Spotlight on Astounding Authors

This week in our Spotlight on Astounding Authors we feature the lives of a deity living on Earth, an aura cleaner who has stumbled on a mystery, a chemical engineer that is putting her ex-stripper skills to good use, and the non-fiction musings of a young female as she explores life, friendships and love.

Click on the links to download these Amazing Stories and let us know what you think! Let’s get the discussion started on Twitter. Follow us @astoundingbooks.

imageThe nth Day
Author: Jonathan Huls
Publisher: Duvinchi Media (Nov. 2015)
Pages: 330
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Twitter: @jonathanhuls
Facebook: authorjonathanhuls
Website: www.jonathanhuls.com
Goodreads: Jonathan Huls

Justin is an immaculately conceived deity who roams the earth wreaking havoc as an adolescent. As his supernatural powers become catastrophic for the whole world, Cassie and Theodore must learn how to cope with the changes he has inflicted. Living as a vagrant on the streets, attempting to avoid the problems that come with millions of dollars sitting in his bank account, Theodore is suddenly thrust into a new-world leadership role, even after botching his own life early on. Abused by her drug addict mother then tossed from one foster home to the next, Cassie has been able to survive in a world that gobbles up little girls with a side of ranch dressing – but barely, and only after being miraculously revived after dying the first time.

Download and read The nth Day today.

 

imageCurse Me Not
Author: Elizabeth Fisher
Publisher: Champagne Book Group (Dec. 2014)
Pages:  265
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Twitter: @Dizzy589
Facebook: Elizabeth Fisher Author
Website: Elizabethfisherauthor.com
Goodreads: Curse Me Not

Curse Me Not introduces southern Appalachian unsophisticate Elzetta Swan who’s recently been gifted with a rare ability considered very lucrative in her reality. She can see people’s auras and clean revenge curses off those auras. Even though the gift comes wrapped in premature menopause and ill-timed hot flashes, Elzetta embraces it faster than grass through a goose. She’s moved to what is to her the big city, and as the story opens, she’s about to finish her first year as a legally licensed bodywasher with a countrified inner child that’s skipping all the way to the bank.

Suddenly a routine aura cleansing turns ugly. Elzetta suspects a powerful invoker has come to town-one who’s hooked on the rush of setting particularly nasty curses. If that wasn’t bad enough, the invoker may be visiting at the invitation of a mysterious local with a malicious hard-on for revenge.

Well-intentioned but often out of her depth, Elzetta attempts to track down the culprits. In doing so, she faces deadly threats to both her trendy new life and the hallelujah hankering she’s formed for a reluctant urban white knight who’s crossed her path.

Read the exciting Curse Me Not and let us know what you thought! Click Here.

 

imageEating Off the Floor
Author: Kesia Alexandra
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Oct. 2015)
Pages: 60
Genre: Suspence / Romance
Twitter: @kesialexandra
Facebook: Kesia Alexandra
Website: www.kesialexandra.com
Goodreads: Author Kesia Alexandra

Marsha is a graduate of Mount Holyoke with a chemical engineering degree and the ex-wife of NBA superstar, Rodney Fisher. So she’s not exactly the first woman you would expect to find working at a DC strip club called Hustler’s Delight. This is where Marsha finds herself years after a quick divorce and sudden move. Now Marsha’s found a way to make some extra money, putting her chemical engineering skills to work in a non-traditional way and making use of her position as a stripper. As far as she’s concerned, no one’s getting hurt, at least that’s what she’s convinced herself.

But not all of her victims see it that way…

Download your copy of the suspenseful Eating Off The Floor today.

 

imageMinor: Volume One
(The Journals of Meghan McDonnell)
Author: Meghan McDonnell
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 178
Genre: Biographical / Personal Observations
Twitter: @megmcdonnell
Website: meghanmcdonnell.blogspot.com
Goodreads: Meghan McDonnell

Minor is the first installment of the personal journals in which, for over 20 years, writer Meghan McDonnell has chronicled her life beginning at age eight through present day. With searing candor and tenderness, her musings on daily life and observations of family, social and romantic relationships coalesce in a commentary on growing up, facing down passion and fear, and American life in the 21st century. Wide in scope and vivid in detail, her journals are her confessional love letter to the world. Join her on a fearless, vulnerable, sometimes painful and quixotic, but always honest journey, also known as the human experience. Readers who love Cheryl Strayed or Karl Ove Knausgaard will enjoy this author.

Volume one spans her eighth year through age 17; reflections on family, friendship, education, a stint at survival camp and coming of age.

To get your copy of Minor, click here.

Saturday Morning Over Easy

imageNeed a date for Valentine’s Day? Try a blind date…with a book. Some libraries and small book shops have a selection of books for purchase or loan that are wrapped in plain paper, masking the identity of the book until you take it home.

You won’t be able to judge a book by its cover. A few descriptive words or phrases are your only hint at the subject of the story.

imageWe all have our favorite authors or favorite subjects, or maybe you are more of a mystery person, rather than science fiction or fantasy. Moving out of our comfort zone can be difficult. Blind Date with a Book is a fun way to encourage readers to choose something they normally might not read.

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

We have a wonderful selection of novels from independent and self-published authors this week. While we here at Astounding Books can’t review every request we receive, we hope you will take a look at these Astounding Authors and let us know what YOU think.  Click on the highlighted links to purchase their novels. You not only support their efforts to write more Amazing Stories, but you also help support this site to Spotlight more Astounding Authors!

 

imageIn The Blood
Author:  R. L. Martinez
Publisher: Lakewater Press (March 2016)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 356
Twitter: @RobinLMartinez
Facebook: Robin.l.martinez400
Website: www.robinlmartinez.com

The Warrior
The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…

The Witch
Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord hiding secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic and threats from a cruel blackmailer push her closer to disaster.
Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Read the exciting new novel from R. L. Martinez, In The Blood, available HERE.

 

imageThe Keystone Staff (Aeonlith Saga Book 1)
Author: Danny F. Santos
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (November 2015)
Pages: 62 (Novella)
Genre: Fantasy, series
Website: words.dannyfsantos.com
Twitter: @dannyfsantos
Amazon: author/dannyfsantos

The Aeonlith powered the magick abilities of the Wardens for centuries.

Kera is just a young Warden working in the Citadel’s library when the High Council orders her to accompany Jorthen deep into rival territory to find a powerful holy relic. Tensions run high but when they charter a merchant airship to smuggle them across the Disc Sea, she’ll begin to unravel secrets as their covert trip threatens to cause an all out war.

Don’t miss Book 1 of the Aeonlith Saga. Pick up your copy of The Keystone Staff today! Click HERE then come back and let us know what you thought!

 

imageTravel the Wicked Road
Author: M. L. Sanford
Publisher: ArchitectM, Inc (Oct. 2015)
Genre: Paranormal  Suspense / Thriller
Pages: 272
Website: www.mlsanford.com
Goodreads Author: mlsanford
Amazon Author: MLSanford
Facebook: author.mlsanford

Eaton Prescott’s young life, and path, was so far—well, in his words ‘lacking in everything that one could possible desire, or achieve’. Love, money, self-esteem, good looks, outgoing personality . . . well the list could go on and on. Little did he know that his path, the one that he would just as soon throw away and start over, was about to cross with a few other important ones—and something else. The ‘something else’, something wicked, he could do without, but then, do we have much choice on what road we take, which path we travel, or collide with?

Sheriff Bud Bustovf’s life, and path, was about to tumble into retirement, and in his mind, retiring only meant ‘sinking into uselessness, no longer of value to the citizens of New Gamore’. Little did he know, retirement was going to be anything but boring and quiet, his path too, about to cross many others, all unexpected, all life changing for him, and them. His new road, the one forced on him, uncovers buried secrets, missing people that turned into unexplained deaths, and new ones, deaths that is, all testing his grasp on reality, and his long held understanding of the family history, not to mention, his little town’s death and rebirth.

These are just a few of the odd and interesting characters introduced in the supernatural, suspense and mystery thriller, Travel the Wicked Road, by author M. L. Sanford. Oh, and don’t forget the little town of Gamore, its horrific end and curious reincarnation as New Gamore. Their paths cross, and twist, in a most unnatural way, the road leading to one of them fraught with that wicked something that many, including Eaton Prescott and Sheriff Bud Bustovf, would do anything to avoid—if only they knew.

See why happens when you Travel the Wicked Road by M. L.. Sanford. Click here to download your copy.

 

imageCurse of the Purple Pearl
Author: Adrian Speed
Publisher: Amazon Publishing (July 2015)
Pages: 315
Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery
Facebook: AdrianSpeedAuthor

Hannah Delaronde has an unusual hobby for a university student. While her classmates head home on their vacations, she seeks out the enigmatic Sir Reginald Derby and his steam powered time machine to solve the mysteries sent to the Derby and Delaronde Time Travel Company. They are called to Roman Vienna to solve the death of Marcus Aurelius. Who plucked the purple pearl ring from his finger? Who killed him in a room locked from the inside? Which villain will rise to claim the Roman Empire? Even as these questions pull at them a darker thread emerges that will drag them forward to Medieval France, 20th century Nigeria, the 23rd century lunar colonies and in the depths of the 99th century something evil stirs to whispers of the Purple Pearl.

Solve the mystery of the Curse of the Purple Pearl. Get your copy today!

 

 

This Winter(son)’s Tale Revisits a Timeless Classic

imageThe Gap of Time

Author: Jeanette Winterson
Publisher: Hogarth
Pages: 288
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Twitter: @wintersonworld
Website: jeanettewinterson.com

A sad tale’s best for winter; I have one…of sprites and goblins” – Mamillius

Leo, a rich and powerful man, mistakenly accuses his wife Mimi of having an affair (and fathering a child) with his best friend, Xeno.  As a result he disowns his newborn daughter, Perdita, sends her overseas  and divorces his wife, who withdraws  from society, becoming very stone-like in nature.   Years later, in a stunning twist of fate, the banished daughter (raised by a man named Shep and his fool-like son, Clo) falls in love with the son of Xeno. Perdita’s path to discovering her true parentage brings everyone together to confront their troubled pasts.

Sound vaguely familiar? It should. It’s William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, but in this “cover version” King Leontes is a hedge fund tycoon and his best friend, King Polixenes, is a video game designer; the setting is London and Bohemia (someplace in the United States).  The Gap of Time, written by the appropriately named Jeanette Winterson, is the first installment of the new Hogarth Shakespeare Series of contemporary novels retelling the Bard’s plays.

Readers unfamiliar with the original are given a brief synopsis before the story begins.  Fan’s of Shakespeare will need no such introduction as Winterson is faithful to the  the spirit of the tale and the narrative.  She delves deeper into the complicated personalities of the characters than Shakespeare ever did. Her prose is light and quick, almost whimsical and magical at times, yet can turn hauntingly tragic when need be – much like the original play. She, like Shakespeare, seems to have fun playing with the themes of reversed gender, disguises and coincidences. Scattered throughout the novel are inventive “easter eggs” linking this modern telling to the original play. Winterson seems to step away from the story and float above it, writing not simply for the reader, but for an obvious audience that is peering in on this self contained world.

But while true to the general themes of The Winter’s Tale, The Gap of Time is not a substitute for the original. This is not your high school English Lit teacher’s Shakespeare.  There are more adult themes addressed here, and none of the implied violence of the play is set “offstage”. It can be, at times, very brutal.  Leontes remains a wholly unsympathetic character, even in his supposed redemption.

Notably absent is the wonderful language of the period; that is half the enjoyment of Shakespeare. Winterson does an admirable job of trying to craft the same feel. I felt at times, however, that many of the connections to the original were a bit heavy handed, preferring a more subtle approach. Be that as it may, fans will enjoy these little inside jokes and it doesn’t distract from the overall story.

My advice? Shakespeare fans simply need to sit back and enjoy the translation. Much how directors update Shakespeare by changing settings and costumes to reflect different periods of time, Winterson expertly fashions her own interpretation on the classic, connecting the Elizabethan Age to the MMORPG & Internet Age.  The result is a work that is instantly accessible to an audience that is conditioned by their personal cultures.

More contempory versions of Shakespeare’s plays are planned for the Hogarth series, including novels from Anne Tyler (her version of The Taming of the Shrew) and Margaret Atwood (The Tempest).  The Gap of Time, being the first in the series, (and incidentally the last of Shakespeare’s plays) is a good start to what promises to be a very interesting and enjoyable series.

3 stars out of 5.  An enjoyable novel that will leave you wanting to recommend it to other fans of Shakespeare. Click Here to purchase your copy.

I  received a free copy of The Gap of Time from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review under penalty of being chased off the Internet by a bear.

 

 

Saturday Morning Over Easy

imageThis has always been one of my favorite book memes.

What novel impacted you the most, staying with you days after reading the final page?   For me, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke comes to mind.  A Prayer for Owen Meany by my favorite author John Irving, is another. There are probably too many to write about here. In fact, I know there are too many.

Name one of yours, then forward this to a friend who loves to read.

 

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

This week in Astounding Authors we are spotlighting the second novel in an exciting urban fantasy series, a Young Adult fantasy, a book about a powerful wizard from a fellow native of Michigan and a suspenseful romantic mystery.

Use our links to easily purchase and download these amazing novels. Join us on Twitter @AstoundingBooks to discuss and share. Now, this week’s Astounding Authors!

imageA Fistful of Fire
(Madison Fox: Illuminant Enforcer Book 2)
By Rebecca Chastain
Publisher: Mind Your Own Business Books (October 2015)
Pages: 400
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Twitter: @Author_Rebecca
Website: RebeccaChastain.com
Facebook:  RebeccaChastainNovels

Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, but if her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A Fistful of Fire is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.

You can find Rebecca Chastain’s urban fantasy novel, A Fistful of Fire by clicking on the title!

 

imagePAPER CROWNS
Author: Mike Cyr
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (November 2015)
Genre: young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 254
Goodreads: Goodreads.com – Mike Cyr
Tumblr: robogreaser.tumblr.com

Amy Green is convinced the fantasy world of her mother’ bedtime stories is real. Her friends and family worry for her health.

But she’s not wrong.

From rural Tennessee to the magical wilds of Ezrantia, Amy and company, barely scratching the surface of adulthood as it is, are faced with a slew of problems. The most pressing? Amy’s mother, the woman behind the stories fueling Amy’s obsession, caused these problems during her second life as an oracle in these lands.

Paper Crowns, a young adult fantasy novel, is available by clicking here.

 

imageCITIZEN MAGUS
by Rob Steiner
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 2016)
Pages:  372
Genre: Fantasy
Twitter: @RobSteiner
Website: robsteiner.quarkfolio.com

Remington Blakes, a magus from a 21st century where magic powers the world, has a big problem.

His former mentor, William Ford, stranded him in ancient Rome without a memory as to how or why. Well a guy has to eat, so he’s forced to eke out a living as a magus-for-hire among Rome’s plebeians. He calls himself “Natta Magus” since his real name sounds too Germanic to the discriminating Romans.

So when Natta learns that Ford has conjured daemons to kidnap a senator’s young daughter, he jumps at the chance to track Ford down. Natta chases him to Rome’s Germanic frontier to not only rescue the child, but learn the terrible secret behind why he left Natta in Rome.

Dowlnoad your copy of Citizen Magus from Michigan native Rob Steiner.

 

imageBetween Two Fires
By Toni Williams
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (February 2016)
Pages: 351
Website: ToniWilliamsBooks.wordpress.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/Toni-Williams

Rudy is a black British journalist constantly struggling, yet he’s full of charm and always looking on the bright side. However, never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that he would fall for someone like Bridget. She’s a gorgeous American career woman running a highly successful stock-trading firm from an exotic Caribbean island, and she’s filthy rich. She’s also married to the world-famous British aristocrat, Lord Edward Tennyson. Bridget is frustrated with him but she’s crazy over Rudy.

Rudy knows that he’s pressing his luck by falling in love with Bridget, considering that the two of them come from completely different worlds. Still, he figures it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if he plays his cards right he could hit pay dirt and win a woman any man would die for. Bridget assures him everything will work out once Edward is out of the way, and she’s got the perfect plan.

The big question is, can Rudy handle a woman like Bridget who is independent-minded, calculating, tough and ambitious?

What’s more, they both know that if they slip up and Edward discovers what’s going down, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Read Toni Williams romantic mystery, Between Two Fires today! 

That’s for this week. We hope you take a chance on one (or all) of these astounding authors and read their amazing novels. By using our links, you not only help support their work, you also help support Astounding Books to continue bringing you great reads.

What Lies Beneath The Surface’s End? A Good Parable.

imageThe Surface’s End

Author: David Joel Stevenson
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 2, 2015)
Website: davidjoelstevenson.com
Twitter: @geekoffgrid
Facebook: Davidjoelstevenson

Jonah Whitfield lives in a small farming village near the Deathlands, a strange desert in the middle of a lush and green landscape. The inhabitants of his village live a pastoral life, one free of excess, electronics and sloth.  Hard work is valued, family life is cherished and citizens strive for a strong sense of community. But the land holds many secrets.  Rusting mechanical machines litter a nearby junkyard.  Tools and homes are crafted from the remnants of objects  whose original uses are lost to time.  One day, while hunting, Jonah explores the forbidden Deathlands area only to find a passageway to a hidden complex, a series of tunnels filled with glowing lights, working machines…and the voices of other humans.  Here he finds questions that may very shake his view of the world.

Thus begins David Joel Stevenson’s Young Adult (YA) Dystopian novel, The Surface’s End. I have to say this was a welcoming and pleasant surprise, if not a bit formulaic.

The YA and Dystopian novel market is booming, helped in part from the success of The Hunger Games, and the self-published sensation Wool.  It seems we all can’t quite get enough of a futuristic world filled with crushing authority, bleak lives and young protagonists that offer a glimmer of hope for a better future. I know I can’t. I practically thrive on it.

Stevenson turns the tables on the basic dystopian formula by starting off in a quite comfortable place where residents have found a bit peace after what appears to have been a time of violence many generations past. History is forgotten, but not altogether gone. The shells of the former world litter the landscape, raising questions for those brave enough to ask.  Only after Jonah discovers a hidden world do we begin to see a society living in a questionable future, a future filled with laziness, lack of values and systematic separation of classes. A future that looks surprisingly like our own present.

The author did a fine job of building the mystery in the first half of the novel. Unfortunately, the second half fell into the trap of revealing too much information too fast. While I have no doubt Stevenson has more to tell of what lies beneath the Deathlands, revelations seemed to come faster than expected. The fun is in the build-up! I like my dystopian stories dripping with dispair and a protagonist that struggles  with a world that makes little sense.  There is also a not-so-subtle message that Stevenson is trying to convey to the reader – a philosophy of hard work, good values and unquestioning loyalty to family and community.  But here too, the delivery is  a blunt object over the head. Stevenson needs to trust the reader to make their own conclusions to the message he’s sending.

That aside, this was a quick, enjoyable page-turning read. The author provided me with a review copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.  My foray into the world of first time authors and self-published novels from up-and-coming independent writers, continues to be a welcomed experience. Finding a small jewel like this in the stacks of requests is what makes my hobby of book reviewing so enjoyable.

The Surface’s End was engaging, creative and hopping with energy. The author has a clean and tight writing style that is effective and affective.  Readers will eagerly want to learn what comes next. I know I do. But let the mystery build a little slower next time, ok?

Three Stars out of Five. A good, enjoyable novel that you will not be disappointed in reading.

To read The Surface’s End, pick up a copy by CLICKING HERE.  When you are done, head on back here to Astounding Books and let us know what you thought!