The Neverland Wars, by Audrey Greathouse

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Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home. However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality. She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

I love, love, love fairytale retellings or just about anything fairy tale ancillary. If I see it on NetGalley, I’ll request it.

The Good: The writing was crisp and suspenseful. There aren’t any questionable situations or swearing, so this is acceptable for all reading ages and levels. With so much description, I felt as if I was actually there.

The Bad: Which is also a bad thing. So much description! It wasn’t Steven King bad, but there was significant real estate dedicated to description. The emo Pan was a little bit annoying, but then again at least he wasn’t a villain as many Peter Pan retellings paint him. The writing was a bit odd. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was written by a British author trying to write American or vice versa.

The Beautiful: I’m not a fan of Peter Pan. I’ve always felt that as a fairy tale, he was pretty weak. I was really happy to find myself completely engrossed in Audrey Greathouse’s telling of the classic story, and would take a look at more of her work.

The Final Word: If you like fairy tales, you’ll like The Neverland Wars. If you’re looking for a fast-paced story that’s “clean” for younger readers, you’re golden. The Neverland Wars is a 3.5-star read. I waffled between awarding three and four stars, and in a fit of happiness, I rated this four stars.

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Audrey Greathouse is a Seattle-based author of science-fiction and fantasy. Raised in the suburbs, she became a writer after being introduced to NaNoWriMo during her sophmore year of high school. Since then, she has drafted more than a dozen books, 100 sonnets, and 800 other poems, and a handful of short stories and one-act plays. After dropping out of her university and beginning training as a circus performer on the aerial silks, she returned to school to study at Southern New Hampshire University College of Online and Continuing Education to earn her B.A. in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Computer Information Technologies. Audrey Greathouse is a die-hard punk cabaret fan, and pianist of fourteen years. She’s usually somewhere along the west coast, and she is always writing.

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Brass Automaton is now live!


Brass Automaton

Novella – 29,000 words – approx. 164 pages.

13.99 Print editions:
Createspace – 5×8
Amazon

2.99 Digital editions:
Amazon
Inktera
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Apple
Scribd
24 Symbols

Terminator meets Snow White in a steampunk adventure through time.

“This story happened when His Majesty was still a young man, a huntsman to be precise. It is the tale of a clockwork machine from the future, with a mission to terminate His Majesty to prevent him from meeting his future queen.” Jarvis paused for effect. “Then, she was known only as Snow White.”

Click for blog posts about Brass Automaton, or read the original unedited web serial here:
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Translucid, by Zen DiPietro

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What if you woke up knowing how to do your job, but not your own name? What if you had to rely on other people to tell you who you were? What if you thought they were wrong? Emé Fallon is the security chief of Dragonfire Station, and does a damn good job of it. That’s where her competence ends. Outside of work, she has a wife she doesn’t know, a captain who seems to hate her, and a lot of questions that don’t add up. Without a past, all she has is the present, and she’ll stop at nothing to ensure she has a future.

The Good: I’m not the biggest romance fan, but the interactions between Emé and her wife left me quite satisfied. Their relationship easily asks questions about what it’s like to love someone, and how our actions can be influenced by societal norms. When romance is done well, it’s worth reading. Even the stodgiest reader will enjoy the light sci-fi romance in Translucid.

The Bad: Holy chapter length Batman! Five chapters? With scene breaks? Come on, make these chapters more digestible. I see no reason why a chapter has to be over an hour to read. Especially since there were plenty of scene breaks that could’ve easily been chapter breaks.

The Beautiful: Did I mention that this is a totally kick-ass sci-fi adventure? I just had to keep reading to find out what happened next. The ending didn’t wrap everything up completely but was written in such a way that I was satisfied with it. I’m totally looking forward to the next book in the series, Fragments, about a month away.

The Final Word: Translucid is such a great story, I’m glad I requested it on NetGalley. It’s been said before, but this is a mash up of Star Trek DS9 and Total Recall. Part science fiction, part mystery, and all adventure. I knocked out Translucid in about 48 hours. The LGBT elements are there, but they’re light, so anyone can read this story and enjoy it as much as I did. As of the writing of this review, Translucid is only $0.99 on Amazon. Get it. Right. This. Minute.

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Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, writer, and a mom of two. Perhaps most importantly, a Browncoat Trekkie Whovian. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. A recovering gamer, but we won’t talk about that. Particular loves include badass heroines, British accents, and the smell of Band-Aids. Being an introvert gets in her way sometimes, as she finds it hard to make idle chitchat or stay up past 9 p.m. On the other hand, it makes it easy for her to dive down the rabbit hole of her love for books, stories, movies and games.

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http://www.womenofbadassery.com
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Moonrise CH20 – Insignificant Other

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[1078 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2]It took longer than was needed for Doctor Globe’s motorcade to reach its destination. Globe sighed more than once as his driver stopped to allow the ambulances to catch up to the limousine. Onlookers were kept at bay from the compound with the double fence and razor wire, but each gap between vehicles allowed the crowd to flow back across the gate. Globe’s men corralled the people away from the road and allowed the ambulances to follow.

Once inside the lab, Globe again had to wait. The bodies had to be prepped before entering the impromptu “morgue” his team built a few days before securing the “bodies.” Despite the sterile whiteness of the small tent hidden in the basement space next to his lab, the Madison Park Massacre victims emanated a pale blue light that seemed to shine brighter against the stark material surrounding them. Everywhere the blue light touched, coldness permeated. The tent swam in it. Globe shivered when he entered, but he regarded the quaking as a pleasant feeling, and not the icy fingers that many of his underlings referred to it as. They didn’t know that the frigidity meant that Silas and Bree’s powers had done their magic.

A short man in a lab coat and a thin mustache approached Globe. Other than the facial hair from a bygone era, there was nothing special about the little man. He extended his hand, and Globe reluctantly shook it.

“Doctor Lee,” Globe intoned, keeping up appearances.

“Doctor Globe.”

Globe rubbed his fingers together after Lee released them. He used the same hand to wave at the rows of white cots arranged in rows. “How are our patients?”

“Stable. All their vitals are in the green. There are no indications of them waking up anytime soon. We’ll be carefully monitoring the-” Lee struggled for the right word, “-coma, but if any need appears to reassure the effect…”

“I’ll take care of that.” Globe turned his attention away from the tiny bodies on the cots and scrutinized Doctor Lee. “Your job, Doctor, is to make sure these people remain asleep.”

Doctor Lee shrunk from Globe’s jarring gaze but rallied and then cleared his throat. “I have to wonder Doctor Globe, how long before the relatives and parents begin asking questions. They will want the bodies back to bury, and we surely can’t release the subjects, nor deny them.”

Globe crossed his arms over his chest. “I can postpone as many times as I please. I have promised results, but never said anything about my timetable. As long as these subjects here are believed to be deceased, then there is no immediate hurry. The children are to be tested regularly. I’m curious to see how Bree’s power affects them after prolonged exposure. Make sure we understand how to harness her power in an efficient manner.” Globe moved toward Lee, towering over him. “I don’t want any mistakes, Doctor.

The honorific didn’t hold the respect that was usually reserved for bearers of the title, but if Lee took offense, he had the sense to conceal it. The shorter man nodded, and replied, “The samples will be small at first. The small sample size will lead to insufficient data to be collected, but…”
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From Writer to Author: Brass Automaton

D. Paul Angel

brass-automaton-front-3Brass Automaton, which I wrote with the inestimable Mark Gardner, is going to be published on Amazon this Tuesday! (With a paperback edition to follow too!) Believe me, I will update you when I have the details on both. And, while I have a lot to say about this, before I do, there’s some context needed. If you want to skip the naval gazing, I mean context, feel free to scroll down to the the bolded section break: “TL;DR” (Spoiler alert: I’m ridiculously excited by this!)

I have been a writer far longer than I have actually wrote, which isn’t nearly as oxymoronic as it seems. I enjoyed writing in High School and College, and was always going to be a Writer “someday.” Then a whole lot of Life happened. There weren’t just months but years when I either wrote very little- or not at…

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Quanta Reset, by Lola Dodge

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Quanta has escaped her laboratory prison, but that’s where the good news ends. Life at the Shadow Ravens’ compound is a disaster. She’s drowning in visions of the dark pasts and darker futures of her fellow Ravens and is plagued by her own panic-inducing memories, but Lady Eva still expects her to “train” and “participate in missions.” Plus, the food tastes like burnt plastic. The only bright spot is her genetic pairing to the brilliant Altair Orpheus. As their relationship grows, she’s positive that chemicals aren’t the only things drawing them together—although chemistry is definitely involved. While they test the limits of her game-changing new ability to reset time, word arrives from Eva’s agents: Doctor Nagi is still experimenting with her DNA. If he succeeds in duplicating her power… Forget the Shadow Ravens. The whole world is toast.

I enjoyed Quanta, so when I saw Quanta Reset on NetGalley, I requested it right away.

The Good: This is an excellent continuation of the Shadow Ravens series. Like book two, the writing is tense, fast-paced, and there is a surprise or two for long-time science fiction readers.

The Bad: I get the point of view switching. It’s a common trope in fiction, but I didn’t care at all about Tair’s POV. He’s important to the story insomuch that his interaction with Quanta is significant, but he’s such a bore. I was glad that the Tair chapters were shorter than the Quanta chapters. Reading his POV was akin to eating green beans – I do it because it’s expected of me, but what I want are steak and potatoes.

The Beautiful: The Shadow Ravens is such a fun and well-written series. I didn’t read book #1, but fans of Cipher will be glad to see her in Quanta Reset.

The Final Word: Without a doubt, Quanta Reset is a five-star read. It publishes next Tuesday, so you better get it. If you haven’t read Quanta already, do so. As of the writing of this review, Cipher is free on Amazon and Quanta is $0.99.

Lola-Dodge

Lola Dodge is nomadic and has lived in New Zealand, France, the Czech Republic, and Taiwan. Her current base is Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she spends her days eating excessive amounts of coconut and trying to avoid heat stroke. She grew up in Upstate NY (Salt potatoes! Apple cider donuts!), got a degree in English Lit and German at Stonehill College, and an MFA in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. She doesn’t like bacon, coffee, beer, the sun, or fireworks. Instead, give her tea, vodka drinks, air-conditioning, and anything sweet. She’s a proud part of the writing roster at Ink Monster publishing, where she collaborates on the Shadow Ravens and Alpha Girls series. Her other fiction is represented by Rebecca Strauss at DiFiore and Company Literary Agency. Some days she hates writing and some days she loves it, but she can’t imagine doing anything else (even though she works at the pace of a sloth on sleeping pills.)

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Days Until Home Paperback

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Hey Days Until Home fans! For those of you who would like a dead tree version of the web serial, head over here:
http://daysuntilhome.article94.com
If you use the following code: E4EUKEVT we’ll knock the price down to our cost ($6.95.) We’re working on getting this ready for a proper release in 2017. When that happens, this special edition will no longer be available.