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The Significant

The Significant by [Kyra Anderson]

The Significant is a dystopian tale of a society in which the few have it all but there are a large number of poor without nationality. Kailynn is born into this society and vehemently detests the rich and controlling Syndicate. However, in order to save her brother, she takes on a job as a Significant who interacts with Elites for a price. Her whole world changes when she is assigned to the mysterious Golden Elite and suddenly things become more complicated, but there is hope for a brighter future. If Kailynn survives. The story is fast-paced and will keep readers hooked from the first page as the characters are plunged into different twists and turns.

Author Kyra Anderson’s novel has an original plot and world-building despite taking on a lot of familiar themes such as dystopia ruled by the rich or increasing automation. Unlike most dystopian stories, The Significant does not have a near-apocalyptic theme and creates a more original universe than what many dystopian novels offer. Similarly, the idea that a controlling society is bad for everyone is explored in this book which makes it easy to empathize with many characters and get new perspectives.

The Significant has a unique take on a dysfunctional society in that it reflects a lot of modern immigration issues and sympathizes with displaced peoples. That issue features prominently in the book and makes connections to modern day issues. Similarly, in connection to the modern day, the book features many lead LGBTQIA+ relationships which are normalized in the novel. It is extraordinarily refreshing to read a book in which a lesbian couple features prominently and is not merely used for entertainment or to appeal to a male audience.

The plot and story itself is highly enjoyable. It provides a lot of detail and background that gives a clear idea as to how Tiao works and why their society is locked in the situation the book is set in. The characters are well-done and distinct, each having their own voice and personality that comes off the page, especially Kailynn and Isa although the reader does have to take some time to get to know Isa, just as Kailynn does. The action is vivid and heart-pounding and the quieter, more intimate moments will still have the reader hooked and enraptured by the tension. Fans of science-fiction must read The Significant!

Pages: 599 | ASIN: B01HSMVA1A

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A Master of Social Comedy

Author Interview
Tom Beattie Author Interview

American Fries: A Queer Farce is a whimsical play about love, equality, and marriage in both a historical and contemporary setting. What was the inspiration for the setup to your plays?

Moliere is an old buddy of mine. We met in high school French class years ago and have kept in touch ever since. When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, we decided to shelter in place together and collaborate on a play. We wanted to include some of his tried-and-true tricks of the trade, e.g., mistaken identities, overheard conversations, mischievous servants, etc., but with a modern twist. To be honest, Moliere deserves all the credit. Most of my ideas got edited out.

Your characters were interesting and I loved following them. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

As a master of social comedy/satire/farce, Moliere’s characters tended to be more “types” than individuals, but they often had big hearts that steered them right in the end. I’m hoping that’s true of American Fries.

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

As you note, my main theme is marriage equality. Those who say it’s “established law” in the U.S. so there’s no need to worry are wrong on both counts.

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

I’m currently working on a comedy of manners about the “fake news” phenomenon. Oscar Wilde is helping me out. (We ZOOM all the time.) Look for The Importance of Being Ernest Enough later this year.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Moliere meets marriage equality. A whimsical what-if play with poufy periwigs. New from Pinnacle Award winner Tom Beattie.

American Fries: A Queer Farce

American Fries: A Queer Farce by [Tom Beattie]

American Fries: A Queer Farce is Tom Beattie’s fun play where he explores how Molière’s playwright style could have been if it had included some queerness in it. Marriage equality and same-sex love are the main aspects dealt with in his play, all done in a fun and hilarious way that will leave its readers constantly smiling and giggling at every turn of the page.

The book includes two different plays. The first one, American Fries, based in seventeenth-century Paris, follows the friends Bayonet and Heavyset as they conspire to find a way to pair and marry each other’s kids. However, the girls Crepsuzette and Anisette, and the boys Pirouette and Leatherette, may have some different plans of their own. Although it is a period play, it is told in a modern way with modern humor, making it very enjoyable to read. The second play included in the book, Once Married, goes back to modern day to follow the lives of Tom and David, a gay couple from the United States in their early sixties, with the deep wish of having the freedom to marry each other without fear.

The plays included in the book were fun and easy to read. Even though the book deals with serious themes such as same-sex marriage, the author expresses his story and his feelings in an entertaining and natural way. I was constantly smiling throughout the different plays, highly appreciating Tom Beattie’s humor. Even the names of the characters made me laugh every time that they appeared on the page, they had such an unique and creative touch to them. The stories told were not only funny but also endearing, being able to portray by the end the significance of companionship and love regardless of gender, a very powerful message in this day and age.

I found the first play, American Fries, to be unique and would love to see a longer one in the future with the same style of writing and humoristic attitude. The deep feelings of love are portrayed in a simple, yet powerful manner, allowing the reader to feel connected to the characters and understanding the depth of their emotions. I only wish that the plays had been longer, there is still some potential that can be explored further with the characters that were introduced throughout the story.

American Fries: A Queer Farce is a fast paced and easy read with entertaining humor and an overall imaginative and creative style. Author Tom Beattie gives readers such an endearing and enjoyable reading experience.

Pages: 143 | ASIN:

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Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life

Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Having a Bad Life: A Memoir by [Lewis Kempfer]

Trauma comes in many forms and affects more of us on a daily basis than most will ever realize. Without ever knowing it, we encounter people every day who have had more than their fair share of abuse, drug addiction, and depression. Some of those people have been dealing with that trauma from an early age–Lewis is one of them. As a very young boy, Lewis quickly learned who he could and could not trust, and he saw those around them for who they truly were. His young adult life showed exactly how much damage that abuse caused.

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life is a poignantly written memoir by Lewis Kempfer. Nowhere else will readers find a more raw telling of one man’s life. Kempfer has revealed every wound he has ever suffered and each one of the horror-filled moments he has survived from his early days in Colorado to his nightmarish life in Nashville. He minces no words and gives readers every opportunity to learn from the mistakes he has made along the way.

I can appreciate Kempfer’s story in many ways. He lays down the ugly truth of drug addiction so there is no mistaking the impact it has on the lives of those around the addict. Never does he try to sugarcoat his experience, and he is painfully honest about the ease with which he fell further under the spell. Readers need this–all of us. There is no reader who has not been touched in some way by addiction.

Kempfer’s very real battle with finding his faith is moving to say the least. He allows readers to walk along with him as he sees all sides of religion and hold his hand as he finds his own way. To say his story is stunning is an understatement. To say that it is moving is simply not sufficient. Kempfer’s life is absolutely a miracle and one of which the author is well aware.

I highly recommend Kempfer’s memoir to anyone struggling with addiction or any parent of a child who feels like they are losing the battle to find themselves. Kempfer’s road has been long, filled with the worst kind of potholes, and has nearly killed him, but his story will save someone.

Pages: 475 | ASIN: B07V2PS82D

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Eternal Love

Eternal Love by [,Nived]

Eternal Love follows the life of Devin, a college student who is about to turn 25. She is plagued by dreams that are a bit too realistic. Throughout the book, we see her struggle with the meaning of her dreams, bringing forth concepts of reincarnation and the longevity of love. However, things really begin to shift when Amirah, a newcomer at Devin’s college comes into the picture, making her feel like they have met before. She dramatically changes Devin’s dynamic with both friends and family members. Ultimately, we discover the true nature of their relationship and what it means for Devin’s identity.

While this story begins very mysteriously, things become clearer and clearer as you read. Devin is portrayed as an independent straight shooter while Amirah is portrayed as thoughtful yet thoroughly confused.

The intriguing concept behind this book is quite solid. Clearly, the author did a lot of research into the different ways people practice spirituality. As such, the premise is believable and in some cases even relatable. The sex scenes are also detailed, pulling you in entirely. It is therefore difficult to put this book down once you start reading it. While it does help that the narrative is told from Devin’s experience, the author’s writing style can come off as a string of unrelated sentences. Possibly, the use of connectors and more descriptive language could bring more life to the prose. We get a lot of great descriptions of Amirah but I think more could be done to describe Devin’s physical and personality characteristics.

Otherwise, this is still an intriguing science fiction story with a riveting plot. Even the complex concepts are broken down to make them easier to understand. It also helps that there are a couple of plot twists along the way to shake things up a bit. If you are into love stories that are interwoven with mysticism and fantasy, Eternal Love by Nived is an exceptional choice that will keep you thoroughly entertained.

Pages: 248: | ASIN: B08P3XQK52

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The Seventh Circle

The Seventh Circle by [Thomas Bauer]

The Seventh Circle by Thomas Bauer is an impassioned historical fiction novel demonstrating the human race’s inhumanity towards others. The novel is a literary gem set in the little Bavarian town of Fussen during the Third Reich (Nazi Germany), showcasing horrors endured by people due to inhumane laws. Karl, the son of an affluent business owner, is accused of homosexuality, which is illegal during this period. He is kept in a Nazi concentration camp and endures physical, emotional, and psychological trauma at his captors’ hands. Will Karl survive this horrific trial, or is he doomed forever?

In an intense and soul-wrenching manner, Thomas Bauer writes traumatic incidents that will stay with you long after you have finished reading the novel. The writing is unfeigned brutal and keeps you engrossed till the end. Some of the scenes are sexually explicit and horrific. The details unfold in a manner that makes it difficult to experience for a sensitive reader. One of the book’s beauties is the relationship between Karl and his mother, who is aware of her son’s sexuality and supports him, but this relationship isn’t explored much. Other than the phenomenal storyline, the structure of the book is also well organized. The chapters are synoptic and meaty, with no space for fluff writing or floundering. The story begins as a simple love story, but slowly turns into a sinister tale of terror, betrayal, abuse, and survival instinct.

The only issue I faced with the book was the use of uncommon and unfamiliar terms for which I had to use a dictionary. Still, it increases the writing’s authenticity, and improves my vocabulary. Bauer is unmercifully realistic and honest in his depiction of this story. His attention to detail and detailed descriptions give the reader some visceral experiences.

The book is an extraordinary tale that brings awareness to the crimes against sexual preferences and society’s discrimination, which is prevalent today. The book will interest anyone who loves reading emotionally charged historical fiction that accurately portrays the time frame. While the subject matter is depressing, it is a must-read for the present generation, unaware of the degree of historical oppression faced by the LGBTQ community.

Pages: 230 | ASIN: B08FMTTP69

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A Truth Wizard

C.R. Endacott
C.R. Endacott Author Interview

Heroes of Afflatus follows a group of friends on a dangerous quest in the land of dwarves to bring peace to the land by recreating the Circle of Trust. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

Initially, my intent for Circle of Trust, was to start a new series in the Afflatus world. I have 3 previously published works told from the perspective of Avery Noble. In Heroes of Afflatus, I changed that perspective to Jared Swagger. But the story unfolded itself, as I watched the political milieu in the United States in Canada, where I saw people who in all rights should have seen what brings them together, versus what drives them apart. As a Canadian watching American news, I was enthralled that people who were similar in so many ways, were so divided in others. And so, as a fantasy author, I thought, what if there was an evil power that thwarting a people’s unity. Thus, Noir and the Molpen were born.

Jared and Avery are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

Jared Swagger and Avery Noble are my main characters, and they have developed over the course of the first three novels. They started as enemies that hated each other, but I found immediately, that they were actually interested in each other, and so Jared eventually asked her out and now they are going steady (this is after numerous adventures in Afflatus together). Initially, the concept of Avery as a Truth Wizard reflects my own journey in understanding the truth about life. I was raised religious, but reality clashed with those beliefs, which is also why I incorporate LGBTQ+ themes in my writing.

I appreciated the depth of the lore in your world. What were some sources that informed the worlds development?

Initially the concept of Deep’en Realm, was an imagination of what Hades might be like. I don’t like the depictions of hell and the afterlife, and so in my imagining of an underworld, I developed this concept of Deep’en Realm. Most of my ideas are sparked from the notion that there can be any number of dimensions or worlds that have their own rules, and are totally foreign to our rules.

This is book one in The Circle of Trust series. What can readers expect in book two?

Book 2 takes our adventurers into the Fairy World, an “sky” world, where your heroes need to prevent Depravity, the evil Lord, from destroying the Blue Butterfly, the last talisman that seals Depravity’s power from entering the palpable world (our earth).

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Jared (Jay) Swagger has a pretty good life. He’s a great lacrosse player, he has an amazing girlfriend, and a secret world he gets to have adventures in. However, after Holly Fitts kisses him after his team won the lacrosse match, his girlfriend, Avery Noble, refuses to speak to him. And when adventure calls for a Truth Wizard in Afflatus, Avery leaves Jared behind. Jared is heartbroken. But the next day Carson, the crown prince of Afflatus, tells him that Avery has gone missing and that Jared needs to find her and rescue her from the land of the dwarves. Jared’s good friend and teammate, Garon Miller, tags along and he learns a lot about himself too. Most importantly, it is important to be true to ourselves. Once in the land of dwarves, they find that the evil spirit Depravity has been at work, stirring up dissension and war. The only way to bring peace is to find Avery and recreate the Circle of Trust. But this becomes increasingly difficult because they find out that Avery is seriously injured, and the Molpen, part mole, part human, beings are trying to stop them. Can Jared find Avery, restore her to health, and save the dwarves before Depravity accomplishes his goal to total annihilate the dwarves?

Everyone Had Tragedy

Zachary Ryan Author Interview
Zachary Ryan Author Interview

Cutthroat Cheerleader follows a bully who dies and is given the chance to look back at how her life affected the people around her. How long did you have the idea for this novel and what made you decide to start writing?

I had the idea kind of come forward while I was writing High School Queens. I have really loved this campy caddy novels, but I really wanted to add murder to it. With covid happening, I’ve had a bunch of time to write. I just really didn’t want to write a depressing novel while our world is a huge dumpster fire right now.

What were some ideas that informed Madison’s revelations throughout the story?

I think her seeing everyone’s life behind closed doors. What I always add to my novels is the theme, don’t judge a book by its cover. I feel like we all have our own struggles, and we don’t really know what someone’s going through unless we look behind all the closed doors. She realized everyone had tragedy, and I hurt a lot of people along the way. She made Mark be two different guys, and she made Chad be the stereotypical jock. These two were unhappy because they were playing the same game book as Madison to survive high school.

What scene from the book was the most challenging for you to write?

I think for me it was the plot twist when you realized one of the characters wasn’t crazy, and it had to be when the murderer was revealed. I think both I wanted to live up to the hype that I created in the novel.

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

I’m working on a book called Playlist. I have wanted to write this novel for honestly over ten years. It’s a love story between two characters and my love for my music. It should be out in the summer. I’m just having too much fun with Cutthroat that I’m not ready to publish just yet another novel.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

In the sleepy town of Townsend, Washington, there was an act so gruesome that no one would ever be the same. What heinous crime do I speak of? Skylar Torres thinking she could pull off a crop top with that pudgy body of hers. Oh, did you think I was going to say my murder. Well, I thought it was more sensational than anything else, but the real scandal was who killed me and why.

You should already know my name since it was on everyone’s lips once they found me with my throat ripped out. People thought they should have only feared me, but the Liberty Lion’s cheer squad knew one thing, hunt or be hunted.

No one’s hands were truly clean from all the dirt and blood on them. Be safe, watch your back and always remember, Happy Hunting.

Love
Madison Taylor
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