Jonathan Benton always wanted to write books, having won first place in a short story competition when he was ten. Inspired by writes such as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, Jonathan first discovered the crossover genre of literary/fantasy while reading Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Jonathan grew up in New Zealand, dreaming of travelling to London and finally making the pilgrimage in his mid-twenties. Returning from England, he settled in Australia, the country he now calls home, and decided to take his writing seriously.
Robert Duncan no longer believes in magic. A mysterious call about a blood moon, however, leads him back to the magical world of his childhood and to Luthien, the beautiful girl with flame-coloured hair, who he loved and lost.
As Robert unravels the secrets of his childhood, darkness enters his life and an ancient evil awakens. To have any chance of defeating the dark forces that would destroy two worlds, Robert must find Luthien before the rise of the blood moon. He must, once more, believe in magic …
A Wicked Kind of Dark mixes vast and spectacular fantasy landscapes with gritty urban reality. A must-read for people of all ages who believe in the power of imagination, and the importance of never losing touch with your inner child.
About the author:
Craig Gross is an author, speaker, pastor, and revolutionary. He shot to prominence in 2002 when he founded the website XXXchurch.com. Craig is the author of nine books. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife, Jeanette, and their two children, Nolan and Elise.
Endorsements Received for Craig Gross’s book, Open:
“I don’t say this often, but this book is a must read.” Jefferson Bethke
“Open is one of the most relative and practical books on accountability I’ve ever read. Craig takes many routes, through stories from pop culture and his personal journey to help lead you to a life thats Open.” Josh McCown
We spend a lot of time in a small coastal town called Beaufort, in eastern North Carolina, which is where the inspiration for IXEOS came from. In the summer, virtually everything we eat comes from the seafood market or farmers’ stands. One of our favorite things is fresh peach mango sorbet. Here’s the recipe:
PEACH MANGO SORBET
Approximately 5-6 fresh, ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
1 small ripe mango (regular or champagne), peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lime
½-1 cup simple syrup (recipe below)
3 tbsp vodka
Puree the peaches and mango with the lime juice and ½ cup of simple syrup.
Add the vodka (you won’t taste it, but it will keep ice crystals from forming in the sorbet). Taste and adjust sweetness with more simple syrup (will vary depending on sweetness of the peaches). Add ginger ale to make 5 cups.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.
Mix even quantities of water and sugar in a small saucepan (ie. 1 cup of each). Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar crystals are gone. Let cool before using in sorbet.
Keep leftover syrup in the fridge for up to 2 week.
You can use this basic recipe to make all kinds of fruit sorbets. Most ice cream makers take about 5 cups. When I make grapefruit sorbet, I juice about 4 cups of fresh juice, and add 1 cup of syrup (again, depends on the flavor of the grapefruit).
Fresh strawberry or strawberry mango sorbet is also delicious! The mango in these recipes enhances the other fruit without being a noticeable ingredient – I don’t even like mango on its own, but in sorbet it is excellent!
With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs.
As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?
The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.
Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.
Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.
Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.
The kitchen fire in the second chapter of my book, Ashes Ashes, is actually based on a real event in my life. I was seven months pregnant with my first child and my husband had been called in to work. It was late and I knew he’d probably be hungry when he got home so I decided to make scones for him¾one of his favorite snacks to eat with honey butter.
We were newlyweds, in a tiny apartment, and as I put the oil on to heat, I sat down on the couch that was about three feet away. Everything seemed to make me tired in those days, and I was just going to get off my feet for a second. In what seemed like less than a minute, I heard a popping sound and I looked over to see flames coming from the frying pan, large enough to touch the microwave that was over the stove.
I panicked and tried to remember what to do for a grease fire. First, I tried to put the lid on, but the flames were too high. I got out the flour, but then I thought that might just splash the oil all over. Things were getting really hot and the smoke was getting heavy, so I gave up and called 911.
As I was talking to the operator, I remembered that we had just bought a fire extinguisher and put it under the sink. When I went to use it, the 911 operator told me not to, because it would splash the oil and spread the fire. I opened the door so I could get my hamster and bird out of the apartment, and as I did so, two young men were riding by on their bicycles and saw the flames. They couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old and yet they still rushed in to help. One of them took the fire extinguisher from me and immediately used it on the pan and the fire was out in moments.
The fire department arrived a few minutes later, but I know the damage could have been much worse if that young man and his friend hadn’t helped me. They left before I could get either of their names and I’ve always wondered if they knew how grateful I was for their take charge attitude and bravery in helping a pregnant woman they didn’t know to put out a fire. I’ve never forgotten them, and now every time I read Ashes Ashes, I can remember their good deed again.
Because of this experience, I’ve never attempted to make scones again. Instead, I make my husband’s favorite dessert that doesn’t require heated oil or much cooking of any sort on my part. It’s called torte and this dessert is full of chocolate, cream cheese, and sweet goodness. If you’ve never made a torte, especially in the summertime, you have been missing out!
Here’s the Bellon family recipe:
Step 1–The Crust
1 cube margarine
1/3 chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup flour
Mix margarine and flour together, scrunching it with your hands until it is like cookie dough. Pat into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with nuts if desired and gently press in. Bake at 325 degrees for twenty minutes. Let thoroughly cool.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup cool whip
Mix powdered sugar together with cream cheese until well-blended. Fold in cool whip. Spread on cooled crust. (Put in little dabs and then connect the dots.)
2 small packages INSTANT chocolate pudding
2 small packages INSTANT butter pecan (or butterscotch or pistachio) pudding
6 cups milk
Mix two packages of chocolate pudding according to the package, only with 3 cups milk. Spread over cream cheese mixture in pan. Put in fridge for 5-10 minutes so chocolate pudding can set. DO NOT mix butter pecan ahead of time or it will be too thick to spread. Mix the two packages of butter pecan according to the package, only with 3 cups of milk and spread on top of the chocolate. Spread layer of cool whip on the top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or chocolate shavings. Chill 4 hours. Can use any flavor of pudding, really, it all tastes good. Ashes Ashes
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out—if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him—including the woman at the center of it all?
Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love’s Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All’s Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news—which is where she gets her story ideas.
She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent’s Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards—What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.
She is the mother of eight children and when she’s not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she’s found.
Suffocate is the first novelette in THE BREATHLESS series. It is a 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres.
For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times.
It’s a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy in her perfect bubble. If those responsible find out what she knows, they won’t stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.
When Eria escapes her home in the Biome, she uncovers more about her
features and specifications as a HumaNot. Following her father’s
instructions, Eria embarks on a journey into a dangerous and unpredictable world.
Along the way, she encounters a young rebel, Dirk, who explains he’s from the Anarchy, an underground human resistance rising up against the BOTs–advanced man-made robots gone wild. Together, Dirk and Eria battle underground serpents, desert dingos, sand storms, and advanced Bots that are always hot on their trail. As they become closer, Dirk reveals his hatred of machines, forcing Eria to hide the secret of what and who she really is.
When the truth of her identity comes out, Eria is forced to become the very thing she hates the most.
This novelette is about 20,000 words and is the 2nd in the YA Breathless novelette series. Exhale (#3) is scheduled for Nov 2013.
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling thriller series, The Nature of Grace (Untraceable and Uncontrollable). Unstoppable (book 3) is scheduled for September 2013.
S.R. Johannes is the YA advisor of ALLi and a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult category) as well as a Silver medalist (2nd place) in the IPPY awards for YA Fiction. She was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult category), a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult of 2012, and a YA Finalist in the US Book News Best Book of 2012.
After earning an MBA and working in corporate America doing marketing for over 15 years, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.
With summer’s arrival, it’s a great time to break out the stack of unread books for pool time or beach lounging. At least we always think that’s what will happen. Often, the summer ends and our reading list has barely budged.
A great way to ensure you get to some of those great reads is to create (either for yourself or your kids) a summertime book club. Rather than picturing you and your friends curled up next to a fire discussing your most recent reads of a hot cup of coffee, a summertime club begs for a summertime solution.
1) Pick books with a setting near you that you can visit with a group.
2) Pick books with action in the plot that you and your friends can try. Choose a book with sailing in it and then have your book club take a sailing lesson together.
3) Hold your meetings on the beach or by a pool.
4) Play games related to the book.
5) Base your meetings around food related to the book.
The last is my favorite (and the easiest to do.) I’ve included my wife Nicole’s super-secret recipe for Monster Cookies below that we serve at Jack Templar Monster Hunter events. They get more accolades than the books. If you try them, you’ll see why!
Enjoy and have a great summer.
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350
Bake for 13-15 minutes
Do not over bake…or the monsters with strike!
Enjoy with a copy of Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy.
Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2)
After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth
birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth
about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster
hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions.
Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying
My book, Journey of Promise, is based on the journals of my great-great grandparents who were born in Wales in the early 1800s. I mention many of the common foods enjoyed in Wales throughout the book, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite Welsh recipes! Keep Reading!