The Soul of the World by Joshua Silverman – #BookReview #Giveaway

by Joshua Silverman

The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.

But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.

In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.

Buy links coming soon

Review:

This is the second book in the series. I would recommend reading the first book prior to reading this one as is lays the groundwork for what happens in this one. I was happy to see that the writing/editing was much easier for me to follow in this one. The author labels chapters with the characters’ names which lets you know up front who you are reading about and where you are.
This book is full of action. We are in the midst of an uprising and this book does not disappoint with vivid scene descriptions. The author brings us to new lands in this one and I loved going along for the ride.
The main characters are the same but new ones are added. Since this takes place two years later, they have changed and grown. These characters are real; they have vices and flaws; they need love and acceptance. All this makes the book so much more realistic even though much of it takes place on another planet. Amazing how humanity is the same everywhere.
I recommend this book to anyone that loves sci-fi and fantasy. Although the main character is a teenaged boy, there is violence and other scenes that make it a bit mature for YA audiences. But older teens would definitely love it!
We are left at a cliffhanger at the end so we will have to wait for the next installment to see what happens next!

About the Author:

Joshua Silverman was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Orange County, California.
While attending California State University, Fullerton and studying Criminal Justice, Joshua was introduced to a creative writing class where he wrote a series of paranormal stories. As a child, he has always been an amateur historian, focusing on ancient Egypt, Greece, and Roman civilizations.

Since working in the legal environment, he has combined his passion for creative writing with his love of ancient history by penning his debut novel, The Emerald Tablet, the first of seven in the Legends of Amun Ra series.

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The King of Sunday Morning Interview and Review

The King of Sunday Morning is a geezer. Not in the traditional sense of the word as in old man. This geezer is a face, a wannabe, a top notch bloke. He is the greatest DJ that never was. He should have been. Could have been. Would have been. Now becoming a has-been.

Tray McCarthy was born into privilege but with the genetic coding of London’s violent East End. Having broken the underworld’s sacred honour code, it is only his family’s gangland connections that save him. But in return for his life, he must deny that which he has ever known or ever will be and runs to Australia where he is forced to live an inconsequential life.

But trouble never strays far from Tray McCarthy and eventually his past and present collide to put everyone he has ever loved in danger. He must now make a stand and fight against those that are set to destroy him and play their game according to his rules.

Set against the subterfuge and violence of the international drugs trade, The King of Sunday Morning is the tale of what can go wrong when you make bad decisions. Tray McCarthy has made some of the worst. He must now save those he holds dear but in the process gets trapped deeper and deeper into a world where he doesn’t belong.

“I want three pump-action shotguns, about twelve sticks of dynamite and a blowtorch”

THIS BOOK CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE, FREQUENT DRUG USE AND SEX SCENES – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE

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Hope you enjoy this interview with the author!

 

1.  Who do you think would most enjoy reading your book and why.

I have been constantly surprised by the variety of readers that have enjoyed this book. Because it touches on so many different subjects, it appeals to all sorts. If you are a prude or easily offended by the language of the underworld then it is not for you. If you liked Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch or even Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet you will love this. It is a tale of two star crossed lovers who have to take charge of their lives in a world that is far beyond the horizon of everyday citizens. If you imagined what the naughtier side of life is like in the world of guns, music and drug culture then this is the book for you.

2. How did you come up with names and characters? Are any based on real people?

All characters have some elements of real people in them. No one character represents a real person but a combination of the many. As I say in the foreword “If you are in this book take yourself to the nearest police station. To be in it is a crime all its own”.

It took me along while to come up with the names. I constantly changed them until I was happy that the faces which I had imagined for them matched their names. The main character and his sidekick changed at least 8 times each before I was happy with them.

3. Are you planning any more books?

Always planning more. Different genre maybe. This time the main characters will all be women. That is the ultimate challenge for a male author. Writing about ambitious women who have courage and battle their demons.

4. How did you research? And do you have any interesting stories from that research that didn’t make it into the book?

I lived this life since the age of 20. I had to keep some out because they were too real. To reveal them would be a betrayal of trust.

5. Best thing about being an author.

Fiction is a gift to the imagination. Fabricating an entire dominion for your characters with no boundaries restraining them.

6. Favorite movie. When did you see it and who with?

Blazing Saddles – watched it every day when I lived in Portugal as it was the only English video we had. Prior to DVD’s or cable. I know that film line for line. I watched it with itinerant traveller that wandered into our apartment and they were many.

7. A character from a book you would like to vacation with…where would you go.

Two characters from the most famous books of all time – Jesus and Mohammad – we would go back to Jerusalem and finally sort all this stuff out.

8. Favorite book as a child.

Tom Sawyer

9. A word you think should be banished.

Cancer: Horrible, hateful, destructive disease. Rid the world of that and I would be happy

10.  Hardest chapter or scene to write.

A rape scene

11. Favorite scene.

Possum scene – I will leave it at that!

12  Name an author you would like to be your mentor.

Sadly he is no more having died this year Ian Banks

 

My review:

What a ride! This book took me on quite an adventure. The beginning chapters were a little choppy to me but once I got to the story part, it was just one thing after another. And by the end, I seriously could not read FAST enough to see what was going to happen.

The main character is Tray who had been a rising DJ star when he had to go into hiding. He is a lovable character even with all his partying ways; charming to the nth degree. I loved him, he was just a fun loving guy with a big heart. The cast of characters in this story is a diverse bunch. You have the English contingency, a bit like mafia types. Then you have the Portuguese group, the Aussies, some Arabs and the Dutch. Even Fidel Castro makes an appearance. It takes you from England to Portugal to Australia to Columbia and finally to Brazil. Real life actual events are interspersed in there too.

Have to say Pedro was one of my favorite characters. His inability to swear correctly in English was very amusing. There are a couple of other funny parts as well, and I liked how the author lightened the mood a bit. Because it needed it, the subject matter is a bit dark. Drugs and violence are an integral part of this story.

In order to not give spoilers, all I will say is that I liked how it ended. This would make a great movie. Love a book that has a story, with suspense and adventure and I learned about a world I knew nothing about. I always say you learn something new every day and with this book, I can say I learned a lot of new things! This book had me on the edge of my seat and I recommend you strap in and enjoy this fabulous ride. The author has a gift for storytelling and putting you smack dab in the middle of the action.

I had a lovely Italian red wine while I read it and was briefly interrupted to eat a nice steak dinner. Which I quickly ate so I could get back to this book.

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Shardfall by Paul E. Horsman – Review

Shardfall

Muus is only a thrall, a chattel without rights, but he knows the small, blue shard he picked up belongs to him alone. Kjelle, heir to the Lord of a rich mininghold, is strong, and covetous of his thrall’s tantalizing find. The one’s greed causes an avalanche that leaves both young men marooned on an icy mountain slope. The other’s commonsense saves their lives from cold and starvation. Now the antagonists are bound together on a danger-laden journey to a lost and burning land, where Muus needs to connect the skyshard to the Kalmanir, the standing stone that is the world’s fount of all magic. The Kalmanir’s time is almost up and it urgently needs to be replenished before the magic of Gods and men runs out. The two antagonists have to learn to trust each other, for all around them, enemies abound. Rebels threaten both the kingdom and Kjelle’s holding, and a tribe of mad idolaters is trying to recall the banned primordial Old Gods. Even more imminent is Muus’ danger, for it comes from nearby, from the shard itself. Muus is the only one person in the world who can wield the powerful skyshard. Will he succeed with Kjelle’s help to reach the standing stone before the world’s magic dies? Shardfall is an epic, non-gritty journey through a wild, snowy land. Each of the four main characters, Muus, Kjelle, the young wisewoman Birthe with her baby son Buí and the naive Tuuri, who serves the enemy, will have to overcome not only the dangers of their journey, but also their own shortcomings.

 

Review:

Shardfall is a fantasy story set in Viking times. It begins with a slave named Muus having to travel with his master Kjelle, the heir to the king, up a snowy mountain to find the source of a blue light. There, an avalanche occurs, and the adventure begins for these two boys. They hate each other which adds to the drama of their journey.

I really enjoyed this book; it was fairly easy to follow even with all the different names for people, places, and things. Throw in some magic and you have a great read. The descriptions of the snowy locale were so vivid that I could really feel it.

The characters were all diverse, from slaves to nobility to a völva. The author did a great job revealing their nature to me as I read. I especially liked Birthe, a young widow with a baby. She was tough and smart and very strong-willed.

The main character is a teenage boy but due to violence, subject matter, and some mild profanity, I wouldn’t call it YA. But it could be read by an older teen. It could be a great way to learn about Vikings and hopefully spark some interest in learning some more.

I like a book that moves along, with not a lot of slow spots and this book did just that. Which is hard to do when you are world-building. The only complaint I had was that I felt the story ended a bit abruptly. But I did like how it ended (which I won’t spoil here) and am now wanting to see what happens next!

I enjoyed a red wine, a cabernet with this book!

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About the Author:

Paul E (Erik) Horsman (1952)

Lives in Roosendaal, The Netherlands.

I was born in the year 1952, in the Dutch town of Bussum, a sleepy, well-to-do place that was home to many artists, musicians, writers and publishers. As my family were neither artists nor well-to-do, we moved when I was nine.

When I was seventeen, I started my career as paperclip counter with a worldwide Dutch producer of baby food. After some months, I was finished counting, and I looked around for something more interesting.

A love of books drove me to work in a small bookstore in Rotterdam. An ancient establishment, since 1837, in an old building just too far away from the city’s modern shopping center. It was a nice job, but there wasn’t any future in it. Still, I left it a licensed bookseller.

In 1972 I had to do my stitch for Queen and Country, and as a bad back tied me to a desk job, I applied for a posting overseas. For the Army, that meant Surinam, then still a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and one of the most beautiful. Once you’ve seen the jungle, you will never forget it.

To keep it short, I stayed in business, slowly climbing the ladder, until in 1995 I changed direction. That year I joined a large educational institution, at a school specialized in Dutch language and integration courses for foreigners. That meant immigrants, refugees and international businessmen, an interesting mix. It was great work, on the one side teaching crash courses Dutch to high-powered people (we got a lot of very well-educated refugees) and on the other teaching reading and writing to people who had never ever held a pen before, let alone a computer. To see them growing was a reward in itself.

Unhappily, due to changed legislation the language school closed in mid-2012.

In the meantime, I had started my first book (Rhidauna) in 2009 and it got published by Zilverspoor Publishers just before I got laid off. As my age, five years from retirement, made it nigh on impossible to find something else, I started building a career as an independent author.

SF and Fantasy have fascinated me since my high school days, but apart from some juvenile trash, I never seriously tried to write anything. But after several false starts and associated discouraged intervals, a spark began to grow and mid-2010, the first two parts of Shadow of the Revenaunt were more or less written.

My style is probably a bit old-fashioned, Fantasy as a heroic tale with sympathetic heroes/heroines and black villains, in which good always triumphs in the end.

I don’t use my characters as cannon fodder; they get hurt, but their dying is rare.

One of the other elements in my writing I think important is, that both male and female characters have their own lives and goals. Most of them exist primarily for themselves, not as a prop or a love interest for other MC’s. The only character who did die, was actually a prop and I had him killed just to take that away from my lead MC.

A word about the book cover of ‘Shardfall’
Designed by top illustrator Jos Weijmer of JW Art Studio, Maastricht (2013).

The cover gives an impression of a scene from the book, the two main male characters, Muus and Kjelle, wrestling for possession of the blue stone Muus found.

The style of all my covers is purposely old-school Fantasy, to give all my books their own, distinct identity. Because of their nostalgic look, these covers have been met with acclaim among fantasy fans.

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Winter’s Heat by Cristin Harber – Review

A WOMAN ON A MISSION

After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.

AND THE MAN SENT TO STOP HER

Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.

MUST PARTNER TO SURVIVE

When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret—he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.

If they make it out alive, can he reconcile duty and desire?

Does Mia trust her heart to a man who willingly walks into kill-zones?

Review:

This is a book about a woman and a man who meet each other during strange circumstances; at an airport trying to retrieve a package. And they aren’t the only 2 interested parties, a Columbian cartel is also desperate to get it. She must quickly assess her situation and figure out who to trust. Luckily, she makes the correct choice.
The heat between these two is obvious and the author does a great job of building the sexual tension. They are quickly on the run together. And it just never stops. I literally read this book in one day because I could not put it down. The two main characters each have a past which makes them wary of each other, of trusting, and of intimacy. But instinct on both of their parts brings them together and moves the relationship along. The dialogue between them was fast and witty and such fun to read.
But I mustn’t forget about the Columbian cartel. They are intent on not only getting the package but also the girl. This plot keeps you involved as the story takes you to Columbia. The author does a fabulous job of taking you with them on this scary journey with her vivid descriptions. The author really puts you in the story; I could almost feel the steamy jungle in Columbia and the seedy motels. I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen and just when you think they are safe, they’re not.
Another thing I liked were the supporting characters. His work team mates were hysterical; I found myself laughing out loud at the banter between them. This story has all my favorite elements in a book; hot steamy romance, great characters and dialogue, and an exciting plot. I can’t wait to read more from this author!
Had some Pinot Grigio with this one as it is still summerlike where I live and you definitely need something cold to drink with this book!

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About the Author

Cristin Harber is an award-winning romantic suspense author. She lives outside Washington, DC with her husband, toddler, and English bulldog. Coming fall 2013, she’s expecting a baby and will debut her Titan series. Couple that with the holidays, and it’ll be a busy time of year. There’s a special place in her heart for the men and women who serve and protect. Since she can’t save the world alongside them, she’s content to write their happily ever after stories.

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Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise – Review and Book Tour

Annie Crow Knoll-Sunrise is the story of a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives.

Annie is a determined young woman who is left to run her family’s property after the death of her parents. Managing fourteen summer cottages with only the help of a family friend, she struggles to survive on her own. When she meets Drew, a young college professor, Annie thinks she’s finally found a love she can trust.

But years of conflict and pain destroy their bond and leave Annie alone again, unless she can find lasting peace and passion in the most unlikely arms.

In this family saga, love, loss and history twine together the people whose lives are changed by Annie’s determination and the magic of her knoll nestled along the head-waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

 

 

 

Review:

The first book in the Annie Crow Knoll series recounts a marvelous story of a young girl who is determined, brave, and strong. From the moment I met her in those first chapters, I loved her. She is the kind of character I want to be friends with; she is fearless. Her story takes you from her early years until middle age. It delves into many subjects like racism, post-partum depression, domestic violence, and family secrets.
The author provides a vivid backdrop to this story in the Chesapeake Bay. It is almost a character in the book. I could picture it in my mind, as the seasons changed and as Annie changed. The author used the culture of that area to make the story even more real.
There were so many great characters in this book. And the author made me love them and hate them. From the kind doctor who was so compassionate to Annie to the despicable people with racist beliefs, the characters were varied and genuine. Her best friend who loves Annie and is always there for her was a favorite of mine. The people in this book were authentic, flawed, and relatable. I enjoyed reading about their lives as time passed.
The crow was not only the inspiration for her nickname; he was her friend and I think much like Annie. He did what he wanted, he was daring, and he was a loyal friend. I adored the image of Annie and her crow biking around the Knoll.
The story took me along for Annie’s ride. She had to face difficult situations and she got through them with bravery and friends. She grew up. She fell in love. She became a mother. Things were not always easy, she didn’t always know what to do, and she sometimes did the wrong thing.
I cannot wait for the next book. I heartily recommend Annie’s story and it is one you won’t forget. It will leave an imprint on your heart.
I think you should have both red and white wine with this book. It’s a good long read so you could have white one day and red the next. A Sauvignon Blanc would be good and a nice Shiraz.

Purchase – AMAZON/BN/SMASHWORDS

Gail Priest lives in New Jersey and summers in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and their cockatiel. In addition to writing novels, plays and screenplays, she teaches and directs in a high school performing arts program. She loves theatre, reading, birding and being out in nature

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