Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guest Post: The beautiful Dead Author, Jun Prince

The Beautiful Dead:  A Tale of K-Pop, Ghosts,
and Nine-Tailed Fox Women
Jun Prince

Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Apollo and Nyx Publishing
Date of Publication:   September 22, 2017
ISBN:   978-0999491300
Number of pages:  346 (Print)
Word Count:  97k Words
Cover Artist:  Damonza

A lonely Korean pop star learns her high school classmate died five years ago. So why are they still texting?

Yubin knows she’s different than the other girls in the pop group SIITY. Yes, they all got sucked into the same machine, giving up schooling and signing ridiculously long contracts before anyone knew if they'd be successful, but that's how pop stars are made in Korea. Yubin is supposed to be thankful for that, but she isn't. She doesn't even like the girls she performs with. 

She’s more connected to her former schoolmate Jieun, even though all they ever do is text. Over the last two months, Jieun has become her confidant and best friend, connecting Yubin to the real world in a way she desperately needs. Now that SIITY is going to appear on the reality show The Incredible Race: Asia, Yubin will need that connection more than ever, which is why she’s devastated to discover Jieun has been dead five years and is actually haunting her. 

If that weren’t enough, Yubin’s not the only SIITY member with issues. Rena’s father is emotionally abusive. Somi has a learning disability, and after a near death experience, Tae-eun becomes a nine-tailed fox woman. The only way they’ll survive the show, each other, and the supernatural currents buffeting them is to work together and win the hearts of their fans. Because if they don’t, they have nothing to go back to even if they survive what's trying to kill them.  

Dawn of The Beautiful Dead and Method Writing

Seoul, 2012

I was an exchange student studying at Yonsei University in South Korea.  On the first day of an elective creative writing workshop,  I was one of two students hit with their first short story assignment. It was due in four days.  I was excited about my first writing project, not so much about the deadline.  I had no idea what to write.

Fortunately, I have a wild imagination. My head is like the guy from Scrubs spiked with a dose of the old World of Darkness, The Dark Tower and Willy Wonka.  I'm always having paranormal daydreams.

It was cold outside, so after class, I tucked into my headphones and winter coat,  and listened to "News" by Nine Muses on the 20-30 minute walk home.  During the first play through I slipped into an intense daydream about a Korean pop star being possessed by a ghost while doing a photo shoot. 

There was something there. I saw faces, situations, and characters I'd never written before.   I put that bad boy on repeat for over an hour and the daydream became more complex with each repetition.  Before long, I had every thing I needed to write my short story.  The result, then called "Smile," became the foundation of my novel. It's since been revised countless times, and is now the photo-shoot possession scene in the final version of The Beautiful Dead.

YouTube Link:  News by Nine Muses

I was feeling pumped before our workshop.  Given the time constraints and wellspring of creativity I'd discovered, I was sure I'd knocked it out of the park. A+ for sure, right?   Not so much. At least my classmates seemed to like it when they commented,  my Professor?

"This is good, if all you want to do is make a million dollars."

My insides turned.  Part of me wanted to ask "What's wrong with making a million dollars?" The other part of me knew I'd been insulted.

My professor continued. "Your writing has no soul.  It's all Hollywood. It's all plot.  Who is this person this is happening to?  It could be anyone."

After class, she and I had a sit down about writing, and she gave me some of the best writing advice I've had  "Write what you know. Draw on personal experiences to bring life to your stories." 

For my next assignment, I decided to focus on another member of the same pop group (Rena), but instead infusing her back story with a bit of my own. Rather than focusing on a person being attacked by a poltergeist, I went after the idea that celebrities are people too, with at times difficult family relationships. 

I was rewarded when my professor closed her eyes, opened her comments with a deep breath, as if savoring fresh air, and said "That's what I'm talking about.  This is real.  If you keep writing the same story, my best advice is for you to keep on going."

The writing of my novel long exceeded the duration of that class, but I took those words to heart by making a point to include some element of autobiography in each of my characters.  Where fact ends, and fiction begins is different for each one,  but they are all made real by drawing on some element of my personal experience. 

Around this time, I also became driven to get as close to the Korean entertainment industry as possible.  I wasn't a pop star, and while I felt like I had the human elements unrelated to my protagonists' professions down, I wanted to get closer to the biz. I'd already met the K-Pop group T-Ara a few times since I'd been in Seoul, but after that class, I started going to recordings of TV music shows several times a week. Unlike before, I started paying close attention to what was going on before and after performers went on stage.   

One day I was treated to an over 8 hour behind the scenes tour at KBS where I was able to watch band after band get ready for their studio recordings.  It was amazing. During promotional events I paid close attention to the demeanors of the stars—did they seem happy? Tired? Burdened?  Did their attitudes change as soon as the cameras started rolling?  This was all useful information.  I got to see what they typically ate for lunch. Some talked off the record about their lives in dorms owned by their record companies, and I was shocked by the lack of privacy.  One time, I was present for the filming of a TV drama.  Each event gave me a little more experience to draw on.

Later, I was asked if I'd like to appear on a Korean cooking show, Olive Show, as a guest.  I accepted in a heartbeat.  If I didn't have experiences of my own to draw on, I made them. Writing started to feel a lot like method acting, as I actively sought to put myself in situations that my characters found themselves in.  In this case, sitting in a TV studio and being filmed for television.  It was method writing.

I write supernatural fiction.  Whether or not ghosts, nine-tailed foxes, and were-creatures are real, it's important to anchor the tale in emotions that are distinctly human.   Have you ever been afraid? Channel that. Have you ever accomplished something that you didn't think you could do?  Let that feeling guide your prose when your protagonist experiences a similar emotion.  Are you writing in a completely made up world?  Fantastic, that doesn't mean you can't borrow enchanting elements of the real one.  Remember, just because you're telling stories about monsters doesn't mean its not at all real.

The best works of fiction contain some elements of autobiography.  It's the means by which characters become people, and settings evolve into places.  If you feel you are lacking experiences to fuel certain areas of your writing, you can always make them.



“Ha Yubin! Where’s Somi?” Yubin limped into the practice room and sat in a folding chair next to her gym bag, both their manager and the choreographer looked annoyed.
“I don’t know. She wondered off.”
Manager said, “Yubin! You’re the leader right?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Then act like it! It’s your responsibility to keep everyone together!”
Then Somi walked in with a bagel sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts. Everyone looked at her, but her eyes widened in an expression of bewildered “What?” as if nothing happened. Their manager snatched the half eaten sandwich out of her hand and slammed it into the garbage causing both Yubin and Somi to recoil as if slapped.
“No more junk food while we are promoting you fat cow! You want to go join the Piggy Dolls and sell music to fat kids?” Although the words were meant for Somi, the glare behind them was shot at Yubin. They both bowed their heads looking chastened. He mumbled “What a morning” under his breath.
“No, sir.” Somi murmured.
“That’s right…” Yubin thought. The maknae had every right to be ashamed, and yet it was somehow also Yubin’s fault that Somi didn’t know how to show up on time or stick to a diet. Yubin had never asked for the title of leader. There wasn’t much benefit, and quite a lot of grief. Those other stupid girls couldn’t take the job seriously. She was only the leader because she was the oldest, and she’d never be an equal partner with her manager because he was more than a decade her senior. The combination of his age and title entitled him to speak to them however he wanted.
“Now everyone’s here. Let's go. Take your positions.”
Yubin felt a sharp pain in her knee with each step and limped to her position in the practice room.
“I was hurt this morning. I fell down the stairs.”
“You fell down the stairs? During promotions? Yubin! How could you be so stupid?”
It wasn't like she wanted to take a header down the stairwell, and couldn’t help that she felt watched. It made her uneasy, but she also knew that voicing her protest wouldn’t help.
“I’m sorry…”
“Sit down! We don’t need you stumbling around and falling even more. We’ll get you a brace, and have doctor Kang send you some Vicodin. Don’t move until he gets here.” SIITY was pre-recording today, so they had to arrive at the studio early. She'd go to the hospital after they were done.
For the second time that day Yubin was struck by the things it was possible to get used to. Get hurt outside of promotions and everyone screamed “Hospital! Hospital!” Injure yourself within the first three weeks of your comeback, and it was “Eat some pills and get back to work! We’ll get you checked out when we have time.”
What did that make her within this chaotic world she’d grown into? The waves of contempt flowing off everyone with the title of “Manager” or above made her feel hollow inside. It was one thing to have the general impression that they only cared about profits, and another thing all together that her psychic whatever-you-call-it made it so she really knew.
She sampled the outside emotions simmering in that ghostly second heart of hers in the opposite side of her chest that was responsible for her psychic abilities, and she knew that to him her physical pain was nothing more than expensive broken merchandise. A man might be willing to crash his hundred billion won sports car if he thought he could make three hundred billion won in the process. They only cared when it might hurt profits, and while all the executives had private penthouses to call their own, she was trapped living in a dorm with three morons that she hated. What was the point? She'd expected to find more purpose in stardom. As it was, the only point she could see was to build more popularity.
She sighed. The show must go on. A few hours of rehearsals and then she’d be at SBS awash in a few minutes of cheers from her adoring fans. Then she’d remember why this was all okay, and why having some other reason to exist didn’t really matter. Until then and after, it was going to be a long day.

About the Author
Jun has lived in Asia for the better part of the last decade. During his years in Korea, he made a point of learning about and getting as close to the Korean entertainment industry as possible while writing his first novel "The Beautiful Dead." He enjoys telling stories about monstrous humans and humanized monsters.

He has a MFA from the University of California - Riverside, graduated with a BA in English Cum Laude from the University of Washington - Seattle, and attended Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student.
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Cover Reveal: Warning Call by Author Danny Bell

Warning Call
Danny Bell
(The Black Pages, #2)
Publication date: December 21st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Elana Black. Saving the day even if she has to tear a hole in the universe to do it.

An unbeatable mythological horror has its sights set on Elana, and that’s not the worst of her problems. Gods want to use her, shadowy agents want to eliminate her, and a powerful sorcerer wants to kill her; all as she rushes to stop an event which portends the death of her best friend, Olivia. It’s all catching up with her, and just in time for Christmas. Elana is going to have to figure out how all of it is connected but she’s in over her head, outnumbered, and running out of time.

And she always thought magic would make her life easier.

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There is also a limited release cover:

About the Author

My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?

Goodreads / Facebook


Monday, November 20, 2017

Justine Avery: The One Apart - Excerpts and Giveaway

The One Apart
Justine Avery
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Justine Avery
Date of Publication: December 4, 2017
Number of pages: 568
Word Count: 109k
Cover Artist: Oishii Designs

Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.

Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.


A casual knock pre-empted the arrival of an attending nurse. Sancha heard the sounds of a metal cart rolled in, its wheels locked in place at her bedside. She took a quick puff of air and released it as the knuckles of her fists began to turn white.

She heard a rustling of linens, then Maria leaning toward her from her chair on the opposite side of the bed.

Something heavy and warm was laid against Sancha’s arm.

“Sancha...” Maria pleaded this time. “Please.”

Sancha squirmed against the uncomfortable pressure on her arm.

“I can’t let you live the rest of your life,” Maria whispered, “knowing you never even saw him.”

Sancha swallowed. Her breathing quickened. She rolled her lips between her teeth. And she opened her eyes—as slowly as humanly possible.

The brightest pair of crystalline blue eyes stared back at her.

They blinked tenderly, giving away how new to blinking they actually were. Their steady gaze pierced straight through to something rooted within Sancha.

The eyes blinked again, temporarily cutting off the intense connection before opening again to resume it. Sancha rested on her bed in silence, mesmerized by the novice rhythm of blinking resembling Morse code.

Every muscle in her body relaxed. Her mouth began to form an unthinkable smile. She couldn’t help herself.

The baby—her baby—beamed at her with his big, round eyes and flooded her with the total contentment and perfect peace that wafts only from brand-new life.

About the Author

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.

Twitter: @Justine_Avery

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Monster of Selkirk, Book 1, by C.E. Clayton

The Monster Of Selkirk
The Duality of Nature
Book 1
C.E. Clayton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Print Length: 329 pages
Publisher: DevilDog Press
Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn't like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.

But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis's name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

Amazon     BN     Kobo     iTunes     Smashwords     Goodreads

About the Author:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in Southern California where she worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts that ranged from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). This was before she packed up her life, husband, two displeased cats, and one very confused dog and moved to New Orleans. Now, she is a full time writer (mainly in the fantasy genre), her cats are no longer as displeased, and her dog no longer confused.

More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, and poetry, can be found on her website


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Matriarch Matrix: An Interview with Author Maxime Trencavel

Title: The Matriarch Matrix
Author: Maxime Trencavel
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.

It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices…

The past foretells her future…

What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…

Twelve thousand years ago…

She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”

Heirs to destiny…

By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.

 The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.

An Interview with
Maxime Trencavel

Religious Mystery
Science Fiction / Metaphysical & Visionary

Maxime has been scribbling stories since grade school from adventure epics to morality plays. Blessed with living in multicultural pluralistic settings and having earned degrees in science and marketing, Maxime has worked in business and sports, traveling to countries across five continents and learning about cultures, traditions, and the importance of tolerance and understanding. Maxime's debut novel was written and edited in different locations in Belgium, including the Turkish and Kurdish neighborhoods of Brussels, in Peru, and on the two coasts of the United States

Welcome to Jena’s Bookworms

Tell us about your writing career. How long have you been writing?
I am a debut author or as one of the reviewers said “storyteller not novelist”, which I take as a
complement. It feels like I’ve been writing forever after completing The Matriarch Matrix. I started
seriously considering attempting a novel in spring of 2016 when the good fortune of a more open
schedule came my way. My writing proclivity started in primary school when I attempted to write an
epic emulating the Hornblower series. I never finished, but the teacher was generous with my grade. I
continued to write stories and plays through secondary school. Then that fateful moment comes when
your parents ask “what do you want to be when you grow up.” Philosopher, historian, or writer as an
answer does not play well in those conversations. So STEM I went until I completed a very successful STEM based career. And now, I am blessed with opportunity to be that philosopher, historian, and writer that I had once aspired to be.

How did you choose your genre?
What genre is this book? That is a question I am watching for insights in reader reviews. At a recent
writers conference hosted by a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, I heard the best articulation of different genres definitions. It was there that I realized that I had pulled what I need from different genres to create this story. One lunch I sat with a well-published author and shared with her this story. And she affirmed that is what a debut author should do. Write the best story they can regardless of genre definitions.

Kindle lists the book as Religious Mystery and Metaphysical Fiction. Why? Originally it was listed as Science Fiction/Action-Adventure and Metaphysical Fiction. As I saw the first thirty reviews, I saw the words “suspense” and “mystery” come up often. So I asked Amazon for a change. Why Religious and Metaphysical? The origin of faith and the religious beliefs of the characters are foundations of the conflict created in the story. It is not “Inspirational Fiction” as I have heard it defined at RWA conferences, but it is a story about characters with deeply held religious background – a Sufi Kurdish woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien believing atheist – and their need to overcome their differences to solve the problems in the storyline. Ironically, Amazon Books also lists this book as Romance/Science Fiction and Romance/Action-Adventure. Did what I learned from RWA shine through?

Tell us a little about the books you’ve published. Series, or stand-alone?
If you had asked me after the second of three rounds of beta-readers, I would have said a stand-alone.
As I attended writers conference after writers conference over the past year, many told me to break up
my manuscript into two books. Yes, it is long. Like a Dan Brown Robert Langdon series book or Mary Doria Russell’s Sparrow. I did an extensive re-write trying to make Part 1 stand on its own, but thought it would have been a weak stand-alone book without Part 2 which the third round of beta readers concurred with.

But I always thought there was a follow on story for which I have most of the synopsis underway now. The premise of ancient giants, of mysterious objects, of the origin of our faiths, permeates through cultures and myths around the world. I did not wrap up The Matriarch Matrix as tightly as some reviewers would have liked, which may have left some not fully fulfilled. But I left the threads open for the second book. And maybe a third.

What inspires your work?
I want to inspire readers to re-think the world, the past, and where we are going together. I believe for
sanity sake we allow ourselves to be lulled into “safe” mental patterns which can lead us down paths
that are not healthy for humanity. We judge very quickly and dismiss ideas, people, cultural differences. We can forget that we are more alike than different deep inside. This includes what we perceive as religious differences. In the ending chapters of The Matriarch Matrix, this is the lesson that the omnipotent oligarch Alexander Murometz tries to enlighten Peter Gollinger after Zara Khatum leaves. What is tolerance if not the open mindedness to see below the surface, beyond the fear?

In The Matriarch Matrix, I lead readers down one path only to have the world turn on them. It is
uncomforting for some, as we can read in the reviews, but I do this to help the reader breakthrough, to see the world just a little differently, and perhaps have a little more compassion for fellow humans in distant lands away or perhaps down the street. For some it works. For others, it is just unsettling.

Who are your favorite authors, and what is it that draws you to them?
I’ve been simply fascinated by the rise of A.G. Riddle, an executive who took to writing. I read The
Atlantis Gene a few months after it was published in 2013. The reviews were mixed, but it was just
starting to take off. He wrote a great intertwining plot story that linked human history back to the
Neanderthals with pieces of real history with alternative rationale linking us to alien being who have
guided our past. I remember the critical reviews hitting on his editing and the unrealistic love story.
And yet it has sold millions of copies and is one of the leading science fiction romances today. Goes to show that story trumps all.

I’ve read a lot of Glenn Cooper’s books. He’s an infectious disease physician who became a biotech
executive. He studied archaeology at Harvard. His smarts and historical proclivity show in his complex plots. Something happens in history and someone in today or tomorrow’s world has to solve it. His written style is not an easy read and sometimes you need to read a section twice to get the full
meaning. Intertwined plots that come together in the second half. The Matriarch Matrix takes after his style.

In their vein, I wrote The Matriarch Matrix. I spend a lot of time studying top romance writers’
techniques in person, listening to their talks, and reading their books. As such my hope is the underlying love story is stronger than that found in these authors’ book as well as Zara’s character development being much more 3D and complex.

And then there’s Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Almost like an Aesop’s fable on finding your place in life, your inner happiness that sits right beneath your nose. A story that has inspired millions. I can only hope to have captured a little inspiration for folks who read The Matriarch Matrix.

Are you working on a story now?
The sequel to The Matriarch Matrix. I jokingly told one of my alpha readers that I would name it The
Matriarch Mamas. And she screamed “No, you can’t do that!”

I purposely left loose ends in The Matriarch Matrix. Who really were the assassins chasing our
protagonists? Were they Alexander’s goons? Were they a rebel Kurdish group? No, no, and no. You
will be very surprised who. What happens to Zara and Peter? Will they truly be “man and woman
together” for the salvation of mankind? And there’s Sister Magali reunited with Father Jean-Paul.

The story will travel to China, the Crimea, Russia, Israel, as well as revisit Zara’s homes in current day Turkey and Iraq.

And finally, we will come to understand what the object was and how it affected Zara and Peter. The
god gene complex is only part of that story.

What do you anticipate your release date to be?
Perhaps next spring. I was stunned at how long the editorial process for The Matriarch Matrix was. I
hope I learned something from last time around. However, I will still use a couple of rounds of alpha
and beta readers which will take time for the right quality reasons. Real reader feedback helped me find the path for The Matriarch Matrix, for understanding how the story truly centered around Zara.

Any stories sitting on the back-burner?
I have the whole back story of Nanshe and Orzu’s ancestors and the origin of the object. It all links to
historical paranormal searches in Russian history. I’m unsure if this will neatly fit into the next book or do I make a small novella.

Do you have a website?

What will we find there?
The Matriarch Matrix is as well researched as a Dan Brown book – the technology, science front, history, and ancient anthropology and sociology. Much of this is discussed in blogs on this website. Readers can learn more about Göbekli Tepe, about aliens in SciFi, about banana slugs, about Kurdish feminism, and  more. These topics were edited out of The Matriarch Matrix, so I put them into the website. I add a new blog post about twice a month.

Do you have an Amazon Author Page?

Where else can we find you?

Get “The Matriarch Matrix” on Amazon

Monday, November 13, 2017

Audiobook Review: Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer

Wolves and Roses
by Christina Bauer
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: October 31st 2017
Monster Hose Books

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that--if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

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A Review by Brandy's Book Nook
Brandy Mulder

Wolves & Roses by Christina Bauer


I really like this story. It's entertaining, exciting, and has an interesting point of view on fairy tales.Anyone who is part of the world of magic has a fairy tale template that their life is supposed to follow. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. are all templates.Magic is slowly dying out so laws have been passed to protect those than can do magic or are made of magic like fairies. People treat those of the magic world like celebrites, and mob them trying to take pictures.

Then you have those like Briar Rose and her friend Elle. They have trouble following their life template, so have to go to group therapy sessions. Braiar Rose is a sleeping Beauty template, but has been cursed. She uses an inhaler to take medicine so she won't fall asleep, hates her "prince", and wants nothing to do with woodland creatures. I really like Braiar Rose. She tough, stands up for herself, and doesn't wait to be rescued. Her best friend Elle is a Cinderella template, but she's got a lot of secrets.Elle is a thief, who steals jewels that have already been stolen. Yep these two teens are an interesting pair.

Enter Knox and Alec. They are two of three guardians of magic. Knox is a werewolf, and I got a kick out his talks with his wolf. They really cracked me up. Alec is a wizard, and uses gems to cast his spells. These two are tough, and good in a fight.They fight the Denari, and there is some interesting twists with that group.They're a little creepy to say the least. 

The story starts a few days before Braiar's 18th birthday. She thinks that after her birthday her curse will be over, and she'll be able to have a normal life, and go to a normal school. She's in for more than a couple of surprises. There's people trying to kill her or worse, her prince is hiding a few dark secrets, her friend has secrets, the boys have secrets, and her three fairy aunties have secrets. With that many secrets this story keeps you guessing till the end. The character development is great, and so is the world building. You really get drawn into the story.I would say this book is good for mature teens. There is no adult content, but there is some nudity as our werewolf changes, and there is some cursing.

That being said, I gave this book four stars because of the narrator. There are parts where the tone or the pacing just kind of made me wince a little. Especially at the beginning. I listened to the book twice, and it has a lot to do with the tone of voice used in certain places. After a few chapters the narrator really gets into the story, and it's great except for a couple of small spots. Also, at the end when I was having a happy moment over the ending of the story, and I really hope there is a sequel, it was kind of jarring to hear her acknowledgement section start off with a long talk of what her formula is for writing tough heroine books.It killed my happy thoughts a little bit.I do reccomend this story, you may want to consider the ebook versus the audio, but it is an excellent story especially for those who like fairy tales with a twist.

Buy Links
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About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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