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Ice Islands – Book Trailer

Major Rake Ozenna faces dangerous choices and deadly consequences in this rip-roaring political thriller that takes you from the ice islands of Finland to the bustling streets of Tokyo via Russia and the White House . . . Buckle up, this is a thrilling ride!

Major Rake Ozenna’s mission is simple: gain access to the Kato family – Japan’s most dangerous crime empire – and stop the threat to America. But when the secret son of the Russian leader is executed and Rake’s target, Sara Kato, is implicated in the murder, a political crisis between Russia, Japan and the US is set in motion.

It’s a race to protect Sara and earn her trust whilst escaping the inhospitable terrain of the icy Aland Islands. Meanwhile, Russia wants revenge for the murder, a catastrophic move when it is revealed that Japan is not the trusted ally America thought it was.

As Rake learns the true extent of their deadly plans, he must draw on every ounce of his training to succeed. Because if he fails, it won’t just be his life that will be lost . . . the consequences will be global!

Ice Islands is the third Rake Ozenna thriller and will leave readers breathless . . . and eagerly anticipating the next heart-racing adventure!

Alien Orders

Air Force Captain Scott Ryan’s whole life changed when he spotted a mysterious craft over the night skies of the Utah desert. Alien Orders: A Science Fiction Novel is the story of a man who seeks the truth and refuses to let that truth be hidden from the human race. Fighting his way through devious government cover-ups and perilous alien subterfuge, Captain Ryan is a man on a mission–and that mission is to thwart an otherworldly threat to mankind. With the unlikely help of conspiracy theorists, dedicated military personnel, tenacious detectives, and a mysterious woman, Captain Ryan finds himself plunged into a battle for the fate of humanity.

Author Johnnie West’s Alien Orders is an old-school science fiction tale shrouded in a twisting conspiracy plot. Captain Ryan teams up with his fellow pilot, Captain Jeff Johnson, to chase down leads and investigate their strange sightings in the Utah desert. Encountering a large cast of characters, the two friends must figure out who is friend or foe as they navigate an alien plot and confront the power-hungry humans who aid them. 

Alien Orders is a quick and satisfying read with prose that is simple and straightforward. The story is more reported to the reader than experienced, which works for the blunt, military-style of writing. Chapters fly by, with action and tension rising and falling like a steady tide. After the mid-way point in the novel, the pace really speeds up. Side characters and sub-antagonists rapidly come in and out of the story offering solutions to problems and moving the storyline along. I felt that more dialog would have helped flesh out the characters. However, the overall story is tightly woven and still full of surprising twists.

Alien Orders: A Science Fiction Novel is a fantastically thrilling science fiction story. The action and drama will keep readers engaged and working right along with the characters to solve the mystery. To anyone who enjoys government cover-up stories about aliens among us, this is the book for you.

Pages: 209 | ASIN : B09PHG1QG6

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Fighting for Freedom

Stephen Alder Author Interview

Deehabta’s Song follows the life of a woman that must retrace her past to discover who she really is. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Actually, the original inspiration for the book did not have Krissa as the main character. That developed as I put together the outline for the story. Originally, I wanted to portray the Roman Empire’s conquest of Gaul and Briton as a sci-fi story set on different planets. But there had to be a central character through whom the effects of this conflict were seen. More and more Krissa’s experience became the focus of the story.

Readers get to know Krissa at the ages of 30 and 60 as she pieces together the clues of her life. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

In Krissa’s character I wanted to convey a goodheartedness and sincerity that comes through even when she is cantankerous and difficult in her sixties. She helps many people with her martial arts skills, both by defending them and by being a dedicated instructor. Her fearlessness and ferocity when she is younger, however, leads her into a confrontation with the empire. As a deeply troubled person in her sixties, her persistent self reliance makes it difficult for her to let her roommate Jo help her. The real reason for her inner strength and the belief that she can take on the empire by herself is of course the mystery that the story unravels.

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

There is the theme of fighting for freedom, drawing from the Britons’ resistance to the invading Roman Empire. The main character combines Caratacus and Boudicca. Boudicca almost defeated the empire until her rebellion was crushed and she died. Caratacus was defeated but he became assimilated into the Roman world and lived out his life. The book looks at the impact of forced assimilation. There is also the idea of what determines our identity. Our self image is a powerful force in what we conceive is our identity. In our world self image is elevated to being the only determining factor of identity. I suppose the term “identity” involves an image. But when all the images of ourself are stripped away, what are we? Nothing? Is there a core identity that is not determined by self image?

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

My next book is a sequel to Deehabta’s Song that I am titling Deehabta’s War. It goes into her beginnings in greater depth and the new conflict she faces. I hope I can have it done before the end of the year.

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Deehabta’s Song is the story of a woman’s struggle to find herself and return home. A captive who does not consciously know she is a captive, she is forced to fight external and internal foes. With the help of others, she is set free and learns to accept the person she always was, a reality that was hidden in the dark world of her own subconscious mind. A warrior from start to finish, she acts without hesitation to fight against any powerful force, be it a tyrant or the empire itself, to protect the people of her world.

Deehabta’s Song

Deehabta’s Song by Stephen Alder is a story set on the futuristic planet of ‘Erunanta,’ also known as ‘Roon.’ In a world dealing with the aftermath of an interplanetary war, the main character Krissa attempts to start again in a new city. Krissa is faced with unusual feelings and challenges while rebuilding her life. Discovering she suffers from Caderyn War Syndrome, similar to what we know as PTSD. With the help of her new friends and colleagues, she attempts to decipher what is going through her mind.

This futuristic dystopia is well thought out, and the creativity running through this imaginative story is impressive as the reader is transported to another time and place. There are also many hints made towards the back story of Krissa, which engage the reader to find out more. With each piece of information that Krissa discovers about her past, more questions come forward slowly unraveling the web of lies and misinformation she has believed.

Amongst all the fantasy elements, Steven Alder has also made the novel relatable through the characters’ everyday lives. Words such as ‘comdev’ and ‘Censtat’ have been used to enhance the feeling of being in another world; however, through their descriptions, they seem to be everyday things such as a mobile phone and the central station in a city.

The author has a wonderful imagination and spends a lot of time building out the world that the novel takes place in. There is a lot of back and forth between past AFS (After First Settlement) 3995 and present AFS 4025 as the characters work to find out what caused Krissa’s trauma. Diving into her past they discover her martial arts skills and teaching a banned style of fighting, her trouble with those in political power, and the brutalization that she must endure at their hands.

Deehabta’s Song is a science fiction dystopian thriller novel with some fantasy and supernatural elements mixed in as well. The protagonist is a strong female character that will attract readers looking for a novel that breaks away from traditional women’s roles.

Pages: 186 | ASIN : B08QHQMKML

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Serpents Underfoot

Serpents Underfoot (A Military Action Thriller) (The JD Cordell Action Series Book 1) by [D.C. Gilbert]

If you are a fan of thrilling action  adventure novels, you are going to enjoy reading Serpents Underfoot, by DC Gilbert. The story follows our hero, JD, who is a Navy SEAL K9 Handler. He and his team go to various locations during their missions in areas such as the Middle East and Asia. JD is on the trail of an international terrorist organization. His mission is to try and put a stop to their devious plans. His strategy is to use a mix of Spy Optics and martial arts .

Author DC Gilbert is an artist when it comes to leaving the reader captivated and yearning for more at the end of every chapter. Readers are treated to a good dose of action, but always with a unique buildup that always ensures the action oriented pieces have a reason, and because of this the novel feels a lot more authentic, even though it can be over the top.

The book is relatively a short but none the less engaging. I enjoyed the military jargon in the book to be spot on, never overwhelming, but enough to make you feel like you were in the middle of an actual operation. I was in the military myself, and I appreciated the descriptions of the way operations are handled in this book. They are very similar to the way operations are conducted in the military. I don’t have as much experience with K9 units, but I still felt that that aspect of the book felt authentic, and occasionally even provided some comic relief in this otherwise tense novel. Any fan of the action thriller genre will be impressed by the vivid and kinetic action within this novel.

As JD, his K9 comrade, and his Navy SEAL unit goes deep undercover to discover the secrets of this horrible terrorist organization, the story never loses focus on its characters who are consistently engaging. With multiple exotic locations throughout the novel, I always felt like the team, and the story, was on the move.

Readers who enjoy a fast paced military thriller will find plenty to enjoy in author D.C. Gilbert’s hard hitting action novel. Serpents Underfoot is a fantastic start to The JD Cordell Action Series.

Pages: 278 | ASIN: B075TDML3D

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Captive Threat

Captive Threat (The Wade Hanna Series Book 5)

You know a story is good when it makes it to the fifth installment. A story needs to be captivating, with intriguing characters and compelling action. Readers will find all of that and more in Joseph D’Antoni’s Captive Threat. This book is an addition to his ever-popular Wade Hanna series. It’s easy to see why these books have been able to sustain themselves for so long. The life that Wade leads is not typical at all. This includes his romances. Here we find a story steeped in action with heart-pounding risks and careful planning. Those who enjoy a great action-packed crime/military intelligence novel will definitely be entertained by what occurs within these pages. Where will Wade end up this time? Will he finally get to move forward in his relationship with Megan? Or will this task finally end up being too much for him?

While this is an installment in a series, it is not wholly necessary to read the previous four books. Yes, they will provide important backstory, but D’Antoni writes in such a way that a reader will not be lost. Even the complicated aspects of Wade and Megan’s relationship is not lost in this book. It is difficult to write in such a way that you can captivate newcomers without leaving them confused. A master of his craft, it is clear that D’Antoni knows what he’s doing. At first, the book doesn’t even feel like it’s about Wade at all, but about Megan. About what she is going through after her return to American soil. She has suffered an ordeal and D’Antoni takes the required time to have her move through these complicated feelings and post-traumatic experiences. This is how you capture readers.

The character development is very well planned and carefully laid out. When you have existing characters that have been carrying on for books upon books it’s easy to swap out romantic partners or close friends in favour of an exciting new character. It is clear that our author has spent the time energy required to foster and develop the relationships from existing installments. This is something not many serial authors can accomplish. Coupled with character development are the action scenes as Wade and company foray into their battlefields. Nothing feels out of place or too over the top. There is a pleasant balance between story development and a good old-fashioned fight.

If you are looking for a book that is exciting to read while giving you those complicated portrayals of human emotion then you have found what you are looking for in Captive Threat. It’s an excellent example of a crime/military novel married to dramatic elements done right. For the series to have gone on for as many installments as it has, it is clear that something is being done right here. There is even the potential for another installment into the Wade Hanna series based solely off how our adventure ends. Your heart will race for more than one reason as you devour the words in this tale. But still we are left wondering, where will Wade end up now?

Pages: 389 | ASIN: B01M3OAV36

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Typhoon of Fire

Typhoon of Fire

Typhoon by Fire by Ryan Grimbly is a fun read! We follow Ace Mcdagger, who teams up with Captain Loxwell of November squad, to rescue her teammates who are scattered in the forests of Malaysia. Three years after basic training  in combat and the use of magic, while studying monsters that roam the world, Ace and his team will be put to the test. A rogue scientist was the quarry of Captain Loxwell and remains at large. The joint effort is faced by many obstacles including psychic anomalies, scientific experiments gone awry, and a storm that threatens to consume the region…the Typhoon of Fire.

Grimbly’s writing is one that ensures good pacing. He gives us a small introduction to Ace and Shimon, two of the main characters, showing their roots of where they came from. The prose reads well and quickly, which for a novel such as this is a plus. The blend of genres is a notable factor considering I feel this fits into a military thriller, paranormal, or even urban fantasy. The book could even count as young adult with the playful elements within, but some of the language may be too intense at times for teens. The fact that this blend seems rather seamless is a good reason for any reader that likes these genres to pick this book up.

The prose is strongest with the interplay of Grimbly’s characters. Ace, Shimon, Tiffany, and Loxwell all have brilliant dialogue with one another and they feel like living characters who come off page. It is one of the reasons why I felt this book was such a pleasure to read in the first place. This along with the action that bristles in the scenes that fill most of the book, makes sure to keep the reader turning the page. The blend of military training, magic, and psychic powers may be off putting for some readers, but I think Grimbly manages to balance all of these genres surprisingly well.

Despite all of this, the book is not without some flaws, which include some of the plot and description. I won’t spoil the plot here, so I can’t say much on that front. I will say that those remarks do not mar the good points of this book. Grimbly does skimp on the description and enough that I  often became lost in some of his scenes. And as a reader there is nothing more disconcerting than realizing that you’ve lost the sense of “space” that a character or characters exist in.

With all of this in mind, the novel is a wild ride that does not let up until the end. The book is part of a series that I may check out in the future as well. I would encourage fans of urban fantasy, paranormal, and military fiction to take a dive into The Typhoon of Fire.

Pages: 474 | ASIN: B00UYRYZVE

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Gray Girl

Susan I. Spieth Author Interview

Susan I. Spieth Author Interview

Witch Heart follows Jan as she returns to West Point under a cloud of suspicion when several people are killed in unlucky accidents. What was the inspiration for this 3rd book in the Gray Girl Series?

The Gray Girl series (Gray Girl, Area Bird and Witch Heart) is mostly inspired by my experiences as a cadet at West Point from 1981-1985. Jan Wishart’s adventures are embellished, of course, but many of the events are authentic or realistic to what we experienced at that time. Being labeled a “witch,” for instance, certainly happened to some women then. Recently, we have seen examples of derogatory “labeling” used on outspoken and/or ambitious women.

The novel starts out at Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, GA. What experience do you have with the military. Anyone in your family serve?

Well, as stated above, I attended West Point in the early 1980’s. After that, I served five years as a missile maintenance officer in the Army. As part of our training, I attended Airborne School during the summer before cow (junior) year, which follows the storyline in Witch Heart. I wrote most of the Airborne School chapters based on memory. However, I cheated a little and looked at Youtube videos. I also consulted a few friends who went through Airborne training. One of my beta readers was stationed with the 82nd Airborne for a few years.

The book tackles the social issue of women serving in the military. How do you see women in the military and what is a common misconception you’ve come across?

Women have only added value to the military, as they have in all areas where they have been allowed to compete. One common misconception that seems prevalent is that standards had to be lowered for women to enter the military academies. What is surprising, however, is that ALL standards have gone up since women have been admitted. There’s probably a social-gender dynamic that might explain this reality, but physical and academic standards began to rise considerably with the admission of women cadets.

Jan is a well developed character. What were some obstacles that you felt were important for the characters development?

I wanted Jan to be a good person, but flawed. In other words, I wanted her to be authentic. I think hearing her internal dialogue (which is more prevalent in the first two books) is both an obstacle and an opportunity to bring a character to life. The reader sees her inner self, knowing her mixed emotions and the biases that she carries with her. You don’t really hear the inner voices of the other characters, but hopefully, using dialogue and actions, you get a feeling of the well-developed relationships and personalities.

Where does the story go in the next book and where do you see it going in the future?

Jan has to finish West Point. So, the final book in the Gray Girl series will be about her firstie (senior) year. She will encounter another major problem at West Point which can only be solved with the help of her friends and collaborators. This one, if I can pull it off, will involve international espionage—or something like that. I hate to say too much until it’s written because often times the book takes on a life of its own—and I never really know what’s going to happen until it does. It’s called writing.

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Witch Heart: Leadership always requires sacrifice (Gray Girl Book 3) by [Spieth, Susan I., Spieth, Susan]Jan Wishart starts cow (junior) year at West Point in Airborne School. Terrified of heights, she narrowly escapes an accident that later turns deadly for another jumper. With a third death in as many years associated with her, Jan returns to West Point under a cloud of suspicion. Ominous signs left for her to find cause Jan to lose a precious and necessary requirement for survival at West Point: sleep. With her mental state in question, a masked intruder makes nocturnal visits to her room. Or is she imagining that? Events escalate to the point of no return for Jan and her two best friends. When they swear an oath of loyalty to each other, they have no idea how much it will cost to fulfill that vow. Leadership always requires sacrifice. So does loyalty. And sometimes, one virtue must yield to the other.”

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