WINNER and Runner-Up of the Fantasy Sci-Fi 2015 Book Award #wwwblogs

Winner Fantasy Sci Fi

The 2015 Fantasy Sci Fi Golden Rose award went to

Barb Taub and her Book One Way Fare

Barb and one way Fare

Meet Barb

In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them consulting with her occasional co-author/daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.

Catch Barb on Twitter @barbtaub or follow her blog for some brilliant posts.

One Way Fare published by Hartwood Publishing

Superpowers suck. If you just want to live a normal life, Null City is only a Metro ride away. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, become parents, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes.

Null City is the only sanctuary for Gaby Parker and Leila Rice, two young women confronting cataclysmic forces waging an unseen war between Heaven and Hell. Gaby and her younger brother and sister are already targets in the war that cost their parents’ lives. Should they forsake the powers that complete their souls and flee to Null City? Meanwhile, Leila has inherited a French chateau, a mysterious legacy, and a prophecy that she will end the world. Gaby and Leila become catalysts for the founding and survival of Null City.

It just would have been nice if someone told them the angels were all on the other side.

Find a copy here from or

The Silver Award went to John Privilege and his book The American Policeman

John and The American

Meet John

Not one to shout about himself, John hails from just out side Belfast, there’s very little to be found about John, but you can find him chatting on Twitter as @BeardyJohn

The American Policeman

After everything, there is peace. The Collective took London away from the gangs that terrorised the city after the plague and the slow terror of the Breakdown. The blood on the streets has dried. There is food, water and good housing. Everyone has work. But the meek have not inherited the earth. On a bitterly cold night a woman is brutalised and murdered, shattering the fragile calm of the city. The investigation of London’s first murder in two years falls to Inspector Timothy Conlan and the District team of the New Metropolitan Police. Tim ‘Con’ Conlan serenely navigates the harsh new London. He is dedicated, conscientious and smiling. Around him society is broken. People are traumatised, fearful and wracked with guilt. Now the dark, empty spaces of the city are being stalked by a monster. Con must find and catch a killer who seems to know his every move. At the same time, there is something rotten at the core of the new government. In the very heart of the Collective, massive lies are being spun. There are rumours of war, whispers of betrayal. The Collective is harsh, relentless and utterly unforgiving. The problem for Con is simple: find the killer; stay alive.

Find a copy here from or

Final Congratulations to all our nominees in this category

Dylan J Morgan with THE SICKNESS

C.S Boyack with WILL O’ THE WISP

Rewan Tremethick with FALLEN ON GOODTIMES

Celine Jeanjean with THE VIPER AND THE URCHIN

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Will O’ The Wisp by C.S Boyack @Virgilante #YA #Ghost #Bookrview

Today’s team review comes from Barb, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb chose to read and review Will O’ The Wisp by C.S Boyack


My review: 5 out of 5 stars for Will O’ the Wisp

I want to tell you all about this great book I just read. It’s about a girl whose family has been systematically picked off for generations by… [Crap! Spoiler.]

Maybe I could just say that C. S. Boyack’s Will O’ the Wisp is about a girl who discovers that her legacy from her murdered uncle is… [Darn! Again with the spoilers.]

Okay, let’s try this. Patty Hall is a fifteen-year-old high school freshman in the mid-1970s. She and her two best friends are the outcasts at Burkeford High. Laura was the tallest girl in their junior high, while Petey (“Just Pete now. We’re in high school and it’s time to grow up”) is one of the few black students at their Virginia high school. Patty herself has worn leg braces all her life, leading to the nickname Quacking Boot.

Like any coming-of-age story, Patty has conflicts with her mother over the braces—and of course, just about everything else in her life. She taunts her stepfather Rick with “I’ll bet my dad would’ve helped me out.” Her brother can’t help because he’s fighting in Viet Nam. Her two friends are moving away from her socially, with dates for the Homecoming dance. So she dreams of becoming an astronaut, freed from weak legs in the weightlessness of space—even though she realizes that all the astronauts were products of military schools that don’t accept women.

But this isn’t just a tale of angst-ridden teens overcoming handicaps and prejudice. When Patty and Pete stumble on a group of college students partying in the woods, they’re horrified to see one of them attacked by a glowing ball of light. As more deaths target her family, Patty’s search for information about the weird light becomes tied to her research into local and family history for the freshman report, her high school’s critical first-year assignment. She learns that her family has always seen the strange lights, which they call Will O’ the Wisp. She also starts to put together the untimely and unusual deaths of her father and almost all of his family back to Reverend Jonathan Hall, an early settler from more than three hundred years earlier. But Patty’s research becomes much more urgent when she realizes that she, her family, and her friends are also targets.

So far, all of that—glowing orbs of light, infected victims coughing up gallons of mucus, victims drowning on dry land—sounds like tales you’d tell around a campfire to scare your friends. But that’s where author C. S. Boyack changes the equation. He takes the Judy Blume-meets-Stephen King mashup and turns each trope upside down.

  • Coming of age? Yes, there is the obligatory experimenting with drugs, fighting with parents, and all-important pivotal combat moment. But (it is the seventies, after all) the magically/ pharmaceutically-enhanced trip helpfully reveals a solution Patty couldn’t have found on her own. Her battles with her mother are tempered by Mom’s obvious if (through teen-aged lenses) overprotective love and concern. (“I wanted to talk to Mom, but I didn’t want her to think I wanted to talk.”) And some of the most lovely scenes in the book involve Patty’s growing bond with her stepfather Rick. His quiet support takes the form of teaching her to drive, challenging her physically, and then publicly acknowledging her achievements until she finally realizes what he means to her. “Rick wrote me out a permission slip, and it was legitimate. He was my father now.”
  • Hero’s journey? Most interesting to me is the way Patty does a lot of this in reverse—she fights most of her battles in her own hometown, and with her own internal resources. That’s not to say that there isn’t one HELL of a fight against the Big Bad. But leave it to author Boyack to make that all about the seventies. I don’t know if those who haven’t lived through that decade could possibly enjoy Will O’ the Wisp as much as I did, but I have to say that I can remember our first microwave. We thought we were The Jetsons, and didn’t realize that we were dedicating a disproportionate share of countertop real estate to something that really wasn’t going to excel at much more than reheating coffee for at least another twenty years. I absolutely loved it that the witch’s spell was reheated in the microwave, and that Patty’s “skyclad” invocation was the Mashed Potato and the Swim danced to her transistor radio.
  • Ghost Story? Oh, trust me—it’s good. But [curse you, spoilers!] you’ll have to get that part yourself.

If it was just the ghost story, I’d give this three stars for chills and some good suspense. But the way Patty grows over the short term of the story from a typical, whiny, self-centered teen to a… [damn! Not again..] I-can’t-tell-you-what-but-I-loved-it!, combined with the lovely touches that were so perfectly mid-1970s, makes this a five star read for me. If you like coming-of-age YA, or know a reader who appreciates a good ghost story, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Will O’ the Wisp.

Find a copy here from or

Book reviews in magazines I write for in August #bookreviews

The following books made it to Fleet Life magazine this month.

FL Aug 15

For the online edition go to load the online directory and turn to page 28.

The Family Trap by Joanne Phillips

Rise Of The Enemy by Rob Sinclair

Old Town Nights by Linda Lee Williams

Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

Country Affairs by Zara Stonely

The next set of books made it into the August edition of The Elvetham Heath Directory,

EHD Aug 15

The online edition can be found at load the online directory and turn to page 22

Big Men’s Boots by Emily Barraso

The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt

Will O’ The Wisp by C. S Boyack

Dream On by Terry Tyler

From Lime Street To Yirgacheffe by Robert Leigh