blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Generation Killer – Adam Simcox

The second thrilling instalment of Adam Simcox’s ‘wildly entertaining’ (Adam Hamdy) THE DYING SQUAD series.

There’s a new serial killer on the streets of Manchester – and only a dead cop can stop them.

Detective Joe Lazarus works for the Dying Squad, solving crimes the living police can’t. When the Generation Killer starts wiping out Manchester’s innocents, Joe and his new partner Bits have mere hours to catch the murderer. A young woman’s life depends on it.

Joe’s former partner Daisy-May has her own problems. Children are going missing in the afterlife, and she’s the only one who seems to care. Her investigation uncovers a conspiracy so vast, it threatens both the living and the dead.

Her predecessor the Duchess can’t help this time; she’s tracked her treacherous sister, Hanna, to Tokyo, where she’s been recruiting the dead. The Duchess must enlist the help of a local detective if she’s to have any choice of stopping her.

Time is running out for the Dying Squad. And if they can’t crack their cases, it’s the living that will pay…

My thoughts: time to crawl through some toxic Gloop once more and hang out with the residents of the Pen. Or not, as this case seems to be taking everyone soil side. Joe Lazarus and his new partner Bits are chasing a murderer, who’s killing grandfathers and their grandchildren in Manchester, Daisy-May’s trying to find out where the children of the Pen are going missing and why, and the Duchess has tracked her homicidal sister to Tokyo.

Of course none of these things is even remotely straightforward or easily resolved and there’s all sorts of chaos and horrors to fight through before even getting an answer, and without a way to communicate with each other, no one knows what’s happening or if their different cases might be connected. Just another day in the afterlife of the Dying Squad.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Spotlight: Tune in Tomorrow – Randee Dawn

Tune in Tomorrow [ISBN-13: 978-1786186300, August 23, 2022, Solaris/Rebellion] by Randee Dawn is a curious, calamitous, cockamamie story of a small town girl and the greatest mythic reality show ever.
    Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after years of unsuccessful struggling, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. An over 400-year-old reality TV/docusoap, Tune in Tomorrow is shot beyond the “Veil” by mythical creatures, stars humans – and “streams” out to a fanatical audience of fantastic creatures, who are positive that they are getting a peek into real human lives. And in a way, they are.

But Starr’s transformation from astounded newcomer to fan favorite is hardly smooth: A desperate, devious diva wants her gone; a handsome Lothario’s advances are suspect; her assistant is organizing a strike – and was her predecessor dropped into a bottomless pit? Starr vows to do whatever it takes to keep her dream job, but her struggle to save the show quickly becomes a fight… for her life.

Weaving together a unique combination of pop culture, fantasy and humor, Tune in Tomorrow takes readers on a roller coaster ride behind the scenes to see how the TV sausage gets made. But amid all the wackiness, tough questions arise: What is “reality”? And what might it mean to win a prize that makes you immortal?
    “Tune in Tomorrow is a book packed with some of the things that make me happiest: TV, divas behaving badly, being torn between two lovers, magical creatures and mangoes. Yes, mangoes,” Dawn says. “It’s a nutty tale of redemption and renewals, and I’m hoping everyone will tune in!”
    A funny, thrilling and mysterious adventure into the alternate world of reality television, Tune in Tomorrow is perfect for fans of Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore. 

Maryland-born Randee Dawn is now a Brooklyn-based entertainment journalist who scribbles about the glam world of entertainment by day, then spends her nights crafting wild worlds of fiction. She’s a former editor at The Hollywood Reporterand Soap Opera Digest, and these days covers the wacky world of show business for Variety, The Los Angeles Times, Emmy Magazine and Today.com. Dawn’s obsessive love of all things Law & Order led her to appear in one episode and later co-author The Law & Order SVU: Unofficial Companion.  Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and online publications; she also dreams up trivia questions for BigBrain Games. Once a month she can be found hosting Rooftop Readings at Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, and when not writing she’s focused on her next travel destination, and hangs out with her wonderful, funny husband and fluffy Westie. She admits she reads way too many books and consumes far too many mangoes.

Find Randee on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, BookBub, Goodreads, and her website RandeeDawn.com

Tune in Tomorrow is available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and anywhere books are sold.


Question: Tell us what Tune in Tomorrow is all about?

Randee Dawn: There’s the story part of the book, which is about a reality TV show run by mythical creatures, for mythical creatures … but starring humans! They just find our antics as charming and hilarious and intriguing as we do theirs: We make movies and TV shows about castles and dragons and quests and fauns; well, they love hearing about our mundane things like clipping the hedges or embezzlement or adultery or changing light bulbs! But in a bigger sense it’s also about what it might mean to be immortal, and how “reality” might mean different things to different people. And it’s about finding your inner Starr/star!

Q: You typically write non-fiction – what inspired you to write this story and take on a whole new genre?

Dawn: I have always wanted to write a novel. I actually had written several other books about fantasy and fey creatures, but they tended to be very serious – and didn’t sell to publishers. My brilliant agent gently suggested, “Maybe you should try something different.” Humor is tough, and I had no idea if I could write it successfully, if not write it all. But once I dove into Starr’s world and heard her in my head, the silliness came naturally. 

Q: Reality TV and soap operas aren’t often considered “prestige” TV – is this a mistaken perception? What are your thoughts on that, as a pop-culture writer?

Dawn: Most all of the entertainment business is goofy and strange. But it is also an endeavor people take seriously – soaps and reality shows are no different. They are their own art form, and require hard work. And, time has shown that people continue to love them!

Q: What do you hope readers will walk away with after reading Tune in Tomorrow?

Dawn: Early on, Starr gives herself a pep talk by recalling a particularly strange improv routine she had to do once: pretend to be a singing mango. It was in that strange circumstance that she was “discovered,” and also where she truly fell in love with acting. So she tells herself throughout the book, whenever she needs an extra dose of courage: Be the mango. Sometimes, being the mango isn’t sufficient to save her, but I hope that amid all the pratfalling and puns and general shenanigans that people come away feeling that they, too, have an inner mango. And all they have to do is tap into it to get that extra push to make their dreams come true.

Q: Out of all the fruits, why a mango? 

Dawn: Because it is the most delicious of all, and I am somewhat obsessed. Also, it has a delightful name that’s just fun to say!

Q: How do you get inside your character’s heads during the writing process? 

Dawn: I have the whole movie of what my stories are about in my head as I’m writing, and though I don’t think about this consciously, if I need to be in a character’s head, I just start seeing the world through their eyes, as if I’ve put on virtual reality goggles. That really helps. Also, if I do write something that doesn’t seem right for a particular character to do or say, it will just feel wrong. That’s when I know I have to go back and make it true to the person.

Q: How did your background as a national pop-culture journalist influence the way you wrote Tune in Tomorrow?

Dawn: Often, authors are told “write what you know,” which is how we as a society end up with a lot of 20-year-olds writing memoirs. Which is fine! But limiting. When you have no other expertise, you write about yourself. It took me years in the entertainment business, and years removed from covering the soap opera world, to feel ready to use that as my backdrop. And yes, it’s true: Tune in Tomorrow has its roots in soap opera. Because that’s what reality shows are, anyway! Soaps are wonderful ways to tell story, and even if they look like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Selling Sunset or Grey’s Anatomy today, all of those formats have their roots in the greats, like General Hospital, Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless. I wrote what I know!

Q: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Dawn: Be in it for the long haul. Don’t expect that your first draft will be the final draft, or even the thing that you first publish. The first draft is you telling yourself the story – I heard that a long time ago, and it’s incredibly true. After that, it’s about making it into a story that’s ready for the world to read, and that can take a lot longer than you’d expect.

Q: What is next for you? Is there another installment in Tune in Tomorrow, or what can readers expect?

Dawn: A lot depends on how Tune in Tomorrow fares. If it sells well, I’ve got part of a sequel planned that takes place in some of the other TV shows and movies that mythics have been cooking up. But there’s always a chance I’ll go back to a novel I finished during the pandemic lockdown and get it smartened up to show to my agent – about a world where all the superheroes are women.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Love & Other Human Errors – Bethany Clift

A book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can I possibly convey, in only 100 words, the events of the past year and their impact on my perfectly ordered existence?

It is insufficient space to accurately detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating my flawless algorithm to find a soulmate, despite having no desire for one.

In my former life I avoided trivial human connections. I was alone, accomplished and brilliant.

Unfortunately, that solitary and driven woman no longer exists.

My name is Indiana Dylan and this is the extraordinary account of how I fell in love.

There: 100 words exactly.

My thoughts: I loved this funny, sweet book, I loved Indi and Jack and Lina and Connie and Bruce and Frank and Lina’s family and Peggy and Spider and of course Alan. I did not love Emily. She was a bitch.

Indiana is basically a genius, she’s designed an algorithm that can find anyone’s soulmate. And now she wants to sell it to JaneDoe, a tech company, so she can move on to her next project. Only people don’t do what you want. Cameron, the mean owner and CEO of JaneDoe forces Indi to be a human guinea pig and find her soulmate.

Her new friends Lina and Jack want to help her, Peggy, her brilliant assistant, wants to look after her, Frank and Alan who are basically her neighbours want to help her and look after her. She wants to be left alone.

I loved Indi’s determination, her resilience and her sadness, her life hasn’t been easy and she’s tried to bury it under her tech genius. But she’s lonely. And people need people. Once she starts to let people in, she changes and realises she doesn’t have to be alone anymore.

This was a lovely book, even the sad bits.

Also I’d like Mr & Mrs B to come and cook my Christmas Dinner this year please.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: Short Stories for the Long Haul – John T. Buckley

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Looking for a collection that has something for every mood? Check out Short Stories for the Long Haul by John T. Buckley! Coming soon!

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Short Stories for the Long Haul

Expected Publication Date: August 12th, 2022

Genre: Anthology/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Crime Fiction & More

A collection of short stories that explore the human condition. Everything from a self absorbed wannabe quarterback who gets his shot, to a woman who marries her dog…

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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John T. Buckley is a 47 year old writer from Maine who’s been writing most of his life. He also loves to paint and seeing the world. He studied at University of Southern Maine as well as at SMTC in Cape Elizabeth. Fun fact, John T. Buckley was once the lead singer in a band called Mammyth.

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Blog Tour: Twelve Percent Dread – Emily McGovern

A fast-paced, laugh-a-page graphic novel about friendship, capitalism, and never putting your f***ing phone away!

Katie and Nas are best friends, exes, co-dependents. They share everything, including a tiny room in a North London townhouse belonging to their landlord Jeremy, former host of the hit 90s show ‘Football Lads’.

While Katie bounces from job to job and obsesses about falling behind in life, Nas has bigger things in mind—waiting endlessly for their visa to come through, while working on a seismic art project that will revolutionize politics and society as we know it. Their friend Emma, meanwhile, seems to have it all figured out—job, mortgage, engagement—yet the long hours working for tech giant Arko and endless wedding admin prove equally dread-inducing.

But when Katie’s latest job finds her tutoring the daughter of Arko’s formidable CEO, Michelle, and Emma welcomes the eccentric and enigmatic Alicia to her team at Arko, none of the three women are aware that their lives—and possibly the future of society itself—are about to change forever.

Twelve Percent Dread is a fast-paced, laugh-a-page graphic novel about friendship, capitalism, and never putting your f***ing phone away from Emily McGovern, author of Bloodlust & Bonnets and the hugely popular webcomic My Life As A Background Slytherin.

My thoughts: Bloodlust & Bonnets is still one of my favourite graphic novels of the last few years – it’s very, very funny and we need a sequel please! So I was delighted to be gifted a copy of Twelve Percent Dread to review.

It didn’t disappoint, funny, insightful, intelligent and wry, this is very much a book for right now. With a giant tech firm, its megalomaniac founder poised to try to take over everyone’s lives, while threatening the Prime Minister and barely parenting her teenage daughter, and two young people who have to share a room even though they broke up – rent is not cheap people, just trying to get through life, make enough money to survive, oh and not get deported, this is the satirical read we need!

Katie and Nas are just about surviving, Katie’s addicted to her phone, just lost her job and needs to get a new one – not least because the rent is due. Nas is hoping to stay in the UK (why?) and isn’t allowed to get a job. And now they want to bring down Arko. As things start to spiral out of control, will they be ok?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Aurora – David Koepp

In Aurora, Illinois, Aubrey Wheeler is just trying to get by after her semi-criminal ex-husband split, leaving behind his unruly teenage son. 

Then the lights go out—not just in Aurora but across the globe. A solar storm has knocked out power almost everywhere. Suddenly, all problems are local, very local, and Aubrey must assume the mantle of fierce protector of her suburban neighborhood. 

Across the country lives Aubrey’s estranged brother, Thom. A fantastically wealthy, neurotically over-prepared Silicon Valley CEO, he plans to ride out the crisis in a gilded desert bunker he built for maximum comfort and security.

But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of several long-overdue reckonings—which not everyone will survive . . . 

My thoughts: I found the premise of this book very interesting – for two reasons. Firstly the science, which the author notes is as accurate as he could get it thanks to some very clever scientists who advised him, and secondly the way Aubrey and Thom go about getting through the blackout.

The Sun is hugely important, without it we’d all die but it is also a volatile mass of gases and immense heat. Should it fire off a pulse like it does in this book, we’d all be in huge trouble. So much of the developed world relies on electricity. Think about all the ways you use it in a day – your mobile, laptop, tablet, the lights, the kettle, the toaster, all powered by electricity. And that’s before you leave the house!

When the blackout hits, at first, like most, Aubrey has a slight panic. She rushes off to the supermarket and stocks up. Forgetting that her freezer, oven and fridge all need power. But as time goes on, she adjusts. Her neighbours come together to plant vegetables and protect each other. They build a community. They get through it as a group.

Thom, for all his money and tech savvy, immediately heads for the hills. Or his fancy bunker. He’s hired staff and plans to only take his wife and kids. Even Aubrey is an afterthought. He doesn’t think about his loyal assistants or their families. Just himself and his needs. Unsurprisingly this starts to backfire.

People need people. That’s what I took away from this book. You need your neighbours, just as we all did in lockdown over the last two years, you need the people around you. If the only reason they’re with you because you’re paying them – well then they might just decide they’re better off elsewhere.

This is going to be made into a film, not surprising when you realise the author is a well known film writer, and that will be really interesting. While the events are something that everyone sees, in terms of the extreme solar activity, the main plot about Aubrey and Thom isn’t huge in scale, it’s small and about a local phenomenon – community, family.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Rationality Zero – J.M. Guillen

If you enjoy your thrillers with a sci-fi edge, you’re going to want to check out Rationality Zero by J.M. Guillen! Now available on Amazon!

Rationality Zero

Rationality Zero (The Archon Conundrum #1)

Publication Date: April 28th, 2022

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Techno Thriller
A living weapon. An attack on the laws of reality. One chance to save the world.

Michael Bishop is a man who never dreams, who never gets ill. He lives his entire life oblivious to the truths hidden from him.

He is a tool in the hand of the most powerful organization on Earth.

Michael’s world transforms when They bring him online- when They activate the mysterious technology buried within his skull.

Then, the lies fall away. He becomes Asset 108. Using intricate technology, he defends humanity from the gibbering, tentacled horrors that haunt our world.

When mysterious renegades fracture the very laws of nature, Asset 108 is put into position. As the world begins to unravel, a cabal of madmen with physics shattering powers hunt 108 and his cadre, driving them into an alternate reality— a realm filled with inhuman horror.

Between otherworldly arachnids, muscled brutes infected with psionic parasites, and depraved cultists, grisly deaths lurk behind Michael’s every choice.

Yet all too soon, things become far, far, worse.

Excerpt

Regular people, folks with normal lives, never dream of how strange their world could quickly become. When things get weird…

That’s where I come in.

Most of the time, things were simple. I lived the perfect life, my days drawn from most men’s fantasies. I didn’t work; I didn’t have to. I got a wire into my account every two weeks. It varied, but the amount surpassed what some people made in six months. Yet I didn’t know where it came from. The sources had vague names like VRS Solutions or Apex Enterprises, throwaway companies that disappeared the next week.

Some might call me spoiled. Yet it got better.

I drove a new sports car. A candy-red thing that got me all kinds of attention. My wardrobe was perfectly tailored to me and quite expansive. My apartment in San Francisco should have run over ten grand a month, yet I never paid a dime of rent. It had a movie room, three separate bedrooms, and a small library, not to mention the personal white room for my Facility gear.

Oh, and… company.

I almost never spent an evening alone. I could have a different enchanting companion every night if I wanted. Or two. Not due to being a sleazy pickup artist, it was simply the way my evenings unfolded. I went to the right clubs, wore the right clothes. Before I knew it, I was dancing with someone like Caprice or her nameless friend. And the night’s enticements had just begun.

As I said, I lived most men’s fantasies.

There were other things though, odd things.

I never got ill. Never.

I never remembered my dreams.

I never worked out, ate whatever I pleased, and remained incredibly fit.

I’ve never done taxes—in any country. A notation on all deposits read: tax paid.

I had no account with any public utility or phone company, yet I owned a phone and used electricity.

I never bought my clothes or books or other diversions. A metallic white board hung on my fridge. Just now, it had “Men in Black” scrawled across it, indicating I wanted the VHS. As soon as I left, I felt certain it’d appear, yet I’d never seen anyone come into my place.

When in torpor, I had no curiosity about any of this. They took care of everything. It was simple. I lived the perfect life.

Until activated.

Once active, I was a tool in the hand of the most powerful organization on Earth. I had access to devices and technology that literally shaped reality as we know it. We accomplished this through the alteration of laws we termed axioms. In actuality, axioms were an analogy for the various laws of physics, some yet to be discovered by mankind.

To Assets such as myself, the axioms of physics were weaponry. They might be bent or altogether broken while on assignment. The awesome technology responsible for that was an absolute requirement for what we did, the bare minimum of what we needed in order to come back alive.

Because dark, inhuman things lurked in the shadows of our world—things most people couldn’t even imagine. Our very reality was under siege by beings older than humanity itself.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

JMGuillenAuthor

JM Guillen was your average, everyday awesome writer just trying to make it in this modern, awful corporate dystopia. He knew he wanted to make wonderful, bizarre things, but how could he afford to make that happen? Every day, he sat about crying and drinking, trying to figure out what he could do.

THEN A RADIOACTIVE METEOR CRASHED INTO HIS BACKYARD! FROM OUTER SPACE!

While examining the fuming interstellar rock, unknowable emanations radiated into the very center of his being. These unearthly energies changed the very depths of him, granting him powers that no man can name, and no god could ever master.

Reeling from the influx of spectral energies, he stumbled back into his home, his eyes open. Now, an entire universe unfolded before him. Now, he saw the way.

HE STARTED HIS OWN EVIL PUBLISHING COMPANY!

Now, JM Guillen begins to meet AWESOME people who supported his INSANE plans. Fiendishly, he scrawls story after story, writing steampunk, dark fantasy and eldritch horror…

Reality will never be the same.

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Book Trailer: Descendants – Janet Post & Gabe Thompson

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Check out the trailer for the final book in the award-winning trilogy, Descendants by Janet Post and Gabe Thompson!

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The Descendants (The Vagrant Chronicles #3)

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

From the award-winning authors of Vagrant and Mutant comes the long-awaited finish to the Vagrant Chronicles, Descendants!

Book III begins on Gliese where Shayna, Mai Li and Cain Hollyroad have taken over the leadership of the new colony. Shayna is worried because they’ve heard nothing from Declan and Logan. She decides to contact Earth using the equipment Eddie set up before he left. Unfortunately, when she succeeds and contacts someone she’s never heard of with the New LA Vagrants, she gets bad news. War has broken out in New LA and the Vagrant she’s contacted, a mole person named Reek running a small, solar-powered computer hacked into the Company’s com systems, he tells her most of the Vagrants are gone, hiding and shipped off to mining worlds. Reek doesn’t know Logan or Declan or any of the group from Gliese, and tells her the Vagrant space ship was destroyed. When she uses the equipment to piggyback off the Company’s Interstellar communication waves, they are alerted and come to find the colony.

Razor Tsang and his father are at the Gliese spaceport. They have an interview with the CEO. Razor’s father is the head of the Tong that has been the one sanctioned smuggling operation affiliated with the Company for decades. But the CEO, an alien who is a member of the ancestor race, laughs in their faces, denies them a new contract and give them twenty-four hours to clear off Gliese. Unfortunately for Razor’s father Big Lou Tsang, a group from the Smugglers guild meets him at his ship and kills him. Razor escapes and runs for the hills. He meets up with Shayna and her group and tells them what happened.

Cain Hollyroad leads colony members out of their valley and into the badlands of Gliese where there is no water and little hope of survival. Some of the colony gets caught by the Company and sent to the mines. Shayna, Cain, Razor, Mai Li, her daughter escape and begin a terrible trek into badlands searching for water. When all appears lost, Cain finds some caverns in a canyon which lead to an underground chamber with a spring. They need to get to a spaceport. Shayna is so worried about Logan, he concerns drive them away from their temporary shelter in the cavern and onward. They find the newest mining settlement. It has a rudimentary spaceport and a gigantic interstellar ship on the ground. It’s the ship they stole off the moon. Raj thinks he might be able to fly it. He has Helga. Knock reluctantly surrendered her control cube to him when he fell for Fenfang.

On Earth, Logan, Knock, Eddie and Fenfang are trying to fight their way, with the aid of the remaining Vagrants on Earth, to the Denver Spaceport where they hope to steal a ship to the moon where they can grab an interstellar ship and get home to Gliese. Logan is devastated by his father’s death. To find him and then lose him so suddenly was a huge blow.

The remaining population of Vagrants is wily and motivated to escape Earth. When they can’t contact Shayna, Logan becomes frantic. He lost his father and needs to know Shayna is safe and sound. Hounded by the Company and its new leader, a Company drone, frantic Logan, turns its eyes to smaller target, the spaceport in New Salt Lake City.

When Logan tries to contact Shayna again, he is stunned to discover she is traveling back to Earth on the Far Horizon. With the Company after them, the Guild discovers they are hiding close to their secret spaceport and moves in. Logan and his group hunker down and pray Cain, Shayna and Raj will arrive in time to save them.

Available on Amazon

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The Vagrant Chronicles

About the Authors

Janet Post

Janet Post

I’m the daughter of a Marine Corps colonel. I lived the military life until I got out of high school. At that point I was a wild child. I got married and moved to Canada where I lived up the Sechelt Inlet, the scene for Spellcast Waters. I lived in a log cabin, with wood heat and a wood cook stove fifteen miles by boat from the nearest town. I’ve moved a lot. Between the military upbringing and just rambling around the country, I’ve moved 40 times.

I lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years. I love horses and I paint, and I write. Now I live in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and my fifteen-year old granddaughter. Life is beautiful. Live in the moment.

Gabe Thompson

Gabe cropped (2)

My mother and I started writing young adult and action novels together about five years ago. We work well together because we share many of the same interests. I have a degree in journalism and currently teach middle school in Jacksonville, Florida where I live with my wife and twelve-year old son.

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Book Review: The Copper Chevalier – Emily Owen

For George and Douglas Abernathy, life is on the up. Their new android-building business is thriving and they are set to move from their clockmaker’s shop in Soho to a spectacular country mansion.

Then, the bombastic General Brassington forces the brothers to create a mechanical soldier to help quell the Indian Mutiny. The resulting steam-powered, clockwork soldier is promptly shipped to India.

The soldier’s mission is clear, he must subdue the rebellious sepoys and uphold the British Empire’s interests. But after becoming embroiled in the struggle, he’s no longer certain who the true enemy is. When the soldier uncovers a plot that could turn the tide of the conflict and alter the nature of warfare, he must decide where his loyalty lies.

Meanwhile, Molly, the brothers’ botanist teenage sister, faces her own challenges while trying to create her dream garden at the family’s new home…

My thoughts: after their success with The Mechanical Maestro, the Abernathys’ fortunes are on the rise as they move house, and build more automatons. Commissioned by a General to build a mechanical soldier to aid in quashing an uprising in India, they create an extraordinary being – Colonel Copperton. But when he uncovers a plot to use a chemical weapon on the sepoys, his true ingenuity is revealed.

Meanwhile Molly (who’s my favourite character) is designing her garden and bickering with the landscape designer her brother George has hired. But methinks the lady doth protest too much…

This was lots of fun but with a serious point at its heart, what the East India Company and the British Army did in India during the 1800s and 1900s was often cruel and brutal, native peoples were oppressed and killed simply for wanting to be left alone to self govern. The history of the British in India is very sad and shameful, unfortunately not everyone is as good as Copperton and his friends, who have strong moral foundations and won’t harm civilians.

I liked the contrast between the chapters set in India and those back home in Britain – the lighthearted escapades of Molly and the various automatons in the house stopped the book feeling too heavy – as even in the Abernathy household there were some more serious things going on with George that set his siblings at odds with him. This was also sensitively handled and Doctor Molly is a force to be reckoned with.

I was gifted a copy of this book to read and review by the author, who remembered I had been on the blog tour for The Mechanical Maestro, so thank you Emily. The Copper Chevalier will be published in paperback and ebook formats on March 31st, 2022.

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Blog Tour: The Kaiju Preservation Society – John Scalzi

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.

What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm, human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble.

It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society who have found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.

My thoughts: imagine if Godzilla, the Loch Ness Monster and other huge creatures were real, lived in an alternate Earth next to ours (parallel universe theory) and were living nuclear reactors. Please watch Jurassic Park and remember the lessons – then enter the weird world of the Kaiju Preservation Society.

Jamie loses his job and ends up delivering food during 2020 and the delights of lockdown, until he’s offered a somewhat mysterious job – “lifting things” for the KPS. He can’t tell anyone where he’s going, or exactly what he’ll be doing there. But it’ll be the biggest adventure ever.

Completely bonkers, very funny and clever, this is the best pandemic response in fiction I’ve read so far. Escaping to another world where your most pressing worry is being eaten by various creatures and not a terrible virus is probably preferable when you think about the last two years. Even if there’s invariably some asshole billionaire causing trouble. Do not steal the monsters. I mean, honestly, who does that?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own