Book Review – Hatching the Phoenix Egg by Joel Horn

Hatching The Phoenix Egg

(Mare Tranquillitatis Series Book 2)

Joel Horn

5 Stars

Joel Horn takes his precocious band of misfit geniuses from ”Lost Coast Rocket” (see my review here) to the next level in this exciting sequel. I always try to stay spoiler free in my reviews but…

A trip to Jupiter, epic science, world ending comet, and a trip home nearly missed while his own government decides to take him out of the sky. Top this off with a deeply held secret finally revealed to his true love (aside from the science of course)…

Life’s never been so precious, or complicated, for Ken O’Brien.

If you enjoyed “Lost Coast Rocket”, you should pick up this sequel right away.

Find it on Amazon.

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Guest Post – Timelost by Chris Turner

Human vs Alien

A pilot stranded on a faraway planet, timelost. An alien seeking symbiosis.

Visceral alien battles, planetary wars. Experience the adventure…along with edge-of-the-seat SF audio in this Star Wars meets Alien thriller.

In 2014, I started sequencing original SFF to audio using the Booktrack free studio tool, and it offered up a unique, creative experience. I was amazed at how the placement of some well-crafted audio, synced by word, sentence or paragraph could make a story come alive—in the same way a soundtrack makes a movie come alive. To date, I have produced a few dozen, text-and-audio renditions of my stories, drawing on the wide variety of sound clips from the Booktrack audio library.

The Timelost, my most recent production, is a gritty, dystopian foray into the macabre.

The world-building was intense, as I tried to incorporate elements of ‘galactic empire’, the theme of ‘a few struggling against many’, and extraordinary alien adversaries. I also wanted to develop the concept that an ordinary person, the pilot Miko, when plunged into a hostile, colonized, or uncolonized world with chilling advanced alien technology, could become a hero. And not just by circumstance.

The movie Prometheus, even though I had seen it after writing The Timelost, deeply moved me and confirmed my fascination with a SciFi, man-vs-alien conflict. Human and alien genesis theories intertwine as the characters scramble to survive many bizarre and unexpected hostile encounters. The story took on overtones of fantasy horror as it gained momentum, with elements not dissimilar to the Cthulhu mythos a la Lovecraft and the imaginative works of R.E. Howard.

I invite you to enter Miko’s distorted world in The Timelost. The Booktrack text-and-audio based format thrusts the reader into the terrifying unknown of planets of deep space.

Booktrack: http://bit.ly/2EhEfFH

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Timelost-Chris-Turner-ebook/dp/B079D5FBVS

Guest Post – 10 Reasons Not To Visit Illumia

Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult stories with (at least) a touch of magic and romance. My latest story is Running Toward Illumia, Astrea’s tale of finding herself while running from the one thing she wants most:

To find her sense of belonging.

Astrea’s lived in the Mist all her life, and she loves it there. In fact, she’d do just about anything to feel like she fits in with her Rudan people, even hunt a unicorn to feed her starving tribe.

Illumia is the first city beyond the Mist, just past the Dragon Range. Astrea’s come up with 10 reasons to never go to Illumia. I’ll let her tell you more.

***

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Travel to Illumia

10. They don’t have fog.

Who needs sunshine? I’m a Mist girl. Great for concealing movement, comfortable like an old blanket, and you never have to worry about dry skin.

9. They don’t all have red hair.

That’s why this tribe is here, despite being sent to the fog to die. And why we call ourselves the Rudan, rather than the Banned.

Wish my hair was redder. And I could use a few more freckles. But I’m one of the Rudan, I swear. I’d be dead if I wasn’t.

8. They’re weak.

Fog weeds out the weak. And if the fog doesn’t, the Lynx, ogres, or Rudan will. Illumians live the easy life. They have no reason to be strong.

7. They’re not very welcoming.

The Rudan take in anyone who can survive the fog. Illumians kicked us out (or at least my parents, but children of the Banned are no less welcome).

6. Illumians are idiots.

Everyone says so.

5. Big government.

I know all five of my council members, and they earned their spot. Like Seneca, first huntress—my mentor. Illumians probably have no idea who runs their council.

4. The journey’s dangerous.

Even if you can navigate the fog, streams filled with flesh-eating fish, and ogre-infested swamps, there’s the dragon range. There’s one pass, guarded by Illumians. The rest is mountain. Treacherous, dragon-housing mountains. No other way around it. Going to Illumia is a fool’s errand.

3. My family’s not there.

If you think getting one person into Illumia is hard, try five. Two brothers, plus Mamaa and Pawpaw.

Course, the whole tribe’s basically family. I’d want to take them all.

Except maybe Mavin. He’s a jerk. (Kidding. Sort of.)

2. I can never come back.

Going to Illumia is a one-way trip. Illumians and dragons ensure that.

1. I don’t want to.

Do I need any other reason?

***

Thanks for reading! If you’d like more, click for an excerpt from Banned, Part 1 of Running Toward Illumia.

Get all 4 parts of Running Toward Illumia today:

Banned (free!)

Lost (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)

Drenched (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)

Marked (On Sale for 99¢ through 2/15/18)

Book Review – Curse Breaker by Melinda Kucsera

Curse Breaker: Enchanted

Melinda Kucsera

4 Stars

Today, my Gentle Readers, I have an excellent fantasy book for you. Melinda Kucsera delivers a fully realized fantasy world with enough background to bring it to life without burying us in a history lesson. There were a few awkward proofing errors, and missing punctuation, but not enough to put me off from finishing this book.

Sarn possesses magic in a world that has spent a long time eradicating magic. Beholden to the Lord of the Mountain and the Rangers, he tries to keep to his promises and protect his son from discovery. There are those who distrust Sarn’s magic, those that just want to use him, but most are unaware of his gift.

When the magical forest surrounding his home decides Sarn needs to see a clearing of horrendous murders, Sarn is forced to face the capricious magic within. Armed with the seemingly moody force within his blood, and a ghost boy who tries to guide him, Sarn must unravel the mystery of the deaths and how it is connected to his own battered past. When the forces seem to be targeting his son as well, Sarn goes on the offensive, defying his Masters instructions at almost every turn.

Can Sarn protect his son, unravel the mystery, and keep his growing magic in check? If you want to know you’re going to have to read the book, because I’m not spoiling it for you.

Curse Breaker:Enchanted on Amazon

Melinda Kucsera’s Website

Book Review – The Prisoner (Shifting Isles Book 1) by G.R. Lyons

theprisoner
The Prisoner
Shifting Isles Book
G.R. Lyons
5 Stars

 

It made me think, laugh, and cry…

Lyons has woven a magnificent tale of oppression and redemption, loss and love, despair and hope.

Benash is a member of the Hawk forces, and second in command of Sonekha prison. Weighed down by the utter sameness of his routine and duties, Benash dreams of more. His ‘sinful’ desires echoed in the words of one of the men he arrests, “Haven’t you ever just wanted to have a choice?”

As his unswerving loyalty to the Elder’s commands begins to crumble, he takes a fateful trip down the forbidden right fork of the forest trail he walks to the prison each day. This decision would set him down a path he never dreamed of before when his path crossed that of Vorena, a rebel trying to escape the isle of Tanas for a better life on Agoran.

This chance meeting will change the course of both of their lives.

Lyons weaves a seamless world that one finds easy to feel could truly exist, from realistic climate to a religious system as believable as any existing in our own world.

She made me think, laugh, and cry with this book and I highly recommend you pick this book up immediately.

“The Prisoner” on Amazon

My previous interview with this amazing author can be found HERE.

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

Review – Nano Contestant, Part 1 by Lief Sterling

nanocontestantpart1
Nano Contestant, Part 1
Lief Sterling
5 Stars

Lief takes us into a futuristic world where biotech is nearly as commonplace as Starbucks is on every corner today.

What would you do for $100 Million dollars? Would you give up a limb or two for cybernetic implants to increase your speed or strength? Would you have specially engineered DNA to make yourself the better competitor? How about experimental nanotechnology that could blow up and kill you?

Roland has a secret. His father is a brilliant biotech engineer, but now he’s facing a death sentence. The Pinnacle Corporation is to blame. To prove it, Roland needs to enter their annual Tech Games. The Tech Games are where the best and the most expensive tech is showcased in a winner takes all brutal competition. People die in this competition, but Roland has no tech. He doesn’t have bionic limbs, or genetically engineered DNA. He doesn’t even have nanotech. That is until he discovers a bit of tech his father was working on.

With the help of his father’s computer genius friend Skylar, Roland takes a chance on his father’s untested tech and finds himself in line for the Tech Games. It doesn’t take long for him to draw the attention of a nearly illegal level cyborg competitor, Duke. Roland doesn’t need to win, he just needs to stick around long enough to find out what the Pinnacle Corporation knows that could free his father.

I suggest you try this episode out, as Leif will leave you looking for more. Unless of course, you are scared Duke will squash you.

Nano Contestant Part 1 on Amazon

Leif Sterling’s Website