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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week.

Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.

Your host for October 2013, is Gina @ ‘Book Dragon’s Lair’

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Gina, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

My featured author this week, contacted me direct with a review request and was certainly not deterred when I told him straight out, that his new book is not from a genre which I read regularly. In fact, he was surprisingly upbeat about the prospect of introducing me to the world of Urban Fantasy, written in his own unique style, so much so that his enthusiasm was contagious .. and the rest as they say .. is history!

To start with, let me tell you a little about this intriguing premise..

‘THE WORLD BELOW’ – Chronicles Of The Goblin King Book One

In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in trees, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. Those few that remain fear being stretched out on an examination table in some secret, governmental facility. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below. 

Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.

Now let me introduce you to the book’s author Mike Phillips, who is going to tell you a little about himself and introduce you to some of lesser known characters from, ‘The World Below’.

Image of author Mike PhillipsHi, I’m Mike Phillips and I grew up on a small farm in West Michigan, living much the way people did at the turn of the century. Whether it was growing fruits and vegetables or raising livestock, I learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age.
While my friends spent their summers watching reruns of bad sitcoms, my father gave me a very special gift. He turned off the television. With what was affectionately referred to as “the idiot box” no longer a distraction, I was left to discover the fantastic worlds that only exist in books. When not tending sheep, gardening, building furniture, chopping wood, or just goofing off, I spent my time reading.
With all that hard work at home, I was always eager to go to school. I excelled as a student and went on to pursue a career in the sciences. Working as a Safety Engineer in the Insurance Industry, I soon became bored with the corporate grind. Writing engaged me like nothing else. After a few novels and numerous short stories, I thought getting published would be a pretty neat idea. And so, here it goes…
I love storytelling. I try to make my writing as imaginative and as vivid as I can. I write in the horror and dark fantasy genres, but I don’t go for blood and guts and the gross stuff. I like suspense and things that puts the senses on edge. That said, in The World Below goblins become the heroes. They do, admittedly, tend toward the behavior of fifth grade boys. So you might get a gross out or two from them.

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading this mini guest post, in which, I decided to talk a little about character development.One of the more unique aspects of the story is my use of goblins, so I thought it might be interesting to explore that.
In folklore and literature, goblins have always been evil creatures. To this day, goblins are hiding in our closets and under our beds. They are wicked monsters that are no happier than when they are burning fields or robbing cradles.
In ‘The World Below’, Mitch Hardy unknowingly rescues a goblin from getting hurt in a storm. Living on the fringes of society as they must to avoid camera phones and governmental laboratories, goblins lead harsh lives. By this small act of kindness, Mitch makes a true friend. Later on, this kindness is returned.
I don’t want to spoil the fun, so let’s just say a pan-dimensional, man-eating garbage dumpster is involved. Friends like that are hard to find! Once they have been won over, goblins are the best sort of friends. They may have terrible manners, they may say awful things, they may smell bad, but we can all be that way sometimes. In the end, my use of goblins helps us see the best in humanity.
Thank you so much for joining me. ‘The World Below’ is one of the wildest rides you’ll ever take. It’s full of crazy characters, imagination, magic and action. I hope you all agree.
Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com
Mike recently gave a brilliant interview to the standby host of Mailbox Monday, Bob over at ‘Beauty In Ruins’, so if you are intrigued enough to want to know more about the heroes and villains of the story, then why not stop by and say hi to Bob and Mike.
Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I think it’s good for readers to jump into a genre they don’t usually read every now and then. I know I certainly enjoy a change when I do it. 🙂

    I do enjoy urban fantasy though, not that I’ve read much of it lately.

    • Hi Nikki,

      To be perfectly honest, I have yet to come across a book I couldn’t finish, so my reading tastes must be quite eclectic …. either that or I am just a stobborn cuss, who won’t be beaten into submission by a book!

      I have read a couple of fantasy books, but this will be my first urban fantasy and Mike assures me that I will enjoy the experience … so here goes!

      ‘The World Below’ has been getting some pretty alright reviews and ratings, so it looks as though I have come across a good guide into my new world!

      Thanks for stopping by, I do hope thet you are feeling better now and ready to face the new week, at least if any of it is left standing after the predicted storm.

    • Hi Serena,

      Mike has written a couple of novels now, with another due out very soon, as well as several short stories, all of which have received some impressive critical acclaim.

      I am willing to try any genre, after all, you never know whether you will enjoy something, until you give it a go, right?

      Thanks for taking the time to check out this week’s post, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Tracy,

      The storyline actually sounds quite intriguing, with some pretty well developed main protagonists, albeit that only one of them is human, whereas I am not quite so sure about the ‘man-eating garbage dumpster’!

      I have truly enjoyed the fantasy books I have read to date, although I am always conscious that my reviews are maybe not quite so enthusiastically written, as those by an avid fan of the genre.

      Thanks for taking a look at the post, I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      ‘The World Below’ certainly has an interesting synopsis, which is strangely alluring.

      I was really beginning to root for Mitch getting his act together and starting a new life, when Mike drops a bombshell into the story and makes Elizabeth one of the ‘Elder Race’, which doesn’t bode well for their future together, if this article is anything to go by …


      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always appreciated and have a good week.

    • Hi Laura,

      This will be my first foray into the depths of urban fantasy also, so I am certainly expecting some surprises, which Mike assures me, will all be positive, so I am putting my trust in his judgement right now!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I hope that you have a good week.

  • Hi Yvonne. The World Below sounds like interesting fantasy. A “pan-dimensional, man-eating garbage dumpster “…hmmm…got me wondering. The author says he likes to use his imagination, it does sound like that by the looks of this book. Mitch Hardy sounds like he goes on quite the adventure.
    Happy reading!

    • Hi Naida,

      Mitch isn’t going to be the only one going an adventure, as I just can’t imagine what this “man-eating garbage dumpster” gets up to in the story!

      I am also waiting eagerly to find out exactly how Mitch reacts, when he discovers that his new girlfriend is part of the Faerie Folk! For someone who is still trying to get his life back on track, it could be quite a shock.

      Good to hear from you, hope that life is treating you well and you have managed to get into a routine with your studies now.

    • Hi Mary,

      I really intend to approach this book with a completely open mind and the sole objective of having fun reading it.

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are appreciated, as always.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I have to admit that I shall have a greater interest in the back story about Mitch and Elizabeth, I’m sure I can cope with her belonging to the Faerie Folk.

      I have come across so many blogs where fantastical creatures feature large, that I aim to approach this project with an open mind.

      Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always appreciated.

    • Hi Gautami,

      ‘The World Below’ has been getting some excellent reviews and ratings, so if fantasy is a genre you only read occasionally, then you might as well make it a good one!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

  • I don’t read a lot of Urban Fantasy but this looks pretty intriguing! It’s always nice to step out of your reading comfort zone. I hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    • Hi Denise,

      One of the positive advantages of blogging has been coming across new books, authors and even genres, which have make me expand my horizons and stopped me from getting in the rut of reading the same ‘comfortable’ genres I always used to.

      Oh! and meeting all my fellow bloggers out there in the wide world, of course.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I love having you visit and value your comments.

    • Hi Vicki,

      I have quite eclectic tastes in my reading matter, however there do seem to be a preponderance of new genres and sub-genres, entering the marketplace of late. I’m not sure that there really needs to be quite so many, as several of them appear to overlap quite a lot.

      In the same way, whilst Indie publishers and self publishing, have made the marketplace accessible to almost everyone, there seems to have been a corresponding increase in the volume of not very good writing, popping up for sale.

      Urban Fantasy isn’t something new, so I suppose it’s about time I gave it a try. ‘The World Below’ certainly has an intrguing and interesting storyline and Mike Phillips is definitely an enthusiastic and encouraging author.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      To be honest, most of my review requests are from direct author contact, with publisher requests being very few and far between and I prefer it that way.

      Generally I find that if an author initiates the contact, then they are much more inclined to actively participate in the posts and articles I publish about them and their books, which makes the whole process so much more gratifying and enjoyable.

      Mike is determined that I should experience his world of urban fantasy, so here I am, ready to give it a go!

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope that all is well with you and that you have a good week.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      The fact that Mike has given us such a great central character in Mitch Hardy, makes this a story well worth the reading.

      I must also admit to feeling akin to one of the magical creatures Mike talks about, in becoming increasingly wary of government plans for us all, trying to avoid having my every move tracked by satellite and CCTV and definitely trying to evade all those smartphones I detest so much!

      Oh my goodness … maybe I am actually a relic from ancient times … it certainly feels like it sometimes!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always love to hear from you.

Written by Yvonne