The Search For Synergy (The Talisman Series: Book 1) by Brett Salter

Advertisements
Book Cover

Publisher:

Date of publication: May 31st, 2017

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Series: The Talisman Series

The Search for Synergy—Book 1

Riders of Ice and Fire—Book 2

Windy City Ruins—Book 3

The Battle For Verdana—Book 4

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Format Read: Published Book

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

“The Search For Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in the void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo as knight and dragon working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome, who up until now, thought he was merely human.


First Line:

School…yuck! School was not always yuck.

The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter

The Search For Synergy is the first book in The Talisman series. The book does start a little slow, but that only lasts for the first two chapters. Then it takes off and doesn’t slow down until the end. That made the book more enjoyable to read.

I liked Rome. His reactions to everything going on were realistic. He had every right not to believe Julian and Mr. Jones when they explained what was happening to him. Instead, he gave them a chance, and it ended up changing his life. I also loved the way he talked to Julian’s father. I know it was rude, but I was laughing my butt off during those interactions.

I liked Julian and connected with him. He was passionate about what he was training for, and he was willing to face ridicule from Rome to tell him the truth. Plus, the kid was beyond brave.

The fantasy angle of the book was well written. I loved that the author used the King Arthur myth and built a fantastic storyline around it. Plus, he dabbled a bit of Greek mythology in too. It made the book so much enjoyable to read.

The fights scenes in The Search For Synergy were terrific!! I did think it was funny that the first one took place in the school (as did Rome’s first transformation). I cheered (internally) when Julian and Rome sent the Garns back to where they came from. I also loved seeing Rome turn to his more animalistic side during the second fight. He saved Julian’s life.

The end of The Search For Synergy was interesting. I have a few questions that I hope will be answered in the next book. Plus, I can’t wait to see how Julian’s younger sister is (seeing that she will be going with the boys to England).


The Search For Synergy was a great middle-grade read. The characters were fleshed out, and the plotline was terrific.

I would recommend The Search For Synergy to anyone over the age of 13. Younger readers can read it, but I suggest that a parent read with them, as some of the fight scenes can be a little scary. There is mild violence.

Author Interview: Brett Salter (The Search for Synergy)

Advertisements

Today you are in for a treat. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Brett Salter (author of The Search for Synergy). This is my first author interview and he dealt with me (and my questions) with grace. So thank you Brett!!

J: Do you base your characters on people you know in real life and if so, do they know it?

B: Yeah, so in the beginning, I based my characters off me. Just me. I’ve known myself for a long time, and it was a small cast, so it was easy. That was therapeutic, for sure. But as the books continued and my characters grew in number, I found inspiration in outside sources such as close family and friends. I
have told those involved about their “loose” inspirations. I would not say they are spot-on replicas, but I WOULD call it amusing to paint these extremely caricatured heroes with touches of the people I love. Most of my characters are just too dang goofy to be based on real people though.

J: Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

B: Oh, you mean like the MCU or the Monsterverse? Yeah, my books are ALL connected. In fact, they are more like one long story broken up into extended, palatable chapters that I call “books”. Once I’m finished, books 1-6 will be one, long literary feast. How’s that for 6th -grade metaphors???

J: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

B: I would tell my younger self this: “Hey Younger Self, you need to hire an editor!!!! And get a haircut. You look ridiculous!”

J: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

B: (Rubs hands together) Oh goodie! We’ve wandered into Spoiler Territory! I have “finished” 11
of the proposed 12 books in my Talisman Series. That means that I have 7 more books that are skeleton versions of what I will eventually release. I want to release one every year or so (depending on my editing skills and artwork) starting with book 5 coming out this winter. I also have the MOST humble beginnings of a second series written down that will be focused around portal fiction and with
more adult themes in mind. No idea when that will be ready!

J: What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

B: I just kinda wing it, honestly. If I need to know the design intricacies of a setting or the inner workings of something, then I definitely use the internet for research. I find myself mostly using it to verify things like parts of weapons/armor or names of mythical monsters or what year something came out.

J: How do you select the names of your characters?

Naming things is my FAVORITE part about being an author (giggles). So, a common theme in my books is the 6 elements that dominate the world where my characters reside: Fire, Water, Ice, Forest, Earth, and Wind. Character types and character names are ultimately attributed one of the six. For instance, the Darkbrand generals, the Minotaurs, get their names from whichever element they hail from. Not to give too much away, but a water-based Minotaur is called a Hydrotaur, and so on. Almost every character gets their name from either the element they are associated with or a mythological inspiration. For instance, Julian’s little sister’s name is Camela Lynette Rider. She is named after both the utopian citadel of Camelot AND the Arthurian noble lady Linette. SPOILER ALERT: Her last name is pretty important too!

How do you come up with the titles for your books?

B: That’s a great question! I try to look at the whole book and find one encompassing theme that runs
throughout. “What is this book about? What are the main points that move the plot forward? What are the memorable scenes?” Then, I do my best to make some sort of word pun or association that represents the answers to those kinds of questions. For instance, the first book’s title, “The Search For Synergy”, references the three main characters all looking for an answer to the questions in their lives. (Rome’s yearning to break free, Julian’s fulfilling of a destiny, and Mr. Jones’s desire to protect the world). It just so happens that all three characters find themselves united by the very same thing that satisfies all of their searching. And that is The Great Synergy.

J: Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

B: I would love for readers to send me questions or theories regarding the books. One of my favorite things to do is speculate over tv shows or books, so I want the same from my audience. I’d love it for people to start discussions on my Fandom Wiki page about where the series is going or make polls. You know? Like an interactive community. You can also check out my Authorsden page for more on the books and some of my poetry. I’ll include my Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Authorsden, and the Fandom below for all your readers.

Facebook

Amazon

Instagram – @talismanbrett

Fandom

Authors Den

Goodreads

Pink Salter Peters & The Dad Jokes (Brett’s Dad Band)

J: How long does it take you to write a book?

B: On average, I can write an installment in The Talisman Series in about 4-5 months. I’ve almost written 11 in four years. That’s just because I have a full-time job and my “dad band” project holding me back! I think I could write like 6 books a year if all I did was write. LOL. I am ALWAYS trying to create something EVERY day to scratch that creativity itch.

J: How do you handle writer’s block?

B: I usually focus my attention somewhere else. Music, poetry, promoting the other books. I figure out a way to harness that need to create and aim it at another project. Then, after I’ve cleared my head (or
banged it up against a wall repeatedly), I’ll return to writing with a fresh outlook. Currently, I am in a vicious slugfest of writer’s block with book 11. And I am NOT winning!

J: Anything else you would like to add?

B: I just want to add that I am genuinely appreciative of Jolie at Read With Me for giving me this platform to promote my series. I am also unwaveringly thankful for anyone who reads/has read my books. You guys inspire me to keep at it. You are what makes me feel cool for being kind of a big dork. I hope that if you like my book or ANY book you read, you share it with someone else. Opening doors for others will never get old, and it will ALWAYS be chivalrous. And finally, make sure to support people in your life that love what they do. You will NEVER be disappointed with their results. So, before I go, I will remind you to remember to hold your Talisman tight and keep a wary eye out for portals. Peace out!


Look for my review of The Search for Synergy. It will be coming 7-9-21!!

WWW Wednesday: June 30th 2021

Advertisements

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I Recently Finished Reading:

I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.

I loved this book!! Elya was a very sympathetic character. She had years of abuse to get over and needed the time to come to terms that Charming loved her. And the ending of the book was perfect!!


What I am currently reading:

Los Angeles, 1943. As the Allies beat back the Nazis in the Mediterranean and the United States military slowly closes in on Tokyo, Walt Disney cranks out wartime propaganda and the Cocoanut Grove is alive with jazz and swing each night. But behind this sunny façade lies a darker reality. Somewhere in the lush foothills of Hollywood, a woman floats, lifeless, in the pool of one of California’s trendiest hotels. When American-born secret agent and British spy Maggie Hope learns that this woman was engaged to her old flame, John Sterling, and that he suspects her death was no accident, intuition tells her he’s right. Leaving London under siege—not to mention flying thousands of miles—is a lot to ask. But John was once the love of Maggie’s life . . . and she won’t say no.

Maggie is shocked to find Los Angeles as divided as Europe itself—the Zoot Suit Riots loom large and the Ku Klux Klan casts a long shadow. As she marvels at the hatred in her home country, she can’t help but wonder what it will be like to see her lost love once again. But there is little time to dwell on memories once she starts digging into the case. As she traces a web of deception from the infamous Garden of Allah to the iconic Carthay Theater, she discovers things aren’t always the way things appear in the movies—and the political situation in America is more complicated, and dangerous, than the newsreels would have them all believe.

So far I like this book. The mystery is good (who killed Maggie’s ex-flame fiancee) and I like that it is set against WW2. But, this is book 10 in a series and I worry that I might get lost (if the books have to be read in order). So, we’ll see.


What books I think I’ll read next:

I am putting the books in the order I am reading them. They are all ARCs and I will reading the indie authors books first, then the books by major publishers. There are a couple that I am looking forward to read. They are What We Devour and The Search for Synergy.

“The Search For Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in the void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo as knight and dragon working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome, who up until now, thought he was merely human.
All’s great for sixteen-year-old actor Dalton Black as he portrays a teen killer on a crime reenactment show. That is, until he realizes someone is stalking him. When that someone turns out to be Homer Lee Varney, the man convicted of the murder, things take a dark turn, and Dalton is afraid for his life. What does Varney want? Some sort of twisted revenge? Or something even worse?

Can Dalton and his drama friends discover the truth, before they become the killer’s next victims? Stay tuned to find out!
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? — June 28th 2021

Advertisements

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


Happy Monday (well, as happy as a Monday can be…lol) everyone and I hope you all had a great weekend!!

I read a ton over the weekend, which is huge for me. I finished 3 books (one which is still sitting on my Currently Reading shelf but is done). I loved that I was able to knock 3 ARCs off my TBR list. Now, all I have to do is write the reviews.

I have 4 reviews that I need to write by the end of the week. That isn’t bad. I plan on writing 2 of the reviews today (laptop by the pool = me getting stuff done) and the other 2 reviews tomorrow and Wednesday. I know it sounds ambitious but I can get it done. Well, as long as my kids get along and nothing blows up here (knock on wood)

BK took vacation days this week. That means, he’s working today, tomorrow, and Wednesday and then he has the rest of the week off. I’m happy about that. If it doesn’t storm on Friday, I am going to talk him into taking Miss R to her horseback riding lessons, so I can get a little break.

I finished Shadow and Bone (on Netflix) and cannot wait until the next season!! BK went ahead and bought the series and then Kaz’s series. He thinks, as well as I do, that Mr. Z will enjoy reading the books also. Mr. Z likes books that are lore heavy and these books are. Of course, I have to read them, just to make sure they are appropriate for a teen boy to read….lol.

So, that leaves me without a show to watch. BK wants me to watch The Nevers with him. But I lost interest in that show about episode 4. I also still have to finish watching Lovecraft County and Ragnarok. But, we’ll see. Maybe something new will catch my eye.

This week for suppers I have planned: Crockpot Beef Stew (cooking right now), loaded baked potatoes, breakfast for dinner, and roast beef and mozzarella sandwiches. But, with BK being home, anything goes. He threw a pork loin in the Instapot, seasoned it, and set it to cook. Sigh. That is why I don’t preplan meals when he’s home. He is so random and the kids won’t eat what I make.


What I am Reading Now:

I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.

I finished a chapter of Wishes by Starlight last night and I cannot wait to finish it. I need to know what is going to happen to Elya and if Charming is as good as the author has made him out to be (the very first line has me wondering).


What I plan on reading this week:

Los Angeles, 1943. As the Allies beat back the Nazis in the Mediterranean and the United States military slowly closes in on Tokyo, Walt Disney cranks out wartime propaganda and the Cocoanut Grove is alive with jazz and swing each night. But behind this sunny façade lies a darker reality. Somewhere in the lush foothills of Hollywood, a woman floats, lifeless, in the pool of one of California’s trendiest hotels. When American-born secret agent and British spy Maggie Hope learns that this woman was engaged to her old flame, John Sterling, and that he suspects her death was no accident, intuition tells her he’s right. Leaving London under siege—not to mention flying thousands of miles—is a lot to ask. But John was once the love of Maggie’s life . . . and she won’t say no.

Maggie is shocked to find Los Angeles as divided as Europe itself—the Zoot Suit Riots loom large and the Ku Klux Klan casts a long shadow. As she marvels at the hatred in her home country, she can’t help but wonder what it will be like to see her lost love once again. But there is little time to dwell on memories once she starts digging into the case. As she traces a web of deception from the infamous Garden of Allah to the iconic Carthay Theater, she discovers things aren’t always the way things appear in the movies—and the political situation in America is more complicated, and dangerous, than the newsreels would have them all believe.
Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.
All’s great for sixteen-year-old actor Dalton Black as he portrays a teen killer on a crime reenactment show. That is, until he realizes someone is stalking him. When that someone turns out to be Homer Lee Varney, the man convicted of the murder, things take a dark turn, and Dalton is afraid for his life. What does Varney want? Some sort of twisted revenge? Or something even worse?
“The Search For Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in the void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo as knight and dragon working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome, who up until now, thought he was merely human.