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Bizarre Coincidences

Jardine Henry Hart Author Interview

Jardine Henry Hart Author Interview

Rogue Genes follows Tommy who is dealing with the trauma of the military while seeking revenge for the death of his mother. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I woke one morning from a disturbing dream, and told my wife I was going to write a novel. The fact that the dream had no bearing on the eventual story line didn’t matter, at least it got the ball rolling. For the next two years I literally lived two lives, completely involved with every emotion of the characters I had created. A real labor of love.

I always knew that one day I would write a book or two, and for that reason I was never an avid reader. I simply didn’t want to have someone else’s story buried in my subconscious, to one day be revealed unintentionally, as my own. Originality was the key. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the enormity of the task (100000 words with two fingers) until I had committed myself, but by then it was tool late. I was hooked. The truth is I had absolutely no idea where the story was going from one day to the next, and this continued pretty well for 2 years. I think it would be accurate to say the book wrote me. I put a lot of thought into the characters, hoping to bring them to life,and from the feedback I have received I seem to have achieved that. Hopefully, one day the book might be a movie.

I guess the story does seem a little unbelievable at times, and I tried to counter that by making it obvious in the characters conversations that “you are never going to believe this, are you kidding me” or “unbelievable, you are going to have to write a book about this.” The funny thing is, you would probably never believe the number of those bizarre coincidences, or similar events, that I have actually encountered personally or indirectly in my life!

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

Well I would love to do a sequel, but self publishing is no easy task, I guess the sales will dictate that.

From the moment nurse Marge McConichee laid eyes on the one-day old baby boy, abandoned at the hospital where she worked, she knew he was meant to be hers. Marge and her husband Joe had been hoping to adopt a child, and, after pulling a few strings, the baby was put in their care. They named him Tommy in honour of Joe’s father. Following Joe’s untimely death, Marge was forced to raise the rebellious Tommy on her own. A couple of stints in a boy’s detention centre are followed by a term in the army, where after graduating to the Special Service, Tommy finally returns home a somewhat damaged and reluctant hero. Eventually meeting the girl of his dreams, Tommy’s life is then shattered by the death of his beloved Marge; an event that sets him on a path to find his biological mother. His journey is littered with bizarre coincidences, and acts of evil, which leave Tommy determined to avenge the sins of the past. Some families have a member with a Rogue Gene, but in this family, it was part of their DNA.

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The Immortal Queen

The Immortal Queen by [Marshall, S. L.]

The Immortal Queen follows first, the life of Endya, an elven warrior with demon magic. Although plagued with prejudices, Endya finds her soulmate and becomes a leader that the kingdom of Sundregham never wanted. Elizabeth, on the other hand, grew up on Earth with a normal life. Her own nightmares reveal to her that life on earth is about to be thrust into chaos. Both women are needed as dark forces seek to end all of existence. Worlds collide and every kind of magic imaginable is released on Earth as war begins. Even the gods themselves are on the edge of their seats as the final encounter arises.

The Immortal Queen has the potential to be a best selling fantasy novel. Complete with magic and guns, queens and intrigue, even gods and demons. This book combines lore from several fantasy sub-genres and mashes them into one, making this a highly ambitious epic fantasy novel. However, at times I felt that there was too much going on in this story and felt like some things were not explained completely. While the magic in itself isn’t always meant to be understood, I would have liked to have a better understanding of how things worked because what is presented is intriguing.

As the story jumps from scene to scene with little background information, I spent my time trying to figure out where and when a scene took place. This is exacerbated by the fact that halfway through the story all the main characters names were changed.

The Immortal Queen has huge potential to be on par with other high fantasy novels, which is a genre I enjoy. I love it when worlds collide and there are seemingly infinite types of magic. Near the end of the book, dragon riders were even introduced and I almost squealed in delight. There is a constant stream of action throughout the story that kept me interested and was one of the main factors in getting me flipping pages.

Pages: 426 | ASIN: B07N1PW8KL

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The Answer Was Doombringer

Aaron Bunce Author Interview

Aaron Bunce Author Interview

The Winter of Swords starts when Eisa is snatched by a monster which begins the convergence of several different characters. What was the inspiration for this thrilling story?

The story was originally inspired by a song: “Protectors of the Earth” by Two Steps from Hell. I visualized a scene in a forest clearing, where an army of dark creatures, led by a terrifying six-limbed beast, faced off against a massive wolf. I wrote the sequence with the intention of having my protagonist realize that he shares a magical bond with this wolf (a spirit guardian of nature). After finishing the chapter, the story took off in a completely different direction. I’d been reading a lot of fantasy at the time, and struggled with the disappointment that so much of it was the same, and not just tropes, but theme, archetypes, and even magical creatures. I was tired of dragons and elves especially, but also of questing heroes. I wanted cool new beasts, but more so, I was looking for something that would terrify me. The answer was Doombringer – whose physical presence might only be surpassed by his cunning and intellect. I wanted a creature that characters can’t simply run away and hide from, but one that watches, understands, and hunts them. I structured the beginning of the story differently, too, as I wanted to defy expectation and convention. And heh, everyone loves a good twist! Eisa, Hunter, and Luca are integral to the overall arc in the series, but their stories don’t necessarily move as most people expect. A seemingly routine trip into the wilds to collect resources proves to be the catalyst for a much grander story in scope and scale.

There’s an assortment of varied and well-developed characters in this novel, and I found everyone to be interesting. Who was your favorite character to write for?

This is a hard question to answer, as I love all of my characters. In fact, it feels like trying to single out one of your children as your favorite. But if I had to choose, I would say that Roman is my favorite to write. As you discover in The Winter of Swords, he has a fairly tragic backstory. To me, Roman represents resiliency, honor, and an unflappable sense of nobility. He’s introspective, shy, and a bit socially dysfunctional, but it’s his relationship with his adoptive companion, Tusk, that makes him so loveable. So many people struggle to fit in, and Roman is no different. I think that, in part, is why his interactions with Dennah are so much fun for me to write. You get to see how two people from vastly different upbringings can bond and find mutual ground. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Roman is also probably the most complicated character in the series – for reasons people will see by the time they finish Before the Crow. Beyond Roman, another of my favorites was Balin – a slippery rogue in Gladeus’ employ. In the original draft of the book, Balin appeared for a total of two or three paragraphs. By the time I finished the draft I was so enamored with him and his story that I had to go back and expand on him as a character. I think those morally gray characters can add such a wonderfully complicated dynamic to the story.

I enjoyed the in depth world building in this book. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?

I wanted to present the concept of the “ancient evil returned to threaten the world”, but wanted to avoid the “good vs evil” light fights the dark, or the evil lord who refuses to die returns once again to enslave the world, tropes that were prevalent in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and so many others. That in part is why the readers get to see the antagonists, too. By seeing their rebirth, understanding a bit about their fall, and their motivations and aspirations, I think it makes the conflict a little richer. I’m also a huge nerd for history. So much of the back-story in Denoril is shades of feudal Europe, the protestant migration to the new world, the concept of world war, and the effect of colonialism on indigenous people, and abolition of slavery. The theme of indigenous people plays out in with the dalan – a magical people readers don’t necessarily get to meet until a little further into the series. I think it’s worth the wait!

This is book one in the Overthrown series. What can readers expect in book two, Before the Crow?

Oh, boy! That’s the question. The Winter of Swords really sets the stage, but like so many introductory volumes, it scrambles things up and tears the characters down. Before the Crow picks right up where Swords ends in that regard, so it is definitely “binge ready”. The conflict deepens and spreads, but the cat is out of the bag to an extent, so we get to see how some of our characters start to deal with the threat, but also what might set them apart from everyone else, and in the end, help them become the heroes Denoril needs so badly. For people who read through to the end of Winter of Swords, I strongly suggest they go right into Before the Crow. They just might find some events at the end of the second book incredibly rewarding!

Author Interview: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

The Winter of Swords: A Grimdark Epic (Overthrown Book 1) by [Bunce, Aaron]

An intelligent, six-limbed beast snatches a girl away from her family.

An orphan confronts the darkness in his past, while a menace stalks his small town.

A young woman cast into servitude tries to forge her own path in an unforgiving world.

And an inexperienced soldier following the path of honor and duty comes face to face with a foe born from his worst nightmares.

Seemingly unconnected, this small group of normal folk will fight to survive, for an ancient evil has awakened, and Denoril will need heroes if it is to endure The Winter of Swords.

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Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones

Bryant Lusk Author Interview

Bryant Lusk Author Interview

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones is a comprehensive guide to bone health. Why was this an important book for you to write?

My father died when I was very young. Despite the poverty that surrounded me during my childhood, my mother prepared meals packed with vitamins and minerals. This allowed my brain to soak up data at a higher than average rate, which empowered me to succeed despite the challenges. As I became a man, I began to appreciate the power of basic nutrition and vitamin supplements.

I have been a public servant for most of my adult life. It is my most fervent hope to share information that can improve the lives of others, just as my life has improved in such an incredible fashion. I chose to write about osteoporosis because it is one of the lowest hanging fruits for disease prevention that the average person can readily address. Low bone density is becoming a global threat that can be easily deterred. Raising awareness and providing simple solutions if the purpose of this book.

This is the first of a three-book series on vitamin therapy for disease treatment and prevention. I am calling the series “Share The Health.”

The book focuses on the link between lifestyle choices, age, gender, eating habits, and bone health. What is a common misconception you find many people have about bone health?

Excellent question! There is no single answer because misconceptions evolve over time. For decades calcium was considered the end-all-be-all to improving bone health. We finally realized that excessive calcium intake was generating heart disease, especially in women, at an alarming rate. This misconception harmed a lot of families and caused a lot of heart-ache, literally. We now know that vitamin K2 was one of the missing links in the bone building process.

I would say a common misconception today (and for some time) is viewing a symptom as the only issue to address. For instance, if I were to test positive for low vitamin D levels in my blood, the typical approach would be to have me ingest more vitamin D. In my book, I point out that the vitamin D measured inside of your blood is not the same as that which you ingest or obtain from sun exposure. Vitamin D is transformed inside of your liver to another state. It is this second version of D that is measured inside of your blood. The liver-transformation process relies on several co-factors including magnesium and zinc. So rather than viewing low vitamin D as the issue, I recommend viewing it as a potential symptom of some other underlying problem such as a magnesium deficiency or liver injury. Yes. If you take more vitamin D, you will increase the overall levels measured in your blood. However, you may also be masking the underlying root cause of the deficiency, which may lead to other health issues in the future, such as osteoporosis.

Additionally, fad diets and some very popular fat-burning products can be very damaging to your bones even though they are perceived as being good for you (another misconception). Osteoporosis develops very gradually. You feel fine for years until you suffer micro-fractures resulting in back pain. By then, the damage to your bone health is fairly severe. Additionally, few people are tested for low bone density until they are in their 60s. Thus, the fad-dieter or fat-burning product user feel perfectly fine as their bones slowly deteriorate. However, vitamin therapy can slow, prevent, or improve the condition at almost any stage of an individual’s bone health. The sooner you start to address specific nutrient deficiencies the better off you will be.

What is your professional background and how has that helped you write this book?

I am that 2nd-grade geek that teachers marveled at. My professional background is in highly technical fields such as military and commercial aircraft avionics, ground-based radar technology, airport instrument landing systems, and a whole lot of other nerdy things. I have always been fascinated with biology, technology, space travel, and the overall human condition. Anything related to science grabs my attention. As a Civil Servant, I served as an Air Traffic Safety Inspector, and a Technical Operations Quality Control Specialist. I researched and generated reports in Washington DC that influenced how the world flies today. I studied and analyzed tons of data to identify trends in seemingly unrelated areas associated with America’s National Airspace System, which is the busiest and most complex airspace system on Earth.

This book has been a major undertaking. My ability to conduct research into very complex subject matter enables me to see the whole process of very technical systems and the ripple effects that often go unnoticed. I simply applied what I enjoy doing into the subject of the human process for developing bone tissue. I did not go too deep into it as this was meant for general consumption. However; academia, medical experts, and fitness professionals will likely find some useful information in my book as well.

There are doctors and scientists that know a whole lot more than I do on the subject of bone development. However, I try to serve as the bridge between highly technical subject-matter and the average person who is simply living their life to the best of their knowledge and ability. I hope that my book goes deep enough to educate the general public, but not so deep as to lose them ten words into the discussion. This too is a balance that I strive for in my writing.

When and where will this book be available?

I thought that you would never ask. Just kidding. The scheduled release date to the public is Friday, May 31, 2019. At that time you will find my book available through most major outlets including Amazon (Kindle and print), Barnes & Noble (POD), Apple, etc. You will also find it throughout the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, and other places abroad.

My primary goal is to help others improve their lives by improving their health. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the information.

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones by [Lusk, Bryant]Men and women at any age benefit from stronger bones!

Millions of people unknowingly suffer from low bone density, which, if left unchecked, leads to osteoporosis. Are you one of them?

Worsening symptoms eventually cause chronic back pain, a curved spine, and even bone fractures.

The way bones form inside your body is truly incredible! Your bone cell builders need a steady supply of raw materials from diet or vitamin supplements for maximum density and strength. This easy-to-follow vitamin therapy approach is designed to fuel your natural ability to increase bone density, improve bone quality, and reduce bone loss, no matter when you start.

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones provides a wealth of information on:

  • Keeping your miraculous bones strong
  • Dangerous myths about vitamins and minerals
  • How popular fat burners harm your bones
  • What young adults should do now to avoid osteoporosis
  • The real solution to vitamin D deficiency
  • And so much more…

Treat osteoporosis (commonly misspelled osteoporosisi) naturally. You can achieve significant long-term results in your bone health with the smallest investments. Simply apply the information contained in this book and improve your entire life.

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My Emotional Turmoil

BJ Cyprian Author Interview

BJ Cyprian Author Interview

Shadow Resistance follows the lives of three women that quickly become entangled due a series of life changing events. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Originally, the novel started out as my personal response to the extreme shift the country saw in November 2016. As a triple minority, I felt a sense of pain, outrage, and confusion when I saw so much of the progress that was achieved virtually undone overnight. The increase in outward hatred towards people classified as “others” that accompanied this shift was also a large portion of my emotional turmoil. I will admit, the very first rough draft began more from a place of anger. However, it is true that time does soothe the mind a bit and I wanted to change my tactics. I felt like perhaps instead of anger, I should come from a place of using historical facts within a (what I hoped) was a gripping fictional plot. I feel like sometimes themes and facts in fiction are much easier received by some who have a hard time seeing the same themes in real life.

Dom, Rose, and Layla are intriguing and well developed characters. What were the driving ideals behind their character development?

I definitely wanted this novel to be female forward, particularly females of color. All three characters are compositions of my outer self, my inner self, and/or people who are close to me. Dom is the character that is the closest to my outer self. Many people who know me personally reach out to me after the first 2-4 chapters and say, “You’re Dom.” I would like to hope most authors use an aspect of themselves and their outlook in their main characters and that it’s not a sign of some weird narcissism on my part. Like Dom I’m an extreme introvert and an empath. Some of the stories of her past are things that actually happened in my life. (I only wish I had her computer ability and money!) While I do have some personality traits of the other two women, Rose is a combination of my wife and another good friend of mine who is an educator. Layla is inspired by my best friend in some ways.

As far as development, I wanted each woman to have their own special skill to bring to the table. I knew I wanted a sci-fi component to the story as I am a pretty big nerd, so I made Dom a tech genius. I also wanted a psychological/behavioral psychology piece. As my wife is a therapist I chose that vessel for Rose. I have known people who have had an eidetic memory in the past, which fascinated me, so I definitely wanted that as well, which I assigned to Layla. As far as their back stories and other character development, those were just as much a surprise to me as they were to the reader. I didn’t plan much of that, it just became organic to the story.

This novel expertly uses history and modern social issues throughout the book to create a thought provoking story. What were some themes you wanted to capture in your novel?

First and foremost, we are all human. When you strip away the labels, the physical, emotional, gender, sexuality differences, we are humans. We focus so much more on trying to be more important and better than others that we forget we are pretty much the same. Actions have consequences, and often those consequences can last for generations. This was what I wanted to get across in the historical component of the novel. If we refuse to acknowledge and accept how history affects the present, we are doomed to repeat it in the future. Another important theme I wanted to embrace was the concept of community. It seems that in today’s social media world, we are connected with everyone but don’t have a true real community of support. Those are probably the major themes for this novel. I touched on others like religion, sexuality, education, policing etc that I hope to go into in future installments.

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

Currently I’m working on two books. Of course, I have the 2nd installment of Shadow Resistance in the works. However, as I just released this novel less than 6 months ago, I don’t want to rush the production of the 2nd book. I am piecing out the main arc before I take it up in earnest. (But rest assured the cliffhanger is handled within the first few chapters.) I’m also working on another standalone mystery/thriller surrounding a grief support group.  I don’t have an expected release date for either. I want to make sure they are up to the same caliber or better than my first novel, but I hope one will be ready to go by Q4 2020.

Author Links: GoodReads Twitter FacebookWebsite

In this intriguing, page-turning, and slyly humorous tale, readers will find themselves pulling for three unforgettable women confronted with an unusual opportunity to address age-old social, political, racial, and economic hot-button topics. Dominique “Dom” Samuels is a wealthy, reclusive computer genius living a life full of anxiety evoked by tragedy. Her acute awareness of the injustices suffered by minority communities makes a logic-based artificial intelligence program of her own creation preferable to people. Until, that is, a man appears on her doorstep with an ingenious idea that turns her isolated existence upside down.Rose Jenkins is a tough but compassionate urban school counselor with a mission to protect at-risk youth from the heartbreak of drugs and violence that took away two of her brothers. When another brother, Robert, is released from prison, healthy and free from his addiction, he opens her eyes to a mysterious group with an entirely new take on social justice. Layla Green is a police crime scene technician who finds herself at the scene of a grisly murder with no physical evidence and an unidentifiable victim. Then Layla’s eidetic memory zeroes in on one solitary clue — a video game console. When a stranger helps Layla and her partner, Rachel Vasquez, access the console’s protected files, things take a twist none of them could have predicted.Shadow Resistance leads its readers on an innovative, thought-provoking journey — and to a new take on timely social topics. Even as this book serves up its compelling story, it delivers an invitation to step into the shoes of those who may be different by remembering the humanity of others.

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Ruby Ransom

Ruby Ransom by [D’union, Linda]

Ruby Ransom is equal parts mystery and equal parts adventure spiced with a bit of romance. What starts as just another night in the hospital is the start of a series of thrilling events that will send young nurse Rachel to an exotic country where she must face down rebels to help save a kidnapped child. All of this delivered in a little over 100 pages.

This story starts slows but, like an airplane taking off, quickly picks up speed. The twists come just as quickly as Rachel, and the reader, is given new information. Each new chapter brings a new and unexpected direction to her journey. All the while driven by the need to help a child that’s been kidnapped under mysterious circumstances in a far-off country.

Rachel receives helps along the way from her grandmother, and an old friend of the family, and a young man that ends up being much more than he first appears. I felt that Rachel’s character, overtime, was the most developed, but other characters lacked the depth that Rachel was given.

The story is told from Rachel’s first person perspective in a straightforward manner. Like a nurse who must keep logs of patients, the story is told in a similar manner, as if it’s a log of events that happened. Because of this I felt like the delivery of this otherwise intriguing story was stilted. Rachel is given vital plot driving information in large sections of exposition. But in this manner of story telling the book is consistent.

While every good mystery novel must have twists that the reader doesn’t see coming. I can honestly say that every twist in this book surprised me. I, along with Rachel, wanted to know what was going on and I was glad that Rachel and I (the reader) were on the same page. While Rachel is whisked along on this perilous journey through exotic locales, we get to learn a little about the region and local culture, which I appreciated.

Ruby Ransom delivers a circuitous yet thrilling journey set against an exotic location in an unambiguous way. Perfect for anyone looking for a romantic suspense novel that is easy to devour in a day or two.

Pages: 104 | ASIN: B00HZNG9L4

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The Silver Tabby

The Silver Tabby by Rachael Higgins is a children’s short story about a family of four kittens. There are three boys with black fur just like their Mama, and the fourth kitten is a gray stripe named Silver. She is smaller than her brothers (Shadow, Sooty, and Smoky) and she tries hard to keep up, but the boys don’t let her play with them. Then Silver is playing by herself one day, chasing a butterfly, and she falls into a deep pit filled with black rocks. She meows for help, but no one comes. After she saves herself, she catches a glimpse of her reflection in a pond. Silver’s coat has been turned black by the rocks from the pit. Will the black kittens want to play with her now that she looks just like them?

This is a fantastic story that I simply enjoyed. I love cats and I enjoyed reading about Silver and her family. My favorite part of the book were the pictures which were watercolor illustrations by Grace Elliott. They depicted scenes from the story beautifully and elegantly. A couple of the drawings at the beginning of the book were humorous, showing only the black cats’ rear ends as they left poor little Silver behind.

This book provides a message of hope and encouragement to children who are feeling lonely and isolated. The moral of The Silver Tabby is that it is alright to be different from other people. I didn’t like that the boys only welcomed Silver when she looked like them, but such is life. This is a tough lessons for many children to learn today. The boys excluded her when she was different, but in the end the boys still wanted to play with her even after finding out that she was actually Silver.

This story contains life lessons told through beautiful illustrations that is perfect for a parent to read to a child so that they can discuss the difficulties that Silver faces.

Pages: 26 | ISBN: 1797694057

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The Farthest-Reaching Ball

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Every mother’s journey is unique, however, they all share one thing: heartache. In one way or another, every mother travels down a difficult road as she fights tooth and nail to bring her child to adulthood unscathed. Sandra Bowman, author of The Farthest-Reaching Ball: A Memoir of Motherhood is no stranger to heartache. As the mother of two children, Grant and Parker, Bowman relates the trials and tribulations she overcomes as she raises her children virtually on her own. A mother’s love is nowhere more evident than in Bowman’s explanation of how she comes to understand the needs of her children and the struggle that has permeated her son’s life since an early age.

Sandra Bowman describes virtually every aspect of her journey as a mother in her poignant memoir, The Farthest-Reaching Ball. She details the birth of her sons so vividly that I felt, as the reader, that I attended the delivery. Her emotions surrounding the births are clearly drawn, and any parent who has experienced a particularly difficult birth will appreciate how very frank Bowman is with her details.

As a teacher, I am struck by the battle Bowman and her son, Grant, face as he begins school. His gifts are both amazing and obvious to all, but the obstacles he faces are numerous. Children with talents beyond those of the average child are often overlooked in the regular classroom, and they are not always afforded the opportunity to showcase their skills. Grant is one of those children with a mother on a mission to find a setting that suits her child’s best interests.

When Bowman’s son begins to experience behavior challenges and depression sets in, the author’s challenges multiply. Moreover, Grant’s own slowly-revealed identity crisis begins to consume his thoughts and every interaction. Bowman is more than understanding and is the proverbial mother bear–she is fierce and stops at nothing to make sure her child is content with himself. The author is beyond adept at communicating her feelings and her ever-fluctuating fears regarding Grant’s mental state. His worries are her worries, and his unhappiness is hers to bear.

There doesn’t seem to be a problem Bowman and her son haven’t endured. From excessive weight gain, to depression, to attention deficit disorder, Grant runs the gamut. Bowman is exceptionally open with her own feelings of defeat, despair, and utter helplessness. She is at loss as to how to help her son deal with an identity crisis that threatens to be the end of them all. Mothers of all walks of life can relate to Bowman’s honesty as she admits to her own suicidal thoughts.

I am impressed with Bowman’s forthrightness and openness. She lays out every frustration, worry, and obstacle for readers and shares with them the most intimate of details about her own regrets as a mother. Parents of children struggling with identity crises of all types will appreciate Bowman’s story.

 

Myrrendryl

Myrrendryl by [Lord, Kirby]

What starts off as just another teenager-focused bully story quickly shows its teeth to reveal something decidedly darker. The fear and emotion felt by the main protagonist seem both plausible and real, and the dysfunctional home life that he is forced to live through is also crafted to feel quite genuine.

We learn early on in this dark urban fantasy novel that Davey was forced by his difficulties to mentally escape into worlds of movie characters that he looked up to. He imagined himself overcoming his difficulties in a similar way that heroes from his favorite movies had, and it made him feel good to think that he could live in someone else’s shoes.

It doesn’t take long for Davey to find the escape he was looking for. What he found was something he never would have thought possible.

The world that Davey finds seems perfect to him. He cannot see any of the violence, abuse, or bullying that tortured him up to the point of finding ‘Cardboard City’. What he does see is a tight-knit community of kids living free from adult oppression. They govern themselves and seem to have a good hold on how to get things done, their way. Davey quickly feels right at home with his new friends. Friends that he would change his life forever.

As time goes on, Davey and the other kids grow up, but they stay connected to one another in a variety of ways. The connections that show up throughout the story between characters, and how their individual stories interconnect is impressively crafted.

Lord has a talent for characterization and building believable interactions between characters like no other. The reader is taken for a ride through several lives as they search for a deeper meaning and it is a pleasure to follow them and experience what they do.

The writing is simple yet has plenty of the details necessary to set a scene and show the inner-workings of the characters. One can easily get a feel for where you are, who is involved with each scene, and what events are unfolding. The pace is steady, as well, making for a story that is difficult to put down.

Myrrendryl by Kirby Lord, is a first novel by the incredible author, but you would never know that. If you like dark fantasy stories that questions the fabric of our reality, Myrrendryl is a must read.

Pages: 400 | ASIN: B07MXZQ9QW

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The Rhine

The Rhine (Harmony Book 1) by [Dean, R.L.]

The Martians have been ‘enslaved’ by earth for many years and they want their freedom back. It’s rumored that a movement has been formed to rebel against the UN. A movement thought to be behind the pirate attacks in the Belt including one on the Sadie. Matt and his crew may have found proof of this rebellion. The question remains though, is the evidence enough? Will it prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the rebellion is led by Martians? Can Governor Gerhard Schultz find a solution to the difficult situation? Can the governor find reprieve for Martians without going against the UN? How will Apex Mining CEO go about being forced to go against the government?

One of the most enjoyable things about this book is that it is quite relatable. While the real United Nations is (probably) not like the one in the book. One can still compare the colonialism in the book to the neocolonialism that is rampant now. One can find the similarity in Alexandria’s position with that which is faced by many people in her position. The Rhine is both interesting and entertaining while speaking to many modern issues.

R. L. Dean is impeccable and his skills at painting word pictures is on full display. He easily pulls you into his story, and before you know it your in the deep end of a thought provoking science fiction novel. This is a thrilling novel that kept me engrossed from the moment I met Matt to the very end. This science fiction story, although set in the future and in space, is still believable, which is something I always look for in my sci-fi stories.

Matt is a good leader that gets along with his crew but also remains firm and well respected. Alexandria, like any other child who takes over from their esteemed parent, is misunderstood and underestimated. She is admirable in the way she handles Edgar. R. L. Dean is able to balance the characters just enough to understand who they are while still keeping an air of mystery around them.

Everything from descriptions to dialogue are succinct and engrossing. Or it could be that the book was so immensely enjoyed that the discrepancies faded into the background. I loved experiencing the ride with Matt, Yuri and Haydon, and it was enlightening to be in the boardroom with Alexandria giving glimpses into her home life.

At the heart of it, this book is about freedom and how to achieve it. Would you like to achieve freedom through aggression or would you like to be more civil about it?

Pages: 273 | ASIN: B07LD2CQ11

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