Book Tour: Taking Time by Mike Murphey #RABTBookTours #AcornPublishing

Book 1, Physics, Lust and Greed Series
Humorous Science Fiction
Date Published: June 15, 2020
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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The year is 2044. Housed in a secret complex beneath the eastern Arizona desert, a consortium of governments and corporations have undertaken a program on the scale of the Manhattan Project to bludgeon the laws of physics into submission and make time travel a reality.

            Fraught with insecurities, Marshall Grissom has spent his whole life trying not to call attention to himself, so he can’t imagine he would be remotely suited for the role of time travel pioneer. He’s even less enthusiastic about this corporate time-travel adventure when he learns that nudity is a job requirement. The task would better match the talents of candidates like the smart and beautiful Sheila Schuler, or the bristle-tough and rattlesnake-mean Marta Hamilton.

            As the project evolves into a clash between science and corporate greed, conflicts escalate. Those contributing the funding are mostly interested in manipulating time travel for profit, and will stop at nothing, including murder, to achieve their goals.

Taking Time is an interesting book with many elements and layers of traditional science fiction. Fair warning, there are several adult instances in this book and a fair amount of innuendo. Largely, this is done with humor in mind, but I felt like I needed to say that upfront. The characters are fun, particularly Marshall and his fellow time traveling candidates. As the book progresses, the reader can really see the early science fiction influences in the narrative!

I felt the book was paced well and it didn’t take me all that long to read on my kindle! The humorous aspects were indeed humorous and it was a fun book to read!

Thank you to RABT Book Tours and the author for a complimentary copy of the book! This is my honest review. Don’t forget to scroll down to enter the giveaway and pick up your copy of Taking Time today!

About the Author

Mike Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Following his retirement from the newspaper business, he and his wife Nancy entered in a seventeen-year partnership with the late Dave Henderson, all-star centerfielder for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners. Their company produced the A’s and Mariners adult baseball Fantasy Camps. They also have a partnership with the Roy Hobbs adult baseball organization in Fort Myers, Florida. Mike loves fiction, cats, baseball and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, where he enjoys life as a writer and old-man baseball player.

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Blog Tour: Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone by Roy Huff

Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone


Roy Huff

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Ancient civilizations, parallel worlds, aliens, time travel, epic fantasy, dragons and college! The Everville series can be read as stand-alone novels and have it all for teens, new adults, and all ages alike.

Two very different worlds, Easton Falls University and the magical realm of Everville are in dire need of a hero. Owen Sage embarks on an epic journey of monumental proportions to save these worlds all while fighting to keep the world within himself intact. This quest is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the weak of mind—only the bravest will succeed. Discovering the well-kept secret of The Fourth Pillar of Truth is only part of the feat. Owen will have to outwit the ever-powerful villain Governor Jahal and overcome countless other challenges along the way.


This is the fourth book and follow-up to the Everville trilogy, originally published in 2015!  This book can absolutely be read as a standalone, but I always suggest that readers start from the beginning because I’m a purist.  I read The Fall of Brackenbone as a standalone and still loved it! 

Author Roy Huff has a smooth writing style and read incredibly quickly for me!  Multiple times I commented to myself that I felt like I was reading a full story as if it were a cut scene from a video game, which was something I hadn’t experienced in a while!  It really enhanced the fantasy elements of this book, and trust me, there are so many elements of fantasy! 

This book switches between worlds and time, but don’t worry!  These switches are clearly marked and very effective at driving the narrative forward!  The reader gets a taste of both the contemporary world and the Other, where we meet…..drum roll please…….. Shape shifting beings that can form into dragons!  This book honestly had me at shape shifting dragons and it only got better from there! 

The characters are fun, particularly Owen, Cleophas, and Rathlar!  Great character development and almost non-stop action had me wanting the next installment almost immediately!  I would recommend this book to any fantasy fans, particularly those who also enjoy upper YA level novels, stories with similarities to RPGs and other video games! 

Thank you to Love Books Tours and author Roy Huff for a complimentary copy of this book!  This review is my honest opinion.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the reviews, excerpts, and spotlights on this tour!

Roy Huff is a Hawaii-based author, research scientist, and teacher. After a difficult childhood, he moved to the islands and hasn’t looked back.

He’s since earned five degrees, worked on projects forecasting Kilauea volcanic emissions, and trained on geostationary satellites for NASA’s GOES-R Proving Ground. He stumbled into writing, but what he didn’t stumble into is his love for all things science fiction and fantasy. Later, he contributed a series of fiction and non-fiction books as well as widely shared posts on how to design life on your terms.

Despite early challenges, he embraces optimism, science, and creativity. He still dreams of traveling into space and circumnavigating the globe. But until then, he makes Hawaii his home, where he creates new worlds with the stroke of a pen. And he hopes you’ll come along for the amazing ride.

Stay tuned to Roy Huff’s upcoming releases and promotions on his author portal at

Blog Tour: Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Spit and Song


Travis M. Riddle

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Publication: November 19, 2019

Age Group: Adult

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.

How hard could it really be?


Spit and Song is a wonderful follow up to Travis M. Riddle’s Balam, Spring!  Fear not, this can be read as a standalone!  I had no trouble understanding the story and the world, even though I hadn’t read the first book.  Though the book is hefty, weighing in at about 500 pages, I found the story to be easy to understand and it went by rather quickly once I’d gotten a hold on the characters and the other beings in the world. 

Kali is a merchant with a dream, and the first character you meet in the story.  Next is Puk, a dealer with big aspirations as well.  They conduct their business, always looking for a way out, a way to make something of themselves.  One day, a chance for a big payday is offered to them, a harrowing journey to find a book that has been lost long ago.  Through their adventure, they encounter a wide array of monsters, ruffians, and travel by almost every mode of transportation available in the world!

The book had a slightly slow start, but it picked right up about 1/8 of the way into the book.  The names of creatures and other descriptive details got a bit confusing, but quickly were resolved and I knew exactly what was going on.  In fact, I appreciated the descriptive details because they gave me a much more clear picture of the world I was reading about and the characters who live there!

The story structure was solid and I’m glad the narrative wasn’t overly complicated or trope heavy.  Given the books I’ve been reading lately, this was a refreshing science fiction/fantasy novel cleanse my pallet!  Not only does this book have a fantastic cover, the book itself is also very worth reading!  I would recommend this to fans of sci-fi/fantasy who enjoy classic adventure RPG tales with a new twist! 

This book was a fun and interesting journey!  I am so glad that I was able to participate in this tour!  Thank you to the author and Storytellers On Tour for a copy of the book!  I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.

Review: The Winged Lion: Marion’s Match by Patrick D. Carlson

The Winged Lion: Marion’s Match

Author: Patrick D. Carlson

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Page Publishing

Number of Pages: 241 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Author’s Request

In the year 2090, the United People’s Commonwealth world government and its leader, Premier Kerioth, are fighting an existential threat from a growing rebellion. The nonconformist cause, led by General Nathaniel Marion, espouses beliefs of restoring liberty to the world’s oppressed population. Little does the overreaching government know that a mysterious group of people is supporting the tricorn-wearing freedom fighters. Their goal? To topple the tyrannical regime. 

In the midst of the struggle is a prodigious teenager named Peter Barclay. Peter’s intellect and rare abilities provide a stark juxtaposition to his peers in Chicago, where he attends a Commonwealth primary school. Peter’s beliefs and his unexpected role in the gladiatorial match against General Marion at the notorious Central Stadium prove to be incompatible with Commonwealth society, and become catalysts for others to find hope in a world drowning in despair. 

The decolonization of this hateful and cruel world government begins with the changing of people’s hearts through the recollection of ideas that had been purposefully vilified, altered, and expunged-ideas related to the founding of the former United States of America.

The Winged Lion:  Marion’s Match is a new dystopian novel by Patrick D. Carlson.  Carlson is a novelist with Page Publishing and a physical therapist.  The novel is set in 2090 and sets up conflict between the United People’s Commonwealth world government and the nonconformist rebels who are led by General Marion.  In this world, the United People’s Commonwealth government has dissolved the United States of American and all of the founding documents have been rendered null and void.  General Marion leads forces who are committed to restoring life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the entire world.  These fighters believe in the founding principles of the United States and even take on interesting characterizations from the founding fathers, including tricorn hats! 

As a history major myself, I really enjoyed all of the allusions to the founding of America, including the names of battles, places, ships, and other nuggets that are woven into the narrative.  Clocking in at about 240 pages, this book brings the reader into the world of Peter Barclay and his struggle to not only survive, but also to find his place in the world.  Peter attends a commonwealth school where his intellect and critical thinking skills far outrank those of his peers.  The reader follows Peter on this journey from Commonwealth school to bigger things!

There are overarching themes in the book about the power of ideology and the dangers of an unstable geo-political scene.  The book is fast-pace and the narrative is tightly woven.  The action scenes are intriguing I really enjoyed them!  Overall, this is a solid book for fans of history, dystopian novels, and interesting characters!

I’d like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book for review!  This review is my honest opinion.


Review: The Wounded Ones by G.D. Penman

The Wounded Ones

Author: G.D. Penman

Published: June 23rd, 2020

Publisher: Meerkat Press

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Demons and serial killers are Iona “Sully” Sullivan’s bread and butter, but nothing could have prepared her to face off against the full weight of the British Empire at the height of its power. With the War for American Independence in full swing, she finds even her prodigious talents pushed beyond their limits when citizens of the American Colonies begin vanishing amidst rumors of crop circles, hydra sightings and worse. Through a wild and lethal adventure that will see her clashing with the Empire around the world and beyond, the only constants in Sully’s life are an undead girlfriend, a giant demon crow that has taken a shine to her, regular assassination attempts by enemies on all sides, and the cold certainty that nothing and nobody is going to make it out of the war in one piece.

I did not know this was a second book until doing further research after approval in NetGalley, but I made the decision to read it without reading the first installment.  I found this to be an okay decision because the introductory chapters were well written and I got a sense of who characters were and their relationships almost instantly.  Though, I would recommend reading book one first!  I’ve got it on my TBR list now to retroactively read to understand more thoroughly what I’ve just read.

This is a well-written novel with an interesting plot, well developed characters, and plot that doesn’t stop.  I can see some of the science fiction and fantasy influences from table top gaming coming through in the writing and I absolutely appreciate those touches from the author!  Being as June is Pride month, I found Sully and Marie to be exceedingly well written LGBTQIA+ characters! 

The magic system in this novel is really complex and arcane, which I appreciate!  I’ve read too many fantasy books that have a really fanciful idea of magic.  This is the most practical approach I’ve seen in recent memory and I really enjoyed it.  Another note, the political system and political machinations that Sully is involved in piqued my interest in so many ways! Another reason I’d like to read the first book is to really understand the motivations and what has happened in this world.

A layer of sarcasm lays over the entire narrative and it’s something I really appreciate here as well!  There are too many books that attempt humor, but it falls flat.  I believe the humor here hits almost every time and it’s a style of humor that I appreciate.  Also, well written action scenes that made me feel the emotions of the characters!

Overall, this is a great second book with complex characters, intriguing magic, developed political intrigue, crime, demons, and so much more!  I would recommend this book to any fans of Larry Correa’s Grimnoir series, Jim Butcher fans, and other fans of the paranormal/magic/alternative world genres in sci-fi fantasy!

I received a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and Meerkat Press for the opportunity to review this title!


Blog Tour: Book I: A King’s Bargain – Legend of Tal

Book I: A King’s Bargain

Legend of Tal


J. D. L. Rosell

Genre: Epic/Hero, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery

Publication: June 1, 2020

Age Group: Adult

The legend of Tal Harrenfel is sung across the Westreach — and with each telling, the tales grow taller. But though he’s declared a hero by his King, Tal has never claimed to be more than a man…

After three decades of fighting warlocks, killing mythical beasts, and hunting enchanted treasure, Tal has had enough. Running from the deeds of his past, he retreats to his home village under a different name and meets an unlikely companion: Garin, a village boy who dreams of making a name for himself and seeing the world beyond their sleepy town.

When Tal receives a mysterious visitor, both he and Garin find themselves thrown into a sojourn across the kingdom. Soon, they become embroiled in the plots of monarchs, on the frontlines of an ancient war, and at the mercy of a fabled sorcerer.

Now Tal must live up to his legend, and Garin discover his own power, to survive the forces pitted against them…

Name of the Wind meets Witcher in A King’s Bargain, an intertwining sword and sorcery adventure and coming of age tale. If you like The Wheel of Time, The Dragonbone Chair, or The Stormlight Archive, you’ll love the captivating world of Legend of Tal!


From the outset, this book is an intriguing and imaginative high fantasy!  Filled with wonderful prose, excellent world-building, and loveably flawed characters.  A King’s Bargain is an epic hero’s journey entwined with a coming-of-age plotline that works on all the levels!

From Hunt’s Hollow to Halenhal and all of the places in between, this world is great!  There is an incredible amount of world-building in the first few chapters of this book, but it isn’t completely exposition.  Much of it is either gleaned through Garin’s conversations with Bran on the road or from quiet discussions between Bran and our loveable mage, Aelyn.  It is very hard to write complicated political systems, particularly those in a fantasy realm, but the author absolutely gets  it right in this book! 

Garin is a wonderfully headstrong and intelligent young man who decides to leave home, but has no idea what he is in for!  We’ve got Bran, a mysterious chicken farmer with a secret, who sets out on an initial journey to Halenhal hoping to keep his past a secret.  Aelyn the grumpy elven mage is possibly my favorite for all of his no-nonsense behaviors.  A few more characters are encountered along the way, including Falcon, a hilarious bard with a big personality, and Wren, a determined individual who follows a similar path as Garin in wanting to make a name for herself. 

A tantalizing mystery awaits the weary travelers once they reach Halenhal and the Coral Castle.  From here, the plot picks up quite quickly and doesn’t relent until the end of the novel.  This book has all of the elements of high fantasy that I love, including mages, myth, magic, adventuring, great and legendary foes, vicious beasts, sacrifice, fellowship, and so much more!  The action scenes are well-written, combining magic, swordplay, banter, and immediate danger for a fantastic concoction of fast-paced fighting!

Author J.D.L. Rosell is an imaginative and skillful writer!  A King’s Bargain is a sweeping epic fantasy with a lot of promise for the next book!  Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this book and would pick up another by Rosell in a heartbeat!  This book combines excellent elements of high fantasy with well-crafted writing to bring the reader into a world filled with magic, mystery, and danger!

This is a great book for fans of The Witcher, Elder Scrolls, Lord of the Rings, all the RPG games, and any other lovers of epic fantasy stories!

Thank you to J.D.L. Rosell and Storyteller’s on Tour for the opportunity to read and review this book!  This review is my honest opinion and I was provided a no-cost copy of this book.

J.D.L. Rosell is the author of more than seven books, including the dark epic fantasy series The Famine Cycle, the fast-paced LitRPG/Gamelit series The Everlands, and the sword-and-sorcery series Legend of Tal. He also writes some serialized books, including the Nordic epic fantasy The Frozen Throne, which has over 100k views on Wattpad.

Previously, J.D.L. Rosell earned an MA in creative writing and has written as a ghostwriter. Always drawn to the outdoors, he gets out into nature whenever he can and indulges in his hobbies of hiking and photography. But most of the time, he can be found curled up with a good book at home with his fiancée and two cats, Zelda and Abenthy.

A King’s Bargain Giveaway

Graphic Novel Review: Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Author: V. E. Schwab

Illustrator: Andrea Olimpieri

Published: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Titan Comics

Number of Pages: 112 pages

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss+

Synopsis from Goodreads

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

My Review

I know this review is late to the party, but I’d heard about the Shades of Magic graphic novels and they came up on Edelweiss+. I had to request them and of course they were downloads, so here we are! The quality of the e-copy I recieved wasn’t great, but I was able to follow along with the story and the beautiful imagery! I double checked the sample from Amazon, it looks 100% great in ebook format!

There is a lot to unpack here, though I’m not usually someone who reviews graphic novels. I was already a fan of V.E. Schwab, having read all of the A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM) series. Kell, Laila, Rhy, they are all some of my favorite characters. I felt this was an intensely interesting choice to release a prequel graphic novel focusing on Rhy’s father, Maxim Maresh. In ADSOM, Maxim is the King of Red London and an exceedingly complex character. The reader really gets to see his beginnings and sees a little bit of Rhy in his early exploits. Maxim’s magic is really interesting and so fun to see played out in the illustrations!

V.E. Schwab is a great author and I can see her brilliant mind work through the story arcs in this volume! I immensely enjoyed the writing and style of this graphic novel. And can we talk about the illustrations? Andrea Olimpieri is an up and coming graphic artist from Italy and wow this is great! I love the style and sharp edges in the illustrations.

Images from Edelweiss+

Illustrating magic can be hard, but I think that Olimpieri did an amazing job with this volume! I will definitely be grabbing the other volumes in this series!

I recieved a galley copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.


Review: The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey

Two women, fed up with the corrupt regime, set out on an adventure to unseat the Sachem by kidnapping his wife and installing someone to spy on him.  Annilasia takes the Sachem’s wife, Jalice, on a wild journey to confront the evil that plagues their land, but things do not go according to plan!

First blush:  I really enjoyed this book and am very glad that I had a chance to review it.  I’ll be pre-ordering a print copy, great cover and fun book that needs to be on my shelf.

I firmly believe there is a fine line between detail and believability.  This book is very detailed, but it just edges over to unbelievable, even in a world with alternate realms, magic.  It’s a delicate balance that is almost achieved here.  This doesn’t detract from the book, it’s still fabulous, just a little too complicated at some points in the story.  I certainly do think that with more novels in this series, this view will not apply as much.

That said, the pacing is tremendous!  The harrowing journey, action, and quick dialogue drive the story forward at a clip that was honestly surprising.  I finished the book and couldn’t believe it was over because it felt like I’d just picked the book up.  Another strength here is the narrative and plot.  There are some people who play video games, not so much for the mechanics, but for the story.  This is a book that thrives on it’s lore and worldbuilding.  It’s a masterfully done show not tell building of the world of the story and I was left wanting so, so much more!  I love that I was dropped into a world that I had to learn about through the interactions with the culture that the characters had.  It made this even more of an intellectual journey, something I really cherish here.

The character interactions were very interesting, given that Annilasia and Delilee hatch a plan to kidnap a woman with which neither of them were familiar.  I felt really, like other reviewers did, that this wasn’t a book in which I had to like the main characters.  I didn’t need to like them, but I needed to follow them, almost like I’m watching this story unfold from behind glass.  But, it isn’t a bad thing!  I’m glad it wasn’t a point that I had to like the characters, I’ve read too many novels where the main character wasn’t relatable, but it felt like the author was forcing me to like them.  This wasn’t that novel. 

I did notice that other reviews noted that they felt as if they were just scratching the surface of this world.  I wholeheartedly agree, but I view that as a good thing.  That means there is more to learn, more books to read, and more world to explore! 

I really did enjoy this book and I can’t wait for the next installment!

Thank you to BookSirens and Jesse Nolan Bailey for the opportunity to provide an honest review in exchange for a galley copy of this title!

Check out the author’s website, Jesse Nolan Bailey and get a copy of The Jealousy of Jalice eBook on May 19 and pre-order a print copy before September 22nd!