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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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I Love the Element of Surprise

R. J. Corgan Author Interview

Mammoth Drop follows a scientist to the Black Hills where she finds herself knee-deep in mammoth bones and a murder mystery. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The Black Hills, and South Dakota in general, is heaven for geologists. In fact, most geologists have to do a field season out West as part of our degrees. I studied in South Dakota and Wyoming in the early 90’s and was blown away by the beauty of the landscape. I’ve also worked with paleontologists who have spent their lives studying mammoths and they’re just as marvelous as the animals they study. I wrote Mammoth Drop to celebrate both their legacy and to share the breathtaking scenery of the region with readers.

Kea Wright is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Kea is smart, kind, and terrible with people. Like many scientists that work in the field for months at a time, Kea suffers from broken relationships, a low self esteem, and bouts of depression. I wanted to create a heroine where those attributes, both good and bad, are superpowers: they’re external to the group, often forced to think differently, and wind up in places they shouldn’t be. While a reluctant heroine, I love Kea and I hope that readers will as well.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book (and what can readers expect in Book 4)?

Each book in the Kea Wright series has a unique theme. Cold Flood examines how being put under intense pressure can and release something inside ourselves that we never knew existed. The Meerkat Murders examines the concept of altruism, Mammoth Drop explores extinction, while Murder on Masaya examines sacrifice. Each book also has a different tone. Mammoth Drop is absolutely a camp romp full of drinking and dancing to celebrate a scientist and his life’s work. In contrast, the final story, Murder on Masaya,(released in 2021) is a much darker story about the hazards that scientists undertake to gather data and the sacrifices people make for their family. These changes in tone are deliberate because, growing up, my favorite television show was Doctor Who – you never knew where the next story would take you, it could be the distant past or the far future, or be a comedy or a tragedy. I loved that element of surprise. These books are very much in the same vein and I hope readers enjoy the variety.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

During Kea’s visit to the Black Hills, one of the scientists in Mammoth Drop Caverns is brutally murdered. Determined to unmask the killer, Kea takes up residence in nearby Woolly Hole, a gay campground filled with boozing drag queens and bottomless mimosas. Knee-deep in mammoth bones and potential suspects, Kea soon finds herself in the killer’s sights . . .

To Those We Found

To Those We Found by George Ander is a science fiction book based in a completely different galaxy. Instead of having features like tentacles and an exoskeleton, the aliens have the same physical construction as humans. This captivating story has been told from the viewpoint of an alien competing for the position of a champion; the winner will represent their planet in other solar systems.

The protagonist of the story, Taman Yedder, is selected by a random lottery to represent his world to the whole universe. He reaches the destination but finds himself trapped in a desolate hospital with the doctor forcing him to stay there. After a scuffle, he escapes the hospital and begins exploring this mother world he is supposed to prepare a report about.

Through the journey and thoughts of Taman, readers will explore his world. The historical evidence and the leaders’ talks are contradictory, and Taman begins his search for truth. However, his investigation leads him to deep and dark secrets which no one wants to hear about. He also explores his sexuality and begins to question the reason for his sacrifices. The leadership doesn’t want anyone to know things Taman has started asking.

The author explores many human world problems like religion, politics, economy, sexual identity, and technology through the alien world. The characters and their responses are eerily human but being in a different world creates an estrangement with the readers. This book is a deep dive into the psychology and philosophy of the human mind. I felt that, at times, the author’s explanation of the psychology of humans was lost in the story’s narrative or just confusing to understand. The cultural hegemony of our world has been shown, and capitalism has been questioned. The protagonist is an outsider, enabling him to question and look at these from a fresh perspective rather than blindly follow them. This book is fiction wrapped in ideological and realistic problems that plague our world.

The author brings out a lot of contemporary issues through the story. I liked the subtle yet firm way the author establishes the parallel between our world and this fictional world. The writing style is captivating, and the plot engages with enough dialogues and actions. So many contemporary and chronic issues of our world have been represented without any solution.

To Those, We Found is a riveting young adult science fiction novel for teens who want to read action-filled and engaging plots and for people who want a philosophical look at the world in their readings.

Pages: 389 | ASIN : B09MNS6J4V

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There Is No Perfect Way To Exist Or Heal

Author Interview H. Noah

Bluebird At My Window follows two lawyers as they work through the traumatic facts surrounding the case while dealing with their own. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It’s funny, the start of Bluebird actually started in a creative writing class back in college around 2011. A writing prompt had us draw a color and an animal, then create a story from that pairing. I drew blue and bird and started writing the letter from Ann (the letter that shows up during the trial in the book). From there the idea for Arthur sprung up and for a while the story was just his. But overtime I added more perspectives until I had four of the five (Arthur, Richard, Marie, and Maddie).

It wasn’t until I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath that the real focus of the book came to me (mental health and processing trauma) as well as the importance of Diane’s story. As soon as I finished reading The Bell Jar I wrote the majority of Diane’s perspective and revisioned the story to better reflect the new direction of the book. I had already been building to the main focus of the story without realizing it but still needed to fine tune certain aspects.

This book is chilling and emotional. What drew you to the genre of dark contemporary and psychological fiction?

I think it drew itself to me to be honest. I’ve always been fascinated by the human mind, why people decide to do the best and worst things and what drives those decisions. For me the human experience is rarely black and white or just good or bad, so it was important to me to show the greys within my characters. To bring understanding to each without glorifying their more hurtful actions or decisions. When the focus of Bluebird became clear I let myself drift into the worst and best within each of them and when I finished writing I realized these two genres was where I ended up.

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

It was important to me to highlight the individuality in responses to both mental health and trauma as well as unique lived experiences For each character. I gave my full attention to each with research, even if it covered topics that I had some background in. I also had several sensitivity readings done on the overall content with more focus on characters with lived experiences I did not have personal insight into in order to make the characters as realistic as possible.

In the end I was hoping readers would be able to find a character they connected with or have a part of the story speak to them. Something that could make them feel less alone and see that there is no perfect way to exist or heal.

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

The main project I’m working on is a Queer Historical Fiction which focuses on found family, finding comfort in your own skin, and the idea that soulmates aren’t always the people you fall in love with but the people who help you fall in love with yourself. Unfortunately the research for the project is proving to be more intensive than I first thought and will likely take more time to complete.

I am working on a second project in the meantime which I believe I can get out sooner. It is an Urban Fantasy with Horror elements. In short it will be Sapphic and about defying destiny, though as I have just started working on the first draft exact details are hard to pin down since they may still change. I’m hoping to publish it sometime in the fall of next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When faced with trauma, how would you react?

Would you survive, succumb, or lose yourself to your own meaning of justice?

Ann was only seventeen when she died. She tried to be a dutiful daughter, to pray, to repent. But it wasn’t enough. Her mother, Diane, didn’t mean to kill her but when she found Ann consorting with devils, she had no choice. She believed the angels—that in the end, the water would save them both.

But every choice holds weight.

One death, and Arthur is thrown back into the work he wanted to leave. One death, and Richard must face the reality of his choices. One death, and Maddie and Marie are confronted with the hardest parts of love.

If only good intentions were enough to keep them from the carnage of their own decisions . . .

A dark contemporary fiction drenched in blood, this debut novel from H. Noah has an intricate true crime feeling with psychological depth.


Content WarningThe following book centers around processing trauma. Please be aware that it will touch upon such topics as violence, sexual assault (not overly descriptive), racism, microaggressions, misogyny, incest, and homophobia. This book also focuses on mental health and will cover depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal ideation, hearing voices, religious fixations, delusions, self-harm, and drug abuse.
This book is dark due to the topics covered. This is not a horror or thriller meant to scare you. Please be kind to yourself and put the book back if you are not in a good place to read any of the things mentioned above.

Blood Thinners 

Blood Thinners starts with a great first line that immediately hooks readers and throws them right into the storyline. Detective Mina Summers, the daughter of the leader of the organization known as SHAP (Supernatural Human Accountability Partnership), is just one assignment away from becoming Regional Director for the agency. Should she obtain this position, she will be the youngest one in the agency’s history. There is nothing and no one that will stand in her way. That is at least until she receives her one last assignment.

Detective Summers’s final assignment is to look into a celebrity-endorsed retreat that guarantees weight loss permanently. SHAP finds this claim suspicious, especially in light of the increased number of cases involving rogue vampires randomly making attacks. Mina and her partner Jake are anxious to wrap up this case and move on. However, the Vice President and daughter of Thinner CEO, Carma, might have other ideas.

Mina is the leading lady in this story, and even though she is a bit standoffish, you cannot help but love her character and the character she becomes. Novak does an excellent job of character development, not just with Mina but with all the characters in the book. Sebastian is Mina’s ghost roommate who is obsessed with the movie Titanic. Jake is Mina’s SHAP partner and best friend. He is the level-headed one of the two and tries to keep Mina grounded.

While reading Blood Thinners, I was reminded of the writing style of Lauren Weisberger, i.e., The Devil Wears Prada, and shortly into the book, there is a comparison of the CEO to Miranda. This familiar writing style is engaging, draws readers into the action, and builds attachment to the characters.

Blood Thinners is a fast-paced romantic mystery with LGBTIA+ characters. With excellent and robust world-building, readers will be able to escape into the world created and experience a love story that is heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Pages: 303 | ASIN : B09CK8GHTH

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Requiem 

Requiem is BJ Taylor’s riveting continuation of The Borderland Mysteries, a fantastic crime fiction series portrayed in a unique format. Suspicious activity is occurring yet again around the territorial border. It’s up to U.S. Federal Marshal Gabriella Zamora and her team to investigate and uncover the mystery, protecting the civilians with value and honor.

A series of murders have been recorded: young Mexican women are being viciously murdered by a possible serial killer creeping into the area of the maquiladoras near the border. The industry of the maquiladoras is very important to the U.S.’s economy, bringing a new dimension to the problem at hand. Again, the team is involved in the investigation of a crime that could have relevant political and economical implications. This time the crime seems riskier and poses a real danger to the team: will they find out the truth behind everything without suffering any damage?

One of the most intriguing elements of this book is Gabriella Zamora’s team. They are diverse and unique, each of them bringing something new and different to this enthralling story, thus turning it into a very dynamic and gripping narrative. Through this series, the attachment to the characters continues to grow progressively, showing true potential for future books. The plot presented is a little more complex than in the first book as the crimes become more serious. However, the characters’ charm makes the whole plot an adventure worth following.

There is tension and a true sense of mystery that keeps the reader captivated at all times, flying through every page. This is not your typical mystery series though, there are creative elements in the story that make it stand out from the conventional books of this genre. One of these elements is the connection with spirituality that some of the characters have, each of them remaining faithful to their culture and illustrating in a beautiful manner the spiritual aspect of peoples’ lives on the border. The author has portrayed these spiritual beliefs in a respectful and beautiful manner.

Requiem is a suspenseful mystery novel that will draw readers in from the start. Diversity, culture, family, and strange enigmas are key elements in this stunning book. This is a thrilling crime adventure with a compelling plot that deals with friendship and morals; perfectly balancing the good and the bad of humanity.

Pages: 159 | ASIN : B09VWG44ZT

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Hallelujah

Hallelujah by BJ Taylor is the first book of the Borderland Mysteries, a beautifully engaging story surrounding culture, justice, and humanity. U.S. Federal Marshal for Texas, Gabriella Zamora, is needed to find out what really happened in a car accident that caused the death of one Border Patrol Agent and the severe injury of another. Theories and unfounded rumors are spreading as the President of the United States see this event as an opportunity to boost his campaign against illegal Mexican immigrants. Even though no one knows what really happened, people are starting to believe that the agents were purposely killed by immigrants near the border and see this occurrence as a danger to national security that needs to be addressed immediately.

Gabriella Zamora and her team are willing to work on this task and find the truth behind the brutal accident, committed to protecting immigrants from falsehoods exposed on social media by certain political agencies. This realistic book deals quite accurately with the way our current world uses politics and distorts the truth to fit a given agenda. Serious themes such as racism and homophobia are dealt with respect and in a delicate way that exposes how cruel and inhuman it is to declare war on a group of people based solely on who they are or where they come from.

The plot is presented as a mystery that needs to be solved. We follow the assigned crew as they interview people and follow clues, trying to figure out what happened. The characters are diverse and have very distinct personalities. The culture that is part of the borderland territories is an important aspect of this gripping book and is showcased beautifully. Different elements such as spirituality, art, and culture are displayed quite freely, giving the story some uniqueness and creativity. Parts of the book are also centered around the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, which was a unique approach that worked well with the story.

When the world of politics pervades everything, Gabriella Zamora and her team seem to know their job is to remain grounded, staying connected to the natural world and their culture as they devote their lives to protecting humans and fighting for justice.

Hallelujah is a fast-paced short story, easy to read, and leaves readers wanting to figure out what new mysteries will be brought to light in the second book. This political thriller covers realistic situations and relevant topics to the world today.

Pages: 98 | ASIN : B09VC6L3HY

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Mammoth Drop: Murder, Mammoths, and Mimosas

Mammoth Drop – A paleontological site that is home to an abundance of ancient Mammoth fossils. Upon the request of her old friend Harry, Kea Wright embarks on a trip to the treasured site for sightseeing. But Kea’s visit soon takes an unfortunate turn as she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. Unable to fathom who could be culpable for such an atrocious crime she extends her visit to expose the killer. Kea realizes that just like the depth of the entities of the Drop, this murderer will only be exposed by digging deep into the past.

Mammoth Drop by R.J. Corgan explores the concepts of extinction with Kea Wright a geologist determined to excavate the secrets buried in this archeological site. On this journey, she attempts to narrow down the murder suspects but endangers herself by being right in the killer’s sights.

Award-winning author R.J. Corgan delivers vivid details with brilliance; the characters are well articulated and authentically reflect raw emotions. The idea of experiencing a mystery in an unfamiliar but fascinating locale stimulates the interest of the reader from inception. The author is adept at merging historic facts with creative fiction elements to present an enthralling narrative. Similar to how paleontologists strive to build connections while extracting fossils, Corgan’s novel give readers an exciting opportunity to connect dots and unmask the mystery.

This book takes readers on a riveting scientific expedition. A perfectly encapsulated read for cozy murder mystery genre enthusiasts who like playing detective in a story that will leave you with an adrenaline rush. Corgan often places his readers in extraordinary sites that exude adventure. I would highly recommend Mammoth Drop to readers looking for a paleo history fiction novel that reflects on the meaning of life.

Pages: 235 | ASIN: B09TRNTPCF

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