‘The Legend of The Black Shadow’ by Elonzo Phillips

‘The Legend of The Black Shadow’ is a western novel by Elonzo Phillips. Photo: Amazon

Elonzo Phillips is a writer who was born and raised in Wharton, Texas. He started writing when he was 19 years old while in his second semester in college and wrote his first book when he was 21. By the time he graduated college, he had written four books. He wanted to become a writer because he has always excelled at creating stories, both fiction and non-fiction. When he was in school, he was constantly teased for daydreaming and now he has turned it into writing, his favorite hobby, for when he is daydreaming, he is re-writing reality in his head as his own personal multiverse. His favorite author is Stephen King and the movies based on his books, especially Stand By Me, Misery, Pet Sematary, and The Shawshank Redemption partially inspired him to become a writer. His book “The Legend of the Black Shadow” is the story of Bryce Taylor, a young black cowboy out to prove that life can be lived without hate, conflicts, or wars. A reading sample is available on Amazon. (Elonzo Phillips, 2023)

“The Legend of the Black Shadow” – Even as a kid, young Bryce Taylor watched the evil of the West slaughter both his family and his friend. Since then, Bryce has traveled all over the West, feared as the famous mask gunman, known as The Black Shadow, who wanted nothing more than to stand and fight for colored folks and for folks of different ethnicities, proving that all humans are the same and should be treated the same, regardless of color. During his journey around the West, he crosses paths with friends and foes, who hate, fear, and like him.

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New book release: ‘Torn’ by Estralia Russelle

‘Torn’ by Estralia Russelle. Photo: Estralia Russelle, used with permission.

Estralia Russelle is a writer who enjoys independent thinking and creative writing. She writes novels about character development and adventure and spends most of her time in nature, learning about all life and the wonders of creation. The nature of existence captivates her attention. Having traveled to seven continents and many countries, she is intrigued by the different cultures around the world. She studied and practiced the healing arts for several years and is a retired teacher, having taught elementary, middle, and high school. Her new romance novel “Torn” centers around Anora, who after a brokenhearted farewell to her boyfriend Winston decides to move to Australia to get to know her herself and her long-lost biological family. (Estralia Russelle, 2023)

“Torn” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo.

“Torn” – Anora is perplexed when her long-time boyfriend, Winston, announces his abrupt move to India from Germany, where he will be able to fulfill his life’s goal. He insists that coming with him is a mistake but implores her to have faith and wait for him- for two years. She expected to marry Winston. While he has made no such commitment, her heart longs for that future.

Heartbroken and dejected, she searches for a new beginning with her long-lost biological family residing in Australia. Finally, she can get to know her roots. Not only does she become acquainted with the mother she has never known, but siblings, aunts, and the extended family for which she has longed. The shadows of her past haunt her. Deep wounds envelop her heart from years of abuse and neglect. How will she know love when she finds it if she has never been in love?

With this new environment comes new beginnings – including love- that she never expected. Hawthorne is a stunning, tall man with an infectious laugh. He captivates her mind and her heart. However, his culture is foreign to her, leaving her to wonder if she can find unconditional love with someone so different from herself. Nevertheless, Anora finds love, but that is only the beginning. Their families are full of prejudice and threaten to tear them apart. Together, against all odds, they are steadfast in their commitment to one another.

“One of the strengths of ‘Torn’ is Russelle’s beautiful and poignant writing style. The prose is well-crafted, evoking a wide range of emotions in the reader.”  Jennellbrown – Barnes & Noble review

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Book review: ‘Meru’ by S.B. Divya

‘Meru’ is the new science fiction novel by S.B. Divya. Photo: Amazon

S.B. Divya is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of “Meru,” “Machinehood,” “Runtime,” and “Contingency Plans For the Apocalypse and Other Possible Situations.” Her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and she was the co-editor of Escape Pod, the weekly science fiction podcast, from 2017-2022. Divya holds degrees in Computational Neuroscience and Signal Processing, and she worked for twenty years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author. In her new book “Meru,” one woman and her pilot are about to change the future of the species in an epic space opera about aspiration, compassion, and redemption. A reading sample is available on Amazon. (Amazon, 2023)

“Meru” – For five centuries, human life has been restricted to Earth, while posthuman descendants called alloys freely explore the galaxy. When the Earthlike planet of Meru is discovered, two unlikely companions venture forth to test the habitability of this unoccupied new world and the future of human-alloy relations. For Jayanthi, the adopted human child of alloy parents, it is an opportunity to rectify the ancient reputation of her species as avaricious and destructive, and to give humanity a new place in the universe. For Vaha, Jayanthi’s alloy pilot, it is a daunting yet irresistible adventure to find success as an individual. As the journey challenges their resolve in unexpected ways, the two form a bond that only deepens with their time alone on Meru. How can Jayanthi succeed at freeing humanity from its past when she and Vaha have been set up to fail? Against all odds, hope is human, too.

The story takes place in the far, far future when humans, whose numbers have dwindled, live in colonies on Earth and their robot/AI descendants called ‘alloys’ are the next form of intelligent life. This concept in itself is what stands out because of the rapid rise in AI in recent years. Combined with science fiction, space exploration, and genetic engineering, it makes for a complex saga filled with technology, friendships, and the ever increasing question of what it means to be human. There are so many types of technologies introduced, like the bodym, the body’s information network, and an incarn, the temporary body that alloys use while on Earth, that at times it is hard to focus on the story itself. While the use of the pronouns zie/zir is commendable, it can be distracting until/unless the reader gets used to them. The language, while occasionally tech-heavy, is relatively easy to understand and the story is mainly dialogue driven and switches narration between Jayanthi and Vaha. ‘Meru’ is an impressive work of science fiction complete with space travel, world building, exploration of the human condition in the face of insurmountable challenges, and even an interspecies romance. Labeled as The Alloy Era Book 1, the story will likely continue, and is recommended for readers who appreciate books on genetic engineering, space exploration, and science fiction. It is certainly an interesting work of science fiction.

“No amount of grief and rage could overcome a lifetime of conditioning. Do the least amount of harm to every form of consciousness, alive or not. A planet might not think and feel, but it had a place in the universe. It deserved respect and kindness, especially from a puny thing like her, whose survival depended upon it.”

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

New book release: ‘Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future’ by Marvin Merritt II

”Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future’ is the new science fiction thriller by Marvin Merritt II. Photo: Marvin Merritt II, used with permission.

One of my favorite book genres is science fiction, especially when computers and aliens are involved in one way or another; that is just the sci-fi geek in me. This new release from Marvin Merritt II caught my attention: “Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future.” The first chapter is titled ‘The Unexplained Sky’ and begins as the night sky in San Diego, California is lighted with “a stunning array of lights, transforming the city into a celestial canvas of vivid colors.” You can read a sample on Amazon. Sounds intriguing? Here is more information about this exciting new science fiction thriller.

Marvin Merritt II is a seasoned Navy veteran and new author from Georgia. With over 20 years of service and multiple deployments, he has received numerous accolades and awards for his dedication and commitment to serving his country. Marvin’s writing often delves into themes of resilience, hope, and the power of human connection. He skillfully blends suspense, mystery, and heartwarming moments to create stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats while touching their hearts. In his latest book, “Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future,” Marvin showcases his talent for weaving thrilling tales that captivate readers. (Marvin Merritt II, 2023)

“Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future” is an enthralling sci-fi novel that transports readers through time and space. As strange objects appear in the sky, a self-loading internet app spreads worldwide, sparking wonder and mystery among the population. Noah, a brilliant scientist specializing in Computational Linguistics, leads a team that discovers the true nature of the network – a connection to humans 1,000 years in the future. Deciphering encrypted messages, the team learns of an impending disaster that threatens the Earth, putting the fate of humanity in their hands. As the countdown to the disaster begins, governments worldwide race to protect their citizens while people come together to show extraordinary displays of compassion and generosity. Meanwhile, Noah, Aria, Dr. Toliver, and their team race against the clock to prevent the catastrophe, navigating through dangerous obstacles and evading powerful organizations seeking to exploit their discoveries for their gain.

“Echoes of Tomorrow: A Race Against Time to Save Humanity’s Future” is a thought-provoking and suspenseful novel that delves into our responsibility for our present and future. The book is filled with unexpected twists, heart-pounding action, and intrigue, keeping readers on edge until the final page.

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New book release: ‘The Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World’ by Marvin Merritt II

‘The Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World’ is the new novel by Marvin Merritt II. Photo: Marvin Merritt II, used with permission.

In today’s book news, here is a new release from Marvin Merritt II, “The Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World.” It is a thriller with a relatively new concept in literature: social media, specifically live streams, and how these forms of connectivity can affect people’s lives.

Marvin Merritt II is a seasoned Navy veteran and new author from Georgia. With over 20 years of service and multiple deployments, he has received numerous accolades and awards for his dedication and commitment to serving his country. Marvin’s writing often delves into themes of resilience, hope, and the power of human connection. He skillfully blends suspense, mystery, and heartwarming moments to create stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats while touching their hearts. In his latest work “Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World,” Marvin weaves a thrilling tale set against the backdrop of a bustling metropolis. Through Jimmy’s journey, the charismatic bus driver, Marvin explores the power of positivity, the strength of community, and the impact one person can have on the lives of others. (Marvin Merritt II, 2023)

“The Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World” is a gripping and thrilling novel that delves into the complexities of a society driven by social media and connectivity. In this futuristic world, Jimmy, a bus driver from Chicago, transforms his daily route into a captivating live stream, capturing the hearts and attention of millions of viewers. With his charismatic personality and knack for showcasing the diverse talents of his passengers, Jimmy becomes an unexpected sensation.

However, the excitement takes a dark turn when a series of murders strike the community, leaving Jimmy and his viewers in shock and fear. Determined to uncover the truth, Jimmy embarks on his own investigation, enlisting the help of his loyal viewers, his friend Monica, tech-savvy Derrick, and the relentless Detective Rodriguez. As they navigate the digital landscape and unravel the secrets hidden within the interconnected world, the lines between reality and virtuality blur, posing unforeseen challenges and dangers.

In “The Transit Chronicles,” author Marvin Merritt II seamlessly combines elements of mystery, suspense, and technological innovation, painting a vivid picture of a society shaped by social media and the pursuit of online fame. With each chapter, readers are taken on a thrilling ride, exploring the power of human connection, the impact of digital platforms, and the lengths one man will go to seek justice.

Through its compelling characters, immersive world-building, and thought-provoking themes, “The Transit Chronicles: Uniting Lives in a Connected World” captivates readers with its blend of high-stakes intrigue, unexpected twists, and an exploration of the profound effects of technology on society. It is a riveting tale that will leave readers questioning the boundaries of the virtual world and the lasting impact of human relationships in an increasingly interconnected future.

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New book release: ‘Retribution’ by Robert McCaw

‘Retribution,’ the fifth book in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery series, will be out June 6, 2023. Photo: Amazon

Robert McCaw grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw’ s writing is imbued by his more than 20-year love affair with this Pacific paradise. In his new book “Retribution,” the fifth in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery Series, Chief Detective Koa Kane wonders is he might be the real target as people around him come under attack. It will be released June 6, 2023. Book review coming soon. (Amazon, 2023)

In the back alley of a bar on Hawaii Island, a young man is found stabbed to death. When Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane begins investigating the crime, the murder weapon is recovered only a few feet away from the body. Crime scene technicians find fingerprints on the knife and they are a perfect match for Koa’s younger brother, Ikaika.

As the brothers scramble to prove Ikaika’ s innocence, another crime sends shockwaves through the Hilo police force. A sniper tries to take out Makanui, Koa’ s closest colleague. As Koa tries to figure out whether these crimes are linked, the sinister force continues their killing spree, threatening Koa and his loved ones at every turn.

Could Koa be the real target? If so, who is behind this trail of retribution? With his own secret criminal past, Koa confronts an all-out offensive against those closest to him and his police force to which he has devoted his life. As the bodies pile up, Koa finds himself the ultimate target of a ruthless adversary and must risk it all to survive.

While all the novels in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:

“Death of a Messenger”
“Off the Grid”
“Fire and Vengeance”
“Treachery Times Two”



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‘Retribution’ release date

Book review: ‘Daddy’s Girl’ by Michael Schnabel

‘Daddy’s Girl’ by Michael Schnabel is a memoir about the challenges and struggles of parenting. Photo: Amazon

Michael Schnabel is an author and a graduate of Northern State University. Michael developed his passion for writing and storytelling during his thirty-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He lives in Overland Park, Kansas with his wife, and when not spending time with family, you can find him tending to his 26-acre tree farm. His first book, “Daddy’s Girl,” is a memoir about the challenges and struggles of parenting through a medical crisis. (Amazon, 2023)

“Daddy’s Girl” – How does a young mother overcome an 8% chance of living to raise her newborn son? She becomes a warrior and provides hope for others. This is the story of a father, his daughter, and the deadly battle she won. In each person’s life there are events that forever change their course. Twenty-seven year old Stephanie experienced two of these events in fourteen days; the birth of her only child and the discovery that she might now live long enough to raise him. She is haunted by the thought that this baby will only know her through pictures, until she makes that thought her motivation to survive. Michael Schnabel, Stephanie’s father, tells the story of survival and how three generations of a family respond to crisis. It begins with the happy news that Stephanie is pregnant but well into her second trimester, she starts feeling sick. The narrative switches back and forth between the present, Stephanie’s ordeal, and the past, as Michael shares parenting stories and the lessons he learned along the way. Some of the chapters contain ‘life lessons’ like “The obstacles people face in life do not define them, but the way they deal with them might.” In the Epilogue, he shares what they as a family learned to do during a medical challenge, including the importance of having a team mentality, seeking out medical experts according to the disease you are fighting, taking it one day at a time, and celebrating victories, no matter how small.

As the English poet John Donne famously wrote, ‘No man is an island, entire of itself,’ so it is when facing a major medical diagnosis. In Stephanie’s case, the joy she and her husband experienced with the birth of their son Caden came with a cancer diagnosis. Family and friends surrounded them with the love and support necessary to see this challenge through. Told through the point of view of her father Michael, it also chronicles a parent’s difficult journey as he watches their daughter struggle on. The language is simple enough to make this an easy read but it comes with a trigger warning: some of the material is somber and difficult to get through but readers are rewarded with a happy ending. Even though the subject of religion comes up, it does not come across as preachy and instead, Michael focuses on a ‘higher power’ and the importance of surrounding yourself with loving people, doing good for others, and being at peace. “Daddy’s Girl” is the story one woman’s difficult journey and contains a wide range of emotions while reinforcing the validity of family, hope, miracles, and faith. It is recommended for fans of memoirs, survival biographies, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books.

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

New book release: ‘Cats of Meow City’ by Anif Innab

‘Cats of Meow City: The Untold Stories of Felines in the City’ is the new book by Anif Innab that is perfect for cat lovers everywhere. Photo: Amazon

If you are a cat person and love cats, this new book might be of interest to you:

“Cats of Meow City: The Untold Stories of Felines in the City” by Anif Innab is a captivating and heartwarming book that will take you on a journey through the streets of Meow City, a feline metropolis unlike any other. This book shares the incredible and diverse stories of cats from all walks of life, from doctors to poets, street cats to skaters, the elderly to the young and published by KBook Publishing.

Through a series of interviews, the author has captured the triumphs and tragedies, hopes and heartbreaks, and the resilience of the cats of Meow City. With each story, you will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a cat in this vibrant and bustling city.

Filled with stunning illustrations and photographs, this book offers a unique glimpse into the beauty and diversity of this feline city. This book is “purrrfect” for cat lovers of all ages who want to explore the lives of these amazing creatures and the unique culture of Meow City. So, pick up a copy and join the author on this unforgettable journey through the streets of Meow City.

Courtesy photo, used with permission.

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New book release: ‘Maribelle’s Shadow’ by Susannah Marren

Susannah Marren’s new novel ‘Maribelle’s Shadow’ will be released June 27, 2023. Photo: Amazon

Susan Shapiro Barash is an American author of thirteen nonfiction women’s issue books including “Tripping the Prom Queen,” “Toxic Friends,” and ‘You’re Grounded Forever, but First Let’s Go Shopping.” She writes fiction under her pen name Susannah Marren. Her novels are “Between the Tides,” “A Palm Beach Wife,” and “A Palm Beach Scandal.” Susan’s books focus on the gender divide, how women are positioned in our society and their innermost feelings about themselves as daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, wives, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, rivals, colleagues, and lovers. Her new book, to be released June 27, “Maribelle’s Shadow,”  is a compelling tale of deception and family loyalty, written by the nationally renowned observer of women’s relationships. It is available for pre-order on Amazon. (Meryl Moss Media, 2023)

“Maribelle’s Shadow” – The only thing that spreads faster than gossip in Palm Beach is news of a mysterious death. As the editorial director of Palm Beach Confidential, Maribelle Barrows knows what lurks beneath the glittering facade of the moneyed elite on Florida’s most glamourous coast. Or does she? When her adored and impressive husband, Samuel, dies suddenly, the secrets and lies between Maribelle and her sisters rise to the surface. Compounding the anguish, the authenticity of their socially ambitious mother and their lavish lifestyle of mansions, privilege and couture clothes is thrown into doubt. As their carefully constructed image unravels, each sister realizes she must fend for herself. While the pathway out is steep, it is worth any risk. Until the winner takes all.



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‘Maribelle’s Shadow’ release date

Romance novel of the week: ‘Loving You Is Destiny’ by Sarah Akkoyun

‘Loving You Is Destiny’ by Sarah Akkoyun. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

If you love reading romance novels, here is one for you: “Loving You Is Destiny,” the latest novel by Sarah Akkoyun. It is available on Amazon. (Sarah Akkoyun, 2023)

“Loving You Is Destiny” – Vanessa Lawrence had always thought she would end up marrying the love of her life, David Dawson, one day. – Yet here she is one year later, still unable to move on. Her family and best friend try their best to support her, but they just cannot understand what she is going through. Vanessa did not want to move on, at least, not until she met Lucas Graham.

He brought joy and happiness back into her life, but she should not get any closer to him than she already was. She could not forget David, she still wanted him to be a part of her life. It was not fair to Lucas, Vanessa knew that, but they could be friends, right? Nothing more, nothing less. Just good friends. No matter what Taylor, her best friend, said. Even though Taylor just wanted Vanessa to be happy again. Vanessa never expected to discover a secret about what happened a year ago, considering she thought there was nothing left to find out. Now she has to decide if love can truly overcome anything.

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