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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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Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael (Book Review)

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​Change can be difficult, especially for Savanna. When she gets a new trainer at a new barn, she can’t help thinking about how much she’ll miss Colts & Company. More than that…she’s a little scared. What will happen when Savanna swallows her fear and takes a chance on Happenstance Farms?
A fun, relatable story about a girl and her pony, your child will love keeping up with the adventures at Happenstance Farms. With charming characters, lots of laughs, and social-emotional learning, this book is the perfect addition to any home or classroom library.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 

No matter the age, people experience first-day jitters. We fear, as being the newbie, if people will like us. We wonder if we’ll fit in. When we start a new school, class, job, etc., insecurities surface. In Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael, Savanna faced fears upon her first day at the new farm. 


No matter where your “first day” happens to be, no matter your age, you might encounter emotions like Savanna. This book will create a perfect opportunity to ask your child(ren) if and when they’ve experienced first-day jitters and how they handled them. 


For teachers, maybe read Happenstance Farms: A New Home on the first day of school when many students feel uneasy. Ask students if they’ve ridden a horse before or live(d) on a farm. Happenstance Farms: A New Home can also be read before taking a field trip to a farm. 


As for my house, we plan on taking riding lessons this coming summer, so this is the perfect book for my home. Even if we weren’t planning the equestrian event, this book would be a welcomed addition to our library. We enjoyed the story and the lovely illustrations by Justo Borrero. Coffee, the horse, was pretty and Eli, the German Shepherd, was adorable. We loved how expressive Eli was in all the images. You could almost see him bouncing off the pages, excited to play with Savanna. 


I highly recommend this book. 
 
Amazon info:
Reading age: 3-8 years
Grade level: preschool – 3

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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McMichael serves as the Senior Manager and Information Technology Business Partner for Training Solutions and Global Training Systems & Services in Boeing Global Services. She is a disabled veteran with more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in air traffic management and operations.  

McMichael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s certificate in project management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.  She is a recipient of The Boeing Company CTO Technical Excellence Award, Women of Color in Technology

“Rising Star” award, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Training Achievement Award, and the International William A. Parenteau Memorial Award from the Air Traffic Control Association.  McMichael serves on the Advisory Board of SSM St. Charles Health Center, and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization board.

 

 
 

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Gallant: The Call of the Trail by Claire Eckard (Book Spotlight)

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Content Rating
:  PG-13 : It’s a saga about love, relationships, personal growth and adventure, set against a backdrop of endurance racing. A strong middle grader/pre-teen could read it.
 

A gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between a human and a horse. Separated by a bad accident when Gallant is five, each gets a second chance of happiness pursuing the long-distance sport of endurance riding, neither knowing they are leading parallel lives. Will Fate bring them together again? Gallant’s arch nemesis, The Almighty Flash, threatens to destroy all that Gallant has worked for. His misguided ambition and greed, developed at the hands of an abusive owner, has created a darkness in his soul that turns to blind fury when his endurance career is threatened.
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Target
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Target
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
​Award winning Author Claire Eckard combines her love of writing with her passion for animals to create memorable children’s books that are fun to read, but also include valuable life’s lessons. Claire grew up in England and moved to Hawaii in her early twenties where she married her husband of thirty-four years. Together they raised two sons, Mitchell and Matthew. Claire is inspired by her two Granddaughters Mila and Ella, as well as the beautiful backdrop of the Arizona mountains where she lives. Claire has a farm full of animals, and has spent many years as a board member and volunteer of her local animal shelter.
 
 
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Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halverson (Book Review)

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Two Florida State geology students found the pages written by Ponce de Leon’s chronicler in a dry limestone cave in the northwest panhandle. The original Spanish papers, five hundred years old, were found in relatively good shape, protected from time and moisture in a heavy triple-walled leather case. They chronicle Ponce de Leon’s second expedition to Florida in search of the fountain of youth.
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
In history, it is pretty well-known explorers took land from the Natives. Power was the name of the game. Explorers wanted wealth and notoriety, while Kings aimed to increase their wealth, power, and control of lands. 


Speaking of explorers, readers will recognize the ones mentioned in the story. Most children study them in middle school; my daughter did, so she knew who Ponce de Leon was and about the Fountain of Youth. 


Through lessons, we know that when explorers traveled to new lands, they brought with them diseases. Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halverson did note this and how the Natives got revenge on foreigners by giving them an STD, which they brought back to their homelands. (If you haven’t spoken to your child about STDs yet, then this might be a good time to explain it.)

There were no graphic scenes or questionable topics (besides the STD passages), so middle school children could read this on their own. At less than 160 pages, it shouldn’t take them too long to read it. If your family homeschools, maybe have your child write a review on the story or complete a book report. I’m sure they’ll have plenty to talk about: snake bites, runaway rooster, greed-filled men, “magic water,” and much more. 


While Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth did lag for me a bit, I did find it amusing how the white men underestimated the Natives, and how Ponce was on the constant verge of having an absolute hissy fit. 


The ending was superb too! 

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

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

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​Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

 
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The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII by M. J. Evans (Book Spotlight / Guest Post)

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“The Sand Pounder is one of those rare historical novels with a charm that appeals to both young and old readers.” – Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite 
“M.J. Evans does an excellent job of winding the era’s history and the lesser-known job of the Sand Pounders into a realistic story of a mature teen’s determination to make a difference in her world.” – Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review
“A gripping YA historical novel packed full of twists, turns and memorable characters. Highly recommended!” – The Wishing Shelf Book Review (UK)
 

 
 
Book Description:
Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces during World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts. The unit was called “The Sand Pounders” and they rode their horses up and down the beaches from 1942 to 1944.
In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian decided to join them. There was only one problem…they were only accepting men. That didn’t slow her down.
 
​”The Sand Pounder” is a Young Adult historical fiction set during World War II. ​
 
 
Buy The Book:
Amazon

add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Award-Winning, Best-Selling author, M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and graduated from Oregon State University. She spent five years teaching junior high and high school students before retiring to raise her five children. She is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado Mountains.

 

 

 

 

Hi readers and writers. Whenever I do an author presentation on my books or writing in general, I am ALWAYS asked the question: “Where do you get your ideas for your books?”

That is becoming an increasingly hard question to answer now that I have written twenty-one books. My first books were non-fiction equestrian trail guidebooks for Colorado. I moved to Colorado from Oregon twenty-six years ago and wanted to find out where horse trails were. I went to the bookstore only to discover that there were lots of trail guidebooks…hiking, hiking with your family, hiking with your dog, and on and on. But there were no equestrian trail guidebooks. Equestrians have unique needs when it comes to finding a trail, starting with the parking lot to what kind of “horse hazards” you can expect to encounter. So, I decided to research and write my own. It was so successful, I have now written four of them.

All the rest of my books are fiction. That is where the craziness begins. “Mr. Figgletoes’ Toy Emporium” came to me when I was vacationing in Coeur D’Alene and saw a toy store named “Figpickles’ Toy Emporium.” The name was so fun it got my imagination running on high and the story started taking shape in my head.

My four-book series, “The Centaur Chronicles,” is another fantasy. The entire idea came to me while reading in the Bible. I read the verse in Ephesians that says: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” (Eph. 6:14) I started thinking about what powers the breastplate of righteousness might give me and I came up with Mercy, Courage, Integrity and Wisdom…the four stones of light that make up the four books of the series.

“The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII” and “PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History” are both obscure horse-based stories that I stumbled upon completely by accident while searching for famous horses on the internet. However, in both cases, once I learned about the events described in those books, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I started researching and soon the stories began to formulate in my mind.

 

My fiction books, whether fantasy, coming of age, or Historical Fiction, all require me to let my imagination have its way so to speak. But that is the fun that comes from being an author!

I hope you will read and enjoy “The Sand Pounder.” If you do, please post a review on Amazon and goodreads and tell a friend about it! Happy Reading!

 

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

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