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A Pandemic Rising

Tosca Lee Author Interview

Tosca Lee Author Interview

The Line Between follows an apocalyptic cult escapee who finds the end of the world is actually happening. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

In 2017, soon after Firstborn released, I met with my publisher in New York to talk about what was next. I had a short list of favorite story concepts—the idea of a cult escapee starting over and a pandemic rising from the permafrost (inspired by real headlines, scarily enough) among six or seven others. My publisher said, “I like both of those. I think you should put them together!”

It worked out strangely well! I wish I could take credit for the combination, but it was my publisher’s idea.

Wynter is an impressive character that I enjoyed watching develop throughout the novel. What were some ideas that drove her character development?

Thank you so much. Wynter’s a really intriguing character to me because she has so many challenges—she’s oppressed and imprisoned within this cult and when she finally gets out, she’s a complete fish out of water. She doesn’t know how to drive or work electronics, or much about how the outside world works at all. She struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (as I do) and has issues with PTSD. She’s not your usual hero with a “special set of skills.” But she never gives up. She’s also kind of funny, which I love about her.

The disease that comes out of the permafrost causes madness in its victims. How did you develop the idea for the disease in your novel?

My sister is a physician and also teaches medical school, so I spent some time picking her brain for just the right combination of different yet plausible, and very scary. The idea of a fast-track prion disease (best known for its Mad Cow variant) is exceptionally frightening. In humans, prion disease cause very slow deterioration and dementia usually over decades. There is no cure, it’s always fatal, and as of right now there’s no way to even test for it except for posthumously. A rapid version of that seemed like a very formidable foe.

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

Good question! I’m up for contract now, so we’re shopping a few ideas around. I really love these new concepts, so am very much looking forward to bringing them into the world.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Line Between: A Novel by [Lee, Tosca]

When Wynter Roth finally escapes from New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play: that the prophet they once idolized has been toying with the fate of mankind, and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter, herself.

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The Line Between

The Line Between: A Novel by [Lee, Tosca]

Wynter Roth has lived in an apocalyptic religious cult since she was 7. At age 22, Wynter manages to escape from the cult only to realize that the thing that she was afraid of all her life, the end of the world, is actually happening. A fatal disease, which makes people go crazy is spreading all over the world. Wynter embarks on a mission to save the world and help her niece escape from the cult.

The Line Between by Tosca Lee is a captivating apocalyptic thriller that held my attention from page one. The chapters alternate between the past and the present adding an extra layer of tension in a novel where the suspense is already high. There are plenty of questions that need answers and I was pleasantly surprised that answers came at a steady and pleasing rate that always satisfied me as the next question intrigued me.

The novel follows the life of Wynter Roth, a young 22 years old woman who just left a doomsday cult. Her character is relatable and I found myself empathizing with her as we learn how she fell prey to an evil preacher. As I learned more about her life through the many flashbacks I realized how much she changes. From an innocent and broken girl she turns into a brave and purposeful woman who is not afraid of anything. I liked that the change could be seen and could also be believed. The character building in this book is something I really enjoyed.

The cult leader Magnus Theisen is the protagonist of the story. He manipulates his followers and destroys other people’s lives, all to reach his own goal. He is a cruel man who even wants to use the disease for his benefit. His character is provocative but I felt he was not explored enough. I thought he was compelling and I wanted to learn more about him, maybe by telling a bit of the story from his perspective.

While the main characters are all alluring and thoughtfully developed, I thought that there were too many minor characters in the novel. Sometimes I found it difficult to follow who was who.

The Line Between is an engrossing story filled with action, religion, romance, and survival all at once. If you like layered apocalyptic stories, then this is for you.

Pages: 384 | ASIN:  B07GNTVY6L

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Irreversible Changes

Hosein Kouros-Mehr Author Interview

Hosein Kouros-Mehr Author Interview

Extinction 6 is a vivid and detailed story about Earth’s 6th extinction event and the effort to try and stop it. What was your inspiration for the idea behind this novel?

Based on recent papers in Nature and Science, it looks like global warming is accelerating. We have until 2030 to make significant chances to our greenhouse gas emissions or we face irreversible changes to the climate. I wanted to bring awareness to this issue by painting a picture of a world devastated by global warming

There are many interesting characters throughout the novel. Who was your favorite character to write for?

Manos Kharon, the billionaire who would rather destroy the Earth than see his profits fall.

This novel touches heavily on climate change and global warming. Is this something that you think is only science fiction, or is it a serious concern?

You can read this article for yourself – https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/07/world/climate-change-new-ipcc-report-wxc/index.html

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

I will hold off writing any more novel until I retire. It will be far more fun to write when I don’t have a day job 🙂

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Extinction 6 by [Kouros-Mehr, Hosein]

By mid century, Arctic oil drilling accelerates global warming and triggers famine and world war. A team at Google launches Project Titan to reverse climate change and end fossil fuel addiction. Without a radical solution, humanity faces catastrophe.

Earth’s sixth mass extinction is underway. One hope remains.

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Survivors of the Sun: A post-apocalyptic thriller

Georgia hasn’t exactly had it easy since marrying Nathan. Leaving her home in Australia and taking on the role of wife and stepmother has been a challenge to say the least. However, when Georgia is saddled with keeping her husband’s precocious and entitled niece and her own two stepchildren on an afternoon when she would rather be working on her own jewelry business, life takes a turn she and the children could never have predicted. As she watches her stepson’s hair mysteriously stand on end, Georgia gives it only a passing thought. Soon after, Georgia and the members of her household find themselves fighting for their very lives.

Mia Kingslie, author of Survivors of the Sun, has absolutely hit it out of the park. Her thriller, set in the present and focusing on the extreme likelihood that the world has been hit with an electromagnetic pulse, is phenomenally well-written and gripping in every way possible. Kingslie’s characters, her plot, and the conflicts within are clearly drawn with stunning visuals.

Georgia, the book’s main character, draws on sources of strength most of us could never imagine. When she realizes she has likely outlived her husband everyone she knows, she picks herself up and heads, literally, for the hills with the children and their dogs in tow. After witnessing the horrifying deaths in their city, Georgia somehow manages to concoct a feasible plan for escaping their home with the needed supplies. She is a force with which to be reckoned, and Kingslie builds on her set of skills as the chapters advance. Georgia represents every man, woman, and child living through apocalyptic times learning to adjust as each new set of challenges is faced.

The introduction of Lola into the traveling group makes the entire plot that much more engaging. Lola, a force in her own right, adds an element of unique humor to an otherwise dark and heavy storyline. Her backstory is one that makes her even more endearing to readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Georgia’s relationship grow and flourish with her stepchildren, but more intriguing was the evolving dynamic between Georgia and her niece, Deedee. To watch Georgia grow as a maternal figure was quite amazing. As a parent myself, I found it fascinating to see through her eyes as she begins to find ways to work around Deedee’s idiosyncrasies.

Kingslie writes the most fantastic descriptions of post-apocalyptic terrors. From diseased bodies to the overwhelmingly eerie pictures of stalled cars, silent skies, and ravaged homes. Kingslie’s writing style is highly effective in creating a scene for her readers of almost instant devastation.

Were it possible to give Survivors of the Sun 10 stars, I would do it in a heartbeat. That being said, I can’t hesitate to give it 5 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to find a book that takes hold of your imagination and refuses to let go, but that’s exactly what Kingslie has managed to produce. I fell in step with Georgia and her ragtag crew from Chapter 1, and any fan of apocalyptic thrillers will do the same.

Pages: 743 | ISBN: 1720066493

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End it By the Gun

End it By the Gun by [Obi, Kenechukwu]

Ken Obi’s latest novel End It By The Gun features charismatic and determined Beck, who’s eagerness to get a top book deal and offer for a screen play, ruins his life. The book delves into Beck’s past, his relationships with women and writing and his latest novel. It is full of dynamic relationships with both women and men, family ordeals and political strife. There’s even a spattering of nature. The novel cannot be simply put into one genre as it ventures into fantasy, political thriller and drama, so there’s bound to be a part that everyone can enjoy.

The book can be split into two parts – the first half is about Beck and his life, his dream to become a famous writer and his relationships. The second half is his eleventh novel which features Abdoullah, Farouk, and Murktar and their deadly pathogen V1B6F3.

The first half is characterized by tumultuous relationships, between Beck and his family and women. It has a fast-paced style with a masculine tone and lots of underlying energy in the short chapters. There are twists and turns constantly occurring in the chapters that jump around different time periods in Beck’s life. He experiences strange meetings, fame and kidnapping. This style of writing is inviting and leaves the reader wanting more.

However, I felt that some parts the book were awkwardly written – “I read that to mean that he must have thought I had given up on dashing away”, and I thought that it could be overly descriptive for a book that means to move quickly. I also felt that there was a lack of sympathy for women in the book – Beck’s wife is made out to be crazy with no explanation, and his agent has no name for most of the narrative.

The second part of the book begins in a way reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse. This is the book that makes Beck famous. It has a science versus nature theme which ultimately turns political, alongside this runs the age-old battle between good and evil. The nature aspect of it focuses on an area called Shonga, which is untouched by humans. This part is the gem of the book and where the writing style really works. The vivid descriptions of the forest and way of life offer a rich picture which makes the reader long to be in nature with the characters, away from their urban lifestyles.

The characters in the second half of the book are presented in a linear fashion which evokes a level of understanding which is not present in the first half of the text. The characters in this part are all from different walks of life, which goes to show how many people can influence an event.

I thought that the tone of the book is inviting, quick and full of energy and I think many people would enjoy the interesting characters and fresh perspectives.

Pages: 228 | ASIN: B07DHK1PHF

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Apocalypsia

Apocalypsia

Apocalypsia by Jerry Veit is a saga in the best sense of the word. I was able to read the complete edition of this work, which consists of three books and three parts per book. They detail a post-apocalyptic Earth after what appears to be, for all intents and purposes, the end. Demons comb the land, freed from Hell and what is left of humanity struggles to survive and trust one another. It is left to small bands of warriors to come together and unite the warring factions, otherwise they will all perish with the rising of a new demon army.

The vision that Veit has for this world is expansive. It is also a fun blend of science fiction, fantasy and post-apocalyptic. These elements may seem to much for the casual reader but for Veit they are all ingredients that lend themselves to the epic that this work is. The edition I have, has a couple, very thick appendices, which was helpful for the wide cast of characters Viet details in all of these stories. Some of the terms, locations and overall history of this Earth is also given. All in all the world building that Veit skillfully brings to life is very present and rich for the reader to sink into and lose themselves.

I found Veit’s prose to be stilted in places and I wonder if his work would hold up better in an audio book or audio drama form. He did not shy away from any action and made sure the story kept moving through these pages, especially as the conflict became more and more intense until the dramatic conclusion. He does follow the time tested formula of having a band of hero’s and a singular villain, bent on destruction. The setting he built around this formula is what refreshing for this type of tale and the considerable scale he chose to write it in. The story itself could have been confined to two books but with drawing it out into a third he was able to deepen the plot just enough to please the reader. I won’t say anything else in that regard, lest I spoil the story.

What was difficult was the way that Viet chose to tell his tale. He took some grammatical liberties that a seasoned reader may have trouble reading at first. The most notable one is that Veit does not use traditional dialogue tags or quotation marks but instead uses names labeling who speaks (i.e. ADRIAN: Welcome to Apocalypsia). This is similar to how one labels dialogue in screenplays, which I am aware is in Veit’s background.

All in all Apocalypsia is an epic tale of loss, bravery and learning what it is to be human. Lovers of quests and end of the world tales will find something to enjoy here.

Pages: 387 | ASIN: B0726374N1

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