Run Taylah Run follows a runner who must use her skills and tenacity to rescue her team from disaster while avoiding danger herself. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
After many years working in schools and officiating at athletics meets, I had the background to engage the characters in the competitive sections of the story. The story takes place in Queensland, Australia, and the vehicle accident takes place on the Atherton Tablelands of North Queensland which is a “local area” for me. By keeping the content and context local I believed I could add authenticity to the story.
Taylah is an inspirational and invigorating character. What were some ideas that were important to personify in her character?
The key attribute I wanted Taylah to show was humility. Individuals are good at different things and excelling in a field of endeavour should not take away the level approach one needs to navigate life. Because Taylah is the “best” does not distract from her ability to see good in, and encourage, others. With determination comes achievement. With achievement comes confidence. It is that confidence that guides Taylah in all she experiences in the story.
I enjoyed the authenticity of the story. What experience do you have with school sports?
As noted above, I have worked in schools for many years and officiated at many athletics meets. I have seen the high and the lows of students’ participation in interschool sports.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope readers will gain an insight into the everyday world of a group of high school students and a chance to relate to the characters. I also hope readers will gain a sense of perseverance when face with adversity whether you are young or old.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, high school, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, Paul Richardson, read, reader, reading, Run Taylah Run, sports, sports fiction, story, suspense, teen fiction, thriller, writer, writing, young adult
Driven follows a young man who fights to achieve his dreams while trying to pull his dad out of his depression. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I was asked to participate in the Legacy Series of teen sports novels by my publisher and gladly accepted. At that same time, my wife and I were on the phone with my stepson who had played high school sports, and I asked him to help me develop a theme. He had gone through what Gabe had to go through with the rich kids in school getting playing time over those who had played hard for their four years and felt thrust aside because of wealthy parents. The theme was established.
The depression arc with Gabe’s father was based on my depression and the struggle I encountered to even get up off of the couch some days. Even though I didn’t drink my way through it, the struggle is very hard. Whenever I get the opportunity to talk about it or help others through it, I do. The white fleece jacket that Gabe’s father wore was the same one I wore each and every day of my depression. It was my security blanket, keeping me mentally safe.
Gabe is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Every story has to have conflict and a hero to fight through it. Realizing what was going on in his town and that he was the only one who could help himself achieve his dreams, I wanted to use Gabe to bring focus to teenagers the concept that life isn’t handed to them, they have to go out and get it on their own through hard work and tenacity. In today’s world where so many young kids fall into that “me” mentality, I also wanted to stress the importance of family. No one is more important than family. And although I realize that not everyone has the same core family of mother and father, they still have parental role models. And, good or bad, we all need to be there for our families and friends.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The fact that money can’t buy you everything, the importance of family and helping those in need, and the possibility that life can be lived and conflict can be resolved with “No Hate in the Heart”. Those were the main themes.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have written a series of mid-grade books called The Gazore Series, which is an older kid’s tribute to Dr. Seuss, and am currently working on turning that into a podcast with 9 episodes completed so far. My current sports book is a hockey book entitled Blindsided. The Gazore Series and Podcast are available now and Blindsided I hope to get finished soon. I am approximately two-thirds of the way through that.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, baseball, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, coming of age, depression, Driven, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, high school, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sport, sports fiction, story, teen fiction, Will Hallewell, writer, writing, young adult
Driven by Will Hallwell is the first novel in The Legacy Series. Set in a small US town, the young adult novel uses sports to explore themes and life lessons. Hallewell’s descriptions of the small town are detailed. He describes the physical and geographical aspects of the town, such as the creek, and the quaintness of the village with vividness. Hallewell also describes the makeup of the population and the divide among the community. The setting of Falls Creek is integral to the story, and Hallewell sets the scene for the novel well.
The main character in Driven is Gabe “Honus” Wagner, a senior at Falls Creek High school. Gabe is a star baseball player, but feels he is being held back by the coach who appears to be favoring another student – whose father makes significant financial contributions to the school and other community ventures. This student – Nate Shaw also has a significant role in the novel. Both of these characters are well defined by their speech and actions, as well as physical descriptions, and because of this the characters feel real as well as authentic. Both of these characters are supported by a host of intriguing minor characters, that either side with Gabe or the Shaw’s. The characters are were grounded and I found that it was easy to differentiate between them.
Throughout the novel Gabe repeats the mantra “no hate in the heart”. It was given to him by his coach, and this mantra helps Gabe reflect on situations and ensure he doesn’t react in a hateful way. I thought that these were fantastic lessons for a teenager who encounters some difficult situations. I really appreciated that this young adult novel delivers some thoughtful ideas on morality; this sets it apart from other young adult novels out recently. The novel also delves into themes of depression and corruption; heavy issues but they are handled deftly. Hallewell broaches the theme of depression through Gabe’s father. Having recently lost his job, he slowly sinks into a pattern of drinking and sleeping and losing sight of his goals and his self-esteem. Driven shows the effect this has on both the person themselves, and other family members. The novel also delves into the age old question of money – can it truly make us happy? All of these ideas are explore in a thoughtful and engaging way, with family and sports as the backdrop.
Driven is easy to read and is consistently entertaining. I really enjoyed how Driven uses relatable characters to explore serious themes such as loyalty, depression, and the power of money are addressed. This is a novel that will teach you something while it’s entertaining you.
Pages: 91 | ASIN: B08KRKVG1M
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, but she did. Her family fell apart and regret consumes her, Driven, ebook, family, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, sports fiction, story, teen fiction, Will Hallewell, writer, writing, young adult
When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.
Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.
Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…
Posted in book trailer
Tags: aj alexander, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, book trailer, bookblogger, books, books to read, booktube, booktuber, bounty hunter, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, occult, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, suspense, teen fiction, thriller, trailer, writer, writing, young adult
Heroes of Afflatus follows a group of friends on a dangerous quest in the land of dwarves to bring peace to the land by recreating the Circle of Trust. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?
Initially, my intent for Circle of Trust, was to start a new series in the Afflatus world. I have 3 previously published works told from the perspective of Avery Noble. In Heroes of Afflatus, I changed that perspective to Jared Swagger. But the story unfolded itself, as I watched the political milieu in the United States in Canada, where I saw people who in all rights should have seen what brings them together, versus what drives them apart. As a Canadian watching American news, I was enthralled that people who were similar in so many ways, were so divided in others. And so, as a fantasy author, I thought, what if there was an evil power that thwarting a people’s unity. Thus, Noir and the Molpen were born.
Jared and Avery are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?
Jared Swagger and Avery Noble are my main characters, and they have developed over the course of the first three novels. They started as enemies that hated each other, but I found immediately, that they were actually interested in each other, and so Jared eventually asked her out and now they are going steady (this is after numerous adventures in Afflatus together). Initially, the concept of Avery as a Truth Wizard reflects my own journey in understanding the truth about life. I was raised religious, but reality clashed with those beliefs, which is also why I incorporate LGBTQ+ themes in my writing.
I appreciated the depth of the lore in your world. What were some sources that informed the worlds development?
Initially the concept of Deep’en Realm, was an imagination of what Hades might be like. I don’t like the depictions of hell and the afterlife, and so in my imagining of an underworld, I developed this concept of Deep’en Realm. Most of my ideas are sparked from the notion that there can be any number of dimensions or worlds that have their own rules, and are totally foreign to our rules.
This is book one in The Circle of Trust series. What can readers expect in book two?
Book 2 takes our adventurers into the Fairy World, an “sky” world, where your heroes need to prevent Depravity, the evil Lord, from destroying the Blue Butterfly, the last talisman that seals Depravity’s power from entering the palpable world (our earth).
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, C.R. Endacott, ebook, fantasy, goodreads, Heroes of Afflatus, kindle, kobo, lgbt, lgbtq, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, sword and sorcery, teen fiction, writer, writing, YA, yalit, young adult
The peaceful existence between the factions of Dwarves and Molpens in the Deep’en Kingdom is disrupted by a despicable elemental being. He possesses a Molpen, Militch, and makes him destroy the Circle of Trust, which has kept the dwarves bonded for ages. Avery Noble, the Truth Wizard, is summoned from earth to help salvage the situation. She’s the only one who can restore peace. But things take a sour turn when she goes missing on her mission. Carson, the crown prince of Afflatus gets Avery’s boyfriend and knight, Jared Swagger, to help find her. In a nerve-racking race against time, Carson, Jared, and his friend Garon must rescue Avery in time for her to restore the Circle of Trust and end the war between the Dwarves and Molpens.
Author C.R Endacott’s Circle of Trust is a riveting adventure novel in the fantasy genre that cuts across two worlds –earth and a fictional setting. C.R Endacott plunges readers into the Deep’en Kingdom, where some trees survive on dust and waterfalls heal wounds and replenish people’s energy stores.
Amidst the fast-paced adventure, Endacott slips in relevant themes apart from the clear ones of bravery and camaraderie. The standout ones for me include a message on the rigid expectations society has on how people should live their lives. Also, the book alludes to how the evil we commit is simply a result of unrestrained weaknesses. In other words, the people who perpetrate great evil are those who fail to keep their weaknesses under control. Similarly, good people aren’t absolutely devoid of sinister tendencies. They’ve just kept them on a leash.
I think we all enjoy twists and turns that are shocking enough to make us gasp. But we relish them more when we can recollect previously overlooked hints or clues foreshadowing those twists. That moment where it all makes sense, and we nod our heads or think, “ooh, so that’s why that happened”. Endacott evokes reactions like this by expertly sprinkling clues, which add up when the author finally introduces twists in some of the subplots.
While the book’s subplots had a few twists, I felt the main plot was a little too linear. It could have done with a few pleasant or unpleasant curveballs. In any case, the central conflict was enough to keep me quickly flipping page untill the end.
Circle of Trust is only the first in the Heroes of Afflatus series. This is an excellent start to what is sure to be a thrilling series. If you’re looking to get lost in an otherworldly adventure for a while, you can let C.R Endacott take you on a fantastical ride.
Pages: 108 | ASIN: B08GJZ9XG1
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, C.R. Endacott, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Heroes of Afflatus, kindle, kobo, lgbtq, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, teen fiction, thriller, writer, writing, YA, young adult
The Keepers of the Light follows an ordinary young man who finds out he’s destined to be a leader and face a dangerous enemy. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?
It was important to make the transition in this book to full-blown fantasy in a believable way. We are dealing with some classical fantasy elements n a contemporary setting so I really wanted this to feel believable. I approached this by asking myself if this were actually happening, how would these characters respond?
Garrett continues to be a compelling character. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important to his character development?
Trust. Every adult in Garrett’s life has lied to him about who is his entire life. Trust is, and will continue to be a challenge for him, and understandably so. The other issue for Garrett is leadership. He will have to take the reins in this series and lead. He will have to stop seeing himself as a just a kid and step up or humanity may not make it.
What was one of the most challenging scenes in this book to write?
The scenes inside the underground temple were tough because there were so many moving parts. I spent a lot of time with a tape measure, measuring out distances in my yard, throwing things, yelling, running around, and essentially acting it out. Yes, my neighbors may think I have issues and they may not be entirely wrong:) Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say it was tough with a whole group of humans and a handful of magical creatures to keep it clean and clear for the reader. Alternating between Breanne and Garrett’s perspective each chapter while controlling pace added to the challenge. My editor and I went back and forth a lot trying to perfect those scenes. In the end, I think the extra effort was totally worth it.
This is book two in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book three?
Book three will take Garrett and his companions on a journey across the country as the world deteriorates into an apocalypse. There are still plenty of issues, both new and old, the friend’s need confront, overcome, and make peace with. Book three promises danger a plenty with dragons, giants, and what I am most excited about, a massive army of supernatural creatures that have been right here under our noses this hold time. I have been hard at work on book three and am excited to share that the rough draft is complete, and edit will begin very soon. Expect book 3 later this year!
Posted in Interviews
Tags: action, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, mythology, nook, novel, Otto Schafer, paranormal, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural, sword and sorcery, teen fiction, The Keepers of the Light, writer, writing, yalit, young adult
Phoebe Douse: The Return by L. Samuels is the second of three books in the thrilling young adult mystery series, Phoebe Douse. It begins with a string of unfortunate events that will force Phoebe into actions she is neither ready to accept nor eager to follow through with. All seems well for a time, until she makes the mistake of turning on the television and seeing the breaking news about a man found dead. A man she killed. Forced to team up with Renaud, Phoebe plunges into a supernatural world filled with striking imagery, global destinations, and a good bit of history. The Return sets up the final book in the series perfectly and will leave readers on the edge of their seat throughout this riveting paranormal fantasy.
Phoebe Douse: The Return was a highly anticipated follow-up novel to L. Samuel’s previous novel, at least for me it was. The Return continues to be consistently engaging and keeps moving at a quick pace. I would highly recommend finishing the first book in the series, however, as it will help establish characters and their backstory. This book is written in the first person and the author does a fantastic job of packing the story full of intriguing characters, puzzling supernatural events, and shocking twists.
This novel, and the entire series I think, centers around Phoebe and I like how this is turning out to be much more of a character driven adventure, although fun and light, something like Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Phoebe’s destiny is revealed but as with most things in this series, it comes with some dramatic consequences that kept me absorbed in the novel.
Author L. Samuel has written an enchanting urban fantasy novel that excels at weaving supernatural elements into a fun story that feels fresh within a packed genre. Phoebe Douse: The Return is fun and exciting and is a must read for those who read book two, and highly recommended to readers looking for an urban fantasy with more mystery in their adventure.
Pages: 322 | ISBN: 1732284679
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, L Samuels, literature, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, Phoebe Douse: Secret Society for Special Abilities and Artefacts, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural, suspense, teen fiction, thriller, urban fantasy, writer, writing, young adult