Posted in Interviews

Interview with Authors Scott & Ashley Roepel

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


Ashley has been writing stories her entire life. In her late teen and early adult years she published a lot of fanfiction that won community awards. It’s always been a passion for her and she has been able to write for some websites prior to publishing her books. For Scott, he was a local journalist for many years before writing for pop culture and car websites. We both mesh well in writing a book series together! 

Amazon Music: Six Months of Disney+
  1. What inspired you to write your book?


This book series is based off our D&D campaign. We both love the game so much and it has inspired so much creativity in our lives. It felt only right to turn these adventures into a book series. We had developed a world rich in lore and history with complex characters. Since our entire campaign was homebrewed, it made it really easy to translate into a book series. 

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


Many of the characters come from places or situations where they were told they have no value. We hope readers that struggle with the same message may find inspiration in these characters. Characters that find their own worth internally, and are able to discover their own strengths and confidence despite others telling them to the contrary. 

  1. What drew you into this particular genre?


We both have always loved fantasy. Especially from our early experiences with the Fellowship of the Ring film. What we like best is there are no limits. You can create your own world and put what you want in it. It is full creativity. 

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


Actually, we can! One of the best things about having this story start as a D&D game is we get to roleplay these characters. We get to do a deep dive into each character and learn all about them. All about their childhood and memories, and all about their future hopes and dreams. We get to explore their motivation and pain and what keeps them going each day. It’s one of the purest ways to learn a character. 

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


Twitter for sure. It’s so much more social and we are able to connect with other writers and D&D players and indie creators. Being able to have many conversations and post multiple times a day has been helpful. Our Twitter is @TalAndRu 

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


Write the story you want to tell. Don’t worry about what other people say you should be writing or doing with your book. Don’t worry about a big following, that will come in time. Just tell the story that is inside you and that is important to you. At the end of the day, you should write something you want to read. 

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


Book III of Thread of Souls is currently undergoing its final edits and will be published on August 27th this year! It’s part of an eight-book series, so we have a release planned for each year. As we are currently playing the story’s D&D campaign at the table, we are playing through what will end being book seven and having a blast! 

Advertisements

About the Authors

Scott and Ashley Roepel are a husband and wife team of writers, creators, and travelers. They are co-founders of Tal & Ru Travels LLC which is focused on entertaining and engaging content. Deep lovers of fantasy, the two of them are avid D&D players and content creators.

https://talandrudungeonloot.com/

https://www.instagram.com/talandrutravels/

Posted in reviews

Juniper Forest by Rory Elliot Review

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

Two young women find themselves on the adventure of a lifetime as they land in a new and uncharted world in author Rory Elliot’s “Juniper Forest”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Best friend Melody convinces Isobelle to leave her reality to embark upon the most unusual and inconvenient journey of her life. From getting drunk with an unknown tribe to being captured by moronic creatures, Melody and Isobelle face all that Juniper Forest has to offer as they pursue their desperate mission to find their way back to normalcy.

The Review

This was a fun and engaging short story. The author brilliantly dives into the New Adult Fantasy genre, and creates an excellent balance of world building and character growth within a short read. The relationship between Isobelle and Melody instantly stands out for the reader, while the fantasy element takes readers into a rich and entertaining world of magic and wonder. 

The amount of intrigue and suspense the author is able to incorporate into the narrative really stands out. From early on the reader is treated to fantastic characters that both delight and frighten the protagonists, and the narrative overall is richly layered, creating a powerful read that readers can instantly devour within one sitting.

The Verdict

A must-read short story, author Rory Elliot’s “Juniper Forest” is a brilliant world within the fantasy genre. Fast-paced and entertaining throughout, the story does a great job of incorporating a lot of mythology and fantasy creatures into the narrative, making this a marvelous journey for fans of the genre. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Writing stories is something I do to escape for a bit. It is so unbelievably fun to write, I’ve spent hours engulfed by the possibilities of where the story could lead and the experiences my characters could have during their adventure. Juniper Forest is inspired by all of the stories and comical figures that I’ve personally enjoyed.

To those that have shown support for the books, I’d like to say a huge thank you!

Official Website

Goodreads

Amazon

Youtube

Posted in reviews

The Patient by Linda Thackeray Review

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

After centuries of the realm of magic being separated from humanity, one psychiatric doctor, one homicide detective and a slew of others are about to discover the hidden evil that threatens the world and the magic that has been hidden from them for so long in author Linda Thackeray’s “The Patient”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Four hundred years ago, the elven realm lost their greatest magician to the modern world. Now, they are returning to avenge the forces that took him…

When the world was known as Avalyne, humans and magical beings lived in harmony upon it. But over time, the elves retreated behind the Veil that separates the modern world from the magical realm.

In the present day, New York psychiatrist Doctor Dan Ellis finds himself treating an elderly homeless man, brought in for vandalizing the imposing Malcolm Industries building. The old man insists on calling Dan ‘War Dragon’ but can recall nothing of his own past or identity.

But Dan is not the only one interested in the old man’s treatment. Malcolm Industries are keen for Doctor Ellis to hand the petty criminal over to them, for reasons unexplained…

Meanwhile, three elven brothers slip from behind the Veil to search the world for the evil that befell their greatest protector. But all is not as it appears, and it seems their allies are every bit as concealed as their foes.

As Dan struggles to reinstate his patient’s memory, he discovers a dangerous secret that threatens not only his life, but the lives of those around him.

Can magic triumph over an invisible evil that has ruled the planet for centuries?

SCROLL UP AND GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

The Review

This was a phenomenal and truly unique fantasy read. What starts out as a psychological thriller/drama tone quickly shifts into a full-fledged fantasy realm that turns the genre on its head. 

What really stands out here is the author’s creation of creative new mythology. The fusion of not only magical realms but incorporating it into the history of our own world and even the origins of one of the greatest legends of the world, that of King Arthur. The relationship developed between characters like Dan and his allies only serves to enhance the growing mythology of the author’s brand new mythology. 

The Verdict

Evenly paced, action-packed, and hard-hitting, this is a must-read summer fantasy read. Full of grit and creativity, the story’s shifts in tone are quite natural and engaging to readers, and the story leaves the audience wanting more from what one can only hope becomes a prominent new fantasy series. Be sure to grab your copy of “The Patient” by Linda Thackeray today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

Author Page: https://www.lthackeray.com/

Amazon Central Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Thackeray/e/B00NE63G76/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scribee31oz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Scribe31oz


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8331182.Linda_Thackeray

Posted in reviews

Escape From Yesterday by Frederic Petrovsky Review

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

The fantasy genre blends with the science-fiction genre when a young boy in a far-off kingdom must stop himself from pursuing the love of a young princess by traveling back in time in author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

The ultimate time travel adventure! ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW follows Den, a seventeen-year-old who has been a servant in Castle Kuthalds all his life. Den struggles with sexual awakening, and finds himself drawn to Oshana, the Vizier’s strong and alluring daughter. When this forbidden love is discovered by the cruel and obsessive Vizier, he becomes enraged. The Vizier incarcerates Den in the notorious Zakaz prison, and begins a campaign of murdering a generation of his subjects. To set things right, Den is brought to an ancient underground civilization of monstrous shape-shifters that sends him back in time. The plan fails, and Den is transported to an even earlier time. But during both visits to the past, Den inadvertently interacts with himself. This sets in motion a series of perilous escapes in three separate time periods—three different Dens, Oshanas, Umbras, and Viziers.

The Review

A wonderful fusion of the romance of Disney’s Aladdin with the time-travel insanity of Back to the Future and the high-stakes political and family drama of Game of Thrones, Escape From Yesterday is a smash hit of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. 

The author is able to establish unique mythology in this fictional kingdom and showcase the struggles of being under the harsh thumb of a ruler like the Vizier, while also introducing a forbidden romance between a young house servant and the Vizier’s daughter, the Princess. The character-driven narrative takes center stage alongside the setting, as each plays a pivotal role in the plot that sees the protagonist forced to travel back in time several times to stop the kingdom from collapsing from within. 

The Verdict

A strong, entertaining, and evenly-paced fantasy read, author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday” is a must-read novel of the summer for fantasy/sci-fi fans. Filled with adventure, fast-paced action, and complex mythology build-up, this is a fun read that many readers will be able to sink their teeth into. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Fred Petrovsky’s first novel, Frank, was published by Time Warner in 2001. His other novels include Don’t be Cruel and The Clinton Diaries. His work has also appeared in Midstream, Arrive, and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona.

Posted in reviews

Curses of Scale by S.D. Reeves Review

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

A young girl must outrun destiny as a powerful threat emerges while others chase her through another realm entirely in author S.D. Reeves novel, “Curses of Scale”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

The Review

A fantastic prequel to the author’s novel “The Melody of Three”, the author does an amazing job of building up this magical, fantasy world. From ancient curses and alternate timelines to the fae, dragons, and a young woman fighting destiny in an attempt to make her own path in life, this book hits every mark for a great epic fantasy novel.

The mythology and character arcs were the highlights of this read. The main character Niena was someone the reader could really stand behind and root for and did a great job of showcasing a well-rounded story arc that felt authentic to who she was as a character. The action was intense and the final chapters of the book proved emotional and rewarding all at once. 

The Verdict

A well rounded, in-depth and evenly paced read, author S.D. Reeves does an amazing job of capturing the reader’s attention early on and creating complex characters, some of which you eagerly wait to see if they prove trustworthy or not. An epic quest that challenges the notion of expectations and destiny, this was a fantasy whirlwind adventure that fully realized the fantasy genre and showcased the ever-growing mythology the author has created. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Stephen Reeves was born in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama, but grew up in a small community just on the edge called Madison. His writing career began during a boring math class in college and has blossomed over the last couple of decades into something decidedly not boring. His works have been published in numerous zines including The Blotter, Chantwood, Yellow Chair Review, and The Writers Drawer. Stephen has also reviewed books for Oxford University Press, including Micheal Newtons Victorian Fairy Tales.

Curses of Scale is his debut novel, written over the course of four years in the inspirational country of Switzerland, where he now resides with his wife, two cats, and an obsessive Pomeranian.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/194684912X/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=194684912X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2#customerReviews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17067943.S_D_Reeves

Posted in reviews

The Melody Of Three (Evercharm Trilogy #1) by S.D. Reeves Review

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

A sorcerer long banned from Liverpool receives a mysterious summons, and discovers a world turned upside down in author S.D. Reeves’ novel, “The Melody of Three.”

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Sorcerer Christaan De Rein’s return to Liverpool does not go well, starting with the fact that his trusted apprentice, Higgins, dies on the way. Then again, Higgins dies a lot. Of course, Rein doesn’t expect to be welcomed with open arms after being banished for nine years, but a cryptic summons from The Musician herself cannot go unanswered.

But when Rein arrives all is in chaos. People with fairy blood are turning up dead. The Forum Magicae is undone and the Curators sieged.

And in another world altogether, where Earth is just a legend, a girl named Niena and a cursed lyre hold the key to saving both realms. Or destroying them.

The Review

The author does an amazing job of creating a vast, complex, and engaging mythology that fans of the fantasy genre will absolutely love. The established world in this novel pairs greatly with the characters that bring humor, engagement, and heart to the story overall.

The author’s greatest strength lies within the atmosphere and setting of the narrative, with each chapter eloquently painting a picture of each location of the narrative. From the busy streets and gloom of Liverpool to the reality-bending realm of Fairhome, the author really does an excellent job of putting readers into the worlds of this magical novel. The only critic would be that so much emphasis is made on setting and description that sometimes the novel is slow-paced, but the powerful narrative helps to balance this out overall.

The Verdict

A lengthy, powerful narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seat as they dive headfirst into this brand new narrative, author S.D. Reeves novel “The Melody of Three”, the first in the Evercharm Trilogy, is a must-read dark fantasy novel that perfectly sets up a brand new series. An open-ended final chapter leaves readers wanting more, perfectly setting up this ever-growing narrative. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Stephen Reeves was born in 1980 in Huntsville, Alabama, but grew up in a small community just on the edge called Madison. His writing career began during a boring math class in college and has blossomed over the last couple of decades into something decidedly not boring. His works have been published in numerous zines including The Blotter, Chantwood, Yellow Chair Review, and The Writers Drawer. Stephen has also reviewed books for Oxford University Press, including Micheal Newtons Victorian Fairy Tales.

Curses of Scale is his debut novel, written over the course of four years in the inspirational country of Switzerland, where he now resides with his wife, two cats, and an obsessive Pomeranian.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YGSWLKX

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17067943.S_D_Reeves

Posted in reviews

Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal by Ryan Cowan Review

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

A young boy learning to hone his unique magical abilities must stop a powerful evil witch on Halloween Night before the human world is forever changed in author Ryan Cowan’s novel “Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal.”

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Elliott attends his third-grade class like any other boy, except that Elliott isn’t like any other boy. Endowed with magical powers, Elliott belongs to a secret world called Moonstone – and trouble is brewing. When the evil witch Noir steals The Halloween Crystal, it’s up to Elliott and his third-grade teacher, Mr. Moonbeam, to stop Noir from invading the non-magical world on Halloween night. But can Elliott learn to master his powers in time?

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Pre-Teen Fiction, Ebook (Bronze) 2019

The Review

A truly engaging and magical read, author Ryan Cowan has crafted a masterful tale of magic, mythology, and wonder in this brand new fantasy-driven children’s book. The story really shines through in this tale, giving readers new mythology between the world of magic and the world of humanity that brings all of the supernatural and magical creatures of lore into the forefront. 

Rather than having a human falling into the world of magic and crafting a tale of discovery, the author does a great job of exploring a cast of characters well versed in the world of magic. What really stood out however was the author’s ability to create a narrative that highlighted the in-class relationship between a teacher and a student as the teacher attempts to impart knowledge that will help the student grow into the roles they were meant to be in life. 

The Verdict

This was a fast-paced, easy to read tale of supernatural entities, a clash between evil witches and good witches, and the impact magic has on two worlds as a rising witch discovers his unique abilities while a seasoned witch must find a way to stop an impending apocalypse. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of author Ryan Cowan’s “Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal” today! 

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Ryan Cowan grew up in a small town called Middleport, Ohio. He currently lives in Hawthorne, CA. As a teacher with almost 20 years of experience, Ryan has taught all grades from K-6th. He currently works as an assistant principal for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal is his first children’s book. A magical story with complex themes, Mr. Moonbeam and the Halloween Crystal highlights the difficulties of teaching while also chronicling the important problem solving relationship between a teacher and his student. A sequel is currently in the works.

Ryan has degrees and/or credentials in education from the following universities: Marshall University (BFA Music Theory), UCLA (M.Ed. Urban Education), California State University Los Angeles (Multiple Subject Teaching Credential), and California State University Dominguez Hills (Administrative Services Credential).

Posted in reviews

Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce Review

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

A young man discovers he is connected to a whole new world around him and faces untold danger in author Matt Sconce’s modern-day fantasy, “Stormbreaker”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Young Mackinsi Wrighton has always been a dreamer. After he accidentally uncovers a hidden world around him, he discovers he is a Stormbreaker… A warrior of light destined to face an ancient evil called, Destroyer.

Possessing supernatural powers and weapons he has no idea how to use, Mackinsi must unite the other Stormbreakers against Destroyer’s fiends before Destroyer pulls our dimension into a relic of evil called the Heartstone.

Along his quest, Mackinsi will find love, loss, and adventure as well as a secret that will shake the very foundation of reality itself.

From sword fights on the skyscrapers of New York City to the underwater grottos of prophecy, Stormbreaker will take you on an action-packed thrill ride of imagination and modern day magic and leave you breathless.

Described as a combination of The Matrix, Constantine and the Lord of the Rings, Stormbreaker is a modern fantasy brimming with originality.

The Review

From the audiobook’s first pages the author and narrator deliver a tense filled, heart-pounding scene that sets the tone for the modern day fantasy thriller. The book never lets up on the intensity of the plot as the protagonist experiences a swirl of wonder and horror as his world flips upside down. 

The story was rich with character development and world building mythology that really sucks the reader into the narrative immediately. The protagonist is relatable and gives readers a typical yet rememberable origin of the young man in the midst of trying to find himself and in the process discovers how important he is. 

The Verdict

Well written, well read and an evenly paced read, author Matt Sconce’s “Stormbreaker” is the perfect first book in what deserves to be a fantastic fantasy series. The narrator captures the emotions and character interactions perfectly in the audiobook, and the story will keep reader hanging on the narrator’s every word as the story heads towards its epic conclusion. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements
Audiobook Blog Tour: Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce

Author: Matt Sconce

Narrator: Clinton Herigstad

Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

Publisher: Movie Heroes Studios

Released: Mar. 26, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Continue reading “Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce Review”
Posted in reviews

STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn Of Athir by Dr. Anay Ayarovu Review

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

An aspiring writer and author finds themselves at the center of an ancient prophecy and must become a savior to an entire people in author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir”. 

The Synopsis

A strange and mystical prophecy was found in the city of Treebarad. On a piece of parchment,

old long-forgotten events come back to life, the memory of which was intentionally erased. A mysterious prophecy now gives hope to the twisted ruling race that the power they seek lies behind an ancient gate. On the reverse side of the oracle are coordinates to the location of the Chosen One.

Lael is an introverted and naive writer who grew up with a book in one hand and a quill in the other. All his life, he has lived in a peaceful solitude, reading and writing his short stories and dreaming big of one day becoming a prestigious author. To his surprise and delight he must now become savior of the Star people and take the journey to find answers that do not exist in books.

The Review

A truly engaging and fun read, STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir is a fascinating YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy read that thrusts readers into an already established world of creatures descended from modern-day animals and unique languages and vocabulary that will appeal to fans of epic sci-fi and fantasy. 

The story is also unique in that the protagonist is not a born adventurer, a young man seeking to travel to distant lands and become a hero. Instead, the protagonist is a quiet and at peace writer who dreams of becoming an author and has that quiet life threatened by a prophecy that makes him into a would-be savior to an entire people. The author does a marvelous job of world-building and mythology building throughout this novel, setting the stage for a rather one-of-a-kind sci-fi and fantasy series to be born that readers will instantly fall in love with. 

The Verdict

An evenly paced yet gripping and engaging narrative, author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir” is a one of a kind sci-fi/fantasy read that YA fans are going to love. A fun read, the author also does an amazing job of creating a narrative that is thought-provoking and challenges the reader to delve even deeper into their own imaginations, making this a must-read novel. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Dr. Ayarovu is currently residing in Miami, FL, where she hopes to build STAZR Universe into a multi-media platform. Her love of sailing brought her to the coast and falling in love with her husband kept her firmly in place. She previously spent time as a creative photographer, where she gained inspiration for her debut epic fantasy novel STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir. Dr. Ayarovu found herself writing backstories for her photoshoots based on societal roles and expectations; those short stories made up the very first draft of what this novel is today. She holds a love for the way society works with and through one another and has strategically sculpted the characters to reflect the way current day society plays off shared issues and ideas.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51493691-stazr-the-world-of-z

https://stazr.com/