Tag Archives: sci-fi

Catching Hell Part 2: Destination by Marc Watson Review

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

The worlds of magic and technology, the past and the future all collide as two friends navigate two very different worlds to find a way back to one another in author Marc Watson’s “Catching Hell Part 2: Destination”.


The Synopsis

A critical blow has been dealt to the robotic Army of the Old, but at a great price. Broken and weary, best friends Johan and Aryu have been separated while chasing forces from the distant past that they both fear.

Aryu, the man with wings, pursues the enemy while he slowly slips into the enticing magic and mystery of the Power, led by the great phoenix Nixon Ash.

Johan stands on the steps of Bankoor, a futuristic city full of wonder and mistrust. Here, he must make his stand to avenge his destroyed home and find his friend.

As the gap between the brave warriors closes, the worlds of technology and magic will clash.

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The Review

The author did an incredible job of world-building, giving readers a truly immersive reading experience that made the characters and the setting feel alive on the page. The rich diversity that the cast of characters embodied and the thriving adventure that the story brought to life were brilliantly imagined thanks to great uses of imagery and atmosphere in the author’s writing style.

To me, the heart of the story rested in the author’s command over the genres that were balanced together. Both high fantasy and deep sci-fi storytelling kept the reader invested in the story, touching upon the adventure that sci-fi promises while also showcasing the rich worlds that fantasy brings to life. The compelling story of Aryu and Johan was great to see come to life, as the author took these characters down some dark and shocking paths that will change the course of this fictional world forever.

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The Verdict

Action-packed, thrilling, and entertaining, author Marc Watson’s “Catching Hell Part 2: Destination” is a must-read sci-fi and fantasy novel you won’t be able to put down. The twists and turns these characters make and the shocking conclusion leaves readers with an emotional and engaging finale that will leave you wanting more. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Hello, I’m Marc Watson, and I write stuff. I’m an author of genre fiction (primarily Fantasy and Science Fiction of all lengths). I began writing at the age of 15 with a pen and paper, and I’ve never really stopped, even though until recently it was more of a background to me than my defining trait. 

I have been published on flash fiction site www.101words.org, as well as comedy site www.thecorrectness.com. I’ve been a student of the excellent writing classes at Athabasca University for a number of years.

I live in Calgary, Alberta, and was spawned out of the depths of Southern Ontario. I’m a husband, proud father of two, and can be sometimes found at an actual job. I’m an avid outdoorsman, martial artist of some high repute, baseball player of very little repute, and lover of all Mexican foods. One day ‘World Famous Poutine Aficionado’ will be on my business cards.

You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marcwroteabook, and on twitter at @writewatson. For public appearances and interviews, I am proudly represented by Creative Edge Publicity.


Anomaly Aftermath (The Mystic Rampage Series Book 3) by Hugh Fritz 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 seeking revenge against an “evil” genie must find a powerful new weapon capable of stopping the genies once and for all in author Hugh Fritz’s “Anomaly Aftermath”, book 3 in The Mystic Rampage Series


The Synopsis

Soleil is lost in time, launched through history at the hands of the Old Ticker. Now he is out of his element. He must adapt to his new home, hope it’s possible to return to his original time, and pray for a chance to correct some mistakes along the way.

Tyrell knows Flarence killed Darren. He wants revenge, though a mere human with limited resources has no chance of harming a Genie. But Roy’s body is failing to the point that not even Genie blood can sustain him. The cause of Roy’s slow death may give Tyrell the opportunity he needs to make Flarence suffer.

The Old Ticker’s designs have been leaked. Now they rest in deadlier hands and more mischievous minds. A pair of spell-casting revolvers were nothing compared with the new weapons being developed in secret. The Genies may have met their match when a scientist emerges armed with the most devastating firearm the world has ever known.

These three novellas are the culmination of the Mystic Rampage series—historical fiction, contemporary action, and near-future science fiction. Connecting them all is their shared theme of overcoming regrettable decisions to forge a brighter future.

The Review 

This was a rich and captivating read. Immediately what struck me was the author’s unique format of ending this story with three novellas that culminate in this fantasy and sci-fi action series. The depth the author dives into regarding the mythos and world-building of the series overall was so remarkable, as the story skirted these fantasy elements without sacrificing the real-world setting and character development that made the reader feel more connected to the story and the world found within.

The rich dynamics of the characters and the way the author was able to get multiple perspectives of this conflict between humanity and genies, and sometimes with one another, was so gripping to behold. The bond between Flarence and Claire, for example, or the almost modern-day Shakespearean nature of the conflict between Tyrell and Flarence was so compelling and kept me invested in this story.

The Verdict 

Memorable, heartfelt, and captivating, author Hugh Fritz’s “Anomaly Aftermath” is the must-read action sci-fi and fantasy read you want to have this summer, and a great third entry into The Mystic Rampage Series. The twists and turns in the story and the shocking character development that sees emotional bonds formed and shattered, rise and fall, and all tied into the conflict ahead made this a truly memorable story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Hugh Fritz is thrilled to have completed his Mystic Rampage trilogy, a project eight years in the making. While writing the series he has outlined and written rough drafts of other stories ranging from horror to romance. He is currently bouncing between his works in progress, deciding which one should get his full attention. Whatever comes next will assuredly be a step in a whole new direction. 

Find Hugh Online:

Author website:  http://www.hughfritz.com/   
Blog site:  http://www.hughfritz.com/blog   
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063563318857  
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/stores/Hugh-Fritz/author/B072BRDLDD?ref=ap_rdr&store_ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=tru

Anomaly Aftermath is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon. You can add it to your GoodReads reading list as well.

Blog Tour Dates 

May 1st @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us at the WOW blog to celebrate the launch of author Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.


May 5th @ Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton interviews author, Hugh Fritz about his recently released book:  Anomaly Aftermath. You can read an interview with the author and learn more about the Mystic Rampage Series today on Lisa’s Blog! 


May 6th @ A Wonderful World of Words

You won’t want to miss Joy’s review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by A Wonderful World of Words today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 


May 14th @ Word Magic with Fiona Ingram

Author Hugh Fritz recently released the third and final book in the Mystic Rampage Series,  Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Word Magic with Fiona Ingram to hear from Fritz today as he speaks about “Advertising and Finding an Audience” and delves into developing a pitch as an author. 


May 20th @ Madeline Sharples, Choices

Author Hugh Fritz recently released the third and final book in the Mystic Rampage Series,  Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Choices with Madeline Sharples to hear from Fritz today as he speaks about “Developing a Pitch for a Book-to-Film Adaptation”.


May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina

You won’t want to miss fellow author Anthony Avina’s review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Author Anthony Avina’s blog today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 

May 26th @ Nikki’s Book Reviews

You won’t want to miss Nikki’s review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Nikki’s Book Review blog today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 


June 8th @ Knotty Needle Creative

You won’t want to miss Judy’s  review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Knotty Needle Creative today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 


June 10th @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto

Hear from a teenager  about Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by Bring on Lemons today to hear from Carmen Otto as she reviews the book and you can learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 


June 12th @ World of My Imagination  

Author Hugh Fritz recently released the third and final book in the Mystic Rampage Series,  Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by World of My Imagination to hear from Fritz today as he speaks about “Returning to School to Seek an Advanced Degree”. 


June 13th @ Storey Book Reviews

Author Hugh Fritz recently released the third and final book in the Mystic Rampage Series,  Anomaly Aftermath. Storey Book Reviews to hear from Fritz today as he speaks about “What to do When the Series is Over”. 


June 14th @ The Mommies Reviews with Glenda Cates

You won’t want to miss Glenda’s review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by  The Mommies Reviews today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 


June 15th @ Lady Unemployed

You won’t want to miss Nicole Pyles’ review of Hugh Fritz’s Anomaly Aftermath. Stop by  Lady Unemployed today to learn more about this third book in the Mystic Rampage Series! 

The Dent in the Universe by E.W. Doc Parris Review

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

An infamous Tech CEO accidentally discovers a means of sending back information into the past, but soon discovers the tech and financial gains pale in comparison to a far darker threat in author E.W. Doc Parris’s “The Dent in the Universe”.


The Synopsis

It turns out “Move fast and break things” is terrible advice when developing a time machine.

To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that Einstein was right once again— information can be sent backward in time.

Lucas sees a dream product for procrastinators. Want a pizza now? Send your order back in time 30 minutes. Forgot to make reservations at that chichi french restaurant two weeks ago? No worries. Buy that PowerBall ticket. Invest in that stock. Make a FaceTime call to a loved one that passed away a month ago.

It’s the time machine for the rest of us.

In a culture built on instant gratification, Lucas knows he has a hit that will seem like a dream come true on Wall Street. But when he rushes into beta testing before fully understanding the power he’s unleashing, he learns that the stuff dreams are made of can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

The road to Hell is paved with cool inventions.

The Review

The author does a fantastic job of crafting a unique and powerful world that brings a rich blend of sci-fi and mystery storytelling. The detail the author puts into the more tech and scientific nature of the “time travel” element was great to see, and the inclusion of more business, mainstream-style approaches to the technology itself feels very real to the story being told and our own world as a whole.

This was the perfect emphasis on world-building and mythos that any hard-core sci-fi thriller has ever taken. The depths of character development and the realities of how our own modern-day “tech-bros” are seen by the broader public were greatly felt in this fictional world. The unique twist on the time travel element and the shift in tone as the sci-fi element soon takes a back seat to some more mystery, thriller, and even horror elements as the dark realities of any and all tech, but in particular this one, make themselves known and take the reader to a depth of internet hell that few could have seen coming. 

The Verdict

Twisted, captivating, and thrilling, author E.W. Doc Parris’s “The Dent in the Universe” is a must-read sci-fi thriller you won’t be able to put down. The twists and turns in the narrative and the climactic finale will keep readers on the edge of their seats, and the atmospheric nature of the narrative will have readers invested in the author’s unique take on the sci-fi tech genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

The Dent in the Universe - E.W. Doc Parris

E.W. Doc Parris has a new sci-fi/horror book out: The Dent in the Universe. And there’s a giveaway – a $50 Amazon gift card.

To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that, though the mechanics may differ a bit, Einstein was right once again— information can be sent backward in time.

Lucas sees a dream product for procrastinators. Want a pizza now? Send your order back in time 30 minutes. Forgot to make reservations at that chichi french restaurant two weeks ago? No worries. Buy that PowerBall ticket. Invest in that stock. Make a FaceTime call to a loved one that passed away a month ago.

In a culture built on instant gratification, Lucas knows he has a hit that will make Wall Street sit up and beg. But when he rushes into beta testing, he learns that the stuff dreams are made of can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

Warnings: violence, torture, body horror, branding, implied cannibalism.

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Doc is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47282/?


The Dent in the Universe meme

Stephen picked up the keyboard and typed, Watson, come here. I want to see you.

Before he hit enter, the display on his right blinked and displayed a log entry. The display directly in front of him showed the log of the interaction, a white line of text that showed what he’d typed, Watson, come here. I want to see you, and the time sent, 630231 milliseconds. The display on the right, the one that flashed before he hit enter, showed the same.

Walrus said, “Look at the timestamps. The sending input occurred at 630231 milliseconds. The receiving event happened at 629931 milliseconds.”

Stephen looked puzzled. “The clocks are off? That’s a 300…?” he checked his math, “300-millisecond difference.”

Walrus grinned. “Negative 300 milliseconds. The clocks aren’t off.”

“The time server is off?” Stephen knew that was the culprit in the outage.

Walrus shook his head. “Nope. These two chips are in perfect sync to FTL time.”

Stephen stopped and thought. The message appeared to be arriving 300 milliseconds before it was sent. “I’m not getting it,” he said.

Walrus laughed and did his little dance again. “Yes! You are! Tell me what you see.”

Stephen said slowly, “The message looks like it’s being received before it was sent, 300 milliseconds before.” Walrus grinned, and Stephen continued, “But that’s not possible. What’s causing the discrepancy? If the clocks aren’t wrong and the time server was working properly…?” He shook his head.

Walrus’s grin widened. “It’s a time machine.”

Stephen leaned back a bit from the desk. “Right.” Walrus let it sink in. “What do you mean?” He thought Walrus was speaking metaphorically.

Walrus laughed and said, “I mean, this is a time machine.”

Stephen looked at the set-up in front of him. It was a hacked sChip on a breadboard and a couple of displays strung together with cables and alligator clips. This wasn’t a time machine.

Walrus relented. “I’ve tweaked the power supply to dial in a tiny phase variance in the I/O to this sChip, like our customer did by accident. The tensor array interpreted this as an attribute, sending the signal to a point in time before it was sent. 300 milliseconds before. About a third of a second.”

Stephen recalled the chain of events. The right display refreshed a fraction of a second before he hit enter. Examining the log, what he had typed was there. Watson, come here. I want to see you.

He frowned and thought for a few seconds. “A third of a second? It’s the least impressive time machine imaginable,” he said. “This crashed the time servers?”

Walrus nodded, finished his cola, tossed its crushed container in the recycling bin, and peeled open another. “Essentially. I’ve cleaned up the effect, and I’m not messaging the time server. The timeserver would have ignored an invalid time sync transaction. It’s programmed to dump garbage bits. This wasn’t garbage, it was a perfectly normal sync transaction, but the handshake was out of order. The time server software questioned its own reality. It wobbled, tried to regain its equilibrium, and tipped into cascade failure.”

“It’s fascinating, but…” Hard-wired by the last six years to search for a new product, Stephen’s mind was searching for a use for what he was seeing. “I mean, it is cool, but it’s useless—a weird trick of physics. What can we do with it?” He thought for a little more. “This is IP data?”

Walrus shrugged, “It’s a packet like any other packet.”

“So, if it’s packets, then it’s IP, then it’s anything. Form data, text, jpegs, audio, video, holo.”

Walrus nodded and grinned, “Sure. You could surf the web of 300 milliseconds ago…”

Stephen interrupted him, “Can we extend that? Could we rig these in series? Go back further?”

“We could do it more elegantly than that—How much further?”

“You tell me, what’s the theoretical limit?”

“Well, you’d need a receiver. So whatever we end up making would only go back to the first chips that go online. We make a chip today, turn it on, in a week, we could go back to that moment but not before, right? The longer we’re online, the further back we can send things.”

Stephen shook his head. “We couldn’t go back further than tonight?”

Walrus nodded. “There would be nothing to send it to. As soon as we flip the switch on our time machine, we’d be establishing a time horizon. But say we turned on a receiving device tonight. In a year, you could send a message back to tonight. That would be a year in your past. In two years, you could send a message back two years, on and on, until the end of the world.” He laughed and said, “You know that old site, The Way Back Machine? The internet archive? This would be like that but live. You could actually surf the web of the past. Leaving comments on a video from a year earlier.”

Stephen frowned dismissively and said, “What good would that do? I can leave a comment on that same video today. The entire internet is available back to the 90s.”

Walrus smiled, “But it’d be radical!” Radical was not the goal. Stephen needed a killer application, a product everyone would want. Walrus’s stomach growled loudly. “Man,” he said, “I’m starving. Wanna order a pizza? Hey man, that’s what we could do!” he said jokingly, “We could use it to order pizza a half hour ago, so it arrives…” and he snapped his fingers.

Stephen froze. His pupils widened. Instant Pizza. Instant delivery. Instant gratification.

The entire computer industry of the last forty years was built around delivering everything as quickly as possible. Meeting the desires of the customer. Right. Fucking. Now. If no one ever went broke underestimating the American people’s intelligence, as Mencken might have said, it would follow: no one ever went broke catering to their impatience.

Author Bio

E.W. Doc Parris

E.W. Doc Parris is an American writer known for matter-of-fact, hard science fiction grounded in the current scientific weltanschauung, leavened with wit, and kindled by the warmth of human relationships.

Born within the nation’s capital Beltway, Doc makes his home in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. A self-taught software developer and solutions architect, he’s made a decent living over the years as a set designer, graphic designer, animator, 3D modeler, iOS developer, puppeteer, and educator.

In addition to his centuries-spanning WalrusTech Reality series, Doc is currently working on his next novel, Land of Nod, an exploration of A.I., nanotech, and the human brain’s neural network.

Author Website: https://www.ewdocparris.com

Author Mastadon: @ewdocparris@writing.exchange

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ewdocparris/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ewdocparris

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Kingdom Society: Broken Reality by Nathan Helm Review

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

A hero in the making must face a challenging new threat as he and his allies seek a new teacher and discover the temptation of a new power in author Nathan Helm’s “Kingdom Society: Broken Reality”, the second book in the Kingdom Society.


The Synopsis

After the events of the evil Black Hood, Alyeth finds himself struggling with internal conflict at every turn. Given the opportunity, he goes with his master Xylok, Ezra, Koren, and Cindrel to learn from a powerful warlock Pyrres Galhon in Stonehaven. During his training, he learns of new forces in the universe that have their own plans for him, as well as learning more about his new teacher. When all seemed to be well on a normal Nature Extravaganza, Alyeth finds himself trapped in a precarious situation created by the devious Game Master. Alyeth must use his own instincts and intuition to find and save his team, as well as struggling with the new choice of power he is offered. Come join this action-packed adventure full of love, excitement, and new discovery and find out where our hero will end up!

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The Review

This was a powerful fusion of science fiction and fantasy! As a newcomer to the series, I found the author did a wonderful job of introducing the characters in a way that made the events of the first book feel alive and fresh in this world, giving enough information to move forward in this new adventure. The world-building and mythology the author establishes made the sci-fi and fantasy elements of the narrative feel natural and cohesive in this universe, making this a compelling read.

To me, the heart of this narrative rested in character development and world-building. For me, some of the most interesting characters in a story prove to be the ones who skate the line between good and evil, and Korath is a great example of this, as his tragic backstory serves as the prologue to this narrative. The action and adventure this story breeds with him at the forefront, along with protagonist Alyeth, made this a memorable reading experience.

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The Verdict

Memorable, adrenaline-fueled, and entertaining, author Nathan Helm’s “Kingdom Society: Broken Reality” is a must-read sci-fi and fantasy novel and a great addition to this growing series. The cosmic and elder god elements of the narrative and the tension that builds over time, both internally for Alyeth, and externally as these champions are chosen, made the series of twists and turns building throughout this narrative so compelling. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Award-Winning Author Nathan Helm doesn’t just have style, he puts the funk right into fantasy. Spending his days typing much faster than should be humanly possible, he creates stories for you to love and cherish. When he’s not driving his big rig bringing goods to all the country, he spends his time hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, narrating audio books, singing, watching anime, going to church, and spending time with friends and family. He hopes you love the books to come, with two separate books series titled Dreamwalker, and Planet Conquest in the works, he will not leave you with a dull moment for years to come. You can follow this author on all social media by searching Author Nathan Helm or @thefunkyfantasyman. Author website is in the works, and he looks forward to the journey with all of you. Because as he says, “There’s nothing more important than making your fans happy!” God Bless you all and happy reading!

Wind Ruler (Elementals of Nordica Book IV) by TC Marti Review

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

Valkyrie must keep her brush with death hidden as Sion becomes the hope their world needs so that he may become the Wind Ruler he is destined to be in author TC Marti’s “Wind Ruler”, the fourth book in the Elementals of Nordica series. 


The Synopsis

Valkyrie Siskonen evaded death twice, and she knows she won’t survive another encounter with the Third Sister…

…Sion Zona has no idea Valkyrie’s life is so close to the end, and she intends to keep it that way

Valkyrie knows Sion will have no problem deviating from his calling if it means saving her. Even if he is the greatest hope the World of Eidolon has against an enemy larger than either the Tamurian Empire or King Magnu.

Fortunately, Sion won’t be in the picture to circumvent the universe’s final destination for Valkyrie. He is leading a team through the war-torn nation of Bastille in the World of Rondure, seeking out the girl who owns the disembodied voice he’d been hearing for months.

His new friends on Rondure know about that voice, as they heard her too. And to Sion’s surprise, so has his cousin Erno.

Sion needs to continue his development to reach Wind Ruler status. Something he can only achieve with a face-to-face encounter with the girl.

Valkyrie knows she needs to survive long enough until Sion has already embarked on his mission before the Third Sister collects her. And she also needs to know he will be okay when she’s gone.

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The Review

This was such a powerful and captivating entry into the author’s Elementals of Nordica series. The story had the signature blend of fantasy and military action infused into so many scenes, making it feel very cinematic and adrenaline-fueled. The rich world-building and the expansion of the author’s scope for this story were so enthralling that I was driven into the core of this narrative from the beginning.

For me, the way the author touched upon a more emotional character direction for several of the characters and the haunting tone of the story made this such a compelling entry into the series. The vast amount of characters the author was able to bring to life in this story in a natural way and yet the heartfelt and emotional themes of destiny and sacrifice that the main cast of characters brought to life made this narrative feel alive and captivating.

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The Verdict

Memorable, entertaining, and thoughtfully written, author TC Marti’s “Wind Ruler” is a must-read sci-fi and fantasy meets military action novel and a great entry into the Elementals of Nordica series. Filled with heartbreak, thrills, and memorable world-building moments that build upon the mythos the author has crafted, this thrilling series continues to draw the reader in time and time again. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

TC Marti has been an avid reader/writer for over three decades. He is the author of the Elementals Universe, a shared speculative fiction universe spanning multiple series. He is also a workout fanatic, and a fan of Arizona sports teams.

Delos: The Moon’s Eye (Delos Book Two) by Blake Miller Review

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

Four teens in a magical world must go on a quest to save the Lil of Lurkur and must complete an ancient test that no one has passed in thousands of years in author Blake Miller’s “Delos: The Moon’s Eye”, the second book in the Delos series.


The Synopsis


The magikal world gets even larger, the adventure gets even more thrilling, and the mysteries get even more intriguing in the second installment of this epic fantasy series, where climaxes and anticlimaxes once again abound, keeping you glued to the story.


When Cynthia Summers and Kaden Krossway learn that the Lil of Lurkur has gone missing, they join up with Alec Mulsiver and a surprising fourth com-panion to find her. This leads to another trip into Lurkur Woods, a haunting discovery about what has happened to the Lil, and then to Diluvium where they must undergo the Quest of Six Waters to claim what they need to save the Lil’s life: the Seventh Water. The problem is, no one has survived the Quest in over 6,000 years. . . .

The amazing story of Cynthia, Kaden and Alec continues.

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The Review

This was a truly captivating and imaginative sci-fi and fantasy novel. The author brilliantly draws the reader into the narrative immediately, starting with a shocking encounter with a stalker searching for the twins and moving into a cosmos-spanning disappearance that could have serious ramifications. The world-building in this book is top tier, with the author doing an amazing job of using imagery to bring each world and unique territory to life in the writing while also giving newcomers a chance to fully immerse themselves into this unique story and the worlds it inhabits. 

The air of mystery and magic that permeates throughout this novel and the dazzling imagery found in the author’s writing really kept this book in my mind in the weeks of reading it. The shocking twists in the protagonists Kaden and Cynthia’s backstories and their connection, as well as the level of importance they gain as the story progresses, kept me invested in the narrative fully, and the dynamic chemistry between the friends as they set out on this adventure balanced out with the adversarial role the antagonists had on these heroes and their journey. 

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The Verdict

Gripping, magical, and entertaining, author Blake Miller’s “Delos: The Moon’s Eye” is a fantastic sci-fi meets fantasy YA and Epic Fantasy novel. The complex yet engaging aspect of the world-building felt very much like the addicting story arcs found in series like Game of Thrones, and yet the connection to Earth and our modern world blended with the cosmic level of the storytelling made this feel like GoT meets Star Wars meets any YA high-school supernatural thriller found in stores today. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this truly incredible read today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Blake is a graduate of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, and Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He currently resides in his hometown of Lexington, KY, where he is hard at work on the second book in the DELOS series.

Visit him at www.hierophantpress.com or www.delosthewhitetree.com

Contact him at info@hierophantpress.com

Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMiller_DWT for exclusive reveals about the second book in the DELOS series!

The Lucky Starman (A Leif the Lucky Novel) by Colin Alexander Blog Tour (Q&A Bonus)

Q. Who did your cover and what was the design process like?

Alejandro Colucci did the cover for The Lucky Starman.  This is the third of my books that he has created the cover art for—three in a row—and they have all been phenomenal.  On the previous one, I actually received a comment asking if it was available as a poster and I have never had anything close to that happen before.  For The Lucky Starman, we wanted to maintain the motif of the space-suited hand from the first two books.  We also wanted to include something unique to this book.  Based on some of the themes in the story, Alejandro designed the cover you see, which evokes the old line from Shakespeare, “Alas, poor Yorick . . .”  I think the cognitive dissonance between the title and the image is perfect.  When you read the book, I hope you’ll agree.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The Lucky Starman is the third book in a series that stretches across close to two centuries of Earth time, two different stages of “near future” Earth technology followed by a postapocalyptic setting, and two starflights with the attendant effects of relativity.  In addition, the three books form a continuous story, the events of one follow immediately after the conclusion of the preceding book.

In this situation, I found the most difficult aspect of writing the third book was maintaining consistency with the first two and keeping the timeline feasible across all three.  For example, people in Leif’s twenty-first century usually have an implanted chip that interfaces with their phone and with other networks.  Since this is obviously made-up technology (although perhaps not that far off!), I had to make sure that I kept the capabilities of the technology consistent across books.  In the first book, there is a scene, after Leif receives a new, upgraded chip on his return from the first starflight, where he angrily deletes a lot of annoying apps that came with it.  In The Lucky Starman, he needs to have certain apps available, so I had to be sure there was a reason he still had them.  Similarly, the books include multiple events with dates in a period from 2055 (when Leif enlists) to 2252 (the conclusion of The Lucky Starman.)  Not only do the dates need to match across books, but the time between the events needs to work.  At one point in the drafts, when I looked at the story prior to a starflight and then events occurring after the flight, I realized that it was implying the ship had gone faster than light.  Needless to say, adjustments to the draft were needed.

The near-constant back and forth checking on these proved to be the hardest part of the writing.

The Lucky Starman - Colin Alexander

Colin Alexander has a new post-apocalyptic sci-fi book out, Leif the Lucky book 3: The Lucky Starman.

Is Leif really lucky? Stranded in orbit, viewing a destroyed civilization on Earth through the screens of a starship almost out of fuel and food, he doesn’t feel that way.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that.

As the starship Dauntless returns from a successful mission to the planet called Heaven, Earth holds no attractions for Exoplanetary Scout Leif Grettison. He wants only to complete the mission and leave for another star, along with ace pilot Yang Yong. In fact, he would be happy spending the rest of his life flying the starways with her.

But they and the rest of the ship’s skeleton crew awaken from hibernation to find Earth’s solar system dark and silent—no signals, no responses to their transmissions. When they make orbit, the magnitude of the disaster becomes clear: An apocalyptic war has killed billions and destroyed every last source of power and tech that 22nd-Century humans relied on to survive.

Getting down to Earth is only the beginning of Leif’s problems. Those few who survived the apocalypse are still divided, fighting over what’s left. The disastrous re-entry to Earth leaves him with no resources or allies. He lands in the middle of a makeshift family that needs him more than he’s comfortable with and hears stories—even nursery rhymes—that speak of a lucky starman. For once, he’s the only person with tech—but if he’s caught using it, they might kill him.

Can a man back from the stars end the warfare on Earth, or will he make it worse? Can he save a family that might become his? Is he everyone’s lucky starman?

Warnings: Combat situations (one-on-one and armies), named characters die

About the Series:

These are the adventures of Leif, who some have called the Lucky. They begin in the year 2069, when humanity’s last chance for peace is the first ever interstellar mission. However, when you believe you have thought of everything, the universe has a way of showing that you haven’t.

What do you do when it goes wrong, when you can’t call for help, and when adventure leads to deaths? If you survive one journey, what do you do next?

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The Lucky Starman - Colin Alexander

“Leif, we have a problem.”

I heard Charley’s voice as if from a great distance. The post-hib blur was a dense fog in my mind. I recognized the words but could not grasp their meaning. In my defense, I hadn’t even sat up in the hibernation unit yet; its bath was still draining.

I wrenched off the mask and cannula and removed the port from my arm. Then I sat up with a profound groan. Nearly four and a half years’ hibernating did more than blur the brain. Every muscle was stiff. I was surprised my joints didn’t squeak. Multiyear hib did not get better with repetition. I blinked and tried to bring Charley’s face into focus. Dr. Charles Osborne, I told myself. Our ship’s physician. He was supposed to be with me when I came out of hib. He had dark brown skin on a kindly round face, short black hair, and a closely cropped beard.

“Leif, we have a problem,” he repeated. “Yang needs you on the bridge.”

Why did there always have to be a problem? Why couldn’t someone say, Leif, life is great, and the world is beautiful. Why don’t you come share it? But, no, that’s not the way my life goes.

I groaned again and managed to say, “What?”

Charley shook his head. “I don’t know. Look, I’m sorry I didn’t get your equipment off first. I’m, I don’t know, worried. Here’s your OJ. Yang asked you to skip the gym. She really wants you on the bridge as soon as you can get there.”

That bit penetrated the blur. Yong had woken me early on the flight to High Noon, the very first starshot, when the ship’s computer tried to abort the mission after a hib failure. What was it this time?

I downed the orange juice with sugar in one fast chug. Having come out of four previous multiyear hib stretches on starflights, I had learned that the best way to return to the status of a functional human was to follow a carefully escalating workout routine in the gym. It felt awful while I was doing it, but it worked. There would be a good reason if Yang Yong wanted me to skip it. And the good reason would be something bad. Count on it.

I blinked again. “Can I at least get dressed and grab a couple of protein bars from the caf?” I did manage to get the croak out of my voice.

“I’m sure,” Charley said. “Just grab ’em and go to the bridge.”

“I’m on it,” I said. “Where’s the famous laxative pack?”

Charley had that in his other hand. The constipation from hib on an interstellar flight would not, in fact, kill you, but there were times I wished it would.

Once Charley left, I pulled myself out of the unit and stood up, shivering. My muscles shook trying to hold me upright. At least I’d done this often enough to know what would hurt most and how to manage it. The biggest problem was the knee that had been surgically rebuilt after I was wounded on Mindanao back in 2062. That was why I had left the Rangers and the service, and with each long hib, it got harder and harder to return it to normal.

No help for that. I settled for cursing long and loud while I toweled off. Then I pulled on the ship’s polo shirt with its NASA emblem over the left breast and my name, Grettison, embroidered below it. The starshot emblem of a gloved hand clutching a star above STARSHOT xv was stitched over the right breast. Ship pants, ankle socks, and ship boots completed the outfit. We were obviously decelerating at one gee because my weight felt normal, so I didn’t need the SureGrip soles for the StickStrips on the deck.

I pulled open the privacy screen around my unit and stepped out onto the hib deck. All the other units I could see were off. My adrenals squeezed immediately and I felt a sense of panic. Then my mind pulled its memories through the post-hib blur. Of course nearly all the units were empty and off. We had put the colonists down on the planet called Heaven, meaning only seven of us were on the Dauntless for the return to Earth.

I did a set of breathing exercises and got my heart rate and blood pressure under control. It wouldn’t do for me to have a stroke before I heard Yong’s problem. Maybe afterward, if it was bad enough.

With my legs wobbling under me, I took the lift to the deck where the caf was and grabbed energy bars. I took the time to eat one of them and chug another sugared orange juice. I needed to get to the bridge, but I also needed to not fall on my face when I got there.

When I entered the bridge, two energy bars swallowed and two more in my pocket, one of the chairs swiveled around. Yang Yong, pilot-in-command of the Dauntless, stood to greet me. She was a petite and slender woman with high cheekbones and brown hair cropped as short as mine. Small, yes, but there was nothing soft or delicate about her. She’d been a crack attack plane pilot for China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force during the Troubles, which meant we had been on opposite sides of the fighting. Opposite sides, hell. She had damn near killed me on Mindanao when she bombed my platoon’s position the day the world almost ended.

Fortunately, our relationship had evolved from there. We were now two sides of the same coin and had decided to spend our lives flying through the universe together. It’s not that either one of us ever used the L‑word, but we knew what we meant to each other.

She did not smile at me. She did not even give me her tight little grin. I knew her well enough to tell that she was tense, though no one else would see any difference in the way she held herself.

If Yang Yong was tense, something was very, very wrong.

“What’s the problem?” I asked.

“I don’t know. We are not receiving anything.”

“Nothing?” I tried to wrap my mind around that and let my hand drop from the pocket with the energy bars. They could wait.

“Nothing,” she repeated. “We are inside the orbit of Pluto, and there is no signal from the International Space Commission. I have sent transmissions to Earthbase, NASA, and CNSA. We have received no response, and enough time has elapsed for a reply to reach us. Before you ask, I have checked over our equipment. It is fine. The solar system is silent.”

Author Bio

Colin Alexander

Colin Alexander is a writer of science fiction and fantasy. Actually, Colin Alexander is the pseudonym for Alton Kremer, maybe his alter ego, or who he would have been if he hadn’t been a physician and biochemist and had a career as a medical researcher. His most recent book, The Lucky Starman, is his ninth and the third of the Leif the Lucky novels. Colin is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Away from writing fiction, his idea of relaxation is martial arts (taekwondo and minna jiu jitsu). He lives in Maine with his wife.

Author Website: https://www.afictionado.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/ColinAlexanderAuthor

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/colinalexander

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/colinalexander

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L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39 Review

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

The best and brightest voices in the world of sci-fi and fantasy are chosen by a large panel of authors for the 39th volume of the official “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future” magazine.


The Synopsis

In the world of speculative fiction…

Your favorite authors…

Have selected the best new voices of the year.

24 Award-winning Authors and Illustrators

3 Bonus Short Stories by Kevin J. Anderson • L. Ron Hubbard • S. M. Stirling

Art and Writing Tips by Lazarus Chernik • L. Ron Hubbard • Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Edited by Dean Wesley Smith • Jody Lynn Nye

16-page color gallery of artwork • Cover art by Tom Wood

Check out the stories Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card, Nnedi Okorafor, Robert J. Sawyer, Kevin J. Anderson, Jody Lynn Nye and others chose as the best of the best.

Be amazed. Be amused. Be transported … by stories that take you by surprise and take you further and deeper into new worlds and new ideas than you’ve ever gone before….

Twelve captivating tales from the most exciting new voices in science fiction and fantasy accompanied by three from masters of the genre.

A miracle? An omen? Or something else? One day, they arrived in droves—the foxes of the desert, the field, the imagination….—“Kitsune” by Devon Bohm

When a vampire, a dragon and a shape-shifting Chihuahua meet on a beach in Key West, fireworks go off! But that’s just the background. —“Moonlight and Funk” by Marianne Xenos

Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., faces one of his funniest and most perplexing cases ever—an enlightened ogre, a salamander with low self-esteem, and a raging fire dragon terrorizing the Unnatural Quarter! —“Fire in the Hole” by Kevin J. Anderson

The Grim Reaper, trapped in an IRS agent’s dying body, must regain his powers before he dies and faces judgment for his original sin. —“Death and the Taxman” by David Hankins

In a metaverse future, a woman who exposes falseness in others must decide what is real to her—the love she lost or the love she may have found. —“Under My Cypresses” by Jason Palmatier

Vic Harden wasn’t lured by glory on a daring mission into the reaches of outer space—he was ordered out there by his editor.—“The Unwilling Hero” by L. Ron Hubbard

Dangerous opportunities present themselves when an alien ship arrives in the solar system seeking repairs. —“White Elephant” by David K. Henrickson

With her spaceship at the wrong end of a pirate’s guns, a former war hero must face down her enemies and demons to save Earth’s last best chance for peace. —“Piracy for Beginners” by J. R. Johnson

Years after the Second Holocaust, the last surviving Jews on earth attempt to rewrite the past. —“A Trickle in History” by Elaine Midcoh

When I said I’d do anything to pay off my debts and get back home to Earth, I didn’t mean survey a derelict spaceship at the edge of the solar system—but here I am. —“The Withering Sky” by Arthur H. Manner

High-powered telescopes bring galactic life to our TVs, and network tuner Hank Enos figures he’s seen everything—until the day an alien boy stares back. —“The Fall of Crodendra M.” by T. J. Knight

Knights, damsels and dragons, curses and fates foretold—the stuff of legends and stories, but unexpectedly perverse.—“Constant Never” by S. M. Stirling

Determined to save his wife, Tumelo takes an unlikely client through South Africa’s ruins to the heart of the Desolation—a journey that will cost or save everything. —“The Children of Desolation” by Spencer Sekulin

When a terrorist smuggles a nuclear weapon into London, a team regresses in time to AD 1093 to assassinate a knight on the battlefield, thereby eliminating the terrorist a millennia before his birth. —“Timelines and Bloodlines” by L. H. Davis

The Grand Exam, a gateway to power for one, likely death for all others—its entrants include ambitious nobles, desperate peasants, and Quiet Gate, an old woman with nothing left to lose. —“The Last History” by Samuel Parr

You will love this collection of the best new voices because, as Locus magazine puts it, “Excellent writing…extremely varied. There’s a lot of hot new talent.”

Get it now.

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The Review

This collection of stories was a wonderful reminder of how much talent resides within the sci-fi and fantasy community. The balance within this magazine of new stories and breathtaking artwork made this a compelling collection to get lost in. Each of these authors was able to draw the reader into their individual worlds and showcase the creativity and direction this collection began to bring together.

To me, the biggest draw of this book was the way the authors and even illustrators were able to bring such grounded and relatable protagonists to each story while also providing a believable yet fantastic fiction world to submerge ourselves into. The imagery and the atmosphere combined allowed the reader to bring these powerful stories to life in their mind, each story feeling like a cinematic display waiting to come to life in some Hulu-driven sci-fi and fantasy anthology series. 

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The Verdict

Memorable, captivating, and engaging, “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39” is a must-read issue of the acclaimed authority on all things sci-fi and fantasy. Although some attention is paid to the magazine’s namesake and despite my personal feelings on the man, the authors do a wonderful job of finding their own unique voice within their stories and providing readers a great balance of escapism and running commentary on the world around us that will delight and excite fans of the genre completely. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


LOY: in the Forests of the Mind by Todd David Gross Review

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

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In a world destroyed and humanity forced to start over, a small group of humans evolved without technology, learning to become one with nature and the world around them, while another regrouped into a Romanesque society built upon conquest, leading a clash that will change both their worlds forever in author Todd David Gross’s “LOY: in the forests of the mind”.


The Synopsis

The world is destroyed.

Stripped of all modern technology, a small group of people survive and evolve.The Rehloy are born blind and don’t gain sight until they reach puberty. Learning of the world first through their other senses, creates such a high level of awareness in them that they border on the mystical.

For a thousand years they have lived in isolation, developing a special relationship with nature. Theirs is a “spiritual” life, ethereal, in some ways divine. But the outside world is intruding. The trees have begun to whisper of change….

On a distant shore, men whose technology isakin to the ancient Romans, have landed. Bent on conquest, they cut down trees, carve out roads, and begin to build a city.

And so, the struggle between a shamanic-like culture and an industrial one begins.

Loy is the story of a shaman, who must leave his homeland to discover the truth, and in so doing becomes its instrument.

It is about a mother who sacrifices her freedom and sanity in order to save her unborn child. It is about a child born with excruciating sensitivities, whose pain eventually becomes a source of great strength.

It is about monsters and madness, paradise found and lost. It is about the search for inner truth and a journey into the nature of mind and spirit.

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The Review

This was such a powerful and gripping sci-fi fantasy novel. The imagery and atmosphere the author created were felt immediately, as the story brought this lush world and nature in the wake of disaster to life perfectly. The action and suspense that came with this new world was engaging, and being able to see how these new societies of people in the wake of our society’s collapse evolved and yet fell into similar pitfalls of our own making was unique to see come to fruition in the narrative. 

Yet the heart of this novel came in the rich world-building and character development of the narrative. The way the author was able to build upon the world we know and flush out brand new mythos and delve into the concept of how we connect and interact with the world around us on both a physical and spiritual nature was amazing to watch come to fruition on the page. The heartfelt story of a mother in this new society and her child, the former that sacrifices everything for their child and the latter that uses their pain as a source of strength really will speak to readers as the backdrop of this conflict between two very different societies takes shape.

The Verdict

Entertaining, thoughtful, and thrilling, author Todd David Gross’s “LOY: in the Forests of the Mind” is a must-read sci-fi and fantasy novel. The heart that goes into this narrative and the brilliant world-building an immediate draw to readers, and the twists and turns in the direction that these characters go will keep readers on the edge of their seats. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

In a past life, Todd David Gross had an extensive background in music and was a veteran of such rock groups as The Burning Sensations, The Band Next Door, and The Shout! He performed primarily on bass, sometimes keys, sang, wrote songs, hauled equipment and performed in downtown NYC clubs, (usually after 2 a.m. on a work night), hauled equipment back, and sometimes saw the sunrise.

Along the way he discovered esoteric literature, and for decades has been an avid student of philosophical, and psychological studies, embracing both Western constructs and Eastern philosophies which strive to bring the light of consciousness to humanity.

Eventually, he traded one keyboard for another and wrote several plays including The Visit, Life In The Park, Sense Memory, all performed in New York City. His most “prestigious” play, Them Within Us, ran Off-Broadway at Theater Row Theater, (alas, now Theater Row Diner), and was published by Broadway Play Publishing.

Thereafter he set about writing Loy, which has become a series, and his most extensive achievement to date. You can read more about Todd by visiting his website at www.toddgrossauthor.com