Archive for the ‘dystopian fiction’ Tag

Ivan Amberlake Reviews “Life As We Knew It”   4 comments


Front Cover LAWKI no windowChaos changes everything!

Shane Delaney, a burned-out mercenary with a troubled past, returns home to small-town Kansas to heal his scars and quiet his demons, not planning to stay long enough for the townsfolk to reject who he has become.

He never expected the town to need his deadlier skills.

When a terrorist attack on distant cities abruptly transforms life as they knew it, the people of Emmaus must forget their own disaster plan to survive.

What would you do if the world as you know it ended today?

The people of Emmaus will find out.


My review:

LIFE AS WE KNEW IT is a very unusual read. I enjoy dystopian books a lot, and Lela Markham’s take on the apocalypse did not disappoint. The book is written in chapters that are short and switching from one character to another, which is never boring and which gives us a full picture of what is going on. The author shows the characters’ feelings, emotions, doubts well, which makes them true-to-life and easy to relate to. I especially enjoyed reading chapters from Shane Denaley’s point of view.

The life of a small town of Emmaus transforms abruptly when terrible news comes from large cities. That – together with great characterization – was my most favorite aspect of the book. I enjoyed the way the author shows as the world collapses – the attack, then the state of not knowing what is going on, what is going to happen next. It’s well done and realistic. I’d recommend it to lovers of dystopian novels.

LIFE AS WE KNEW IT is book 1 in Transformation Project series and I look forward to reading the next book.



Lela Markham is the pen name of an Alaskan novelists who was raised in a home built of books. Alaska is a grand adventure like none other with a culture that embraces summer adventure and winter artistic pursuits.

Lela has been a journalist, worked in the mental health field, and currently works for the State of Alaska, but her avocation has always been storyteller.

Her first published book The Willow Branch begins an exploration of the world of Daermad where a fractured kingdom leaves two races vulnerable to destruction by a third and opens the opportunity to mend old wounds. Lela drew inspiration from Celtic mythology, Alaskan raven legends and the Bible to craft a tale of war, faith and reconciliation. And, don’t forget … Celtic goddesses, sentient animals and dragons.

When not writing stories, Lela reads political philosophy, economics, history, mysteries, fantasies, science fiction and the backs of cereal boxes and enjoys speculative tales on TV. For variety, she quilts, tackles home improvement projects, hikes the Alaskan wilderness well-armed against the wildlife, and holds blackbelts in cold weather living and mosquito annihilation. Oh, and aurora viewing … it’s all about the aurora watching.

Lela shares her life with her adventuresome husband, two fearless offspring and a sentient husky who keeps a yellow Lab for a pet.

You can stalk her at:

Or reach out old-school at

Interview with KA Angliss   1 comment

Today’s interview is with K. A. Angliss, author of Project Butterfly, a sci-fi thriller.


Tell us something about yourself. (as much or as little you want — where’d you grow up, where do you live, what do you do for a living, significant relationships, etc.)


I grew up in Canvey Island in Essex, UK. I still live in Essex with my partner and daughter but moved away from “The Rock” as we all lovingly call it. I have been a vegetarian since I was 19 and I love knitting and crocheting!


Was this the first story you’ve written?


This isn’t the first story I’ve written but is the first one I have turned into a novel. I used to write short stories as a child but I don’t really count those.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?


I always toyed with the idea but never had the confidence to really go for it. When I got the idea in my head for Project Butterfly and the passion I had for the topic I knew I wanted to be a writer and get this information out there.


What is your writing process? (Are you a discovery writer or do you outline and plot out the book before you start writing? Or somewhere in between?)


I usually write an outline for a plot which will be the twists or important events that will happen in the storyline. Once I feel like it’s a good solid structure to work with and I know the direction and tone of the book I begin writing. Some ideas come to me while I am in the moment of writing and I have diverted from the outline before if I think the new idea is better and will work with the rest of the story.


During a writing session I edit my work from the previous day and then continue writing. Once I have finished writing the story from start to finish I carry out a few editing techniques. I first read it from start to finish on my tablet instead of computer as it’s a change of format, then print it off and revise it and finally I read the whole thing out loud to make sure it flows. Then I send it to my proof readers and after I read it over again before launching it.


Describe Project Butterfly.


It does start off dark but to be fair it’s about a dark subject. The hidden message is to believe in humanity despite these atrocities.  If humanity remains strong and if we can help each other, then we can pull each other out of the depths of despair and save one another. Along the way there are a few hurdles but overall it’s about overcoming the seemingly impossible, as long as you believe in yourself.


Where did you get the idea for the book?


A few years ago I stumbled across information about Unit 731 which was funded during World War 2. The human experiments they did were awful. It deeply upset me keeping me up for nights but yet I had to do know more. I found an astonishing amount of information on past human experimentation; some weren’t even carried out that long ago!


So many human experiments have come to light only to be swept under the carpet again and no real justice has been given to most of these poor victims. We must never forget to prevent it happening again.


What if these victims for once got out and took revenge on the governments that were using them as human guinea pigs? When they got out what if they overthrew these governments to rebuild their own utopia? Can corruption ever really be overcome? I wanted to write about these experiments but I added a supernatural twist.  I find the whole topic so disheartening and wanted to lighten the story slightly.


I noticed in the book’s forward that it is based on factual information. What sort of research did you do for the book?


I did a lot of research online but also looked at documents that have come to light, particularly published reports from the C.I.A and Nazis. I also read autobiographies of Monarch Programming (which inspired the series’ title) such as Brice Taylor’s, “Thanks for Memories”. I have also watched countless world-wide documentaries.. Even now I do on-going research and try to uncover more and am always open for discussions to understand this sensitive topic further.



Your tag line is “How much do you trust your government?” I’m kind of a semi-anarchist. I don’t trust the government much at all. Do you think people should be less complacent about these semi-secret programs and, if so, what ought we be doing about it?


Oooooh I like this question! We do need a system in order to prevent a dog eat dog world but we also need to feel safe and protected from these sorts of programs. I would say avoid any kind of microchip in your skin (I have heard about parents micro chipping their children in the US) Try to be as independent as you can. Grow your own vegetables, if you can be self-employed or have your own trade. I believe finding ways to protect your own privacy is the most peaceful way to stand up against these shadow governments as I don’t condone violence.


Cross research anything you are unsure of or feel uneasy about and make evaluated opinions for yourselves. Don’t be influenced by everything you see and hear by mainstream media,


Contacting local politicians about the high level of surveillance has no guarantee things will change but the more pressure we put on these government representatives, the more likely lasting changes could happen.


I think it’s not only these shadow governments that we should be looking at but also within ourselves. The mind is truly an amazing thing, something we hardly know anything about but yet we can achieve so much through self-belief and focus. The sense of community is dwindling and we need to look out for each other. We are stronger together than alone.



This is a series. When is the next book coming out? (I see it’s this year, but this gives you opportunity to talk about the second book).


It is due out end of May this year, though I haven’t set a specific date just yet. I will be doing my first online launch party for this book which I am very excited about!


Whatever you would like to add. I’m open.



Links — book pages, author website, Facebook —  author pic and cover art.

Official Author website:

Project Butterfly Series Facebook:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:



Ok thank you. I have just realised I have forgotten my Amazon links.
And also forgot my pic so have attached it. I have a new  cover that I’m working on tonight so will send it over in the next few days. Just reviewing the book again as both Jess and Paula have given me some excellent advice and just want to fine tune the writing a bit if that’s ok?


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