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Valley Fliers

Valley Fliers brings readers into Jay Smalley’s high-flying world. He is a teenager who is determined to get into a prominent aeronautics university and has a passionate hobby flying model airplanes. It may have initially started as a hobby, but Jay is dead set on making it a career and claims that this is his best chance to fly the real thing. As good as he was at his craft, Jay’s mother always cautioned him, and rightly so. Jay is certain that his plan is fool-proof and has already made up his mind. Jay had a good thing going but his flow got disrupted by the arrival of Oren, a mysterious new face in their community of fliers. Is Oren more than he seems? Jay must find out, before someone gets hurt.

If you’re a fan of coming-of-age novels with well-crafted plots, then the Valley Fliers by David Boito is right up your alley. The author brilliantly puts us in the point of view of a strong-willed teen named Jay. Boito succinctly conveys the essential features of the protagonist’s mindset, which helps readers understand him if not relate to him, and his reactions to events always felt authentic.

The author’s knowledge of model airplane navigation is impressive and is used throughout the book to ensure readers are fully immersed in the model airplane world. The lingo is used throughout the book but is never overwhelming, and even if you don’t know the first thing about flying model airplanes you’ll still be able to understand the story.

The plot continually thickens as the protagonist, along with his friends, notice odd things about Oren. The most obvious one being that Oren’s little aircraft has the same build and model to a drone involved in an alleged assassination and terrorist attack. But it couldn’t possibly be Oren, right? This mystery sends Jay and his friends, and readers, spiraling into a rabbit hole of conspiracy and investigations that could potentially put all of them, and their loved ones, in grave danger.

Valley Fliers uses a unique setup to tell a compelling crime fiction story that explores themes of loyalty with charming characters and a budding teen romance to spice things up. This is an entertaining story for anyone looking for a lite crime drama.

Pages: 240 | ASIN: B09J1LP1CT

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Exploring Speculative Fiction

Ethan Avery Author Interview

Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire follows a budding mercenary and a mage with a secret who set off on a dangerous quest with world changing implications. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve wanted to write a dual narrative story since I was a kid, and this was the perfect opportunity, I feel like there are so many fun places to explore in speculative fiction! I also wanted to write a book where two characters come from very different backgrounds and see how that can affect the way they are presently.

Erevan and Aireyal are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character’s development?

It all comes from focusing on the fundamentals of writing, which is probably something I talk about way too much on my YouTube channel. I’m a big believer in understanding the rules of storycrafting. That way you know how, why, and when to bend or break them. And like anything, practice makes perfect, so it’s important to keep working on those skills, even after we learn them the first time.

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

I’ll leave that one up for the reader to decide. I’m ok with letting the work stand on its own and be interpreted however each reader individually sees it.

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

The next book in the Sword and Sorcery series, of course! It will be available sometime next year if all continues to go well. I’m super excited to share the next part of the story with everyone, there are so many things I wish I could tell you all now!

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If you could change your life by trusting in a stranger… would you?
Erevan has a problem. He grew up on the unforgiving streets of Bogudos and has the scars to prove it. His friend, however, is stuck in jail because of his mistake. But when a suspicious courier offers him a chance to fix things, should he lift his sword and journey across treacherous lands to aid her cause?
Meanwhile, Aireyal has been accepted into the wealthiest and most prestigious magical school in all the land. There’s just one problem. She can’t do magic. But that’s far from the only secret within the walls of Darr-Kamo. And what she discovers might just change the world.
All four have enemies. And all four need help to get what they want. But help is never free.
What would you sacrifice to get what you most desire?
Exclusive to the Kindle eBook version is X-Ray, where Ethan Avery has written never before seen notes on the rich world and regions of Sword and Sorcery and the characters that inhabit it. All easily accessed on a Kindle device or iPad and iPhone through the Kindle app. (All versions include the series’ iconic chapter art.)

Warrior on the Western Waters

Warrior on the Western Waters is the third book in the intense and thrilling young adult Dangerous Loyalties series by Phyllis A. Still. Set in 1775 in Boonesborough, we follow a young girl named Mary Shirley who lives in a settlement that is supposed to be a safe haven from the Loyalists. Mary warns the people in the settlement of a traitor who is planning to attack them, but no one believes her. She is taken hostage by the Loyalists who seek revenge against her father and is taken to a Shawnee village where she stays while they await the surrender of her father.

What I have come to realize about Phyllis Still’s writing is that there is a simple eloquence to it. It has a way of leading you through a story with simple language which leaves your mind free to imagine the intriguing world that she is creating in her book.

This is an emotional roller-coaster of a story and the author effortlessly captures the intense emotions that each character is feeling; which reminds me of the emotional rumination of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. What drew me into this impassioned historical fiction story was the smart and nimble dialogue. The reader feels like they are alongside Mary, feeling the terror and worry she feels. The dialogue feels authentic and the characters are much more believable because of it. I was easily able to connect with Mary’s character as she starts out as an innocent child, but must be strong in order to survive.

A fun fact; the author is an eighth-generation descendant of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Mary Shirley McGuire is the muse behind the Dangerous Loyalties series and our main protagonist. Even though this is a work of fiction, you can really tell that the author wanted to do her ancestors justice with this book, and I feel like she does exactly that.

Even though this book is part of a series, I think it can still stand on its own as an intrepid coming-of-age historical adventure story. I don’t think readers will need to read books one and two in the series in order to follow Mary through this absorbing story. The author expertly provides just enough background information to catch the reader up before setting them off on this new adventure.

Warrior on the Western Waters by Phyllis A. is a captivating historical fiction novel that is a must read for history buffs and will be an emotionally-resonant story for everyone else.

Pages: 197 | ASIN: B082TWBP3P

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Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire

Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire by Ethan Avery is an adventurous tale that follows Erevan, the son of a mercenary, on an unpredictable path where he meets Aireyal, who desperately needs their help. While Erevan is fixated on becoming like his father, which involves strategic planning and sword fighting, he becomes unexpectedly involved with Aireyal’s world of magic and romance. This intrepid story will take readers on a journey with dwarves, elves, and enchanted places.

One of the most impressive aspects of this book is the fantastic fantasy world that lures the reader in, one development at a time, with bold characters, beautiful imagery, and a genuinely magical connection between Erevan and Aireyal. Once you adjust to the changing scenery and plot, you’ll quickly come to appreciate this story’s exciting narration and emotional character involvement.

Readers will find themselves immersed in this fantastic realm of adventure and intrigue due to the authors vivid worldbuilding. I found the fantasy realms and worlds were well crafted and created a visual that kept me engaged with the characters and their challenges throughout the book. This is a riveting young adult novel that’s told in simple language and because of the easy storytelling this is a book that allows you to lose yourself in the fantasy, the characters’ inner battles, and the challenges they face individually and together. It’s a tale of hope and overcoming the impossible and how it changes you.

Ethan Avery’s Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire is a page-turning sword and sorcery novel that is full of incredible twists and fantastic characters. Between the darker side of this story’s developments and the lighthearted romance between Aireyal and Erevan, readers will find themselves easily enveloped in this novel’s lore. It’s an excellent read for anyone looking for a fantasy story that uses a diverse cast of characters to tell a compelling story, but doesn’t hit you over the head with the fact that they’re different. Frostfire has an intriguing approach to the teen fantasy genre that will ignite your sense of passion and adventure.

Pages: 436 | ASIN: B09T62HGFC

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Totally Out Of My Genre

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

Young Davy Crockett: The Wild Frontier with Dinosaurs follows a young hunter that must find out what is happening to the missing hunters. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A bunch of years ago, my mentor, Jonathan Maberry, sent me a message basically challenging me to write a middle grade horror book. This is something totally out of my genre. I normally write in epic fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. I was like…write something for kids? I don’t write for kids! Yet, at the same time, I’m not one to back down from a challenge.

I like history. So, I brainstormed historical figures. Who could I write about in their younger years? The answer came quick. After some research (I love research), I found my character: Young Davy Crockett.

How much research did you need to do for this book?

I did a lot of reading about Davy. Turns out he had a lot of adventures in his youth, so I was not stretching the facts. Most kids back then had to learn skills and put them to use in the towns and on the farms. Davy was a hard worker and being such a popular American historical figure, it was easy to find information about him.

What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?

I had to remind myself…over and over…that I was writing for MG. I had to tone things down. Remember the language. And remember that, although brave and a skilled outdoorsman at a young age, Davy had to speak to adults like a kid. Not on par with them.

This was hard for me at times.

When my editor first read the book, she told me it read like YA writing. I tried my best to fix it to a MG style. Since then, I have had readers and reviewers come back saying it is MG and others saying it is YA. I’m proud of it regardless of which age range it lands more prominently in.
I found that trying to imagine the book as a cartoon helped. Like an 80’s cartoon. Remember the ABC WEEKEND SPECIALS? It was a series that featured a different kid’s books each week. I tried to paint it as one of those episodes back then. 🙂

Has writing and publishing so many books changed the way you see yourself?

I guess I look at myself as the grizzled old veteran now. I fought hard. I’ve had amazing victories and terrible losses. But I keep at it. My motto is: Write Makes Might! It means a lot of things to different people. Basically, to me, it means writing brings you strength. It can be helpful and cathartic. Do it for yourself above all others.

I have written nine books. Most of which are around 100,000 words or more. I am working on book ten and I recall, with great clarity, when I was on my first book and would see people on their tenth. I remember thinking, wow, I will never finish ten books.

Well, guess what? It turns out I will.

At one point or another, every book I have written has been, or is, published. But it was a struggle. It’s a battlefield out there. I have had deals with shady publishers, I have had publishers print and sell my books only to suddenly stop paying me. I have had books get published multiple times by different publishers. I have had an agent. I have had movie deals sent my way and offers to write TV shows. I have been nominated for huge awards and won smaller ones. It spins my head when I think about it all.
A wise man once said, “Life is like a hurricane…” This is very true for authors and artists. 🙂

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When young Davy Crockett returns home after a long absence, he finds that many of his town’s hunters have gone missing. Being a skilled hunter himself, Davy knows that the only time hunters disappear is when they are being hunted by something more skilled than them. Making it his responsibility to find out what’s happening, Davy searches the local forests, but what he discovers is something he has never encountered before: dinosaurs.

In YOUNG DAVY CROCKETT: THE WILD FRONTIER WITH DINOSAURS, a nearly fourteen-year-old Davy Crockett is tested by his angry and often drunk father, his brothers, the wilds, and some mysterious goings-on. Somehow, prehistoric beasts are appearing in the forests of Holston Valley, threatening Davy’s family and his way of life. Curious to a fault, Davy seeks answers and attempts to hunt them…a creature no hunter has ever faced before.

This Divide In Our World

Author Interview
Craig Weidhuner Author Interview

Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons follows the story of a human and a demon that fall in love and must figure out how to survive in a world where their love is forbidden. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There wasn’t so much a specific incident or event that inspired me, it was more the general idea of prejudice. I’ve always like works such as “Star Trek” or “X-men” which used aliens, mutants or other species as a metaphor for our relations with each other, be it race, gender or sexual orientation. It always amazes me that even in this day and age there still seems to be this divide in our world, this attitude of “our kind against their kind”. Many people are beginning to realize that we are all one, that race, religion, gender, sexual orientation ultimately don’t matter. Unfortunately there are still those out there who still see those who don’t conform to their rigid, dogmatic views on such matter as enemies. It’s especially hypocritical when religion preaches such intolerance. It’s amazing (and frankly sad) how much shame we as a society, have created around love, yet we have no problems with violence and hatred. As the character Jimomaru says in the book, “[People] claim to value freedom of speech yet when someone says something they don’t agree with, they’re quick to do everything they can to silence them! They claim to value the right to choose, yet are intolerant of those who make different choices than them!”

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

  1. That we are all one and that by teaching people to fear and hate those who are different we are essentially teaching people to fear and hate ourselves. We’re only giving others more reasons to fear and hate us.
  2. That we were given free will to use it, not to blindly follow the teachings of others. That’s the main thing about the series. You’ve got characters like Shi-ria, Mystic and Noonien who make their own choices in life, they decide for themselves what’s right and what’s wrong. By contrast you’ve got the Order of the Cross which teaches blind dogmatism, “This is the way God wants it! Don’t question it, just accept it!” This is essentially the inner conflict that Sister Rose has to deal with throughout the series. The Order continually tells her one thing while her heart, her conscience tells her something else.

Can you tell us where the next book goes and where we’ll see the characters in the next book?

Volume 3: The Kolri and the Koldar, was actually published before I found out about Literary Titan, so it’s already available. That one specifically focuses on Shi-ria and the Taman Knights. We get to see her home world of Thalia and learn more about the Taman Knights as well as their dark counterparts the Koldar Warriors. It shows more about Shi-ria’s religion and the contrast between it and Sister Rose’s. It’s like comparing Catholic nuns to Shaolin monks. Also, Volume 4: Many are 1, 1 is 0 has just recently come out. Which introduces a new character called 0 (Zero), a mad god with omnipotent powers who loves causing chaos for his own amusement.

Hollywood is knocking and they want to make your book into a TV series. Who do you cast as the leads?

To be perfectly honest I’ve never really given it much thought. Personally I’ve always wanted to do it as an animated adaption, in a Japanese anime style. I know that many people in America (and my country Canada) are still stuck in this idea that animation = children’s program, thus many would insist that Mystical Force is inappropriate for children, no matter how many times you tell them it’s not targeted for kids. I’ve always been concerned about letting the Hollywood studio system get their hands on my work. It’s the same old story, “We love your series, but we feel the only way to make it a hit is to change everything about it.” The last thing I want is a bunch of suits changing Mystical Force to the point where the only thing the TV series and the books have in common are the title. As far as who should play the main characters, I’ve never really thought about, “Oh [celebrity X] would be perfect for Shi-ria. Oh [actress Y] would make a great Sister Rose.” Maybe I’m the exception instead of the rule, but I watch movies and TV shows because I’m a fan of the work itself, not because it stars [insert celebrity name here].

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

Some feel that beings with a mystical force are gifted, while others feel these powers are unnatural. Some see these beings as abominations to be feared and hated. Unfortunately, when you fear and hate others, all you do is give them reasons to fear and hate you . . .

While out on a date, Tokijin and Valerie Rose are
ambushed by a demon from Tokijin’s past: Jimomaru,
an old friend turned enemy, one who hates humans as
much as the Order of the Cross hates his kind, and he’s
determined to show Tokijin why humans and demons
can never live in peace. Meanwhile, Mystic, Noonien and
Shi-ria run into a sorceress named Aanjay, Noonien’s ex-fiance, who also harbours a deep grudge against humanity. Together, Aanjay and Jimomaru mean to show Tokijin why humans are the ones that should be hated and destroyed, by whatever means necessary.

Now, in order to save Tokijin, Sister Rose must team up with Mystic, Noonien and Shi-ria before it’s too late, before Aanjay and Jimomaru escalate the anger, hatred, fear and violence, and before Valerie looses Tokijin forever . . .

Crazy, Insane, And Out Of The Ordinary

Hermione Lee Author Interview

Marvels of the Underworld follows four teenage girls who possess magical powers and set off to uncover a threat to their world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Marvels of the Underworld is the sequel to In the Name of the Otherworld, my debut novel. I came up with the idea of writing a sequel to my first book 3 years ago, in December, 2019. I was 15 then, and I was very busy preparing for the national high school entrance exam. Driven nuts by the never-ending tests, I wanted to do something crazy, insane, and out of the ordinary. Writing a unique story sounded like the perfect escape. I decided to make In the Name of the Otherworld a trilogy, and immediately started planning the outlines of books 2 and 3. I wanted to venture into genres I’d never tried before, which is why you’ll see a blend of fantasy, sci-fi, romance, horror, mystery, action, and adventure in Marvels of the Underworld. It was my way of exiting my comfort zone and seeking a brand-new adventure in a bland, mundane life of tests, routines, and conformity.

I must add that my wise parents removed me from school a year later, which turned out to be the best twist in my life. I started working on the prose of Marvels of the Underworld on October 9th, 2020, and finished the first draft after four months.

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

There wasn’t really an approach. I imagine my characters as sentient beings swimming in my head. They talk to me and ask me to write what they say. I often think of them as my little munchkins, baby ducks, and actors and actresses all at the same time. Each of them is a part of my character, and I think of them as the people who understand me the most in the world. To me, they’re real. (Or to them, I’m fictional. Who knows?)

Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

Yes, definitely. I picture myself as a director of a film (book) and my characters as my actors and actresses. My words are the camera that brings out each scene, setting, and chapter.

Each character grows in Marvels of the Underworld. We see Alexandria, Eric, Eileen, Helen, and Zack (to name a few) demonstrate courage, wisdom, and kindness in their own ways, acknowledging not only the similarities they share but also their uniqueness and distinctiveness in personality. I also used the plot as a fable to reflect the corruption that is common in many governments in history, and how important it is to not follow the crowd and blindly conform to the majority.

Loads of prejudiced people believe fantasy fiction is of no value, for they are all conjured from the authors’ imagination, yet I disagree. There is fact in fiction, and there is fiction in fact. The traits my characters display may mirror those of people in real life. Queen Marianne, for instance, is an example of a corrupt leader who chooses to believe in what she wants, resulting in a catastrophe that befalls the Otherworld. In short, stories, especially allegorical ones like mine, do parallel reality.

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

I am not working on “the” next book. Marvels of the Underworld is succeeded by War of the Chaotic Worlds I and II, which will be released by World Castle Publishing this summer, I hope. I completed them last August, finished a standalone fantasy comedy about a protagonist based on my 8th grade English teacher (Once Upon an Enchantress), a prequel for the Otherworld trilogy (Helen’s Tale), a YA fantasy romance novel (The First Buds of Spring), a companion novel for the Otherworld trilogy (Eric’s Tale), and recently finished another prequel for the Otherworld trilogy (Zack’s Tale). I might start a middle grade fantasy novel about a brother-and-sister duo who must overcome their sibling rivalry, but am also considering to write more companion novels for the Otherworld trilogy. My Otherworldian characters love me! They want to consume my attention and make me focus on them only, no matter how much I torture them.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Alexandria Richardson, princess of the Otherworld, has led a much happier life ever since first meeting her parents; that is until her Otherworldian cousin sends for her and her three friends. The Otherworld is in imminent danger, and yet almost everyone is blind to the possibility of their likely demise. Only when a horrible tragedy strikes are they all forced to come to terms with the inevitable truth.
A determined Alexandria decides to put an end to all this. Together, she and her friends embark on an adventure to the Underworld and navigate it to steel themselves against the future battles. Impeded by the peculiar terrains and unprecedented challenges, they discover, however, that the real monsters dwell not in the sinister Underworld but rather in the hearts of their fellow Otherworldians. Hiding among them is an unnamed traitor. Will they discover the identity of the fraternizer before another misfortune befalls upon their beloved realm? Or will the dark side prevail again?

I’ve Always Felt Empathetic Toward Others

Author Interview Michael J. Bowler

Shifter has the two main characters grappling with some big moral decisions. What was the inspiration for putting them into this position?

I like stories where characters, especially teenagers, have to grapple with more than just who to ask to prom because it’s when we’re faced with serious issues of right vs wrong that we show what we’re made of and who we are inside, and most of us will face tough choices throughout our lives. As a reader, I can ask myself the same questions I pose to my characters and consider which way I might go. My hope is that other readers will do the same. I’ve also thought about the ramifications of having such a power that I could decide who lives and who dies. As pointed out in the book, would it have been moral to kill Hitler before he got very far in his bid to take over the world? Even now, with what we know of history, some people would still argue no and others would say yes.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your characters of Alex and Andy?

I’ve always felt very empathetic toward the pain of others, even as a child and a teen, and wanted to “cure” those people of what ailed them, so I created this character of Alex to do that for me. I just don’t like seeing people unhappy or suffering, which is one reason I could never have become a doctor. Alex’s skills with his wheelchair and his innate tenacity were based on a boy I taught in high school. Despite his wheelchair, that boy could do whatever he put his mind to, sometimes with help from his friends, but mostly by himself. For Andy, I used much of the pain I absorbed from incarcerated kids I worked with who told me horrific stories of being locked in closets for years on end or about how some despicable adult slaughtered their pets in front of them. I sought to depict how hard it might be for such a child to accept love and friendship once released from such an evil upbringing, and I hope Andy comes across as believable in the minds of the readers.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in the development of Alex and Andy’s relationship?

Neither knew of the other’s existence until shortly before they met at the conclusion of Spinner (The Healer Chronicles 1), so I tried to imagine what it would feel like to meet a twin brother I never knew I had. Given the respective backgrounds of the two boys, I felt they could relate as outcasts and that might be the beginning of a friendship and even familial ties. The small moments they shared—when Andy would learn something new from Alex, or when they were washing dishes or working out in the fitness center—these moments helped cement their relationship. Learning how to combine their power and work together defined the growing connection between them, not just because their minds were linked, but because they needed to trust each other, and that must’ve been hard.

Will the next book conclude the story of Alex and Andy or is there more to tell? When will the next book be available?

The next book will conclude this particular storyline, but I have opened enough doors to tell other tales involving these characters and hope to return to them in the future. Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles 3) releases on July 12, 2022.

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Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.

Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.

Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?

As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.

The Healer Chronicles continue…
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