Tag Archives: science fiction

THE NEXUS AND OTHER STORIES is a Science Fiction Sensation!

The Nexus

by Elise Abram

Aliens, ghosts, clones, zombies, vampires, nightmares come to life, teleportation…

There are more things in heaven and earth than modern man will ever know or understand.

The Nexus

They say be careful what you wish for. Meet Josef Schliemann, noted expert in pseudo-archaeology who sponsors a dig beneath a historic church in downtown Toronto. Said to have been built on a tract of land sacred to prehistoric Indigenous peoples living in the area, the secrets of the site have been lost to time. Will Josef survive when he finds the object of his desires?

A Morgan by Any Other Name

In a future where cloning has been perfected–sort of–Rachel, a Morgan model, should have the world at her feet, but she’s not happy. What is the one thing a teenage clone desires?

At the Mere Thought Of

What happens when your worst nightmare comes true? Businessman Crane is about to find out.

The Circle of Life

Bob wakes up the night after attending a wild rave to find he’s not himself. He wakes up, buried alive and hungry…for flesh!

One book, thirteen stories.

In The Nexus and Other Stories, science fiction author Elise Abram explores the myths of the modern world. 

Buy The Nexus and Other Stories.

 

 

 

 

 

If you like “Outlander”…

enigma of longevityIn The Enigma of Her Longevity, Dr. Kevina (Kevy) Paul longs for something more in her life. Her daughter has died from cancer, and her relationship with her husband has grown lackluster. When she leaves her husband, she visits the local police station to leave behind an ominous message: I am okay. Do not try to find me. Kevy, a leading Canadian authority in aviation, travels to the Middle East to help escape her life, and find new meaning when she’s enlisted to stop an impending digital terrorist attack.

Moe Vyas creates a futuristic world that isn’t hard to imagine, given the state of technology today. The scenery he describes is incredibly detailed, as if we were listening to a play-by-play of Vyas, standing there and describing it in real time. The scenario in the book is realistic, as well. It’s not hard to imagine the world being threatened by a cyber-terrorist who uses existing technology—such as ATMs—to spread a computer virus with potentially catastrophic results.

The only disappointment for me, was that Vyas doesn’t explore the actual enigma behind Kevy’s longevity, as the title promises. There is mention at the start of the book that she has lived a long life, which is revisited at the end, but there is no satisfying explanation as to why.

Vyas’s story is told through the frame of a reporter investigating Kevy who is a unique individual, aside from the fact that she lives to the ripe old age of 137. The frame plot is interesting, and adequately sets the stage for the rest of the story, which is told in flashbacks. Vyas’s structure is best suited for a series, similar in sentiment to Outlander, rather than as a standalone book. If his intention is to revisit Dr. Kevina Paul in order to document another outstanding chapter in the life of this remarkable woman with his next book, then I have no complaints.

Mamabear gives this book

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Contact Us – Flash Forward meets 24

contact us cover macyImagine everyone in the world sneezing simultaneously, followed by a brief, yet excruciating bout of pain. Then, within 24 hours, most of the world’s population dies in their sleep. And if that weren’t enough, the survivors are contacted by an alien in the guise of Walter Cronkite and given What would you do? Contact Us documents the lives of some of the survivors–top advisor to the president Charli Keller, long since retired and presumed dead former agent Jake Corby, among them–as they strive to discover the cause and meaning of the sneeze, pain, and culling, in order to save the human race.

Contact us was a quick and entertaining read. Part Flash Forward, part 24, the plot–absurd though it was at times–kept propelling me forward. Charli is a strong, female character who takes the lead in the investigation. Jake is far too driven by his emotions, but learns to rein them in when necessary. Cronkite the Alien is a weird character, who, for all of his peculiarities, had me thinking more like Nixon on Futurama than not, but the caricature works; people trusted the real Walter Cronkite–it’s not a stretch to imagine a shape-shifting alien who chooses to look like him in order to gain a similar trust with the people of Earth. Or is it?

Though Al Macy’s story is farcical at times (not usually my cup of tea), I enjoyed the story. The characters–the human ones, at least–are smart and relatable. Even though the population of Earth suffers a culling, the aftermath isn’t necessarily dystopic. Sure they’re at the whim of a psychotic alien, but they’ve been given the blueprints to all of these useless inventions, and now their resources will go further, and the environment will replenish itself, besides.

Contact Us is a contemporary sci-fi that discusses modern themes and offers a horrific solution to our woes. It does what all good fiction must , which is to help us shed light on the shortcomings of our modern world.

Mamabear give this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Omen Operation

omen operation tour BANNERfirst concept omen operation

Omen Operation
by Taylor Brooke
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Limitless Publishing

Summary:

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense ofcamaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

Buy Omen Operation on Amazon.

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About the Author:

taylor brooke

Taylor Brooke is the author of the upcoming sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love- books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.

Author Links:

Website │ Goodreads │ Twitter |

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Believably Dystopic

rp_autumninthecityofangelscover-220x300.jpgWhen 17 year old Autumn finds herself alone in Los Angeles after a global pandemic, she does her best to survive. On a foray into the city, she is taken in by The Front, a group whose focus is power and repopulation. Autumn escapes and is saved by Grey, who disappears shortly thereafter. She returns to her condo where she discovers Ben and his seven year old sister, Rissi. The three of them set up house in Autumn’s penthouse and grow to become a family, but waning supplies forces Autumn out into the dangerous streets of Los Angeles in search of Grey. Due to the air of mystery surrounding him and the kindness he showed her, Grey has become all Autumn can think of lately. And she thinks she knows just how to find him, based on the directions he left her just before he disappeared.

Kirby Howell’s Autumn in the City of Angels was a great read. Howell expertly sets the scene of a believably dystopic Los Angeles. And while Autumn contains many of the plot lines familiar to this genre– a mysterious boy with whom the protagonist can’t help but fall in love; two camps, one good, one evil; most of the world destroyed by a super-virus–there is one plot twist that I didn’t foresee (and which I won’t divulge here) that makes it different from the rest. Autumn in the City of Angels is more than a simple tale of surviours in a post-apocalyptic world. The sci-fi elements are there if you look closely enough. These elements serve to throw a wrench into Autumn and Grey’s sweet love story and hooks the reader further in as the novel races toward the end.

I’ll admit I was thrown for a loop when the big sci-fi element was spelled out for me. When I went back to write this review, I realized that was because I wasn’t reading closely enough. Howell drops hints that I’d missed throughout. Simple things like Autumn’s loss of time that are credited to her injuries, have a much deeper meaning, so watch out for them when you read. And though my first impulse was to stop reading at the point of the reveal, I’m glad I didn’t. My one true complaint is that the book ends too abruptly, and without resolution, probably to leave the reader wanting more for the next book in the series. I’m one of those few people out there who don’t particularly like binge reading series, and would have preferred more of a plot resolution as a result. If you enjoy reading series, however, then you won’t be disappointed. Howell’s intention, to leave the reader wanting more, is bang on.

If you enjoy dystopic sci-fi and paranormal, romance book series, you are in for a treat in  Autumn in the City of Angels.

Mamabear gives this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author Interview with Lisa Bilbrey

Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming author Lisa Bilbrey in an interview about her writing, her books, and her writing process.

AH cover final (1)Hi, Lisa, and welcome to Britbear’s Book Reviews.

When preparing this interview, my research took me to your Goodreads page which lists your genres as romance, young adult, science fiction and fantasy. Which of these is your favourite genre to write in and why?

I don’t see myself as someone who writes multiple genres, even though I do. I simply write the story as I feel it should be told. All of my books have the basis of love overcoming all obstacles. I’m a believer in the power of love, but if I had to pick outside of romance, I would say I love Contemporary Adult books the best.

Your website displays a badge for your status as a 2014 NaNoWriMo winner. Which novel did you work on that year? What did you learn about the writing process by participating?

I actually [worked] on two different books during NaNoWriMo. The first was Forgotten Awakenings, and the second was a new series I’m working on called The Deck of Cards Killer: A Zoe Mack novel. I struggled with both, but somehow managed to snag my 50,000 words. For me, the most important part of NaNoWRiMo is just to keep writing. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it’s most likely not going to be good, but just to sit down every day and write something. Editing comes after the end of the month.

 Great advice for all writers, Lisa, whether or not the participate in the contest. ASeasonOfChangeNewCover

Your bio says you spend much of your “time trying to improve as a storyteller.” What are some of the techniques you employ in this quest?

Well, I’m one of those authors who loves edits. I love getting a MS back that has been marked with red ink because I always learn something I didn’t know. For me, I find that so helpful in my future writing. When I was a young girl, I really struggled in school. I have a learning disorder and often felt I was too stupid to be able to write, but I always had a story inside of me. So, I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and started writing. And it was bad. Like really, really bad. There were simple spelling errors, punctuation errors, [and] plot holes the size of Texas, but I learned from my mistakes, and it’s made me a better writer. I still have a lot to learn, too. I hope I always will because it pushes me to work harder at my craft.

I think you may have already alluded to the answer to this question, but when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t know that I ever sat down one say and said I want to be a writer. I’ve always had stories inside my head. I’d lay in bed and let them play out, or I’d be driving and think of the different plot ideas. One night, I had trouble sleeping, so I grabbed my laptop and started one. At first, it was just for fun. I didn’t really think it would lead to anything, but then I found myself with fifty stories written, or at least started, and I found that I couldn’t stop writing. Most of these were badly written Fanfiction, so then I started writing Angel’s Heart: The Keeper. I had half of it written when I pushed it aside and wrote Life’s Unexpected Gifts, which was my first novella. I fell even more in love with the idea of writing.

journey_collection_frontTalk a bit about your writing process. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I used to be a [pantser], but I’ve found over the last couple years that I write better with an outline. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just the basic ideas for each chapter. I also have to have noise when I’m writing. Whether it’s my children, the television, or my music blasting, I cannot write when it is quiet.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively since your first novel?

I think my books have gotten deeper, more emotionally charged. I think as I’ve continued to perfect my craft, I’ve gotten better at writing the details that need to be included, while omitting the ones that don’t.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books and why?

I can read either, but I will always prefer paperbacks/hard copies. There is just something about the way they feel in my hands, turning each page that makes it so much better.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Honestly, I’d love to have written Harry Potter. The way J.K. Rowling wove all seven books together is masterful.

You have self-published through Amazon. The world of publishing has drastically changed LUG2over the past decade, with the advent of print-on-demand services, such as Amazon’s Digital Service. Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Well, I originally published out of a small publishing house that I co-owned, so I was able to learn the process from the ground up. When I made the decision to sever my ties from the house, I knew that I wanted to be able to fully control my books. I think there are good things, and horrible things, about self-publishing. Too many people take the easy way out by not having their books properly edited and formatted. But I think Amazon has opened a lot of doors for authors who would otherwise never get the chance to see their books in the hands of readers. I see big publishing houses having to change the way they do things in order to compete with the smaller houses that offer authors more control of their work.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t asked so far?

I can’t really think of anything. Just that all of my books are written from my heart.

Thanks for that amazing interview, Lisa.

Here’s where readers can discover more about Lisa Bilbrey and her work. 

| Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads |

 

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 About Lisa Bilbrey (from GoodReads):

Obsessive, compulsive, slightly crazed, but enough about her personality. First and foremost, Lisa Bilbrey is a mom to three and a wife to one. She loves to write, and spends the majority of everyday writing. It’s who she is, and what she’s meant to be doing. Words are her life, the air she breathes, and the nutrients of her soul.

Finding a love in the written word, Lisa Bilbrey started writing as a way to express herself and let her voice be heard. From the first word she wrote, she’d found her heart and soul.Always willing to learn, she’s spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.

 

Write What You Know

Today’s post features a guest post by A.E. Albert, author of The Time Sphere.

From Amazon’s product description:

the time sphere cover

What if you discovered an amazing secret, a secret that led you on an adventure to save the world and perhaps…yourself?

Billy Townsend, a thirteen year old boy who has lived in a group home his entire life. He has no family, no friends, and is bullied everyday by muscled bound morons who have it better than him. Well, that’s what Billy thinks at least. His life is a constant upheaval of new towns, new houses and new people. The only thing that stays the same is the nagging loneliness that follows him everywhere.

Billy’s world is forever changed when he meets a mysterious stranger. He must now journey through time, fighting his way to the future. As he learns to use his wits and together with new found friends, he finds the strength to meet the challenges set before him. However, Billy soon discovers that his greatest challenge to face is himself.

Buy The Time Sphere on Amazon.

Write What You Know

When I sat down and made the decision to write a book, I looked down at a clean white sheet of paper and asked myself, what do I write about?  I grew up watching the Anne of Green Gables movies, until I finally read the series in my twenties.

One of my favorite scenes is when Gilbert looks at the stubborn and uncompromising Anne and dares to criticize her work.  He then challenges her to write what she knew about, be inspired by people and events around her.  This line had always stayed with me, even before I had ever thought about writing myself.

The trouble was I knew I wanted to write within the sci-fi/fantasy genre.  I also have a love of history and traveling and knew that they needed a place somewhere in my book.  So I took a little sci-fi and little history and came up with a time travel story.

But as every reader and writer alike knows, great characters are the heart of every tale.  Character development is my personal favorite aspect to a story.  I knew I needed characters that were gripping, real and who could grow.  At this point, I began to chew my lip and stare far too long at my pad of paper.  Suddenly, the words of Gilbert materialized in my mind.  Write what you know.

I have been a Child and youth Worker for almost 15 years.  I had been employed in numerous group homes and currently help children with special needs.  I have worked with many wonderful children throughout my career who have faced many challenges and adversities.  Yet, through it all, they managed to laugh, learn and add something special to my own life.  I knew in an instant that my protagonist was a child of social services.

Billy journeys through time, fights deadly foes and faces seemingly unbeatable odds.  Yet, his insecurities and are his greatest hurdle.  These personal challenges he must confront are directly intertwined with the plot and its exciting end.

Write what you know.  Following this advice gave me an empathic view of my characters.  I don’t just mean compassion, there’s more to empathy than that.  I mean being able to understand their decisions and know what path they will take.  You know what they will say and how they say it.  It’s as though your characters are writing your story and you are but an instrument of this endeavor.

Thanks Gilbert.

About A. E. Albert:

aeprofile pic-cropThank you for taking the time to read about me. As you probably have already guessed, I’m a first time novelist. I love reading, writing, travelling, history, science and a many more interesting (or not!) subjects. Of course, these interests don’t separate me from the majority of the population and my hobbies are quite generic. I thought I’d just get that part out of the way. But I’d like to tell you why I have embarked on this journey. For most of my adult life, I worked as a Child and Youth Worker in residential group homes and in the school board. I’ve worked and cared for many children like the ones described in my book. I’ve always felt that these children have been misrepresented and misunderstood. I decided to write about what I knew and so I created a character that lived in the social services system. Through humor and the occasional tear, I attempted to inform the reader what it is really like for the children of foster care and perhaps, to send a message to these special children that there is always hope. So, I decided to take my work experience, love of adventure novels and natural creative talent to write my book. The truth is, I began this endeavour simply as a hobby and a means to divert my mind from my very stressful job. I’ve always been an avid reader but didn’t believe that to mean that I was a writer myself. I simply decided to write a novel that I would enjoy reading. However, as I began my journey into the written world, I discovered a passion that I didn’t know existed. Writing this work was the most difficult, yet the most exhilarating experience of my life.

“The Body Institute” Cover Reveal

The Body Institute

Release Date: 09/01/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

 

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

 

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. he’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

About the Author

I’m a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel The Body Institute explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I’m an SCBWI member.

You’ll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading–mostly young adult novels–as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds. 

Author Links:

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Author Interview with Drew Avera

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to have author Drew Avera in the spotlight interview.

twin cities series the raven drew averaOn your Amazon page, it says you write in the genres of dystopian science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and steampunk. What draws you to these genres?

 

I think growing up with comic books made me interested in these genres. My favorite is dystopian science fiction by far. I love the idea of overcoming great trials even when it’s a hopeless situation. 

What an inspiring theme! Does your  experience in the Navy figure into your stories? If yes, then how. If no, then why not?

I think it inspires the dystopian stuff just because of the atmosphere of being in the military. There’s always that voice in the back of your head letting you know what is at stake. I’m familiar with going long periods of time away from my family and that has an effect on me I can’t deny. I’m sure that factors in, especially when my protagonist’s family is in danger.

Your website for The Twin Cities Series describes it as “a collaborative set of novellas written by a number of different authors.” Could you elaborate on this? Is each novella collaborative, or is it a shared world? How do you keep the parameters of your world consistent throughout the series? 

It’s a shared universe and we discuss where the world is headed. It’s kind of like writing fan fiction, but your story is canon for the world. Each author brings their own characters and story to the table and we share some characters so the world feels connected. We are always up for new authors wanting to take part too. The goal is to have lots of stories in the world.

Wow! What a unique and interesting concept! How did the project and your involvement in it come about?

It was my idea to bring some author friends together and explore a new world. I got a core group to take part and we designed The Realms to be a place full of magic and mythology. The Realms is a living place and takes on the personality of whoever is ruling it at the time. Right now it’s a vampire, but one day it could be an Egyptian god or a sorcerer.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is always a reason to have hope even in dark situations.

What is your most favourite part of the publishing/writing process? Your least favourite?

I love dreaming up ideas and discussing stories with other people. When someone tells me they love my book it’s awesome.

The part I don’t like is the lack of time I have to get my books written and keep to a schedule. That’s hard to do with a full time career, but my dream is to retire and earn a living writing books people enjoy.

I think most authors would agree with you there.

What is your favourite motivational phrase and why?

I really don’t have one, but someone once told me when I was starting out to not pay too much attention to the rules. They are just guidelines. You don’t want to write according to a preconceived formula. Just write the book you want to read.

Great advice, Drew.

What are your current projects? 

I’m finishing up The Dead Planet Series early 2015 and I have a few other stories in work. 

What is the one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?

Interviewer, “Would you like a million dollars?”

Me, “Can you make it two?”

Interviewer, “Ok.”

Me, “Awesome!”

If only, Drew. If only.

Thank you so much for your participation in today’s interview. We look forward to your next release.

Here’s how to discover more about Drew and his work:

| Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page |

Buy Drew Avera’s books on Amazon.

drewavera

Drew is an active duty Navy veteran and self-published author. Drew grew up in Mississippi and now lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. He writes dystopian science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and steampunk.

 

Review: Broken Realms

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00006]Broken Realms by D.W. Moneypenny is a fabulous adventure spanning multiple worlds. Mara Lantern is on a turbulent plane ride when a blue light envelopes the cabin. She believes she’s sleeping or hallucinating, because what she sees–another version of herself, lights flashing, strange creatures replacing the passengers–doesn’t see real. The plane crashes in the lake and passengers are pulled from the lake. Everything seems business as usual until strange things start to happen and Mara learns her life will never be the same again.

I liked Broken Realms, primarily because it reminded me of an episode of  X-files, following the investigation of the crash with Special Agent Ethan Suter of the FBI and Detective Bohannon of the Portland Police Department. Ditto the creatures from other realities. While I realize this is the first of a trilogy and a little leeway should be given to the length of the story to set up the premise of the series, I found the characters a little one-dimensional for my liking.

In Broken Realms, Moneypenny has set up an incredible fantasy universe that will have no problem supporting sequels as Mara, her Miyagi-esque mentor, Ping, and her brother from another dimension mother, Sam, track down the remaining Flight 559 passengers and save them (and the world) by sending them back to their respective realities,

Mamabear gives this book:four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest
review.