Ideal for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent!!
"Settle in for daring leads, vicious enemies, and an immersive world. Intriguing twists unfold a well-paced tale of survival and the age-old question, who can you trust?" Emily R. King - Author of The Hundredth Queen Series
R.J. Furness brings you his debut novel, and the first in the DISSENT series. RENEGADES is here!
The Great Freeze changed everything…
“Ellie loved riding the orgo. She had often dreamt about it since being a small child. Now that her father wasn’t around to voice his opinions, she finally could. Twenty years had been a long time to wait.”
Centuries from now, during a new ice age, only three human colonies are known to exist. Scorr Tanta, the first city, is vast and resourceful, whereas Eklips is more desolate. Ellie, on the other hand, works in Port Harmony; a harbour town. As an apprentice orgo-keeper, the only highlight is getting to ride the animals that she cares for. Then, a chance skirmish at the market draws her closer to Haylee and her friends, and everything begins to change. Desperate to join them, Ellie has heard many tales about Haylee and her group of renowned warriors. What she doesn’t know, is how much danger follows them. Ellie is soon tugged into a much different world than she had first assumed. A world built on dissent, and filled with secrets.
‘The story has me gripped and wanting more. I can’t believe I have to wait for the next installments!’
'Thrilling, enthralling and immersive. Dive into a world you won't want to wake up from.'
Dissent Renegades is a novel by author R. J. Furness. The story takes place on Earth- though many years into the future after most of the planet froze over- and follows Ellie- an undercover warden from Scorr Tanta who poses as a caretaker for Orgos (a large creature that can be ridden like a horse, though reminds me of a smaller version of a long-neck dinosaur). During Ellie’s time as an apprentice for an older gentleman named Cedric, Ellie bonds with one of the orgos named Sage. It is also during this mission in Port Harmony that Ellie meets a young man named Evan, a market trader. And while Evan is easy on the eyes, fair mannered, and steady- his sister Haylee hold all the qualities of a fearless leader- strong, dependable, passionate, and loyal. Her followers- Tik, Ditto, and Morrigan are the perfect reflection of her attributes as a leader with their unwavering faith in her, and steadfast loyalty.
This futuristic, post ice-age world is broken into different colonies- Port Harmony, Scorr Tanta, Eklips, and the caves. Dissent Renegades takes you through most of this terrain- which I absolutely loved, as I enjoy a good story that provides an imaginative setting. These different locations also provided an opportunity to bring different characters into the story. The mix of characters was refreshing- for example, this wasn’t a story that focuses strictly on good vs. evil- one set of “good” guys fighting one set of “bad” guys. We were able to see the good, the bad, and the murkiness in between. Rada- the cold, domineering ruler of Scorr Tanta constantly tries to exercise her power and control over her people. She operates behind this veil of strength and competency- though these machinations are really a bid for complete dominion (which Ellie begins to see beyond, thank goodness). Then there’s Kayden, another ruler with a sick appetite for controlling people by making them slaves- and punishing them severely when he sees fit to do so. Finally, Ermine is a warden operating with fierce indignation, anger, and cruelty.
My favorite part of this story? The fact that there really aren’t too many “damsels in distress” who need the guy to come swooping in to save them. On the contrary, the females in this story hold their own and often do all the saving. Ellie is naturally curious, fearless, and begins to see beyond all the lies she was raised believing. She proves her loyalty to Haylee on more than one occasion by saving her life. Though, I suspect Haylee would have managed to make it through some of those situations had she had more time to think of a plan of escape. Haylee knows how to hold her own in a fight and remains strong and confident even in the face of insurmountable odds. Her desire to care for and protect the Elrupe (a different species of beings) also made her a favorite of mine. Ditto also saves the life of a slave girl named Pandra and pays a price that still makes my heart ache to think of it. Also- Pandra with a mace…eh, not something you’re going to want to be on the receiving end of. And Morrigan is fiery and loyal as well. All things considered, the females of this story really carried the true strength and power needed to succeed (sorry Evan and Tik!). And Widget? This little guy cracked me up (seriously though, I need a widget in my life).
The dash of something brewing sweet and beautiful between Ellie and Evan was the perfect little cherry on top of a story that was brimming with adventure and intrigue! Dissent Renegades was an exciting adventure filled with imaginative creatures, breathtaking settings, nail-biting action, and unforgettable experiences! I can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes these characters! And thank goodness for a good story that involves STRONG female protagonists!
Eye of the Colossus Nicole Grotepas Publication date: April 19th 2018 Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk
The City of Jade Spires, the biggest in the 6-moons, is a breathtaking symbol of hope and unity for the four races. But it’s also a hub of corruption. Holly Drake is proof of that. Fresh out of prison for a mistake framed to look like cold murder, she’s broke, jobless, and branded with a prison record.
When she lands a gig stealing back the Eye of the Colossus jewels, the chance for a big payout means she won’t have to depend on anyone else. She’s never had that kind of freedom. She’ll do it. Even if the work is only a shade lighter than outright crime.
But soon she finds herself pursued by thugs from the Shadow Coalition, an underworld government that wants her dead. Pulling off the heist without getting killed means putting trust in recruits she hardly knows. The clock is ticking to get the jewels, but a mistake now could be fatal. Chasing across the 6-moons to complete the job will test her grit and determination to succeed when everything is stacked against her. More than that, finding out just what secrets the 6-moons hold will either turn her into the hero the moon system needs, or destroy her…
I’m passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions–the ones I think about most–while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.
Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.
Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.
Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distant himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.
Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.
Werewolves, vampires, and demons, oh my! Whether he’s a fur-covered beast, a blood-sucking scoundrel, or a stone-cold gargoyle, there’s just something about a romantic hero that’s anything other than human. What better way to spice up the world of romance than by adding in a shifter or two and a little bit of magic?
When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.
Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.
Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.
Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?
The heart beneath her ear beat with a strong and even tattoo. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone held her like this and she wanted the moment to last just a little longer. A couple stuttered breaths later, and she was as ready as she was going to be, given the circumstances.
“Sorry about that,” she muttered. She attempted another deep inhale, cringing at the stinging pain and silently berating her lame words. Not that it makes any difference. He can’t understand you anyway.
“Why should you need to apologize?” The melodic and heavily accented voice that poured over her skin took her by complete surprise. Her eyes flew open, and she tightened her grip on his warm arms, relying on his sheer physicality to anchor her into reality. “You have done nothing wrong. Except perhaps not letting me know the extent of your injuries sooner. Are you all right?”
Swallowing hard, she gave a slow nod as her brain fired on more than two cylinders. Was he speaking English now? Her brow furrowed as she kickstarted her tongue, giving voice to her foremost thought. “Why can I understand you now?”
“It was only a matter of adjusting the universal communication unit to include the speech patterns of your world. As long as you remain on board, you will be able to speak with anyone on my crew.”
She sniffled, hoping her voice didn’t sound as breathy and weak to him, her mind struggling over his overly wordy explanation. “Oh-kay.”
“It appears I have taken you by—”
Out of the corner of her eye, she spied cautious movement, leaning away as she reached out to capture his approaching hand. She swallowed back the last of her tears as she carefully studied the anatomy of an alien.
She repeated the word over and over to herself as she touched his brushed-copper skin. His five fingers were longer than hers, the nails a Goth’s delight: black and slightly curled into points. She didn’t want to think about claws, but her body didn’t mind thinking about how those tips might tease when dragged lightly across her back. She explored the back of his hand, tracing the length of his fingers and following the lines of his buried bony skeletal frame before she turned it over. His palm was smooth, not etched with furrows and valleys as hers. She laid her open hand against his, her pale skin appearing almost translucent and nearly childlike as it rested atop his mammoth metallic palm.
His size, the sheer physical presence of him, centered her somehow, opening her mind to accept the reality of her current trip down the rabbit hole.
“This is real, isn’t it?”
Review Of To Discover A Divine
To Discover a Divine is the first novel in the Rise of the Stria series by author Tessa McFionn. The story follows Evainne Wagner- a young woman barely getting by in Boston with her pet goldfish, and Kahlym cal Jhuen- a freedom fighting extraterrestrial in a galaxy far from our own. Evainne literally steps into another galaxy one day while leaving her apartment and ends up smack dab in the middle of a prison ship. Naturally, this doesn’t turn out to well for her. Believing she is in a dream, Evainne rationalizes the action going on around her and ends up saving the life of a mysterious man who, in turn, helps her escape the ship.
It is during this escape that Evainne suffers a near-fatal injury that leaves her helpless and relying on the good intentions of captain Kahylym (her savior) and his equally intriguing and magnanimous crew. However, when she shockingly heals herself with a mental technique she learned during her tumultuous childhood, Kahlym and the others realize she is far more than merely human- and her presence on the prison ship was no coincidence. As Evainne comes to grips with her newfound and exacerbated talent, she also struggles with her burgeoning attraction and feelings toward the enigmatic captain. Kahlym also finds himself ambivalent when confronted with his own feelings toward Evainne and how he wishes to proceed with this knowledge. Unfortunately, a betrayal sends Evainne and Kahlym on a harrowing adventure in the galaxy as they try to keep Evainne and her newly discovered talents out of the hands of their enemy- the Thrall emperor.
The characters in To Discover a Divine were fascinating to me. Evainne’s childhood was far from happy- though this gave her an opportunity to make connections that will later serve to assist her in her travels beyond this galaxy. I imagine it takes a lot of mental and emotional fortitude to suddenly find yourself thrust from one galaxy to another and then have to find a way to keep yourself from being the pawn of a political game. In addition to this, she was able to handle her feelings and attraction towards Kahlym surprisingly well. She didn’t dwell too long on the fact that Kahlym looks differently than normal human men and that he holds a high position on an alien planet. Kalym cal Jhuen was also delightfully layered. His childhood was also devoid of love and joy (except for those precious moments provided by his two older brothers). This lack of affection and the cold machinations of his parents eventually forced Kahlym to leave and join a band of freedom fighters of the Stria who operate outside the control of the Thrall. Kahlym’s instant attraction to Evainne and his constant struggle to control his more passionate advances were charming.
And the chemistry between Evainne and Kahlym? Well…it was sizzling hot! I was shipping their relationship so hard! They were basically the epitome of the perfect couple (minus the whole growing up in different galaxies and being slightly different species part) with their ability to think creatively, fight flawlessly, and protect others they care about. To Discover a Divine was a fast-paced, passionate, sizzling, and thrilling adventure that made me want to climb inside it and be a part of it all! And I’m not going to lie…Kahlym makes me want to find a tall, golden extraterrestrial man for myself! *sigh*
One last thing: I do wish to learn the fate of Evainne’s goldfish at some point. Since she was snatched from Earth, who is going to discover her absence and take care of the fish? I guess it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things- it was just something I was wondering about.
Happy Reading! And FIVE stars for To Discover a Divine!
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.
A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.
I discovered my love of reading at an early age and spent a great deal of my time devouring books- from mysteries like Nancy Drew, whimsical fantasies like Harry Potter, and eventually the turbulent and passionate stories in the romance genre, I found myself engrossed in a completely different world than this one. I believe it is through my experiences and the books I read, that I have developed a keen interest in a myriad of things. For that reason, The Vagaries of Us represents multiple areas of interest
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