Tagged: Science Fiction

Scourge – Promo & Excerpt

About the Book

Scourge     By Charley Pearson

Fiery Seas Publishing     August 14, 2018   

Adult – Medical Thriller

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

~ Praise for SCOURGE ~

“Imaginative and full of action…continually shifting the quirky plot into places that are both surprising and fantastical…succeeds with its scientific intrigue and decisively high stakes.”

– Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction. 

Social Media: 

Facebook     Twitter     Website

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the blog tour for Charley Pearson's new medical thriller, SCOURGE. Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing

Excerpt (w/ permission from author & publisher)

Excerpt, Chapter 9

The blast was louder than the angular man expected. Dirt and rocks burst from the earthen dam. One shard clipped his arm and two of his followers swore at injuries. But water ran through the cove once again, the balance of creation restored, and the night’s mission a success. Or the knight’s mission, for was he not a crusader, the most sterling of advocates for the recovery of nature?

Flow increased as the dam crumbled. Water gushed, pulsed, then poured downhill as the structure gave way. Not exactly smashing down the trees, scarcely more than annoying to the people below from mild flooding, but still acceptable. Sweeping away the village may be what Jamie had promised, but none of his people had achieved such skill.

“It’s not enough,” said a mousy young woman, his latest recruit. “One river at a time, one hamlet’s worth of people, will never get the job done.”

“Yeah,” said another. “Jamie was supposed to get three times that much dynamite.”

“You should talk,” said Jamie. “You were promising poison gas.”

The angular man raised his arms. “Patience, dear ones. We are the best our species has to offer. We shall not bicker amongst ourselves. We shall not accuse. Perhaps Trinity is correct, and the technology does not yet exist to accomplish our beneficent goal. But someday we will prevail. Seek on, and in the meantime, continue your smaller acts of distraction. Ecoterrorism, some may call it, but we know better. Any action to slow the destruction of habitat, to forward the path of Luddism, is honorable.”

A bit of moping, but mostly nods. Glorious people, his disciples. Even that skinny Chad boy, with little academic training to contribute to the cause, could make a fine soldier should they ever need one. It shouldn’t come to that, of course. Peaceful extirpation of the human species was the goal. Well, as peaceful as they could make it. Dynamite made a charming exception now and then.

Time. That’s all it would take. Eventually, one of his people would find a means to secure the final objective. Perhaps Trinity. Far more competent than any other he led, and her dedication grew with time. She had not cried about the necessity of killing people in months.

Buy the Book

FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE     AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     KOBO

The Redeemed – Review

About the Book

The Redeemed by Matthew S Cox (RoadHouse Chronicles)

Adult Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic 

Curiosity Quills Press (December 18, 2017)

The worst part about chasing one’s dream is catching it.

Six months ago, Kevin opened a Roadhouse of his own. No longer the idiot braving the dangerous post-nuclear highways of 2073, he thought he’d finally grow old and happy selling bullets, beds, and booze to those still foolish enough to get behind the wheel.

Then, he’d met her.

The white-haired outcast from the xenophobic Enclave crashed into his life, becoming the conscience he never wanted and everything he desired. She couldn’t save the world from the Virus, but she could save Kevin’s dream.

A biker gang calling themselves the Redeemed starts shooting up Roadhouses in flagrant disregard of the Code, shattering the serenity of his humble waystation. When the long-vaunted retribution of Amarillo’s army fails to materialize, Kevin feels more like a sitting duck than he ever did on the road―but it’s not his ‘house he fears losing.

Determined to protect her, he takes it upon himself to enforce the unwritten law of the Roadhouse.

About the Author

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world, in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Jenn’s Review

After being pulled away from the series for a bit, I finally finished Matthew S. Cox’s The Redeemed. The story of Kevin and Tris continues and the mysteries surrounding the events after the end of the world deepen.

Kevin finally has his Roadhouse, his life long goal achieved. Except, his dream is starting to turn into a nightmare. The long-respected Code is being ignored, Roadhouse owners are dying, the Virus is spreading in strange circumstances, and Amarillo isn’t all it once seemed.

Tris and Kevin are pulled in opposite directions, as she tries to unravel the growing mysteries surrounding Amarillo and rescue the survivors of an impossible Virus outbreak.

Kevin has to leave his ‘house in the hands of virtual strangers to chase down then who murdered his long-time friend and mentor, only to discover that things are not what they seemed; and he must reconcile what is with the fading satisfaction of finally having a safe, stable life.

MAD MAX meets DIVERGENT in this post-apocalyptic, science fiction thriller with a thread of romance. Book 3 is due out in a few months; so we won’t have to wait long to resolve the bit of cliffhanger readers are left with. I’d toss this book in the New Adult category, along with One More Run, for some sexual content (book two has less than book one). The language is mild, and there is moderate violence.

THE REDEEMED by Matthew S. Cox, book 2 in the Roadhouse Chronicles - Review by Jenn on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle edition here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in this Series:

One More Run (Book 1)

Assassin 13 – New Release Promo!

About the Book:

Category/ Genre: Adult Science Fiction

ASSASSIN 13 will be FREE to download ebook on Amazon March 16-20th!

Teaser: Assassin 13 is a time travel thriller set in a dystopian future and 1927 Hollywood.

Lauren Ramirez, an Assassin 13, which means she’s the best at her profession, is betrayed by her employer, the President of the United States, when she takes a high-rank target job to get information on her mother’s killer. While she’s attempting to escape in a space shuttle from his trap, she hurtles through a time displacement anomaly and lands in the glam of 1927 Hollywood.

Lauren finds herself working for one of Hollywood’s top actresses, Pauline Windsor, who is dating mafia member Benny Sorrentino. He is caught up in a gangland war with the Colombini brothers for the city’s profitable bootlegging and gambling rings. Even as she clings to the revenge for her mother’s death and somehow fixing her broken shuttle to return for the information, Lauren’s relationship with the people she meets, stunt pilot Remy Garnett, Pauline, and Pauline’s children, all begin to change the hard surface of her heart.

When Pauline’s relationship with Sorrentino draws her and her family into the gangland war, Lauren must decide whether to use her 22nd century talents and technology in their defense or abandon them to slip back into her time and get the information she needs to avenge her mother.

About the Author:

Tom Reppert

Tom Reppert is an army veteran with a BA in English and History, as well as MAs in Creative Writing and Professional Writing. He spent twelve years in Africa and Asia teaching English Literature and Composition. An award-winning author, his writing includes educational essays, short stories, and novels Past Murders, The Far Journey, and The Captured Girl. Tom lives in Sandpoint, Idaho on idyllic Lake Pend Oreille, where he is currently working on his next novel, one set both in the future and the past.

Author Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Author Goodreads

Buy the book:

ASSASSIN 13 will be FREE to download ebook on Amazon March 16-20th!

Available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback edition here. [affiliate link]

Available on Goodreads here

The Princess of Tyrone – Review

About the Book:

Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone. All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss.

Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable. Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming-but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms. But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever. A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fairy Tales. What could possibly go wrong? The potential for this to be a dull, rehashed fairy tale story is huge here.

Katie Hamstead’s Princess of Tyrone is the first in a series of YA science fiction novels that are based on the old fairy tales most of us have grown up with. A little twisted, but certainly recognizable.

And book 1 was a fabulous read! The story is well told, the heroine is spunky and snarky (my favorite kind!), and the parallels to the old Grimm tales are hard to miss.

Then, we have the star-crossed lovers. Well, they think they are ill-fated, but a fairy godmother is looking out for Apolline and Allard. Even the antagonist, Bryanna has a voice in the story, and for my part, I’d say she’s pitiable, because even when it’s pointed out to her that her situation is the consequence of her own decisions, she insists on blaming others for her plight. Reminds me of a number of people in my own life.

Ms. Hamstead has woven a beautiful world with fun characters and a twisty plot that kept me cheering for the protagonists, even when they insisted on remaining oblivious to the obvious.

This is easily a YA novel that can be read by middle graders. They might find the kissy moments near the end.. well.. mushy. The language and content, however, are clean. Easily a four-star read.

Sam’s Review: 

So, I loved how it told the tale of Sleeping Beauty in another way, whereas the princess (Apolline is the name she grew up with, and that’s the name I’m calling her) is a bright, courageous, and spunky huntress who has fallen for a guy whom she doesn’t know is her betrothed.

Of course two of the three fairies that are raising her hate the idea, yada, yada, yada. But that’s not the point here! I’m getting off track, which I have a tendency to do. Anyways, I, well, can’t find anything about the book that I didn’t like. That’s a new one for me.

Buy the Book:

This book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

Myths of Mish (Hansel and Gretel)

The Dwarves of Calcus (Snow White)

Myths of Mish – Book Review

About the book:

Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he’s about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.

Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel’s quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she’s discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.

The problem is, Hansel’s paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they’re all being hunted.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing. After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter, and their dog. She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Myths wasn’t as good as Princess of Tyrone. 

Yeah, I know I don’t start reviews out like that, but it’s the honest truth. Not that Myths was a bad book; but the hero, Hansel, is a little over the top with the paranoia and his abusive treatment of Minna through almost 3/4 of the story.

And Minna falls in love with him anyway (before he stops acting like an a-hole).

The plot itself is fast paced, and while I could see the plot twists coming, I didn’t accurately predict where they were headed until each was upon me. Gretel tries desperately to play matchmaker between Hansel and Minna (again, why? He’s an absolute jerk to Minna – why would you try to hook your best friend up with someone who treats her like trash?).

Perhaps my issue with the relationship between hero and heroine in this story is my age. This is, of course, a YA sci fi romance, and here I am at 41, a survivor of abuse, trying to wrap my head around a young woman falling in love with an abusive male. Yes, Hansel mostly outgrows his perpetual jerkdom by the end of the book. The evil antagonist is vanguished, everyone gets married and has a happy-ever-after (Gretel meets someone on their adventure… if I tell you more, I’d have to put spoiler alerts all over this post!).

Sam’s reading this book, as well, and I should be adding her review in the near future. My final verdict, though? Mixed review, 3 stars. Great plot and character development; had a hard time accepting the love-the-abuser thing.

Sam’s Review:

Katie Hamstead is back with Myths of Mish, the prequel to Princess of Tyrone. While Princess of Tyrone told the story of Sleeping Beauty, Myths of Mish explained what happened to Hansel and Gretel after they defeated the witch, only with a interstellar twist. This book, along with the other books in the series, is for young adult audiences.

Even though it’s a prequel, the story blends right in to Princess of Tyrone.  I can almost see it happening while Apolline and the rest of the gang from the first book are doing their thing, while at the same time, I know that this is a prequel.

I loved how the characters’ personalities were well defined, and the places were well made. Filled with humor and tension where and when they were needed, I felt like I was part of the action.

Buy the Books:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the series:

Princess of Tyrone

Dwarves of Calcus

Dwarves of Calcus – Review

About the Book:

When she was thirteen, Snow Sabbia crash landed on the dwarves’ home planet of Calcus. After fleeing from her step-mother’s huntsman, seven brother dwarves took her in to hide and protect her. She has hidden for years on the peaceful planet, tinkering with old automobiles and pushing papers in the mine office.

Then, Timothy White shows up.

The shy, nervous, nerdy heir captivates Snow before she even knows who he is, and quickly she falls in love. But his high profile in society draws unwanted attention from her vengeful stepmother, who wants Snow dead.

Geneva believed Snow died years earlier and she had consumed her innocent heart. With her late husband’s wealth, Snow’s inheritance, in tow, she married a young lord, Conrad. Both are using each other—Geneva for his title and to have a child, Conrad for her money and beauty. But when Conrad lays eyes on his boyhood rival’s lovely fiance, Snow, his overwhelming desire for her reveals the truth to Geneva, that Snow lives.

Desperate to hold onto her wealth and power, Geneva seeks to kill Snow properly this time. Snow has the power to wield the one thing that can destroy her, so she cannot let the girl claim possession of the family heirloom, the Nevollo Sword.

Snow soon learns her step-mother knows she is alive. But she is a pacifist, so she must outwit Geneva and remain hidden… until Geneva, disguised as a child, presents her with an apple.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Snow White has been one of my favorite fairy tales for as long as I can remember. In the third installment of Katie Hamstead’s Fairy Tale Galaxy series, we get a fresh retelling (that’s only been hinted at in the first two books), of the Snow White story.

As you probably know by now, book 2 in this series wasn’t a big fav of mine, however, book 3, Ms. Hamstead is back in business with wit, likable characters (minus the villianous Geneva, of course), and a fast-paced plot. 

I remember being young and awkward, especially in the social department – I could relate easily to both main characters. Snow is a capable, strong young woman, even if she has no grace when it comes to social situations (she’s grown up with dwarves, and NO humans), and Timothy isn’t the brave, dashing prince we’re used to seeing in this story – he’s a nerd and utterly socially inept (lest you believe he’s just a bumbling idiot, he’s not – the source of his social insecurity is laid out by the end of the book), but Snow is able to draw him out of his shell. And just when everything seems to be going well for them… Poof! Something comes up to keep them apart. Reminds me a bit of my own high school sweetheart (whom I eventually married, despite our own delays).

In the final analysis: Dwarves of Calcus is a winner in my book. Strong characters, well-defined conflicts and plot, and villains vanquished. 

And since I enjoyed two of the three books in the series, and Ms. Hamstead has plenty of other material she can work with (other potential plots are hinted at throughout the series as it stands now), I’m hoping to see more of this series in the future.

Sam’s Review:

Telling the story of Snow White this time, Dwarves of Calcus explains the peace between Oran and Tyrone. See, Oran and Tyrone weren’t always allies. They were enemies at one point. But when Snow Sabbia meets Timothy White, it’s love at first sight. Now long after, about a couple of weeks or so, they’re engaged. Talk about moving quickly.

But Snow and Timothy (let’s just call him Timmy.) have one person in the way: Snow’s siren of a stepmother, Geneva. Literally, she’s a siren. Snow and Timmy get married, and Geneva gives Snow a poisoned apple. The rest of the story that you are familiar with takes over, moving this fascinating story along its tracks.

With twists and turns at almost every angle, a nerdy prince charming, and seven funny dwarves, Dwarves of Calcus is fun to and easy to read. Its for young adult audiences, and is the third book in a series.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the series:

Princess of Tyrone

Myths of Mish

To Discover a Divine – New Release Review

new Release banner - To Discover a Divine

About the book:

By Tessa McFionn     Rise of the Stria Book 1

Fiery Seas Publishing     March 20, 2018

Sci-Fi Romance

When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.

Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.

Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.

Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?

Buy Links:

Amazon     Kobo     Barnes & Noble     iTunes

About the author:

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. 

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Social Media: 

Facebook     Twitter      Website      Blog

Jenn’s Review:

Holy guacamole, Batman! Tessa McFionne smashed her debut novel out of the park. You might already know that I’m a huge fan of Science Fiction Romance, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since we did the cover reveal back in December.

I was not disappointed.

The book kicks off with a hefty dose of WTF, as the hero, Khallym tries to figure out why a woman, a civilian woman of all things, is in the middle of his planned jail break.

The woman in question? Yeah, she’s having a mighty big WTF moment, too.

Khallum has a lot on his plate already – the rejected, disowned son of a ruling family, he’s taken to working with the Rebellion to knock an emperor off the throne. And now, he owes a life-debt to a female; an utterly foreign concept to his ship full of battle hardened soldiers.

Evainne, for her part, is utterly lost. She woke up in Boston, went through her normal morning routine, and stepped out her front door for her morning run – and found herself in the middle of a battle zone. Something, somewhere, went horribly wrong.

Evainne and Khallum have to bridge their communication and cultural gaps as they try to unravel the mystery of her appearance on the other side of the universe, and as they do, Khallum’s initial duty to protect her  morphs into something deeper.

To Discover a Divine is a fast paced, action packed, steamy adventure. Ms. McFionne focuses more on the mysteries surrounding Evianne’s sudden appearance than she does on the developing relationship, but the quick plot pace and intense attraction between hero and heroine more than makes up for that. 

I will venture a guess (and will confirm this in my interview with Tessa), that this is book one of a series. Khallym and Evianne don’t exactly get a happy ever after in this book, and the ending definitely left me hungry for more of these two.

Check out our author interview in a recent edition of Between the Pages.

Breachers – Cover Reveal

About the book:

Breachers     By Anthony Thomas

Fiery Seas Publishing     Science Fiction

September 18, 2018

Jason Conners is the last person you’d expect to run into a burning building, unless of course there was something inside worth stealing. Call him what you want: criminal, thief, asshole, but hero? Absolutely not. Jason’s questionable behavior and disturbing antics can only be attributed to one secret.          

He can change the future, but with great power comes great responsibility? Hell no. His ability makes him the best thief in the city, and nothing is off-limits. Until Jason’s carefree attitude gains the attention of the Rogues, and the government.

The Rogues want him to stop catastrophic events from taking place, and the government has their own agenda. When the hunt begins, Jason is caught in the crosshairs and learns that breaching is not as limitless as he thought.

Can this anti-hero give up a life of easy money and become the savior the Rogues need, or will it cost him everything—even his immortality?

About the Author:

Anthony Thomas

Anthony Thomas settled in the city of sin, though part of him will always remain in the small farming town in Northern California. When he’s not hunched over a keyboard, Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs. 

Social Media:

Website     Twitter

And finally… The Reveal!

Breachers e-book cover

The White Pavilion – Review

About this book:

Five hundred years ago, Old Earth was facing certain destruction. In the country we know as Spain, a Clockmaker was visited by an Oracle, who told her that a new world must be created.

La Relojero, the Clockmaker, thus fashioned Tierra Mejor, a world governed by clockwork. Along with Seven Companions, she left the dying Earth behind.

But now, an illness is spreading across their world. Machines are failing, crops are diseased, and the Green-bands, led by a man known only as la Rebelde, the Rebel, are spreading discord.

Every year, the Daughters of the Pavilion dance to honour the myth is being performed by the Daughters of the Pavilion. Imre has been chosen to play the part of la Grulla. It is her task is to honour the Pattern by placing a white feather into the hand of a statue of la Oracula, the Oracle. At the last moment, she stumbles.

The Pattern has been disrupted, and Imre’s future is now in jeopardy. The Prince Regent, Thaniel, insists that she is brought to the Citadel. The Prince is young, easily distracted, and determined to bury his insecurities under a screen of drugs. Senor Grath, the Prince’s Advisor, is the effective governor. He dislikes Imre immensely – she is everything he despises. Then there is La Boca, leader of the mysterious Brotherhood, whose sinister plans seem to involve disposing of the Prince – and Imre is in his way.

Thrown from her old life into a world of politics and intrigue, lust and greed, tradition and romance, Imre must confront the Brotherhood and save her people. She will have to fight to ensure the final part of la Relojero’s plan is completed – and that the children of the Seven Companions can return home to Old Earth.

About the author:

Ruth has been an avid reader her entire life and, inspired by the books that engrossed her as she was growing up, she aims to create stories that can draw readers in and enthral them for days or weeks. She writes every day and lives in Ballarat, Victoria, with her husband, her cat, and an ever-expanding library of books.

Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts/Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 2006. She has worked as an editor as well as an illustrator. She often illustrates her own work and hopes to publish many more books in the future.

Visit her website for more information.

Jenn’s Review:

I think that this is possibly the most challenging review I’ve ever written. The White Pavillion made me reach, as a reader; think differently, as a writer; and persevere, as a reviewer.

Ms. Fox’s work in White Pavillion is very different from what I normally chose to read. However, as Sam was dying to get her hands on this particular title, and we weren’t entirely sure of the book’s rating, I chose to push on.

I would not consider this a fast paced read. In fact, it rambles rather slowly until the climax, at which point it speeds up considerably. The setting was also unusual – while I could easily picture the place, I struggled to wrap my head around the sense of time. While I can easily accept other forms of telling time in created, fictional worlds, this book left me stumped in a number of places – Had Imre been held for what would amount to days? Weeks? Months? 

In terms of the “steampunk” element of this story, Ms. Fox takes the prize for world-building. Her creativity in building the world her characters inhabit excels, and while some elements are strange to our mundane world, she has managed to create an element of realism that is hard to find.

I mentioned earlier that the story was slow. Honestly, I don’t normally feel that I am dragging myself through the pages of a read, but this one felt supremely slow. However, that said… Patience is the reward in this novel. Without giving away spoilers, the plot twists near the end of the story blindsided me, while many of the plot twists earlier in the story were expected. 

As a parent, pre-reading this book for a 12 year old who frequently reads YA Fiction, this is not a book for younger teens. Imre is, after all, the equivalent of a high-class prostitute in training (in context, this isn’t as odd as you might think), and she is, first and foremost, a sensual being, a Dancer, an escort. She finds lust and love along her journey in this story, in the arms of both men and women, and the scenes are not “behind the bedroom door”. They are described, elegantly, but not subtly.

In the final tally, The White Pavilion was a worthy read. Reviews are, of course, subjective, and what I have trouble with in one book, another reader might love (and vice versa). If you are a fan of science fiction, speculative fiction and steam punk, you might give this plot a whirl.

Buy the book:

This book is available through Amazon in Kindle format here. [Affiliate link]

Secondborn – Book Review

About the book:

Firstborns rule society. Secondborns are the property of the government. Thirdborns are not tolerated. Long live the Fates Republic.

On Transition Day, the second child in every family is taken by the government and forced into servitude. Roselle St. Sismode’s eighteenth birthday arrives with harsh realizations: she’s to become a soldier for the Fate of Swords military arm of the Republic during the bloodiest rebellion in history, and her elite firstborn mother is happy to see her go.

Televised since her early childhood, Roselle’s privileged upbringing has earned her the resentment of her secondborn peers. Now her decision to spare an enemy on the battlefield marks her as a traitor to the state.

But Roselle finds an ally—and more—in fellow secondborn conscript Hawthorne Trugrave. As the consequences of her actions ripple throughout the Fates Republic, can Roselle create a destiny of her own? Or will her Fate override everything she fights for—even love?

Sam’s Review

Hello once again, and our topic for today is the book Second Born. This wonderful tale of treason and tyranny against the second born children of the Fates’ Republic is very slow for most of the book, but speeds up very close to the end.

The storyline is very good though because of Roselle’s heritage and her allies’ attempts to throw her first born brother off of the throne. The book is science fiction, and the heroin’s spunky attitude will be hard to hate.

It gets 4 of 5 stars. Please do not forget to subscribe, like, and enable notifications.

Check out the link to Thrice Read Books, which is somewhere. Oh! There it is! Check it out, as well as some of my other videos, and I’ll be doing another video next week. Bye!

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]