Saturday, July 3, 2021

AUTHOR Q AND A: Noah Lemelson



1. Reading a bit of your bio I am curious what brought you to writing after going to school for biology originally?


I was writing a bit during college, and for a while after graduation I was working in a lab while taking writing classes. I even applied to a PhD program in animal behavior and was waitlisted. But around that time I just realized I was happier writing. In many ways I’m still trying to answer those same questions that got me interested in biology, questions about human nature and our place in the universe.


2. What authors inspired you into writing?


Hmm… I grew up with classics of sci-fi and fantasy, Tolkien, Heinlein, Frank Herbert, as I got older I got really into Stanislaw Lem and Ursula Le Guin. Sci-fi has always been my favorite genre to read, I love its emphasis on big ideas. I also need to give thanks to my mentor at CalArts, Brian Evenson (who writes excellent literary horror, if you haven’t read him.)


3. What inspired you to create such a unique and intricate world as you did in Sightless City?


Boredom, mostly. I came up with the basis of the universe as a teenager. I think I’ve always been interested in industrial decay, and the allure of ruins and wastelands. In this digital age, there’s something bizarrely attractive about old industry, even as destructive as it could be. 


4. What are your favorite characters to write and why?


I have a soft spot for Sylvaine, but honestly it's a lot of fun to write villains. Villains can just go places and do things that more heroic, or even just vaguely decent, characters wouldn’t, and it can be equal parts fun and horrific to see what they are capable of. Verus, I particularly liked to write, he’s just a jerk, and does the least to hide it.


5. Does your personal and private life seep into your books?


I hope not! There’s not too much in my life that fits directly into the grim world of The Sightless City. I’m sure if I dug deep I could find some comparisons, but I prefer not to dig.


6. How did you become interested in Fantasy fiction novels?


I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy. As for my own work, I’ve never been too strict with genre conventions. I write things that aren’t real, and I think it’s easier to fit those things into fantasy, sci-fi has some extra rules. As for why I write speculative fiction in general… I like the freedom it provides. I also enjoy worldbuilding, creating landscapes, histories, and cultures, and we kind of already have all of those already in the real world. (Though I do love reading about them!)


7. Do you see yourself as becoming a famous author with followers?


No idea. I hope so, or rather, I hope I become a writer with readers. Fame and followers themselves don’t particularly matter, (I’m terrible with twitter anyways) I just want my book to be in the hands of those who would enjoy it. I want to provide the wonder I received as a young science fiction and fantasy reader. 


8.  What can we look forward to from you in the future?


I’ve been hard at work on the sequel to The Sightless City. I have the trilogy all sketched out, I’m just doing all the filling in. I also have another project, but it’s still in progress and I have no publisher at the moment, so I don’t want to announce too much.


 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

REVIEW: A Story Of Giants By Scarlett Ripley

 



What if I told you that we are not alone, that our world is but one of many, and that Giants walk among us?

Book 1 of the debut fantasy series, A Story of Giants.

Leanna Salinger won't open her heart to anyone beyond her younger sister Violet. Everyone else she loves is gone. But when their internal abilities awaken, the young women discover the truth behind their beloved grandmother’s stories. We are not alone. Our world is but one of many on an infinite string. Those among us called to guard the realms are called Giants.

Join Leanna as she enters their ranks and trains to travel the realm. Leanna is a Warrior Giant, measured not by physical size but by the power of her gifts. Giants, under the supervision of the Council, keep watch over the worlds guided by principles of humility and compassion. Leanna is asked to train with three other newly-emerged Giants under the surly and watchful eye of celebrated Warrior Lieutenant Gyan. As Leanna and her compatriots embark on a multi-world quest to stop insurgent Giants from overthrowing the Council, Leanna must overcome a tragic past which has come to define her and open her heart to the man who loves he


This was a very interesting world to explore and I love the imagination and possibilities that the author presented. There is a lot of world building and idea exploration in this book.

Overall, I enjoyed A Story of Giants. We get introduced to some interesting characters and see some pretty neat worlds. I did struggle with the pace of the book. Sometimes a lot happens, and I want more of the details, but then sometimes the book focuses for a long time on pieces that seem less important to the overall storyline. It makes the book overall feel a little slow to me.
I didn't really connect with any of the characters either. I enjoyed meeting them and I hope the book explores them further. There are quite a few that are intriguing. I also hope that we get a bit more Leanna...I feel her character needs a little more development to help her be consistent.

I enjoyed this well-written fantasy romance! The book is definitely of the young adult variety with some sweet romance mixed in. Leanna makes a fine main character. She is strong yet reserved; loves deeply but trusts few.

I love Nan as a character, too, and wished she had stuck around longer. Truthfully, the first part of the book where Leanna and Violet were young is my favorite. The “strange things” that happen around Leanna are fascinating, as are Nan’s explanations.

4 stars



Scarlett Ripley's series "A Story of Giants" is a fantasy series based on string theory. She loves to blend fantasy, science fiction, adventure, romance, and psychological study in her writing, given her stories a broad appeal beyond traditional fantasy-genre books. All of her writing features strong female protagonists.

In addition to the continuing "A Story of Giants" series, Scarlett is working on a modern-day gothic romance, "Death Knows," among other projects.

Scarlett lives in London, England. Scarlett loves to hear from readers and encourages them to get in touch with her via her website, www.scarlettripley.com.





REVIEW: Aeroreh: The Ealdspell Cycle Book 1 By Jesikah Sundin


 DREAMS ARE DANGEROUS

Princess Æroreh Rosen was faerie blessed before her birth. To promote the New Dawn Era, the Queen coded her daughter with every feminine perfection.

Beauty. Gentleness. Obedience. Musicality. Kindness. Grace. Good cheer.

Hunger and lung sickness plague the Kingdom of Ealdspell. But Æroreh is plugged into The Dream, a program created by a sect of faeries to control the realms through illusions of beauty and contentment. All Æroreh has ever known is blissful servitude to a cursed system, and she believes her realm is prospering. Until a different faerie sect decides to wake her sleeping mind and set her true magic free.

Meanwhile, Félip Batten MacKinley holds a dangerous secret. With no easy future in sight, he accepts that he’ll die a burden to his foster parents, his true history erased. But a tempting offer from the faerie’s Fate Maker leads Félip to cross paths with the hauntingly beautiful Æroreh—a young woman who represents all he loathes.

Yet only she has the power to awaken a new Dream.

Æroreh is a gritty spin on the romantic tale of Sleeping Beauty and blends faerie magic and pagan ritual with high technology. For fans of Margaret Rogerson and Holly Black.


This is a must read if you love a mixture of different fantasy types. It has technology or steampunk type, romance, strong female characters, fantasy, happily ever after. Take your pic and you have it in this book.


Let's just say that Aeroreh is a bit crazy and I love it! I was almost scared off by the technology mixed with magic idea as it is presented in the description, but I'm so glad I read it. The technology really played such a tiny role that it as almost didn't matter, but it still did.


This book  is a beautifully twisted Sleeping Beauty retelling that injects a hint of dystopian sci-fi into a lush fantasy landscape.  The intriguing combination of technology and faery lore makes this a stand-out in a sea of fairytale reimagining's. 


Félip is the perfectly imperfect contrast to our heroine, Æroreh. He is charming, humble, and pleasantly real in a world where people are programed to behave "ideally". I loved him from the first page he is mentioned. Æroreh took a bit more time to see through all the glamour, but once she started revealing her true nature, I enjoyed seeing her character flourish.


Jesikah is such a creative writer. If you are looking for a unique fairytale then this book is for you. Im looking forward to reading more by this author.


4 stars


JESIKAH SUNDIN is a multi-award winning Dystopian Punk Lit, Fairy Tale, and Historical Fantasy writer, a mom of three nerdlets, a faeriecore and elfpunk geek, tree hugger, nature photographer, and helpless romantic who married her high school sweetheart. In addition to her family, she shares her home in Monroe, Washington with a rambunctious husky-chi, a red-footed tortoise, and a collection of Doc Martens boots. She is addicted to coffee, laughing, and cheese... Oh! And the forest is her happy place.

WEBSITE

https://jesikahsundin.com/

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sunday, March 21, 2021

REVIEW: Boss By J. L. Lora



She's out of options...

With nowhere left to go, Carissa Elliott will do anything to escape a crime boss' obsession. But becoming the boss of a powerful cartel to save herself and her loved ones is more dangerous than she ever imagined. Carissa plans to fight like Hell to get what she wants—even if it means facing off against a man more threatening and irresistible than she can handle. Alec McLean has an agenda of his own. And Carissa is right at the top of it.

Now, it's up to this small-town girl to prove to everyone—even Alec—that she's as ruthless as any man. But can she really show them who's boss?

This was a wonderfully written novel about mobsters and a life of crime with a romantic  twist to it.

It is a book full of serious life issues, trauma, heartache, heartbreak, love , lotsa of action and fun and full of humor. The ending is completely hilarious.

 Carissa and the trinity are amazing. They gone through so much being stuck around different mob personalities in their life. But finally Carissa takes a stand not willing to put up with these violent men anymore and she becomes the one bad guys fear.

Alec oh man he yummy but such a giant jerk. Some chapters I want to shoot him lol. But he falls for her so head over heels and sometimes doesn't understand what to do with that.

I look forward to reading more from this lovely author. She is a gem being discovered.

4 stars



A Dominican-American author. Her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people living in the gray areas of life while playing the cards life has dealt them. Through them, she manifests her love for strong heroines and their equally powerful Men. She currently lives in Maryland, pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can't-put-down stories about empowered, badass alpha heroines and take-your-breath-away alpha heroes

If you wish to know more information about her, you can find her on her website: www.JLLora.com.