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Joshua Landeros Author Interview

Joshua Landeros Author Interview

Avenge the Silenced picks up where we left off after the deadly events of 2065 that changed the world. What were some driving ideals behind this story?

Firstly, I wanted to expose the inner workings and thought process of the Crimson Angels and UNR leadership and soldiers. These different perspectives, that of the politician, the soldier, the freedom fighter, and the civilian, help flesh out a world that isn’t always as simple as it appears. Secondly, I wanted to explore government responses to acts of terror. Sadly, in this day and age, there are very few countries that are untouched by terrorism. It’s that real-life fear that I wanted to be reflected within the world I’d created. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword: for every bit of technology and policy meant to prevent such acts, freedom is curbed. I hope readers walk away from AvS cautious of this.

Has your perception of the story changed since you went back and wrote the prequels?

Oh yes, definitely. For one thing, my perception of the story expanded. The first four books were concerned with the viewpoints of UNR citizens and rebels. Starting with the VOCA trilogy, we are slowly starting to get a global view of what’s at stake in the story. This reflects a personal view of mine that is shared by probably billions of others: we should strive to better our nations, but it should never be at the sake of other countries and their people. We should strive to see the viewpoint of others at all times.

What is one reaction that readers have to your books that surprises you?

The Reverence series is usually known for either fast-paced action and/or its alarming dystopian setting. There have been a few different responses, however. One reaction that always surprises me is how people zero in on religion in the story. I did not intend for either side to be outright saints or demons, but readers have often referred to characters such as Will and Halsey as saviors, even Messiah-like. The interpretation is interesting and there are a few parallels. I’m glad readers can get different things from the book series.

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

First there was Reverence Itself. Then there was the EOK arc which was a direct follow up and brought Will and Venloran’s storyline to a close. Then there was the VOCA arc, serving as a prequel for the entire series. AvS is the first entry in the Scourge of men arc, and next up is Reverence: Creeping Darkness. We will continue to follow characters such as Gabby Neeson, Captain Halsey, and Patrick Noels, while exploring many new characters as well. The scale, as readers will find out, has grown massively. What I’m most excited for is Vanzetti editions to the story. I enjoy writing villains, and he is one of my absolute favorites to write. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say this: Chancellor Venloran is DWARFED by Vanzetti. If Damien hopes to win against the forces of Europe and their allies, he may have to cross a line even Venloran dared not touch.

The next Reverence entry will be available around summer 2020. Long wait, I know, but fans won’t have to wait too long. I’m also working on my first urban fantasy novel. I’m aiming for a December 2019 or January 2020 release date for that one.

Author Links: TwitterMinds.comWebsiteFacebookGoodreads

Avenge the Silenced (Reverence Book 8) by [Landeros, Joshua]

Last we left off, October 23, 2065 went down in history as a night of bloodshed. The International Summit was rocked by an attack led by William Marconi. After hours of brutal fighting, the smoke cleared and revealed heavy losses on both sides. Even though both sides are wounded, neither will back down. Damien, the son of Will Marconi, must rally the surviving UNR Cabinet to lead the country and carry out justice. Under their tutelage are the nation’s deadliest cyborg warriors, among them Pamela King and Ptolemy Jethro, but who shall command them?

Meanwhile, Gabriella must pick up the pieces of their attack on the International Summit. The Crimson Angels should be rejoicing, but instead they are near broken. On top of that, their allies are weary of their every move. With enemies seemingly on all sides, she’s no longer sure who to trust.

Watching from atop his tower, Secretary General Vanzetti revels in the upheaval. There is money to be made and graveyards to fill, and the man will see his own vision to the end. Unlike all the others, however, he is determined to do so with a smile. The story continues with Avenge the Silenced.

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Avenge the Silenced

Avenge the Silenced (Reverence Book 8) by [Landeros, Joshua]

It has been a full trilogy of books, since we have come back to the main timeline of Joshua Landeros’ Reverence series. Having established an entire prequel series to flesh out his world, Landeros has come back to deal with the fallout and what is left of the UNR. Both sides have taken huge losses, but neither will retreat. And it will be up to the last Marconi, Damien, to rally the surviving UNR Cabinet to lead the country into this brave new future. Meanwhile, the Crimson Angels are in a difficult place, despite their successful strike on the International Summit. Gabriella will have to pick up these pieces and decide who she trusts more. All of this coming to a head to see who will end up in a grave or standing astride it, in this new installment of an epic military science fiction saga.

It is refreshing to be back in uncharted waters, having spent so long in the past, and Landeros ensures readers hit the ground running and wondering where all of our heroes of the past have landed after the last battle. The tension ramps up with little effort and with trademark pacing. The story unfolds with our cast of characters struggling against one another as they seek to either win the upper hand or to make sure they enforce justice.

Landeros’ prose continues to improve with each installment and his stories are becoming more and more complex, rather than a simple military sci-fi thriller they initial books were when the series began years ago. It is a pleasure to see how an author has not only grown, but developed his own flavor in the genre as well. This is another solid entry in the ongoing series and it shows little sign of slowing or stopping anytime soon!

Fans of military fiction or military science fiction should already have Avenge the Silenced on pre-order. Readers, who enjoy gritty action among thought provoking themes would also find themselves quite intrigued with this book.

Pages: 366 | ASIN:B07NNV7GKB

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Without Turning Into A Monster

S. A. Asthana Author Interview

S. A. Asthana Author Interview

The Final Wars Begin is a thrilling science fiction novel following Lieutenant General Bastien as he sets in motion the collapse of a civilization. What was the inspiration behind the plot to this novel?

I’m fascinated by the butterfly effect and its examples in history. Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination leading to WW1 or Genghis Khan’s invasion across Asia sparking the decline of science in the Islamic world & introducing the black plague to Europe – these types of scenarios have always captivated my attention. That plus my love for science fiction and technology (my day job) led to The Final Wars. I wanted to show that small things/events/people can have profound impacts on their surroundings.

You’ve meticulously built an intricate world and backstory in this novel. What were some driving ideals behind the development of the world your characters inhabit?

The main goal was to create a realistic world. Often, science fiction introduces a new world to its readers but isn’t able to convince them of the setting’s realism. That can thoroughly sour the reading experience. I wanted to explore how humans separated by vast distances developed in terms of technology, morals, and economics after an all-out nuclear war, and I wanted to do it in such a way that readers wouldn’t question the future setting’s plausibility.

I enjoyed how the characters were well defined and contrasted each other. What were some themes you wanted to explore with the characters?

Great question. One theme I wanted to examine was the existence of morality in a world seemingly devoid of any morals. In the story, Bastien’s mentor, Father Paul, says, “Just because we are surrounded by monsters, doesn’t mean we have to become one ourselves.” – this is a significant part of Bastien’s inner conflict. How do you survive in such a dark world without turning into a monster yourself?

This is book one in the Final Wars Trilogy. Where will book two pickup and when will it be available?

Book two will pick up with Bastien struggling to survive in Nippon One. It will be available on February 1st, 2020. Readers can join my email distro on SAwritesSF.com for further information.

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The Final Wars Begin (Final Wars Trilogy Book 1) by [Asthana, S. A.]

ONE MAN SETS IN MOTION THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION.

It’s 2209. World War III has left humanity fragmented. Three colonies survive, each on a different world – Earth supports New Paris, its moon has become Nippon One, and Mars has Port Sydney. Trade and tensions bind them, keeping peace balanced on the edge of a precipice. A cruel dictator rages on one world. A failed experiment plunges another into financial ruin. Diplomatic pressures bear down on the third. All it would take is for one man to tip everything over into conflict.

ENTER BASTIEN LYONS.

A man on the run, Bastien’s moral compass has made him a fugitive in the colonies. The odds against his escape are stacked high – a military robot built to erase outlaws hunts him. So do bounty hunters. What’s worse: Bastien finds himself caught in a deadly political chess match between Earth and Mars. He must not only outwit those threats but also create alliances to live. In doing so, Bastien will push the world towards…

THE FINAL WARS.

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Rebirth: Birds of Change – Trailer

An explosion rocks the city to its very foundation; the sole survivor Asylia has no memories of her past. She finds herself in a world divided between those who are talented and those who aren’t. Vici a city governed by an egotistical Praetor driven by his hatred for the gifted individuals the tallents whom he considers a plague.

Risen from the ashes, Asylia pieces herself together while taking control of her emerging fire talent. Harbored by a mysterious group called Revival, she discovers that the people of Vici are disappearing at an alarming rate. Together with her new friends, she must rally against the Praetor’s tyranny, racing to free the city in hopes that she isn’t too late to bring peace to this world in turmoil. She must be careful; one mistake and she will end up like all the other Tallents who have faced the Praetor’s wrath.

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Rising Up – Trailer

Experience the domed city called Tranquility, where emotions are monitored by electronic Alts. You dare not step out of line. Follow an unlikely trio of friends, as they undertake a dangerous quest together: Ember Vinata, a shy, sixteen-year-old Empath, who has a secret ability to see and feel people’s emotions. Will Verus, a reluctant but loyal eighteen-year-old celebrated hero bound for greatness, and Xander Noble, a rebellious, cocky nineteen-year-old exile. As they and their companions form an alliance to expose an evil plot in the otherwise “Perfect”.

Coming Soon

 

The Darkness Within Him

Michael A. Greco Author Interview

Michael A. Greco Author Interview

Project Purple follows volunteers on a broadcasted experience to recreate American colonization that turns deadly. What was the inspiration behind this unique idea?

“Project Purple” Is about thirteen Americans who recreate the lives of the early colonials for a worldwide on-line audience. They don’t know their ordeal has been gradually, brutally altered by their organizers, and a struggle for food, shelter, and survival turn deadly as an Arctic winter approaches.

The seed of this idea emerged from a conjoining of two mediums—the first being a PBS TV series called Colonial House back in 2003, and the second being an extraordinary novel about the harrowing saga of the Donner party called “The Indifferent Stars Above.” Somehow, the ordeals of these people from different centuries fused.

I think “Project Purple” seeks to understand what it takes to draw on one’s inner survivor. I just started thinking: What could a writer do to give this story more adversity and more propulsion?

Rigor is a detective from Las Vegas who sets out to help the volunteers. What were some driving ideals behind his character?

I wove Rigor into the story to give it another layer of depth. On the surface he’s an upstanding guy. He’s initially driven by noble ideals, but as his story unfolds, we see the darkness within him, too, and that’s why he’s been selected for new “projects”. The Rhizome, the shadowy multi-national underground faction, knows his history.

This novel is able to capture the history of American colonialism and modern dystopian ideals. What were some ideals you wanted to explore in this book?

I guess I wanted to capture the idea that civilization is a thin veneer we lay across the bubbling magma of nature, including human nature. Occasionally, like a volcano, the magma erupts, and we fall through the crust, scratching and gouging for our lives. Then a new world order begins, with an entirely new language, and with an entirely new taxonomy: a new way of ordering and naming things in life—the Rhizome.

The thirteen Americans are under the impression they’re showcasing the early seventeenth century colonial way of life for a worldwide audience; that they can teach others by reenacting “a simpler, purer time in their national experience, to the roots of the nation they are today, to the infant of America.” Of course, the Rhizome isn’t impressed by any of that. What it wants to learn from the Americans is all together different.

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

The project I’m on now, “Assunta” is a three-part trilogy about a man who comes to believe in the divine. It’s a physical and spiritual journey from the gates of Hell to the highest portion of Heaven. The story is built on a framework of references to the great poem “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. There are three books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. I’ve just finished Book 3, and will publish them in one month intervals, starting in early March with the first Book, Assunta: Inferno.

After I finish the Assunta trilogy, I’m returning to sequels of The Cuckoo Colloquium —about six teens lost in the rain forest of Borneo, because the characters have so much depth and the story so much fuel remaining. I hope to have book #2 of what I’m calling the Cuckoo series out by autumn, 2019.

I believe that memorable characters make memorable tales. One of my favorite writers, Samuel Becket, for example, shows us lunatics in trashcans, or characters who set themselves on fire. He had great insights into what is true, and he makes it funny. I think that’s my job, my goal—to write characters and stories that are absurd, violent, childish, but that resonate with truth.

Author Links: Goodreads | Facebook | TwitterWebsite

Thirteen Americans volunteer for a unique three-month project to recreate America’s early colonial experience for a worldwide on-line audience. The colonists have been deceived. They don’t know their ordeal has been gradually, brutally, altered by their organizers, and a genuine struggle for food, shelter and survival turns deadly as an Arctic winter approaches. Is there some point to this insanity? The besieged Americans (including a police detective who throws his world away to rescue a colonist he knows only as the Goatwench) must find the primal survivor within themselves to counter the ever-increasing violence they face—all to the attentive schooling of their multi-national audience.

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Just a Lost Soul?

Joshua Landeros Author Interview

Joshua Landeros Author Interview

Voice of a Crimson Angel Part III brings an end to the expansion and Chancellor Venloran has won. What were some stories that were important for you to wrap up in this book?

Most important was the story of the Marconi women and Valerie Iglesias. I wanted readers to see the horrifying reality and choices Julissa and Zaneta dealt with, and I’m hoping there’s a diverse reaction to the end result. Will readers see Julissa a s a hero, a radical, a terrorist, or just a lost soul? As for Valerie, I just wanted to expand on her background. I wanted readers to feel the tragedy behind her character: a simple bookworm who wanted to have a family someday, and yet she was turned into a monster for Venloran’s own ends. These women are products of the society they live in, and I hope that was communicated through their stories.

In this book, did Julissa’s character mostly writer itself, because she’s already well defined, or did you want to take her to new places?

A little bit of both oddly. By the third part of the arc, her character is well-established, very true. Still, I wanted her to have one last adventure, or more specifically one last chance. There are many themes in the book, but one of the central points is Julissa’s final few choices. She is faced with the ultimatum many times in VOCA Part III: escalate the violence of the war or take a step back. That’s why I added several scenes with her and David Armano. Julissa’s anger and pride are both weapons against herself and her enemies. One of my favorite scenes in the book will forever be the horse-riding scene between the Marconi mother and daughter. Though this may be their end, I believe readers will appreciate the journey Marconi experiences.

I found this book to be thrilling and savage. Was this a fun book for you to write?

The VOCA trilogy was fun as all hell to write. Writing books is fun for me in general, but some are more stressful than others to write. EOK Part III: Ballad of Demise was one of the most difficult to write, namely because the enormous changes to the story I added in after the outline phase. VOCA Part III: Remembrance was fun because the vision pretty much stayed true to my original outline. Not only that, but I finally got to explore some of the more obscure moments in the history of the UNR. Basically, fleshing out the lore beyond references and actually showing it. Reverence and EOK had battles within forests and buildings, and now in the VOCA trilogy whole cities are now theaters of combat. This was the vision I had for the book, at times claustrophobic, and other times epic.

What are you currently writing and when will it be available?

I try to stay busy, and I’d like to think I’ve outdone myself. Not to brag, because it took many sleepless nights, pots of coffee, and early morning runs to get it all done. Well, close to being done, because I’m still not quite there yet. First things first, on May 31st Avenge the Silenced will be released. It is currently in the editing phase and will be available for a preorder by April 1st. Beyond that, the next chapter in the saga is being written, codename Scourge of Men. It will explore many new characters while also expanding on many formally obscure characters. Perhaps most important of all, Scourge of Men will explore Secretary General Vanzetti and his own empire, the Allied European Federation.

Author Links: TwitterMinds.comWebsiteFacebookGoodreads

Voice of a Crimson Angel Part III: Remembrance (Reverence Book 7) by [Landeros, Joshua]The Expansion is over. Chancellor Venloran has won. Julissa Marconi, however, is not done fighting just yet. If she cannot claim victory, then she and the Crimson Angels will claim revenge. With Mexico lost, the resistance decides to strike at the homeland itself. Unable to turn back, Julissa and her fellow soldiers are now in for the fight of their life. In the final weeks of 2051, a new war will be fought that will test the limits of both sides. There will be no justice or mercy. This decisive battle will be decided by whoever gives into their full, unrestrained, savagery.

Prepare to read the heart-stopping final entry in the Voice of a Crimson Angel trilogy. Complete the tale that expands on the Reverence saga.

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Project Purple

Project Purple by [Greco, Michael]

Project Purple by Michael Greco is a fictional story about thirteen Americans who agree to take part in a social experience (called Project Purple), with their every action filmed and viewed live for the entertainment of the world. The thirteen people will relive an authentic colonial life of American pilgrims (in the year 1613) for four months, with the viewers as the ‘fourteenth colonist.’ The thirteen colonists must build a colony with twelve other strangers, figuring out how to work together. One of the colonists is Henrietta Dobie, known in the colony as Goatwench. But the colonists were lied to and none of them know the truth about the real purpose of the Project. When Rigor, a detective in Las Vegas, is sent a video of the horrific circumstances Goatwench is forced to endure, he’s determined to put a stop to the Project. But the organizers of the Project will stop at nothing to reach their own ends.

The premise of the book was intriguing, and the story kept my interest. I wanted to know what would happen next for the colonists–would any of them survive? It was interesting to see how human nature played out as the different characters reacted to the difficult–and then deadly–situation they found themselves in. I liked that the author told the story from the point of view of several different colonists, which gave much more insight into the individual characters.

I liked the historical aspect of the story. I enjoyed reading details about the clothing, daily tasks, and customs of American colonial life.

The sadistic actions of the people who created Project Purple were detestable; putting thirteen wholly unprepared people into that situation without their full knowledge and consent for the sole purpose of so-called entertainment for the viewing audience and to further the organization’s own agenda.

The story started out slow, with a lot of set up about the detective’s life in Las Vegas and leading into the beginning of Project Purple. The book felt a bit disjointed, jumping back and forth in time, and jumping between the detective and the colonists. It might have improved the flow of the story if the author had started out with the colonists embarking on Project Purple, and once things started to go wrong, then the detective could have been introduced when he received the first video. In the end this is an intriguing exploration of human motivations that plumbs the depths of humanity.

Pages: 351 | ASIN: B07K7N5M2D

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Voice of a Crimson Angel Part III

Voice of a Crimson Angel Part III: Remembrance (Reverence Book 7) by [Landeros, Joshua]

Voice of the Crimson Angel is the final installment of the prequel series to the ongoing Reverence saga. Joshua Landeros returns with all the sound and fury of his sci-fi military thrillers, but we find our heroine, Julissa Marconi, on the defense having lost to Chancellor Venloran previously. The resistance is going to have to dig deep as they find themselves cornered, unable to retreat and unwilling to give in. It will be up to either side or who is willing to sacrifice their humanity in order to win.

Landeros has continued to thrill and amaze with this prequel series, especially with the expansion of his near-future world. His characters are desperate and heroic, even if they give into their more violent natures. The action is brutal and quick, the pacing crisp and fast. At times, I was thrilled I’d read more than I had originally aimed, because I didn’t even realize how quickly pages were flipped.

Julissa is a fun character and one that I am sorry to leave behind as this series comes to a close. Landeros does a good job of making everything balance on a knife’s edge with tension and also does not shy away from wrapping everything up so as to naturally lead into his Reverence series proper. The brutal efficiency of our cyborg soldiers alongside their quiet humanity is a fun dichotomy and one of the reasons why this series remains so fun to come back to.

The only things I won’t miss from this, is the telling of a story that is already somewhat understated in the previous books. And I won’t miss Chancellor Venloran as an antagonist. Landeros has the skill to do more and expand even further into his world, so we should be able to leave this prequel series behind and forge ever on into the future.

Fans of Landeros will not be disappointed and readers who enjoy military science fiction or even political thrillers should be able to feel right at home here. Buckle your seat belts for a thrilling last ride with Julissa Marconi.

Pages: 248 | ASIN: B07F5LPD1S

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The Audric Experiment

The Audric Experiment by [Barnes, Patrick]The story of Pierre Morena, a 17-year-old in the year 2328, when England is ruled by something called the Audric who rule society through neural stimulation, either serotonin releases to reward compliance or shocks to punish anti-social behavior, guided by a manifesto called The Financially Prudent World by the Audric prophet, Genesis Smith.

Pierre is the first person in this Brave New World to make it as far as 17 without ever once receiving a shock, earning him the nickname Pure Pierre. And then, after a strange and mysterious incident on the 13th floor of the Library in the Shopping (called the Athenaeum here), Pierre begins to wonder if he’s really as pure as he’s come to think. And he’s not the only one. Pierre is in for the challenge of his life. He’s always thought of himself as virtuous; but what is virtue, he begins to wonder, if it’s never been tested?

He runs into a group called the Gamblers who dress like bikers and quote Nietzsche but worship Grease-era John Travolta. They reject and resist the Audric principles and have their own currency. They want Pure Pierre to endorse their hair product, but he’s not so sure. A Gambler accidentally blows his arm off firing an unauthorized gun when Pierre stops for a Macchiato in a Gambler cafe.

We don’t learn too much about the world, though it seems to resemble a 1970’s version of the future, like you’d see in Logan’s Run or Buck Rodgers or Jack Kirby comics. But the world we are presented with is immensely interesting and beautifully drawn. People take pictures on their phones and ride in solar pods, but they still read print newspapers and play water polo. The water polo match at the beginning, in fact, is a thing of beauty, and it makes you wonder why there aren’t more books about water polo players. The Big Three manufacturers are Little Amore, Generation Gold and Walden Now, and they take at least some of their ideas from the Entrepreneurial Etiquette class where Pierre had been a star pupil, inventing a solar radio inspired by a 20th Century Orangina bottle. This combination makes a unique world that serves as an interesting backdrop to a compelling story.

Patrick Barnes engages and entertains in this novel and leaves you questioning whether we want to truly be happy or to just be comfortable. He drags Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Kierkegaard, even Einstein, into it. It’s like an episode of the TV show The Good Place only with fewer jokes and more suspense. The Audric Experiment is a fun, action-packed read that’s overflowing with great ideas and moral questions.

Pages: 300 | ASIN: B01N313ZXL

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