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Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy Series

Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy by [Anna J Walner]

Larougo (The Uluru Legacy Series Book Two) by Anna J Walner is a suspenseful paranormal adult fiction book that continues the story of Amelia and Roan from Garkain, Book One of the series. After learning that Amelia is pregnant with triplets, she and Roan travel back to Australia from the United States for their joining ceremony. But there are many surprises waiting for them when they return home. The couple learns that they are expected to take on the role of leaders of a new Colony, combining the Colony of vampires currently led by Amelia’s grandfather with Roan’s pack of were-dingos. And Amelia’s mix of vampire and lycanthrope bloodlines mean that they don’t know quite what to expect during her pregnancy. With a group of hunters bent on exterminating all of them, will anyone survive?

Author Anna J Walner has created a unique story within a packed paranormal genre that will feel familiar but still creates its own imaginative world. I liked the setting of Australia for this paranormal series, and the unique aspect of were-dingos instead of the typical wolves, couple this with a deep level of intrigue baked into the story right from the beginning and you get what fans loved in book one, but taken to a new level. How Roan and Amelia navigate pack politics is riveting and will appeal to any reader who loves the drama that goes with intertwining desires among strong characters.

While I enjoyed the story line and the characters, I felt that there were a lot of descriptions in the book; there’s a scene about making online purchases and unpacking boxes, but once we’re pass this the pace of the novel really picks up.

Amelia is still an impassioned character with strong feeling about things and her reaction to the events around her elevates the melodrama whenever she’s in the scene to ensure things are always interesting. With a twist later on that really challenges her love, and who she loves more, readers are in for an emotional-rollercoaster.

Larougo is a thrilling paranormal romance novel that continues the riveting story from book one. If you have not read book one, Garkain, I highly suggest you do as the second book presses forward without summary. This is an emotionally charged shifter romance story that will leave you wanting more.

Pages: 227 | ASIN:  B093LPV47C

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Around Curiosity’s Edge

J.P. Hostetler
J.P. Hostetler Author Interview

Hidden Meridians follows a young man who sets sail on a magical ship, but secrets about his family lead him to a place of myth where an age-old war is being fought. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted the setup of this story to be as boundless as our own world, and that also meant that the themes it tackles would also be incredibly broad. This was ambitious to say the least, but also provided a sense of freedom to play with the world-building. In that regard, I was inspired heavily by nature; especially the ocean as nothing else on our planet is as fluid or as constant. As for the setup on an antiquated ship, I first conceived the idea for Around Curiosity’s Edge while moving around the world, including places like Germany, South Korea, and India, and was inspired to use Curiosity as a major mode of transportation as I found it instills a timelessness vital to maintain a core element of the story’s plot, namely the bridge between the Commons, that is the world of humans, and the Fringe, the world of myth.

The tension between the worlds of humanity and myth were inspired by the current tensions playing out between our current world of industry, technology and growth, and that of nature. I think the story of the mythical creatures known as fringers in Around Curiosity’s Edge is the story of the biodiversity we are losing every day due to human greed.

The global cast of mythologies and characters which appear in the book(s) are inspired by the multicultural experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have throughout my life.

In short, diversity in all its wonderful shapes and forms inspired the setup.

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

I was that kid always lifting up rocks and looking for bugs, or catching salamanders and fish in the ponds and streams by my house. I think Salem comes very much from that place, while also mixed with some of the social anxieties many young adults face through their teenage years.

When I first started writing, I noticed that Salem was more of a sounding board for the adventure, rather than a true character with flaws and doubts. After listening to some wisdom of my editor, I shifted my character development of Salem from: this is happening to him to this is happening for him. From then on, Salem had felt much more natural as a soul who could learn and grow in the story.

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

Three major themes pervade for me throughout the book:

  1. The importance of diversity and inclusion for a balanced and healthy world.
  2. Overcoming loss by building resilience.
  3. Acknowledging failure as a chance to grow.

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

My goal is to have book two of the Around Curiosity’s Edge series out at some point next year. I’m so excited to continue to the journey and see where this story goes.

A shorter term goal that I am also so excited about is audiobook narration and production of Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians. I love narrating the book though I will say figuring out the many character voices is incredibly challenging. It should be available within the next few months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A hidden world waits, a dark society schemes, and a ship sails to protect that which cannot be lost.
Salem Swan knows none of this as he arrives in Easterly. He knows only that he misses his recently deceased mother, that his new guardian, his uncle Ulysses is unique, and that the boat which will now be his home is unlike anything he has ever seen.
Fearful of this new reality, Salem starts to ask questions that uncover the truth about his distant uncle, his long-gone father, and the true nature of the ship. The answers lead him into a place of myth and legend, where fantastic creatures wage an ages-old war with a radical group bent on eliminating them forever.
Rich with mythology from around the world, Hidden Meridians is the first installment of a fantasy series that takes readers into that place that is just around Curiosity’s edge.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians

Around Curiosity's Edge: Hidden Meridians by [J.P. Hostetler]

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians by J.P. Hostetler immerses the reader in an adventurous world of magic, intrigue, and mystery. Following a cast of characters varying in background and purpose, we’re able to learn about the in-depth universe of magic and its effects on reality. Our characters, including Fern, Ulysses, Salem, Roach, and more, find that they are interconnected in deep and spiritual ways. Our protagonists face off against the Regulats, who want to erase magical bloodlines and the potential power they hold to establish their own reign of control as the “superior species.” Along the way, we see that found family and selfless characters fight their way through strife despite the danger and loss that they face.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians emphasizes the idea that we’re able to create our own families. In this case, blood is not thicker than water—friends can be just as important and loving as familial ties. Salem experiences new life on the Curiosity, a ship where people travel by magical means. His friends, Zee and Jupiter, help him find comfort and peace in his new mystifying life. His uncle, Ulysses, spends his life on this ship and bonds with Salem as they come together and try to rebuild their family. Captain Fern reunites with his daughter and works to create a better world for his crew, the magical creatures of the world, and those he loves.

I loved the diverse approach to this story. Characters came from across the globe with rich, inspiring backgrounds rooted in varying identities. As they travel on perilous expeditions and encounter mystical creatures like frost giants and wyverns, each character brings an individual and exciting history to the table. As they battle against regulators who want to eliminate the myriad of talents and powers seen within our cast of characters, we see the power of individuality and perseverance.

While I enjoyed reading from several different points of view, sometimes it was difficult to keep track of the characters and I found myself rereading to make sure I knew what was happening in the story. As I got deeper in the book and grew more familiar with the characters, this problem disappeared. It’s worth taking some time to note who the characters are and what their stories entail throughout the book.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians by J.P. Hostetler is an inspiring and fantastical beginning to what feels like an incredible universe, and I’m so excited to see where the world will go. If you want to feel uplifted by an exciting story in a fantastical world, this is the perfect fantasy book for you.

Pages: 373 | ASIN: B093N1THPJ

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Scorn of Secrets – Book Trailer

I must keep it locked away–the memory of my darkest secret….

When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg–she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons.

My outgoing, older sister fits right in–she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance.

Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all.

My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear.

The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away.

Recommended for 16+ due to sexual content and language. Some content dealing with sexual assault may be disturbing.

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We All Have Some Darkness

Cassie Sanchez
Cassie Sanchez Author Interview

Chasing the Darkness follows an assassin who’s given magical powers which unlock suppressed memories that turn his world upside down. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for Azrael came from a video game called Overwatch that my boys played. One of the characters is an assassin named Reaper, who can teleport. In my first draft, Azrael’s name was Grim, but after a search for names from different sources, I came across Azrael, which means Angel of Death. I didn’t just want the typical assassin on a quest for revenge, which is why I added the side effect of the magic. An assassin that feels empathy is a liability, which leads to his betrayal and being dependent on those he’s hunted, forcing him to face the past, the unwanted emotions, and the vulnerability of caring for someone besides himself.

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

During my writing and research, I found a quote by Plato: “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of victories.” I love the anti-hero and the conflict of man vs. self, and for an assassin to conquer himself was an intriguing idea. I think we all have some darkness inside that we battle daily, and I wanted Azrael to be forced to deal with his darkness. Also, I learned from the Jerry Jenkins Guild about antagonists needing to be vulnerable (what he calls a “pet the dog moment”), and although Azrael wasn’t the antagonist, he still needed something to make him human, so to speak. Having an assassin cherish the sunrise, admiring its beauty, and the idea of starting new, brought a depth to Azrael that made him likable.

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

There were two underlying themes in Chasing the Darkness; redemption and forgiveness. Azrael in his quest for vengeance found redemption. His love interest, Kenz, who held onto bitterness and anger, learned forgiveness when she held Azrael’s life in her hand. These two themes allowed the characters to open themselves to the possibility of love.

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

I’m currently working on the sequel to Chasing the Darkness. I plan to have three books in this series, hoping to finish the sequel by the end of the year. It took me two years to complete the first, but I’m hoping to cut that time down so fans won’t have to wait too long between books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Pain is inescapable. Suffering is a choice.
 
Azrael, the Angel of Death, has known his fair share of pain. Losing his mother and sister and forced to join the Watch Guard at the age of twelve, he becomes the most feared assassin in all of Pandaren. As a Hunter, he searches for those with magic, called Spectrals, but has his own agenda–destroying the Fire Spectral who altered the course of his life.

Azrael, obsessed with revenge and power, undergoes an experimental procedure that gives him magic, but unexpected side effects cause chaos, and he becomes a liability to the Hunters and the Watch Guard, for the Angel of Death cannot have a conscience.

Rescued by the people he has sworn to eliminate, Azrael finds himself questioning everything he once believed as years of secrets and lies are exposed. His very nature is challenged as he battles unfamiliar emotions and navigates relationships that contradict the heart of a killer.

Chasing the Darkness is an escape to a land of magic, sword fights, and love, with memorable characters who come face-to-face with the darkness within, forced to journey down a path of either destruction or redemption.

Chasing the Darkness

Azrael’s life changed the night he lost his mother and sister to a raid led by a magic-wielding human called a Spectral. Now he’s a young man with a heart darkened by hate and a life’s mission to kill the erring Fire Spectral. Drexus, the kingdom’s army commander, then drafts him into an elite team of warriors trained to hunt down Spectrals.

Fueled by hate and anger, Azrael’s becomes the Angel of Death, the kingdom’s most ruthless assassin. In an experiment led by Drexus, Azrael receives Spectral magic and gets superhuman strength and speed. But this leads to unexpected side effects, and Azrael’s life changes again. The once cold-blooded killer begins to sympathize with Spectrals, but that’s a problem. Annoyed at Azrael’s newfound softness, Drexus kicks him out of his elite team and condemns him to prison. This leads the Angel of Death down a new path where he discovers shocking truths about reality and his identity.

Cassie Sanchez’s Chasing the Darkness is a superbly thrilling epic fantasy novel. The author takes readers through a world of hard-hitting sword and sorcery, cold-blooded warriors, and power-hungry maniacs. It’s a delightful mix of adventure and  fantasy.

If Chasing the Darkness had a pulse it would be beating rapidly. For an epic fantasy adventure with kinetic energy I was pleased to see this was also and emotionally charged story. Author Cassie Sanchez has the ability to keep the tension high with a consistently engaging plot that is colored with intriguing characters.

I loved Sanchez’s penchant for characters with colorful personalities. From the feisty to the smug, the sweet and noble to the cynical, irrespective of what your taste in story characters is, you’ll find one that’s endearing in this book.

Apart from the traits the book’s characters possess, I also enjoyed their evolution. For example, I liked how Azrael began his journey from the point of confidence and then nose-dived into an identity crisis before clawing his way to renewed purpose and meaning. It is a fascinating reflection of the typical hero’s journey but with a unique flare.

If you enjoyed stories like The Witcher or Assassin’s Creed then you will find plenty to enjoy in this suspenseful fantasy novel that keeps things much more clean but loses none of the intrigue.

Chasing the Darkness is an imaginative fantasy adventure story with a vibrant cast and a storyline that is relentlessly entertaining. A fast-paced sword and sorcery adventure that was hard to put down.

Pages: 280 | ISBN: 1631956094

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Phoebe’s Identity is Revealed

L. Samuels
L. Samuels Author Interview

Phoebe Douse: The Return has a dramatic turn of events that test the students abilities and reveal Phoebe’s destiny. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?

New ideas introduced would be that book 2 answered some unanswered questions from book 1. An important part of Phoebe’s identity is revealed. And the elements of life and death danger and fear, I believe, are intensified.

I thought this story was fun and I enjoyed the unique twists. What was the funnest scene for you to write?

I’m so happy you enjoyed all the different twists and turns in the story! One of the funnest scenes to write was the chapter called, The Factory. I wanted it to have a very intense, mysterious vibe that heightened the drama of the story and have a big reveal. Definitely a chapter that I like to reread, even on its own.

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

My main challenges were setting mini deadlines for writing so that I could finish the book on time. Another challenge was making sure that I remained true to each character as the plot developed. I knew I wanted there to be growth and conflict within each character as well as between characters, but at the same time, I didn’t want to veer away from the essence of who each of them are.

This is book two in the Phoebe Douse Trilogy. What can readers expect in the final book?

Honestly, this is still a mystery even to me. I’m currently outlining the plot, which has been a bit tricky since I have so many ideas and ways in which I’m imagining the story could go. I’ve decided that I’m not going to plan too much ahead. For book 3, I’d like for the story to develop organically. So I’m excited to see where this final book will take me!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | | Instagram | Facebook | Website

The Fadrix wasn’t destroyed. It never can be. And its return helps Phoebe during a wild, unexpected holiday detour into the bustling city of London. While literally escaping the dangerous clutches of rogue members, Phoebe must use the little time she has and work alongside Renaud and Colin to decipher an important vision. Making their way back to The Murray School, Phoebe and her friends remain secluded as they continue their training. But are they safe? With all its secrets, the school has a way of bringing out the truth. Friendships are challenged. The seen and unseen lurk about. Students’ abilities are tested. And the imprisoned Headmaster Duff has made an unusual request―he will cooperate with S3A2 if, and only if, he speaks with Phoebe alone. In this second book of the trilogy, difficult choices have to be made as the survival of S3A2, Phoebe, and her friends hang in the balance. And Phoebe discovers a shocking truth that reveals her destiny but also threatens her entire world.

A Firecracker of a Character

B.A. Bellec
B.A. Bellec Author Interview

Someone’s Story follows a teen struggling with depression along with a host of other high school challenges and finds a group of weirdos that save him from the dark depths of his mind. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I went through a rough patch in life and this started as a journal. After about a half-year of reflecting and journaling, I decided to turn it into fiction. I combined many people from my past to get the robust characters we have at the end. I also play with the timeline as all this did not happen inside a year but rather over 5 or 6 years. As an adult, you get older and you fall out of contact with those people from your past. In a way, this was me letting them know I was always paying attention.

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

Originally it was me. The anxiety and the cleverness, combined with the running. I am a deep-thinking introvert and that side of me comes out in Someone for sure. Where the character took flight was when I combined two people from my past with myself. By bringing in their flaws and trauma I was able to create a firecracker of a character. The decision to leave the character named Someone was because I didn’t feel it was fair to make this from my perspective or to call the main character myself. By just leaving them as Someone, I better honor all the people that rolled into this character.

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

Mental health, friendship, love, loss, pop culture, drug use culture.

I wanted this to read pretty normal for the first 60% so I tried to pull from my past and give genuine heartfelt chapters from my past. I think I also do a good job showing broken homes and “busy” parents. Of course, the ending hits hard and mental health becomes the central theme. Jogging and writing are tools to help with mental health. I am not an expert on mental health in any way but I can say that jogging and writing help balance me. I know when I struggle the most it is because I have let those two things fall off my schedule.

This is a fantastic debut novel. What were some surprising challenges you faced while writing?

I do not have any technical English training. I used a pair of editors to help me with tense and spelling. The editors are critical to my process and both came back to help on my second novel. The plot and characters come naturally to me and I can write 50K words in a few months, then I spend 6+ months going back and forth with the editors. I went down a 2-year rabbit hole learning how to self-publish and then self-market. I had no idea how hard it would be to market a novel. You have to get on social media every single day for years to get steam. My second novel release is going to be so much bigger with all the skills and connections I made along the way though.

Author Links: YouTube | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

In his debut endearing coming-of-age book, B.A. Bellec writes about a group of weirdos that find and save each other from the dark depths of their minds. Someone’s Story is literally Someone’s story, as in a first-person narrative of a teenager that calls himself Someone. As he struggles to find a new footing in a new space, we encounter the many ups and downs of modern teenage life, the difficulties that adjusting to adult feelings bring, and a few tear-jerking surprises along the way.

Littered with music, mental health, friendship, loss, meditation, advice, pop culture, and even inspiring an EP, there is so much nostalgia, inspiration, and depth here it is hard to absorb it all. Cozy up somewhere warm and enjoy!
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