Book Review: ‘Red Sarah’ by C.A. Kauffman

A delightful fantasy story that blends the historical, magical and contemporary worlds.

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C.A. Kauffman Red SarahThis is a delightful fantasy story that blends the historical, magical and contemporary worlds with an interesting sci-fi twist.

While the mystery around Sarah and the Reds is answered as the story develops, questions about the fate of Lucas and the kingdoms of Mist and Marlowe remain until the very end. The story does have a surprisingly satisfying ending, although most likely not the one most readers expect or prefer.

As with many stories this length, none of the characters are particularly thoroughly developed, but the reader does come to feel that they know Sarah and Lucas fairly well, and that they are invested enough to want particular outcomes for them.

‘Red Sarah’ is an interesting and enjoyable short read that can be read comfortably in the space of a little over an hour, or managed easily enough during breaks in a busy day.
Acorn Award II Silver

This book has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Author Interview: Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

Book Squirrel chats with sci-fi author Emanuel Andrei Costuchi.

Interview Orange

Welcome, folks! Today Book Squirrel chats with Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi, a Sci-Fi writer from Romania, part of the European Union.
Hi Emanuel, welcome!

Thank you for having me, Book Squirrel!

unnamed What inspired you to write?


I became writer because I love the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?  

I was a consumer like everybody, this means I watched movies, I read books and I played computer games, but one day I decided to create my own Sci-Fi universe. So was born the space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I love to read and I have read a lot of books, no matter of genre.
My favorite Sci-Fi book is “Roadside picnic” by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky.
My favorite Fantasy book is the “Rune Swords” series by multiple authors like Clayton Emery, Rose Estes, Tom Wham, J.F. Rivkin.

What are you working on writing now?

I finished the first three volumes of my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord” on November 11, 2017 and now I am looking for a publishing house. Starship “Apple of Discord” is about the adventures of a man from Earth, named Adam, who will meet alien civilizations and technology.
I plan to write more volumes, because my saga isn’t finished yet, and I have other projects too. I want to write another Sci-Fi novel called The Independence, and even Fantasy books.

Who designs your book covers?

This was me. For my Sci-Fi book The Restoration, which is published on all Amazon websites, I used free images from Internet and the cover template provided by CreateSpace.
I paid an young artist from my country to draw the redhead android, which I want to use it as my cover for my space opera Starship “Apple of Discord”. His name is Cosmin Benchea.

What’s your favourite TV show?

This would be Games of Thrones, but I love Vikings and Star Trek too.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

This would be Star Wars: Rogue One. Although I love Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Vader, Obi Wan, Yoda and many other heroes, I think Jyn Erso is great too.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have a nice story about this, which is posted on my Amazon Author page. My maternal gradma asked me this too, and I answered that I want to become a cowboy. My grandma mocked me and said that I want to become a cattle herder. I read comics at that time and my favorite character was a lone ranger. Still is. I said “cowboy” because I was to young to know the word EXPLORER.
I didn’t became an astronaut like Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong. Or the next Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin, or “Bear” Grylls. I have some health issues with my heart. I was born like this, but I don’t complain about that. I take medicines daily.

What’s your favourite quote, ever?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Another one is created by me:  “If you can’t provoke any emotion, there’s little point in writing.” – Emanuel Andrei Cosutchi

I like that!

Thank you!

Where can readers follow you on social media?

If readers would like to contact me, I would love to hear from them. I personally read and respond to all inquiries.
I have a website, and I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram. I also have another page on Facebook for my book.

Fantastic! And where can we buy your book?

It’s available at Amazon.

 

Book Review: ‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ by J. S. Frankel

An absolutely ripping read for NA and grownups.

Jesse Frankel The Unlikeliest CandidateHarry Cannell’s life is going to hell in a handcart – fast. He’s a regular guy with regular problems that start piling up until one extraordinary event changes everything for him.

It’s great to find a brilliant story that revolves around a character who is actually so ordinary and who struggles to make sense of exactly how he arrived at the point in life where he finds himself as the book opens. This makes him relatable to the reader, and positions them to feel sympathy for the misery he experiences.

This story is a unique blend of mystery, sci-fi, comedy, romance and adventure all in one. It’s a great escape into the realm of ‘What if?’ that tempts the reader to wonder and hope that there might actually be something more, some unrealised possibilities that we simply overlook as we pursue life as we know it.

There is some physical intimacy in this book, so it’s suitable for New Adult audiences and up, rather than YA.

‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ is an absolutely ripping read from start to finish.
Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded it a Gold Acorn for brilliant storytelling and great writing.

Find your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Castle’ by Nikki Moyes

A highly original and engaging short read.

Nikki Moyes The Castle
‘The Castle’ is a fantasy/scifi short story about Risha, who finds herself vulnerable because of her age and place in society.

 

This is a story in which the author has created an empowering female lead character for a YA audience, something that we definitely need to see more of at this point in time. Rather than dwelling on her weaknesses, Risha focuses on her strengths and uses them to face the situation in which she finds herself.

 

The reader is quickly immersed in Risha’s world, becoming an observer and looking over Risha’s shoulder as she transforms from an observer into an actor in the story that unfolds,  taking some surprising turns that keep the reader guessing.

 

Highly original and engaging, this is a great short read that can easily be enjoyed in a lunch break.

Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded ‘The Castle’ a Gold Acorn.

 

Find your copy on Amazon.

Book Review: The Riddle of the Gods – Shiva XIV Book 3 by Lyra Shanti

Space opera of epic proportions.

Continuing directly from the first two books in the series, ‘The Riddle Of The Gods’ follows the inter-planetary conflicts and politics that impact so powerfully on the lives of Ayn, Pei and Axis and their compatriots as they fight against the corruption and oppression that has placed their universe in peril. Their battles are personal as much as they are planetary, and as the drama unfolds, the urgency with which they must fight increases. Choices must be made, relationships and alliances are formed, and consequences can be significant far beyond individual circumstances. Through all this, the theme of honor and loyalty is pervasive.

One of the elements of this series that I really admire is the way in which Shanti leads her characters on a personal pilgrimage in which each must accept who they are as an individual before they can fulfill their destiny. It’s a powerful lesson that addresses the most crippling fear of many people: ‘Am I enough?’ in a resounding and positive way.

This really is an elegantly constructed universe, and its stories are compelling. Shanti has yet again demonstrated her prowess as a world-builder and architect of complex, deeply involving characters and storylines.

The Shiva XIV series really is a brilliant space opera of epic proportions. Get on board— it’s a trip you don’t want to miss.

Acorn Award I Golden

As with Shanti’s Shiva XIV Books 1 and 2, and companion novellas, ‘The Riddle Of The God’s’ has received one of Book Squirrel’s shiny Gold Acorn awards.

Find it on Amazon.

Meet a New Author: Rebecca Langham

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

Interview Red

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

Hi Rebecca, it’s great to chat with you. 

Hello, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me!

What inspired you to write?

When I was about four years old or so my mother enrolled to study at university, having always wanted to attain a degree but finding it difficult with four children. A couple of years later, she undertook an honours degree and did a lot of work to write a major research thesis. She took me with her to conduct interviews and I also sat in on a lot of her lectures when she struggled to find a babysitter. I didn’t quite understand what she was writing, but I knew that whatever it was it would be long, interesting, and fabulous. So I wanted to be a writer too, even though what my mother produced back then was the history of a major Australian corporation and nothing at all like the fiction I imagined myself writing.Rebecca Langham Beneath the Surface

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

‘Beneath the Surface’, my sci-fi novel that is being released on 15 January 2018. This is the only full-length novel I’ve completed so far and, after all that hard work and many difficult lessons learned, it’ll always have a special place in my psyche.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I love so many books, shows, movies and songs! It’s so hard to choose. As far as novels go, I absolutely adore Michael Cunningham’s use of language in ‘The Hours’. Fannie Flagg’s ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café’ also really stayed with me. Those are some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching characters I’ve ever seen on the page. I adore the film adaptation as well, but so many rich stories from the book were left out of the film.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I’m terrible at just choosing one answer for questions like this. ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville and ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne’ by Simon Winchester were both thought-provoking reads that I became very emotionally invested in this year.

What are you working on writing now?

I’ve just started the second book of my sci-fi duology. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the first draft, but my goal is to try and have it finished by the middle of the year so it can be published about a year after Book I.

Who designs your book covers?

Natasha Snow. She is amazing!

I’ll say! That cover is magnificent!

Thank you!

What’s your favourite TV show?

As always, I would struggle to just name one. Amongst my favourites are Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, Jane the Virgin, Orphan Black, Farscape & Wynonna Earp.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

There are a few of these. The main ones I can think of are Labyrinth, Willow, and A League of Their Own.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. It’s taken me a while but I’m finally getting there.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Octavia Butler

Bryce Courtenay

Sarah Waters

Where can we find your book?

The best way to support me as an indie author is to go straight to the publisher – NineStar Press – where you can actually preorder the e-book and get it early!
You can also find the Kindle edition on Amazon.

You can pick up a physical copy from major retailers, including Amazon and Book Depository.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

FB – https://www.facebook.com/RLanghamAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rlangham85

Website – www.rebeccalangham.com.au

Book Review: ‘Tempus Fugit by Timothy Casey

This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company.

Timothy Casey Tempus Fugit
This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company. It had me laughing on the first page, and countless times throughout. The storyline is original and interesting, made complete by questions that need to be answered and some serious and touching moments for balance. The humour with which the story is delivered is refreshing and clever.
It does contain mature content, so it is suitable only for an 18+ audience. It’s LGBTI friendly, so it’s sure to please anyone with an open mind and a sense of humour.

 ‘Tempus Fugit’ was a really nice change and a great escape from the more serious and thought-provoking reading in which I often indulge. It is most suited for any grownup looking for a lighthearted read that still gives the grey matter something to do.

Silver Acorns

‘Tempus Fugit’ receives a Silver Acorn.

                                                                                                   Find it on Amazon.