FRAGILE REMEDY by Maria Ingrande Mora is an upcoming 2020 Young Adult Dystopian Fiction novel with LGBTQ characters and written by a Queer Author. It is a 5 STAR Read that I was unable to put down.

Title: FRAGILE REMEDY

Author: MARIA INGRANDE MORA

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, LGBTQ, QUEER YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION,  SPECULATIVE FICTION

Length: 400 PAGES

Publisher: FLUX BOOKS – A Division of  NORTHSTAR EDITIONS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JUNE 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63583-057-6 (EBOOK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a Gem—a Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate—created by Gathos City scientists as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, Nate was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. He manages to survive by becoming a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.

But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their Gems—a flaw in their DNA that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. When violence erupts across the Withers, Nate’s illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay—and die—with the boy he loves.
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MY REVIEW:

“His kind had been developed by scientists to fight the lung-rot outbreak, and later — when the lung-rot was gone — to be used up. Harvested by the wealthy. Kept endlessly asleep or left awake to participate in the horror of it. At least that’s what people said when they whispered about GEMs…Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue. He wasn’t supposed to be here.”

Nate is sixteen and an abomination. At least, that is what he had been told. He knew he wasn’t like everyone else in the Withers. He was starving and scraping together a meager existence, just like everyone else who had the bad luck to live in The Withers – a slum filled with people who would not hesitate to kill you for food, or for anything they could use to trade for Chem to feed their addiction.

Nate knew that if the members of his gang discovered he was a GEM, they would either kill him for putting their lives in danger, or they would turn him over to the Breakers – never to be seen again. He didn’t want to put his friend’s lives in danger, especially Reed’s, but he loved being a gang member, they were the closest thing he had to a family. And, although he had never admitted it out loud, he not only loved Reed, he was also IN LOVE with him.

Just surviving the streets of The Withers was challenge enough, but Nate had another problem, his genetically engineered DNA (and that of all GEMs) had been modified so that his body would deteriorate and he would perish before ever reaching adulthood. He needed to find a way to survive, and he knew it would not be easy.

The world-building in FRAGILE REMEDY is second to none. With vivid descriptions of the slums known as The Withers so descriptive it is impossible not to form pictures of it in your mind. I love the fact that the world in which Nate lives is comprised of islands, and instead of water separating each island, and each social class, from the other, there is a vast ocean of toxic sludge which is fatal once submersed in it.

There are numerous parallels between our own society and the issues planet Earth is currently experiencing to the world of FRAGILE REMEDY. For example:

The society in FRAGILE REMEDY is segregated between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots.’  The high class citizens live in the Towers of Gathos City and never leave their perfect lives to see how anyone else lives. It is these people who create and keep GEMs so that they can extend their own lives by using the GEMs blood and body parts. This may sound far fetched, but cloning already exists, and stem cells are already being used in medical treatments. Is it really so unbelievable that in humanity’s quest to extend human lives, something like creating a clone for the purpose of using ‘it’ as a personal organ bank may be inevitable.

Of course, it would be expensive to create a clone, so only the uber-rich would be able to afford such a luxury, thus creating another socioeconomic division amongst the world’s population.

Once the clones are created, the rich clone owners would want to protect their assets. This could easily lead to physical segregation similar to that of the islands on which Nate has spent the entirety of his sixteen years of life.

ADDICTION is another of the central themes of FRAGILE REMEDY. Instead of being addicted to alcohol or opiods, the addicts in this story are fiends for a substance known as Chem. “They’d all been regular people once. People who’d made choices – good and bad. Chem had wrenched those choices out of their hands.”

Another theme is HOPE. In FRAGILE REMEDY, Nate may not have many possessions, and he is aware that he will die sooner rather than later, but he still has hope. He hopes that he can do some good before he dies. He hopes that Reed feels the same way about Nate as Nate feels about Reed. And in a wider sense, the inhabitants of The Withers scrounge a meager living on a daily basis, but they still have hope that at some point, the doors to Gathos City will open to admit them.

I love the fact that the characters in this story are diverse and multi-faceted. Sparks is Trans, Nate is Gay, Alden is Queer, and other characters are Cisgender. Skin color is so rarely mentioned that I chose to believe that it was not a factor in their society.

Central to the story and to life in both Gathos City and in The Withers is the ethics of cloning as well as the question of what it is that truly makes a person human. With the increasingly complex technology and the numerous companies and laboratories working on the advancement of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence,)

There are plots and subplots, there are individual histories for each character, there is the storyline where  their lives intersect. There are romances and romantic entanglements that will satisfy even the most diehard romantic. And, finally, there is the theme of Family, and the fact that sometimes the people you choose to invest your emotions in make a more loyal family than those who share your DNA.

I started reading  this book yesterday morning and was unable (and unwilling) to put it down. I spent twelve straight hours reading FRAGILE REMEDY and they were hours well spent.

There is only one rating I would even consider giving to this book and that is the best possible one. So, I rate FRAGILE REMEDY as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am sincerely hoping that author MARIA INGRANDE MORA is planning to write additional books in this series. I will be first in line to grab a copy of any book she writes.

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book ***
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FAVORITE QUOTES:

“He [Nate] longed for the simplicity of believing in something good. He’d seen too much of the bad to have faith.”
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“He had no right to love Reed. But the soft, private smile on Reed’s lips when their eyes met still sent a current of affection through him.”
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“Nate approached slowly, the way hungry kids stalked sludge-rats.”
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“‘They’ll make him sleep like they do in Gathos City.’ His voice went ragged. ‘They’ll cut him apart. What were you thinking coming here?'”
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“I feel the need to remind you that my grandmother also believed that the cockroaches in her bedroom were trying to get a look at her knickers.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Maria Ingrande Mora (she/her) is Content Director at Big Sea, a digital marketing agency in St. Petersburg, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida, she has been working in digital media since 2002. Maria specializes in identifying brand narratives and translating them into messaging that doesn’t feel like marketing.

Maria is the single mom of a tween and a teen, and the roomate of two cats and two dogs.

She identifies as bisexual, and hopes that it isn’t super weird of her to outright say, because representation and visibility matter.

If she isn’t writing, revising, or at work, please tell her to go to bed.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://www.mariamora.net

GOODREADS  

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON  

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE
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https://t.co/Av9RMbehc8
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A LITTLE BIT PSYCHO by Debut Author J.L. Strange is destined for the New York Times Bestseller List – Coming October 28th, 2019 – Love Horror? You HAVE TO Read This Book

Title: A LITTLE BIT PSYCHO
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Author: J.L. STRANGE
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Genre: FICTION, HORROR, THRILLER

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Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: OCTOBER 28, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1393852032

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Price: $5.99 (USD)

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Katherine is terminally ill.

Her husband Adam is an innovative surgeon with the technology to save her.

When Katherine wakes in an unfamiliar hospital room, she discovers her brain has been transplanted into the body of a man and Adam is nowhere to be found. This is where her nightmare begins.

She must find Adam at all costs, even if that means pretending to be someone she’s not.

But something is wrong inside her. Very wrong…

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MY REVIEW:

Worcester, Massachusetts is not one of the places that come to mind when thinking about medical or scientific breakthroughs. This tale will change that perspective.

Katherine has devoted her life to her husband and his work. He promises to change the landscape of medicine forever.

When Katherine learns she has Stage IV cancer and that it continues to spread rapidly, she knows it is going to kill her. However, Adam has a plan. He says he has perfected the Brain Transplant procedure and a plan is put in place.

Many things go right. Katherine is alive. Her constant, excruciating pain is gone. But … Something has also gone drastically wrong. When she awakens from her coma, she discovers that instead of using the body they had chosen together, Adam has instead trapped her inside the body of ……… a man.

Imagine her shock. Imagine the betrayal she feels. Imagine how ridiculously strange it would feel to have a man’s body and a woman’s brain. She is living a nightmare and her “husband” is nowhere to be found.

This is where the real nightmare begins…

I was sucked into this story from the very first chapter and I just couldn’t put this book down.

Delving deep into her character’s (and her reader’s) psyches, the author taps into the universal fear of being trapped. Whether someone is buried alive, or is trapped inside the body of another, either way, it is the fear of helplessness that every human being harbors deep inside.

It is amazing to me that A LITTLE BIT PSYCHO is author J.L. Strange’s debut novel. Her writing reminds me of some of the truly great horror authors of our time, including Robin Cook, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, yet she also has a style all her own.

I am 100% certain J.L. Strange is a writer to watch and I fully expect to see her name gracing multiple Bestseller Lists.

I rate A LITTLE BIT PSYCHO as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I encourage everyone reading this review to mark your calendars for October 28th, 2019 and to purchase a copy of this terrifying story, or better yet, go ahead and pre-order a copy today to be among the first to discover this astounding new talent on the horror author scene. You will be glad you did.

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**I would like to say a special thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J.L. Strange writes unsettling psychological horror with a sci-fi twist. She was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and studied animation at Rhode Island School of Design. Telling stories became an obsession, although she still creates art whenever the mood strikes. A single mother with a newly empty nest and lover of all things outdoors, she’s currently pursuing life’s next adventure.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.authorjlstrange.com/

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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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AMAZON

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OVERDRAWN by N.J. CROSSKEY is an exceptional work of Dystopian fiction that was released September 1st

Title: OVERDRAWN: Hard-hitting and heartfelt dystopian fiction

Author: N.J. CROSSKEY

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, DYSTOPIAN FICTION

Length: 288 PAGES

Publisher: LEGEND PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

ISBN: 9781789550214

Cover Design By: KARI BROWNLIE

Price: £4.99 (GBP)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Henry Morris is watching his wife slip away from him. In an ageist society, where euthanasia is encouraged as a patriotic act, dementia is no longer tolerated.

Kaitlyn, a young waitress, is desperate for the funds to keep her brother’s life support machine switched on.

When a chance encounter brings the two together, they embark on an unconventional business arrangement that will force them to confront their prejudices, as well as their deepest, darkest secrets.
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MY REVIEW:

Perhaps it is because I have a hidden disability or perhaps it is because I am 46 years old and looking forward to retirement within the next ten years, or, maybe it is just because I was raised with morals, but, the idea of an Ableist and/or Ageist society makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe it is because I see certain countries as already heading in this direction. Maybe my disgust with ableism is because I am #Canadian and have always been a firm believer that access to healthcare is a right that everyone should have. Access to quality healthcare should never be denied to anyone no matter their race, religion, age, color, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, gender, disabilities or for any other reason.

In OVERDRAWN, author N.J. Crosskey has created a dystopian society with ageism at its core. “… they’d been bombarded with it, for years. The need to do one’s duty. It was the responsibility of all patriotic citizens to think always of the future generations before themselves. It was good and noble, to end one’s life rather than take up more than your rightful share of the world’s resources. To make sure you played your part in a fairer, more sustainable, future.”

The author uses fiction to highlight some of what is wrong with today’s society. In humanity’s past, elders were revered for their wisdom and knowledge. Today’s society no longer thinks that way. Warehousing our senior citizens in old age homes and ignoring them has become commonplace. I see this as a huge problem and author N.J. Crosskey seems to agree with me.

“How many lies were out there, masquerading as the truth?”

OVERDRAWN is an eye-opening look at one possible future and should scare the heck out of everyone who reads it for the simple fact that it is so plausible.

With characters of depth and of varying ages and viewpoints, author NJ Crosskey has created a wonderful work of dystopian fiction that should be on the top of everyone’s reading list for September 2019. Not only is her world-building truly exceptional, her characters relatable, and the plot fast-paced, but this book is detailed enough to provide everything a truly discerning reader could hope for.

I rate OVERDRAWN as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who reads this review. Who knows – It just may change your world view.

QUOTES:

“Typical, the one person who seemed to understand her decision … was senile. What did that say about her own mental capacity?”

“The wooden cabin-style houses each had their own small square of grass, outside their front doors. Many had dug out most of it, choosing to grow vegetables instead of wasting their coveted outdoor land on pointless, inedible lawns. Their small but precious crops were protected by boxes made of razor wire.”

“What if they’d all been sold a lie?”

“Our lives are short, but our legacies long. Live responsibly, always with the future in mind.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

N.J. Crosskey is the author of Poster Boy (April 2019) and Overdrawn (September 2019).

A mother of two crazy children, N.J has worked in the care sector for almost twenty years and is now fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a novelist.

Both titles were published in 2019 by Legend Press.

N. J. Crosskey is represented by Emily Sweet Associates

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOKAUTHOR

FACEBOOK – PUBLISHER

INSTAGRAM – AUTHOR

INSTAGRAM – PUBLISHER

TWITTER – AUTHOR

TWITTER – PUBLISHER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

HASHTAGS:

#OverdrawnHardhittingPortraitOfAnAbleistDystopia #NetGalley #Reviewathon #Overdrawn #dystopia #dystopian #dystopianfiction #ableist #ableism #disabilities #disability #disabled #discrimination #couldcometrue #dementia #oldage
#family #loyalty #books #book #bookish #ageist #2019book #2019release #2019booklovers #booklover #NJCrosskey #igreads #instagramhub #bookreview #review #Amiesbookreviews #writersofinstagram #tbr #tbrlist #writerscommunity #bookish #bookworm #booklove #authorsofinstagram #dystopianfuture #ourfuture #possiblefuture #earth #ourworld

EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN by L.J. Epps BOOK BLITZ & ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: Extinction of All Children

Series: Extinction of All Children – Book One

Author: L.J. Epps

Publication date: June 4th 2016

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction

DESCRIPTION:

A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.

Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.

Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.

During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.

Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret.

If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.

During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.

After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger.

In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.

“Fans of dystopian fantasy will devour this book. L. J. Epps writes a story that, while dealing with heavy subject matter, is still a light, enjoyable read. This dystopian fantasy novel ignites the imagination, and is a must read for fans of The Hunger Games and the Divergent Trilogy.”

—Kristina Gemmell, Beta Reader

Goodreads / Amazon

The complete series:

EXCERPT:

I take in a deep breath before walking into my family’s house. Our brick home is around a thousand square feet. My father says since it is on the smaller side, it takes a lot less money to heat and cool. The back of the house is like a forest, and the front of the house is on a dirt road with lots of gravel. As soon as I reach the front door, I notice the stench of beans lingering in the air, making the room smell as if a skunk has run through it.

“You’re late,” my brother, Theodore, says. “You know dinner is at six.”

He shoves my arm. He has on dark clothing that mirrors my own.

“Whatever,” I say, rolling my eyes. Another stupid rule. “It’s almost eight.” I glance at the brown clock on the wall. “Shouldn’t you be done?”

“We had to stop what we were doing and watch the box,” he says, then he gulps down a bottle of water.

His Adam’s apple moves in and out, while the bottle crinkles in his hand.

“Yes, the announcements came early.” My father rises from the dining room table. “I’m sure you heard them.”

He walks to the living room where I am.

“I did.” I lower my eyes.

“Where were you?” Mother asks. “We were worried.”

“I know, and I’m sorry, but I’m fine. I watched the announcements from the supply store.”

I know they worry about me, but I also know they won’t ask how I ended up at the supply store, or ask why my jeans are dirty. There is a more pressing question they want to ask.

“Did you see her?” my mother asks.

“Yes,” I reply.

Now that is what they really care about.

“How was she?”

“I guess as good as she can be.” I shrug.

“What does that mean?” my mother asks with a frown. “You’re not giving me any details.”

I sigh. It was the same questions every time I go to the wooded area. Another sigh follows because my heart saddens, seeing how old my mother looks. She is only in her fifties, but I can see the gray strands in her dark hair instantly becoming grayer every time we discuss this. Even when I bring back food, my mother is too tense to eat. Day by day she is growing thinner.

“Emma, answer your mother,” my father says, looking at me with slanted eyes.

“If you want to know how she is, why don’t you go and see her yourself?” I snap back. I’m tired of the theatrics. But it was a stupid question. I know why they can’t go. They aren’t strong enough or fast enough.

“You know your mother moves too slowly. She would never make it there,” my father says, echoing the very words in my head.

Author Bio:

L.J. Epps is a lover of all things related to books: fiction and nonfiction novels, as well as biographies and autobiographies. She has also been known to sit and read comic books from cover to cover, several times over.

Over the last few years, L.J. has written several manuscripts; her mission is to publish all of them. She enjoys writing fiction in several genres, including contemporary romance and women’s fiction, as well as young adult dystopian, science fiction and fantasy. She loves to write because it immerses her into another world that is not her own.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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MONSTERLAND by Michael Okon BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: Monsterland Reanimated

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Series: Monsterland Book 2

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Author: Michael Okon
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Publication date: April 13th 2018

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Genres: Horror, Young Adult Fiction, YA Lit

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DESCRIPTION:

After Monsterland has imploded, the entire world is thrown into chaos. World leadership is gone, economies have collapsed, and communications are non-existent. Wyatt must go beyond the boundaries of his small town to reestablish contact with the outside world, and alert the government about a traitor-in-chief.

During his journey he discovers a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park.

When an army of relentless mummies, a life-sucking ooze called The Glob, and a hybrid reanimated Behemoth rise from the depths of Monsterland, who will survive?

“Another true gem of dark fantasy action/adventure by a master of the genre, Michael Okon’s “Monsterland Reanimated” is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fantasy Fiction collections.” – Midwest Book Review

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To Purchase This Book, or others in the Monsterland Series, click on one of the following links:

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The Night After the Monsterland Catastrophe

A bright moon painted the desert’s surface pewter. Here and there, dark spots soiled the landscape like oil spills. Most of the bodies had been taken before the troops were ordered to leave. They carted away the corpses, bulldozing the zombies into mass graves, until radios chirped with urgent orders deploying the soldiers to the bigger threats that erupted in the main cities like a chain of angry volcanos.

Monsterland was extinguished, its carcass left for the vultures to pick, the exhibits silent as a tomb.

The dead president and his equally dead entourage were whisked away on Air Force One, along with the dark-clad special operatives that came and left like the brisk desert wind that now howled through the empty streets.

A gate screamed in the silence, slamming with a reverberating smash. The uneven gait of someone with a physical challenge filled the void. The scrape and plod of his limp echoed against the wall of mountains framing the theme park. His labored breathing huffed as he made his way down the streets.

A door creaked loudly as it was blown by the wind. He stopped, his distorted figure silhouetted in the pale moonlight, his body turning silver. He looked at the broken glass littering the pavement like diamonds, then up to the still, pre-dawn sky. He considered the sun peeking over the jagged horizon in the east, its golden light painting the dips and hollows of the hills. Soon the coming day would chase the darkness away.

Time was the enemy now. He had to move faster, or it would be too late. He picked up his pace, lurching along the winding road. A keening howl ricocheted through the streets, bouncing off the walls. It sounded like a … no, he thought, it couldn’t be. The werewolves were all dead. Destroyed by Vincent Konrad when he made their heads explode.

The old man paused, listening for it again, and was not disappointed when the animal whimpered. He gauged it to be inside the defunct vampire exhibit. He moved toward the entrance. The storefronts had been destroyed. A few body parts lay on the pavement, as if people had discarded them in a rush. He heard the scraping of paws on the street and a shiver went down his crooked spine.

He knew the werewolves were dead; he had seen it with his own eyes. A figure detached from the shadows. Igor flattened himself against the wall. He watched it move stealthily down the street, stopping when it scavenged a morsel of rotting flesh. It looked up to stare at Igor, its eyes glowing in the darkness.

A coyote? He waved a hand, dismissing it. It had to be a coyote; it was too small to be a wolf, too big to be a dog. The beast twitched its ears, then resumed its meal.

Igor knew the coyote was not a threat, and he continued his mission. His lame foot hit a can, sending a cacophony of sound like an explosion in the deserted park. The beast dropped the bone it was gnawing on, sniffing the area. Its iridescent eyes searched the streets.

It could be a baby wolf, Igor thought, keeping himself as still as possible. He felt it watching him, even from this distance. It was not a threat, yet.

Igor skittered away, hugging the walls of Monsterland, putting as much distance as he could between them. Not an easy feat, considering his distorted hips. He muttered to himself about carrion and the wind. His eyes darted nervously, scouring the hills, not exactly sure what he was looking for. Adrenaline coursed through his veins. His heart pounded so loudly he was certain that the creature watching him could hear it too.

His feet stumbling to a halt, he bent over, gasping for air, cursing Vincent and those meddlesome teenagers, as well as the rest of the world.

The beast gave another mournful howl that went right through him. Igor glanced at his empty hands, berating himself for not bringing a weapon. He searched his surroundings for anything to protect himself.

Then he saw it, one of the axes they had on almost every corner. All of them had been pulled from their protective cases. One was lying in a pool of coagulating blood, the blade long gone. He picked up the broken axe handle, turning in a semicircle. He was ready for an attacker.

A new, larger outline made his heart quiver with fear. It crouched in a corner, its snout covered with blood. This one was bigger, not a coyote, a wild wolf. Wait, he thought. Weren’t the gray wolves of California all but extinct?

Igor narrowed his eyes. The beast was a light reddish brown and not the silver gray of a wolf’s pelt. A chain hung from its neck, the pendant of a werewolf’s head dangling, emerald eyes flashing. What was it? Was it a mutant coyote? A wolf? Some weird hybrid, he wondered for a minute, his breath harsh in his ears. They watched each other soundlessly.

A hybrid then. He’d heard about them, a rare mixture of wolf and coyote. What did they call them? Coywolves …? or was it Woyotes? He shrugged indifferently. Perhaps someone’s pet, he decided. Igor’s mirthless laugh came out like a snort.

The coywolf stood still, its ears alert, its head cocked as if it was observing him.

Igor dropped the makeshift weapon, calling out, “Eat the rest of your meal, you dumb beast.”

The animal continued to watch him, its two front paws on the remains of a zombie’s chest.

Igor wiped his forehead, waiting, his eyes coming back to search the village, confirming it was empty, except for the carrion eaters like the coyotes and vultures. He looked up, noting the circling predators waiting for him to move on.

“Interrupted your meal,” he chuckled. Just the local scavengers looking for food. That was all; the shadows revealed nothing else. Satisfied he was alone, he moved on. He had work to do.

A paper flew past him, hitting a kiosk as the wind plastered it against its surface. It flapped like a dying bird. Igor reached over, taking the fluttering paper, peering at the map of the park, the one they gave people as they entered Monsterland. A bark of laughter escaped his mouth.

He looked up at the giant monolith that was once the Werewolf River Run, its hulking shape obscuring the horizon. “You are here,” he giggled, pointing a grimy finger on the paper’s surface. He dragged his deformed body further down the pavement. The storefronts that used to be Monsterland’s Main Street yawned vacantly, the wind whistling through the narrow alley- ways. “Now, you are here,” he laughed. Shouting, he listened to the sound of his voice bouncing off the blood-splattered walls.

He made his way to the back end of the zombie village, feeling like the last man on earth. He glanced around at the desolate landscape. His home, the beautiful theme park, was little more than ruins destroyed by the army.

His nose twitched from the fetid smell of rot. The US Army had massacred the zombies. The troops came like a force of nature wiping out everything in its path, every last one of them blown away by the troops.

They were black ops, special forces, he knew from their uniforms. He wondered if things were indeed going as planned. He shrugged, knowing right now nothing mattered except for what he had to do. The irony that he was just about the most important man on earth brought more amusement to his smile.

The local police force was gone, as were the leaders of most countries in the world. He knew all was chaos outside, perhaps even war, each nation blaming the next for the loss of their leadership. Not to worry, he thought. Vincent left America in capable hands.

Dreams do come true, he snickered. Nightmares too, he finished the thought. A long line of drool pulled at his lower lip. He paused at a pothole in the road, decomposing body parts glistening, the disappearing moon turning the bits of bone and brains pearly.

Anxiety bloomed in his chest as he passed the opaque windows of Vincent’s derelict Monsterland hotel, the Copper Valley Inn. He hated that place. Abandoned construction vehicles were frozen in their spots, testimony to the hotel’s unfinished business.

Despite the pastel colors of its exterior, it sat like an ominous crypt to the part of the theme park that Vincent could never control. Told Vincent it was a money pit. Crews couldn’t work because … well, it didn’t matter anymore. The help was all dead. He thought he saw a light flicker in the window, but when he turned, he realized it was nothing more than a sputtering gas lamp that had never been disconnected.

He stood for a while, staring for more activity, and then jerked with the realization that he waited too long and wasted precious time. Surely no one expected him to go searching during the heat of battle.

Vincent said it was enough time to set up the timetable. Vincent knew everything, and Igor felt his panic ebb. It had been barely twenty-four hours since the attack. For all he knew, he could be on a fool’s errand.

He pressed his hand on his hip, his back screaming with resentment at so much movement. He was not used to any exercise. He sighed, wiping his brow with the ragged end of his costume, the lace scratching his skin. He caught the cuff, snagging the material with his teeth, tugging it free from his velvet jacket. He loathed the show and was glad he’d never have to endure the humiliation of performing again, especially with the vamps. Those condescending, blood-sucking parasites. He wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore, he thought with satisfaction. Vincent had promised he’d not have to endure them for long, living up to his part of the bargain quite nicely. They were gone, torn apart by the werewolves or transformed into a tasty dinner by the zombies. Either way, they wouldn’t be bullying him with their nasty insults. Something buzzed around him, and he swiped at it.

It felt as though he walked to the other side of the earth. Why Vincent had to pick Zombieville to make his last stand, he’d never know. The Werewolf River Run would have been much more convenient. It was getting lighter now, and he could easily make out the smoking devastation.

He searched the horizon, his eyes resting on the burnt wreckage of a golf cart, the torched skeleton listing at an odd angle.

Pulling his lame foot, he pushed himself as fast as his body could travel, his breath hitching with the effort.

The corpse was gone. He knew they would have taken that for DNA testing, proof that the enemy was vanquished. The only things left were the putrid carcasses from Monsterland, the decaying zombies, massacred vampires, and what was left of the werewolves after Vincent had exterminated them.

He climbed a small hill, his bad leg screaming with pain. Igor crowed with triumph when he saw it, the discarded lump of flesh, lying forgotten in a ditch, face down. He shivered as the desert wind stirred and eddied around him. Damn, but it was desolate here.

He hunkered down, forcing himself to skitter on the hard- packed earth. He wondered what his son, the vice president—no, he corrected himself, the new president of the United States, Mr. Nate Owens—would think of his father now, scrambling like a dung beetle in the dirt.

He cursed. The drool was back, dripping from his mouth like a sparkling spider web. Instead of rising—it was beyond him at this point—he shimmied over to the severed head, reaching forward, reverently, grabbing it by the matted hair, and grasping it to his chest.

The black eyes stared back dully, the dark depths reflecting the hunchback’s twisted smile.

Vincent Konrad’s lifeless face lay in his hands, the pale lips open in a soundless scream.

“I’m so happy I could kiss you, Vincent!” he told the decapitated head. He cradled the face of his friend. “We’ll get you fixed up in no time.”

The moon bathed the face a pale blue. The hunchback jiggled the dead weight, cackling with delight as the one papery eyelid drooped as if it were winking.

In the distance, that coywolf howled, making Igor suck in his breath with fear. He tucked the head under his arm as he struggled back up the small hill, mumbling something about Plan B.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help.

He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance.

Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw “The Goonies“, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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VENOMOUS HEART BOOK BLITZ

Title: Venomous Heart

Series: EOK WARRIOR: BOOK THREE

Author: Mary Auclair

Publication date: April 4th 2019

Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Canadian Author

DESCRIPTION:

After drowning his soul in blood, can this alien warrior be saved?

As the only doctor on Aveyn, Ava works day and night for the people she considers hers. Only… she’s not really one of them, is she? She’s a hybrid, a highly illegal creature created by Trade Minister Knut for his personal enjoyment. And she risks a fate worse than death if her existence is ever discovered by Prime Councilor Aav, the most powerful Matriarch in the Ring.

When a tall, arrogant, sapphire blue alien comes to Aveyn, it’s not long before headstrong Ava gets in trouble with him – the new Eok warrior in charge.

Arlen wants nothing to do with his new assignment on Aveyn. All he wants is to return to the violence at the Frontier and drown his broken heart in bloodshed. But he made a deal with his brother, the Commander-in Chief-of the Eok armies: a year of peace for a year of combat. So, Arlen comes to Aveyn fully intent on ruling all those who live there with an iron fist…

… all except a troublesome, gorgeous female whose purple eyes haunt his dreams. When the Mating Venom pushes him to the edge of madness, can Arlen learn to trust in his heart again, or is his soul lost to the bloodlust?

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CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO LEARN MORE:

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She closed her eyes.

The scents became clearer as she kept her eyes closed. The water, pure and cold; the grass under her naked soles; and the flowers. The flowers, with their stubborn, extravagant love for life. How many times had she wished she was like one of those flowers? Blooming, happy, beautiful. Hundreds of times, thousands, she’d wished it. Every time Knut made her cry, every time Knut made her feel like she wasn’t truly a person.

“You shouldn’t come out here alone, especially at night.”

A male voice startled her and Ava turned quickly, holding the scalpel she had brought with her in front of her body defensively. A tall, broad figure stepped out of the deep shadows created by a series of bushes, a figure she recognized instantly.

“I could tell you the same thing.” Ava lowered her arm but didn’t withdraw it completely.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were following me.”

“I am following you.” There it was again, that humorless voice, all business and military.

It made her body tingle in all the wrong places, even though alarms bells rang in her head.

Ava watched warily as Arlen approached, completely undeterred by her weapon.

“How very stalkerish of you.”

He didn’t answer, just prowled closer to her with an uncanny, almost feline grace. The silver moonlight reflected off his head, making the markings on his skin even more apparent. A tiny thrill skittered across her skin at the sight of him and she pulled the sides of her cotton sweater more tightly around her body.

He was close enough now that she could see his features clearly, the harsh shadows from the cloudless moon playing on the angles of his face, giving him the appearance of an ancient,

long-forgotten deity. His pale eyes reflected the light, seeming almost entirely white as he stared down at her.

There was nothing soft about him. Not even the plump hardness of his lips as his mouth stretched into a humorless grin.

“Are you always this insolent?”

Arlen hovered above her, barely two feet away, and he was so tall she had to tilt her head back to meet his gaze. His arms were bare in his sleeveless vest, rippling with muscles and covered with markings. He was a monument to strength and control, to this cold military authority she sensed in everything he did.

The tingling in her belly grew as she stared at those strong arms, that skin covered with markings that seemed as rough as it was soft. What would it feel to run her fingers along it? Her tongue?

Get a grip! What is going on with you?

“Maybe it’s just your Eok charm.” Ava forced herself to relax her posture but her arms refused to let go, and she still hugged herself. “Are you always this creepy?”

He shook his head at her sassy answer then his eyes went down to her scalpel. The corner of his mouth curved up slightly, and there was something in his gaze that wasn’t there before as he looked back up at her. It looked an awful lot like amusement.

“Do you plan on stabbing me? If so, I hope your arms are stronger than they look. It’ll take you all night to kill me with that.”

“Of course not.” Ava brought her arm down, suddenly feeling very foolish. What was she expecting, anyway? It wasn’t like she could fight off an Eok warrior with her scalpel. “I brought it with me for protection, that’s all.” She turned to the river, but she could feel Arlen’s gaze on her. “Nobody comes here, anyway.”

“Nobody but you.” He planted himself at her side and they stayed like that in silence for a while. When he finally spoke again, his voice wasn’t all business and efficiency, but a bit dreamy. “Did you come here often? Before?”

Ava’s arms tightened around her body and a sudden surge of emotions welled up in her throat. Aside from Uril, nobody asked her questions. Nobody cared what she felt. Why did he?

Or maybe she was just a fool to think he did.

Author Bio:

Mary grew up in the quiet peace of a small rural village in the heart of Quebec, Canada. She spent her childhood chasing butterflies and catching frogs, playing in the mud and generally being as unladylike as she could.

She now write as much as her busy schedule allows to bring to life her inner world, filled with exotic planets, mysterious creatures and off course, hot, alpha heroes and the women who melt their hearts.

When she’s not writing, she can be found in the garden, walking her dogs or playing with fire in her kitchen as a part time hit-or-miss chef.

She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t be shy and drop her a line! Sign up for the newsletter on her website to receive sneak peeks, exclusive bonus stories and special discounts!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY by Canadian author DAVID M. KELLY is science fiction as it should be. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: THE MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY

Series: JOE BALLEN – BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID M. KELLY

Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS, CANADIAN AUTHOR

Length: 318 PAGES

Publisher: NEMESIS PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: 2017

ISBN: 9780995329416

Price: $14.99 USD (Paperback)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

The future’s about to get a lot more action-packed!

Meet former space engineer, Joe Ballen. These days, he’s scraping a living flying cabs in flooded-out Baltimore, trying to avoid the clutches of his boss and the well-meaning advice of an old friend.

When one of his passengers suffers a grisly death, Joe is dragged into a dangerous web of ruthless academic rivalry centered on a prototype spaceship.

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A NOTE ABOUT THIS REVIEW:

I had the privilege of meeting David at the Word on the Street Festival on Toronto’s waterfront. This festival is an annual event and is held every September. At the event David was gracious enough to give me an autographed copy of “Mathematics of Eternity” so that I could read and review it. Due to unforeseen medical issues I am extremely late in posting my review, but I did not want to dash off a quick review, I wanted to make sure to write an in-depth review of this terrific book.

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MY REVIEW:

MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY is the first book in the Joe BALLEN sci-fi series written by the talented Canadian author David M. Kelly.

Set in Baltimore in the year 2143, life is unlike what we are accustomed to. The West Coast no longer exists, except underwater and even Baltimore is mostly flooded beyond redemption. The bottom floors of many highrises are now underwater. Barely anyone lives there, and those who do are extremely unwelcoming to anyone who sets foot in their domain.

Unfortunately, there are some things that, no matter how many years have passed, have remained the same. That is the fact that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

It is in this post-catastrophe world that Joe Ballen lives and works. He used to work in space as a construction foreman, but, an almost fatal accident put an end to that career, and almost put an end to his life. Now, he flies a taxi for a living.

One night he picks up a fare and ‘drives’ him home, only to end up as a witness/suspect in the man’s death. Now, the police want him arrested and someone wants him dead. All in all, Joe Ballen wishes he had never let the man into his cab.

With twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, this story is both thrilling and full of excitement. This is futuristic sci-fi as it should be.

The world-building is phenomenal and I love the fact that there are a variety of genders and sexual orientations represented, including one major character who just happens to be a hermaphrodite. I completely agree with main character Joe Ballen when he says “I’ll never understand why some people feel they can treat others like property. Everyone should be able to follow their own path, so long as they’re not hurting others.” He goes on to say, “Everyone has a right to make their own choices – good or bad. Forcing your ideals on someone else is the ultimate in egotistic selfishness.”

The characters are so well developed that they will linger in the reader’s mind long after the book is finished. This, in my opinion, is the mark of a great writer. Kudos to author David M Kelly for creating such characters.

I rate MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I am thrilled that Book Two of the Joe Ballenger series is already available.

**Thank you to author David M. Kelly for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David M. Kelly writes fast-paced, near future sci-fi thrillers with engaging characters, cynical humor, and plausible science.

He is the author of the Joe Ballen series and the short story collection Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. He has been published in Canadian SF magazine Neo-opsis.

David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon.

From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space. An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.

David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically. David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower.

Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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YOUTUBE
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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MORE BOOKS BY DAVID M. KELLY

PERIMETER-JOE BALLEN #2

Deceit has no boundaries Joe Ballen is working on a new ore-processing platform in the harsh environment around Mercury. But then the security forces come calling. Vital starship engineering files are missing, and without them Earth has no hope of escaping Atoll domination. Someone has to locate the files, and Ballen is bulldozed into the not-so-choice assignment. But he’s not the only one in the hunt. As Joe struggles to find the data, he becomes tangled up in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. It’s a journey that will take him to the perilous depths of space, where no one is quite what they seem. Can old enemies ever make good allies? And can Joe trust even the people closest to him? Ballen’s back in another action-packed sci-fi noir thriller, guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.
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DEAD RECKONING AND OTHER STORIES

Looking for SF that’s intelligent, action-packed, and humorous?

This collection of ten short stories features a cast of characters all in need of some serious therapy.Hector discovers life after death ain’t easy when your shorts itch and your ass belongs to a whip-wielding giant. And Murphy’s fighting to keep the peace as his team of geeky scientists and a gung-ho lieutenant investigate a mysterious alien ship—all while dealing with his own case of Murphy’s Law. First Contact is always complicated, especially when you have to call in cranky old relic, Casteneda, to bail you out. Fresh off the battlefield, Matt Holbrook is also grappling with a perplexing new species, but all he wants is to make it home. And Earl Duarte is in for some interesting pet therapy in How Much Is That Doggy?

Discover Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. SF with attitude!

Copyright (C) David M. Kelly. http://davidmkelly.net/my-books/

This book is my entry for the letter ‘M’ in the GingerReads 2019 A to Z Reading Challenge.

HUNT OF THE GODS by Canadian Author Amy Braun – COVER REVEAL

Title: Hunt of the Gods

Author: Amy Braun

Series: Areios Brothers #2

Publication date: June 4th 2019

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

DESCRIPTION:

Two months have passed since Derek Areios—war-scion and heir of Ares—and the band of rogue scions he’s aligned with recovered both the Thunderbolt of Zeus and the Heart of the Devourer and returned them to the Gods. During the battle, Derek discovered he could control not only the element of fire, as all war-scions can, but also the dark element “aether,” making him the only scion alive to wield two types of elemental magic.

Commanded by Zeus to retrieve the Trinity Weapons and the Shards of Cronus, Derek and the rogue scions are thwarted in their goal by a gang of water-scions with a grudge against one of the rogues—Thea, heir of Poseidon. Both groups travel to an uninhabited island to recover one of the Shards––the Eye that belonged to Cronus, King of the Titans. But what they encounter will lead them down a path of brutal betrayals, hard truths, painful memories, and desperate actions.

With angry and impatient gods breathing down his neck, a curse that allows Ares to control him, a prophecy he’s desperate to avoid, a magic spear corrupting his thoughts, and two forms of elemental magic, Derek has a lot of baggage—and a lot of power. Will the price of using that power to satisfy the Gods be too much for him to pay?

Mythological monsters, explosive magic, and devastating truths take center stage in the second novel of the action-packed AREIOS BROTHERS series from Amy Braun.

Add to Goodreads

Sequel to:

Author Bio:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author.

Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem.

She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

TO LEARN MORE, CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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BURN by Helen Hyland – Book One in a New Post-apocalyptic Trilogy is COMING SOON – Romance and Non-Stop Action Make This A Great Read

Title: BURN
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Series: EARTH 6.0 TRILOGY : BOOK ONE
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Author: HELEN HYLAND
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Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, APOCALYPTIC FICTION, SCI-FI ROMANCE

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Length: 226 PAGES

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Publisher: BLACK ROSE WRITING
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Received From: THE AUTHOR

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Release Date: MAY 2, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-68433-257-1 (Paperback)

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Price: $18.95 (Paperback)

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Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

5 EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENTS HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED. CAN HUMANITY SURVIVE A 6TH?

In two weeks life on Earth would end. Victoria Phillips was one of the fortunate ones, she’d won a spot in Earth’s underground sanctuary. Unfortunately, it came with Phoenix Tanner. He’d been sent to escort her to safety, but the man drove her nuts with his arrogant, annoying, sexist attitude. She was torn between kicking his shins and running her nails down his back, tracing that delicious tattoo.

She was relieved when they picked up more winners, and his attention shifted away from her. But the more time the group spent together; the more she got to know Nix… she began to suspect that the lottery wasn’t all that random after all.

MY REVIEW:

Want a dash of romance with your ‘End of The World’ tale? If so, BURN is perfect for you.

If you like stories where the female lead character has a backbone and is ‘off-the-charts’ intelligent? Again, BURN is the book for you.

I have a soft-spot for post-apocalyptic fiction. There is just something about reading about regular people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that intrigues me.

I enjoyed reading BURN and I love the characters author HELEN HYLAND has populated the story with. Each one has his or her own distinct personalities and they all seem so real that I found it impossible not to care about them.

Victoria Phillips is the main character and she is someone that, if she were real, I would definitely hang out with. Her backstory is similar enough to my own that I understood the motivations behind many of her thoughts and actions. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so I won’t say anything more about her. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed reading BURN and I recommend it to readers who are fascinated by the many scenarios that could potentially bring an end to most of the life on our planet.

I read BURN in a single sitting (much to the chagrin of my hungry family who were waiting for me to finish the book and to cook dinner.) At only 226 pages, this book can easily be read over a single weekend, or a single day if you binge read like I do.

I rate BURN by HELEN HYLAND as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mark your calendars for May 2nd to get this book on Release Day. Or, better yet, just go to any of the links at the end of my post to preorder a copy to be sent to you the second it is released.

***Thank you to Helen Hyland for providing me with a free copy of this book***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. Philly girl through and through. She bleeds green. She knows the meaning of “Wit or Witout”, that the best cheesesteaks are from the local place and skips Pat’s and Geno’s.

She has always been an avid reader and writer. Her mother would often find her in the middle of the night with a flashlight and either a book she couldn’t put down or scratching the stories that were in her head on loose leaf paper.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
.

GOODREADS
.

FACEBOOK
.

TWITTER
.

AMAZON
.

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

BURN by Helen Hyland is my Letter “B” Entry for this terrific challenge

A TEMPLE OF FORGOTTEN SPIRITS AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR

About the Audiobook:

Title: A TEMPLE OF FORGOTTEN SPIRITS

Author: William F. Wu

Narrator: Anthony Lee

Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

Publisher: Moira Nelligar

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: July 6, 2018

Synopsis:

A young guy named Jack Hong hitchhikes throughout America following the
keilin, a mystical unicorn outof Chinese mythology.

The keilin leads him to ten adventures with ghosts and other supernatural figures. These experiences reveal to him not only parts of American history he never knew, but also his own identity and the role he will
choose for his life.

*

Buy on Audible

*

MY REVIEW:

“The moonlight was still strong, and Lo Man Gong still sat up on the overhead window, where few people and no old men could ever get.

“Feel better, Chinaman?” he asked mildly.

The night before, my resistance had been low, and his presence had somehow seemed tolerable, if not rational. Now I was more clear-headed … yet he was still here. I didn’t like him as much.

I let my eyes drop closed again. Once I was cured of malaria, I’d be free of him. I had eaten twice today; now, if I slept well, I’d be in sound shape pretty soon.

“You know the keilin, Chinaman Jack?”

That was the Chinese unicorn, a mystical animal whose rare appearances were highly auspicious. In the Cantonese I normally heard, it was pronounced “keilun.” It wasn’t like European ones, though. This unicorn had the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse, the tail of an ox, and a fleshy horn. I knew that much.

“The unicorn?” I opened my eyes and looked at him. As before, the moonlight glowed through his shape.

“Ah, you know the keilin. He smiled and nodded thoughtfully. “The keilin means good things happen. It’s very powerful.”

I watched him silently.

After a while, he looked into my eyes again. “Nobody remember me, Jack. Some people remember, some of my frien’. A few of them. Most, nobody remember at all. No children, no relative. You, Jack. You like me. Unless you change.”

Yes, I knew that. I had already come to understand that. And I knew that he had come for me, here in the middle of the country, away from his home as longtime Californ’. But I didn’t know why.”

This is a collection of short stories that when put together as they are in this audiobook, make up an entire novel.

This was my first experience reading any of William F. Wu’s work and I found it both interesting and informative.

Prior to listening to this audiobook, I had never heard of the word “keilin.” What the heck is a keilin? Well, it is the Asian version of a unicorn, but it is miles away from what most people envision a unicorn to look like. Instead of looking like a horse with a single horn on its head, the keilin had the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse, the tail of an ox, and a fleshy horn.

Narrator Anthony Lee has done a good job of keeping the pacing just right and is able to provide just the right accent for this collection.

I rate both the audiobook and the narration as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

**I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Anthony Lee. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.**

*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

William F. Wu may be best known for his contemporary fantasy short stories, such as
“Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium,” a multiple award nominee that was adapted into an episode of the Twilight Zone in 1985.

When he started his career, he decided that he would write some stories on universal issues and some about Chinese American ethnic matters. All of his novels and short stories have a character of East Asian descent, usually the protagonist.

When he was young, he did some long-distance hitchhiking throughout the nation, though he makes no claim to experiencing the supernatural.

He has had thirteen novels, one short story collection, one book of literary criticism, and over sixty short stories published by traditional publishers and is in the process of bringing
out much of his backlog through Boruma Publishing.

Wu has spoken for over thirty years on panels at science fiction conventions, and he has also been guest of honor and toastmaster.

He has participated in and hosted writers’ workshops frequently over the years and taught fiction at the college level.

A 5-time finalist (and a sixth time as part of the group of Wild Cards authors) for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, Wu is also a finalist for the Sidewise Award for alternate history and for Canada’s Aurora award.

He’s the author of the six-volume young adult science fiction series titled Isaac Asimov’s Robots in Time, the first series in Asimov’s universe licensed by his estate after his death.

His novel Hong on the Range was based on another Hugo and Nebula Award nominee, the short story “Hong’s Bluff.” Hong on the
Range was chosen for the Wilson Library Bulletin’s list of science fiction “Books Too Good to Miss, 1980 – 1989,” and was a 1990 selection for the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young People, for the New York Public Library’s recommended Books for the Teen Age, and was a Young Adult Editor’s Choice by Booklist Magazine.

Wu adapted the novel for a three-issue comic book series brought out by Image Comics and Flypaper Press in 1996.

He has upcoming stories in Texas Hold’em: A Wild Cards Novel, edited by George R.R.
Martin, due out in the fall, and in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

Wu was born and raised in the Kansas City area, and educated at the University of
Michigan, where as a student he represented the third generation in his family. He has an A.B. in East Asian Studies and an A.M. and Ph.D. in American Culture; his dissertation was
published as The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850 – 1940.

He and his wife live in Southern California.

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CHAPTERS

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Anthony Lee has been told that his voice is deep, resonant, smooth, and clear. Yet, it would be years before he would finally embrace that gift and start using it artistically.

A native of California, Anthony grew up with an equal fascination for knowledge and leisure. He would enjoy studying various subjects in school as well as doing fun things in his spare time. His motivation for success and happiness helped him achieve a solid education, a successful job, and a new life to live as his reward for years of hard work.

His decision to try voice acting came after receiving plenty of compliments about his vocal quality over a short amount of time. Whether those words came from friends or strangers, he could no longer deny the possibility that there may be something special about his voice. Hence, from October 2015 to June 2016, Anthony enrolled in night and weekend classes at Elaine Clark’s Voice One Academyin San Francisco, where he trained in the art of voiceover for narrations, commercials, and characters. He thoroughly enjoyed honing his voice for things like audiobooks, technical materials, corporate narrations, e-learning modules, documentaries, commercials, promos, animations, video games, and talking products. Overall, he considers his journey into voiceover to be very rewarding, not just for what he learned but also for the great instructors and classmates he met along the way.

Now with professional voice training, Anthony is stepping out into the world to lend his voice. He loves to take virtually any kind of script and work to deliver the message in a suitable way. His enthusiasm for voiceover makes him strive to be a versatile actor in the craft. Every time he is given an opportunity to provide a voice, he hopes to leave a lasting positive impact.

When he is not doing voice work, Anthony enjoys playing chess, ice hockey, pool, Sudoku, and video games, as well as watching movies, reading about random topics on the Internet, and traveling. He lives in Northern California.

To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

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ACX -Listen to his voice samplesHERE

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AUDIBLE

*** To read my review of another Audiobook narrated by Anthony Lee, click HERE.

*** A Special Thank You goes to AudioBookWorm Promotions for providing me with a free copy of this Audiobook.***

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