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Norman Whaler Author Interview

Norman Whaler Author Interview

Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black brings two strange men to the farm and peaks the curiosity of the two farm friends. What was the inspiration behind the idea for this kids book?

All the Oink and Gobble books are are short reads and meant to be humorous and fun and to put a smile on everyone’s face! The Men in Black are popular and familiar to kids and adults alike, but are still are a mystery to be solved!

This is book two in the Oink and Gobble series. What were some new themes you wanted to introduce in this book and what were some ideas you wanted to continue from the first book?

Oink is adventurous and interested in all the strange mysteries of the world, yet has a tendency to jump to conclusions with few facts. Gobble is focused on facts first and tries to bring logic to the investigations the two inevitably start. Though they look at things quite differently, they are best of friends!

What kind of mischief will Oink and Gobble get into in book three and when will it be available?

Without saying too much, Oink once again will jump to conclusions about a mystery of the world, and Gobble will try to bring reason to Oink’s thinking. I hope everyone will enjoy it! Should be out by July 2019.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Oink and Gobble and the 'No One Can Ever Know Secret' (Oink and Gobble Book Series 1) by [Whaler, Norman]Oink and Gobble were best friends and, with all the other animals on the farm, had a BIG secret they could never, ever let any humans know! But, did Oink let the cat out of the bag?

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Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black

Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black (Oink and Gobble Book Series 2) by [Whaler, Norman] Oink and Gobble and the Men in Black is a children’s story written by Norman Whaler. The story follows a duo of livestock buddies, Oink the pig and Gobble the turkey. Oink is an excitable young creature, and Gobble is more mature and a bit on the serious side. The two find some unusual things happening on the farm and Oink cannot contain his curiosity and must look for answers.

I think the story has a pretty good pace and flow for children, but seems to rise and build suspense and then end abruptly. I think there was some room for some more scenarios to play out following the “unmasking.” I did like the friendship between the pair despite their differences. I liked that the pig was overly curious while the turkey was more reserved. That made way for a nice back and forth exchange in conversation.

The illustrations were cute but the colors seemed over saturated. I think softening things up a bit would add to the playfulness of the farm. The “Men in Black” aspect felt borrowed and I was wanted to see some Oink and Gobble specific twists to the story.

I love the authors work and I think Oink and Gobble has huge potential to be something both whimsical and unique. I’d like to see Oink and Gobble in original story lines that give their relationship and whimsy potential to stand out. Overall, I enjoyed the book and I think kids will adore Oink and Gobble as they are both fun and funny.

Pages: 28 | ASIN: B07PBMNYKS

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Aliens Are a Secret After All

Jim Cronin Author Interview

Jim Cronin Author Interview

Aeon Rises follows Justin, an average teen, as he stumbles upon otherworldly beings that are trying to kill him. How did you come across this idea and how did it change as you were writing?

I wanted to write a story that would be fun for middle school or high school student to read. A scifi story with characters they could relate to and who they could identify with. Even though I was a secondary teacher for over thirty years, it had been a few years since I retired and I was sure some of the slang and habits of teens had changed some over that time. I enlisted the aid of a class of eighth graders to read portions of the story and give me specific feedback about the teens characters. Their feedback was incredible and guided my writing of those individuals in the story. The changes they suggested made the Justin, Kevin and Myah much more true to today’s teens.

Justin isn’t exactly an average teen, he has an aversion to most electronics. What were some obstacles that you felt were important to Justin’s character development?

Due to his inability to play video games or watch the same shows most others his age took for granted, Justin faced a fair amount of ridicule and bullying from his classmates, except for Kevin. I drew on my own experiences growing up being the brunt of several bullies, but I wanted Justin to rise above it and, though it still hurt, not give in to the abusers. He relied heavily on Kevin to get beyond it all, and then he learned about his abilities and his importance. That made everything else pale in comparison, even though he could not rub it in his tormentor’s faces. Aliens are a secret after all.

The Skutarans see Justin as a threat and want to destroy him. What were some sources of inspiration for you when creating their race?

I watch a lot of scifi movies and read a ton of scifi books as well. I simply took characteristics of evil aliens I have read or seen over the years and blended them into traits of the Skutarans: Arrogance, Hyper Ego, superiority complex, all combined with advanced alien technology. What more could you want in an evil overlord alien?

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

I have recently been recovering from a major surgery, which has affected my ability to focus on anything for long. It is only in the past few weeks I have been able to start thinking about a new novel. To get back into practice, I am working on a short story about ice miners on Europa, a moon around Jupiter. From there, I have an idea about fusing scifi and fantasy in a story about aliens digitized into a LOTR style movie who are discovered by a fan of the movie and their collaboration to rescue the aliens from the orcs, wizards, etc. and return them home again.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Aeon Rises by [Cronin, Jim]Justin Madrid always considered himself an average nerdy freshman in high school, and an outcast because intense migraines prevent him from playing video games or watching television. Even looking at a phone screen hurts. But when the aliens, disguised as local librarians, started trying to kill him, everything changed. And now it is up to Justin and his cool new power to save the earth from invasion.

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Claimed by Nicolai – Trailer

When Abby Harris takes her faithful German shepherd out for a hike in Oregon’s beautiful mountains, getting abducted by aliens isn’t even a blip on her radar. Her trusty can of bear spray and the pocket knife isn’t much help against the seven-foot monsters who swoop in out of nowhere to transport her to a ship in space.

Nicolai Nekbet is Crown Prince for the House of Nekbet on the planet Raiden. Unable to bear healthy children with females of their own species, Raiden warriors must hunt for a bride outside their own world. Nicolai has his heart set on a human even though their planet is protected by an ancient species called Laizahlian. When he sees the tall blonde-haired beauty out in the mountains with only a dog by her side, he knows he must have her.

With Abby safely on his ship, Nicolai injects her with his shaprata, his essence. His shaprata will change her on a cellular level, making them compatible for procreation, but he must still work hard to win her heart. If she rejects their union, it could easily mean his death.

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The Visitor – Trailer

“WR. Park’s novel OVERLAY reminded me of Robert Ludlum at his best.” – New York Times bestselling author Jon Land

An intriguing tale of a sinister female vampire who schemes a world dominated by vampires with the aid of vampires scattered throughout the globe. Can the CIA ‘Vampire Hunter Team’ led by a sympathetic vampire annihilate the covey before they infiltrate world-wide governments?

Suddenly, wide-eyed, they stared at their chief. In less time than it took for a twig to snap, sounds of the jungle ceased: bird whistles, monkey chatter, and insect noises of every description. Even the angry growl of a jaguar was quieted mid-roar.

As the strange-shaped craft vanished, sounds of the jungle crashed down around them, assaulting honed senses as suddenly as they had ended. Jaguar finished its roar. Insects bit. It was as though time had stood still for a matter of minutes. It would be the talk in all villages for months to come–as natives living on the rim of the impenetrable canopied jungle across the piranha-infested river–attempted to survive ‘The Visitor.’

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Greater Things Than Thou

Greater Things Than Thou (Blood of the Prince Book 1) by [Dean, R.L.]

His first memories were of his town burning to the ground. He doesn’t remember his parents or where he lived, only flames, death, and fear. Baler, a mentally unstable ‘king’ to his community of bandits, takes him to raise as his own son. In this bandit camp he is known only as boy. On a raid several years later Galin and Garret save him and give him a real home, hone his skills and give him a name, Patrin. A mix of medieval style living and culture with an alien technology thrown in to add a unique twist to the tale of an exiled king recovering his thrown.

Greater Things than Thou by R. L. Dean is well written with each chapter starting out with a sort of monologue / overview from his perspective as an old man. On the surface the setting and time period is that of medieval style though not from standard Europe. There are clear class systems from farmers to royalty. Most technology, for the non-Gifted, is what you would find in Medieval times, horses, carts and crossbows. The world that R. L. Dean has created involves the addition of an alien technology. This technology allows them to heal at remarkable levels and see things within their mind that no one else can see. It increases their intelligence and augments their bodies based on their individual packages and their jobs. Patrin is trying to destroy all remaining tech to prevent further use of it by anyone. The remainder of the story is his life from a small boy to young adult. I really liked the detail that went into Patrin’s thoughts and how he processed everything. How he adapted to each new situation life throws at him, and the technology that is implanted into his body. He is genuinely a character that wants to see the good and morality in all people and do the right thing. He eludes to his oath to Galin as being the cause of his moral missteps and failings later in life. The reader can get a real feel for the people he develops emotions for, Garret, Serin, Xadik and especially Lena. His relationship with Lena is one of young love, the awkwardness of first loves, and highlights the complications of his life thanks to his oath of loyalty to Galin.

As the first book in the series, Blood of the Prince, it is a great introduction to the main characters and how Patrin gets his start in life. Based on the monologues at the beginning of the chapters, I can tell the rest of this series is going to be full of adventures, plot twists, and action. It is a story about loyalty even to a fault, finding your way, and redemption of character. This is going to be an exciting series to follow.

Pages: 283 | ASIN: B077BVF5HT

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The Mad Scientists of Planet Terrorista

The Mad Scientists of Planet Terrorista seems a bit of a mouthful and I thought the plot would be outrageous. As it turns out the plot is outrageous, but surprisingly that does not equate to being terrible and I found myself to be enjoying the story line and characters right from the start.

The story picks up immediately after Hyacinth’s incredibly advanced daughter, Bella, goes missing. Hyacinth hires none other than Sherlock Holmes (who has been cryogenically frozen for a number of years) to help her track down her daughter’s whereabouts. It takes a decade, but eventually Sherlock does locate Bella, who lives on another planet and now goes by the name Brazillia. Holmes enlists the help of Hercules Poirot (say what?!) to help him come up with a magical disguise for Hyacinth to wear on planet Terrorista in order to see her daughter. This disguise ends up being an “interplanetary everlasting butterfly” that allows Hyacinth to travel with ease between her home planet, Debonnaire, and Terrorista. Hyacinth uses her disguise to gain access to the facility that Bella is kept in with many other abducted children, and discovers that the mad scientists have been doing medical testing on the children. Having been subjected to all kinds of untested and unsafe drugs, Bella is in a pitifully unhealthy physical and mental state. If that isn’t a crazy way to kick off a story, I don’t know what is!

From this point, the story continues on with Hyacinth rebuilding her relationship with Bella and trying to help her regain her health and freedom. The story is fast paced and rather abrupt in places, but this is clearly due to it being written as a television script and not a novel. The entirety of the script includes lots of outside references to characters from other stories (Holmes and Poirot, obviously) and a lot of really clever word-play (such as the radio station ‘siriusly sinatra’) that make the story interesting and fun to read. On a more somber note, the story is really about mental illness and encouraging people to see those who suffer from mental illness differently. Mainly, to see them as worthwhile and beneficial to society rather than simply a burden.

My only real complaint about the story is that the inclusion of Sherlock Holmes and Poirot, (while initially drawing me into the plot), don’t seem to really fit in the story. Both are famous crime solvers, sure, but do they fit into an interplanetary story line? I am not so sure. Still, while seeming oddly out of place, the characters no doubt make the story better and are essential to the plot. I would venture to say that those characters would be just as worthy with different names. I still really enjoyed the whole thing.

Pages: 484 | ISBN: 1387010484

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The Mad Scientists of Planet Terrorista

Transcending time and space, Hyacinth enlists the help of Sherlock Holmes to find her daughter who disappeared mysteriously at age three. Sherlock locates her on a distant planet Terrorista. She was abducted by mad scientists sponsored by their government to study the mechanism of planet Debonnaire Neuroleptics as these interfere with communications between inhabitants of these planets through what is called on debonnaire hallucinations.

www.regine-du-bono.com

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Love’s Story of Why We Are Here

Love's Story of Why We Are Here: And What We Can Do About It (Making Sense of It Book 3) by [O'Neill, Francis]

Why are we here? Where did we come from? Is there a bigger picture than the existence that we know? Is human life purposeful? Humans have contemplated the answer to these questions, and others that are similar, for much of our history. Here, author Francis O’Neill makes his own attempts to provide answers through a mixture of science, religion, the supernatural, and some ancient mythology. O’Neill’s theories lead to a definitive “yes, we are here for a reason”, but the journey to his conclusion is more interesting than the resolution itself.

In Love’s Story of Why We Are Here, O’Neill explores one of humanity’s most philosophical conundrums from a wide variety of angles. By his own admission, the theories that are proposed are speculative, and therefore untestable. For that reason, much of what he provides as answers can’t be considered true science. Many might argue that there is no science involved at all since much of the book focuses on the idea of a living Earth (not terribly far-fetched) and the importance of extraterrestrial life in human evolution. Despite the very unusual ideas that are discussed, O’Neill’s theories are presented in a well researched and organized manner, often including quotes from well known scientists in a plethora of fields. The professionalism of his work protects the subject matter from ridicule. The excessive use of commas throughout the book seems to imply a casual, conversational tone but instead creates long and circuitous sentences which often hide O’Neill’s intended meaning. I had to read many sentences multiple times, which interrupted the flow of the text and made it difficult to comprehend some of the concepts.

The theme of this book is simple- existence, purpose, and an explanation for both. Curiosity is a basic human trait that propels us forward and O’Neill uses that interest in the unknown to explore these ideas from a fresh standpoint. While some of what he discusses is not exactly new, he creates a fresh combination out of multiple theories that have been proposed in the past. It is also interesting that he uses both science and religion to support his theories, since those two schools of thought are typically contradictory.

There were parts that laid out simple rules for happiness and self-care, which everyone could stand to be reminded of. There was also a quick lesson on quantum theory that is thorough yet simplified, and incredibly interesting. Ultimately though, much of the book had a very new age and enigmatic feel. While this would be appealing to readers that are already interested in such subjects, it would likely make very few converts out of those that are not.

Pages: 163 | ASIN: B07FDG9FSL

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The Rebellious Earthling: Tale of the Turquoise Mirror

The Rebellious Earthling: Tale of The Turquoise Mirror by Andi Hayes completely caught me off guard. The title and opening pages led me to believe that the novel was going to be a run of the mill work of science fiction – creepy aliens, flat personalities, and clichés galore. But within a few chapters, I was completely hooked on Hayes’s story. I consider myself to be a pretty diverse reader, and I have read and reviewed a significant number of books, but this is the only one that had me staying up two hours past my bedtime to finish it. And, when I didn’t finish it that night, I was up in the morning reading it on the treadmill, suffering through the bounciness and struggles of reading while exercising, just to get to the end – I needed to know what happened!

Clearly, I think that The Rebellious Earthling is a five-star novel. Not only is it completely unique in its subject matter, story line, and characters, but it is also incredibly well-written and thoughtful. The Rebellious Earthling spans several distinct but related, and all equally fascinating, story lines. To give a high-level overview without revealing too much, it follows the demise of race of goblins who are corrupted by greed and lust after being overtaken by a new, cruel overlord. The other primary story line follows Ermina, the titular earthling, and her experiences in the depraved goblin world. Readers follow Ermina as she navigates this bizarre and debauched planet alongside Fairuzo, the handsome ruler of the goblins, whose dark history is hinted at throughout the pages. Hayes excels at managing the differing timelines yet tying them together seamlessly. Sometimes novels struggle in making different timelines understandable for readers, yet Hayes’ is skilled at making the current situation apparent yet not dumbed down.

I also enjoyed how Hayes tied together science fiction and romance, yet never in a tacky or lewd way. Though the lecherous and vile goblins as well as their overlords indulge in vile sexual acts, Hayes has a tactful way of describing these acts in a way that feels appropriately literary. As Hayes develops a romantic relationship between some key characters, I appreciated that the characters felt as if they truly got to know each other before progressing their relationship. The Rebellious Earthling is not a harlequin romance with pulsing clichés on every page, but there is a decent dose of enjoyable, indulgent amour. As a Game of Thrones fan, this felt slightly familiar – a little bit scandalous and addictive to read.

The 300 pages of The Rebellious Earthling fly by, as Hayes keeps the story action-packed yet never rushed. Hayes dedicates an appropriate level of detail to making all of the main and supporting characters three-dimensional and complex, and by the end I felt as if I knew these characters in an intimate way, and I pondered what I thought might happen in the conclusion as I drifted off to sleep. I could not get these characters out of my brain, in the best way possible! As I felt the pages winding down, I began rushing through the pages to get to the climax. And while Hayes left me hanging, I am hopeful that there will be more stories to come in the worlds of Ermina and Fairuzo.

Pages: 334 | ISBN: 0692132899

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