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The Palladium

The Palladium follows a dispirited and lonely writer who’s trying to find his way back into life. He is lured to a bizarre hotel by the promise of a cash prize from a pirate radio station. With a bit of help from a curious bell hop, he stumbles into Wonderland just like Alice. From that moment on his life takes a series of supernatural turns, from slight to outlandish, that sets him on a wild and immensely entertaining journey. When a supernatural portal materializes in his living room and a woman jumps out and punches him in the chin, I knew I was hooked.

“Imagine it as a twisted game based on an ancient contract between a divine being and the realms of hell. And every person on this … planet, alive or dead, is not only a potential player but also the bet.”The Palladium

Author Thorsten Brandl has created a story with an innate sense of mystery and intrigue. This urban fantasy novel exudes magic, action, and adventure throughout. Readers follow two main protagonists who separately are thrust into surreal situations before eventually coming together to embark on an epic journey.

I was enthralled with Michael’s story from the beginning. There was a palpable air of intrigue that was so fascinating. While I was a bit confused by the POV switch between chapters, I was excited to see that Cleo and Michael’s storylines collide. The story immerses the reader in the action and starts building the world’s lore right from the beginning. There are so many questions built into the storyline which, even when answered, lead to further questions. This left me always wanting to know.

Creative imagery and powerful metaphors are two elements that really stand out in this book. This is a unique urban fantasy novel with some intriguing mystical elements that is hard to put down. The writing is inventive and gives the whole story a magical atmosphere. There are many elements and locations throughout that are enhanced by the authors use of vivid imagery. Every character in the story has their own unique flair or feel. What’s interesting, and a nod to the authors writing talent, is that the characters are rarely simply described. Their uniqueness comes about naturally and through the story, which gives them surprising depth that I always relished.

The Palladium is wonderfully written and wildly imaginative. Thorsten Brandl’s novel reminds me of Jordanna Max Brodsky extraordinary reimagining of Greek mythology in her book ‘The Immortals’, but with the inherent fun of Dan Hanks ‘Swashbucklers’ novel. I heartily recommend this slick adventure novel for its creative use of mythology, history, exceptional character building, and relentlessly entertaining plot.

Pages: 327 | ASIN : B0BD6Y4ZB8

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The Original Myths And Legends

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

Minotaur’s Lair, and the entire Servant of the God’s series, are intriguing fantasy novels. Why was it important for you to write this book series?

Great question. Firstly, I love ancient history and mythology, and studied ancient history for years and still consider myself a student. There is a lot to still learn about ancient cultures, and I consider these ancient civilisations much more clever and far more innovative than we are today. This is one of the reasons why I wrote Servant of the Gods, to hopefully inspire my audience to read the original myths and legends and the various ancient civilisations from which they came from. I don’t advocate going back in time, like Evan was forced to, and in particular the terrible way women and slaves were treated. I like to create stories where readers can immerse themselves and vicariously experience the highs and lows felt by the characters, and in the process make ancient history a vibrant and interesting subject to learn through storytelling.

As this book wraps up the series, were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

Yes and no. The series changed a lot from its initial conception and even when I was writing Minotaur’s Lair, there were elements in the story that deviated from what I had planned. The characters deemed the flow of the narrative and I had no choice but to let them dictate. Afterall, it is their story. What I wanted to discuss through the story was what if we had an alternative religion, so very different to one’s today and not one mandated by a patriarchal system. And would it change the way we view life, work and gender inequality in all its forms?

What was your favorite character to write for and why? Was there a scene you felt captured the character’s essence?

Hmmm… I had a few favourites, but if I had to choose, it would be Dexion, the young Sicilian boy and seer. Despite his street smarts and behaved somewhat more maturely than that of a twelve-year prepubescent teenager, Dexion was still a young boy who wanted the love of a parent.

There was the scene where Dexion tries to reach out to Evan and gives clues to help him remember why Zeus sent him from the Twenty-first Century to the Seventh century B.C.E. It shows his maturity but also that he’s alone and yearns for the fatherly connection he and Evan had created in Books 1 and 2.

The Servant of the God’s series took readers on an exciting quest to stop the Dark Master. What will your next novel be about, and what will the whole series encompass?

I am currently working on a thriller/suspense/timeslip series titled Coin of Time and it’s about two coins infused with magical powers first owned by Herakles, and passed down from generation to generation of a family who once were the bodyguards of Helen of Sparta and her family. One coin disappears during crusades and Nik’s predecessors, the Zosimos’ were the guardians of the coins, try to find the missing one.

The story is set in the present, Nik and his grandfather go looking for the sister coin in France, where a neo-Nazi group led by Konrad Resnik, are also seeking the coin. Book 1, The Guardian’s Legacy is published and has received multiple nominations for awards, and Book 2 is drafted and almost ready for beta readers to evaluate. If anyone is interested in being a beta reader, email me! authorluciana@outlook.com

I am also working on a historical fiction based on the life of Hypatia, the astrophysicist and mathematician who lived in ancient Alexandria and was killed by religious fanatics.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Minotaur stirs. Evan is drugged to forget the gods’ quest.

Evan and his companions are entrapped by the Amazon Queen Antioche and her warriors. Memories and allegiances are tested. The Dark Master’s victorious revenge over the gods is almost complete. The plight of the High Priestess is precarious, her health ailing, and unable to rescue her brother and fellow Atlanteans.

The last sacred relic, secreted in the lair of the Minotaur, must be recovered or the Dark Master’s succession plans of a new god are complete. The mystical lands of Krete, the final stage of Evan’s journey, are within his grasp. He must succeed so his father, Zeus, fulfills his promise. Then there is Queen Antioche, and the precious gifts she presents him.
Will Evan return home, and what will become of his future?

Minotaur’s Lair is the third and final book in the action-packed Servant of the Gods historical fiction series. If you enjoy well-researched landscapes, historic characters, excitement, mythical creatures and unique settings, then you’ll love Luciana Cavallaro’s heroic odyssey.

INFINITY: A Winter Romance

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It can never be said that Sarah Nightingale is a typical lady. As a seventeen-year-old, she is approaching old-maid status and does not seem to care. She is independent, outspoken, and completely willing and more than able to run her father’s farm. Tobias, her father, realizes all of this but still wants to see her married. When he arranges a meeting between his daughter and Matthew, an eligible and promising prospective son-in-law, he has no way of knowing he has set into motion a sequence of events he will soon regret. Meanwhile, Sarah has designs on a marriage of her own–one no one would ever expect.

Infinity: A Winter Romance, by Catalina DuBois, is one in a series of books that follows two star-crossed lovers through time as they continue to encounter one another and fight for the chance to be together. As they fight to reunite and regain the love that was once stolen from them, they must overcome one incredible obstacle after another in order to defeat the forces that are determined to keep them apart for eternity.

Sarah and Matthew make the perfect pair. The dynamic DuBois has created between the two in this time period is intriguing, to say the least. Sarah is headstrong and cannot be told what to do; she is a fantastic main character. Her boldness shines through everything she says and does throughout the plot. It’s clear that Matthew has been written to shine a light on Sarah’s character. He is likable but takes nothing away from Sarah.

I so enjoy the way DuBois writes. This is the second book in her Infinity that I have read, and the element of mystery she adds to her books makes each a must-read. She leaves each chapter with a line or two that will hook readers every time, urging them on to the next chapter. This is the kind of writing I prefer–I want to be made to feel that I am missing out if I don’t just keep reading. DuBois, without a doubt, is a master at producing books you won’t be able to put down until you have reached the last page.

Infinity: A Winter Romance, by Catalina DuBois, DuBois’s romance is tastefully written with just enough sensuality to attract romance fans. DuBois’s characters are relatable no matter the time period in which the book is written, and the combination of drama and humor, along with elements of romance, pushes DuBois’s works into the top spot on my list of books I highly recommend.

Pages: 154 | ASIN : B0BKYSQNZ9

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A Reincarnation Series

Catalina DuBois Author Interview

INFINITY: Book of Matthew II follows a biracial couple who live in the Civil War era and the things they must do for their family to survive. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write something patriotic. Most writers focus on the Revolutionary War for that but as a black female, I never felt any sense of patriotism regarding the Revolutionary War. The Fourth of July only declared independence for white, land-owning, males. I went with a Civil War theme because that was the historical event that finally set this country on a path of liberty and justice for ALL.

How has character development for the main character changed for you through the series?

Infinity is a reincarnation series so there are massive changes in the main characters from book to book due to the massive changes in their circumstances from lifetime to lifetime. In The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh Matthew is a slave. In A Crown of Golden Leaves he’s the royal heir to the Roman Empire. Sarah is a princess in Quest for the Holy Grail. She’s a slave in Book of Matthew. Their personalities, motivations, and the actions they take are affected by the time period they live in, their stations in life, and the conflicts they endure. I believe we are the sum of our total past experiences. I wrote the Infinity series to reflect that.

What experience in your life has had the biggest impact on your writing?

Being excluded from popular culture. Books and film have come a long way but during my impressionable and vulnerable youth, I never saw characters who looked like me in the genres I enjoyed. I like fantasy, historical romance, suspense, and mystery. The main people who say inclusion doesn’t matter are the ones who benefit from such a bias. Naturally they cannot understand the amount of bullying the rest of us endure due to that bias. Even a fun holiday like Halloween used to be a nightmare for children of color. Other students and even adults are telling you what you can’t wear. “Don’t dress as a princess. Everyone knows all the princesses are white.” Because there was no Tiana, no Shuri, no Nakia.

“Don’t dress like an action hero. Everyone knows that action heroes are men.” Because there was no Angelina Jolie, no Charlize Theron, no Uma Thermon. “Don’t dress like a superhero.” Because there was no king T`Challa.

Growing up excluded from popular culture is an existence plagued by unrelenting racism where you are constantly dictated what you can’t wear, what you can’t do, and what you will never be when you grow up. The scariest part is that you would assume I was ninety years old given the lack of diversity I grew up with and the rampant discrimination I faced as a result. I am thirty-nine years old. I refused to allow this to be my daughter’s fate. So I write characters who look like me because every little girl deserves to feel like a princess.

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

The newest Infinity is called A Winter Romance. Being in a noble family is nothing like the fairytales. A lavish life of privilege comes at detrimental costs. Villains with deadly intentions plot against Sarah, but Matthew will stop at nothing to protect his one true love in this thrilling winter romance.

This full length romantic suspense was published this week as part of the Déjà vu collection. It is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B94W93YR

Author Links: Barnes & Noble | BookBub | Website

Coming Soon

INFINITY: Book of Matthew II

In INFINITY: Book of Matthew II by Catalina DuBois, readers follow Sara during the Civil War era. Sara is a black woman that was a former slave at the Colburn Plantation in the states. She falls in love with a white man named Matthew who sweeps her off her feet and takes her to France. Now Sarah has become one of the few women in the world to become a medical doctor and has built a successful practice. After a terrible incident occurs in Sarah’s home and her children are almost taken away and put into slavery, Matthew and Sarah make the hard decision to fight in the war to protect their family.

Catalina DuBois takes readers on a spellbinding journey through time that forces readers to face the harsh reality of slavery, the Civil War, and the impacts it had on people. Sarah is a strong and mesmerizing character, but she is also kind even after all of the abuse she went through. Matthew’s character is one that many readers will fall in love with, especially after seeing his love for Sarah and his family.

The author immerses readers in the couples lives and we feel the love that they have for one another. The romance scenes are written tastefully, making the reader want to read more as the couple express their love and lust for one another.

This is book two of the series, but I think this novel can be read without having read book one as the author quickly recaps the first story, catching the reader up to Sarah’s current situation. The scenes of war are just as impactful as the romance scenes, and readers will be rooting for Matthew’s safe return. The author gives readers an inside look into Matthew’s thoughts as he writes in his journal. I enjoyed how this allows the reader to get a sense of what Matthew is feeling. This is a compelling book that gives just as much emotional depth to the horrors of war as it does to the romance in the book and I was enthralled with the story because of it.

INFINITY: Book of Matthew II is an engrossing story of courage, hope, and love. This is a rousing historical romance novel that I highly recommend to readers who are looking for a thrilling read with romance throughout.

Pages: 192

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The Blood of the Bear

The Blood of the Bear, by Grahame Fleming, is the story of Artos, who will one day become Arthur. This novel brings a new take on Arthurian legend but still brings the familiar characters to ground the reader in this tale. It’s a tale of witches, honor, prophecy fulfillment, and coming of age. This novel is meant to be a humorous version of the story of King Arthur and readers will find this take refreshing and unique.

I am a fan of King Arthur and Arthurian legend. Fleming brought a new view to a subject I love while retaining some familiarity with the legend. In Fleming’s tale, we follow Artos as he begins his journey to become Arthur, the legendary King of Britannia. We also meet Merlin, Morganna, and Lancelot. There are also new characters for us to love and hate.

There are places where Fleming tells instead of shows us what’s going on. Just drop me into the action and let me see the story. Another thing that distracted me was when Fleming dropped from third person to second person. It pulled me out of the story. Some of the dialogue didn’t feel natural to me. However, the storyline and action scenes were well written.

I enjoyed reading this rendition of the Arthurian legend. One part that stands out is that a good portion of the story is dedicated to Duncan MacForres; it is not just about Artos. I would have loved to have seen more about Artos’s growth through the story, but having a diverse character base can make that more challenging.

The Blood of the Bear is only the beginning of Artos’s story; there is still much for him to learn before he becomes king. While this story wrapped up its story goal well, it left much room for more to happen in future books. I’m interested in reading the next book.

Pages: 513 | ASIN : B09HNX63YW

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A Childhood Paracosm

Author Interview
Roske Author Interview

Strung follows a woman in a forced engagement as she discovers the world of the Faye, and becomes enraptured with the world she finds. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The world and story of Strung began as a childhood paracosm and continued to evolve over the following decades. After so long, it’s difficult for me to pinpoint each original source of inspiration, but I do specifically recall an early fascination with the romantic power imbalance in Disney’s Aladdin. These days, Jasmine’s trope might be classified as a very light “Alpha Female”, but it was a totally new concept for me at the time. I believe that idea seeded the initial daydream, but many, many other influences found their way into the narrative over time, too.

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?

In a sense, yes to both. The characters grew as I did, so there was indeed an outline before I sat down to write—just not a typical one! I ended up cutting several plot points and character interactions in order to keep the book below 140k words, but the ultimate path of each character’s development remained the same.

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

The story’s themes include each definition and colloquial use of the word “strung”. For instance: interpersonal tethering, adherence to tradition, tightly wound anxiety, emotional resonance, threads of fate, and for better or worse, how each of these forms has the power to control our actions by stringing us as puppets or instruments.

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

To be honest, Strung is the only story I absolutely needed to tell. If there was demand for a sequel, I’d consider one. Otherwise, who knows? Maybe I’ll have a new world to jot down in another 25 years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Based on a decades-long paracosm, Strung weaves complex patterns from themes of control, adherence, and fate. The result delivers social commentary through a musical lens, reimagined folklore, and two richly-detailed fantasy cultures. A must-read for fans of dreamy, literary fiction!

Strung

Strung is a beautiful literary work by Roske. This book includes enthralling accounts of its characters in a fantasy folklore setting that is full of romance and magic. How Lady Lysbeth’s world changes with the arrival of Faye and how she maneuvers through different events in the gender discriminative Avon society is quite striking. Roske presents the storyline in stark contrasts. The book begins as some kind of musical composition in the making and flows flawlessly with vivid imagery and illustrations, taking readers on a fantastic visual journey. A patient reader would find everything they need to know within the pages of Strung. The words are selected masterfully, the characters evolve deeply as the novel progresses, and the scenes feel authentic and lively. There is never a dull moment in this novel if you get into the rhythm and tune of this book.

Roske manages to keep the dialogues crisp and flowing and does justice to the era the novel revolves around. I am delighted with Roske’s approach to showing the relationship dynamics of each character. Strung is filled with rich dialogue between characters, with some narration inserted to add additional information or set the scene. In addition, the author includes words and language of a different era that give the characters a more dynamic personality. It is easy to get lost in the plot and the setting with such well-written passages.

This captivating book is a slow-burn romance while managing to not be a typical romance novel. Roske has created an enchanting story that is unique. Lysbeth’s life in a male-dominated society, her fascination with Faye, the cultural clashes, and how society plays a role in shaping one’s identity are meticulously portrayed.

Strung is a spellbinding fantasy and romance novel. Beautiful writing, a well-developed cast of characters, and a mystical romance that defies the social norms of that era will appeal to readers across multiple genres.

Pages: 390 | ASIN: B09T3NLGT6

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