National Superhero Day Reading Suggestions

What’s that, you say?  There are Superhero stories that aren’t about the Avengers?  Who knew?!  😛


AF 1 BR Version - Michael Bailey.jpg See it on Amazon!

Join the action with the Amazon best-selling YA superhero series! The worst summer of Carrie Hauser’s life began with her parents’ divorce and ended with her receiving superhuman abilities from a dying alien. Now Carrie is trying to put her life back together, and all that stands in her way are an insane artificial intelligence, the mercenary known as Manticore, and a mysterious organization that wants to claim her power for itself. Save the day? Sure — as soon as school lets out.


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For one superhero, the good guys can be deadlier than the bad guys. 

Jillian Johnson, known as the mighty Battlecry, was born into a superhero cult. She craves a life of freedom, far away from her violent and abusive team leader, Patrick. With no education, no money, and no future to speak of, she’s stuck in the dangerous life…until she meets the mysterious and compelling Benjamin, a civilian with superpowers. When Patrick confronts her, she fights back–and then runs for her life. One by one, her ex-teammates join her until a new team has formed.

But Patrick will not let his upstart teammates get away so easily. Humiliated and hellbent on vengeance, he waits for his chance to strike back and kill the new team, and he is happy to murder superheroes and civilians alike. On top of that, Benjamin has joined Jillian and her comrades, angering his own lethal family. Jillian’s enemies begin to close in from all sides.

Desperate and in hiding, Jillian must shed everything she thinks she knows about what it means to lead. Can she rise up to the challenge of defeating Patrick? Can she save Benjamin from his family? Or will she die like every other superhero who’s dared to challenge the cult?

 

 
 

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Teen superhero, Starrella, and her flying horse combat vicious villains in the skies of Atalanta.The quiet summer before her freshman year turns frighteningly weird after Estelle Wright trespasses onto an Army base. Blown into the air and knocked unconscious, she wakes with a nascent superpower. Not to mention a winged horse with a snarky attitude and a mind of her own.

Back home in Atalanta, a serial killer is targeting the students at Goldman University. Before long she must juggle college classes with sneaking out of the house after dark to battle alien monsters. Estelle’s life is in danger, but who can she trust: handsome Captain Copper from military intelligence, or hunky Toby, the tough gangster with a motorbike? Both men have secret agendas, but falling in love is not in their plans.


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She can heal any wound, but the price is her freedom, her humanity, and her love. 

After a brutal attack, medical student Cassie Whelan discovers she has empathic healing abilities. She’s become an exohuman – a non-human according to the law. She must choose between hiding the miracles she can perform or becoming an anonymous, numbered government slave – like Guardian 175, the horribly disfigured exo who is falling in love with her. With her empathic senses, she can actually feel his growing affection for her. But his loyalties are divided between love and duty. She wants to trust him, but betrayal by him could destroy everything. And the one thing she can’t heal is her own heart.


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After a mysterious phenomenon called The Event, superhumans—called specials—now walk among us. And the potential danger these untested and powerful beings warrants a way to keep them in check. Enter Vanguard, a government-sanctioned team of superheroes designed to deal with rogue specials. This team of powerful beings with even more powerful personalities must overcome their differences while dealing with one life-threatening crisis after another! 

But a mysterious warlord and his terrorist network waits in the shadows, planning to use superhumans for their own nefarious purposes!


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What happens after the superhero gets the girl? 

Nobody said being married was easy, but try being married to a superhero. Not only is there laundry, cooking, and a career to balance, but throw in a few supervillains and your day’s booked.

Ariana, Victoria, and Emma’s men spend more time saving the world than doing dishes. These wives want some semblance of a normal married life, but would settle for an uninterrupted meal together.

How can they compete with saving the world?

When a catastrophic earthquake devastates Shadow Town and crime spirals out of control, the city needs help.

Everyone expected the superheroes to save the day, but nobody expected the wives’ help too…


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Dawn Takahashai knows all about superheroes.

She’s been a fan of them for years. So when she’s granted an impressive powerset of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first superhero: Miss Red and Black.

Her first challenge is Faultline. He’s powerful, smart and, as a henchman for Bailey City’s first supervillain, standing right in her way. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that under the mask, Faultline is Alex Gage, a working-class guy trying to scrounge together enough money to help support his younger sisters.

Dawn has no idea that the charming and seemingly straightforward Alex is Faultline. Alex has no idea that the adorably awkward Dawn is the superhero he clashes with at night.

And Dawn and Alex have a date next week.


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The Just Cause Universe is the original superhero universe created by Ian Thomas Healy and published by Local Hero Press. It focuses on diverse, complex characters in a gritty, realistic setting despite their fanciful abilities.


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No powers? No problem!

That’s never stopped Alice before, and it’s not going to stop her from finding her aunt’s killer. Especially not now that she’s become the legendary vigilante Serpent.

But being a hero doesn’t come with instructions and one mistake unleashes the living nightmare Phantasm upon Jet City.

With no time to waste, Alice and her super-powered allies, vow to end this fight. But is her determination enough to protect the city or will defeating Phantasm demand a hero’s sacrifice?

Serpent’s Sacrifice is the first book in The Phantasm Trilogy, a twist on the popular superhero mythos. If you like brave heroines, chilling villains, and nail-biting action, then you’ll love the thrilling emergence of the Serpent!


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Jill Andersen is one of Baltimore’s best and brightest detectives, but she harbors a dark secret — a secret that threatens to come out when the body of Dr. Trent Roberts is pulled out of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Roberts’ connection to Jill reveals a past that involves a tour in Iraq, a secretive cybernetic experiment, and a conspiracy that involves a native son.

Can Jill solve the case while still keeping her secret? Will her partners at the Seventh Precinct find out what she’s so desperate to hide? What was Dr. Roberts looking into that led to his murder? And perhaps the biggest question of all…

Who is Bounty?


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A below-average underdog. A supercharged crime-fighter. Their shared secret could transform the world.

Kalum Walker lives in the shadow of his athletic older brother. Scrawny and prone to panic attacks, he’s a far cry from the superheroes he doodles in his notebook. When his brother steals his meds to help calm his game time nerves, he doesn’t put up a fight. After all, the fate of his family rides on his brother’s performance. But without his pills, Kalum’s blackouts begin getting worse… and a disturbing voice inside his head starts urging him into some dangerous situations.

When a blackout-related encounter with bullies puts him in a hospital bed, he starts to notice mysterious bruises all over his body. As he learns of a masked crusader serving up a new kind of justice outside the Corporation compound, he realizes the vigilante bears a striking resemblance to his superheroic sketches. Locked in a battle with the voice inside his head, Kalum must solve the mystery of the infamous Steel Falcon and save his brother before he loses control for good.

Awakening is the first fast-paced novel in the Steel Falcon YA sci-fi superhero series. If you like immersive future worlds, family drama, and edge-of-your-seat twists, then you’ll love N.K. Quinn’s action-packed coming-of-age tale.


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Criterion is the world’s mightiest hero.

His sidekicks just found his body.

The Cadets are shattered by the death of their idol. Unable to maintain their brave and plucky façade, they are consumed by strife and jealousy.

The only thing keeping them together is terror. Once protected from on high, they are now isolated and vulnerable. Can they cover up Criterion’s death and avoid a global meltdown while his murderer is still on the loose? What hope do they have against an enemy that can kill anyone?

Who killed Criterion? Who will die next?


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In the dying world of 2027, there’s no place worse than Babylon.

The fallen city once known as New York is now ruled by feudal gangs and plagued by doomsday cultists. No sane soul ventures there willingly, but former childhood friends Morgan Whitechapel and Kurt Petrovich have no choice.

Fate once separated the compassionate, streetwise survivor and the brooding son of privilege. But the dangerous attentions their newly-manifested superhuman powers bring force them from their homes and reunite them on the savage streets. Their only hope for survival lies with each other – and with a pair of strange nomads who possess powers of their own. Against all odds, these extraordinary young people will fight to make a new home for themselves in the bones of the Big Apple.

Together, they might just stand a chance…


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Superheroes aren’t born. They’re moulded by government academies.

Ellen doesn’t remember much about her parents, they died when she was four. Raised by her aunt she’s envied for years the homo-magis children called on to be tested and subsequently enrolled in one of the five academy’s for heroes.

Ellen isn’t a homo-magis.

Or so she thought.

Her parents were two of the first Superheroes, their lives sacrificed to stop Novaside and save their only child.

Ecstatic, yet a little nervous to finally be a part of the world she’d dreamed of, Ellen is off to Imperium Academy.

But her classing doesn’t go as expected.

Instead of joining the ranks of the illustrious Star Heroes, Ellen is regulated to the role of Sidekick, after all, night vision is barely a superpower.

Many have begun to question the need for Sidekicks, some teachers even suggesting they would be better suited to other employment.

But with Novaside getting bolder, and her latest attack hitting too close to home, Ellen is determined to stay at the academy and prove them wrong.

After all, where better to learn to be a hero than a school full of supers?

Cover Reveal for “The Eighth”

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“I’m going to die tonight.”

Esme, the Order’s current alterni, wields magic she barely understands.  This is not her world. These are not her people.  Whenever she closes her eyes, she relives battles with a thousand malevolenci demons.  And tonight, she knows this could be the end.

King Owen Lord is responsible for summoning Esme to this nightmare.  It’s up to him to keep her alive.  But deep down, he fears Esme is in over her head.  They all are.  The Order is losing this war, no matter how many cavali soldiers Owen leads against the demons.

When a malevolenci rift opens right on top of a treasured historic site, it triggers the worst battle of Owen and Esme’s partnership.  Can Esme close the rift and stop the demons’ invasion?  Or will Owen lose yet another alterni friend?


Stay tuned for the future release!

How Becoming a Mom Changed My Nerdiness

Of course I heard from everyone with an ounce of experience that becoming a mother would change my life.  I was prepared for this in most of the big, important ways, but one of the things that’s surprised me is how being a mom has changed my life as a nerd.

First, I obviously don’t have 8+ hours a day to spend writing.  That just ain’t gonna fly anymore.  I was also never a writer who carried around a notebook – I took notes here and there, but never actually WROTE in a notebook.  Now, that’s the easiest and/or only option I have.  When you’ve got one arm pinned under a sleeping monster, straining to reach a nearby notebook is a lot easier than trying to escape and get your laptop.  (In fact, as I write this – on my laptop – I have to keep distracting little hands from pulling out my power cord. And this post will take me approximately 8 times longer to write because I have to keep tossing her over my shoulder to look out the window at the dog, who I’ve just noticed is eating his poop… BRB.)

I also was never a huge phone app person.  I’ve added at least 5 now, all related to being a mom or using baby gear, so in that little way I’m becoming a little more of a techie.

And you better believe I plan to pass along love of my fandoms to the little squirt.  We’ve already binged the new She-Ra, and she at least stared at the transformation hair, so that’s a good start.  I look forward to first viewings of Star Wars and Dr. Who, first readings of The Chronicles of Narnia, and teaching her to side with me over her dad about Hogwarts houses.

Something I didn’t expect was that, for the first time in my life, I’d be able to easily relate to other women.  I grew up on a hunting preserve, writing science fiction – I’m just not wired to connect with most women.  But with the shared experiences of childbirth, babies that just will not sleep, the inevitable poop explosions – suddenly I feel LESS like an outsider and more like one of the tribe.  By creating a tiny human, I too have a non-nerdy thing to talk about that’s actually relatable.

BUT, at the same time, I’ve found that being a nerd AS a mom is a pretty common thing too.  I stumbled upon a couple Facebook groups for nerdy parents, and that’s my new favorite use of any free minutes the mini-tyrant allows me.  Nerdy memes related to parenting, nerdy discussions about our favorite nerdy things, and of course occasional parenting questions – it’s all great.

That’s not to say that I don’t miss being a more active part of my other favorite community, my author peeps.  To those of you who’ve put up with my endless social media posts of baby pictures, please forgive, as it’s the only way to keep our friends and family up to date who live 2+ hours away.  I promise I am reading your books and watching videos and generally lurking as a fan/friend even when I’m too exhausted to comment.

So, until the next time I have a minute free of screamed, nonsensical demands, here’s AI taking in Star Wars the only way she knows how…so far.

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Review of “Given to Fly” by JD Estrada

I smiled the entire time I read this book. It’s sweet, fun, colorful, imaginative, and includes wonderful lessons for any child or adult. The wordplay often made me chuckle, and the writing proves Mr. Estrada is a poet even in prose. The story reminded me at times of “Alice in Wonderland ” and at times of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” while always being unique as well. Great characters, fantastical adventures, beautiful language – I was hooked.

This is a book I will definitely buy in paperback for my kid to treasure.

See it on Amazon!

2018 down, 2019 to go

Where have I been?!

As some of you know (and anyone following my Instagram) I birthed a human this summer. 2017 left me kind of burned out in the “author life” department, so I purposely did next to nothing book-related in 2018.

BUT, I genuinely do miss this side of my life and plan to jump back in for 2019. I don’t foresee being able to sit with my laptop for 8 hours at a time, so I expect I’ll finally put to use all the notebooks I have tucked away – scribbling a note here, maybe scraping out a paragraph there. And, yes, the voices in my head have never quieted, so I’ve got material!

Idea/plan/goal #1: The long-promised Kota Companion Story about the discovery of Ebon. This might be longer than the other novellas. The feel of this one is…Think Prometheus without the plot holes + Sphere without the water. There will be science and exploring and alien creatures and resurrection and plenty of creepiness.

Idea/plan/goal #2: Another children’s fairy tale. It won’t be directly related to A Fairly Fairy Tale per se, but expect to see what became of Beauty the Black. Again, I’ll aim for adult humor sprinkled in with plenty of twists on fairy tale tropes – Ribbit the frog prince has kissing consent issues, for example.

Idea/plan/goal #3: A spinoff/4th book in The Alt-World Chronicles. That’s right, there’s more! The first 3 books will stand alone as a trilogy just fine, but I’m continuing the series with a new trilogy following Piper and Max as they hunt for assassins in the alt-worlds.

So that’s what I’ll be working on in my limited spare time! I’ll also get back to posting monthly videos with updates and book recommendations, plus I’ll do giveaways (MISS YOU, my newsletter peeps).

Have a great New Year’s Eve! I plan to be in bed by 10:00 pm. 😜

Newest little reader already into comics!

Hot New Release “Given to Fly” by JD Estrada

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Have you ever wanted to read a book that dreams about becoming a Studio Ghibli film?  Well now you can.  Given to Fly is the 13th book by Puerto Rican indie author JD Estrada and his first full length middle grade fantasy novel.  But more importantly, it’s a book with a lot of heart and no violence.

If you see movies, TV, video games, or the news at any given moment, it’s almost as if violence is a required ingredient in whatever medium we enjoy.  Given to Fly is a book that avoids the use of violence even when it talks about real issues like death, financial and professional struggles, and life in general in favor of finding joy and life lessons through the fantastical.


At 11 years old, John Rivers is a kind hearted kid who dreams about flying.  He’s just moved to the Pacific Northwest with his family to a house that although it’s very lovely and very cozy, it’s not exactly magical. What he doesn’t know is that magic is actually closer than he thinks.

After strolling up a hill near his house, he finds a cliff with a cove at the bottom and a huge tree growing over the water.  What’s special about this particular tree is that it currently serves as the resting spot for a house that defies logic while embracing the amazing.  As curious as he is kind, one look at Od Manor would have been all it takes for him to consider heading into the sideways house, but when he sees a shadow inside, he climbs down to make sure no one is in trouble.  Once inside, he discovers that no one is in trouble but that the term living room has never been as literal as when an ottoman starts asking questions.  The house’s owner is called Fäet Odstein, which would be odd enough if he weren’t also the literary persona of JD Estrada.  Adventure ensues as Fäet discovers that John dreams about flying. Intent on helping the boy out, they seek the help from a library pillaging bookworm, angels, spiders, and even take a moment to contemplate at the meaning of life in the linen lagoon as they try to discover what it takes to fly.


Apart from a whimsical adventure that feels like a lover letter to works by Hayao Miyazaki, Given to Fly is also the first of what will be a series of stand-alone middle-grade novels with Fäet Odstein as one of its protagonists.  The purpose of these books shall be to offer stories without violence that hopefully get more children to read and dream.

Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, Peter Pan, and dreams of flight, Given to Fly is a book full of heart that skips the violence in favor of the fantastical.

Grab a copy today HERE on Amazon!


IMG_1040This is not the first time JD Estrada has written middle grade fantasy stories.  His Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore have been described as whimsical bedtime stories with a lot of heart.  That same heart was the main driver for this story.  Like most of his works, Given to Fly was written longhand in one of the best gifts Estrada has ever received in his life.  A long time ago, his wife gifted him a hard cover notebook.  The image on it was particularly special to him.  She had asked him what image meant the most to him.  Without batting an eye, he looked up the image to the Pearl Jam single by the same name.  A couple of months later and with misty eyes, he had a hard cover notebook with that same image and the name could only be Given to Fly. But what to write about…

The question lingered in the air and rumbled in his brain until a trip to Orlando had him and his wife going to Epcot Center and getting on the Soarin’ ride for the first time.  As sights, sounds, and smells washed over him in the beautiful flight simulator, an idea was born and by the end, he had soared right into an epiphany.  “It’s going to be about a boy who dreams about flying,” he told his wife through tears of joy after getting off the ride.

Several years have passed after that ride and finally Given to Fly is ready for you to read.  It is a tribute to things that bring him joy and a song that makes his soul smile.

IMG_0864In honor of the band that has inspired his life so much, all proceeds for Given to Fly and all other Estrada books for the remainder of 2018 shall be donated to Actionforjackson.org in support of #EBAwareness.  Epidermolysis Bullosa is a family of rare genetic disorders that affect the body’s largest organ: the skin.  Eddie Vedder (lead singer for Pearl Jam) has worked hard to support this cause.  It is a small token of gratitude for everything the band means to Estrada and aligns with his #Humans4Humans efforts to support different causes and try to make a positive impact through his writing and any other efforts to support good causes that help our fellow humans.

qjWC_df-_400x400 (1).jpgFind JD at:

Website – www.jdestradawriter.blogspot.com

Twitter – www.twitter.com/JDEstradawriter

Instagram – http://instagram.com/jdestradawriter/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/

Facebook page – www.facebook.com/JDEstradawriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/j-d-estrada

 

Hot New Release – “Red Wrath” by Gerhard Gehrke

51UEWycoZFLSome heroes will pay for their sins.

Heroes always do good.

That’s what Lily believed until a superhero killed her parents. The news reported it as an accident. Lily knew otherwise.

On that fateful day, her life was shattered.

But how do you seek revenge against the most powerful man on the planet?


See it on Amazon!


Gerhard Gehrke is the author of the Supervillain High series, Nineveh’s Child, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth, and the new Minder’s War series. His short story Past a Spinning Star won Anotherrealm’s Editor’s Choice award. He has written for television and is a content creator for an upcoming video game. He studied film at San Francisco State University and lives in Northern California.

For fun he photographs snakes, lizards, and insects on the trails around his community.

www.gerhardgehrke.com

Hot New Release – “The Liminal Hymns” by Anaïs Chartschenko

**I’ve only read a little from Anaïs Chartschenko (and, yes, I have to copy/paste her name every time), but so far I’m very impressed by her work.  So, when given the opportunity to help promote her newest creation, I jumped on the chance.  I’m looking forward to this collection and to giving her a listen as well!


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The Liminal Hymns sing the story of moments between, leaving certainties to embrace doubt. Liminal spaces are explored through examinations of mythology, philosophy, and religion. With sardonic shots of whiskey and wit, this collection delves into the sensory and psychological kaleidoscope of the human condition.

See it on Amazon!

See it on CDBaby!

Black Powder4New Ideas10Not Just Jacob


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Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include:

Bright Needles
The Whisper Collector
The Weightless One
Perfect Break
The Liminal Hymns

 Follow Anaïs:

www.anaischartschenko.weebly.com 

 

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Review of “Darkest Hours” by Mike Thorn

36309774.jpgIt might be odd to call a collection of horror/noir short stories “beautiful,” but that is the impression I’m left with.  These are incredibly well-crafted, well-written stories from an author I quickly grew to respect.  Thorn’s mastery of prose is an absolute delight to read.  His creativity is refreshing.  His subtle ability to make the horror sneak up on the reader is a gift.  I compared these stories many times to my favorites from Poe, and they indeed share the chilling truth that the worst monsters are the ones within.

The range of stories here was a surprise.  I never knew what to expect from story to story – in one you have a guy unnaturally obsessed with hair, in another you have a ghost doomed to wander, in another you have a terrifying monster that assimilates unsuspecting campers.  In every story,  it was easy to get into the mind of the characters and see the horror through their eyes.  And, again, the writing itself is worth your time.

Any book that has a monstrous blob devouring the works of Derrida has my vote.

5 Stars

See it on Amazon!

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