• The First Principle – The Story

    It’s day two of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour. We’re reviewing The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock. I received a print copy of The First Principle compliments the publisher. The Story The First Principle is Young Adult dystopian science fiction with definite Christian content. Some books claim to be Christian but handle [...]

  • The First Principle – First Impressions

    I decided to join the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour this time around. We’re reviewing The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock. Overview In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of North America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever [...]

  • cosfss-issue4_screenshot

    Issue 4 of the Common Oddities Speculative Fiction is Available Now!

    Despite many challenges (mostly time related) Issue 4 of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow is available for your perusal (and hopefully enjoyment). Special thanks to our guest editor Jill Domschot. Without her, the issue would not have been possible. You can provide feedback on our Goodreads listing. Tell us what you liked, or what [...]

  • Running Backward Thumbnail

    Latest Offering from Midway Imprint is Available Now!

    Running Backward is available now in print and on Kindle from Amazon. Running Backward is a good, lighthearted summer read aimed at readers of Christian romance, chick lit, and women’s fiction. Kudos to Odd Mr. T for the gorgeous cover. Please check it out and let us know what you think! When Dulcie Brannam asks [...]

  • Ava03051015_thumbnail

    Back in Business!

    It’s been a little quiet around here lately. Well, not exactly. We’ve been busy working on this: She’s as sweet as she looks. And at two months old, she’s finally giving us small pockets of time to do adult stuff. We have two pending releases (more information on those soon) and a release that we [...]

The First Principle – The Story

herBook_3DIt’s day two of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour. We’re reviewing The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock. I received a print copy of The First Principle compliments the publisher.

The Story

The First Principle is Young Adult dystopian science fiction with definite Christian content. Some books claim to be Christian but handle the subject of Christianity loosely, delicately, or subtly. I have no problem with any of these approaches. Just know, Shrock’s book doesn’t tip-toe around it.

Neither does it tip-toe around the subjects of teen pregnancy and abortion. As such, I wouldn’t recommend this book for tweens or younger teens. Nevertheless, I applaud Shrock and the publisher for tackling these two important issues.

The Spirituality

I personally found the Christian themes/elements to be a bit heavy-handed and “in-your-face” at times, and prefer the spiritual aspects of a story to be presented with a bit more finesse, but remember, I’m a forty-year-old woman with three kids, i.e. I’m not the book’s intended audience.

The Characters

Shrock’s characterization often struck me as one-dimensional. For instance, the main character can hack into secure computer networks, but we’re never told where she learned that skill. As it is, her skills as a hacker seem only to serve the plot.

I found Drake to be the most multi-dimensional and, therefore, believable, so for me, he was the highlight of the cast.

The Plot

The First Principle moves from conflict to conflict at a fast clip making it an easy read. Shrock seems to have a good grasp on plotting, and I felt this was an area where she shined.

The Technicalities

The story was very tightly edited, which is more than one can expect these days, even from major publishing houses. I appreciated the author’s and the publisher’s attention to detail in this area.

Overall

I’d give The First Principle three stars. I’d recommend it to older teens.

To find out what others are saying, check out the links below.

Julie Bihn
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas

in Speculative Fiction

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The First Principle – First Impressions

herBook_3DI decided to join the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour this time around. We’re reviewing The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock.

Overview

In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of North America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For sixteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.

When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Martina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory termination–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president.

A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face.

First Impression

I received a print copy of The First Principle compliments the publisher. It’s nice to hold a book—a real book—in the hands while reading. For print books, the cover is even more important. The book I received is high quality, I would say, a step above CreateSpace, and on par with larger publishers.

In my opinion, the cover lacks appeal. The pastel colors aren’t exactly eye-catching and the over-all design left me feeling a bit “meh”. I do like the computer circuit boards in the back doubling as a skyline. I think that could have been used more effectively. Although, I will admit, the cover has grown on me since the first time I saw it.

A book isn’t its cover, so tomorrow, I’ll delve into the story itself.

To find out what others are saying, check out the links below.

Julie Bihn
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas

in Speculative Fiction

{ 2 comments }

Despite many challenges (mostly time related) Issue 4 of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow is available for your perusal (and hopefully enjoyment). Special thanks to our guest editor Jill Domschot. Without her, the issue would not have been possible.

You can provide feedback on our Goodreads listing. Tell us what you liked, or what you didn’t like. We welcome your thoughtful criticism.

cosfss-issue4_medium

in New Releases

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Latest Offering from Midway Imprint is Available Now!

Running Backward is available now in print and on Kindle from Amazon.

Running Backward thumbnail

Running Backward is a good, lighthearted summer read aimed at readers of Christian romance, chick lit, and women’s fiction. Kudos to Odd Mr. T for the gorgeous cover.

Please check it out and let us know what you think!

When Dulcie Brannam asks her cousin to stay for the week, she inadvertently invites her former high school boyfriend. But with her baby sister’s wedding just one week away, Dulcie doesn’t have time to worry about her surprise guest. She has bigger problems, including Sunday morning nursery duty, misdated wedding programs, and 10-dozen broken eggs. Laid off from her marketing job and married to a workaholic worrier, it’s no wonder she’s nearly thirty and childless. With her dreams of motherhood in limbo, she’s an easy target for her old boyfriend’s flirtatious advances. Will his weeklong stay prove too long for her already strained marriage?

in New Releases

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Back in Business!

It’s been a little quiet around here lately. Well, not exactly. We’ve been busy working on this:

Ava03051015

She’s as sweet as she looks. And at two months old, she’s finally giving us small pockets of time to do adult stuff.

We have two pending releases (more information on those soon) and a release that we never officially announced here. (It’s a kid’s book. Released January 2015. Yeah, we’ve been busy.)

Check back soon and often to learn more.

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Submissions are OPEN!

Submission are open for The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow November 20 2014 through January 23 2015

Submissions are OPEN for the Spring 2015 issue of The Common Oddities Speculative Fiction Sideshow. Submission will be open from November 20, 2014 to January 23, 2015. Please see our submissions guidelines. We use HeyPublisher to manage our submissions and you can find our submission form here.

We look forward to seeing your work!

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The Sideshow is Live!

COSFS3_smallIssue 3 of The Sideshow is live! Be sure to visit www.commonodditiessideshow.com and take a look. We offer three reading options: online, via PDF download, and for the first time, we also have the issue available as a free download from Smashwords. Here’s what one reader has already had to say:

Nice compilation of short stories and a couple of poems.

I enjoyed “Switches” as I felt it took a hard look at the psyche of people who are never satisfied with how they look. The impact it had on others too as was obvious from the closing. This switch mentality is a frightful driving force behind the social view of beauty.

Thanks for the entertaining reads.

You can also download and review the issue on Goodreads.

Take a look and let us know what you think!

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Issue 3 will be available next week. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover!

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Cover Reveal

We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes on our Midway imprint’s second release. Today I’m excited to reveal our cover!

Running Backward is a hometown Indiana novel about a married, almost-thirty marketing professional who inadvertently invites her high school boyfriend into her home to stay for the week. It will appeal to romance readers and fans of women’s fiction, and of course, I think men should give it a try too. :)

Publication date will be late November/early December. In the meantime, I need some early readers to help me spread the word. If you are interested in a free pre-release copy of the book in exchange for Goodreads and Amazon reviews, please leave your name in the comments section.

Feedback on the cover is appreciated as well.

As always, thank you for your interest in Provision Books!

runner2.psd

in New Releases

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Issue 3 of The Sideshow COMING SOON!

The Fall 2014 issue of The Common Oddities Sideshow is COMING SOON! We have an entertaining blend of short stories and poetry lined up, provided by a very talented group of writers. Here’s a sneak peek at our contributors, with hyperlinks to their online homes so you can get to know them better.

Lou Antonelli

Lawrence Buentello

Andy Decker

Jill Domschot

Melissa McDaniel

Mirtika

M.V. Mongomery

Stoney Setzer

Ed Shacklee

Special Thanks

Thank you to everyone who submitted their work for consideration. The overall quality of submissions was high this time around and seems to be increasing with every issue, making my job as an editor more difficult. I heartily welcome the challenge. Bring it on! :)

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