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The Myrk Maiden: Daughter Darkness

Twilight is a 15yr old girl who doesn’t quite fit in with her family. She is mistreated by her parents and siblings and is forced to do chores all day. She doesn’t understand why she is treated different and why her mother despises her. She realizes that she looks different from her sibling, but she does look like her father. She learns that she is part of the Sharavaks, who are also known as the shadows. They want to exterminate normal people and establish their own civilization, but they need Twilight’s help since she is the most powerful. As her powers awaken she has an internal battle between good and evil. Will Twilight help the Sharavaks carry out their dark purpose?

The Myrk Maiden: Daughter Darkness by Alyssa Charpentier is a riveting coming-of-age fantasy novel that immerses readers in an alluring world of magic and the tense fight between a hope for good and an inherent evil.

Twilight’s character starts off innocent, and the reader wonders why she is hated by her family. As the story progresses she unravels the mystery of who she really is and her powers begin to grow and we get to see the dark side of her. I was enthralled with this meticulous development of her character and the intriguing realization of who she actually is. I was shocked when Twilight turns ferocious and savage. This is the moment readers get to see her internal struggle where she yearns to be good, but the darkness is always pushing itself on her.

Tension is high throughout the story, especially when Twilight is on the run. While I enjoyed the story I felt that it could have benefited by being shorted just a bit to make Twilight’s struggle feel more linear rather than recycled. Don’t let this deter you from reading this impressive gothic fantasy novel though as the author creatively incorporates magic into the story, like having Twilight’s mother visit her in visions or how the Sharavaks were able to infiltrate Twilight’s thoughts and shapeshift. All of this helps make this story an unpredictable adventure.

I recommend The Myrk Maiden: Daughter Darkness to readers who are looking for a dramatic and thoughtful fantasy adventure novel.

Pages: 466 | ASIN: B098MXQHTK

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Taiwan Butterfly

Amadeus Rockefeller Author Interview

Taiwan Butterfly follows a British missionary who comes into possession of a powerful Tibetan grimoire called ‘The Book of the Butterfly’. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Taiwan Butterfly is the second installment of a series I am writing called The Book of The Butterfly. The prequel will be released later, which details the adventures of the main character Jonathan Woods and his travels around Asia as he searches for occult material. Something Jonathan has been obsessed about since a teenager. The beginning of Taiwan Butterfly picks up from the ending of the first novel ‘Book of the Butterfly.’ I released the second book first, ‘Taiwan Butterfly’ because it deals with death and resurrection. I am an English teacher and recently had a young twelve-year-old private English student of mine pass away from a childhood stroke. She had been my student since she was five years old. So I released Taiwan Butterfly first as a tribute to her and with a wish that it could be true.

Jonathan Woods is an interesting character that was fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Jonathan Woods is a composite character formed from Indiana Jones, Merlin, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Three of my favorite fictional characters. All I had to do then was imagine what such a character would be like and do.

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

The death of someone we love and how it affects our belief in life was what I wanted to explore. I wanted to say that life is precious, and we should cherish it. Too many books and entertainment glorify death and the killing of people for fun or without hesitation. I find it very sad that people disrespect life so much. We are only here once on this earth. We will never be here again. Respect life and love it while you can. That’s what Taiwan Butterfly is about.

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

I’m multi-tasking on that one! I am writing four books at the same time. First to be released will be a gothic-horror story called ‘Formosan Vampire’ in mid-July 2023. The second will be a political thriller called ‘The Illuminati’ regarding a secret world order that has been controlling everything happening in the world, both good and bad. The third will be the prequel to ‘Taiwan Butterfly’. And the fourth is a sci-fi epic called ‘Conquest of our Forefathers’ about an ancient alien race that created an experimental lifeform and placed it on planet Earth to see what would happen. The human race is that experiment! Then, after a break, I will write the prequel to ‘Legend Blade’, my first novel that was published in 2021.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Award Winning Book from author Amadeus Rockefeller. An ancient and powerful Tibetan grimoire called ‘The Book of the Butterfly’ that has existed secretly for thousands of years comes into the possession of a British missionary named Jonathan Woods during the Chinese Civil war. Jonathan flees to Taiwan with the ancient spell book and takes up residence in a high mountain township at the centre of the island. There he tutors a rich landowners daughter Chen Mei-Ying about language, life and sorcery. Mei-Ying enthusiastically takes to the dark arts. But when she is killed in a freak accident, her boyfriend Huang Lee-Yang approaches the sorcerer, hoping to learn the power he wields to bring her back to life.

The Story Just Flowed From There

T N Traynor Author Interview

The Fisherman’s Wife follows a woman married to an abusive husband that saves a drowning pirate, they then set off on an adventure to gain their freedom from oppressors and find treasure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The story just came to me. I had a vision of a woman wanting to escape her life, and then I set it in a place near to where I grew up, the story just flowed from there when I discovered Bigsbury-on-Sea has a pirate history.

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

I picture my characters in my mind and the interactions just flow.

What research did you do for this novel to get the history part of the novel right?

Tons of research. I spent several months researching pirates and also the area of Bigbury-on-Sea. I needed to look up many things to ensure I was historically factual, from buildings to clothes to customs, everything. It was a lot of hard work.

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

I have several books on the go. I think the most likely to be complete first will be: Whispers of Love, which is a contemporary love story. Emily takes a job in the country to be a companion to an old lady called Camilla. Camilla’s two sons both end up falling in love with Emily, but Emily is caught up in the family’s past and trying to find out why there is no love between them all. I would like to hope that it will be released before Christmas this year.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

‘A diverting historical drama packed full of memorable and often charismatic characters. There’s so much to enjoy here including complex characters, strong chemistry – and plenty of adventure! The author´s historical knowledge and her ability to effortlessly slip it into the plot is a bonus too. All in all, this is a satisfying read.’ A Wishing Shelf Review.

1727. A wife with an oppressive husband. A pirate trapped by circumstance. Together they must face their fears and make a break for freedom.
When Connie’s parents died, rather than become homeless she accepted a proposal from a fisherman known for his temper. After seven years of marriage and still childless, she is labeled cursed. Her drunken husband brutally punishes her for her failings and Connie retreats into a world of her own.

Seeking his fortune, Eddie finds himself becoming an unwilling pirate. With no way out of Captain Hawkins’ clutches, he concentrates on amassing funds to one day buy his freedom. A harsh life takes its toll on a gentle spirit, and he begins to lose himself in the bloodthirsty life of a pirate.
A violent tempest throws hope into both their lives when Eddie is shipwrecked in the fishing bay of Bigbury-on-Sea and ends up on Connie’s beach. Will the two of them take their chance at happiness, and if they do, can they outrun the men who want them dead?

A thrilling historical romance novel, The Fisherman’s Wifeis a gripping atmospheric love story!
The Fisherman’s Wife: is a captivating historical romance novel that will also give readers pirate treasure hunting and a thrilling escape adventure. Literary Titan

There is More to Dracula Than People Think

Author Interview
Author Interview A—e

Powers of Darkness is more than just a translation of Dracula, it includes sections originally published in the paper but not the novel, as well as historical information. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The simplest explanation is that the translator was given wide latitude to be creative, as long as the story helped sell newspapers. Although a few scenes were left out, including the zookeeper interview and the death of Renfield, this is an adaptation of Dracula with some new characters and plotlines. We know from Dracula that Harker has a hard time maintaining his composure when he’s trapped like an extremely tasty small rodent, but when the madhouse doctor’s thoughts start to race, he is less able to hold himself together.

When I saw that the Icelandic Powers of Darkness was an abbreviated version of the more elaborate Swedish original, I wanted to see how it ended. When it became clear that the story was unique and entertaining on its own, I felt like I had to publish it before the Count’s sympathizers had it suppressed at the publishing houses.

Did you find anything in your research of this story that surprised you?

My editors started prodding me about how the text was dripping with racism and misogyny, initially with suggestions to soften the sharp edges and occasionally with comments in the margins indicating their level of cringe. I was surprised at how it managed to come in with even more racism than Dracula.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I thought I was trying to clear up some misunderstandings about Count Draculitz. He wasn’t just some creepy, ravenous moral-panic-inspiring predator; he was greasing the palms of English politicians and founding a personality cult promoting fascism twenty years before it became popular.

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

I do not think I will come across a book from a past century that I have to publish again.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

Powers of Darkness (Swedish: Mörkrets makter) is a translation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula published in the Stockholm newspaper Dagen in 1899–1900. It is longer than Dracula and features an expanded cast of characters, elaborate adventures in the Transylvanian castle, a lovers’ reunion in a Hungarian sanitorium, a mystical honey pot, and a showdown with the Count in London. The new content is rich in eroticism, xenophobia, spiritualism, and vague political conspiracies. This is the first time that the full Swedish text of Powers of Darkness has been translated into English; until now this story was only available in the much-abbreviated Icelandic version Makt Myrkranna. This edition contains a foreword by Hans Corneel de Roos, an expert on the Nordic Dracula variants and translator of the Icelandic text, and essays on xenophobia and racism in fin-de-siècle monster literature by Tyler Tichelaar and Sezin Koehler. It is illustrated with the original pen-and-ink drawings by Emil Åberg printed in the newspaper in 1899.

Powers of Darkness

Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker, a Swedish adaptation by A—e, is a more detailed account of Tom Harker’s journey to Transylvania to meet with Count Draculitz. This variation on the original classic provides the reader with more detail with some slight deviations from the original text. The editor of this particular retelling, W Trimble, precedes the story with a vast collection of papers. These papers explore the similarities and differences between the original Dracula and the later versions published in Sweden like Mörkrets Makter, or  Makt Myrkranna (Powers Of Darkness), published in an Icelandic newspaper in the 1900s, as well as touching on numerous other variations.

Having so much information before the actual story allows the reader to understand why this retelling is different from the original. In addition, these papers touch on important and pertinent themes such as racism and assumptions about Romanians. This is evident from the offset when Tom Harker writes in his journal, “disturbed by the bat and the howling dogs, they stealthily exchanged glances and crossed themselves when they thought I was not looking.” This could be seen as a foreshadowing of the rest of the storyline, but it also assumes this is how people in these areas would behave. This is discussed in detail in the preceding papers.

The adaptation itself is still written in the same style as the original, littered throughout with the well-known imagery of the tale, such as “put her in the coffin” however, it contains some elements such as that of a beast which would have been slightly more shocking at the time it was originally published.

I am a big fan of the text published in England and enjoyed getting a more in-depth tale. This variation is perfect as a literary source, or for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge of gothic literature, especially due to the papers contained in the preface. With the change in times, the additions and this version of the story are as exciting as the first Dracula.

Powers of Darkness: the wild translation of Dracula from turn-of-the-century Sweden is a captivating take on the story of Dracula most people know. The added history included gives readers a new look at this classic story. This gothic horror novel will provide readers with more suspense and thrills than the original book.

Pages: 1049 | ASIN : B09RX3877X

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Encore

Encore: A Contemporary Love Story of Hypnotic Abduction (The Agents of the Nevermind Book 3) by [Bensko, Tantra]

Encore is Book 3 in the Agents of the Nevermind series brought to you by author, Tantra Bensko. Tantra Bensko does a fantastic job writing a story line that intertwines themes of history, myths, politics, psychology magic, cultism, religion and romance. A clever author that sets out to achieve a contemporary love story with a touch of Gothicism. The author does a marvellous job at blending themes and motifs together in order to build up tension and create an epic dark read. This is a book that provides everything you would expect from a psychological suspense story – guaranteed to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.

The narrative of Encore is imaginative and unique, which allows readers to really think about the importance of different aspects of their lives. The plot of this book mostly revolves around Colin, a Bennu performance troupe’s hypnotist who abducts Susan and takes her to a castle. This weird relationship sees Colin slightly fixated with Susan’s character, pretending to be her husband to solidify their romance. However, the story unfolds with lots of twists and mysteries that are questionable to the reader. The reader is constantly left wondering what is happening and why. This is a great feeling for a reader of the paranormal genre. What more could you possibly want?

The plot throughout this book is strong, creative and imaginative. Bensko structures her book clearly and it’s easy to follow. I think that paranormal activities are apparent throughout the book, which makes for a great read. Tantra Bensko does a fantastic job at trying to write something for her readers that takes them out of their comfort zone and into something quite edgy and Gothic. Her writing is exceptional throughout the book and allows readers to fully engage with the topics being explored.

Having read this book, I believe it clearly captures the paranormal and suspense genres to an exceptionally high standard. I was hooked right from the opening chapters and was left overwhelmed and intrigued when I put the book down.

Encore is a dark read with dark characters and an ever-evolving plot. I think the author has done a great job at creating all sorts of emotions from the ideas of love as well as complete fear. This is a unique contribution to the world of Gothic literature and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Overall, Encore is an exciting and intriguing read that has opened my eyes to the world of the paranormal genre. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the paranormal world. Even if you aren’t that interested, I think it’s worth a shot, as I think you too will be impressed with the story of Encore.

Pages: 376 | ASIN: B07HQYNL7K

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Just How Sordid

Tantra Bensko Author Interview

Tantra Bensko Author Interview

Remember To Recycle explores a twisted state of dystopian society run rampant with political tension and censorship as experienced through the eyes of a sordid slew of characters. How did you decide on the starting point for this novel and how did that help create the rest of the story?

Thank you for asking. I based the novel on current reality based on in-depth study of foreign policy and traditional patterns of involvement by intelligence agencies who use propaganda to skew public opinion toward a military agenda.

I began the book inspired by the guys who go through my recycling bins to take what they can sell; I made a recycler character who has a clever scheme to take what he learns about the people in the neighborhood that way. The idea made me chuckle, and I wanted to see what kind of goofy brilliance he might display. I also had often joked around with a housemate about the empty buildings across the street which are owned by the church. We’d see people go in and never come out. I was also inspired by our jokes about the counter-intuitive business choices of the local ice-cream truck driver. The truck indeed broadcasts the recording of a scolding woman’s voice, just like in the novel.

Though entertainment is the ultimate point of the book, my main serious goal with the book is to balance the propaganda about the White Helmets, though characters in the United States who had hear the stories about a group like them on the nightly news or watch the Hollywood movie about them.

This novel follows the introduction to Nancy and her relationship to the Agents of the Nevermind in book one, Glossolalia. Nancy has done sordid things in her past, but she was forced into it. In this book, she’s again given the chance to be a hero and make amends for her role in political intrigue, even if it means using the dirty skills she was raised with. Some methods are so dirty, she hardly even lets herself know just how sordid she can be. But like all the other POV characters, she has a good heart.

I chose the beginning scene because it was cinematic, with the dramatic contrast arising from Nancy relaxing at her unusual dwelling, chuckling at the anomalous sound of the ice-cream truck that never seem to make any sales. That prepares us for dark humor in the book. She’s being startled by the loud sound of a hard snowball smashing the glass of the window beside her head. She puts on her costume when she realizes someone outside might be looking at her, so we see how she’s been living “underground,” hoping no one recognizes her, in a somewhat primitive location, but someone mysteriously is communicating with her.

She finds a painted rock inside the snowball and the image reminds her of herself and her one friend, a lovely artist named Becky. Nancy has followed another such anonymous note to lead her to Becky in the past. So that beginning creates questions about the dynamics of some major characters, as it sets in motion Nancy’s sleuthing, and involves the reader in the mystery.

I remember the excitement of thinking of the snowball, with ice-cream and a rock inside, at the beginning. Most of the book was already written, but that image created a colorful motif that I went back and inserted through the novel. It was gratifying the way it drew a lot of elements together.

You’re able to weave together the intricate lives of a ragtag group of characters. What themes did you want to capture while creating your characters?

I focused on the theme of the heroism of examining and exposing social engineering, and the difficult choices, nobility and sacrifice that can entail.

I felt this story was very well written. What’s your experience as a writer?

I appreciate that. I’ve been writing all my life, as well as studying the form, not only for my benefit but for my students, as I teach fiction writing and edit manuscripts. I’ve explored a variety of genres; psychological suspense, which is the overarching category all the diverse books in the series fall into, fascinates me because of human psychology making propaganda and other forms of deception easy and bewildering, creating the need for answers. I love the feeling of figuring out the answers to such mysteries, such a rush, a shudder. It’s the perfect genre to dramatize the ability of intelligence agents working behind the scenes to gaslight the public. So, I read and watch movies and TV shows in that genre a lot, to understand what works best. I’m always studying more about fiction and screenwriting techniques. I learn as much from the screen as the page, and organize my books like movies.

This is book two in the Agents of Nevermind series. Where will book three take readers?

It continues the theme of the Agents who combine deception, mind control, blackmail, and occult practices. I’ve been including history about that intersection in the books, returning to certain historical figures such as John Dee and Edward Kelley, and their use of Enochian language as a spy code as well as an attempt at magick.

The novel is called Encore, and is Gothic. A highly-acclaimed performance troupe has a special requirement to make their shows work: the audience can’t be aware if any of the actors are replaced by a standby (similar to an understudy.) Their resident hypnotist, Dune, who is rumored to be an Agent of the Nevermind, accomplishes that by hypnotizing the standbys to believe they’re the actors they’re mimicking, and even coat their own auras with the residuals of their actors.

His wife is the star, but must leave the troupe due to cancer. Her standby and Dune have strong chemistry. He kidnaps her while she’s hypnotized to believe she’s his wife, and takes her to an alchemist’s castle. Underlying the story is the real history of a few powerful countries’ competing mythologies meant to gain supporters for them in wartime.

I hope this book will move readers to appreciate themselves for who they are.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

What if the homeless men going through your recycling know more about your life than you do? Like who is going to die. One of the recyclers, Dave, wearing disguises he keeps under a bridge, memorizes the information in people’s bins. He, like many others, idolizes the Rescuers, a supposedly neutral, unarmed humanitarian aid group in a Balkanized country, as the possibility of WWIII looms. The Nevermind Agents lie on the evening news to garner support for proxy wars. They say the Rescuers are unarmed, neutral, and giving humanitarian aid to a Balkanized country. Their movie about them is a blockbuster. Rescuer costumes are the bit hit for Halloween. But it’s time to unmask them. And that requires a plan so ingenious, even the planner can’t know how it’s done. Living not far away from Dave’s bridge, Becky donates generously to the Rescuers, making her finances even more insecure. She doesn’t know what to think when she finds things in her apartment moved slightly. The toothbrush is wet. There’s a stain on the ironing board. The cat food is nearly gone. Is it her imagination? Is someone messing with her mind? Could it be Stan, breaking in because he loves her? He certainly loves putting her body into mysterious BDSM contortions for their videos. But what’s that muffled moan she hears in the background when she calls him on the phone? Becky hires her friend to spy on Stan. The woman has gone underground since escaping from the Nevermind; she wears a wig, and a mask meant for burn victims. She has traveled across the country to befriend Becky, taking a chance on an anonymous message recommending she do so, though she doesn’t yet know the reason.

A Thriller for Thinkers

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A Full Gothic Ending

Susann Oriel Author Interview

Susann Oriel Author Interview

See Me Forever is a genre-crossing novel with elements of romance, mystery, and paranormal as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

I love early Gothic so I wanted to create a story where those themes are used in a modern setting and with a full Gothic ending. So the story begins as a conventional romance but gradually becomes darker. It could be described as a modern-day bodice ripper. The book also has a strong mystery element which I’ve written in a traditional mystery style.

Arianna is innately beautiful but isn’t sleazy and has a level of class and integrity that is to be admired. What were the driving ideals behind the characters development throughout the story?

The heroine is small town born and bred – she’s quite traditional in her thinking so I used a somewhat old fashioned writing style to reflect that in her thoughts and speech. There’s also Victorian-style speech to show the different time periods that the spirit and Arianna exist in (they converse in the older style speech). The hero is plagued by guilt over a past event and is also terrified of losing Arianna to the evil in her haunted house.

Detective Gauge has some skeletons in his closet but still falls for Arianna. What was the inspiration for the relationship between Arianna and Logan?

To Logan Gauge, Arianna is completely different to anyone he’s ever known – a set of contradictions – fiercely passionate but with a cool, calm demeanor, upfront and honest but someone who seems to have a secret side when she’s in touch with her spirit world. She straight out falls for Logan. Naturally, she’s attracted by his looks but she loves him for his goodness. She describes him as strong and good and sure.

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

As I love mystery and my books always have a twist (as any good mystery should), the next book is about a very sophisticated serial thief (woman) who lives in one of the most exclusive apartment buildings in New York. To say more would give away too much as this story will be a whodunnit until the last page. It is, of course, a romance.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

As a spirit sensitive, Arianna Harte is used to encountering the dead. So when the mysterious spirit in her crumbling Victorian mansion finally reveals his presence, Arianna is confident she can control him. But Edmond Wilde is unlike other spirits. He possesses a deadly power and is prepared to use that terrifying ability to claim her. As Arianna gradually learns of the house’s dark past and the source of Edmond’s power, she finds herself increasingly under his depraved control. Only one man can fight for her—a fearless, mortal man, stronger than Edmond. But he is a man with his own ghosts from the past.

Placing early Gothic themes and styles in a contemporary setting, See Me Forever is a story of strange happenings, blended time periods, obsession, betrayal and death. With multiple characters and plot twists, mysteries both past and present are revealed, testing Arianna’s gift in ways she never thought possible. Can she and her courageous lover defeat the powerful spirit who threatens their very existence?

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