Book Review: Wilders (Project Earth #1) by Brenda Cooper

Wilders (Project Earth #1by Brenda Cooper

Publisher: Pyr

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Edition: Paperback, 350 pages

Genre: Science Fiction, Coming of Age

Rating: 3/5


A young girl saves tries to save her sister… and the wild too
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Author Interview: Robert J. Barlow

Today I am interviewing Robert J. Barlow, author of the new dark fantasy novel, The Laughing Man.

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DJ: Hi Robert! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Robert J. Barlow: I’m a Brisbane based author trying to make it on the indie scene. I’ve loved telling stories since I was a kid, and I’ve finally realised I can actually get paid for it.

DJ: What is The Laughing Man about?

Robert: It’s a dimension hopping urban fantasy about going to a world stranger than ours, stealing superpowers, and foiling a god.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Laughing Man?

Robert:Neil Gaiman was my biggest influence. Derek Landy and Jim Butcher were also a huge part of things. Honestly though, I’ve been reading everything I could since I was six..

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Robert:Adam is the person the world happens to, but he responds to being out of his depth with flair. Pan and Annabelle are both strangers in a strange land, especially since Annabelle was raised by magic spiders. I feel like Xavier will be the most immediately compelling though. He’s a stylish sarcastic violent madman with a magic top hat. Continue reading

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New-Release Spotlight: Retribution (The Preagressus Project #5) by Aaron Hodges

About the Book:

The United States have fallen. A new power has risen in North America, but now a terrifying virus is spreading across the countryside. Once infected, people change, mutating into superhuman creatures known as the Chead. Wherever they walk, death follows. Desperate to defend its citizens, the government launches the Praegressus Project – an experimental program to enhance the human race.

Elizabeth Flores was just a normal girl – until the Chead slaughtered her parents and made her a fugitive. With winter approaching she seeks refuge in the city of Sacramento, but the hunters are waiting. Abducted off the streets, she’s spirited away to a facility deep in the Californian mountains. There, Liz wakes in an iron cage – and she’s not alone.

In the opposite cage, Christopher Sanders stands wrongfully accused of treason. Along with Liz, he has just become a volunteer in the Praegressus Project. Stripped of their rights, they will soon learn there is little separating humanity from the monsters they seek to destroy. The two must work together if they want to survive, but even then, their chances are slim. Of course, only the lucky get to die.

Blending the insane experiments of Stranger Things and the haunting dystopia of the Hunger Games, fans will love this thrilling new series. Discover a future where the powerful rule without mercy, and nothing is ever as it seems. With hints of YA Dystopia, Genetic Scifi, Urban Fantasy and just a touch of Romance, the Praegressus Project truly has something for everyone. Enter a new world with New York Times Bestselling Author Aaron Hodges.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Forever Ship by Francesca Haig

Summary:

Book Three in the critically acclaimed The Fire Sermon trilogy—The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined post-apocalyptic series by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.

“Haig’s prose is gorgeous and engaging, particularly when she describes the desolate landscape, now peppered with ruins from the Before. Fans of dystopias will appreciate this adventure-filled yet character-focused tale that offers hope and explores (in a refreshingly nuanced way) the moral complexities involved in defeating an oppressive and backward government structure” (Booklist, starred review).

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*I have one (1) free hardcover copy  of The Forever Ship by Francesca Haig to go along with this excerpt! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the excerpt 🙂

 

.*** Excerpt ***

Chapter 1

“Stop looking at me like that,” Paloma said. “Like what?” I said.

I turned my face back to the fire, squinting against the smoke. I couldn’t deny that I’d been staring. I watched her all the time. Some-times I woke and half expected that she would be gone—that she had never come at all, or that she’d been nothing but a shape we had conjured out of our longing for Elsewhere.

But she had come: pale, like somebody seen through mist. Not the blondness of Crispin, or of Elsa, who had hair with gold in it and pink-flushed skin. Paloma’s hair was so blond it was nearly gray, like driftwood­—­as if she’d washed up on the beach instead of sailing here on The Rosalind. Her skin had a bleached-straw whiteness, and her eyes were light blue—barely a color at all. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kate Murdoch

Today I am interviewing Kate Murdoch, author of the new fantasy novel, Stone Circle.

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DJ: Hi Kate! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Kate Murdoch: I’m an artist turned writer. I exhibited as a painter for fourteen years before writing crept up on me seven years ago. I’ve been very focused on writing ever since. At the moment, I’m writing my third novel about a girl orphaned during the 1908 earthquake in Sicily and adopted by a wealthy family in Palermo.

DJ: What is Stone Circle about?

Kate: Stone Circle tells the story of Antonius, who wins a competition to be an apprentice to the town seer, along with the son of a nobleman. There is intense rivalry as they compete for the attention of their mentor and the affection of his daughter whilst learning about magic and alchemy.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Stone Circle?

Kate: I have had a lifelong interest in the unseen and unknown. I began looking into Eastern spiritual traditions such as Mahayana Buddhism and the Tao in my late teens. As I wrote ‘Stone Circle’ I was working with a Reiki master who took me to level two, giving me the ability to heal others. Trying to make sense of the world through the lens of different spiritual philosophies has shaped my life and writing. Along with this, there are parallels between my main character Antonius’s ability to inhabit two worlds and reinvent himself, and my own experience as an adopted person. Adopted people are self-invented because they don’t have the information about who they are as they grow up. So there is often a search for identity. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kari Maaren

Photograph courtesy of Phil Mills

Today I am interviewing Kari Maaren, author of the new YA fantasy novel, Weave a Circle Round.

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DJ: Hi Kari! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Kari Maaren: I’m a Canadian writer, cartoonist, musician, and university English instructor. I live in Toronto and basically do all the things. Weave a Circle Round is my first novel, but I also have a couple of webcomics, West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, and a couple of independent albums, Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off and Everybody Hates Elves. I am not fond of puns or elves, not necessarily in that order. I grew up in Vancouver, so whenever someone in Toronto complains that it’s “too rainy,” I laugh.

DJ: What is Weave a Circle Round about?

Kari: It’s an old-fashioned kids’ adventure story about a girl named Freddy who is just generally mad at the whole world, herself included. She wants to stay under the radar at high school, but her weird stepbrother and super-smart little sister draw attention to themselves and, peripherally, to her. Then a couple of bizarre new neighbours move in next door, and the weirdness begins to surge out of control. Saying too much more would constitute a huge spoiler, but basically, with WACR, you’ve got a mystery wrapped in a fantasy adventure sprinkled over with references to mythology and Romantic poetry, all tied up with a bow made of creepiness. Continue reading

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Author Interview: G.D. Penman

Today I am interviewing G.D. Penman, author of the new urban fantasy novel, The Year of the Knife.

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DJ: Hey G.D.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

G.D. Penman: Hi DJ. I am afraid there isn’t much to tell; I am pretty much a hermit except for the whole “writing” thing. I’ve been writing professionally for about a decade, and unprofessionally for a decade more, although the book I wrote at age 10 doesn’t really hold up very well.

DJ: What is The Year of the Knife about?

G.D.: The Year of the Knife is a hardboiled detective story that just happens to be set in a world where magic exists. It follows Agent Sullivan of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation as she tries to stop a body-hopping serial killer, avoid assassination attempts, deal with her boss being turned into a parrot and navigate her love life, something slightly complicated by the fact that her girlfriend is a little bit undead.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Year of the Knife?

G.D.: Urban Fantasy books are like candy for my brain, I gobble them up at an appalling rate, but something that always bothered me about them was that the world was never substantially different; the existence of magic and monsters didn’t seem to change anything. The Year of the Knife is a bit of a rebuttal to all those worlds where everything was identical except there were vampires and wizards hanging around. Reading American history was also a big inspiration for the more political aspects of the story. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jared Barlament

Today I am interviewing Jared Barlament, author of the new literary fantasy novel, The Plight of a People.

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DJ: Hey Jared! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jared Barlament: Of course! I am a self-published author of, so far, only one novel. I’m a student living in the rural Midwest, and manage my writing time in between school, soccer and marching band. I live on a bit of a tight schedule, but I make it work.

DJ: What is The Plight of a People about?

Jared: It’s what I like to call a literary fantasy epic. The book is split into three separate parts, each of them set at a different time period in the history of the Roesanian people on a fictional secondary world. The book follows them and their struggles through the eyes of three of their leaders, and is a show of the inner workings of ever-advancing governments and the spirits of righteous and corrupt men alike that run these governments.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Plight of a People?

Jared: I’ve read many classical works, and although modern fiction has found its influences in my work, most of my influence comes from the stories of many years ago. Tolkien’s and Homer’s sagas have probably had the biggest effect on me as a writer, as have philosophical writers such as Plato. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Parsons

Today I am interviewing James Parsons, author of the new horror novel, Northern Souls.

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DJ: Hi James! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

James E. Parsons: I went from working in art and film and animation production to writing screenplays and then fiction a few years ago. I’ve previously had two SF novel published since 2013.

DJ: What is Northern Souls about?

James: The story focuses on a young man named Eric after his girlfriend has mysteriously died. His feels that he is suspected of killing her and goes to jump from the Tyne bridge. Her ghost comes to him and tells him about demonic tribes which control the people of the North East and have done for a long, long time. This is how she died. She begins to lead him toward how to stop them, save others and her soul.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Northern Souls?

James: Some of the long standing influences on my horror fiction include the early works of Clive Barker, the books of Graham Masterton, Poppy Z Brite besides Poe and Lovecraft an others. Also many horror films such as Hellraiser, the films of Dario Argento, Carpenter, Romero, Hammer horror and more. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Excerpt: Connie Corcoran Wilson

Today I am interviewing Connie Corcoran Wilson, author of the paranormal-thriller series, The Color of Evil, whose first three books are currently being released as a box set.

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DJ: Hey Connie! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Connie Corcoran Wilson: I am a graduate of the University of Iowa who has also attended Berkeley, NIU, WIU and the University of Chicago. I’ve taught writing at 6 IA/IL colleges and taught from 1969 to 1985 before going to work writing a book for Performance Learning Systems, Inc. (“Training the Teacher As A Champion” published in 1989). I founded 2 businesses in Bettendorf, Iowa (Sylvan Learning Center #3301 and a Prometric Testing Center) and, when I sold them in 2003, I began writing “long.” I have always written “short” (i.e., newspapers and blogs), since I was 11 years old. I’ve now published about 35 books or contributions to anthologies by other publishers and began self-publishing more in the last few years. I also am married, have 2 grown children (Scott and Stacey) and move between the Quad Cities of Illinois, Chicago and Austin, Texas, where I will be covering film festivals for www.TheMovieBlog.com, www.Quadcities.com and www.WeeklyWilson.com from now until November 3rd.

DJ: What is The Color of Evil series about?

CW:  As the Amazon lead-in says, “In the 3 novels that comprise THE COLOR OF EVIL SERIES, we follow the adventures of Tad McGreevy, the young boy who can see auras around others and, from this, dreams of the crimes of the evil-doers in vivid nightmares. We take Tad and his best friend Stevie Scranton and their high school friends through their junior and senior years of high school, when evil stalks the land and Pogo, the Killer Clown, terrorizes the small Midwestern town of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Color of Evil series?

CW:  I am most often compared to Stephen King, Philip K. Dick and Dean Koontz—although I protest that what happens in my books could REALLY happen. It’s good company to be in, so I won’t deny their influence. I was probably influenced by early TV shows like “Twilight Zone,” “Thriller” and the like. Continue reading

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