#CoverReveal : Off Balance by Aileen Erin @aileen_erin

Hello readers! Today the cover reveal for Off Balance by Aileen Erin, organized by Xpresso Book Tours . Please check out the cover and book details below.

Off Balance by Aileen Erin
(Aunare Chronicles #2) 
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 11th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


Broken, beaten-down, and plagued by nightmares, Amihanna di Aetes is surrounded by the Aunare race that makes up the other half of her heritage, but she feels alien amongst them. She’s not sure which is worse: SpaceTech’s overt hatred of Aunare or the Aunare’s covert hatred of halfers. She hears their whispers whenever she enters a room and sees her death reflected in their eyes. Amihanna doesn’t know who to trust anymore, but she hasn’t survived this long by ignoring the warning signs all around her, especially when her instincts are screaming that a familiar choice is coming: flee or fight.

Her parents assure her everything is okay—that there won’t be any reason for her to fight, let alone flee—but with Amihanna’s sudden return, questions arise among the Aunare: who should be blamed for the start of a full-scale war with SpaceTech, how much danger will the war bring, and is Amihanna truly fit to be the next high queen?

Honestly, Amihanna wants to forget all the politics, her betrothal to Lorne, and the possibility of being queen. Her needs are much more basic. All she wants is a solid night’s sleep where she doesn’t wake up screaming with the phantom pain of her skin burning. All she needs is to live without fear of a mob tearing her away from her family. All she hopes for is a chance to dream of a future instead of constantly fighting for her right to live.

And yet, somehow, everything she does leads her back to Lorne. He always seems to know when she’s about to break under the pressures of her new life. His quiet patience is wearing Amihanna’s protective walls down, and she’s terrified of what will happen if they fall.


The cover…


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Author Bio:

Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Author links: 

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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#GuestPost #AuthorFeature: Mercenary’s Child (The Phoenix Fallacy Book 1) by Jonathan Sourbeer @vulpine_press #MercenarysChild #ThePhoenixFallacy

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to welcome Jonathan Sourbeer on Books Teacup and Reviews to talk about Crafting Believable Sci-Fi (and Fantasy) Worlds for his new release Mercenary’s Child, first in The Phoenix Fallacy series. Check out the book details and interesting guest post below.

Mercenary’s Child (The Phoenix Fallacy Book 1) by Jonathan Sourbeer
Publication Date: August 30th 2019
Publisher: Vulpine Press
Genre: YA / Dystopia



The slums of Cerberus Corporation are the dumping grounds for trash, secrets, and the dregs of society. And they’re the only home Janus has ever known. But when an Overlord of Cerberus comes knocking, searching for new recruits for her swelling armies in the battle for supremacy, he is swept up in a conflict that has been brewing for years.

Janus is not destined for the front lines, however. When he is unexpectedly sold to the ODIN Legion, an elite mercenary unit living on the fringes of Corporate control, he finds that his years of survival in the fetid slums will be put to the test. But survival will soon be the least of his concerns.

The ODIN Legion is about to be thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that will roil the very foundations of Corporate dominance. Can Janus, and ODIN, make it out alive?

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Crafting Believable Sci-Fi (and Fantasy) Worlds

I’ve been asked several times now about how I created the world of Mercenary’s Child, and the richly imagined places within it.  Some people are flabbergasted how someone can think up so many unique and disparate pieces of a world, yet keep them consistent and grounded.  The truth is that crafting believable science fiction and fantasy worlds is simply a process borne out of building on initial ideas, and asking questions about those ideas until they are consistent.  Most importantly, it’s about continuing to ask questions about those ideas even after you come up with an answer.  Sometimes you will discover new and fascinating concepts.  Sometimes you will realize that a plot point doesn’t work.  But no matter whether you are a detailed planner, or a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type writer, this approach can work.

Generally, the questions most writers are taught to ask follow the standard ‘who, what, where, why, and how’ format, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Those are the right questions to ask, but the key is to avoid pigeonholing yourself into a single answer per question, or to stop at one layer deep.  Don’t let the answer to one question influence your answer to another, as freely answering can often reveal problems in your plot, characters, or world, or even inspire you in new ways.  Sometimes the perfect setup in your mind doesn’t hold together when you shine a light on the dark spots!

Let’s say I’m writing a modern cyberpunk detective noir thriller, and perhaps my hero is chasing after the villain, who hasn’t been revealed yet, and on a whim I put them in a mall in a crazy footrace.  Imagine such a situation, if you will.  Right now, this might not seem too interesting or unique in your mind.  It certainly seems kind of plain in mine.  So how do we build this out?  How to we make it feel more cyberpunk/noir?  What questions do we need to ask to get insight into our world?  Unfortunately, we all know that the ‘right’ questions usually won’t surface right away.  So let’s ask just one quick question:

Why did the villain choose to go to a mall?

A1) The mall is the decaying heart of this capitalist city, the glowing holopanels of its walls light up the night and attract massive crowds, making it easy to get lost in.

A2) Our villain hates the bourgeoisie.  Once a member of this class, he was here to hurt as many people as he could, in every way he could.

You might have come up with different answers, but already, we’ve started to put something together that feels a little better.  And maybe these two answers work together, maybe not.  Let’s build on the first, before asking anything else:

What are the mall crowds like?

B1) The crowds are teeming masses of every kind of person.  Poor wretched souls pander for money along the boardwalks, daring not move any closer for fear of the local security.  The local 5:00 train pulls directly into the mall station, letting off a combination of workmen meeting their families and fixers hoping that the newest dream-stims might be available for purchase.

OK, that sounds kind of cool, but hold on – we’ve got a problem.  Our imagined answers don’t work anymore.  Our villain hates the upper class, but the crowds most definitely aren’t.  It doesn’t make sense for him to be here to hurt people.  We’re starting to get some cool ideas flowing, but we need consistency, too.  He has to be here for something else, or we have to change our mall a bit.  Let’s try changing up the mall crowds.  We think we know our villain pretty well at this point – smart and only on the run because our hero got a lucky break.  They were definitely planning to hurt people.

B2) The Watchtower mall is the gathering place of the elite, who come to flaunt their wealth.  There are more convenient ways to shop, but no better place to show status.  For beyond the massive jewels and the perfumed smoke of Jane, the ability to spend and the size of one’s collection of ‘indents’ are the true status symbols of this city.

Wait, what are indents?

C3) Indents.  Poor souls who’ve gone into debt and now service the elite bondholders of the city.  And all types are here in the mall, from your standards, who scurry behind their masters, or dash forth to bring only the best food, tech, and finery, to the far sadder sights, who may be dressed for their masters’ pleasure, or augmented at their whim.  And all of them wear the standard AugCollar, placed around their necks to keep them in line.

Now we’re getting somewhere.  Not only is the world more richly imagined than before, but we now have a new idea for the villain – and maybe some story changes in our future.

A3) The rash of escaped indents in the news was starting to make sense.  Our villain had been testing a hack on the AugCollars, and what better place to cause chaos than to spontaneously free thousands of them at once.

There, we have it.  Suddenly, our villain is clearer than before, and so is our plot.  If you’re the planning type, this might be where you suddenly realize you have a better hook.  If you’re not, you might suddenly realize that the escaped servants that you wrote about in chapters 1, 3, and 7 are not just being freed and the differences in the murders our hero is investigating might be because our villain isn’t doing the dirty work himself.

Obviously, this is a quick and dirty example, with plenty more to explore, but I’ve stumbled into more than one writing discovery in similar fashion!  And even when all the discovered details don’t get included in my books, they help create consistency, which is perhaps most important of all.  Because consistency is one thing in writing that is most noticeable when it is missing.  By asking these detailed questions often, and more than once, I recognize problems in all aspects of my world-building, and fix problems sooner rather than trying to patch them up later.  This process made a huge difference in Mercenary’s Child, and made me a better writer overall.  And whether you are reading a book, or writing one, I hope it helps you flesh out the world or notice new details in the writing that you never considered before.

All the best, and happy reading!

Author Bio:

A computer programmer by day, and a writer by night, Jonathan Sourbeer has long been a fan of technology and science fiction, drawing from a wide variety of experiences for his work. This includes (among others) a stint in corporate finance, a degree in physics, providing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, running a half-Ironman with Navy Seals, and diving the Great Barrier Reef. 

When he’s not writing or working in tech, you can often find him rock climbing, building electronics with his father, or trying to be a better cook. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington.

Jonathan’s book Mercenary’s Child is available here.

Website: www.phoenixfallacy.com

Facebook: @phoenixfallacy

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#Review : Vox by Christina Dalcher #100words


Vox by Christina Dalcher
Publication Date:
August 23rd 2018 (first published August 21st 2018)
Publisher: HQ
Genre: Science-Fiction / Dystopia
Pages: 327
Stars: ★★★★☆ [4.5]

Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
This is just the beginning…not the end.

Let’s try something #100words review. Count starts now…

What would you do if you are prisoner of your own country? Government take away your voice? No passport, No jobs, no money, friendship or freedom. You can’t speak more than 100 words. Phone, books, reading, writing is banned. But all of this is only for women. I’m not hardcore feminist but this surely boils my blood. 

Vox was mind-blowing dystopian science-fiction that had this terrific world where all of the above was possible, not just possible but was in existence. It was about feminism, oppressive government, hypocrisy and sexism, standing against tyranny to save family and loved ones.

But that 100 words are not enough. I want to write more. I don’t know how women even spend a day in this world speaking just 100 words!

It’s kind of book that one can go blind and enjoy the ride. I don’t know from where I should start. I’m speechless. Was it really a debut novel? Because it didn’t feel like one. It was so well thought, well written and well executed.

Book opened with Jean telling about the pure movement in country. How it started, how people thought it just passing phase and one man’s fancy that turned viral and became country’s reality and every women’s nightmare, how it not just changed whole country, shut up women but also affected her house and her kids’ mentality, especially her eldest son. She almost started to accept her reality, started hating not just the man who started this ridiculous movement but men of her house as well and then opportunity knocked at her door. The more she went along with what she was asked/forced to do and offered in exchange for her work, the more she discovered about government’s sinister plan.

Apparently they were not happy with what they took away. They wanted more… what will Jean do to save herself, her family and other women? Can only one woman bring change?

I absolutely loved this setting. This is the world I don’t want be transported to, not even in dream. I was just 30 pages into the book and I thought this can’t be possible but author showed that it was not completely impossible. You may think women can’t possibly have agreed to it, there will be drastic effect on country’s economy if they take away women’s job, surely men will speak up for their mothers, sisters, wives or daughters, there will be march, protest, violence against government, people will leave the country… wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Everything was well thought. It was horrible, sickening, and outrageous to see conditions of women, creepy rules and punishments, and level sexism.

I could not stop thinking who the real villain here was, the initiator of pure movement, Reverend Carl (I still don’t get from where he got this insane idea!), the stupid president, or the men of states? How can whole country could have followed it in so less time? Money, family, love, power, and ego, whatever their reason was, it just didn’t feel manly and right. But maybe man in their place might have done same in real life. But I was glad to see that not all lost their mind.

Jean was amazing in this book. Her voice was strong, effective, provocative and so real. Her feeling touched my heart. It was easy to see this man ruling world through her eyes that succumbed me into the story deeply. Not just the world she lived in but her private life was also complex. Her relationship with her husband, her kids, and friends was narrated perfectly. I liked back stories of Jean’s life. Her monologues perfectly represented her state of mind that had all jumbled up feeling, love, hate, frustration, disbelief, hope, hopelessness, determination, and guilt. I was surprised to see her not going mad.

She and all other characters were developed. I liked Jackie and Lin. They were inspiring and influential. Their strength was admirable. At first I didn’t like Patrick, but I liked him in second half. There were many characters you will hate in this book and some will surprise you.

The best moments in the book that really stopped me while reading book was Jackie’s warnings about the change, Jean’s realization- how wrapped up she was in her life (that Bubble reference was so apt), how it was too late to do anything, how she and all around her realized there was no way out and how soon things can change the world.

I liked the message behind the story. We should vote and if we don’t and something bad happens you can’t really blame government; we should not ignore the world for our own selfish gains; raise your voice, join the protest and resistance whenever necessary because it counts, every single person and voice, even small effort can impacts/bring the change.  

There were many surprises. Twist and turns were good. Half of the time I could not anticipate what will happen next. Climax was amazing and I liked the end.

I read in acknowledgement author said, ‘I hope it makes you a little bit angry. I hope it makes you think‘. I would say she did brilliant job because it not just made angry I was erupting volcano. Okay that’s over the top but yes I was furious and was thinking a lot. I also I told whole story to my husband and asked some questions to know what he will do in Patrick’s situation (harmless questions you know) and he was like, ‘Oh God, now this feminism thing will go on for a week… Did I give you money to buy that book?… Remind me to read blurbs of books you are reading so I’ll be prepared next time.’ 😉

Why 4.5-

Trust me I was going to give it 5 stars until climax. Important scenes in climax and end, were not detailed or felt rushed. I expected more, little little bit detailed, not just to imagine how the plan was executed at the meeting and what exactly happened there.

Overall, it was mind-blowing, provocative, suspenseful, gripping, terrific and disturbing dystopia, Sci-Fi novel. If you still haven’t read this book, just get it.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read it already? Are you going to add it to TBR? Do you like to read Sci-Fic and Dystopia novels?
What do you think about the ‘Vox world and 100 words quota? I saw many compared it to The Handmaid’s Tale? Do you agree with it, have you read Handmaid’s Tale? Have you read any falling in this theme? If so, recommend me your favorite book.

Share you thoughts in the comment-box belo



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#BookBlitz : Resilient by Toni Cox @ToniCoxAuthor @Shalini_G26

Abandoned City and baked earth

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to be part of the Blitz tour for Resilient by Toni Cox, organized by Digital Reads Blog Tours. Please check out book details in this post.

A lonely hero wearing gas mask, city destroyed on the background

Resilient by Toni Cox
Genre : Sci-Fi / Dystopian


What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?

The outbreak of the S1 Virus in China is breaking news all over the globe – it is killing apes by the hundreds.

Erika, who has a pretty good life in Johannesburg, South Africa, is little concerned with wildlife disasters so far away.

But when Erika falls ill and is bedridden for a couple of days, the world is not as she left it.

An empty city greets her the day she sets foot outside her door. Abandoned cars, a creepy silence, and hollow-eyed corpses is all she finds.

Alone, frightened, and heartbroken, she must now find a way to survive this apocalyptic world she has woken up to. Does she have the will, the strength, and the ingenuity to survive?

Against all odds she has one thing going for her – she’s resilient.

Book Links:

Amazon | Goodreads

The book cost is just $0.99 till 11th June and then would go back to regular price of $1.99


My heart is hammering wildly in my chest as I drive past the shops and the police station. A line from an old movie floats up in my memory. I see dead people.

There, at the restaurant on the corner, are two bodies on the pavement. A man and a woman. From the look of it, he had her in his arms before she died. I swallow the lump in my throat, terrified.

Putting my foot hard on the pedal, I speed around the corner with screeching tires. I don’t know what is going on and I just want to get away from here.

Haring down the road, I fix my eyes in front of me, ignoring the crazy world around me. When I finally reach the Murray & Roberts building, I zoom into the underground parking, coming to a squealing stop right in front of the elevator.

I sit there for a moment, breathing heavily. I don’t know what to think. Am I still hallucinating from the fever I had?

“Pull yourself together,” I tell myself.

Shaking, I climb out of the car and look around the deserted parking. Besides my Polo, there are only four other cars here. I see Stephan’s SUV and hope moves my feet towards the elevator.

I push the button, but the light does not come on. Of course, no electricity. I climb the stairs to the first floor where the reception is. It is empty, not even the security guard is by the entrance door.

Closing the door again, I carry on up the stairs to the second floor to where the offices are. An eerie silence greets me as I open the door to the large, open-plan office. The only light comes from the windows and the shadows I cast on the office desk dividers as I walk past is just creepy.


I drop my bag and rush into Stephan’s private office. My boss is slumped over his desk, head tilted at an uncomfortable angle.

“Stephan.” I touch his shoulder. It is cold, even through his shirt. “Stef?”

Bracing myself, I take him by the shoulders and push him back in his chair. A scream escapes me when I see his bloated face and I suddenly become intensely aware of the smell. I gag.

Crying, I run from his office, past the deserted work stations, and back down the stairs. Only when I am back in my car and the doors are locked, do I stop to think about what I just saw.

He’s dead. They’re all dead. My head reels. This must be some kind of nightmare. With shaking fingers, I start my car, my thoughts turning to my parents.

About The Author

Born in Germany in 1976, Toni Cox moved to South Africa in 1991. Although she has spent much of her working career in the timber wholesale business, she is also an accomplished horse rider, has a diploma in project management, photography, and nutrition, and has a passion for books and all things fantasy.
From a young age, her dream had always been to put her imagination into words – give the stories life. When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2013, she decided life is too short not to follow her dream. So, with the support of her husband and three children, she began writing book 1 of the Elemental Trilogy in January 2015.
Toni Cox writes Epic Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy. She is a firm believer in dragons.

Author Links:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub | WordPress | LinkedIn | FB Group | Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

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Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel by Clive Fleury


Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel by Clive Fleury
Publication Date : December 5th 2018
Publisher : TCK Publishing
Read Date : January 29th 2019
Genre : Dystopian / Sci-Fi / Fiction
Pages :
Stars : 5/5

It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long. 

Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive. 

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams. 

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets. 

In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying? 

Kill Code is the first novel in an exciting new dystopian science fiction series from the mind of award-winning author, screenwriter, and director Clive Fleury. 

Fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, and Divergent by Veronica Roth will be captivated by Kill Code. 

You’ll also love this book if you enjoy: 
Dystopian novels and stories 
Stories about futuristic societies 
Stories about disgraced cops 
Stories about unlikely heroes 
Stories about conspiracies 
Stories about injustice

Kill Code was a dystopian fiction novel that revolved around Hogan, his life in the world of poverty, Story of survival, competition, power, conspiracy and injustice. Blurb describes the book precisely with good detail.

Protagonist, Hogan Duran was smart, brave and tough guy but unlike other candidates applied for NSC (National Security Council), he never lost his conscience. Even though all applicant told to be competitive and not friends, he built unspoken understanding and friendship with Ruby. His spur of moment decisions were fabulous and never hesitated when he had to choose right over wrong even if it cost his life. He was great character.

Ruby was another fab character who was strong, brilliant and only one with dignity. Like Hogan she was sensitive and had her conscience. I liked how she supported Hogan and believed in his judgement.

Jake was jerk. I hated him ever since his first intro in the book. I knew he would cause lot of trouble when something good was about to happen and he didn’t disappoint me there. I was glad he got what he deserved in the end.

Other secondary characters mainly NSC officers were most surprising.

Kill Code was first person narrative nicely written with impressive plot design, strong characters, and dystopian world that was narrated with all minor details.

The world was interesting it had two parts one was majority population living in cities where catastrophic climate change made the world worst to live in. There was 80% unemployment, people suffering from famine and drought. Burglary, vandalizing and killing for food and cloth was too common. Garbage hills were home for some people and take away area for food and valuables. Pure food, water, shelter, and safety was only for rich and gangsters. The other was NSC base and separate elite group area to whom NSC provided protection. NSC base was structured in total contrast to the world. Fresh food, sophisticated technology and luxurious shelter was given to all officers. It was built for elites. It was shocking to see such huge contrast between two world and I was eager to know why only they had all luxuries and why they didn’t help people.

Book was pretty short and so things went real fast in the book. Within 35% of the book, world was described, we get to know about Hogan’s life and his guilt trip, deadly NSC entrance tests in fact NSC officer was also selected. It was pretty fast paced. But when they were attacked by Krails, whole NSC thing started to feel fishy.

I was curious to know-

What were the Krails and why they attacked NSC?
Why some officers turned against government and joined Krail?
What was Krail’s ultimate goal?
If what they said to Hogan was right, what NSC people were hiding?
Who were real antagonists, Krail or NSC?
Whose side Hogan will take?

These questions hooked me to book till the end. There were so many unexpecetd twist and turns that kept the plot exciting.

Last 30% of the book was flurry of events. Climax was shocking. I was filled with rage and felt betrayed along with characters. I couldn’t believe what was revealed. I loved book more in this portion. It was adrenaline inducing, with many smart moves by Hogan. End was satisfactory and sounded like there might be sequel of this book.

Overall, it was interesting, gripping Sci-Fi with impressive and well represented dystopian world.

*** Note : I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Author : Clive Fleury

Purchase Link : Amazon.in /Amazon.com

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already?
Are you going to add it to your TBR?

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