Indie Author Friday: Martin Allen #IndieAuthor #YA #Fantasy

It’s Friday again – and today Martin Allen is here with his extensive collection of multiple genre books.  Martin would like to be one of my favorite Avengers, and if any of you are looking for book reviews, he offers some ideas below.

An exploration of the perceived infallibility of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence as presented in UK Law. Until relatively recently there have been virtually no challenges to the reliability of these types of evidence. This title explores not only the cases that have challenged these evidential types in the UK but also persuasive authorities from overseas and expert opinions on their scientific validity as they are currently presented in the UK.

Recondite is a number of abstract digital pieces combined into one collection. Each piece is an invocation of a particular mood or concept. The pieces are grouped according to the original source material into a number of “series” to illustrate the dimensions of experience within each image.


A short story set in the same universe as the forthcoming “Phoenix: Rising” Novel. There is a sample of this novel after the short story.
Set in a Dystopian world ruled by a Theocracy a non-descript clerk finds himself thrown into the very prison camps he helped to fill while working in the “Justice” System.


As the pyres of the Inquisition burned, the faith of Decimus Vespilo did not waiver. Holding to the tenants of his training he remained detached from that which he visited on others. Assigned to an Investigation he deemed beneath him he is caught up, not only in a rapidly growing movement but a conspiracy that could destabilise the teachings of the temple to which he devoted his life. Is the mysterious preacher the “Phoenix” a threat or the salvation he has been subconsciously seeking since consigning his own grandfather to the flames when just a child?
As his ties to the movement grow stronger during his undercover investigation, will his affection for Histar sway his course? The emergence of a Shadowy mastermind casts a sinister foreboding to Decimus`s mission as his every move is predicted and countered. Could it be the “Phoenix” is an unexpected ally to forestall the inhuman manoeuvring of those seeking to subvert the original message of the Empire? Manoeuvring that has been bastardising this message for years,so much so that the original is lost and incompatible.
Decimus must decide between his beliefs and the Empire he has been trained to protect at all costs.

“A snowflake can start an avalanche, as one act of compassion can change the world.”

Under the brutal oppression of the Empire, a new era of repression is to begin. The show trials will cease, and the bloody massacre of those deemed unclean or unholy will commence. Calidus Squad of the Imperial Guard has been recalled to Earth, the very seat of the Empire and is tasked with transporting these prisoners to their final destination, where they assume the prisoners will stand trial. Calidus Squad are among 7,000 Imperial Guardsmen assigned to this task by Investigator Celeris. The convoy starts at Jerusalem and ends in Rome. Lieutenant Gratius and Sergeant Curtius are all too aware that the involvement of an Imperial Investigator, the Empire’s trained killing machines, heralds a dark undercurrent to this mission, but other members of the Squad, such as Guardsman Amatius Balbus, have much to learn about the Empire that they serve. The one light in the dark is Mya, a small child who attaches herself to Calidius Squad, and she may just change the course of the Empire.

This prequel to “Phoenix Rising” is the story of the 7,000, worshipped as Demi-gods in the Empire of “Phoenix: Rising”.

A short story set in the same universe as the Author’s “Phoenix: Rising” Novel. There is a sample of this novel and Phoenix: Ashes after the short story.

Terenitus Catilina awakes in a military hospital, her life changed forever. Gone is her carefree existence, safe in the middle classes of the Empire of Sol Invictus. She must now come to terms with all that she has lost, and the horrific injuries that she has sustained. Taken in by the Inquisition after they saved her life Catilina is now beholden to this dark and terrifying chapter of the Empire’s clergy. She must now complete her training to join their number as the prototype of the Dark Eagle protocol.

(Prequel to Phoenix: Deliverance)

A humourous Science Fiction short story in which a failed writer, dependant on the favours of family friends, on his last chance to get published discovers a portal to an alternative Universe. can he use this discovery to launch his writing career?


As a turncoat mercenary Beorma is on the run. Once engaged in an ill-fated Norse invasion of the Scottish lands, he must now attempt to throw off his Norse pursuers. He turned on them in the midst of battle and they care nothing for the fact that he was trying to stop the slaughter of children, for they were the ones perpetrating this evil. In his flight he happens on a band of Angles who had escaped the Vikings he had once served.

It was once said that “man hath no greater love than this, that he would give his life for a friend.” but perhaps man hath no greater love than to give his life for a stranger.

When a mysterious visitor to Brawley appears out of a special rift, Mariah Beck faces her greatest challenge. Despite leaving legal practice to draft legislation for the good of Supernatural beings and their struggle for Equal Rights she must now return to her previous calling to save the soul of an elderly German Supernatural, and her own. Her opposition; Mephistopheles himself!

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I have to say the following review for “Phoenix: Penitence” really made my day:

“This author has a unique and delightfully artful way of writing. The expert mastery of dialogue and language is as entertaining as the story itself. I was immediately transported to this world and its totalitarian structure which is analogous to The Inquisition set in a far flung future after a nuclear event. Usually I can read quickly, not so with this prose. Impressively, the sentence and paragraph structures require close attention to each word because much meaning is attached. That is not to say this story is hard to understand or tedious to read, it is to say that this writing is not dumbed down. True lovers of literature will love this no doubt, regardless of a preferred genre.

The first tale and the introduction to the Phoenix: Rising novel use the far future to shine a light on the horrors of fanaticism and totalitarianism. Excellent.”

Thank you Ron Baker, if you ever read this.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

I think Histar from “Phoenix: Rising” would really hate my guts. She’s a woman that went through a lot (and will go through more – in at least one other book [I’m not saying which]) .


One of her friends was killed in the following of the Phoenix and at the time of writing this she thinks this great teacher of peace that she followed is now dead. She has departed to follow her own path of teaching the lessons she has learned. All in all she’s quite a together lady and would see me as something of a pathetic looser holed up in my office in my house trying to make connections with people without ever having to meet them. She’d really let rip into me about how good I have things and she’d be right. I feel sorry for her having a creator who she’s so much better than…

What do you do to get book reviews?

Over the years I’ve tried some advertising (it didn’t work), I’ve tried contributing to anthologies (there’s one set in Brian Parker’s Sci-Fi Film Noir world of Easytown hopefully being released either the end of this year or early next), I have E-mailed out large numbers of copies to reviewers, set up free days on Amazon, I’ve even started a book review circle where authors give out copies of their books to the circle of authors and readers in exchange for honest reviews. That last one is in progress and time will tell how that turns out – the link is if anyone is interested in joining.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I have done so many things, mainly out of a sense of boredom and they interested me at the time. As well as being awful at a number of musical instruments I have learned to make chainmail, appeared on stage as a Magician over several years, appeared on stage in a musical (yes, it was a singing role – sigh), I design my own book covers (and I hope to get a lot better at that), I’m a 2nd Kyu (brown belt) in Karate, I practiced Aikido for around 10 years, I’m a Grade 3 and 3 Star fencer who attended the West Midlands Centre of Excellence for Fencing, I won the North-East England Mooting Competition in 2002 (Mooting is presenting a legal argument in a competition – like debating but only in law) and I accidentally learned how to make home-made cider (for American readers, I’m talking the alcoholic variety).

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

The Brain, because things would be so much better if I took over the world and I have no realistic plans to do so. I can come up with any number of UNrealistic plans to do so…

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

Tony Stark, genius, billionaire play-boy, philanthropist – what’s not to like. That and I don’t play well with others either, so it wouldn’t be much of a culture shock on that front.

Author Bio

Martin Allen graduated from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 2003 with a Law LL.B (Hons) Exempting L.P.C. Degree. He has worked in many different areas of the Legal Sector and built up a wealth of experience in the sector.

Martin enjoys reading and writing Science Fiction but has taken the time to write a Legal piece, “The Prosecutor’s Fallacy: The Reliability of DNA and Fingerprint Evidence” and has contributed to CCR Public Sector Magazine on the subject of psychology.

The Phoenix Series is a Science Fiction series set in a world where a Theocracy has come to power. “Phoenix: Penitence” is a short story set in this world. The first Novel “Phoenix: Rising” charts the rise of a new interpretation of the theological teachings of this Empire and the lengths this Empire will go to protect itself from it. The story is told from the point of view of an Imperial Investigator caught in the middle of the Empire’s manoeuvrings.

In other bouts of creativity Martin appeared as Gaston in Storytime Productions performance of “Once Upon a Dream” and has appeared supporting a number of bands in the Birmingham UK area as a Semi-Professional Magician (he has a number of videos on his You-Tube channel. He also sold some works of art in his own lifetime (which technically on a like-for- like basis makes him currently more successful than VanGogh… just). He has also been a Rock DJ in Newcastle Upon Tyne UK.

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Genius: The Con (Genius #2) by Leopoldo Gout #bookreview #YA

Three teen geniuses from diverse backgrounds must work together to stop a vicious warlord, protect their families, and save the world in this fast-paced sequel to Genius: The Game.


Tunde: This fourteen-year-old self-taught engineering genius from Nigeria is in a race against time to save his village from a ruthless warlord.

Painted Wolf: This mysterious sixteen-year-old activist blogger and strategist from China is searching for a way to rescue her father from the corruption he’s inadvertently been caught up in.

Rex: This sixteen-year-old Mexican-American has proven himself to be one of the best programmers in the world, only to be falsely accused of stealing billions of government secrets for the terrorist hacking group Terminal.

Pursued by the police, the FBI, and most dangerous of all, Kiran Biswas, visionary CEO and evil mastermind, three teen geniuses have to move fast and stay low as they race to find a missing brother, stop a vicious warlord, and save the world in Genius: The Con by Leopoldo Gout. –

Three diverse MCs with their different POVs return for the sequel to Genius:  The Game.  This continues to be an intelligent YA series, with higher stakes this time around for Rex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf, as their families are being threatened.  With a quick pace, clever inventions, and fascinating technology, there’s much to keep you glued to the pages.

Personally, this one didn’t hook me quite as much as the first book.  Although the families of the MCs were threatened, I didn’t get the same sense of urgency or intrigue I had with Genius: The Game, but judging by other reviews, I’m in the minority on this.

I’d recommend this series to those interested in science, technology, and engineering and readers who enjoy wicked smart main characters.  This book is scheduled for publication August 1, 2017.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.

New Release: A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair #KensingtonMystery #Mothman #RRBC #TuesdayBookBlog

Happy Release Day to Mae Clair! I’ve had this final book in The Point Pleasant Series pre-ordered for months – can’t wait to dive into it, but hate saying goodbye to these characters.

From the Pen of Mae Clair

I’m celebrating a book birthday today and hope you’ll join me! A Desolate Hour, the final novel in my Point Pleasant series, is finally available for purchase. I’m wrapping up all the plot threads begun in the first two novels, A Thousand Yesteryears and A Cold Tomorrow. Caden Flynn and all my regular characters are back, along with a few new ones. The Mothman, of course, is front and center.

When I set out to write the Point Pleasant series, I envisioned the mystery relating to the origins of the Mothman spanning all three books. But I also wanted each book to focus on an aspect of Point Pleasant folklore in addition to my favorite cryptid.

In book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, I shared the history of the Silver Bridge tragedy. Book two, A Cold Tomorrow, saw the introduction of UFOs and Men in Black. The final…

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What I’m Reading and Reviewing #amreading

I haven’t downsized my TBR over the past few weeks (although I’ve added to it – don’t even act like you’re surprised).  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading.  Between NetGalley, Edelweiss, and three book clubs, I’ve been doing almost nothing but reading and writing – I also saw Spider-Man yesterday (definitely recommend it), so I thought I’d give you a peek at my list.

These three are for book clubs:

Seems like this time of year, my review list is always a little heavier – lots of new fall releases.  It’s like Christmas in July!

Indie Author Friday: Tom Minder #IndieAuthor #suspense #thriller #crime @Tom_Minder

Happy Friday everyone!  Today we welcome fellow Black Rose Writing author Tom Minder and his crime thriller, The Long Harbor Testament.  Based on Tom’s choice of cookie and Netflix preferences, he and my son could settle in for some serious snacking and binge-watching.

Father Jim has a gambling problem, a girlfriend, and his brother Gabe just killed his bookie. Detective Mark Porfino investigates while mob boss Mario Gallante arrives to figure out why his protege was found floating in the harbor. Mark and Mario form an unholy alliance, with fast food, drinking, Girl Scout cookies, a dead man with a morbid sense of humor, and a wedding with a miracle, contributing to the search for the killer.

Jim must weigh family loyalty and protection of his lover against the vows he’s made to himself and his church. Will Gabe confess and relieve Jim of his burden? Or will they both be dragged further into the abyss until their secret is revealed?

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

I joined a critique group as part of the South Jersey Writers’ Group. I learned to look at a story as a reader and not the writer. Do the actions make sense for the characters/time/place? Was also clued in to be more sensitive to the woman’s perspective.

What do you wish you’d known before you were published?

That my brainchild, surely the next great American novel, would involve more than a first draft, but rather professional editing, honest beta reader feedback, an arduous, and humbling, querying process, seeking reviews, and finally, promotion. I still would have done all that, maybe just been the wiser upfront, to make the process smoother.

What do you love most about the writing process?

The ability to be creative while at the same time letting the story, to some point, write itself.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Chocolate Chip with Macadamia. A good combination of sweet and salty. The nuts also allow me to pretend that this is a healthy treat.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Frank (Danny DeVito) is the friend that you’re too embarrassed to introduce to anyone, but look forward to talking to. Charlie (Charlie Day) is the manic buddy whose enthusiasm and quirkiness is a good foil to the others.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Charlie Brown. At a party once, they played a game where they handed you a slip with a name on it and you had to act the character. When I saw ‘Charlie Brown’, I realized that was pretty close to me in real life.

Author Bio

Tom Minder lives in southern New Jersey, with his wife Paula, and writes novels and short fiction. He is published in various online journals and in the Beach Nights anthology from Cat & Mouse Press. He is a member of the South Jersey Writers’ Group and The Writers’ Coffeehouse. His novel, The Long Harbor Testament, was released by Black Rose Writing on January 5th, 2017.

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Black Rose Writing

New Release: The Enhanced League by C.S. Boyack #IndieAuthor #newrelease @Virgilante

Lisa Burton is in the house!

Today I have the honor of welcoming robot girl, Lisa Burton.  Lisa’s an extremely busy woman, and I’m thrilled she was able to stop by.

Gosh, thanks for inviting me over today. I love getting away from the writing cabin for a little while.

I’m Lisa Burton, the robot girl, and part of my job is to act as spokesmodel for Craig’s books. He has a new release called The Enhanced League, and I’m here to tell you about it.

It’s a loose collection of short stories that serve to tell an overarching story. It covers one year in the life of a professional baseball league. The Enhanced League does not test for performance enhancing drugs or supplements. They allow the players to make their own decisions. This leads to some superstar players, but also some hard falls along the way.

Craig wrote several women characters into the book too. Lara Toryanski is a high school girl. She pitches on the school softball team. I like Lara because she’s kind of an old mind on young shoulders. She dreams of bigger things, but understands the obstacles that stand in her way.

She winds up at the mid-season break called Enhanced Con. While her father and brothers are being true conventioneers, Lara wanders the floor. She winds up in a pickup game of softball with some of the professionals. One of them befriends her and gives her some good counseling.

This story speaks to how women fit into the professional sports world, but it has a neat human side to it too.

To honor Lara, I posed for this poster that represents her. I can’t stop being me, so I turned away a bit to let the Wildcats uniform take up more of the image.

If you’d like to learn more about Lara and the others, pick up a copy of The Enhanced League on Amazon. It’s a 99¢ book, and baseball makes for great summer reading.


The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB



I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.


My novels