Authors Showcase: Above and Beyond

The Book: Embroiled

The Author: Darlene Jones

51Y1BTFuABL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-67,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The Story: “What if I could go ‘up there’?”

Why does this obsession drive Emily’s life when she doesn’t believe in God or heaven? Even the wonderful Dr. David can’t help her find the answers.
Neither does she believe in reincarnation, but that seems to be the only explanation for her intuition that she has lived before. When Yves takes her to his world, she is shocked to learn that she had three previous lives.

She meets gods and Powers and people rescued from doomed planets—living the perfect heavenly life. She knows she belongs with Yves, but can she leave her life on Earth, her parents, and her friends to stay with him?

And all is not as idyllic as it appears. Emily is the only one who sees the danger. Will she be able to save Yves’ world?

About the Author: Darlene Jones explains: “A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty.

“The story lines of my books reflect my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.

“Initially, I intended to write “a” novel. The story and characters took over and the ending of the first demanded another. Two books became three and three became four.

“I’ve always believed we can’t be the only beings existing in the vastness of the universe. There must be others “out there somewhere” and I brought some of them along for the ride. The setting stays, for the most part, within the realities of our world, but I’ve found that I love the magic the sci-fi element of other beings can bring to the story.”

The Book: Secrets of Ghosts

The Author: Mardi Orlando

51XQfz3ivIL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The story: A Secret Society. An Abandoned Church. And a Shadow.
Brought together by their mysterious gifts, seven teenagers have been stranded in an icy wasteland by their Secret Society.
In an abandoned church they find a gathering of ghosted orphans, trapped for over one hundred years.
To free these ghosts they will need to discover each of their identities, and to do that, this group of misfits will need to face the secrets that have haunted their own lives.
It is the only way they will source their gifts. It is the only way they will survive. It is the only way they will escape the Shadow.
And time is running out.
A haunting fantasy, Secrets of Ghosts will intrigue those of us who like to seek amongst the shadows.

Review by J. Gafford: Mardi Orlando’s Secrets of Ghosts is an excellent novel of the fantasy genre. In fact, it’s an excellent novel in any genre. The plot never slows, the characters lift off the page and you can easily visualize every word they speak, expression and action they make.

I must admit that I am not a reader of this genre, but Orlando knows how to draw her reader into a tale and she certainly kept me engrossed.
Using historical events as a backdrop Orlando artfully weaves a tale that had me up late nights, wanting to read just one more page…then another. I simply didn’t want the book to end. I look forward to reading more from this incredibly gifted author.

Review by Franz: This book defies categorization. Is it Paranormal – certainly, YA Fantasy – most definitely, Mystery – again, yes? It is all of these, but so much more. In Secrets of Ghosts, Mardi Orlando has developed a tale that touches the heart.

This book goes far beyond well-developed characters, intriguing plot, and unique formatting. This is the tale of a group of damaged teens struggling with powers and concepts that would tax the strongest and most self-assured of us. This motley group must overcome their troubled pasts while facing their internal fears and learning to understand and coordinate with each other.

Mardi Orlando’s superb prose breathes life into her characters while unfolding the story’s mysteries like the peeling of an onion. With the deft hands of a master, the author reveals enough to keep interest peaked without frustrating the reader.

Fortunately, she has left the way open for a sequel.




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