Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Forever Doomed" by MaryAnn Kempher (5 Stars)

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Forever Doomed
by MaryAnn Kempher

Genre: Mystery

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The cruise ship "Forever" is doomed, and not just because there is a wedding planned far out to sea! Ex-lovers, new lovers, and want-to-be lovers abound! There are dastardly people aboard, causing murder, mayhem, and ruined cakes, and it's up to one detective to put it all together before time runs out.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I'll start off by saying that I loved it! Yes, it's a bit like a soap opera, what with all the hormone bouncing and cattiness, but it read like a guilty pleasure. Even though I wanted to punch some characters in the jiggly bits, it was an easy read with some surprises and a chef with his priorities in exactly the right place. That there was a book that came before this one that you didn't have to read first, made it all the better. It read perfectly as a stand-alone.

Have I gotten you interested? I hope so! Learn more at Goodreads and then buy your own copy at amazon.

"H.E.L.L. Liberation" by Philip A. McClimon (5 Stars)

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H.E.L.L. Liberation
H.E.L.L. (Human Extinction Level Loss) Series
by Philip A. McClimon

Genre: Horror/Zombies!

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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I have previously read & reviewed the novellas that come before it in chronological order: TEST SUBJECT (a free download you can get by signing up for the author's newsletter), SUBSTATION, and NICOLE'S ODYSSEY.

This story returns to Beverly, a survivor from SUBSTATION, who is trying to keep her husband and son alive, but it gets harder every minute of every day. A small hope, but the only hope, comes in the form of a twice daily broadcast from other survivors welcoming them to a community in the mountains. On their desperate trek to reach other people, they will meet a sheriff who has been alone for far too long and just might be better off that way.

"Liberation" is by far my favorite book in the series, though you can enjoy it without having read the previous titles. LIBERATION really dug deep into the emotional battleground of the characters within, making this story a raw, gripping read. I'm going to freely admit I cried.

I urge you to pick up your own copy at amazon! And check out the author's website, my interview with him, and his books at Goodreads.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Author Interview: Philip A. McClimon!

I was very lucky to get an interview with one of my favorite new authors, Philip A. McClimon, most notably of the H.E.L.L. series and I have it here to share with all of you! So dig in and enjoy. =D

Rebecca: Hello, Philip! I am so psyched that you are willing to do this interview. As you know, I am a huge fan of yours! Your H.E.L.L. series is phenomenal. How would you describe these books to someone new to the series?

Phil: I would describe the series as character driven stories set in the zombie infested, post apocalyptic future.  I know that seems intuitive, but within that description is the emphasis on the characters and what they are dealing with, both as individuals and collectively.  The fact that I love zombies means that the Undead is what the characters are dealing with, as opposed to some other set of challenges. But, that also means Zombies take a back seat to the characters. The zombies are  definitely still in the car though, so to speak.  I have read "run and gun" zombie stories, and enjoyed them on one level.  But, if you don't feel something for the characters, then all the zombie guts in the world are not going to make for a compelling story.  At the end of the day, I want my readers to enjoy a vicarious adventure through the Deadlands, but I want them to feel that these characters live and breathe and are their friends by the last page, or at least people they have enjoyed getting to know and hanging out with for awhile.  Shorter answer, then: Character driven Zombie fest.

Rebecca: What does H.E.L.L. stand for?

Phil: H.E.L.L. stands for HUMAN EXTINCTION LEVEL LOSS.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to tell many stories within a world overrun by zombies.  I took inspiration from the movie DEEP IMPACT on this title for my series.  In that movie, the government refers to E.L.E (Extinction Level Event)  I knew I wanted the zombie plague to be military/government initiated and felt like they would have some abbreviation or code for such an event like that.  I have tried before to come up with stuff like this and it has been difficult, but H.E.L.L. almost just sprang into my mind.  I have heard other more notable authors say things like, "we don't write the story, we just strip away the excess and the story emerges."  In this case, H.E.L.L. just presented itself.  I may have even tried to come up with some other things before finally coming to my senses and admitting that it felt right.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Little of This, A Little More of This

Every now and then something happens that side-rails us. Usually it's going to be something gossip worthy, and while I would love to tap these keys right now and produce a witty but sincere apology for my last, almost 2 weeks of absence, I'm afraid that I'm so exhausted that what I really need to do is sleep before I puke on my keyboard and gum it up. So without divulging the private reasons for my internet silence, I will say that I am sorry for keeping anyone waiting. I will return to my (mostly) regular blog posts and reviews as soon as I return from the land of the so deeply asleep that my pillow saturates with drool. When I do, I expect this evening or tomorrow, I will start posting a post a day until I get caught up on all the reviews I currently owe.

In the meantime... Some very interesting articles you might enjoy!

Hugh Howey, known for his success in self-publishing his "Wool" series, has a lot to say about how we can encourage children to read and write. He also posts often about the self-publishing industry and how it can reap big rewards. If you've been wondering if it's worth it, I suggest you read some of his blogging. He offers advice, data and statistics, as well as his experiences with writing and publishing; both through self-publishing and the traditional route. His website is definitely worthy of following!

Want to publish the traditional route but you've had a rejection or two and it's making you rethink it? Don't! Check out this article, "Don't give up until you've queried 80 agents or more" !

Horror writer extraordinaire, Brian Keene, gives us a little help in how to be nominated for a Bram Stoker award !!

...Have fun and "see" you soon. =)

Monday, March 10, 2014

RISING by Holly Kelly

New Adult- Paranormal Romance
Clean Teen Publishing

In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning himself with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet...

Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.

Excerpt from Rising by Holly Kelly

He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.

He had to kill her.

His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.

Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.

He hesitated.

No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.

He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.

He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.

He felt someone near just before a fist rapped on the glass. A big, filthy man with wild hair motioned for him to roll down his window.

As soon as the glass lowered, the barrel of a high-caliber pistol poked inside. “Give me all your money and I won’t hurt you,” the man growled.

“Put away that gun and I won’t hurt you,” Xanthus said, his voice low and menacing.

The man didn’t seem too impressed. “Yeah man, right. You might notice I’m the one with the...” Before he got the words out, Xanthus had the gun out of the man’s hand and pointed back at his face with his windpipe clenched in his fist.

“Hey man, I was just joking,” the human choked out.

“Just walk away. And don’t come back. If I see your face anywhere near here again, I’ll kill you. Do you understand me?”

The man’s eyes widened in fear. “Yeah, yeah, I hear you,” he said, just before Xanthus released him and he escaped into the darkness.

Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? He placed the gun in the glove compartment. He shouldn’t have let the gunman live.

This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.

Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t...


He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.

Just not tonight.

About Holly Kelly

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--She hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls.

Holly was born in Utah but lived in Salina, Kansas until she was 13 and in Garland, Texas until she was 18. She's now back in Utah--"happy valley". Holly is married to her wonderful husband, James, and the two of them are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, and spending time with family.

Holly Kelly's first published book is: Rising. Rising was published by Clean Teen Publishing on September 6, 2013.

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing?

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Bloody Mess" by Joshua Phillips (5 Stars) Re-review!

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Bloody Mess
A Crimson City Tale series
by Joshua M. Phillips

Genre: Thriller/Crime Fiction

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I previously reviewed this title when the author gave me a copy in exchange for my honest review and then as now, I would describe "Bloody Mess" as a novella of revenge. Since then, however, Joshua M. Phillips listened to the thoughts and opinions of his readers, weighed them, and then made some changes. Now, the new edition is out featuring the fresh paint of a professionally edited tale of the Crimson City!

Detective Jonathon Saint works the Crimson City beat, a city plagued by a corrupt and lax judicial system, where crime pays and brutality is the spice of life. Det. Saint isn't afraid to rough up his perps- he's an ask questions later kind of guy, and he's hot on the trail of Blud, a red colored version of cocaine. His partner and best friend, Det. Jerry Fuentes isn't quite as dedicated as Saint and likes to spend his considerable paycheck as fast as he gets it. And he's kind of a tool.

Saint may be a tough guy but he loves his wife and when the bad guys eff with his life, it's going to be a Bloody Mess.

Want to know more? Check it out at Goodreads and then amazon!
Check out my interview with the author!
Joshua M. Phillips's website.

Author Interview with Joshua M. Phillips!

Joshua M. Phillips
Hello, Joshua! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Let's get right to it!

Rebecca: “Bloody Mess: A Crimson City Tale” is your debut novel, is it not?
Joshua: Yes, indeed it is.

Rebecca: How did you come up with the idea for this story? Was Crimson City percolating for awhile?
Joshua: Originally years back, Detective Saint was created a long time ago in a screenplay I wrote, Blood, Blood, And More Blood. Then just recently when I decided to start writing again and self-publish, the idea of placing the character in Crimson City just came to me.

Rebecca: You introduce a new drug in your book known as Blud, described as a red tinted variation of cocaine. Is this going to be a significant thorn in the city's side?
Joshua: Oh, yes! In fact it will be more than just a thorn in its side. Blud is going to be one of the main focal points of the story. Also, soon in the next book in the series, you will see what the drug is really all about.

Rebecca: Is this going to be an open-ended series or does it have a definite cut-off point? Do you know how it will end?
Joshua: I have decided that there will be a cut-off point, I just don't know how yet. I have ideas to complete five books for the series, with some ideas for more, just not positive yet.

Rebecca: What projects do you have planned for the future? Anything you can share?
Joshua: Well, right now I'm 25% through Nax Attax, the second book in The Crimson City Tale Series. The story will follow Johnny Nax and what happens to the city after the events that took place in Bloody Mess.

Rebecca: While I was reading “Bloody Mess”, I kept imagining the story in my head with a “Sin City” graphic look to it. Cast in black and white, the women with red lips and red heels, blood splattering in a fountain of crimson. Did you feel particularly inspired by anything while you were writing? Music, film, a person?
Joshua: Yes, you hit the bullseye there! Directors Tarantino and Rodriguez are two of my biggest sources of inspiration. I constantly picture what I write as though it was on the big screen.

Rebecca: Your main character, Detective Jonathan Saint, is a tough guy at work but all squish when it comes to his wife. Do you and he have that, or anything else, in common?
Joshua: Yes, but not the tough guy part. Haha. However I am very all squish when it comes to my lovely wife, Melissa Phillips, whom the book is dedicated too. Also John and I both have the mouth of a Sailor. Haha.

Rebecca: Before we go, what's one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
Joshua: Just that I really enjoy and are grateful to share my stories with them and I love their support.

Bloody Mess on Goodreads and!

Stay tuned! Following this interview will be my new review for "Bloody Mess"!

"Jaludin's Road" by M. Todd Gallowglas (5 Stars)

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Jaludin's Road
by M. Todd Gallowglas

Genre: Fantasy

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The author gave me the link to this book on Smashwords where I downloaded it for free, and I was glad that I did! It's a short story with a kind of Arabian Nights feel to it, where we follow Jaludin as he returns home after 5 years away, only to find his entire village beset by a wasting curse.

There is sword and sorcery, minstrels and magical items, and the author stayed true and consistent to the setting, culture, rituals and superstitions of the world he envisioned. I was only sad to see it over so soon and hope that the author will return to Jaludin someday.

Want to know more? Find Jaludin's Road on Goodreads!
You can buy it at amazon, or download it for free on Smashwords.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Mandibles" by Jeff Strand (5 Stars) ***Cntdwn2Jeff***

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by Jeff Strand

Genre: Monster Horror

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As a part of my Countdown to Jeff Series, "Mandibles" is #5! And you're probably wondering if Mr. Jeff Strand will finally lose his 5 Star winning streak, but alas... not with this book.

Mandibles is exactly what I like about a campy horror. It has giant monsters that chase people down and eat them in horrible ways! In this case, it's a man-made crisis in the form of super huge red ants. Add to that the fun fillers -random victims in their last moments, experienced in a paragraph or less-, the moments of "woah- did he really just off that character?", and the author's trademark dark humor, and you have a spectacular winner in Mandibles.

What else can I say? What more do I need to say? Giant. Ants.

Check out "Mandibles" on Goodreads if you don't believe me, but then buy your own copy at amazon and experience the fiery, face-eating menace for yourself! 

Come back soon, for another review on another Jeff Strand novel, and for guest blogger Jeff Strand. It's a Jeff Strandapalooza!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Moon Angel" by F.W. Pinkerton (3 Stars)

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Moon Angel
Book #1, Moon Angel series
by F.W. Pinkerton

Genre: Fantasy

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I have to say it, I love the cover art. It's a real attention grabber!

"Moon Angel" is a story about a girl who is the social pariah of her school, hardly cared about by her parents, and just trying to make it from day to day. Around her 16th birthday, she experiences an awakening of power; she begins to undergo physical changes, attracts more attention, and receives some very special gifts from her deceased, never known grandmother.

Her name is Katie and she's learning that she's something called a Moon Angel, a being of immense power and huge responsibility. She can walk in the dreams of others, she glows in moonlight, and she has a cat for a Guardian. Oh, and there's this hot boy who comes whenever she blows a silver whistle...

There are some oddities with Katie's behavior, however, that I did have some trouble with, such as how quickly her mood turns to anger to tears to laughter, and not always at what I would think were appropriate circumstances. And sometimes she doesn't seem to show enough issue with the changes going on, such as how her parents suddenly give a crap as soon as she turns 16 and how the kids at school all of a sudden start talking to her, and I expected a much bigger reaction to the mounts we see near the end. But overall, I enjoyed this book and I want to read more (and learn more about Gabe!), as F.W. is a very talented writer and I'm curious what's next in store for Katie Reynolds, newest Moon Angel.

Want to know more? Check it out at Goodreads and then head over to amazon and buy your own copy!

If you're interested in more of F.W. Pinkerton's work, check out my review of Treacle Mountain, a hard knocks fiction story.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Life Force" by Kevis Hendrickson (5 Stars)

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Life Force
Rogue Hunter #3
by Kevis Hendrickson

Genre: Sci-fi

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!Disclaimer Time!  I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I will also make a note in advance that this story contains some hard subjects, mature material, and some possible triggers.

We re-join intergalactic bounty hunter, Zyra Zanr, shortly after her abduction and escape from her enemies in the previous book, "Dark Space". Zyra's a different woman now, she's vulnerable and there's something not quite right with her body; she's healing faster than normal and she doesn't feel like herself. Checking in to the clinic on the world known as Phoenix for care, she meets the handsome doctor, Ryan, a man on a mission to stop the aging process and prevent death from ever taking anyone ever again.

I experienced a real emotional roller coaster while reading this book. Unlike the first two books, the author warns us in a foreword that this is a bit of a departure from the action packed badassery we enjoyed in Book 1 and 2. As I had a bit of foreknowledge before I even received a copy, I was expecting something different, something much more personal and I wasn't let down. Zyra is emotionally raw and open and makes some really bad choices that I found really hard to swallow.

Don't be surprised if Zyra (and more so Doctor Ryan) makes you angry; if she makes you shout "why?". Don't be surprised if she makes you sad. I questioned a lot of what Zyra did in this book, but not for the reasons you might think. It was because Zyra was very human and I felt a lot of hurt reading "Life Force". It's not an easy read and it's not your typical science fiction fodder. What it is is a human story with a sci-fi backdrop told by a talented, wonderful writer and person.

Please read my reviews of Book #1 "Inquest" and Book #2 "Dark Space" and my interview with the author. Before you read "Life Force". You'll see what I mean when you experience it, too.

Kevis Hendrickson's Website.
Check out "Life Force" at Goodreads and BUY IT at amazon!

An Interview with Author Kevis Hendrickson

I'd like to welcome author Kevis Hendrickson, whom I have gotten to know a little since I first started reading his "Rogue Hunter" series. Following this interview, I will post my review on his latest contribution to this series, "Life Force". So without further ado, please enjoy!

Rebecca (Me!), aka Sister Sinister: Hi, Kevis! I'd like to begin by talking about your books, so I thought you could give a little background information on your leading lady, Zyra Zanr. She actually started life in another series before “Rogue Hunter: Inquest”, didn't she?

Kevis: She sure did. The old version of Rogue Hunter had a strong comic book feel to it. It was almost wall-to-wall action and not as much attention was given to Zyra’s character development. That was one of the reasons I wanted to start from scratch. Zyra deserved better.

Rebecca: Was it hard to essentially start over?

Kevis: Absolutely. I fought tooth and nail to keep the old storyline. I’d written a sequel and a screenplay for a feature film using the old material. But when I considered how much better the story would be if I rebooted it, I decided that I had to take the plunge. I did know that there would be a price to pay with my readers for discontinuing the old series. It’s something I’m still dealing with now and have to prove myself to readers that I won’t drop the ball again and that this time, I will finish what I start.

Rebecca: What's different, would you say, between the old series and the new one, and would you recommend readers pick up the first, older series?

Kevis: Due to my dissatisfaction with the old series, I pulled the old books from the market. The only way for readers to get their hands on them would be to find someone who purchased the old books or risk getting themselves a pirated copy. It’s not something I would advise. The new books are far superior to the old ones and in many ways does what the old books did, just better.

Rebecca: In the first Rogue Hunter book, “Inquest”, we hear about a mark Zyra had taken out by the name of Molly Black. Who is she? Is she from the old series?

Kevis: Molly Black made her debut in Rogue Hunter: Gaia. Gaia was a trilogy of short stories that introduced readers to Molly. Zyra and Molly were once best friends, but their relationship went south and they have an immense hatred toward each other. The intensity of their encounters in Gaia was what made the series special. Molly has been mentioned a few times in the new Rogue Hunter books and I know it has to be eating away at readers who didn’t read the old books what the fascination is with Molly.

I can happily say that I’m currently rewriting Gaia into a full-length novel. It will take the best elements of the old shorts and improve on its weaknesses. I should also add that the new version of Gaia is going to be one of the most important books in the series, so look out for it.

Rebecca: We learn early on that Zyra doesn't always make the best of decisions, and this causes some pretty significant consequences for her and those around her. In “Inquest”, she starts a war and unthinkingly betrays her girlfriend. In Book 2, “Dark Space”, she finds herself in a brutal fight for survival. In Book 3, “Life Force”, she becomes involved with a married man. Do you think this has a lot to do with her age? Is this something she will outgrow?

Kevis: I’m not sure how much of her poor decision making is due to age. Some of it is, of course. But I think Zyra has an innate and inescapable talent for getting herself into trouble. In some respect, she’s just like me. It’s a curse I’ve dealt with my entire life. I always find new and creative ways to muck things up and I think for the foreseeable future, Zyra’s going to have to deal with the same curse as well. One thing’s for sure, it makes for an interesting story!

Rebecca: In “Life Force” Zyra is far more emotionally vulnerable than we have seen her before. Was it hard to write this side of her?

Kevis: I had a tough time writing this book. In fact, it almost sent me into a serious bout of depression. I noticed I was in a bad mood the entire time I wrote this book and am only now starting to emerge from my negative state. I know women who have been, and in some cases are still being physically abused. It’s heartbreaking to hear about what they have been through. I drew upon those experiences when I wrote Life Force. Knowing my most beloved character, Zyra, was being put through such hell left me in a dark place—a place I’ll add that I don’t want to return.

As it goes, Zyra is a strong and fiercely independent woman. One of the problems she faces in her life is that most of the men she encounters aren’t able to deal with her independent spirit. There’s a scene in Life Force where Zyra is reduced to total helplessness and a loss of her independence and strength. That scene tore at my heart and I imagine, it’s the scene that will touch readers the most. It was not an easy scene to write and I’m still disturbed thinking about it.

Rebecca: In a foreword at the beginning of “Life Force” you state that writing this book was an emotional journey; that this book is how you see the Rogue Hunter series continuing. With more of the story centering on Zyra as a person and less on her action-packed Bounty Hunter career. Am I right in assuming you also mean to continue the erotic nature of Book 3?

Kevis: There will definitely be more erotic encounters in future books. In fact, one takes place between Zyra and a new lover in Book Six. What makes Rogue Hunter different than many other series I’ve read is that it’s not like a paranormal romance where the romance is the driving force behind the story or like other Space Opera novels where sex is almost always avoided. Zyra is a young woman and it would be completely dishonest for me to avoid the fact that she has romantic interests and explores them. In fact, one of the significant results of what she dealt with in Life Force is that she becomes even more sexually expressive in future books. As a strong woman, Zyra knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. It’s kind of sad that some people will end up taking her being sexualized the wrong way. James Bond is hailed as a man’s man for taking nearly every woman he encounters to his bed. But I wonder how many people will consider Zyra as being a slut for exploring her sexuality over the course of the series? It should be real interesting to see what comments are made about her as we are introduced to more of her sexual escapades.

Rebecca: Tell me about writing the steamy scenes. Was it a challenge for you?

Kevis: I’m the typical geek when it comes to storytelling. My fascination has always been with the characters and plot, not bedroom scenes. I don’t think I’d even attempted to write a steamy scene until a couple of years ago. It just wasn’t something that was high on my list of things-to-do.

What’s interesting is that I’m one of those authors who pays very close attention to what my readers are saying. It annoyed me that some readers had a problem with Zyra’s bedroom scene with Mikaela in Inquest. More than one reader referred to the scene as being “gratuitous.” What irked me about those comments is that the bedroom scene was a fade-to-black moment. There was some kissing and a little petting and that was all we were allowed to see. So when readers kept mentioning the bedroom scene as being too intense, I figured I’d give them the real deal the next time I had a chance. Now when they say the sex was gratuitous I know they’ll be right! Life Force has many “explicit sex scenes” and some of them are pretty erotic.

Also, I’m a writer. So it’s not hard for me to write any scene be it a stroll through the park or characters getting it on in the bedroom. What was tricky is understanding the nuances of how to make erotic scenes play out as a mini-story within a larger story. I got the basics right on my own, but I sought the help of some very talented writers of romance and erotica to help me make sure I wasn’t missing any of the essentials, particularly in the emotional department. When my friend who is an erotica author told me that my scenes were so hot she might be out of business I knew I didn’t have much to worry about, lol.

Rebecca: You plan to create an offshoot series for Zyra fans who want the action and pursuit of bounties. What do you plan to call this series and when do you expect the first book to be out? You said that it will follow the same timeline as Rogue Hunter?

Kevis: I’m almost done writing the sequel to Life Force which is definitely a return to the series’ action-oriented roots. But to satisfy Rogue Hunter’s oldest fans, who knew Zyra when she was just a badass, I’ve got a new line of Rogue Hunter books called the Adventures series. The first book in that line up is entitled Rogue Hunter: Armada. We go back to the early days of Zyra being a bounty hunter in that one. She’s a no-nonsense tough girl during those years. You can forget about seeing her touchy side in Armada. It’s pure badassery from cover to cover, just like my old fans like.

Rebecca: Do you have a particular character in the series so far that you don't like? One who just pissed you off while you wrote them? What about a favorite one? Will we see Logos again?

Kevis: There’s a really nasty character who shows up later in the series. He really puts Zyra through her paces and is going to be a big problem for her. You’ll meet this character in Rogue Hunter: Alliance. The character who I love (almost as much as Zyra) is Jaxa. She was mentioned in Life Force, but we won’t meet her until after the next book. Let’s just say Jaxa’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait to introduce readers of the new series to her.

Rebecca: You have some truly beautiful covers for the Rogue Hunter series. Who is your artist and how did you come to work with her?

Kevis: Char Marie Adles of Wicked Cover Designs is the one who comes up with the beautiful Rogue Hunter covers. We sometimes have a very adversarial relationship. I’m always pushing her and sometimes she pushes back! But in the end, Char always comes up with amazing cover art for the series and I really couldn’t imagine anyone else doing what she does. She really keeps Zyra looking good.

Rebecca: Can you give us a sneak peak at what Book 4 will be about?

Kevis: Well, the first thing I can say is that physically Zyra won’t be put through the grinder like she’s been through the past couple of books. She really suffered a lot of punishment in Dark Space and Life Force. I can’t handle seeing my beloved Zyra go through any more of that. At least, not for a while.

As for the storyline, Zyra is still reeling from what happened to her in Life Force and she’s in a really bad mood and everything sets her off. I don’t think we’ve seen Zyra this miserable before. She definitely isn’t someone you’d want to be around in Book IV. Fortunately, the bad guys she encounters in the next book are going to learn that the hard way.

A very important thing also happens in the next book. So far, we’ve seen that Zyra is mostly a self-centered woman just trying to deal with her own problems. She hasn’t yet achieved “hero” status. In fact, she’s failed miserably as a prospect to become a hero. The first time she had a chance to be a hero was in Inquest. Even though it might not have made a big difference if she had turned him over to the authorities on New Venus, it was a moment when she could have been a hero. Unfortunately, we all know how that worked out.

In Rogue Hunter: Longshot, which is the title for Book IV, she is given another opportunity to be a hero. The question remains, will Zyra finally take the plunge and become the hero we know she has the potential to be? Or will she fail to put the needs of others before herself? We’ll be finding out real soon.

Now that you've gotten to learn more about Kevis Hendrickson, it's time to check out his website! And stay tuned, my review of Life Force is going up shortly. =)