Blog Archives

Whales and Magic Sinbad’s First Voyage: The other Odyssey

Sinbad the Sailor sets out over the sea to retrieve his fortune with all his remaining goods on board. They alight on a beautiful island – but no it is a huge whale who, awakened by their shouts, tosses Sinbad painfully into the sea. Magically rescued he is befriended by a great king, and his ship, with crew and full cargo wondrously returns. Sinbad returns to his beloved Baghdad, now a rich man – till the next voyage! A tale from the Arabian Nights, a collection of adventures parallel to Homer’s Odyssey. Like your grandmother told you.

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The Dark Age Chronicles: Eve of Darkness – Book Trailer

In 1717 it was a time of darkness,where stations kept to their own and people struggled to survive. A time where pirates still roamed the seas, slavery was suffered and ignorance reigned supreme. But there is coming a greater darkness that man can’t hope to fight A darkness that will consume every soul on earth. One young girl named Eve, born with a mark on her hand, outcast and abused, learns that she is the chosen one that must stop the rising evil. The last of a known race who protected the world, she must fight a horde of demonic hell hounds, demons, and her worst fears. Together with six others, she must learn to use powers she never knew she had if she ever hopes to defeat Nyx…. the most powerful Necromancer ever born.

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CHANGE

CHANGE: Science Fiction: Abduction, Action, Dynastic Intrigue - an Empire on the brink of Civil War. by [N G Nelson]

Change by NG Nelson is the first book in a riveting science fiction saga. This fast-paced story takes place over many worlds. The novel follows Major Patricea Markis and her journey to protect the young prince, Kal Jerran. This is a captivating story of warring dynasties, there are themes of myths, legends, loyalty and deception. Allegiances are tested and questioned, and betrayal is frequent. Change is rife with action to keep the reader hooked, including violence, seduction and assassination. The continuous action ensures Change is an energetic read.

Change has numerous characters that narrate each chapter but overall the story follows the path of Major Patriciea Markis who is charged with the difficult task of protecting the young prince Kal Jerran and evading the forces of the New Imperium.  However, there are also many other important characters, such as Paul and Bernadette from Earth, Hellia, a journalist, Vel Toyan, Ral Dannan and Martial Varian. Nelson’s clever use of vocabulary and dialogue help to distinguish between the many characters and their worlds. The characters are further defined by the outfits and descriptions of body language and physical characteristics, ensuring each character is fully developed and easily distinguishable. The rich descriptions of the setting throughout the story appeal to the reader’s sense of sound and sight. The worlds are like characters in their own right. This is an epic space opera with a universe that feels large and intriguing, reminiscent of the Frank Herbert’s Dune series.

Like any good science fiction tale, the story is filled science fiction trappings: teleportation, inter galactic travel, and holograms. Coupled with this and interwoven into the story are the trappings of royal life; servants, military protection and ladies in waiting. These are further juxtaposed with the description and narration of Paul and Bernadette and their everyday life on Earth. These stark contrasts between lives add to the multifaceted story being told.

Change is an enthralling space adventure novel that will appeal to fantasy and science fiction fans alike. Thoughtful world building, intriguing characters, and high stakes ensure readers are consistently entertained.

Pages: 232 | ASIN: B08PTFP27D

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It’s Music Time

It’s Music Time by T.C. Bartlett is an incredibly detailed and enchanting children’s story. When a young boy is on his way to his music lesson, he finds himself getting distracted by a group of animals playing their own music. He finds it exciting and joins them, but he risks being late to his class!

T. C. Bartlett has created a children’s picture book with almost no words except on the first and last page to give some context  to this visual story. The author does an amazing job of using just illustrations to tell a fun story. Every page is easy to understand and is illustrated with rich color, charming characters, and movement. The transition between black and white and bright colors helps set the mood throughout the book, helping you to better understand the boy’s emotions the entire time. The story is very cute and the art is very well done and I am blown away by T.C. Bartlett’s ability to convey such an enjoyable story with only images.

The use of Bartlett’s beautiful artwork makes the story so much more enticing and makes this book stand out in the children’s picture book genre. The storyline is easily told by character’s expressions and movements, making it an easy read for kids. It’s Music Time is easily the best children’s book I’ve read this month.

Pages: 50 | ISBN: 0998471690

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Loss of Fatherhood

Gregory Mayo
Gregory Mayo Author Interview

Almost Daddy follows one man’s emotional journey through life as he deals with the pain of almost being a daddy and living with the choices he made. What was the inspiration for the setup to this riveting novel?

The book is indeed a novel. But the beginning is informed by my own loss of fatherhood to abortion when I was in high school. Years later I went through a recovery process much like someone might seek grief counseling after the death of a child or miscarriage.

Through that healing process and sharing my testimony at dozens of places I realized that there are many people hurting in silence. So I came up with the idea for “Almost Daddy”. I wanted to use story to show some of the fallout that may come after an abortion. But I also wanted to show that healing was possible.

Ben is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with his character?

Great question. Ben had to be likeable. He had to be someone we root for…someone we want to succeed. But he also had to be flawed. After the abortion, confusion and pain set in. His path changed. So there had to be this struggle. At the same time he was making bad decisions and bad choices his heart and who he was at his core needed to show too.

I guess the main thing was to illustrate we all have good and bad in us and that events in our lives can impact our behavior…especially when in response to pain or shame.

What were some of the themes that were important for you to include in your book?

The absolute most important theme is redemption. I wanted people to close the last page and know that healing and redemption are possible…no matter what. I know abortion is a touchy subject so it was incredibly important to stay out of the political end of it. So it had to be about healing and hope and redemption. And I truly hope that is something we can all agree on.

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

I’m working on two at the moment. One is a Recovery Guide that will act as a companion to “Almost Daddy.” That should be out by the end of Spring this year (2021). While working through that, which is way different than writing a novel, I am outlining Abby’s story. “Almost Daddy” explored Ben’s journey after the abortion but that’s only half the story. Abby went through some very different things and I feel like her story is important to tell as well.

Where it leads I don’t know yet. Just as with Ben, I outlined an entire book and about six chapters in Ben started telling me what was next. By the time I crossed the midway point in the first draft I was just writing what he was telling me. I’m sure Abby will do the same.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Why? The question persisted but was unanswered. Many times it went unasked, yet it was always there. Ben had plans. He had dreams. Yet in a moment, and a moment beyond his control, fatherhood was lost…and Ben was adrift. A ship without a rudder being pushed by an unknown wind….he was almost daddy.
This is an invitation to walk this path with Ben. The journey from original pain to healing is a winding, twisting road that no one should walk alone. Perhaps healing can be found and relationship restored with God.
Because alone, healing rarely comes.

The Korean POW Experience

John N Powers
John N Powers Author Interview

Finnegan Found is a fictional account of the true horrors of Chinese POW camps from the Korean War. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When I met and became friends with the men called the North China Marines, men who were captured in China on 7 Dec 1941, I found something very unsettling to me. Their wives and children knew very little about their time as POWs. I came along at a time when they were finally willing to talk to someone willing to listen. My background as a Vietnam veteran and a history teacher, with at least a beginner’s knowledge of the POW experience, meant those men were willing to give me the details. I found it unacceptable so little was known to the public about their experiences. As a result, I created northchinamarines.com for family members to discover details they had missed. I then did some writing for the American EX-POW organization and found the same set of circumstances existed for families of our POWs from Korea and Vietnam. Those details went into the creation of the book, more a document than book, Bean Camp to Briar Patch-Life in the POW Camps of Korea and Vietnam. It is the only single source of information on all the major camps in both of those wars. The Korean POW experience especially bothered me. They came home to find themselves blamed for their own captivity. The media made them out to be weak, not the caliber of our veterans from other wars. When Bean Camp to Briar Patch was ignored, I decided to turn to fiction as a means of getting the Korean War POW story in front of the public. I believe the novel accurately presents the story. Now my job is to get that story recognized. Those men have gone long enough without the recognition they deserve.

I appreciated the candid and accurate nature with which you relayed POW experiences. What were some aspects you felt needed to be accurate and what did you take liberties with?

It was important to me to be highly accurate throughout the story. As a history teacher, the historical part of the novel is the story. The only liberties I took were in some of the actions of Swede. The sinking of the B-29, the burning of the records, the taking of the photographs of radar equipment, and his rescue of Mike Randall were completely fictional. As I explain in an addendum, details throughout the story are based on facts. Some characters in the story were real people, utilized to tell the facts of their story. To be honest, I glossed over some aspects of the treatment the men received. I have found some people will not believe what is sometimes required to survive horrific circumstances. Or they will be so upset by the facts they will put the book down and never pick it up again. So at times I just hinted at what took place.

What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

Most important to me was historical truth, even if that meant portraying an individual or group in a negative light. I have never written a novel before. I really did not sit down and decide on specific themes I thought might give the story more appeal. I simply wanted to tell what I feel is an important story. I also wanted to correct a wrong inflicted on those men by a military and government that did not want to face their own shortcomings.

Paul Larson is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?

I needed a character I could like to help tell this story, a character with a built in strength to carry him through. A character who had been raised by strong characters. “They” say you should write what you know. I know mid-West farm culture. I knew the details of the story from my research on my first book. I needed characters that I “knew” to help in telling the story. Many of the main characters have a combination of traits of people I served with during my time in the military, again both the good and the bad.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

A story untold. Left in the dark. For seventy years. This novel tells that story, shines a light on that darkness.
They were beaten, starved, and kept in cages with little medical care. The Chinese POW camps of the Korean War brought out the best, and the worst, in men. Young Swede fights for himself and his fellow captives, determined to survive with his pride and honor intact.
First, he has to survive the deathly cold of the first winter, when half the prisoners die. Once he is allowed to join the other prisoners, he teaches them to resist, becoming one of the worst of the men the Chinese fear – the Reactionaries.
Described by readers as “hard to put down,” and “riveting.” “I thought Finnegan Found was a towering novel” that “takes its place alongside the great war novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Forgotten for seventy years. Now is their time to be remembered.

Horatio’s Promise

Horatio’s Promise by [D. Clark Gill]
Horatio’s Promise by D. Clark Gill is a historical fiction story set in the Arkansas Ouachita Mountains in 1950. Alfred Spellman, a high school janitor, travels to the town of Horatio’s Promise, where he has spent summers as a children’s music teacher for the past two decades. He again stays at the boarding house owned by Leonora White. But things are different this year. The landlady’s son, Icky, asks Alfred to find out what happened to his father in 1935 when he disappeared, and a polio epidemic threatens the town. Will Alfred discover that Horatio’s Promise is not the idyllic home he had always believed?

This book provides an interesting perspective on the similarities between the polio epidemic and our current health crisis situation, like the lockdowns and not gathering in big groups, and people thinking the outbreak is a hoax faked by the government or a plot by a foreign power to kill Americans. Author D. Clark Gill made me want to learn more about that time in our history because he capture that time period in an authentic and immersive way. I liked the historical setting of this story, and the specific time period of 1950, which reminded me of my grandparents’ small-town experiences. I could picture my grandparents living a similar everyday life to that portrayed by the author at the beginning of the book. I liked the setting of Horatio’s Promise with its small town atmosphere and the author’s descriptions of shops along Main Street and historic homes. Having such a distinct town may the mystery element of this story all the more enjoyable. Like the small town of Derry in Stephen King’s IT, it helped set the tone of the novel. With Alfred searching for clues about Linwood White’s disappearance in 1935. With an intriguing plot and unique twists that surprised me several times near the end of the book.

While I enjoyed this story I felt that it started out a bit slow with lots of internal dialogue and thoughts of past events and details about various secondary characters. While this did help the reader feel empathy for the characters later on, as they battled sickness and death in their families. I wanted to get right into the mystery of the disappearance of Linwood White, but it was a ways into the book before this was mentioned. And the outbreak of polio did not start until about halfway through.

With that said, Horatio’s Promise by D. Clark Gill is still an intriguing mystery novel that easily pulls you into a quaint town and slowly unravels an absorbing enigma that will delight crime fiction fans.

Pages: 307 | ASIN: B08R5JTRYF

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The Cardiff Giant

The Cardiff Giant is a hilarious novel first novel, in a series of four, that is set in Cooperstown, New York in 2003. Written by Larry Lockridge, the short novel is narrated by Jack, an investigative journalist dispatched to Cooperstown to investigate the disappearance of the Cardiff Giant.

Lockridge gives an informative and entertaining description of the Cooperstown setting. In some detail he describes the physical appearance of the town and the many tourist attractions such as the Baseball Hall of Fame. There is also a breakdown of the town’s cultural diversity and a brief history on how it came to exist. This sets the scene well for the rest of the story and hints at some of the action to follow.

Intense and complicated characters are an integral part of the novel. Jack is open minded investigative journalist and is prepared to find paranormal experiences in his mission to discover the secret of the missing Cardiff Giant. He soon finds himself in a town with an interesting community that includes such diverse characters as Tarbox the town sheriff (and pig farmer) sisters Sheila, a set designer, and Esther, a psychotherapist, Thor Ohnstad, head of the local Chamber of Commerce (and inn keeper).  Each character has their own motivations and unique voice, including beliefs in alien abduction, rebirthing, astrology, psychokinesis and kabbalistic numerology. Jack, the main character, even becomes entangled with the characters and their beliefs. Their belief systems often compete with other’s beliefs, which Lockridge brings alive with intense and occasionally absurd dialogue between the characters.

The story is organized into three parts, with numerous chapters in each. Despite the numerous characters, themes and romantic twists and turns, the story is well structured. It is very easy to follow and flows well.

Despite the outlandish characters and sometimes wild situations, author Larry Lockridge manages to cleverly couple this with some serious themes of love, jealousy, envy and pursuit of self-identity. These themes are obvious at the start of the novel and are cleverly carried through right until the end of the novel.

I highly recommend The Cardiff Giant. Author Larry Lockridge’s writing appealed to my sense of humor, but I also enjoyed the deeper underlying themes of the novel. The Cardiff Giant also gives the reader an opportunity to examine their own belief system, and self-identity – if one feels the need to read the book for more than just entertainment value. This is a satirical psychological thriller unlike any other book I’ve read recently.

Pages: 164 | ISBN: 1771804246

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