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Polish Dragon P. I.

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

How did the idea for Death of a Bully start and change as you wrote?

It started from my previous book the “Disappearance of Marty McRory” which introduces the Polish Dragon P. I. into the story. I thought how it would be a great idea to perhaps do a series with a private investigator and to create different story lines. As I was coming up with the idea I thought how it might feel to investigate the death of an old schoolmate. Especially one who had issues in his younger years and was able to turn his life around. I had to do some research as to how private investigators work so I could make the story as believable as possible. The story line changed at the last minute when I thought how families have a hard time dealing with a member who has dementia.

What was the most interesting scene for you to write in the short story?

For me the most interesting thing was writing about the bullying that went on in the elementary school years of the characters. That I wrote from experience as I remember being bullied somewhat as a child. I could introduce martial arts training as a way to combat bullying and there are many martial arts schools that have such programs, like the Karate Institute of Cleveland. My martial arts training was later in life and I thought how that would have helped me in my younger days to defend myself.

Why did you go with the short story format instead of fleshing this out into a full novel?

It wasn’t intentional to do a short story but as I was writing it seemed like it all went together rather quickly and I enjoyed the way it turned out. There was plenty of information to keep the readers guessing and twist and turns to throw them off. My hope is that as I continue to write the stories get longer. They always seem to be shorter on Kindle then they do in a paperback version and I’m not sure why that is. But there have been some great novellas in the past such as: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling, and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. I hope that my readers enjoy the stories and I can continue to write for them and myself.

Do you plan to write more stories about the Polish Dragon P. I.?

Absolutely. I want to make it into a series if I can. I have already started a new story with the Polish Dragon investigating a case of certain women who have disappeared. A lot of my stories take place in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and this one will not be any different. I’m hoping to have it done in time for the holidays.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

A well-established attorney and philanthropist is found murdered in his bedroom without any clues. The ensuing investigation reveals a dark side to his past and perhaps the reason for his demise. His wife hires his old friend, a private investigator, to help solve the crime. The suspects rise and fall until the true killer is revealed.

The Future of Galactic Humanity

Blair Wylie Author Interview

Tube Survivors follows a group of people who found New Earth but run into problems building their idyllic society. What was the inspiration for the setup to this novel?

It was fun to ponder how ten-thousand Tube Dwellers would transition from life within a womb-like, totalitarian, agrarian, basically Communist system, then quickly (by necessity) through a spaceship’s command and control system, and then to life as pioneer’s on a new and dangerous planet. Their leaders know Earth’s history, and they believe capitalism ultimately led to many problems. They build on the non-monetary, resource-sharing system they experienced in Tube World. They have to completely model their growing and vastly different economy with a very complex Resource Allocation Plan. In many respects, the leaders function as the Intelligentsia in the Soviet Union, or the Second Foundation in Isaac Azimov’s Foundation series. The Second Foundation works in secret to refine predictions of the future of galactic humanity based on mass-psychology, and targets areas for surgical intervention to improve the outcome. The leaders of New Earth share their economic modelling and elaborate, continuously-updated, computer-based plan with the general population, and hope their involvement will motivate them to help make it all work. In other words, the leaders of New Earth believe most people are good and intelligent, and want to live in an orderly, nurturing society where no one tries to selfishly get ahead. They are naïve, but well-intentioned. In contrast the leaders of the Soviet Union believed peasants and workers were incapable of understanding the running of a country, suppressed and controlled what was made public, and ruled with an iron fist.

The survivors tackle many moral issues when creating their society. What were some ideas you wanted to explore in this book?

The Tube Survivors believe capital punishment to be abhorrent, but struggle to agree on a humane alternative. They try banishment, similar to what the British tried with Australia, and the French tried with French Guiana. Their first test case is a psychopath named Harvey, and it does not go well. Harvey exploits an indigenous, humanoid tribe with the intent of inflicting revenge on the human society that rejected him. The Tube Survivors also want to remain ‘green’ and eco-friendly. They want to avoid the use of coal, oil and gas, but also know this greatly constrains their economy and quality of life. Like us, they struggle with issues that may not have a simple answer. In other words, I am suggesting that moral issues will never leave us.

What were some questions you kept asking yourself when writing this novel?

How would human beings actually establish a civilization on another planet? Is it as easy as many sci-fi novels and movies suggest using the fantasy of faster-than-light travel? What do pioneers need to take with them to survive and eventually thrive? What are their priorities? How do they best deal with indigenous humanoids? View them as competitors, and wipe them out? Or treat them as equals, and see if they will engage in mutually-beneficial trade?

What can readers expect in book six, Covert Alliance?

New Earth evolves into a parliamentary, monetary-based democracy. The Resource Allocation Plan basically becomes an elaborate budget. Life is good until a benevolent alien race initiates a face-to-face meeting on New Earth’s moon. The aliens ask testing questions to evaluate whether human beings are worth saving. Thankfully, they decide to alert the leaders of New Earth to an imminent threat from a malevolent alien race, one that pursues them relentlessly. The good aliens share some of their advanced technology, and a plan to combat the evil bunch known as the Masters. A fierce battle in space ensues, and then a covert attack on a Master-controlled planet using robotic spaceships and biological warfare. In other words, more traditional sci-fi stuff!

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

When a number of humans leave Tube World, their planet-like home, and move to a new and unknown planet they call New Earth, their leaders look forward to creating an idyllic new constitution that will address and rectify all the problems humans faced in their previous world.

But the Tribunal leaders, Abubakar, Ishikawa and Bahazhoni, after drawing up a working plan for their new constitution, realise that they will have to make sure that security in the form of food, and safety and assurance for all, must be the primary driver that underpins their constitution. Without safety and security, no noble ideals can or will be upheld.

So, they agree when seven people, including Captain Rasmussen, the chief engineer, Mercado the security officer, Clarke, and Fisher the scientist (plus their life partners) decide to build a boat and circumnavigate their new continent to find out what other life forms may live there, as well as conduct research into possible new and permanent food sources or find viable places for agriculture.

But no one can foresee what will transpire when Harvey, an unrepentant criminal, is turned loose to make his own way in the wilderness, banished from New Earth society.

What happens when he meets a tribe of humanoids in a village in the forest?

And how will this affect the team of scientists and researchers? What is it that they will stumble upon, a secret lost in the ancient history of this new land, that might turn out to be so deadly yet also prove so irresistible that they must investigate it?

The Calla’cara Gambit

The Calla'cara Gambit: The War Against Infinity: Book 2 by [Rob Bartlett]

The Calla’cara Gambit is a high- fantasy science fiction novel by author Robb Bartlett. It is the sequel to the award-winning novel The Turing Revolt: The War Against Infinity. Starting with the prologue, Lilith Morningstar´s plan goes awry when she is shockingly defeated and sent to an unknown planet by a powerful and mysterious man, identified as the “Chosen of the Adversary”. As she is discovered and forcibly escorted away by two individuals, she silently plots revenge against everyone who ever wronged her. Milo Sapphire finds himself in a difficult position, after being blackmailed into helping the Sentient Ships emancipate from the Empire and killing Lilith Morningstar (or so he thought), he’s aware of being targeted by three groups: the Lotus Eaters Society, the Khan of Calla´cara, and the Emperor himself. When one of his lovers is captured by the Empires ambassador, who threatens her should Milo do anything against the Emperor’s agenda; he must find a way of getting the job done before the deadline without risking the lives of his crewmembers while navigating a harsh political climate.

The Calla’cara Gambit is a space opera that combines the best elements of science fiction with elements of epic fantasy to create a consistently riveting novel. I enjoyed the detailed political and financial climate that the story exists in. I felt like these types of details made the world feel real. The story is mostly narrated in first-person through Milo Morningstar, a witty and sarcastic yet charming man who feels elevated because of his past actions, which have proven him to be the one chosen by the creator of the universe. The way the story is narrated through his point of view helps the reader form a deeper understanding of his character, his decisions, and his way of seeing the universe. Milo is cunning and therefore overconfident, which at times can be annoying but ultimately makes for a complex character and an interesting read.

The universe the story takes place in feels vast and is formed by many different worlds and planets, particularly Calla´cara, an exotic planet ruled by intelligent reptiles who seem to have their own agenda. The writing is unique, alternating between Milos first-person narration with third-person POV´S from different characters, this makes for a refreshing break from the main character’s monologue. Sometimes the mixture of genres can make the tone feel inconsistent, but that’s just a very minor concern.

The Calla’cara Gambit has a unique plot that is helped along by an engaging protagonist. Fans of Star Wars or space opera’s will have plenty to enjoy in Rob Bartlett’s dramatic novel.

Pages: 454 | ASIN: B08FWV5TBQ

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Subterfuge

Subterfuge (The Magdalena Series Book 4) by [Shannon Condon]

Subterfuge, by Shannon Condon, the fourth book in her action thriller series, is a story about deceit and betrayal. It is the story about Magdalena, a member of a black ops unit, who together with her team, is on an assignment to assassinate a Russian crime lord. However, soon they realize they are working for the enemy, and it is not a government contract as they were led to believe.

The narration is straightforward yet sufficiently descriptive to create vivid imagery. The author takes you on a visual journey with the characters and whatever they are doing. Also, I felt that there was a good balance between narration and dialogue between the characters. So, you get to see what they are saying and the emotions they are expressing while saying it.

The story is engaging and fast paced, with each chapter ending in some kind of suspense that will nudge you to read the next. A good author knows when, and how, to end a chapter.

What I liked most about the book is just when you think everything is going well, the author surprises you with an unexpected twist to the plot. At first, everything goes according to plan, almost too perfect. But this is a story about deception, so nothing is really as it seems.

Another thing I liked about this book is that you need not have read the other three that precede it in the series to understand it. The author provides flashbacks to help you understand the series arc in summary and gives a bit of background to each character. The interpersonal relationships between the characters also make the book much more enjoyable.

Subterfuge is a fast-paced story with twists that are rarely, if ever, expected. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Pages: 164 | ASIN: B08D3VB9HS

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Maryann’s Hope – Trailer

The pleasing warmth of fresh-baked maple cookies . . . the sweet, buttery flakiness of a raspberry jam pastry. In 1913 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is beloved by locals and visiting Englischer alike. And its understanding community always provides help, healing—and new chances for love.

Secrets devastated Maryanne Harding’s marriage to an Englischer—and took away her untrustworthy husband. Now the young Amish widow has found contentment cooking up treats at the bakery, raising her little girl, and comforting her ailing mother. And when Andrew Wittmer asks her to marry him, Maryanne is over the moon with happiness that she and the kind furniture maker will put down roots in her hometown . . .

Until Andrew’s uncle becomes ill, and Andrew must permanently take over his store in a town hours away. Though she would go anywhere to be Andrew’s fraa, Maryanne can’t abandon her mother—or the family that depends on her so much. And when she discovers Andrew harbors secrets of his own, Maryanne’s hard-won trust is shaken. Now, can she risk difficult choices and take a leap of faith into the loving, joyful future she longs for most?

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Soul Seeker

Soul Seeker

Soul Seeker opens with a man on death row for the murder of his son. What seems like a heartbreaking homicide with a bleak conclusion turns into a riveting supernatural tale when the man on death row tells his lawyers the truth. A demon named Crighton killed his son. This sets the tone for a novel that is equal parts grounded and gritty with a good measure of the supernatural to keep you guessing.

What I truly enjoyed about this book was the characters. Each one is meticulously developed and evolves as the story progresses. Benjamin Poe, the dedicated father, is empathetic but strong. Crighton is the stand out character, for me, in this haunting novel. He’s Lucifer’s top soul catcher and through his introduction and story line we get to explore various ideas about morality, or the perception of morality, and the dividing line between the two. As well as how choice plays into all of it. Kaylin McFarren has done an excellent job of creating a gray area that allows your mind to wander while being absolutely thrilled by the intricate paranormal story that unfolds.

What happens when a demon and an angel fall in love? As in the beginning, I was not expecting this book to pivot to a paranormal story, and then pivot again to a romance story. Kaylin McFarren has a similar literary talent to Stephen King in her ability to introduce just the right amount of mystery into a story that keeps things eerie and the tension high. Soul Seeker is an exceptional paranormal thriller that delves into the souls of humans, demons and angels. What we uncover is surprising.

Pages: 345 | ISBN: 9798665284903

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The Night And The Land

The Night and the Land is the kind of book you need to get when you come out of a massive reader’s block. The storyline is thrilling, the characters are impressive and Matt Spencer’s writing style is engaging. The author knows how to capture the reader’s interest through minute things like the description of events and details of locations. This is a story propelled forward by Sally and Rob’s characters. A unique development of characterization plays well within the confines of this gritty dark fantasy novel.

We follow the lives of Sally Wildfire and Bob among many other interesting characters. Sally’s family is not the best. They show inconsiderate at best and cruel at their worst. While running away from her family, Sally comes across a compelling young lad, Rob. Sally and Rob begin to develop a relationship that is gripping and provocative. I was fond of Rob but I liked Rob’s father even more. I was thrilled by the father’s surreptitious past and wished the author had written more about him. Reading about the characters’ families, their backgrounds and relations with each other was the most thrilling part for me in the book.

Character development is one of the best features in Mat Spencer’s writing. His style makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the plot and activities the characters engage in. The supernatural elements and the horror incorporated among the themes in the book spiced up the sometimes horrific story. The transition from somewhat real life-like setting to events in dark fantasy is magical.

The Night and the Land is an enthralling dark fantasy novel, utilizing the best parts of the horror genre to explore the depths of some captivating characters.

Pages: 362 | ASIN: B07N7T224R

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Iron Dogs

Iron Dogs follows a group of outlaws who are wounded and on the run. They seek shelter in a deserted New Mexico town. However, they soon realize that something is seriously amiss in the town. Something evil lurks in the shadows. The band of outlaws, once the ones bringing the trouble to town, are now the ones who must fight against it. Each man is tested beyond his limits. Who, if any, will survive the evil that lurks within this desolate town.

Iron Dogs book mixes horror with action and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story begins with Father Ramon, and immediately there are little tidbits that lead you deeper into an intricately woven story that continues to gain layers as the story progresses. The tone is set from the start, a blend of western thriller with modern horror. I could tell from the first page that the novel was setting a gritty and intense tone. The band of outlaws are close at first, but the challenges that lay ahead test their personal limits as well as the limits of their relationship when they must decide who will be sacrificed.

One of the characters, in particular, Virgil, reminded me of people I knew (in certain scenes) that had me feeling more invested. Especially as the book began to get creepier. One of the things that really thrilled me about this novel was the western feel that permeated the novel, reminiscent of George A. Romero’s gruesome and satirical horror films. Though Virgil was one of the characters who stood out the most to me, I enjoyed Frank’s character as well. As with any good book, the characters act the way they do because of inner motivations and characteristics, making the reader feel a connection to them. A word of warning Iron Dogs will pull you into the characters, but it takes a few chapters. They seem a bit shallow at first, but given time they develop into some intriguing characters.

Iron Dogs is one crazy good story. If you are a fan of riveting horror novels with plentiful action then Neil Chase has written a novel just for you.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07CV85D36

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