Annunciation

In Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, nothing happened. In modern-day Memphis, Tennessee, 19-year-old gas station employee Belle Carter is visited by the archangel Gabriel and given the task of bearing the Son of God. After she agrees, Belle attempts to keep her new status between her, her mother, and her angelic new friend. However, thanks to a sinister influence, she finds herself thrust into the spotlight after witnessing a crime committed by the son of the state governor. Her new infamy attracts the attention of local mega preacher Brother Abel – convinced she is, at best, lying, and at worst, trying to corrupt all of humanity. Forced to face up to her unwanted fame and protect herself and her unborn son against the hatred of those who don’t believe her, Belle finds herself learning in the hardest way possible what it means to be a mother, and so much more besides.

Meet Ciara Houghton Ruane

I’m a Manchester-based author who began storytelling at a young age. As a kid in my hometown of Widnes, I used to create my own picture books. I continued to pursue writing throughout school and went on to study Creative Writing and Film at the University of Hull, where I first wrote Annunciation as a short story.

The Black Heart of the Station

Delinquent or Prophet? Whichever one teenager Josh Driscoll is, he may be the Station’s only hope for survival. The Station is a city buried deep beneath the surface of a frozen, lifeless earth, its origins lost in the mists of time. Josh’s frequent rule-breaking exploits are focused on a single question – how did we get here? But Josh goes too far when he steals a space-suit and escapes to the surface to explore. As punishment, the governing Council, of which his father is a member,forcibly enrolls him as a novice monk at Saint Carmine’s, the Station’s resident monastery. At first desperate to escape, Josh finds himself drawn into the monastery’s ancient texts. Deciphering an encrypted journal hidden for centuries, Josh learns that the Black Heart, a computer complex sealed off after an ancient asteroid strike, may hold the answers he’s been seeking, and may be all that can save the city from certain annihilation. When the deranged head of the Council is determined to demolish the Black Heart and doom them all, Josh leads a desperate battle to stop him. But can Josh and his tiny band of followers prevail in time to avert catastrophe?

Meet Jay Allan Storey

Jay Allan Storey is a musician, international traveler, and author. Jay has traveled the world, passing through many places in the news today, including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Swat valley in Pakistan. He has worked at an amazing variety of jobs, from cab driver to land surveyor to accordion salesman to software developer. Jay is the author of of THE ARX, the BLACK HEART series, the VITA AETERNA series, and ELDORADO, and a number of short stories and screenplays. Two new novels are in the works for 2022. His stories always skirt close to the edge of believability (but hopefully never cross over). He is attracted to characters who are able to break out of their stereotypes and transform themselves. He loves both reading and writing, both listening to and playing music, and working with animals. He’s crazy for any activity relating to the water, including swimming, surfing, wind-surfing, sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Jay is married and lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

You Make Me Sick… Literally

Nyla Nguyen is thankful to be alive, but how much will she risk to keep it that way? A small town girl with dreams of making it big in the city, Nyla is eager to see where her new life will take her, where her second chance will lead. When a bizarre weather phenomenon very nearly kills her, she is grateful to be alive—to have escaped unscathed. But… did she? When an illness that she thought was a random bout of the flu wreaks havoc on her body, she realizes she may not have been so fortunate after all. Sure she’ll die in a few weeks, Nyla tries to enjoy what is left of her meager life, until she feels better—quite miraculously. Nyla soon discovers that her recovery isn’t so mysterious after all, when a guy she met only once before seems to be responsible. A human antidote. Two sick people. One shared antidote. Trying to stay alive shouldn’t be difficult, right? Nyla will do everything in her power to stay alive, even if it means befriending the guy with the power to make her sick.

Meet Shamika Lindsay

Growing up, all she knew was writing. Shamika has often said that writing gave her voice when she was mute. That was true, to some extent. In the written word, Shamika could transport herself to a place where her thoughts created trees and beautiful streams that birthed a number of living creatures. Before the publication of her first novel, Popularity Rules, she had already written (in actual notebooks) a number of books and was thrilled to share them with the persons around her. After getting a push to take the plunge into the literary world, she did. Shamika Lindsay hopes to always create a world that transports, transports anyone who needs an escape and a chance to venture into something unknown, sometimes impractical, but always safe.

Rescuers From Illur

Very few in the worn encampment even notice the boy they have known since birth. With feelings of not being liked or cared for, Edan spends his days exploring and only returns for meager shelter during the night. Believing he is fine on his own, the quiet boy has adapted to rely only on himself. Strangers arrive at a camp built around a structure that was long ago a wondrous house. They come on the heels of fear, but bring knowledge and the promise of travel to a thriving society. The possibility of prosperity within a world of hard work and nothingness would mean tremendous change for those living in the camp. Edan is wary, but interested in the strangers and soon connects with one who believes she is meant to save his people. As Edan’s bond grows with the captivating girl, Vita, the strangers ready themselves to return to Illur with the people of the encampment. Even though he has every reason to go, it is a struggle for Edan to leave the only place he has known to travel somewhere he hopes exists. Trust is hard won for a boy who is used to being alone, but loyalty seems rooted in his soul. He wants to believe, for himself and all the others of his camp who wonder if they can find a better life in Illur. When the strangers come, will you go with them? Book 2 of Divine Land of Illur series – Snare of Illur out on May 10th, 2022

Meet Cajah Reed

With in-depth education and experience in psychology, sociology, and welfare work, Cajah has unique insight into various behaviors within society. She uses this knowledge to construct immersive worlds, dynamic interactions between characters, and inventive storylines. This author is also conscious of the impact trauma can have on individuals and the immense work it takes to build trust. Due to this, she digs deep into internal conflicts within characters to tell the emotional and often raw story in an authentic way.

In Ora: The Land of the Superior

What is a superior modern world like? When humans have found the keys to tailoring genes, eradicating diseases, advancing physiques, intelligence and technology? Luke found himself back in Ora, the land of the superior, where everyone was tall, beautiful and perfect, a stark difference from his home, the Origin. When the division happened, Ora detached itself from Origin and raised it to become a perfect society, while Origin went downhill. Even though his curiosity was revived, Luke had only one goal in his mind, to find the cure for the new disease for his companion. They had exhausted all options at home, but he was not about to let her give up. As they navigated their way through the strange and intriguing Ora world, they tried to maintain hope that they’d get what they were coming for, to preserve their existence through the magnificent but exorbitant and mysterious world of Ora.

Meet Sotto Voce

I am a dreamer, used to be an adventurer in real life but now I’m settling more as an adventurer in imagination. Having been moving around since I was young, I have difficulty identifying only one place as home, so instead of being associated with a specific place or culture, home is where the loved ones and the dog is. Twenty-over-years of professional working experience taught me a lot about humans; the good, the bad, the mess, and the reality that despite all those years spent, I still don’t get much closer to understanding them, but continue to try as I believe everyone has their personal struggle in their existence in the world and relationships. Aside from writing and trying as much as possible to avoid awkward social interactions, I actually enjoy socializing with selective people, especially in outdoor activities because nature is my passion; scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking, trekking, to name a few. More have been dropped since I haven’t managed to get my hand on the fountain of youth. Besides those, I enjoy chilling and baking at home, riding a motorcycle and strolling at the beach with my faithful dog and befriending whatever dogs that don’t mind our presence.

Falling for the Villain

Being a superhero is hard enough…Don’t fall for your arch nemesis. College junior Aubree Klein stays busy with a full course load, work, and protecting River City from villains as flame-wielding superhero Blue Nova. The last thing she needs is more time with her arch enemy, the evil super genius Dr. Vile. Using his malicious inventions to inflict destruction on the city, Dr. Vile knows just how to get under Aubree’s skin. But when a new and even more powerful villain threatens the city, there’s only one person she can turn to for help. As the temporary allies get closer, they find that identities aren’t the only secrets being kept, and their mutual hatred may have been masking something else all along. With the fate of the city hanging in the balance, will the tense partnership last? And will Aubree find a way to combat her conflicting feelings for the one person she swore to despise?

Meet Kim Elliott

Kim Elliott lives in Langley, British Columbia with her husband, two busy kids, and a sleepy dog named Marley. When she isn’t writing stories, she enjoys watching singing competitions on TV, eating donuts, and going shopping for jeans. (That last one was a blatant lie.) ​Kim is addicted to that butterfly feeling when two characters who are perfect for each other finally realize it. She has a particular soft spot for tough guys who are secretly cinnamon rolls on the inside. If you crave that tingle of excitement you get when reading about two people on the verge of falling in love, her books might be for you!

Immortality: This is Probably a Novel

Chester, an investigative journalist, is in fear of his life and hides out in a remote part of New Zealand, 12,000 miles from Kate, the woman he loves. His quiet life is interrupted when a stranger knocks on his door and transports him to the world’s best kept secret. True to his training, he keeps a diary of his perplexing experiences, all of which he dismisses as impossible. As his life becomes more alarming, his longing to see Kate grows. Yet how can he explain to her what he can’t bring himself to believe? After she reads his diary, she becomes his lifeline helping him to understand that he must warn others of the danger, just as a lighthouse does.“… packed such a punch… you’ll love watching Chester’s world slowly unravel.” Amazon Customer“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark TwainAlso includes questions possibly useful for Book Clubs