#BookReview “When the Children Come” by Barry Kirwan

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5/5 Stars!

When the Children Come pulled me right in from the first page. No introductions or descriptive narrative. Kirwan dropped me right into the action.

Nathan, a military vet who never wanted children, is ironically guarding over two-hundred of them. He’s their protector and possibly last chance for survival… as long as he stays awake.

The story pulls back to explain how Nathan and the children came to be hiding in the abandoned school, and who they’re hiding from.

I enjoyed this page-turner, reading it quickly, and ending up frustrated I’d have to wait until fall for book 2! HA!

Nathan is a great protagonist/hero. While he appears to be negative in the beginning, his backstory explains the guilt he feels for the lives lost during his three tours in Afghanistan—and his PTSD.  But with the words of his late CO playing on repeat in his head, Nathan pushes on to be the protector and leader he doesn’t want to be but knows he has to be.

Lara and Raphaela, two women connected to NASA in different ways, are amazing sources of counsel and support for Nathan. Kudos to Kirwan for continuing to write strong, confident female characters. Nathan wonders more than once how he came to be surrounded by women smarter than him. However, it will take smarts and the Special Forces training Nathan has tried to bury to fight an enemy they know nothing about.

My favorite character though is ten-year-old Sally. After her brother is murdered, Sally runs for her life, straight to Nathan who lives in the same apartment building. Though he doesn’t know the child, her fear and his gut instincts tell him something is wrong. The streets are too empty for New Years Day. The adults who begin to gather are angry. And there are no children. Along with Lara—Nathan’s New Year’s Eve blind date—he takes the child and flees the city in search of help and answers. Each leg of the journey brings no answers and more hopelessness, but Nathan can’t help but notice as their situation becomes more dire, Sally matures, adding things overlooked or unspoken to the adults’ conversation.

When the trio meets up with others searching for answers while trying to survive, the ten-year-old becomes the unspoken leader for the children, and that’s how Nathan treats her as he and others train the children in basic survival skills to protect themselves and to kill. They know if adults fall asleep it’s kill or be killed when they wake up.

It wasn’t lost on me that while adults fought over race, politics, and authority, there was no dissension between the children. They didn’t separate by race or gender. There were no outcasts, no labeling. Without the societal burdens adults choose to carry, the children share one focus… to survive. However, as chances of survival shrink and the enemy reveal themselves, the children’s focus turns to revenge. War is coming, but it takes time to plan and train because it will be winner take all. They’ll only get one chance to take down an enemy that’s growing in number, more advanced… and not human. It’s ironic the group’s best chance for survival and victory is also not human.

I’ve read and enjoyed first contact stories before, but the unique plot and realistic characters of When the Children Come make it a memorable book that goes on the re-read shelf.

Enjoy!

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Nathan, emotionally scarred after three tours in Afghanistan, lives alone in Manhattan until New Year’s Eve, when he meets Lara. The next morning, he notices something strange is going on – a terrified kid is being pursued by his father, and a girl, Sally, pleads with Nathan to hide her from her parents. There is no internet, no television, no phone coverage.

Nathan, Lara and Sally flee along the East Coast, encountering madmen, terrorists, the armed forces, and other children frightened for their lives. The only thing Nathan knows for sure is that he must not fall asleep…

Praise for When the Children Come…

A fantastic and original premise…flashes of Stephen King and MR Carey.” Tom Witcomb

A nicely taut thriller, with a Lee Child feel to its staccato writing and strong action sequences, and a high concept stretching the novel into true science fiction territory.” Amanda Rutter

Not just a page-turner – all in all a fabulous novel, which I was sad to finish.” Loulou Brown

Purchase Links

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Amazon US

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#BlogTour “When the Children Come” by Barry Kirwan

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cover

Nathan, emotionally scarred after three tours in Afghanistan, lives alone in Manhattan until New Year’s Eve, when he meets Lara. The next morning, he notices something strange is going on – a terrified kid is being pursued by his father, and a girl, Sally, pleads with Nathan to hide her from her parents. There is no internet, no television, no phone coverage.

Nathan, Lara and Sally flee along the East Coast, encountering madmen, terrorists, the armed forces, and other children frightened for their lives. The only thing Nathan knows for sure is that he must not fall asleep…

Praise for When the Children Come…

A fantastic and original premise…flashes of Stephen King and MR Carey.” Tom Witcomb

A nicely taut thriller, with a Lee Child feel to its staccato writing and strong action sequences, and a high concept stretching the novel into true science fiction territory.” Amanda Rutter

Not just a page-turner – all in all a fabulous novel, which I was sad to finish.” Loulou Brown

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Author BioJF Kirwan

I was born in Farnborough and grew up watching the Red Arrow jet fighters paint the sky at airshows. I didn’t get into writing until years later when I arrived in Paris, where I penned The Eden Paradox series (four books) over a period of ten years. My SF influences were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card, but also David Brin who writes about smart aliens. Iain Banks and Alistair Reynolds remain major influences, as well as Neal Asher, Peter F Hamilton and Jack McDevitt.

My main SF premise is that if we do ever meet aliens, they’ll probably be far more intelligent than we are, and with very different values and ideas of how the galaxy works. As a psychologist by training, that interests me in terms of how to think outside our own (human) frame of reference.

When I’m not writing, I’m either working (my day job), which is preventing mid-air collisions, reading, or doing yoga or tai chi. When I’m on holiday I’m usually diving, looking for sharks. Most times I find them, or rather, they find me.

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#PromoTour “Black Isis: Witch Academy” by Roz Carter

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BLACK ISIS: WITCH ACADEMY

BY ROZ CARTER

Kiya Covington is your typical teenager — she deals with family stuff, friend drama, her mom, who is… a challenge. Oh, and she’s a witch. Actually, she comes from a long line of Black witches, but that’s just ordinary life for Kiya.

When tragedy strikes at home, instead of being comforted by her family, she’s sent off to the exclusive Black Isis Witch Academy. From the little information she’s given, it’s the academy where witches from all the best Black witch families go for finishing.

Black Isis sits protected by ancient magic, undisturbed in The Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina. What happens during her first year at Black Isis is beyond anything Kiya could have imagined. She and the other baby witches will forge bonds and break them as they learn what it means to study their craft under the watchful eye of Headmistress Pendergrass, at Black Isis Witch Academy.

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EXCERPT

The rhythm flowed, the rattles shook, the spectators clapped their hands and soon we were all feeling the rhythm of the music in our bones and in our souls. The sound was thunderous, climbing to the top of the two-story ceiling, and I moved my hips and shook my shoulders and clapped my hands. My eyes were half-closed and I couldn’t make out anyone’s individual face and I didn’t think or care that they could see me. I’d never wanted to dance like this before. I had danced alone in my room but to regular music. Never something that felt bigger than music like this. This felt like me. That I didn’t need to know the right steps and movements because there were no wrong moves. The music changed, the drum beat got faster and one by one we, the spectators, stepped back and watched. They made a circuit around the room, those without the drumsticks, waving white handkerchiefs to one side, then the other. I felt like there were words being spoken just below the surface. And then the drums and feet fell silent. The dance was complete.

I took a moment to look around the room. Everyone looked as relaxed as I felt. I felt like melted butter, so flowy, that if I slid into a chair, I might just slide bonelessly to the floor. Even though I hadn’t broken a sweat, I felt spent, like after a hard run. The drummers and dancers filed out of the hall. Headmistress Pendergrass took her place in the center of the room once more.


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one of three Black Isis: Witch Academy ebooks

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ABOUT Roz Carter

Roz Carter

Roz Carter lives in one of the most haunted neighborhoods in Philadelphia. She holds a degree in English with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Pennsylvania. While she enjoys writing in many genres, she often returns to the sinister.

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#BookTour “The Lost King” by Frazier Alexander


YA High Fantasy

Date Published: November 10, 2020

Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing

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King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.

In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.

With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.


 About the Author

Frazier Alexander lives in Denton, Texas with his wife Nicole.

He began writing around the age of nine, inspired by movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and “sword-and-sandal” epics like Jason and the Argonauts. As a reader, his interests gravitate towards older works and the classics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Beowulf, and Le Morte D’Arthur. Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist.

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “The Lost King” by Frazier Alexander


YA High Fantasy

Date Published: November 10, 2020

Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing

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King Athan vanishes at sea. His children, prince Thalos and princess Thara, drift apart with age, their kingdom falling into ruin. Thalos stubbornly clings to the past; Thara, resentful of her father, looks to the future. In the wake of this decline, a beautiful enchantress usurps the throne from the estranged siblings. She exiles Thalos to the edge of the world and slowly enslaves Thara’s mind.

In his exile, Thalos finds another castaway—an old comrade of his father. Together they begin a voyage in search of the lost king. Thara, meanwhile, resists the new queen’s coercive spells and finds a resistance of creatures still loyal to her father.

With a vast world of enchanted islands and beings between them, Thalos and Thara struggle to restore their family and rekindle the hope of the true king’s return.


 About the Author

Frazier Alexander

Frazier Alexander lives in Denton, Texas with his wife Nicole.

He began writing around the age of nine, inspired by movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and “sword-and-sandal” epics like Jason and the Argonauts. As a reader, his interests gravitate towards older works and the classics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Beowulf, and Le Morte D’Arthur. Along with creating his own mythological backdrop for his stories, Frazier is an amateur calligrapher, map-maker, and artist.

 

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#BookBlitz “The Lost Prince” by P.G. Shriver


The Gifted Ones, Book 3

YA Sci-fi, YA Fantasy

 Release Date: October 1, 2020

 Publisher: Gean Penny Books

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A call to unite. A search for truth. Two superhuman teens running from the law…

Paradise, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Carmen isn’t sure what happened to her mother; one day she’s helping cook dinner, but the next day, her mother’s missing and Carmen’s fleeing for her life. Burdened with anger that interferes with her unusual power, she takes to the streets with the only clue her mother left behind. But when she encounters a stranger picking through her belongings, she finds herself in a life or death situation. 

Seventeen-year-old Simon survived a tragedy he doesn’t remember; he doesn’t know how or why he’s on the streets. So when his physical needs overtake him, he’ll do anything to satisfy them, including scavenging a homeless den. And when he discovers a drawing on the cardboard ceiling, it sparks a memory that compels him to help the owner.

But with danger lurking in every alleyway and one clue to lead the way, they may not succeed… 

Can Carmen and Simon discover how their mutual clue connects them before her mother’s life is taken?

The Gifted Ones The Lost Prince is the exciting final book in The Gifted Ones superhero fantasy trilogy. If you like young heroes, realistic settings, and stories of adventure, then you’ll love PG Shriver’s third book The Lost Prince.

Buy The Gifted Ones The Lost Prince to unlock the superpowered ending today!


Other Books in the The Gifted Ones Trilogy:

Paradise Rising

The Gifted Ones, Book 1

Publisher: Gean Penny Books

Published: June 1, 2020

San Antonio, Texas. Thirteen-year-old Cheater isn’t sure how she ended up wanted for murder. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand, that’s triggered by a creeping darkness she can’t remember, she’s both saved and taken lives. But when she makes a vigilante move to stop a mugging, she encounters a boy who might be the key to cracking the mystery of her strange gift.

Fifteen-year-old Jaz has survived too many tragedies to stay on the right side of the law. So when his small gang’s robbery gets interrupted by a teenaged fugitive, he’s perplexed by her act of heroism. And when he discovers they’re both connected to the same mysterious fairytale, he feels drawn to her quest for answers.

But with danger lurking around every corner and the police hot on their trail, they may not even make it past the city limits…

Can Cheater and Jaz discover why Fate linked them together before they land behind bars?

The Gifted Ones Paradise Rising is the captivating first book in The Gifted Ones pre-superhero fantasy series. If you like smart heroines, gritty settings, and stories of hope, then you’ll love PG Shriver’s emotional tale.

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Time of Dreams

The Gifted Ones, Book 2

Publisher: Gean Penny Books

Published: August 1, 2020

An unusual ally. A destined dream. Two superhuman teens hiding from the law…

Godley, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Nathan isn’t sure how the girl in his dream knew to warn him. Burdened with righteous anger, and past events that put him in the wrong place at the wrong time, he’s ready to avenge the tragedies he’s left behind. But when a lost girl in the woods demands his help, he finds himself in another sticky situation— a dead body, a familiar face, and a secret that might be key to deciphering the dream.

Seventeen-year-old Rebecca survived a tragedy that’s kept her locked away in fear. So when she flees for her life and crosses paths with a guy in the woods, she uses her power to push through his anger for help. And when she discovers their connection to the same mysterious girl, she is drawn into his heroic quest for revenge.

But with a sheriff hot on their trail and two strangers breaking into their safe haven, they may not even make it out of the city…

Can Nathan and Rebecca discover why Fate drew them together before the sheriff locks them up?

Amazon


 

About the Author 

P.G. Shriver holds a Masters in Education, a Bachelors in English and is currently retired from teaching. Shriver writes from her country home in Texas. She lives with her family among three Great Pyrenees, an eighty-five pound Chihuahua, four horses, six cats and many of my favorite books from various genres, seventeen of which are her own published works, seven picture books for children, five first reader chapter books, and five middle grade-young adult novels. Somewhere in the menagerie is my retired husband who enjoys his role as sounding board.

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#ReleaseBlitz “The Two Halves of My Heart” by Rachel De Lune

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The Two Halves of my Heart by Rachel De Lune

Genre: N/A contemporary romance, Friends-to-Lovers
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BUY THE BOOK: Buy links – https://mybook.to/TTHOMH

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When I was seven years old, I met Maddison, the love of my life. And a minute later, I met Oliver who stole my heart and kept it. Forever.

Loving both of them, giving them each a piece of my heart, was easy at that age.

Maddison made me brave, and Oliver kept me safe.

But then we grew up, and loving both of them was wrong. How was I supposed to choose between my best friends? I couldn’t, and worse, I didn’t. And, that was the beginning of the end. It fractured us in ways we couldn’t imagine and pushed one of us to make a choice that would change the course of all of our lives.

But could we all live with the consequences?

Three friends.

Two brothers.

One romance. One love story.

**GIVEAWAY**

£20 amazon gift card and sterling silver bracelet – as featured in The Two Halves of my Heart

Visit Rachel’s Facebook page for a release giveaway: http://www.facebook.com/racheldeluneauthor

 

 

MEET RACHEL DE LUNE

Author bio:
Rachel De Lune writes emotionally driven contemporary romance.

She began scribbling her stories in the pages of a notebook several years ago and still can’t resist putting pen to real paper. What ifs are turned into heartfelt stories of love where there will always be a HEA.

Rachel lives in the South West of England and daydreams about shoes with red soles, lingerie and chocolate. If she’s not writing HEAs, she’s probably reading them. She is a wife and has a beautiful daughter.

For every woman who’s ever desired more.

Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/racheldeluneauthor

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/racheldeluneauthor

Amazon – https://geni.us/RachelDeLuneAmazon

Bookbub – https://geni.us/RDLBookbub

 

BUY THE BOOK: Buy links – https://mybook.to/TTHOMH