Blog Archives

Gaia’s Web

Gaia’s Web by Stephen Proskauer is a fascinating read. This well-developed story is told from multiple points of view throughout. Readers are first introduced to Daryl Mcintyre, a brilliant scientist with a plan that just might change the world- if he, his wife, and his team can overcome their personal drama. We also meet Alan, a stockbroker who, as of late, finds himself unfulfilled; Arthur, a young boy involved in a sect of religious separatists; and Frelko, the adviser to a brutal dictator halfway across the world. Their stories, among others, are expertly woven together in a novel that is truly global in scale.

This book has a little bit of something for everyone- from romance to political intrigue, to hard science, and even elements of the spiritual. One central theme of global climate change is handled with a degree of optimism not often seen in fiction. The prose is rich with imagery, allowing readers to visualize scenes in intricate detail. The cast of characters is both diverse and vivid- almost seeming to leap off the page at certain points. The science also clearly had a lot of thought put behind it. I appreciated a few callbacks and references to other science fiction works- the author is obviously well-versed in the genre.

I admit I found the pacing a bit off-putting in this one. It’s nothing major and didn’t impact my investment in the story, but I did notice certain scenes seemed to drag on a bit by the end. I also felt that some of the plotlines seemed a little thin, but they all did tie together quite nicely in the end.

I’d highly recommend Gaia’s Web to sci-fi fans who may be looking for a more metaphysical twist on the genre. The hard science fiction is not overwhelming, and the romance fits into the story without taking over. This fantastic novel will appeal to readers across multiple genres and have them hooked on the series.

Pages: 316 | ASIN : B00ASO5LV6

Buy Now From Amazon

INTO THE STORM

Roger Boggs is a local sheriff in Circlegold county. Haunted by past traumas, Boggs dedicates his life to policing the small town he lives in. When a group of local boys goes missing, it starts him on an investigation that will change him forever. Aided by the mysterious Sears, a major in the Air Force, they must contend with a town hellbent on serving their own kind of justice. And when one of the missing boys shows up claiming that the person they are looking for may not be of human origin, it sends Boggs on a journey into the unknown.

From the start of the first page, I was intrigued by the plot of this book. Author D.J. Adamson immerses the reader into the suspense making this one book I couldn’t put down. Being a fan of sci-fi mysteries, this book had everything from the aliens, and the interesting characters, to wondering what would happen next. I enjoyed that the author didn’t stop describing each character. Instead, throughout the chapters, she provided bits of information about the character as the story progressed. This allowed me to get to know the characters without slowing down the story.

The author seamlessly switches between characters in the chapters without confusing the reader or interrupting the flow of the story. While I kept reading, I was mesmerized and kept in suspense. The author’s descriptions of places, especially when describing the aliens, are so vivid that I was creeped out while reading. The scenes where people start disappearing also kept me in suspense, and I felt like I was alongside the characters hiding from the alien. The icing on the cake is the ending of the story; it was not what I expected, but it was even better than I expected.

I highly recommend the science fiction thriller, INTO THE STORM: Aliens Among Us to readers that enjoy the unknown and want to be on the edge of their seat.

Pages: 319 | ASIN : B092RD6Q7Z

Buy Now From Amazon

Dreams Just Became Powerful and Weaponizable

Avinash Naduvath Author Interview

Mindbender follows six people that are existing in a strange and mostly deserted town where they must figure out what has happened to them and why they are being drawn together. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My wife and brother-in-law are strong lucid dreamers. When the topic came up for the first time I was surprised at the concept and marvelled at how someone could really control dreams. My thought was how could I do this myself. When I realized it takes years of practice to really perfect and implement, I thought how a larger force like the military could use virtuosos of lucid dreaming to manipulate and extract information from unknowing civilians. Dreams just became powerful and weaponizable.

The characters are unique and interesting in this novel. 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?

I had considered one big plot and wrote all the characters simultaneously. I wanted to bring out the impact that childhood trauma has on kids and how it begins to fracture the personality. As someone (even a psychiatrist) who is treating or trying to understand more about the depth of a person’s mind, it is almost impossible to understand the true nature of damage and each action might have caused. That was how the characters came by. The different characters reflect different types of people and how they need to be handled differently to really understand and relate to them. Some parts of their personalities were plot requirements but mostly they were living the plot and building their personality.

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

Some complex themes I had to really research and look into were lucid dreaming and life with a tough childhood. I didn’t really have a tough childhood so the basis of Pogo’s dad has been my visualization of other characters and people and I had to read some really sad stories of survivors who had overcome a tough childhood. Building an evil person from some gruesome survivor stories was hard. Similarly, while both my wife and her brother were good lucid dreamers they did not know how or why they could do it or even how it could be possible so I had to understand what lucid dreaming really was and how the entire premise of a controllable dream brings limitations on world building.

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

At this point I have a brief idea on the topics I want the next book to be based on but apart from that I am building a plot now so probably in a year or so it should be done. My interests are always on topics which are least understood and have more space for imaginative inception.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

It all begins with a scream.

Pogo, a young lovable kid, wakes up to the scream and is scared that his mom has left him. Joshua a smart, meticulous boy, is disturbed by the scream and begins observing strange incidents in the world he just woke up in. Sarah, a simple senescent lady, wakes up to the scream and realizes her daughter and husband are missing.

Concurrently, a girl has been murdered at the only visible hotel in this world, and its hotel manager, Kobi, is not sure how the situation needs to be handled. There are no police around, and he teams up with Tonks, the owner of a diner, and Klaus, the owner of a supermarket, to figure out who killed the girl.

Six seemingly unrelated people embark on a journey through this vibrant, mostly deserted world, but nothing is what it seems, and this anomalous world will stop at nothing to assure the convergence of their paths.

Mindbender

What is reality? That is the question that pervades the mind of young Pogo from the outset of this twisting story. The reader is introduced to the concept of lucid dreaming, a loving mother, and an abusive father within the first few pages – before everything seems to shatter without Pogo retaining a memory of virtually anything. Where is his mother? His father? Why can he not remember his school or his best friend?

Most importantly, who is the stranger standing in his kitchen making his favorite breakfast, and what does Joshua have to do with him when he doesn’t remember much, either? Even worse, who is their neighbor, Sarah, who also has no memory of anything, including her husband, Marko, and their daughter, Julia?

Something isn’t right in this little town, but the more the inconsistencies pile up, the crazier the mystery seems to get! On the other side are the three mysterious antagonists, Tonks, Klaus, and Kobi, who have their own reasons for being in this world but may wind up collateral damage while searching for the truth.

Written from the first-person points of view of each central character in the tale, Mindbender, by Avinash Naduvath, follows several characters in a strange, vaguely unsettling world the reader quickly realizes, long before the protagonists, is actually a mental construct.

Naduvath’s writing style is intriguing and thought-provoking, and the plot itself is interesting enough to keep the reader turning pages simply to find out what could possibly be happening next. Discovering the truth about the novel’s name only comes toward the end, almost in passing, but suits the storyline perfectly. Finding out the culprit and how the said culprit is found out is a surprising and pleasantly unexpected twist.

Mindbender is a complex metaphysical hard science fiction novel that captivates readers from the opening pages. Following along as the story leads all the characters to a convergence point will have readers on edge trying to decipher the mystery of what has happened to them and their world.

Pages: 335 | ASIN : B09Y9675FX

Buy Now From Amazon

Protectors of the Light

Protectors of the Light, by Ivy Gilbert, introduces us to Hannah and Nick Hanley. Hannah is involved in a car accident and has an out of body experience. Years later, Hannah returns home after her parents deaths and runs into Nick, her twin brother. Over the years, the two had grown distant from one another and they both…have secrets. Nick, too, had an experience similar to Hannah’s. With time, Hannah and Nick realize coming clean and working together would save countless lives. But will their secrets be exposed in time, or will darkness prevail?

Protectors of the Light is a story readers of many genres will enjoy. The bond between the two siblings is explored at length in the story and is an enjoyable relationship to follow. The fact that they each have flaws but are still open to giving each other a chance is what makes the plot interesting. The supernatural element in the story is fascinating and well-crafted. Gilbert’s descriptions immerse the reader in the story and give a real sense of the characters’ surroundings and what they are feeling.

Hannah is going through the empty-nest phase of life and now wonders how best to fill her time. Nick has been searching for something that has been missing in his life for years. Their struggles are highly relatable. The author manages to weave a tale of the supernatual seamlessly with the search for a higher purpose. As the story progresses, the author expertly builds the mystery, tension, and action as the plot unfolds making this a book that is difficult to put down.

I highly recommend Protectors of the Light, by Ivy Gilbert. This thrilling supernatural read is perfect for those who are looking for a fascinating plot with well-developed characters who will help them get in touch with their spiritual side.

Pages: 229 | ASIN: ‎ B0B1JBRDBR

Buy Now From Amazon

A World of Magic and Mysticism

J.V. Hilliard Author Interview

The Last Keeper follows a young magician with the power of prophetic sight as he tries to stop the destruction of his world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I have varied inspirations for the story, but the vast majority of the worldbuilding and plot lines were a result of twenty years of playing Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role playing games.

During the planning process for the series, I was able to memorialize several of my unique campaigns and many of our characters, villains and “cryptids” and wove them into the greater story of The Last Keeper. I took inspiration from those adventures with friends and family and used it as the basis for the story. Thus, I had a built-in and battle tested geography, political system, pantheon of gods (that I refer to as “Ancients”) as well as backstories for each.

The exercise made for a ready-made world that I just needed to launch with book one.

Daemus Alaric has many challenges to overcome as a result of his prophetic sight. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The storyline of Daemus came to me in part by a set of recurring nightmares I had as a late teen, and I used some of the imagery to create the conflict between Daemus and the novel’s villain, Graytorris. In my dreams, I was visited by a similar entity to Graytorris that claimed to be a “guardian angel” of mine and was here to reward me if I followed his requests.

When I took that true-to-life experience and flung it into a world of magic and mysticism, it was easy to supercharge it into the metaphysical battle between protagonist and antagonist. I even used some “scenes” from my own nightmares, like the scene in the prologue near the placid pool shrouded in fog as the basis for Daemus and his first contact with Graytorris the Mad, in their shared dreamscape.

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

The book is a classic sword and sorcery novel, steeped in the spirit of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Dungeons and Dragons. At its heart, it highlights themes such as betrayal, struggle and duty. Betrayal in the form of a staged coup to topple the rightful king of Thronehelm; struggle in the form of a burgeoning war, but also struggles against Graytorris the Mad and his plot for revenge; and duty, in the form of service to kingdom as well as forbidden love between two main characters, Princess Addilyn Elspeth and Sir Ritter of Valkeener (racial tension).

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

Book two, known as Vorodin’s Lair, is in editing now and will be available in late summer while the third book, The Trillias Gambit is nearly done and will enter the editing process later this year. I expect it’s release around the holidays of 2022 or early 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A young boy’s prophetic visions. 

Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad. 

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.

Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil. 

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

The Last Keeper 

In author J.V. Hilliard’s The Last Keeper, the realm of Warminster is thrown into tumult with a treasonous act and flight of their powerful Keeper of protection. The sudden occupation of marauding raiders feeds into the prophetic vision from one of the last Keepers with the gift of Sight, the destruction of Warminster. However, if the vision of the young Daemus Alaric can be interpreted correctly – and in time – order in the realm might be maintained. With the aid of the seer princess, Addilyn, and the field leadership of Sir Ritter Valkaneer, a talented Longmarchers captain, Warminster is poised to defend itself against the return of the traitorous Graytorris.

This wonderfully detailed medieval fantasy tale is filled with dramatic action and adventure. The characters are well developed and easy for the reader to connect with. The story’s pace is intense and keeps you on your toes the entire time. I was always wondering what would happen next and found this book to be unpredictable.

The element of magic introduced in the initial chapter is not explored with much depth, but it is believable and helps the story progress. Hilliard expounds on the hierarchies of race, status, and class in each of the sub-worlds that the three principal characters inhabit, adding an intriguing background to the characters in the story. There is a large cast of characters introduced, lending to the epic feel of this fantasy story, but I felt that they were hard to keep track of at times, even though each character does play an important role in the story. It never becomes clear who will spearhead the overall defense against Graytorris’ encroaching threat to the realm, but it is patently evident that there is more to come in what is sure to be a compelling series.

The Last Keeper is a riveting epic fantasy novel. Readers will find the non-stop action and adventure as the characters all come together from their separate worlds to be invigorating. This opening book to the series will really grab the attention of readers who enjoy metaphysical fantasy.

Pages: 419 | ASIN : B09NB2L871

Buy Now From Amazon

Becoming Truitt Skye: The Cave of Souls

Becoming Truitt Skye: The Cave of Souls by Adrea L. Peters continues the tale of the beloved Truvie Tucker like you would never imagine. We follow Truitt as she adjusts back to her life in The City on The Sea and copes with the death of her human self. Her acquaintances in The City on The Sea struggle to help our beloved Truitt perform the tasks she was called to do. It’s a classic spirit versus human realm tale that features real-life themes of depression and grief. Adrea L. Peters weaves us a mystical tale with wise messages strewn throughout.

First and foremost, I want to commend the author for writing about depression and grief in such a creative manner. We need to see more novels on the shelves portraying real-life human emotions in an artistic light.

The plot for this engaging novel was interesting, and I would love to see what else Peters comes up with. Peters’ writing is detailed when it comes to descriptions, so I was able to clearly picture the characters in my mind along with the surroundings. The author details what the characters look like, giving readers a chance to really visualize them. I was given a clear idea about where each soul was in time. The dialogue was easy to follow, and the conversations felt authentic and intriguing as I found Truitt to be a charming character. Not only did the conversations between characters flow smoothly, but they felt natural. I was immediately taken on an adventure alongside Truitt, and I found this book hard to put down.

Becoming Truitt Skye: The Cave of Souls is a teen and young adult novel that tackles some complex topics that teens deal with positively. The exciting fantasy story will captivate readers with action and adventure while exploring the magical realm of The City on the Sea.

Pages: 376 | ISBN : 0645015571

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: