book review/Books/Fantasy/fiction

Religion and Sci-Fi mixing

Avanaux Book Cover Avanaux
A Hickory Lace Adventure: Book 1 of the Prosperine Trilogy
PJ McDermott
science fiction, adventure, religion, metaphysical, visionary
Patrick McDermott Publishing
June 1, 2015

For sixty years, the Alien Corps has searched for the Second Son of God.

When a native on the planet Prosperine is reported to be exorcising demons, curing blindness, and healing the sick, Hickory and her team are sent to investigate. If this “Teacher” proves to be the one in the prophecy, it will signal the beginning of the apocalypse.

But Hickory and her superiors aren’t the only ones interested in Prosperine. A sinister galactic force is planning to seize the planet’s reserves of crynidium, the key to faster than light travel. If they succeed, their next stop will be Earth and its colonies.

Hickory needs to stop the insurgents, discover what the Teacher is up to, and decide whether he is a fraud—or perhaps the very person the Alien Corps has been searching for.

Something new here in terms of theme – the mix of religion and sci-fi giving adventure a twist.

I thought it an interesting take on the ‘first contact’ theme and what you can and cannot do when you meet one of the many humanoid species out there in deep space.

So there is a new saint discovered in the 22nd century who has foretold another messiah with a new set of gospels demonstrating what s/he would be like and it is the mission of the Council to check all such reportings for veracity under the rules concerning first contact.

A reasonable story but didn’t inspire me to want to read more.

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book review/Books/Fantasy/fiction/crime fiction

FBI uses Magic:

The Federal witch Book Cover The Federal witch
The Federal Witch bks 0-7
TS Paul
fantasy, paranormal, romance, humour, crime

Imagine a world where Witches, Weres, and Vampires work among us. The Paranormals came out to the world during World War one. History as we know it took a left turn as world events changed. World war two never happened as we remember it. The Empire of Japan still exists. As does the British Empire. America is finding itself overwhelmed by magic. Particularly the FBI.

Agatha Blackmore is a Witch and she has all but been drafted by the FBI to help. Demons, Dragons, Weres, and Fae are her opponents. What can one small Witch and her pet Unicorn do against the world?

Read the Prequel and books 1 & 2 to find out!

  • Born a Witch ... Drafted by the FBI!
  • Conjuring Quantico
  • Magical Probi

I read all the way through the Federal witch stories, and even started on the Universe stories without a breather. They were fun! and such a blast to read.

There are 8 stories in the main series:

0. Born a Witch: Drafted by the FBI

  1. Conjuring Quantico
  2. Magical Probi
  3. Special Agent in Charge
  4. Witness Enchantment
  5. Night of the Unicorn
  6. Invisible Elder
  7. Blood on the Moon

This is paranormal fantasy with every possible species you can think of. Each book tells you a little more backstory and also about each character – do read number 5!

We have the FBI as the central organisation but then there are gateways/portals into various multiverses and pocket worlds such as Tir Nan Og – hence the Unicorns (yeah) who actually are nasty fighters witht horn and battle dragons with Arthur and his Round Table Nights – but don’t ask about Merlin…

And there is politics. Scheming that makes Machiavelli look simplistic. Playing the long gang as many species – such as Vampires – live for a very long time and manipulate from behind the ‘scene’.

So the Federal witch is Agatha and these stories are based on her adventures with her friends – of various species but especially Cat, Chuck and her micro-unicorn Fergus and the FBI cases they get involved in.

During the time period of the stories, which start when she joins and end (at present) Agatha graduates and becomes a Special Agent in Charge of her own unit. she goes from being a rather naive teenager to a seasoned agent, despite the interference of various gods and Goddesses.

Oh and please could she share the clothes cleaning spell? and is there one for keeping hair under control too? (See Abby from the Aphrodite series – she has one, and a self-cleaning one too) Would make life so much easier and cheaper too.

There are 2 books known to be in the list to come:

  • Child of Darkness
  • A Draft of Dragons

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book review/Books/Fantasy/fiction/Romance

A very dark Chief Officer

Vampire CEO: The Complete Series Book Cover Vampire CEO: The Complete Series
Parts 1/2/3
Erin Bedford
paranormal romance, mythology, Metaphysical & Visionary
Embrace the Fantasy Publishing
Feb 2017

Wait until he gets a taste of her.

Tossed out by her coven, Abigail has to brave the human world and get a real job. With no skills outside of potions and spells, she magics her way out of unemployment and into the executive suite of Midnight Pharmaceutical.

But something strange is going on at Midnight. While her boss is the very definition of dark and mysterious, he makes her witchy sense tingle with his odd hours and the string of women leaving his office every day...

She'll find out what's happening at Midnight; if her boss doesn't take a bite out of her first.

This book was written and supplied in 3 parts. I thought parts 1 and 2 worthy of 4.5 stars but…

A Dark Power – a witch as a succubus – meets a 400 year vampire. Sparks fly. Literally. From her hands! Attraction is rather high from both sides and she is working through her issues as a very bad witch and finds it difficult to cope with a new lover but……

I found Part 3 disappointing as just a very short ending – but not quite – leaves you feeling the story has more to say. 3 stars for this section.  Although an Epilogue has now been published.

Averages 4 for the book total.

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Mike Wakes the Gods

Mike knows that Twilight is Falling Mike Robinson

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
  2. This topic chose me, really. 
  3. The whole series The Enigma of Twilight Falls had its germination with a short story I wrote in 6th grade, about a murderously jealous author competing with a peer. 
  4. In college, I rewrote the concept for a novella, which then became a full novel, which then branched off into a whole universe now spanning three novels. It was mostly in writing the very early  drafts of these books, long ago, that my pen just spouted certain metaphysical or philosophical concepts that at the time I was not formally aware of, but which spoke to me in their own way through these stories and their characters. 
  5. The Twilight Falls series touches on many Eastern-oriented, shamanic, and pantheistic ideas of spirituality, bound by threads of Ralph Waldo Emerson that, I think, being American, I simply ingested through the cultural water supply (I now read him regularly, since retroactively appreciating his influence on my own work). 
  6. My approach is unique -- I hope -- in that I aim to marry the horror and supernatural genres with heavier "literary" or ontological concerns in ways I don't often see. As horror involves the unknown and inexplicable, I think it's a mistake to bypass   some of the more resounding philosophical and psychological implications that, say, seeing a monster or ghost (or worse) might inflict on a person, or persons.  For me, it's less the Thing itself than the human reaction to the Thing.
  7. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
  8. Not so much topics, but definitely ideas. It's hard to figure why exactly I pursue a topic at a given time. By default, I'm into every topic that spawns an interesting idea, which is what has to come first. I'm generally not the type to say, "I want to write about the 1984 Olympics", then set out to find an appropriate story. 
  9. If a story comes to me pertaining to the 1984 Olympics that I think will be cool, I'll run with it. But normally I casually date a lot of pre-listed ideas, fleshing them out a chapter or two, in order to see which one I want to commit the long haul to.
  10. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
  11. My research is not so much conscious in that it stems from all I've read and all I continue to read, largely for fun, for self-insight, for reflection. I read widely, so in a sense it all goes into the pot. Certainly, there are instances when I run into something more practical or mechanical in nature that requires research, but the main topic generally flowers out of my pursuit of a given interest.
  12. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
  13. Primarily books and the internet. It's also supremely handy that I live directly across the street from the local library. I've traveled a bunch, as well, which pays its dividends, and have the fortune of a diverse set of friends' brains to pick, many of whom occupy different careers.
  14. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?  
  15. They've been extremely helpful and gracious. Pretty much all the authority figures I've consulted, including any in law enforcement, have thankfully been only a few degrees removed from me socially, well within the sphere of friendship, acquaintanceship, or friend-of-a-friend. So I often have a receptive ear, and a willing spirit.
  16. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
  17. Yeesh, I never counted. I will say that I started sending out queries for my novels when I was 19. My first acceptance came when I was 27. I wrote a novel a year, aiming to get better. And in between I'd write short stories, some of which I sold to one publication or another.
  18. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
  19. I never "officially" self-published a book, no. I did self-publish my first novel in 2004, but that was well before the Kindle era and just as print-on-demand technology was starting to heat up. My goal was really (vainly) just to see my novel in print. I didn't think it'd sell much. Ultimately, though, I wanted to do it the traditional way. I won't lie in that I did harbor the usual "shame" bias against self-publishing, but truthfully I wanted to feel less lonely when braving the marketplace. An agent and/or a publisher can help with that.  
  20. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
  21. No, I wouldn't recommend self-publishing if your end-goal is to find a traditional publisher. 
  22. Reason being that self-published books often don't sell very well. If you self-publish a book and it sells 50 copies, any future publisher you approach could look up the ISBN and sneer at that sales figure. It's less problematic if you have other self-published books you've used to build a platform, but it's still very difficult, especially in today's climate, and they could still look up the sales figures of those previous self-published books, too. 
  23.  Only if you've sold a magic number (I'm guessing close to six figures,  or over), will they be interested, or potentially approach you. It's odd, right? That means 100,000 less people to buy the book. But in a publisher's eyes that signals "mass appeal". 
  24. Other generations of writers may well have spouted legitimate complaints about their challenges in finding an audience, but ours is the only to have had to face the likes of the internet, smartphones, YouTube, hyperactive blockbusters, and an overall media landscape as utterly diverse and saturated as today's.
  25. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
  26. No, not right now and I'm very suspicious of anyone who says otherwise about their own careers, unless their last name is Grisham or King or any moniker we've seen blared boldly across many a hardcover. 
  27. I read in the New Yorker once that 80% of all New York-published authors don't make back their advances. Money simply cannot be your goal when you decide to become a novelist. It just can't, even if you're intentionally more commercial-oriented. The money has to (eventually) grow from your love of doing it. 
  28. I've been writing professionally for about 11 years. Only in the last four or so years have I seen regular income from it, and it's not mortgage or rent-paying by any means. Not yet, anyway. It does help with groceries and bills, no doubt. At 32, I am still a young writer (gotta appreciate the scribe's biological advantage over other arts, like acting or singing). So time is on my side.
  29. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
  30. Hmm, unsure. I've actually not been on a proper physical book tour, only blog tours. 
  31. Probably the most amusing thing yet to happen at a signing/release party of mine was a friend who'd driven 40 minutes to attend. He was late, and walked into the back of the audience as I was giving my reading. He whirls in, sits for maybe 30 seconds, then heads back out. I don't see him the rest of the night. He did apologize later. Not exactly a knee-slapper, I know, but I plan to have a bigger bag of anecdotes in due time!

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