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Into Oblivion

Into Oblivion (Roadside Paradise Book 1) by [K.J. Amidon]

The Roadside Paradise traveling circus appeared as Athena’s savior, picking her up at a truck stop and encouraging her to join the show, accepting her almost like family. Athena, however, had, to a degree, sought out Roadside Paradise, hoping that the circus would provide answers to certain events of her past and help her find her sister. It shocked her to learn that the owner, known only as V, knew why she was there. It shocked her even more to learn about the incredible happenings within the show. When V tells her that he can help find her sister, Athena must learn to put aside her doubts and suspicions and allow it to happen.

Into Oblivion by K.J. Amidon is the first of the three part Roadside Paradise series and introduces us to Athena, V, Doc, and the rest of the troupe. With Athena as the initial focus, the plot quickly establishes her as a tough, no nonsense kind of person, hinting strongly at her troubled past without revealing everything too quickly. With the introduction of the circus and its many personalities however, Athena becomes more complicated, as she navigates the waters and tries to decide how much to reveal and to whom. She is quickly forced to admit that she has an ulterior motive for being there when she’s faced with Doc and V who legitimately have supernatural abilities. Almost as soon as they’re introduced, it becomes clear that the Roadside Paradise isn’t “just” a circus. Into Oblivion is an intricately and well crafted story about one person’s personal mission amid worldwide secret societies. It escalates quickly… and is a fun ride the entire time.

Into Oblivion has a lot going on and at times it feels like it’s telling two different and distinct stories. But as it twists and turns and new reveals are made, Athena’s story slowly becomes more intertwined with that of the circus, and V specifically. Because it’s part of a series, there are few resolutions by the end, but by that point you’re invested- not just in learning if the characters reach their goals, but also in finding out more about V and his history. Athena is the main character, but V is also an equally intriguing character.

I was frustrated initially with what seemed to be an overly busy storyline, I was nonetheless hooked very early on and was excited to see how it all started to come together. I hope the next two parts of the book tie everything up well and I’ll so we can see who comes out on top!

Into Oblivion is a complex urban fantasy novel infused with captivating paranormal elements that make this a must-read for any reader looking for a book that has an alluring mystery driving it.

Pages: 197 | ASIN: B0714DDHJ6

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Riddled with Violence

Brooklynn Dean
Brooklynn Dean Author Interview

Deification follows a gang leader on a bloody quest to restore her dark saviors powers in the end times. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I have always been interested in Christianity and Catholicism as theological fields of study, so much of my research material was the Christian Bible.

I love the concept of angels and what they can and cannot do, their connections to humans, and even their punishments for taking humans as spouses. I enjoy the Book of Enoch even though it isn’t widely accepted as part of the canonical Bible, and in it are descriptions and stories that are beyond fascinating to me.

But what I really wanted to discuss through Torrence and her devotion to this dark savior was the idea of idolization. I often wonder why we spend so much time praising others and so little time praising ourselves. Torrence’s past was already riddled with violence; Why then was she so quick to worship Conrad for his?

What draws you to the horror genre and inspires you to write?

Though this is my sixth published work, it is my first horror story. I’m always inspired to write as a vehicle to explore greater concepts, innately human ones. The theme I wanted to consider here was idolization and hero-worship, and placing a character on a mission to complete someone else’s divinity instead of attempting to deify themselves as the god of their own life seemed a theme best explored by the darker elements of that type of admiration. How far will someone go for the person they view as their God?

The book has some fantastically unforgettable scenes. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

Thank you for saying so! It’s hard to pick one. I had a lot of fun with so many of the scenes. The end was certainly fun to write but for the sake of spoilers I won’t explain why. Honestly, though, I think I enjoyed War’s sections the most. It was nice to take a step back from the darkness and remember that there is room even in the worst of us for something purer, even if it’s just our feelings for another person.

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

I am working on a sequel to Deification, but I’m not even to the halfway point of its completion. I’d hope at the very latest I’ll have it completed and ready to release by the summer. Hopefully much sooner, though!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The sky has opened. Angels descend to earth in fiery fury. Some claim to have seen these creatures, others claim to have been touched by them. Those with psychic abilities find their gifts magnified by the spiritual presences rising from Hell and falling from Heaven. Yes, the end is near. Or is it the beginning? After a life of violence and crime, gang-leader Torrence provides meaning to her groups’ destructive endeavors through discovery of Conrad, a once-possessed orator of demonic doctrines. Destroying virtues for the sake of sin, Torrence leads her band of bad-boy brethren to murder, blood sacrifice, and supernatural ritual in an effort to restore her dark savior’s powers so the apocalypse can be an unholy paradise.

A Fairly Straight-forward Haunting

Thomas A. Bradley
Thomas A. Bradley Author Interview

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow follows a group of teens that go into the Wickersham house and awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries. What was the inspiration for the setup to your thrilling story?

Wickersham Hollow actually started under the name Witch Hill and was intended originally to be a fairly straight-forward haunting. But as the characters developed, so did the story. The further I went, the more I realized it had to be told in both the past and present…each leading in circles to the other.

The story is told from the viewpoint of different interesting characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I think my favorite character to write and develop was Mother Cassandra. Getting the reader to hear her Jamaican dialect as they read, without pulling them out of the story by having to struggle with it, was a challenge – one I hope to (and have seemed to, so far) met.

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

I think the most important theme was relationships. It’s the ties between people, be they best friends or relatives, that drive any meaning into the telling of a story. Without relationships, without connections, characters become flat and one dimensional. I think that’s pretty true in life as well.

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

I’m nearing completion on the first book of a new series. The title of the book is The Bones of Sarah Golescue. The series is based around two characters from a previous novel, Blood Tracks. I see it as a kind of “Supernatural” meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

If all goes well, I plan to have it up for pre-sale by the end of March (2021)

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

On a Halloween night…
300 years ago…
…an evil was born of lust.
Now it’s awake … and hungers.
When seven teenagers go into the old Wickersham place in search of a Halloween thrill, they get more than they bargained for when they awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries.  Barely escaping with their lives, they learn that the past never dies.
For … in a house that hungers…
…no soul is safe.
When a young couple set about restoring the old place, the evil resurfaces.  And those who faced it once before just might be the couples’ only hope.
Will they find the courage to reunite…
…and face a terror they’ve tried to forget?
And if so…
Will anyone survive?
You’ll love this old school horror tale, because some things that go bump in the night are real.  Don’t forget your night light.
Get it now. 

Deification

Deification by Brooklyn Dean is a violent, sexy, supernatural whirlwind of a story that follows Torrence, a young woman that has survived the opening; tearing of the sky that indicates the end times. Angels and demons now roam the earth, carrying out their personal and spiritual plans. Torrence is on a deadly, seemingly Satanic, mission to capture and murder seven virtuous people, a set of communion rituals assigned to her by Conrad, an individual that may or may not be a demon. The path she cuts through this new world is grim, edgy and immensely entertaining.

This book does a great job of turning on its head the common theme of the seven deadly sins being defeated by a hero on their path to righteousness. Instead, this book deals with dark themes, flawed characters, and it does it all as the main character seeks to invite those deadly sins into her body by murdering individuals that represent the virtues that oppose them.

I’ve seen other authors try to delve into these kinds of topics get caught up with too much sexual content, too much violence, or other issues that make other stories feel off-balanced and immature. Author Brooklynn Dean though has truly struck a masterful balance in this dark supernatural thriller, all while leaving the reader to wonder if the main character is truly on the path she believes, or if those holding the cards are keeping secrets.

If there is a weakness in the story, it comes down to flashback scenes that are perhaps a little too numerous and stretch out just a bit too long. It’s not major, and I’m sure many readers will actually enjoy these scene changes that round out the secondary characters.

I am absolutely enthralled by this story, and I hope there is a follow-up installment coming soon. Deification is a horror novel that takes evangelical themes to some uniquely sinister extents in riveting style.

Pages: 137 | ASIN: B08TGS2D1Y

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The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow: An Occult Horor Thriller by [Thomas A. Bradley]

In Wickersham Hollow stands a mansion, once splendid and vast, now rotting to the core. Newlyweds Brian and Annabelle purchased the property hoping to fix it up, but no amount of varnish and paint dissolves stains of the past. Decades ago Annabelle’s grandfather, Henry, along with six close friends, breached the threshold of that same mansion stirring up ghosts that demanded retribution then; and refuse to rest even now. As teens, the old house left them with nothing but nightmares. As adults, an undeniable connection between their thoughts and hearts persists no matter how many walls there are between one another. Living beside the old house all these years, Old Joachim Walcott enlists his right-hand man Ralph Strunk to see to his affairs. Aged but wiry, Walcott knows a lot more about the teens that broke into the Wickersham mansion that night than he’d ever let on. Renovations stall at the old mansion, and the group of friends that had broken in all those years ago are forced into a reluctant reunion in The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow by Thomas A. Bradley.

As the cover art for the book depicts, the 320-year-old mansion that takes up so much real estate within the story is wondrous and haunting. Its very walls appear to shift; very fitting for a house that we learn has a history of dark magic. From the abandoned well used to breach its foundations, to the heavy slamming doors and waterlogged stonework, there are torturous devices and demonic mirages at every corner. Set in the rural idyl of Pennsylvania the story does spend most of the time inside various homes or the sprawling mansion itself. While there are many characters, the story is written well in that we remain within the point of view of each character for fair amounts of time. Learning their backstories and how they connect, let alone their particular turns of phrase and attitudes, becomes part of the fun while the mystery unravels. Tina, Henry, Matt, Janet, Amy, Lucy, and Tommy are who make up the titular covenant. Emma, Brian, Annabel, old Joachim Walcott, and his confidant Ralph Strunk play heavily in this story and the cast thus far does not include ghosts, demons, and other entities at play. This populous cast has a singular plot in mind, however, which keeps the story flowing despite so many perspectives.

Those who enjoy a complex and overlapping storyline that keeps the reader busy from scene to scene between groups of characters will enjoy this novel. While there are quite a few names involved, the characterization really helps keep separation when the action moves from scene to scene. Each chapter takes place in a different location, so while jumping back and forth, tension remains high. Some chapters are further split into present and past. This is done clearly and it is enjoyable to see how the storytelling blends from the present to the past seamlessly with a unique style. Characters are often mid-sentence when their imagination takes over, pulling the reader into their memories. It is a fun tactic Bradly uses to great effect.

Along with the mystery and layered delivery, The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow is rooted deeply in horror. Injury, violence, madness, and possession are woven throughout and crescendo with a moment of profane ravishing coupled with demonic lust. Jargon and misspellings to reflect different dialects are used heavily throughout this novel and it is consistent so it’s easy to gather what the speaker means as it would be face to face. Whether you are a fan of using punctuation and spelling to portray jargon and dialect is purely subjective, but is used well here. While there are one or two points where an omniscient point of view nearly supersedes the character and appears to run contrary to them, there are very few instances of this, so it never takes us out of the story.

In the tradition of Ghost Story and Bag of Bones comes a haunting journey of a group of people bound by secrets forged in youth. Easily five stars for those who enjoy a fantastical ride through a malignant mansion and tainted history of a small village. There are some deviously dark notes heard in the music of The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow.

Pages: 354 | ASIN: B019EIBO1M

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Into the Macrocosm: Short Stories of the Dark Cosmic, Bizarre, and the Fantastic

Into the Macrocosm: Short Stories of the Dark Cosmic, Bizarre, and the Fantastic by [Konn Lavery, Robin Schroffel]

Into the Macrocosm by Konn Lavery is a collection of thought-provoking short stories about an unknown character who is the observer of 22 deaths. At the beginning of this intellectually invigorating collection readers are given intriguing theories on life after death. Konn Lavery addresses these theories in multiple ways, all of which are fictional in nature but spiritual at heart. Although the character is more of an observer in these stories, I like how I can still feel the personal connections while reading along. It was easy to get entangled in these insightful stories and there was a sense of adventure that was consistent throughout these stories. I also appreciated the subheadings in this collection because it helped me keep track of special events that lead to the plot twists.

Into The Macrocosm has so many fascinating stories that it will be impossible for readers to find at least one that speaks to them. None of the stories are overly horrifying, nor would I put these stories in the horror genre, there is just an ever-present ominous feeling that permeates these stories, enough to give you goosebumps rather than frighten you outright. This is a metaphysical exploration that leaves you with thoughts that are hard to shake. The way spiritual transformation is portrayed was enough for me to set the book down and ponder the implications for a bit. I loved that this collection used these dark stories to highlight the importance of self-awareness. I also loved how the author showed how much the darkness within us and around us can weigh us down.

Konn Lavery’s Into The Macrocosm is an exceptional short story collection that explores some provocative ideas through a darkly imaginative lens reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft.

Pages: 420 | ASIN: B08SLM9DRX

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An Overwhelming Desire To Say Something

Evan Grove
Evan L. Grove Author Interview

To the North follows the adventures of Emily, Lehksi and Marty, as they attempt to uncover the truth behind the darkness plaguing their land. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

To the North is something that’s been swimming in my head for quite some time now, with the first inklings of it popping up in early/mid 2016. I would say my inspiration was based somewhat on world events around that time and since, as well as a desire to create a conflict of my own.

While I don’t think there is any specific spark that pushed me to write this story in particular, I can easily attribute its creation to an overwhelming desire to say something. I wished to draw others into a world of my own creation, a world both familiar and utterly different from our own.

Emily and Lehksi were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Emily’s character was pretty solid from the start. She was designed to be someone that both drives the plot forward in her own unique way, and yet is consistently hamstrung by the events happening around her. I wanted a headstrong, motivated character that should, for all intents and purposes, not be involved with the dangerous happenings taking place around her. Yet there she is, front and center.

Lehksi on the other hand, was meant to be a more level-headed person. She served as a near polar-opposite of Emily as someone who both has the skills to act with confidence when necessary, as well as the temperament to know when she’s in over her head. However, it was necessary for her to be young and inexperienced. She knows she has a lot to learn, and in some cases that leads her to doubt herself and others.

I enjoyed the well thought out backstory and magic within your book. Were these planned or did they develop organically while writing?

Some of To the North’s backstory was planned, while some was not. I’m not in the habit of creating large lore documents, so many of the details of Odelia/Oul emerged as I wrote them. Of course I had a structural layout to guide my hand and I made sure to take notes on what had been established for consistency, but I wanted to “discover” this world for myself as I wrote it. So I gave it space to let it blossom on its own, and many times it surprised me with the results.

My magic system was created much the same way, though I did have to set some ground rules. Namely, from the start I wanted a system that can be expressed in different ways by different people. The Scriptors, for example, use magic by way of words. Others may use it in different ways, some of which have already been seen in Part 1. You should expect to see a considerable expansion on these concepts in Part 2.

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

I’m working on two books at the moment, the first is the conclusion to The Awakener Duology and I’ve already begun my second draft. I expect it to be released sometime near the end of the year or early 2022 depending on oh-so-many differing factors.

My other novel is still in the outline stages, and as such will likely take a bit longer to release. It will also take place in the “World of Oul” since I’d like to develop my world/lore a bit more before moving on to another unrelated series. I hope for a 2023/2024 release but we’ll see how things go.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Emily Lee wants nothing more than to live her life in peace, safe in the comfort of home with her father. But when he falls prey to dark magic, trapping him and countless others in a foreign land, she is forced to take action. Compelled only by the desire to save him, Emily travels to the northern nation of Odelia in search of a means to free her father from his terrible curse.

Lehksi Olent works as a private investigator, helping those uncover the truth that is often shrouded by a world of magic and mystery. Together with her brother, Marty, she now travels the Odelian countryside in pursuit of the growing unrest taking place within the heart of a country torn asunder by unseen forces.

When their paths converge, Emily and Lehksi’s lives will be forever changed. Two paths, one future. Be it for the good of all, or for a singular desire, the fate of Odelia lies within their choices. And should they prove lacking, the world of Oul might never be the same.

To the North is the first novel in The Awakener Duology, an urban fantasy that explores what it means to discover the dark truths of an unforgiving land. It takes place in an alternate reality set in a pre-digital world, one that is governed by magic and corporate influence. Two young women must navigate numerous challenges in order to protect what is important to them, but in doing so they will make discoveries that may drive a wedge between them.

Perseverance: Rise Of The Trials – Book Trailer

How do you overcome a past full of heartache? In my wildest dreams, I never would have been able to imagine my life taking a turn like this. Part of me is still having trouble accepting it. Yet, I can’t deny what is happening to me. Trystan has had a front row seat to witnessing it all, while Blake remains in the dark. I don’t know how to tell Blake and part of me is extremely apprehensive about doing so. But how long can I keep it from him? Doesn’t he deserve to know? The three of us go to visit my family. I have to find a way to tell them that their life as they know it has fundamentally shifted. I have to find a way to tell them what has happened to me. Well, at least, that was my original purpose for going to see them. But things take a turn. My original reason for going to see everyone changes into a struggle to keep my past with Trystan from becoming exposed. If it’s exposed, then my deepest pains will be as well. No one knows the heartbreak I’ve endured. It doesn’t take long for people to notice changes in the way Trystan and I are around one another now. It doesn’t take long for them to pick up on the tension that continually laces the air between Trystan and Blake. It also doesn’t take long for Trystan to start pushing me for deeper access to the parts of my heart that have sustained the most damage over the years. A day trip to see Trystan’s family becomes an overnight stay and Trystan proposes and idea that I find both tempting and terrifying at the same time. Can I really resist him? Secrets become exposed and a major misunderstanding results in major consequences for everyone…I thought I knew pain before. I had no idea what hell I was about to be subjected to.

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