Tag Archives: Paranormal

Author Interview: ‘The Ialana Trilogy’ by Katlynn Brooke

About the Books:

In this roller-coaster fantasy adventure series, six diverse characters, three girls and three boys, between the ages of 15-21 embark on an epic quest to find a magical crystal lost 500 years in the past. What is their connection to this crystal? They must not only rediscover their past and survive a perilous journey over mountains infested with venomous mutant creatures, but they must also discover who the traitor is in their midst. In the second book of the series, they continue their healing mission but are thwarted by a Galonese Warlord, and hunted by a deadly foe. Shape-shifters, mutant creatures, and a power struggle between the rulers of Ialana all work together to make this one of their most difficult challenges yet. In the third book of the series, the Six and Anwyn, the daughter of two of the Six, must find and deactivate a weapon of mass destruction before Astrobal, the Demon-Lord of the Shadowlands finds it and uses it to destroy all life on Ialana. An old enemy in a new and even more deadly form arises, one who is able to match their enhanced abilities. In a nail-biting race to the end, the outcome is uncertain. Have the Six and Anwyn met their match this time?

…refreshingly original, complete with surprising plot twists and interesting, engaging characters.” – Hungry Monster Review

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Purchase Links:

Trilogy – Amazon US / UK

Book 1 – The Six and the Crystals of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Book 2 – The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Book 3 – The Six and Anwyn of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

As a child, I grew up in the African bushveld. My father’s job was to build infrastructure in a country that had little in the way of roads, bridges, or towns outside the confines of major cities. This resulted in a gypsy lifestyle of camping, wherever his job led him, into places with no power grids for electricity, or potable water.

Our main entertainment was reading, and I became an avid bookworm from the age of six. I quickly bypassed Dick and Jane readers, and moved on to the classics in literature by the time I was nine.

I also loved to write, and since our family entertainment did not include television or movies, we wrote plays and produced them on my mother’s 8-track recorder. We also made movies with her 8mm camera, so my exposure to the joys of writing began at an early age.

I did not seriously pursue writing as a career, though, until I realized rather late in life, that it was something I really wanted to do. With age came a desire to share a hodge-podge of life experiences in a way that could be both entertaining and enlightening to younger readers. I thought that epic fantasy adventure would be the best way I could convey my philosopy and feelings about life, so in 2014 I wrote the first book in the Ialana Series. Three months later, I wrote the next, and am now on my fourth book in the series.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I am most comfortable writing in my own home. I have everything I need at my fingertips, and I can multi-task, do other things when I get tired of writing.

Mornings are my favorite time. My brain is fresher, and I have the afternoons to take care of life’s many other responsibilities.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Since I was a child, I’ve had epic dreams that would rival any fantasy movie. For example, the island of Mu’A in Book One of the Ialana Series (The Six and the Crystals of Ialana), is based on a real dream I once had. Some of my characters are based on dream characters. Some, I believe, may even be past life memories. I feel I have lived in other times and places, and if that does not prepare me to write fantasy, then nothing else will!

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I am a “pantster”, as we’re known in writer parlance. I do not sit down and sketch out an outline, not even a short one on a napkin. I write by the seat of my pants. I just sit down and begin to write. There is a lot of thought that goes with this along the way, juggling of plot threads, characters, etc., but in the beginning it’s a fluid situation without bones or structure.

I know very few writers who do write this way, and I would not recommend it, either. Somehow, though, my plots do come together, my characters all begin to make sense, and I see a structure forming.

It’s weird, I know, but it works for me.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write young adult epic fantasy. I wanted to learn how to world-build as well as Tolkien, and fantasy allows for almost any situation to occur. One does not have to adhere to the rigidity of an existing world created by others. To explore the worlds that exist in our imaginations, dreams, and turn them into a story that others can access, is the magic of fantasy.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I would not mind who played my characters, as long as they understood the character. Having famous actors play the parts would be awesome, but I would be just as pleased to see an unknown actor, one who understands the character well, in any movie or television production of my books.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I read approximately one book a week. My tastes are eclectic, and I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. My book purchases — my secret vice — range from self-help to true crime, biographical, fantasy, adventure, and suspense. My favorite authors are Tolkien, R.A. Salvatore, and Terry Brooks (fantasy), M. William Phelps, (true crime), and John Grisham (suspense).

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Hostile Witness, by William Lashner; The Plot to Hack America, William Nance; and Denali’s Howl, by Andy Hall.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien. Reading the books as a trilogy transports me into a world unparalleled in fantasy fiction. Tolkien was a master at world building and characterization. His work has become the gold standard for many fantasy authors, and I find myself going back to these books, reading them over and over, just to get a sense of the feeling the story and words convey.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Read. A lot.

If you don’t love it, don’t do it. It’s not an easy way to make money. You can do better with a conventional job, but if you must be a writer, then never give up. Hone your craft, but know that there will always still be room for improvement.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to publish your first book. Get a professional opinion about its readiness for publication before submitting, whether you are thinking of self-publishing or going the traditional route.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

www.katlynnbrooke.com

www.facebook.com/katlynnbrookeauthor

Books in the Trilogy:

Book 1 – The Six and the Crystals of Ialana

Mutant creatures, a Reptilian Dragon King, and a mysterious shape shifter… The first book in the Ialana Series.
The quest to find and restore the lost crystals of Ialana, unites six people who, along with a seventh, were all born with a secret buried deep within.Guided by a shared dream, they leave the only homes they have ever known and set out on a life-altering quest through a maze of mountain caves and tunnels where they encounter insidious creatures, and dangers from within their group.Mentored by Irusan the transcendental shape-shifter, they develop impenetrable relationships and learn to rely upon one another. They battle their way towards the lost crystal, but will they find it in time, or will their enemy succeed in his mission to control the powerful crystals of Ialana?

Book 2 – The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana

In a seamless continuation of the first book in the series, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, the six healers have escaped the destruction of the Citadel in Rhiannon. But now they find themselves caught in the midst of a power struggle between the competing rulers of Ialana.

Unable to complete their healing mission, to heal mutants who were genetically altered by crystal manipulation, they flee the Galonese War-Lord, Ortzi, and attempt a dangerous journey back to their homes in northern Ialana.

Trapped by malevolent creatures, hunted by a monster who seeks them for reasons of its own, and on the run from a king and a conniving shape-shifter, there seems to be no place of safety for them.

Will they find the mysterious abode of the Gardeners? Who are the Gardeners, and what is their purpose for the Six? Will The Six be able to find Queen Catrin, who sets off on a quest of her own, or will Catrin run afoul of her husband, King Brenin, before she can find The Six?

In The Gardeners of Ialana, the Six explore the mysteries of healing, elemental command, and through many more trials, learn their true purpose in life.

Book 3 – The Six and Anwyn of Ialana

In the third book of the Ialana Series, an ancient weapon of planetary destruction has been uncovered. Astrobal, the demon-lord of Iochodran, will stop at nothing to gain possession and control of the deadly weapon. When Astrobal discovers that the key to the control of this weapon is Anwyn, the daughter of Jarah and Tegan, he must use all the resources he can muster to hunt her and her family down. He sends Glahivar, an old and powerful enemy of the Six, to Three Rivers, where they and Anwyn are under the protection of the Queen. But Queen Catrin and her husband, Ambros, have problems of their own. A threat from the south is brewing: Moran, the war-lord of Yor Swamps has designs on Catrin’s kingdom. In a race to the end, Anwyn and the Six must not only gain possession of the weapon, but deactivate it too, before Astrobal can use it to destroy the planet.

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Book Review: ‘Victorian’ by Jordan Elizabeth

Victorian

Title: Victorian

Published: 30th June 2016

Author: Jordan Elizabeth

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jordan-Elizabeth-Mierek

Twitter: @JayliaDarkness

Synopsis:

Celeste struggles with finding her way from a dark past until she gets a summer volunteer gig at the local historical fair. Enter outrageous actors, dominating psychics, and ghosts stirred by a medium’s presence. With the help of the psychic’s son, who isn’t at all what her dream date would look like, but rather endearing all the same, Celeste uncovers secrets about the village left hidden among the dilapidated buildings. Searching deeper will mean opening her heart, a part of her she’s locked up tight and been petrified of freeing.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book published in 2016. Interesting, intricate read that follows two main characters – Weronika and Celeste (though her real first name is Aeltye). Following them while they struggle with their troubled pasts as they help out at a historical 1867 Victorian summer fair.

Story starts with a counselling session for teenagers. Each is being troubled by something from their past or present and it’s where we first meet Weronika and Celeste. Each have very different reasons for being there but a friendship is formed straight away. Its almost like they see a kindred spirit, or can sense the others pain and want to help. Both have trouble making friends so they sort of cling to each other once the bond has been formed.

Celeste is the first to find out about historical 1867 Victorian summer fair coming to the area from her cousin Donna. She likes the idea of the fair because she can be someone new there. No one will know the real her and she can explore being someone else from the Victorian era. It would be a form of escapism for a little while. She may love her family and want to protect them; especially her younger brother Eli, but she needs to find a release and the fair might help her do that. Every weekend over the summer seems like a good idea at the time but things start to change once she learns more about the history of the Reese Village. It seems that everyone died mysteriously and no one knows what really happened. Legend has it that ghosts still linger at the village. Whether they need help or not is still to be seen but Celeste feels compelled to do something to help them move on. Also it has a little something to do with the fact she can actually see the ghosts that are there.

Once Weronika finds out about the fair she longs to join too. Not so much to meet new people but just so she can get out of her house, away from her parents and away from the memories that haunt her. Memories aren’t the only thing that haunts her as she also sees two ghosts there. A mystery for one but she knows the story for the other, one she tries to forget. She has been living in pain surrounded by parents who don’t really see her. She rebels with her actions and boyfriend Nate, the only one who really knows her and her past, but really it’s a cry for help. After a little while into the book though the focus gets pulled away from her and focuses more on Celeste’s journey trying to find out what really happened all those years ago.

Celeste along with another new friend Zander start searching for clues. He has had a troubled upbringing too, one she won’t pry into. It’s when she says this that he knows she has something she wouldn’t want people prying into as well. You know something bad happened to her brother and her but are left in the dark until she’s ready to face the past. I think once she starts to help the ghosts she finds she’s ready to let go of her demons too so she can move on.

I liked the interesting paranormal twist linking in with the intricate back-stories of both main characters. Seems everyone needed help, they just needed to find the right person or place along the way to get there. I liked the setting of the fair and how when Celeste saw certain past memories or ghostly planes you caught glimpses of the real village. It was almost like she was pulled back to see what she needed to see to figure out what really happened. Great characters that had a lot of depth and kept you gripped till the end where you could figure out what really happened to them and how they are going to move past it.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Halloween Witch’ by Fabio Bueno

halloween-witch

Title: Halloween Witch: A Standalone Novelette (Singularity – The Modern Witches)

Published: 12th October 2015

Author: Fabio Bueno

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FabioBueno.Author

Twitter: @_FabioBueno_

Synopsis:

A standalone story set in the Singularity – The Modern Witches universe

How far would you go for eternal youth and beauty?

Jules, a dark magic witch, has it all figured out – draining energy from unsuspecting victims will keep her young and gorgeous for decades. When a golden opportunity presents itself on Halloween night, she’ll risk it all to get the ultimate prize. With the perfect plan in place, her next target might just be Jules’ ticket to immense power.

But witches are not always what they seem…

* * *

Check out the full-length novels in the Singularity – The Modern Witches series:
BOOK 1: WICKED SENSE
BOOK 2: BROKEN SPELL
BOOK 3: DARKEST FATE

 

Review:

The price for youth and beauty comes at a cost to the person you steal it from, something that Jules is willing to make for eternal youth. Shame karma is on its way to teach her a lesson that she won’t forget.

Most witches have Allure as one of their key charms. Beauty on the outside that is coveted by others – especially those witches who haven’t been lucky enough to get it. Case in point with Jules, a dark witch who isn’t really happy that her gifts turned out to be Charisma and Seduction. Two good charms that help her get what she really wants though – youth and beauty in her old age. Blood potions, sacrifices and ancient prayers are her other useful the tools she uses to get the Allure she longs for. Belonging to a night coven for dark witches she found the tools needed and has been using them ever since.

After her latest fix though she still isn’t happy, even after showing off to her young naive sister witch Morgan. She wants to be younger and to stay that age for years to come. For that she needs a hot young witch, enter Nina – check, a good potion to get Nina to fall for her, where Morgan comes in – double check and the perfect night for the spell to take hold, Halloween Samhain – triple check. The trifecta coming together, everything planned to the second, nothing can go wrong – right? Well that is unless someone has another agenda altogether. Seems Jules past is about to catch up with her. There to show her what she really is. She may be given two choices at the end but with how vain she is you know which she will pick. Beauty is only skin deep, a nice coating covering a black heart in Jules case. Seems karma is coming back three fold. She really should have been more aware of what might happen but when you hear a bit more about her past indiscretions you aren’t really saddened by her end.

Quick read to unwind with while thinking about the next big book you are going to go onto next. Can be read as a standalone separate from the series but does give you a good view on what the authors style of writing is like. Even for a short the characters draw you in, Morgan would be fun to follow, and the twist is interesting when you get to it.

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3 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Daughter of the Sun’ by Zoe Kalo

Daughter of the Sun

Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat Book 1)

Published: 1st April 2016

Author: Zoe Kalo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zoe-Kalo

Twitter: @zoekalowriter

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

CULT OF THE CAT – Series Blurb

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.

But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited, they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.

In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a beautiful cover. If you like cats, Ancient Egyptian mythology and history, mystery and intrigue then this is the book for you. Luckily I like all the above so this was a great book for me to get stuck into.

Trinity has grown up in a convent all her life after being abandoned as a newborn on its steps. She doesn’t like to see the cruelty of others and can be very hot headed, so when she sees the convent bully tormenting a cat, one that she’s come to like, she goes right over to sort her out. Talking doesn’t work though so she ends up punching her in the face; the cat gets a few scratches in too! Unfortunately for her though the nuns just happened to come back out at that moment and not before when Beth was pulling a cord around the cats neck. She is called in to see Mother Superior and goes straight on the offensive to explain what really happened not realising that’s not why she was called in. A strange feeling comes over her before she notices another woman in the room. She gets a shock when she finds out the reason behind her being there. She has a grandmother Margaret, one who has been looking for her for years and now wants her to come home. A sense of malevolence is coming from the messenger Dr Nassri though but she has no reason behind where it is coming from – yet! Before she leaves, only when they are alone, Mother Superior gives her a letter that was left with her as a baby. Something she feels she needs to keep secret and safe for it holds a mystery. Now she has to leave almost straight away. She is excited and a little scared but more than anything she doesn’t want to leave her best friend Brianna behind. She is a little hurt that Brianna isn’t there when she gets in the limo to say goodbye but gets a pleasant surprise when the cat she had saved earlier – soon to be called Slugger – jumps in with her, Brianna might be closer than you think. She is thinking there is no chance she can keep her until Dr Nassri says ‘What’s one more’. She only understands this when she gets to the island. It’s called the Island of Cats and is full of them. They outnumber humans 3 to 1 I think, definitely only an island for those who love cats – dog lovers I think will have to get your own island.

Trinity’s first impressions of the island are that of beauty from the scenery and its people – well that is right up to before a guy on a jet ski goes past splashing water all over her. All she wants to do now, other than dry off, is talk to her grandmother. She needs answers but doesn’t get what she was expecting. Her grandmother is very sick; something she thinks she can help with from one of her many personal mysteries she has carried for years. Her grandmother does get to speak to her but only for a moment and only long enough for her to tell Trinity that the three of them must work together. Trinity has no idea what that is meant to mean and other than a ring her grandmother passes over to her she doesn’t know what to think. Deep in the first night there she decides to try and get back into see her grandmother to see if she can heal her only to be stopped by Dr Nassri – who seems to appear as if from nowhere after Trinity sees what looks to be an outline of a big black cat. The news is bad when she wakes in the morning though as she fines her grandmother has died.

With her grandmother gone she fears she will never get the answers she seeks. But being an inquisitive person it doesn’t take long before she starts looking for the answers herself. Along the way she gets help from her ‘cousin’ Ara. She might come off as stuck up to begin with but it’s just a front. Once she gets to know her she realises she isn’t the only one who has been kept in the dark all her life.

There seems to be only one distraction for Trinity, slowing her down from finding out what is happening to her and what is going on with the islands secrets. And that comes in the form of Seth – the boy who happened to soak her with the jet ski her first day there. She is drawn to him in a way foreign to her from being so sheltered within the walls of the convent. She wants to be near him at first but when she finds out about a curse in her family line she knows she needs to keep her distance to keep him safe. It’s easy in theory but harder in real life.

With more secrets coming to life and hidden passageways showing a darker side of someone and the island itself, it’s not just the festival Ara and her need to worry about it might be their lives. The longer Trinity spends on the island the more she starts to understand it, and her families, past. It will also bring out more questions though – like ‘why am I acting like a cat?’ Great story to keep you intrigued right to the end, loved all the Ancient Egyptian mythology and history told throughout (I even remembered quite a bit of it from another book I had read ‘Lost Voices of the Nile’, shows something stuck!) and leaves it open for a good start to the rest of the series which I will want to check out.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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