Guest Post: Redemption by Author Mike Schlossberg

Note From Anthony Avina: 

 

Hi there everyone! I am thrilled to share with you an amazing guest blog post from an author I will be working with in the months to come. Please read and enjoy this post from author Mike Schlossberg on how he came up with the title for his book Redemption and how others can learn from it. 

 

 

My book is called Redemptionand it’s about depression, anxiety and saving the world. From the blurb:

Twenty young people wake aboard the spaceship Redemption with no memory how they got there.

Asher Maddox went to sleep a college dropout with clinical depression and anxiety. He wakes one hundred sixty years in the future to assume the role as captain aboard a spaceship he knows nothing about, with a crew as in the dark as he is.

Yanked from their everyday lives, the crew learns that Earth has been ravaged by the Spades virus – a deadly disease planted by aliens. They are tasked with obtaining the vaccine that will save humanity, while forced to hide from an unidentified, but highly advanced enemy.

Half a galaxy away from Earth, the crew sets out to complete the quest against impossible odds. As the enemy draws closer, they learn to run the ship despite their own flaws and rivalries. But they have another enemy . . . time. And it’s running out.

Now, here’s the question I keep getting: Why is it called Redemption?

First is the obvious: It’s the name of the ship. But it’s the name of the ship in the book for a reason.

Okay. So I wrote this thing not just to tell a science fiction story, but to tell a story of mental illness and give those who suffer hope. That’s sort of been my driving force, as an elected official and advocate for the mentally ill. And to be perfectly honest, that permeates just about every facet of the book. Including the name of the ship.

I named it Redemption because I think the idea of guilt – and seeking Redemption – was and is a big part of my depression. Guilt is a common symptom of depression. It’s something I certainly got to know in a very personal way. And I spent most of my life searching for redemption. I desperately wanted to be redeemed from some unknown sin. And I think that’s something that’s relatively common among those who have suffered.

The entire plot is, at it’s core, a redemption story, but not from a sin: From mental illness, from depression and from anxiety. It’s a redemption that I think we all strive for. In my experience, it’s almost not complete obtainable. Personally, I know I will never be completely free from mental illness. It will always be there, running in the background like an iPhone app. Recovery isn’t an end state, it’s a journey. And that’s a lesson I that I have tried to learn all my life, and a journey I try to highlight in Redemption.

As always, I’d love to have your thoughts. Is this an experience you understand? No? Either way, let us know in the comments!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C7M8WT8

https://mikeschlossbergauthor.com

http://www.twitter.com/MikeSchlossberg

http://www.facebook.com/MikeSchlossbergAuthor

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39896276-redemption

Summary:

Redemption Cover from Amazon

Twenty young people wake aboard the spaceship Redemption with no memory how they got there.

Asher Maddox went to sleep a college dropout with clinical depression and anxiety. He wakes one hundred sixty years in the future to assume the role as captain aboard a spaceship he knows nothing about, with a crew as in the dark as he is.

Yanked from their everyday lives, the crew learns that Earth has been ravaged by the Spades virus – a deadly disease planted by aliens. They are tasked with obtaining the vaccine that will save humanity, while forced to hide from an unidentified, but highly advanced enemy.

Half a galaxy away from Earth, the crew sets out to complete the quest against impossible odds. As the enemy draws closer, they learn to run the ship despite their own flaws and rivalries. But they have another enemy . . . time. And it’s running out.

Author bio:

Michael Schlossberg

Mike Schlossberg has been a writer since he wrote his first short story in eighth grade, a Star Wars fanfiction. While he claims it was terrible, the creative passion followed him into adulthood.

Serving as a State Representative in Pennsylvania, Mike has had the chance to make a difference. The problem closest to his heart is mental health, where he strives to break the stigma surrounding those who suffer from mental illnesses and give them hope. For Mike, this issue is personal, as he has been treated for depression and anxiety related disorders since he was 18. It was this desire to help which drove him to write Redemption, his first novel, but not his first book. That honor goes to Tweets and Consequences, an anthology about the varied ways elected officials have destroyed their careers via social media.

When not writing, Mike plays video games (both modern and old school), watches anything related to the Muppets (specifically Fraggle Rock!), reads, attempts to get to the gym, and calls his constituents on their birthdays.

Mike lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife Brenna and his two wonderful children: Auron, born in 2011, and Ayla, born in 2012.

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Book Announcement: Freshman Hunt: A Nightmare Academy Novella by Anthony Avina Preorder

Hi there everyone. This is Author Anthony Avina. You know I share a lot of reviews, author interviews, blog tour posts and so much more on this website. Yet something I haven’t done a lot of that I need to start doing is sharing more of my own personal work. I am an indie author, and for the past few months I’ve been hard at work finishing the second novella in my YA series, Nightmare Academy. Today I am happy to announce that the book I’ve been working on nonstop is now available for preorder!

FRESHMAN HUNT Book Cover Professional Art
Cover Art by Mike Wehner http://www.mikewehner.com

That’s right, my book is now available. I had the good fortune of working with an incredible artist on the cover named Mike Wehner. He designed this amazing polygon art cover that is truly unique to the YA genre. I hope you guys like it. His work is truly amazing and you can find his work at his website! I will be making several more announcements in the weeks to come, including some giveaways, freebies, book trailer news and so much more. If anyone would be interested in a free copy of this ebook in exchange for a fair and honest review, email me using the contact page on this website! Feel free to share this online and sign up for my newsletter to get the latest news about this release. Expect the book to come out August 24th, 2018 on all online retailers!

Preorder Your Copy!

Select Young Adult Paperbacks: 3 for $20

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Keeper by Kim Chance Review

An exhilarating story of a young woman who’s life is turned upside down one frightful night when she discover’s her destiny is far more dangerous than she would have ever thought in author Kim Chance’s novel “Keeper”. Here’s the synopsis:

When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.

With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.

This book definitely reminded me so much of The Mortal instruments by Cassandra Clare. A seemingly ordinary young girl is taken out of the comfortable and normal world she knows and thrown into this chaotic, life or death world filled with magic, mayhem and death. However the book stands out above the rest of the YA Fantasy series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I don’t mean because it takes place in the South. No, I mean the characters themselves are just amazing. I found myself pulled into the story because of the fantastic cast of characters, from the very relatable nerdy best friend Maggie to the strong yet caring Uncle Gareth and the mysterious yet handsome stranger Ty. These characters really allowed Lainey to develop into a strong, vulnerable yet brave protagonist who works hard to overcome the shock of this strange new world and become the person her friends and family need her to be.

The fantasy world created by author Kim Chance was incredibly vivid and incredible, with the haunting encounters with the dead and the deep dive into her family’s witch centric past. In just one book Lainey Styles has become the YA Fantasy genre’s newest heroine, a relatable young woman who must quickly become something greater than herself. It’s a story of family, of destiny and of overcoming life’s obstacles, no matter how difficult or how unfair they may seem.

Overall I loved this novel. It’s a fantastic first entry into what I hope will be a phenomenal YA Fantasy series. Author Kim Chance proves in this book that she is a force to be reckoned with in the YA world, mastering the ability to relate her characters to both her target audience and beyond. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of this incredible novel Keeper today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1635830125/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1635830125&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Author

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Kim Chance is an English teacher from Alabama, currently residing in Michigan with her husband and three children. When not writing, Kim enjoys spending time with her family and two crazy dogs, binge-watching Netflix, fangirling over books, and making death-by-cheese casseroles. Keeper is her first young adult novel. Kim is also a YouTuber who loves connecting with other writers. She posts videos at http://www.youtube.com/kimchance1 and is the creator of the #Chance2Connect chat on Twitter. Connect with her on Twitter: @_KimChance, Instagram: kimwritesbooks, Facebook: @kimwritesbooks, and on her website: http://www.kimchance.com.

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings Review

If you were to combine the complex characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity series with the phenomenal world and galaxy building of the Mass Effect franchise and threw in a YA twist, you’d find yourself falling in love with authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cumming’s novel Zenith. The first in what is being called The Androma Saga, the amazing new YA science fiction series finds a story filled with strong, complex and intriguing female characters fighting to survive in a hostile galaxy. Here is the synopsis:

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder’s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

This book has definitely set the bar very high for the YA genre in 2018. I absolutely loved this complex world the authors built together. It tests the boundaries of the classic tale of good and evil by showing the “heroes” of the story taking some shocking actions to achieve their goals, while the “villains” actions are horrifying yet you see the heartbreaking backstory that set them on this dangerous path, and at times you’ll find yourself empathizing with them. Androma, or Andi, is an incredible new female protagonist, bringing the emotional performance of Clary Fray from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series with the ruthless heroism of Zoe from the Firefly series. It’s refreshing to see a story explore the many sides of a female protagonist, not just the “kick-ass” side or the “emotional” side, but rather all of it put together, making a well rounded and fantastic character you as a reader will fall in love with throughout the course of the novel.

In a time where projects like Guardians of the Galaxy are taking a hold in pop culture, this story of an all-female crew having to fight and survive in a male dominated world of piracy and politics is a fun twist on the genre, and something we need more of in both books and entertainment as a whole. The setting and imagery used throughout the story is breathtaking as you can instantly picture the scenes in your mind as your reading. The time and creativity the authors took to bring this galaxy and the many planets and races together is evident in every page, and the writing was well done, keeping an even pace while still making you hungry to get to the next chapter with every page of the novel.

Overall I loved this book. It’s a great first book in what I hope will be an incredible series, introducing the Mirabel Galaxy and all of the fun, dangerous and vast elements that drive the characters of this story. I couldn’t find one fault with this story, and with a huge twist and cliff hanger ending leaving room for a second book, I am eager to delve into this powerful universe that was beautifully written by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copies of Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) today!

Rating: 10/10

 

Last Descendants (Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants #1) by Matthew J. Kirby Book Review

The beloved video game series reaches the YA genre with Matthew J. Kirby’s stellar new novel, Last Descendants!

I must admit something: I love video games. It’s not the most shocking revelation, but I actually enjoy games for the same reason that I enjoy
books: great storytelling. One of my favorite stories in games is the continuing story of the Assassin’s Creed universe, and that story has
now been driven into the Young Adult book world with Matthew J. Kirby’s Last Descendants (Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants #1). Here is the
synopsis:

Nothing in Owen’s life has been right since his father died in prison, accused of a crime Owen is certain he didn’t commit. Monroe, the IT guy
at school, might finally bring Owen the means to clear his father’s name by letting him use an Animus—a device that lets users explore the
genetic memories buried within their own DNA. The experience brings Owen more than he bargained for. During a simulation, Owen uncovers the
existence of an ancient and powerful relic long considered legend—the Trident of Eden. Now two secret organizations will stop at nothing to take
possession of this artifact—the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. It soon becomes clear to Owen that the only way to save himself
is to find the Trident first.

Under the guidance of Monroe, Owen and a group of other teenagers go into a memory they all share within their DNA: the 1863 Draft Riots in
New York City. Owen and his companions will find themselves tested on the gritty streets of New York, and their experiences in the past will
have far-reaching consequences in the present.

I loved the transition of the series into the YA genre. Bringing together this random group of young teenagers gives the readers more of a connection
with the story of the AC universe, with each character coming from a difficult background and almost becoming the readers eyes and ears, as each
teenager is as much of an outsider to the war between the Assassins and the Templar Order. Learning about the war and the technology of the
animus, the teens go to a tumultuous time period to an era where their ancestors were at the forefront of the Civil War, showing the impact
the war had on a city divided such as New York, and the stakes of that war.

It’s message of racism and divide between the country has clearly never been more real and has not had as deep as a connection as it does in
today’s political and social scene, as our country faces a similar divide once more. The story does a great job of highlighting the struggles
each teen deals with, from racial or societal issues to questions of friendship, sexuality, disabilities and more. This is a book that is just as
multi-cultured as the video games themselves, and the deep use of the AC mythology was perfectly used in this new story. With this being the
first of a new book series, this is a fantastic read that helps start a wonderful new story-arc, and I highly recommend it! I give this book a
10/10, and hope you guys will pick up this book today!

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond Book Review

Everyone knows the story of Clark Kent and his rise to becoming the world’s most popular superhero, Superman. Yet not everyone has gotten a chance
to know the other hero in that story, and that is the infamous Lois Lane. Before she was a hard-nosed journalist, she was just an army brat who
had trouble fitting in, and sought a place to call home. That is what author Gwenda Bond explores in her YA novel, Lois Lane: Fallout. Here is
the official synopsis:

Lois Lane steps out from behind Superman’s shadow in this fast-paced, high-adrenaline tale of intrigue and bravery.

Army brat Lois Lane has moved more times than she can count—and has caused just as much trouble righting wrongs no one else seems to notice.
Now that her family is in Metropolis for good, though, she’s decided to fly straight. Unfortunately, it won’t be that easy. A group known as the
Warheads is tormenting a girl at school, messing with her mind via an immersive video game they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and
snazzy new job as a reporter, Lois is determined to help. But this isn’t just a case of cyberbullying—something seriously creepy and dangerous
is going on. Thank goodness she can always count on her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy…

This book gives the character of Lois Lane a strong, independent voice that she shown in the comics but never to this extent. Finally this
powerful, strong female comic book character is given a chance in the spotlight, and in this novel she shines brightly. Getting to see the
struggles this young girl goes through while still driving forward fearlessly to protect the innocent students at her new school is refreshing
to see unfold, and by the end of the book readers will be left wanting more from this incredible take on the character. The book is evenly
paced in it’s action and character development, and getting to see the early relationships between Lois and her father, General Lane, as well as
her younger sister Lucy Lane, is a phenomenal character study that is not often explored as heavily in the comics as Superman’s backstory is.

Overall this is a fantastic story that every DC Comics/Lois Lane fan should read. Gwenda Bond has eloquently captured the essence of one of my
favorite DC characters, and everyone should check out this amazing YA novel about one of the best comic book journalists in the world, Lois Lane.
Be sure to check out Lois Lane: Fallout now!

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings Book Review:

Murder is the new normal in this visceral YA novel!

What would our world look like if murder became a way of life? How would two people who were born and raised in that bloody world survive? That’s the question answered in the first novel of New York Times bestselling author Lindsay Cummings series, The Murder Complex.

First, the plot:

A cure for human disease has been found, and overpopulation sets in, causing the society in this bleak dystopian novel to create an official murder compound. Cummings builds an intense, distinct world full of rogue pirates and government commandments. Meadow’s main concern is taking care of her family, and her father has trained her to survive in any situation, making her a tough fighter. Zephyr is an unhappy ward assigned to carry out the Initiative’s violent commands. After a chance encounter brings the two together, they form an immediate bond, though the reasons for their desire are not set up beforehand, which leads to a forced romance. The point of view alternates between the teens, but it is difficult to distinguish between their narrative voices. This dismal look at the darker side of humanity raises interesting questions of wealth, power, and privacy, yet none of them is fully explored.

This was a fantastic and heart-pounding read. The brutal reality of a world where the law of the land is murder, readers are able to get a great look at two very different perspectives. One is ruled by hopelessness and humor, the other by ruthless survival and family. The way these characters are introduced and the plot which brings them together is an incredible journey that is not to be missed, so be sure to pick up your copies of author Lindsay Cummings book, The Murder Complex, today!