Michael at Literary Exploration suggested this post after I took a peek at his top 10 author list. So here it is Michael my 10 authors who deserve more recognition.
1. Natasha Troop. Her talent blows me away and I’m dying to read her next book. I feel bad for those who haven’t had the pleasure of going omg I can’t believe that just happened. Literary horror that makes you desperate to and terrified of turning the page.
2. Jackie Gamber. Quality fantasy young adult. Coming of age and just plain smart. Jackie writes books that are different from many YA out there, her’s has substance.
3. Paul Cleave my fave New Zealand author. Paul is kind and sent me a signed copy of his book The Cleaner which is just brilliant. His books are a must read for me and should be for everyone.
4. Craig DiLouie I <3 you Craig. He was super kind and agreed to an interview when I heard about his book it sounded oh so good. Loved The Infection when I got to it, it’s a great zombie read and I look forward to more of his work.
5. Nicole Cushing. Damn just damn. I’ve read two of her stories and I am blown away by Nicoles imagination and originality.
6. Pavarti K Tyler I’ve read one book just one by Pav and a short story at that. It was all that I needed to say yes I will read your work because only Pav could make cannibalism sexy.
7. Spike Marlowe she got me to love a placenta love story. Beat that.
8. AJ Scudiere is my I admire the growth I’ve seen having read all but her new one. I appreciate that she has improved as an author and I always look forward to what I know will be an entertaining read.
9. Tony Bertauski writes good stories. I love his work and highly recommend his books. Indie that is done well Tony is an author I can point to and say he knows his stuff.
10. Steven Shrewsbury the man’s latest book is dedicated to me so yeah it should be checked out for that alone
A couple days ago I shared an interview with you and today I am hosting Laxmi Hariharan in celebration of her new release The Destiny of Shaitan with a guest post. Check out the guest post below and make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan.
Who wants to be a futurist? By Laxmi Hariharan
“I am too far ahead of my time” my father often complained to me in my growing years. I now know that he took this as the main reason to behind being misunderstood. He perceived his ideas to be too radical to be appreciated and often felt miscast, as if he had been born fifty years too early. Cut to twenty years later and here I am, claiming with a straight face, that I am a futurist. It sounds so over the top when I say that right? Futurist conjures up images of someone who is just too cool for the real world. But over the years as I read what others (who call themselves trend-spotters, future-proofers or futurists) say about themselves, I found there were certain traits I recognized, prompting me to put myself into this quirky group. Here I have compiled my research into a quiz. How many of these questions strike a chord?
1. Have you travelled and lived in at-least four different countries by the time you were thirty?
2. Do you prefer Percy Jackson over Harry Potter? But in general would read YA over any other kind of fiction book?
3. Did you never get over your fascination with the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? Perhaps you also fell in love at first sight and married your childhood or teen sweetheart?
4. Is fantasy and science-fiction your favourite movie genre and do you believe that The Fifth Element is one of the most entertaining movies ever made?
5. Are you obsessed with vitamins, anti-ageing packs, anti-oxidants, flower essences, ginseng & assorted herbs from all parts of the world which help regenerate brain cells, physical cells, keeps your eyesight sharp etc. You get what I mean?
6. Were you one of the first in your peer group, to get an email address, and to get onto twitter and Facebook, and the rest? And now you are like so all over social networking platforms then living in the real world is a struggle? It is quite normal for you to have bizarre tweet conversations with others about the relative merits of Loki vs. Thor? And when you sit around a meeting room table with grown-ups they still can’t understand the appeal of twitter over FB – duh!
7. Are you fascinated by technology & Einstein and you just don’t know why? It’s just that they are really cool?
8. Are you very instinctive, and believe in the unsaid, the unheard, the unseen… We are not alone.
9. Friends accuse you of being ‘spaced out’; being ahead of your time and you often struggled to fit in as a teenager. In fact it is the same now; except you have learnt to embrace social niceties.
10. Have you always dreamt of being an entrepreneur and even now find it difficult to follow rules. Do you feel sometimes that you are stuck in your rebellious teenaged phase? Actually children do make more sense than grown-ups any day.
Did you say yes to eight out of ten of the above? Congratulations! You are one of the misunderstood, socially awkward, geeky, fantasy inspired nightriders. In my experience though, either you say yes to all or to none; that’s just how we futurists are rather extreme. Are you a futurist? Do write in and share your experiences.
About Laxmi Hariharan:
I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India and I travelled across Asia, living in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw strength from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek.
As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.
The Darkening Dream is a chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. The book has received rave reviews and is on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle from June 25th-29th! Download your copy here.
In addition, Andy is doing a big giveaway, including a $100 gift certificate to Amazon, signed copies of his books, video games, posters, and more!
I was most fortunate and asked to review The Darkening Dream by Andy a while back. It’s got it all horror, religious aspects to it, history and fantasy all rolled into one great story. I enjoyed it very much and when the opportunity was available to share this with you all I jumped at it. I really hope you will get this book. For 99cents you’d be crazy not to and that’s just the tip of the iceberg you get the great giveaway as well which I hope you’ll all enter.
Long-time readers of dark historical fantasy (Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz) will appreciate the weaving together of mythology, occult, and religion, while younger readers and fans of HBO dramas (True Blood, Carnivàle) or urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) will be drawn to the twisted imagination, graphic action, and romantic tension.
About The Darkening Dream
Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.
1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.
With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?
No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul.
The Reviews Are In
“A vampire novel with actual bite.” ~The Kirkus Reviews
“Mr. Gavin has brought something refreshingly new to a genre now suffused with poorly-concealed bodice-rippers which have more in common with Fabio than Bram Stoker: depth. His big baddies are scary, not romantic interests, and the added religious lore is complex and engaging. Don’t expect another Twilight — the story can get downright creepy, so be prepared for a return to the old horror sensibilities of supernatural fiction.” ~Amazon Review
“With Mr. Gavin’s video-game pedigree, I was expecting something aimed squarely at the 18-25 year old fanboy contingent; what I got in The Darkening Dream was something wholly unexpected: A period novel with a female protagonist, a crash-course on Judaism in the colonial years, and multi-layered series of plot arcs featuring a crazy cast of natural and supernatural characters populating turn of the century America.” ~Amazon Review
“…A perfect blend of mystery, magic and myth. A grown-up Grimm’s fairy tale… emphasis on grim.” ~Amazon Review
Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. Find out more here.
A character interview with Kalen from the book who shares about his world, himself and his love.
Tell us about your world, Kalen. What is the purpose of your travel between Earth and Ethos?
In the beginning, our first parents were place on Ethos to gain
experience, and to become the creators of our entire race, also to have dominion
over all other life on Ethos; so long as that dominion was exercised in
righteousness. For them to fulfill their mission, they were given a mushroom
to protect, which contained all the magic of Ethos. This magic was
the source of all magic, which was to be divided among all living creatures
for their benefit. But it was forbidden for any living creature to
partake of it while in the flesh, lest they live forever in their wicked
ness. The only correct way to receive a portion of its magic was through
lineage and ceremony.
As the first parents populated the world with their creations, the tempt
ation for their children to partake of the mushroom was far too enticing
for them to resist. So they hid the mushroom on Earth, to keep it safe
from their own children. As Earth became a developing world, man threate
ned the safety of the mushroom, so warriors were sent to watch over it,
to protect it from humanity. Though it was still in danger on Earth, the
implications of the mushroom being use for evil was far greater if it had
remained on Ethos. Thus, the Daghoon Warriors were called and chosen
from the purest and most obedient children of Ethos.
I was called to that order of duty as a high ranking warrior of Ethos, sworn
to protect the deep magic of Ethos, even to the giving of my life.
What brought you to have to bear this life of solitude? Was it by choice?
As I mentioned, one must be called, but the choice to decline such a mission
is still available to the individual. But my heart was filled with
compassion and duty to serve my kindred. I had never denied a call from
the universe, so I accepted the call and swore an oath to complete my mission
with honor, no matter the cost.
How do you deal with being alone all the time?
Fortunately, I’m not entirely alone. True, that I rarely see another face
like my own, and even human friendship is limited to trading for supplies.
Relegated to vagabond, I spend my days becoming acquainted with nat
ure and the creatures of the Earth. But I’m also blessed to be accompanied
by the select drones of my Queen dragonfly. They are my trackers and
only friends, so they are dear to me indeed. Though, I once had a horse
for companionship while stationed in China during one of my missions. He
was a lovely creature.
If there was anything you could change about your life, what would it be and why?
I would change nothing. I am who I am today because of my triumphs
and mistakes. Pain refines the soul, and I cherish every moment in
life because tomorrow always brings the culmination of the past. This
life is for experience, though some experiences are bought with a
You’re a career military man, I’ve heard. How long were you in the service?
From the time of my coming of age. I was only a boy when I was called
to the office of daghoon warrior, and training began immediately. I
was taken from my home and placed in a military monastery, completely
immersed in training to recondition my thoughts and actions.
Everything I do is related to my duty as protector of our deepest
magic, and there were times my training was so brutal that I was sent
to the healers to recover. During my military training, I also
received spiritual training from the elders to teach me how to
harness my gifts to their full potential.
What’s the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t?
I always wanted to find love, but my station and calling forbid it.
As a consolation, I was allowed the special opportunity to become the
companion of Lebion, my queen dragonfly. And though I’m sure it
doesn’t compare to the connection shared between husband and wife, it
is a very rare and special connection nonetheless. Lebion empowers me
with a spiritual connection to the universe that few will ever find
in mortal life.
Kalen, tell us the honest truth, when did you fall in love with Bree? At first sight? Or did it take a while?
It wasn’t until I studied her afterglow. I saw such purity and
strength that I felt immediately connected to her. But I fought it,
buried it, and resisted the temptation to love her. Then, when I
thought I had failed her, when I turned my back for only a moment and
she fell into the hands of Ellette’s minions, I knew I couldn’t live
my live without her. Sometimes, one doesn’t know what they have until
How many girlfriends did you have before her?
As a very young boy, I remember having simple attractions…. crushes,
I believe you call them… but they were innocent and never allowed to blossom. I
was taken from the world of courtship and thrust into a military life
early on. I’d never even kissed a fae… Brianna was my first and only
love. Though, admittedly, I spent many nights dreaming of what it
would be like to have a companion to love and hold. The elders told
me it was even forbidden to dream of love, so I forced it from my
mind… until Brianna entered my world. Forcing her from my mind would
be like stopping the beating of my own heart.
And in your relationship with Bree, how are you different with her than you are with your family and friends? Why do you think this is?
My relationship to my parents was very formal, and before Brianna,
the only female love I knew was that of my mother. I didn’t have many
friends, other than the dragonflies, since my mission was very
solitary. Most of my relationships have been with the elders and my
training officers. As a daghoon, I was taught that relationships were
dangerous, that they could endanger my mission, used against me. In
spite of my lack of connection to others, I was still taught to have
compassion on all forms of life. It was through the dragonflies and
the animals of Earth that I learned to respect life in even the
meekest form. But with Brianna, I have been opened to an entirely
new level of understanding about the universe and how love can
empower its recipient. My greatest source of strength however,
also seems to be my greatest weakness.
What parts of loving come easy for you? And what’s Hard?
Love, in essence, was always easy to possess, so long as I did not let it possess me. I am the master of my own heart, but I’ve learned that in loving an equal, one must give their heart to their companion.
So it was with Brianna, I’ve given my heart to her, and while it was easy to give, it was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done… especially since I’ve been indoctrinated to deny myself of such a connection for so long.
If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
First, to wish for an end to the war so that all sentient beings may
find peace. Second, a wish to an alliance between the worlds of Ethos
and Earth, that we may comingle peaceably. And third, a wish for all
beings to have their agency to choose for themselves, without evil
constantly trying to force its will on others… but then again,
without opposition in life, would there even be a choice? Would there
even be an understanding of love or peace?
Man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change. After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are
discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current–high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.
And that’s just the beginning.
Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes … at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage,Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.
I love how Michael took history and myth that we are all familiar with and incorporated it in his story in a new way. There are many legends about Poseidon god of the sea and Michael has created one that is elaborate and entertaining.
It took me a little while to get into the story I can’t say why this was as the story was good but guessing due to all the personal stuff I have going on but as I kept reading and the action started I realized one day that I had chewed half a nail off and that’s when I had that moment of ohhhhh it’s grabbed me hook, line and sinker. < Book related joke there. Hmm okay I’m not a comedian what can I say.
The book starts off with a legendary city being found and then boats turning up with no people on board but lots of blood and gore. What happened on board and who is responsible? How does it all tie in with Larry who while vacationing on an island in New England witnesses what appears to be a shark attack. When it’s discovered that the victims of the attack were the son of a mobster billionaire and his girlfriend you have angry vengeful dad and his friends coming to town.
Once the action started I was sucked in. It is a great tale with action, adventure, revenge, drama, mythology and the wildest sex scene I’ve ever read. Seventh Star Press should consider an erotic imprint as Michael West knows how to write a steamy scene even when one of those involved has gills. The horror had me biting my nails, the sex scene had me fanning my face and the story had me absorbed. A great book that I highly recommend.
The first in an urban fantasy series The Legacy of the Gods looks to be a fantastic fun series and I am already looking forward to the next book.
Here are just a couple of my fave quotes from the book. I had many but thought it best to narrow them down.
Duct tape. Like the force in Star Wars: it had a dark side, a light side, and it bound the universe together.
Satisfied, Larry ran to his clothes, his balls flapping madly.
BTW this is hard to explain but this line from your Goodreads review -- "What I got out of it is that we may not be the way we see ourselves and some people are just bat shit crazy" is actually one of my favorite things anyone's said about the book! somehow I feel like you've completely encapsulated my vision of the world here (which gives me a warm "my work here is done" type feeling... go figure!)
James Warner author of All Her Father's Guns