Guest Post: Behind the Novel – “Minotaur” by Phillip W. Simpson


Phillip W. Simpson is the author of the new novel Minotaur. I was able to connect with him through Chapter by Chapter to get his personal perspective on the book. I hope it sparks your interest!

Greek mythology is a popular subject for many authors, spanning across a multitude of subtopics and genres. As a well-read lover of mythology based books, I would like to know what makes Minotaur unique? Besides being told from the “monster’s” point of view, how does this novel stand out from all the other stories of demigods, underworld creatures, and dangerous quests?

Good question. It’s because it takes a story that everyone knows well and turns it on its head. We know the ‘facts’ of the story. We know what ‘really happened’ but when all is said and done, to really know what happened is an impossibility. Writing didn’t exist then. It was a story based on an oral tradition. Nothing was written down. There are no photos. In other words, the only evidence exists from the story telling – the story has been told and retold over countless generations. It has been diluted and changed to suit the needs of the most powerful city state at the time – Athens. There is no evidence, no eye-witness reports. Essentially, I have created my own ‘truth’ in this book.

Let’s assume for a minute that there was a Minotaur, a Theseus and a labyrinth. Let’s assume we ‘know’ all there is to know about them. But what is the truth? We ‘know’ that the Minotaur was part bull, part human. We ‘know’ that he was imprisoned in the labyrinth. We ‘know’ that the Athenians sent young people there as tributes, to be consumed by the Minotaur. Finally, we ‘know’ that Theseus slew the Minotaur.

But, we don’t. There is so much room to manoeuver amongst this myth, it’s incredible. What if the Minotaur only had a slight deformity giving rise to the myth? What if the Minotaur was imprisoned because his father was embarrassed by him? What if Theseus and the Minotaur were old friends and secretly in cahoots? Now you’ve got a different story.

The story is told in first person by the Minotaur (Asterion) but he is telling his story to the Roman historian, Ovid, trying to convince the poet that this indeed is the truth. I think structurally, this also makes the story a little different as we come back to present action (Asterion telling the story to Ovid) from time to time. This is also an underdog’s story. When you are dealing with a hero, you expect to cheer for him but the Minotaur is not what you’d consider a hero. For thousands of years, he has been demonized, hated and spurned.

In my story, he is not particularly heroic either. He isn’t better or more handsome than other men. He is just a misunderstood youth with a deformity and a desire to fit in. Most of all, he wants to be loved. I think this is a point of difference when compared to other stories based on Greek myth. It makes him a much more sympathetic character and ironically, more human and less godlike (in my opinion).

Thanks Phillip!!!

Happy Reading!



“Praefatio” by Georgia McBride – REVIEW!!!!


Grace Ann Miller has never led a completely normal life, but the discovery of her true bloodline and ascension to the position of “Archangel” certainly tops all. In the midst of a centuries long feud between angels, the Fallen, and a myriad of demons – of which she is the deciding factor – Grace is confused and tested as she attempts to figure out her true purpose in the life she’s been forced to accept. Following the tale of the angels’ sacred book, Praefatio, Grace must decide her path through a dangerous new world.

Praefatio by Georgia McBride is a fast-paced, twisting novel about the never ending battle of good and evil. I found the book to be intriguing, yet, with no better word to describe it, jumpy. The plot constantly shifts and is somewhat difficult to follow without complete concentration. That being said, I enjoyed the story and was able to connect well with the characters. The subject of angels and demons falls perfectly into the popular theme among today’s young readers.

Lovers of Maximum Ride, The Mortal Instruments, and the Hush, Hush saga will fall in love with Grace. Not only is she an emotionally dimensional character, but she combines all of the wit, sarcasm, bravery, and intelligence of enamored literary heroines. I was ever in awe of her development throughout the novel. As a reader, I appreciated being privy to Grace’s background and its effect on her future self. The novel is intense, and certainly keeps hearts racing.

 Praefatio  could very well be the next great chapter in the ever growing collection of celestial-realistic novels.

Happy Reading!


“Class of ’98” by A.L. Player – REVIEW!!!!

class of 98

If you knew then what you know now, would you do anything different? Jackie Dunn would. The blue hair, the wacky clothes… the relationship issues. When Jackie attends her tenth high school reunion, she is determined to show everyone how much she has changed, and how well she’s done for herself in the “real” world.

But even with her new blond hair and an outfit that actually matches, Jackie’s former classmates insist that she hasn’t changed. Not one. Little. Bit. That is, until she runs into Matthew Stewart, the old football star of  the Birdsey High Knights. The two begin to talk for the first time, having been complete opposites in their teenage years. Now with several years of life under their belts, Jackie and Matt wish that they could go back and change the events that affected them long after graduation.

When a strange storm comes and transports the two back to age seventeen, they’re shocked and confused, unsure of the consequences they could be creating by changing any part of their past, even if it is for the better. Jackie is terrified of jeopardizing the good in her life to eradicate the heartache, and begs for Matt to join her in living their past in exactly the same way in order to return to predictable lives in the future. But with knowledge comes the desire to improve, and both struggle to hold to history, knowing exactly how the story will end.

Class of ’98 by A. L. Player is an sweet novel that will leave readers feeling giddy with teenage emotions. Typically, I am not one to read mushy, romantic-type novels, but Class of ’98 proved to be a happy exception. I finished the book in one sitting, being completely enthralled by the story. I could not put it down!

I recommend Class of ’98 to those readers looking for a sweet read that isn’t completely relationship based. Although the novel did have plenty of emotional scenes, I appreciated the fact that there was a meaningful plot behind the romance. Fans of Rainbow Rowell, Meg Cabot, and John Green will love this book!

Happy Reading!


Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays: Class of ’98 by A.L. Player Book Blitz with Giveaway #ReadSwoonRepeat


Welcome to this week’s

Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!

This week features

Class of ’98 by A.L. Player.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Jackie Dunn and Matt Stewart barely knew each other in high school, back when she was a blue-haired alterna-kid and he was a preppy jock. High school rules dictated they’d never hang out, or sit at the same lunch table, or God forbid, date.

But when a weird storm transports them from their ten-year reunion back to senior year, they have to work together to figure out a way to get back to 2008.

Stuck in high school, Jackie and Matt agree to tough it out. They agree to do everything exactly as they remember, even though that means staying with the boyfriend Jackie knows will betray her, or playing nice with the girl that will someday be Matt’s ex-wife. Soon, they come to rely on one other, even become friends.

Jackie’s just starting to get used to curfews and term papers again, when Matt hits her with the biggest surprise of all: he’s fallen in love with her. He’ll change the past however he has to if it means a future with Jackie. But Jackie’s terrified they’ll not only alter their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

Back to the Future meets She’s All That, Class of ’98 is a young adult/adult crossover that will appeal to teens and adults.

add to goodreads

Title: Class of ‘98
Publication date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Author: A.L. Player

Available for Purchase:


A.L. Player

L. Player teaches middle and high school English in Atlanta, GA. She lives with her guitar-playing, English-teaching husband and their three crazy rescue dogs. Her last name gets about the reaction you’d expect.

CLASS OF ’98 is A.L.’s first novel.


Author Links: Twitter


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