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To See Shades of Gray

K.J. Amidon
K.J. Amidon Author Interview

Into Oblivion follows a woman who follows a traveling circus but finds that the circus harbors dark secrets. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I was inspired by a series I read when I was younger about a traveling freak show. I wanted to put my own spin on the story of a traveling performing troupe. I finally came up with the idea of Roadside Paradise when I thought about the unsavory image most traveling circuses have in the modern day and thought decided to create a traveling circus dedicated to righting wrongs.

Athena is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to be sure that Athena was very no-nonsense and set in her beliefs about the world because I wanted her to struggle with the magical aspects she comes across in Roadside Paradise. I think her struggle to see shades of gray in what she sees as a very black and white world is one of the main points of the series.

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

The most important theme I wanted to explore was justice. Roadside Paradise and V in particular punish wrongs the patrons of the circus commit. But he cannot do anything more or less than the crime he is punishing. This meant I had to take a hard look at what punishment would be considered too much for the crime.

This is book one in your Roadside Paradise series. What can readers expect in book two?

Books 2-5 are already available for purchase. Book 6 will be released in Fall 2021.

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Roadside Paradise Series – Book 1

Athena Alexander never thought her savior would come in the form of a traveling circus, let alone one that she suspected to harbor illegal activities.

While trying to fix the mess of her life, Athena ends up hitching a ride with the Roadside Paradise troupe. However, it is no ordinary traveling circus. Along with the normal circuit, the troupe performs privately for anyone with enough money to pay their fees. They have a reputation for being the best, and the young, charismatic owner, V, is sure to maintain that reputation.

Athena’s instincts as a former police officer tell her that there is something amiss. Among the flashing lights and delighted screams, certain people who visit Roadside Paradise find their own version of hell. V’s hypnotic power draws people in, but if they hold dark secrets, they soon find themselves trapped. But V’s targets are never innocent.

Karma is in town.

Into Oblivion

Into Oblivion (Roadside Paradise Book 1) by [K.J. Amidon]

The Roadside Paradise traveling circus appeared as Athena’s savior, picking her up at a truck stop and encouraging her to join the show, accepting her almost like family. Athena, however, had, to a degree, sought out Roadside Paradise, hoping that the circus would provide answers to certain events of her past and help her find her sister. It shocked her to learn that the owner, known only as V, knew why she was there. It shocked her even more to learn about the incredible happenings within the show. When V tells her that he can help find her sister, Athena must learn to put aside her doubts and suspicions and allow it to happen.

Into Oblivion by K.J. Amidon is the first of the three part Roadside Paradise series and introduces us to Athena, V, Doc, and the rest of the troupe. With Athena as the initial focus, the plot quickly establishes her as a tough, no nonsense kind of person, hinting strongly at her troubled past without revealing everything too quickly. With the introduction of the circus and its many personalities however, Athena becomes more complicated, as she navigates the waters and tries to decide how much to reveal and to whom. She is quickly forced to admit that she has an ulterior motive for being there when she’s faced with Doc and V who legitimately have supernatural abilities. Almost as soon as they’re introduced, it becomes clear that the Roadside Paradise isn’t “just” a circus. Into Oblivion is an intricately and well crafted story about one person’s personal mission amid worldwide secret societies. It escalates quickly… and is a fun ride the entire time.

Into Oblivion has a lot going on and at times it feels like it’s telling two different and distinct stories. But as it twists and turns and new reveals are made, Athena’s story slowly becomes more intertwined with that of the circus, and V specifically. Because it’s part of a series, there are few resolutions by the end, but by that point you’re invested- not just in learning if the characters reach their goals, but also in finding out more about V and his history. Athena is the main character, but V is also an equally intriguing character.

I was frustrated initially with what seemed to be an overly busy storyline, I was nonetheless hooked very early on and was excited to see how it all started to come together. I hope the next two parts of the book tie everything up well and I’ll so we can see who comes out on top!

Into Oblivion is a complex urban fantasy novel infused with captivating paranormal elements that make this a must-read for any reader looking for a book that has an alluring mystery driving it.

Pages: 197 | ASIN: B0714DDHJ6

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Veterans of the Psychic Wars

Veterans of the Psychic Wars by [Wayne Gerard Trotman]

Roman and his young wife are on their way to beginning a wonderful life together. They will soon be parents, and the biggest problem in their lives is deciding on a name for their unborn child. Roman’s midnight trip to satisfy his wife’s cravings should have been easy–in and out and back home. When Roman is approached by five strange men in the darkness, his errand turns into something much more sinister. Roman is prepared for muggers, but this has a much different feel. When one of the ominous figures addresses Roman as “Master Armon,” he is as confused as he is frightened. Nothing of his simple life will ever be the same.

Veterans of the Psychic Wars, by Wayne Gerard Trotman, is the action-packed science fiction thriller surrounding main character, Roman. Roman is not who he has been led to believe he is. As knowledgeable as he is in martial arts, he cannot possibly be prepared enough to tackle the otherworldly powers he meets when he is attacked and kidnapped on a late-night errand.

If I pick up a book and don’t feel an immediate connection to a character, I am done. Trotman gives readers no time to have to make that decision. His main character’s first moments are filled with trepidation and drama. There is an air of mystery that grabs readers and pulls them into the story. The malevolent presence that descends upon Roman and the sense of foreboding is overwhelming in a wonderfully inviting way.

Roman’s simple life as a teacher makes this story even more engaging. He is one of us–an average guy with an average life. The fact that he is the basis for the intense action and is the center of such an elaborate science fiction plot makes Trotman’s work all the more appealing. Roman is a fantastic character. He is relatable and has a personality readers will want to root for.

Science fiction stories can get complicated and aren’t for everyone. Trotman, however, has navigated the science fiction waters with ease. His writing gives readers the perfect blend of character development, gripping backstories, and technical content. Readers won’t find themselves bogged down in technical jargon. Exchanges between characters are genuine and actually peppered with humorous moments. Trotman has hit upon a riveting mixture of drama, science fiction, and lighthearted banter.

Pages: 424 | ASIN: B004GNFUIY

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A Twist on Norse Mythology

Kenney Myers
Kenney Myers Author Interview

Jon Bragg Blue Essence follows a group of teenagers in a small town who are caught in the middle of a hunt for demigods. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My wife and I grew up in an even smaller town in Iowa (Lincoln, IA) so I have firsthand experience with a lot of what was described from my youth. I tried to provide a good mix of my memories and present day to make it as believable and realistic as possible. I also played a bit on my past with names. For instance, I went to school in Gladbrook, IA and the story takes place in GrinWell, IA. So for the folks that grew up in that area they also know Gladbrook was also nicknamed HappyCreek. I’m sure you get the idea, just some fun trivia like that is scattered throughout the story.

Jon is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

For as long as i can remember I have been somewhat similar to Jon from a philosophical perspective and also always had a passion for poetry. I really wanted to incorporate a cerebral character like that into a main character. I wanted him to be the type of guy that is okay with himself as he is and is okay with having a close circle around him. He knows his limitations and he knows his strengths and with that comes the confidence to live life on his own terms. Even with what happens to him we get the feeling that it won’t change his demeanor or how he will interact with others.

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

So I wanted to incorporate a few positive values into the book. The main focus was around family and the way they care for each other (including Grandpa). I think having a close, caring family like what Jon has is an important aspect of the book. I also wanted to portray bullying from different perspectives whether it was Marc and Jon or Dustin’s take. In general I wanted to have the story told from the perspective of the protagonist and antagonist throughout. I also wanted to bring Bragi more into the mainstream with a bit of a twist on Norse mythology while still mentioning Thor and Loki. I think Bragi, while controversial, is very well suited for a series.

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

Speaking of that and Bragi above, it will be the next two books in the Jon Bragg series. I have quite a bit planned for this group of teens. I don’t want to let out too many details but you can certainly see the development of a couple of storylines throughout this first book in the series.

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Jon Bragg: Blue Essence is a Norse Mythology Fantasy that is perfect for fans of Norse gods. If you like the Magnus Chase series and movies like Mortal, then you will love Jon Bragg: Blue Essence.

Jon Bragg enjoys a quiet life in the small town of Grinwell, Iowa. He has loving parents, a typical, bratty little sister, and a best friend named Marc Miller, who is so fascinated by Norse mythology that everyone at school calls him Thor; mostly to tease him, but he doesn’t mind. However, when Jon turns sixteen, a new kid arrives, stirring up a whirlwind of trouble, and Jon and Marc find themselves caught in the middle of a hunt for demigods and their blue essence.

If you have a passion for stories about Odin, Thor, and Loki, then have you heard of Bragi? His power is fueled by something completely different than thunderbolts and trickery—words and music. Jon Bragg: Blue Essence will give you the opportunity to learn about and fall in love with Bragi, Odin’s second eldest son.

Awakening

Awakening by [Jennifer Leigh Pezzano]

Jezebel is used to being alone. It might not be ideal, but she has grown accustomed to keeping her thoughts to herself, staying busy when she isn’t working, and distancing herself from others. It’s a life she wouldn’t necessarily choose, but it’s what she knows. And then came August. An innocent meeting on the beach leads to what Jezebel believes is the opportunity to work for a wealthy local. When she can’t help but be mesmerized by the very thought of his attention, she quickly begins to realize there is much more to August than meets the eye and much more to the relationship he desires.

Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, is a supernatural romance novel for the ages. Jezebel, the book’s main character is the perfect mix of an unlikely heroine lacking a certain amount of self-confidence and a woman ready to take on the world. Her encounter with the mysterious but incredibly desirable August is one that takes even the reader by surprise.

From the first chapter, Pezzano’s writing is striking and flows beautifully across the page. Whether it’s her main character’s inner voice or the narrative that fills the space between the unique encounters between Pezzano and August, her words are simply breathtaking. The more intimate moments between the two characters are touching without being overtly sexual and explicit.

There is a profound sadness to August’s story, and I loved the bits of history Pezzano includes in her work. These elements of reality only serve to deepen the reader’s involvement in the plot. Pezzano knows how to engage readers, pull them into her characters’ dilemmas, and feed them just enough reality to make them question whether her story is born of real events–she is just that good–she makes the reader feel like a meeting De Sanguine might be a distinct possibility.

I encourage any fan of vampire romances to give Pezzano’s work a try. It does not fit the mold. It does, however, offer readers a new and fresh take on an old genre. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth Pezzano is able to give her characters and the extent to which she is able to take a story set in recent years and make it feel so refined, so detailed, and so stunningly beautiful.

Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08P5SMG3M

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Claimed by Seraphym – Book Trailer

Samantha was only sixteen when her sister Abby took her on an exciting journey through space to live on a new planet. She couldn’t be happier, until her eighteenth birthday, when the king declares she must accept the claim of a Raiden warrior. No one will stand up for her right to choose a mate for herself, not even Abby, until a magnificent dragon shifter drops out of the sky, offering Sam sanctuary with his clan.

When Seraphym’s niece is abducted and claimed against her will by a sadistic Raiden prince, he vows to one day take vengeance against the House of Nekbet. Two years later, he witnesses another young female, this one human, fighting off the advances of a Raiden warrior. Seraphym can’t say no when Samantha begs him for help. He refuses to stand by and do nothing while another innocent life is ruined.

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Vampires are Forever

Charlene Johnson
Charlene Johnson Author Interview

Awakened follows a warrior who is vampire royalty as he tries to protect a woman from evil as she tries to cope with her new reality and the connection between them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The books in the series follow members of the Circle of the Red Scorpion. Based on the storyline in Book 4, Returned, it made sense that Awakened was the next book in the series. I don’t want to give too much away but there has been a vampire power struggle brewing since Shattered. Though there is some resolution in Awakened, a future book in the series will end it – at least for a time. Vampires are forever so there will always be someone else who wants to take the power.

I really enjoyed the connection between Dominic and Chantelle. Was their relationship planned or did it develop organically?

I plan the relationships in the series since many of the stories are related and prior storyline planning for the series is necessary. A subplot may begin in one book but ends in another story. The same with growing attractions between two characters. I compare it to putting together a complex puzzle.

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

I wanted Dominic to accept who he was despite his heritage and realize it was the flaws of others that caused the issues in his life, not him. His calling as a warrior was far greater than those issues.

This is the fifth book in your Circle of the Red Scorpion Series. What can readers expect in book six?

In Book 6, Pursued, Elemental demon, Moses Thorne, is investigating a string of grisly murders in New Orleans when he meets a woman he never thought he would see again. Would he be able to trust her?

As Moses tries to solve the murders, a vengeful demon plots to kill him. He can no longer evade the world of demons he fled over a thousand years ago.

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Fierce warrior, deadly enforcer, and Pureblood vampire royalty, Dominic Rinaldi dedicated his immortal life in service for justice. Betrayed by the Pureblood female he loved centuries ago, he didn’t believe after all that time he’d find a woman to awaken his heart.

Until Chantelle.

He rescues Chantelle Mallory one night from a vampire he thought died a century ago. He believes she is the one he’s been waiting for. Beautiful, full of life and human, can Chantelle ever accept what he is?

As Dominic and Chantelle surrender to an attraction neither can deny, a vampire hunts for the descendants of a voodoo priestess, Dominique Malveaux, whose extraordinary blood gives a Rogue vampire the abilities of a Pureblood vampire and something more – the ability to walk in the sunlight. He plans to build a hybrid army to destroy the Sacred Order of Simiel, led by Dominic’s father, Vittorio, and become their new leader. Can Dominic, his father, and the Circle of the Red Scorpion find Dominique’s descendants first and protect them?

Faced with an old enemy and the new threat that could destroy the Pureblood vampire world, will Dominic and Chantelle have a chance at happiness?

Riddled with Violence

Brooklynn Dean
Brooklynn Dean Author Interview

Deification follows a gang leader on a bloody quest to restore her dark saviors powers in the end times. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I have always been interested in Christianity and Catholicism as theological fields of study, so much of my research material was the Christian Bible.

I love the concept of angels and what they can and cannot do, their connections to humans, and even their punishments for taking humans as spouses. I enjoy the Book of Enoch even though it isn’t widely accepted as part of the canonical Bible, and in it are descriptions and stories that are beyond fascinating to me.

But what I really wanted to discuss through Torrence and her devotion to this dark savior was the idea of idolization. I often wonder why we spend so much time praising others and so little time praising ourselves. Torrence’s past was already riddled with violence; Why then was she so quick to worship Conrad for his?

What draws you to the horror genre and inspires you to write?

Though this is my sixth published work, it is my first horror story. I’m always inspired to write as a vehicle to explore greater concepts, innately human ones. The theme I wanted to consider here was idolization and hero-worship, and placing a character on a mission to complete someone else’s divinity instead of attempting to deify themselves as the god of their own life seemed a theme best explored by the darker elements of that type of admiration. How far will someone go for the person they view as their God?

The book has some fantastically unforgettable scenes. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

Thank you for saying so! It’s hard to pick one. I had a lot of fun with so many of the scenes. The end was certainly fun to write but for the sake of spoilers I won’t explain why. Honestly, though, I think I enjoyed War’s sections the most. It was nice to take a step back from the darkness and remember that there is room even in the worst of us for something purer, even if it’s just our feelings for another person.

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

I am working on a sequel to Deification, but I’m not even to the halfway point of its completion. I’d hope at the very latest I’ll have it completed and ready to release by the summer. Hopefully much sooner, though!

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The sky has opened. Angels descend to earth in fiery fury. Some claim to have seen these creatures, others claim to have been touched by them. Those with psychic abilities find their gifts magnified by the spiritual presences rising from Hell and falling from Heaven. Yes, the end is near. Or is it the beginning? After a life of violence and crime, gang-leader Torrence provides meaning to her groups’ destructive endeavors through discovery of Conrad, a once-possessed orator of demonic doctrines. Destroying virtues for the sake of sin, Torrence leads her band of bad-boy brethren to murder, blood sacrifice, and supernatural ritual in an effort to restore her dark savior’s powers so the apocalypse can be an unholy paradise.
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