss mountains, his camp was liberated by American troops in April 1945.

Gene’s story is both remarkable for his highly unusual encounter, and his subsequent experiences.

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The Dung Beetles of Liberia

The Dung Beetles of Liberia: a novel based on true events by [Meier, Daniel V. Jr.]

An adventure story of a young man trying to escape his past and punish himself for the death of his brother. Set in the wild and lawless country of Liberia, this story is an epic roller coaster ride that takes you through the exciting highs of life in a proper libertarian society, while not being shy about the harsh realities of life without law. It has romance, action, villains and an unconventional good guy pilot who might be rough on the outside but has a big heart for the country he decided to call home. Quite an education into the airline industry in a third world nation.

This novel does a great job of highlighting some inconvenient truths of emerging countries who accept deals from international companies and the harshness that occurs to the regular people.

Resource rich nations with uneducated citizens have been dominated by the rich since history began and The Dung Beetles of Liberia does a fantastic job at unmasking the on the ground truth of this exploitative situation.

Told through the eyes of a young American man running away from his problems back home, it does a great job of placing him in many different situations and meeting many different people involved in the shady business of a resource rich country, capitalizing on the lack of education of the majority of its people.

Some of the language used makes it hard to read when the author is trying to convey the accents of the natives and other pilots in the story. I felt that it could do without the misspelling of words that conveyed and the accents of characters.

The plot of the story is a bit scattered, leaving me to wonder what the central adventure/struggle was that the main character should overcome. Whilst this kept things interesting, it would have preferred to have had a few less love interests, and a stronger focus on just a few issues Ken was to face in his journey.

Overall, this story is well worth a read and does a great job in depicting what it would be like in an emerging 3rd world country that is run by dictators who are making obscene amounts of money off the backs of the native people. This is a story that is hard to put down and keeps you on your toes as to what will happen next, right down to the last chapter.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B07PJ1K929

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A Bite of the Past

A Bite of the Past: Undying Love - Book One by [Nightingale, L.]

“I am Theodore Callington. I have a family. And a home. I belong somewhere.” These longing words are spoken by Teddy, who has lived a tortured life. An orphan taken in by a murderous uncle, regularly beaten to a pulp. An escaped cowboy, loved by an adopted family but trampled in the rodeo. And an unwilling vampire, slowly feeling his way to redemption. What will happen when Teddy attempts to reclaim his humanity from the devilish vampire who made him what he is? Follow Teddy’s twisted and terrifying journey in L. Nightingale’s A Bite of the Past: Undying Love.

A Bite of the Past is an exploration of what it means to be human, and conversely, sub-human. It is a heartbreaking story of cruelty, rejection, and longing for the love and stability of a family. Teddy’s journey is also one of hopefulness, reconnection, and the ascendancy of good over evil.

As our devastatingly handsome and sometimes repugnant main character, Teddy is truly a tortured soul—one dealing with the excruciating pain of his past but also searching for the truth and love that lies between the horror. Through sheer will-power, Teddy salvages the memories that have been suppressed by his malevolent teacher—the ruthless László. Under his tutelage, Teddy is truly a gruesome creature who carries out deeds that are sometimes hard to read.

Nightingale’s prose can be disorderly at times—perhaps intentionally so, as a reflection of the muddled psyche of her main character. He is confused much of the time, piecing together fragments of memories while simultaneously trying to quell his inner demon. This confusion spills over to the reader who, at times, feels lost as the narrative doubles back.

The twists, turns, and major surprises of the book do keep the reader engaged through the final cliffhanging scene. Gruesome descriptions of fights and killings will appeal to fans of macabre action. The throwback scenes to the wild west are charming, and Teddy’s vernacular peppers the book with memorable sayings, such as “the temperature would drop like a naked gunslinger beefed on a Dodge Street.” Overall, the yearning for love will resound with all.

A tale of a wayward cowboy looking for redemption that will strike a chord with its readers.

Pages: 343 | ASIN: B07SGWRTCN

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Discover the Compassion

Kaylin McFarren Author Interview

Kaylin McFarren Author Interview

High Flying follows stunt pilot Skylar when she’s flung back in time and has a chance to investigate her origins. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I have always loved time travel stories and have been intrigued by the idea of changing our personal history if given the chance. Our parents have a great deal to do with who we are as individuals but sometimes we don’t understand them and knowing about their past lives become a true education and door to our future. In addition, my father worked for United Airlines for years and I remember sitting on his shoulders, watching planes take off from the tarmac at LAX. I’ve had the opportunity to virtually fly around the world and the idea of bringing my passions together seemed perfectly natural.

Skylar is a well developed and endearing character. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in her character?

I wanted to creating a troubled young woman who was damaged by the choices her parents made and negatively impacted by the people she’s lost in her life. By being forced to experience her parents’ lives first-hand, she has the opportunity to grow, let go her anger and self hatred, and ultimately discover the compassion she holds inside.

Skylar is orphaned when she was young and she tries to reconcile that throughout the book. What were some driving ideals that were important for you to explore?

I initially wanted to make readers aware of the thought process behind cutting—a troubling behavior that was introduced to me by a dear friend. It is more common that people would like to admit or believe and is becoming a common practice among young girls in our society. Bullying and isolation often leads to this method of dealing with anxiety, as well as physical or mental abuse. Skylar finds her release through martial arts and eventually flying. Her struggles with overcoming the neglect she’s known is what makes her a stronger person and a more endearing character in this story.

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

I’m currently working on a sci-fi thriller that involves reincarnation and stolen souls. So I guess I’m pushing myself to try genres outside of my comfort level, which has been great fun thus far. I typically write one book a year, so I would watch for this one in 2020!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

HIGH FLYING by [McFarren, Kaylin]

Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time.

Eight months before she was born. One week before her father was murdered.

Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes.

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