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A Hopeful Roadmap

Milton Schacter Author Interview

Regrets follows an old white man that travels to the past and enters an African American boys body and life. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thought-provoking book?

Current American cultural conflicts provide no avenue for the young ghetto dweller to reap the rewards of success in America. Bradley’s world view gives DeShawn a way out that he did not, and could not conceive. DeShawn bought into Bradley’s regrets, avoided them, and succeeded. I wanted to provide a hopeful roadmap.

Bradley is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that drove his character development?

Everyone has regrets. Anyone who says “I would live my life over in the same manner”, is lying to themselves and everyone else. In order to map the regrets, Bradley’s life had to be reviewed and his character developed in a way that brought him to realize he was not a good person.

The novel explores issues of race and life choices. What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

The theme is the way to a good and satisfying life requires competency, energy, and a willingness to work, which is available to us everyone in this country. We need to see it. Maybe someone who reads this book will see it.

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

Next book is Devlin. A former International “avenger, or enforcer, or assassin” is put out to pasture under a new identity after a part of his character is broken. After a few years, he falls into a situation not of his doing, but puts him in a danger he cannot understand. He learns the source of the danger, and then must act to preserve the anonymity he wanted very much to recapture. It will be available mayber in six months. Writing a book is time consuming and a lot of work.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Bradley Miller was a Midwestern white boy who became a lawyer. He lived a life full of experiences, many of them bad, many of which he regrets. For some reason, he was able to try over again, but it was in someone else’s body, in someone else’s mind, in someone else’s place. He was now DeShawn in the heart of Detroit’s ghetto.

Humans Can Be The Curse And The Cure

Grendolyn Peach Soleil Author Interview

Grendolyn Peach Soleil Author Interview

Limbo Jubilee follows Neala as she experiments with what it means to be human as her panic escalates with every page. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

I experienced an existential crisis, the gut punch of grief, at a formative age in my life, which inspired me to write Limbo Jubilee. I wrote Limbo Jubilee as an ode to my family, my ancestors, and the misty mountains where I grew up. I wanted to illuminate the intricacies of culture, trauma, and healing. I wanted to share the message that humans can be the curse and the cure and to not give up on each other as tempting as it may be.

My granny taught me that it hurts to be human, and pain is inevitable, but she also taught me that what matters most is how I respond to my pain. Humans are masters at avoiding, ignoring, and numbing their pain in all sorts of destructive ways. Humans are sly creatures and can spread their pain to others along the way. Humans are also incredibly good at getting so stuck in their pain that they can’t imagine living life any other way, but my granny taught me to face my pain with courage. Writing Limbo Jubilee was my way of transforming my brokenness into something beautiful.

Neala is an interesting and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I was born in Appalachia where the line between fairy tales and memoirs is imaginary. What many people call fairy tales and folklore, I call reality. Folk magic is as real as the rolling hills in West Virginia. My granny talks to the rivers, the sunflowers, the moon, and the stars, and she believes that they talk back to her. Granny’s mountain medicine is not a complementary or alternative medicine for me. In fact, there is nothing as powerful as the first sip of granny’s elderberry tonic on a cold, October night by the campfire.

Neala’s character reflects my own experiences growing up in Appalachia where magical realism is a way of life. It is a reality of its own. The human brain constructs memories and narratives, and to some degree, all memoirs are imaginary, existing in the planes of shared realities and unique realities. Memoirs are cultural artifacts, spinning tales of who we are and where we come from. Neala’s character reflects the values and beliefs of her culture, shifting between different voices and different planes of reality. Is she the alien or the human? The little girl or the therapist? The healer or the wounded? The sinner or the saint? Neala is all of them, and she writes in a style that is authentic to her experience.

The way that humans experience the world is based on so many different factors. Naturally then, readers will have a variety of reactions to Neala and to Limbo Jubilee. As for me, Neala is a raw and real character with both light and dark qualities, and at its core, Limbo Jubilee is a story of empowerment and healing.

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

Limbo Jubilee is a visionary celebration and explores visionary and metaphysical themes. Limbo Jubilee is a metaphor for being human and alien, earthly and otherworldly, broken and blessed, and all in the same breath. To be in the wheelhouse of visionary and speculative fiction with incredible authors like Margaret Atwood is a dream come true for me.

Limbo Jubilee provides observations and commentary on society. For example, it discusses the pressure for women to have children and how having children is viewed as normal and human. The alien living on planet Spry is a metaphor for how women without children can be viewed in our culture. Limbo Jubilee also explores and challenges the normalcy of addiction, as well as the black-and-white thinking that leads to extremes.

Limbo Jubilee is the anthem for creatures of the in between, shedding light on both earthly and sacred dimensions and exploring religion and spirituality. There are moments in life when we are fully present in our humanity, and moments when we morph into a creature feature, and moments when we shine as bright as the golden gods of eternity.

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

I am very excited to reveal my next book, The Mermaids Melt at Dawn. I am currently waving my magic wand and putting on the finishing touches. The Mermaids Melt at Dawn is a departure from my brain-busting and heartstring-pulling debut novella, Limbo Jubilee. I don’t want to spoil the mystery, but I’ll offer a quick teaser. Close your eyes and imagine a rowdy Cajun from Louisiana, a pair of warring mermaid sisters, a greedy Poseidon, petulant gods, and a magical island called Barbiche. The Mermaids Melt at Dawn is a melting pot for Cajun fairy tales and Greek Mythology. It will be released in late July or August 2020!

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Limbo Jubilee by [Grendolyn Peach Soleil]Neala’s surreal story begins in the backwoods of St. Roscoe, West Virginia. Neala’s hero is her Aunt Betsy, who saves the day in a pair of red cowgirl boots. Neala’s life is forever changed as she witnesses the death of her Aunt Betsy. Neala longs for a love that will heal her wounds, so when she meets Brick, she is tempted to cross the imaginary line, but she finds herself in a dangerous limbo. Neala’s spooky voyage transports her to the fringes of reality where she flirts with some creepy-crawly surprises. While a macabre sickness hunts Neala down, she experiments with what it means to be human. Neala’s panic escalates with every page, but could her paranoia be grounded in wisdom?

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Regrets

Regrets by [Milton Schacter]

Bradley, a grumpy old man, goes into his favorite liquor store one night to get a bottle of wine. Not knowing of what is awaiting him, everything changes when he is shot by a mugger. It would be obvious for Bradley’s story to end with his death but he wakes up in his former school where he used to play basketball and meets Pete who explains to him that his life is not over yet and how linear time works. Bradley is given another chance to live and face all the things he regrets from his younger age and makes amends but this will happen in the body of a young African American teen named DeShawn.

The author introduces his readers to the life of Bradley in a unique manner that I found to be full of gripping twists. The plot is easy to follow and captivating. The readers can feel the confusion of Bradley when he wakes up in his former high school in a different teens body, yet he is in his seventies. This opens the reader to another world of intriguing possibilities and a unique view at what things would look like if something of the sort happened like what Bradley faced. Pete is a representation of the state between heaven and hell. The conversation between Pete and Brad is philosophical and riveting. When Brad is given another chance to go back, make amends and face his regrets, it superbly sets up the story to explore possibilities, and the plethora of possibilities is what makes this novel immensely engaging.

Every piece of this book has been crafted carefully and the story line is fascinating. More than just being a great book, it creates a bond between two different worlds; the Midwestern life of Bradley and the “hood” life of DeShawn. Regrets uses a unique idea to explore the choices we all make in life. The author has also done a marvelous job of addressing the issues that most African Americans face in America and he advocates for Black Lives Matter in a fictional yet realistic way. I highly recommend this book.

Pages: 319 | ASIN: B0892P99KN

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Our Only Hope For Survival

Caitlin Lynagh Author Interview

Caitlin Lynagh Author Interview

Lost Frequencies follows a group of people trying to survive a dystopian world while fighting an evil but pragmatic corporation. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

Truthfully, I was inspired by what is happening to Earth and modern-day humans. Climate Change is one of the biggest threats to mankind, there’s still not enough action to solve the issue and opinions are too widely divided. Too many are apathetic to our climate crisis and think it doesn’t affect them or their lives so they don’t worry about it. People with the power to act seem more interested in money and the economy, and unfortunately many solutions to Climate Change will mean change, which affects the economy. People, in particular wealthy people, are the most resistant to change, especially if it’s likely to affect their income. Then there are the people who deny Climate Change altogether, despite the evidence and warnings from scientists around the globe. This creates a world where nothing significant gets done and change happens too slowly. Humans are walking a fine line, and it is easy to imagine Earth becoming like the dystopian world in Lost Frequencies in the near future.

There are many well developed and interesting characters in this book. Who was your favorite character to write for?

This is a tricky question to answer as I enjoyed writing all of the characters because they are all so different, but my favourite characters are Ehi, Ahrl and Varth. Varth was particularly interesting to write as he isn’t a typical ‘bad’ character. He is tormented by grief and guilt and with most of his decisions he has conflicting emotions.

I appreciate the depth with which this story is told. What are some sources of inspiration that guided you while writing?

I was inspired by a collection of ideas that I came up with and let flow. I’m not sure where all of my ideas came from but many have real-life parallels.

One idea came from a series of questions; ‘What would extra-terrestrial life look like?’, ‘Why haven’t we found any extra-terrestrial life like us?’ and ‘If Earth is a basic blueprint for the evolution of life, would life on other planets evolve in the same way?’ These questions led me to imagine Iyeeka and its inhabitants. Conscious species which look very much like humans, with slight differences, and a different history.

I also thought about how human history would have been much different if we weren’t a violent species. What if instead of killing each other, communities helped each other instead? What would that world look like today?

Other ideas came from Climate Change, human destruction, and how unpredictable nature can be. As terrifying as it may be, all it would take to wipe out humanity would be a series of catastrophic events. So I thought about the survival of the human race in the long term. We can’t live on Earth forever as one day our planet will die. This means our only hope for survival is if we inhabit space and master space travel. This has always intrigued me and I keep an eye out for any science related news.

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

I have just finished working on my latest novel, Quantum Messenger. It is the last novel to be released in The Soul Prophecies Series. Hopefully it will be released later this year or early next year in 2021. Quantum Messenger follows the first sentient robot on Earth as he becomes aware of himself, the world and his feelings and develops a soul. I’m looking forward to hearing about people’s thoughts and reactions. You can read the books in The Soul Prophecies Series in whichever order you like, as they have an endless loop. Indeed, they probably work best in reverse release order.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Lost Frequencies: The Soul Prophecies by [Caitlin Lynagh]

You are being watched. All your pathways have already been seen.

During a salvage hunt in the desolate wastelands of Planet Iyeeka, a strange naked woman is discovered inside a metal machine. No one has lived in the area for decades.

Ten wise Iyeekens are drawn to the woman through their dreams and eventually follow her, along with the three who found her, through their war-torn land in search of truth. They believe she is the key to saving their dying planet. She has knowledge even she doesn’t understand. Yet.

Who are these aliens she so vividly remembers? What is the significance of this planet Earth and its inhabitants? And why is her knowledge essential in saving their world?

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The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry

The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry by [Brindley, Charley]

Sergeant James Alexander and his crew have cheated death. Where they landed when they abandoned their plane isn’t nearly as important as the century they landed in. Small things around them begin to add up very quickly as they try desperately to acclimate themselves to their surroundings only to find themselves left with more questions than answers. As they venture out, they begin to meet more and more people with weapons unlike their own who are not in any way fearful of the soldiers. One thing leads to another and Alexander’s crew begins to realize they have fallen into the past with no foreseeable escape.

The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry by Charley Brindley tells the tale of a group of soldiers bound for Afghanistan when fate intervenes with a plan none of them could have predicted. Brindley’s cast of characters is unique, and their banter, despite their extreme circumstances, is refreshing and engaging. The dynamic between characters feels true to life, and their exchanges mimic genuine relationships between coworkers.

There is no lack of action in Brindley’s work. From the first chapter, his characters are entrenched in a battle to understand their situation that moves quickly into a battle for their lives. Readers who appreciate well-drawn fight sequences and intricately described battle scenes, will appreciate Brindley’s work.

Cover to cover, the characters’ reactions to their surroundings and the people they encounter serve as a wonderful contrast to the time period in which they have found themselves. Brindley throws in the perfect number of references to modern technology in juxtaposition to the primitive weapons and lack of simple things we take for granted such as calendars and clocks. Consistency is key in books of this genre, and Brindley manages that with ease.

One of the most endearing aspects of Brindley’s cast of characters is the compassion shown by Alexander’s crew during a time of war. Characters one might expect to be brash and full of cold reactions in time of war are actually tenderhearted and loving. Their desire to tend to the injured and not only assist the wounded but provide genuine comfort is captivating. These traits add another layer to the already engaging characters.

History buffs will enjoy Brindley’s work. The author has gone to great lengths to include historically accurate information in his writing. Watching as the inhabitants of the past experience bits and pieces of the future is as fascinating as it is entertaining.

Rarely does one find a truly perfect blend of past and present, but Brindley has given just that to his readers. Memorable characters wrapped in a unique story line make for one fantastic read and lay the groundwork for what I hope are more books with Alexander’s crew.

Pages: 473 | ASIN: B07N6K1DRZ

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Myth Agent

Myth Agent by [MacFadden, L.A.]

Still reeling from the death of his mentor and friend, Rutt is taken aback once more when confronted by a young girl late one night in the lab. One question leads to another, and Rutt soon learns that she is not who he believes her to be, nor is she the person she appears to the naked eye. Like a bolt of lightning, Rutt is struck with the realization that the thing he has worked on, believed in, and hoped for is finally standing before him in the form of a young, lost girl.

Myth Agent, by L.A. MacFadden, features main characters experiencing time travel from both sides. MacFadden has managed to provide readers with a fantastic story of time travel while incorporating a bit of mystery. I actually loved that I needed to reread the first few pages of chapter one because MacFadden gives readers a story that could indeed be set in any time period. I found it incredibly appealing that I didn’t immediately picture the setting as far as century. This is a story that could be situated neatly in any decade, but the fact that it is tucked into the early 20th century makes it unique.

As the mother of two teens, I have spent my fair share of time watching science fiction movies and have read many science fiction novels. MacFadden’s techniques stand out among the many approaches to time travel I have seen. It’s practically ingrained in us as a part of pop culture that time travelers will somehow be beamed up or disappear as a pixelated image before our eyes. MacFadden, however, has chosen to have her characters travel in a manner much more befitting, and somehow more believable.

In addition to the uniqueness of MacFadden’s choice of time travel description, I am intrigued by the manner in which characters’ time travel begins. I love the idea that the fossilized bone is the kickstarter for the whole process. The divide between prehistoric times and the futuristic feel of time travel itself is immensely appealing in this story line.

Rutt’s story is both relatable and enjoyable while Odessa’s serves to give more depth to the story. I appreciate the break MacFaddengives readers from overly technical details, machines, and text riddled with terms specific to technology. There is, within the chapters of Myth Agent, a well-developed story line surrounding Rutt’s backstory and the way in which he comes to know and love Minnie.

I find MacFadden’s work to be much more a story of perseverance than a work of science fiction and thoroughly enjoyed both story lines, though I found Rutt’s story tugged at my heartstrings most. I would recommend this book to anyone who has yet to become fully invested in science fiction and is looking to dabble in this particular genre. This is a fabulous starter book for any reader more interested in character development than the typical elements of science fiction.

Pages: 159 | ASIN: B07VMZ4NXJ

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Myth Agent – Trailer

It’s 1945, soon after VJ Day. Odessa Shatto, an antiques dealer, is pierced in the side by a prehistoric bone. The next morning she awakens, horrified to see a hideous green slime creeping over her, hardening into a cocoon that quickly entombs her in darkness and leaves her fearing for her life. Each time it happens, she remembers feeling a sense of being thrown hard, as though from the hand of a giant. And the last time, she remembers her trajectory crossing with that of her fiancé, a soldier who has been injured in the Pacific in World War Two. They may think of their paths crossing as a gift, but in reality it will produce agonizing results.

Ruttledge Rosenbaugh, a professor of science devoted to his students at Hensley University, has spent years learning from his mentor, whose mantra was that time travelers are constantly around and unnoticed. But nothing Ruttledge has ever heard or read on time travel prepares him for what he witnesses in his secret laboratory in 1910. After recuperating from the ordeal, he spends years trying to prove the existence of time travel, while a jealous rogue from his past lies in wait, hoping to debunk any time travel theory the professor develops–no matter the cost.

Myth Agent is a time travel tale, woven of the fantastic, and interspersed with traces of historical fiction.

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Saving Time

Saving Time (Community Chronicles Book 3) by [Lees, Jenn]

In her third book in the Community Chronicles series, Jenn Lees continues the adventures and perils of a world that is spinning into chaos after a major stock market crash. Set in the year 2061, Saving Time is the story of brave Scotsman and his companions who risk their lives to save Scotland from nuclear destruction. In a world where the government has deserted its people and bandits are always a threat, the story’s hero must take matters into his own hands even if that means risking a trip back in time to get the information he needs. Through her story of loyalty and betrayal, Lees shows readers the meaning of self-sacrifice for the betterment of all.

Although the book starts off a bit slow, I found the story line increasingly compelling as the book progressed. The topics of love, time travel, and impending worldly destruction that run throughout the book are ones that are likely to appeal to the reader and keep their interest. In terms of grammar, flow, and ease of reading, the book was well written and enjoyable.

I felt like the time travel part of the book was not as compelling as it could have been. It didn’t seem integral to the plot. The reasoning for traveling to the past seemed vague, especially when the information that the characters acquired from this journey was ultimately unnecessary in dealing with the nuclear threat. I thought that the surprise assistance that showed up for the ultimate resolution of the threat seemed coincidental and made the original plan seem unnecessary.

The characters were interesting and well developed. When they make their way through 21st century England, I enjoyed the outsiders perspective, but would have enjoyed a deeper contrast. Rory and Siobhan’s relationship reflects that kind of contrast and I savored the experience of watching the slow development of their characters.

Overall I thought the book was enjoyable, particularly after reaching the second half where the story really picks up speed. This would be well suited for anyone looking for post apocalyptic fiction with a time travel twist.

Pages: 255 | ASIN: B07PWYVYJC

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