Sunday, 7 January 2018

Author Blog TAKEOVER - Morgan Bell

An image posted by the author.

Meet Morgan Bell...


The Power of Independence
By Morgan Bell


"The hardest thing is facing yourself. It's easier to shout 'revolution' and 'power to the people' than it is to look at yourself and try and find out what's real and what isn't, when you try pull the wool over your own eyes and your own hypocrisy…that's the hardest one." – John Lennon

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That was me three years ago. I couldn’t go on being a cog in the broken machine a day longer. I needed to say something. I had something to say. And we have a limited time in this life to truly make a difference.

Do weird short allegories make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps to only a few people. I see it as: you be real and put it out there, and even if just one person is consoled it is a better use of your time that treading water your whole life. Creative writing makes me feel like my most authentic self.
I was a civil engineer for local government because I wanted to help people. But in the 15 years I was in the workforce I saw a lot of disappointing changes away from the principles of public service. I essentially got burnt out. I packed up my cats, put all my belongings in storage in Sydney, and moved to the coastal village of Port Stephens to live with my parents. I am now a full-time indie author. I don’t make a living from it, but it’s given me the space to accept being an insulin-dependent diabetic and to properly manage my clinical depression. It’s been a pulling of the wool from my eyes in my approach to aging and disability, which is a major theme in my writing.

Battlestar Galactica, Westworld, Orphan Black, Legion, Mr. Robot, Firefly; I always go to humanist sci-fi for socioeconomic thought-experiments. In these near-future worlds, we can work through how our real-world systems affect minorities, women, and people living with disabilities. This is what I like about speculative fiction. Within these constructed worlds you have the freedom to be philosophical without the constraints of accepted norms and taboos in the real world.

One of my favorite books is Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve for examining gender through the scenario of a forced sex-change. Similarly, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora really challenged my enchantment with the idea of space-exploration by framing it as an extension of the unsustainable colonialism of the past. Like Avatar, there is the idea that we can only exist in our own eco-system, that we are a part of it, and it is a part of us. These ideas are not completely new, but sometimes including elements of the fantastical can really open people’s eyes.

For short story lovers, I recommend Sonja Dechian’s An Astronaut’s Life and Julie Koh’s Portable Curiosities. I edited an anthology of botanical horror called Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions that was brimming with metaphors about environmentalism and the psychology of relationships. It was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. It was self-published and it was launched at the Newcastle Writers Festival. Themed collections really capture the imaginations of readers.

I often refer to self-publishing as the punk-rock of publishing. We are doing something truly revolutionary. We are putting our thoughts out into the world unfiltered by the cowardice of corporate marketing machines. I have two self-published short story collections: Sniggerless Boundulations, and my recent release Laissez Faire. My hope is that they are horizon-expanding. I know there is an audience for everything, and variety makes us all the richer.



You can follow me on FACEBOOK and stalk me on TWITTER.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to spend a few moments with me.

MORGAN...

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Author Blog TAKEOVER - Meet Ryan J Doughan

Ryan J Doughan

MEET RYAN J DOUGHAN...


First of all, I just wanted to offer a big “Thank you” to Kathy for the opportunity to share.
(It is my pleasure, Ryan.)

My name is Ryan J Doughan and I am the author of the epic fantasy novel, MIST FALCON which is Book One of the Warrior Poet Archives and THE TOUCH HEIST, a novelette in the same series.

Reading. My love affair with writing blossomed out of a love for reading—a love for stories, really. I grew up with a dad who read to me every night. He opened the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth to me amongst many others. I will ever be grateful for that. 

From there it has really been a buffet table of incredible authors with incredible stories to tell.  I’ll name a few, but this list is far from exhaustive. 

Brent Weeks’s characters are always incredible, and his ability to offer a picture of love and redemption even in the darkest of times is stirring. 

I love pretty much every book by Brandon Sanderson, but his Stormlight Archive books are a particular favorite. His world and magic system building is renowned, but his ability to get a reader to cheer for his characters from page one is also of particular note.

Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series is incredible. If you haven’t read it, you really need to check it out. 

Then, of course, there is THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss, absolutely anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, Orson Scott Card, Brian McClellan, Peter Orullian, Peter F. Hamilton, Scott Lynch … and oh so many more.

So reading, that was my gateway drug. It didn’t take terribly long for me to figure out that writing is really just reading on steroids. Not only am I swept along in a tale of someone else’s creation, but I get to play an active role in that creation process.  It is wonderfully messy and tangled and thrilling all at once. I’ve always loved a good turn of phrase and once I got to add that into the mix of story creation, I was hooked.

I think it is the power of stories that keeps me going both reading and writing. It is entertainment value, yes, but it’s something more as well. As the incredible Canadian author, Guy Gavriel Kay stated to Robert Crew from the Toronto Star, “I do want to give you that escapist adventure, I do want you crying with my characters, but I also want you to be brought home to the situation in your own world by the themes I explore within that setting.”

In short, stories offer us something more than the delightful escape (though that is certainly there).  Stories can teach us something that we might struggle to realize while bogged down in the surroundings of the real world.

There’s a power in stories. There’s a power in the written word. At the end of the day, I guess I just want to share in that power with my readers.

These are my two books:

   


If you want, you can find me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Blessings to all of you.  Read with Joy!

RYAN...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Author Blog Takeover -- Meet Susan Hawthorne


Meet Susan Hawthorne...



Hi everyone, my name is Susan Hawthorne and I’m an author.

As a child, when my mother read to me I knew I wanted to write stories, too, and books quickly became my best friends. 

As I grew up I read many, many delightful books. I began with Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren - how I loved that courageous, obstacle-leaping girl, and Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting (who wouldn’t love to be able to talk to animals?) but quickly progressed to Charles Dickens (loved Oliver Twist), Louisa May Alcott (my favorite was Eight Cousins), JRR Tolkien, (The Fellowship of the Ring pulled me into Fantasy) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book of all times, it embraces everything about writing and leaving a message that stands forever).

Although I worked in healthcare for 26 years, I always had a story in my head. I have a huge file of story bits and pieces all waiting to find their way into a book. While I was working, I wrote numerous short stories that I shared with some friends and other writers. I joined many writing groups and devoured info on writing. Everything from sentence structure and grammar to story development and world building to how to publish and find readers. I recently retired and began writing with a passion! I publish under the name S. Tilghman Hawthorne.

I love to see my words fall onto paper and begin to paint a scene. My characters push me, pull me, and argue with me about the direction I take them. Once, as I wrote a story, I had a group walking a path through the country surrounded by farms and fields. One of my characters wanted to walk across a field instead of following the road. NO, I insisted, you have to follow this road to reach the next scene. But he persevered and finally, I gave in and we walked across the field … and found a whole new section to the tale that had been waiting in the shadows there! It’s such a delightful process to write, and re-write, and mold the story into something that shines. 

What do YOU like to read? 
I enjoy a tale that grabs my imagination from the beginning. It pulls me into the story and won’t let go. Does that describe you? 

I’ve written you a story filled with adventure, betrayal, ambiguity… a Prophecy is on the brink of being fulfilled: a Child has been born who is predicted to bring the world into harmony and a time of peace and plenty. 

Does it reveal Destiny? Or Treachery? 
A new Vision has been received by the godly men of the Brotherhood saying the prophecy is untrue: that this child brings destruction and death!
Gef and his companions have been hired by the Brotherhood to find this child and bring her to them for cleansing. While Gef questions the new Vision and wonders how the ancient Prophecy could be wrong, the fortune offered him is too great to turn down, it will buy him a new life.  And, after all, who is he to determine what the right thing is? 
What is his Destiny? What is this Child’s Fate? Is there a Secret not yet known? 


If you’d like to learn more, you can find my book, Bitter Prophecy here: 


You can also find me on TWITTER

Thanks for spending a little of your day with me.

SUSAN...

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Author Blog TAKEOVER ... Meet Brenda Mohammed


Meet Brenda Mohammed...

Zeeka Chronicles: Revenge of Zeeka   [Science Fiction and fantasy]


I did not choose writing as my career. It happened by chance.

I was a successful banker and after I retired from banking, moved on to Insurance where I also excelled. I qualified for the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table six times in a row and had the privilege to attend MDRT Conferences abroad. Those opportunities broadened my knowledge in new areas which prepared me for writing.

My writing journey began after my bout with cancer. I wrote 'I am Cancer Free' and self-published it in June 2013 eight years after my near-death experience with cancer. I wrote that book to tell people suffering from that disease that cancer does not have to be a death sentence. That book [my first] was the winner of Mc Grath House Indie Book Awards in the category Non-Fiction in September 2016. It also received a five-star review and five-star seal from Readers Favorite in 2017.

I traveled extensively on vacations and conferences for many years during my banking and Insurance careers, and even after retirement. I wrote four memoirs about my life as a banker, retirement, travel, and a spiritual one, all before trying my hand at fiction.

I tried fiction because of something that my brother said to me in one of his letters prior to his death. He wrote in reference to my book, ‘My Life as a Banker: A Life Worth Living,'
“Your book makes very pleasant reading, and your literary expression is superb and easy to follow. You have an excellent talent, and I think you should follow up on a leisurely basis with perhaps publishing a book of short stories. With fiction, you will have greater opportunity to use your imagination and your undoubted descriptive ability. You used the word 'fantasize' to create a situation. This is an outstanding quality, which you should continue to use because it is imagination, which disposes of everything, coming from within you. It creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.”

I took my brother’s advice and in the year 2014 wrote, ‘Heart-Warming Tales,’ and ‘Stories People Love.’ Both books are short story collections. They each received five-star reviews from readers, but I still felt that I needed to write more exciting stories.

An idea for a science fiction series came to me and in February 2016, I published Zeeka and the Zombies: Revenge of Zeeka Book 1. Within a few months, I released Zeeka’s Child Book 2, and Zeeka Returns Book 3. The series scored a double with Readers Favorite. I had compiled the first three books into a trilogy called Revenge of Zeeka: Horror Trilogy. In September 2016, I submitted the trilogy to Readers Favorite for a free review. The book received a five-star review and five-star seal.

The following year I added two more books to the series - Zeeka’s Ghost Book 4 and Resurrection Book 5. I compiled the five books into one book called Zeeka Chronicles: Revenge of Zeeka. I sent it to Readers Favorite for a free review and it received a five-star review and five-star seal. Read the review from Readers Favorite.
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/zeeka-chronicles

A fan nominated the book for the Metamorph Publishing Summer Indies Book Awards. It won Best Science Fiction third place in September 2017.
These are headlines Reviewers wrote in their Reviews for Zeeka Chronicles.
Thank you, Readers.

1. I found the book to be original, brilliant, and full of suspense.
2. Just when you thought you knew everything about Zombies, comes this imaginative tale that re-defines their existence.
3. I loved this book. It will make a great movie. I recommend it if you love sci-fi novels.
4.Great Science Fiction reading
5.Twilight Zone-like Sci-Fi Shorts
6.Excellent, original story.
7.Blind-siding Events Abound
8.A fascinating vision of our future
9.An above average zombie series brought together in one superb collection.
10.Teens and up will adore this book.
11. I loved Zeeka Chronicles; it has worldwide appeal for anyone looking for an entertaining story that is different.

The Book is available on Amazon
(Universal Link )

iBooks, B&N, etc...
Universal Link - Multi-platform


To date, I have self-published eighteen books. I enjoy being an author.

Thank you for spending time with me today, please feel free to reach out and follow me on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Brenda



Tuesday, 2 January 2018

#syfy #erotica #blueballs what more can I say?

Dungari RiseDungari Rise by Nikki Landis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

PLOT: 5 / 5
CHARACTER: 5 / 5
FLOW: 5 / 5

OVERALL -- 5 out of 5



I will try very hard to give any spoilers (except for #blueballs of course - tag coined by the fantastic D. J. Doyle lol) as I really hate when I see A book that looks like my cuppa tea and delve into the reviews only to get pissed when I see spoilers.

Dungari Rise is set in the future when man has all but messed the world up and it is not as we know it today, instead it peppered with walled cities and crumbling hovels. It was when mankind had reached this point the Dungari arrived with what appeared to be the best solution for them both. One a dying world, the other a dying civilization. But the deal was not all it seemed and many young women paid a harsh price for the deal that was struck.

This book is extremely well written and allows the reader to see from both viewpoints. The main character is well written and for once the female lead in a PNR/erotica is neither stupid nor a bimbo. We get to see a young woman with backbone and one that is willing to stand up to her captors. Synika is written with a strong convincing voice with realistic reactions to the serious situations she finds herself in.

Even though this book is listed as fantasy/erotica to me it was so much more. It showed the dark side of human emotions. This book is the first erotica I have read in quite a long time and I hope the author writes more in this genre.



View all my reviews

Monday, 1 January 2018

Love Dean and Sam? Then you will love this... Fantasic book written in the style of Supernatural.

The Bucktown BabiesThe Bucktown Babies by Janine R Pestel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

PLOT: 5 / 5
CHARACTER: 4.5 / 5
FLOW: 4.5 / 5

OVERALL -- 4.5 out of 5 (I still wish Amazon would allow half stars - sometimes it is needed)




Author Janine R. Pestel's book, The Bucktown Babies, blew my mind...

As a lover of the television show Supernatural, I was hooked by the blurb of this book right away (though I have to say I wish the cover was more appealing as it does not convey the awesomeness that is in this book). I kept my fingers crossed that the reviews I read and the blurb would be true to form and I am pleased to say they were.

This book very much draws on the vibe of the hit TV show but it adds its own unique twist to the genre. The characters, both main and minor, are well developed and written. This allowed the story to flow unhindered and allowed the pace to hold its speed. This book is action packed with elements of suspense and horror.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of horror, suspense and the paranormal.

If you have already read this and want to check out other works from this very talented author then click HERE to go to her Amazon author page.

View all my reviews

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Forest of Ancestors (The Guardians #1)