Posted in reviews

Stolen Enchantress (Forbidden Forest #1) by Amber Argyle Audiobook Tour

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

A young woman finds herself in a dangerous game of magic, death and possibly love in author Amber Argyle’s YA Fantasy, “Stolen Enchantress”, the first in the Forbidden Forest series.

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The Synopsis

A beast. An enchantress. An unbreakable curse . . .

When her little sister is taken by the beast of the Forbidden Forest, Larkin does the unthinkable: she goes in after her.

Deep within the sentient woods, Larkin uncovers a secret that puts her in dreadful danger. Worse, now that the beast has had his taste, he’ll never stop hunting her. But the forest has woken something inside Larkin; something that gives her the power to fight back.

Magic.

Using forbidden magic will get Larkin hanged. Not using it will leave her at the mercy of the beast’s enchantment. But there’s a third option; one that scares her more than anything.

She could fall in love with the beast.

Fans of A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES will be spellbound by the fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast and The Pied Piper in Stolen Enchantress. One-click now to find out why readers around the world are getting lost in the Forbidden Forest!

The Review

A powerful, enchanting combination of engaging and entertaining writing with clear, concise, and magical narration, the audiobook of Stolen Enchantress is a welcome delight. The reader is instantly transported into a world that feels part Brothers Grimm, part Mortal Instruments with a mature and dark Disney spin. 

Larkin is a strong and memorable protagonist, who showcases her courage and heart from the book’s early pages as she ventures into the dark forest in search of her sister. A multi-layered world and danger present itself as not only are fans treated to the amazing twist on the Pied Piper story that places him in the role of the Beast but the twists and turns the story take to create a complex and memorable mythos that fans of the series like A Court of Thorns and Roses will find themselves falling deeper and deeper into. While there are some serious topics utilized in the story (abuse being one of them), the author does a good job of layering these topics naturally into the more fantastical aspects of this world.

The Verdict

A must-read and must-listen audiobook, author Amber Argyle’s “Stolen Enchantress” is a memorable and fun YA Fantasy read. With a great balance of emotional storytelling, engaging mythology building, and amazing character relationships both good and bad, fans will not be able to stop listening to this amazing tale. Be sure to grab your copy of this audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Amber Argyle

Narrator: Lynn Bradford

Length: 14 hour 5 minutes

Series: Forbidden Forest, Book 1

Publisher: Starling Publishing

Released: Nov. 11, 2020

Genre: Romantic Fantasy; YA

Add on Goodreads   Continue reading “Stolen Enchantress (Forbidden Forest #1) by Amber Argyle Audiobook Tour”
Posted in reviews

The Girl Who Can Cook by Mike Wehner Review

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

What begins as a tale of revenge soon turns into a search for life and the hidden nature of those we care about most in author Mike Wehner’s “The Girl Who Can Cook”. 

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The Synopsis 

She killed my best friend.

Shame on me.

She lied and said it was self-defense.

Shame on me.

She wrote a book about it.

Shame on you.

It’s been three years since chef Erin shot her boyfriend, John, five times during a domestic dispute. Two years since she was found not guilty on murder charges by way of self-defense. And one year since she opened Essen, a German restaurant in San Francisco’s East Bay. You can read all about it in her memoir; there’s a copy on the front seat of the car parked in front of Essen. The man in the driver’s seat was John’s best friend, Alex, a former engineer. He’s abandoned his career to take justice into his own hands, what he doesn’t know is that soon he’ll be inside, using those hands to peel carrots for the girl who can cook. 

The Review

The novel starts out swinging and doesn’t slow down from there. The protagonist, Alex, is a man beset by anger and fury after his best friend is killed, and the woman responsible not only gets away from it in his eyes but makes money off of it through a tell-all book. The path of vengeance is explored heavily here, as far too often vengeance blinds us to the truth. That also plays into the other narrative here, which is what we do when confronted with a harsh truth about those we care about. Far too often those we trust and love harbor dark secrets about themselves and who they truly are, and it doesn’t come to light until it is too late. 

The author achieved a perfect balance of character development and action within this narrative. A commentary on our modern obsession with true crime-style storytelling, the author highlights the pain of loss and the lengths those who have lost someone will go to see justice done when the law fails them. The use of food and recipes throughout the narrative brought a creative and lightheartedness to the novel, making this a truly entertaining and memorable read.

The Verdict

Emotionally-driven, at times humorous and always action-packed, this evenly-paced novel “The Girl Who Can Cook” by Mike Wehner is a must-read. The exploration of the thin line between revenge and justice is a marvelous thing to see in this narrative, and the twists and turns the reader endures all the way to the book’s end make this a remarkable and fun read. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mike is a novelist, illustrator and fine artist. When he isn’t writing he’s drawing and painting. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with one small wife and two large dogs.

https://www.instagram.com/wehnermike/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MikeWehnerArt

Posted in reviews

Mentally Strong Entrepreneur: Build Your Mind Strength and Get Entrepreneur Tips for Startup Success by Robert Moment Review

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

Author Robert Moment highlights how becoming mentally strong can be a longterm benefit for entrepreneurs in his book, “Mentally Strong Entrepreneur: Build Your Mind Strength and Get Entrepreneur Tips for Startup Success”.

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The Synopsis

Be mentally strong on your entrepreneurial journey!

Whether you’re just starting your entrepreneurial engines or are well down the road on your business journey, mental fitness is what sets the successes apart from the failures.

From the crucial habits that make or break entrepreneurs, to your personal game-plan for setting up goals and business strategies, to essential personal development and mindset hacks to get you crushing the competition, Mentally Strong Entrepreneurs has you covered from side hustle to success!

In this book you will learn:

  • How to implement the 15 habits of highly effective entrepreneurs.
  • How to identify and fully harness your natural talents and abilities 
  • The 10 things mentally strong entrepreneurs do in business and 3 they avoid.
  • How to develop a crystal-clear sense of direction and purpose in your business.
  • The top 10 skills you need to succeed at anything.
  • And MORE!

If you’re serious about committing to an entrepreneurial career change in the long term, you need Mentally Strong Entrepreneur to bulletproof your mental wellbeing through the toughest of business challenges!

Robert Moment is The Mental Strength Life Coach and Entrepreneur, who coach women entrepreneurs and women professionals how to be mentally strong and successful. For more information and to get coached to become mentally strong , head to: SpiritualLifeCoachRobert.com

The Review

Unlike so many self-help or how-to books that have come before it, this book actually does a great job of providing actionable information that new or established entrepreneurs alike can implement into their work. From finding one’s true self by identifying your natural abilities to finding the things you are passionate about and finding a way to balance the two, this book is filled with easy to understand and well-written guides for those seeking to truly understand the success of an entrepreneur. 

While a short read, the author has done a masterful job of highlighting a lot of key information and knowledge that so many people venturing into the world of entrepreneurship often fail to understand. In a world where the necessity of entrepreneurship is crucial, this is the perfect way to engage with readers and help them to understand the tools they will need going forward. \

Chapter 4 in particular is great for those like myself who believe in mental health and gaining a firmer understanding of one’s own mental health and willpower, as it helps readers find a means of mastering what the author calls your “inner game”. Through a belief in ourselves and learning to conquer our fears and overcome the limiting beliefs that tell us that something is impossible, we can begin to chart our own path with a newfound confidence and strength that was always there, waiting to be released.

The Verdict

A strong, quick yet informative read, author Robert Moment’s “Mentally Strong Entrepreneur: Build Your Mind Strength and Get Entrepreneur Tips for Startup Success” is a must-read book. The perfect read for those seeking to delve into the world of entrepreneurship and seeking to find the right mentality and focus to make your pursuits a success, the book perfectly achieves a balance of a how-to guide with the mental and emotional tools of a great self-help book, making this one of the more unique business-driven reads I’ve had on my site. Be sure to check it out for yourselves today, as this is the perfect nonfiction read to begin 2021!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

My Story

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a real passion for personal growth, development and renewal. It’s a journey that’s allowed me to enjoy some amazing experiences, meet many inspirational people, and visit places I never thought possible. But more than that I want to use my own experiences to offer you the chance to live in exactly the same free and open way.

My Goal

As a Spiritual Life Coach I believe that anyone, from any walk of life, can go out there and change the world in their own unique way. It may not always be easy, but it does only become possible when you invest in your inner self and believe that it’s possible. The only problem is knowing how to make it happen so that freedom and spiritual awakening manifest themselves in your life.

My Approach

I specialize in offering Spiritual Life Coaching that’s designed to set you free in a whole host of ways that you could have never imagined. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been connected with your spiritual side your entire life, are a complete skeptic, or you’re anywhere else in between, I want to connect with you and show you what can become possible.

Your Future

Living a spiritual life means different things to different people, and some see that as a problem. I’m different in that I see it as a solution to every potential problem out there as it allows you to define your life in your own terms as you find your voice amongst the noise.

Together we can connect, get to know the real you, and reconnect your authentic self with the inner you. Through my combination of coaching and writing I love nothing more than showing people just like you what becomes possible when you open your eyes to the spiritual side of life.

Posted in reviews

Darling Girls (The Vampires of Candle Bay and Crimson Cove Book 1) by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross Review

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

The blood-soaked worlds of authors Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross come together in an explosive novel as a powerful threat threatens the Vampiric Kingdom in the acclaimed supernatural drama, “Darling Girls (The Vampires of Candle Bay and Crimson Cove Book 1)”. 

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The Synopsis

Fang Meets Fang

The vampires of Candle Bay and Crimson Cove come together for the Biting Man Festival in Eternity, California, to celebrate a centuries-old tradition that quickly turns murderous as they’re faced with old enemies, uncontrolled bloodlust, and the unpredictable antics of a self-proclaimed vampire slayer who is hellbent on destroying them all.

The Review

While I am fairly new to the vampire worlds created by the authors, the novel felt fresh and easily followed for newcomers to the franchises. The in-depth analysis of the lore and mythology these two authors have crafted both separately and together were entertaining to see unfold, and the adult-driven character development brought a sense of both realism and fantasy as the human cast of characters met the vampires. 

The way the authors were able to create so many intricate plot points throughout this novel and seamlessly weave them together so that each character’s arc felt both unique and cohesive with the overall story was a true masterpiece in storytelling. Combined with the incredible imagery used throughout the narrative that brought the settings to life, including the area known as Eternity, made this one novel that was easy to devour. 

The Verdict

A brilliant and expertly crafted supernatural drama, authors Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have breathed new life into the vampire sub-genre with the novel “Darling Girls”. Fans of both authors and their individual vampire series will love both the cast of characters they know and love and the ease with which these two series blend together, making this a must-read for vampire fiction lovers everywhere. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was a bestseller. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Anne Rice, author of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

https://www.alistaircross.com/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tamara Thorne’s first novel was published in 1991. Since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, and The Sorority. Tamara’s interest in writing is lifelong, as is her fascination with the paranormal, occult, mythology and folklore. She’s been an avid ghost story collector and writer all her life.

Tamara’s novels range from straight-out ghost stories to tales of witchcraft, conspiracies, UFOs, elemental forces, and vampires. No matter what topic she chooses, chances are you’ll find a ghost or two lurking in the background.

Today, she and her frequent collaborator, Alistair Cross, share their worlds and continue to write about ghosts and other mysterious forces. Whether collaborating or writing solo, there is no shortage of humor, sex, blood, and spookiness.

Tamara also conducts real-life investigations of anomalous phenomena and has seen a number of odd things over the last twenty years. As an open-minded skeptic, she’s spoken to many paranormal groups and has appeared on the television show, Ghost Adventures. Most recently, she and Alistair Cross went on a five-day investigation to an allegedly haunted cabin in California’s Gold Country – an adventure that inspired The Cliffhouse Haunting. She has also been featured on many radio programs and in various newspapers on the topics of haunted places and local lore. A journalist by training, she occasionally writes about ghosts and hauntings for a syndicate of southern California newspapers, but her first love is, and has always been, telling ghost stories to make people scream. . . and laugh.

Tamara and Alistair co-host Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! every Thursday night on Blog Talk Radio.

You can also visit Tamara on Twitter, Facebook, or at her blog.

https://www.tamarathorne.com/

Posted in reviews

The Coast-to-Coast Murders by James Patterson and J.D. Barker Review

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

An FBI agent and a local detective must work together when evidence of a long-hidden serial killer emerges, even when the suspect has no memory of his accused crimes, in authors James Patterson and J.D. Barker’s “The Coast-to-Coast Murders”.

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The Synopsis

A detective and FBI agent join forces on what seems like an open-and-shut case — but a new rash of killings sends them on a pulse-pounding race against time in this intense thriller.

Michael and Megan Fitzgerald are siblings who share a terrifying past. Both adopted, and now grown — Michael is a long-haul truck driver, Megan a college student majoring in psychology — they trust each other before anyone else. They’ve had to. Their parents are public intellectuals, an Ivy League clinical psychologist and a renowned psychiatrist, and they brought up their adopted children in a rarefied, experimental environment. It sheltered them from the world’s harsh realities, but it also forced secrets upon them, secrets they keep at all costs.

In Los Angeles, Detective Garrett Dobbs and FBI Agent Jessica Gimble have joined forces to work a murder that seems like a dead cinch. Their chief suspect is quickly identified and apprehended –but then there’s another killing just like the one they’ve been investigating. And another. And not just in Los Angeles — the spree spreads across the country. The Fitzgerald family comes to the investigators’ attention, but Dobbs and Gimble are at a loss — if one of the four is involved, which Fitzgerald might it be?

From coastal California to upstate New York, Dobbs and Gimble race against time and across state lines to stop an ingenious and deeply deranged killer — one whose dark and twisted appetites put them outside the range of logic or experience.

The Review

The action begins immediately as readers are thrust into a shocking turn of events. Michael is introduced and is immediately thrust into a position of a suspect as a dead woman is found in his home, only he doesn’t know her. However, evidence begins piling up that he had some sort of life with this mystery woman, and soon he finds himself hunted by the law. The twists and turns that take the reader into the heart of this mystery are truly entertaining, as are the multiple POVs that the authors introduce. Michael’s sister Megan is one of the most peculiar and fascinating characters, as her narrative to the police via a written document portrays the damaging and harsh environment these two siblings were raised in. 

The suspense as readers are constantly torn between who the killer truly makes this book stand out. The shift from a complex homicide investigation into a manhunt for a notorious serial killer as the mystery of Michael’s identity and memories comes into play keeps readers invested, and while this is a lengthy read, the twists and turns make this story feel fresh and unique throughout the entirety of the novel. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, authors J.D. Barker and James Patterson have created a masterpiece thriller with “The Coast-to-Coast Murders”. The characters are memorable and the action intense, and by the book’s end readers will be both pleased and shocked at the final reveal of it all. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Official US Site

Official UK Site

JIMMY Patterson Books

ReadKiddoRead

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today, with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Private, NYPD Red, Daniel X, Maximum Ride, and Middle School series. He has sold over 380 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, among them The President Is Missing with President Bill Clinton, Patterson also writes fiction for young readers of all ages, including the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. He is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestseller lists.

The son of an insurance salesman and a schoolteacher, Patterson grew up in Newburgh, New York, and began casually writing at the age of nineteen. In 1969, he graduated from Manhattan College. He was given a full-ride scholarship to Vanderbilt University’s graduate program in English. He left Vanderbilt before getting his PhD due to complications involving the Vietnam War.

Instead, he moved to New York to become a junior copywriter for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, eventually becoming CEO of its North American company.

In 1976, while still working for J. Walter Thompson, Patterson published his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, with Little, Brown and Company. After being turned down by thirty-one publishers, it won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Patterson’s 1993 novel, Along Came a Spider, his first book to feature Alex Cross, was also his first New York Times bestseller in fiction.

In 2001, Morgan Freeman starred as Alex Cross in a film adaptation of Along Came a Spider, and Tyler Perry also played the character in the 2012 film Alex Cross. A film adaptation of Patterson’s middle-grade novel Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life was released in theaters in October 2016.

James Patterson has donated more than one million books to students, focusing on some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country. To date, he has donated $7.25 million to school and classroom libraries throughout the United States, and $2.1 million to independent bookstores and employees.

Patterson has recently donated over $35 million to his and his wife’s alma maters—the University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Manhattan College—and he has established over four hundred Teacher and Writer Education Scholarships at twenty-one colleges and universities throughout the country. Patterson has also donated more than one million books to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas.

In May 2015, Patterson launched a children’s book imprint at Little, Brown—JIMMY Patterson—that is unwaveringly focused on one goal: turning kids into lifelong readers. This imprint also provides resources, strategies, and programs to serve teachers, parents, librarians, and booksellers. Patterson invests proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Patterson also founded ReadKiddoRead.com, a website designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians ignite a new generation’s excitement for reading. Awarded the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize and the American Library Association’s Great Websites for Kids, the site features thoughtful book reviews from a variety of genres and age ranges, a large and lively Facebook community, and contributions from other authors.

J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels, including DRACUL and THE FOURTH MONKEY. His latest, SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE, released March 31. He is currently collaborating with James Patterson. His books have been translated into two dozen languages, sold in more than 150 countries, and optioned for both film and television. Barker resides in coastal New Hampshire with his wife, Dayna, and their daughter, Ember.

A note from J.D.

As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.

I would never go down to the basement.

Never.

I had seen enough movies to know better, I had read enough stories to know what happens to little boys who wandered off into dark, dismal places alone. And there were stories, so many stories.

Reading was my sanctuary, a place where I could disappear for hours at a time, lost in the pages of a good book. It didn’t take long before I felt the urge to create my own.

I first began to write as a child, spinning tales of ghosts and gremlins, mystical places and people. For most of us, that’s where it begins—as children we have such wonderful imaginations, some of us have simply found it hard to grow up. I’ve spent countless hours trying to explain to friends and family why I enjoy it, why I would rather lock myself in a quiet little room and put pen to paper for hours at a time than throw around a baseball or simply watch television. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to do just that, sometimes I wish for it, but even then the need to write is always there in the back of my mind, the characters are impatiently tapping their feet, waiting their turn, wanting to be heard. I wake in the middle of the night and reach for the pad beside my bed, sometimes scrawling page after page of their words, their lives. Then they’re quiet, if only for a little while. To stop would mean madness, or even worse—the calm, numbing sanity I see in others as they slip through the day without purpose. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t understand. Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to people you’ve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and that’s when you know it’s good.

jd

Posted in reviews

Splurge Dealers & Banshee Addicts by Douglass Goodman Review

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

A futuristic sci-if thriller explores the power of addiction as a plot to control the world by a powerful threat behind the scenes forces humanity and a secret society to join forces, with two special agents caught in the middle in author Douglass Goodman’s “Splurge Dealers & Banshee Addicts”.

The Synopsis

This book is about addiction and its future. The future is not bright. Here are your two choices for our society’s ultimate fate. Will the rampant addiction be to a new drug (Splurge) that gets us high on rationality? Or would you rather have what’s behind door number two, an addiction to an internet of emotional sharing (Banshees)? I should also mention that this latter addiction is part of a conspiracy to control the world. Are you on the side of Splurge Dealers or Banshee Addicts? Those are the choices of our hero, Hunter, a drug-enhanced agent for the DCIA and his new partner, Sammi, who has her own dark secret.

An imaginative, narrative exploration of addiction. It has the high stakes, deadly suspense and hidden conspiracies of a thriller. The what-ifs of science fiction. The gut-emotional impact of horror. Plenty of outrageous sex and lots of humor. It’s fun, taut, thrilling, but more importantly it gives you characters and dilemmas to think and talk about addiction, its consequences and its possible futures.

The first step is to admit you’re powerless. You can’t help yourself. You must read this book.

The Review

An exhilarating story that teeters between a sci-fi adventure and an action thriller, Douglass Goodman delivers a wonderful book that readers can get easily invested in. The analysis of addiction as a whole and the commentary on how so many people will end up substituting one addiction for another was felt heavily throughout this narrative and brought depth to the sci-fi genre.

The multiple POVs throughout the novel was refreshing, giving readers a chance to explore multiple facets of this futuristic universe the author has created. The dialogue shifts evenly between outrageous humor and inner dialogue to thought provoking conversations where readers have to see what is truly more important: emotions or rational thinking, especially in this narrative where a powerful force is set to weaponize emotions through technological addiction. Can one survive without the other?

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, evenly paced and powerful story that felt like it would have been home in a great late 70’s, early 80’s sci-fi film. This is a must read novel and a great way to kick off 2021. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/splurge-dealers-banshee-addicts-douglas-goodman

https://amzn.to/35ioqgS

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #15

Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Who are the Secret Six?

(Batman/Superman (2019) #1)

by Joshua WilliamsonDavid Marquez (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Batman teams up with the Man of Steel to track down and help those who have been infected by a ravenous, mutated Joker virus. Just one problem: they don’t know who they are.

A virus is spreading, and it’s not just after innocent people, but some of our most powerful heroes as well. The biggest question isn’t why or how, but who?

The Batman Who Laughs was one of the premier villains crawling his way from the depths of the Dark Multiverse and wreaking havoc on the DC Universe. Now he has been infecting some of the biggest heroes across the world with a mutated version of the Joker virus that is coursing through him.

Cue the team-up of two of the greatest superheroes in history: Batman and Superman. They decide to work together to find out who is infected and hopefully cure them before it’s too late.

Collects: Batman/Superman (2019) #1-6.

The Verdict

Two of DC’s biggest heroes must face the might of the Dark Multiverse as the Batman Who Laughs begins to infect the heroes of the DC Universe. The shocking twists and turns as the Infected are revealed showcase the power that the new villain has, while the Infected themselves reveal the impact both heroes have had on the larger DC Universe as a whole. A great deep dive into the growing darkness plaguing the multiverse as a whole, with incredibly visceral artwork and amazing writing overall.

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Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse

(Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1-5)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Kyle HiggensJeff LovenessTim Seeley (Goodreads Author), James Tynion IVMat Groom (Goodreads Author), Javier Fernández (Illustrator), Brad Walker (Illustrator), Drew Hennessy (Illustrator), Norm Rapmund (Illustrator), Kyle Hotz (Illustrator), Dexter Vines (Illustrator), Walden Wong (Illustrator), Danny Miki (Illustrator), Aaron Lopresti (Illustrator), Matt Ryan (Illustrator), Tom Raney (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

DC has delivered some of the most influential and ground-breaking stories in comic’s history with titles such as The Killing JokeIdentity CrisisThe Death of Superman and much more. Now after the events of Dark Knights: Metal, a gateway into the Dark Multiverse has opened and its stories revealed.

Featuring top talent authors and artist, Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is going beyond the Multiverse and diving deep into the dark with new timelines and altering the defining moments in DC history. What are the consequences if The Joker’s aim had hit James Gordon instead of Barbara? What would the DC Universe look like?

Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is a hard cover format collecting alternating stories of the DC Universe, reprinting DC Dark Multiverse Batman: Knightfall #1, DC Dark Multiverse Death of Superman #1, DC Dark Multiverse Blackest Night #1, DC Dark Multiverse Infinite Crisis #1, DC Dark Multiverse Teen Titans: The Judas Contract #1, Batman #497, Superman #75, Blackest Night #1, Infinite Crisis #1, and Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3.

The Verdict

For years DC Comics fans have asked themselves, what would happen if the major events of the DC Multiverse had gone to the villains instead of the heroes? These stories explored in the Dark Multiverse showcase how even the smallest change could make the deadliest impacts on these events, from saving the life of a former Justice Leaguer to the death of a universe and so much more. The artwork really harkens back to the days these events were first explored, and the writing really highlights the darkness that has enveloped these worlds. A true must-read event.

Year of the Villain: The Infected (DC’s Year of the Villain

(Year of the Villain (Collected Editions))

by Marc AndreykoRobert Venditti (Goodreads Author), Sina Grace (Goodreads Author), Dennis HopelessEduardo Pansica (Artist), Pat Olliffe (Artist), Joe Bennett (Artist), Freddie E. Williams II (Artist)

The Synopsis

Following his hit mini-series, The Batman Who Laughs has forcibly enlisted six heroes of the DC Universe to become his agents, gifted with mighty powers and infected with his evil.

Year of the Villain: The Infected spins out of the hit miniseries The Batman Who Laughs and tells the tales of four superheroes who are reborn as the Infected…corrupted versions of some of DC’s greatest heroes who were gifted with extraordinary new powers–but whose souls have been blackened by the evil of the Batman Who Laughs. The heroic lives of Shazam, the Blue Beetle, Gotham City’s Commissioner Jim Gordon and former Teen Titan Donna Troy are all transformed by the Batman Who Laughs. Now they are pawns in his efforts to destroy the heroes of the DC Universe–whether they want it or not! This title collects The Infected: King Shazam! #1, The Infected: Scarab #1, The Infected: Donna Troy, Deathbringer #1 and The Infected: Gordon, the Commissioner #1.

The Verdict

It is every hero’s worst nightmare to become the very thing they loathed: a villain. Exploring the Batman Who Laughs and his reign of terror turning the heroes of the DC Universe into monstrous versions of themselves, these issues really do a great job of delving into the underlying fears and doubts these heroes have, which leads to the infection taking hold much faster within them. The artwork captures the dark descent of these heroes, and the writing really does a great job of exploring these heroes and their darker halves. 

Justice League Odyssey, Vol. 1: The Ghost Sector

(Justice League Odyssey #1)

by Joshua WilliamsonStjepan Šejić (Illustrator), Philippe Briones (Illustrator), Carmine Di Giandomenico (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship.

Spinning out of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE comes Joshua Williamson’s amazing new series Justice League Odyssey! This ragtag team of new recruits will face threats in the deep reaches of space like no League ever before! First up? These wild-card teammates try to stop Despero from slave-trading Coluan refugees, only to discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for: Darkseid…who says he’s there to help?!

Written by Joshua Williamson (The Flash) with unbelievable illustrations from Stjepan Sejic (Aquaman), Justice League Odyssey takes the World’s Greatest Super Heroes to places they’ve never been before! Collects issues #1-5.

The Verdict

A fantastic new spin-off to the Justice League team, this new series takes readers into truly uncharted territory within the larger DC Universe. The Ghost Sector brings entire civilizations lost to time and Brainiac’s actions back into the fold. The uneasy relationship between the heroes Jessica Cruz (who is the shining star of the series), Starfire, Azrael, and Cyborg makes for interesting dialogue and character developments, as does the reemergence of Darkseid. Forced to join the villain to save the Ghost Sector, the heroes must watch their backs against new and old foes alike. Amazing artwork that captures the cosmic nature of the story and wonderful writing make this an instant hit. 

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DCeased: Hope At World’s End

by Tom TaylorDustin Nguyen (Artist), Rex Lokus (Artist), Ben Oliver (Cover Artist)

The Synopsis

The Anti-Life Equation has infected over a billion people on Earth. Heroes and villains have fallen. In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman spearhead a plan to try to stem the tide of infection, preserve and protect survivors, and develop a plan for what’s next. In the Earth’s darkest hour heroes will bring hope! 2019’s blockbuster series, DCEASED, makes its digital first debut with stories set before the fall of Earth!

The Verdict

A must-read for any fans of DCeased, the hit zombie-apocalypse DC Comics event that rocked the multiverse. Before the Trinity and most of Earth’s heroes fell, there was a fight for survival that went on behind the scenes. From the fall of anti-hero Black Adam to the last survivors of cities like Metropolis finding a safe haven and the formation of the new Trinity of Damian Wayne, Jonathan Kent, and Cassie Sandsmark, these tales really help flesh out the DCeased world and bring a lot of heart into the story. Really gritty artwork and powerful storytelling make this a great read.

Event Leviathan

(Event Leviathan #1-6)

by Brian Michael BendisAlex Maleev (Illustrations), Greg RuckaMatt FractionMarc AndreykoYanick Paquette (Illustrator), Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Steve Lieber (Illustrator), Eduardo Pansica (Illustrator), Julio Ferriera (Illustrator), Nathan Fairbairn (Colorist), Paul Mounts (Colorist), FCO Plascencia (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Simon Bowland (Letterer), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Tom Napolitano (letterer), Troy Peteri (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The groundbreaking creative team of bestselling author Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev reunite for a mystery thriller that will bring the DC Universe to its knees! The world’s greatest detectives race to solve the mystery of Leviathan only to discover that this time, they’re already too late. Leviathan is in control.

With startling ease, a newly dangerous and aggressive secret organization called Leviathan has returned and has been systematically wiping out all its competition. The ways of the old world no longer work. Now Leviathan is turning its sights to molding the world into its own radical vision of order. Can this new threat’s growth be stopped? Join Lois Lane as she leads Batman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Manhunter, the Question along with a couple of surprise sleuths in the search of the man who sits behind the cloak of Leviathan. But will whoever find him first capture him…or join him?

Brian Michael Bendis (Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil) and Alex Maleev (Infamous Iron Man, Scarlet, Spider-Woman) weave their unique blend of crime noir to rock the DC Universe to its core in their latest masterpiece that will be talked about for years to come!

Collects Superman: Leviathan Rising #1, Event Leviathan #1-6, & DC’s Year of the Villain Special #1

The Verdict

A great way of bringing a classic whodunnit mixed with a spy thriller kind of setting into the DC Universe. Seeing heroes like Batman, Green Arrow and the Question working together as some of the best thinkers and investigators in the DC Universe as this new threat of Leviathan rises to face the might of Superman and other heroes is a comic book fan’s dream, and the impact of some of DC’s biggest organizations, from the DEO to Checkmate and even Amanda Waller herself being targeted by Leviathan makes this a truly shocking story. With great twists and turns, including the identity of Leviathan’s leader, and grim and gritty artwork make this a fantastic addition to the Year of the Villain storytelling. 

Heroes in Crisis

(Heroes in Crisis #1–9)

by Tom King (Goodreads Author), Clay Mann (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by CIA-operative turned comics writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD?

Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate–but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition?

Superstar comics writer and former CIA operative, Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle) examines the potential long-lasting effects of saving the world in this groundbreaking new graphic novel with jaw-dropping art from the team of Clay Mann and Lee Weeks!

Collects Heroes in Crisis #1-9

The Verdict

A powerful and emotional read, this was an impactful story for the DC Universe. Set before the events currently rocking the multiverse, this story sees the heroes in their most vulnerable position yet. Exploring the mental health aspect of being a hero and the events they witness as they battle threat after threat was a unique approach to this story, and pitting two unlikely characters as the main suspects for the story’s big plot (the death of several heroes at this mental health facility), Booster Gold and Harley Quinn, really put a lot of emphasis on the concept of outcasts and underdogs, as the true nature of what happened at Sanctuary begins to come together and shock readers. This is what I would consider an essential DC Comics read for anyone looking for great character-driven narratives. 

Heroes in Crisis: The Price and Other Tales

(Heroes in Crisis #Companion)

by Joshua WilliamsonJulie Benson (Goodreads Author), Shawna Benson (Goodreads Author), Collin KellyJackson LanzingGuillem March (Illustrator), Rafa Sandoval (Illustrator), Javier Fernández (Illustrator), Scott Kolins (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Tom King’s event of the year – Heroes in Crisis – has rocked the DC heroes to their core. While the events at Sanctuary play out in Heroes in Crisis (now available in a collected Hard Cover edition), Batman and the Flash work together behind the scenes to solve a mystery surrounding the death of Wally West. But can they solve the case before turning on each other?

An old case has reopened, and it’s up to the DCU’s top detectives to solve it! Gotham Girl is missing, and it will take both Batman and The Flash working together to find out where she’s gone … and if she has anything to do with the horrifying events at Sanctuary.

Though old friends, the case and the disturbing events surrounding it, are tearing Batman and the Flash’s friendship apart. Both Batman and the Flash have lost their sidekicks, will they also lose each other?

Contains Batman #64-65, The Flash #64-65, Green Arrow #45 and #48-50, and The Flash Annual #2.

The Verdict

Seeing the larger ramifications for the heroes after the events of Heroes in Crisis was a remarkable narrative to get sucked into. The relationship between Batman and The Flash after what has happened was interesting to see, as they are not only two of the greatest detectives in DC Comics, but have had a mutual respect for one another over the years. Plus, the Rebirth era has seen these two characters become more connected than ever before, making this an incredible character study of the heroes. Plus, seeing Green Arrow’s reaction to losing someone close to him and his outcast status to the larger Justice League made for some interesting commentary on the League’s relationship to the universe as a whole. A definite must-read and entertaining event. 

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The End

(The End #1-6)

by Saladin Ahmed (Goodreads Author), Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Joe KellyLeah Williams (Goodreads Author), Erik LarsenAdam WarrenCarmen Carnero (Illustrations), Mike Hawthorne (Illustrations), Damion Scott (Illustrations), Filipe Andrade (Illustrations), Chamba (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Mighty Marvel heroes reach the bitter end! Steve Rogers fights for survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by hordes of Red Skulls! Captain Marvel returns after 50 years in space – but what has become of the world she once called home? Deadpool seems unkillable – but death will find a way! Doctor Strange makes his final journey home – through a cyberpunk sprawl where magic is forgotten! Miles Morales leads civilization’s last stand in the one place strong enough to survive – Brooklyn! And Venom travels the length of space and time as the last defender of life in the universe! Experience the end as your favorite heroes take their final bow!

COLLECTING: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE END, CAPTAIN MARVEL: THE END, DEADPOOL: THE END, DOCTOR STRANGE: THE END, MILES MORALES: THE END and VENOM: THE END.

The Verdict

A stunning look at possible futures for the Marvel Universe. Endings which see the last surviving heroes each faced with their own brand of apocalypse, and the heroic sacrifices they must make in order to save the world that is left. Each story feels unique and tailored for the heroes who star in each story, and this provides a perfect continuation of what iconic series like the “What If…?” stories told throughout Marvel’s history. A must-read comic book event for modern and classic Marvel enthusiasts alike!

X-Men by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1

(X-Men (2019) #1)

by Jonathan HickmanLeinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Gerry Alanguilan (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator), R.B. Silva (Illustrator), Matteo Buffagni (Illustrator), Sunny Gho (Colorist), Marte Gracia (Colorist)

The Synopsis

THE DAWN OF X BREAKS! The X-Men find themselves in a whole new world of possibility… and things have never been better! Jonathan Hickman (HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, SECRET WARS) and superstar artist Leinil Yu (NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA) reveal the saga of Cyclops and his hand-picked squad of mutant powerhouses!

COLLECTING: X-MEN (2019) #1-6

The Verdict

It’s an all new era for X-Men fans. Getting to see the mutants of the Marvel Universe finally have their own nation and independence is a refreshing new sight, as is seeing Cyclops back into a leadership role. Getting to see the entire family together as well, from Jean and Scott to Cable and Rachel Summers and more, the relationships really define the new status quo of the mutant nation of Krakoa. The artwork harkens back to a late 90’s/early 2000’s style and lends itself well to the storyline being told, showcasing the fight to maintain order and peace for the growing mutant nation. A must-read!

Road to Empyre

(Empyre (Collected Editions))

by Al EwingDan SlottRobbie Thompson

The Synopsis

Get ready for EMPYRE – the cosmic saga set to rock the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the entire Marvel Universe! A mysterious murder brings together an army of heroes in the search for a killer – setting the stage for the conflicts to come! When everything suddenly changes for the Kree and Skrull empires, that leaves the Warner family from MEET THE SKRULLS out in the cold on Earth. They need to work out how this cosmic crisis affects the future of their family – and their race! And that means Mom and Dad educating their kids on just how the Kree and the Skrulls first went to war! Plus: Get all the facts on the major players in this epic event with the official handbook to EMPYRE!

COLLECTING: INCOMING (2019) 1, ROAD TO EMPYRE: THE KREE/SKRULL WAR (2020) 1, EMPYRE HANDBOOK (2020) 1

The Verdict

This collection explores the unthinkable in the Marvel Universe: a peace between the Kree and the Skrulls. Not a temporary alliance or a cease-fire, but a true end to the war, brought together by a new ruler for both people, Emperor Hulkling, the half-Kree, half-Skrull hero of Earth. Exploring the origins of the war, how it’s come to end, and the threat that has brought them together, this is a deep dive into the Marvel Universe like never before. A truly-great lead up into the Empyre saga. 

Empyre

(Empyre (Collected Editions))

by Al Ewing (Writer), Dan Slott (Writer), Valerio Schiti (Artist), Pepe Larraz (Artist), R.B. Silva (Artist), Marte Gracia (Color Artist)

The Synopsis 

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Marvel’s First Family star in an intergalactic event that threatens to reshape the Marvel Universe! Old allies make a distress call to the Avengers with news of a terrible enemy that could wipe out humanity itself. The Celestial Messiah has returned – but is Earth ready to hear his message? Meanwhile, in the most unlikely of places, the Fantastic Four witness the final conflict of the Kree/Skrull War…and a long-hidden Elder of the Universe stands revealed! With the Kree and the Skrulls united under a new emperor, their war fleet charts a course – for Earth! The Avengers are ready to fight, while the FF seek a diplomatic solution. But if the two teams can’t work together to save the day, Earth may not survive…

COLLECTING: EMPYRE: AVENGERS 0, EMPYRE: FANTASTIC FOUR 0, EMPYRE 1-6, EMPYRE EPILOGUE

The Verdict

A truly fantastic Marvel Universe cosmic event, the writers at Marvel have weaved a truly one of a kind story that not only sees the Kree and Skrull united under one banner but somehow makes a race of magic-practicing plant people feel like a true threat to the planet. The struggles of the Avengers and their allies as former allies become foes and foes become allies make this story complex and engaging, and the artwork is just beautiful. A true must-read Marvel event!

Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Re-Entry

(Captain Marvel (2019) #1)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Carmen Carnero (Illustrator), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)

The Synopsis

ALL THE STARS ALIGN AS KELLY THOMPSON AND CARMEN CARNERO TAKE ON MARVEL’S PREMIER FEMALE SUPER HERO!

As Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has spent months in space protecting Earth from alien threats big and small, but now it’s time for Earth’s mightiest hero to come home. New York City has never looked so good. But every re-entry comes with the unexpected, and Carol is about to hit a whole lot of unexpected. It’s a fresh start and an oversized, star-studded welcome home for a hero who’s been punching the glass ceiling since the 1970s – and just in time for the first female-led film from Marvel Studios! The next 50 years of Captain Marvel starts here!

COLLECTING: CAPTAIN MARVEL 1-6

The Verdict

This is a great start to a new series featuring one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes. After years of defending Earth from cosmic threats, she is finally setting her boots back on Earth and getting ready to face the everyday threats. Her never-give-up attitude and heroics are what makes Carol such an iconic and inspirational hero for many Marvel fans, and both the artwork and story reflect this. What really shines through is that one of the early villains of this new series brings to light the struggle for women to break through and be seen as equals and not dependent on a male figure, making her fight against him all the more important. This is a new start that is not to be missed!

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Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes

(Star Wars (2015) #1)

by Jason AaronJohn Cassaday (Illustrations), Kieron GillenLaura MartinChris EliopoulosStuart Immonen (Illustrator), Ángel Unzueta (Illustrator), Mike Mayhew (Illustrator), Leinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Terry Dodson (Illustrator), Jorge Molina (Illustrator), Mike Deodato (Illustrator), Salvador Larroca (Illustrator), David Marquez (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The greatest space adventure of all returns to Marvel!

Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory so far–the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet! Join Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they fight for freedom against the evil of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor! But when a Rebel assault goes very wrong, Han and Leia will have to think fast to make their escape–while Luke finds himself face-to-face with Darth Vader! In the explosive aftermath, a humbled Luke returns to Tatooine to learn more about his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Leia and Han undertake a vital–and dangerous–secret mission. But can they succeed without Luke? Plus: the menace of Boba Fett!

COLLECTING: STAR WARS 1-6

The Verdict

Longtime Star Wars fans are going to absolutely love this series! Getting to explore the era of Star Wars lore that wasn’t seen in the films, fans are able to see the early start to Luke, Han and Leia’s alliance and missions after the events of the original film. With Luke seeking a means of mastering his Jedi skills to Leia taking a true leadership role after her father and planet’s loss, and Han struggling to be the smuggler he’s always been and the hero he was always meant to be, this series has excelled in writing and the artwork really captures the adventurous nature of George Lucas’s franchise. A must-read!

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Marie Powell

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

Well, I wrote my first story for a neighbour when I was six years old — self-published with crayon and staples! But seriously, I had a lot of encouragement from my high school English teachers, especially Gary Hyland, a Moose Jaw poet I was fortunate to have as my English teacher twice (Grades 10 and 12). He got me interested in the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG). I started writing poetry initially. In university I switched to Theatre Studies, as a dramaturge working on new play development, and then I began writing plays and filmscripts. Then I morphed to journalism, then freelance magazine writing, and eventually short stories and children’s writing. About 15 years ago, I went to the Sage Hill Writing Experience for a 10-day fiction workshop, followed up with the incredible opportunity of doing an MFA degree in Creative Writing at UBC. That started me writing novels. So it’s been a long and winding path.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

This series is the result of my trips to Wales. I went to visit the big English castles like Conwy and Caernarfon and Beaumaris, but they were actually built by Edward I to subjugate the Welsh. So I also went to the smaller castles of the Welsh princes, like Dolwyddelan and Castell-y-Bere. These are very different. There’s no gate, no ticket taker, no little shop selling souvenirs, no tour guide, and really, no people around when we visited. Just signs with pictures that showed people falling off rocks: enter at your own risk. But there were placards at Dolwyddelan with the history of the Welsh princes and all that was lost in the 1282-3 invasion. And I felt that history in some strange way, walking through that ruined castle. It’s my ancestry. I didn’t know much about it then, but I just got hooked. I had just done a story about a man who trained hawks, and one day I tried free-writing about what it would be like to have a connection with a hawk. That — after a lot of rewriting — is still the opening scene of Spirit Sight, the first book in the series. This been my heart-project, and I’ve been working away at it ever since.

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

This is really a book about friendship and working together to overcome extreme odds. Friendship is like magic: only limited by our imagination. Magic evolves and grows, just like we do, and it can connect unlikely people in unusual ways. But we can survive anything if we pull together — young and old, Gifted and not — and stretch our natural abilities to help each other.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m naturally drawn to speculative fiction and fantasy. We carry so much with us, the people we’ve known and the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen, sometimes without really being aware of it. Things seen and half-seen and unseen influence us, and our personal past has an effect on our present just as history affects the future. As a kid, I read about a Welsh bard who saw an animal transform from one shape to another and another. I still have that image in my head, the subtle connections between things that might not seem connected. That’s the kind of magic I want to capture in my stories. Go on a walk and there are birds flying overhead or calling from the trees, insects that pass in and out of our field of vision, and even the wind pushing the leaves around. We don’t consciously notice much of it, but it might be enough to make us walk one direction instead of another, or have a dream or a nightmare two weeks later. I once had a colleague who felt that buildings hold the impressions of people who pass through them, and if you listen you can still hear their voices crying in the walls. That could either make you crazy or make you pick up a pen.

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

The characters in my books tend to answer questions before I ask them. It’s difficult to slow them down long enough for me to catch up. Right now, I’m working on short stories to provide some of the backstory that I couldn’t put in the novel, like the main characters’ backstories and adventures of the secondary characters between the scenes. I’d love to hear what questions readers would like to ask!

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

I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media, but I would have to say my website is the most helpful (https://mariepowell.ca/young-adult/last-of-the-gifted/). That’s where people can find my books, series videos, and information. I try to keep it up to date on my workshops, conference panels, and other activities. It’s the best way to contact me because it links to my email. I’m also starting a mailing list and the link is available on my website.

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

Read everything, especially the genres you would like to write, and write a lot. Challenge yourself. Almost anyone can write, but we owe it to our readers to write well. Take classes and courses, join feedback groups, and learn as much about writing as you can. Seriously. And be persistent. Writers evolve, so make it a long-term commitment.

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

I’m working on quite a few projects. As well as short stories, Book 3 in the Last of the Gifted series is high on my list. Also, I have some published short stories that are more contemporary speculative fiction, and I’d like to compile them into a book. And I’m working on a more contemporary SF novel that’s totally unrelated. I could use a few extra hours a day!

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About the Author

Marie Powell’s castle-hopping across North Wales to explore her family roots resulted in her YA historical fantasy Spirit Sight (Last of the Gifted Book 1). Book 2, Water sight, will be released in fall 2020. Among other degrees, she holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from the University of BC. Marie lives on Treaty 4 land in Regina, Saskatchewan, and her writing workshops are popular across the region.

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