Blog Archives

LADY SILVER

LADY SILVER: Warlock Chronicles, Book I by [Bobbie R. Byrd]

Bryanna is powerful. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that she is more powerful than even she believes or understands. It is certain that others greatly underestimate the contribution she will soon make. A member of a race different in so many ways from humans, she is able to channel energy, perceive the feelings and internal cries of others, and maintain a shield of defense around herself and those she is bound to protect. There is an apocalypse on the horizon. Those who are responsible know not what they are about to encounter in Bryanna D’Isaac–the woman who is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles, Book I, by Bobbie R. Byrd, is the science fiction masterpiece centered around main character, Bryanna D’Isaac. Byrd has created an engaging storyline for fans of technologically-rich novels. Cover to cover, Lady Silver delivers action and drama all the while providing readers with superb character development.

Right out of the gate, Byrd’s novel sets audiences up for quite the adventure. We are introduced to the determined Syndria and her intense focus on the mission she has been handed. There is a certain level of ominous doom surrounding readers’ first moments with Syndria. The feeling of building anticipation is addressed on nearly every page. Byrd never allows readers to lose sight of the characters’ missions and the imminent danger which they all face.

Science fiction tales can not stand alone on futuristic aspects–there absolutely must be characters with depth who snag my attention. Byrd absolutely provides that with Bryanna D’Isaac and Devon Bastion. There is something about the mixture of warlocks and space that gives Byrd’s book a special feel.

I truly love the combination of wizardry and science fiction in this novel. Characters Bryanna and Devon could not have been paired any more perfectly. I highly recommend Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles to anyone looking for a new science fiction author/series to follow. This book contains no lulls, no breaks in the action, and packs a great punch. I look forward to reading more of Byrd’s works.

Pages: 344 | ASIN: B0997Y4T2B

Buy Now From B&N.com

BIRDS, WHO ARE THEY?: A FIRST LOOK – Book Trailer

Are birds like humans? What are they really like and where did they come from? Are we really so different, or, as parallel species, can both birds and humans join equally in the care of our beautiful world? A preview and reflection on the latest findings about what birds – and we – ultimately are. Prepare to be surprised, illuminated, and delighted.

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Deeper Crime

Lisa Towles
Lisa Towles Author Interview

Ninety-Five follows a college student who uncovers an on campus scam that’s connected to a larger criminal underworld on the dark web. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

From an investigation perspective, most crimes are like icebergs. What you see sticking out of the water often has nothing to do with what’s really going on, with the deeper crime and the layers of secrets protecting it. Zak was a transfer student trying to reset his academic journey and an on-campus party led him down a rabbit hole and, ultimately, a one-way trip to hell.

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

Duality was one of the ideas I wanted to explore with Zack – bravado and vulnerability, he’s jaded yet innocent, and I was very curious how he would react to not only challenges in his immediate environment but to things that challenged his view of the world, of reality itself.

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

Ninety-Five is my seventh published book and I think I’m addressing the same themes as an underlying commonality – abuse of power, secrets, corruption, and family connections. But for this book specifically, I found the dark web, crypto, and Pharma elements pulling me deeper into the story.

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

This year I finished writing my first series – a three-book private investigator series. I’m hoping the first book in that series will be published in 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Troubled University of Chicago student, Zak Skinner, accidentally uncovers evidence of an on-campus, organized crime scam involving drugging students, getting them to commit crimes on camera, and blackmailing them to continue under the threat of expulsion. Digging deeper, Zak discovers that the university scam is just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s connected to a broader ring of crimes linked to a darkweb underworld. Following clues, Zak is led to a compound within Chicago’s abandoned Steelworker Park, only to discover that he’s being hunted. While trying to find his way out alive, Zak discovers there’s something much more personal he’s been running from – his past. And now there’s nowhere to hide.

Akil and Jafari

AKIL AND JAFARI: VOL.1 HOW TO SELL YOUR SOUL by [AYURA AYIRA]

Akil and Jafari (Volume 1-4) by Ayura Ayira is a story about two boys who are childhood best friends turned rivals. Despite his health issues, life was better for Akil Chistopher than for many others, including Jafari Omar, but he still wanted more. With dreams of escaping a life of poverty in Africa and going to America, the pair hope to gain money and fame by becoming professional mixed martial arts fighters. But then a series of poor decisions leads to Akil accidentally shooting and killing his father. Jafari takes the blame and ends up sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for the fatal shooting. Will the forced separation caused by the dark secret they share turn out to be the end of their friendship?

I liked the interactions and banter between Akil and Jafari when they were kids and missed that lighthearted tone and bits of humor during the rest of the story after events seemed to place a wedge between the two. I also liked the aspect of the story where the ghost of Akil’s father visited him and offered him encouragement when he needed it most. The story had a happy ending, which I was glad to see after all the struggle and strife that Akil and Jafari went through.

While I enjoyed this impassioned and thoughtful story, I felt that it ended abruptly. I wanted to know what happened after the two former friends were finally reunited, and to learn a bit more details about Jafari’s motivations for his actions. The story was told from Akil’s point of view, but I would have liked to see parts of the story from Jafari’s point of view, as well.

The focus on their close friendship in the beginning, which was my favorite part of the story, seemed to be replaced by a love interest for Akil in later parts of the book, giving this novel a surprising romantic element.

Akil and Jafari is a riveting story that will appeal to readers looking for a rousing and dramatic book of two intriguing men who face adversity in different ways.

Pages: 179 | ASIN: B09B2ZJQXN

Buy Now From B&N.com

Unseen

Unseen: Evil Lurks Among Us by [Jeffrey James Higgins]

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us, is a gripping thriller written by Jeffery James Higgins. The novel has a strong line up of characters, an interesting plot and enough action to keep the reader glued to the book.

There are two main characters in this story, Malachi and Austin; the traditional hero and villain. Rookie Homicide Detective Malachi is a former economics academic, turned detective after the death of his father in the Boston Marathon bombing. Austin is a man hell-bent on revenge after he lost his girlfriend at the hands of an Islamist infiltrator. An ex-solider, he plots his revenge whilst keeping up his appearance as an innocent bachelor who lives with his beloved dog Sophie. These are complex characters, as both show that they have both good characteristics and traits, as well as more disturbing aspects to their personalities. At times both fight their own inner demons. These two characters are well developed and are supported by a range of minor characters including a girlfriend, children, an ex-wife and friends and colleagues. Although they aren’t as well developed, all the minor characters are an integral part of the story.

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us is set in present day Washington. Higgins draws the readers into the story by describing the setting in detail. Opening the story with a scene in a bar, the action moves quickly to the outdoors, where even the oppressive humidity is described. Numerous sounds, sights and smells are described throughout the novel, as the story unfolds across various parts of Washington.

This is a fast-paced thriller that follows the typical structure, but the story is told from two points of view (Malachi and Austin’s). It starts with an action packed first chapter, with numerous clues and red herrings. Jam packed full of adventure; it keeps the readers guessing right until the end!

Unseen, Evil Lurks Among Us is a fast paced and enthralling novel. The characters are well developed and interesting, and the storyline, while complex, is still easy to follow. But most importantly for this genre, the plot just keeps you guessing with many twists and turns along the way.

Pages: 377 | ASIN: B09BLN26MG

Buy Now From B&N.com

From Memory And Imagination

Palmer Smith
Palmer Smith Author Interview

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of thought-provoking poetry on nature, technology, culture and childhood. What was the inspiration for the ideas behind the poem in this book?

I wrote this book because I felt the need to tell these stories. The inspiration behind the ideas really comes from memory and imagination and the intertwining of these two facets of the mind. I wanted to write poems that readers could relate to that would also make them ask questions about their own lives.

My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Can Time Ever Fall?. Do you have a favorite poem from this book?

My favorite poem is definitely “The Dollhouse on Fifth Avenue.” I think it encapsulates the absurdities of apartment living and city living.

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

The main themes that were important to explore were: love, communication, nature, and technology.

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

I am working on a fiction novel about a character who sleepwalks and a complicated family. The book is set in NYC/the south.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of poems and stories regarding animals, the ocean, miscommunication, childhood, Northeastern versus Southern American culture, family, nature versus technology, and the imagination of the introvert. In these lyrical texts, a couple sleepwalks together, a therapist is imagined as a snake, a manatee befriends a widow, a ghost haunts an old Charleston home, and New York City becomes its own character. Stepping into these pages brings about new worlds-some full of magic, others full of mystery.

The Masters Of Sci-Fi

Author Interview
Svet Rouskov Author Interview

Antithesis is a collection of fascinating science fiction stories offering a variety of intriguing scenarios that explore humanity through different lenses. What inspired some of the stories in your collection?

I am a science fiction nerd who grew up reading and idolizing the masters of sci-fi; Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert just to name a few. I also loved science fiction periodicals and read many lesser-known voices who contributed their stories. Inspiration in general came from wanting to remind myself why I love sci-fi, telling stories with a nod to the past. But I also wanted to make the subjects and themes of the stories relevant and timely. In effect, social commentary masquerading as nostalgia.

I really enjoyed the diverse and interesting characters in the stories. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

My day job is being a screenwriter. Character in film, television and video games is what excites me the most about storytelling. If people love your characters (even the evil ones), they will go along for the ride and enjoy the experience. Now, diverse characters lead to differing points of view and unique perspectives, which will hopefully challenge the viewer or reader to examine their own beliefs. If a character has you questioning a preconception, then he/she/they/it has been well developed.

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

Though Antithesis has six unique stories, they all revolve around humanity and the human condition. I wanted to explore what it means to be human. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our flaws, and our beliefs. Even when looking at non-human characters, I wanted to use them as a mirror to our own world to show areas where we as a species were either excelling or failing.

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

I am working on volume two of Antithesis. It will include the continuation of three of the stories and a few new ones as well. Hopefully, it will be out mid-2022. I’m also working on an adaptation/novelization of one of my own original screenplays that was never produced. Antithesis is my first book, and I enjoyed writing it so much that I’m being drawn more and more to literature. Stay tuned!

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Antithesis is a collection of vivid and exhilarating science fiction stories, tied together by characters whose moral challenges offer windows into humanity and the human condition. These stories are cautionary tales, flights of fancy, terrifying psychological journeys, humorous romps, and even a space opera.

A speculative tale about humankind becoming obsolete from the perspective of the machines we created. The story of an airline pilot who loses his faith in the physics of flying as his rational and irrational mind fight for dominance. An ancient being born of human evolution that strips us of our memories, feeding on one precious reminiscence at a time. An audacious fable that explores a new galaxy, one where humans are irrelevant, but the conflicts of a class-based society are not. A novella-length saga about a mission to Mars, the origins of humanity, and an atrocity that stretches across time and space. And finally, a story that asks the question whether an unstoppable artificial intelligence would indeed be happier traveling the vast reaches of space, or back amongst the flawed beings who created it.

Escape into worlds unlike anything you have seen before, but some eerily similar to our own. Antithesis – where the opposite is to be expected.

To Reveal Its Shocking Nature

Author Interview
Colin McNairn Author Interview

Signs of the Times reexamines classic nursery rhymes through a contemporary and humorous lens. What inspired you to write this book?

My mother was an English teacher and a great fan of humorous poetry. She introduced me to the light verse of Ogden Nash and the nonsense rhymes of Edward Lear, kindling my enthusiasm for their writing styles. I have also been fascinated by wordplay, of one kind or another, and have written about it in earlier books. The light verse style offers considerable wordplay possibilities. It struck me that classic nursery rhymes would lend themselves to reinterpretation in this style and that they could do with some updating as it were.

What is the most memorable nursery rhyme from your childhood and how does that speak to you today?

One of the most memorable, if not the most memorable, nursery rhyme from my childhood is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It speaks to me today because I now appreciate that a lamb represents innocence and purity and that the pure whiteness of the typical lamb’s coat reinforces the notion of purity. I now believe that this nursery rhyme emphasizes the faithfulness that a pet, endowed with the characteristics of innocence and purity, is capable of showing to a human companion. In the nursery rhymes, that faithfulness is reciprocated by Mary, to her enduring credit.

What nursery rhyme shocked you the most when reexamining it?

For me, the nursery rhyme “Goosey, Goosey, Gander” didn’t take much reexamination to reveal its shocking nature. It portrays someone throwing an old, presumably defenseless, old man down a set of stairs for the simple crime of refusing to say his prayers. For me, the shocking nature of the narrative wasn’t particularly dampened when I learned that what was being described here was likely the fate of a priest, hidden away in a “priest-hole” in a Catholic home, being rousted and punished for refusing to swear allegiance to the Protestant Queen. This would have been a not untypical occurrence in England during the Papist purge of the sixteenth century.

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

My next book will be another collection of light verse for adults. It’s to be titled What If Jack Wasn’t So Nimble: Mother Goose Characters Reimagined. I’m currently looking for a publisher. One of the poems from this collection, entitled “Time’s No Fun When You’re Having Flies” has been published in the latest quarterly issue (Sept., 2021) of the British Webzine Lighten Up Online (see https://lightenup-online.co.uk/index.php/isse-55-september-2021/2174-colin-mcnairn-time-s-no-fun-when-you-re-having-flies).

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Signs of the Times is good clean—or not so clean—fun in two ways. It’s a joy to be reintroduced to so many dearly loved and justly renowned nursery rhymes, long after their sparkle and pungency may have faded from adult memory. It’s also fun to see what an informed and somewhat sardonic modern sensibility makes of them anew in the context of these times we are all now living through.

—Bruce Bennett, Emeritus Professor of English, Wells College

Colin McNairn is clearly having fun as he rewrites nursery rhymes to comment on the wider world. With jabs and plentiful jokes (“hickory, dickory, daiquiri”), he happily draws readers into his imaginative wordsmithery.

—Warren Clements, Author, The Nestlings Press Book of Fairy Tales in Verse

If Mother Goose were writing her nursery rhymes to-day, she would no doubt
burnish her MeToo credentials by condemning Georgie Porgie for kissing the girls and making them cry,
have Billy Boy, a.k.a. Charming Billy, look for a wife online rather than by pursuing a ground game;
warn us against catching a tiger by the toe, given the dangers of nail fungus; and
recognize a twinkle, twinkle in the night sky as more likely to evidence a drone rather than a star.
These are among the revisionist scenarios portrayed in the 70 plus mature verses in this collection, all of which have been inspired, to some extent, by traditional nursery rhymes. The subject matter of the verses ranges widely and includes, politics, language, the law, dating and mating, social behavior, food and drink, health, sports, commerce, technology, travel, and the natural environment.
%d bloggers like this: