Joel Eisenberg – update on a new volume in Apocalyptic Novel series

Joel Eisenberg was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in May 2015 when he told us about the first book in his epic Fantasy series, The Chronicles of Ara (created with Stephen Hillard). He’s back now to tell us of a new development in writing the storyline of the third novel, the publication of which has just been announced.


The Chronicles of Ara: Inferno
Volume III
by Joel Eisenberg and Stephen Hillard
Published by Incorgnito Publishing Press
Genre: Epic Fantasy

From ABC7:
“Candidate” Donald Trump to be Featured in Apocalyptic Novel Series, The Chronicles of Ara

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — “Candidate” Donald Trump is the latest real-life figure portrayed in Joel Eisenberg and Steve Hillard’s acclaimed alt-fantasy series, The Chronicles of Ara. Trump’s arc begins with volume three in the series, subtitled Inferno.

The books follow the journey of Ara, a corrupted muse who has infected man’s artistry to influence the biblical end of days. Trump will be introduced in Inferno as the GOP candidate to whom the country will turn following a catastrophic domestic event.

The Chronicles of Ara is an eight-part series that strives for relevancy,” says Eisenberg. “Trump as a candidate had made his fair share of promises. But campaign promises and reality are two different things, and in the books both prove equally dangerous.”

In the novels, Ara is corrupted following a tragic loss. Using parallel storylines, the characters include some of history’s more renowned “dark authors” – J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft – as they are inspired to pen their greatest works. In modern day, within these authors’ books are clues of an impending man-made apocalypse, as has been inspired by the power of their creations.

“Real-world commentary on Trump is not always kind,” says Hillard. “As our future ‘President Trump’ claims that The Bible is his ‘favorite book,’ with this inspiration he assigns a propaganda minister of sorts to disseminate prophetic words and images that will lead to his favor with evangelicals, while framing himself as the only possible savior of the masses. But behind this prophet is a puppet-master, an immortal, with a larger agenda. What then?”

For full article, click here.

To purchase books in this series:
Vol. I – Creation
Vol. II – Perdition
Vol. III – Inferno

Lockard Young – update on a new print edition

Lockie Young has long been a friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations, was one of the first authors to be promoted here, in Dec. 2013, has come back with several updates, and is a member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of special authors who give back to me and their fellow authors more than they receive in promotion. I consider Lockie to be an integral part of my “writing family” – a number of authors I’ve met and worked with over the years, now a community, that came together for the mutual benefit of all. I think I speak for the other authors in this group, and for readers as well, when I say that Lockie’s friendship, collaboration and support is, and always has been, valued and appreciated by everyone –
Thanks, Lockie!


Ryan’s Legend, The Early Adventures
by L.F. Young
Published by Morning Rain Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade

Ryan’s Legend offers the premise of a young boy finding an wondrous secret – yet it’s far more than that. As much as it’s a whimsical tale of a boy and a secret he must keep, it’s also an important education about the world around us, and how we treat each other and those that share the world with us.” – Danny Brown
“Though written for 7-10 year olds, this heart-warming tale about a young boy who befriends a mythical dragon will delight readers of all ages.” – Kate Bell

My name is Ryan, and this is the story of how I discovered a legend, and the biggest secret of my entire life! Just after Christmas, I saw these weird tracks in the snow, so I just had to check them out. You won’t believe what I found!

Deep underground, in a hidden cavern, I met the best friend a guy could have. The coolest thing of all was we used real magic to talk. He told me all about his life, and why I had to keep his secret.

I know keeping secrets from my family is wrong, but this is different. I just can’t have my parents or my annoying older brother figuring out what’s hidden in the old chicken coop. If anyone finds out about this legend, he might disappear from the world forever.

Ryan’s Legend is now also available in a paperback edition as well as eBook!
Amazon CA, US, UK

JP McLean – the release of the fifth novel in the series

J.P. McLean is back to tell us about a new novel in her series, The Gift Legacy. J.P. Has long been a friend and supporter of this blog. There are also reviews of her books posted over at reading recommendations reviewed.


The Gift: Betrayal
by J.P. McLean
Published by Windstorm Press
Genre: contemporary thriller with a touch of fantasy

The Gift: Betrayal is Awakening Redux. Jackson Delaney was Emelynn Taylor’s love interest in Awakening. His role was controversial, pivotal and demanded to be told. Love him or hate him, you won’t forget him. Betrayal is his story.

When his wife leaves him for his half-brother, Jackson Delaney flies into high gear to find them. He dives headlong into dangerous intrigue involving the feared Tribunal and unscrupulous thugs from his past, in a quest for justice at any cost. When that quest leads him to a mysterious young Flier with no knowledge of her arcane gift, Jackson’s vengeance gets the better of him and may cost him something worse than his life.

Where to purchase copies

For more information about all of J.P. McLean’s books, visit her blog.


M T McGuire – an update on a new novel

M T McGuire was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in July 2014. She’s back now to update us on a new release!


Escape From B-Movie Hell – First contact in films was never like this!

If you asked Andi Turbot whether she had anything in common with Flash Gordon she’d say no, emphatically. Saving the world is for dynamic, go-ahead, leaders of men and while it would be nice to see a woman getting involved for a change, she believes she could be the least well-equipped being in her galaxy for the job.

Then her best friend, Eric, reveals that he is an extraterrestrial. He’s not just any ET either. He’s Gamalian: seven-foot, lobster-shaped and covered in Marmite-scented goo. Just when Andi’s getting used to that he tells her about the Apocalypse and really ruins her day.

The human race will perish unless Eric’s Gamalian superiors step in. Abducted and trapped on an alien ship, Andi must convince the Gamalians her world is worth saving. Or escape from their clutches and save it herself.

The book is available on all major retail outlets you can find them from my website.

Marty Chan – an update on a new novel

Marty Chan was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in May, 2015, and is back now to tell us about a new novel in a new series from a new publisher,      Clockwise Press!


Keepers of the Vault: Fire and Glass
by Marty Chan
Published by Clockwise Press
Genre: hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+

A fourth floor that is only pretending to be a storage space, stairs that lead to an abyss and a Goth djinn stalker who likes to play with fire . . .

As if life wasn’t hard enough for Kristina Mah being the new kid in school. The adventures of the Keepers of the Vault are just beginning.

Keepers of the Vault is a hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+ and uses a dyslexia-friendly font.

Marty Chan is a popular presenter and author for young people, as well as a playwright and radio personality. His previous novel series include the Marty Chan Mysteries and the Ehrich Weiss Chronicles for young adult readers.

For more information about Marty Chan, see the Clockwise Press blog post, Introducing Marty Chan: Author Q&A.

Marty’s book may be purchased from:
Clockwise Press

J. F. Kaufmann

mural 3 (1 of 1) J. F. Kaufmann

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Ellida – The Langaer Chronicles Book 2
(Sequel to: Asanni – The Langaer Chronicles Book 1)
Genre – Contemporary fantasy (Supernatural romance)

Quick description: A wizardess and a werewolf . . . An ancient alliance . . . An epic battle . . . An immortal love . . .

Ellida cover

Brief biography:
Not unlike my characters, I lead a double life: by day I am an employee in a public library, mother of two teenage boys, a friend, a colleague and the Queen of my kitchen. When the moon rises, however, I shift into my other self and, as Queen of the Night, reign in the magical world of Langaer.

Born and raised in a tiny, fairylike country far, far away, I made Canada my home twenty years ago.

Links to buy J. F. Kaufmann’s book:

J. F. Kaufmann’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
The Langaer Chronicles Book 3Blaidd, and Book 4Vardanni

J. F. Kaufmann’s reading recommendation:
The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe

Marie Powell

M.E (high)Marie Powell

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Hawk – young adult historical fantasy

Quick description: If only Hyw could tell someone about his ability to scout through the eyes of a hawk, maybe it would secure his place in Prince Llywelyn’s guard. If only Cat could see her future, now that she’s thirteen and promised to a boy she barely remembers…

When a messenger summons the prince to a secret meeting, Cat and Hyw find themselves in the middle of a war that threatens to destroy Wales. Can they master their special abilities in time to save the royal family – and themselves?

Set during the events of 13th Century Wales, Hawk is a fantasy novel that recreates what life might have been like for two teenagers coming of age.


Brief biography:
Marie Powell was born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, but now calls Regina home. She has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her 30 children’s books are published by Scholastic Canada, Amicus Publishing, Lerner, Crabtree, and others. Her poetry and short fiction appear in literary magazines, while her articles appear in regional and national magazine, broadcast, and online markets. Hawk is her first young adult novel.

Links to buy Marie’s book:
Kobo Books

Marie’s promo links:
Five Rivers Publishing

What are you working on now?
I’m working on the second book in this set, under the working title Hawk and Crown, due out in 2016. As well, I have two more young adult novels on the go, and another historical novel set in late 13th Century Wales. I’m always writing something.

Marie’s reading recommendation:
Lately I’ve been catching up on the new books in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. I started watching The Dresden Files on TV a few years back, and quickly discovered the books are even better. Two parts cheeky urban fantasy hero and three parts hardboiled detective, Dresden is Chicago’s only wizard private investigator. He and his human and supernatural crew face a full range of villains — everything from the Winter Court to the Sasquatch. Right now I’m enjoying Skin Game, the latest in the series of 14 books (so far).

Randy McCharles – an update on a new fantasy novel


Much Ado about Macbeth
by Randy McCharles

Genre: a contemporary fantasy published by Tyche Books

Quick description:
When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theatre has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

RandyMcCharlesColour Randy McCharles has been publishing humorous speculative fiction since 1997, slowly graduating from short stories to novellas, and finally to novels. He has even received a few contest and award wins along the way. Much Ado about Macbeth is Randy’s first full length novel and is, in his opinion, his best work to date. In his copious free time Randy organizes literary events including the multiple award-winning When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. (I wrote a post about this event recently for my other blog.)

Links to buy Randy’s latest book:
Tyche Books
Randy McCharles has previousy been featured on Reading Recommendations, both for his own publication and as part of The Apocalyptic Four.

What are you working on now?
Since January 2014 I have been focused on novels and am working on several projects round-robin style. Yes, it initially takes longer to produce a book this way, but I like to let a project sit for several weeks between drafts. In order of furthest along:
The Day of the Demon, a sci-fi-horror about demon possession and the end of mankind (with comic relief).
A Connecticut Gumshoe in King Arthur’s Court, a mash-up of The Maltese Falcon and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
A Murder in Wood Buffalo: the first of what I hope will be a series a mainstream detective stories featuring Peter Galloway, PI, who appeared in Murder at the Mall in the AB Negative crime anthology.
The Children of Cain, the first book in a planned urban fantasy series. I leave the premise to your imagination.

Randy’s reading recommendation:
This is a tough one because I read so many excellent books. The first that comes to mind right now, however is The Thieftaker Chronicles by D.B. Jackson, which in part inspired me to write The Children of Cain series

J.P. McLean – Reading Recommendation Revisited

J.P. McLean was first featured on Reading Recommendations in January, 2014 after she had published the third book in The Gift Legacy trilogy. Since she has now just published the fourth book, making this a full-blown series, I decided it was time to invite J.P. back to update us on what she’s been doing in the past year-and-a-half. Besides, this is a woman who writes in a space with a view that rivals my own on Bequia! She must be an inspired writer!

JPMcLean Author Photo #2 for SToy

I’ve been hunched over a quill in a dusty corner of my hovel, scratching away for untold hours in the dark, deprived of all sustenance, devoid of human touch …

Ah! Just kidding – I LOVE this writing gig and I’m happy to report that The Gift Legacy is growing. Penance, the fourth book in the series is now out, and I’m grateful, Susan, for this opportunity to shout it to the heavens, or through Reading Recommendations, which is kind of the same thing.

Penance eBook Cover 2500x1563 Though the writing will always be my favourite part of this process, the research for these books is never dull. Research for Penance included a visit to Vancouver General Hospital to investigate the morgue; a private tour of UBC’s Cecil Green Park House, which was built in 1912; a lesson at Cliffhanger’s Indoor Climbing facility; and learning more than I cared to know about dangerous drugs like MDMA. To top it off, I was invited on an exhilarating sailing trip around False Creek and English Bay. In fact, Penance’s cover shot is from a photo I took that day as we sailed under the Granville Street Bridge. Viona Halim is the talented graphic designer who produced all the covers in the series.

Outside of writing and research, I’ve taken on the chairperson role for our local writers’ group. We’re quite fortunate that our small island is home to The Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival. Each year, the festival provides an opportunity for local writers to share their work in front of an appreciative audience. If you’ve ever performed in public, you’ll know how panic-inducing that experience can be. This writers group was originally formed to provide an opportunity for writers to practice reading their work but it’s grown beyond those roots and is now both a safe place for writers to perform, and also to get feedback on the work they share. Being a part of that growth has been rewarding. (Fred Stenson is one of the guest authors at this year’s Festival! Fred was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)

RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?

J.P.: I have two. The first falls into the “do as I say, not as I do” category. If a fellow author is kind enough to post a review of your book, and you use that review in your promo material, don’t forget to reference their book. Not only does it add some weight to the review, but it gives them a shout-out and an opportunity for some cross promotion. I fell asleep at the wheel recently and overlooked this easy marketing tip, but I plan to rectify it at the next opportunity.

The second is just a small tip, but if you’re using Create Space to publish a print copy of your book on Amazon, you have to select Expanded Distribution to get your books on Canada’s Amazon site,

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year.

J.P.: I’ve come across some fabulous writers since my last posting here on Reading Recommendations—some of them I discovered through this very blog.

Seumas Gallagher, for example, first caught my attention right here! So when a friend recommended him, I knew I had to buy his book. I was impressed enough to write a review. If you like fast-paced thrillers with an international flare, you’ll enjoy Seumas Gallagher’s Jack Calder series (The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black, and Savage Payback)

If Canadiana is more your thing, check out Elinor Florence’s A Bird’s Eye View. Her depiction of a Prairie girl being pulled into WWII is as fascinating as it is heart-wrenching.

And if you like a little comedy with your thriller, you’ll get a kick out of Tim Baker‘s Living the Dream. You’ll be amazed at how wonderfully uncomplicated your own life will seem in comparison to Kurt, the novel’s protagonist. Tim Baker is another author I first learned about through Reading Recommendations. I haven’t read his more recent work, but it’s on my Kindle!

I could go on and on. Your own book (Susan M. Toy), for example, Island in the Clouds, Diana Stevan’s A Cry From the Deep, Therin Knite’s Echoes (on Reading Recommendations), Bill Engleson’s Like a Child To Home (on Reading Recommendations). The list is huge, and growing, thanks to you!

Legacy collage for S.Toy

And thanks once again, Susan, for having me on your blog, and for all you do for indie authors. Cheers!

Thanks, yourself, J.P. for being such a congenial guest on Reading Recommendations and for supporting the site and your fellow authors – not to mention my own writing! – loyally since we first “met” online. Just look at all those other RR authors you’re reading and recommending! I thank you on their behalf!

I recently received all of J.P.’s books, signed by the author, and began reading at the beginning, of course. Wow! is all I can say at this time! Great writing, compelling story and characters, and I can see this will be one terrific series! Thank you so much for writing, J.P.. This view of yours is definitely working well in inspiring you! smt


Marty Chan

webversion-1022 Marty Chan

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Infinity Coil is the second in a YA steampunk fantasy trilogy.

Quick description: Now a fugitive from Demon Watch, Ehrich Weisz hides in the underbelly of an alternate New York. Amid growing tensions between New Yorkers and Dimensionals, Ehrich searches for Kifo, the assassin who has locked Ehrich’s brother’s soul inside an ancient medallion. With the help of his friends, including Nikola Tesla, Ehrich poses as a stage magician named Harry Houdini to draw out Kifo’s next target—the commissioner of Demon Watch, Thomas Edison. Ehrich is willing to risk the outbreak of war to save his brother, but he must decide whether or not he can betray his friends.

Infinity Coil lo-res

Brief biography:
I write plays for adults and books for kids. In theatre, I’m best known for my cross-cultural comedy hit, Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl and my thriller The Bone House. For kids, my Marty Chan Mystery Series has been a favourite among young readers for over ten years. I live in Edmonton with my wife Michelle and our two cats, Buddy and Max.

Links to buy Marty’s book:
Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Marty’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
I’m splitting duties between a few projects. I have to complete the third book in the Ehrich Weisz Chronicles in which the young Ehrich Weisz must save his brother and find his way home. I’m also working on a fantasy thriller for reluctant teen readers. In theatre, I’m collaborating with composer Kevin Wong to write a cross-cultural musical comedy about a young Chinese actor trying to break into Hollywood.

Marty’s reading recommendation:
I’m a huge fan of Arthur Slade’s books. His Hunchback Assignments is an amazing steampunk fantasy series for young readers.