Rise of Serpents is the third book in your epic fantasy series and continues to build the mythos and world to even deeper levels. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
The Primeval Origins® story is based on a deep understanding of our ancient mythologies (most prominently Sumerian, Egyptian, and India’s Vedic writings) and our modern religions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu). The story and its background integrates these mythologies and religions into a single story line spanning millions of years of earth’s history. Add to this our modern and speculative scientific and engineering knowledge and new discoveries mainly of the past (in archeology and paleontology) and in the fundamental sciences (physics, astronomy, geology, and many others)…and many elements from Ancient Alien Theory. The Primeval Origins Epic Saga weaves all of this into the story told starting with our oldest creations myths…the creation of the modern earth and of the ancient god’s creation of humans on earth in the ancient story and blends/integrates the ancient story with our modern end-time prophecies in the near-future story told in each book’s prologue and epilogue. The near-future story is a build up to the state and conditions of our world demanding the ushering in of our end-times prophecies, seen through the eyes of the Witness and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Primeval Origins® is an epic saga like no other attempted.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
Simply, telling the Primeval Origins® story in a character-driven experienced tale that readers will enjoy with curiosity and with characters readers will love to love and love to hate. Then, the integration of all the elements identified above into an epic story line spanning 65 million years. It was a challenge taking now over 30 years of research and over 10 years for background mapping of story and characters…and then the experimentation and practice in writing into what has been published in the first three books.
This seemed like a very fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?
In book three, Rise of Serpents, the prologue and epilogue were fun to write with the more mature and capable Rogaan and Aren kicking butt against hostile forces from multiple factions in our near future. Also, in the ancient story, the ship battle with the first grand description of Agni Powers and the same with the final battle between demigods and the future Horsemen of Revelation. A lot of action driven through the characters and their interactions with each other as they transform from naïve and innocent to becoming experienced and aware of the world they are challenged by.
What can readers expect in book for of your Primeval Origins Epic Saga?
In the future story, the characters will experience a United States and world in political and moral decline. Nikki starts realizing who she is as Rogaan and Aren battle the forces of tyranny aided in the end by the Fourth Horseman…Death. In the ancient story, the Four Horsemen take a major leap into becoming who they will eventually be as they struggle against and battle with the ancient gods, the angelic choir prior to their elevation as God’s messengers, and even more ancient beings…the First Angels.
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Phoenix: Field of Mars (The Phoenix Trilogy Book One) by Jackie Anders is a thrilling time travel romance story. Kyla Marshall, a Public Relations Assistant Director, travels to Israel on a PR assignment for her company’s client, West Bank Labs in Jerusalem. But the space exploration company has discovered something that they do not share with Kyla. While working late one night, she stumbles into a special ops mission to stop a rogue scientist from trying to change the past to cause a domino effect in the present. Kyla finds herself in Rome in 8 AD with a group of modern soldiers, led by Captain Christopher Eriksen. Will the team succeed in their mission? And will Kyla ever be able to return to her own time?
The premise of this gripping story piqued my interest right from the beginning. I enjoyed reading about the time period of Jerusalem in the first century and the ancient Roman Empire. It was interesting to get a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a prominent Roman citizen when Kyla remained with their hosts while Captain Eriksen and his team traveled with the Roman senator. I liked how the different team members of the Special ops unit were all from different countries, and the way they worked together on the mission. Each character felt unique and authentic and always added something different to the situation and dialogue
The ending leaves you desperate for more. There were some unanswered questions, making the follow-up story a must-read. I am definitely looking forward to Phoenix: By the Sword, to find out what happens next in the characters’ journey.
While I enjoyed this adventurous story, I felt that the novel leaned more towards the science fiction adventure genre, rather than the historical fiction genre, which ensures the story is consistently entertaining, but I would have liked more historical accuracy. Time travel come with all sorts of paradoxes, but the author leans into the narrative and keeps focus on the mission and the task at hand rather than the ripple effect the teams presence could cause, but I felt that some mention of it would have appeased the hard core science fiction fans.
Phoenix: Field of Mars is a lively time travel story that will keep readers entertained with its compelling characters and dramatic turn of events in every chapter.
Pages: 211 | ASIN: B07M8CYZJ3
George MacDonald’s Castle Warlock is many things: a mystery, an adventure, a coming-of-age story, a celebration of the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, and a revelation of spiritual truth. At the novel’s center are two unforgettable characters, young Cosmo Warlock and his father, the Laird of Glenwarlock. Michael Phillips captured the essence of this Christian classic when he wrote that “most striking of all is the love which exists between Cosmo and his aging father, in the heart of which pulsed the earliest attraction of the boy toward the heartbeat of God himself.”
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Devyn’s Dilemma follows a young woman trying to escape her past and finds much more than a job at The Towers castle on Dark Island. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
I took three trips to Singer Castle (The Towers) with the docent of the island. What a joy it was to envision Devyn walking and working there! Her story developed deeper with each trip to the island, and so did her backstory as her brother got meaner and meaner.
Devyn is a charming character that I loved following. What were some sources that informed her character development?
I love interweaving the real characters (the Bournes) and imaginary characters like Devyn and Brice, though sometimes it’s challenging. As Devyn’s relationship grows with the other characters, she developed quite naturally. But, I must admit, there were times when she decided to do something unusual and I had to question her motives. Smiles.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Hope is a theme woven throughout all of my books because it’s so needed in this day and age. But with Devyn, I wanted her to journey through healing from family abuse and a low self-esteem—and she did.
This is book two in your Thousand Islands Gilded Age Series. What can readers expect in book three?
I’m writing chapter twenty at present, and it’s contracted to release Spring 2022. I must admit, I’m having a blast with this one.
It’s called Peyton’s Promise, and here’s the idea: It’s the summer of 1902. Peyton Quinn is tasked to prepare the grand Calumet Castle ballroom for a spectacular 200-guest summer gala. But when her pyrotechnics father becomes ill, she takes over the plans for the fireworks display despite being socially ostracized.
Patrick Quinn, Calumet’s carpenter and Peyton’s childhood chum, hopes to win her heart, but her unconventional undertakings cause a rift. Peyton must ignore prejudices and persevere, or she could lose her cool, lose Patrick’s love and respect, and forever become the talk of local gossip if she fails.
Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books.
Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma, and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and book three, Peyton’s Promise, comes out Spring 2022. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise, and her newest, Reagan’s Reward, are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including two Illumination Book Awards, the American Fiction Award, the Indie Excellence Book Award, and two Literary Titan Book Award. Reagan’s Reward is also a finalist in the Selah Awards. Visit http://www.SusanGMathis.com for more.
Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world.
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Tales of Elhaanai, by Nicole Thomas, is a mystical fantasy tale of power and betrayal. It is a book that follows the rightful heir to the throne of Elhaanai on a journey to regain his destiny. In the thirst for power, the King of Elhaanai is killed by his sister and is also after the life of the Queen of Elhaanai who is pregnant with a child. She gets cornered and shot with an arrow. However, she is determined to save her unborn child and so through a magical ritual, the Queen puts the soul of her child into a widow named Wleia, who herself is already pregnant. Wleia gives birth to twins. Sixteen years later, the son Eric and his twin sister from Wleia set out to regain the throne which was snatched from his parents and is his ultimate destiny.
Tales of Elhaanai is the first in a series of fantasy books by author Nicole Thomas. This novel delivers the perfect setup for a series that will be steeped in family rivalries and bitter battles for power. Nicole Thomas is a wonderful story-teller and immediately pulls you into the book with plot twists, magic, suspense, and much more, from the very start. The characters are well-written with a uniqueness to each of them. One of my favorites is Wleia who is wise and fierce but kind at the same time. She is the unsung hero of this book. However, Nicole still manages to not let the reader get lost in too many characters.
This was a very gripping read with the theme of good vs. evil embedded throughout. The novel is fast-paced and the character development is strong. Another central theme of the novel is Faith. Walking on the path of destiny to regain the lost destiny requires a lot of faith and it is well incorporated into this novel.
The writing is sharp for a first-time writer. Although I would have liked to explore the preceding life of the Queen and King of Elhaanai a bit more and in the beginning, it is a bit harder to make sense of where we are starting, the novel is still engaging for the rest of the story.
The words are crisp and clear and the ending leaves you wanting more. I believe Tales of Elhaanai can be enjoyed by both young adults and new adults alike. Tales of Elhaanai is a very entertaining fantasy novel that was hard to put down.
Pages: 130 | ASIN: B0874DYVJB
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The next novel in The Immortality Wars series continues . . . Her parents are viciously murdered by a band of killers. Hidden in the bottom of a roadside ditch as a baby in swaddling clothes, Evangel is only steps away from them. An old hermit, Matthew Greatworth, finds her the day after this tragedy unfolds.She is touched by a rare spiritual power and raised by Matthew in the heart of a sylvan wilderness. Evangel grows up in the quaint hermitage Matthew built years ago.In her 17th year, outlaws terrorize Matthew while she is away. The young girl reaches him just as his eyes are carved out of their sockets and placed on a stump before him.The miracles and struggles against those seeking to kill her, as well as those disbelieving the power of her presence, all come together in a battle of good versus evil. In a vision of clarity and prescience amidst her struggle for survival and meaning, she finds her future soul mate, Pall Warren, on a battlefield of death, and casts a prayer of protection around him. Evangel’s remarkable journey to save herself, her newfound friends and then those who believe in her, brings to the reader a hauntingly beautiful and startling tale of wonder.
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Anna is an unlikely but intriguing combination of being both a secret Chrstian and an astro-geologist. She is known as a Remnant, the last of the religious in a world that does not allow religion to exist. She is accompanied by her endearing and adorable sidekick, the robot Z. They both find themselves on a deeply challenging and mysterious mission that is taking place on a new moon, where life has been discovered. This new life also seems to contradict the knowledge that Anna has been fed so far- especially by one influential Dr.Syke.
Remnant is an enthralling yet charming read. Some of the ideas behind the faith vs science conundrums were handled in such a fascinating way- without insulting the intelligence of the reader. It sort of reminded me of a few scenes in the classic HG Wells novel, The War of the Worlds, in the manner with which it dealt with these potentially controversial subjects.
Although I would have loved some further explanation for the motivations behind the Planetary Science Commission’s decision to ban religion- I felt like it was smoothed over too quickly. I would have liked a deeper exploration of the debate between science and religion, but they are satisfying enough to move the plot forward and give Anna’s character motivation. This turned out to be better for me because I was skeptical going into a Christian science fiction book. The novel makes interesting points, but remains accessible to anyone.
The humor and dialogue in this book saves itself from too much seriousness and it’s a relief. Z was an exceptionally fun character and I think more science fiction novels should do themselves the favor of including a can’t-help-but-love-him/her sidekick. The pace was breakneck and the plot stuck around in my head a while after I finished it.
I’d recommend this one to anyone who wouldn’t mind their science fiction with a bit of religion. I felt more curious and attuned to the mysteries of this world and others after it after reading Remnant.
Pages: 482 | ASIN: B07SPCXCG8
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The Master’s Garden describes the relationship between God and his children with a beautiful metaphor of a gardener and the host of plants to which he tends. What was the inspiration for this metaphor?
Jesus used the metaphor that He was the Vine, God the Father is the Gardener, and that we are the branches. I have over 40 years’ experience in dealing with plants, both professionally and personally so I understand how plants work more than the average person. It was a natural extrapolation for me to expand it to all plants. It came to me one day while hiking in the woods. It was really fun to write!
What were some themes you felt were important to focus on in this book?
God loves all of us and wants us all be to belong to Him and come under His care through His Son, Jesus.
God, the Master Gardener, wants to have a growing, dynamic relationship with each one of us. I tried to portray this with the intimate and personal discussions that New Dawn has with the Gardener.
Living as a Christian the way God wants seems impossible. That’s because we think we are to live in our own strength. Jesus teaches us the only way to live rightly is through His power and strength not our own. We cannot do it, but He can.
True significance and enjoyment, the Abundant Life, are achieved by living God’s way through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Violet’s character was delightful and well developed. What were some ideas that guided her character development?
Violet represents, in many ways, most of us who struggle with inadequacy and a longing to be loved and valued as an individual. New Dawn, the main character in the allegory, is me. While the allegory doesn’t exactly follow my life’s journey, it is a close representation of it. It is my story of how God has transformed this self-condemning, insignificant and pathetic person into one who now has joy, peace, confidence, and significance—true riches! All to the credit and honor of my magnificent Creator!
Do you have more stories planed that take place in Plantasia?
Absolutely! I am working on the sequel already, as well as several Bible studies and devotionals to go along with this first book.
In the gospel of John, Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and His Father is the Gardener. He explains that His followers are the branches and need to remain in the Vine and bear much fruit. Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by that or how remaining in the Vine might look in your daily life? Then enter into the fantasy world of Plantasia™ where plants come alive! This is a witty tale told by a grandmother to help her struggling granddaughter find true significance under God’s care. The Master Gardener created this beautiful world where plants can think, see, hear, and speak. He longs for all to come under His loving care and be grafted onto His beloved Vine. Through this connection, plants are able to flourish and reach their full potential. See what happens when a spindly rose, who yearns to be more than she is, meets the Master Gardener. Listen in on the conversations she has with the Gardener, Mighty Oak, Ginni (the Obedient Plant), and Mr. Bugleweed. Learn with her as she discovers the secrets of how to abide in the Vine and experience true riches. If you enjoyed the allegory Hinds’ Feet on High Places, you will love this allegory of abiding in Christ, the Vine!
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