2nd Place Winners
Dreamview 2: The Kamikaze Candidate by Daniel Lionberger— Liberal or conservative, this is a must-read for anyone who genuinely cares about solving the problems of our increasingly complex world. The author has done a truly fantastic job of tackling significant issues and doing it in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. This story will inspire the reader to think for his or her self and honestly believe that change is possible and sometimes it starts with one “dreamer.” In this story, it’s a man named Jeff who is captivated by the ideals of a young woman named Addie and becomes inspired to make a major difference in changing our world! The soundtrack for this book would be an added bonus! You will see when you read it!
“Ever Dream” by Stephen Oakley— To dream or not to dream that is the question? “For Ever Dream!” is the answer of the author who takes us on a fantastic journey into a fantasy world where “dreams really can come true.” But will they? For our hero, Jacob, the chance to escape a difficult and misunderstood life will not come without risk. He and three other “pure Souls” will be faced with the arduous task of retrieving the 4 stolen “Dremalite crystals” and thus save “Ever Dream.” Jacob is chosen for his heart and the skills he possesses. There are vivid depictions and colorful metaphors in this book which show that sometimes we have to step out into another world to dream and see what we are capable of becoming. Like Jacob, the reader will be asked what mediocre existence and less than fulfilling life are they ready to flee to Ever Dream to escape? What if there is risk? What risk would you be willing to take to fulfill your destiny? Pick up this book, and you may begin to dream again!
“Hamartia” by Raquel Rich— The author has done an absolutely sensational job of making us think about important ethical dilemmas in this futuristic thriller. The main character, Grace, has won the lottery….but not that kind of lottery. She’s been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to save her dying child Jordan who’s been diagnosed with a deadly disease called metagenesis. “People would do anything for a chance to save their child,” wouldn’t they? It will come at a steep price for Grace who is supported by her best friend Kay on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation,”The two will embark on a trip back in time as part of an illegal clinical trial with ramifications beyond what either one of them could have imagined! Will Grace be able to save her son? Her marriage? Mankind?
“Honeybee” by Stephen Oakley– Fact meets fiction in this action-packed thriller. An organic honey farm in Cornwall, England, notices a rapid decline in honeybee populations caused by a deadly plant virus. The theory goes that if the honeybees die out, man will eventually follow. Scientists desperately race to develop a vaccine and apply it prematurely with ghastly results. The virus has mutated and made a further leap from plants and into the immune systems of humans and animals. Enter Jason Lambert, a Park Ranger, who seems to be humanity’s last hope. He’s part Dr. David Banner, part Jason Bourne. He’s a kick-butt monster-killing machine and yet kept sane by his journaling as he seeks to uncover clues that will save mankind. The author has done a truly outstanding job of taking a very real and complex problem (disappearance of the honeybees) and turning it into a very compelling, entertaining and even humorous story. The reader will laugh, shriek and cheer for Jason Lambert as he “kills screamers” and whether they are a metaphor for a much bigger problem, we’ll let the reader judge.
“Loner” by Stuart Grant— Surely, we’ve all felt like Mike Novak, the hero of this story, a loner who is trying to “keep (himself) from (himself).” Just one problem with that. There’s a job that only he can do, and it turns out it’s a pretty big job, saving Mankind from destruction. It turns out Mike isn’t exactly one of us earthling’s and is simply here among us to “observe and report” to the Galactic Council when a funny thing happens–he falls in love with a woman named Julie. The inevitable day comes when “the bomb” is fired and though Mike knows his orders, the love of his life, Julie, is pregnant with his child, and she tells him what deep down he already knows. He has to get involved. He has to do the right thing. He has to fulfill his destiny and do what only he can do. It turns out Mike, at his core, is very much like us humans, wrestling with feelings of unworthiness as he wonders if maybe “he wasn’t the right man for the job after all.” It doesn’t matter. Mike knows what he must do. Which begs questions for the “Loner” in us all. “What’s my purpose on this earth?” “What ‘inevitable day’ or threat am I waiting for to decide it’s time to do my duty? Will Mike succeed? More importantly, will the reader?
“Secrets Within Her Recovered” Letresa Payne–Raine Jackson returns in the exhilarating sequel to “Daughter Cry No More.” Raine is being plagued by terrifying nightmares, visions, and voices of ghosts from the past she seems destined to be unable to escape. She meets a mysterious man named Christophe who sets in motion a whirlwind of events connecting her to a spirit of the past. Death and destruction seem to follow Raine everywhere. Fearing for her own life and safety of her sister, China, Raine knows she must find a way to put a stop to the Jackson Curse that has tormented her family for over a century. She wants peace for her family, but there’s one big problem, “Raine has a secret.” And the reader will be spellbound seeking to find out what it is as suspense and intrigue fill every page. The author has done a captivating job in following on the success of the first book by keeping up the deep emotional angst, the heart-wrenching and soul-stirring drama so prevalent in the first book. Readers have definitely found a heroine they can love and perhaps in some way relate to in Raine Jackson. She is not without flaws or those Jekyll-Hyde like conscience wranglings that make us root all the more that she would break the curse and find the peace and “freedom” she has long sought.
“Wish List” by Pete Stone— What’s your wish list? In this book, we learn about a man named Keith Greenhalgh who had such a list. This “wish list” is not some vain and selfish bucket list. Instead, the author does a masterful job of making us think about what good we truly could accomplish in this world if we a good “wish list.” “But it’s gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money” as the song goes and so Keith Greenhalgh has that covered when he wins the “Euromillions” lottery. However, it’s much more than money, it’s ingenuity, it’s hard work and perhaps most of all, compassion for those around him that prove Keith to be an exceptional man with or without the lottery winnings. There are some great quotes and object lessons throughout the book that will truly engage the reader to consider hat he or she would do if they had the resources and opportunity given Keith Greenhalgh. The better question might be, what are we doing with what we’ve already been given and what is still left on our “wish list” and why?