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Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles Book 3)

Fresh off a chaotic battle, Colonel Walker and his band of superhuman kids, created through government-sanctioned experiments, realize that the world is in more danger than they thought. There’s a breach in the barrier separating earth from the dimension housing demons, and dark entities are slowly seeping into our world. Even worse, Ms. G, a strange but powerful woman, is bent on opening the gates between both worlds to let demons into ours. Once again, Alex the healer, Colonel Walker, and the group, with help from the Pentagon, the Vatican, and others, must stop Ms. G before she causes untold darkness to overrun the world and end the human race.

Spoiler, by Michael J. Bowler, is the third book in a gripping series that is brimming with adventure and imaginative science fiction elements. It’s a compelling coming of age story of camaraderie, exploring what is means to be human, and the evils that are lurking on the fringes of the world as we know it.

The book sounds a tad spooky, right? It is, but only when it has to be, otherwise it has an adventurous spirit overall. The author finds a great balance between the dark themes and the refreshing fantasy ones. Frankly, reading Spoiler took me back to the description of Netflix’s Stranger Things which once caught my eye: “hair-raising and heartwarming.”

There are no flowery words or complex descriptions. The writing is simple and evocative as Bowler relies on the strength of his plot and characters to keep you spellbound. It’s been a while since I read a book that had me wondering, “how have I read 100 pages already?” Spoiler reels you in with the promise of chaos, drama, and twists and delivers massively.

The author has a fantastic ability to create gripping tension. He expertly teases several possibilities and leaves a few crumbs of evidence here and there, just enough to heighten your suspicion without giving too much away too soon. I think the book moves along at a good pace. Bowler nicely builds up to the inevitable chaos and uses that buildup to connect readers with the characters before everything devolves into chaos.

Spoiler is a real page-turner and an occasional tear-jerker. If you’re looking for an exciting young adult urban fantasy story with imaginative paranormal elements then you’ll heartily enjoy The Healer Chronicles series.

Pages: 377 | ASIN: B0B2V5J6C4

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I’ve Always Felt Empathetic Toward Others

Author Interview Michael J. Bowler

Shifter has the two main characters grappling with some big moral decisions. What was the inspiration for putting them into this position?

I like stories where characters, especially teenagers, have to grapple with more than just who to ask to prom because it’s when we’re faced with serious issues of right vs wrong that we show what we’re made of and who we are inside, and most of us will face tough choices throughout our lives. As a reader, I can ask myself the same questions I pose to my characters and consider which way I might go. My hope is that other readers will do the same. I’ve also thought about the ramifications of having such a power that I could decide who lives and who dies. As pointed out in the book, would it have been moral to kill Hitler before he got very far in his bid to take over the world? Even now, with what we know of history, some people would still argue no and others would say yes.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your characters of Alex and Andy?

I’ve always felt very empathetic toward the pain of others, even as a child and a teen, and wanted to “cure” those people of what ailed them, so I created this character of Alex to do that for me. I just don’t like seeing people unhappy or suffering, which is one reason I could never have become a doctor. Alex’s skills with his wheelchair and his innate tenacity were based on a boy I taught in high school. Despite his wheelchair, that boy could do whatever he put his mind to, sometimes with help from his friends, but mostly by himself. For Andy, I used much of the pain I absorbed from incarcerated kids I worked with who told me horrific stories of being locked in closets for years on end or about how some despicable adult slaughtered their pets in front of them. I sought to depict how hard it might be for such a child to accept love and friendship once released from such an evil upbringing, and I hope Andy comes across as believable in the minds of the readers.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in the development of Alex and Andy’s relationship?

Neither knew of the other’s existence until shortly before they met at the conclusion of Spinner (The Healer Chronicles 1), so I tried to imagine what it would feel like to meet a twin brother I never knew I had. Given the respective backgrounds of the two boys, I felt they could relate as outcasts and that might be the beginning of a friendship and even familial ties. The small moments they shared—when Andy would learn something new from Alex, or when they were washing dishes or working out in the fitness center—these moments helped cement their relationship. Learning how to combine their power and work together defined the growing connection between them, not just because their minds were linked, but because they needed to trust each other, and that must’ve been hard.

Will the next book conclude the story of Alex and Andy or is there more to tell? When will the next book be available?

The next book will conclude this particular storyline, but I have opened enough doors to tell other tales involving these characters and hope to return to them in the future. Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles 3) releases on July 12, 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.

Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.

Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?

As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.

The Healer Chronicles continue…

Shifter

Twin brothers with the power of life and death – will they choose the path of good or evil? In Shifter, the second book in the Healer Chronicles, Michael J Bowler brings us back to the world of Alex and Andy and all the characters revolving around them. Having survived the events in the first thrilling book, the brothers begin to get to know each other and test the limits of what they can do together. But with secret organizations and military operations vying for control of their power, they have to make difficult choices that could save people… or leave them dead. The story takes twists and turns that make you question everything and everyone, from well-guarded fortresses and secret military labs in the desert.

Early on, we’re taken back to Andy’s horrific childhood, which explains his character to the reader and his brother Alex. The reader also gets some recaps and explanations of events in the first book, allowing those that have not read the first novel to understand this one. The author expertly balances dialogue, description, and action, creating incredible tension. A few scenes in the military lab had me literally at the edge of my seat! The author also created a rich and relatable world by adding small details between big moments.

There were plenty of everyday things that we take for granted highlighted in these extreme circumstances. For example, Alex’s experiences with his disability, not being able to reach a shirt in a closet that wasn’t made for someone in a wheelchair. Alex’s human existence gave us a closer connection to a character with incredible power. I loved so many of the characters in the novel. They were unusual heroes, abandoned or scorned by society because of who they are, mistakes from their past, or circumstances beyond their control.

There were also plenty of more important questions of ethics and morality in the choices the main characters have to make, as exemplified in the passage below: “And you would be, Alex. You two could save more lives than anyone in history.” “By killing,” Alex said, his voice barely a whisper. “How is that good?” “Because some people need to be killed so others may live.” Without giving too much away, you can see the dilemma Alex faces when he learns about how some powerful forces would want him to use his power.

However, conflict in the book doesn’t touch only upon questions of morality but also on adolescent insecurities and friendship. Many characters grapple with complex feelings of jealousy or fear of a new person joining the group and taking your place, wanting to prove their strength.

Shifter (The Healer Chronicles Book 2) is a suspenseful young adult thriller. With strong and memorable characters, non-stop action, and high tension, readers will not want to put the book down and anxiously await the conclusion of this exciting trilogy.

Pages: 372 | ASIN : B09R2K41L7

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The Weird Consequences of a Bedbug Incident

WEIRD – or Weird Consequences of a Bedbug Incident, by Regine Dubono is intended to help struggling families see things from a fresh perspective.

Desiree, the focal character in the story, suffers from several disabilities and regularly undergoes treatments for many of them, including mental illness, physical disabilities, and many others. Despite her many conditions, however, she was also highly talented in many ways.

Regine Dubono calls into question the modern psychiatric practice of creating within people a sense of weakness which should therefore be treated with any number of serious and life-altering psychiatric drugs.

The author brings a lot of things to focus through her story, but one of the most powerful is the fact that there is serious repercussions that come from taking these types of medications. Most notably, feelings of being helpless and dependent on the prescribed cocktail of pharmaceuticals. Even more, though, how damaging the wrong drugs can be for a person.

In fact, Desiree suffered the unfortunate fate of being experimented on through pharmaceutical trials on more than one occasion, ending up in states that seemed utterly hopeless, prompting ‘professional opinion’ to recommend Desiree to permanent hospitalization. It was only when she was allowed to stay clear from the drugs and given the personal agency to operate certain aspects of her life that she showed any real signs of improvement and comfort.

The moral of the story is clear and a much needed one at that. Parents, as well as anyone else acting as caretaker for a disabled person, should keep a close eye on the treatment programs and medications that are often administered. Are they doing more harm than good? Are they helping at all? Whatever the case may be, the author’s mission in writing this diary of events outlining Desiree’s life and experiences is to provide anecdotal evidence. The evidence suggests, among other things, that entrusting medical professionals to decisions related to the best interests of the patient is not always the best approach.

In terms of accessibility and style, the majority of Weird – or Weird Consequences of a Bedbug Incident is provided in diary form. As such, it reads as more of a collection of personal notes as opposed to being a dramatized novel. The situations are genuine. The times and places are all accurate. And the notes offered for all the various situations the author faced are about as eye opening as anything else in this category. This is certainly a unique work that deserves attention.

Pages: 220 | ASIN: 1329529731

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Caring as a Carer

Caring as a Carer is the true story of George and Jenny Mailath and their battle with Jenny’s condition; MSA (Mulitple system atrophy). This book is sort of a mix between the personal story of this couple and a guidebook for those who are suffering from or caring for someone with MSA.

I absolutely love the way this book was written. In the beginning the author (George Mailath) stated that he didn’t want the book to come across as simply a guidebook or a text book. He did an amazing job of accomplishing his goal of writing a heartfelt story that contains a set of recommendations for caring for someone with MSA. I wasn’t familiar with this particular disease before reading the book, but anyone who knows anything about chronic debilitating illness knows that it doesn’t only affect the victim, but their loved ones as well. George was able to expertly convey how his wife’s condition affected his own emotional and mental state, from his desire to be truly empathetic to his feelings of guilt for not being as understanding as he should have been in the beginning. This is, of course, something that can only really be recognized in hindsight, which is part of what makes the story invaluable to readers who may be caring for someone with this illness.

I love how George gives us a brief yet detailed enough background of he and his wife’s relationship and life before being affected by MSA. It perfectly illustrates for the reader how drastically their lives were changed and the effect this change had on their emotional and physical well-being. The chapters are laid out very well, with each one having a specific intention such as “empathy”, “rehabilitation sessions”, and “facing up to reality”. The really unique aspect though, is that while these chapter titles appear to be similar to a text book format, they are filled with as many touching moments of real life as they are of recommendations for treatment. I’ve really never encountered a book with such a great balance in this area before.

George’s love for his wife is so evident throughout the book that I found myself almost brought to tears at times. However, his attitude towards her illness is also incredibly refreshing in that he simultaneously remains calm and calculated in his actions and assessments of the situation without sacrificing empathy, understanding and love. It was really an absolutely beautiful book to read. I don’t have anyone in my life suffering from a debilitating illness and I still greatly enjoyed reading it. In fact, I think it’s really superb in that the book will be beneficial to anyone caring for someone with any such disease, not necessarily just MSA. While it is certainly tailored to people dealing with MSA, the principles of care and love that George expresses can be applied to any similar scenario. I absolutely recommend this book to others and sincerely hope that it circulates widely enough to have the profound effect on caring and carers that I feel it can have.

Pages: 116 | ISBN: 1483448584

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Spinner

Spinner

Spinner is a refreshing addition to the science fiction and horror genres. The book gives readers a new perspective as the main characters are not your usual shiny protagonists, but rather a group of boys, all of whom have some form of disability or handicap. The main character, Alex, is both impaired mentally as well as physically, bound to a wheelchair. This is not the only thing that sets Alex apart, though. Alex is a spinner, capable of taking on others emotions, physical ailments, and pains before they disappear entirely. A trait that finds him unknowingly being watched by those with ulterior motives and a far more sinister entity as well.

Spinner definitely brings something new and refreshing to the table with its focal characters being those typically dismissed and often belittled in our society. Bring in the science -fiction/horror vibe and Michael J. Bowler definitely writes to catch your interest. The story is original and cut from a different cloth which is refreshing. Although sometimes sentences can run on or become focused on small details, almost Charles Dickens-esque. It leaves little to the imagination as each character and scene is described in detail.

The author does a wonderful job of presenting the main characters with disabilities as people, not just a subset of society to be catered to. Each character, though their disabilities are mentioned and made apparent through their interactions, are easily seen as teenagers with their own opinions, personalities, and mindsets. The fact that they’re disabled rarely comes to mind throughout unless the story itself points to it, giving a refreshing and normalized perspective. Bowler uses a lot of different aspects and mannerisms stereotypical of a screen-teen. There are many dramatizations and immature reactions that detract from the characters otherwise superb development and depth.

I found this contemporary story easy to relate to and understand. Spinner has a lot of interesting and refreshing concepts that I felt kept the story thrilling and suspenseful.

Pages: 445 | ASIN: B075VCQ5F9

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