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Romancing the Darkness by Tyler R. Snyder (Book Review / Author Interview)

ROMANCING THE DARKNESS by Tyler R. Snyder

 
Monsters of Mythical Proportion
Worlds of Magic and Power
Forbidden Love
And DEATH. DEATH is the consequence…

When Tristan defies Ambion’s only law—royal and common blood cannot mix, he discovers the consequences are real. The young guardian finds himself in a world where love and hate, war and peace, duty and betrayal blur into darkness. As his world devolves into a battle for survival, he learns only an Angel can save Ambion from the destruction wielded by the Dividers. Is Tristan the Angel destined to save the world or will he succumb to the wiles of a dark goddess?

​“Boy! Hey boy, let me show you the end.” Tristan looked in horror as tens of thousands of men and women were hooded figures. Explosions erupted everywhere, and the black sky spewed red lightning all around the warriors. A ground shaking roar forced Tristan to cover his ears. When he looked up, a massive golden dragon breathed fire upon the world: fire engulfed the horizon. “The end will begin with ash.”   

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series by Tyler R. Snyder. It’s rated PG-13 + M. There is no sex, but it is implied. I think teen movies and television shows are 1000 times more graphic than this story!


Now, let’s discuss the monsters! I loved the variety of mythical beasts. I was familiar with certain popularized ones, such as the Kraken, wraiths, and dragons. However, Tyler introduced me to some new creatures: terpsichore (serpent-like horse) and a barking rabbit. Yeah, a barking rabbit! Cool, right?!


I think teens will love the fantasy elements in the story. They will probably love all the action sequences as well. Trust me –there are a lot of them. Battles scenes participants included humans, elves, angels, gods, goddesses, and the animals listed above, plus many more I didn’t mention. Fighters used magical powers, medieval weapons (swords and bows, weapons from today’s world (guns), and even futuristic ones (airships). Even though there are numerous fight scenes, they are not overly graphic. I would say they are on par with what teens are watching now. 


What Romancing the Darkness is missing, though, is a glossary/character page. It’s a lot to remember between the characters, beasts, locations, etc. In all honesty, I took notes. What else I would like to see is a card game. I think they would be wildly popular. 


As I stated in my opening sentence, Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series which means this story ends on a cliffhanger. 


Looking forward to book 2! 

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

Author Tyler R. Snyder
Tyler Snyder was born in 1984 in Medford, Oregon.

As a child, he was captivated by movies, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons, along with the worlds these activities created. The original spark that ignited Tyler’s imagination was when he wanted to see a movie similar to The Legend of Zelda, but the closest film at the time was The Dark Crystal. That itch, to this day, has still not been scratched. This led him to books and stories like the pastimes he adored and gave him exposure to a much grander well of ideas and possibilities. Meeting like-minded friends who shared the same hobbies, Tyler developed a passion for creating new worlds. In Romancing the Darkness, Tyler explores his world, Ambion, and the countless decisions confronting his characters.

Mr. Snyder currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, Sandra.

 

 

 

  1. If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Tristan. Easy. In creating Tristan, I tried to put as much of myself into him as I could without deluding the character too much. With Tristan entering this vast world of magic and mythical monsters he is pretty much going into it blind and not as prepared as he would like to be. I feel a lot like that with life, becoming an author and juggling my passion with my day to day life.

 

  1. Do you have another profession other than writing?

I work for Frito Lay. I stock potato chips at three in the morning. It’s not a bad gig. I work anywhere from fifty to sixty hours a week. I actually really enjoy my job. The people I work with are great. And all the new people I meet help fuel some of the character interactions I have in my story. Witnessing social events and interactions between people help me develop my world and the characters that reside within it.

 

 

  1. Do you write every day?

I try my darndest to. With my busy schedule I try to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. Whether it is actual writing or going back through and editing what I have already written. As long as some form of progress is made I’m happy. But man it can get exhausting trying to squeeze it into the schedule. I feel if I stop I will lose that rhythm of doing it each day. In some ways it’s a lot like going to the gym.

 

 

  1. With long work weeks how do you balance your time?

I mean you get used to it after a while. As long as I stick to the schedule it doesn’t seem so bad. I have been bad and haven’t gone to the gym in month so I got to find a way to squeeze at least an hour each day to do that as well. But it’s nothing more than just putting in the work and keeping on your schedule. I make sure I don’t write past a certain time. I have to make sure I have some form of downtime for myself. Whether I’m playing a game after, catching up on Netflix shows or reading a book. Otherwise I may go nuts if work sixteen hours a day with no breaks.

 

 

  1. What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?

There is one book that has stuck with me for years. I’ve read other books since then but none of them ever really jumped off the page the way this one did. The book was Mr. Begone by Clive Barker. Outside my wheelhouse. But I really enjoyed this book. Mostly because I have never read anything like it. But the fact that this little “possessed” book spent every chapter trying to convince be to burn it so the little demon could be set free. I thought it was so clever.

 

connect with the author: 
website ~ twitter ~ facebook instagram goodreads

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 

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Jack Gregson & the Stolen Sons by Peter Wilson (Book Review)

JACK GREGSON AND THE STOLEN SONS by Peter Wilson

 
Dark Mystery
Ancient Prophecy
Family Secrets

When a loud, incessant knocking disturbs the peace at Gregson Manor, David and Rosie once again travel through the mysterious portal, where they encounter darkness, chaos and impossible impossibilities.

Only by fulfilling an ancient prophecy and uniting unlikely allies can they save parallel universes.

A dormant sun awaiting new dawn,
Two stolen sons their mothers mourn.
One will wake from whence they laid,
The other repeats a mistake once made.

​Who are the sons?   

 
Buy the Book
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add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Jack Gregson & the Stolen Sons by Peter Wilson had more suspense, mystery, surprises, and bombshells than Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal. It also had more humor, thanks to pixie dust. I like Jarl, the sparkling golden pixie. While she might’ve not been the brightest bulb, she was fun to watch in action. She reminded me of Tinkerbell, except Tinks never turned herself into a frog. 
 
This story also had more family drama and unveiled another traitor. The traitor will play a major role in the next book, which I’m looking forward to reading! 


As with the first book in the series, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal, there is oodles of magic. Colors play a significant role in the magic scenes. If you’re a teacher, this would be an excellent opportunity to discuss symbolism with your students. 


As I stated earlier, there are many humorous scenes in the story. One fight scene made me smile because David was wielding the unlikeliest weapon. Oh, I wish I could tell you what it was, BUT I want to leave you guessing. I can see kids laughing at it, though! I did give a slight chuckle. 


On a final note: I didn’t think Peter Wilson could make the punkey any weirder, but he did. I’m curious how the mutant will evolve in the next book. 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson is an award-winning writer based in Sydney, Australia. His first novel, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal has won awards internationally, in both the USA and United Kingdom, and has quickly become a favourite with young readers. Peter’s second book in his trilogy series, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Sons, is set for release in 2021. In addition to children’s and young adult content, Peter is also interested in writing for the adult market and is currently working on a crime thriller set in his home city, Sydney.

 
connect with the author: 
website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilson (Book Review)

 
MOONBEAM AWARD WINNER!
 
Something has changed at the Gregson Manor. An evil force from the family’s past has returned to upheave their lives.
 
Jack and his cousins explore the family secrets as they are pulled through a portal into a universe of endless worlds and possibilities.
 
Together, they race to escape and destroy the evil Theorden and his followers who strive to unlock the power of the Forgotten Portal and wreak havor on Gregson Manor and the World.
 
 
Buy the Book
Amazon
add to goodreads

 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
The trio from Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal (Jack, David, and Rosie) reminded me of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione. Three young adults band together to save their home, family, and friends from an evil, magical being. In both scenarios, there was a chosen one (teen) who had the power to defeat the villain. Of course, he can’t do it alone. He needed assistance. 


While there were many similarities between this book and the famous series by Rowling, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal possessed its own unique features. For instance, Peter Wilson’s story had a punkey – a puppy + monkey, a mutant-looking creature. There were also portals that took you to different worlds in the universe. Could you imagine visiting a new planet every time you go on vacation?! That would be amazing!!! This feature would be a great discussion topic in a classroom. Where in the universe would you go? You could go even farther and have your students design their planet and include its features (animals, vegetation, food sources, etc.). 


Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal had many qualities that drew my attention and held my interest, besides those mentioned in the last paragraph. I loved the magical elements and the manor’s attic. There were so many artifacts to view in this room, each one with its own story to tell. It also had a bonus feature that you won’t see in a typical attic. (No spoilers; buy the book *smiley face*) 


What I would change?
I wish the Shadow Man’s identity weren’t so easy to figure out and so soon in the story too. 

Like I said in the opening paragraph, I do believe there are some shared traits between this story and the HP books. However, with that said, I did enjoy reading  Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal and recommend others read it as well. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson is an award-winning writer based in Sydney, Australia. His first novel, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal has won awards internationally, in both the USA and United Kingdom, and has quickly become a favourite with young readers. Peter’s second book in his trilogy series, Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Sons, is set for release in 2021. In addition to children’s and young adult content, Peter is also interested in writing for the adult market and is currently working on a crime thriller set in his home city, Sydney.

connect with the author: 
website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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War of the Staffs by Steve Stephenson and K.M. Tedrick (Book Review)

The goddess Adois brings a powerful vampire warlock named Taza through the void to turn Muiria into a planet of evil using her powerful staff. Needing an army, he turns a race of dark elves into vampires, but Prince Tarquin is born to fulfill a prophecy to stop Taza.

The prince cannot do it alone. The Wizard Celedant sends him to the Borderers, an elite group of dwarves to learn how to fight, while the wizard begins his search for the Staff of Adaman, the only thing capable of thwarting Taza and Adois’ Staff.

War of the Staffs is the search for two pieces of the ancient Staff of Adaman to counter Adois’ plans. The darkness is rising and using the black power of the Staff of Adois and his army of dark elves, giants, and orcs, Taza will begin a reign of terror the planet will not soon forget.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

 

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

 

There were quite a few elements in War of the Staffs that reminded me of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. However, War of Staffs differed from the popular series (mentioned in the opening sentence) by incorporating vampires and unique magic abilities. Taza (warlock and vamp) used his specially acquired magical skills to infiltrate his enemies and summon beasts of all sizes. The creatures he controlled led us into some pretty epic battle scenes. You’ll witness clashes between dwarves and orcs, wizard versus wizard, powerful beasts descending from above, and those awaiting the heroes in dark caves. There were numerous entanglements, so you won’t have to wait long for action scenes! 

With the number of characters featured in War of the Staffs, this book could have its own trading card set. People would probably love to roleplay the book. However, I would suggest a Glossary of Characters and Terms. 

Heads up: War of the Staffs is book one in a series. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

 

 
KM Tedrick is a writer and ghostwriter in the fantasy, science fiction, adventure, Christian, and young adult genres with one book that was made into a movie, and over sixteen books published.
 
 
Author Steve Stephenson an admitted bibliophile collects rare fantasy and science fiction media. He obtained a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Library Science. He has written four books including the War of the Staffs trilogy.
 
 
You can connect with Steve Stephenson through his Facebook Link or at Linkedin
 

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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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