Ariawyn the elven princess of Lathai, daughter of Queen Aramaris, and last of the line of the Demon Queen. It is said that Lathai must be ruled by someone from the Demon Queen line or else the land will be destroyed. The problem however, Ariawyn does not want to rule. She feels unprepared and unfit to rule a kingdom she has not spent any time in since she was a child. Ariawyn does the only thing she thinks she can, she runs away. Her cousin Luthitan and Rune plan to take over the Lathai throne, not believing in the curse of destruction if Ariawyn does not rule. The magic, deceit, and mystery surrounding all will lead to a bloody end. Can Ariawyn save the kingdom she was born to rule.
Camryn Daytona brings to readers a new take on the elves and dwarves races in her novel The Last King of the Mountain. This is the first book of the series and sets up an epic tale that will capture the interest of fantasy readers new and old. In the first few pages you may feel like this is a retelling of the same old stories we all know of the battle between elves, dwarves, and the mortal races. After the first chapter or two though you see Camryn Daytona’s unique perspective come forth. It is nice to see some common trends among the races that fantasy readers have grown to expect but the overall story line and plot is unique. Ariawyn’s back story is filtered through the main story line and you learn more about her past and how she ended up sheltered in Ellahil rather than Lathai where she is to rule. The novel is long, over 400 pages, but it is not filler or overdone long monologues. All the descriptions of the cities and details about Din Mehidnar are used to enhance the story line and move the character development along. Nothings feels like it is added just fill pages, Daytona is careful about adding the right amount of detail at the right time to keep readers interested and asking questions.
My favorite parts of this novel were watching Ariawyn go from the persona of a shy quite teenager that wants nothing to do with responsibility into a strong woman ready to take back her kingdom. Siveril is a close second to me in character development. He is a cranky sorcerer that is blind with a soft heart for Ariawyn but you don’t understand why untill you get through the novel. Illimon is another character that goes through huge growth through the novel, and I’m interested to see how he develops as the series continues. I didn’t find the politics of the novel overwhelming like some fantasy novels do, nor is the magic so absurd that you can’t realistically engage with the characters. This is a great beginning to a quest for returning Lathai to its proper ruling with dark moments and light moments that will leaving you smiling.
Pages: 399 | ASIN: B07YQF1Q5J
Realm follows young Roxanna as she becomes the wife of Alexander the Great and is swept away by history. What was the inspiration for the setup to this emotional story?
I have wanted to write her story since I was sixteen and first saw Roxana mentioned in a history book about Alexander the Great. A professed history geek, Alexander has always fascinated me, but it was her story I wanted to tell. She lived beyond him, saw the breakdown of power, and in the end was a victim of his conquests and fame. She was forgotten by history, but I believe her role in his life, and the war of the generals, was important. I wanted people to know that Alexander was married to a woman who I am sure had to have remarkable fortitude and courage to not only travel with his army, but survive his generals.
Roxana is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with her character?
She developed out of years of study of Alexander. This was a man who had women, the powerful daughters of kings, diplomats, and wealthy men, thrown at him, but he never married any of them. He took the hand the daughter of a mere chieftain, and instead of setting her up in a palace, as was the custom, Alexander took her with him across the world. I wanted to highlight her strength and intelligence, qualities he must have admired, but also show her powerlessness in a world where women had no voice. She must have been frustrated at not being recognized because of her sex, but I wanted her to rise above her limitations and influence the most powerful man in the world. I do not subscribe to the fact that she was a non-essential wife as many historians believe. I wanted to make her a unique woman who could have changed the course of history.
I enjoyed the portrayal of Roxana and Alexander’s relationship. Was their relationship planned or did it develop organically while writing?
The ups and downs in their relationship were built around the history of his campaigns, and how hard it must have been for her as a woman loving a man and competing with his army, his generals, and his other lovers. I also had to factor in how women were treated in ancient Greece, along with Alexander’s great respect for women. The rest developed organically, but like any relationship that goes through great hurdles it either gets stronger or falls apart. I like to believe theirs got stronger. After all, Alexander died when she was seven months pregnant with his only heir. It was also nine months after the death of his dear friend Hephaestion. For me, it was obvious he turned to her in his grief, and that told me a great deal about where they were at his end.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next novel is a thriller and the first in a new series, called The Secret Brokers. It is about Dallas August, a man who runs an organization of elite spies for hire who steal secrets and sells them to the highest bidder. He is blackmailed into going on a mission to steal an important secret from an unsuspecting woman and ends up in the middle of a war between two powerful kingpins. The Secret Brokers releases 4/7/2020.
A WOMAN UNLIKE ANY OTHER, SHE WILL CONQUER THE UNCONQUERABLE AND BE LOVED BY A MAN WHO IS WORSHIPPED AS A GOD.
Based on a true story.
When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain–is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.
Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.
However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.
The Adventures of Jules Khan – A Teenage Muslim Superhero introduces a new superhero that changes how teens & adults consume faith, fiction & entertainment. What was your inspiration for this idea?
Almighty God and teenagers are the inspiration…
‘Bring the lost souls to me…through youth entertainment’ seemed to be the inspiring message I was imagining…
As I began writing I was sipping on Starbucks Christmas Blonde Coffee ( that’s where the idea of a Blonde blue eyed Muslim Superhero was conceived – can you imagine? ) located on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, I would happily visualize teenagers across USA and the world gathered together reading ‘The Adventures of Jules Khan’ as they busily chewed pink bubble gum, smiling, laughing and thoroughly enjoying reading the comic book or paperback or watching the movie or playing the Electronic Arts game of Angelina, Boris and Jules getting chased relentlessly while searching world Museum’s for clues…
Jules Khan is an interesting and well developed character. What were some ideas that drove the character development?
A modern day blonde blue eyed teenage muslim superhero – who would accept that? Changing the judgement narrative was one idea…Is Jules Khan the next new Avenger in the Marvel series or a Superhero in the mega entertainment world? Could he bring a ‘cool’ factor to young Muslims, Jewish, Christians and all faiths? I am hoping so…Could the characters in the book be as slick as the characters in a Hugo Boss commercial? So many ideas….
This book did a great job of blending faith with modern action comics. What were some themes you wanted to capture in your book?
Theme number uno: Marvel Studios crashes into the 3 monotheistic faiths was a main theme that would appeal to teenagers and adults; maybe a theme creation of a new acceptable way to learn more about other cultures and faiths in a safe, fun, entertaining and modern non-judgemental environment…
What is the next project that you are working on and when will it be available?
The Comic Books, The graphic novel, the adult novel, the movie, the electronic games, the merchandise…so much to do and so little time….
Somehow after receiving a winner recognition through the Canada Book Awards 2019; New York City Big Book Awards’ for young adult fiction – Distinguished Favorite 2019 recognition, Literary Titan Gold Medal Book Award plus between 4 and 5 star reviews it has given me the confidence to develop
‘The Adventures of Jules Khan’ from a simple commitment of a book into keeping this amazing project under development into the future…
The Comic book should be out in 2020…
New York City Big Book Awards’
What would you do if you held the power to help the entire world? It sounds intimidating, but one teenager, Jules Khan, embraces his destiny for the good of all mankind and all faiths. Jules takes you on a narrative adventure that spans the globe, which is already raging from WWII, racing against the evil National Weapons Association and their followers. With Mother Nature given superpowers and some surprising and formidable friends, can Jules find out the truth about his family and his future in time to save the world?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: A Teenage Muslim Superhero, action, adventure, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Karim Kassamali Devji, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, story, The Adventures of Jules Khan, writer, writing, young adult
The Revenged Queen takes place after Danielle exposes every dark secret her classmates have. What were some new ideas you wanted to pursue in this book that were different from the first book?
I wanted to up the game when it comes to this novel. I wanted to go darker, sassier, and overall bitchier. It was my favorite in the series because I wanted people to feel like the gloves truly came off.
The characters in this book are well developed and diverse. Who was your favorite character to write for?
Honestly, Bethany was my favorite to write in this book. I wanted people to understand her more since she was so just the villain. I wanted people to go she’s a bitch, but a lovable one. Also, Emily’s story arc was incredible too. I loved writing some fake and heavy stuff with her.
Much like high school, your characters are going through a lot of different things. Where do you find inspiration and how does it become ideas for your book?
I let the characters take me there. I know that sounds so arrogant, but I just write what they’re doing. I’m surprised with how much they shock me or take me a place I didn’t expect them to take me. I wish I could say it’s from my persona life or ones around me because that would make me feel better writing future books and not having my characters inspire me.
One Queen of an Ending is book three in the High School Queens trilogy. Where will the story take readers in the final chapter?
Spoiler Alert, Jordan won’t be the only death in this trilogy. It’s going to get even more intense. I think the bitch wars ends with a bang. i loved that i highlight all that I felt emotionally connected in the series in this. It’s dark and dramatic. It opens at a funeral, so I’m ready for everyone to read the final in the trilogy.
No one knows the real Marked Queen, but now everyone wants to know her. In this sequel to the insatiable first novel, High School Queens, you will die to know more about your favorite dirty little Queens.
As we say goodbye to the Johnson Prep Seniors, the scandals and lies that exposed them in the beginning are back with a vengeance.
The Marked Queen thought she had the last laugh at prom. Now, it seems a new girl is coming for her crown. With a new title, The Revenged Queen, she was out for blood and her prime targets—the ones exposing everyone’s dark and dirty little secrets. As we dive deeper into this scandalous and humorous world of prep school teens, we learn that everyone is a hustler with a secret and a Hollywood sob story.
Can Danielle keep her new illegal activities to make money under wraps? Was Calvin going to have a warm welcome as he outs himself as gay? Was Delilah going to take the knife from Danielle out of her back and stab her with it? Was Bethany going to enjoy her rule as queen bee or fail spectacularly? And was there more to Jordan than being just a slutty, party girl?
As the scandals pile up in front of them, their secrets will be exposed… And each secret is even more delicious than the last.
The Revenged Queen by Zachary Ryan takes place after prom, where Danielle, ‘The Marked Queen’, decides to expose every little dark secret of her classmates. A group of teens is set up against one another struggling with sexuality, friendship, and trust. Now, everybody wants to know the real Marked Queens. While living out their senior year of high school, scandals and lies are revealed by separated friendships. Afraid that they are next on the line, everyone fears their secret being found out. Is it a matter of time before someone gets their rightful revenge?
I love when authors don’t stick to just one perspective, switching around points of view in the story. Having one perspective easily gets boring. With different perspectives, readers can get a deeper understanding of the interactions between characters and see events from a different point of view. This makes for a well-developed story that doesn’t feel like one voice the entire story.
One of my favorite aspects of Ryan’s work is how he writes the character’s inner thoughts, mostly at the end of each chapter. Written in the third person point of view, the narrator crawls into the minds of the characters, digging out information in a consistently creative way.
One of my favorite endings to a chapter was in chapter three, “Delilah, we thought your only talent was being on your knees and whining too much. Are you about to trade in that kitchen knife for a razor blade?…” Ryan used a strong voice, evoking an unsettling tone that someone else is watching these high schoolers.
There were some moments in the story that were tough to read, especially Calvin’s story line. But I appreciated the opportunity to write about topics such as sexuality and ruthless behavior. High school is all about finding out about who you are. We’re all going to have high school drama. Ryan invests closely in each member’s stories either making readers feel empathetic or despise one of the characters.
This is book two in a series and I suggest reading book one first, High School Queens, as it will get you acquainted with the characters.
The Revenged Queen reminds me of my own stories of high school drama and I appreciated the attention to detail. The interactions between the lives of these three high schoolers kept me on-edge flipping through the pages to see what happens next. Absolutely riveting.
Pages: 266 | ASIN: B07RX8SWY2
Charley Brindley’s Hannibal’s Elephant Girl takes place in 229 BCE in North Africa. We’re treated to a thoughtful account of life in a river camp near Carthage. The delivery of the story is exceptional as the reader can effortlessly follow the various story lines in the book. There are more than one major character but the main focus is on a girl called Liada. We accompany this 12-year-old girl as she goes about her business and the adventures in the camp. The narration is simple but still managed to keep my attention. Different literary and stylistic devices are used to spice up the plot and every character is developed uniquely. The reader falls in love with some characters and loathes some due to how the author represents them. This connection brought me the most joy because the characters I was rooting for almost always won.
Liada gets rescued from a river by an elephant named Obolus. The savior elephant is among the many that are being trained for war at the camp. There is a war looming and every party needs to prepare for any situation. Despite getting rescued, Liada’s life is not all smooth as her memory seems to have faded. Liada is assigned some tasks, among them feeding soldiers in the camp. Yzebel, the woman who took Liada runs a cafeteria where soldiers go to eat. Yzebel is patient and understanding. She is one of the characters the I greatly enjoyed from the beginning. Yzebel, however, has a disgraceful son, but despite this, Liada continues to be the hardworking girl who keeps it together.
I appreciated Liada’s character as she is accountable for anything she does and treats everyone with courtesy. Liada’s daily tasks make her interact with different people in the camp. I appreciate how the author describes events in the book. Everything is detailed. The camp, soldiers, city of Carthage and the activities the characters engage in are well illustrated and one can easily visualize the happenings. Hannibal is one of the members Liada interacts with. Hannibal is in charge of the elephant army. Tin Tin Ban Sunia is another character that Liada befriended. Liada and Tin Tin Ban Sunia became friends despite the latter being mute.
The kind Liada and Yzebel, however, plan to save the poor girl from slavery. This was a bold but risky move as the two put themselves in danger. Their arrangement also revealed another side of the characters that I got to love. Charley Brindley makes a simple story more exciting with twists in the plot. The suspense and action the characters take make the reading thrilling. Hannibal’s Elephant Girl is engaging, with a balance of detail that allows your imagination to run. The characters are well developed and addictive to follow. This is a fantastic book with plenty of lessons for young readers.
Pages: 425 | ASIN: B07P9WJFWP
The Adventures of Jules Khan – A Teenage Muslim Superhero, introduces the world to a fictional project that is shifting the narrative on how teenagers and adults consume faith, fiction and entertainment in mainstream media. This unique and creative story is a narrative on North America’s newest Superhero Jules Khan…
An enormous responsibility is bestowed upon Jules Khan. He is basically still a child and could not possibly fathom the true meaning of this responsibility. The whole of humanity is depending on him for survival. He must keep the book safe. Most importantly, he must keep the book away from the National Weapons Association. He will use his natural superpowers while relying on prayer and friends to remain grounded. He is about to uncover many secrets and find information that will rock him to the core. Will mankind be saved from the evil association?
Karim K Devji has crafted a thrilling and action filled tale of human triumph. He has masterfully woven a tale of a brave young man who is not expected to fulfill his role quite so efficiently but does so anyway with gusto and wisdom. He has told a story the only way it deserves to be told; with great energy. This story pulls in the reader right from the beginning. You get to meet fascinating characters and wander in the mind of Jules Khan freely. The author is a very vivid storyteller, using descriptions that are breathtaking.
As the story takes us through Jules’ journey of bravery, I was inspired by the lengths this young man goes to to bring peace to the world and his determination to instill the idea of respect for all regardless of their life choices or situations.
The book touches on numerous sensitive topics from religion to politics. In this era of over-sensitivity and overreactions, these are very difficult topics to converse about. However, the author navigates that particularly muddy puddle with expert ease. Everyone is represented in this book and does not focus on any one religion. The Adventures of Jules Khan – A Teenage Muslim Superhero is a wonderful adventure book that delivers a message of peace and respect to whoever reads it.
The story takes place in WWII era and captures the feel of the time and place well. The author’s commitment to the story and the intended message are announced in no uncertain terms by the simple brilliance with which the book is presented. It is rare to find a action packed book that would be suitable for both children and adults but The Adventures of Jules Khan- A Teenage Muslim Superhero is able to entertain and inspire.
Jules Khan should be a welcome addition to the MARVEL or DC Superhero Franchise as their newest Avenger or hero that uses his tremendous earth based superpowers and pluralism to easily handle the bad guys.
Pages: 169 | ASIN: B07F1GYLN4
Tags: A Teenage Muslim Superhero, action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Karim Kassamali Devji, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Adventures of Jules Khan, writer, writing, young adult
Lluava is fighter in more ways than one. She is highly trained, has seen her share of the devastation of war, and she is a Theriomorph. Varren is Lluava’s partner and anxious to again see his grandfather, the king. When Lluava is told she will be traveling with Varren to meet King Thor, she is not prepared for what she finds in Varren’s childhood home. While Lluava and Varren are a pair to be reckoned with in the field, they have a private relationship that defies definition. Lluava’s stay in the royal castle begins a string of events that will change the course of the lives of everyone around her.
Ullr’s Fangs: Book Two of The Incarn Saga, by Katharine Wibell, is a rather dark fantasy surrounding the experiences of young Lluava as she faces some massive responsibilities. Her own fascination with Varren and her determination to become an even more capable fighter dominates the story line of Wibell’s work.
As fantasies go, Ullr’s Fangs is a wonderful thrill ride. I am a reader who becomes much more involved in the characters’ backstories and the relationships they have with one another. Though this installment of Wibell’s series is chock full of action, there is a much bigger draw involving Lluava’s fascination with Varren. Watching their interactions evolve is enthralling.
I am impressed with the tactful way in which Wibell deals with the mental decline of King Thor. His loss of memory and his periodic references to his son give the reader pause. Dementia is a difficult but relatable topic for many readers, and Wibell reveals the king’s struggle slowly and tastefully in small conversations. I find the inclusion of this condition to be a nice way to help readers further relate to the characters.
As I read, I kept coming back to Lluava and her personality traits. She is as kind and loving as she is fierce. When faced with the challenge of training, she perseveres through immense trials and physical challenges. The gentle manner in which she relates to the young maiden assigned to her at the castle is touching.
The shape-shifting aspect of Wibell’s characters is another intriguing element of her writing. I am amazed at the details Wibell manages to include in her work. Lluava’s transformation are easily visualized and exceptionally penned. The Theriomorphs alone are reason enough to read Wibell’s series.
Readers who enjoy fantasies filled with action and well-developed characters will find themselves deeply involved in the plot of Ullr’s Fangs. From cover to cover, Wibell keeps readers on their toes. The fantastic details throughout Wibell’s book bring readers into the story and provide ample opportunity for them to lose themselves in the world she has created. I highly recommend Ullr’s Fangs to any reader looking for a new fantasy series with memorable characters and highly-involved action sequences.
Pages: 342 | ASIN: B07CRQ7S6R
I enjoyed the depth of character and unique arcs developed in this novel. What were some themes you wanted to capture in your characters?
I honestly think my major theme in all my novels is to be honest with yourself and with the world. People need to take off the mask and let people see the real you. I think that’s the hardest in high school, but you get older and realize that you’ll find a grand group of people to love you for who you are, and that’s the most beautiful thing in the world. It’s why I love Danielle and Calvins friendship. No matter what they do, they love each other.
High school is a highly stressful time and I think you capture that well. Did you bring any of your own experiences into this story?
Honestly, I had a great time in high school. People knew me, and I wasn’t really bullied. I think that I use more of my life now than back then. I used my past relationship with my ex for Aman and those conversations between Aman and Calvin were real.
This is book one in your High School Queens Trilogy. What can readers expect in book two, The Revenged Queen?
To be honest, Book one is my least favorite in the trilogy. I feel like the imaginary gloves come off in book two. It gets darker, sexier, and a whole lot bitchier. I dive more into everyone’s characters, and we get to see other people’s motives for some of the actions. Villains in the first novel soon become friends, I feel like. Book two is my favorite in the trilogy.
They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other’s secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen.
Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they’ll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principal, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag. What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity.
Sex, Lies, and High School Queens explores the major theme of self-acceptance. Can they learn to accept all their flaws or pray victim to The Marked Queen? Each chapter continues to fill your sweet tooth until the climactic moment at the prom where you get to have that final bite of the bitch cake you’ve been dying to consume.
Neither Light Nor Dark follows Lily who has to reunite the suffering lands of Arcadia and abolish the rule of Reficul. What was the inspiration for the setup to this riveting story?
I honestly had a dream that I could not escape from. I sat down one night and poured it out into my laptop. Over time I got inspiration from everywhere- other books, movies, music.
Lily is an interesting and well developed character. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important to her character development?
I think finding out all of the lies about her former life and learning how to deal with her new future definitely helped make her into the girl that she becomes. This is more obvious in book two, The Darker Light.
I loved the fairytale-esque lore embedded in this world. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?
I love fairytales! C.S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book that I remember falling in love with. His world definitely inspired me to go in that direction. The whole idea of us having a predetermined destiny was a big part of the story. I wanted the reader to ponder, “Do I have a choice?”
This is book one in the Beyond the Gates series. What can readers expect in book two of the series, The Darker Light?
Book two is full of surprises. So many things about the characters are revealed that you will find yourself wondering who to trust. Lily is taken back into Arcadia where she is faced with a past that she never knew existed. The journey is harsh but new friends are made and old ones are reunited. Book two is my favorite. I feel like lily really grows up in this one.
YA Fantasy fiction full of surprises. This is a story about a girl, the man she loves, the boy who stole her heart, and Reficul, the evil ruler that stands to ruin it all. Lily Channon gets caught up in a war only she has the power to stop. The only problem is she doesn’t know why or even how. Her quest for answers leads her on a journey through love, crazy, hard to swallow, painful betrayal, and has deadly consequences. Will she find her place? Will she be willing to give what is required of her? Does love really exist, or is EVERYONE a liar? Find out what happens in this exciting book.