Thirty-Six by Daron D. Fraley


Make sure to check out this ebook by Daron Fraley! Thirty Six is free on, today only for Kindle. If you aren’t able to get it today, you can always buy it at a later time.


When Aaron Cohen buys a souvenir from an antiques store in Lyon, France, and then sees the police raid the store right after he leaves, he has no idea that this is only the beginning of his troubles.

Back home in Chicago, Aaron is stalked by an old man from the antiques store. Mandie, a single mother in his apartment complex, has asked that they just be friends, but Aaron can’t help developing strong feelings for her, especially now that she is being harassed by her abusive ex-husband. And in the midst of all his emotional turmoil, the souvenir he purchased turns out to be an ancient holy relic that triggers shared dreams and prophetic visions.

A mysterious dream shared with a jewel smuggler whose arrest makes the nightly news. A nightmare of horrifying tornadoes shared with Ethan, Mandie’s eight-year-old son. A dream shared with Mandie that shows Aaron her true feelings for him.

And visions . . .

Visions of historical events, centuries in the past. Visions of the Lamed Vovniks. Visions of dangerous possibilities to come.

And if Aaron doesn’t get to her in time, Mandie will die.

Daron is the creator of Thirty-Six and author of the first book in the multi-author series. Originally from Wyoming, Daron has lived in the Midwest and in many towns and cities in the Mountain States region.

Writer by night, Senior Data Center Engineer by day, he has traveled to more than half of the biggest cities in the United States, one of his favorites being Chicago. The architecture, the people, and the regional foods all fascinate him. But his favorite places on earth are those where he can relax, think, and dream.

Not yet an expert world traveler, he has been to France, Switzerland, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, San Juan, Canada, and Mexico. He loves the Caribbean, and wonders how a small-town boy from Wyoming ever got the chance to fall in love with the ocean.

Previously published works include The Thorn and Water and Other Stories.

His personal website is:


The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

The Emperor’s Soul is another amazing story by Brandon Sanderson.  We are introduced to characters that evolve before our eyes in the short timeframe of the events of the story.  Another new intriguing magic system, Forging, is revealed by Brandon that brings a freshness to the story. There is a depth to The Emperor’s Soul that demonstrates Brandon’s mastery of storytelling, whether it is 1000 page novel or a short story as this.

The story starts off in what seems to be the last moments of Shai’s life, but she is given a second chance in exchange for services to the Emperor’s advisors. The Emperor has been attacked and his life and soul hang in the balance. Shai is brought in to save the Emperor’s soul.  Shai is a Forger with a gift for changing the nature of things for the better. The majority of the story is how Shai is locked in a room and tasked to recreate the Emperor’s soul, however there is so much more going on than this.

The Emperor’s Soul is one of those stories that as you’re reading you come to realize something more is going on than what is being revealed. There are different levels of planning by Shai going on, not only are we privy to what all the characters know is going on, but we are also “let in” on what Shai is planning to do in her head. However, there is another level to the story that is not revealed to us until the end. Breadcrumbs are left throughout the story and hints are dropped. Towards the latter end of the story, we are able to realize something else is going on, but not until the last scenes do we see it come to fruition.

The concept of Forging and the art that it is as presented in the story is a very interesting concept for a “magic system” in the story. Although a little difficult to understand at first, Brandon does a great job at providing small examples throughout the story that reveal more about the art and solidify it’s believability in the story.

Although not part of the story, there is a Postscript at the end of the book that discusses how Brandon came up with the idea of Forging that was personable and great insight to Forging.  The Postscript also mentions that this story takes place in the same world as Elantris, Sel. There are no direct links from the story to the events in the story Elantris or it’s characters.

The Emperor’s Soul is a great story that is told with depth and complexity, in both characterization and plot. I felt that Shai’s character, as well as all the characters were well developed and were believable in their emotions and motivations.  The plot was very well thought out and contained many twists and turns, that were amazingly well carried out for the length of the story. The angst that existed throughout the story was very well done and existed in many different forms. While reading, I often found myself becoming anxious for Shai and her predicament and that she only had a certain amount of time to complete her task.  As time ran down and her plans were put into motion, it was very fulfilling to see it all come together.

One of Brandon’s strength’s in my mind has been his ability to put several story lines in motion and to bring them all to fulfillment in a fast paced and believable manner. That strength combined with his fighting/battle scenes, are always amazing and fun to read. There is a little bit of fighting at the end of the story.

I wholeheartedly recommend The Emperor’s Soul for everyone. There are no inappropriate scenes of sex, sensuality or violence. A core aspect of the story is being genuine and learning to trust. A good lesson to learn for anyone. The Emperor’s Soul is entertaining and will hold up well to multiple readings.

Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Legion is a quickly moving story about how Stephen Leeds uses his condition of having “hallucinations” for his benefit and for the benefit of others. These hallucinations are personalities that manifest themselves to Stephen, and the reader, as actual persons. As a result of these others he is able to quickly adapt to new situations that arise and uses these hallucinations to solve conflicts. Stephen comes across as crazy to those around him, but in his opinion is “perfectly sane”. These hallucinations have their own individual personalities, likes, desires and flaws.

Legion is well written and has a good pace. For the length of the story there is good character and story development in the amount of time available to do so.  Legion is a fun book that can be read in an hour or two and is enjoyable.

As Legion begins we are introduced to the main character, Stephen Leeds, who is by his account, a genius. However, he is plagued by these hallucinations. These hallucinations are separate persons with their own personalities and agendas. Stephen interacts with them as individuals and relies on them for information throughout the course of the story. While this phenomenom is not explained or fleshed out (which is what the author seems to have done intentionally), it is intriguing to read.  The reader is expected to read on without the explanation being given, however it doesn’t impact the story. There are hints in the story that this wasn’t always the case with Stephen and that it was a condition that was brought on to him somehow.

There are a couple of interesting things about Legion that captured my interest from the start. One is the concept of having multiple personalities being a help and not a hinderance to one’s life. This concept is addressed in the story, not only in theory but also demonstrated throughout the story, which is one of the reasons why the reader doesn’t get hung up on “How does this all work?”.   Another interesting concept is the MacGuffin (that is more fully fleshed out than most) of the camera and how it is included in the plot of the story. While this MacGuffin lends itself to science fiction, it was believable and fun to read. With the inclusion of this particular MacGuffin and it’s capabilities, the story is like a modern day Indiana Jones adventure – but better.

This short novella is one of Brandon Sanderson’s shorter books, and as Brandon is known for his lengthy novels this can come as a surprise for those that haven’t read one of his shorter stories. While Brandon’s longer novels are amazing, his short novellas are just as entertaining. Such is the case for Legion.  With the speed and efficiency that Brandon writes his books, I’m sure there will be a follow up to this story especially since the ending leads us to believe that there are more Stephen Leeds stories to tell.

I recommend this novella to all readers who enjoy a good mystery. There is a little bit of violence, akin to a PG movie, and there are no scenes of sex and no swearing.