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Category: paranormal (Page 1 of 3)

Always Darkest – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Jess & Keith Flaherty

In Jess and Keith Flaherty’s Always Darkest, angels and demons alike are consumed with the Emerald Hill prophecy, which foretells the birth of a girl with amazing abilities. The demon Ronoven is hiding on Earth, investigating the prophecy, disguised as a drifter named Ben. There, he meets Chris, who is also hiding secrets of his own. Then, “Ben” finds Malin, the subject of the prophecy and both the daughter of an angel and the last living descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. There’s a lot in store for Mal, but she wants to be in control of her own destiny – which is easier said than done.

There are some aspects of Always Darkest that seem a bit too cliché, such as the prophecy in general, the angels vs. demons conflict, and the improbable, against-all-odds love story. Also, some parts of the story tend to be confusing, as the pacing is often jumpy and uneven. Other portions of this book seem to focus far too much on tedious exposition and foreshadowing and not nearly enough on moving the plot forward (it takes nineteen chapters for the three main characters to even be in the same room together, let alone get anything actually started).

Nevertheless, Always Darkest is quite an entertaining read. There’s a ton of great descriptive language and lighthearted humor in its pages, which serves to hold the reader’s attention even in the slower-paced portions of the book. Jess and Keith Flaherty have inserted a lot of fantastic creativity, religious imagery, suspense, and mystery into their work, making Always Darkest an interesting literary concoction in itself. Always Darkest is a unique combination of epic fantasy and contemporary romance, which is an intriguing recipe guaranteed to delight its unsuspecting readers.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Rainbow Bud – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Steven A. Moore

The Rainbow Bud by Steven.A.Moore is a highly imaginative work of fiction that follows a washed up rock star, Sonny Adams and his adventures at the Rainbow Falls, a community full of quirky characters who have stumbled upon time travel. There is romance, family discord and a love of music that runs through the novel.

Moore has created a world full of eccentric characters that are well thought out and fit into his aesthetic of the late 60s and 70s. The story itself is fun and readers will enjoy following Sonny Adams as he learns about rainbows that transport past serial killers and rock stars and the antics that ensue. There are well-developed characters, plot twists and Moore’s easy writing style makes this book a pleasure to read.

However, the repetitive dialogue between Sonny and his lover Dandy becomes predictable, and there are parts of the dialogue that read unrealistic and static. Another criticism would be the length of the novel. As very little happens, this novel could have very easily been a short story without having lost any of its charms. The inclusion of song lyrics, written by Sonny Adams, also does little to push the plot and feels like space fillers at the beginning of chapters.

Overall, Rainbow Bud by Steven A. Moore is a story that takes its readers into a surreal world where weed fields, washed up rock stars and ghosts are the norm. Rainbow Bud is a unique story that needs to clean up some of its stylistic issues if it wants to be taken seriously, even for a book that has very little seriousness between its pages.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] T.K. Lawyer | Nightfall

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

T.K. Lawyer

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

T.K. Lawyer: I have always had an interest in the strange and unusual and I’m a romantic by heart. So how did I come into writing, you ask? Well, I stumbled into it. Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened. I never pictured myself as a writer but sometime in 2011, craving some kind of excitement and adventure in my life; I jotted down a few notes for a book idea and never looked back. Funny part is, the notes I wrote never became a book, instead I took on subjects as wolf-shifters and angels and created their worlds and I have loved every minute of it.

I write passion-filled paranormal romance- weaving tales of alpha males willing to do anything for the one feisty, curvaceous, strong-willed woman who has won their heart. They will go to any length to please their mate, in and out of the bed.

I invite readers to enter my world, relax in an easy-chair, sip a soothing beverage, and be entertained. And, if you love my books, let me know, leave a review and tell others. After all, I write for you.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

T.K. Lawyer: My first book, Nightfall was published in October of 2014 but I have been writing since 2012. My best subjects in school were English and Literature and I guess I was always weird in the sense that I looked forward to writing essays when many of my friends different. I love any format where you can voice your opinion and I have a lot to say (wide smile).

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

T.K. Lawyer: Nightfall was just re-released July 17, 2017. Nightfall is a Paranormal Erotic Romance, wolf-shifter novel with a unique story. Nightfall is drawn to a house, nightly, but doesn’t realize the house belongs to his mate. He approaches his mate as a canine but he is actually a shifter. She takes him in as a pet and he has to figure out a way out of this strange situation.

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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

T.K. Lawyer: The creativity and the freedom to create whatever you want in a format to entertain.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

T.K. Lawyer: I have so many personal responsibilities and I work a day job too that juggling it all is really cumbersome at times. It leaves very little time for me to write much less marketing and promoting my current books.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

T.K. Lawyer: From everywhere. My muse sends me ideas in all kinds of places and wakes me from my sleep sometimes. I also get ideas and subjects to explore from my own experiences or, occasionally, from funny stories from my friends.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

T.K. Lawyer: I am told I am a Pantser (smiles). I do not work off an outline but instead write what I think and feel at the moment. This is best because my characters tend to go in directions different than what I planned when I started writing the scene; however, the ending makes for a fun conclusion and an even better story than what I was attempting.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

I write strictly fiction but yes, this happens to me. I will have an idea in my head for a scene but by the time I am writing it out, detailing the dialogue and the movements of the characters in the scene, one of the characters, if not several will say something different or do something I didn’t expect and turn the scene in a different direction. It’s funny but it works and it actually makes the scene better than I had planned, in the beginning.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

T.K. Lawyer: I love the romantic parts. The small gestures, the kind words, the extra care or attention that one character gives another when they are interested and courting the other. These heart-fluttering scenes are the best part of a book, I believe. They break up my sometimes overwhelming days and they warm my heart, reminding me of what’s important in life. They are the sweetest part of a book, allowing readers to grow closer to the characters as the story unfolds.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

T.K. Lawyer: I am currently working on writing the fifth and final book in the Guardian League Series: Orion.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

https://www.amazon.com/T.K.-Lawyer/e/B00OXD3CR8/
https://twitter.com/tklawyerauthor
https://www.facebook.com/tklawyerauthor
www.tklawyerauthor.wordpress.com
https://www.instagram.com/authortklawyerfanpage/
https://www.pinterest.com/tklawyerauthor/
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109094672467230073885
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12764640.T_K_Lawyer
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/t-k-lawyer
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tklawyer

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

T.K. Lawyer: Thank you so much for this opportunity. I love to connect with my readers and I love to hear from them. For my readers, I will be starting a quarterly newsletter soon so please let me know if you are interested in subscribing. The first issue will start with a giveaway. In the meantime, please enjoy my books and keep any eye out for future ones.


*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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The Baby Chronicles – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Beatrice Bruno

Beatrice Bruno’s The Baby Chronicles follows the spiritual journey of four “pre-born” babies: Beverly, Emmaline, Joyce, and Margarette Ann. Before they are born, they are allowed a glimpse of what their human lives will be like. Some of them don’t like what they see: lives full of difficulty, sorrow, and darkness. They would rather stay in Heaven with God, but to do so will mean abandoning the destinies God has selected for them. Each pre-born girl must come to terms with her own destiny and faith in order to discover the ultimate gift: God’s purpose for them.

In the beginning, The Baby Chronicles seems to spend too much time reiterating biblical stories many already know, like God’s creation of Earth and man. Then, it skips ahead to what seems like centuries later with little warning or expression of time passed. This odd style of pacing continues for much of the book, which can be a bit confusing. Also, some of the details surrounding the spiritual world the pre-born babies live in before their human births are vague and unclear; expansion on these interesting topics would benefit this book incredibly.

However, The Baby Chronicles certainly has a fascinating premise. The concept of pre-born spirits seeing their entire human lives, then forgetting it so that they can learn grand lessons about faith along their journeys is a wonderfully intriguing one. Beatrice Bruno expertly blends religious truths and masterful fiction in The Baby Chronicles, making for one captivating read. No matter your religion, The Baby Chronicles provokes deep thought and introspection about who we are before and after our lives, and what our higher purposes are in this life and the next.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Apollo – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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TK Lawyer

Apollo is the third installment of TK Lawyer’s The Guardian League series. In this entry, Apollo has been tasked with watching over a woman named Lauren. He’s done his duty and loved her from afar for her entire life, but it’s been a difficult one for her to endure. Lauren only wants to end that precious life, but Apollo can’t let that happen. He reveals himself to her and does all he can to convince Lauren that her life is worth living, but she’s not sure if she can believe him. Meanwhile, she finds herself more and more drawn to Apollo and his charming ways, but she struggles with finding the path to love and life.

Apollo is an interesting read, full of sexual tension and creativity abound. However, it could benefit from some additional development; the rushed pacing, sudden shifts in perspective, awkward dialogue, and occasional grammatical errors take away from its appeal. It is also, perhaps, a bit too sexually-driven, seeming to ignore the potential to focus on deeper themes. Apollo often toes the line of how much sexually explicit content is too much. This book is certainly dripping with it, which may not appeal to some readers.

However, Apollo is redeemed by its creative and unique plot, as well as its descriptive writing. TK Lawyer writes phenomenal scenes and characters, full of emotion and vivid detail. Because of this, despite its few flaws, Apollo is an incredibly entertaining novel. Also, despite it being the third in a series, it functions quite well as a standalone book; reading the other books is not a prerequisite to enjoying this one. Apollo is entertaining and intriguing; if you’re looking for something sexy, captivating, and entirely unique, Apollo is where you’ll find it.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Miller’s View – The Alley Rat – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

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Marlene W. Potts

In Marlene W. Potts’s Miller’s View: The Alley Rat, seventeen-year-old Birdy witnesses a brutal murder in a dark alley. Deacon Ashton Bradley is beat to death, and now, the thug who did it is hunting for Birdy, too. His boss, millionaire Cranston Turner, wants him to get rid of “the rat” at any cost. Detective Miller is searching for the answers, but he’s in a race against the clock to crack the case before Birdy meets her demise. With the help of some mysterious rose-colored glasses, he might just find the clues he needs to finally end Cranston Turner’s brutal rampage.

Developmentally, The Alley Rat is a difficult book to get through. It’s nearly impossible to follow references to events in previous books in the Miller’s View series without having read those previous books; new readers who choose to start with this one are going to be in for a bumpy ride. Also, much of The Alley Rat reads more like a rough outline than a fully developed novel. Sudden shifts in perspective and inconsistent timelines are to blame for much of this, as are seemingly incomplete scenes. The Alley Rat’s potential is certainly there, but expansion of several scenes and some thorough editing would improve its readability tenfold.

Despite this, The Alley Rat proved to be a most interesting novel. At first glance, it seems like an ordinary detective mystery, but it turns out to be more than that. The inclusion of the mystical glasses and its curious abilities give The Alley Rat a faint paranormal flavor. Marlene W. Potts’s story is intriguing and different, as are her characters. It certainly piques readers’ interest about the other books in the series, too. Miller’s View: The Alley Rat could benefit from a bit of work, but is an enjoyable mystery nonetheless.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Elicit My Heart – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Shauna Pendleton

A highly unique book, Elicit My Heart is the second book in the Kiss Me Deadly series. Author, Shauna Pendleton continues Marjolaine’s story of tumultuous experiences as she faces life-threatening choices. The excruciatingly destructive consequences she faces if she gives in and makes the wrong choices nearly rip her demon heart in two. Marjolaine’s lost love is in danger and engaged to another woman. Whether or not she’ll be able to save him from the invisible and unknown danger -let alone save him from the danger she herself is- courses throughout Pendletons’s Elicit My Heart. Marjolaine has believed she is utter evil, but in this second book she faces demonic forces stronger and far worse than her own kind. Pendleton keeps readers wondering page after page as to whom will still be standing in the end.

On some levels, Elicit My Heart could be read as a stand alone novel, but it would be easier for readers to relish in the story sooner if they have read the fist book in the series, Kiss Me Deadly. Pendleton doesn’t appear to give much background when it comes to who or what Marjolaine (Len) is. The tale is gripping early on, but it takes a good bit of reading to piece together Marjolaine’s relationship to Jared and her relationship with Durante. Being better prepared to understand the intricacies of these relationships could help readers get into the story a bit quicker, but that is the only real drawback to Elicit My Heart. Shauna Pendleton has written a fascinating, paranormal tale that will not only keep readers turning pages, but Elicit My Heart will have them craving the next book in the Kiss Me Deadly series.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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The Everett File – Entered in the 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Steven A. Moore

Steven A. Moore has crafted a fabulously interesting fictional novel in The Everett File: The Gooey Gospel of Truthy Goodness. It is unlike a normal fiction story as it brings to light paranormal spiritual occurrences surrounding catholicism. Told from the perspective of Raymond, the main character, he is shocked to discover, well into his adult life, that two of his closest friends hold deep secrets. The paranormal events that begin to occur blow him away at first until he can no longer deny that they are truly happening. The spiritual and paranormal abilities that he encounters are often mentioned within catholicism, but they are typically rejected in modern times. Raymond and his friends are being called upon to help protect a very powerful individual along with the secrets that they themselves hold. That request from beyond forces them to make life changing decisions.

The Everett File moves quickly, but the pacing is pretty well maintained throughout. Moore does an excellent job keeping the reader entertained and urged to turn the page. Readers can easily become wrapped up in this story no matter what their spiritual beliefs are. What if the Shroud of Turin really exists? What if one could get their hands on a piece of the cross Jesus was said to be crucified on? Would these items give special powers to the one who holds said item? Moore offers readers an opportunity to be quite entertained while developing fascinating spiritual questions in their minds. The mysteries keep coming from start to finish in The Everett File, but Moore wraps it all up in a very tidy way that still has readers turning pages all the way through the epilogue. Well done.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Chrysalis and Clan – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Jae Mazer

In Jae Mazer’s Chrysalis and Clan, Beth thinks she’s on her way to a normal, albeit distressing, visit with her aging mother. However, one cryptic speech and a murder-suicide later, Beth wakes up in a hospital, full of fear and doubt. Who is she? What is she? She’s not so sure anymore. Meanwhile, her daughter, Etta, is caught in a tragedy of her own. A “boogeyman” has ravaged their family, and now, he’s relentlessly hunting her. Etta and Beth must find each other and band together to survive a devastating whirlwind of death, horrifying creatures, and the dark unknown.

Chrysalis and Clan is certainly not a book for the faint-hearted. It is a unique and seamless blend of traditional and modern horror stories, the paranormal, and science-fiction that, although done well, may be a bit too graphic for certain readers. Fans of the horror genre in general, though, are going to love this one. There are a few small plot holes here and there (such as the finer details of the otherworldly beings represented in this book), but none are so gravely detrimental as to ruin the overall reading experience. Rather, Chrysalis and Clan was immediately captivating, and never slowed down from there.

There are two main aspects about this book that make it such a winner for the horror genre, the first of which is Jae Mazer’s impeccable pacing. Chrysalis and Clan’s plot unravels in a manner that is simultaneously methodically mysterious and on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting. The second winning aspect is the phenomenal use of description. From basic character descriptions to unraveling scenes of carnage and horror, Jae Mazer consistently delivers a vivid, enthralling image with her well-chosen words. Frankly, it is so clearly portrayed that it could make an excellent transition to film, one day. Chrysalis and Clan is a truly thrilling horror novel, one that does justice to its genre while still maintaining its own bone-chilling, expertly concocted individuality.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Anima: Uncharted Souls – Entered in 2017 Book Award Contest

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Dudley Ellis

Dudley Ellis’ Anima: Uncharted Souls is a paranormal novel in which Melissa Apeeza finds herself in an awakening in an institution with little recognition of how she got there. However, Melissa is no ordinary 10-year-old girl; she posses the astral gift of telekinesis through sight, earning her the name ‘Melissa, Anima of Sight.’ She learns that she’s now a part of the ‘Knights of the Anima: Guardians who posses’ astral gifts.’ Melissa also learns she is not the only one with astral gifts, but that there is a community of people with outstanding astral gifts such as cloning, controlling and reversing feelings and incidents. After one of the older children in the institution rebels and uses his gift of fire to take down most of the institution, Melissa unites with four others who’ve survived the massacre and are now on the hunt for the devil-child who stirred up all of the trouble.

Anima: Uncharted Souls is a rather unsatisfactory ride through the imaginative mind of Dudley Ellis. While it is an interesting genre, Ellis’ execution fell completely flat with incomplete thoughts and poorly described scenes and characters. The poor writing style does very little to grasp the reader’s attention and draw them into what could have been a thrilling paranormal novel. There are some very wide gaps and far too unbelievable storylines in the novel which can become confusing- such as a fairly incomplete background story of the main characters, the fast forwarding to years ahead within a matter of sentences, and the conveniently solved mysteries in the midst of chaos. While the genre is interesting, especially with the “Stranger Things” sensation at play, this book just doesn’t seem to do the genre justice.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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