Author Interview: Christi Smit

Gamma Nine by Christi Smit

Hi everyone!

I’m so happy to be able to bring to you an interview of one of the most passionate, most creative authors in the self-publishing world: Christi Smit, author of Gamma Nine.

Now, hopefully you guys checked out the book review, but Gamma Nine is an epic sci-fi story based hundreds of years in the future and revolves around a military group defending the universe from a deadly plague. The world is rich, the characters unique, and the story is well told. I was lucky enough to wrangle Christi into being my first interviewee, and he gratefully accepted the challenge!

Gamma Nine debuted in the #1 spot on KOBO in its categories, and was #1 for a week in the top 50 sci-fi books and was in the top 10 for a week in the overall top 50. Smit not only put a ton of effort into this premier novel, but he also created a program in which readers can share creativity and become involved in the Gamma Nine universe. Called the Star Explorer Program, readers and fans can contribute pieces of art of the Gamma Nine universe; drawings of characters, spacecraft, planets, etc. Smit crafted this welcoming contribution to create a community of sci-fi lovers who want to express their love of the novels. And speaking of novels, a new (free!) novella will be out TODAY, and click here to download it as an epub. I will put all of Christi’s links at the bottom of the interview, but don’t hesitate to check out his main website here for more info about his books .

Without further ado, let’s learn about the author behind the story: Christi Smit!

Debut Self-Published Author!
  1. Gamma Nine is an epic science fiction novel that combines an artfully described universe with technical and tactical accuracy. Did you have to do a lot of research for the militaristic and advanced tech scenes? If so, what resources did you use, and how did you meld accuracy and creativity?

Before I wrote Gamma Nine I wrote a 15000 word technical document as part of my universe building. I used it to set the stage for myself and as a history lesson for the universe. It still contained a story and some of the characters present in the current novel. The ZERO chapters are a shortened less technical history refined from that document. While I was writing this technical document I used previous knowledge from media and the internet to fill in the smaller gaps. However, as most of us know these days – when in doubt Google it. I spent hours upon hours reading scientific journals, articles and information about cell structure and how the mitochondrion functioned within a cell and my imagination took that information to create the Beast. I read about faster than light travel and all of the theories and hypothesis on the subject. But sometimes you have to connect reality to science fiction somehow. My explanation for some of the things contained within my novel are outside of what we understand as reality, what is and what is not possible. That is where science fiction comes in and connected what we know to what we wished we did or could. It also helped that I read mostly science fiction novels, so to a degree I know what has been done or has been tried and that foundation is what helped me write Gamma Nine.


  1. Will this fabled technical document ever be released? And how does it differ from the current novel?

I might release it as a fun thing for fans should there be enough of them to inquire about it. I still have it here somewhere. The technical document, named The History of Us, differs to Gamma Nine by great lengths. There is far more information on weaponry and military structure. It also contains detailed infection situations and contains a longer version of the original outbreak described in the ZERO chapters. A few other differences would be the formation of the P-SEP program and the birth of the first Star Explorer vessel, BEAM drive information, universe exploration with a few planets thrown into the mix and the birth of the first Titans. The ending is also different from the ZERO chapters. But that I will leave to readers once I release the raw document sometime in the near future.


  1. This is kind of a two-parter: Is science fiction your favorite genre to write? Why do you write scifi?


Science fiction has always been my favorite genre. It allows my imagination to run free and that is when I am at my best. Horror and Fantasy are genres I also love, but I feel a greater connection to the worlds of science fiction and all of its sub-genres. I have more than this one story planned for the Gamma Nine universe and even more new and exciting projects after the Gamma Nine Trilogy has concluded. There might even be a second trilogy or more stand-alone novels in the Gamma Nine series depending on how much the readers love the universe. That is how much I love writing science fiction. I would keep writing it as long as people wanted to read it. The universes, mine and others, are just places to get lost in and I thrive on the information written into science fiction novels. The details and scope of it all just makes my knees go week whenever I get stuck into the genre. Because of that and many other reasons, there was no choice in the matter when I decided which of my stories to write first. Science fiction bit me when I was a child and I have never regretted making my first light saber noise or begging my parents for spaceman action figures. Nowhere else can your mind leave this planet and see through the eyes of some distant star traveller, nowhere.


  1. Which character of yours did you enjoy writing the most? Was one of them particularly difficult to write?

I enjoyed writing Pyoter, Sam and Xander the most. I love writing characters with strange quirks and a good sense of humor. Sam has not shown the depth of his humor yet, he is quite shy, but he will. Rivers was also a particular favorite of mine; he features in my most favorite part of the novel. But I won’t spoil it for those who have not read the novel yet. Nathan was difficult and so was Christian, for personal and other reasons. It was sometimes difficult to separate reality from fiction in some cases while writing them.


  1. What was the hardest part of writing Gamma Nine?

To keep writing. Some days I would wake up and refuse to write. Other days I would start writing and not stop until I have the perfect scene. I do not know why that is but I guess it comes down to stress and all of the work involved in self-publishing. At first the novel would have been 80000 words, then 100000 and it ended up on 124000. So that shows you how much of a day to day struggle it is to keep to your schedule and ideas of what your novel should be. That is also one of the hardest parts I think.


  1. Are you an outliner or a freewriter? (Meaning, did you plan each scene before you wrote or did you just let your ideas take you where they wanted to?)

When I was studying creative writing I came across an article describing the different kind of writers and how they go about their work. I was intimidated at first when I read about organic writers, those lucky few who plan very little but can write great stories. At that time I was still an undefined and unrefined writer. With practice I started noticing that I was becoming more and more organic as my courses progressed. Most of the courses forced you to plan and show your outlines for everything you did. I did not enjoy that way of writing. It was not until I started my first real project – the document mentioned earlier -that I became truly free to write as I wanted to. I do not plan except a start and end point. I know where I want to begin and I have a vague idea of how the first arc needs to end. Other than that I sit down and I just write. Sometimes I would imagine future scenes or get ideas while I am doing the mundane day to day things. I even dreamt about some things in the novel because it consumed my entire life while I wrote it. I have a notebook I write some things in, but mostly they are just ideas like the names of a vessel or character I thought of or heard that sounded great. Planning just seemed unnatural to me. I write and the story creates itself as I go along.  At least 60% of the novel was decided as I was writing a scene. It sounds strange to other writers but even now I already have an idea of Book 2’s start and a little peek into an end, the middle part will be created as I put pen to paper. The only thing I know is some new characters and some scenes I want to put in, but nothing is set in stone and all of it is floating around in my mind. The same goes for the short story I am writing now. I knew what I wanted to write about and the name, the rest I made up every time I sat down to write.


  1. Which writers inspire you?

There are so many. But Orson Scott Card was the one that inspired me to write all of the things stored in my head. His foreword in the original Ender’s game was life-changing. My future wife pushed me to get off my lazy behind and hone my skills and Mr. Card was the trigger.


  1. Why did you choose self-publishing and what part of self-publishing appealed to you?

It was the only option at the time that would get my work out there as fast and easy as possible. I wish I did try the traditional route but the genre I chose is not very popular in publishing houses in my home country. I did the research and taught myself about self-publishing and it seemed like the best option. Maybe, or should I say hopefully, I will get published traditionally sometime in the future. I guess it comes down to luck in the end. I regret not sending my manuscripts to publishers in other countries though, something I need to do for the next book or series.


  1. What are your writing goals?


I have only one. I want to share my stories with others. I want those people that read my stories to put the book down at the end and feel as if I transported them away from whatever was bothering them at the time. It would be great if a reader contacted me and told me that my writing meant something to them, or even just kept them busy for a while. I want my stories to reach people, emotionally reach them to maybe help them through a difficult time or just make them smile, even if it is just once. If I can connect to a reader like that, then I consider myself a lucky man.


  1. Do you have any book recommendations that you’d like to share?

Would it be cliché to recommend J.K Rowling, Tolkien or the great Orson Scott Card? Even if it is, read whatever you can find with their names on it. Their writing is beyond the fantastic and borders on perfect in my opinion. Although Tolkien purely because he created what we know as fantasy today, without him we would not have all of the wonderful stories we have today.  If you want to read something quirky and fun, read Felicia Day’s book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost). It is worth it.


Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you enjoyed the interview! Definitely check out Smit’s book, the first in his series. Hopefully this is the first interview in a series, so if you liked seeing and reading this, please let me know!

For more info about Christi Smit and Gamma Nine, here’s the info you need:

Follow the happenings on Twitter: @GammaNineSeries


US Amazon Author Page 

UK Amazon Author Page

Gamma Nine Website/Buy Page

Artemis Novella



Cafe and Bookstore Review: Toadstool Bookstore in NH

So, if you guys follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably have seen this post coming… but I found the MOST amazing little bookstore just down the road from me, and I wanted to share it with you 🙂

Toadstool Bookstores is a small chain with three total branches in New Hampshire. Found in Milford, Peterborough, and Keene, I got chatting with one of the employees in the Milford store and just could not get over how amazing the selection was for a small indie bookstore.

From the outside, Toadstool is completely unassuming. However, once you go inside, you’ll see a myriad of carefully chosen books of all different genres beautifully arranged throughout the store. I was most impressed by the sheer amount of options and books that I just had never seen before. I mostly shop at Barnes and Noble now that I live in NH, but upon finding this perfect gem of a bookstore, I don’t know if I can go back.

I saw expanded genre-based sections, personal book suggestions from the employees (typical, but way more personal and numerous here), specialty book covers, and little notes taped on the shelves that gave blurbs about what to expect in a story. I picked up Garth Nix’s Newt’s Emerald (1- because I’m the biggest Nix fangirl and 2- the cover is ABSOLUTELY to die for) and right next to it was a tiny post-it exclaiming “Hints of Jane Austen and fantasy!” And just that small exclamation hooked me into buying it instead of grabbing one of the beautiful soft-cover special edition poetry books I had stumbled upon (believe me, I’m going back for it next time!).
On top of the extraordinary selection was a cute little café that appeared to specialize more in small luncheon/brunch meals than anything else. There were some pastries available, but they didn’t seem to be as appealing as the sandwiches or the coffee. They get their coffee from the local A&E Roasters just down the street, so I wasn’t at all surprised when the Americano I ordered was absolute perfection. I wish I could have found some snack to go with it, though… everything had dairy or meat in it. But you know, you go to a bookstore for books and coffee, and since they excelled so much in those categories I can’t really complain!

They also had a little event going on for luthiers while I was there. While I am not a musician, I thought it was fantastic that the café would host something a bit out-of-the-box and cater to the community in such a way.

Toadstool is my new favorite haunt for sure. If anyone is coming up into beautiful NH at some point, all the stores should be equally as impressive as they are all managed and archived by the owner. Whenever a novel is bought from a location, it is restocked and the selections are carefully cultivated by the same buyer throughout the state. Let me know if you make it up here and if you find something exceptional 🙂
Until next time!


Morgan Paige

New Self-Published eBooks: April 24-30

Hello everyone!

It’s beginning to feel a lot more like spring, now, and it appears as if more and more authors are coming out and publishing, too! It’s a perfect time of the year to express yourself in a daring and different way, I hope you writers are well on your way to publishing your own creative work.

Does anyone else feel like they go through periods of genre-specific or totally erratic reading/writing? I’ve been gravitating towards period-centric books rather than the typical fantasy/sci-fi that I usually read. Jane Austen has ruined me 🙂

Here’s a great list of upcoming novels this week! There are some SERIOUS gems in here that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Lifeless by Norah Woodsey and The Man Who Broke the World by Chris Strange look and sound super interesting! Let me know what catches your eye!


Wolflings: A Not so Secret Society by Ashley Power available April 24, 2016

Sanctuary’s Children: The Exiles by D Marie James available April 24, 2016

Hidden World (#2 in the Dark Incidence series) by AD Liam available April 24, 2016

The Change: Jacob by JC Nichols available April 24, 2016

First and Final Failure by Alexander Knight available April 25, 2016

The Devil Among Us by Jonathan Johannes available April 25, 2016

Bellona by Aoife Marie Sheridan available April 25, 2016

Barrow Fiend by Amy Hopkins available April 25, 2016

Surviving Rapture by Kai Kiriyama available April 26, 2016

Legend of the Goats by Courtney Bowen available April 26, 2016

Daughters by Greg Hanks

Chasing the Undergound by NM Sotzek available April 26, 2016

Heart of Thorns by Nicolette Andrews available April 26, 2016

In Pursuit: Vikings in Space (#5 in the Planet Berserker series) by Jaya Doone available April 26, 2016

The Stone Key by Gabi Stevens available April 26, 2016

Caged (#2 in the Mackenzie Grey series) by Karina Espinosa available April 26, 2016

The Lightning Luminary by RS McCoy available April 26, 2016

The Music Box Girl by KA Stewart available April 26, 2016

A Tumultuous Convergence (#6 in the Elephant and Macaw Banner series) by Christopher Kastensmidt available April 26, 2016

Wiped (#5 in the Citizen Saga) by Nicola Claire available April 26, 2016

Locked by Anyta Sunday available April 26, 2016

Ashes to Ashes (#5 in the Ministry of Curiosities series) by CJ Archer available April 26, 2016

A Clash of Aliens by TR Harris available April 26, 2016

Enforcer: Return to Charleston, 1861 by DM Turner available April 27, 2016

Amendments (#2 in the Lumin Prophecies) by Andrew Ryan Henke available April 27, 2016

Lifeless by Norah Woodsey available April 27, 2016

Argenterra by Donnaa Maree Hanson available April 28, 2016

Sun and Moon by Desiree Williams available April 28, 2016

Replican by MJ Medley available April 28, 2016

Last Fight of the Valkyries (#4 in the Sirens of the Zombie Apocalypse series) by EE Isherwood available April 28, 2016

Y by Sheldon Pacotti available April 29, 2016

Rising Storm by Kat Gracey available April 29, 2016

The Edge of Nothing and Everything by John David Buchanon available April 29, 2016

The Eclipse of Power (#3 in the Interdimensional Saga) by JL Hendricks available April 29, 2016

The Crown Prophecy by MD Laird available April 29, 2016

Seeking the Heart of Revenge (#19 in the Shades of Gray series) by Kristie Lynn Higgins available April 29, 2016

Katabasis by Melinda Blaloch available April 29, 2016

The Darkslayer: Brigands and Badlands(#2) by Craig Halloran available April 29, 2016

Terranus: Origins by Joe Crouch available April 30, 2016

Quake: Stay Alive! By M Lawrence available April 30, 2016

Mourning Memories by Lauren Mayhew available April 30, 2016

Mercy Kill by GR Visini available April 30, 2016

Life Again by Samuel Snow available April 30, 2016

Eugenica by Peter Whittaker available April 30, 2016

Blinded by the Sun by Catherine Johnson available April 30, 2016

Stolen Prophet by Julian Coleman available April 30, 2016



Blood Money: Full Compilation by Roger Ruffles available April 24, 2016

Serious Times by Margaret O’Neill Lamont available April 24, 2016

The Lightning Luminary by RS McCoy available April 26, 2016

The Music Box Girl by KA Stewart available April 26, 2016

Dark Shores of Salvation by Brian S Pratt available April 30, 2016



Broken Truth by Danielle Dunn available April 17, 2016

Black Source by Calvin Rutherford available April 17, 2016

Silent Stalkers, Blood Fiend, Shadow Things, Midnight Terror (#1,2,3,4 in the Trail of Evil series) by Timothy Broyles available April 17, 2016

The Man With Two Minds Plus Mindswitch by Donald H Sullivan available April 17, 2016

The Light Guardian: Beginnings by FR Matthew Penney available April 18, 2016

Thoughts, Digital- Of Things Seen and Unseen by Amalachukwu Okpala available April 18, 2016

Peter Pan- Hello My Name is Peter by Robert Steiner available April 18, 2016

Space Station Venus by Gordon Ferguson Mackenzie available April 18, 2016

Drome Chronicles by Veracity Williams available April 19, 2016

Second Chance by Grace Adam available April 19, 2016

Silver Sun by Elizabeth Rose available April 19, 2016

Dateline: Korea – It Wasn’t Just a Trip Through Time: It was an Adventure by Brent Kirk available April 19, 2016

Pantheon by Scott Beckman available April 20, 2016

Solar Search by Ross Richdale available April 20, 2016

Port of the Undead: Before the Fall by Ryan Somers available April 21, 2016

Advance Notice (#2 in the Archie Trilogy) by Gail Matelson available April 21, 2016

Stellar: Off-World by Damian Sylvester available April 21, 2016

Trichier by Alessandra Ceretto available April 22, 2016

The Dragon, Shrouded; The Dragon, Rising by Brian Wakefield available April 22, 2016

The Allegorian Tracks of Wasted Life by Benjamin Ashley available April 22, 2016

Stranded in a Foreign Land by Vincent Berg available April 22, 2016

A Journey Too Far Plus Imposters, The Temple of Eden Plus the Weed by Donald H Sullivan available April 22, 2016

Of the Forest by RobAqua Jenkins available April 22, 2016

Legacy of Magic by Shana Rae available April 23, 2016

Cult Following, Things Never Go Smooth, Customs and Duty, All’s Fair in Love and Politics, Finish the Job So We Don’t Have To, Please Kill the Neighbors by Brian Wakeling available April 23, 2016

Valley of Visions by Stephen Brooke available April 23, 2016

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton available April 23, 2016

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson available April 23, 2016

The Weapon, The Visitors (#3,4 in the Suit series) by K Murray Smith available April 23, 2016



The Man who Broke the World by Chris Strange available April 26, 2016

The Music Box Girl by KA Stewart available April 26, 2016

Martinis with the Devil (#2) by AA Chamberlynn available April 27, 2016

A Wicked Desire (#3 in the Creatures of Darkness series) by Kierstan Fay available April 27, 2016

Disclaimer: This list is created based on my own research. Any oversights in self-published books are not done purposefully or out of maliciousness. Books with a listed publisher other than the author’s name, listed under a genre other than Fantasy or Science-Fiction, without a cover image, or advertised on a separate eReader site, will not be included. Amendments will not be made to published posts. To ensure inclusion in the weekly updates, please send me an email and a link to your eBook to and, if given enough notice, I will do my best to include you!

eBook Review: Gamma Nine by Christi Smit

Hey, everyone! I have the GREAT honor to present to you, the very first exclusive review of the book Gamma Nine by Christi Smit!

Smit’s an amazing author, and in addition to the review, I am also super proud to announce that I will be conducting an interview with him as well! His novel is pretty incredible, so read below for an in-depth review. And, if you have any questions about his writing process, why he chose self-publishing, or what it’s like to tackle such an epic story as his first novel, comment down below or shoot me a question on Twitter.

Gamma Nine was gratefully given to me as an ARC by Christi Smit. It was exchanged out of a mutual passion for good books, and the decision to write a review was solely my own.

Title: Gamma Nine

Author: Christi Smit

Platform: Kindle, Kobo, iBooks

Length: 1172 pages

Synopsis: Christian Quinn has given up his life to protect the Universe. Plucked from his ordinary life and clad in futuristic military armor, Corporal Quinn joins the leagues of the legendary Titans to protect civilization from the Beast: a nightmarish plague that spreads from organism to organism, leaking destruction and death to worlds light-years apart.

As one of the last Titans ever created, Christian becomes a member of the league of the Grim Wolves. These legendary warriors are a group of the most heroic, most powerful Titans to have been created, and together they must travel through solar systems to fight the spread of the deadly Beast spores and the sudden rise of an unforeseen enemy. Christian must face his broken family and his abandoned soulmate as he tries to save the Universe from utter destruction, possibly at the expense of those he loves.

Impression: Smit wrote this epic sci-fi adventure that follows a group of space Marines who travel the Universe in an intergalactic warship. The sheer amount of tactical and technical precision that goes into such a story is masterfully written by Smit, which does not go unnoticed… especially in the self-publishing world. This, paired with the touching subplots of Christian’s family and his relationship with his long-lost love, makes for a stunning web of just the right amount of emotional involvement in the cold, futuristic world of a Universe at war.

He masterfully blends technical accuracy and heartfelt character arcs throughout the novel without making it appear contrived or like a carbon copy of other sci-fi novels/ movies. There are definite hints of inspiration from works like Pacific Rim, Firefly, and Mass Effect, but it doesn’t come off as unoriginal. Instead, Smit managed to take the best elements from those mediums to make the reader feel just the right amount of nostalgia.

One of the things I was most impressed about in regards to this book is the amount of accuracy in each passage. There were about three different POVs in the third-person narrative, but they each had their own voice. Even the distinction between female and male characters wasn’t overly exaggerated or forced. I loved that the female POV was clear and unique, while the main male, Christian, experienced the definite dialogue and themes that males in the military experience. Gamma Nine is a beautiful story of honesty and devotion expertly mixed with action and war, and it was a delight to read.

Smit does an amazing job writing arcing scenes and keeps the audience hooked from one chapter to another. His foreshadowing really draws the audience into the story, which makes it especially difficult to stop reading. Honestly, this trait is quite hard to find in novice authors. Smit has a natural skill at storytelling and Gamma Nine is an engrossing, promising series.

Gamma Nine was a great read and would absolutely appeal to sci-fi lovers. There was very little that would break the immersion for the readers, which, to me, is the most important part in a book. There were some scenes that were… over written… is that a thing? Scenes got a little too wordy and there was a lot of exposition, but these are all techniques that can be honed by an active writer. Smit has a lot of potential and I will definitely be checking out his future works.

This is the first novel that will be getting 5 feather pens as a rating on my blog. As a self-published book, it is exemplary and should absolutely be read!


Vegan Wine Pairings: Spicy Sushi Bowl and Gewurztraminer

Oh boy… you probably noticed my little posts about vegan food and wine pairings went a little AWOL last month. Nothing is as frustrating as looking for a pan that you need to cook with only to realize it’s already packed up and in your new place while you’re waiting out your old lease!

This was what the last two weeks of us living in our old apartment was like, so sadly there wasn’t much cooking to be done. Also since moving, I realized we need a lot more kitchen-y things than I had thought. Spatulas? Nope. Slotted spoons? Nope. Measuring spoons? Nope. So we definitely had to improvise once we got all moved in and settled.

Though we were missing some of the kitchen basics, I decided I still really wanted to cook something up for you guys and make a pairing we could discuss. So after throwing out some ideas (I don’t have a 9×14 pan anymore?! Where did it go???) I decided to do something a little comforting, healthy, and super, super easy.

At first I wanted to make vegan sushi because my mom sent me this KILLER recipe on Pinterest, but I instead kind of adapted it to make it as a sushi bowl (I didn’t think purchasing a bamboo rolling mat as my first essential was very prudent). I’ll list a few of the recipes I looked over at the end, but it was one of the easiest recipes I’ve done yet. I just needed my cutting board, a knife, a pot for the rice, and a small mixing bowl… which I didn’t have… so I used a cute glass!

The sushi is topped with a spicy vegan-mayo drizzle, and honestly I made it a little extra spicy with more sriracha to replace the heap of wasabi I usually LOVE on my sushi. I paired it with a spicy Gewurztraminer, which, for those of you who love Riesling, would probably die for.

Gewurz is typically a German grape, but you can find some great American renditions of it like I did. Pacific Rim is one of the better choices that I could find, and the notes of the wine were super florally and spicy (not peppery, more of a bite like chili but not that hot… ahhh I love wine tasting notes lol). To top it off, it’s also a vegan wine! Hooray!

I really liked the pairing; the spicy drizzle was excellent with the wine, but I honestly would have rather had a creamier dish with it. The lightness of the edamame, cucumbers, and seaweed didn’t really have enough oomph to hold up the huge flavors of the wine, though the avocado really pulled through as the MVP. Surprisingly, the seaweed/nori actually tasted good with it, too, which makes me think a regular Riesling (not dry) would have paired perfectly with the food. It isn’t as complex but still has the light fruity flavor and sweetness to undercut the hot accent of the food.

As an aside, the next day Jay and I paired the leftover (gasp!) Gewurz with a vegan shepherd’s pie and it was actually WAY better than it had been with the sushi bowl. I think it’s because the potatoes were so creamy and gave the wine a bit of a foundation to hold on to. The sushi bowl was very lean and would be better with a lighter, better balanced wine.

I hope you guys enjoyed this! I’ll do another post soon about searching for the illusive perfect red wine and vegan meal pairing. Also, would you all be interested in the resources I used in learning about wine and my favorite references? I may put up a post this week about the books and websites I use in case anyone is interested!

Until next time, lovelies!

Recipe based off of:

Love and Olive Oil

Morgan Paige

New Self-Published eBooks: April 17-23

We’re back with another awesome list of upcoming self-published eBooks! You know, it’s really fun bringing you guys new debut and self-published authors. Sometimes I feel like I get stuck in a rut reading the same kind of books or the same authors… this is all well and good, but there really is nothing like an unexpected story or novel to really make you start thinking. I like to surround myself with great stories, and I’ve definitely found some gems since I started recording them here for all of us avid readers. Have any of you guys stumbled across something self-published or a recent debut novel that you instantly loved? Let me know! I’d love to hear what is currently catching your interest 🙂

And here’s our upcoming books this week:



The Driver Series by HS Stone available April 17, 2016

Lifepod by Anu Morris available April 18, 2016

Eclipse of the Soul (#2 in the Interdimensional Saga) by JL Hendricks available April 17, 2016

Chronicles of Domaria by LC Lopes available April 18, 2016

The Apprentice’s Talent by Ray McCarthy available April 18, 2016

Hellavey (#2 in the New Breed series) by Lisa Vandiver available April 18, 2016

Winter Smith: London’s Burning by JS Strange available April 18, 2016

Scorched Magic (#7 in the Elemental Magic series) by Angela Wallace available April 18, 2016

The Last Heroes before Judgment by Matt Wilk available April 18, 2016

Scattering Stars by Wendy C Jorgenson available April 19, 2016

Echoes of Tomorrow (#8) by Douglas Wayne available April 19, 2016

The Curse of the Iron Skull (#2 in the Dust McAlan series) by CK Burch available April 19, 2016

Freedom/ Hate by Kyle Andrews available April 19, 2016

Alice in Sinland by Antarra Mann available April 19, 2016

Beauty’s Songbook by RJ Vickers available April 19, 2016

Raiding Cuailnge by Stephen Russel available April 20, 2016

Horribly Ever After by Thatcher C Nalley available April 20, 2016

Earth to Nole: Return of the Prince by Kumar Lomash available April 20, 2016

Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams by Peter Ford available April 20, 2016

Ghost of Winter by Wendy Tardeiu available April 21, 2016

Cosmo Flux by Samantha Ricks available April 21, 2016

The Anzu: The Wormhole by Mary S Shepard available April 21, 2016

Exfiltration (#4 of the Maelstrom series) by Jack Colton available April 21, 2016

Tempest (#2 in the La Sylphide series) by K Gorman available April 22, 2016

The Sorceress and the Demon (#3 in the Vampire Addictions Trilogy) by Thea Atkinson available April 22, 2016

Iron Fist Keep (#3 in the Prophecy of Axain series) by Steven Atwood available April 22, 2016

Crossed: The Karma Crusades by A Bernette available April 22, 2016

The Other Side of the Clouds by JL Virtanen available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris (#2 Wrath of the Old Gods) by John Triptych available April 23, 2016

The Destroyer (#3) by Michael-Scott Earle available April 23, 2016



Death of Civilization; Invasion by Nathan Hale available April 19, 2016

Cosmo Flux by Samantha Ricks available April 21, 2016

The Anzu: The Wormhole by Mary S Shepard available April 21, 2016

The Vampire of Levantine by Jacob Mossberg available April 21, 2016

Fallen (#5 in the Siren Series) by LA Griffiths available April 22, 2016

Iron Fist Keep (#3 in the Prophecy of Axain series) by Steven Atwood available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris (#2 Wrath of the Old Gods) by John Triptych available April 23, 2016



[Lulu doesn’t post upcoming publications, so this list covers last weeks self-published eBooks]

Silent Stalkers, Blood Fiend, Shadow Things, Midnight Terrors (1, 2, 3, 4 in the Trail of Evil Series) by Timothy Broyles available April 17, 2016

A Journey Too Far Plus Imposter, The Man with Two Minds Plus Mindswitch by Donald H Sullivan available April 17, 2016

Broken Truth by Danielle Dunn available April 17, 2016

Intergalactic Alliance- A Galaxy of War by Adam Luke Neal available April 16, 2016

Forbidden Outpost by Tony Rubolotta available April 16, 2016

Al is in Wonderland by Alaa Abi Haidar available April 15, 2016

The Love Theory by Michael Stansfield available April 15, 2016

Stellar: Off-World by Damian Sylvester available April 15, 2016

The Dryatrix by LZM Lightbrick available April 14, 2016

A Nun for Love, A Sailor in Time by SD Ann available April 14, 2016

Travelling on with Fently Bunklecuzly by Lorraine Bean available April 14, 2016

The Portal Prophecies: A Halloween’s Curse by CA King available April 14, 2016

The Omega Chronicles: The Blockade by Tennijsen Neil available April 14, 2016

Project Genesis Plus Life Pod by Donald H Sullivan available April 13, 2016

The Gorgon Medusa by Tyrone Ross available April 12, 2016

When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski available April 12, 2016

Elfenwurl: Plus the Kidnapped Unicorn by Donald Sullivan available April 12, 2016

Robo Raptors and the Gutsy Rebels by Ben Patterson available April 12, 2016

Downfall by Aaron Morgan available April 12, 2016

An Evil Mind by Susan Hart available April 12, 2016

Forging of a Knight: Rise of the Slavekeepers by Hugo Valentin Negron available April 11, 2016

The Portal Prophecies: Frost Bitten by CA King available April 11, 2016

Last 90 Days by Gail Matelson available April 11, 2016

The Orphan Fleet by Brendan Detzner available April 11, 2016

The Blood Wolf by David Valdez available April 11, 2016

Pendragon Rewrite by Miz Angela Maroh available April 10, 2016

Awakening into a Dream World Reality by Jason NaKondri available April 10, 2016

Human Remains: Ten Classic Sci-Fi Tales by Susan Hart available April 17, 2016

Knights of the Martyr by Daniel Beaton available April 10, 2016



Fallen (#5 in the Siren Series) by LA Griffiths available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris by John Triptych available April 23, 2016


Disclaimer: This list is created based on my own research. Any oversights in self-published books are not done purposefully or out of maliciousness. Books with a listed publisher other than the author’s name, listed under a genre other than Fantasy or Science-Fiction, or advertised on a separate eReader site, will not be included. Amendments will not be made to published posts. To ensure inclusion in the weekly updates, please send me an email and a link to your eBook to and, if given enough notice, I will do my best to include you!

Debut Book Review: The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

Hey, everyone! I have a beautiful debut novel review here for you, one filled with mystery, suspense, and terror (Oh my!). Oscar de Muriel has since written a sequel to this novel called Fever of the Blood, so you can easily stay entwined in the story as soon as you finish it. As a debut, it really is a good read. If you like mystery novels, this one surely is a doozy and includes many historically accurate references throughout. I hope this interests you, and keep on reading if you’d like to find out more!

This novel is an ARC that was gratefully given to me by NetGalley. Thank you!

Title: The Strings of Murder

Author: Oscar de Muriel

Published by: Pegasus Crime

Length: 4609 pages

Available: Kindle

Synopsis: The novel begins with Detective Ian Frey, a self-respecting Englishman employed by the powerful Prime Minister. When his world begins to crumble, beginning with the loss of his job and then the loss of his fiancée, he is suddenly employed under a false division to follow the strange string of murders happening in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Joined by the unconventional and witty paranormal investigator Nine-Nails McGray, Ian Frey follows the harrowing trail of blood and questionable characters left in the serial killers wake. As more and more talented violinists meet their demise, Frey and McGray must find clues in the most unlikely of places in order to prove that Jack the Ripper may or may not be the culprit.

Impression: Set in the late 1800s in England and Scotland, this novel draws upon the distinct technological changes and medical progress happening during this time period. Ian Frey perfectly personifies high London society with his unashamedly high opinion of himself and his expectations of civility amongst peers. This clashes extraordinarily with his partner, Nine-Nails McGray, a seedy, acerbic Scottish man who basks in the dives of his city and lives off of questionable food and morals.

The partnership Muriel writes is exemplary. I loved the way the characters were so well written and their voices were never lost amongst each other (even the side characters! Gasp!). The accents in the novel didn’t take away from the story, in my opinion, though some of the dialect made me stumble a bit. It didn’t take away from the story, though. In reality it just made it more authentic! I also really appreciated the fact that though Muriel keeps true to some old detective-story tropes, he made characters so different from the standards created by the beloved Watson and Holmes. I was half expecting a shadow of the classic characters, and though there is something reminiscent amongst them, it is also hard to write a detective story with a detective who doesn’t have certain traits: intelligence and strong observation being two of them. McGray is probably my favorite part of the novels, and partly because he is a character that I could just see in my head. I can’t wait to read the second book purely so I can discover more about his past (which Muriel does make promises and insinuations about in this book).

The one thing that detracted me from the story was discontinuity in time period facts… I’m not even close to being a historian, but there were some technological references made that had me questioning what time period this could have taken place. There is no actual statement made by the author, but by saying it’s during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror narrows the years to the 1880s/1890s, I believe. However, the accurate medical and societal portrayals made the book very fun and the characters were an absolute delight to follow. Great novel for those of you who enjoy paranormal, detective, and highly suspenseful stories! Four feather pens to Oscar de Muriel for writing such a fun book 🙂



Harry Potter Tag

Hey everyone! I found this awesome tag on A Strangers Guide to Novels written by Astra and figured it’d be really fun to get to know each other a bit better and list some of our favorite books 🙂 I love everything Harry Potter, and not only does this allow us to bask in our fangirl/fanboy love of HP but we also get to share other books and authors we love! The Harry Potter tag was started by Bookidote, and the only rule is: No referencing HP books! Ah!

Let’s get on to it 😉


I hope a short story counts! Already I’m breaking the rules of the tag…

August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rain by Ray Bradbury

I’m so mad, I really wish I had thought of writing a story like this! Take a futuristic house set in a dystopian world and watch the last “living” thing in the city thrive on it’s own… pure inspiration. Just FYI, I don’t want to rewrite it because it’s poorly rewritten but because I love LOVE the theme.

(I found this story in the book Ghostly, an anthology by Audrey Niffenegger)



The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

A beautiful magic system, phenomenal character arcs, and an epic story line has me absolutely devoted to this series.



The third book in the Diviners series by Libba Bray

I stalk her twitter for announcements of title names and I fangirled SO HARD when she tweeted me back the other day… but, alas, no title yet. [let me excuse myself for making an HP reference…]


Battle Royale by Koushan Takami

Take Hunger Games and multiply it by a thousand… the brutality in this book is hard to match when children are the protagonists. Really great read, though!



House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

Just look at those backward passages. Come on.


Sabriel by Garth Nix

Not only is my spirit animal in this book (cat… Of course) but there’s an incredible female lead, magic, proper romance, family ties, friendship, fantasy, and a touch of realism. It’s everything to me!


Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

This is a… well… very dark book… not for the lighthearted in my opinion.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m surprised by how easy it is to read for a classic and how much I absolutely love it! It’s outside my typical genre, so its a super exciting surprise.


My nominees are not limited to the following three people 🙂 Please participate if you want to, or just post here and we can chat about the books you would have chosen!

1. Abooknation

2. Lizzie at Writerscompanion

3. Lola at Hit or Miss Books

Check out my About page, too if you feel like contacting me via email 🙂





Writing Prompt: Dialogue

Hello, everyone! I know I know, it’s been an absolutely nuts couple of weeks but we’re getting back in the swing of things! I have an awesome post for Harry Potter lovers to look forward to tomorrow, but tonight will be a simple inspirational post. I don’t know if you guys have also felt a little off lately like I have, but hopefully this will get your creative juices flowing. I have attempted this challenge before and it’s honestly really relaxing. All you have to do is imagine your characters and a simple scene of them interacting. How does one address the other? Is their animosity of adoration? Was it a planned meeting? Just see where your characters take you and I promise it’ll jump start your creative spirit in the most natural way. I can’t wait to chat with you all tomorrow, so until then,


Morgan Paige