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Their Trials and Tribulations

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Love and Happiness does an exceptional job of portraying a relateable relationship and the many obstacles that a relationship can face. What were some driving motivations for you while writing this book?

I did a lot of research with married couples (15) Interviewing 15 of them and at least 20 married women to help get the voice down for Karen. I asked them about their trials and tribulations with marriage and what would make them cheat. I also looked at my own relationship as motivation. Like Chris, I’m more of an “I’ll show you I love you more than I’ll tell you I love you” type of person. By listening to all of the interviews and writing both characters I felt I was able to learn and improve on my own relationship.

Chris and Karen are complex character that I was able to empathize with. What were some ideals you wanted to capture in your characters?

I wanted readers to see that neither Karen or Chris was innocent. Their actions had consequences to them. I wanted readers to see that if they are going through problems in their relationship that they are not alone. Every relationship has its trials and tribulations but communication is key.

Are you a fan of the urban fantasy genre? What books do you think most influenced your work?

For me, Eric Jerome Dickey is my favorite author. He talks to me in person, gives me advice and motivates me to keep writing. His books are what influenced my work. Cheaters, Milk in my coffee, Liars game, and the other woman to name a few.

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

The book that I am currently working on is called “Mothers” and I hope to have it released early next year. Hopefully in time for Mother’s Day.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home, and a great job. She also has a secret: she’s cheating on her husband with not one man, but two. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but Karen feels neglected, bored, and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem, and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband, Karen ends the affairs, but things don’t turn out how she planned. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed, she must fight to keep her family together.

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen, but she’s been growing more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone, what he finds changes their lives forever.

Tragedy strikes, and Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen, because he still loves her despite her infidelity. If they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again?

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No Old Souls at Fury Tavern

No Old Souls at Fury Tavern by [Matthes, Dave]

No Old Souls at Fury Tavern, written by Dave Matthes is a must read for anyone entertained by the trials and tribulations of the general dive-bar-going populace. In the story, we meet a regular guy, working in a regular place, who deals with a series of seemingly mundane problems. The ways in which the characters interact with their world, however, is much more interesting than what you would find in your rundown neighborhood dive bar.

Despite a few typos and minor grammatical errors, the writing is excellent. The author’s style is unapologetic and rich, with plenty of depth worked into his narrative to keep you hooked throughout the book. Never too simplified or overly complex, the short, bite-sized chapters keep the pace moving at a quick beat which is obviously what the intention was.

Characterization and world-building are areas that Dave Matthes excels at. While reading No Old Souls sat Fury Tavern, it is impossible not to relate with either the protagonist, Rocko Pitts, or any of the other inhabitant of his world. Each character is carefully crafted and comes with his or her own set of idiosyncrasies and personality. And, each of the characters seems to be placed very well within the world that Matthes creates.

From the descriptions of the physical attributes of Pitts’ world to the imagery – and empathy – that gets drummed up as the characters interact with their world, it is no difficult task to forget that you are reading a work of fiction. The world surrounding Pitts seems as real as the one we all inhabit and that makes identifying with and relating to him a satisfying experience, indeed.

The author is able to transport you into his world and the ride couldn’t be more believable. Add that to the fact that the story is entertaining, and you have yourself a highly-rated book that should be on your must-read list.

Pages: 220 | ASIN: B07R881T6Y

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Progenie

Progenie is an interesting book that is slow to start but definitely captures the readers attention as the story progresses into one of the most fascinating plots I’ve read this year. The story is a whirlwind of emotions written that takes place in the past and present. The writing style is uniqeue and the descriptions are vivid and provide details for all of your senses.

The story takes place in both the present day and the ancient past. Each place seemed exotic and realistic as the world building in this story was superb. It seemed as if I was transported to this other world where all these events and story lines were taking place. One of my favorite things is how the story starts off in the present, then goes back in history to clarify certain details.

I wasn’t too crazy about the beginning of the book, mostly because it was slow to build, and compared to the rest of this exciting novel, this felt flat. Once you get past the beginning, the story picks up and things start to fall into place. If you’re confused when reading this book, don’t worry, the author does an excellent job of clearing up the confusion in later parts of the story. And the revelations are satisfying.

There’s very few things I dislike about this book. Even the cover art grabs your attention. I call attention to the title of the book. It’s very clever and unusual. Yet, you can’t help but remember it. Several parts of the book make you feel as if you’re watching a movie rather than reading because the detail and world building are meticulous.

I love Zenobia Grant’s character. I always enjoy a strong female lead in sci-fi stories. Her journey is one of self discovery and that is masterfully shown through the slow development of her character throughout this surreal story. This is a book like no other that I’ve read. Filled with different creatures, in different times, and in different dimensions. This is a surreal adventure that you won’t soon forget.

Pages: 450 | ISBN: 1941637566

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The Astral Surge

The Astral Surge by [Nirmal Ranganathan]

The Astral Surge follows the life of two main characters, Ron and Catherine. The book starts off by revealing our characters’ past. They meet after Catherine’s mom adopts Ron and they start an interesting life together. However, Ron starts revealing some dark tendencies that cause Catherine to wonder about her brother. As they grow older, they find their respective careers and take different yet similar paths that show their true selves. Eventually, it all culminates in some pivotal events which have big consequences – both good and bad – for our main characters and certain other people.
The book starts slow, and although the beginning confused me, it helped set the context for the later part of the story. The characters were intriguing and well developed. I liked the way they continued to develop as the story progressed. I enjoyed the characters being realistic. It helped in my easily empathizing with them.
Ron is a uniquely interesting character. The way the book documents his descent down the path he chose is both chilling and gripping. One example of this is the conversation he has with his soon-to-be-wife. She doesn’t notice it as much, but in this scene, you get a sense of his internal conflicts.
I also feel that the characters sometimes express an out-of-place carefree or happy attitude, which makes the book hard to read at certain points. However, the novel makes up for this with a plot that keeps you engaged. The author smoothly transitions between different points of view of each character. We can see this in the way the book shifts its focus on each of them in every chapter.
Catherine’s character is wonderfully developed too, showing her awareness of Ron’s issues and how she continues to watch over him.
Another character I felt contributed significantly to the story was the FBI agent Peter Fox. His helping nature and the chemistry he had with the other characters throughout the book added an extra dash of intrigue to the story. For example,  the way he goes about assisting Antony was something that I personally found surprising. It added a nice touch to the main plot.

Overall, the book has equal amounts of action and a story that is well balanced. It does a fantastic job of bringing together all its characters and tying their situations up in a satisfying way that is sure to appeal to any fan of paranormal fiction.

Pages: 272 | ASIN: B07NY31HNK

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The Water Kingdom

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

Three Burning Red Runaway Brides finds Sabrina fighting for her life as she’s trying to save millions of others. How did you envision starting this novel and how did that change as you wrote?

I had a very sturdy thread I was connecting books one and two together with, and that thread only gets stronger with book three.

I wanted to build the story to a place Sabrina had not yet been. She was on top again. The object of desire, a leader—someone people listened to and respected. She was in control, but still had this one obstacle looming in the distance. This one last thing to overcome before she could finally rest and fully enjoy her new status.

I envisioned starting this novel off with a bang… (insert smirk here). And that is exactly how I started it off. (insert giggle here).

This novel did not change much from what I envisioned. The only thing I had to decide, before I got to the end, was how to end it. I had three outcomes in my mind. And juggled them. I wrote three endings and gave them all to my editor and proofreader and a trusted friend. I wanted to see how they felt.

As it turns out, the book ends as I originally envisioned it…with a couple tweaks.

I am happy with this book. It concludes the story of Sabrina while opening the world more and beginning the story of another character. I plan on writing more books. This series, The Water Kingdom, is done. The next books will be in the other Kingdoms: Fire, Air, Earth.

We get to learn more about who Dunyasha is, her past and how she became the cursed undead. Was this something you already had developed or was it something you started exploring in this book?

The elder vampire Dunyasha was always meant to be something more. But I did not know what the was until book two: TWO POLLUTED BLACK-HEART ROMANCES. In book three, I finally spill the beans and reveal it all. At the same time, I leave a little mystery surrounding her, because she will be the focus of the next series.

Dunyasha was fun to write in THREE BURNING RED RUNAWAY BRIDES. In fact, she was more fun to write in this book than the others. In many ways, I am sad to see the “old” Dunyasha go. Or should I say see the “old” Dunyasha back?

What is a scene from the book that was particularly challenging for you to write?

The end. As I said before, I had three versions in my head. One version was much-much longer. And had an entirely different outcome. It was brutal and ugly. But I wasn’t sure readers would enjoy it. It felt right to me, but it was like taking your favorite childhood toy and selling it. Sure, you can use the money for other things you want now, but you might miss that toy and want it back. I was torn. Do I keep that ending or not?

I wrote the three endings. And rewrote them. And edited them. And rewrote them. I picked my favorite and edited it more. Added dialogue. Removed dialogue. I struggled and I normally don’t struggle at writing at all, so I knew it must have been important.

After some feedback and some time to think, I picked an ending and edited and polished it again and again.

I think in the end; my characters are all where they should be. In some ways…many ways, they get what they deserve.

Where will the next book in the series pick up and when will it be available?

This series, The Water Kingdom Series, is done. It was a trilogy. One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail. Two Polluted Black-Heart Romances and Three Burning Red Runaway Brides.

The next series will be another trilogy. The Elemental Kingdom Series. And it will have one book each for the Fire, Air, and Earth Kingdoms. These books will show how the events in the Water Kingdom have rippled across the Elemental world. Each Kingdom will have a story to tell.

I think that will bring it all to an end. But then again, I might write some supplemental short stories.

The next book will not come out until 2020-2021. I will start writing it next year. I am writing the sequel to another book right now, one you reviewed and loved, THE LIFEBLOOD OF ILL-FATED WOMEN. That sequel is long overdue. Not George R.R. long overdue…but still…way late.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Three Burning Red Runaway Brides (The Water Kingdom Book 3) by [Breaux, Kevin James]

Sabrina London is back! The fate of the Elemental Kingdoms rests in the hands of its newest ruler: Sabrina London. When last seen, the fairy princess had made a deal with the King of Filth to save the lives of her friends. Now she is fighting to live the life she wants while trying to save the lives of millions. A monster, more dangerous than any other she has overcome threatens both the human and non-human world. How will she restore the balance? Despite the risks, Sabrina enlists the aid of one of her people’s biggest rivals. She has spun a complex web of lies and deception, now trying to gain her freedom, unaware that everyone she allies with has their own plans. 

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It Had Power

Angelina Kerner Author Interview

Angelina Kerner Author Interview

The Scented Bones follows a young forensic anthropologist thrown into the middle of a feud between vampires and werewolves. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

The Godfather by Mario Puzo. When I was in college, taking an English class, most essays and books were boring until the professor chose his book. The book inspired discussions and gained attention of the students. It had power and I wanted to have similar power over my readers with my writing.

This book has been in the works for more than 5 years. It has gone through 5 drafts, including Angel being a university student and main character to be Rayne and not Gage. However, that draft seemed to read more like about street gangs and so I worked hard to make it more like mafia families.

The Scented book is the first in the series and in every book I’ll introduce more characters and families. Hopefully, my books will inspire readers to read more and even try their hand at writing.

 Angel is an intriguing character that I enjoyed following. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character?

I didn’t want her to be perfect. I wanted her to be smart but timid. Serious but with surprising funny moments. I wanted her to tread carefully when it comes to relationships and focus on the job. But, what I wanted to show was how she looked at magic. Of how she was afraid of what she was and what she could do.

I enjoyed the backstory and mythology embedded in this world between the vampires and werewolves. What were some sources of inspiration that helped you create this world?

Most inspiration came from the characters themselves. Originally all characters were mundanes and as the book progressed into the paranormal, the characters became their other selves. When I was re writing them, I was thinking that if they weren’t paranormal born, how would they shift if bitten? How would they act if they were born?

I tried staying away from other paranormal books about vampires and werewolves to keep my characters original.

 Where will the next book in The Svabodina Case Files pick up and when will it be available? 

The next book will pick up a couple of weeks after the last scene in The Scented Bones with a new case. The new case will involve a serial killer.

At the moment, I have about 20 chapters written. I’m going back to editing these chapters before finishing the book because I have to add information to the already written ones in order to write the scenes with the actual killer. It is a lot of work and I have a chapter summary file that I go back to for each chapter. I’m tracking dates, character appearances, etc.

I’m not sure when it will be out, hopefully next year. The Scented Bones has been republished by a publisher! So, I’ll work closely with the publisher for book 2 as well. It’s super exciting! Book 2 is titled – The Puzzle of Bones.

Author Links: Website | GoodreadsAmazonTwitterFacebookPinterest

The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files by [Kerner, Angelina]

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. Rights and wrongs become blurred, as she is tormented by her past and accepting who she truly is while searching for the skeleton. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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Rebirth: Birds of Change – Trailer

An explosion rocks the city to its very foundation; the sole survivor Asylia has no memories of her past. She finds herself in a world divided between those who are talented and those who aren’t. Vici a city governed by an egotistical Praetor driven by his hatred for the gifted individuals the tallents whom he considers a plague.

Risen from the ashes, Asylia pieces herself together while taking control of her emerging fire talent. Harbored by a mysterious group called Revival, she discovers that the people of Vici are disappearing at an alarming rate. Together with her new friends, she must rally against the Praetor’s tyranny, racing to free the city in hopes that she isn’t too late to bring peace to this world in turmoil. She must be careful; one mistake and she will end up like all the other Tallents who have faced the Praetor’s wrath.

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Urban ISIS – Trailer

Raised on the deadly streets of New Orleans, James Johnson is displeased and disheartened by the drug game and the sickness it’s inflicting on his race. Unexpectedly, James met and has befriended, America’s most wanted and deadliest fugitive, Osama Bin Laden. Now he and Osama have joined forces in an effort to eliminate the nations drug trade.

Recently inspired by the rapid growth of ISIS; James, a legendary figure and underworld boss, has amassed enormous wealth, acquired a Harvard education, and is now poised to revolutionize the entire nation.

However, the stakes are high and many powerful people will lose fortunes if James prevails. Foreign assassins are pouring into the United States to wage war in what will become the bloodiest international war ever fought in an effort to strengthen a race.

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Myrrendryl

Myrrendryl by [Lord, Kirby]

What starts off as just another teenager-focused bully story quickly shows its teeth to reveal something decidedly darker. The fear and emotion felt by the main protagonist seem both plausible and real, and the dysfunctional home life that he is forced to live through is also crafted to feel quite genuine.

We learn early on in this dark urban fantasy novel that Davey was forced by his difficulties to mentally escape into worlds of movie characters that he looked up to. He imagined himself overcoming his difficulties in a similar way that heroes from his favorite movies had, and it made him feel good to think that he could live in someone else’s shoes.

It doesn’t take long for Davey to find the escape he was looking for. What he found was something he never would have thought possible.

The world that Davey finds seems perfect to him. He cannot see any of the violence, abuse, or bullying that tortured him up to the point of finding ‘Cardboard City’. What he does see is a tight-knit community of kids living free from adult oppression. They govern themselves and seem to have a good hold on how to get things done, their way. Davey quickly feels right at home with his new friends. Friends that he would change his life forever.

As time goes on, Davey and the other kids grow up, but they stay connected to one another in a variety of ways. The connections that show up throughout the story between characters, and how their individual stories interconnect is impressively crafted.

Lord has a talent for characterization and building believable interactions between characters like no other. The reader is taken for a ride through several lives as they search for a deeper meaning and it is a pleasure to follow them and experience what they do.

The writing is simple yet has plenty of the details necessary to set a scene and show the inner-workings of the characters. One can easily get a feel for where you are, who is involved with each scene, and what events are unfolding. The pace is steady, as well, making for a story that is difficult to put down.

Myrrendryl by Kirby Lord, is a first novel by the incredible author, but you would never know that. If you like dark fantasy stories that questions the fabric of our reality, Myrrendryl is a must read.

Pages: 400 | ASIN: B07MXZQ9QW

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The Red Grouse Tales

The Red Grouse Tales: The Little Dog and other stories. by [Garland, Leslie W P]

The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W. P. Garland is a book comprised of four short stories. Each story starts off with a quote followed by someone telling that particular tale. Each story revolves around the theme of religion. However, the theme is not heavy or overtaking the tale. Each short story starts off slow complete with building suspense and a twist ending. Each story has its own unique lesson one can learn and think about, making them slightly philosophical. While each telling is different, the main theme is good and evil, which gives the reader a lot to ponder.

I enjoyed this collection of stories and would recommend them. One of my favorite parts of these short stories were the fable-like feeling. They each told a story with a surprising lesson attached to each. I also greatly enjoyed the way the stories were written. Each had a way of telling a story through another person, which made the reading interesting and fun for me. I think it was a nice, added detail that gave it a more authentic feeling of sitting around and hearing a tale as well as making it seem more like a fable.

This book consists of four short stories. The Little Dog is the first one, which I felt, was a great story to start off with. It hooked me in the book itself to see what the rest of them have to offer. I think this short story in particular really set up the rest of the book as it was suspenseful and thought-provoking. It contained one of the more interesting ideas I have come across in a book: What is evil? According to this tale, evil does not have a conscious. I had to pause and think about this for a bit afterward because it was such an interesting concept to propose.

The second was The Crow, which I also greatly enjoyed. The contrast between the teenager and the older man in the story was stark, and I liked to see those differences between the two of them. I think this one was my favorite out of the four as it showed you how unique perspectives can be.

I also found The Golden Tup to be particularly interesting. I think it was my second favorite out of the collection. It was told in a suspenseful and fun way. The White Hart was not of any particular interest to me, personally, when compared to the others, but it fits in with the other tales and tied them together nicely.

All together, I found this collection to be immensely entertaining.

Pages: 347 | ASIN:  B018VWOVIU

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