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Child of Etherclaw by Matty Roberts (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

CHILD OF ETHERCLAW by Matty Roberts

 
 
The bonds of family go well beyond blood.

But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.” 

 

BUY THE BOOK:
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B&N ~ Indiebound 
Bookshop.org ~ Tattered Cover
add to goodreads
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Matty Roberts

Matty Roberts began their career in journalism where they earned an Emmy and had the privilege of working on several other award-winning projects. They hold an MS from Johns Hopkins University and are now an engineer in renewable energy in Denver, Colorado where they live with their wonderful partner, two extraordinary kids, and the best doggie ever. In addition to writing, engineering, and parenting, Matty is a vegan enby nerd who is in love with this world and will forever be doing all they can to make it a better place. And they may be known to occasionally play in a punk band here or there.

 
 

Do you have a profession outside of writing?

Yes, I work as a software/data engineer in renewable energy. I’m very passionate about making the world a better place, and it’s an industry I’m proud to be a part of. Though I started my career as a journalist a while back, that didn’t last long once the Great Recession hit and I found myself (and all my coworkers) laid off. Still feeling as though I’d just finished college, I found myself back once again pursuing additional education so I could find gainful employment. I loved journalism, but for someone so young and inexperienced as myself, there were just no opportunities at the time.
 

How long have you been writing?

 
I’ve been writing forever, though very little of it shall ever see the light of day. I’m talking everything from awkward fanfiction to overly verbose LiveJournal posts that served as a dumping ground for my angsty opinionated thoughts.
I’ve written a number of partial novels and short stories, but Child of Etherclaw is the first one that I feel confident enough in to release.
 

What do you find to be the most important element of a great book?

 
For me, the most important element of any book is character development. A rich character arc is critical to keep me engaged. I enjoy sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genres, but without a well-developed character that I can identify, the best plot out there will lose me. And the characters need to be a little mushy, you know? Sure, “strong” characters are great, but often times too much strength can flatten a character out. I want a character who gets embarrassed, who has anxieties about seemingly trivial things, and who struggles with inner conflicts and self-doubt. I need a character who can cry—whether they do so on-page or not.
 

Do you have any great book recommendations?

 
Absolutely! Some of the more enjoyable books I’ve recently read include:
SAWKILL GIRLS by Clare Legrand
The LIFEL1K3 series by Jay Kristoff
The WANT series by Cindy Pon

And I’m currently reading ENTANGELMENT by Alina Leonova. It’s got a fantastic dystopian society with cyberpunk vibes and a wonderfully unique cast of characters. I’m not quite through with it yet, but would recommend it without hesitation.
 

What advice do you have for people writing their first novel?

 
It’s quite an endeavor just getting through the first draft of a novel. There are times when you feel as though the words come faster than you can type, and other times when you feel your creativity buried under a few tons of rapidly setting cement.
 
Among all the advice out there and the endless how-to guides, I think the most important thing that bears repeating over and over is to celebrate yourself. You wrote 200 words today? Cheers! That’s awesome! You cut out a scene that just wasn’t working and actually had a net loss of 1,000 words? A round of applause! It’s hard to let go of your own writing, but you recognized the need to and you should feel accomplished! Set goals that are small, realistic, and achievable. And when you reach them, celebrate yourself. You deserve it.

 

connect with the author: 
website twitter instagram goodreads
 
 
 
 
 

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Peel Back and See by Mike Thorn (Book Review)

In spaces both familiar and strange, unknowable horrors lurk.

From the recesses of the Internet, where cosmic terror shows its face on an endless live feed, to a museum celebrating the sordid legacy of an occultist painter, this chilling collection of sixteen short stories will plunge you into the eerie, pessimistic imagination of Mike Thorn. Peel Back and See urges its readers to look closer, to push past surface-level appearances and face the things that stir below.

 

Amazon Purchase Link
Journalstone.com

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Peel Back and See is a collection of sixteen (16) short stories that are heavy on unforgettable encounters with hungry creatures, blood and gore, fear, Satan, and (weirdly enough) sexual arousal. 

Some stories stuck with me more than others. Below are my top five (5). 

1.) Mr. Mucata’s Final Requests: Everyone knows you don’t try to double-cross Satan. I mean, come on, don’t even try. Deals with him are also a bad idea. Seriously, the worst possible choice a person can make. If you believe in the devil, demons, and hell, say NO to anything offered. Period!

2.) @GorgoYama2013: We’re raised to know you NEVER go into a stranger’s car. Horror movies have ingrained in us to NEVER go into a strange basement, especially alone. Victor broke all the rules. What he met could best be described as a horrific version of Krang (the brain) from TMNT. If you don’t know who I am talking about, look him up! 

3.) Vomitus Bacchanalius: Okay, people are vomiting. Aliens are eating the regurgitated food. There are goo-faced men. Ugh, this story was gross, BUT good! I loved the nod to Gordon Ramsay too. 🙂

4.) The Furnace Room Mutant: This story stood out more because you’d think an unnatural being would be the monster in the story. I like it when authors step out from the paranormal norm. 🙂

5.) Havoc: This was the first story in the collection, and it made me close my laptop and take one giant step back from it. Read the story, and you’ll understand why. There was only one part I wasn’t too keen on — a flashback scene between student and teacher. I don’t want to divulge too much, but it made my score drop from a five to a four. (for this story only, not the overall score of the anthology)

 

 In Peel Back and See, thirteen of the sixteen stories scored three and above. That’s impressive! I encourage others to read the collection and see which story has you cowering under the covers. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link
Journalstone.com

 

 

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Mike Thorn is the author of the short story collection Darkest Hours. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, and Prairie Gothic. His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage, and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

Connect with him on Twitter (@MikeThornWrites) or visit his website for more information: mikethornwrites.com.

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Cassandra’s Time Yarns (Time Yarns Anthologies Book 1) by Erin Lale, Plus 4 More Contributing Authors (Anthology Review)

Print length: 92 pages

Contents:

The End of History by Gordon Yaswen
Choice by Ralph Ewig
Noble Northern Spirit by Erin Lale
Testing Time by Tony Thorne MBE
The Artist Formerly Known as G-d by Erin Lale
The Beginning by J.L. Toscano

Art Contents:

Paradise Lost by Maria Arango
Mandalas by Lisa Yount

Kindle Purchase Link



(review request submitted by Erin Lale, contributing author/editor, for an honest critique) 

 


(Story One) The End of History by Gordon Yaswen explored TIME in the manners of science and philosophy. In doing so, Yaswen reached a broader audience. The more individuals who can debate/explore a topic = more readers, more press. That is the goal of most writers. To get people talking about their work! 

 

(Story Two) Space is majestic, but it also comes with obstacles and fears. Every time a person explores space and the unknown, they are essentially gambling with their life. If something life-threatening happens in space, there is no 9-1-1. You and your comrades only have yourselves to rely on and no one else. All of this was emphasized in Choice by Ralph Ewig.

 

(Story Three) Noble Northern Spirit by Erin Lale was vastly different from its predecessors in this anthology. Erin Lale did not venture out into space. Her adventures took place on Earth. Hers centered almost entirely around magic.

Through the fourteen chapters, Erin Lale mentioned witches, the mob, drug smuggling, Jesus, Satan, and (deep breath) THOR!

There were several mythical beings discussed, in-depth or in passing. She really threw everything into the story except the kitchen sink. 😀

Speaking of kitchen sink, if I had magical powers, I’d used them to tackle the dishes in my sink. 😛

 

(Story Four) Testing Time by Tony Thorne MBE could be plausible in one aspect. If any citizen created a working time machine or force field, the military would be all over them. They’d confiscate the tech and the person. 

The interesting part of Testing Time came millions of (Earth) years later. I wished this section was explored more. Yes, I want about another 10-20 more pages. Why? Because there was so much more Tony Thorne could’ve said. Testing Time felt like it was just getting started when the story was (technically) wrapping up. 

Tony, I would love for you to expand this tale. I’d read it if you did. 🙂

 

(Story Five) The Artist Formerly Known as G-d by Erin Lale discussion of time travel, disruption of events, changing history, and warnings about when/where not to travel got me thinking. If I could travel to any period, where would I blast off to first?

I don’t know about Aunti Cassie and her opinion of her time spent with da Vinci. It might be an unforgettable experience to witness the creation of one of his genius inventions.

The only thing I know for sure…I would limit my time in any place which didn’t have indoor plumbing. I’m a bit spoiled in that way. 😀

 

(Story Six) The Beginning by J.L. Toscano would appeal to anyone who works in the sciences or is fascinated by science as a hobby. My hubby and his friends regularly discuss, and debate topics brought up in The BeginningThere’s also a theory that we (Earthlings) are merely puppets, and someone is pulling our strings. After reading The Beginning, you’ll wonder if this theory could be plausible. I’m sure many will debate this question. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

Gordon Yaswen, a college professor in California.

Ralph Ewig, from Western Europe, a rocket scientist at SpaceX.

Tony Thorne MBE, awarded a chivalric order by the Queen of England for advances in cryosurgery tools and carbon fiber furnaces, resides in the Canary Islands.

J.L. Toscano, a teacher at the Scarsdale Schools in New York.

Maria Arango, from Cuba, a woodcut artist.

Lisa Yount, from California, an artist and jeweller.

 

Erin Lale

Erin Lale, invented technical processes in iDEN and CDMA wireless communications technology.

Erin Lale writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. She published Berserkrgangr Magazine, owned The Science Fiction Store in Las Vegas, was Acquisitions Editor at Eternal Press / Damnation Books, reviews books for Eternal Haunted Summer Magazine, writes an official blog for Witches and Pagans Magazine, and is the originator of the Time Yarns shared world universe. She lives in Nevada with her black cat, Happy.


Author website:  

https://www.erinlaleauthor.com/  

 

Author social media links:  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.lale  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinlale/  

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i-front/erinlale  

Minds: https://www.minds.com/erinlale/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erinlale  

 

 

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‘Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia’ Series by Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin (Six Comic Book Showcase)

 

A Date with Destiny!
A DATE WITH DESTINY!

“Boy Scout” Bob Schultz! Cousin Orville! Mini Macho! Kodiak Jack! Spanish Rose! Don Fong Wong! These are the megastars of 1984’s AWF. “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves, so one crazy night he ups the game, declaring himself the Galactic Champion of the Universe. But it turns out AWF fans aren’t the only ones listening, and the denizens of planet Wrestletopia aren’t going to take a challenge like that sitting down!

 

“A must for wrestling fans, but such a delightfully weird debut issue that anyone can jump right in and expect to have a fantastic time.” – C.K. Stewart, Newsarama

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

 

Two Planets Enter, One Leaves!
TWO PLANETS ENTER, ONE LEAVES!

Fifteen years later, “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell’s “Galactic Champion of the Universe” rant has made it across space to planet Wrestletopia. While Rory drowns his sorrows off the grid, Earth is on the receiving end of a nasty surprise!

 

“They’re not just doing this for a certain demographic of wrestling fans, this book is for everyone. I’m with it.” – Omar Holmon, Black Nerd Problems

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

 

Two Peas in a Pot!
TWO PEAS IN A POT!

The Wrestletopians have enclosed the Earth in a metal cage, holding the planet hostage until upstart “Galactic Champion of the Universe” Rory Landell will meet the challenge of true champion Manifest Destiny. But where is Rory?

 

The fight scenes and characters were drawn superbly. – Kam’s Place

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

 

ROAD GAMES!

Self-proclaimed galactic champion Rory “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Landell has assembled a wrecking crew, just in time for a Wrestletopian attack! But even if Rory survives, his fate and the Earth’s hang in the balance, as a traitor joins true galactic champion Manifest Destiny to plot the event of the millennium: the Galact-O-Massacre!

 

Few books achieve the level of glee Wrestletopia produces.” – Ricardo Serrano, The Beat

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

 

SHOW-ME STATE OF MIND!

With the main event just around the corner, here come the undercards! Drasin has Rory trapped, with one way out: agree to take a dive at the Galact-O-Massacre and become Drasin’s right-hand man when the Wrestletopians put him in charge of Earth! Plus, a trip through Rory’s subconscious, and the rest of the crew take on their Wrestletopian counterparts atop a speeding train!

 

The only way this comic could get any better is if it were LONGER! – Lezlie with The Nerdy Narrative

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

NEWEST RELEASE!!

Galact-o-Massacre!

The fate of two worlds collide — IF “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Rory Landell can make it to the St. Paul Sportatorium in time to face Manifest Destiny in the squared circle. It’s champion versus champion in a heavyweight Galactic Championship title unification bout that will decide Earth’s fate! It’s… Galact-o-Massacre!

Includes EXCLUSIVE bonus material that will not appear in any future collected volumes!

 

“Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia lives within a niche: professional wrestling. It extends deeper into comic book-y territory, however, by also adding a sci-fi angle. This, simply put, makes for a hilarious comic.” – Zack Quaintance, Comics Bookcase

Comixology Purchase Link

 

 

 

Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia was created and written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions, the production company they founded in order to waste money.

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Children’s Book Author Showcase – Joe Spraga

Welcome to Moonwood! The Snitch, the Witch, and The One Who Was Rich, and other quirky townsfolk, seek wisdom from the town elder in this classical tale. A new and modern day nursery rhyme! What will they discover?! 

 

Find out in this beautiful 13″ X 10.5″ full color 120 page hardcover book! Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. (There will be a shipping charge if located outside of the United States.) We will send you an email with the additional charge after we receive your order. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Purchase Link

 

 

 

The 1st book of the series, Phrebbel The Phrongol from planet Phrongolia recently took many pictures while vacationing on planet Earth. He needs help identifying the pictures in his photo album because he has never seen these things before. Can you help him? This is a full color picture book designed to inspire critical thinking in CHILDREN. The pictures are of everyday things like people and animals you would see in nature and on planet Earth in general. The pictures allow the reader to come up with answers to help the main character Phrebbel, identify things he has never seen on planet Earth before. A brain teaser for kids that makes learning fun!

Purchase Link

 

 

 

The 2nd book in the series, Phrebbel The Phrongol from planet Phrongolia has come back to Earth on another vacation. He needs help identifying the pictures in his photo album because he has never seen these things before. Can you help him again? This is a full color picture book designed to inspire critical thinking in CHILDREN. The pictures are of everyday things like people and animals you would see in nature and on planet Earth in general. The pictures allow the reader to come up with answers to help the main character Phrebbel, identify things he has never seen on planet Earth before. A brain teaser for kids that makes learning fun!

Purchase Link

 

 

— About the Author —

Joe is a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and a Minor in Philosophy. Becoming legally disabled in 2015 due to health problems, Joe hopes that this book can give all of you as much joy and hope as it has given him!

Amazon Author Page Link
Twitter Link
Website Link

 

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