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Into A Possible Future

Denna Holm Author Interview

Silvano’s Redemption follows an Earth woman and a cyborg as they fight for the freedom of cyborgs while finding romance between them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve always been fascinated by the thought of cyborgs. Would they still be considered human or not? How much of their bodies would have to be replaced before they aren’t considered human? For this story, I wanted to send women from our time into a possible future where cyborgs exist. I wanted them to see how far the human race had fallen. I also wanted to touch on who should be blamed when we are dealing with evil people in charge of society. Silvano and the other cyborgs hate all humans when this story begins. They have been severely abused, but they slowly come to realize through Tessa and the other women that not all humans are evil. Is there a point where Silvano can learn to let go of past abuse? If he can’t, then he might be missing out on a brighter future with Tessa. Life can be difficult, but I wanted to bring across that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

I’m not very good at outlining. I know where I want my story to start, and I know where I want it to end. I basically follow where my characters want to take me in the middle. They rarely let me down.

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

….Listening with an open mind rather than be judgmental. Forgiveness, redemption, courage, love, perseverance.

What can you tell readers about the next book in the series and when will it be available?

“Saving Mathis” is available for pre-order now. It will be released on May 10th. Questions concerning Tessa’s sister Tara will be answered in this book. We will also be given a hint as to where these cyborgs, the women, and their children are headed for. The full story will be slowly revealed throughout the series.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Silvano is Commander of the Cyborg ship Freedom. He feels responsible for his Cyborg crew and has spent the past century trying to keep them free of the Human Alliance. Humans represent everything Cyborgs hate, a plague upon the universe, destroying everything in their path. Before they fought for their freedom, Cyborgs were considered little more than expendable slaves.

Tessa and her twin sister Tara are abducted from Earth by aliens that resemble man-sized lizards to be used for breeding. They are rescued from the lizards by these strange, emotionless beings who claim to be Cyborgs. Tessa isn’t sure what to think about the stern commander but can’t deny she finds him as attractive as she does terrifying.

Things heat up between Tessa and Silvano when he is forced to use her to lead a traitor Cyborg away from his ship.
 
**Standalone Story. No Cliffhangers.**

GOD OF NOTHING

Author Shane Scott’s God of Nothing is a thrilling fantasy book about Titans, Demons, Angels, Vampires, and Bool. It has an interesting take on God, creation, and all associated with it. If you understand traditional Abrahamic faiths, this book will particularly challenge your perspective. Generally, it follows the story of Satan and God’s daughter, Aja Ashe, and her descendants – Sel and Jaxx. Because of the time difference that exists between its protagonists’ adult years, the story hops from the present to the past, sometimes even going back to the beginning of creation. Ultimately, this book covers the birth of Aja Ashe, her discovery of her immortality, her love life, her son’s life, and the love life of her grandson.

As we read from page to page, we understand who Aje Ashe is, her capabilities, and her values. We also get to see how her life choices have affected those close to her. If there’s one thing that the author does well, though, it highlights the duality of the book’s different characters. Only a handful of characters are just pure good or pure evil. Most are layered, complex, and nuanced, like real-life people. This makes the book realistic even though it’s a fantasy one.

While the story is narrated by Miranda, God of Knowledge, to Jaxx (Aje’s grandson) and his fiancé Olivia, it is mainly in the third person, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the different life stories of the characters. What’s more? The author uses short sentences and paragraphs, keeping everything light and easy to read.

Beyond that, the author uses a lot of descriptive languages that helps readers understand even the most complex of concepts. This is particularly important because the book goes deep into the intricacies of how the various creatures of the world were made. It’s also great that the book includes snippets of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter, allegedly from the God of Wisdom. Each snippet furnishes us with new information that is integral to our understanding of the chapter. Moreover, the book is well-edited and formatted – there are no grammatical errors.

God of Nothing is a riveting epic fantasy that is hard to put down. This coming-of-age novel will appeal to readers looking for something different with a dark edge and LGBTQ themes. Filled with conflict and well-developed plot fantasy readers will not be disappointed.

Pages: 426 | ASIN : B08W3KCRRP

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Powerless

Powerless is a well-written and gritty take on small town life after a major disaster. Kevin Barton and his family live on the outskirts of Harpursville, a hamlet in rural New York. When a major blackout wipes out communication and modern electrical conveniences, the townsfolk must come together to survive. Most of the story takes place in the Barton’s household, where Kevin must transition from administrator to farmer. His wife, Monica, takes on the role of hunter and quartermaster as she minds their ever-dwindling supplies. Their daughter Kelly, and her stranded friend, Dina, try to cope with being teenagers while living through a minor apocalypse.

Powerless is a very realistic take on a prolonged state of emergency. While it is not nearly as dire or hard to digest as Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” (which gets a brief mention), and there are no post-apocalyptic monsters or zombies, the author covers actual threats, like lack of food, water, medicine, and the mixed intentions of other people, which makes this story feel much more grounded.

I find it refreshing that Kevin is an ill-equipped modern day everyman, more suited for desk work than living off the land. He’s not a man “with a certain set of skills” or a former special forces soldier. He’s just an average forty-year-old man who is lucky enough to live next door to a working farm in a time of crisis.

The theme of “power,” who has it, and who does not, is explored throughout the novel. Characters who find themselves powerless in the new world develop new skills to survive, some for the better, some worse. As supplies run out the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors” becomes more of a veiled menace than cheery mantra. Coming on the heels of a global pandemic, what once would seem like a survival fantasy story feels very real and very possible at this time in history.

Powerless is a riveting post-apocalyptic novel that plays with being a psychological thriller as well as a compelling character study.

Pages: 370 | ASIN: B09TX9P62R

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Exploring Speculative Fiction

Ethan Avery Author Interview

Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire follows a budding mercenary and a mage with a secret who set off on a dangerous quest with world changing implications. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve wanted to write a dual narrative story since I was a kid, and this was the perfect opportunity, I feel like there are so many fun places to explore in speculative fiction! I also wanted to write a book where two characters come from very different backgrounds and see how that can affect the way they are presently.

Erevan and Aireyal are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character’s development?

It all comes from focusing on the fundamentals of writing, which is probably something I talk about way too much on my YouTube channel. I’m a big believer in understanding the rules of storycrafting. That way you know how, why, and when to bend or break them. And like anything, practice makes perfect, so it’s important to keep working on those skills, even after we learn them the first time.

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

I’ll leave that one up for the reader to decide. I’m ok with letting the work stand on its own and be interpreted however each reader individually sees it.

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

The next book in the Sword and Sorcery series, of course! It will be available sometime next year if all continues to go well. I’m super excited to share the next part of the story with everyone, there are so many things I wish I could tell you all now!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | YouTube | Website | Amazon | B&N | Books2Read

If you could change your life by trusting in a stranger… would you?
Erevan has a problem. He grew up on the unforgiving streets of Bogudos and has the scars to prove it. His friend, however, is stuck in jail because of his mistake. But when a suspicious courier offers him a chance to fix things, should he lift his sword and journey across treacherous lands to aid her cause?
Meanwhile, Aireyal has been accepted into the wealthiest and most prestigious magical school in all the land. There’s just one problem. She can’t do magic. But that’s far from the only secret within the walls of Darr-Kamo. And what she discovers might just change the world.
Swordsman
Sorcerer
Spiritualist
Scholar
All four have enemies. And all four need help to get what they want. But help is never free.
What would you sacrifice to get what you most desire?
Exclusive to the Kindle eBook version is X-Ray, where Ethan Avery has written never before seen notes on the rich world and regions of Sword and Sorcery and the characters that inhabit it. All easily accessed on a Kindle device or iPad and iPhone through the Kindle app. (All versions include the series’ iconic chapter art.)

Azaron

Neera lives a peaceful and untroubled existence with her aunt, until one day she discovers her own extraordinary powers. Due to her druid heritage, Neera’s abilities are the stuff of fairy tales; romance and adventure abounds as she sets off on a quest to fulfil her destiny. There is danger in store, however; the current Unseelie Queen, Visha, desires that Neera be brought to her, and has sent a mercenary to do her bidding. Pursued for her gifts, Neera must undergo great sacrifice and risk to her life – all while finding out who she truly is, and uncovering love in the most unexpected of places.

Set in a medieval-esque fantasy universe, Jennifer Creighton’s Azaron follows a young woman’s riveting journey that sets her on the path to self-discovery. Neera’s magic filled adventure allows her not only to realize where she comes from, but also what she desires out of life. The different versions of Neera, as viewed by Tristan and Caleb, demonstrate how far she has grown over the course of the story; she is no longer the timid, uncertain girl who left her aunt’s village, but a capable and decisive woman in control of her abilities.

While I heartily enjoyed this fresh fantasy story, I felt that certain characters felt somewhat one-dimensional, with Tristan’s distinguishing characteristic being his love and devotion for Neera. Nevertheless, this is a dynamic and action-filled story that fantasy and romance readers alike can appreciate.

Neera’s development as a character is the linchpin that holds this steamy fantasy together and makes it successful. Her growing preference for Caleb, who teaches her to fight and encourages her to harness her abilities, rather than Tristan, who still sees her as vulnerable and in need of protection, reflects the significant changes she has undergone.

The magical elements of this novel also make it an enjoyable read, as we watch Neera traverse a richly-imagined world while also exploring her own identity. Azaron is a spellbinding romantic fantasy that is highly entertaining.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B09W8XSX7H

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Snapshot Into a Killer’s Mind

Eli Pope is back with Snapshot Into A Killer’s Mind: The true story of Billy Jay Cader, giving readers a new perspective into our main character’s life through the eyes of Amy Jo. The investigative reporter shows how Billy Jay became who he is today through her various interviews/snapshots. She humanizes our villain and demonstrates how a loving childhood could have changed the course of his life. We also get to know about Amy Jo’s childhood and her present-day life following her interviews with Billy Jay. If you love The Mason Jar Series, you have to pick up Snapshot Into A Killer’s Mind!

As always, Pope delivers a stunning take on tragic events. The author dives right into the gritty details of Billy Jay’s story with a unique twist. We are essentially reading Amy Jo’s now published book as if we are living in the universe where The Mason Jar Series takes place.

I enjoyed the duality approach Pope took to demonstrate how love can make all the difference after living through a traumatic childhood. He always does a fantastic job discussing the plights of this world in a way anyone can understand, but so few people talk about.

The scene where Amy Jo goes to visit Billy Jay’s father felt so realistic and made my skin crawl. He captured his essence perfectly through his impeccable word choices. It was easy to visualize the aging abuser and the pathetic state he was in. I could feel Amy Jo’s disgust and fear the entire time.

While I enjoyed this novel just as much as the entire Mason Jar Series, I felt that some of the information we were given was repeated. We hear Amy Jo speak about many of the same sentiments and phrases throughout the story. Despite that, I still feel that this is a compelling psychological drama that explores humanity in the unique way that only Eli Pope can.

If you loved the previous books in The Mason Jar Series then you are sure to enjoy this one as well! It works as a short companion novel to the rest of the books. I look forward to the sixth installment and can’t wait to see what twist and turns Pope gives readers next. Snapshot Into A Killer’s Mind: The true story of Billy Jay Cader is a must-read for lovers of dark psychological thrillers.

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Over the Broad Earth

Over the Broad Earth, written by J.L. Feuerstack, has readers follow along with Schizophrenia Insidious Nervosa and Lord Zinc as they are born into a chaotic war. Schizophrenia, a.k.a. Schitz (pronounced “Skitz”), is brought to Hell, where he is taught with and by many other demons. They learn combat, strategy, their laws, and what they are fighting for; Lord Zinc receives similar training in Heaven. The angles and demons fight many wars against each other with their brethren for ultimate victory. Fighting for their Lords, God and Satan, the angel and demon are taken all over the world.

J.L. Feuerstack did an absolutely amazing job with Over the Broad Earth! I could gush about this book all day long. I will start by saying that I really appreciate the artwork in the book. I loved being able to see some of the characters drawn out. I enjoyed the tutorial at the beginning that shows how angels and demons are allowed to fight these wars for their respective Lords. The artwork of the different realms really helps when imagining where the characters are as well. It was very creative.

One of my favorite parts from the book was being able to listen to the music that was mentioned. Reading the author’s note is important in this book. Another aspect I loved was the lineage of the demons and angels. It was very detailed!

I will say that J.L. Feuerstack had a lot of characters to work with. While the main characters are Schizophrenia and Lord Zinc, it was sometimes hard for me to remember who the other characters were and who they were related to. Having the lineage of the demons and angels came in handy many times! All of the characters that were mentioned are very well developed though. They all had linked together in one way or another. They had a lot of history to go through as well. You will know what I mean when you read this spectacular book!

The plot of this epic fantasy novel was well written. I look forward to reading the second novel because I really want to see how Schizophrenia and Lord Zinc develop as leaders. I also want to know what will happen from what was mentioned at the beginning of this book. I cannot say more as it will give away too much. When you read this book, read every part of it. It is worth it!

Over the Broad Earth is one of the most creative angels and demons stories that I have read in a long time. This riveting fantasy novel expertly weaves together a variety of genres, from historical fiction to Christian fantasy, into a unique and thrilling novel. With fantastic writing, deep lore and intriguing characters, I truly look forward to the second book!

Pages: 699 | ASIN: B09KQ5TTCQ

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The Keep in the Marsh

Thomas never imagined that, at only seventeen, he’d end up on his own and traveling an unfamiliar path. But, of course, he never imagined a plague coming and killing nearly his entire village, including his parents, either. Striking out in a different direction than the other survivors, Thomas soon comes across trouble and a group of adventurers needing guidance. But, as he and his new friends find themselves formulating a plan in the hopes of finding untold riches, they all realize that there is a lot to learn about themselves and the world.

The Keep in the Marsh: Escaping Dragons Book 1 is the first in a planned series of fantasy adventure books by Neil O’Donnell. O’Donnell’s worldbuilding is well-thought-out, with the various intricately detailed villages, an eclectic assortment of inhabitants, and a group of heroes that will instantly be familiar to anyone who has ever played a DnD campaign.

Much of the book is dedicated to the introduction and character development of its five main characters, with the occasional fight scene to help create conflict. Despite following a well-traveled road, the story stays fresh and keeps the characters interesting, doing well to avoid obvious tropes with some of them.

For the most part, the adventure faced by Thomas, Haley, Sully, Siegfried, and Jeffrey is relatively tame, falling in line with what one could expect to deal with in such a situation. By the end, however, things have escalated quickly, setting up a second book that promises to hit the ground running.

In line with the general adventuring themes, this novel explores the ideas of friendship, trust, and finding yourself. As the book goes on, each character grows up and pushes themselves beyond any previous experience, at times out of necessity. As their “leader,” Thomas seems at times much older than his years with his knowledge and ability to survive. However, he realizes that there are things even he can learn along the way. 

I enjoyed every bit of this book! The familiar narrative was comforting, and nothing about it felt repetitive or overdone. The last part of the book is exciting and will shock readers, leaving them waiting for the next installment of the series.

The Keep in the Marsh is a rousing epic fantasy that is sure to capture readers’ attention with an exciting adventure and memorable cast of characters. This thrilling novel takes readers on an epic journey into a new fantasy world where they might just end up fighting a dragon.

Pages: 147 | ASIN : B09VK75V3D

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