Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2) by Kitty Lewis Review

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2).

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2). Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

The old priests have fallen, the Demons are no more, but Kandrina has yet to find out what really killed her brother. Her need for revenge takes her and her former teacher on a perilous journey into uncharted territory. They must travel north, into the lands of the fearsome lizard men known as the Li Buqu. Meanwhile, the tribal lands are under attack from predators, and rising internal conflicts between the Vice-Chiefs threaten to disrupt the People’s way of life. 

The Review

After conquering the corrupt high priests and setting the record straight about the Colourless, the hero Kandrina returns to find the monster responsible for her brother’s death. In her journey she discovers a fearsome and powerful race of beings known as the Li Buqu. There she learns just how large her world is, and must prevent an all out war that threatens to tear the world apart.

The author does a marvelous job of building upon the foundation laid in the first book. Moving on from the corruption of a twisted man’s take on religion, the story instead focuses to mirror mankind’s tendency to invade lands they feel belong to them, even when someone else or something else is already living there. The mythology expands greatly as we meet this new civilization, and the character growth of Kandrina especially in this story is so engaging that it keeps readers invested in the story, something not every author can accomplish with a book’s sequel.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It’s the perfect sequel to the original book and continues to expand upon a world that is ripe for a full blown series. It captures the fantasy element in a very creative way and explores mythology in a comprehensive way that allows readers to get into it themselves. Be sure to grab your copy of Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills” today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.kittylewisfantasy.net/

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The Colourless (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 1) by Kitty Lewis Review

A dangerous world where powerful religious figures hold an iron grip over a civilization sees a young woman rise to become a hero and learn the truth of her land in author Kitty Lewis’s novel The Colourless (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 1).

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A dangerous world where powerful religious figures hold an iron grip over a civilization sees a young woman rise to become a hero and learn the truth of her land in author Kitty Lewis’s novel The Colourless (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 1). Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

When Kandrina’s beloved older brother Perlak was taken by the fearsome Lightning Demons, she swore an oath to the gods that she would avenge him. But the Demons may not be as evil as the People’s temples say they are. They may not even be responsible for her brother’s death. Her tutor Remlik has another theory, but when Kandrina tries to explain it to her father, she is declared a heretic. The priests punish her, but she is rescued by a curious Demon, who takes her to their crystal city on the plains and begins teaching her that the two races are not so different.

The Review

The world that author Kitty Lewis built is incredible. Delving deep into the fantasy realm, this story is filled with incredible creatures, an intricate study of religion and how it affects civilization as a whole, and amazing characters that see the rise of powerful heroes, especially protagonist Kandrina.

Fantasy fans will absolutely fall in love with the world the author has built. The detailed and complex mythology the author built translates beautifully onto the page, and the imagery used makes the world the author built come alive in the readers mind. Exploring the theme of fearing the unknown and challenging the world we know, the author beautifully brings a story of family, religion and fantasy to life.

The Verdict

This is a must have for any hardcore fantasy book fans out there. The character development, world building and mythology alone create a story that draws you in and keeps readers wanting more. With a twist ending that leads into a highly anticipated sequel, you won’t want to miss out on this epic fantasy world. Be sure to grab your copy of Kitty Lewis’s novel “The Colourless” today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.kittylewisfantasy.net/

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We All Need Therapy by Lamar Neal Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warning: This book of poetry deals with themes and elements of abuse, self-harm and suicide. If these themes are triggering to you, be advised and prepared.

An emotional story of one man’s journey of defining himself and struggling with the world he was born into takes center stage in poet and author Lamar Neal’s poetry book, We All Need Therapy. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

This is a collection of poetry of how a boy, who started whole, encountered the world, which caused some painful cracks to appear in his vessel. He soon learned that when we do not hide your imperfections, a cracked vessel is the one, which lets the light shine through.

The Review

I was taken aback by the beauty and tragedy and pure emotion of this poetry book. The poems spoke to me in a way that touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. You can feel the poet’s pain and heartbreak in each line, such as this passage from the poem Morning/Mourning:

“Living in the ruins of dreams
I was never supposed to have. Tomorrow we might lose everything Before our hearts can prepare.”

The author does an amazing job weaving themes and issues that plague our world to this day. Challenging the toxic masculinity that haunts young boys who dare to live outside of societal norms, fighting back against racial injustice and dealing with themes of love, loss and the pain of not fitting into the mold set out by our elders/peers, this book brings the causes of both inner turmoil and societal upheaval in our world currently into the spotlight like no other book of poetry out there right now. It also does a great job of addressing mental health overall, challenging this need to label anyone with a mental health condition as “crazy” when they are far from it. It was refreshing to see a poet and author expose their mental health struggles to the world in such an open and honest way, and showcase the need to fight against the stigma of mental health overall.

The Verdict

This is a must read book of poems. Due out on January 25th, 2019, these poems will touch on the struggle to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to fit you into a mold you don’t feel comfortable in. Full of heart, pure emotion and a message of hope and struggle that will help highlight the very healthy need for everyone to get therapy and face that inner turmoil head on. If you love beautiful poetry and raw emotional story telling, then pre-order your copy of We All Need Therapy by Lamar Neal today.

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/All-Need-Therapy-Lamar-Neal-ebook/dp/B07JQYYKCL/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=dbs_s_def_awm_dirs_l_2&storeType=ebooks

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Interview with Author Ben Schneider

Chrome Flyer C 20181027

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

  1. A) I am currently active duty in the Air Force. I have worked for the military 15 years. I am also a cartoonist and a comedian. I discovered many of my jokes work better in literature than they do in cartoons or on stage. In addition, I am a fan of thriller novels, which inspired many ideas in my own stories.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

  1. A) The work of other action/sci-fi authors and films based on such books inspired my novel.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

  1. A) My book has several messages I hope to give readers. If I were to choose just one, it would be: “Life with a bad attitude is far too difficult.”

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

  1. A) Several things drew me to action/sci-fi, especially James Cameron films.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

  1. A) I would ask Sonya McCall what she would do if she were the first female president because she is very ethical and tough.

 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

  1. A) Facebook.

 Author Pic2

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

  1. A) Make your characters people you would admire and give them strong motives for everything they do.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

  1. A)Realm Journeyis my first book and is like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Treasure Island. I finished it in 2009, but never tried to get it published. Now that I’ve seen some success with my second novel, Chrome Mountain, I am rewriting Realm Journey with the intend to have it published. Someday, I would like to write a sequel to Chrome Mountain as well as create and publish my 3rd Airman Artless cartoon book.

 

About the Author

 

BIO:  Ben Schneider was born in Oklahoma. In 2003, he earned a B.A. in Graphic Design at Oklahoma University, married his fiancée, and joined the Air Force. Ben and his wife, Suzy, have been stationed in Italy, Okinawa, and Alaska. Aside from writing fiction, Ben’s other interests include drawing cartoons—mainly his Airman Artless comic strips. Chrome Mountain is his debut novel.

To order Chrome Mountain on Kindle or paperback, go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Mountain-Ben-Schneider-ebook/dp/B07DMZ86B3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 book5

To see 30+ reviews on Chrome Mountain, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/Chrome-Mountain-281058869320535/

 

Chrome Mountain is also available at the following sites:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40409574-chrome-mountain

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/903483

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chrome-mountain-ben-schneider/1128858008?ean=2940161675625

To message Ben Schneider or see more of his work, go here:

https://airmanartless.com/published-work.html

https://www.facebook.com/ben.schneider.9237

https://www.facebook.com/Quotes-by-Ben-270127620244047/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.facebook.com/Airman-Artless-281460331901271/?ref=page_internal

https://twitter.com/pinscratch5

https://www.instagram.com/airmanartless/

https://www.pinterest.com/schneiderben/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlYhC99bDcM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=000QgYUF_20&t=9s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3nWcx0NP4c&t=43s

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Interview with Author P.A. Kane

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I grew up in a small three bedroom/one bathroom house with my parents and nine siblings in Buffalo, New York. Presently, I live in a suburb of Buffalo with my wife and three college age children, who don’t seem to want to leave.

As far as how I started to write. I went through a pretty aimless period after high school where I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do and was in and out of college.  Finally, in my early twenties I started read in a pretty serious way—stuff like Kerouac, Philip Roth, the poetry of Anne Sexton—which led me to want to give writing a shot. Problem was by the time I was all read up I was in my late twenties and had the pressure of trying to keep a roof over my head and a pretty serious girlfriend, whom I would eventually marry and have children with, so I had to shelve the writing thing. But when the kids got older and needed me less, I started to get up before work (really the middle of the night) make some coffee and write for a few hours. Few years later I have two published novels and a book of essays on the way, plus a million other ideas for books.

 

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Leaving Jackson Wolf was intended to be a novella about Jackson’s friend McDougal. But as I got into it I realized the book was more about Jackson and his relationship with his father which was fraught with so much anger and dysfunction. This compelled me to explore how a fifteen-year-old kid would not only survive the violent dysfunction of his home life, but the possible outcomes on the other side of it. I also wanted to talk about male relationships and tried to portray Jackson and McDougal without all the tough guy underpinnings of traditional male relationships. Both boys are pretty tough, but they aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with each other and to care for each other in a way you don’t see much, but I think healthy. I’m pretty sick of the toxic way guys measure themselves with each other.   

 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I would hope when people read this they find value in owning up and being accountable for your life. Jackson makes his share of mistakes, but rather than wallow in his failures, he is persistent and moves forward trying to do better, always trying to find his power. Additionally, the boys love indie music and in dark times not only is it a friend that helps them feel less alone, but it also provides great perspective on life. So I would hope people might look into some of the fifty plus artists mentioned in the book and give them a good listen or just listen to good music in general. I feel sad for people who don’t have music or think good music is Coldplay.

  

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m not really drawn to a genre. I just wanted to tell a story about two boys trying to make their way through a complicated world. The writing world seems to be genre and series driven, but all I really want to do is write stories about real people in real life situations regardless of their age or whatever.

 

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Though she wasn’t in the book much I would like to sit with Jackson’s mom and get a update on where she was and what happened to her. Maybe this is a little voyeuristic and creepy, but I also would like to sit off to the side back at The Spot with Jackson and McDougal and just listen to them and talk music and the wonders of the female persuasion with a couple of beers. I’d like to hear the excitement in their voices as they talk about all the possibilities still ahead for them.

  

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Boy, this social media thing is so overwhelming and so competitive. Too much for the one-man operation I run. I mostly use Facebook and I mostly do a bad job with it. Going forward as I gather more resources I’m going to invest in some outside help.

 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t be afraid to start small. With the recent baseball playoffs I was reminded of being in a school lavatory back in the day and some older boys had a transistor radio and were listening to the World Series. From that single image of the boys with the radio in the lavatory I got this pretty cool story Knox, O’Malley, Sheena and The Miracle Mets. From little seeds a tree can grow.

 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Presently editing a book of essays that I hope to publish in the spring/summer of 2019.

I have this new charter O’Malley that I’ve been sketching on my blog and a couple chapters of another novel.

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About the Author

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Growing up in a three bed/one bath house with nine siblings in Buffalo, New York was a just the facts, assembly-line type of childhood. However, one day in the late seventies, well into my clamorous teen years, that all changed when my exhausted mom uncharacteristically asked several probing questions about how I was doing, what I wanted of life and how I was going to get there… totally confounding me.  She was supposed to dish out commands and make declarative statements: …take out the trash …don’t come home unless you’re bleeding; …every time you masterbate it’s a hundred-years in purgatory. Not ask me to articulate inward looking, reflective questions about myself. Self-examination and contemplation, was light years beyond my transactional existence.

 Eventually, though, due to a certain amount of aimlessness and failure I did come to consider my mom’s questions and many more of people, time, place and heritage, which have become the basis of the novel “Written In The Stars: The Book Of Molly.” Seen through the eyes of young Molly Shea it is an exploration of the ways and means of 1979 Irish-Catholic, South Buffalo and an evolving girl’s place in that world.

Presently I am one neighborhood removed from South Buffalo in West Seneca, New York where I live with my wife, three college age children and a cat that hates me. I have a State University of New York background in English and I love trade paperbacks, quiet black mornings and The Ramones.

https://www.facebook.com/pakane14220/

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http://www.pakane.net/

http://buffalomud.com/

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Interview with Author Colm Dowd

1)Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Most of my writing has been in the form of song lyrics. I am the founder of the indie folk/rock group, The Last Hope Road Show. This is why I am dying to get the audio book narration done so I can finish what I hope to be an OC type soundtrack for the finished version. Some of the music I produce is theatrical in nature and I have been working the story and soundtrack for a couple of musicals. So  writing a novel was not really a big stretch.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

While I had always wanted to write, the catalyst for this book came from my son, who was nine at the time. He expressed interest in writing a book so I joined in, and the friendly competition helped us both to continue on. He has gone on to become a very good writer. So in that sense, this book has already become a success for me.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

While  I think that story telling can be a powerful medium to get important messages out there that need to be told, sometimes it’s just about entertainment. Fantasy books can get a little bit deep and involved, this is not one of those, not at this point in the series. That said, a couple of serious issues are brushed over in the book and they will have to be addressed later in the series.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My books are of the middle grade/young adult fantasy genre. I suppose you can blame Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for this, but that would probably be simplistic. Way back in the day I used to stay up to watch the old 50’s science fiction movies being played late Saturday nights with my mom. I came up with some bizarre fantasy land short stories in my early teenage years, but nothing I ever pursued. In the end though, do we really need more real life?

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

By far the most interesting character in the book is the villain Salazon. While he seems to pretty much hate everybody. H especially seems to hold a grudge against his own people, the Northfighters. What really went down with him to get to where he is right now? While being very intelligent and cavalier in his attitude, he still seems to be holding on to a very deep grudge that will have to be explained somewhere down the line.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook and Goodreads are probably the most useful sites when it comes to starting out with your book. As I have quite a few illustrations within the book I will be pushing a big Instagram campaign, which will include T-shirts.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Getting into anything is tough these days. It’s pretty easy to self-publish your book. This is great when you get it done, not so great when it gets drowned in the other thousands of books in your genre. But if you have joined in some author groups and build up your network before your release, I’m sure you’ll get there.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am currently working on the second book in the series, which is a lot of fun to write. It’s a big advantage with a series, most of the setup is already in place and you can get to all the fun storylines a lot quicker. The fantasy world holds a dozen different ways the story can go. Unfortunately for me, the storyline in the real world was going to be including a lot of political humor. The idea is Salazon, a raving lunatic, takes over as mayor of New York and thinks of himself as a king. Uh…yeah I know. Saying it out loud, it does sound a bit too far-fetched, even for fantasy.

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Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two people find themselves forced to fight together for survival in author Ben Schneider’s Chrome Mountain. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Chrome Mtn Flyer

Trey and Sonya couldn’t be more different–yet their divergent lives are about to converge, with a bang. As Sonya evades the biker gang she was once involved with, she befriends Trey, a scientist, and helps him evade the Chromes, the most successful terrorist organization in the world. Trey and Sonya have more than their own lives to consider; the free world will change for the worse if the Chromes gain Trey’s priceless knowledge.

In the thriller Chrome Mountain, Ben Schneider explores one possible future our real world could be racing toward. Readers will find this story, driven by the female protagonist, a page-turner but without the darker tactics of similar sci-fi thrillers. The characters of Chrome Mountain tell their stories with clean humor, no profanity, a lot of advice from God, and action–lots and lots of action.

The Review

This science-fiction thriller is unlike any other. Filled with incredible character development and military style action, the story of two people from very different worlds coming together inadvertently in a fight against powerful forces made for an engaging read. An incredible blend and fusion of biker gangs, terrorist organizations, futuristic tech and relatable protagonists made this a truly fun read to enjoy.

Now one thing I will say that I cannot comment on fully is the inclusion of some religious storylines. I myself being not religious, I cannot comment on the strength or impact to religion this story has. I can say for anyone who enjoys characters with deep ties to religion, there are some truly important and strong stories intertwined with some of these characters that involve that subject. It examines belief and faith in a unique way as it mixes into this futuristic sci-fi world the author has created.

The Verdict

Overall this was a fun read. Filled with action and suspense, this original and incredibly creative tale is a wonderful fusion of interweaving character arcs, high-octane drama and a edge of your seat thriller you won’t want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy of Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider today.

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Chrome-Mountain-Ben-Schneider-ebook/dp/B07DMZ86B3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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https://airmanartless.com/published-work.html

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About the Author

Author Pic2

Ben Schneider was born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1977.  He graduated from Newcastle High School in 1996 and earned his Associates in General Studies at Hillsdale FWB College in 1999.  While at Hillsdale he created Holidabblers, only then, he called it “Holiday Heroes” until another artist bought the copyrights to that title years later.  During the late 90s Ben drew his cartoons in colored pencil.  In fall of 1999 he transferred to the University of Oklahoma and later had cartoons published in “The Oklahoma Daily” (as shown at the bottom of the “Holidabblers” tab).  Since then Ben revolutionized his work, making it mostly computer-based by using Photoshop and Freehand.

Ben earned his Bachelors of Art in Graphic Design in May of 2003.  He joined the US Air Force the following month and received his first assignment in Aviano, Italy.  Ben’s experiences in the Air Force inspired him to invent Airman Artless.  In July of 2005 he had his first Airman Artless cartoon published.  He has been published repeatedly in the “Vigileer,” “Air Scoop,” “Kaiserslautern American,” “Samurai Gate,” and “Crimson Sky.”  One sample of each can be found on the “Published Work” tab.  The “Crimson Sky” sample also includes a story about Ben on page 18.  Ben welcomes any ideas for future Airman Artless cartoons.  Feel free to send an idea, question, comment or offer anytime to either of the following:

pinscratch@hotmail.com

pinscratch@yahoo.com

Author Pic1

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