Posted in reviews

Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove Review

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

Four teens find themselves in a nightmarish landscape with more questions than answers as they fight to find an escape from whatever world they’ve awoken to in author Christy J. Breedlove’s novel “Screamcatcher: Web World”. 

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The Synopsis

When seventeen-year-old Jory Pike cannot shake the hellish nightmares of her parent’s deaths, she turns to an old family heirloom, a dream catcher. Even though she’s half blood Chippewa, Jory thinks old Indian lore is so yesterday, but she’s willing to give it a try. However, the dream catcher has had its fill of nightmares from an ancient and violent past. After a sleepover party, and during one of Jory’s most horrific dream episodes, the dream catcher implodes, sucking Jory and her three friends into its own world of trapped nightmares. They’re in an alternate universe—locked inside of an insane web world. How can they find the center of the web, where all good things are allowed to pass?

The Review

This was an exceptional new YA Horror/Fantasy novel like no other. So many novels in this genre explore well know and already established mythology, such as that of the Greek gods or the Norse gods, etc. Yet it is rare to find a novel that not only incorporates Native American folklore, but does it in a fresh, unique and action-packed way.

The story not only has fantastic and horrifying creatures, tales of survival and growing romance, but also has a deeply rooted emotional core in the character’s journey. Most notably Jory, the protagonist, brings a lot of heart and struggle to the tale, as she deals with the recent loss of her parents that slowly begins to mirror her adventure inside the nightmarish world she and her friends awoke in. The author does a brilliant job of creating relatable characters that readers will identify with and also creating natural bonds between them all that elevate the drama of the journey to find a way out of this hellish landscape they’re in.

The Verdict

This is a must read YA Horror/Fantasy novel. Filled with twists and turns, scares and thrills, and most importantly an emotional rollercoaster of a journey, this is a brilliant work of fiction that is deserving of a series, and I can only hope to see what happens next in Jory and her friend’s adventures. This is a candidate for YA Horror/Fantasy of the year. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I became a story teller. I’m a diehard frantic creator of Young Adult fiction, whether it’s paranormal, science fiction, suspense or fantasy. I believe in pure escapism with unceasing action adventure and discovery. If you want a moral message or cultural statement, you’re apt to get a small one. But let me tell you something, reader, I want to make you laugh until you gag, cry until you’re dry and tear out tufts of your hair. Today, young adult lit needs a resurrection. How soon we’ve forgotten about Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight. Oh, the mania! Where has it gone? Are we losing our young readers? We need something really fresh and new. I and several writers are going to pour everything we have into that end. You are the kindly judge–help us get there and we will deliver!

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Posted in reviews

Far and Yet So Near (The Adventures Of Fawn #3) by Al E. Boy Review

The award-winning children’s fantasy series returns in a grand fashion as Fawn finds herself facing a whole new danger: the outside world. The third book in the holiday series takes the story to all new heights in author Al E. Boy’s novel “Far and Yet So Near (The Adventures of Fawn #3)”. 

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The Synopsis

Fantastic! Fun-tastic! Fawn-tastic!!!

Far And Yet So Near is the exciting, award-winning third installment in The Adventures of Fawn, and finds the young reindeer and her faithful friends on yet another rescue mission. All of the adult reindeer suddenly fall under the control of a mysterious stranger, and mindlessly march off towards directions unknown. Fawn and company must trail the reindeer and try to bring them back home again. 

After surviving dangers like ‘Hangnail Pass’ and the ‘Wandering Bridge’ the group are led to an underground cavern where they are confronted by the stranger, who intends to steal the reindeer team. Santa and Wajic turn up in the nick of time…and it looks like everyone is safe. But the stranger has a few tricks up his sleeve, and explosions unexpectedly rock the cavern as he makes good his escape. But not before he ‘reindeer-naps’ Fawn. 

She soon finds herself a pet in an English manor house near London. Will Fawn ever return to the North Pole and Santa’s Village? Will anyone ever be able to find her? Did Santa, Wajic, Doctor Weather, Bunny and the others all perish in the explosions? What will become of Fawn? What will become of Christmas? Read “Far And Yet So Near” to find out!

The Review

While the book began with a lot of action and edge of your seat thrills, the novel overall felt much more personal and emotional than the previous novels in the series. The author did a marvelous job of focusing more on the emotional journey of Fawn, her parents, and everyone in Santa’s close-knit circle as they searched for the missing Fawn and fought to survive the initial attack. Along the way Fawn finds herself bonding with a young girl suffering from a terrible illness, and discovers that the two worlds she has lived in, (the human world and the magical world at Santa’s Village), may not be as incompatible as they once believed. 

Readers will love delving into this story as characters backstories like the powerful and mysterious Wajic are explored when an old foe from his past comes back to haunt him and his makeshift family. The book also expertly explores Fawn’s journey as she grows up in her months away from her home, and showcases the heartbreaking affects of losing a child both in Comet and Vixen’s narrative and the story of the young girl’s parents whom Fawn has found herself bonding with. 

The Verdict

Overall this was a well written, emotional and magical tale that solidifies the series as a new holiday favorite. An evenly paced read that focuses more on personal storytelling aspects rather than the larger than life magic of past novels, this story felt like the most connected the reader has ever been with Fawn, and brought a whole new element to the series that fans will love. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Far and Yet So Near” by Al E. Boy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

Additional info: ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls was awarded the Bronze Medal in Dan Poynter’s 2017 Global E-book Awards, is listed as ‘Recommended Reading’ with The US Review of Books, and was awarded an Honoree Medallion by indieB.R.A.G.. In addition, it has garnered a number of favorable reviews.

Enjoy a good holiday book series to read with your kids? Look no further than author Al E. Boy’s “The Adventures of Fawn” series. Read the review of the latest in the series here! #holidaybooks #bookreviews #bookblog http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36291145-til-the-last-snowflake-falls

http://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/The-Adventures-of-Fawn-740272912731782/

Posted in reviews

The Ona Pendulum: The Adventures of Fawn #2 by Al E. Boy Review

The secret history of Kristoff Kringle is explored as an ancient evil Elf Princess threatens to destroy Santa, his village, all it’s inhabitants and Christmas itself in author Al. E Boy’s novel, “The Ona Pendulum: The Adventures of Fawn #2”. 

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The Synopsis 

Fantastic! Fun-tastic! Fawn-tastic!!

The Ona Pendulum is the second award-winning book in The Adventures of Fawn series! Fawn and her friends find themselves trying to stop an evil former elf Princess from destroying The Ona Pendulum…a device that enables Santa, Wajic, the elves and reindeer to live for hundreds of years. 

The citizens of Santa’s Village…and Christmas itself… are all in great danger! But before the young reindeer and her faithful companions can start off on their mission, they must first learn how a young woodworker named Kristoff Kringle went from his family’s workshop to become the leader of hundreds of elves, and an icon of Christmas. They’ll discover how he began delivering toys, how he met the elves, and where his famous, “Ho-Ho-Ho” comes from. They’ll also learn about the Rua Ondos…wonderful, magical shooting stars which fell to Earth on the very first Christmas. The Ona Pendulum is an exciting adventure for children of all ages!

The Review

This is a brilliant continuation of an award winning children’s fantasy series. The author does a great job of upping the ante in the series as readers are treated to an original and unique origin story unlike any other. Getting to explore the history of Santa was not only fun, but the story created in this novel was more detailed, more action-packed and had more twists and turns than any other origin story for the holiday figure. 

A story of tragic losses, the past coming back to haunt the present, a perilous journey to save an iconic holiday hero, and tales of redemption make this story so engaging and hook the reader throughout the entirety of the story. Another evenly paced read, the novel does a great job of balancing the fantasy and magical elements of the novel with fantastic character building and interactions that make the story flow smoothly.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant sequel to a growing children’s fantasy series that redefines the Christmas season and the origins of Santa as a whole. The inclusion of Elven lore, the struggle for two very different worlds to find common ground and live in peace, and the pursuit of good and the will to do what’s right make this an inspiring story of children and parents alike to enjoy with one another, and is a great new chapter in the holiday season genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab author Al E. Boy’s novel “The Ona Pendulum” today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

Additional info: ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls was awarded the Bronze Medal in Dan Poynter’s 2017 Global E-book Awards, is listed as ‘Recommended Reading’ with The US Review of Books, and was awarded an Honoree Medallion by indieB.R.A.G.. In addition, it has garnered a number of favorable reviews.

Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36291145-til-the-last-snowflake-falls

http://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/The-Adventures-of-Fawn-740272912731782/

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Comic Book Round-Up #4: July 19th, 2019

Spider-Verse (Collected Edition)

by Dan Slott (Text), Christos Gage (Text), Dave Williams (Illustrator), David Hine (Goodreads Author) (Text), Paul Smith (Illustrator), Fabrice Sapolsky (Text), Gerry Conway (Text), Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Someone is working their way through the multiverse, leaving a trail of dead spiders in their wake! As the Superior Spider-Man faces this foe in the future, MC2’s Spider-Girl finds herself under attack! From 1602 to the era of Noir, from a spider-powered Gwen Stacy to the world-famous Spider-Ham, spider-themed heroes everywhere, in every world, begin to falter and fall. How can “our” Spider-Man possibly hope to survive against this unstoppable interdimensional onslaught? Guest-starring every Spider-Man ever…and then some! Spider-UK, Sp//dr, Scarlet Spiders, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man 2099…can any of them survive the arrival of Morlun?

COLLECTING: Amazing Spider-Man 7-15, Superior Spider-Man 32-33, Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) 1 (5 page Spider-Man story), Spider-Verse 1-2, Spider-Verse Team-Up 1-3, Scarlet Spiders 1-3, Spider-Woman 1-4, Spider-Man 2099 6-8

Verdict

A strong new chapter in the Spider-Man mythos. Anything to do with the concept of the multiverse always intrigues me, and the exploration of so many different versions and iterations of a Spider hero in the Marvel Universe was evenly explored with the lore of the deadly and mysterious new villains the Inheritors. Seeing how these multiversal heroes interact with one another and the different combinations of illustration styles made this a truly engaging read, and took the Spider-Man lore into a fresh new direction that I cannot wait to explore more. 

Spider-Geddon: Edge of Spider-Geddon

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2.1)

by Jed Mackay

Synopsis 

Spider-Punk is back and better than ever. After SPIDER-VERSE, Hobie Brown was a Web-Warrior, but that didn’t mean things back in his universe were solved. The writer of the Spider-Punk story in SPIDER-VERSE is back and joined by VENOM’s Gerardo Sandoval! Spider-Punk’s Earth is under attack both on the ground and from space, meaning his responsibility seems to outweigh his power. After Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, The Umbrella Academy) and Jake Wyatt created SP//dr back in SPIDERVERSE, she was one of the most requested heroes. With Spider-Geddon on the horizon, SP//dr is back. Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler are joining the team to bring you the next chapter in Peni Parker’s life and set the table for the Spider-Event of 2018!

COLLECTING: EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON 1-4, SUPERIOR OCTOPUS 1 

Verdict

After the events of Spider-Verse, it was hard for me to see how much further the storyline of the multiversal Spider Force could go. Yet this next chapter in the Inheritor saga was a great introduction into the deadliest chapter of the Spider-Man mythos yet. Getting to dive head first into the various worlds of the Spiders, from Hobie Brown’s Spider-Punk to the incredible new SP//dr story based on Umbrella Academy writer and My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way’s original Spider-Verse creation, giving a more tech based Spider hero the spotlight she deserves. This is a great way to jump into the action and see the buildup to Spider-Geddon’s epic story. 

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Spider-Geddon: Covert Ops

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2.2)

by Christopher J. PriestJody Houser (Goodreads Author), Paulo Siqueira (Illustrator), Andres Genolet (Illustrator)

Synopsis

KAINE & SPIDER-WOMAN lead a rough and ready crew of Spiders on a mission to save the multi-verse that will almost certainly lead to their deaths! Spiders you love and a few new ones will risk it all to stop the Inheritors from unleashing the ultimate foe! All hands are needed in the fight to defeat the Inheritors-this time for good! Meanwhile: Anya Corazon leads a hopeful team of young heroes to investigate a legend of the Spider Society that may hold the key. If science brought the Inheritors back, maybe ancient magic can

put them away. 

COLLECTING: SPIDER-FORCE 1-3, SPIDER-GIRLS 1-3 

Verdict

Getting to explore the various differences between the Spider army in this Spider-Geddon tie in was a breath of fresh air. From the deadly, hopeless situation Kaine, Jessica Drew and other Spiders find themselves in when facing the wrath of an Inheritor, to the more hopeful and emotional struggle of Anya, May and a new Spider hero who may hold the key to stopping the Inheritors once and for all, this story has many twists and turns that will both shock and excite longtime fans of the Spider-Man lore. 

Spider-Geddon

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2)

by Christos Gage (Text), Clayton Crain (Illustrations)

Synopsis 

SPIDERGEDDON IS HERE! The end of all Spiders doesn’t exclude the star of the most anticipated video game of 2018! How does he enter the Marvel Universe and what role will he play in the final chapter of SPIDER-VERSE?!

COLLECTING: SPIDER-GEDDON 0-5, SPIDER-GEDDON: VAULT OF SPIDERS 1-2

Verdict

A fantastic story in the Spider-Man lore that has been building since the first pages of Spider-Verse. The Spider-Geddon event explores many great aspects of the major Marvel Event. From Peter Parker’s fight for survival against his deadly Inheritor nemesis Morlun to the battle for leadership between Miles Morales and Otto Octavius, aka Ultimate Spider-Man and Superior Spider-Man, this story has a lot of surprises in store for longtime fans of this story. The shocking deaths, new Spider-heroes and major battles with the Inheritors will leave fans on the edge of their seat as they wait to see who will survive, and who will win. 

Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death

(Batwoman (2017) #1)

by Marguerite BennettJames Tynion IVSteve EptingStephanie HansRenato Arlem

Synopsis

Batwoman returns with her own series in BATWOMAN VOL. 1, as a part of DC Rebirth!

The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bioweapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours! 

With writing from Marguerite Bennett (DC BOMBSHELLS) and James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS), as well as spectacular art from Steve Epting (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) and Ben Oliver (THE MULTIVERSITY), this new series spins directly out of the smash hit DETECTIVE COMICS series! 

BATWOMAN VOL. 1 collects issues #1-6 and the one-shot special BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1. 

Verdict

With her live-action debut set to arrive in just a few months time on the CW, Batwoman is quickly showcasing why she is one of DC Comic’s fan favorite heroes. The first chapter in her Rebirth storyline explores Kate Kane’s dark past, especially what is known as her “Lost Year”. Forced to come face to face with old allies, older foes and a new threat that threatens to tear the world apart, Kate must navigate the familiar waters of a place she once called home, and must learn to own the mistakes and pain of her past in order to overcome the threat that looms over her and the world at large. The story does an amazing job of exploring the emotional core of Batwoman as a person while also highlighting her never ending determination to never stop fighting in the face of impossible odds, which makes her such a great character and hero to explore. 

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Green Arrow, Vol. 1: The Death & Life of Oliver Queen

(Green Arrow (2016) #1)

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Otto Schmidt (Artist), Juan Ferreyra (Artist)

Synopsis 

Part of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling, all-new line of volume one graphic novels, DC Universe Rebirth!

By day he’s Oliver Queen, playboy socialite, CEO of Queen Industries and philanthropic do-gooder. But at night he patrols the streets of Seattle, where he champions the oppressed as a true social justice warrior. He is Green Arrow.

But how can you fight the man when you are the man? That’s the question left with Oliver after an electric, love-at-first-sight encounter with Black Canary, the superhero rock star who challenges everything he thought he knew about protecting the innocent. As if that weren’t enough, a sinister organization with ties to his nearest and dearest prepares to tear down Oliver’s financial empire, destroy his family’ s legacy and end his life.

Without fortune or friends, can Green Arrow defeat this unholy alliance of traitors? Or has death finally caught up with Oliver Queen?

Discover the shocking answers in GREEN ARROW VOL. 1: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN, the surprise hit series from writer BENJAMIN PERCY (TEEN TITANS), gorgeously illustrated by OTTO SCHMIDT (Korvac Saga) and JUAN FERREYRA (NEW SUICIDE SQUAD) and exploding from the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event! Collects GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1 and GREEN ARROW #1-5.

Verdict

A truly strong start to the Rebirth era of Green Arrow comics. DC has done a great job of jumping feet first into the new status quo for Oliver Queen, showcasing an established if not rocky relationship with his newfound younger sister Emiko, (hiding a secret of her own), a chance meeting with the powerful hero Black Canary, and put Oliver’s convictions to the test when he must chose between the money that funds his life and his crusade as the Green Arrow and the lives closest to him. Bringing a strong new foe into the fold and exploring the darker side of DC Comic’s vigilante stories, this is a great starting off point for the new era of Green Arrow. 

Posted in reviews

Plagued: The Devil Did It by Shakil Somani Review

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

A chance encounter turns into a nightmare for a young British filmmaker when his latest “hookup” turns out to have very powerful connections in the indie horror comic book “Plagued: The Devil Did It” by Shakil Somani. 

The Synopsis 

Lukas “Kas” Green, a successful British filmmaker and billionaire living in Los Angeles, takes the wrong girl home one night – she turns out to literally be the daughter of the Devil. 

The Devil punishes Kas by overrunning his brain with the creativity his film career has been built upon. 

Consequently, anytime Kas even thinks about sex, his mind is overcome with sketches and hallucinations. 

Kas attempts to cure himself of this plague of ideas and distractions, whilst balancing his movie-making career, the overpowering sketch-like stories in his mind and of course, trying to rejoin the population of Bonetown. 

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The Review

In this horror/comedy mashup, the author does a marvelous job of building an original storyline that engages readers on multiple fronts. A combination of Preacher and a sex-fueled comedy, the story is both humorous and character driven. 

While the characters were memorable, the first issue’s storyline was what really stood out to me. The protagonist didn’t come across like many of the classic “sex-obsessed” jerks that come with this genre of comic book. Instead you found a charming, sometimes forward but otherwise humorous protagonist who found himself trying to find a way to balance his creativity with his sexual desires, and in the process discovered the limits of both sides of the coin. 

The Verdict

This was a strong start to what promises to be an engaging and fun indie horror comic book series. While personally in future stories I think the overall narrative could improve with a bit more backstory to the characters and some natural transitions between scenes, overall the comic book worked well and entertained the reader greatly. 

With a mystical realism attached to the imagery thanks to the wonderful illustrations of Mark Superales, this comic book was an awesome first issue that will leave readers wanting more. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “Plagued: The Devil Did It” by Shakil Somani today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

I’ve always hated words, as long as I can remember they’ve done nothing but cause heartache. Words like; “Fluffy’s not going to make it. Sorry, not Sorry”, “I don’t love you any more” and “We’re having a girl!”. 

Like most, I endured them for a long time, until about 2 years ago when I decided I to fight back. 

But to liberate oneself from darkness, you must first step deeper into it. So for now I will read and write, trying my best to engage and entertain and once I’ve won the words over, convincing them that I’m their friend, they’ll relax, let their guard down and without even realizing, they’ll give me all the tools I need to eradicate them from society.

My mission is to destroy all words, forever and to make the future look like the distant past, where people would communicate in person through emotional, meaningful touches and primal sounds. Where the distance that ‘civilized’ beings create from each other through books, magazines and devices will evaporate.

Where sex will once again only be the sticky, messy and powerful expression of two to seven people inexorably bound in the same moment. Skype sex, phone sex and text sex will be relegated to the pages of books long-destroyed.

The first words I will erase are; border, wall and president.

I understand my crusade may be polarizing, as even those words you might think of as wholly positive must be culled, because at their core they are the seeds of humanity’s decay. That said, baby, monkey, and cupcake will be among the last to fall.

Thus far, my attempts at gaining the words’ trust have been in the form of; a comic book series – with new issues quarterly and an android game, to be released later this year. 

At present, I’m working on my debut novel and live in a flat/ War on Words H.Q in East London, with my current wife and my 2 dogs; Candy, Sparky and TamTam respectively.

Let me know what words you hate at BrainMilkProductions@Gmail.com and I might put them to the top of the kill list.

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46205035-plagued?from_search=true

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SS5PD2M

Read for free link  https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/plagued/list?title_no=310449

Posted in reviews

Arid by Anne Joyce Review

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

One small group of survivors in a world where water is sparse and only the wealthy can afford it must find a way to survive the harsh cruel world they’ve been forced into in author Anne Joyce’s novel “Arid”. 

The Synopsis

It’s the distant future and the country is overtaken by wealthy moguls who dominate the water supply and sell it back to the public at ridiculous prices. After a drastic crime increase “indigents” who can’t afford water are stripped of their belongings and forced out of town by an army of brutes called Purifiers. 

Life becomes harsh and ominous for the bright, ambitious Joshua Wyman and his group until they begin to occasionally receive food and other basic amenities from the Brutes. When a blatant abuse of Purifier power during a routine visit leaves them reeling Joshua and his friends reach their breaking point. 

They devise a plan to steal the Purifiers’ vehicle during their next visit and find a place where water is affordable. Their journey across the uncharted wastelands filled with murderers and thieves proves to be far more than this civilized, benevolent crew bargained for. Growing tensions within the nearby towns may cause the two worlds to collide, creating an epic storm.

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The Review

The author has done a spectacular job of fully immersing the readers attention into the harsh setting of this post-apocalyptic world. With the affects of global warming and climate change becoming an all too real aspect of our daily lives, the world in which the characters find themselves seems all too plausible to believe, despite the apocalyptic setting of the narrative.

The character development is what shines the brightest in this novel, with a protagonist and supporting cast of characters that mesh well together and showcase the power of family, even a makeshift family created in the cruel desert sun of an apocalyptic America. The story was evenly paced and did a marvelous job of setting the tone of the narrative, giving the reader a realistic and edge of your seat feeling that only the world created in this novel could provide. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys a good post-apocalyptic story. An adult outlook on the dangers of global warming and the possibility of water becoming a commodity, the story is engaging and keeps the readers invested with every chapter, and will quickly make any casual reader a fan of this amazing author. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of Arid by Anne Joyce today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) was born in a small town in Indiana you’ve probably never heard of. She composed short stories and comic books as a child to amuse her family and began writing poetry at the age of thirteen.

In 1998 she received an Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence for her poem “She Didn’t Come Home.” She attended business school and made the Dean’s List for three consecutive years, putting her love for writing on the back burner. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that a political post on social networking rekindled her literary flame that has since become a bonfire.

In 2013 her novella When the Chips Are Down was named a Finalist in the MARSocial Author of the Year Contest. When she is not writing, thinking about writing, or going insane from writing she enjoys camping, fishing, swimming, and otherwise spending time with loved ones. She is mother to three extremely spoiled cats. Crazy cat lady? Probably.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7159849.Anne_Rasico

Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) (@AnneRasico) | Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/AnneJoyceWriter

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Philip M. Fishman

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

I guess you could call me a late bloomer.  I didn’t write my first book until I was 69, which was a memoir of my brief teaching career, which began at age 65 .  My degree is in chemistry, and after graduating and receiving a ROTC commission, I  spent two years in the Army Chemical Corps. My final assignment was as an exec officer in a technical intelligence detachment where we analyzed potential enemy capabilities in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare.  For most of my tenure, I was stationed at Fort McClellan Alabama where I met my wife, who is from Anniston.  After discharge, I worked in various facets of the chemical industry for the next forty years first in technical service, and eventually Southeast Regional Sales Manager until an unplanned early retirement when I was 63.  For the next couple of years I was a consultant; and then I decided to try teaching.  When my wife suffered a stroke in 2008, I then entered my dual career of caregiver and writer.    

2) What inspired you to write your book? 

I have been a political junkie since childhood.  I’m active on FaceBook and most of my commentary involves politics.  When Trump was elected, I just felt compelled to write some type of critique.

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

I see similarities to the rise of Hitler and also parallels with George Orwell’s 1984.  If not for his cult, we could probably dismiss the man, since after all, he’s in his seventies and won’t be around forever.  But, unfortunately,  I think the fascist movement that he has inspired will be around long after he departs.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?  

In my mind, one couldn’t find a more suitable character for a parody or a satire.  The fact that he contradicts himself continually is comical itself; but that his followers do the same thing makes it outrageously so.  I’ve pointed out that it would be disingenuous to be against everything he says or does, since he is on both sides of most issues from time to time. . 

5) As this book deals primarily with Donald Trump and his presidency, if you had the opportunity to ask him a question or confront him about one of the lies he told that you highlight in your book, what would it be and why? 

“Mr. President, you have been quoted as saying ‘ Promises are like predictions ; they might or might not come true.’”  If you don’t believe in your promises; why then should anyone else?

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

Facebook by far.

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

Ask yourself first why you want to write a book.  If it’s to be a legacy or strictly educational.  I would encourage you to go ahead.  If, on the other hand, it’s to make  a lot of money; I’m sorry to say that you are probably in for a big disappointment.  Unless you are well known or have something really unique to say; the chances of you’re making it big are very slim.  There are just too many books out there competing for market share.  If I haven’t dissuaded you; then at least think about what might attract a lot of interest.  Who are your prospective audience and why should they select your book over all the others in the same genre or about a given subject?

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

As stated above, I am in a dual career of caregiver to my wife and writer.  My first and most important responsibility is the former.  As time permits, I will continue to write.  I have written two short stories in the genre of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”.  So far, I have not come up with any more.  If any of your readers would like to contribute to an anthology for a nominal negotiated fee, they can reach me at themoderatelibertarian@gmail.com

.   I’m also early into “”A Debate with an Atheist.  It’s too early to say if I will finish it.  And, then there may be some other idea that strikes my fancy and takes me in a new totally unexpected direction. 

About the Author

I have been fascinated by science since age five or six, when I got a telescope for a birthday. At that point I was going to be an astronomer, but that changed when I got my first chemistry set at about ten. 

B.A. Chemistry Indiana University 1961. 

First lieutenant Army Chemical Corps 1963. Last assignment – Executive officer technical intelligence detachment.

Retired in late 2002 after a successful career with a number of chemical companies including one that I started and a second that I co-founded in 1974 for recycling and disposal of waste chemicals.

After retirement became a consultant and then a teacher. 

Now in my fourth career as a writer.

My first book was a memoir of a brief teaching career that I began when I was 66. Title is “Teacher’s Gotta Dance”, available presently only on Kindle. Second book was a rebuttal to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, titled “A Really Inconvenient Truth-The Case Against the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming”. My latest is a novel, titled “Secession- A Republic Reborn”. 

Could States Start Seceding from the Union? This Author Thinks It’s Possible

Also a podcast interview (not the same). The interview starts seven minutes or so into the podcast. 

https://audioboom.com/posts/6109981-podcast-anson-knowles-7-15-17.

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Tomas Cudzis

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

I’m originally from Slovakia but live in the UK since 2005 with two year pause 2010-2012, when I bounced between the US and Slovakia.

After my parents divorced, my dad stayed in the Slovakia while my Mom went to live with me in the UK for few Years and then with my sister that is living in the US since 2004 to help her with household. She stayed there ever since with occasional trips to visit me or her sister in the Slovakia.

So now I do have 3 homes really. At hearth, I’m still Slovakian and even though I live in the UK for a long time now, I never applied to be UK citizen, still remaining Slovakian. On the other hand, I do go every second-ish year to visit my sister and mom that live in Las Vegas for my holidays and still plan to  move in the future into the US if possible. But truthfully, since I have been in the UK for all of my adult life now, UK feels like home the most. I’m very  glad and happy that I had the opportunity to be part, live, study and work in it, due to the UK being within the EU zone at the time (Slovakia is EU country). But now, since there is impending brexit, it could go all into a halt (since I’m still only Slovakian citizen). Currently, I’m about to finish my masters (in September) at Coventry University in Exercise and Sport Science, and will be looking at my options after.

To answer how I did get into writing…Well, it’s really down to a chance really. Ever since I have been growing up, I think I was very creative. There was always a story behind everything in my head. Listening to a music? I have seen in my head a story to it. An object of any kind? Instant story in my head. I have always seen it more like a movie.

Could visualize everything in my head and eventually, music became more prominent where there was always not just a story behind everything, but also a song that would reflect the emotion that I personally felt and fitted the narrative of the story in my head. The books are really a tribute to the Linkin Park music band songs to date. When I was a teenager still growing up,  I started to imagine a story where I was the hero (what a surprise), or rather a superhero like a Batman. It started all with the “In the End” song from Linking Park that I heard possibly in the radio. Then I got their whole first album: The hybrid theory and that created a whole anthology of stories (of my superhero) in my head based on that. Needless to say, their follow-up albums didn’t disappoint, regardless of them being always different in the style of music, adding more and more stories in my head with each new song. The only band that I can honestly say, that I do enjoy an cherish every single song they had made. All of them are “hits” for me. But naturally, with me growing up, the stories in my head changed into something slightly more realistic (slightly I admit), that didn’t necessarily involve a super-hero. I always wanted to be in a movie production industry, but never really got a chance. Either way, I was getting (way) older, and I felt that the stories in my head are slowly fading, vanishing even. I just thought, I should preserve them for myself, if nobody else, as I thought they were pretty cool.

After Chester (LP singer) had passed away, it prompted me into action before it was too late. Although the whole 4 books stories are largely changed from the original one (about the second, more realistic hero).  Mainly due to me either forgetting it, or that now I had to also connect it into logical order (one giant story made of pieces of my previous visions connected to the songs) that would include all of the LP’s songs. Also, because I tried to add controversy into it, things that would challenge the reader himself. As you know, in the books (or the one you did read) the characters express the way they think, to make it seem logical (or perhaps not). However, many times challenging if not controversial in their final decision and action. None of the characters are perfect, and more often contradictory rather than complimentary to each other. No-one is straight up good, or just plain bad with a perhaps exception on the truly evil (bad guys) side. Nothing is white, nor black. All is grey and the reader himself would be the judge to who is his “good” guy, the most reasonable, the most compassionate etc., no doubt different from reader to reader. Just like in real life.

We all have a bright and dark side. We all are liked, and certainly also disliked by someone else. It didn’t matter that we didn’t give them reason for it, or at least we’re not aware of it, it’s just the way life works. People are different, unique, sometimes with contradicting values, simply can’t please everyone. I’m glad that you liked my book, but I’m sure that for some others, the content may be too graphic, too controversial, too violent or simply not good enough quality. I accept that, but to finally hopefully and definitively answer your question how I did start my writing: I wanted to preserve what I still had in my head whilst giving a tribute to the People who perhaps influenced it the most – the Linking Park. My only worry was that since I am not a writer really, and I’m certain that I will not write for a long time after I finish the last 4th book (never say never), the books would not by a tribute by far, rather lacking the quality of content, uniqueness and excellence of the LP’s genius. Thank you for bringing me peace now, that I know at least ONE person did like it and appreciated it for what it is: an amateur work.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Oh, I accidentally answered that I guess. Well, to preserve what little of the  stories I still had in my head, to give back a tribute to the people that largely influenced me, and certainly, it was also fun and satisfying to actually use and to present my creativity, to make it “come to life”. Before, no-one really knew. Nor my family or friends, what I could be capable of in terms of creativity. To them, my previous attempts to get into let’s call it “entertainment” industry, was just that – a talk with no real evidence of skill.

There is but one: one I did when I was still only 18y old back in 2004 as a diploma project.

It is rather basic in animation and graphics, but I did it alone on a already slightly dated computer at that time. The rendering process alone took 3 whole days and I had to borrow my friends PC’s hard drive so that I had enough space. I will include a link: Aliens attack earth vs 4 heroes animation
Aliens attack earth vs 4 heroes animationI am not a animator, i have wanted to be a games designer.I have made full concept game with storyboard and ever…

The character in the video with the yellow eyes is the original “superhero” me, the rest my closest friends at that time. Largely influenced by largely unknown “Guyver: the dark hero” movie. I hope that you did recognize the aliens, as of the actual alien’s franchise. Hope you enjoy that too.

Damn, I wish I had a chance to do what I would love to do, to be part of a movie productions.

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

I hope it will force the reader to think more. To try to understand other people actions and beliefs, not disregarding them instantly based purely on personal feelings, or opposing view on topic.

Although, I had not explored the possibility to give a reason and a story behind the “primary” bad guys. I do believe that we are not born evil, or good for that matter. Nature and nurture are both influencing how we will develop. I didn’t need the need since the “main” character is controversial and “dark” enough on his own, but his way of thinking is explained. Again, not that the reader could agree or disagree with his actions, but to try to understand why. Especially if you account for the previous two books and the first one where Tomas is only 12 Years old at the very beginning. Reader could read and perhaps understand (or not) why he does what he does, or how he did end up at this point (end of book 3). It is really complex.

Again, I hope it will make the reader be more emphatic (or critical) of everything around, and himself. Therefore, dare I say it?: grew as a person, taking away whatever he finds of value in the book, if any. At the very least, I hope he will enjoy reading it.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Oh boy, my sick head? This question really brought smile on my face, thank you.

Well, you know it is quite graphic in the action part, and “heavy” psychologically.

I am a person who hides his emotions (just like the main character), but is rich in experiencing them. The first book is largely reflecting this, as it is almost the real story of me until the main character starts street fights and then kills a person, of course. Many things have been changed for the purpose of a story (I moved into the UK not China for instance), but almost half of the book is the actual biography of me with added controversy in regards of “viewing” women, so that it fits the dark, imperfect character and the  lyrics of the songs of course. But to answer the question: I find it richer in emotions (especially if you listen to the dedicated song after), therefore better experience. Personally.

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

Violetta, I would ask her to “fix me”, please. But seriously, I would ask Peter to get me into the movie industry, I’m sure he could hack an account or two, or had straight up connections somewhere that would get me the ONE shot at “it”, that I always dreamed about.

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

I have virtually no exposure. You are the very first person showing any interest in my work so I must declare, that it will be your blog. Thank you! I do have FB, Patreon, Youtube, Twitter, Goodreads, Reddit and something called Wattpad, I even tried all kind of LP’s fan forums, but none really exposed my work to the world. Partly, due to me not spending all the time, attention and effort I possibly could have on it, I think and hope.

I did have to work and study (full time) at the same time for the last couple of years now, and I do try to live quite healthy lifestyle (gym, dieting), as I am Fitness specialist after all with many years of Personal training and healthy lifestyle consultancy experience, but this takes away a lot of time as well. The little “spare” free time that I have, I tend to use on relaxing (games, movies), but I still managed to produce 3 books along all of this going on in the last two Years. Admittingly, each book is almost twice in the length of the previous one. Mostly because I really wanted to start at the second that was just naturally shorter than the 3rd , but I didn’t want to start it like the star wars: with the 4th movie (story) first, then come back to explain why and how the hero got into that kind of situation, so I was very conservative with the first book.

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

It is very hard to get exposure in this business if you are just starting up, or have no social media presence at all. But first you have to have a “worthy product”, before you should worry about that. Now, I’m not saying not to try to build audience (via social media optimally) before your book is actually finished, but If you have none yet, there is no point worrying if you’re not successful at gaining the audience. That is, if this is not your living of course. I mean, I’m not the right person to ask anyway I guess. I’m just amateur who doesn’t even plan to continue to write once the series are finished, and I never really cared that much about the monetary side of it. It would be nice if it could produce me some income, and it would be very much welcomed right now in my life as well, but it was never the purpose of it, nor did I count on it. In fact, I did at least spent money on a professional looking book covers without any returns as of yet. Don’t matter, I’m very happy with them and grateful to the talented artist who drew them. If I could, I buy illustrations from him as well, a professional editor, hire narrator for audio book and more. My patreon is about animating the books to life, perhaps one day I could afford it.

But back to the question: I think It would be wise to make sure that the book that you’re working on has something “to stand out” in it, something that would guarantee that your only real problem is the lack of exposure, not the quality.

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

As mentioned before, after I finish (hopefully still this year) the last 4th book of the series, I don’t plan to write anymore. I do plan to invest into illustrations and an editor as soon as my finances would allow it. In most likely distant future after that, I am planning to animate the books. I feel that if this would be an animated series on the YouTube, it would be a lot more successful in terms of exposure than currently in the form of a books. It would also make me very happy that I did in fact (technically) made it into the entertainment industry after all. But that’s getting ahead of myself anyway. Just because you liked my book (one of them), it doesn’t necessarily mean other people will, therefore exposure isn’t all. You brought me hope that it may be “worth something” and thank you very much for that Anthony, so that I will continue best to my ability to try to get more exposure. Who knows, it may actually help somebody to “grew” as a person, or just to enjoy reading it, or hopefully bring even more fans for the LP band. They sure deserve it. Although, they’re massive in the US at minimum, and certainly don’t need my help to gain them more fans, any new fan that will find his way to them thanks to the tribute books would be also a massive success for me.
Anybody wants to show support, please like my FB page: Security Check Required

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Al E. Boy

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

I’d always entertained the idea of writing, but the sage, old advice about ‘writing what you know’ left me pondering what to write about. I made a few failed attempts many years ago, but always abandoned the projects when I realized the effort was going to be lacking.

What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve been a department store/mall ‘Santa’ since 1976, and the many stories and explanations I employed to answer children’s queries about Santa, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole, the elves, reindeer, Toy Shop, etc., had left me with a wealth of information to work with. Going back to what I wrote for Question #1, I now had something I knew and understood to write about. I created the reindeer character of Fawn to help facilitate combining all of my tales into a cohesive story.

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

The ‘Fawn’ stories have a strong focus on friendship and family ties. Love, loyalty, and being able to depend upon those you hold dear is a major theme running throughout the books. In addition to that, I think keeping the joy and wonder of all things Christmas alive, no matter one’s age, is also an underlying theme.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m an English and drama teacher. I truly enjoy putting smiles on children’s faces, and seeing their young eyes crinkle at the corners in amusement. Writing the trilogy, The Adventures of Fawn, I hoped to bring that same feeling to anyone and everyone reading the books.

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


I’m currently residing in Asia, and don’t use social media as much as my contemporaries apparently do. I’ve dabbled with book blog tours, Facebook groups, and various book review sites via the Internet. I can’t actually say which of these has proved most fruitful though.

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

First off, I’d suggest if any writer is thinking writing a book is simply a matter of quickly jotting some things down and making a pile of money—they’re dead wrong! People aren’t stupid, and they expect a certain degree of quality in the finished product, and if they don’t get it, bad reviews will understandably follow. Secondly, no writer’s work is flawless. Family and friends will oft-times tell an aspiring author their work is great, and offer little or no critical examination, or negative commentary. The author certainly likes to hear how good their work is…but it’s also very important to ascertain where the work falls short, where the plot holes are, where things could be improved upon. 

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

At present, The Adventures of Fawn is a trilogy. I wrote a fourth book, but wasn’t entirely pleased with it. It’s sitting in a file, waiting for me to return to it one day and make it a suitable companion to the other three books. Other than that, I recently ventured into more ‘adult fare’ and co-authored a thriller with a writer living in Cancun, Mexico. We’re currently looking for a publisher for it.

About the Author

Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

Additional info: ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls was awarded the Bronze Medal in Dan Poynter’s 2017 Global E-book Awards, is listed as ‘Recommended Reading’ with The US Review of Books, and was awarded an Honoree Medallion by indieB.R.A.G.. In addition, it has garnered a number of favorable reviews.

Links: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NRZO920

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36291145-til-the-last-snowflake-falls

http://aleboysnowflake.wixsite.com/fawn

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/The-Adventures-of-Fawn-740272912731782/