Posted in reviews

Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller by Timothy Jay Smith Review

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

A young Greek-American FBI agent finds himself searching for an arsonist, uncovering hidden secrets in a small island community in the Greek Islands and wrestling with a growing and passionate affair with someone who may very well be the prime suspect in the arson case in author Timothy Jay Smith’s “Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller”.

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The Synopsis

For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read. 

FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.

Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.

A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of  Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

The Review

A brilliant blend of action, dramatic tension, thrills and romantic humor and passion, author Timothy Jay Smith has created an engaging read that will keep readers invested in the cast of characters throughout the narrative. The novel does an excellent job of not only creating the tension of the thriller and the passion of the romance, but infuses into it the tone of the very real distrust, heartbreak and painful situation regarding refugees forced to flee and ending up in the Greek Islands. It demonstrates the division amongst the communities regarding accepting and helping these refugees and those who want to blame them for all of society’s woes. 

Amidst this important storytelling sits a beautiful work of character building that really fleshes out the cast of characters well in this novel. The setting comes alive on the pages of this book and really does a great job of making this community become its own character, giving the book’s plot more heft and importance as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, “Fire on the Island” by Timothy Jay Smith is a fantastic read with a quick pace and engaging plot that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat both for the book’s thrilling plot and romantic character developments. Be sure to grab your own copy on July 7th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.

https://www.instagram.com/timothyjays…

www.facebook.com/TimothyJaySmith/

Posted in reviews

Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3) by Ellen F. Feld Review

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

A feel good children’s picture book series enters a third novel into the story in author Ellen F. Feld’s Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)”. 

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The Synopsis

Donkey-Donk wants to hike Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Before she can hike the mountain, however, she must get in shape by lifting weights and working out on her treadmill. Then it’s off to New Hampshire and the White Mountains, where Mount Washington awaits. Follow along with Donk as she hikes this amazing mountain and enjoy the incredible scenery that she discovers.

Over 20 beautiful, professional photographs of Donk as she prepares for, and then hikes, Mt. Washington.

The Review

In such a short read, the author does a great job of establishing a connection between the reader and the protagonist through not only great photography but artful storytelling. The book brings the story of this miniature donkey to life brilliantly, making the story flow at a reasonable pace for younger readers. 

The use of photography over artwork was an inspired choice, as it allowed for more personal touches to the story than artwork may have. The story itself showcases the narrative that with hard work, training, and perseverance anyone can achieve their goals, including hiking and climbing Mount Washington for Donkey-Donk in this tale. 

The Verdict

A well written, short yet impactful read, this is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys picture books and children’s narratives. Full of heart, joy and creativity, author Ellen F. Feld’s “Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)” is a must-read children’s story that stands out on its own while fitting into the overall series of stories expertly. Grab your own copy of this book on May 07th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Award-winning author Ellen Feld began writing about horses more than 20 years ago. At first she wrote for small, regional magazines, but within a few short years, her work began to appear regularly in large, national publications. In 2001, while waiting for her next assignment, Ms. Feld wrote a short story about a Morgan. That tale became the first chapter of Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse. The book went on to win a coveted Children’s Choices award (as did the second book in the series, Frosty), an honor bestowed jointly by the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council. The book was also picked up by Breyer Animal Creations to be sold with a model of the star of the story, Blackjack. To date, Ms. Feld has authored fourteen horse books, including seven in the Morgan Horse series. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, twelve horses, and assorted other pets.

http://www.willowbendpublishing.com/shop/take-a-hike-a-donkey-donk-story

Posted in reviews

I know When You’re Going To Die by Michael J. Bowler Review

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

A young man living life as the social outcast finds himself fighting to save his best friend after he is given a haunting power in author Michael J. Bowler’s “I Know When You’re Going To Die”. 

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The Synopsis

Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.

His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.

Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.

The Review

A brilliant read, the author does an amazing job of capturing the raw nature of fear that grips us all when staring into the face of death while also delving into the hardships and struggles modern day teens face from peers and adults alike. 

The story weaves together a tale of suspense and horror into a modern day high school drama setting, bringing together the problems teens face all too often, including the process of finding one’s place in the world. As protagonist Leo sets out to save his friend, secrets and relationships are revealed, and highlight the heartbreaking process many teens face when forced to conceal their true selves in the face of cruelty from both students and teachers alike. 

The Verdict

An amazing read, I Know When You’re Going To Die by Michael J. Bowler is a must read. A story many can relate to while telling a gripping tale of suspense and thrills, this novel really weaves together multiple genres well, and will leave readers on the edge of their seats. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this novel by either pre-ordering your copy today or getting your copy when it releases on February 25th, 2020!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author who grew up in Northern California. He majored in English/Theatre at Santa Clara University, earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and a master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Michael taught high school in Hawthorne, California for many years, both in general education and students with disabilities. When Michael is not writing you can find him volunteering as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, volunteering within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles, or caring for his newly adopted son. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, and hopes his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.

You can find Michael at:

Website: www.michaeljbowler.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-Bowler/e/B0…

Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaeljbowlerauthor

Twitter: twitter.com/BradleyWallaceM

tumblr: michaeljbowler.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/michaelbowler

Instagram: www.instagram.com/stuntshark

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2NX.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z48BHH4?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1484221699

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/i-know-when-you-re-going-to-die

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-know-when-youre-going-to-die-michael-j-bowler/1134221152;jsessionid=ACEF0B8A8DBF47B8C52210F233FF2F1F.prodny_store01-atgap15?ean=2940163679256

Posted in reviews

The Jersey by James F. Rosenberg Review

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

One many faces the most painful and difficult challenge of his life as he balances family, career and life in author James F. Rosenberg’s novel “The Jersey”. 

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The Synopsis

Dan West wonders which is more important to him: Helping his long-time friend win back his business after being accused of stealing money from the company or coaching his eleven-year-old son’s soccer team trying to win an improbable championship.

Money and prestige don’t motivate Dan. Rather, family, work and coaching soccer are the underpinnings of his life. He revels in the simple joys like hanging out with his wife Jill, mentoring a young lawyer at his firm and watching the boys connect on three passes before drilling the ball into the back of the net.

Dan always knew to keep it steady—not to get too high or he might get knocked off of his perch. And he did, until he, and the boys’ soccer team, achieved unimagined success. Before he can grasp how good he has it, tragedy rips a hole in his family.

James Rosenberg, author of the bestseller Legal Reserves, strikes a new chord in his exploration of what makes a life and how to put it back together after it is shattered.

The Jersey is a beautifully written, profoundly touching, and relatable story of love, loss and the redemptive power of a group of motivated eleven-year-old kids.

The Review

This was a beautifully written, powerful and emotional read. A steady read that draws readers into the life of protagonist Dan, readers are left reeling as much as Dan himself after the tragic event that tears his family apart. The author does an excellent job of showcasing a detailed backstory and delving fully into Dan’s career as an attorney with a healthy balance of family life leading up to the tragedy. 

What really is captured is the raw pain that comes with tragic events and loss of any kind. The author delves into the grieving process and challenges the reader to find a way to overcome that grief, vowing to live life in the face of great tragedy and heartbreak. This is a story that is fueled by powerful character development that readers can instantly connect to and most readers will be hard pressed not to have a tear in their eye as the story progresses.

The Verdict

Emotional, heartbreaking and real, author James F. Rosenberg has written another smash hit that is engaging and evenly paced throughout the entirety of the novel. Showcasing the painful process of loss and grief and searching for a way to overcome them both, the author does an amazing job of creating a protagonist and narrative that readers can engage with and care for greatly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “The Jersey” by James F. Rosenberg today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James Rosenberg has tried cases for the almost three decades.   He has learned that every case is unique and has compelling storylines.  He weaves his novels with morsels from his legal career and makes trials come to life.  He started writing legal thrillers as a stress reducer and finds that having control over what his characters are going to do is easier than controlling his own clients.

When he is not in court, he hangs with his family watching his boys play soccer or his girl dance.  He and his wife try to have a little free time but whenever the kids leave them alone, the dog wants more attention.  

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48406940-the-jersey

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Story-Loss-Redemption-ebook/dp/B07YVL93W7/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=james+rosenberg&qid=1571153109&s=books&sr=1-2

Also, my author’s website:

Jamesrosenbergauthor.com

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergWrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour


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Again, But Better by Christine Riccio Review

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

A young woman yearning to follow her dreams and overcome her shy nature finds herself far outside her bubble and struggling with new friendships, possible romances and a road very few travel in author Christine Riccio’s novel, “Again, but Better”. 

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The Synopsis

From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

The Review

This was an amazing read from a wonderful new author. The author perfectly captures the raw emotional struggle of those who struggle with self-doubt and reservedness that makes it difficult to put one’s self out there for friendship, love or any social life whatsoever. As someone who frequently struggles with this to this day, it was a novel and protagonist that truly spoke to me and I believe many readers will be able to identify and relate to as they read this novel.

One of the fun and interesting aspects is the sudden introduction of a magical or supernatural element of the story halfway through the novel, taking readers by surprise. This story element does a remarkable job of bringing a new understanding not only to the characters but to the concept of fighting for your dreams and overcoming that struggle between shyness and confidence. Readers will love this new element of the novel and will grow more with the characters overall as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

This was a fantastic novel from a promising new author that has a deep understanding and command over the YA genre. Protagonist Shane is a beloved character that readers will instantly root for and relate to, and the novel itself is an evenly paced read that will keep readers on the edge of their seat as the narrative comes to its end. This is a top contender for YA Book of the Year, and a wonderful read that will have readers excited to read more novels from the author in the years to come. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Again, but Better” by Christine Riccio today! 

Rating: 10/10

Looking to gain a better relationship with your family or just need counseling? Look no further by clicking on this link and seeing the 10 reasons why you and your family should seek family counseling, courtesy of my friends at BetterHelp and Regain:

https://www.regain.us/advice/counseling/top-10-reasons-why-you-may-need-family-counseling/

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About the Author

Christine Riccio has been on a quest to encourage more humans to read since the third grade. No one really listened until she started making videos about books on Youtube in 2010. Now her channel PolandbananasBOOKS has over 390,000 book-loving subscribers. She makes comedic book reviews, vlogs, sketches, and writing videos chronicling the creation of her own novel. She’s also one of the three YouTubers behind BOOKSPLOSION. Originally from New Jersey, Christine graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in Film and TV and now lives in Los Angeles, CA. Other hobbies include hot yoga and oatmeal. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/polandbananasBOOKS

https://www.instagram.com/xtinemay/

https://www.facebook.com/CMRproductionz/

https://www.christinericcio.com/

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Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel Review

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

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Humanity has always wanted to understand the inner soul of the cosmic web we call the Universe. They fulfill their curiosity with exploration hoping for eternal enlightenment, but what if something darkened their views? Something that could wipe out the entire Earth if given the opportunity?

Tales of Potentia: the Shadows, is the first rush in a thrilling and nail-biting supernatural fantasy series that entertains your curiosity and teases your imagination with an endless war between the Universe and the Absence of Light.

When a cosmic entity unleashes on an unsuspecting community, it carries an insatiable hunger and a hostile attitude with it.

The only resolve against this threat lies within the hands of a few teens, who gain mysterious supernatural abilities from a mysterious crystal not of this Earth. However, everything is not as it seems and if they don’t find out how to use Potentia correctly they will find themselves next on the menu.

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The Review

This was a fun new sci-fi/fantasy novel that began an intriguing new mythology that will hopefully expand further into a series. The book immediately jumps into the action and mystery of the deadly new threat, slowly building up to a story of monstrous and bloodthirsty creatures, a lone survivor looking to stop the threat forever, government agencies and innocent teens whose lives are changed forever by the discovery of powerful energies that merge with them unexpectedly.

The story was evenly paced, and did a marvelous job of presenting characters that were relatable and easy to cheer for. While there were a few instances of grammatical and misplaced word mistakes, the story overall was powerful and the author does a marvelous job of setting up this intricately detailed new galactic mythology without giving away too many details early on. By book’s end the stage is set for an expanding series, teasing growing threats and the power these teens have to face the coming darkness. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy driven narratives. Especially geared towards a YA audience, both YA and Adult audiences will enjoy the chilling tale of monsters and aliens that descends on the world, and the few people who will find their lives changed forever. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animated_author/

Posted in reviews

An Unsettled Grave (A Santero and Rein Thriller #2) by Bernard Schaffer Review

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

After hunting down a demented killer, a newly appointed detective finds herself delving into a decades old cold case filled with haunting secrets, and discovers a shocking connection to her mentor in author Bernard Schaffer’s novel, “An Unsettled Grave”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

In this brilliantly chilling follow-up to The Thief of All Light, veteran police officer Bernard Schaffer digs deep into the past–and the haunted psyches of the detectives who search for truth . . . at any cost.

“There’s a thousand scavengers in these woods.”

Before being promoted to detective, Carrie Santero was given a rare glimpse into the mind of a killer. Through her mentor, Jacob Rein–a seasoned manhunter whose gift for plumbing the depths of madness nearly drove him over the brink–she was able to help capture one of the most depraved serial killers in the country. Now, the discovery of a small human foot buried in the Pennsylvania woods will lead her to a decades-old cold case–and the darkest secrets of her mentor’s youth.

“Nobody trusts an animal that tries to eat its own kind.”

Thirty years ago, a young girl went missing. A police officer was murdered. Another committed suicide. The lives of everyone involved would never be the same. For three agonizing decades, Jacob Rein has yearned for the truth. But when Detective Carrie Santero begins digging up new evidence, she discovers some answers come with shattering consequences.

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The Review

This is the perfect follow up to the series began in The Thief of All Light. Author Bernard Schaffer continues to bring his expertise in the field of criminal investigation to bring a sense of realism and relatability to the genre, while still providing an engaging and entertaining thriller like no other. Detective Santero shines through in this story, providing a more confident and seasoned investigative mind to the case while still showing her honest and no nonsense personality that allows her to showcase her strength as a protagonist in this tale.

Yet it is the shocking connection to seasoned detective and Carrie’s mentor Rein that makes this story shine, as readers are given a rare glimpse into the history of Jacob Rein and the events that made him into the brilliant detective that he is. A case from his past highlights the events that led to his descent into darkness, swimming amongst the monsters of this world in order to capture them. Jumping between the past and the present makes this story feel more personal and intimate of a story than the first book, cementing the protagonists Santero and Rein as true thriller heroes that are here to stay.

The Verdict

This is a must read summer 2019 thriller. With the book’s release due in July of 2019, the fans who fell in love with Santero and Rein will be thrilled to watch this story unfold. Filled with heart and emotion, humor and brutal honesty, and a story that feels both cinematic and real all at once, this is the perfect read for anyone who loves the thriller genre, and leaves readers eager for a third book in this exciting and developing series. If you haven’t yet, pre-order your copy now or grab your copy of An Unsettled Grave by Bernard Schaffer on July 30th, 2019. 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. 

Prior to that, he published multiple titles in a variety of genres as an independent author. Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in Southeastern PA.

Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.

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Social Media Links

Bernard Schaffer’s Facebook Author Page 

Bernard Schaffer’s Goodreads Page

Bernard Schaffer’s BookBub Page

Website: www.BernardSchaffer.com

Instagram @BernardSchaffer

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

Posted in reviews

Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick by William R. Harris Review

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

A larger than life adventure through space brings one group of explorers to an uncharted world, and the untold dangers it holds in author William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

Forced to flee his homeworld, Oberus, the genetically re-engineered Malick leads a scientific expedition to the far reaches of the solar system. A distress call from an alien ship with a mysterious cargo leaves the team marooned on the arcane planet Sworld. Plunged into a quest for answers that ultimately leads them to their genesis, Malick and the crew must solve the enigmas of Sworld or perish.

The Review

This was a truly masterful space exploration/sci-fi novel. The truly original storytelling by the author was fantastic, as was the incredible detail that went into the various creatures, technologies and mythologies built upon during the story as the explorers ventured further and further into the world of Sworld. 

What really shined through however was the character development in this novel. Not only was the protagonist Malick an ever evolving hero and leader in the story, but each chapter introduced new characters that allowed Malick to further expand the group’s exploration as they survive in this new and unfamiliar world. From the crew of the ship that began the journey with him to the new creatures who he either befriends or is forced to fight, and even the newcomer who begins to capture the hero’s heart, this novel is built upon character growth and helps the narrative flow smoothly during this expansive story.

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The Verdict

This is a must read for any sci-fi fan out there. If you enjoy science fiction in all it’s glory, long and detailed stories of space exploration and new mythologies surrounding mysterious creatures, this is the novel for you. The true grabber though is the shocking ending that will leave readers breathless and eager for a sequel, as it leaves the protagonist in a shocking situation that you never saw coming. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of William R. Harris’s novel “Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick” by either pre-ordering it or grabbing your own copy on May 3rd, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://www.chandrapress.com/sworld

Posted in Book Promotion

Guest Post: Author Dan O’Brien

First of all, I want to thank you for hosting me today.

My name is Dan O’Brien and I’m probably best known for my Lauren Westlake books, especially the bestselling Bitten. I stopped by today to talk about the ongoing series, as well as a limited-time sale on the Lauren Westlake eBooks in preparation for the next release, Besieged.

Before I pitch you on the first five books for only 99c, I want to take a moment and answer a few questions so you can get to know me a little better, dear reader.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing has always been an important psychological outlet for me. I can’t imagine a life where I don’t write in some capacity. It certainly energizes me. And perhaps more importantly, it rescues me when I feel alone or if I’m having a poor mental health day. I think writing means different things to different people. For me, writing is a grounding principle in my life. If I need to work through something, I write about it. Sometimes that catharsis even becomes a part of a book.

How do you select the names of your characters?

It really depends on the genre. Unsurprisingly, many of my characters are based on aspects of people I have met during my life. Sometimes, I name them based on who they remind me of; other times, I keep trying names until I feel like the name reflects the character. For the Lauren Westlake series, the names came quite naturally. When I work on a science fiction or fantasy story, I will research traditional names from ancient societies or combine base terms with interesting prefixes and suffixes to create something unique.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I imagine I would have been a scientist in some capacity or taught math. I studied psychology in graduate school and even entertained getting my PhD and teaching at a university. However, I decided on a different path that took me away from that possibility. Teaching is such a brave profession. As well, I might have pursued a career in film. Once upon a time, I really wanted to be involved in the filmmaking process, but I didn’t go to film school. I could see myself on that path as well.  

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Always. Much like TV shows and movies hide things in plain sight for eagle-eyed viewers, I like to leave clues along the way that are much more than simple foreshadowing. Often, someone’s name will reference something that will happen later or is a part of a larger theme. I also like to leave references to some my favorite novels and films.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always liked telling stories. When I was a child, I would create entire plays with people on Popsicle sticks and small stages built from scratch. I also used Legos and other toys to tell elaborate tales. The more I read, the more I wanted to be a storyteller. I published my first story in 2002 and never looked back.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends on the book itself. If I am in the middle of telling a larger story, I can sometimes finish a first draft in 6-8 weeks. I wrote a novel in 10 days once because I was so interested in the story that I didn’t want to do anything else. For the Lauren Westlake novellas, I finish a draft in a couple of weeks in order to get it to the editor.

What does being a successful author look like to you?

As many people as possible reading what I write. Being well known might be interesting, but I would prefer that readers enjoy what I write and want to read more.

Now that you know a little more about me, I’d like to talk about the Lauren Westlake series. This weekend, Bitten and its sequels will be only 99c as a promotion for the release of Besieged. Here are the synopses and links for those eBooks that are on sale.

Bitten:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005METJLU  

A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined F.B.I Agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could have imagined.

Drained: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RJI8DVO  

A frightening new case. A mysterious journal. The beginning of the end. Lauren Westlake has left behind the horrors of northern Minnesota to investigate a strange package with a cryptic return address. Crossing the country to the city by the bay, Lauren discovers that Locke was only the beginning. Crossing paths with a stoic SFPD detective and a surprise from her past, she must figure out what hunts the foggy streets of San Francisco in this new novella. Is it vampires? Is it something more?

Frighten: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KJD12BS  

Lauren’s time in San Francisco hasn’t gone as planned. After reconnecting with her brother Billy and discovering that vampires are at the heart of the murders in the foggy city, Lauren is faced with a terrible decision that will affect her career. Can she find a way to bring the killers to justice? Will she be able to find the Stranger in time to stop the nightmares in San Francisco?

Burned: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KJ9V3SJ

Lauren’s pursuit of the Stranger has led to Las Vegas. A series of supernatural murders leads the team to believe that warlocks are behind the deaths. The return of an old ally and a new threat complicates Lauren’s investigation. Can she stop what’s coming in time to avert the apocalypse?

Awaken: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LH7GFVP

Lauren’s world is turned upside down when she is introduced to the Order and Elder Andras. The Stranger’s plan to wake Awanyu begins to take form, threatening not only Las Vegas, but all of reality. Can Lauren put together the puzzle pieces in time to stop the Stranger and save Winona?

I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity and catch up on the Laruen Westlake series. You can connect with me on Twitter and Facebook, as well as visit my website. Happy reading!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDanOBrien

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authordanobrien

Website: https://authordanobrien.com/