Illusionary Review Tour

Today I am coming to you with a review of a Book I have talked about quite a bit.

(Yes I’m feeling better, and no it was not coronavirus.)

Illusionary by Desiree Williams has been featured on the blog a couple times, once when I interviewed the author and again when I previewed her new cover for the book.

Today I am going to post a review so that you all know how much I loved this book and why you should all read it.

From the back cover:

screenshot_20191117-173510 Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

 Book Links

 Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2KchWpg

 Ebook available at:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34OTdz0

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2XeMI6d

Kobo: https://bit.ly/32CK8aX

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/illusionary/id1207467393

Author Bio

Desiree WilliamsDesiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

Author Links

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Newsletter

Dive in review of Illusionary:

First of all this story is a book worms dream. So many references! There is no one book that this riffs but rather it is an ode to all the classics of childhood. Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland all get their nod.

screenshot_20191117-173642Kamryn Kensington is a wonderfully relate-able heroine. She may be an adult in years but like many she still struggles with ‘adulting.’ Her passion’s and dreams are taking her in a different direction than her older sister would have her go. Unfortunately, when the two siblings butt heads it’s Kam’s head that takes the hit. Right at the bottom of the stairs. When she wakes up in the land of Ur she has some questions. What she gets is a mission from a very shifty Oracle, but few answers.

Together she and Reese, an all powerful storyteller, set out to rescue the Maker of Ur so hopefully he can send her home. No yellow brick roads here though, this journey takes them all over the map, and deep into places inside themselves that they both would rather avoid.

Reese is amazing, he’s like Peter Pan, but he’s actually responsible. I really liked that his version of the lost boys, could look up to him and count on him to take care of them. Seriously, this guy is a girl’s dream come true, dashing, magical, responsible, and good with kids. He has it all, including a super secret past that he doesn’t talk about and Kam suspects he might not even remember.

Gah! I just want to tell you about the ending but I would never forgive myself if I ruined this book for even one person. Please just go read it already.

I loved the adventure and snark but most of all I loved the message. Adulting is not the same as maturing, and growing up is just an illusion.

screenshot_20191117-173724

FANtastic Interview about a Diverse Universe

I hope you are ready for the annual, “Hey it’s winter, have every holiday smashed together,” week. I am just ready for it to be over. Honestly I look forward to having my hours slashed. I need more time to read. So that I can keep up my weekly goal of bringing you more awesome things to read.

speaking of awesome things to read: I really recommend the Diverse series. It’s great for fans of Star Trek. The second book releases the 26th of December. Just in time to use your amazon gift cards. In honor of this release I’m interviewing Sharon Rose about a special twist that makes her series really stand out in the science fiction world.

But first a little about the book.

DiverseDemands coverDiverse Demands 

 by Sharon Rose

 She could use forbidden telepathy to prevent an alien war. But will her own people call her a hero or a criminal?

Kena, a lone human among aliens, forged a truce with her enemies by promising a controversial telepathic link with their future leader. They claim this is the foundation of lasting peace. But what are these obscure problems they now hide? Why is TarKeen, her strongest supporter, suddenly missing? Will their future leader be executed before Kena can reach her?

When another human joins Kena’s crew, he creates as many problems for her as he solves. Dissension sparks among her allies. Despite his interference, Antony does have a form of wisdom—unwelcome, though it is. Now, her decision is that much harder.

If Kena succeeds in fulfilling her risky promise, will anything be left of her career? And what about her and Antony?

Diverse Demands, the sequel to Diverse Similarity, is packed with adventure, intrigue, and rich alien cultures. The story explores just how far a person will go to solve the unsolvable. If you like classic science fiction merged with a Christian worldview, this book is for you.

Diverse Demands – book two will release Dec 26, 2019.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082BJQN93

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B082BJQN93

Previous book:

Diverse Similarity cover

 

Diverse Similarity – book one:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BC5ZX35

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BC5ZX35/

 

Both books are also available in Kindle Unlimited.

 

 

Did that description sound like your standard sci-fi plot? So what is this twist that set’s this book apart? Well it’s no secret that I feature a lot of novels by Christian authors on my blog. Well Sharon has done something astounding with this book she doesn’t just have Christian characters. She set her novels after the return of Christ! And she did it so subtly that I read the first book and had no idea.

(For those who need context: The Christian Bible ends with the book of Revelations that foretells a time of trials and hardship. It ends with Jesus Christ returning to Earth to rule for a millennium. This series takes place during that time span.)

To me the idea of having space travel and first contact after what we would think of as the end of human history is so mind blowing. Because it isn’t really an end. It’s the true beginning. As you can imagine I just had to ask the author about it.

FANtastic Interview with Sharon Rose:

CO: Why set a sci-fi novel after the return of Christ?

SR: Two entwined reasons:

If God created other races, then it follows that we would eventually meet them. I doubt that God would allow that contact while humankind is still in deception and turmoil. But after Christ returns and Satan can no longer deceive, the field changes dramatically.  Plenty of room for “What if…?”

I’ve always wondered about those who survive the trauma of the 7-year tribulation. Like us, they will have a lifetime of choices. Will they all agree? Humans? Not! I think life will be much better than today, but not without challenge.  And that drives a story.

CO: Was this twist part of the series from the beginning or did you decide one day to add it? 

SR: Always intended. I once experimented with removing this aspect. It didn’t jive with Kena’s character. She is who she is because she has always known her God’s deep love for her.  (By the way, that same knowledge is possible for all of us, right now.)

CO: Can you tell me what hints there are in the first book to this post-Revelation future?

SR: In chapter 18, one of the Grfdn skews Human history to insult Kena, and she sets him straight. Kena is relating  historic events to a non-human, so she doesn’t use our prophetic terminology.

CO: Why don’t your aliens know about God or worship a creator?

SR: A creator is mentioned in book one, and Kena wonders about their apparent lack of interest. She actually has limited knowledge of what they believe. I speculate that every alien race is different. What they know or care about could vary. Timing, need, willingness, purpose…many issues could play into this. Kena didn’t find an answer in book one. Book two… I’ll just say that desperation and purpose crop up.

CO: Were there any resources that were especially helpful in writing about the end times and the millennial kingdom?

SR: I have found very little about survivors of the tribulation or their descendants. From the Bible, I know they exist, they still have choices to make, and not all choose well. That gives me plenty of room for fictional descendants, such as Kena and Antony.

CO: Why does human telepathy in this series, differ from other representations in sci-fi, including your own Agents of Rivelt novel?

SR: I can’t help but chuckle over this. Ever since I saw Spock do a mind meld, I have been fascinated with telepathy. I’ve imagined it dozens of ways and considered all sorts of ramifications. For me, the story’s purpose drives the flavor of telepathy. Alas, Kena and Tracy (of Rivelt) can never meet.

Telepathy’s purpose in the Diverse series is to show the intrinsic differences between the alien races. Those differences create tremendous potential, but also challenges. I tucked an allegory into this, which refers to the uniqueness of every person. If only we could see past our surface variations, and recognize the amazing potential within each individual.

I want to thank Sharon so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I highly recommend her books. Great for fans of Star Trek, a clean alternative to the Orville, readers of Left Behind will be thrilled, and anyone who says that Revelation means there will never be deep space travel, need this book.

Author bio:

Sharon Rose photo I started writing when I was seven years old. Okay, My Life as a Flying Squirrel may have had a couple spelling errors, but my classmates loved it.

 Plenty of life has happened since that first story, and I’ve come to realize the things that fascinate me. People. Communication. Culture. Personality. Viewpoints. Beliefs. Anything that makes each of us beautifully unique. Small wonder that my art spills out in story form.

 It was only a matter of time before I just had to share my stories. I’ve published science fiction and have some fantasy novels coming in the future.

 When I’m not writing or reading, I may be traveling, enjoying gardens, or searching for unique coffee shops with my husband. We live in Minnesota, USA, famed for its mosquitoes—uh, I mean 10,000 lakes and vibrant seasons.

 

Christmas Spirit and Havok

You know I spend so much time using this blog to spotlight other writers and their books that I almost forget to tell everyone when I publish something.

I wrote a Christmas story and it got accepted into an anthology. That anthology is out now, has been for a while now. Hmm, sorry about that. Introducing:

2019 Christmas Spirit Short Story Anthology

These are not your mother’s holiday stories! The authors of the 2019 Christmas Spirit Short Story Challenge, hosted by Michelle Francik, were tasked with writing short stories the evoked the “Christmas Spirit.” That could mean tidings and joy or it could mean the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future! This anthology covers the whole spectrum-from love, joy, and anticipation to depression, revenge and redemption. Whether you’re a scrooge or a holiday lover, you’ll find something to make you laugh, think, and hope.

 

Inside this festive collection you can find my story “Holiday Cheer.” The title is ironic in that the main character has no cheer in his heart.

 It’s also a serious story with themes that I don’t recommend for children. The editor of the anthology even put a trigger warning before it. 

Here’s the first few lines:

***************

T’was the day before Christmas and one man had a plan.

He would ruin the holiday for everyone in the land.

He never liked Christmas. The absolute worst time of the year.

What right had people to be happy when he felt no cheer.

 Hypocrites. Stupid. How he hated them all.

He hated the people who passed him, leaving the Mall.

Their arms full of bags and laughing on phones.

He hated the bell ringer and his partner on trombone.

Staring guilt into each person who passed the red kettle,

Dues to peace and good-will they must settle.

*****************

Yes it’s a rhyming story and I have no regrets. Are you interested in reading the rest?

Buy it below:

Christmas Spirit cover

Paperback link: https://amzn.to/34Em89n Selling for the low price of: $8.99

Kindle link: https://amzn.to/2DyjZA6 Available for the even lower price of: $2.99

And HAVOK free story:

Also today only (December 16th, 2019) I have a flash story published on http://gohavok.com.

The title is Snow Blind. And every story published this month is based on a song.

Which song is mine based on? You’ll have to guess.

I’d love it if you’d pop over and give it a read.

Havok Badge

Read for free today or join the havok hoard and get unlimited access to all of their stories.

 

 

A Storm Grows: Poem Feature

Today on the blog I have a special feature. Author Janeen Ippolito writes exciting fantasy novels, but today I’m talking about her newest poetry anthology. She is letting me share one of her poems with you, I’ll tell you how it makes me feel and then Janeen will share background about it in her own words.

Once upon a time

the great clock

broke

and there was no one

to fix it

(so the stories were ever

untold)

What I get out of this poem:

I love this poem for the imagery that it invokes.  I really relate to the concept of feeling broken and not having the energy for writing or anything really. Yes many stories have gone untold.

The not having anyone to fix it, is what I feel like when people tell me to push through or suck it up. It’s not that easy.

clock poem

Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

From the author:

For me, the inspiration for that poem came from trying to deal with emotions. Sometimes when I’m dealing with emotions that are difficult to place, it feels like I’m a broken machine, trying to examine my own innards while being unable to repair them—or voice them. I’m intellectually aware that something isn’t right, but it doesn’t feel like me. It’s frustrating because I’m often attuned to emotions around me, which tend to shove aside my own feelings. I’m still working through acknowledging and figuring out my feelings (therapy is helping).

Janeen-016Janeen Ippolitos beleives you should own your unique words! She writes steampunk fantasy, urban fantasy, and poetry, plus she creates writing resources, including the World Building Made Easy series. She’s an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, marketer, and is the leader of Uncommon Universes Press, a small traditional science fiction and fantasy publishing house. She’s also the cohost of the podcast Indie Book Magic. In her spare time, Janeen enjoys sword-fighting, reading, pyrography, and eating brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica.
Social media links:

Website: https://janeenippolito.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitounique/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneenIppolito 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janeen_ippolito/  

Email Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/facebookpagesignup

72119582_2403848079830605_9036844940084117504_o

 

From the back cover:

it is not
an evil
to thunder
shriek
scream lightning
across the sky

A poetry anthology of those who have remained unspoken for too long.

Who have silenced their hearts and souls.
Who want to break free and be heard.

There is healing in the storm and growth in rain-tears.
And always, always a way forward.

No matter what.

Inspiration from Janeen Ippolito’s stories, life experiences, and artistic intake (books/movies/music/art). Includes a link at the end to exclusive, behind-the-scenes inspiration and commentary on various poems.

 

Available on Amazon

Add it on Goodreads

Dear Author: a review

Do you remember this cute little book that I cover revealed a few weeks ago? Well the release date is tomorrow! I’m so happy for Laura and all of the book the love that she is sharing with her release.

About the Book

Think your words might not matter? Think again.

Words have the power to change lives, especially when they are used to create meaningful stories. In this collection of letters, bookish fangirl Laura A. Grace addresses topics related to every writer’s journey. From “character conversations,” to embracing one’s unique writing style, to celebrating a release day—there is a letter for every author no matter where they may be in sharing their story with others.

“Dear Author” includes six illustrations by Hannah S.J. Williams.

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

My Review:

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl, comes exactly as advertised. This short book lets you into the mind of a book loving fangirl as she seeks to encourage her favorite author to not give up. The author is never named allowing any writer to pick this book up and imagine that it was written to them by their very own fangirl.

As a bookish fangirl myself I have to say that this short little book hit home for me. It perfectly captured the feeling of falling so completely in love with a story. Reading this is also a great reminder that there is real human being on the other end of our favorite books. They are not machines churning out plots for our entertainment. Each book is crafted with love and long hours spent, not watching Netflix. These authors deserve our respect, our love, and our encouragement.

So yes even if you aren’t an author, I encourage you to read Dear Author: letters from a Bookish fangirl. Then maybe write a letter of your own, to an author you love.

And the illustrations included are super cute.

*I was given an electronic ARC of this title. My review is given freely and includes my honest opinion.* 

About the Author

Laura A. Grace had a lifelong dream of getting to know authors behind the covers of her favorite reads. Little did she know that one day she would become an author too! Now an avid book blogger at Unicorn Quester and writer of clean, Christian manga, Laura creatively balances her passions of supporting indie authors and feeding her readers new stories. In between, she wields plastic lightsabers with her children and binge-watches anime with her husband. Join her quest to find wandering unicorns for your favorite authors at unicornquester.com!

WebsiteNewsletterFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube

 

 

Party Time!

Join in the celebration of Laura A. Grace’s debut motivational, Dear Author: Letters form a Bookish Fangirl, on December 5th from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM EST (5:30 PM PST and 6:30 PM MDT)!

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of encouragement, games, and giveaways. (Possibly an exclusive sneak peek to upcoming projects!)

Special guests Janeen Ippolito and Katie Phillips will also be joining in the fun!

RSVP HERE

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 2nd

Tuesday, December 3rd

Wednesday, December 4th

Thursday, December 5th

Friday, December 6th

Saturday, December 7th

Monday, December 9th

Tuesday, December 10th

Wednesday, December 11th

  • Video Book Review: Janeen Ippolito
  • Book Review & Guest “Embrace Your Inner Fangirl: Three Easy Ways to Support Authors (That Don’t Require Reviewing or Purchasing Books)”: Wounded but Hopeful

Thursday, December 12th

Friday, December 13th

Saturday, December 14th

 

Dear Author cover reveal

Hello C. O. Bonham here, today I have the pleasure of hosting a cover reveal for a fun book. Dear Author is a wonderful tribute to our favorite authors and the joy they give us through their work. I have already read an advance copy of Laura A. Grace’s book and it makes my bookish heart happy.

The beauty of Laura’s book is that it can be read by both author and reader. A struggling author may read this little book to find encouragement. An avid reader may read this to remember that there is a fellow human being behind their favorite characters and stories.

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl
Laura A. Grace
Genres: Self-Help, Motivational
Publication date: December 3, 2019

About the Book

Think your words might not matter? Think again.

Words have the power to change lives, especially when they are used to create meaningful stories. In this collection of letters, bookish fangirl Laura A. Grace addresses topics related to every writer’s journey. From “character conversations,” to embracing one’s unique writing style, to celebrating a release day—there is a letter for every author no matter where they may be in sharing their story with others.

“Dear Author” includes six illustrations by Hannah S.J. Williams.

Pre-order links:

Signed PaperbackAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository (Coming soon!)

Laura is also offering free gifts to anyone who preorders her book. Just fill out the form below to get these fun items: Quote card, illustration, notepad and book mark.

Dear Author Pre-Order Goodies.jpg

Pre-Order Goodies Form

About the Author

Laura A. Grace had a lifelong dream of getting to know authors behind the covers of her favorite reads. Little did she know that one day she would become an author too! Now an avid book blogger at Unicorn Quester and writer of clean, Christian manga, Laura creatively balances her passions of supporting indie authors and feeding her readers new stories. In between, she wields plastic lightsabers with her children and binge-watches anime with her husband. Join her quest to find wandering unicorns for your favorite authors at unicornquester.com!

WebsiteNewsletterFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube

 

 

Unexpected Exploit, cover reveal and excerpt.

Hello, if you been following my blog for a while you may be familiar with a series of middle grade books I’ve been reviewing.

The Mythcoast Adventures series by Kandi J. Wyatt, follows a group of friends who find mythical creatures turning up in their pacific northwest home.

Myth_Coast_Adventures_Dragon_Eye_Background

The third book is on it’s way and I’m here to show off the cover and give you a sneek peek. I am super excited for this installment because this time the kids follow the mythical creatures home.

About the book:

Protect a mythical realm or his family?

An Unexpected Exploit small.jpg

Cover Designer: Amalia Chitulescu

Sixteen-year-old Franklin follows a Sasquatch through a portal to the realm of Shinwano and discovers a world full of mythical creatures he never expected to actually exist. Upon returning to Myrtle Beach, Oregon, he vows to protect the land, not realizing how difficult it will be to keep his promise, especially when a poacher, a NSA agent, and his friends are interested in the portal—and all for different reasons.

 When the poacher threatens his family, Franklin must reconsider his vow to protect this new world to keep his family safe. The consequences of his decision reach further than just a rift in the space-time continuum.

 Can Franklin live up to the trust placed on him and save this new world from an even greater danger?

Harry and the Hendersons meets The Neverending Story

You can preorder it now for only 99 cents, but hurry up because the release date is September 10th.

Instagram_preorder.jpgPreorder Links: https://books2read.com/mythcoastadventures3

 Other books in the series:

          An Unexpected Adventure: https://books2read.com/u/3yDLX6

          An Unexpected Escapade: https://books2read.com/mythcoastadventures2

 

Author Bio:

Kandi_J_Wyatt_Author Picture 2Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

 Where to find her:

Website: http://kandijwyatt.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/kandijwyatt/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/kandijwyatt/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kandijwyatt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13817774.Kandi_J_Wyatt

Bookbub: https://bookbub.com/profile/kandi-j-wyatt

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-J-Wyatt/e/B00ZTC4T10/

 Other books by Kandi J Wyatt:

Dragon Courage series

Dragon’s Future: https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpDq9

Dragon’s Heir: https://www.books2read.com/u/47YQE3

Dragon’s Revenge: https://www.books2read.com/u/b5qvGb

Dragon’s Cure: https://www.books2read.com/u/47kxJa

Dragon’s Posterity: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DA8og

Dragon’s Heritage: https://www.books2read.com/u/3neVN6

 Middle Grade Fantasy:

Journey from Skioria: https://www.books2read.com/u/4AwJee

 Biblical Retellings:

The One Who Sees Me: https://www.books2read.com/u/mdrRlb

To Save a Race: https://www.books2read.com/u/49PG5k

Exploit Teaser.png

An Unexpected Exploit Excerpt:

Franklin felt a calloused hand on his forehead and started to turn toward its owner, but the pain in his neck stopped him short. “Hush, don’t try to move. Let me check the compress.” Sahasi adjusted some kind of damp fabric, and as she did, Franklin caught a glimpse of coarse black hair covering her hand.

He felt his pulse quicken. What had he gotten himself into? What kind of people were these?

“Will he be okay?” Ladaku’s tone carried not a hint of the concern in his words.

The weight of Sahasi’s hand lifted, and Franklin tried to move again. He needed to see where he was; besides, the position he lay in and the tickling of his nose from the fabric beneath him was getting too uncomfortable.

“Ladaku, use your size and help me reposition him.”

Whatever the relationship between the two, Franklin knew the tone of a mother when he heard one. Soon large, hairy hands wrapped around his arms and pulled him to a sitting position. Franklin learned nothing at first, as he was too busy trying to keep his breakfast down. But when the nausea and pounding in his head subsided, Franklin cracked his eyes open a slit.

A large, dark face with a flat nose and beady black eyes met his gaze. Long, stringy hair covered the creature as far as Franklin could see. His eyes came back to the face. Although it was alien, it still bore the recognizable expressions of tenderness and concern.

“My name is Sahasi,” she said. “I am a healer among my people, the sanraksaka. I don’t believe you have properly been introduced to Ladaku.”

Franklin shifted his position and shuddered. Staring at him with hairy arms crossed in front of an ape-like chest was the same creature that had met his gaze across the clearing.

Remember to snag it now before the price goes up on September 10th.

If you do pre-order make sure to screenshot your recipt and fill out this google form from the author: http://bit.ly/preordergiveaway. She is giving a special gift to everyone who pre-orders An Unexpected Exploit.

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