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Control Over Life And Death

Ken Stark Author Interview

Miracle Man follows an average man and librarian who discovers he has a unique gift to heal people and resurrect the dead. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Most of my writing pits one or more people against an outside force. I drop ordinary, everyday characters into an impossible situation and watch them squirm. With Miracle Man, I wanted the battle to be internal. I wanted to see what it would take to turn a good man into not just a bad man, but into a monster. What better way to do that than by giving him power?

By granting Elijah control over life and death, I knew it would only be a matter of time before he started to think of himself as beyond human, meaning he would have little regard for mere mortals. And by giving him the very powers that Jesus was purported to have, the contrast between good and evil couldn’t have been more stark. Plus, I got to have fun stirring up some controversy with some of Elijah’s sermons.

Did you plan the tone and direction of the novel before writing or did it come out organically as you were writing?

I always go into a story knowing the main plot points I want to hit, but I leave myself the freedom to get there in whatever way feels right at the time. I fully intended Elijah to become bad, but honestly, he surprised me with just how far he fell, and how quickly. I generally start each writing day going over what I had written the day before, and there were times when I thought that I had gone to far and should probably dial it back. On those occasions, I would remind myself that that had been my intention from the beginning, and I would let it stand. Of course, I then had to outdo myself in the next chapter, so the plunge continued.

What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?

My answer to both questions is the same. Elijah Zion. Once Milton adopted the persona of Elijah Zion, he became immensely interesting. It was a joy to write scenes of him performing literal miracles while at the same time lecturing the faithful on how ridiculous it was to have faith. There was a dichotomy there that was a lot of fun to play with. I also loved those deep dives into his psyche, seeing how he could justify his actions so seemingly rationally.

The most difficult scenes to write were when he was stroking his ego by doing some pretty despicable things to his human playthings. I drew the line at harming children in any way, but those scenes were challenging to depict in an honest and realistic way.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when can your fans expect it to be out?

The next book in the Stage 3 series should be out by spring of 2023. It is called ‘Stage 3: Delta’, featuring our familiar cast of characters along with others who will have larger roles to play later on. And hopefully by the end of the year there will be a new standalone, as yet unnamed, about a man who may or may not be losing his grip on reality.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

THERE’S EVIL…. AND THEN THERE’S HIM.

Miracle Man: The Rise of an Anti-Christ by horror master Ken Stark might be the most horrifying portrayal of mankind’s inner demons ever written.

Milton Fisk was a good man, once.
Then came the day when he discovered his gift.

He can heal with a touch.
He can resurrect the dead.

Now known as Elijah Zion, Miracle Man, he is worshipped by billions. Kings and presidents bow before him. He is the most powerful man on Earth.

But it is not enough…

There was only one other man in history with Elijah’s powers, and Elijah Zion hates Him with a passion.
He will show the world the impotence of their false god.
He will open their eyes to the lies they’ve been told.
He will free the world from the teachings of the Jew.
He will snatch his victims’ souls from the light and bring them back to life, just so he can kill them again… to spite Him.

Once he has grown powerful enough, he will grab the Jew from the heavens and cast him into a body that has long since turned to dust… and it will be as if the accursed Nazarene had never existed.

He will tear down the old gods if it takes him an eternity, and from that day onward, the world will know only the name, Elijah Zion.

Milton’s best friend from boyhood and the woman he once loved are the only ones who know the truth. They have vowed to stop him, but do mere mortals stand a chance against the Miracle Man?

Healer. Killer. Blasphemer. Anti-Christ. Evil Incarnate.
Elijah Zion, Miracle Man.

Prepare for horror that will reach deep into the darkest corners of your psyche. Whether you’re a believer or not, Miracle Man will make your flesh crawl, as Ken Stark reveals the face of TRUE EVIL in this disquieting story.

*** WARNING ***
NOT for devout Christians.
NOT for the squeamish or sensitive.


ALSO by KEN STARK:

THE STAGE 3 SERIES

Stage 3: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Thriller
Stage 3: ALPHA
Stage 3: BRAVO
Stage 3: CHARLIE
Billy the Kid (A Stage 3 Short Story)

HORROR NOVELS
Gaia’s Game
Arcadia Falls

SHORT STORIES
Born of the Dark
Horrible Little Nasties
Jitters
Killing Joe Prince
Dead Weight
Who’s Going to Feed Johnny?

Raise the Dead

A doctor who happens to also be a necromancer named Emilio finds himself in the presence of his queen, but she is no longer alive. Queen Marisol has been murdered. Her spirit finds its way to Emilio, so she can finally be at peace. First, however, the truth must come out to those nearest to her as someone, or something, is impersonating her.

Raise the Dead by Tony Fuentes and C. S. Kading takes readers on an adventure that Emilio is unsure of, but he is willing to do anything to help his queen. The pair encounter skeptics of his work, shades, and other undead creatures as they search for a way to help Queen Marisol uncover the truth and share it with those nearest to her. However, during this time, unexpected feelings are growing between Emilio and Marisol.

The authors have created a unique, riveting dark fantasy novel with a slow-burn romance. The chemistry between the two main characters is subtle and sets readers up for a more extended storyline beyond this one novel. I found myself anxious to get to the moment when they would finally be together. The slow pace works with the story, as there is more at stake than love. The narrative and plotline flow smoothly, giving readers a complete picture of what is happening. Bringing the truth into the light comes off as the story’s focus and romance complement it perfectly.

Raise the Dead is a gripping dark fantasy and paranormal romance novel that takes readers into the world of necromancers. With richly developed characters, magic and adventure, there is something for readers of all fantasy to enjoy. This novel has a lot of potentials to be a fantastic series. I look forward to seeing how Tony Fuentes and C. S. Kading develop this budding romance.

Pages: 243 | ASIN : B0BKJP16PX

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Miracle Man

Who would have ever thought a pure and wholesome love would awaken something so vile and hideous? Milton Fisk was a kind, plain librarian at the library down the street who’s had a crush on his best friend’s sister, Debra, for years. All he ever wanted was to live by Debra’s side, doing the most mundane things and loving her forever. But things changed when one day, he stumbled upon an incredible power that he knew not the origin of. After that, everything seems to be going fine until one bad decision after another, greed and rejection later. Suddenly the plain librarian down the street was no more. Now he wants to make the world forget about the powerful man from Nazarene and put into action his plan for a new world. He’s willing to go to any length to accomplish his goals, whatever it takes.

Miracle Man by Ken Stark is a dark fantasy horror novel revolving around a man who came to wield such incredible power the world had only read about in books. Milton Fisk, his longtime sweetheart, Debra, and his best friend, Frank, were unsure what to do about this great power. Until Frank came up with a brilliant idea to utilize this newfound power to earn them a fortune. Milton’s love and devotion for Debra kept him on the right track, not losing sight of his true self amidst attention and money. However, one bad conversation later and Milton slowly began to slip away.

Author Ken Stark has written a gut-wrenching horror fiction story. Miracle Man had me on a roller coaster of emotions. At first, it was all roses and sunshine, and then the light switched, and everything became darker, appalling…yet intriguing. The character development of Milton, now Elijah Zion, is intense and mindblowing. Readers can follow the protagonist’s vile thought process and still be shocked and horrified. The change and progression in this character will keep readers on edge and glued to the pages as his devious plot unfolds and mere humans are left to try and stop him.

Miracle Man is a gripping horror novel that takes readers into a spiritual battle that will alter human existence. Ken Stark has written characters that readers will love and hate, but one thing is for sure, they will not forget them. This work of art was unapologetically flawless. Therefore, I recommend this book to dark fantasy and horror-loving readers. The author holds nothing back, and the book contains graphic sexual violence and gory scenes that are intended for mature readers.

Pages: 324 | ASIN : B0B9YTYX35

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Divine. Messy. Human. A Spiritual Guide to Prioritising Internal Truth over External Influence

Divine. Messy. Human. is an excellent work of art that covers the broad spectrum of what it is to be human. The book’s title should give the reader advanced notice that you’re in for a ride on the rollercoaster that is quite honestly “Us” or what we call “being human.” Though this book speaks to what we might call the “human condition,” it really is quite spiritual in its constitution and meaning, with the understanding that spirituality isn’t something that one needs to aspire to. Instead, this book speaks to the spiritual and the physical, or the manifest world as one and the same, and that we need only align our Higher and Lower Selves to take full advantage of our Divine Humanity.

The absolute beauty of this book, Divine. Messy. Human. It is about a subject that eludes most people: “As within, so without.” Whenever the said subject is approached, the average person automatically assumes a posture of spirituality, thinking they need to “straighten up and fly right.” The problem is that this way of thinking often steers us in the wrong direction regarding our most beneficial path in this life.

Amanda Kate has done an outstanding job of taking the human experience and removing the “mysticism” or “spiritual materialism” from the equation. The way she brings the subject matter into the realm of “everyday folk” that can be understood by the individual as she lays out her views of what it means to be human, not from the elevated platform of a titled position, but from a first-hand, honest “human” perspective.

If there were one negative thing I could say about this book, that one thing would quite possibly be the most positive aspect of the entire work, which is the fact that we are very messy as humans, a fact the author drives home by laying “herself” bare in as an example. This self-help book is filled with the message of self-acceptance and self-empowerment. It is a must-read for those that want to take control over their lives and live with peace in their heart and souls.

Pages: 197 | ASIN : B0B1M7FG1L

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The Day-today Demands of Reaping

Jon Smith Author Interview

The Fifth Horseman follows two people who are caught between living and death and are given the role of reapers to try and prevent the End Times. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Despite the prevalence of imagery that depicts Death as fearsome horseman with a singular determination to end lives, I always wondered what he might do at the weekend, or if he went on holiday… that initial idea spawned into, ‘what if Death suddenly couldn’t keep up with the day-to-day demands of reaping’? Enter Mark and Emma, two people who should be dead, but aren’t… which ultimately led to the narrative dynamo of the novel – what happens when Death takes on two human assistants?

Emma and Mark are unexpectedly cast into the role of reapers and have to come to terms with their new role in the world. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I think fish out of water stories are an interesting way to explore the human condition. In the case of Emma and Mark they’re suddenly faced with a new, and frightening, reality – the afterlife – and I wanted to see how they might fare.

Emma and Mark are diametrically opposed in terms of what they want to achieve. I wanted to explore how they might learn to work together to benefit themselves, each other and ultimately the world.

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

I think the theme of death is still quite taboo and therefore, in my opinion, lends itself to comic fantasy.

Whilst the book doesn’t shy away from themes surrounding life and death, as the story progresses it reveals itself to really be about friendship and love through the central relationship between the two lead characters.

Their journey is not just one of survival against the odds, but a means of testing and tempering this central friendship.

At its core it’s a celebration of life dressed up as fantasy adventure about death.

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

I’m just putting the finishing touches to my debut YA gothic horror/fantasy novel entitled THE ARB which will be published by Balkon Media in May.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Internationally published bestselling author Jon Smith makes his adult debut with The Fifth Horseman, a modern light-hearted fantasy that rides roughshod over established mythology and the rules of life… and death.

The Fifth Horseman is a darkly comic tale of two thirty-somethings caught between our world and the afterlife, who must embrace their role as reapers to prevent the End Times. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Father Ted, perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Terry Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman.

Death is just a day job you can’t quit…

Emma and Mark had a bad day. The worst part of it was dying. But, according to Death, the Rider on the Pale Horse and first horseman of the apocalypse, things aren’t that simple. Turns out the sand in their hourglass is stuck in place. Somewhere between life and death, they’re put to work as Death’s assistants, reaping the souls of the living until it’s time for their final clock out…

To compound matters, despite their omnipotence, the four horsemen are facing an existential threat – one they’re ill-equipped and ill-prepared to combat. They’re suddenly getting old, weak, and succumbing to illness. What has brought on this uncharacteristic frailty? Does Charon, the ferryman of the River Styx, have more up his sleeve than just the coins proffered by the dead to secure passage to the afterlife? And why do you never see baby pigeons?

Emma and Mark must reap like their afterlives depend on it, to help prevent the End Times – even if it means scuppering the one opportunity they have at being granted a second chance at life.

Filled with humour, romantic tension, and suspense, Jon Smith utilises a witty, lightly sarcastic ensemble of flawed but loveable characters. It will appeal to mainstream fantasy readers and hopeless romantics, as well as those who enjoy a good story, a good laugh, a few tears, and a happy ending.

My Life Living Beyond The Veil Life As A Medium – Book Trailer

Some of us are born with a gift. A rare insight into the hidden world the rest of us cannot see. It is here, in the mind’s eye where another reality plays out. The world of the supernatural and paranormal surround us and only a special few have the ability to pierce the veil.

Forget what you’ve seen in movies and shows. Forget the violent nature so often portrayed for the shock of it. This is the real world, where the unexplained runs rampant, and brave men and women step forward to use their gifts to help others.

My Life Living Beyond the Veil: Life As a Medium is the powerful true story of one medium’s journey into the unknown. See how she came to accept her gifts and learned how to use them for the greater good.

Her story is filled with suspense, mystery, and enough of the supernatural to make your hair stand on end. This powerful book exposes a side of life that so few of us encounter. Growing up, she thought she was different. Frightened and confused, she eventually learned to control her gift, and accept it for what it truly is.

Now, as part of the Hecate Paranormal Group, she and those like her go from scene to scene in the hopes of understanding the supernatural and delivering peace to those who need it most. The journey has been long, and seldom easy, but her story is one that needs to be told.

Welcome to the fascinating world of the supernatural and those who confront it every day. Welcome to the other side of the veil.
My Life Living Beyond The Veil Life As A Medium, available now on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.

Requiem for a Queen

Kaylin McFarren, indeed, has one of the most vivid imaginations of any author I have ever read. Requiem For A Queen is filled with dark imagery, layered plot twists, and many multi-faceted characters that keep the reader’s mind engaged and turn pages as fast as you can. In addition, this colorful story of the war between Heaven and Hell is laced with themes of friendship, love, birthright, and the devotion between mother and son.

We are introduced to the main character, Samara, as she has escaped from Hell and gives birth to her son, the secret son of Lucifer – ruler of Hell. She is all alone in a cave in the woods as demon soldiers search for her while giving birth. With the help of a shapeshifter, sprite, and soldier, she is on a quest to keep her son, Papillon, out of harm’s way from Lucinda. His sister, the heir to the throne of Hell, wishes to remain the heir and is threatened by the birth of her brother. Samara’s only wish is to protect Papillon, who has unique powers, and give him a happy life. However, after Lucinda steals Papillon and hides him away, Samara is forced to confront Lucifer and confess that he is the father, her only chance to save her son from the sister who wants him dead. 

I found Requiem for a Queen to be an enjoyable yet challenging read. The abundance of characters and intricate plot keep the reader engaged but also challenge them to remember the picture and retain all that has occurred in the story. From demons, witches, Cambion soldiers, shapeshifters, archangels, and the devil, there are many types of characters to try to comprehend the complex relationships between them all. Readers who enjoy mind-bending fantasy with the flair of good versus evil will devour this book and beg for more!

Pages: 341 | ASIN: B0BBJTR8BD

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House of Pain

House of Pain by Karoline Wilde is a gripping story that follows the lives of witches who attend the Venefica Academy. More specifically, the witches dwell in the House of Snakes as one of the five houses in this story. This tale centers around the Games and how everyone involved, including the House of Snakes, includes Val, Blaze, Alessandro, Jolene, and Alecto, who are the inner circle of the house.

This imaginative story is rich in the intensity of human interaction, with lots of love, conflict, and familiar connections. Morals and loyalty all come into question, and the notion of things being black or white is muddled to gray. During the Games, the inner circle accidentally summons a demon to help do their bidding in an attempt to take down the House of Tigers. Their aim becomes complex, impacting their house and creating a darkness that the characters must ultimately face. Actions have consequences.

This action-filled book offers an excellent but dark and complex story that I found interesting. The author creates a unique storyline with lively characters and an exciting plot that’s not too overpowering or complicated. There is just enough complexity within the characters and their dilemmas to give the reader enough action to keep them engaged from the beginning.

House of Pain is an exhilarating dark fantasy romance novel. Readers are taken on a wild ride that kept me turning one page after the next, and I highly recommend this book for its creative, exciting plot and rich character development. Karolina Wilde does a great job setting each scene and adding multiple twists throughout the book. As this is the start of a trilogy, I can not wait to see where things head in book two.

Pages: 476 | ASIN : B0B85KDWKB

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