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Why Awake?

Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds Book Cover Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds
An 8th Dimension Novel Book 3
Carissa Andrews
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Independently published
Publication date: November 12th 2019

The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.  Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality. The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago? One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases. If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!

“Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular genre to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?”

When I originally went to college, I had big plans to become an archaeologist or anthropologist. I have always been fascinated by the idea of mythology, spirituality, and religion. But more than that, I have always loved the paranormal and supernatural side as well. I grew up in a very eclectic, open minded family who embraced dichotomous thinking—which basically means holding two seemingly opposing viewpoints as true at the same time. For example, being Christian, but believing other religions or spiritual traditions hold similar truths. Magical mindsets and energy work have always played a role in my life. In fact, in 2002, I started my journey to become a reiki master. I have also dived deep into comparative religion because the concept is deeply fascinating to me.

Then, on the other side (remember the dichotomous thinking), I love science. Physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry—you name it. So, being this strange person with seemingly opposing beliefs, I find I can look at subjects more… subjectively.

Awakening originally came to me as a way to make sense of the world after the 2016 election. I’m not gonna lie—it seriously felt light we were fighting a war of light and dark and the dark was winning. So, my question to myself was… what if there were angels buried in the subconsciousness of humans walking the Earth? What would that look like? How would that play out?

However, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around their mission. What would they fight for? How would they fix things? Then, at our local writers group’s Christmas party last year, we got an interesting writing prompt. There were actually something like seven of them, but the one I chose was: write something about the Jesus story from a totally different perspective.

Now, I have to place a caveat here – I am actually very eclectic spiritually because of my background. I don’t identify as one religion or another anymore. I just don’t feel it’s necessary. So, as a sciencey, fantasy jumbled up mess I am, I took an idea I’d had in the back of my mind for a long time about the Jesus story. It relied on the question of—what if Jesus didn’t exist? What if in the future, darkness had taken over and his light never shone on the world? (Okay, historically, there are actual questions about true existence, but there is no denying his story exists—and has had a huge impact on the world.)

But more than that, what if someone from the future could go back and make things happen? How could you tell this story where it seems both believable—and completely crazy at the same time? I mean, that’s what science fiction and fantasy are meant to do, right? Play with the bigger questions of who we are, why we’re here, and the stories we tell ourselves… right?

To my knowledge, no one has written a story quite like Awakening. It’s part urban fantasy – part alternative history – part science fiction. But what I am most pleased about with this book is that it must have placed its timing perfectly (I may have written it, but I swear the stories have their own timing). Both Christians and non-Christians alike love the story and the way the story was able to tread the wire between motivation and blasphemy.

About the Author:

Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites: www.carissaandrews.comwww.authorrevolution.org, or authorrevolution.teachable.com

Author links:

https://www.carissaandrews.com/

https://www.instagram.com/Carissa_Andrews_MN/

https://www.pinterest.ca/carissaandrews/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5755860.Carissa_Andrews

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarissaAndrews

https://twitter.com/CarissaAndrews

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How to steal: the author lets us know

Heist Book Cover Heist
Melanie Perkiss Witch Hunter
Kezzy Sparks
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Square Six
Publication date: October 31st 2019

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter.  In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state. No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners. The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?  

  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?

Answer: I chose this particular plot premise because a theft of body parts off a living person by witches is not something you often encounter in urban fantasy books. And further, what appealed to me regarding the genital heist is that the victim is set to wed, which therefore puts pressure on the main character to solve the mystery and bring it to closure before the day comes.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Answer: I must say I do take quite a bit of time, thinking about a plot line and weighing whether it will appeal to readers or not. Although I do not make heavy notes about a book before writing it, I do outline a little bit so that the writing process is guided and can be completed faster.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Answer: I don’t do a lot of research really, since most of the stuff that I put down is something I create in my head. The plot material for HEIST was never researched on, except for some minor details about the witchcraft trials of Salem Massachusetts in 1692—3, which I speak about in one chapter.

  1. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Answer: For HEIST I never used any researched materials, except for the dates of the small historical event I mentioned before.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

Answer: I suppose in situations where one is writing a novel that closely follows reality, the information you’d get from authority figures would be of great value since they are the ones who actually work in the field you have chosen to write about. Fantasy works differently, though, because almost everything is imagined. Myself I have never approached any authority for background information.

  1.  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Answer: Yes, I have had some early works of mine rejected, and that didn’t surprise me. It’s only the fewest authors who can boast that they have never been turned down. Rejection is all part and parcel of the creative industries.

  1. Did you need to self-publish any e-books before a publisher took you up?

Answer: Sure, I did self-publish, and still would do so if needed.

  1. 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?

Answer: Without a doubt, I do believe self-publishing actually offers a viable alternative to the traditional approach. Many authors have succeeded first as indie writers and then gone on to snag traditional contracts. Yes, it’s harder to find audiences when writing as an indie, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The biggest benefit of being an indie is total control. Everything you put out there, you are responsible for it.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take you before this happened?

Answer: To be honest, current trends show that for the average writer, it’s well nigh impossible to survive solely on royalties. For that reason most authors have a day job with which to support themselves, and they will continue to work until such time royalties have built to a substantial amount. Very few do ever get to that level, though, and I am still a long way away from quitting my day job myself, unless a miracle happens.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Answer: This is my first virtual tour and I am not very sure what could happen. If there is to be anything awkward or embarrassing coming however, we will see about it.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

            Answer: I haven’t been ill enough to stay in bed for a number of years now, and I can count myself lucky in that regard. What I would read, though, were such a thing ever to happen, would be something perhaps light and fun, think Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but definitely not something with a lot of ghosts and dead people in it like Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Answer: Currently my favourite genre is the paranormal mystery. I have always been fascinated by magic and its elements and at some point in my life, actually believed it existed. To that end, I have sampled everything from Ilona Andrews to Jeaniene Frost.

  1. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Answer: One writer I would never fail to recommend is Dan Brown. He is not perfect by all means, but it’s no fluke either that he has sold hundreds of millions of copies of his books. He is definitely the master of the modern day thriller.

A dead author I’d recommend any day is Charles Dickens—no need for introductions there.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Answer: No question, I would say Dan Brown has been a great influence. He has this ability to get into a story fast and then keep you hooked till the last word. And you’re left with no idea how much time has elapsed when your eyes are glued to the pages. With that said, I have found myself trying to do things like he does. Genre-wise I am not into the same stuff he is into, though, and I enjoy writing the fantasy story more.

  1. In your opinion, who is the funniest author now writing?

Answer: I would say two authors compete for that title currently, the first being Janet Evanovich and the second Jim Butcher. In any instalment of Stephanie Plum’s series, she gets into many laugh-out-loud funny moments and her banter with her associates is out of this world. She is quirky and comedic and does things you might imagine as foolish, but she always gets her way in the end and delivers on whatever she set out to do. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is another funny character and is very popular for that reason, less so for his ability to work magic.  

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

            Answer: I certainly did do a little imitation during my early days. And the author I naturally chose to write like is Dan Brown, because he is phenomenal and a great influencer. I actually have a novel that bears the same structure as the Da Vinci Code, though it’s one I never got as far as publishing.

            Recently though, I have grown up and struck out on my own, and in HEIST you never sense anything Dan Brown-esque at all.

  1. Which of your books are you most proud of?

Answer: Since HEIST is my only published book, I would then say that debut of mine is the one I am most proud of. It possesses all the elements of what I imagine constitutes a good story. Its plot premise is one that hasn’t been overly done, its magic elements are unique and inventive. Also it has got all the suspense, vulnerability and subterfuge that readers look for.

  1. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Answer: I’d say following my dreams and doing those things that I love to do is what I am proud of most. Many people go around with a novel idea in their head but never get around to actually put it down on paper, but I have been able to do it. And for that, I’d say I am blessed.

  1. Do you have an unusual hobby?

Answer: Probably not at the moment, but some years ago, I really tried to get into underwear modelling. That’s, of course, not an easy thing to do and the chances of succeeding are tiny. It’s a fun thing to try though, and when I was at it I was really serious about it, though now when I look back I realize it’s not anything I was made for. It did provide a little entertainment and heartaches, though, while it lasted.

  1. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Answer: There is really many candidates for this, and it’s hard to make a choice. Florida with its warmer weather and many good beaches would not be a bad idea, as would be New York City with its variety and bustle.

  1. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

Answer: One Harry Potter maybe, just to have a little magic with me—for in case I need to work some spells. Second, an epic horror from Stephen King, just to make things look as grim as possible, and then a Dan Brown thriller to provide the suspense and quick thrills.

Author Bio

Young man with a mobile phone standing at the wall

Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.

https://kezzysparks.net/

https://www.facebook.com/authorkezzysparks

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Up high you go..

Elevator Pitch Book Cover Elevator Pitch
by Linwood Barclay
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
HQ
Pub Date 05 Sep 2019

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos. Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered. Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . . Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

This was a great read and I never guessed the villain of the piece! Which is always the start of a good review from me.

It was well written with characters you loved to hate as well as those you felt some empathy for; and enough central characters to confuse you.

There was the Mayor; his son; his two aides; the journalist; her daughter; and two cops to keep you interested. Their actions and interactions and links proved fascinating and often unexpected which keep the story moving along at quite a fast pace.

Ps Saudi Arabia is currently going for the building height record – the Jeddah Tower opening in 2020 will be 3,280 foot high.

Currently, Burjkhalifa in Dubai is the highest at 2.722 feet.

The New York Trade Center for comparison is 1,776 feet.

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Really cold

Eighteen Below Book Cover Eighteen Below
Fabian Risk
Stefan Ahnhem
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Head of Zeus
Pub Date 01 Dec 2017

The epic sequel to Victim Without a Face.

ON A HOT SUMMER'S DAY. 
A car speeds through the streets of Helsingborg. When it reaches the harbour, the driver keeps going, straight into the cold, dark sea.

A BODY IN THE WATER. 
But it is not a suicide. The autopsy reveals that this man has been dead for some time. He was murdered two months ago, and his body has been deep frozen.

TURNS EVERYTHING COLDER. 
As more bodies are discovered, Fabian Risk must hunt a killer with a mission: to preserve his victims, and create the perfect death...

I am not really a ScandiNoir person and don’t usually get on with Scandinavian literature – too dark and mysterious writing as a rule. But not this one. This novel was a major surprise to me and I thought really interesting.

Well written and with twists and turns you cannot guess until you read it.

Yes, you get some hints from the blurb but still the story surprises you and intrigues you, and you keep on reading until you get to the end and the final denouement. The plot was ingenious and well thought through.

I shall look for this author again.

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Secrets? Everyone has some

We All Have Secrets Book Cover We All Have Secrets
Dr. Molly McCormick Series Book 1
by Florence Love Karsner
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 06 Apr 2019

The year is 1962. Dr. Molly McCormick, a young female physician, has been attacked by a deranged psychiatric patient and has suffered physical and psychological damage. She is recovering at her grandfather’s home which is located on an island off the Southwest coast of Florida. Such a great location with one problem . . . it is just a hop and skip to Cuba where Fidel Castro has just pointed Russian missiles in the direction of the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis is heating up and the whole world is on pins and needles.Dr. McCormick’s grandfather, a retired U. S. Navy Captain, Intelligence Officer, is neck deep in stopping arms from being sent to the rebels in Cuba. Recently he has learned that someone on his island is preparing to supply the rebels with a stash of sulfur mustard, a chemical that can be converted to mustard gas. This weapon can be spread many ways and will cause grave illness and possibly death to thousands. Oh, and just one more small issue . . . Dr. McCormick’s attacker is still out there . . .and has promised to “find her” again!

Down to the sea we go – the steamy sea – the islands with swamps and mosquitoes and noseeums – all ready to drink your blood…

In this novel we go back to the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the islands that are just next door to Cuba.

There are some interesting hints of future storylines coming through in the male characters and it will be disappointing if the series doesn’t follow them up.

The female character – Molly- still lacks definition for me, not yet fully formed but hopefully she will develop. Her final choice of career was obvious from the visit she made to an outlying island so no surprises there.

This is not the first book by this author that I have read, but the one with most potential for me.

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