Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church introduces us to Jayne’s eerie world, where high school girls are disappearing and mysterious boys with unnatural features seemed to be all around. Jayne is the only one who remembers the missing girls, and it’s starting to make her feel like she’s going crazy. One boy in particular forms a powerful bond with her—Aithen is alluring and kind to Jayne when the rest of their school is suspicious of her research into the missing girls. With a strange man named Erek lurking around the girls and mutterings of possible supernatural creatures, all signs point to one dark answer: alien abduction.
The world is in peril, and the characters in Earth 101: Time to Run need to save it. Jayne herself holds the fate of the universe in her hands. Through her compassion for her missing friends and desperation to protect her family, Jayne connects the dots and becomes closer to Aithen as he shares the secrets of his home planet, Korudaz. He moves through time and sees the future where Jayne’s life is in danger. Rather than allow those pieces to fall into place, they decide to rewrite history and save the world.
I loved the pacing of this story. Every moment was a surprising twist, full of exciting action. The characters were nuanced and complex as they navigated the supernatural aspects of the story. I really enjoyed seeing the connections that Jayne made with others as she strives toward protecting the people she loves and saving her friends from being permanently deleted.
While I found the alien world fascinating, I was a little confused by all the terms that we are introduced to. There were many worlds, objects, and people to keep track of at once as the alien universe is first brought into our story. However, by the end of the book these ideas became easier to follow and made the story very intriguing and created an immersive experience. I liked how creative the approach to space was within this book.
Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church is a fast-paced, high intensity science fiction story that brings a new approach to stories of alien invasion. With our heroine Jayne and her intense focus, we’re able to travel through time and watch as she encounters daring feats. This is a story full of passion, action, and romance that you won’t want to miss.
Pages: 412 | ISBN: 1916300375
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The Correction follows a man that has the ability to give people a chance to correct their past, but one wrong correction sends him on a perilous journey of redemption. What was the inspiration behind the idea of the ‘Correction’?
I sometimes get a concept—or more precisely a question—in my head I can’t get rid of that eventually matures and finds its way into a novel. Questions like ‘What would happen if someone came upon one of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas for Jesus’ life?’ or ‘Is it possible to compare two wars like the Civil War and the Vietnam War that are dissimilar in so many ways?’ are examples. The Correction is no different. Even the most fortunate and luckiest person on earth has one ‘what if’ moment where they would have liked to have done something differently. Making a mistake or saying the wrong thing or making a selfish decision that hurts someone else, these foibles of the human character seemed too universal not to try to capture. In The Correction, I give a lucky few people an opportunity to go back and correct a mistake. It seems like this would be too good to be true, but like any such gift, it often comes at a price.
What were some ideas that drove Joseph Vance’s character development throughout the novel?
I wanted Joseph Vance to be an everyman but at the same time be lofty in his goals, aspirations and ideals. He is a man who has what is most dear to him stolen from him through a Correction gone wrong. He slips into despair and cynically puts his gift to improper ends, but I wanted there to remain in him a spark of the better man he is. Hopefully, that spark is enough to burst into a flame of redemption, but you’ll just have to read the book to find out!
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I always try to infuse broader societal messages in my books even as I’m presenting personal stories and relationships. The Correction is no different. The scourge of racism plays a special role in this book. There are also stories of love, devotion and acceptance throughout the novel. I think the one theme that most permeates this book is that of second chances. Everybody deserves a second chance. The Correction presents the epitome of giving someone a second chance to correct a mistake and make amends.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’ve written a series, The Vega Investigative Thriller Series, about a New York City Investigative TV Reporter, Francine Vega. She uncovers and helps thwarts plots that, if allowed to proceed to fruition, could jeopardize the safety and security of country and even the world. The third book, Beyond Revelation, came out in December and it’s time to write the fourth in the series. I’m hoping to have the next book finished by the end of the year.
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Midnight Cranes sets the Polish Dragon on a new murder investigation in a manufacturing plant that leads to the Dragon Trail. What inspired the setup to this mystery story?
Years ago as a martial arts student and as an employee in the material handling industry I had thought about how interesting it would be to have someone like Chuck Norris be the hero and discover, as an undercover cop, a drug ring going on inside of the plant. I had outlined the story and sent it to one of his students, who also was making movies, to see what he thought of the idea. He liked the idea but said he was too busy and didn’t really have the time. Fast forward many years and now that I am an author I thought why not make it into a book instead. The only change was having the Polish Dragon P. I. be the one going undercover.
I enjoyed how well the story is developed in so few pages. Is it your intention to make your stories short, or is that just your writing style?
It is a little bit of both. My intention is to write the story in a novella so that it makes for a quick and easy read. Some of my fans have said how much they enjoy the shorter read as sometimes a full novel can be too long and filled with unnecessary information. So if you’re riding a train say from New Jersey into New York City you could finish half the book on your ride in and the other half on your ride home. I have noticed though, that each new book I write seems to get a little bit longer each time.
What were some new challenges you wanted Tom to face in this book that were different from the previous books?
I wanted Tom to face the challenge of going undercover and having to maintain the cover as long as he could. Another one was to have him finding help from one of his colleagues and not just for digging up information but actually working on the case with him. That is where Suzie Mandrake comes in, a detective on the Cleveland police force who aspires to be a private investigator like Tom. Her big dream is to be a partner with Tom in his Polish Dragon Investigations business.
What is the next adventure you have lined up for the Polish Dragon P.I.?
Tom will now have to partner up with Suzie again as a friend of hers has a 600 year old family bible disappear after his father was killed in a car accident. The bible may hold clues to a dark secret from the families past.
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Little Girl Scream follows a hotelier who must find a killer lurking in her hotel before he strikes again. What was the inspiration for the mystery at the heart of your story?
We wanted to write a thriller absent of the usual tropes and cliches. We were trying for a scene and situation somewhat atypical of the ‘thriller’ genre. Foremost in our objectives was to create a relationship between the two main characters wherein they did not end up romantically involved by the end of the story. Sort of a: “Yes. A man and a woman can be great friends who admire and respect each other.”
I loved the relationship between Dale and Sofia. What were some ideas that guided their character relationship?
The references in the book to the witty dialogue and ‘slightly combative’ repartee of the golden age of movies was something we both wanted to embody in Sofia and Mathis. In a sense, they are a little like Butch and Sundance from ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in that while they do make the odd pithy and even disparaging remark, the duo do genuinely care for one another and will willingly risk their life for the other.
What was the writing collaboration process like with co-author F. Carod?
While I live in South Korea, F. Carod actually lives in Cancun. She’s a wealth of information that was put to great use in the development of the story. We’d write excerpts, post them in a ‘private’ Facebook page we created, give our critiques, do rewrites and revisions, etc., etc, until we were satisfied we had what we were after. It was a low process that took a while, but I think I speak for both myself and my co-author when I suggest we both learned a great deal from one another in the process. Lastly, modern technology is wonderful. It’s remarkable two individuals on either side of the globe can write a book together without having ever met.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
There are three books in the series. The second takes up a few months later with Sofia and Mathis living in Guadalajara. Her father is a wealthy hotel magnate, and he allotted them plots of land on his huge family compound to build homes with some of the money Tiara Tillman gave them. At the close of Book 1, when they watched Chief Ricardo’s press conference on TV, and he stated every person connected to Tillman would be hunted down, Mathis mused the man may be inviting trouble. Truer words were never spoken. But the trouble follows our faithful friends, as well.
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The Correction, by John Hazen, is the fascinating tale of a supernatural gift passed on from generation to generation, following the course of history and the characters’ life up to the narrator’s life. Joseph Vance, the narrator’s voice, leads us through his ancestors’ good and bad corrections and takes us through his life, where many obstacles will be placed on his way, but he’s not completely alone in overcoming them.
Hazen writes beautifully with vivid descriptions and insights on the characters’ feelings and thoughts. He manages to keep a fast pace all the way through the story. While time travel stories can get fanciful, I appreciated how grounded this supernatural thriller was which ensures that the story, and the characters, are relatable.
If you’re a reader that appreciates the details in a story, then you can certainly appreciate all the effort put in to fully flesh out these complex characters. Each has an important role to play in the story, and the dialogue and interactions with each one or subtle yet compelling. I was surprised to find to some impassioned commentary on social issues woven throughout the story. Issues like racism are addressed and provide an opportunity to really understand who are characters are and test them in some morally intriguing ways.
While I heartily enjoyed this science fiction drama, I had to get a few chapters into the novel before I felt I was sure I knew where this story was going. But diving into Joseph Vance’s life felt authentic and compelling and was something I eventually looked forward to.
The Correction, by John Hazen is a supernatural thriller that feels like it was written by Stephen King. With fully realized characters and a well-conceived and engaging plot, this was a historical thriller that kept surprising me. If you enjoy a good dramatic thriller, then I highly recommend this stimulating book.
Pages: 254 | ASIN: B094SRYXMV
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The Cry of a Raven by Robert Blanchard continues the journey of Aidan in the epic conclusion to The Roar of a Dragon Trilogy. The exciting journey is narrated with an intensity that sets a quick pace and elevates the drama. The story keeps the same quick pace among brutal battles, sacrifices, and tragedy from the start. Aidan quickly narrates how his life is irreversibly changed through triumph and loss. As previously, Aidan knows he must build his strength, mentally and physically, to further his quest. The narration is engaging and colorful. It grabs the reader from the start and leads them through a realm of richly imaginative kingdoms and exotic locations.
Before the prologue, the author offers an honest, heartfelt introduction about writing this book through a challenging year. Through personal tragedies and the first year of a pandemic, Robert Blanchard shares his positive message of love and prosperity for the future and how learning to overcome today and embrace the best in life is essential. His vision of getting the most out of life is a great mindset to have before diving into the action-packed story. The introduction and prologue set up the perfect stage for this fantastic fantasy.
In this book, Aidan grapples with his battles, both physical and emotional. The author continues to lead the reader through the monumental struggles and life-changing paths that Aidan takes. Readers will find a solid connection to Aidan and his relationships with Delmar, Kirra, and other characters who profoundly affect his growth throughout the series. The story winds through many beautiful and dangerous kingdoms, keeping the pace exciting and the reader turning pages.
Aidan’s adventures are well documented and written, with intense, lively dialogue along the way. It’s a rollercoaster ride of solid character development and engaging action. The author masters internal and conversational dialogue that gives the story and characters a strong resilience throughout the tale.
Robert Blanchard’s third installment of this series lives up to the high expectations set in the previous books. The story maintains a high level of entertainment that’s an excellent read for fans of Aidan’s quests. The Cry of a Raven by Robert Blanchard rewards readers with a thrilling, fast-paced adventure and a well-rounded tale with engaging characters and dialogue. This is a creative epic fantasy novel that brings this rousing sword and sorcery story to a thrilling end.
Pages: 312 | ASIN: B08CSH9YLH
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Loved by Night by Mildred Osei-Diko, is a fast-paced sensual fantasy novel about a forever war between vampires and werewolves, told through the eyes of Rebeka, an orphan girl, and her connection with four very different brothers, Stan, Nicholas, Antoli and Rikah. Each of them is forced to make terrible sacrifices to protect their family and the people they have come to love.
The engaging character-driven plot locks us into an intriguing world where vampires and werewolves are at war. Their savage war was sparked by the brother’s actions, and the dilemmas these characters face to survive.
I really enjoyed how Osei-Diko beautifully captures the frustration felt by orphaned Rebeka as she dreams of moving far away from the drudgery of her village life. In contrast, the four brothers, Stan, Nicholas, Antoli and Rikah are portrayed as living a care-free life growing up, practicing the combat skills their father had taught them. The brothers were born 1000 years ago, which gives this novel a vague but interesting historical aspect. The brother’s lives are changed forever in one traumatic night when the horror of their true natures is revealed. These invigorating twists and revelations come without warning and certainly keep readers on their edge of their seats. In the same way, there is a shocking revelation about Rebeka’s identity in the final battle, but I don’t want to ruin the ending, so I’ll just say the book has some wild twists.
The existence of these two warring is woven into the storyline slowly and makes really comes to fruition later in the novel. I did enjoy the backstory scenes which describe the terrible dilemmas that the four brothers face as they try and balance respect for human life, sexual attraction, and their need to feed. When Rebeka meets Stan, Nicholas and Antoli in a modern-day restaurant, the author cleverly contrasts her old life with their world of fierce fighting, luxury, and sexual power battles.
Rebeka falls almost instantly in love with Nicholas which will appeal to ardent romance fans that enjoy the genres tropes. The vampires are portrayed as sexually voracious and Rebeka is a willing ingenue and their is an alluring intimacy, but I wanted to explore it deeper and see their mutual desire for each other be drawn out. Why would Nicholas and Rebeka be so attracted to another at first sight if they come from opposite factions? What’s given is captivating, which makes me want to know more about their backstory.
I’m not sure if this is a warning or an invite, but I will say there are some erotic scenes and violence that will appeal to readers who enjoy provocative storytelling. Loved by Night is a fast-paced paranormal romance novel, with a page-turning plot that will appeal to readers of erotic romance and mainstream vampire and werewolf fantasy readers.
Pages: 103 | ASIN: B08LH6VCL6
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Nicholas Powter’s The Gauntlet of Pong Wu is a tragic story of love, family, and treachery. Set in the mystical land of Pong Wu, this story follows the life of Antatirgo, a local chief’s daughter. While the story begins with two warriors dueling for her hand in marriage, things soon take an apocalyptic turn.
Demons invade her village and she is tragically separated from her sister Wytgo. In a last-ditch attempt to save herself and find her sister, she lets a demon possess her after he promises to help her. Ultimately, this decision takes her down a dangerous path, one of pain and unexpected challenges.
As expected from a story with gods, angels, and demons, a lot of the language used in this book is quite unique – this particular story posses a flair for horrid descriptions and uses a lot of old English terms. While this adds authenticity to the spellbinding narrative that immerses you in the well-crafted world, I think it can be overwhelming at times. While the dialogue is substantive and sincere, delivering much of the emotional impact of the novel, I felt it was ponderous at times and ti was hard to nail down who was talking.
These minor quibbles aside, the plot of The Gauntlet of Pong Wu driving this riveting story forward is absolutely enthralling and sets up some very impactful scenes that will stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. The author has a way of always keeping you on your toes. This epic paranormal fantasy novel expertly depicts how much one is willing to endure for the love of family. I really enjoyed the ending to this dark fantasy novel as well, it is quite tragic and unpredictable, and left me with a lot of mixed feelings, which I think is what a good novel is supposed to do.
The Gauntlet of Pong Wu is an emotionally charged adventure novel with a rich backstory and fascinating characters that make it hard to put this book down.
Pages: 97 | ISBN: 198229065X
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