Tag Archives: scifi

Touchstone of Love (A Time Travel Romance) by Beth Barany (Novella Review)

 

***A short novel. This is a novella of approximately 20,000 words.***

From present day modernity to medieval France.

When a thunderstorm transports software expert Rose Waldman to thirteenth century France, she meets hunky stonemason Julien, who is secretly creating a gargoyle in defiance of his master mason. Can independent gadget loving Rose trust her life and heart to Julien, and can she really never go home again?

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

 

Time travel stories are fascinating because an author can take you to virtually any date and place in history. Rose managed to teleport to 13th century Scotland where a very muscular man found her buck-naked in a field.

Even though Julien admired her body, he was respectful toward her, probably because he was betrothed to another.

When Rose was lucid, she made advances at him several times despite his commitment to another. I wasn’t a fan of this, but it all worked out in the end. True love conquered marriage by obligation.

I found it comical and realistic how she failed so epically to fit into the new time period. I was mildly shocked she didn’t brainstorm or have meltdowns on how to get back home. I’m not sure if I’d been as resilient as Rose. I’d probably scream or hyperventilate before I succumbed to the realization this was my life now.

After all the drama, this novella ended as I predicted.
It was a sweet ending to a not so sweet start.

 

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

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Click here to add this book to your reading list on Goodreads.

 

 

 

Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.

All the Books in the Touchstone Series:
All books are stand-alone, yet are connected.

Touchstone of Love (A Time Travel Romance) (Touchstone, #1)
A Christmas Fling (A Christmas Elf Romance) (Touchstone, #2)
Parisian Amour (A Fairy Tale Romance) (Touchstone, #3)
A Labyrinth of Love and Roses (A Fairy Tale Romance) (Touchstone, #4)
A Cupcake Christmas (A Christmas Elf Romance) (Touchstone, #5)

Buy All Five At Once!

 

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Lured by Light by Beth Barany (Book Review)


At Bijoux de L’Etoile, the high-end casino orbiting Earth, anything can happen.

It’s a quiet day for L’Étoile lead investigator, Janey McCallister, until a young woman runs screaming through the blackjack tables. She looks like a victim of abuse, but when her boyfriend turns up dead the next day, she becomes the prime suspect.

Determined to investigate every angle, Janey searches for clues and uncovers a world of high-priced escorts and human trafficking—a world just like the one that took the life of her best friend long ago.

When Orlando Valdez, inspector for Sol Unified Planets, shows up with a new suspect, Janey isn’t sure she can trust the mercurial man who stopped returning her phone calls. But as the threats escalate and she unravels a deeper conspiracy, Janey and her team will need all the help they can get. If they fail, it could be the end of everyone on L’Étoile.

***

Lured By Light, the second book in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys, and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick-ass heroine with secrets.

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

 

Lured By Light didn’t fail to keep me entertained. It had mystery, suspense, murder, misunderstandings, futuristic tech gadgets, more questions than answers, and left me counting down the days until Gone Green releases in 2021. 

As with Into the Black, Orlando Valdez worked his way back into one of Janey’s case and, I believe, her heart. Of course, I’m not entirely sure he ever left it. He’s charming but irritating at the same time. One day soon, I think these two will eventually get some quality time together. Maybe Orlando will wear a costume for fun, not just for his undercover assignments. *wink, wink*

As for the ending, Janey didn’t get everything she wanted. The loose ends mean more books, and I am 100% on board for this.

 

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

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

The ‘Janey McCallister Mystery’ Series Reading Order

Into the Black: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Lured By Light: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Coming 2021 – Gone Green: Kindle Purchase Link

Red Running Deep: Date TBD

 

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

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Memory Reborn by Steven M Nedeau (Book Review)

At his new job at the memory storage facility, Darien Mamon is stunned to discover that he is the intended storage device, and has been all along.

Darien thought MemorSingular hired him for his brain. They did. They just don’t need what’s in it. After finding details of a century old knowledge retention program, Darien learns the company has been grooming the minds of new hires to be overwritten with the personas of their most valued employees.

An old classmate, Nancy, could be Darien’s only chance to escape MemorSingular before his mind is overwritten. Unfortunately, Nancy hates his guts, and if she doesn’t change her mind the company will change his.

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

 

Memory Reborn twisted my mind up like a pretzel. Real – fake – it was hard to decipher what the heck was going on. Memory Reborn was a real thinker. It made me question everything and everybody. 

This book was a science fiction lover’s wet dream; however, I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy mystery novels. Hacking, murder mystery, extreme VR, and a few other elements will capture and hold your interest until the final page. You might even find yourself going back and reexamining the clues, wondering if you could’ve predicted what’s happening in the silo before it’s unveiled for us. 

I had my suspicions. I was correct on a few essential items/people, but not on everything and everyone. Plot twists and surprise developments were the name of the game, and Memory Reborn had both! 

 

 

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

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My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

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Interview with Steven M Nedeau (Science Fiction and Fantasy Author)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Author, Steven M Nedeau!

 

  1. Welcome, Steven. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?


(Steven)
I’m an artist, actor, writer, and dancer and I’ve been working as an electrical engineer for twenty-two years. While I was enjoying engineering and solving problems, my artistic side had been drowning in despair for years. An artist must do art, and I was craving a chance to create something beautiful.

I started writing seriously when I became fed up with someone else’s story telling. Critical of several films and television series, I felt the entertainment industry was dropping the ball. How many retellings of the same story do we need? We deserved better than the drivel presented to us.

I was thirty six, still deep in my engineering studies, when I started to think about the stories I wanted to tell. I even remember the moment when I decided to start writing something substantial. I was reimagining how Star Wars Episode 1 should have been told, how the past of Darth Vader should have been written and, in a rant, I built up his back story into a plausible and intriguing tale. When I looked up from my rant, my son’s face was hanging slack as he looked at me in awe. He asked, “Did you just come up with that all by yourself?”

I decided I wouldn’t retell an existing story. If I wanted a story strong enough to meet my expectations, I was going to have to write it myself.

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

 

(Steven) Everyone suffers from writer’s block at one time or another. We all have our own ways of dealing with it. I have a couple of different things I do when so afflicted. I watch old movies, the older, the better. Then, I imagine the scripts of those movies. I imagine the words that would be needed to arrange the scene for the actors. Sometimes, my attempt to simplify what I’m seeing will prompt questions that need answering.

My other answer to writer’s block is sleep. I sleep. My dreams are the backbone of my stories and I often resolve the dilemmas in those tales with my eyes closed.

(Kam) Love this response!  I solve a lot of dilemmas in my sleep, too. 

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

(Steven) I write both science fiction and fantasy. My first book, a fantasy novel, The Soulweb, took seven years to write and a year to edit.

Centuries ago, King Mavius’s spell caused destruction beyond reasoning, weaving a web around and through the souls of his knights. Even now the spell of that long dead king pulls at his descendants and Jaron must trade his books for blades when Mavius, with his knights behind him, returns from beyond the grave to reclaim his throne.

Pushing heavy tomes onto marble shelves and translating archaic text until the wee hours of the night could not prepare Jaron for the trials in store for him. After years of teaching history, he will learn that books do not always tell the truth as he becomes a pawn in a war between kings.

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link
Audiobook Purchase Link

 

 

 

My first science fiction novel, Memory Reborn, took a year to write and two years to edit.

When I’m not writing I have a number of hobbies and so little time for any of them.

We are what we do. Here is a list of some of my favorite things: motorcycles, camping, kayaking, screen-printing. I have a lot more as well, but that’s enough for now.

 

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

 

(Steven) I don’t hide anything about myself. I share my writing with the people around me (maybe a little too much) but I love my creative side and feel I don’t get to take it out to play often enough. I know my wife is sick of hearing about it. Oh, well. Most of my friends and family are supportive, even if they haven’t read anything I’ve written.

(Kam) It’s lovely to hear those around you are supportive of your work. Congrats. 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

 

(Steven) In no particular order, here’s a list of my ten favorite authors. Their stories have built my dreams.

  • Philip K Dick,
  • William Gibson,
  • JRR Tolkien,
  • Piers Anthony,
  • Stephen King,
  • Douglas Adams,
  • Margaret Weiss,
  • George Orwell,
  • Isaac Asimov,
  • Frank Herbert.

(Kam) There are several authors unfamiliar to me. I might need to rectify that. 🙂

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?

 

(Steven) Choose a book for the big screen? Of course, the book would have to my latest, Memory Reborn. This book holds a cinematic feel to it and I could definitely see it becoming a movie one day. As far as actors I would choose, there are so many that have held my admiration over the years, but if I got my choice, I would choose Letitia Wright, Chloë Grace Moretz, Wilmer Valderrama, and James Spader to fill out the four main character roles.

 

At his new job at the memory storage facility, Darien Mamon is stunned to discover that he is the intended storage device, and has been all along.

Darien thought MemorSingular hired him for his brain. They did. They just don’t need what’s in it. After finding details of a century old knowledge retention program, Darien learns the company has been grooming the minds of new hires to be overwritten with the personas of their most valued employees.

An old classmate, Nancy, could be Darien’s only chance to escape MemorSingular before his mind is overwritten. Unfortunately, Nancy hates his guts, and if she doesn’t change her mind the company will change his.

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? 

 

(Steven) I have several works in progress. I’m currently preparing my science fiction novel, Memory Reborn, for publication. In parallel to the print publication, we are also producing the audiobook for Memory Reborn, with George Kuch (http://www.georgekuch.com) narrating.

As far as writing, I’m working actively on the second book of The Soulweb Trilogy while storyboarding the third book.

In addition to the books I also have several short stories in the works. As I complete them, I like to make them available for free on my website. These stories are usually written to go along with some writer’s game or as part of an online collection of stories that all follow the same theme.

I don’t understand how anyone works on only one thing. As I get ideas about new stories I jot them on some paper and let them fester in the back of my head for a couple of years while I push on with the most pressing project.

(Kam) Whew, you are a busy bee! 

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?

 

(Steven) Since all of my books so far are in separate genres, there is no reading order assigned. That is to change in the coming years as The Soulweb is book one of a trilogy. We expect to be publishing the remaining books of that trilogy soon.

Right now, you can find all of my books on Amazon, as long as you spell my name correctly. The Soulweb is available in kindle, ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

Memory Reborn will be available in ebook, kindle, paperback, and audible at Amazon as well, but will also be available just about anywhere you can purchase books. Initially, as far as brick and mortar stores are concerned, physical copies of Memory Reborn may only be available at a few select Barnes and Noble retailers, however, we expect the reach of this book to expand.

My play, The Unlikely Hero, a Fair Play Renaissance Fair Play, is only available in paperback format at Amazon at this time.

 

A narrator tells the tale of not so brave Sir Issanass and the dragon Pestulis Pejorative. This is intended as a live performance play for two to four actors and additional audience participation. There are minimal props and set requirements. Ideal for Renaissance Fairs, school productions, or public events.

Amazon Purchase Link

(Kam) Cute cover. 

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

 

(Steven) My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

 

(Steven) No more questions? I get to say what I want? That’s unusual, and dangerous. Where shall I take this? Will I use this time to build my global empire, to seize power? Probably not.

All kidding aside, I’m not used to such freedom. Here’s what I have to say. If you want to be a writer, write. Don’t wait.

What else is there? Oh, yeah.

Writers build emotional rollercoasters. But, we can’t hear your screams. If you enjoyed the ride, leave a review.

(Kam) Yes, I absolutely know the importance of reviews — giving and receiving of them. 🙂

 

 

 

Steven, it was a pleasure to meet you. I can’t wait to share my review of Memory Reborn with you and my audience. 

Folks, Steven has given you several reading options. I encourage you to click on any of the links and purchase something OR everything by him. 

If your budget is tight and you’re seeking free reads, Steven has FOUR short story titles for you to choose from on his website. Just click HERE to be redirected to the page.

Again, thank you, Steven, for joining us today. I wish you great success in all your future endeavors! 

 

 

 

 

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Into the Black: Janey McCallister Mystery by Beth Barany (Book Review)

She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?

In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.

Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.

When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.

***

Into The Black is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough heroine with secrets.

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

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

Into the Black had mystery, suspense, deception, murder, and sexual tension. Janey and Orlando’s interactions reminded me of Castle and Beckett, the lovable characters from the hit detective show — Castle. 

In the television show, Richard Castle brings out the fun side of Kate Beckett. He’s handsome, sneaky, flirty, quick to mischief. Hmm, yup, it sounds a great deal like Orlando Valdez. Janey and Beckett have some of the same qualities, too. Tough, intelligent, leaders, goal-driven beauties, but can let their hair down at times as well. Plus, they both seem unable to resist their partner, who was thrust upon them against their firm objections… (Figuratively, not literally, of course) 🙂

 

This story is labeled as science fiction, but I can see certain elements coming to pass as technology grows. 

*Casino in outer space? Sure, why not? Casinos are popular on Earth already. 

*Ocular eyeballs? I’m surprised Elon Musk hasn’t created that already.

*Personal AI assistants? TOTALLY!

*Penal colony on the moon? Alcatraz is known as The Rock, so would that make the moon The Rock 2.0?

 

Joking aside, buy the book. You’ll like it, I’m sure. 


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

 

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

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