Monthly Archives: January 2019

Author Interview: Gareth Hanrahan

Today I am interviewing Gareth Hanrahan, author of the new fantasy novel, The Gutter Prayer, first book in the The Black Iron Legacy series.

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

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

Gareth Hanrahan: By day, I’m a game designer, creating adventures and rules supplements for tabletop roleplaying games. So, I spend all day writing about monsters and heroes and sinister plots, then switch over to Scrivener and… write about monsters and heroes and sinister plots.

Fortunately, I like monsters and sinister plots. Heroes… are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

I’m based in Ireland. Bearded. Early 40s. Two or three children, depending on when this interview gets posted.

DJ: What is The Gutter Prayer about?

Gareth: Three thieves in a fantastical city are betrayed by the master of the thieves’ guild. One’s caught and imprisoned, one escaped, and the third is ransomed by an eccentric history professor after she starts to have bizarre magical visions. The three thieves reunite and plot to use this new power to get revenge on their former master. What they don’t realise is that this strange gift has deep and terrible connections to the secret history of the city, and they’re not the only people who seek to use this gift.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Gutter Prayer and the series?

Gareth: It’s sort of a conceptual stew – there’s lots and lots of stuff in there. Worrying about climate change and just-in-time delivery while wandering around a grocery store. Tim Powers novels, especially DECLARE. Dungeons and Dragons monsters. Thinking about what the Crimean War – and the 19th century in general – might have looked like with magic alchemy. Some old BBC Series like the original House of Cards and Seven Wonders of the Victorian Age. Time misspent on World of Warcraft. Robert Holdstock’s Lavondyss. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Samuel Ebeid

Today I am interviewing Samuel Ebeid, author of the new novel, The Heiress of Egypt.

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

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

Samuel Ebeid: Hi DJ. Thank you for interviewing me. Well, I like to introduce myself as a multicultural person full of many dimensions of diversity. I’m an American author with Egyptian background. I was born and raised in Egypt where I studied Political Science and published a non-fiction book, titled, “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World”. After moving to the United States, I became a Community Solutions Fellow for the International Exchange Alumni program of the US Department of State. I currently live in Pennsylvania, with my lovely wife, Karen, and I manage a small hotel in Western Maryland.

DJ: What is The Heiress of Egypt about?

Samuel: The Heiress of Egypt is the story of Princess Merit who survives the bloody massacre of her royal family. To claim her father’s crown and take her true place on the throne of Egypt, she has to overcome impossible odds, and she goes on an epic journey full of aliens, mummies, living sphinxes, mythical creatures, supernatural gifts and extraordinary occurrences.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Heiress of Egypt?

Samuel: Mainly, there were two things: my passion and my background. On one hand, I love fantasy books with rich environments, mythical creatures, a lot of actions and strong protagonists courageously fighting for what are rightfully theirs. For instance, I really enjoy George Martin’s A Game of Thrones. On the other hand, I know that there are a lot of readers out there who are interested in reading more about Egypt and its history. So, when I decided to mix my passion with my background, a light went on, and an “action-packed fantasy thriller” novel set in Ancient Egypt bloomed from that. Continue reading

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Author Interview: James Rollins

Today I am interviewing James Rollin, author of the new thriller novel, Crucible, fourteenth book in the Sigma Force series.

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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 Rollins: What many readers might not know about me is that I can still neuter a cat in under thirty seconds.  While my full-time job nowadays is writer, before that I was a veterinarian. I always resent when I’m introduced as “former veterinarian,” as I still do some volunteer work as local shelters helping with spaying and neutering.  Beyond this hobby of removing genitalia, I also enjoy a pursuit that started back in my college years, namely caving. So besides hiding behind a surgical mask, you can often find me far underground, sometimes stuck in a tunnel that was narrower than I thought.

DJ: What is Crucible and then the Sigma Force series about?

James: Sigma Force is a team of former special forces soldiers who have been drummed out of the service for various reasons. But because of special aptitudes and abilities, they’ve been recruited in secret by DARPA—the Defense Department’s research-and-development agency—and retrained in various scientific disciplines to act as field agents for DARPA. Their mission is to protect the globe against various emerging threats. Basically, they’re scientists with guns.

In Crucible, the team is faced by one of their most daunting—yet personal—adventures of the entire series. On Christmas Eve, a pair of Sigma Force teammates arrive home after a night of carousing to find their home ransacked and their respective lovers kidnapped, along with the two young daughters of one of the men. This attack is connected to a real-world threat, one that Stephen Hawking once described as the “worst event in the history of civilization.” That Elon Musk fears will lead to World War III. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that whoever controls this event will control the world. That event is the creation of the first human-like artificial intelligence. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Bailey Ordiway

Today I am interviewing Bailey Ordiway, author of the new murder, romance novel, Death Do Us Part.

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

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

Bailey Ordiway: I always find that this is the hardest question to answer! Simply put I am happily married with a kid on the way. I am a very busy person with work, friends, and family, but I always make time for writing.

DJ: What is Death Do Us Part about?

Bailey: It is from the POV of a psychopath and follows him as he juggles his newfound romance and blood lust. That is a very simplified explanation, but I feel like anymore would ruin the fun of it.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Death Do Us Part?

Bailey: I have never actually read any romance, murder, thriller, or suspense books. I thought it would be interesting to write something that I was completely unfamiliar with. Maybe I would unknowingly put a spin on it that no one else does.

DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Death Do Us Part?

Bailey: It is a very adult-themed book. My first book was YA and my second wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular, but it wasn’t adult-themed. This one DEFINITELY is, and it was very fun to not hold back at all. Continue reading

Top Reads of 2018!

Back again with another rare post that is NOT an interview!

2018 was another full year of medial school, and I was able to read another (whopping!) 6 books! I actually did read a thousand more pages than last year though, because I was mainly reading novels, as opposed to short fiction, this year (4 novels, 1 anthology, 1 novella)

Regardless! I will still promote all the books I gave a rating of 4/5 or higher! 🙂

Without further ado, I am happy to announce my…

Top Reads of 2018! 


 2. The Two of Swords series by K.J. Parker

About the Book:

The epic opening volume in The Two of Swords trilogy by World Fantasy Award-winning author K. J. Parker.

“Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. Because war is good for business and it’s better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Because they started it. But at this stage in the proceedings,” he added, with a slightly lop-sided grin, “mostly from force of habit.”

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No-one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no-one knows how it will end.

The Two of Swords is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes.

About the Book:

The second volume in The Two of Swords trilogy by World Fantasy Award-winning author K.J. Parker.

“Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. Because war is good for business and it’s better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Because they started it. But at this stage in the proceedings,” he added, with a slightly lop-sided grin, “mostly from force of habit.”

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No-one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no-one knows how it will end.

The Two of Swords is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes.

About the Book:

The epic concluding volume in The Two of Swords trilogy by World Fantasy Award-winning author K. J. Parker.

“Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. Because war is good for business and it’s better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Because they started it. But at this stage in the proceedings,” he added, with a slightly lop-sided grin, “mostly from force of habit.”

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No-one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no-one knows how it will end.

The Two of Swords is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: A 23 part, serial novelization, that was brought together, and released in 3 separate volumes.

I wanted to be picky, and had a better memory, I could have ranked each one of these novels separately – but I read far too long ago and have many more things on my mind outside of reading this. However, I did each volume a 4/5, and I’m pretty sure each volumes short story ratings, averaged out to essential the same overall rating.

Volume 1: Read My Review

Volume 2: Read My Review

Volume 3: Read My Review

Continue reading

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Author Interview: Matt Maxwell

Today I am interviewing Matt Maxwell, author of the new horror, crime novel, The Queen of No Tomorrows.

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

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

Matt Maxwell: Hey there. Thanks for letting me on.

Well, I’m older than people typically think I am (probably because I know how to put together my own technology out of the box and none of my VCRs flash 12:00 or anything like that.) I learned how to drive in the parking lot of the only ziggurat in Orange County (as seen in the original DEATH RACE 2000), I worked in an arcade in a mall in 1987 (and spent too many hours in them once they became a thing many years before that.) I’ve played in a noise/rock/drone band called The Roswell Incident (http://www.highway62.bandcamp.com). I also, uh, write stuff, like this new book.

DJ: What is The Queen of No Tomorrows about?

Matt: The perils of writing fiction, maybe. Or that whole fondest wish coming true and watch out thing. Mostly it’s about Cait MacReady, who’s an ex-punk rocker and librarian in eighties Los Angeles and what happens when she forges a book that shouldn’t exist. There’s a lot of other stuff going on in it, but I’ll let the readers discover that for themselves.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Queen of No Tomorrows?

Matt: I came up with a big influence map for it and explained a lot behind it on my blog. Here’s the big long link (feel free to hide it and just link in text.)

https://www.highway62press.com/single-post/2018/09/19/MAPS-AND-LEGENDS—QUEEN-OF-NO-TOMORROWS-one-of-six

The short form is that a lot of the book was informed by my own life and experience. Not the cosmic horror stuff, but the life in LA circa 1987 stuff. At that time I was in college in Orange County, but visited the city a lot to check out weird bookstores and shows going on then. I wanted to get a little taste of the subcultures and honestly how different things were back then when everyone wasn’t carrying around a super-computer in their back pockets. But beyond the lack of tech, I was interested in looking at LA as its own place, so yeah, it’s definitely a character in the book. Aside from that, I’ve a host of writers and art that I enjoy and has shaped me, but I’m not sure that any of it is apparent in my own fiction. Continue reading

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Author Interview: William C. Dietz

Today I am interviewing William C. Dietz, New York Times best selling author of the new alt. history novel, RED ICE, first book in the Winds of War series.

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

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

William C. Dietz: I’m the author of more than 50 mostly military science fiction novels, a well trained husband, and an avid traveler. My wife and I have been to six of the seven continents. Antarctica is too damned cold.

DJ: What is RED ICE about?

Bill: RED ICE is a near-future alternate-history military thriller, set shortly after the start of the WWIII. The story begins with a battle in the South China Sea, moves to the conflict in Afghanistan, and winds up in the Bering Strait where the Russians are trying to invade Alaska.

If that seems improbable, remember that the strait is only 51 miles wide, wars run on oil, and Alaska has 26.5 billion barrels of the good stuff in the ground.   

DJ: What were some of your influences RED ICE and the series?

Bill: The plot has a Tom Clancy feel, some Dale Brown elements, and was heavily influenced by that William Dietz guy. Continue reading

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