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Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy Series

Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy by [Anna J Walner]

Larougo (The Uluru Legacy Series Book Two) by Anna J Walner is a suspenseful paranormal adult fiction book that continues the story of Amelia and Roan from Garkain, Book One of the series. After learning that Amelia is pregnant with triplets, she and Roan travel back to Australia from the United States for their joining ceremony. But there are many surprises waiting for them when they return home. The couple learns that they are expected to take on the role of leaders of a new Colony, combining the Colony of vampires currently led by Amelia’s grandfather with Roan’s pack of were-dingos. And Amelia’s mix of vampire and lycanthrope bloodlines mean that they don’t know quite what to expect during her pregnancy. With a group of hunters bent on exterminating all of them, will anyone survive?

Author Anna J Walner has created a unique story within a packed paranormal genre that will feel familiar but still creates its own imaginative world. I liked the setting of Australia for this paranormal series, and the unique aspect of were-dingos instead of the typical wolves, couple this with a deep level of intrigue baked into the story right from the beginning and you get what fans loved in book one, but taken to a new level. How Roan and Amelia navigate pack politics is riveting and will appeal to any reader who loves the drama that goes with intertwining desires among strong characters.

While I enjoyed the story line and the characters, I felt that there were a lot of descriptions in the book; there’s a scene about making online purchases and unpacking boxes, but once we’re pass this the pace of the novel really picks up.

Amelia is still an impassioned character with strong feeling about things and her reaction to the events around her elevates the melodrama whenever she’s in the scene to ensure things are always interesting. With a twist later on that really challenges her love, and who she loves more, readers are in for an emotional-rollercoaster.

Larougo is a thrilling paranormal romance novel that continues the riveting story from book one. If you have not read book one, Garkain, I highly suggest you do as the second book presses forward without summary. This is an emotionally charged shifter romance story that will leave you wanting more.

Pages: 227 | ASIN:  B093LPV47C

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Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes)

Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes) by [Steve Zimcosky]

Still recovering from jat lag as a result of his last case, Tom Sipowicz, the Polish Dragon P.I., is needed yet again. This time he is asked to go undercover at MaGed Material Handling to get to the bottom of a couple of mysterious deaths, with suspicions of theft and drugs just to make things a little more interesting. As Tom makes his way around the warehouse, trying his best to blend in, his well trained eye is quick to pick out a few suspects and odd happenings among his new peers. With the help of some friends as well as his own set of skills, Tom soon finds just how deep the problem goes!

In The Polish Dragon P.I. (Midnight Cranes) by Steve Zimcosky, we again get to follow the intriguing exploits of Tom Sipowicz as he seeks to solve all manner of enthralling mysteries. This time he’s asked to help solve a couple of deaths at an international company that specializes in building hardwares. The president isn’t satisfied with the official report by the authorities, and Tom is recommended to him. Instead of his usual methods, Tom is asked to go undercover so he can better assess and observe those at the warehouse, knowing that at least one of them is potentially responsible for the deaths. This provides for an entertaining narrative twist that puts the P.I. in different situations. Along the way, Zimcosky does an excellent job of fully immersing the reader in the environment Tom is living and working in. The plot moves fast even with lots of details given to the reader throughout the story. 

Like the other books in this series, Midnight Cranes is a fun and quick read. Tom is the kind of character that is instantly likeable and seems to be capable of just about anything; a trait that provides him with his many adventures. The quick references to past books makes everyone seem more relatable and familiar, which makes the book even more enjoyable. 

Midnight Cranes is the perfect book for some light and fun reading that delivers intrigue and entertainment on par with a full length novel but Zimcosky does it in under 90 pages. This is a book that will excite long time fans of the series as they’ll find the tried and true protagonist in new situations, but new readers will enjoy the easy story and alluring mystery.

Pages: 213 | ASIN: B093MX47QX

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Around Curiosity’s Edge

J.P. Hostetler
J.P. Hostetler Author Interview

Hidden Meridians follows a young man who sets sail on a magical ship, but secrets about his family lead him to a place of myth where an age-old war is being fought. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted the setup of this story to be as boundless as our own world, and that also meant that the themes it tackles would also be incredibly broad. This was ambitious to say the least, but also provided a sense of freedom to play with the world-building. In that regard, I was inspired heavily by nature; especially the ocean as nothing else on our planet is as fluid or as constant. As for the setup on an antiquated ship, I first conceived the idea for Around Curiosity’s Edge while moving around the world, including places like Germany, South Korea, and India, and was inspired to use Curiosity as a major mode of transportation as I found it instills a timelessness vital to maintain a core element of the story’s plot, namely the bridge between the Commons, that is the world of humans, and the Fringe, the world of myth.

The tension between the worlds of humanity and myth were inspired by the current tensions playing out between our current world of industry, technology and growth, and that of nature. I think the story of the mythical creatures known as fringers in Around Curiosity’s Edge is the story of the biodiversity we are losing every day due to human greed.

The global cast of mythologies and characters which appear in the book(s) are inspired by the multicultural experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have throughout my life.

In short, diversity in all its wonderful shapes and forms inspired the setup.

Salem is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I was that kid always lifting up rocks and looking for bugs, or catching salamanders and fish in the ponds and streams by my house. I think Salem comes very much from that place, while also mixed with some of the social anxieties many young adults face through their teenage years.

When I first started writing, I noticed that Salem was more of a sounding board for the adventure, rather than a true character with flaws and doubts. After listening to some wisdom of my editor, I shifted my character development of Salem from: this is happening to him to this is happening for him. From then on, Salem had felt much more natural as a soul who could learn and grow in the story.

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

Three major themes pervade for me throughout the book:

  1. The importance of diversity and inclusion for a balanced and healthy world.
  2. Overcoming loss by building resilience.
  3. Acknowledging failure as a chance to grow.

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

My goal is to have book two of the Around Curiosity’s Edge series out at some point next year. I’m so excited to continue to the journey and see where this story goes.

A shorter term goal that I am also so excited about is audiobook narration and production of Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians. I love narrating the book though I will say figuring out the many character voices is incredibly challenging. It should be available within the next few months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A hidden world waits, a dark society schemes, and a ship sails to protect that which cannot be lost.
Salem Swan knows none of this as he arrives in Easterly. He knows only that he misses his recently deceased mother, that his new guardian, his uncle Ulysses is unique, and that the boat which will now be his home is unlike anything he has ever seen.
Fearful of this new reality, Salem starts to ask questions that uncover the truth about his distant uncle, his long-gone father, and the true nature of the ship. The answers lead him into a place of myth and legend, where fantastic creatures wage an ages-old war with a radical group bent on eliminating them forever.
Rich with mythology from around the world, Hidden Meridians is the first installment of a fantasy series that takes readers into that place that is just around Curiosity’s edge.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians

Around Curiosity's Edge: Hidden Meridians by [J.P. Hostetler]

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians by J.P. Hostetler immerses the reader in an adventurous world of magic, intrigue, and mystery. Following a cast of characters varying in background and purpose, we’re able to learn about the in-depth universe of magic and its effects on reality. Our characters, including Fern, Ulysses, Salem, Roach, and more, find that they are interconnected in deep and spiritual ways. Our protagonists face off against the Regulats, who want to erase magical bloodlines and the potential power they hold to establish their own reign of control as the “superior species.” Along the way, we see that found family and selfless characters fight their way through strife despite the danger and loss that they face.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians emphasizes the idea that we’re able to create our own families. In this case, blood is not thicker than water—friends can be just as important and loving as familial ties. Salem experiences new life on the Curiosity, a ship where people travel by magical means. His friends, Zee and Jupiter, help him find comfort and peace in his new mystifying life. His uncle, Ulysses, spends his life on this ship and bonds with Salem as they come together and try to rebuild their family. Captain Fern reunites with his daughter and works to create a better world for his crew, the magical creatures of the world, and those he loves.

I loved the diverse approach to this story. Characters came from across the globe with rich, inspiring backgrounds rooted in varying identities. As they travel on perilous expeditions and encounter mystical creatures like frost giants and wyverns, each character brings an individual and exciting history to the table. As they battle against regulators who want to eliminate the myriad of talents and powers seen within our cast of characters, we see the power of individuality and perseverance.

While I enjoyed reading from several different points of view, sometimes it was difficult to keep track of the characters and I found myself rereading to make sure I knew what was happening in the story. As I got deeper in the book and grew more familiar with the characters, this problem disappeared. It’s worth taking some time to note who the characters are and what their stories entail throughout the book.

Around Curiosity’s Edge: Hidden Meridians by J.P. Hostetler is an inspiring and fantastical beginning to what feels like an incredible universe, and I’m so excited to see where the world will go. If you want to feel uplifted by an exciting story in a fantastical world, this is the perfect fantasy book for you.

Pages: 373 | ASIN: B093N1THPJ

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Scorn of Secrets – Book Trailer

I must keep it locked away–the memory of my darkest secret….

When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg–she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons.

My outgoing, older sister fits right in–she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance.

Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all.

My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear.

The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away.

Recommended for 16+ due to sexual content and language. Some content dealing with sexual assault may be disturbing.

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We All Have Some Darkness

Cassie Sanchez
Cassie Sanchez Author Interview

Chasing the Darkness follows an assassin who’s given magical powers which unlock suppressed memories that turn his world upside down. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for Azrael came from a video game called Overwatch that my boys played. One of the characters is an assassin named Reaper, who can teleport. In my first draft, Azrael’s name was Grim, but after a search for names from different sources, I came across Azrael, which means Angel of Death. I didn’t just want the typical assassin on a quest for revenge, which is why I added the side effect of the magic. An assassin that feels empathy is a liability, which leads to his betrayal and being dependent on those he’s hunted, forcing him to face the past, the unwanted emotions, and the vulnerability of caring for someone besides himself.

Azrael is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

During my writing and research, I found a quote by Plato: “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of victories.” I love the anti-hero and the conflict of man vs. self, and for an assassin to conquer himself was an intriguing idea. I think we all have some darkness inside that we battle daily, and I wanted Azrael to be forced to deal with his darkness. Also, I learned from the Jerry Jenkins Guild about antagonists needing to be vulnerable (what he calls a “pet the dog moment”), and although Azrael wasn’t the antagonist, he still needed something to make him human, so to speak. Having an assassin cherish the sunrise, admiring its beauty, and the idea of starting new, brought a depth to Azrael that made him likable.

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

There were two underlying themes in Chasing the Darkness; redemption and forgiveness. Azrael in his quest for vengeance found redemption. His love interest, Kenz, who held onto bitterness and anger, learned forgiveness when she held Azrael’s life in her hand. These two themes allowed the characters to open themselves to the possibility of love.

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

I’m currently working on the sequel to Chasing the Darkness. I plan to have three books in this series, hoping to finish the sequel by the end of the year. It took me two years to complete the first, but I’m hoping to cut that time down so fans won’t have to wait too long between books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Pain is inescapable. Suffering is a choice.
 
Azrael, the Angel of Death, has known his fair share of pain. Losing his mother and sister and forced to join the Watch Guard at the age of twelve, he becomes the most feared assassin in all of Pandaren. As a Hunter, he searches for those with magic, called Spectrals, but has his own agenda–destroying the Fire Spectral who altered the course of his life.

Azrael, obsessed with revenge and power, undergoes an experimental procedure that gives him magic, but unexpected side effects cause chaos, and he becomes a liability to the Hunters and the Watch Guard, for the Angel of Death cannot have a conscience.

Rescued by the people he has sworn to eliminate, Azrael finds himself questioning everything he once believed as years of secrets and lies are exposed. His very nature is challenged as he battles unfamiliar emotions and navigates relationships that contradict the heart of a killer.

Chasing the Darkness is an escape to a land of magic, sword fights, and love, with memorable characters who come face-to-face with the darkness within, forced to journey down a path of either destruction or redemption.

For the Good of Humanity

Jacqueline Anders
Jacqueline Anders Author Interview

Phoenix: Field Of Mars follows a young woman seeking to advance her P.R. career when she gets caught up in a special ops’ mission that takes her back to Ancient Rome. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration for my Phoenix trilogy happened while I taught high school. I noticed that my students were reading lots of fantasy books with no educational value, in my opinion. It seemed they were completely unaware of the world around them. I wanted them and adults to know about the Middle East, all the different human faiths that began across the ocean and from the beginning of civilization, and teach them history in an entertaining way. The time travel element was always a given because I always loved books about time travel. Therefore, I combined the genre I loved with romance, action, suspense, and tidbits of learning opportunities along the way.

I thought your characters were intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I really enjoy when authors use the whole ‘fish out of water’ scenario for their protagonists. It gives the reader a chance to not only question how they would handle the tough situation the characters are in, but it also helps the reader connect more closely to the characters. We cheer on the characters that push through the hardest situations and come out victorious in the end because they persevered. However, I knew that I needed my readers to know the characters in a way that wasn’t artificial.

Kyla was a typical business woman who was used to accolades and having her opinions appreciated but then she’s thrown into a time when women were not treated fairly and were better seen than heard.

The special ops guys were seasoned in missions with advanced technology and sometimes, not always, they were used to going on missions that had a lot of intel guiding them. However, when they landed in Ancient Rome, they were flying blind and just going off of small bits of information about their target. It made it really hard because their target ended up not traveling where they were told he would be. Without GPS, informants, etc., the special ops guys really had to rely on their instincts and their training of interrogating natives to get an idea of where the threat was traveling to. In reality, that is some tough stuff and without some kind of otherworldly help, it would be almost impossible.

Also, I knew when I set out to write the contracted special ops team, I wanted them to be from all different countries. Not only because of their expertise and language acquisitions, but also to help show my readers different cultures and faiths and how they will work together for the good of humanity.

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

Ever since the beginning of time, humans were notorious for wanting more and more, especially when it came to resources. My story is not just a story of action, history, suspense, wars, but also a story of HOPE. In my opinion, if we were all left to our own devices, the world would have ended by now. There is a reason we haven’t destroyed ourselves yet. So for.

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

My next book is Phoenix 4: The Cerberus Chronicles, but I won’t give too much away. Let’s just say that once time travel is invented, it’s like Pandora’s Box. In truth, it’s pretty scary if we don’t have HOPE.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A time travel thriller from best selling author, Jackie Anders, that takes the reader to Ancient Rome revealing modern and ancient conspiracies that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Twenty-eight-year-old, Kyla Marshall, has desires of advancing her career in public relations at all costs… Until she ends up stumbling in on a special ops’ mission that takes her from her client’s lab in the year 2017 to 8 A.D. Ancient Rome. After learning her new reality, she discovers that the team’s mission is to stop a biochemical scientist from unleashing a deadly virus on the unsuspecting 1st Century people in order to change history.
As Kyla encounters hostility and strife on her journey, she is surprisingly protected by the team’s leader, Capt. Christopher Eriksen. Even though Eriksen has many internal struggles from what he’s seen and done, he inspires her to trust in something bigger than herself. But as Kyla and the team race to stop the impending genocide, Kyla’s biggest fear is no longer the known threat. It is the not knowing if she will ever be able to get back home.

Into a Dystopian Universe

Gary Szendzielarz
Gary Szendzielarz Author Interview

Fallen Gods follows a young man that suddenly discovers he has powers and sets out on journey that reveals much more about himself and the world then he had imagined. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I began writing this story, albeit it very differently at the time, as a teenager in school. I actually had a tough time in school, was bullied quite badly, but at the same time I didn’t want to just give up. Instead I focused on my fantasies, essentially what if? Over the years, my ideas developed but I didn’t really have the drive I needed to write the book properly. Then I told the story to my wife and she pushed me to get it done.

The idea of the witches was inspired by a group of girls I knew at school. They were essentially “IT” girls, not bullies of other girls, but they were the ones who every girl wanted to be. Completely by chance, my older brother was friends with the brother of one of the girls, and for some reason, that meant that I became a friend to the girls. It felt special to me and really put me in a different place; but then the more I got to know them personally, the more I felt that they were not the nicest people to be around.

Adam is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

That comes from my experiences growing up on the Isle of Man, and then being forced to move to Lincolnshire, which was hell on Earth for me. I was always an emotional person but after my set of misfortunes over the years, I grew a thick-skin, which led into the position I am in today at work, done all through determination and fight. I wanted Adam to go through the same thing, just much faster, obviously. I wanted to character to actually be a beacon for all those who struggle to recognise their own potential, to be able to understand that we are all capable of more, to beat our demons; we just need time and support. But it’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to cry and get scared.

The psychology of the main characters is extremely important for me, because this is essentially the introductory book to a string of follow-ups. It will lead into a dystopian universe which will twist a little bit. I know one of my concerns were on the character development at the beginning, that I did not develop the connection to the characters until later in the book, and for some that maybe a problem, but it’s important to understand that none of the characters have fully developed into what they will become, and we still do not know if what happened throughout the book was the correct thing for the world.

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

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but for me religion has always played a negative element in my life. It never had good experiences with religion and it has left a bitter taste in my mouth. As an atheist, I wanted to provide an alternative angle to religion, to allow us to question why Abrahamic religions play so heavily on the idea of masculinity, and why women were second class in the bible etc. What if all of this was a cover for something much deeper and darker?

I also wanted to address the idea of gender and sexuality. If we were to look at the world as the witches did, then there is a fluidity to their sexuality, but their own take on religion takes away the idea of multiple genders. In some ways, we could suggest that the fight against the witches could be mistakenly viewed as misogyny, right up until you realise that the witches care less about women and men but really their own selfish gains.

Finally, there are hints in the book of Adam’s sexuality too, but given how confused he is by his own situation, I did not want to address it too deeply. Really, I wanted to leave it to the reader for them to make their own judgment of who or what Adam really is.

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

I’m actually working on the next books for the Fallen Gods series. One will be the direct sequel, taking place a decade and a half after the events in Fallen Gods, and will be a decidedly darker and longer novel than the first. Then the other is a shorter novella that I will be giving away online free, and will be about a different character not in the first book, and will be a join between book 1 and 2, but can also be read as a standalone novella; in other words, the idea is that you can read the novella and then go and read the first or second book and still know what is going on.

I also have a couple of other ideas in the works, but they are in the skeleton phase right now. One is about a part-time government assassin who accidentally kicks off a revolution. Another is a dark thriller about husband who discovers a dark secret about his Czech wife and her childhood at time when she escaped from communist Czechoslovakia.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

Adam Slater always felt something was off about his life; that he was not supposed to be a bullied, wimpy little kid.

In 1984, eight year old Adam and his friends discover an abandoned car near a large creepy work shed. Kids being kids, they decide to search, only to find the car belongs to a missing MI5 agent named Hendley. In the car, Adam finds an old leather-bound book written in a language, the likes of which he had never seen before; whilst Adam’s friend Ian enters the shed, only to suddenly vanish, never to be seen again.

All of this kicks off events which will change Adam’s life forever. On his eighteenth birthday, everything changes in an instant. Suddenly, he is strong, powerful, and can do things which should have been impossible.

Determined to understand who, or what he is, Adam begins to investigate, discovering an alien race of women, trapped on Earth for millennia, known as Witches, who shaped modern-day religion. He also discovers that the MI5 agent’s wife, Carol, is not who she appears.

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, surrounded by his best friends, Adam travels across Europe, visiting historical sites and investigating Greek mythology, to find out why he has powers. Joining them are four beautiful girls; girls the boys never dreamed of talking to before. But these are no ordinary girls; rather they are witches who may not have Adam’s best interests at heart. Adam soon discovers that not all is as it seems, and their journey will not be a fun-filled relaxing adventure, but rather a trail of death and destruction, leading to the revelation that the world is in grave danger and Adam may be the only person capable of saving humanity.

Standing in the way will be the witches and the threat of a bounty hunter goddess named Venus. What begins as an epic adventure amongst friends, descends into a battle of epic proportions, and a race against time to stop an evil goddess from restoring her powers and destroying the Earth once and for all.

Adam has to grow from weak wimpy kid, to confident, strong adult; and fast. In order to do that, he needs to discover who he is and why, and he may not like the answer. The truth could ruin him. Getting the answer may kill him, and everyone he holds close. One thing is for certain, the world will never be the same again.
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