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Category: paranormal (Page 1 of 4)

Epiphany – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Sonya Deanna Terry


Epiphany is the collection of two books in Sonya Deanna Terry’s Epiphany series, The Golding and The Silvering. When Rosetta begins reading Our True Ancient History by Edward Lillibridge, she wonders what it would be like if the events of the book were real—and finds far more than she bargained for.


Though Epiphany’s rich complexity is wonderful to read, it does tend to be slightly confusing at times. The pacing is a bit off sometimes, and there are other times where the two fictional worlds in the story—one based in fantasy, the other in modern reality—don’t quite mesh as well as they could. Also, perhaps there is just a bit too much going on in this pairing of stories; the self-proclaimed “story within a story” is certainly that, but it may not always be an effective approach. Epiphany is certainly not a read for the faint-hearted, nor for those who are expecting a quick and easy beach read.


With that being said, it is abundantly clear that seasoned fans of the fantasy genre are going to find a lot to love in this quirky series. The plots of both The Golding and The Silvering are unique, colorful, and riveting, keeping the reader actively engaged and turning pages. Sonya Deanna Terry is a brilliant fantasy writer, incorporating vivid imagery and imaginative characters into a pure knock-out of a story. Epiphany is unlike any other fantasy series, but in the best ways; this is a fantastic, immersive, truly wonderful series that is sure to capture attention and leave a memorable impression on its readers.

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

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Lineage – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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J.N. Sheats

In J.N. Sheats’ Lineage, a terrifying dog-like creature is terrorizing the small town of Portstown, Pennsylvania. Joey is trapped amid the carnage, with people close to her dying brutally. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger is protecting Joey, but he hides powerful secrets about his past. Together, Joey and Cameron must find a way to stop the deadly attacks before it’s too late.

Lineage’s plot is a bit unclear at first, as certain scenes are drawn out or too vague. The main character, Joey, is not well-developed for much of the beginning of the story, making it hard to relate to her as a protagonist. Also, the “intermissions” within Lineage (which consist of a full-page image and a written warning that seems to be trying to deter readers from continuing the book) slightly hinder the reading experience here; they are jarring and interrupt the natural flow of the story. Along with a plethora of grammatical errors, Lineage could certainly benefit from a thorough edit to resolve these irksome issues.

Despite all that, Lineage is an excellent, suspenseful read. It perfectly balances contemporary young adult literature with the haunting, distinct style of classic horror novels, all while maintaining its own creativity and voice. J.N. Sheats masterfully crafts each bloody, violent death scene, yet still has a knack for getting into the angsty mind of a teenage girl—and making it all believable, at that. Her vivid, descriptive style of writing is both impressive and wildly captivating, keeping the pages turning from beginning to end. Lineage is a remarkable, unique, and delightfully scary novel that is sure to keep readers guessing right until the very end—and even long after the book is closed.

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

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A Tightening Noose – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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B.K. Berrell

A thriller that will keep readers enthralled, B.K. Berrell’s A Tightening Noose, follows a path that is frighteningly all too possible. A former martial arts fighter and a former Marine end up working together to stop a government facility from accomplishing its goals. With hints of sci-fiction involved, there is a good deal of violence and corrupt government officials tossed in along the way. What Sam and Vic first think they’re individually up against is not what it seems. Berrell has created a story that will make readers wonder at what really goes on behind closed doors within one’s own government.

Berrell’s two male protagonists have dark histories and this lends to the story having a good deal of violence and anguish. It’s quite graphic at times, perhaps, unecessarily so. Some aspects of the story seem out of place, but they also offer deeper insight into the main characters as well. Their damnable qualities are somewhat understandable, but B.K. Berrell doesn’t appear to try and endear the reader to any character either. This allows for violence to happen to the characters without readers getting frustrated with the direction of the story.

Though there are some drawbacks and odd directions in the storyline at times, B.K. Berrell created a unique and horrific concept within the pages of A Tightening Noose. The author skillfully flows back and forth in the early stages of the story between the past and the present in an effort to share Sam’s and Vic’s histories. The unexpected outcome is not where the story seemed to be headed, but as that is often the case in real life, this offers a level of believability and realness to the story that might not otherwise have existed. B.K. Berrell’s A Tightening Noose is an interesting read that will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

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

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Everything For Love – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Marilyn Vix

Marilyn Vix has created a very unique new series in her Time Rogue Series. Kicking off the series with Everything For Love, Vix introduces readers to Deidre, Max and even James. They are “timeanauts”. Deidre’s job is to travel back in time to research artists and gain understanding of their methods, but “timeanauts” mustn’t change history. When Deidre unexpectedly does, her life is threatened. Max appears and helps to save her. The attraction she feels towards him is instant, but is marred by the various other men she seems to feel something for, and her heart still aches for James. However, Vix does an exceptional job of bringing a titillating climax to their story all while creating a cliffhanger that will leave readers waiting to read the next book with bated breath.

Everything For Love is an interesting mix as it’s sweet, gentle, hot and sexy, relaxed and tension-filled. Though the story drags a bit in the earlier stages, it picks up about mid-way through. Deidre’s innate tendency to fall for numerous different male characters takes away from the possibility that she is capable of experiencing really being in love, but it also suggests she’s just a hot-blooded, sensual woman. After all, the “timeanauts” have to charge their energy bracelets, so they can time travel, with sexual energy. One major drawback is the large amount of grammatical errors, but solid proofreading could correct that.

Readers shouldn’t let the need for grammatical errors take away from the absolutely fascinating delight that Marilyn Vix’s Everything For Love holds. The Time Rogue Series has been set up to suck readers in and create raving fans with a unique blend of different genres, including paranormal, sci-fi, and steamy romance. Vix’s skill at writing an ending that is surprising, atypical, sexy and a cliffhanger is a skill few authors have. This type of writing ability displayed in Everything For Love, by Marilyn Vix, will have many readers coming back for more.

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

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The Falcon of Imenotash – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Holly Bargo

In Holly Bargo’s The Falcon of Imenotash, Emperor Giroch of the Harudin Empire tasks the provincial Queen of Imenotash, Aridis, with producing an heir so that she can keep her reign over her lands. Edan, Captain of the Palace Guard, is her chosen candidate. However, their cordial arrangement soon blossoms into genuine passion, a relationship that the Emperor is displeased with. The Emperor does what he can to dissolve the union and dampen their spirits, but Aridis and Edan have a secret that could bring his entire reign to a brutal end.

The Falcon of Imenotash certainly wastes no time with exposition; rather, it jumps right into the meat and action of the story. Though a refreshing approach, perhaps it isn’t always effective. Some scenes and characters could have been developed a bit more thoroughly than they are. However, this rushed pacing doesn’t necessarily hinder the story; there are still plenty of details and development to help the reader follow along as the The Falcon of Imenotash progresses.

A most unique fantasy, The Falcon of Imenotash rejects the common tropes of the fantasy genre; instead, it is a creative, distinctive, incredibly memorable work that incorporates everything from strict politics to mystical shapeshifting. It is exceptionally well-written, whether the scene is a battle, an act of lovemaking, or one of cruelty and abuse. Holly Bargo’s strong, tactful, and descriptive writing leaves the reader wanting more, chapter after chapter and long after the book is finished. The Falcon of Imenotash is a spectacular novel, captivating from beginning to end, and a most fulfilling read for anyone searching for a great fantasy novel that isn’t just the same old fluff.

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

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You Dear, Sweet Man – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Thomas Neviaser

In Thomas Neviaser’s You Dear, Sweet Man, blue-collar worker Bobby Fastow notices an unusual ad on the subway on his way to work. Featuring a beautiful woman and a spread of health-conscious food, there’s nothing particularly unusual about it – or so Bobby thinks. As the days go on, though, he becomes more and more obsessed with the ad. He begins to believe that the woman in the ad can see him and interact with him, but is it real or only a fantasy in his head?

You Dear, Sweet Man is a unique fiction book, but sometimes, it’s so unique that it borders on strange. The plot is confusing at first, as is the revolving door of characters who each seem to need their own chapter to narrate. There’s also a bit of a discrepancy in the book’s pacing; some chapters are suspenseful and exciting, others have a rambling narrative that doesn’t seem to make sense, and still others are almost downright boring. You Dear, Sweet Man captivates with a short, suspenseful opening chapter, then takes quite a while to become that interesting again, which doesn’t seem like an effective method.

However, what makes You Dear, Sweet Man so powerful is its great use of suspense – and over something as ordinary as a subway ad. Turning an everyday, throwaway object like a subway ad into something terrifying, creepy, and suspenseful is a fascinating premise, and one that Thomas Neviaser executes brilliantly. As the story unravels, it’s impossible not to keep reading to find out more about the mysterious woman in the ad. You Dear, Sweet Man is a rollercoaster ride of a read, but a particularly intriguing one that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next story Thomas Neviaser has up his sleeve.

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

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Purgatorium – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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J.H. Carnathan

A remarkably creative spiritual thriller, J. H. Carnathan’s Purgatorium twists the mind and abounds with psychological complexity. The protaganist experiences a seemingly frightening and confusing scenario only to wake up in his own bed. His watch starts ticking off the seconds and he unknowingly only has one hour to live his entire day. Day after day, he reawakens in a “Groundhog Day” type of ordeal. Eventually, archangels begin showing up and explain to him that they’ve spent hundreds of days trying to save him while he mindlessly remains “content” in his state of limbo. Yet, the man eventually surprises these soliders of God and begins moving toward real change. Will he be able to transform enough in the few short days he has left, which are really just single hours at a time, to save his life and preserve his soul?

Purgatorium is a book that in no way should be judged by it’s cover, which does little to attract readers. J. H. Carnathan’s fairly long and involved tale offers readers hours of psychological twists and turns as well as a blend of metaphysical and religious questions to ponder. Without a doubt, Purgatorium is a unique and refreshing fictional perspective on what happens when a soul is hanging out between physical life and what comes next or, perhaps, what came before. It’s a long story, but one readers will be unlikely to put down. Even though God, archangels, purgatory and ultimately, second chances are at the core of Carnathan’s Purgatorium, it isn’t a soft and fuzzy read. Instead, it’s action-packed, and honestly, would make a sensational movie for the big screen. J. H. Carnathan’s Purgatorium will twist readers’ minds while touching their hearts all while Christianity remains it’s strongest frame of reference. Well done!

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

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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.

Click here to get your copy!

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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