Author Interview – ES Fein

Author of A Dream of Waking Life.

Join me as I chat with ES Fein about his psychological thriller which released on May 6, 2022. Interested in lucid dreaming and existential discussions? Then check out his podcast.

Helen: Welcome Eric. I am so happy to be speaking to you today about your new book. It sounds so cool, and definitely a little mind bending!

Eric: A Dream of Waking Life is a philosophical, psychological thriller that tells the story of one man’s journey through space, time, and mind to not only discover his true identity but also the love of his life—a woman who keeps slipping through his fingers and into another reality. A thought-provoking meditation on the thin line between what is real and what is not, A Dream of Waking Life will leave readers questioning how far they would go to understand the nature of their own existence and how much they would sacrifice for love. 

Helen: Oh, that sounds deep and very intriguing. As is your cover. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Eric: The cover represents the three predominant dreams/worlds/realities (part of the grand mystery of the story is the uncertainty of what is real) that the protagonist is stuck in. I wanted the cover to appear as if these realities are blending into one another. The two figures standing and looking at the large tower, called “The Tower of God” in the story, are the main characters. You will also notice a small figure in the sky watching over them. I won’t say who that is. You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Helen: It is an interesting cover, you want to flip it around and inspect the alternate view to see what is different, because it is not a true reflection. What made you write such a complex and thought provoking book?

Eric: I wrote this book as a reflection on my lifelong experiences with lucid dreaming, existential confusion, bipolarism, thousands of psychonautical trips using DMT and other potent psychedelics, and the most important thing in existence: love.

Helen: I’ve never even heard of lucid dreaming, so colour me interested. I’m definitely going to be checking that out, when I find the time lol! I’m knee-deep in editing at the moment and my deadline is looming. You have some great reviews for your book already, and ‘unputdownable’ is the clear message. What genre does this book fit into?

Eric: I predominantly read and write scifi. A Dream of Waking Life isn’t pure scifi, but it definitely fits into the category. I love scifi stories because they are constantly forcing readers to wonder about reality and ask the big questions of existence: Who are we? Why are we here? What’s the purpose of reality? What the heck is going on?

Helen: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, it is such an achievement. What made you first put pen to paper and write a book?

Eric: I’ve been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. I remember in preschool, I used to have kids laughing and jumping in excitement as I made up wild and zany stories about what I had gone through on my way to school. The other kids called it “Eric story time,” and it felt as natural as breathing to me.

Helen: When writing do you prefer silence? or do you surround yourself with music?

Eric: Always! I listen to jazzhop or lofi hip hop when I write.

Helen: Is there anything random you would like share about yourself?

Eric: I was born without a right pectoral muscle. It used to cause incredible depression and self-hatred, even leading me to attempt suicide several times when I was young. Now, at 33, I see it as a blessing that has taught me how to accept imperfection and find beauty in all forms.

Helen: I am so sorry to hear you had to deal with such issues, but really happy that you found your way out and have embraced who you are and can appreciate all that is around you, and that you channelled your emotions and creativity into writing. What is the most useful piece of advice you have found about writing?

Eric: The author, Robert Heinlein, said in a book of writing tips something along the lines of: “Throw it all up! The only way to write is to throw up everything until it’s a complete mess. Once it’s all out, then you can go back and sift through the barf to find the actual story you’re looking for.”

Helen: Thank you Eric, for spending time with me today, I’ve loved chatting with you. Just to close out, is there any advice you would like to share with any aspiring writers?

Eric: Don’t expect to succeed in the traditional sense. If you aren’t writing because you enjoy writing, this will almost undeniably be a heart-breaking experience for you.

About the Author:

Reader, author, and purveyor of top-shelf science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy. My favorite subjects to read and write about include transhumanism, esotericism, cosmological ontology, existential ontology, Eastern philosophy, hard sci Fi, soft sci Fi, time travel, space exploration, psychological exploration, pansexualism, religion, mythology, space opera, experimentation with entheogens, and more. I like strange characters dealing with strange situations. Check out some free short stories on my site: Officialesfein.com

For all the latest news:

You can preorder A Dream of Waking Life from Amazon:

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and keep up with progress on my next books are published.

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Realm of Darkness Author Spotlight – Fight for Darkness by Susan Stradiotto

We continue to reveal some amazing covers in the run up to the launch of the Realm of Darkness Anthology on October 4th, 2022. I am delighted to share Susan Stradiotto’s Fight for Darkness.

Exclusively available as part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology.

Have you preordered your copy yet for the insane price of 99c/77p?  I can’t wait to read these wonderful books. See all the covers revealed so far here

If you order via Apple iBooks or Barnes and Noble during May – you can claim three free books – find out more here!

Fight for Darkness

He must feed his beast. She is bent on revenge.

On the way to the club after the big fight, Kane MacLeod stumbles upon a fight in the depths of a dark alley. But he’s never seen a fight like this. What are they using? Mirrors? Lasers? Magic? No way! He tries but can’t turn away. Sure, the small woman is holding her own, but how can he leave her at the mercy of the three large men attacking her? What if that was his sister?

Malin has one purpose, to destroy the beast who took her sister. Every night she enters the Daylight realm to hunt. She walks among the humans unseen, searches for the slime who betrayed her, and slips back into Darkness before the Light. Her mother and her friends beg her to accept her sacred duty to the coven, but she owes her dead sister for the worst betrayal possible. She carries the burden. She’s been on this mission for years, and until she slays Godric, she cannot, will not, rest.

Preorder Realm of Darkness Boxset

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Boxset available for preorder now on Amazon and other retailers for only 99c/77p!


About the Author:

My life in Eden Prairie, Minnesota revolves around my husband, three children, and our calamity, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Delaunay. I’ve been a Technology Project Manager for more years than I’d like to admit, but stories are my passion. I have always been a voracious reader, lover of worlds, and a “werd nerd.” My infatuation with well-developed characters sometimes rivals my relationships with real people. My free time is spent writing, networking with other writers, and occasionally camping “up-north.” If you’re from Minnesota, you’ll get the reference along with “hot dish” and “grey-duck.” If you’re not from Minnesota, you probably don’t want to ask. I’m originally a Texan, and that just never leaves you!

My writing is typically Fantasy. One of my fans called it Social Science Fantasy, and I think that’s about the best way to describe it. I’m a huge fan of all things world building and what that entails…the people, the creatures, the politics, the language, the maps, and more. My major work still focuses on The Caeteran Tales, but there are other ventures in my near future as well. Stay tuned!

Also by Susan Stradiotto:

The Serpentine Throne series

Call of the Storm Sorceror

Call of the Syrensea

Call of the Ryu Dragon

Call of the Scorched Empire

Call of the Maelstrom

Anthologies

Once Upon a Name

Twice Upon a Name

Realm of Darkness Author Spotlight – Captivated by the High Elf King by Jessica Grayson

We continue to reveal some amazing covers in the run up to the launch of the Realm of Darkness Anthology on October 4th, 2022. I am delighted to share Jessica Grayson’s Captivated by the High Elf King.

Exclusively available as part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology.

Have you preordered your copy yet for the insane price of 99c/77p?  I can’t wait to read these wonderful books. See all the covers revealed so far here

If you order via Apple iBooks or Barnes and Noble during May – you can claim three free books – find out more here!

Captivated by the High Elf King

Everyone fears the High Elf King. He is known throughout the seven kingdoms as a fierce and lethal warrior.

When I accidentally wander too close to the veil, I’m captured and brought before him. The sentence for trespassing is death.

The moment our eyes meet, the King claims I am his Fated One—his Khio’ri.

He spares my life, but he refuses to let me go. His people believe that a soul bond woven by fate cannot be undone.

Our people have ben enemies for hundreds of years. But the more time we spend together, I find myself captivated by this man who would be my husband and king.

Now, I find myself wondering: What would it be like if I allowed myself to fall?

Preorder Realm of Darkness Boxset

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Boxset available for preorder now on Amazon and other retailers for only 99c/77p!


About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Grayson writes scifi and fantasy romance about strong heroines and the otherworldly heroes that cannot help but fall in love with them.

She lives with her husband, cat and dog in the San Antonio, TX area. In addition to reading and writing romance, she loves swimming, chai and dark chocolate.

Want updates on new book releases? Follow me on Facebook or on my author page: JessicaGraysonAuthor.com I’d love to chat with fans about my stories!

Also by Jessica Grayson:

Of Fate and Kings series

Bound to the Dark Elf King

Claimed by the Dragon King

Taken by the Fae King

Stolen by the Wolf King

Captured by the Orc King

Book Review Alert: Immortal Games by Lauretta Hignett

Reviewed: May 2nd, 2022
Released: April 27th, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Immortality sucks.

Just ask Imogen Gray: Over two-hundred thousand years old and teetering on the edge of total insanity. Strong as a shifter, faster than a vampire, Imogen’s walked the earth forever, always alone, never growing, never changing.

Imogen’s on a mission to find the next reincarnation of her father, the only person in the world who knows how to complete the transition to human, and get rid of the curse of immortality.

But when her delinquent teenage ward accidentally summons a powerful Fae Prince through the portal, suddenly, finding her dad has to take a backseat. There’s a homicidal maniac on the loose, one who has his eyes on the Vampire King. Her Vampire King. Worse than the burning jealousy is the fact that the Fae Prince seems to know exactly what she is.

Immortal Games is Book Two in the fast, fierce and fast-paced Urban Fantasy series. A slow-burn romance, it includes a diverse cast of characters, shifters, witches, fae, cryptids and more. Read My Thoughts…

AudioBook Review Alert: A Bond of Thread by Allegra Pescatore and J.P. Burnison

Reviewed: April 27th, 2022
Released: June 21st, 2021
Genre: High Fantasy

Enter the Nine Lands of the Mountain Fell. 

Skye has only ever known pain and solitude since waking up with neither memories or magic. Hunted for being a Ruler in a time when they are scarce, she has survived in the wilds near the Rim, always on the run from the rest of her kind. Only starvation could draw her close to a village, but when a chance encounter and a bit of bad luck launch her into the arms of a man whose soul is bonded to hers, hiding who she is may no longer be possible.

Ilyas is a hunted man. Wanted for killing the last High Queen of Vine, he is plagued by his past of wholesale slaughter. He never wanted another Queen, and certainly not a half-feral, distrustful girl who gave up on the Fae a long time ago. Unfortunately, Soulbonds are not so easily walked away from, no matter how hard they both may want to, especially when trapped together in a cave with a pack of Feral Fae right outside.

With long-held enmities breaking out between the besieged villagers and all their lives on the line, Ilyas and Skye must learn to work together and trust each other if they want to survive.  Read My Thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Reviewed: April 23rd, 2022
Released: March 3rd, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy

Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome mythical creatures to pay off her family’s debts. But when they are threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand.

As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon destined to become an elite warrior. Until a fire at the Night Zoo upends his future and, on the brink of his final rite of passage, Ekon is cast out – his reputation left in tatters.

For Koffi and Ekon, the outlook is bleak – unless they can capture the Shetani, the vicious monster that plagues their city. As Koffi and Ekon enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and danger, the tentative alliance between them is tested to the extreme.

The hunt begins – but are they the hunters or the hunted? Read My thoughts...

Realm of Darkness Author Spotlight – Inferno Games by Elise Knight

Some gorgeous covers have been revealed over the last few weeks for the Realm of Darkness Anthology. I am delighted to share Elise Knight’s Inferno Games

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology.

Have you preordered your copy yet for the insane price of 99c/99p?  I can’t wait to read these wonderful books. See all the covers revealed so far here

Inferno Games by Elise Knight

I never thought I’d go to hell, least of all beg to go, but when my sister ends up there, I know I have to go in and get her out.

The problem is, there’s only one way out of hell and that’s to play the Inferno Games. A number of trials that will lead me down to the very depths of hell and to Lucifer himself.

It’s not bad enough that each round is set by demons, featuring creatures that my deepest nightmares wouldn’t be able to conjure up, but my opponents are among the wickedest people to have ever walked the earth and will stop at nothing to win the coveted spot at Lucifer’s banquet. And my team mates…they’re even worse. Among them, a devastatingly drool-worthy fallen angel whose only crime is sweltering hotness, a girl who thinks she’s an angel, and finally, the sinfully sensual Dade Angelis, a psycho who won’t let the small problem of having team mates stop him being the first to enter the ninth ring.

Because team mates or no, Only one person can win the Inferno games, and that someone is going to be me…or there’ll be hell to pay.

Inferno games is a dark romance set in hell. It’s not going to be a bed of roses with rainbows and unicorns. It contains graphic scenes and will wring your heart out many times before the end. If you don’t like having your heart wrecked, this might not be the book for you.

Preorder Realm of Darkness Boxset

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Boxset available for preorder now on Amazon and other retailers for only 99c/99p!


About the Author:

Elise Knight is the secret pen name of a USA Today bestselling author. In this guise, she reads by candlelight while eating dark chocolate and wearing slippers. Her books contain fearless women and men you’ll either want to kiss or kill ( sometimes at the same time!)
You can find out more about her by checking out her Facebook page or signing up to her newsletter here

Also by Elise Knight:

Realm of Night (Enemies to Lovers fantasy series)

  1. Dream King
  2. Queen of Darkness
  3. Nightmare King

Dark Gods (Limited Edition Fantays Anthology)

Guest post: Enchanted Forests and the bid to support rainforest conservation by Astrid V.J.

Enchanted Forests is a collection of ten short fantasy stories about magical forests and the creatures living in them. All proceeds of this book are being donated to Rainforest Foundation to support their work in rainforest conservation.

Why does the book exist?

Ten fantasy authors who are concerned about the state of the planet saw an opportunity to do good with their writing. Each on our own, we don’t have the following or the financial wherewithal to make a significant contribution towards this important cause. But when we joined forces, we found we actually have a chance to make a difference.

Enchanted Forests is the second charity anthology these authors have worked on together, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and turn the writing process, which is usually very lonely work, into a group activity. The authors read and critique each other’s stories and Elena Shelest has contributed with illustrations for each story in addition to providing her short story for the anthology. The previous book in the Enchanted Anthologies series of fantasy story collections for charitable causes is Enchanted Waters.

Why Rainforest conservation?

Since this anthology is about magical forests, the authors wanted to make a contribution towards forest conservation. Rainforests, specifically, are the type of forest in greatest danger from human activities. Deforestation overshadows conservation attempts to the extent that eight million hectares of rainforest are lost every year! Add to that: virtually all rainforest deforestation is driven by human activity! At the same time, rainforests are the source of foods and other products (many used in medicines) that we humans need.

Rainforest Foundation supports indigenous and traditional peoples of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights by assisting them in securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long-term well-being and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future. Additionally, Rainforest Foundation works to develop the means to protect their individual and collective rights, and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

About the authors

Jennifer Kropf is a Canadian author obsessed with Christmas legends and folklore. 

Xander Cross creates original stories with folkloric elements from all over the world.

Ben is a myth obsessive who writes stories with exotic settings and cool monsters.

Alice is a young adult fantasy and fairytale author who spends most of her time adventuring in mythical lands and the rest exploring non-mythical ones.

Lyndsey writes young adult fantasy filled with myths, magic and swoon-worthy romance.

N.D.T. Casale is an Italian-American fantasy author creating magical realms for others to escape into and enjoy.

Astrid V.J. is a South African fantasy author who writes transformation fiction: exploring our human capacity to transform our lives and achieve success in the face of adversity.

Sky Sommers is a fan of retold fairytales, valkyries and frozen cinnamon buns.

Donna White writes epic and paranormal fantasy stories with mysterious adventures, gracious characters, and a touch of humor.

Elena Shelest is a Ukranian-American artist and author of romantic fantasy inspired by Cossack culture.

About the stories:

Gems of Fae and Foolery by Alice Ivinya

These two female dwarves aren’t to be crossed, especially not by an arrogant fae lord.

One Fair Eve by Lyndsey Hall

One dream. One wish. One bargain Pip will come to regret.

To Snare a Prince by Sky Sommers

What do you do when a six-headed dragon complains of indigestion after it’s just gobbled up a dark elf? Easy, you tell it to wait in line like everyone else.

Willow Daughter by Astrid V.J.

When a woodcutter follows a song into the forbidden depths of the forest, he finds himself tangled in a deadly conflict between the Willow Daughter and the Forest Father.

Pingguo and the Dead Forest by Xander Cross

In a desolate post-apocalyptic world riven by famine, three children make a journey through the Dead Forest in search for seeds defended by a dragon.

The Fern Flower by Elena Shelest

On the night when the legendary fern flower appears in the forest, can Miray and Savko find their true path?

Blood of the Unicorn by N.D.T. Casale

A wicked queen’s desire for blood from the hearts of unicorns, sends a princess through a divided forest into the shadows of death.

Dimension of the Sasquatch by Donna White

A lot has happened to the curator of a supernatural treasure trove since she discovered that she can walk through different dimensions, now she’s traveling with Bigfoot.

Feather Green by Jennifer Kropf

When Estheryn overhears the royal family’s secrets, it’s her father who pays the price, resulting in a careless murder that propels her to do the unthinkable: disobey the direct order of the Prince of Persianna and enter the forest.

The Lucky Tortoise by Ben Lang

A prince’s duty is to bring his people luck and the slightest misstep means bringing ruin to the kingdom…or worse…


Join us in making the world a better place! We are currently looking for readers to join our review team to help out with a review on Amazon, Goodreads and/or Bookbub during the book’s release week. You’ll get a free e-book copy of Enchanted Forests as well as your name included in the book’s acknowledgements if you sign up before May 15, 2022. Sign up here.

Enchanted Forests is available to pre-order here.


Sources:

https://rainforests.mongabay.com/facts/rainforest-facts.html#6

About

Book Review Alert: Sword and Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Reviewed: April 20th, 2022
Released: February 22nd, 2022
Genre: Fantasy

Beyond the Emperor’s law
In the city of Elantra, the law is upheld by a few groups, and the most feared are the Wolves—the Emperor’s executioners. The newest member of this elite force is Severn Handred.

Granted a leave of absence to pursue information about his unknown past, Severn joins a mission to an enclave well outside the boundaries of the Empire. And he will be in danger the entire time. Still, the instincts that led him to the Wolves and the sense of duty that keeps him there can’t be discarded as easily as the tabard he wears.

While he’s in the heart of the West March, enmeshed in a tangled web of mysteries that have been held for centuries, Severn’s belief in justice is going to be tested. It’s one mortal man and his single ally against a community of immortals who will kill to keep their secrets. But they don’t know who they’re up against. Read My thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Rule of the Night by M.H Woodscourt

Reviewed: April 16th, 2022
Released: January 20th, 2022
Genre: Science Fantasy

Blood called to the stars.
Darkness will answer.

After facing the Wildwood’s wrath, Lekore must set his sights on protecting his people from a threat descending from the depths of space. The key to safeguarding the cities of Erokel lies in an ancient shield system—if it can be repaired in time.

And the faraway threat isn’t Lekore’s only trouble. Closer dangers draw near to claim him and his abilities for their own. Somehow, he must wrestle with his newfound right to the throne, while he fends off a Tawloomez invasion, a slave revolt, and the worshippers of the Night—with only four days until first contact.

Meanwhile, the evil beyond his world has other plans… Read My thoughts…