Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WHISPERS by Kristin Dearborn_Review

Whispers: Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Whispers: Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness" by Kristin Dearborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WHISPERS by Kristin Dearborn

The always perfect author Kristin Dearborn has excelled even herself with this tribute to the Old Man of Providence, H.P. Lovecraft. I truly believe Ms. Dearborn is a reincarnation of Old Grandpa, or she is channeling. WHISPERS extols the anxiety, the fear, the wonder, of Alien Contact. Ms. Dearborn strums every single chord in the panoply of the otherworldly of HPL and of extraterrestrial sentience. She also interweaves some of the most painful and shocking elements of humanity, displaying these against the background of the Otherworldly and Beyond Earth. This is a tale I shall read again and again and again. This is the tale that gave me a series of stunningly vivid and horrifyingly implacable nightmares.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cover Reveal: KASPER MÜTZENMACHER’S CURSED HAT by Keith Fentonmiller

Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for KASPER MÜTZENMACHER’S CURSED HAT, by Keith R. Fentonmiller, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order, guaranteeing delivery to your device on March 20, 2017.
Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press Date of Release : March 20, 2017 Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky Pre-Order: Amazon US | Amazon UK Add to your TBR list on Goodreads Description: Kasper Mützenmacher keeps a divine “wishing hat”—a thought-operated teleportation device—locked in the wall safe of his Berlin hat shop. According to an old prophecy, after Kasper’s Greek ancestor stole the wishing hat from Hermes, Fate cursed his progeny to sell hats, on pain of mayhem or death. Kasper, however, doesn’t mind making hats, and he loves Berlin’s cabaret scene even more. But his carefree life of jazz and booze comes to a screeching halt when he must use the wishing hat to rescue his flapper girlfriend Isana from the shadowy Klaus, a veil-wearing Nazi who brainwashes his victims until they can’t see their own faces. Isana and Kasper’s happiness proves fleeting. Years after her mysterious death, Kasper struggles as a lonely, single father of two until he meets Rosamund Lux, recently released from a political prison where Klaus took her face. Kasper soon suspects that Rosamund is no ordinary woman. According to the prophecy, certain Lux women descend from the water nymph Daphne, who, during Olympian times, transformed into a laurel tree to avoid Apollo’s sexual advances; they, too, suffer from an intergenerational curse connected to Hermes’ stolen hat. As Kasper falls deeper in love, Rosamund’s mental health deteriorates. She has nightmares and delusions about Klaus, and warns that he will launch a night of terror once he’s collected enough faces. Kasper dismisses the growing Nazi threat until the government reclassifies him as a Jew in 1938. His plan to emigrate unravels when anti-Jewish riots erupt and the Nazis start loading Jews on boxcars to Dachau. Then Rosamund goes missing, and Klaus steals the wishing hat, the family’s only means of escape. Kasper, however, will face his most difficult battle in America. He must convince his wayward son and indifferent grandson to break the curse that has trapped the family in the hat business for sixteen centuries. Their lives will depend on it. Book One of the Life Indigo series, Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat is a fantastical family saga about tradition, faith, and identity, set during the Jazz Age, Nazi Germany, and the Detroit race riots of 1943. Comparable works include: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Everything Is Illuminated, and Underground Airlines. Catherine Bell, author of Rush of Shadows (winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House 2014 Fiction Prize), calls the Cursed Hat “highly creative and imaginative, brimming with invention, mythology, psychology, secrets, characters, generations, cleverness and wisdom. Incredible, overwhelming, compelling.
About The Author: Keith is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His short story, Non Compos Mentis, was recently published in The Stonecoast Review and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Another story, Exodus, will be published in Running Wild Press’s forthcoming fiction anthology. Find Keith Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: MERELY THIS...and nothing more (Writerpunk Anthology)

Merely This and Nothing More (Writerpunk Project Book 3)Merely This and Nothing More by Jeffrey Cook

Review: MERELY THIS...and nothing more

A thought-provoking, wide-ranging anthology, showcasing both the glory of Edgar Allan Poe, 19th century Master of Horror, and today's authors whose imaginative endeavours boldly go beyond, even into the future, MERELY THIS...and nothing more, is a collection to be read, savoured, and delighted in. (A great gift too!) 21 authors offer 21 widely different, delectable stories for your enjoyment. Can't wait to see their next effort!

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: SEMIVIRAL by Jax Anderson

SemiviralSemiviral by Jax Anderson

Review: SEMIVIRAL by Jax Anderson

Newly born-again Christian Matt wants to get right with God, and that means divesting himself of us rage and predilection to violence. It also means divesting himself of the booming business he built, a "safe" prostitution ring in Utah, designed to take up the slack from the Federal quarantine of Las Vegas. Oh yes, his is a pre-apocalyptic, dystopian society. Rescued refugees two decades earlier, given asylum, infected, killed and died. The disease is an STD, with no cure. The downsides are fatality; and cannibalism. The battle rages on between the "Curists" and the "Exterminationists." Our Matt gained quite a reputation as the latter, but in his perspective, he's monster-hunting, not murdering humans. So he soothes his conscience.

Readers who enjoy zombie hunter stories such as the series by Cedric Nye will gravitate to SEMIVIRAL, due to its insight into the mind and emotions of Matt and how he attempts to evolve and improve his personal integrity.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review_WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Mark Allan Gunnells and Aaron Dries

Where the Dead Go to DieWhere the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Mark Allan Gunnells and Aaron Dries

I'd long ago grown weary of the sane-old same-old common to much zombie fiction, so I'm much gratified to come upon WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE, a fine collaboration from two excellent horror authors, a novel which turned my emotions upside down and topsy turvy. Yes, the authors proclaim their intention to expose and explore emotions, and reading this has left me emotionally wrung out [not to mention both awestruck and quite terrified]. Indeed, the human condition can produce both the worst of monsters...and the heights of angels. WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is timely and apropos horror, finely-tuned, uproariously scary [again, fear the living, the self-righteous who see evil everywhere but within], and a masterstroke.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Review_THE SHIELD OF SERL RAVEN-EYE by William Stacey

The Shield of Serl Raven-Eye (The Vampire Queen Saga Volume 2)The Shield of Serl Raven-Eye by William Stacey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE SHIELD OF SERL RAVEN-EYE by William Stacey
(Blood-Queen Saga Book Two)

Not a breath between uproarious action, adventure, and excitement in this epic fantasy/horror blend, second in the Blood-Queen Saga. If you like sword-and-sorcery epics, coupled with vampires and undead, clear delineation of good and evil, gore and sensuality, look right here. Carve out your reading time, turn off your phone, and jump right in.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: ISOLATION by Neil Randall

IsolationIsolation by Neil Randall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ISOLATION by Neil Randall

ISOLATION is a sure-fire page-turner, constantly suffused with the questions of "what next" and "what really happened" inextricably intertwined. Readers will be on the edge of their seats trying to ascertain the facts, and beyond that, the truth of the facts. Fans of the 1960's TV series "The Prisoner" will witness similar overtones, and literate readers will see glimpses of the nightmarish dystopia of "1984," and of the unspeakable mind-control experimentation of "Firestarter." But ISOLATION stands on its own substantial merits, a novel which will ring long in memory.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review_WRITER'S RETWEET by Piers Anthony

Writer's RetweetWriter's Retweet by Piers Anthony
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WRITER'S RETWEET by Piers Anthony

Long-lived and prolific author Piers Anthony, adored by millions, took on the challenge of writing stories via Twitter, at 140 characters per day. Collected here are 3 stories connected through 1 theme, an unusual story about a street named "Dull," and a magical science fiction novelette about a really "Strange Fruit" and its incredible effects. Riven with the author's trademark ingenuity, these stories are effective as a one-sitting read, or read one at a time.

Monday, October 24, 2016

THE EIGHTH by Stephanie Wytovich_Review

The EighthThe Eighth by Stephanie M. Wytovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE EIGHTH by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Stephanie Wytovich is by nature a poet. THE EIGHTH is both pure poetry, and purely poetic. From the first lines I floated in imagery and lyricism, in sensuality in its strictest sense, a feast of the senses. A hedonist would revel! [Both Aleister Crowley and Oscar Wilde come to mind in this regard.]

The demon Paimon is one of Hell's collectors, who bring souls for Lucifer's delectation. That worthy prefers females, so Paimon needs must provide according to his quota. He is a clever and cunning temptor indeed, and his weapons are those of supreme mental torture: despair, betrayal, self-flagellation, envy, depression, self-wrath. As are his victims prisoners of their own emotions and confusion, so too is their temptor, far more like his targets than either can know.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Review_PULSE: WHEN GRAVITY FAILS by John Freitas

Pulse: When Gravity Fails (Pulse Science Fiction Series Book 1)Pulse: When Gravity Fails by John Freitas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: PULSE: WHEN GRAVITY FAILS by John Freitas

Never a dull moment in this imaginative science fiction thriller. As many apocalyptic and science fiction as I've read over the decades, the cause in this book is new to me, and its astrophysical soundness renders it all the more terrifying.

The author provides a variety of detailed anecdotes, with a core of continuing characters whose lives exemplify "normality" as reality shifts, changes, and cracks.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review_THE QUANTUM COP by Lesley L. Smith

The Quantum CopThe Quantum Cop by Lesley L. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: QUANTUM COP by Lesley Smith

QUANTUM COP is one of the most delightful stories I've had the pleasure of reading. Delightful, because it's enjoyable, entertaining, and as well, thought-provoking. In addition to being a fast, pleasurable, read, QUANTUM COP stretched my mind and my imagination from the very first page.

The characters are realistic and well-developed. Madison, the protagonist, is a brilliant, adventurous,, scientist and academic, but a little too prone to emotional fallout, as is the very hapless grad student she advises, who inadvertently enters into Madison's unexpected experiments with reality creation.

All told, I highly recommend this great read.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016


Transient Echoes (The Variant Saga, #2)Transient Echoes by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In this sequel to THE AMBER PROJECT (VARIANT #1), author JN Chaney weaves a blend of futuristic science fiction with Dystopiana, survivalism, and otherworldly fantasy. After an alien gas known as Variant destroyed most of humanity in the 22nd century, leaving only a small enclave to live underground, genetic engineering and improved technology have finally allowed human scientists and military explorers to live aboveground, provided they remain a safe distance from the residue radiation caused by the Second Jolt. Meanwhile, the hybrid child Terry, who closed the Rift which allowed in Variant, is exiled unwillingly and unintentionally to a farflung world where survival is equivalent to the life experienced by earthly cavepersons. An extraordinary vivid and poetic imaging keeps the story turning.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review of IT CAME FROM ANOMALY FLATS by Clayton Smith

It Came From Anomaly FlatsIt Came From Anomaly Flats by Clayton Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

.Review of IT CAME FROM ANOMALY FLATS by Clayton Smith

What could possibly be as great as the original novel ANOMALY FLATS, the story of the town that makes TWILIGHT ZONE, OUTER LIMITS, and NIGHT GALLERY look like Levittown? Well, here it is:

If you've read ANOMALY FLATS (if you haven't, whyever not?? I've read it twice) you remember that this tiny little odd community somewhere in Missouri is transdimensional, horrific, the stuff of epic science fiction. But some of the background of the town has only been hinted at. Come along now with your guide Clayton Smith and explore parts of the town you haven't yet discovered....

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review of BASTION SATURN by C. Chase Harwood

Bastion SaturnBastion Saturn by C. Chase Harwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of BASTION SATURN by C. Chase Harwood

BASTION SATURN is hard science fiction, in the vein of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series, and of Neal Stephenson. Thoroughly researched and very technical, BASTION SATURN is educational and exploratory, sometimes joyful, often tragic. As 22nd century Earth has merged into nanotechnology and one overarching hive brain of AI (Artificial Intelligence), the minority takes exception and "escapes" to other planets to colonize, for to remain an Earthling is to be absorbed into the AI, constantly aware of everything and everyone.

The Moon colony was first, then Mars, then various of the moons of Saturn. Now the Lunar and Martian colonies are no more, and suddenly the Saturnian colonies are coming under attack. One passive misfit named Caleb somehow manages to save a few colonists, only to enter into a journey seemingly with no end, to another of Saturn's satellites.

The science of this novel is a character into itself. Woven into it are various diverse personalities, whose emotions and character are amply vivid. Mr. Harwood balances a sizeable number of characters, and brings them, the science of space travel and colonization, and the backgrounds of the various locations in space, to vivid and immediate life.

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Review of HEXAGRAM by Duncan Bradshaw

Release Date July 26 2016 HexagramHexagram by Duncan P. Bradshaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of Hexagram by Duncan Bradshaw

In an interweaving of horror, science fiction, metaphysics, and mystery, readers travel a path convoluted and purposeful, from the era of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, through the cleaning-up post-conquest (loading the gold and delivering it to Spain), pausing at the American Civil War, the Whitechapel murders of 1888, and continuing to the present, where the path and its purpose collide and all is revealed.

Lest a potential reader might think that this novel is only science fiction, or perhaps New Age, I assure that horror resides as well on every single page, and the gore content is high and mighty.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review of BABYLON TERMINAL by Greg F. Gifune

Babylon TerminalBabylon Terminal by Greg F. Gifune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of BABYLON TERMINAL by Greg F. Gifune

Once again, author Greg F. Gifune explores unexplored territories in this story of a couple locked in an unnamed city where dreams are life and existence might as well be death. The ocean is considered a fantasy. Even though individuals are not physically confined, no one is allowed to leave, and Dreamcatchers make sure they can't. One such Dreamcatcher, a very violent man, is Monk. When his Julia disappears, he searches high and low, literally, despite the fact that his is an unsanctioned hunt, not one to which he is assigned.

BABYLON TERMINAL is a very surrealist, existential work, akin to living inside a Dali painting. The only two books I can remember reading that affected me with this existential angst and characters' despair are Robert Jackson Bennett's THE COMPANY MAN and Jon Bassoff's FACTORY TOWN. All 3 stories make me want to take a hot toxic shower, and turn to something graphically violent so I can shrug off the mood the book wraps me in.

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Review of MOTHER-MACHINE by Michael Weatherall

Mother-MachineMother-Machine by Michel Weatherall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of MOTHER-MACHINE by Michel Weatherall

In the age-old debate of whether humanity is meat or soul, machine or spirit, the narrator of this short piece weighs in. His view (I assume gender) is: the human individual is a soul, encapsulated in a machine. When his beloved mother dies, he determines to prove this to himself, to his satisfaction.

MOTHER-MACHINE is a poetically imaged short story of a man with an unusual mission, and the determination to carry that mission to its inevitable conclusion.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for THE TIMESEER’S GAMBIT, by Kate McIntyre, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order, for direct delivery to your Kindle on release day.

Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for THE TIMESEER’S GAMBIT, by Kate McIntyre, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order, for direct delivery to your Kindle on release day.


Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for THE TIMESEER’S GAMBIT, by Kate McIntyre, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order, for direct delivery to your Kindle on release day.

Genre: historical-fantasy, paranormal, mystery


Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press


Date of Release: August 4, 2016


Cover ArtistAmalia Chitulescu


Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads




It’s been three months since mild-mannered Christopher Buckley began working with Olivia Faraday, the eccentric Deathsniffer. They’ve hunted killers, solved murders, and learned to work together. But their greatest challenges are yet to come…


As a brutal heat wave wracks an increasingly unstable Darrington City, someone is killing young priests. Worse, they are using bound elementals to do it. As Chris and Olivia contend with rogue spiritbinders and a church under siege, the clock ticks down toward the trial of Doctor Francis Livingstone, accused of orchestrating the fall of the Floating Castle and the death of thousands. Chris believes the doctor is innocent, but the tide of the conspiracy aligned against him is strong enough to wash away anyone who would stand for him.


How far is Chris willing to go to save the doctor? Can Darrington city survive the rival forces tearing it apart? And can Olivia find her first serial killer before another body drops?




About The Author:

About The Author:

Kate McIntyre was born and raised in the frigid white north, having spent her entire life in Moncton, New Brunswick. She learned to appreciate the quintesstial Canadian things: endless winters, self-deprecating jokes, the untamed wilderness, and excessive politeness. Somehow it was the latter that she chose to write about.

She has been writing since she was five years old and nothing has ever stopped her for long. Her first novel was about a lady mouse detective saving her turtle janitor boyfriend from kidnappers, so it’s nice to know she always loved lady detectives. She is the proud author of sixteen embarrassing hidden novels and one publishable one.

Kate loves crochet, video games, board games, reading, and listening to bad pop music very loudly. She spends several months of the year in Illinois, and the rest of the time lives in a big country home with two cats who refuse to stay

Find Kate Online:

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review of THE AMBER PROJECT by JN Chaney [Variant #1]

The Amber Project (Volume 1)The Amber Project by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE AMBER PROJECT by JN Chaney

THE AMBER PROJECT is a very engrossing dystopian near-futuristic science fiction novel, the debut entry in a series. In the 22nd century, a gas overtakes the planet, destroying almost all of humanity, except a small enclave which is able to make its way underground and construct a city. For two centuries, the survivors continue to transmit communications to the surface, hoping against despair that someone on the surface has managed to survive, but there has been no response. For the underground inhabitants, life is almost militaristic: very highly structured, without joy or happiness for the most part.
I had for some time nearly given up on reading Dystopiana as a sub-genre, for it seemed every novel I encountered was beyond depressing. However, author JN Chaney has reawakened my interest in this category, and I highly recommend THE AMBER PROJECT to readers looking to try out Dystopian sci fi, and to those looking for a riveting sci fi read.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

COLD SANCTUARY by Anthony M. Strong_Review

Cold Sanctuary Cold Sanctuary by Anthony M. Strong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of COLD SANCTUARY by Anthony M. Strong
(John Decker #2)

Wow!! I loved the first book in this series, WHAT VENGENANCE COMES, but I love this one even more! Might be because this is set in Alaska, not Louisiana, and focuses on biohazards and genetic engineering instead of curses and Loup Garou, but it was a very rapid one-sitting, nonstop reading experience with lots of excitement, adventure, and suspense. Mr. Strong has a talented way with a tale, and while allowing the local populace and perhaps some of his readers to suspect a possible mythological creature come to life, instead he points us in the direction of Dr. Frankenstein, reenacted as it were. I'm not sure I want to fall asleep after reading COLD SANCTUARY, but I'm very glad I read it. My imagination has been totally ignited.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

RATH'S DECEPTION by Piers Platt_Review

Rath's Deception Rath's Deception by Piers Platt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of RATH'S DECEPTION by Piers Platt
[Janus Group #1]

Rath's Deception is the first in a delightful hard-science fiction series set in the somewhat distant future. [Distant because of many colonized planets, faster-than-light travel, medical upgrades far in advance of anything dreamed of today--except in science fiction, and highly-advanced nanotechnology, controllable by the user.] The protagonist is a young man with whom most readers can identify. We first meet him at fourteen, devoted to his brother Vonn, who works for a small-time criminal enterprise, and in avoidance of their addicted parents. Rath has an eidetic memory, but when he loses Vonn, he leaves home and drops out of school. Three years later he is "recruited" for testing to enter an organization so secretive that the real name is never known, "employees" (contractors) are killed if incarcerated, and the mere idea of such a group is considered fantasy, a sort of long-lasting urban legend.
Author Piers Platt neatly constructs a multiplicity of worlds, and smoothly handles the science and medical aspects. The Group's ability to mimic, not just in voice and mannerisms, but in biological appearance, is phenomenal--and fascinating.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Tour: STONE WORK by Dominic Stabile

Stone Work
by Dominic Stabile
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: STONE WORK by Dominic Stabile

In a post-apocalyptic, seriously dystopian "City," the prolifically scarred former "prisoner" who calls himself Stone hunts the dark side, sometimes as a gun for hire, sometimes as a thief. In this trilogy of tales, Stone and his young hacking partner Megan prove that even science is no stranger to the demands of greed; battle a secretive corporation which literally "disappears" people, with complete immunity; and battle a cult whose members insist they serve the one true God--and sacrifice to prove it.

Filled with hopelessness, crime, violence, and gore, STONE WORK is a clarifying look into the kind of ugly future humanity may yet encounter. It's a suspenseful and subtly gratifying page turner.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

High Summer Readathon July 18-24 COMPLETED = 11 books

High Summer Readathon

What I've Read:

Reviews are in except for OUT OF RANGE.

Join in the High Summer Readathon, a project of Seasons of Reading. July 18-24. Since I had already designated July as a personal challenge Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction month, that's what I intend to read. I hope to catch up on some science fiction/fantasy reading overdue reviews:) and also to read Peter F. Hamilton's THE VOID TRILOGY, before continuing with his THE FALLERS DUOLOGY. (in September) Here's the hook-up:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Spotlight: THE KNOW: PRESERVATION by Ed Kurst

Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with Author Ed Kurst and his first novel, The Know Preservation! As usual, we've got great bloggers joining us with reviews, guest posts and interviews as well as unique prizes like a Kindle Paperwhite, and pen set!

As part of our launch week celebrations, The Know: Preservation is on sale for only 99¢! Get it before the end of the week!


Guest Post with Author Ed Kurst

Maddie Alkira Reminisces About The Passing of the Journey Stone

Sometimes very old memories are actually just recollections of remembrances. They are a group of fuzzy images and half heard sounds, or they can sometimes not even be real events. But this day, I still remember moment by moment as if I am still there.   It was 1915. I wasn’t obsessed with saving all humankind. I was only five years old.   My parents were taking me on a trip: a long dirt road, hours of travel, the heat of the day beating down. I alternately sat and slept on top of the newly shorn sheep wool that was sheltered under the canopied cart. Alice, our lone mare, pulled it. This was the first time my parents had allowed me to accompany them to the city and marketplace.   What excitement I had felt going to the city, the anticipation of the many stalls, and my parents trading our wool with strange people for flour and sugar. It was also where Maw Maw lived, of whom my mother always spoke.   After five hours of jerky, bumpy travel in the cart, we finally reached the city of Darwin.   In those days, only about a thousand people lived in the city, mostly foreigners. The Aboriginal community where I was from numbered many, many thousands, but they lived in small settlements in the surrounding area. When we arrived, my parents left me with Maw Maw while they went to do their trading.   Maybe it was just because I was only five years old, but I remember my great-grandmother as being very tall. She had very dark blue eyes, much like my own.   I thought Maw Maw was the oldest person in the whole world. And, in fact, that actually may have been the case at the time. She would have been one hundred years old that year.   She lived in a simple one room house with a white clapboard front and a flat tar-paper roof. There was a large garden in the back filled with flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Combined with my parents’ sheep jerky and trade goods, it provided most of Maw Maw’s food for the year.   But it wasn’t how she looked or the excitement of being in the city or the prospect of freshly baked sweet biscuits that makes me remember that day. It was the odd question that she asked me.   When we were seated across a rickety old kitchen table, she asked, “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”   “Of course,” I had replied with some pride. “I turned five years old two weeks ago. Mother and father said I was old enough to see the city market…and to visit you. That’s why I am here today, to see you Maw Maw!”   My great-grandmother had stared so intensely at me, and it had seemed her deep blue eyes had glowed from within. “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”   I had looked away, troubled, and had thought harder.   In the last year I had started Knowing things: when the neighbor’s dog would be hit by a car and when lightning would strike our barn. After the first Know, I had understood, heeded the second, and shooed Alice out just in time.   I hadn’t been sure if Maw Maw was asking me about those things.   I hadn’t intended to tell her. I had thought those were my secrets. Then I had looked deep into her eyes, and something had changed.   I had felt weightless. The light streaming in through the kitchen window had seemed to grow dim, as if I was falling into an unending well of darkness. Frightened, I had closed my eyes and cried out. It was like my mind was a part of hers. I also was connected to something else—something dark and frightening—but enriching and amazing at the same time.   In my mind’s eye, I had had a vision, a Know. Starting with me, a seeming unending line of people had streamed into the distance, into the ancient past. And in front of me, a long lifetime, but one that ended in fire, destroying everyone and everything.   And then there was nothing.   When I opened my eyes, Maw Maw’s wrinkled face was looking down at me, happy and smiling, which was odd given what I...we, had just seen together.   I was on the floor, and she had helped me to a sitting position. She had seemed so full of energy and purpose. “Maddie, you brighten Maw Maw’s day like no other in her entire life. Can you keep a secret?”   A five year old can pledge almost anything—and yet it really had no binding effect—but this was different. It had a deep, gut-tumbling meaning to me, and it was my Maw Maw asking. “Yes Maw Maw, I promise.”   And then my great-grandmother had told me the legends of the Great Migration of our people and the Dream Time and the Know. She had spoken of old Tril with awe and then more affectionately of someone called Tirnal. My Maw Maw had said that whenever I Knew something, I must always believe it; never cast it away as a day dream or casual thought.   That had been the beginning of my training. I spent every summer for seven years with her. At the end of the seventh summer, on her deathbed, my Maw Maw had asked the question one more time. “Do you Know why you are here my child?”   I had replied solemnly, “Yes, to preserve the Know and begin the evolution.” She had handed me the talisman of our Clan, the journey stone, and then joined our ancestors.

About the Book

John Preston set aside the easy bullet that would end his certain lingering death. He now Knew too much. His mind had just returned from a wild ride tens of thousands of years into the past where he witnessed three primitive humans divining a path to save humankind from a global fiery catastrophe. What John now Knew might cure him but could also require he shred the very fabric of time and space.   John’s quest for answers will thrust him into the lead role to confront the Consortium, a cabal of eight families with the power to Know the future and the past. Guided by John’s latent Know ability and a 70,000 year old prophecy, he sets out on a path for his own salvation. Success will mean life, failure…a cruel doom for all humankind.   Preservation is the first book in the Know Trilogy which wraps a new theory of space-time, humankind’s evolution, millennia old conspiracies, and imminent global destruction around a broken man’s redemption, an evil man’s reckoning and a driven woman’s unique destiny.        

About the Author

Ed Kurst’s life as a child was a nostalgic bit of Americana, with two married parents, one sibling, and a pet beagle. They didn’t even lock their cars. The only thing missing was the proverbial white picket fence, but their neighbor did build a split rail one from seasoned logs. As a kid, Ed frequented a neighborhood library, accessed by a spiral staircase to the second floor of an old brick building. It was a wondrous place to a curious child. Hardback novels were stacked from floor to ceiling and nestled in every nook and cranny of the library’s dusty shelves. Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Asimov were his first and favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. In between reading these classics, he devoured every book about dinosaurs and astrophysics his young mind could comprehend. These early literary influences eventually led him to study a pre-med, engineering curriculum with a special focus on the psychology and physiology of the human brain. Eager to get out in the real world, and not spend six more years in school, he decided to pursue the engineering side of his interests. He didn’t completely abandon his calling for medicine. But getting an EMT qualification and occasionally riding an ambulance at night seemed to satisfy that urge. Ed Kurst’s engineering vocation led him to live and work in five European countries and several places in the United States. During the last decade of a varied career, he settled in the US Gulf Coast and specialized in leading diverse technical teams to implement new technology and develop mega engineering projects. Once retired, he turned his attention to other pursuits. One fateful month, about eight years ago, he was reading all he could about the CERN particle accelerator, the migration of homo sapiens out of Africa, the demise of the Neanderthals, and epigenetics. He also was reacquainting himself with his favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. Voilà, The Know trilogy was born! The first book—The Know: Preservation—is due for publication in 2016. The second—The Know: Evolution—is in draft form and scheduled for 2017. The last in the series—The Know: Salvation—should follow in 2018. And, another novel—The Fae—is in progress as well. It’s packed full of strange and wonderful fantasy creatures that live and love and scheme right under our very noses!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Parallels: Felix Was Here Parallels: Felix Was Here by L.G. Keltner
My rating: 0 of 5 stars


An anthology of the Insecure Writers' Support Group, these ten stories explore parallel probabilities (and alternative history) in ways that are subtle, scary, unsettling, and quite unnerving, often Dystopian, and paranoia-instilling. Indeed, I am still experiencing subtle shivers and chills. I recommend reading this anthology one story at a time, letting each percolate.

I reviewed via StoryCartel.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

LIGHTS OUT by Holly Black [Doctor Who]_review

Review: Lights Out

Lights OutLights Out by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: LIGHTS OUT by Holly Black
[Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts #12]

This short story has a bit different approach, so that the Doctor is a primary character, but not the prime protagonist. The first-person narrative is that of an individual raised from birth (quite possibly, pre-birth) in a creche experimental laboratory on a distant planet. Freed by the Doctor, he becomes a miner, then buys and completely renovates a spaceship, hauling coffee beans.

He is unaccountably phobic of darkness [as it turns out, with very good reasons]. Encountering the Doctor, our protagonist is bewildered and terrorized by a sudden spate of bizarre deaths. The twelfth Doctor acts as the foil for the protagonist' s character evolution, and a knock-out ending. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Doctor Who: Heart of StoneDoctor Who: Heart of Stone by Trevor Baxendale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: DOCTOR WHO HEART OF STONE by Trevor Baxendale

An exciting adventure awaits the Doctor, Amy, and Rory, on an isolated rural farm in England, all too near to a top-secret research center. The research investigation into the properties of moon rocks results in horrendous changes, and unleashes a "Rock Monster" whose touch turns EVERYTHING into--you guessed it, Moon Rock. A fast-paced read!

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Monday, May 23, 2016


Review: Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror

Doctor Who: The Crawling TerrorDoctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


My first Doctor Who fiction, and I loved it: I've discovered a whole new subgenre to enjoy. For readers who are severely arachnophobic, caution: the "bad guys" are almost all various species of arachnids and other insects. The aliens are !!!! [Revolting] Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed the book, which features the twelfth Doctor; Clara; rural England; and a couple of intriguing side trips, to World War II, and to a very alien planet and civilization where you really don't want to visit, where elitism, fascism, and genocide thrive. Great story. 

MOTORMAN by Robert E, Dunn_Review

MotormanMotorman by Robert E. Dunn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: MOTORMAN by Robert Dunn

When I read author Robert Dunn 's RED HIGHWAY, I was blown away by its power and range. MOTORMAN also impressed me strongly, but for me it resonated more for the various individuals than for its general apocalyptic impact [as In RED HIGHWAY].

I too live in a community whose economy is collapsing. In some regions, economic issues result in individuals joining gangs or selling drugs. There is some of that here, but the community in which fugitive Johnny finds himself has adopted a massively different solution, one that is both bizarre and pragmatic. Mr. Dunn deftly blends horror, science fiction, literary fiction, and a deep understanding of humanness in a beautifully crafted story. 

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Monday, May 16, 2016


The June Readathon ends tonight at 11:59 PM, but I'm totaling now because I won't complete the current books by then.

7 days: 9 books + 2 "flash" on
[where the reading is always a wondrous delight]

Soon to come:
July High Summer Readathon at July 18-24

My personal July SciFi Month Readathon


Completed: THIN AIR, George E. Simpson and Neal R. Burger June 1


Thursday Completed (July 2)


Completed Friday June 3:


The Colony

Saturday June 4 Completed:

Gemini 17

"On Discovering a Ghost at the Five Star," Peter M. Ball (

Kaxian Duty

Sunday June 5 completed:


In progress:

Monday June 6:

Just received my "dream" this AM from NetGalkey, so dropping everything to read

(September release)

And to reread its predecessor

Read "Lilacs Out of the Dead Land," by Matt Mikalatos []

I had intended to devote this week-long Readathon to catching up on past-due review Sci fi, but I'm too impatient to read these "new" titles. I've even bought 6 or 7 this week!!

The fabulous reader-reviewer-blogger Michelle at 

Generously has set up a Science Fiction Readathon for June! June 1-7, 

eager readers will immerse in the universes of Science Fiction [or Fantasy] and rend our TBR' s. 

Join us, won't you? 

I know I will be perusing novels of the exceptional Peter F. Hamilton, whose newest science fiction novel releases in September!!

My reading will be posted here, and July and September will also be personal challenge month-long readathons for me! All Speculative Fiction and Sci Fi!!

(October and November will be Horror