A Few Astonishing Moments With Author Corrie Brundage!

 

Welcome back to The Last Cafè at the End of the Universe. My vacation has been going well and I can’t wait to tell you all out the astounding authors I’ve been reading! But first, my travels take me once again past The Last Cafè just in time to sit down with Corrie Brundage, author of Origin, the first book in The Eaters Trilogy.

Astounding Books (AB) Corrie, thank you for joining me. Let’s get you a drink first… Your preference?

Corrie Brundage (CB)  Diet Sprite, which I’m only allowed one per day. Well, to be fair, “in moderation” is what my coach/nutritionist recommends. But if you’d asked a couple of hours ago, I’d have said calorie-free flavored coffee (hopefully chocolate something or other) sweetened liberally with stevia and non-fat creamer.
One question I would ask myself: Is nutrition really THAT important to you or are you just OCD?
Both! My strict diet can be an annoyance not just to me, but to friends and family. However, I find it therapeutic to stick to the “rules” during difficult times when so much is up in the air, and I can’t really rely on anything to be dependable except food and exercise. There’s comfort in the mundane things!

(AB):  As readers and writers, we all….and I mean ALL have a favorite book growing up. What was yours?

(CB):  I’d have to say anything by Stephen King, but more specifically, The Stand. I guess as a kid, like most, I enjoyed knowing who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. But along with that came the excitement of the end of the world drawing people together, forcing them to make decisions they normally never would. I often imagined myself in the same situation, and tested myself to see if I would have succeeded as a good guy.

(AB):  The Stand was the first Stephen King novel I read and it blew me away. What was the first thing you wrote that you were either most proud of or remember the most?

(CB):  It was just one line, and it was written on a poster I’d drawn in art class of the Statue of Liberty. I think I was six years old. It read:
ITS GUSTICE
Spelling mistake aside, I had a childhood thing for fairness.

(AB):  What are your hobbies?

(CB)   I’m going to seem pretty shallow here, but I love lifting weights and shopping. I’m either in the gym or on eBay. That frivolity aside, I do like helping animals in whatever way I can, but also consider this a hobby as there are so many heroes out there devoting all their time to this endeavor, and for them I am truly grateful.

(AB):   Who do you bounce ideas off of?

(CB):  I’d say either my dear friend, Tom, or my Mom. Because they are both inherently strong encouragers, they always tell me my ideas are fabulous. But I’m hoping I can gather some loyal readers who are willing to be “sounding boards” for me in the future.

(AB):  Any Guilty Pleasures?

(CB):  Stalking ex-boyfriend’s FaceBook pages. Don’t tell me you don’t do it, either! Yeah…you know you do.

(AB):  I can honestly say I’ve never stalked your ex-boyfriend on Facebook. Tony Soprano, dead or alive?

(CB):  OK, wow, this question is so perfect because I am the BIGGEST Sopranos fan on the planet. I am so not kidding. And I happen to know Tony is ALIVE, because the creator of the show, David Chase, has said so. But aside from that, I just sense that the Boss of North Jersey mafia would never give up his seat of power. Yeahhh, whaddayagonnado?

(AB):  Thank you for joining me today, good luck with your novel. Please stop by again. We leave you now to resume your regularly schedule Tour Stop! Let’s take a loon at your novel, shall we? 

About Origin, The Eaters #1

So not your usual post-apocalyptic, clone vs. hybrid romance-adventure…
 

 Brilliant, brave, determined, and just a little bit…distracted.  Meet Dr. Mina Brice, dedicated savior of species, and scientist with a secret. On a planet ravaged by climate change, her ability to mind-meld with earth’s imperiled beasts has made her a valued member of a team dedicated to saving as many as they can from extinction.  Unfortunately, Mina’s inability to connect with her fellow humans has kept most of them at arms length. Except for Jack—handsome, dashing-with-a-touch of goofy, totally distracting Jack. Dr. Jack MacConnell was never supposed to be part of Mina’s gameplan.  But when thrown together on a crazy-dangerous mission, both fate and a deadly tsunami seem determined to propel them down the same fraught—and occasionally delicious—path. Perhaps forever?

But forever turns out to be a fluid commodity when both awaken 500 years into the future in a city called Origin. Presided over by aliens known as The Travelers, it is a world at once familiar and totally strange. And for Mina and Jack, it will become a battleground…against a hybrid race of predators loosed on the human population, against those whose dark side is so very carefully hidden,  and even, as fate throws a heartwrenching twist their way, against…each other?

Corrie Brundage kicks off The Eaters trilogy with an intoxicating tale of pulse-pounding action for fans of urban fantasy and science fiction to devour and savor.

About the Author:

Corrie Brundage is a former model, opera singer, and personal trainer who, out of sheer boredom and personal relief from planetary insanity, completed five novels in the space of twelve months. She pumps iron, is a political junkie, and is a dedicated animal advocate.

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***
GIVEAWAY:
Ends July 27th
Prizing is provided by the publisher, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

 

A Few Astonishing Moments With Author Camille Picott

Welcome back to The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. I’ve briefly come back from a summer hiatus to sit down and talk with Camille Picott, author of Undead Ultra.

Welcome to my tour stop for Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel) by Camille Picott! This is an adult post apocalyptic horror novel and the tour runs June 20 through July 1st with reviews, interviews and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule!

About the Book:

Undead: a reanimated corpse with a craving for human flesh.
Ultramarathon: any footrace longer than a traditional marathon (26.2 miles).

For ultrarunners Kate and Frederico, a typical Saturday morning is spent pounding out a twenty- to thirty-mile “fun run.” It’s during one of their runs that an insidious illness descends upon northern California, turning humans into flesh-shredding zombies.

When Kate receives a desperate call from her son, Carter, she and Frederico flee their hometown and set out to help him. The only problem? Carter attends college over two hundred miles away and the freeways—clogged with car wrecks, zombies, and government blockades—are impassable. Running back roads and railroad tracks becomes their only means of travel, but neither of them has ever run so far before.

As pain, injuries, hunger, and fatigue plague them, getting to Carter and staying alive seem impossible. It’s either outrun the undead or become one of them, and for Kate, death is not an option.

Goodreads | Amazon

About the Author:

Camille Picott has been writing novels since she was twelve. When she’s not working on a book, spending time with family, or whipping up a new vegetarian meal, you can find her trail running in Sonoma County, California.

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

 

And now…The Interview!

Astounding Books (AB):  Camille, thank you for joining us today. Your novel combines zombies, a post-apocalyptic setting and trail-running! What draws you to this particular genre?

Camille Picott (CP): I love the “what if” factor in zombie and post-apocalypse novels. These types of novels have a way of feeling like they could be our reality tomorrow. I like to see how everyday people handle a new paradigm.

AB:     What’s up next for you?

CP:      To celebrate the release of my novel, I rounded up 14 people to run 200+ miles from Geyserville to Arcata – the same route the characters run in the book. We just finished the run last weekend. It was an amazing adventure! I’m working on a short film to document it.

AB:     What was your favorite novel as a kid/teen? Why?

CP:  I was a huge fan of a series called The Secret of the Unicorn Queen. A modern teenage girl fell through an inter-dimensional portal and ended up in a magical world with wizards, sorceresses, and unicorns. The main character, Shelia, joined a band of female warriors who rode unicorns and battled an evil wizard. What’s not to love about that?

AB:     What was the first thing you wrote that you were either most proud of or remember?

CP:     I had a panda bear stamp as a kid. I wrote little short stories about the panda and illustrated them using the stamp.

AB:     If you could hang out with one of your characters who would it be and what would you do?

CP:     I would definitely want to hang out with Kate and Frederico in Undead Ultra, preferably on a long trail run!

AB:     We all have a favorite place to write. Where is yours? 

CP:      In my bed! We bought a fancy one that inclines and it’s super comfy!

AB:     I’m going to ask what your hobbies are, but I think I can pretty much guess…

CP:     Besides writing novels? Running lots and lots. Cooking. Hanging out with my family.

AB:     I was correct! What TV show or Movie are you currently obsessed with?

CP:     The Walking Dead and Tiny House Hunters. I have fantasies of moving into a tiny house so I can afford to write full time.

AB:     What was your Favorite Toy as a child/teen?

CP:     My Little Pony.

AB:      Go to your fridge. Open the door. What will you find?

CP:     I make smoothies every morning for breakfast. There are always at least 2 vegetables in them. This week, you’d find bok choy, cabbage, and kale in my fridge. You’re also likely to find celery, cucumber, collard greens (obsessed with these), cauliflower, and broccoli. The more veggies, the better!

AB:     Who do you bounce ideas off of?

CP:     My husband and writing partners. I’m lucky enough to have a close group of writers that I’ve been working with for years

AB:     Cats, Dogs, Fish or other? 

CP:     I’m assuming you mean for pets?? LOL. I’m a vegetarian and a cat lover!

AB:     What Books are you reading at present?

CP:     End of Days by Susan Ee.

AB:     Best three novels in your genre (Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, etc)

CP:     My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Zombie Rules, and Patient Zero.

AB:     I sense a theme here… At what point did you officially look at yourself as a writer?

CP:     When I self-published my first book, Raggedy Chan. I had published short stories in various magazines before then, but holding a printed book in my hands for the first time was really life changing and affirming.

AB:     Guilty pleasure?

CP:     Dessert. Lots of it, often.

AB:      Finally, the most important question: Is Pluto a Planet?

CP:     Hell yes!

Camille, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us today. Good luck on your novel, Undead Ultra. 

GIVEAWAY:
Two (2) $5 Amazon gift cards (INT)
Ends July 6th
Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

Welcome to another week of Astounding Authors. We are spotlighting four novels this week that I’m sure you will enjoy. This week, please share us on your Facebook or Twitter streams. It only takes a moment to click the share button. This not only helps us, but it helps spread the word about out Amazing! Astounding! Authors!

imageBucky Ball
Author: Fabian Roy
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Jan. 2016)
Pages: 168
Genre: Science Fiction
Twitter: @lokisarrow
Facebook:  Lokisarrow
Website: LokisArrow

James Pesola tells the story of how one night of partying in South Beach with his best friend changed his life forever. Listening to a specific song always transports him back to the same time and place which happens to be the Miamillennium nightclub in Miami. These flashback moments are called lifeturns, and James claims to have lived over one hundred and seventy-one of them, some lasting between 13 and 26 years.

Download what some are calling a “Fun” and “Imaginative” read today! CLICK HERE for Bucky Ball by Fabian Roy.

imageThe Sabbath
Authors: Arthur Nsenga & Shaunakay Francis
Publisher: Say La V. Publishing (Jan. 2016)
Pages: 197
Genre: Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
Twitter: @artDaGreat
Facebook: Nsenga-Arthur
Website: Arthurnsenga.com

Would you rather suffer for eternity, or die peacefully?

What if you had no choice?

The morning after witnessing a spectacular meteorite shower, Cory and his girlfriend Lana didn’t expect to wake up immortal.

News bulletins claim the meteorites have released a chemical compound called ATHENS which has caused mutations in the human race. The twisted outcome has left people unable to die but with an increased sensitivity to pain.

Now with the majority of food supplies contaminated, and the rich controlling what little is left, the desperate young couple are force to go on merciless food raids just to stave off the pain.

During which they accidentally discover a secret government device and find themselves caught up in a diabolical plot to control the future of humanity.

Realizing that there is more to ATHENS than what they were led to believe; Cory and Lana set out on a crusade to uncover the truth. Their journey will lead them into the darkest depths of humanity. If they can follow the trail, they may be able to find some answers.

But will the cost of knowing the truth be too much? Find out by CLICKING HERE and ordering your copy of The Sabbath by Arthur Nsenga & Shaunakay Francis!

imageLeaves of the World Tree
Author: Adam Misner
Publisher: Adam Misner (Dec. 2015)
Pages:  108
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Website: Adammisner.com
Goodreads: Leaves of the World Tree

Leaves of The World Tree is a 108 page short story collection.

Each one is meant to give you a window to a soul. To introduce you to motivations of a person unlike yourself. The stories follow a Viking cursed with being average amongst a group of extraordinary warriors; a man who has never slept who experiences both the productivity and loneliness of his gift; an evil pirate that wants to save the girl; a necromancer who wants to be a romantic; a shapeshifter who wants to find a friend to reveal his secret to; and finally a knight who has always been ordered to do good and wants to choose for himself to be a good man.

Get started on the Leaves of The World Tree today by downloading your copy.  CLICK HERE!

imageNightfall
Author: Moshe Ben-Or
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Jan 2016)
Pages: 363
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
Facebook: Moshe-Ben-Or
Goodreads: Nightfall

There will be war!

Leo Freeman is a bored young aristocrat who flies fighter jets in peacetime, but will never be allowed to fly them in combat. All he wants is a bit of adventure.

Yosi Weismann is a scarred war hero who has seen enough “adventure” to last six lifetimes. All he wants is a little peace and quiet for a change.

Isabella van der Rijn is a ruthless tyrant perched unsteadily atop a seething pyramid of venal nobles. All she wants is power, at any price.

Patricia Sleager is the socialite daughter of an up-jumped ne’er-do-well whose fortune and prospects are rapidly fading. All she wants is to keep up her social status, no matter what she has to do.

Miri Legraf is an ordinary schoolgirl. All she wants is to pass the next midterm, and fit in with her friends.

But the universe does not care what they want. It does not care what anyone wants. When alien monsters from beyond the stars come barreling into Known Space with a war fleet larger than anything anyone has seen in six centuries, all well-laid plans and all vague dreams will come crashing down. And the only things that matter will be survival and victory. Victory at any price. For without victory, there will be no survival.

What is the price of victory?  Find out now by CLICKING HERE and purchasing Nightfall by Moshe Ben-Or!

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

I’m giving you a heads up right now: it’s going to be hard to pick which of these Astounding Authors’ novels you’ll want to read this week. We have three novels so interesting that you may want to read them all!  Click through the link and give them a try.

imageThe Dragon Scale Lute
Legends of Tivara, Daughter of
the Dragon Throne. Vol 1
Author: J.C. Kang
Publisher: CreateSpace (Feb 2016)
Pages: 484
Genre: Asian Fantasy
Twitter: @JCKang804
Facebook: LegendsOfTivara
Website: JCKang.info

Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her unique abilities.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

Discover the Legends of Tivara, Daughter of the Throne and download The Dragon Scale Lute today! CLICK HERE!

 

imageThe Unknown Sun
Author: Cheryl Mackey
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Twitter:  @Writezalot
Facebook:  Writezalot
Website: Writezalot.com

Seventeen-year-old Moira is haunted by the accidents that claimed her parents and sisters. When a strange boy who seems to know too much about her past attacks her, Moira fears death will come for her a third time. She is rescued by twins Airi and Belamar, the winged heirs to the throne in Skyfall, and taken to safety in their world.

But Skyfall is dying, and the Immortals who had protected Airi and Belamar’s world have been missing since the Great War. Moira, Airi, and Belamar must find a journal left by the twins’ deceased mother, Tanari, that tells of a prophecy that must be fulfilled to find the Immortals known as The Unknown Sun so that Skyfall can be saved.

Deeper, darker, secrets unravel around the three friends as a revolution threatens their quest and the boy who tried to destroy Moira on Earth hunts them. Tanari knew more than she had let on, and within her journal a story is more than it seems, the past foretells the future, and a far-reaching plan is unveiled.

Why did Tanari reach across time and space to entrust a simple human girl with saving Skyfall? Who are the mysterious “Four” mentioned in the journal? And why does another Immortal want her, and The Unknown Sun, dead?

Find out by CLICKING HERE and downloading your copy of Cheryl Mackey’s The Unknown Sun.

 

imageA New Divide
Author: Nathaniel Patrick Sanders
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 271
Genre: Sci-Fi / Dystopian
Twitter: @omg_ItsSanders
Facebook: Nate.Sanders.3998
Blog: Thefarandfew.blogspot.com
Website: Anewdivide.com

Book One of Three

In the distant future, the people from a former Earth have created peace by converting war into a form of sport known as Gravityball.

War has been abolished, civilizations have flourished like never before, and now superstar athlete Collin King has won the hearts of billions by conquering his nation’s circuit for the fourth year in a row.

Hours after celebrating his victory an ancient ruler decides to end the peace when he condemns Collin’s world for the crime of being free. During the despair, suffering, and annihilation of his people Collin discovers he holds a genetic key to immortality, witnessing his ideals of greatness change as they are plunged into question. And as he evolves into the voice of reason for humanity—he becomes the center of the first violent conflict that has been experienced in over one thousand years.

A New Divide follows Collin King on his journey of adversity shortly after he is liberated from his destroyed home world. It’s the story of life, love, choice, and the power of desire – and what that can accomplish.

Travel along on the journey by CLICKING HERE and downloading your copy of A New Divide by Nathaniel Patrick Sanders.

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

As we put the wraps on March is Reading Month, I hope you take a look at some of the Astonishing Authors we have this week.  While I cannot read and review every novel that comes across through my email, I hope this feature helps both the Authors and you, the reader. Its very easy to download or order these interesting novels: Simply click on the titles below. Hopefully you will return here to Astounding books and let us know what you think. if you posted a review on your own site, feel free to leave us your link.

We’d also appreciate it if you took the time to head over to Facebook and LIKE our page Facebook.com/AstoundingBooks.

 

imageI Am
Author: Michael Drakich
Publisher: Traanu Enterpises (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 320
Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera
Twitter: @Klaato1957
Facebook:  michael.drakich
Website: MichaelDrakich

Genius, wealthy and life regenerated, Adam Spenceworth is living the dream aboard his custom spaceship run by Mum, his first designed AI, protected by Gort, his first robot, and occupied by Eve, his sexbot. With each regeneration he returns to start over as a twenty-five year old man ready to enjoy the pleasures of his success. What could go wrong? Except, maybe, planetary wars, territorial space battles, alien invasions, and the disturbing fact that each regeneration is taking exponentially longer than the one before bringing him into one galactic crisis after another.

A frolicking space drama filled with references sure to strike home with any science fiction aficionado. CLICK HERE to begin the adventure!

 

imageBlood to Blood
Book One in the Angelica Brown Series
Author: Ife Oshun
Publisher: Papa Grace Pub. (Dec. 2013)
Pages: 251
Genre: Paranormal & Urban
Twitter: @IfeOshun
Facebook: AuthorIfeOshun
Website: IfeOshun.com/

Enter the world of Bostonian teen Angelica Brown: budding pop star and descendant of an immortal race of sun-loving blood drinkers known as Shimshana (the folks that created vampires).

Defying her parents’ traditions of higher education, Angel plans to ditch high school to be a singer. She’s got an amazing voice, but she’s also maturing into a full-grown Shimshana complete with fearsome power and insatiable bloodlust. What’s worse, her soaring vocals are now capable of destroying everything, and everyone, within earshot; including her girl group, their mysterious producer and Angel’s hunky new blood donor. To top it off, she must prove her worthiness to live by passing the tests in her Mahá–the ancient, mandatory coming-out-party for new-born immortals.

Will Angel survive her Mahá and quickly learn to control her new abilities? Or will her killer instincts bring her promising career, and her life, to an end?

Enter the world of Blood to Blood by Ifeo Shun!  Download your copy by CLICKING HERE!

 

imageSurviving the Improbable Quest
Heroes of Distant Planets, Book 1
Author: Anderson Atlas
Publisher: Synesthesia Books (Oct. 2015)
Pages: 271
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Twitter: @andersonAtlas
Facebook: Anderson.atlas
Website: www.andersonatlas.blogspot.com

Allan has lost so much: his Olympic dreams, his parents, the use of his legs, his voice. When life is at its bleakest, its darkest, Allan and his uncle are almost drown by a flash flood. Allan must save his uncle, even if it’s the last thing he does. Allan crawls for help, a seemingly insurmountable task for a paraplegic.

Suddenly, Allan is transported to another planet by the least likely thing, a flower. A fire erupts inside Allan. He bursts with drive, purpose and determination.

He unleashes a drive deep within his muscles. It’s a familiar feeling, one he felt during swim meets and competitions. The strange and dangerous world he’s found himself in is just another lap.

In a blaze of utter resilience, Allan finds his voice, his soul and his heart. He escapes the creepy Jibbawk and the Lithic Furies and Killian Crow.

No one has met anyone like Allan before, and they never will again. He is Allan Westerfield: adventurer, comedian, nephew, friend, paraplegic.

Heroes of Distant Planets begins HERE with Surviving the Improbable Quest. Get your copy today!

 

imageEast of Everything
Author: A. O. K. Simpson
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 228
Genre: Contemporary Literature
Twitter: @aoksimpson
Facebook: AOKSimpson
Website: Aoksimpson.com

This is East London, where talk is cheap and beer is dear and everyone but you has an ironic tattoo. And this is a story of millennial men: of cobbled identity, flawed friendship and terrible love.

René Dubois-William is thirty, and at a low ebb in his life. Jobless, loveless and living with his indulgent mother, there appear to be no limits to the depths of his degradation. But a chance encounter with a couple of old school friends—the infuriatingly charming Madoc, and Niceguy™ Howard—will set all three on a tortuous path of self-discovery; careering wildly through betrayal, redemption, triumph and despair.

Will René finally find love with the remote and enigmatic Flame? Can Howard hang on to his bored and restless girlfriend, Anna? What will Madoc do with the body?

Find out all this, and more, in…  EAST OF EVERYTHING. CLICK HERE and download your copy today!

A Few Astonishing Moments With Author Joseph John

Welcome back to The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. Today we are sitting and talking with Joseph John, author of The Eighth Day, a techno-thriller set in New York City.

image

Joseph John

An Army officer and combat veteran with seventeen years of active duty service, John graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and attended flight school at Fort Rucker, AL. He remained in Army Aviation as a CH-47 Chinook pilot until 2013, when he transitioned to Operations Research and Systems Analysis.

The Eighth Day is John’s debut novel.  It envisions a near future where we’ve begun meddling with the human genome and taken evolution into our own hands. It will be published this week on  March 31, 2016.

Joseph John is currently stationed in Italy but through the magic of a vast array of satellites and The Master Control Program he joins us here in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. 

Astounding Books (AB):  Joseph, thank you for joining us today all the way from Italy. As we are in a cafe, tell us what are you drinking?

Joseph Johns (JJ):  A coffee. One brewed from a Keurig coffee brewer, to be precise. Or, even more precisely, a Van Houtte French Vanilla K-Cup with two packets of Splenda and a generous helping of Nestle Original Coffee-Mate creamer. I’m usually sipping on one throughout by day-job until I return home in the evening and slip into my author’s chair. At that point, I’m sipping pure, unadulterated imagination.

AB:   Ah yes, unadulterated imagination. We get that a lot here at the Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you.

JJ:   Oh, man. That’s a tough one. Give me awhile to think about it.

AB: Not a problem. I’ll just take a short nap…

(Tick Tock. Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock…)

AB:  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

JJ:  Okay. Note that a significant amount of time has passed here. Here’s five things most people don’t know about me.

1. I am a second-degree black belt and certified instructor of Tae Kwon Do.
2. As a cadet at United States Military Academy at West Point, I spent over 200 hours walking the area (Walking the Area- Click to View), the most in my class.
3. On two separate and unrelated occasions, I was accused of trying to bomb both West Point and Fort Bragg.
4. I love to travel and go exploring on spontaneous adventures. I’m currently stationed in Italy and having the time of my life.
5. While deployed to Iraq, I served as the Protocol Officer for General David Petraeus.

AB:  What books or authors influenced you?

image

The Three Investigators

JJ:  I think most red-blooded American males growing up in the 1970s and 1980s who enjoyed a good book read the Hardy Boys series. Props to ghost writers like Leslie McFarlane and crew. I was also into The Three Investigators series, created and written by Robert Arthur, Jr., and The Black Stallion series, by Walter Farley.

I read my first “adult” novel in the third grade: Cujo, by Stephen King. After that, I was hooked, and once I’d consumed everything by good ol’ Steve, I moved onto authors like Dean R. Koontz and Michael Crichton. I was also really into the Dragonlance series by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, as well as books in the Forgotten Realms universe—specifically The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. I think my stepdad’s father had almost all of Louis L’amour’s westerns—like 70 or 80 of them—and I read all of them, too.

So, yeah. I read a lot, and I had an eclectic taste for books and authors that influenced me. Even nowadays I’ll read anything, although I tend to shy away from series. I prefer a breadth of experience versus depth into a single author’s works.

That being said, I’ll still pick up a new book by Stephen King anytime and anywhere. Hell, sometimes I’ll even pick up one I’ve already read, like going back to a former lover for another romp in the hay because I know it’s going to curl my toes and give me goosebumps all over again.

AB:   The Three Investigators! Loved those books. The Alfred Hitchcock versions were the best. (Click HERE!). Right now I can’t get enough of the Marvel series on Netflix. What TV show or Movie are you currently obsessed with?

JJ:   Stories are my passion. Whether it’s movies, television, or books, it doesn’t matter. I love them. I love being captivated by a writer, losing myself to the story and its characters. It’s like, for that period when I’m staring at the screen or flipping the pages, I’m right there with them, experiencing their fear, frustration, anger, joy, failures, and triumphs. There’s nothing like a well-crafted story. You know what I mean. The kind that pulls you in and keeps you up all night, whether it be a Netflix marathon or hunched over your Kindle with eyes wide and heart pounding until the break of dawn.

The Walking Dead current tops my list of television obsessions. I mean, wow. The storyline, the character development—forget about it. Rick Grimes is both a hero and a son of a bitch. I love it. Honorable mention goes out to Supernatural (maybe it’s past its prime, but I’ve been watching it since day one, so I don’t care), Castle (of course I love a series about a bestselling novelist!), The Americans (the suspense is incredible), and Homeland (Carrie Mathison is flawed, twisted, and the perfect heroine).

Also, anything from the Marvel Universe—television or movie—and I’m all in.

AB:  What was your favorite toy growing up? 

JJ:  G.I. Joe. I had no idea I’d grow up to be a career Army officer, but I loved G.I. Joe. My best friend and I were very systematic about the way we played, too. I’m talking to the point of obsessive compulsive. None of this grabbing the guys and leaping through the air and traveling vast distances and doing crazy, unbelievable things like most kids would play. Oh no. Our Joes obeyed the laws of physics. They got turns, and each turn, they could either move a limited distance (measured to be realistic, of course), or they could fire their weapon, and as the bullet left the weapon, we’d line up the shot and chart the course to see if it was a hit or not.

imageAB:  My two brothers owned the large Aircraft Carrier that took up something like half our basement.  I hope you saved the boxes from those toys.

Joseph, thank you so much for taking some time away from preparing for the release of your debut novel, The Eighth Day, and joining us here today. Good luck with the launch and I hope you come visit us again soon.

To order The Eighth Day, Click HERE!  Be sure to come back to Astounding Books and let us know what you thought. You can follow Joseph John  by visiting his website: JosephJohnFiction.com, liking him on Facebook : JosephJohnFiction or following him on Twitter: @JosephJohn

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

I’ve almost begun to enjoy this segment of our site more that the actual reviews! It’s great reading all of the wonderful book descriptions we get each week. We can’t possible read them all, but you can help us!

Once again we are featuring a diverse selection of novels from Astounding Authors that are hoping you take a chance on them and read their stories. High Fantasy! Steampunk! Dystopian Sci-Fi! (We seem to get a lot of Dystopian novels. Must be a trend…) and a Young Adult Historical Fantasy novel! Take your pick, read and review. Let us know what you thought.

All of our featured novels are available for downloading and purchase through the links provided. Be sure to follow our authors on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on their current projects. (And while you are at it, head on over to Facebook and like US as well! CLICK HERE TO LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

 

imageTheo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin
Author: Gregory Butron
Publisher:  Amazon Digital (Nov. 2015)
Pages:  190
Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi
Facebook:  Theo Blinkerson
Goodreads: Gregory Butron
Website: Gregory Butron

When someone sets out to destroy all electrical technology on the planet, it’s sometimes best to hide under the softest, fluffiest blanket available. Other times you have to run screaming from dangerous robots. In the worst of times, you find out that your best friend has forgotten that you exist, and that you have to ride the world’s longest elevator with the scary girl you only met two days ago. Theo Blinkerson is about to have all of those times.

CLICK HERE to order your copy of Theo Blinkerson and the Copper Coffin.

 

imageWarphan
(The Anavarza Archive Book 1)
Author: Jim Mulcey
Publisher: Compass Hill Press (Nov. 2015)
Pages:  348
Genre: High Fantasy
Goodreads:   J_D_Mulcey
Website:  JDMulcey.com

Join an epic journey across a rugged world bathed in magic, where war is coming in more ways than anyone knows.

Cayne discovers a magical plant and believes his life is about to change forever. Unfortunately, he’s right. Faylin just found out she’s a shapeshifter and now her village is hunting her. Darwan broods over his fall from grace and turns to pyrus, a magical drug that will take more than it will ever give him. Burke takes a righteous stand and must pay the price.

Embark now on an adventure where some will rise, and some will fall, and all will struggle to survive the coming darkness. CLICK HERE to begin your journey!

 

imageIrons in the Fire
(Chronicles of Talis, Book 1)
Author: Antonio Urias
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Pages: 346
Genre: Steampunk / Fantasy
Twitter: @Antonio_LUrias
Facebook: Antonio Urias
Website: Antoniourias.wordpress.com
Goodreads: Antonio_Urias

The City of Talis is a fragile beacon of civilization on the edge of the Faërie Lands. Beyond lies a wilder world of dark enchantments and terrible wonders, but behind the city walls humans and faëries live together in uneasy peace—until an explosion rocks the city and long smoldering tensions threaten to ignite.

As the Commandant of Police, Baron Hessing has maintained stability for decades. But with a murderer on the loose, an anarchist bombing the city, and rumors of a faërie uprising, he is starting to loose control. Hessing finds himself caught in a web of interlocking conspiracies and he may need to choose between saving his city or his family.

Into this maelstrom appears the Countess. Trained from birth for a single purpose—vengeance—suddenly she’s everywhere from secret catacombs to the halls of power. Beset by enemies on all sides, it will take all her training to succeed in a city on the brink of revolution. Plans are in motion centuries in the making that will change the fate of Talis forever.

Begin the Chronicles of Talis by CLICKING HERE to purchase your copy of Irons in the Fire.

 

imageThe Bookminder
Author: M. K. Wiseman
Publisher: Xchyler Publishing January 2016
Pages: 333
Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fantasy
Twitter:  @FaublesFables
Facebook:  FaublesFables
Website: MKWisemanAuthor.com

Magick is forbidden in the Limska Draga valley. But that won’t stop sixteen-year-old Liara from pursuing her birthright. Orphaned by a magickal attack, and now outcast from the tiny village of Dvigrad for petty thievery, she dares to hope she’ll find the answers she craves in the company of the local wizard, Nagarath.

But the anticipated apprenticeship is denied her, the mage electing to train her not in the art of magick, but the keeping of books as a wizard’s librarian. The road to Liara’s future seems paved all in dusty old tomes, until an unexpected attack on the village she left behind sets the two exiles on a collision path with destiny.

With danger lurking in the valley, Nagarath realizes he’s kept the truth of Liara’s heritage from her too long – a powerful secret that could not only tear down the walls she has long placed around her heart, but awake the darkness gifted to her by an unknown father.

Discover the secret of Liara’s heritage by CLICK HERE and getting your copy of The Bookminder today!

A Few Astonishing Moments With… Cheryl Mackey

imageWelcome back. We are once again sitting in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet, having a cup of coffee, and getting ready to bring you another great interview with an amazing author. This week we are spending a few astonishing moments with author Cheryl Mackey.

Cheryl lives in Southern California with her husband and 2 sons. Her books The Unknown Sun and The Immortals parts 1 and 2 are both young adult fantasy and available at Amazon.  She currently has a flash fiction story published online at The Prompt Magazine.  She has a MFA in Creative Writing and enjoys games, reading and, of course, writing. Her favorite genres to write and read are Fantasy closely followed by Space Opera and Dystopian.

imageAstounding Books (AB): Welcome Cheryl and thank you for joining us today. We are seated here in the Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. What can we get you to drink?

Cheryl Mackey (CM): Tea drinker here! Mostly iced tea. I prefer plain, boring black tea but I’ve tried various flavors.

AB:  What drew you to write fantasy novels over other genres? 

CM:   I was drawn to fantasy because it is 100% imagination. As a child I could escape into a world of my own making or one made by great fantasy authors. Anything is possible and I revel in the unique, odd, or magical. Without fantasy our world would be a whole lot more boring.

AB:   You’ve been very busy with publishing three novels. What’s up next for you?

CM:   Currently I am about a ¼ of the way through the third book in The Immortals series. I hope to have it out sometime this fall. I’m really excited about this book because it’s the book that answers the questions asked in the previous two. A fourth book will follow to bring the ultimate conclusion.

imageAB:   Growing up, who were the authors that left the biggest impression on you or later influenced you as a writer? 

CM:  I was influenced by a range of authors and genres as a child/teen. Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkien, LM Montgomery, Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Blume, and more. Asimove and Tolkien taught me that the world is limitless in your imagination and Montgomery, L’Engle, and Blume taught me that girls can do and be anything too.

AB:   What was that first thing you wrote that you were either most proud of or vividly remember as being that one piece that will always stay with you as a young writer? 

CM:   In my 20’s, when I was too cowed by my family to ever believe I could follow my dreams, I wrote a modern version of the Beauty and the Beast fable. It sucked. It really was bad, but I had zero knowledge of how to even be an author then. When I went back to college for my MFA in Creative Writing in my 30’s I dragged that terrible manuscript with me and made it the focus. I used what I learned to make it better. I am still proud of it and it will always be special to me, but I’m not sure it will ever be published either. It’s…too personal, a gauge of my life as a writer, a stepping stone to my current success.

AB:   You brought along a photo. Tell us about it.

imageCM:   Family vacation in Las Vegas approx 1983. I’m the pig-tailed girl in the middle behind the toys. We were set loose in Circus Circus while our parents gambled (several cousins and my brother and I) and essentially cleaned out the place. That’s maybe a fifth of our haul. One of our many crazy family vacations we went on up until I was 18 or so.

AB:   What are you reading right now? 

CM:  I am a weird reader. I have 2 quirks that always freak people out. I reread favorites religiously and I don’t have a to be read pile. I read what I buy, one thing at a time, and I’ve just finished a great fantasy series by Landon Porter called Rune Breaker. I really really suggest fans of classic adventure type fantasy read the series.

AB:  I’m going to take a quick break to get more coffee. Go ahead and Interview yourself till I get back…

CM:  Cheryl, Why did you waste your 20’s worrying that your family wouldn’t approve of you being a writer?

CM:   Good question Cheryl…Because I was not convinced I could ever be one. I gained confidence in my 30’s and became an author. And I was right. They don’t approve… but I don’t care.

AB:   Ok, I’m back. It was a short line. Now some fun questions: Star Wars, Star Trek or Doctor Who?

CM:   That’s not fair! I’m a big geeky fan of all 3! Literally. I fangirl.

AB:   Who Shot First (Han or Greedo)?

CM:   Come on! Everyone knows Han shot first!

AB:   That will do it. Thank you again for joining us Cheryl in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet and good luck on your next projects.

I hope our readers will check out Cheryl’s works. Her books The Unknown Sun and The Immortals parts 1 and 2 are available at Amazon (Click on the Links). You can follow Cheryl Mackey on Twitter: @Writezalot, Facebook:  Writezalot, Instagram: csmackey_author and on her webpage: www.writezalot.com

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

Spring is in the air…and so is a deadly virus that will eat you from the inside out! Slithering, gibbering things are existing in the peripheral of our vision and tales of a Gravedigger? That’s just a taste of what we have in store for you this week in our Spotlight on Astounding Authors!

There’s nothing our editors (which is pretty much just me) enjoy more than talking books with fellow fans. From our Astounding Authors to our Astounding Books, we welcome you to join the conversation, otherwise its just me talking to myself… which makes people stop and stare.  Head on over to Facebook, like us, then let us know what you think of our books. Facebook.com/astoundingbooks

imageAntidote
(The Antidote Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Taylor Hondos
Publisher: BookTrope (Sept 2015)
Pages: 148
Genre: Sci-Fi / Dystopian
Twitter: @ThondosBooks
Facebook: AuthorTaylorHondos
Website: TaylorHondos.com

Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn at all times in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.

Don’t miss out on the Antidote by Taylor Hondos, available now by CLICKING HERE!

imageMountains of Mischief
(Worlds of Change Series, Book 3)
Author: Gordon A. Long
Publisher: Airborn Press (January 2016)
Pages: 347
Genre: Alternate Reality / Fantasy
Twitter: @GordonLong
Facebook: gordonalongwriter
Website: AirbornPress.co

Nobody messes with a Dalmyn wagon train. That is the credo of Dalmyn Cartage, and their drivers and guards are up to the task of keeping it that way.
Until Aleria anDalmyn goes out on her first assignment as wagonmaster and runs into a simmering quarrel involving an ancient boundary dispute and forbidden Mechanical weapons. And a Ghost Beast from an ancient tale, which Aleria would prefer not to believe in until the mutilated bodies persuade her otherwise.

Trapped in the suffocating depths of a crumbling mountain fortress by an ambitious and relentless foe, Aleria struggles to survive as her small party gets whittled down and her confidence in her ability to do her duty fades. Even the sturdy presence of her guard Captain, Erlon, with his hand-and-a-half sword, and the handsome but diffident Kolwyn anLlannon, inheritor of the lore of the Old Ones, can protect her party if she makes the wrong move. And then there are the two unknown horsemen dogging her footsteps. Do they have contact with a traitor in her own camp? Who can she trust?

And where in her crowded life is there a time and a place for the love she craves? Find out by reading Mountains of Mischief by Gordon A. Long. Click Here to get your copy today!

imageTales of Blood and Sulphur:
Apocalypse Minor
(Short Stories)
Author: J. G. Clay
Publisher: Forsaken (2015)
Pages: 214
Genre: Horror
Twitter: @jgclay1
Facebook: jgclay1973
Website: JGHorrorAuthor.com

What happens when ordinary everyday people come face to face with the slithering, gibbering things that exist in the periphery of our vision? What happens when the future, far from being bright, is a dystopian nightmare where an all-powerful Church reduces the ordinary man in the street to walking organ banks? When, in the midst of human barbarity, a force more powerful than any human stalks it’s equally powerful prey? What happens when the Gods themselves turn sour, bitter and unforgiving? From the tropical idyll of a beach to the back streets of Mumbai and beyond, Tales of Blood and Sulphur grips by the arm with a skeletal grip and takes you to places where sanity is stretched to breaking point, where survival is not assured and where the monsters appear in our world in the blink of an eye. The blood runs wet, the sulphur still burns, the Tales are ready to be unleashed!

CLICK HERE to read the exciting debut from J.G Clay…Tales of Blood and Sulphur

imageGravedigger
Author: Michael-Israel Jarvis
Publisher: Booktrope (Oct. 2015)
Pages: 332
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Twitter: @jarvisauthor
Facebook: Michael.israel.jarvis
Website: Michaelisraeljarvis.com

Dead or alive. Good or evil. Hero or fugitive. Valo needs a specific solution to a grave problem. The human Claimfold and prigon Torzsi draw apart. War is promised in the West. Worst of all, the magi of Nagyevo are meddling with the dead. Perin is an apprentice Gravedigger: uneducated, unwanted, unsure. He may be the answer Valo needs, if he doesn’t get killed before he works out what’s going on. But of course there’s the chance that fate hasn’t called him after all. The gods are nameless and silent and the best laid plans have a way of going badly wrong. Enter the spade and sorcery world of Valo.

Gravedigger subverts the expectations of that oldest of foes in fantasy, the dead that walk, in a fast-paced adventure through a world of culture, intrigue, magic and blood. Get your copy today by CLICKING HERE!

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

This week in our Spotlight on Astounding Authors we are featuring three novels that are kicking off their respective series and an exciting fantasy novel about a woman on the run. If any of our authors or novels sound intriguing, give one a try, click on the titles or on the links provided.

If you are interested in having your novel be either reviewed by Astounding Books, or featured in our Spotlight on Astounding Authors, please email us at AstoundingBooks@comcast.net. Be sure to include a brief description of your novel, publishing information and any social links you would like us to include.

Now to this week’s Astounding Authors.


imageReturn to Mech City

(Robot Horizon Book 1)
Author: Brian Bakos
Publisher: Brian Bakos (June 2013)
Pages: 396
Genre: Sci-Fi / Dystopian
Facebook: @brian.bakos
Website:   TheB2.net

The end of the world as you’ve never seen it before. Life goes on in Mech City, but it is no longer human. A sinister Roboto Fascist regime has taken hold which will destroy everything of beauty inherited from the human precursors. Only Winston Horvath, scholar model robot, and his unlikely allies stand in the way.

Join the resistance!  Down load Brian Bakos’ Return to Mech City HERE!

 

imageProphecy
Author: Benjamin A. Sorensen
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Oct. 2015)
Pages: 462
Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads: Benjamin A. Sorensen

When Arana was accused of stealing the great treasure of the kingdom of Kaylar, her innocence was never the question.  Her accusers had no great reputation for mercy or understanding. But her problems are more than simply fleeing from the implacable soldiers of Kaylar.  For their treasure was indeed stolen – by a woman who wears her face and form.  As her flight takes her ever farther, person after person begins to believe that her death is necessary. She must find her way in an ever-expanding web of falsehood and truth.

Before she destroys everything.

Enter into the world of Prophecy by Benjamin A. Sorensen. Click HERE!

 

imageThe Raven
(The Secret Chronicles of Lost Magic Book 1)
Author: Aderyn Wood
Publisher: Amazon Digital (December 2015)
Pages: 234
Genre: Fantasy
Twitter: @aderynwood
Website: AderynWood.com

When a foreign tribe attacks the peaceful Onan people, a lonely outcast is forced to reveal her secret Gift — but will such power bring acceptance?

It is the darkest time in winter, when suns, moons, and stars, all wane from the sky. In the Wolf clan, a baby is born with a powerful Gift, but dangerous omens brand her an Outcast, and the Elders name her Iluna. Orphaned since birth, Iluna struggles to find her place in the proud and distrustful Wolf clan, but as her powers bloom, she discovers a mysterious friend. Dark magic, war, and treachery soon jeopardize the life of every clan member; many suspect Iluna and her Gift.

Is this Outcast girl to blame, or is she salvation?

Read Book 1 of the Secret Chronicles of Lost Magic. Click HERE today!

 

imageSovereign’s Wake
(In the Absence of Kings series)
Author: Lee LaCroix
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 2015)
Pages: 346
Genre: Fantasy
Twitter: @lee_lacroix
Facebook: lee.e.lacroix
Website: Leelacroix.wordpress.com
Goodreads:  Sovereign’s Wake

A kingdom crumbles without its ruler. The people fall to misery and desperation in the shadow of an empty throne. A father does what he must to save his son and his homeland in the absence of kings. Enter Garreth, ranger and former royal bodyguard, who embarks from his woodland home after defending it from the encroaching loggers of the Blackwoods Company. “The King is dead!” they had screamed at Garreth and drove the man to the capital of Amatharsus to resolve the most troubling statement in Malquia’s recent history.

Together with his son, Novas, and daughter of a murdered blacksmith, Kayten, Garreth is hounded by bandits, cutthroats, and highwaymen, unleashed upon the countryside by the abolition of the Crown Aegis, defenders of the King, his land, and his people. Garreth unites with the remnants of the Crown Aegis to overcome the military, political, and economic oppression that the Blackwoods Company has imposed on Amatharsus and incites rebellion before the free people of Malquia succumb to crippling recession and the environmental destruction of their verdant nation.

But can one man find the strength to challenge overwhelming odds when all hope is lost?

Explore the exciting new series, In the Absence of Kings by clicking HERE!