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‘Well, they’re witches, of course!’

SJ. Turner Author Interview

Immortal Treasures follows a young girl with magical powers who wants nothing to do with them, till she discovers she is the one the vampires have been waiting for. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The story started with the idea of the resurrection key, but then while discussing the concept with another author, Dorian Keys, he made a very valid point. ‘How will they know how to use this key?’

‘Well, they’re witches, of course!’ 

But that was not an answer that would suffice. So, I returned to him a few days later with the idea of the Timekeeper Journal, and that was when Immortal Treasures really began to form. 

Olivia just wants to be a normal girl despite her family’s background with magic. Overcoming her fears, she finds inner strength and a new purpose in life. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Even though Olivia was afraid of the magic seeping through the journal, she was inevitably drawn to it and eventually drawn into it. This left her no choice but to experience the lives of the Laurent vampires and a type of magic she could never have imagined. Though she was initially reluctant, the journal entries, her grandmother’s persistence, the comfort of her cat, Cassian Laurent’s presence and, of course, the need to preserve humanity all gave her the drive she needed to break out of her shell. 

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

While writing Immortal Treasures, I researched the London, England area, took a brief course on medieval times and learned about the black plague or blue sickness as they had called it. I also had to explore herbs and witchcraft. Not that I didn’t create a few things along the way, but I still wanted to keep the story grounded. 

Will there be a follow-up novel to this story? If so, what aspects of the story will the next book cover? 

There is always a possibility for a follow-up. If enough readers are interested in the story continuing, then I will have no choice but to answer. 

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A story of old-world vampires and modern-day witches. An alliance destined for centuries between two natural enemies is brought together by powerful ancients for the best of all mankind. Of course, nothing ever runs that smoothly. The only witch that can mend the past and secure the future is afraid of magic.

When Clara Redfearn—a retired high priestess of the Eternal Flame Coven— purchases the contents of the old Stepney Castle, she has no idea what they will find. Though given the Castle’s history, being occupied by the original Vampire Sovereign, Julien Laurent, and his family, the items should draw a curious crowd to her new antique store—Immortal Treasures.

Sorting through a box of vampire artifacts, Olivia Parker —Clara’s granddaughter— unknowingly discovers an ancient Timekeeper Journal. While she is frightened by its magical pull, there’s a part of her that can’t seem to put it down.

As she cracks the spine on the ancient leather-bound tome and begins to read the first exquisitely written inscription —Julien Laurent ~ SOV— every vampire named within its pages suddenly stops. Until today, time has been frozen within the cover while it waits patiently for its chosen interpreter— Olivia.

They’ve been waiting more than a century for her. The one witch who can unlock the secrets inside the journal and the only witch capable of activating the resurrection key.

What the vampires don’t know yet is that Olivia Parker may possess the power, but she has no idea how to use it, nor does she care to learn.

 

Sky Curse

In the year 2045, mankind has depleted the resources of Earth, and humans are looking to move off the planet in hopes of a fresh start. This is the setting for this thrilling young adult novel. The chosen five are Brian, Jamal, Alex, Kev, and Cecilia in Janet Kravetz’s titular series. Cecilia Miller is a teenage female protagonist in this dystopian future book. Titan is regarded as humanity’s last hope, but everyone can’t afford to travel there. Even more so, not everyone desires to. Duncan Macdougall, a Localist, wants Cecilia and the other four chosen candidates to stop the fulfillment of an old Mayan prophecy and save Earth and its inhabitants. Five Mayan crystals that contain the technology to save the planet are sought after by the chosen five who journey to Mexico in their search.

Sky Curse has a slow-burn beginning, but that gave me time to adjust to the world-building presented by Kravetz. It is futuristic hard science fiction, but it also contains aspects of fantasy and has a measure of reality mixed in. This teen novel is an exceptionally well-written, imaginative, and wholly original work. Along with Cecilia, I was transported to an unfortunate Earth. Cecilia is portrayed as a blonde with blue eyes, which is a little cliché. However, she still has her imperfections and is intelligent, and contributes well to the authenticity needed to make a protagonist come to life. And not to forget, Tony provides the humor and is Cecilia’s go-to companion.

The thought-provoking plot lines will get readers to consider climate change from beginning to end. Although it is hypothetical, nothing seems out of the ordinary or overly complicated. The reader starts to believe that what they are reading might very well be the kind of world we are leaving for future generations, which has a dramatic effect. The novel is written for older teens and younger adults, but Kravetz’s insightful developments and topics are broad enough to appeal to readers with more demanding tastes in literary nuances.

Sky Curse is the exciting start of a new young adult science fiction series, The Chosen Five. Filled with action, drama, paranormal, and fantasy elements there is something for all readers in this novel. Follow the chosen five as they try to save Earth and prevent the apocalyptic destruction of humanity. I can’t wait to see what the series has in store!

Pages: 395 | ASIN : B0B9638NC7

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Other Magical Dreams…

C.B. Oresky Author Interview

The Warlock’s Curse follows teenage twin sisters who end up in a mysterious realm where they experience adventures and discover a world they didn’t know existed. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My debut novel all began as a dream… I sailed a white ship on a pristine sea of whispering turquoise waves. The inhabitants of this alien watery world, mystical whales, surrounded my vessel, their eerie voices lifted in song. In my book, this became the magical whales that can open interdimensional portals…to their very birthplace, the realm of Oceana.

That and just experiencing life. I never would have guessed that walking around the beautiful New England seacoast, seeing all those old houses on their flower-lined streets, would inspire me to write about the fictional New England town of Coldport…and Seacrest, the creepy Victorian mansion in my book.

Then, there were other magical dreams…

Angelica and Clara Grace may be twins but have different personalities and approaches to the situations they encounter. What were some driving ideals behind your characters’ development?

I am fascinated by twins and the fact that they may have differing temperaments and personalities. I thought this could add a lot of tension to the story. The Warlock’s Curse began with a dream in which I sailed a white ship on a pristine sea full of singing whales. In the dream, one of my best girl friends was on the ship with me. Although we are not twins, we are surely sisters of different mothers. I can be strong and brave, she is fearful of the unknown, yet smart. The twin sisters were molded from our personalities.

I love the heroine’s journey. I wanted both girls to grow and change from their experiences to the point that there would be no going back to their old selves. I especially wanted Clara, the timid and fearful twin, to come into her own in the end.

Finally, I wanted the characters to be likeable, even loveable…to the point that the reader would feel themselves in the story, walking the twins’ entire journey alongside them.

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

I really love the theme of the hero/heroine’s courageous journey. Facing adversaries such as the evil warlock, enables the twin sisters to mature into confident leaders and changes them, forever.

I also wanted to explore themes of good verses evil, which culminates in an epic battle near the end of the book.

I delved into themes of love as well: love of family, sisterly love, love between friends, and love of nature. One of my favorite characters in The Warlock’s Curse, is a golden creature of light, joy, and love. This magical being, known as The Bliss, takes only what he needs and always gives back. His message about loving and living in harmony with the natural world is very relevant, considering the perils that our planet’s numerous lifeforms presently face. I hope readers, both young and old, will heed his call.

Finally, I looked at themes of revenge. A great wrong has been committed against the Grace family. Though the twins don’t know where the road leads, helped by their distant grandfather and other friends, they will not stop until things are set right.

There are many themes in my story…expect a lot of conflict.

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

I am currently writing a book about a woman who is deeply spiritual. She seeks enlightenment and meditates a lot. This may sound boring, but she has a troublesome, yet beloved friend, a Scottie dog named Jetsun: a dog who knows himself and what he wants, a dog who is way above mundane human consciousness, a dog who is enlightened. The book will be about the lessons of love she learns with this troublesome dog. Hopefully, it will be available in two years. Like a tortoise… I am slow. So, perhaps make it three…

After that, there may be a sequel to The Warlock’s Curse. One of my last words in The Warlock’s Curse is “Perhaps,” so I could, perhaps, let myself off the hook.

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Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master. But all is not a bouquet of lovely lilies…they are hunted by a cunning warlock and must rid themselves of The Warlock’s Curse.

Evil Isn’t Always So Black And White

H. M. Mills Author Interview

Lord Have Mercy follows a young woman who is sent to boarding school after the disappearance of her parents; there, she discovers the secrets of her past and must choose what side she will follow, good or evil. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There were a few inspirations for this story. The first being the character Mercy and her physical draw to the sensations of stone. I used my own personal experiences of living with a sensory disorder that causes me to have heightened senses; one of which is a sensitivity to what I touch. Growing up falling in love with stone walls and statues has been quite the experience. One that I have had trouble expressing. How Mercy feels when she touches Talus for the first time is very similar to what I go through.

The second inspiration has been my own struggle with the light and dark side of my personality. It has been a war that has raged a life time and I have never known which side was going to win. Learning to accept both sides has never been that easy. All the characters from Lord Have Mercy and the books to follow have allowed me the freedom to explore hidden parts of myself and just bring together a story that I hope is entertaining to read and resonates with the reader on some level.

Mercy thought she was a normal person till the truth is revealed and she is forced into a war she never knew existed or wanted to be a part of. What were some driving ideas behind your character’s development?

I guess one of the ideas I wanted to get across was that a persons strength comes in many forms. That Mercy doesn’t have to be some kick-arse superhero to be strong, that courage isn’t the absence of fear but acting in spite of it. Like being scared of the notorious bully but standing up for a friend, even though it put a target on her back.

I also wanted to get across that living through trauma in a crazy hostile world and still being able to open her heart to friendships and love is a commendable strength.

The war began with the warring within herself, but it soon progresses with a questioning of Mercy’s religious beliefs as Heaven and Hell and all that comes in between turns everything she’s ever known on it’s head. Being pulled apart by warring forces is something many can relate to and choosing between good and evil isn’t always so black and white.

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

I guess I’ve already mentioned a few, but another important theme I wanted to explore was how it would feel to write a character that is supposed to be the epitome of evil and find logical and emotional ways to make that character and others more than that, more than what everyone ese see’s.

I guess I also touch on sexuality, but in my eyes it wasn’t a conscious theme, but rather the way individual characters spoke to me.

There are many instances of my own life that get mingled within my work, but I never set out to write that way. I suppose it is cathartic to write characters that live and die how I want them to.

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

I am currently writing the 3rd Book in The Mercy Aymes Series. It will be released some time next year. I’m hoping for early in the year, but I don’t like to make promises. I’m also working on a revamp of Book 2 Mercy on Your Soul. Which will be rereleased soon. Then, it’s on to editing of two stand-alone novels I wrote before Mercy was even conceived.

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THERE’S A DARKNESS WARRING WITHIN HER, AND IT’S ABOUT TO BREAK FREE…

Lucifer’s time has come for the outcome of his failed rebellion to be righted. When the Lord of all Demons is seated on Heaven’s throne, he will revel in the sight of God powerless at his feet. All he requires is the one thing he could never claim to possess, until now—Mercy.

Mercy Aymes always thought she was a normal girl living a normal life, until five years on from the mysterious disappearance of her parents that left her world a seething pit of black, she finds herself thrust into the chaos of unfamiliar territory. It’s more than the torments of her past that stalk her through the cold and lonely halls of the Lincoln boarding school.

In a desperate bid for survival, Mercy races for an escape from the wickedness of the school’s notorious bully, and stumbles on the secrets of the Lincoln towers, hidden from the mortal realm for hundreds of years. With the blinders torn from her eyes, Mercy’s world fractures at the sight of true monsters—but the eyes of their King are only for her.

Though captivated by the discovery of an odd array of Gargoyles, Mercy finds more than solace in the silent presence of one she favours above all. But when a powerful connection to the stone figure claims her heart, it’s not long before the mysteries of Mercy’s life unravel.

The discovery of unfavourable blood ties propels Mercy into an age-old war that splits the realms and tears her heart in two. Soon, she must choose which side is to dominate her future, as she faces unfathomable dangers from both forces.

The Archangels want her dead and the Devil wants her to lead. But whose side are the Gargoyles on?

LORD HAVE MERCY is a gripping paranormal, dark fantasy that will transport fantasy fans to a fascinating world, filled with suspense, danger, and paranormal romance. This fantasy is the epitome of the universal conflict between good and evil. This vividly drawn cast of Angels, Demons and Gargoyles embark on a battle for the realms and humanity. A journey of self-discovery, friendship, love, and heartache along with engaging and lovable characters.

The Warlock’s Curse

Avoiding bullying behavior from their peers, navigating around their parents’ fights, and working hard to find hope in the ramshackle family manor of Seacrest, life as teenage twins Angelica and Clara Grace know it has never been easy. Trapped in a never-ending cycle of despair, desperation nearly overtakes the sisters…until everything changes. Meeting new friends and allies, Clara and Angelica are thrown into a marvelous adventure that spans the multiverse, facing deadly villains, exploring new realms, and encountering numerous new compatriots on a quest that will determine the fate of the universe itself.

The Warlock’s Curse by C.B. Oresky is a thought-provoking journey across the cosmos. Centered around two girls who are anything but ordinary, the story of overcoming personal problems and fighting to save countless lives has multiple layers of depth. This fantastic tale dares to explore multi-dimensional travel, differing modes of existence, and deep philosophical themes seldom found in middle-grade fiction. The bond between the twins can be stormy but always comes through in the end. I loved the ever-telescoping cast of characters, from gentle Phileus to the stalwart captain, as the book comes to a Tolkienesque end sequence that leaves the reader satisfied with the possibility of many more adventures to come.

While this intelligent story has many high notes, a few passages, particularly the House of Truth sequence, seemed to go on a bit long. The biggest detraction in the story for me was the interactions other characters had with Clara. A shy, often nervous girl, Clara must fight to overcome her inner fears. While reading the story, it seemed to me that Clara suffers from an anxiety disorder, which is a form of disability rather than the inherent character flaw others in the story treat it as. I would have loved to see Clara overcome her fears by receiving love and support from those around her rather than encountering impatience and disdain from nearly every member of the cast. 

That said, this thrilling middle-grade novel is a memorable journey across the fabric of the universe itself. It is recommended for ages 13 and up due to its violence, mention of suicide, and advanced philosophical concepts. This thrilling race to protect the multiverse is perfect for any avid readers of complex fantasy adventures. The Warlock’s Curse is an incredible journey through familiar and completely new worlds as twins Clara and Angelica risk everything to protect life across the dimensions.

Pages: 371 | ASIN : B0B7KHB2RB

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Immortal Treasures

Immortal Treasures, by SJ. Turner is the story of a girl who has experienced tragedy. She was born with magic, and after everything she has experienced, she fears it more than anything. Olivia is the key to revealing secrets of the past and bringing back a sovereign vampire.

Olivia just wants to be a normal girl and live a life without magic. However, her grandma and aunt know she has great power if she’d just unlock it. While going through antiques, they find a book belonging to a legendary vampire clan. Olivia’s grandmother believes the book was created by the Goddess and will only be read by the one with the blood of the interpreter. She believes this book is what will finally get Olivia to accept the power she holds. When opening the book, Olivia can read the script when all others have only seen blank pages.

Olivia meets Cassian Laurent, Cash, while using her power to fight off a vampire. He gains her trust and asks for her help reading what is in the journal so they can resurrect his father, Julien. Through her readings, Olivia is transported in time and shown memories of Julien Laurent, the leader of the vampire clan. Together Cash and Olivia, along with help from both sides, discover the secrets of the timekeeper’s journal and bring Julien back to life.

The writing style in this book is strong throughout. The plot moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged. The relationships between the characters were interesting to read, especially the love developing between Olivia and Cash. The layering of stories and differing timelines added depth to the book, making me want to keep reading.

I am giving Immortal Treasures by SJ. Turner, 5 out of 5 stars. This book has a great storyline with intricate characters. However, the ending left me wanting the sequel immediately. I would highly recommend this book if you love mysteries, romance, magic, and strong characters.

Pages: 335 | ASIN : B0BBLY1N73

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Vandella 

Vandella by M. Ch. Landa is an interesting book about a girl facing certain death after a cancer diagnosis. When she’s presented with an opportunity to trade her cancer-ridden life for her grandmother’s soul, she embarks on a supernatural journey through the world of the undead. However, once she begins this new path, many obstacles lie ahead, and unexpected encounters with famous personalities and people from her life have passed onto the afterlife.

I enjoyed the worldbuilding and landscapes created by the author, which are expansive and innovative. While the concept of this tale is common, the author explores it with new twists and intriguing characters. While I found the theme a bit simplistic at times, it’s a refreshing, gentle read that explores human connection and the will to survive. When Maia discovers her cancer, previously in remission, returns, she must decide whether to face her illness or take another journey that will plunge her into a world of mystery and the unknown.

As the reader delves into this new world, Maia discovers there are many obstacles to explore, from a train that takes passengers into the sky to a vibrant ballroom and an abandoned, haunted country residence. It’s a tale that ignites a sense of survival and a quest for another chance. As Maia is faced with saving a close relative, only to risk her own life in the process.

The author creates great character development who must face difficult situations while questioning the value of their existence. For example, Maia must decide if Sidney is in love with her or whether there is hope for them. I enjoyed the overall story and Landa’s take on a unique romance story while tackling themes of uncertainties in life and mortality.

Vandella by M. Ch. Landa is a teen and young adult magical realism novel. There are themes of dark fantasy and some romance throughout the original writing style and enjoyable storyline.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B09GK557PF

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Delilah Recovered 

Delilah Recovered by Amelia Estelle Dellos tells the story of Delilah Smith, who lives a dull and uninteresting life as an accountant. Her world turns upside down when she meets the handsome Samuel Solomon, who introduces her to the exciting realm of fairies, witches, angels, and witch hunters. Delilah quickly learns that everything she thinks she knows about her ordinary reality is wrong. Her authentic memories reveal that she will play a pivotal role in this world. Delilah discovers that many of her memories have been sealed from her. She begins to learn about her prophesied destiny and that many aspects of life have been hidden from her. The world she uncovers is dark, extraordinary and ominous.

The world that is constructed by Amelia Estelle Dellos in this enthralling fantasy novel is imaginative and enchanting. I enjoyed how the author articulated the contrast between Delilah’s mundane existence as an accountant in an office and being thrown into a chaotic dark fantasy realm with danger and excitement. The book has a compelling story line and a fascinating protagonist. The story delves into the colorful and dynamic lives of the characters and I really enjoyed watching how their actions impacted one another; sort of like a paranormal melodrama on television. There is no shortage of action and intrigue to lure readers into this richly imagined world.

The author brilliantly integrates elements of the Samson and Delilah story into the book and shows how the past can have a profound effect on the present. Romance, mythology, magic, and an intriguing mystery all coalesce into an exciting journey. I was enthralled with the surreal theme of this book and reveled in the unique supernatural and time travel elements. I recommend Delilah Recovered to readers who are looking for an imaginative urban fantasy novel with a protagonist that goes through a massive evolution.

Pages: 276 | ISBN: 1639885145

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