Guest Post – Beyond “The Cost of Survival” by J.L. Stowers

Behind “The Cost of Survival”

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The Cost of Survival is a science fiction thriller exploring the dark side of human nature from a world on the brink of destruction. Author J. L. Stowers asks the question, “What if humankind could no longer reproduce?” The answer is shockingly disturbing, but perhaps not too far from the truth if our dark history repeats itself.

The main character, Walt Marshall, is cynical and distrustful of the very government who hired him. Yet he can’t say no to a once in a lifetime mission to a remote area devoid of the masses and their overwhelming use of technology. He makes his new home outside a military camp in a war-torn valley in hopes to restore the area to its once fruitful nature. However, Walt quickly realizes things aren’t what they seem.

Walt stumbles upon an unspeakable secret regarding the truth as to why this valley was selected for colonization. Readers are emerged in Walt’s journey and internal conflict. The closer he gets to finding answers, the more he’s reminded of the emotional anguish he tried to leave behind.  His path to the truth leads through espionage and treason all while forcing Walt out of his comfort zone. The long time loner is forced to trust and rely on the people around him in order to uncover the facts.

This story is filled with twists, turns, and symbolism to keep readers on their toes. However, the best thing the first book in the Genesis Rising series has to offer is a glimpse at the lore fueling the trilogy. In the short story prequel, Project Genesis, we witness the discovery of the Genesis documents and the formation of the secret organization behind the translation. In The Cost of Survival, Walt Marshall experiences the mysterious language once more. We learn some of the information uncovered in the Genesis documents and more will be revealed throughout the series.

This incredible journey will take readers beyond what they’ve expected and it all starts with learning the secrets within The Cost of Survival.

Buy The Cost of Survival on Amazon here.

 

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Author Interview – David Pauly

Today my Gentle Readers, I have a fantasy author for you to meet. David Pauly has several books available on Amazon for your enjoyment. In the style of my previous interviews, I will put my comments/questions in BLUE and Lyons will be GREEN.

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Thanks for stopping by, David. Let’s start with a good get to know you question. Since most writers are readers, can you tell my readers what brought you into the world of literature?

I learned to read initially due to my mother’s love for reading, which allowed her to ignore her children as much as possible. I then learned to escape from life as well through reading.

So what genre helps you escape?

My favorite genre is currently espionage thrillers or adventure style books.

Is there someone or something that inspired you to become a writer?

I was inspired to write due to wondering what would have come after the Lord of the Rings ended. Frankly I was highly disappointed that the books ended, and later during my divorce, I began to type a few lines about what I thought might happen. Soon, the lines became pages, which became chapters, which became a book. Then, once I did some research and found that the Tolkien estate adamantly refused to consider any writer’s attempt at a sequel, I began the really difficult task of re-writing the novel as my own work. The most challenging part was creating my own original world, and unique magical elements, so that my work was not simply a bad steal of other author’s material.

Fan Fiction can be difficult when it comes to copyrights. Glad you were able to repurpose your idea into something unique to you. Would fantasy then be the genre you prefer to write?
I prefer to write fantasy as my day job is solely based in reality, more about that later.

Let’s hear about your publishing journey. Any interesting stories there?
My original novel, was published as “Icarus Rising” in trade paperback by a really horrible publishing company called Black Rose Writing. I did not realize when I signed up with them, that they are a glorified self-publishing company where you have to fund a certain number of books. They have virtually no distribution networks, and their only promotions are tied into a continuous self-promotion by their owner Reagan Rothe and his books. But, that being said, Midwest reviewed Icarus and gave it 5/5 stars, so that was gratifying. Sending out query letters only resulted in silence or rejection slips, so I asked an agent in New York, Paul Witcover, to have a look at my QL. He did so, but then asked to read the first chapter of Icarus, which he tore to shreds in a good way. I engaged him as an editor and spent 2 years re-writing Icarus from the beginning. I kept the character names and much of the basic storyline, but edited ruthlessly and added chapters that Paul thought were necessary. Paul was absolutely instrumental in helping me craft a much better book. Now, as The Fourth Age, Shadow Wars, it is in my opinion a much better story, tighter, richer and stronger than Icraus was. I have sold about 100 copies of Shadow Wars, either as a complete novel, or in 3 smaller pieces that a local marketing guru said would be easier to sell.
Sounds like you had some bad luck and some really good luck. When you are not writing, what keeps you occupied?

My day job for the past 23 years is a trial lawyer, where I am paid to clean up other people’s mess. I have a culinary degree from Cordon Bleu–Paris and am a dedicated hobby chef. I collect Antique Japanese swords, and train in martial arts. I am re-married and we have a 4, soon to be 5 year old precocious daughter, named Melissa. We recently abandoned Albuquerque, New Mexico as too horrible to stand anymore, and Breaking Bad was literally filmed in front of my office and is much closer to the truth than people who live there like to admit. We have re-located to Australia.

A move to Australia sounds exciting. I hope it inspires some great stories for you. Thank you again for stopping by and chatting with me so I could introduce you to my readers.

If you want to find more about David or his work, please check out the links below.

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David Pauly’s Website

Find his work on Amazon

Book Review – The Student by Frank Weisener

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The Student (Jerome Water Book 1)
Frank Weisener
4 Stars

 

Crime Dramas are not my normal cup of tea for reading, my Gentle Readers. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the TV shows, I just normally do not read them. This series might become my first exception. Frank does a great job of weaving flashbacks and character backstory in bite size chunks so that you can understand the depth and motivations of his creations. Each chapter gives you a date and time, as well as the primary players in the scene. This allows you to follow along with the investigation as well as the criminal’s activities.

Something is wrong at Miami’s prestigious Florida International University. FIU students are turning up dead. It’s up to rookie detective Jerome Water to crack this case and bring the perp to justice. He’s not alone, however. He has his mentor, aging detective Poole, and former Miami Dade police officer turned private eye, Franco Tamargo. Can these three gumshoes find out who’s killing the students of FIU? Grab your copy of “The Student” today to find out.

The Student on Amazon

Frank Weisener on Goodreads

Book Review – A Question of Power by Susi Wright

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A Question of Power
Susi Wright
3 Stars

My Gentle Readers, today’s offering is a fantastical tale of magic, the battle between Good and Evil, and the Power of Love. Though this is Book 2 in her series, The Fire Chronicles, it is capable of standing alone with enough flashback that it won’t hamper your enjoyment of the work.

Susi Wright crafts a beautiful world full of unique people with a rich history. Her characters are deeply complex with unique quirks and personal trials.

The Alliance between humans and Gaians is struck and Lord Luminor of the Gaians sends a party of His people to find others of their kind and bring them to the safety of Baram. Xandor, leader of one such expedition, believes wholeheartedly in the quest put before him. Though he has some success early on, a dark threat looms in the east.

Lord Luminor is troubled by dark nightmares and feels his power, that of supreme control over Fire, being siphoned away. Knowing he has to face this threat before it destroys the newly brokered peace of the Alliance, he gathers his warriors and flies to meet this foe head on.

The world is fully developed with a deep mythos and multiple cultures interacting seamlessly. The downfall for me was a lot of repetition and wordiness. Multiple sentences with so many commas they were paragraphs all their own. There are times where a character thinks something, says it out loud, and then also  acts it out in some way. This spurs an equal trifecta of reactions from the other character. This gets much better as the book goes on but can bog you down in the early going.

If you like hand crafted fantasy worlds with depth and detail, “A Question of Power” can satisfy that desire. Be prepared for a slow start. Once you slog your way through that, you are in for a real treat.

A Question of Power on Amazon

Susi Wright’s Website

Book Review – The Kaleidoscope by B K Nault 


The Kaleidoscope
B K Nault
5 Stars

My Gentle Readers, today’s offering is a real gem. BK gives us a lovely tale of Harold Donaldson, a genius of cyber forensics with the people skills of a rock. Maybe that’s a little harsh but his wife leaves him for a lack of passion and direction in his life.

With the help of a book on management principles from the 1950s, Harold sets out to prove his wife wrong and make real connections with people.

His social life takes a dramatic turn after an encounter with a homeless man on his way to work. Harold buys some bagels for the guy, and in return is given a beautiful handcrafted kaleidoscope. You know the ones we had as kids, but this one is top notch.

The kaleidoscope seems to draw people to Harold in such a way as never before. While he struggles with his newfound friendships, he continues to seek ways to prove his wife wrong by getting a promotion at work. The mysterious powers the Kaleidoscope exhibits are just another complication he doesn’t necessarily want, but cannot seem to rid himself of the device.

Soon enough he’s embroiled in the life of Pepper, his cancer stricken neighbor. Her zest for life is contagious and Harold finds himself drawn more and more out of his shell.

Where did the mysterious kaleidoscope come from? What is the connection between the kaleidoscope’s maker and Harold? Pick up “The Kaleidoscope” today and find out for yourself.

The Kaleidoscope on Amazon
BK Nault’s Website

Book Review – The 45th Nail 


The 45th Nail
Michael and Ian Lahey
5 Stars

Today my Gentle Readers I have a real treat for those of you into a little history with your storyline. I wasn’t sure if I would like this or not at first, because it is a far cry from my usual science fiction/fantasy reads. However, these authors won me over with their conversational style and intriguing plot. The ultimate conclusion is very touching.

The 45th Nail is a journey of discovery. Robert Svenson is content with his lot in life: teaching French, loving wife, and growing son. A mysterious letter and package from an uncle thought dead for over 40 years changes all that. Now Robert begins a journey to Italy, while telling his wife he’s in Paris working on his French.

Robert’s journey doesn’t start off the way he expects and just gets further off the rails from there. As he tries to understand just what kept his uncle from coming home from World War II, he gets a lesson in Italian history before, during, and after the last Great War. Surprises abound for Robert. Not just about his uncle’s life, but just what he is capable of himself.

A journey like this changes a person in ways they would never expect. Bob’s Uncle weaves a tale of ancient history overlaid with a soldier’s journey through the Allied invasion of Italy.

If you understand Italian and French you will probably enjoy this book more. Even so, the author gives us enough explanation to get the gist of almost every sentence in each foreign language when he uses them.

If you like a journey of self discovery overlaid with a bit of history and dark humor, get your copy of The 45th Nail today.

Official The 45th Nail Website
The 45th Nail on Amazon