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Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent

Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent by [Valena D'Angelis]

The golden kingdom was a shining hope and a place for uniting races. Now it is under the oppression of dark and deadly forces. Prophecies couldn’t stop this dark prince from striving for power, and now he wants to rule all. Who can stop him? The runaway mage Ahna who is hiding something? The Resistance? Can the soldiers unite and take the kingdom back for good, or will secrets tear everything apart?

Tempest of Bravoure sets up a thrilling adventure novel that is brimming with imaginative characters. I love epic fantasy tales, and I love when people realize that they either need to fight the bad guy or the bad guy will oppress you until you’re all dead anyway. In these types of stories, you see human characters emerge and the power of the human spirit is tested. I thought I was going to like Ahna right away. Her character was written in such a way that even though you know she’s hiding things, in most cases, you would still want to root for her. I found her character slightly annoying sometimes and could understand why some of the other characters would fight with her (like Cedric). Other times I felt for her character and wanted to cry for her. With other characters and their sad fate, I did cry and felt that their ending was too painful, but it compelled me to keep going and finish the book to find out what happened to the rest of the characters. Cedric, in particular, was one character that made me cry because his character teaches you so much, and his story with Ahna was beautiful. This is definitely a story for readers who enjoy intriguing and well developed characters. There’s an interesting plot at the heart of this story, but I felt like the characters were the star of the show.

While I enjoyed the world building and intricate lore embedded in the world, I felt that the story got a bit confusing at times. In rare moments I wasn’t sure who was doing what and for which reasons. I bit more succinct exposition at the right moments would have provided some clarity. Otherwise, this is a fast paced novel that fits well within the epic fantasy genre. Author Valena D’Angelis has written a story that feels like there’s so much more to be explored. Highly recommended to fans of military fantasy novels.

Pages: 284 | ASIN: B08FXWDX3N

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The Dark Age Chronicles: Eve of Darkness – Book Trailer

In 1717 it was a time of darkness,where stations kept to their own and people struggled to survive. A time where pirates still roamed the seas, slavery was suffered and ignorance reigned supreme. But there is coming a greater darkness that man can’t hope to fight A darkness that will consume every soul on earth. One young girl named Eve, born with a mark on her hand, outcast and abused, learns that she is the chosen one that must stop the rising evil. The last of a known race who protected the world, she must fight a horde of demonic hell hounds, demons, and her worst fears. Together with six others, she must learn to use powers she never knew she had if she ever hopes to defeat Nyx…. the most powerful Necromancer ever born.

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The Cardiff Giant

The Cardiff Giant is a hilarious novel first novel, in a series of four, that is set in Cooperstown, New York in 2003. Written by Larry Lockridge, the short novel is narrated by Jack, an investigative journalist dispatched to Cooperstown to investigate the disappearance of the Cardiff Giant.

Lockridge gives an informative and entertaining description of the Cooperstown setting. In some detail he describes the physical appearance of the town and the many tourist attractions such as the Baseball Hall of Fame. There is also a breakdown of the town’s cultural diversity and a brief history on how it came to exist. This sets the scene well for the rest of the story and hints at some of the action to follow.

Intense and complicated characters are an integral part of the novel. Jack is open minded investigative journalist and is prepared to find paranormal experiences in his mission to discover the secret of the missing Cardiff Giant. He soon finds himself in a town with an interesting community that includes such diverse characters as Tarbox the town sheriff (and pig farmer) sisters Sheila, a set designer, and Esther, a psychotherapist, Thor Ohnstad, head of the local Chamber of Commerce (and inn keeper).  Each character has their own motivations and unique voice, including beliefs in alien abduction, rebirthing, astrology, psychokinesis and kabbalistic numerology. Jack, the main character, even becomes entangled with the characters and their beliefs. Their belief systems often compete with other’s beliefs, which Lockridge brings alive with intense and occasionally absurd dialogue between the characters.

The story is organized into three parts, with numerous chapters in each. Despite the numerous characters, themes and romantic twists and turns, the story is well structured. It is very easy to follow and flows well.

Despite the outlandish characters and sometimes wild situations, author Larry Lockridge manages to cleverly couple this with some serious themes of love, jealousy, envy and pursuit of self-identity. These themes are obvious at the start of the novel and are cleverly carried through right until the end of the novel.

I highly recommend The Cardiff Giant. Author Larry Lockridge’s writing appealed to my sense of humor, but I also enjoyed the deeper underlying themes of the novel. The Cardiff Giant also gives the reader an opportunity to examine their own belief system, and self-identity – if one feels the need to read the book for more than just entertainment value. This is a satirical psychological thriller unlike any other book I’ve read recently.

Pages: 164 | ISBN: 1771804246

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Throne of Darkness: Rise of War – Book Trailer

When millionaire Tobin Masters tried to kill himself he never imagined that not only would he survive, but he would find himself in the dimension of Hell. Enslaved by the living artifact The Throne of Darkness, Tobin becomes the Observer and is forced to record the events of the War of Ascension. Satan is a title given to whichever demon sits upon the throne. Whenever a Ruling Satan dies seven Stones representing the seven deadly sins are filled with the power of Hell and these stones/gems are given to seven Demon Lords/Ladies and they are told that whoever can bring all 7 stones back to the the Throne will be the next Ruling Satan. These Stone Bearers will build thier armies and wage war across the world destroying all that stand against them to rise in power. There are humans trapped in this dark world. Most are slaves, the lowest of the low. However, there are free humans that fight against the demons and the Throne of Darkness. Amongst them is a flawed hero named Forgotten Child. A Blade Master with extraordinary abilities. In a dark twist of fate the free humans accidently come into possession of a Stone of Power. It falls to Forgotten Child to take on the terrible burden of Stone Bearer and fight in the War of Ascension, a chance to put a human on the Throne of Darkness and perhaps open the gates back to earth and send the humans home once again, but at what price?

COMING SOON

 

A Bridge Too Far

Mark M. Bello
Mark M. Bello Author Interview

Supreme Betrayal follows a woman who was assaulted and years later finds out that her attacker is nominated for the Supreme Court, and is determined to stop him. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

The novel was, obviously, inspired by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and other similar high-powered sexual assault cases. Literary Titan has reviewed my past work and reviewers know that I like to begin my novels with action sequences. Supreme Betrayal is no different. I researched dozens of actual sexual assault cases and testimony in those cases, especially those involving men or power and influence. The “party scene” at the beginning of the book is a compilation of those real cases, including the events testified to in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

Hayley is a strong woman and represents young woman who often get caught in a bad situation. What were some obstacles you felt defined her character in your story?

Hayley’s “obstacles” are the same as any ordinary young woman who faces off against well-financed, politically placed, entitled, white men. She feels powerless against the rich and powerful and a criminal justice system that looks the other way for those in power. She, like the real women her character is based on, feels guilt and shame—”How could I be so stupid? How could I put myself in this situation?” Victims of sexual assault often blame themselves rather than their predators. For Hayley, “looking the other way” became a way to cope and move on, even though the events of her youth effected her relationships, even her marriage. The possible elevation of her assaulter, this sexual predator, is a bridge too far, and she decides to tackle the issue head on.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer for this book?

I like to think I am a fair-minded, politically neutral writer. I am a staunch advocate of social justice causes. The challenge is to present important social justice issues, depict how the criminal and civil justice systems might handle these issues, try to present multiple perspectives, including political ramifications, and try not to display bias. What happened to Hayley could have happened to anyone.

When and where will this book be available?

Supreme Betrayal will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all online booksellers, as well as on my website at http://www.markmbello.com

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

SB eBook Cover.jpg

Teenagers in various state of inebriation and consciousness packed the Walnut Lakefront home in West Bloomfield.

Hayley Larson wasn’t a bad girl; she wasn’t even a party girl. However, she was tired of always doing everything her parents ordered. They certainly would not approve of her being at this party.

Exiting an upstairs bathroom, Hayley was startled to see Oliver Wilkinson and Shane Marbury standing on the other side of the door. Barely coherent, seriously drunk, high, or stoned, the young men blocked her.

Over the next twenty years, Hayley told no one what happened behind closed doors that night. That is until now.

Oliver Wilkinson is the President’s nominee for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Hayley Larson can’t let that happen.

But Wilkinson will stop at nothing for a seat on the court . . . NOTHING!

Supreme Betrayal

SB eBook Cover.jpg

Supreme Betrayal by Mark Bello follows a young woman who, after a rare night out, is viciously attacked at a party. Frightened and alone, she manages to get away but has to stumble through a party practically nude due to his brutality. Years later, her attacker is in a position where he would be able to do what he wants and hurt who he wants as a judge on the supreme court. However, Hayley’s got a plan. Will she get the justice she so deserves?

This book wastes no time getting to the heart of the drama and in so doing ensures that you are enthralled right from the beginning. No warning, just bam! Right in your face. But it has to be that way to convey the full weight of what happens to Hayley. Many teenage girls find themselves in dangerous situations and at the mercy of certain men who crave power. Bello portrays Hayley as a strong and tenacious character that is empathetic and is easy to empathize with. She’s a character that always felt authentic and one that I was rooting for throughout this riveting book. Oliver’s character is, of course, upsetting, pretending that he has a perfect life and that he’s a gentleman when he’s anything but the perfect gentleman. I would say that I hate his character, but it is because his character is so vividly developed.

The book’s themes are heavy but handled in a respectful manner while still being entertaining. I felt a connection with Hayley and wanted her to find peace and wanted Oliver to face justice so that he wouldn’t hurt innocent women and ruin their lives. I felt like this would make a great Lifetime Network Movie as the drama high and the emotions are palpable. The author was able to piece together a story that is both engaging and rings true because of real events that happen to people.

Supreme Betrayal by Mark Bello is an engrossing legal thriller that is hard to put down and even harder to forget.

Pages: 284

MarkMBello.com

 

Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil Resurrection – Book Trailer

SECRETS HAVE DEADLY CONSEQUENCES, ESPECIALLY IN A DIGITAL WORLD.

What if all things that happen in life—good and evil—are not random or coincidence, but really intentional cyber events? Kevin Albright is relocated to a foreign country, with a new identity. Trapped between the living and the dead, he’s a lone wolf left to fight evil global cyber forces, and his past life demons, alone. His unrelenting search for the truth about what really happened to his family puts him on a collision course with enemies from his past as he uncovers a plot that will bring world superpowers to their knees.

With no home country and uncertainty about whom he can trust, Kevin develops an elaborate plan to catch the deadly invisible enemies and stop their planned attack. As his plan unfolds, on the dark side of the World Wide Web, he learns the full scale of evil’s resurrection—the reach and power of the Internet places the fate of ten percent of the world’s population and seven world leaders in his hands. With the minutes counting down he unleashes a “cyber rendition,” luring evil into his world and putting himself in its cross-hairs.

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I Found My Escapes

Jeremy Morang
Jeremy Morang Author Interview

The Guardian War Chronicles Vol I follows a brash truck stop intendant as she is unwillingly thrust into a game of cat and mouse with the fate of the universe in the balance. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

I’ve always enjoyed the written word. It had been a dream of mine to write a book and tell a story my way, with my own voice. To be honest, and not intentionally confusing, “Vol II” had always been the first book in the series. Vol II (for now we’ll call it RISE) was edited, the artwork was in process, ready to publish, but something didn’t feel right. I was pleased with RISE and was told it was a fun read (staying in the vein of science fiction/action adventure) by my editors and beta readers, and I was ready to commit, but something was out of place.
That was… back in 2016.

The Surrender Game (the new Vol I) then became the backstory (an epic prologue), to what would become the rest of the series, continuing with RISE as Vol II. And the series title “The Guardian War Chronicles” came into existence.

I had a “what if” idea, and one day after work, I sat down at the computer and started putting the pieces together.

I come to the hard realization after RISE was completed, certain “items” needed more context and definition. The contents of the black backpack needed some explanation. Specific characters (even the “villains” perhaps) needed to be fleshed out a bit more. The Surrender Game became my outlet to unify all those things I believed were missing/lacking in the bigger story.

I’ve always been a huge fan of high energy, fast moving, quick pace, rapid-fire, snappy dialogue, action packed content, and never letting up for a second. I’m a child of the 80’s, a teen of the nineties, raised with Star Wars, Star Trek, adventure flicks, cop/buddy movies, and science fiction novels and comic books of the time, and in those make-believe places, I found my escapes. Those faraway locations in my imagination were what guided me to want to tell my own stories, generate my own characters and “bad guys” from the ground up, build places and make things, and create my own universe from scratch. Staying inside that lane I’m comfortable and familiar with. Always being myself.

I wrote these books initially for my own personal enjoyment. Writing has always been a hobby and a coping mechanism for me. I had never thought of publishing, until I was instructed by a trusted friend in the author community that I should publish my work.

I longed to write something in which the reader “wants” to turn the page, read every line, and itch to read the line after, and be curious to what happens next. I wanted to write a story “I” could read and get lost in. I wanted to create something that doesn’t let up, has the appropriate cliffhanger moments, and has that same high energy I enjoy. Even those areas where the story slows down momentarily, are not slow for very long. I desired a certain uniqueness with different characters, a level of fun, mysteriousness, excitement, on edge, gritty, with a mystical/mythological/fantasy quality. Sticking with what I know.

Liberty Bell is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I’ve always been of the belief that we are all products of our environment, and life experiences. Who we are, what we’ve become, is an amalgamation of everything we have been through, and experienced personally throughout our lifetime, good or bad, up to this exact moment in time. When High Intendant Liberty Bell was in early stages of character creation, (believe-it-or-not), she was the anthesis, mirror opposite, to the character you’re familiar with, today.

She was in her late twenties, sweet, loving, caring, yet stern with her subordinates when necessary, but kind to all she interacts with… giving, selfless. Prim and proper. Dressed to the nines. Immaculate quarters. Decorative/pretty surroundings. Always willing to do the right thing. Stepping on no one to get ahead in life.

One night while working on her back story development I had a moment where I said to myself, “Nope. The High Intendant of Truckstop One, Liberty Bell, is not the sweet, “southern belle,” bed-and-breakfast owner, accommodating rig pilots and local truckers with a gracious attitude; always smiling and pleasant to be around.

It had to be the opposite. Her life experiences, environment, early teenage trauma, those “Markena” encounters, the routine and reality of her lifestyle, the dangerous unpredictable setting within the walls of her Truckstop, mixed with the isolation and permanency of being a fueling station owner/operator, her shady “friends” and colleagues of the industry, the stress, would eventually mold her into something a bit more hard, forthright, no-nonsense, brash, and perhaps a bit self-centered. Tyreel would say to her, “we’ll create an empire in Truckstop One, Liberty. Trust me. But to create an empire, one needs to think like an emperor.”

Tyreel had a large role to play in her development as well. She was forced to rely on his expertise and advice in the early years. She had to trust him and believe what he said was true. With Tyreel’s daily influence, the ongoing training, being that little voice always whispering in her ear, helping Liberty find that respect and level of success she so desperately wanted; Tyreel played a large part in her growth over the span of thirty (backstory) years. She became a product of her environment. She became “honest”.

What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

I do believe the “good versus evil” dynamic is an obvious prevalent theme throughout the novel, however, I wanted to wiggle free from the stereotypical hero(s) versus villain(s) concept and play around with the idea of, “what if those lines of good and evil are not clearly defined? What if the villain is right? What if ‘doing the right thing’ is vague, and doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons could be a foggy area, difficult to navigate? I wanted to explore that area of thought and the repercussions of those choices made.

Which then led into some of the other themes I enjoyed exploring: Love, friendship, sacrifice. How would we react and respond to certain situations, and how far are we willing to go? Is there truly a gray area regarding ethics? Are my characters willing to cross that line, and if so, what is the outcome or potential outcome? What is the villain capable of? Is there really such a thing as a no-win scenario? What could happen if the rules of the game are always in flux and open to interpretation? Is there really an “at all costs” mentality? I’m hoping I pulled that off with the Surrender Game. I’d like to believe Liberty navigated those paradoxes and self-discoveries in the only way she knows how.

This is volume one in The Guardian War series. What can readers expect in volume II?

I included the first chapter of Vol II, at the end of the Surrender Game, to allow a glimpse into what could happen next or where the story potential could possibly lead in the future. Allowing some room for reader imagination (while waiting for its release, stay tuned) and hoping the reader desires to remain in my universe to find out what happens next. The overall story, over the span of the series, is quite large and all ends need a beginning. Vol II splays out the foundation to how the story will be told moving forward. Vol II is the true beginning to the grand tale. Keeping with the same pace and action as the Surrender Game.

The Surrender Game ends, in what some have described as a bit “uncomfortable”, “a gasper” and that was the intention. Vol II provides some breathing room after the uncomfortable gasper and takes the reader elsewhere for a time, but never deviating from the storyline.

Readers can expect more action, more unique characters, science fiction content, twists and turns, and maybe some of those mystical, mythological fantasy type facets of the story, will begin to take shape.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

She’s a wealthy, brash, no nonsense, foul mouthed, greedy, gambling, alcoholic vapor addict.
The only thing standing between the Guardians and their cosmic crusade of supreme dominance, is Liberty Bell, the High Intendant of the Truckstop One fueling station.
When a fragment of an ancient weapon, once thought to be nothing more than a myth, is delivered to her during a routine business day, she is unwillingly thrust into a game of cat and mouse, and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. The conflict has begun, and the enemy is coming to her truckstop to reclaim the final piece to continue their mission of conquest.
How do you combat a foe who knows what you’re going to do before you do it?
To battle the Guardians, and their empire of light, she’ll need to embrace the darkness.
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