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That SOB Deserved That!

Gary Hickman
Gary Hickman Author Interview

The Light Reapers follows an elite team on a mission to rescue a scientist while battling hordes of zombies. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I initially wrote the story during COVID and I was thinking about how the zombies were created. As I thought through different options, the media kept saying CORONA Virus and that stuck with me. For my first book, I wanted to write something that I was familiar with but also wanted to have fun with it. I have always loved zombies since I first saw Dawn of the Dead (the original). Zombies and the military seemed like a good combination. I mean, plenty of people had done it before successfully, so why not me? There are actually quite a few events in the book that were based on real life. The fighting, the tactics used, the interactions between some of the characters all had a significant influence on what I wrote. There are a few of the characters who are based on real people I served with. I obviously removed the enemies and put in the infected, changed the names and locations due to counterintelligence reasons, but most were still based on truth.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene in the story did you have the most fun writing?

Chapter 19, the scene with Randy. I didn’t like writing the situation so much, but the end result I had quite a bit of pleasure writing. Something in most books that aggrivates me is the vilan causes all this pain and suffering only to be shot dead to fall off a building. I wanted there to be some moments in the book where people said, “Yeah!”, that SOB deserved that!

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

Brotherhood of the soldiers. Acceptance of the others whowere not originally part of the team. Retribution on those who chose to do evil, even though the apocalypse was on them. Just shows some people’s true character. I wanted to show that even though there lies no obligation to people, they stucktogetherand made a life as best they could.

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

I am working on the sequel to The Light Reapers, this one is “The Light Reapers: Fight for a New Beginning”. The book is about 80% complete as far as writing. Then comes the editing. I could have done much better on the editing of the first book, so I am hiring a professional to edit the second book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Light Reapers are a Special Operations Unit who had served numerous campaigns together. They were an expertly trained and elite group, but could they ever prepare for what was to happen next.
Under a shroud of darkness and maliciousness, a viral weapon was being produced by an alliance of terrorists bent on the destruction of their respective enemies. When double-crossed by an ISIS faction, the viral weapon is stolen and prematurely unleashed on the planet.
Now facing a worldwide epidemic, The Light Reapers are deployed to rescue a scientist who may be able to develop an antidote. If that wasn’t difficult enough, they also must track down the ISIS faction and eliminate them. All while battling hordes of the infected.

Burn The Sky: Part One: Hope

Burn The Sky: Part One: Hope by [Lee Breeze, Amanda Breeze]

Burn the Sky: Part One Hope, is the first book in a post-apocalyptic series written by Lee and Amanda Breeze. The story is full of action, has a charming young protagonist and a richly described setting.

Eight-year-old Jayne Doe is the main character in this story. Thrust into an unfamiliar world, she has lost the people she loves and the home she is happy in. She has to quickly develop from a naïve eight-year-old to a girl mature beyond her years. Jayne’s character is methodically developed and feels very authentic. Although she works hard to develop survival skills and listen to her guardian, she is equally interested in normal eight-year-old activities such as reading novels and watching the ‘visiontube’. Along her journey Jayne meets many people, including her ‘guardian’, whom she becomes close to. There are also other characters central to the story including Sage Solon and Gaius, however although they are interesting and have a vital part are not as fully described and developed as Jayne.

The setting is an integral part of this story. From the dull and cold feeling buildings of Gotthard to the refugee camp Hope – full of destitute shacks but warmed by care and compassion. The authors do a fantastic job of describing each setting, their vivid descriptions provide an interestingly sharp contrast from sterile and dull, destitute shacks and the leafy greens and bright colors of the forest. All of the setting descriptions quickly draw the reader into the story, and make the story come alive.

Burn the Sky has an interesting structure. A map and glossary appear at the start of the book and are helpful in interpreting the story. The story is divided into thirteen chapters, that are thoughtfully titled. The story immediately draws the reader into it, as Jayne is rescued from the burning world around her. The story then follows her journey as she is transported to new homes, and a new family. Interwoven in her journey are chapters told from other perspectives and points of view. Although these are interesting, the different narrators and numerous characters left me confused at times.

Burn the Sky, Hope is a riveting science fiction novel with an intriguing main character and an alluring plot that makes this a stand out post-apocalyptic story.

Pages: 254 | ASIN: B097Z466XG

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The Rise of The OMEGA Empress

Universal Champions? intergalactic Saviours? Mysterious spy? You got it. But beware of OMEGA its powers are costly. The Rise of The OMEGA Empress: Interstellar ... , Meet our destiny and cherish. Book 2) by [moeez hatanian]

The Rise of the Omega Empress is the exciting first installment of the tale of Celia and Avalyn, twin sisters with a unique part of their DNA that has marked them forever. Celia is held by a psycho who was promised one of the twins aeons ago. However, there is more going on than a hostage negotiation. Celia and Avalyn will be thrown into a war with the mysterious and foreboding Alpha Twins. They must be careful who to trust and which steps to take. This richly-imagined science fiction novel will take the reader on many twists and turns with the sisters as they reach their full potential.

The Rise of the Omega Empress is a unique tale with its own intriguing mythology, science and physics that really makes the book feel original. The author has cleverly manipulated the laws of physics and science and adds his own spin so as to create rich and detailed worlds that feel fantastic yet believable. The addition of diverse and inspired characters also makes the story much more gripping, especially when our protagonists are placed in precarious situations. I appreciated the diversity of the characters, which are a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations. This gives the story a wonderful dimension that I was not expecting but greatly appreciated. Another noteworthy aspect of Rise of the Omega Empress is how it showcases the perseverance of life, even aboard an alien spaceship or at war. Life goes on and people have to find the good and positive things even in horrible situations as these characters do.

This space adventure is infused with creativity at every turn. There is so much to explore in this novel, and so much going on, I would have appreciated a bit more length to explore some of the more compelling aspects of the story that otherwise feel rushed.

The Rise of the Omega Empress is an action-packed romantic adventure novel that offers an imaginative perspective on alien life. This book is a light but entertaining read that will appeal to science fiction fans or anyone looking for a story with an innovative plot and alluring characters.

Pages: 154 | ASIN: B08WRTXWKG

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The Moral Dilemmas of a Character

Mike Waller
Mike Waller Author Interview

HAWK: Hellfire follows a galactic mercenary who is searching for justice on a remote colony world. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Many years ago I knew a returned soldier from Vietnam who often remarked on the regrets he had from his experiences. He had realized that the people who suffered the most from war were the innocents, the ones who neither wanted nor asked for it. When he came home he found it hard to put behind him, and found very little help to do so, and I always thought that would be a good basis for a story. My writing leans to Science Fiction and I found it easy to use that character in the Sci-Fi scenario. When I started writing Science Fiction I never intended to do Military Sci-Fi, but I seem to have lent that way. No other sub genre lends itself to exploring the moral dilemmas of a character as well.

Hawk is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Hawks journey is basically one to find his own moral foundation. From a wild childhood to the courts and then the military, he learns to become a supreme killer, at a time of life when he is ill prepared to deal with the moral and ethical consequences. There is war, and he simply does as he is commanded.

When the war is over, an older and wiser Hawk has time to look back at his life, and realizes the pain and suffering he and his kind have caused. He determines to change, but finds he cannot not escape his old self. The story follows his journey as he gradually begins to realize, identify with and respect the position of the unseen victims of war, and then divert his efforts to helping them improve their lot in the only way he knows how.

My driving force behind creating the character was very simple. Individuals like Hawk exist everywhere in the world today, and as long as wars persist and innocents die, they always will.

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

I wanted to explore the reality that war and drugs and the like affect innocent bystanders more than anyone else, and that the people behind those events, be they politicians or drug lords, don’t care.

I also have always had a problem with the way many veterans are treated when they return from war. In Australia (My home) soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were literally brought in the back door and never given the appreciation or help they deserved. They were trained to be killers (often against their will due to conscription) and were never ‘untrained’. Many of them found it hard to deal with life after war.
The human universe I created for Hawk to inhabit also gave me the chance to explore what I think the future will look like. I do not believe that our future will be a squeaky clean Galactic empire as in Asimov’s Foundation series. I expect that once we get out there, people will seek to take their own paths based on culture, religion, ethnicity and so on. The future human society will be just as fractured as it is now, sadly. However, this does give me the opportunity to create different societies on different worlds, and that is something I enjoy doing immensely.

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

I am currently writing a sequel to my Book ‘Falcon’s Call’, which has won several awards. Falcon’s Call was originally intended to be a stand alone, one of, first contact story, but I have had so many requests for a sequel that I decided to bite the bullet and continue the story. The second book will be called ‘Falcon’s Ghost’ and is based on the main character, Joe Falcon, discovering that everything he thought he knew in the first book, is false, and the reality is far stranger and much more dangerous. I hope to follow this one up with a third book, ‘Falcon’s Bane’, to complete the trilogy. Falcon’s Ghost should be out by April this year, and hopefully, ‘Bane’ by Christmas next.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sometimes, death is necessary.

Two thousand years after the Great Diaspora humanity has spread across the Orion Spur, the human domain fractured and diverse, divided into numerous small federations, empires, dictatorships and a thousand unaligned and lonely planets.
On one of those small worlds a plant grows, a weed that feeds the addiction of many and the greed and avarice of a few, and kills without favor.

Lazarus Hawk, ex-soldier and ex-mercenary, convicted of a crime of terror he did not commit, and sentenced to life on an airless prison moon from which there is no escape, has been offered a way out. It’s a chance. A good chance.

To accept the offer, all he has to do is die.

Forced to undertake a mission against his better judgment, Hawk finds himself teaming up with the locals of a small, backward world, and Abbie Renner, a young Guarda officer searching for the source of the drug Hellfire, and prepared to go to any lengths. This time she has gone too far. This time she needs help.

Can Hawk overcome the mistrust and reticence of a small colony world to accomplish the mission he has been forced to undertake in return for his life?

If you like great, classic science fiction, you will love this new work by multi-award-winning author Mike Waller, an action packed dive into the world of a galactic mercenary driven by the ghosts from his past. Grab a copy now and join Lazarus Hawk in his search for justice for a remote colony world.
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