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This Was Always About Basketball

This Was Always About Basketball by Craig Leener is a wonderful story that follows the protagonist Ezekiel Archer, better known as ‘Zeke,’ as he prepares himself for his next big step in life at the University of Kansas. This is where he plans to take his basketball dreams to the next level. However, as he begins completing his extensive to-do list before he leaves, he encounters a few bumps along the way, such as history being completely altered. As this is not the first time an unusual happening has been in Zeke’s life, he knows exactly who to turn to, his autistic but brilliant mathematician friend Lawrence.

The whole concept behind this story is compelling, and the imagination used to combine science fiction with a diary written by Zeke is done well. Having the story written in the first person narrative and having him address the reader by introducing himself,  ‘My name is Ezekiel Archer’  from one of the first lines draws them in, making them feel included in the story. There are areas throughout where the details are rich and descriptive, such as ‘Lawrence’s handwriting—rigid and purposeful letters carefully sketched and slanted in an easterly direction.’ These moments allow readers to come to know the characters, it assists the reader in understanding them on a deeper level.

This Was Always About Basketball is an entertaining and enjoyable read. The chapters are short, but all relevant which helps with the plot flow, and you are always left wanting more. This is not the first book in this series that I have read, and I hope it will not be the last as through each adventure, you learn more about the characters and feel you are part of the story with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fantasy story.

Pages: 257 | ASIN : B08PM9X1PW

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Blank – Book Trailer

Imagine the world just reset itself, everything goes Blank, and humankind can’t remember the past. No one knows how much time has passed since the Blank; no one remembers much of the time before. Set in a dystopian version of Earth, where seeds are used to barter for goods, we meet the sisters Danube and Amazon Rivers along with the Bailiwick brothers, Alabama and Nebraska. The four youths grew up in the same town, and one day they stumbled across the mysterious Alice, who appeared out of nowhere. But unlike the four and their mundane lives, Alice knows how the world came to be in its current state. Told in the third person while displaying multiple character points of view, Nanette L. Avery’s novel Blank distinguishes life not endowed with ready-made meaning and the characters who are responsible for creating their own. The world everyone knew before is gone, and the one they have ended up in operates by a completely different set of rules. Alice’s existence may very well destroy what humanity has rebuilt, but she must complete the mission she was entrusted with at any cost.

The Curse

The Curse is another outstanding novel in Shana Congrove’s Breedline Series. This rousing dark fantasy novel follows the Breedline Covenant as well as Joseph Parker, who is possessed by a demonic spirit called the Shadow. We also follow Carrie Randall, an unlucky-in-love counselor who’s world collides with Joseph’s. While trying to track down Joseph, the Breedline Covenant finds out about illegal experiments being done on humans and about vampires.

The world in the Breedline series is well established at this point but if you haven’t read the other books in the series then the author provides plenty of backstory at the beginning of this book to bring you up to speed. The book focuses on setting up the world and the characters first before launching into the heart of the story, and the action.

The story also takes time to describe what the character looks like, so they are clear in the mind of readers before the story moves on. Readers are also reintroduced to Breedline characters as well. Each character is described so that we understand who they are, what they do, and what their power/ability is. This provides a lot of information that new readers will find helpful in understanding the world that has been built in the Breedline series, but longtime fans of the series will find information they’ve picked up in previous books.

I enjoyed getting into Jena’s head. I was pulled into the story during this section, which made it extremely enjoyable to read. I also found the vampires interesting, although I would have liked more information about them so that I could understand them better. The ‘biters’ are the evil ones, and we also have the good ones that are ‘Daywalkers’ or hybrids. I found this division interesting, but I would have liked to have seen their roles more clearly defined in the story.

I enjoyed the premise of this paranormal romance novel. I loved the werewolves, vampires, battle angels, shapeshifting, and the fight against evil. I enjoyed that this is set in the modern world as well. The Curse takes a slow-burn approach to story telling that utilizes most of the pages to build character and the world before jumping into the action.

Pages: 447 | ASIN: B0B5B6DGQK

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Rosemary for Remembrance

Rosemary for Remembrance, an alluring book by Nikki Broadwell, is a fictionalized account of a war-torn love story. The author tells readers the story of a couple who has to face many troubles due to the World War. The conditions soldiers are forced to live in and how the soldier wives lived back home are shown. In this story, our protagonists, Rosemary and Dylan, wade through the waters of war, trauma, and distance between themselves to conquer their fears and insecurities.

The writing style of this book is fast-paced and captivating. Readers are drawn into this story from the beginning. I could finish this in a single day because the storyline was engaging, and each chapter left the reader wanting to know more. The natural and supernatural events filled the narrative with suspense and anticipation of what thrilling event will come next.

The mental exploration of the Prisoners of War and their post-war trauma has been explained in detail. From Rosemary’s point of view, we can witness the struggles and problems of the soldier’s family left behind without any contact with their loved ones. This book also explores the impact of soldiers’ traumas on their families and relationships. Fallouts and Divorces were common, but no one was to blame.

The journal entries by Dylan from the Prisoner of War camps made me feel the pain and anguish which coursed through those soldiers. The helplessness and cruelty of the war are being laid bare through those journals. As the author has mentioned, those journal entries were the actual journals of their grandfather. This makes them more realistic and horrific to read.

There is a parallel plot running in this book. In that story, the eighteenth-century dilemma and struggle for love are shown. The condition of women at that time has been described in a way that left me uncomfortable and angry. The story of Rebecca and Edgar reflects the story of Rosemary and Dylan, yet they are drastically different.

This book took me into the midst of the horror that was felt by the soldiers as well as their families. The simple and captivating writing style paired with a headstrong female protagonist makes this book a brilliant read. Some mature topics are presented in this storyline due to the brutal nature of the time and war. I recommend this book to people who want to read about the conditions of war and a love that’s being tested by time and troubles.

Pages: 286 | ASIN : B0711FL8T8

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Friendship

Author Interview
A. M. Dyer Author Interview

​The Order of Walrea is the first installment to The Ash and Stone saga, which chronicles an epic adventure across a land filled with conspiracy, magic, and betrayal. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration came from allot of different and varied places. The story idea formed over several years as you read a book, a certain aspect of the book may inspire how two characters will interact with each other which leads the story into a new direction.

Olin and Yondi were great characters. What were some driving ideals behind their relationship and character development?

The main driving ideal that I felt was important to explore was friendship and the lengths that close friends will go for each other however brief the friendship. This played allot into their development as the story progressed in book 1 as well as heavily impacting Olin in book 2.

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

The themes I felt that were important to explore in the book were loyalty and the lack thereof, friendship, abandonment and the length that friends will go for each other, and that people will innately oppose immoral actions.

What can readers expect in book two in the Ash and Stone Saga?

Book 2 continues the adventure where book 1 left off. Book 2 is filled with more conspiracy and action as the plot instigated by Walera has come to light. Olin and Levyna explore their fightning new power as tensions escalate and war looms near.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

The Order of Walrea is the first installment to The Ash and Stone saga which chronicles an epic adventure across the Three Kingdoms, a land filled with conspiracy, magic, betrayal, and the machinations of fate.

The Three Kingdoms – Queen’s Hill, Duken, and Ravinshore – live side-by-side in hard-won peace. That peace is protected by the Orders, created to secure and safeguard each kingdoms’ interests: the Order of the Three in Duken, the Order of the Red Flame in Queen’s Hill, and the Order of Walrea in Ravinshore. But when Olin, a curious sciff servant, overhears a dangerous secret, the Three Kingdoms are thrust into a race against time to stop a conspiracy threatening the very foundation of the Orders, and the safety of the thrones.

In a journey that crosses from one end of the Three Kingdoms to another, Olin’s path converges with a wide cast of characters: Yondi, a mage’s apprentice roped into helping Olin on his quest; Posdel, a mage trying to drown the shadows in his memory with drink; Levyna, a young mage coming into a dangerous power to dream the future and travel across the kingdoms at will; Isabelle, a sorceress called to save the life of the King of Ravinshore; and Gytha, a Grand Sorceress with a mysterious past and a devastating power.

Facing an enemy that looms in every shadow, one whose reach extends far beyond the kingdoms’ borders, these individuals connected by fate must decide who to trust as they work to thwart the conspiracy and protect the very foundation of their kingdoms. As destinies converge and unseen danger creeps closer to the thrones, they must stand together in the fight against one of the most powerful entities in the Three Kingdoms: the Order of Walrea.

Danger Peak

Danger Peak by Michael Thomas Perone is a feel-good coming-of-age story that follows 13-year-old Robert and his best friends Chris and Rinnie. We follow this group of friends who are part of the motorbike racing club known as the Wild Boars. Readers are taken on an adventure filled with nostalgia, courage, and determination as Robert sets out to conquer Danger Peak.  

Author Perone transports the reader back into the 80s, filled with references to Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and good times like getting into mischief with friends. This nostalgic book reminded me of The Sandlot, but instead of tackling “The Beast,” it is Danger Peak this time.

The characters are well developed, and the author perfectly portrays the teenage attitude where all kids want to do is hang out with friends and have a good time making this a relatable read to young readers. Robert’s determination is inspiring, and there are times when you feel sad for him, especially when he has flashbacks of his older brother Danny. I also enjoyed the fact that Robert’s family didn’t come off as the perfect family, and they were going through real problems. The author’s writing is not elaborate or detailed and is perfect for middle-aged readers.

Danger Peak is an entertaining, page-turning read that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers and even those who want to reminisce about the good old days of growing up in the 80s.

Pages: 195 | ASIN : B0B5S7ZHMQ

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Honor in Concord

Honor in Concord by Cathryn McIntyre is a combination of memoir and fiction. The book takes place in Concord, Massachusetts, and is a story about history, love, reincarnation, and living our lives with truth and honor. While retelling the actual events in the author’s life, there are some fictionalized elements in the story. For example, the scenes that show famous writers from Concord’s literary past are fiction based on historical facts. There is also a third storyline, focused on honor, interspersed with scenes of Concord’s historical and literary figures.

This was an exciting and enjoyable book to read. I liked the inclusion of writings from historical, literary individuals from the 19th century at the beginning of the book. The author writes about their daily lives and families and the descriptions of the homes where they resided, which were shown through house tours of the historic sites taken by the author or fictional present-day characters. I enjoyed reading the scenes of life from the perspective of historical, literary figures.

The past and present are woven together in an interesting way in this book. One example is when the author imagines the historical figures in places found in present-day Concord that they had visited during their own lives in the 1800s. I enjoyed all the bits of history that were included throughout the book, especially the places where parallels were shown between what historical Concord residents were feelings contrasted against people living in the present time who were feeling the same kind of emotions or thinking similar thoughts. In addition, I found the scene where the author tries to reason with Dr. Roland’s ghost rather humorous.

My favorite parts of this book were the pieces of the author’s own life and the historical information. The story’s subplot with Richard Hazzard and Sarah Simon was an interesting addition to this novel. However, I felt that these sections sometimes took away from the most exciting aspect of the story, which was the author’s spiritual and writer’s life in Concord and the everyday lives of Concord’s famous historical writers.

Honor in Concord: Seeking Spirit in Literary Concord is a unique combination of historical fiction and memoir that will enchant readers with personal stories and interesting historical facts. The author’s ability to combine these different writing elements into a cohesive and entertaining storyline makes this a must-read for those interested in authors like Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Alcott.

Pages: 240 | ASIN : B0B4G8LVL2

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Hope and Belief

William L Harben Author Interview

I’ve Been Waiting follows a narcotics detective who, at the request of a beautiful woman, investigates an unsolved mystery and encounters paranormal activities. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Well, this is a good question. I guess I was going through some difficult times personally. With the loss of family members, Grand Parents, Aunts, Uncles, and Parents passing away, I guess you begin to question our very existence. You begin to wonder, is there something out there beyond this life, or is this it? So, with each passing of a loved one, a deep sadness begins to fill your heart. I feel that this was the place I was in at the time, and then I started having this reoccurring dream. It was the same dream, over and over, becoming more vivid each time. So, I started telling people about the dream.

The dream was about this guy walking down the street in an older part of Boston. The street was dark with high buildings on each side. It was a dark night with a slight fog that had rolled in. I had a feeling that the guy was aimlessly walking down the street, heading toward his favorite bar. As he got closer to the bar, he noticed this very attractive woman standing on the street corner under the lights. For whatever the reason, he was drawn toward the girl, and as he approached, he asked her if she was lost or needed help. She looked back at the guy and said, No…I’m waiting for you.

So, that was the dream. What exactly it meant, I didn’t know, but I finally decided to write it down. Writing it down made me realize that this guy, who became John O’Roark in the book, was lost. He had lost everything, his family, his self-worth, his career, and everything he ever believed in. However, I knew that this woman, who mysteriously came into his life at just the right time, would help him find his way back.

John is an interesting and unique character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Once I wrote down the dream, I had to go back and determine just what happened to this individual. So, I asked myself what tragedy could occur in a person’s life to make him feel the way he feels and put him in this situation of feeling totally lost. The most important thing in this world is your family, and if anything were to happen to them, you would be devastated. In knowing that, then you ask yourself, how would you respond and what would you do if something happened to your family like what happened to John’s family in the book? So, this is the direction I went within the book.

What was strange was when I started creating the different characters in the story. For instance, Dex, the stutterer came out of thin air, but he’s a big part of the story. Once I had the characters in place, the story just took off. It was as if I was just along for the ride, typing away as I saw the scenes play out.

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

I would say that the overall theme of this book is about hope. It’s about an individual who is in complete despair, lost, and alone in his grief with no sense of purpose due to his circumstances. Yet, on an unexpected meeting with a mysterious woman, his life begins to turn around as he embarks on an incredible journey that allows him to overcome his hardships and find a new purpose in life. It’s about the hope and the belief that he will be together again with his family someday and that, for now, he has much more to do in this world as he realizes that his new purpose is to help others.

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

I have several books in mind and have written the outlines for each. Obviously, this book has an ending that leads to another journey for John’s character. So, I’m in the process of outlining his next adventure.

Two other books that I am working on are: “Frantic Panic” and “The Family Secret

These books have no release date and are in the early stages of development.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Webpage

Haunted by his own guilt, John O’Roark, an undercover Boston narcotics agent, and his stuttering partner, Dex, embark on a ghostly journey as they pursue an old unsolved mystery that will ultimately change their lives forever.

John, a dedicated family man with two kids and a beautiful wife, blames himself for the senseless assault on his family. After which, John’s only intent in life was hunting down those responsible for the attack and seeking revenge. In doing so, he becomes lost and alone as he begins to question and doubt all that he believes to be true.

Until he meets a young and mysterious woman named Angelica, who begins telling him a compelling story about her friend who has been missing for years. Reluctant to take on a missing person’s case, he simply can’t resist being pulled into her captivating plea for help. With the aid of his old partner, Dex, the three set out for the mountains of Colorado to uncover the truth about the missing girl, only to discover that Angelica isn’t who or what she seems to be.
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