All posts by Ronovan

Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now on available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. "5.0 out of 5 stars: Now, I want to warn you… this is not your typical pirate tale! It’s BETTER!" "5.0 out of 5 stars: Totally unpredictable and a real gem of a discovery - Highly Recommended" "5.0 out of 5 stars: An action packed journey to piracy and revenge – all in the name of the crown, queen and county – set in 1705." He shares his life of problems and triumphs through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

#Book #Review Illusions of Magic by J. B. Rivard.

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Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago

by J. B. Rivard

Fiction: Historical/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. 233 Pages Print. Gray Dog Press (April 17, 2016)

Author Biography

J.B. RIVARD: As a young child, J.B. Rivard began drawing by copying newspaper comics. In his teens, he drew illustrations for his high school’s award-winning yearbook. He attended the Chicagojb-rivard Academy of Fine Arts and his artworks have appeared in more than fifty juried exhibitions, earning many prizes and awards. He’s an artist-member of the Salmagundi Club of New York City. The author draws on wide experience—he served in the U.S. Navy, graduated from the University of Florida, worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, and on the engineering staff of a U.S. National Laboratory where he wrote and co-authored many technical reports. His broad background supports an array of significant publications, from short stories to song lyrics, from essays to novels.  Learn More @ http://www.illusionsofmagic.com/. (The author has a special limited time offer on his home page you need to check out.)

Book Review

Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago by J.B. Rivard is a historical novel with the assassination attempt on then President-elect Franklin Roosevelt’s life as one aspect. NICK ZETNER is a magician who finds himself working among the criminal elements of 1933 Chicago to make money as the Depression and the film industry make the need for a magician act less desirable. Little does he realize that a romance from 20 years ago will play an important role in the dangerous mess he finds himself in or that the errant bullet that missed Roosevelt and hit the mayor of Chicago instead would bring him even more danger.

Illusions of Magic is a fast paced read. If you start it in the morning on a weekend, you’ll likely finish it in one day. The style is 1930s gangster movie with a touch of romance, and some historical reveals and glimpses into how politics and crime worked, sometimes hand in hand, in 1930s Chicago. You’ll even imagine yourself seeing images flash across a movie screen in black and white as you read the book. It helps that the author also includes an occasional illustration to let you know what certain characters look like or the atmosphere of a scene is. I really enjoyed the clothing styles and the cars.

Instead of a one dimensional crime drama we have the inclusion of a romance with mystery attached to it from the main character, Nick Zetner’s, past. All things are connected in the book, which you don’t realize at first and might only notice after the fact. But everything from the discovery of an old bicycle bell to the assassination of the mayor of Chicago has significance. At first the book seems like a lot lighter fare but turns into something with more layers to it than expected.

I was expecting a little more to do with magic, because of the title, but you won’t find it in this book. Perhaps a sequel could have Zetner again delving into the underworld of Chicago and using magic to trick his way out of bad situations. But you don’t miss the magic here once into the story. I only mention it now so you don’t go into the book expecting to find tricks galore.

I recommend this book for history lovers or old movie buffs who want that nostalgic feeling in an enjoyable and fast paced format.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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#Book #Review of Counterpart by @HSchussman.

Counterpart by H. Schussman4_stars_goldI’ve reviewed H. Schussman’s work here before. It  was El Tiburon and I gave it 4 stars. You can even read the interview I did with her by clicking here.That was her second book. Now I’ve read her first novel which you can get on Smashwords in any format you like.

Her first book is Counterpart. In this outing we get to meet Schussman’s characters CIA Agent/Travel Agent SEAN MCGEE and Doctor JANET “SPORT” WARRICK. The book starts off with Sport picking up a friend at work in a jewelry store when a robbery takes place. She foils one of the bad guys who doesn’t see her at first. Then the owner shoves a box into her hands and tells her to get it to Sean McGee. A chase ensues by the main bad guy but Sport gets away. I’m not spoiling it for you. If she were caught there wouldn’t be much of a story, now would there?

The story itself is very good. Great pace, if I had started this book during the morning after breakfast I would likely have finished it before bed. There are details about Sacramento that hint at first hand experience. Also other travel experiences that are obviously pulled from the author’s own extensive travel life. Trust me, she knows about the Americas, north, south, and central.

Once Sean and Sport meet up it is one thrill ride after another with CIA agents, FBI agents, Secret Service, and more. Even the California Highway Patrol gets involved. And don’t get me started on the Club Med moments.

My favorite character is Sport. She comes by the name for good reasons, which are revealed in the book, so I won’t tell you here. She isn’t a short girl to mess around with, even though Sean really wants to. Both find there is an unexpected attraction that neither really knows what to do with, what with a CIA agents life style and a young doctor’s not being all that great for starting a relationship. The question is, do both survive the whole thing to make it to a relationship at all?

Fast paced, guns, chases, assassinations, bad guys, Russian doubles, political look-a-likes. This one has it all. Oh, and there is even some kissing involved. I had to mention it for the tough guys reading this. We can’t even get a good shoot ’em up book without kissing thrown in. (Just kidding. I wrote a romance.)

This one is good for all types of readers. Enjoy it. It’s only $1.99 at Smashwords right now. I will say that there are some editing moments that were missed, but they don’t take away from the reading experience. (I edit books so I pick them up.) Get the book, then check out El Tiburon on Amazon.

Click the images to go and check out the books. And follow her on twitter @HSchussman for her latest happenings.

Counterpart by H. SchussmanEl Tiburon by H. Schussman

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#Book Review On Top Of The World by David Lamb.

On Top Of The World Book Cover Image4_stars_goldOn Top Of The World: (Until The Bell Chimes)

by David Lamb

Fiction: Humor/Satire. 250 Pages Print. Woolly Mammoth Books (October 20, 2016)

Author Biography

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance to make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

Book Description

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.  They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.  Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.  Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance. Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje?

Book Review

I was looking for a Christmas book to read and this one fell into my lap. While reading On Top Of The World I thought of real life people that seemed to fit the characters. I see Sean “P Diddy” Combs as Scrooje and Marley is Biggie Smalls. At least that’s my take on it. However, you can look at several members of hip hop royalty these days and the shoe would fit. This isn’t the usual spin you have for A Christmas Carol. You don’t have the same types of things happening when spirits visit Scrooje that you see in a lot of retellings. There isn’t a modernization of the spirit trips. I liked that about the story and was pleased with the surprises. I also liked the real life situations of the visits the spirits take Scrooje on. You get to see where Scrooje comes from and what shapes the person he is before he becomes the king of the world.

I like the character of Belle as an upper class more privileged student who takes the very much poor class Scrooje in hand and brings out the best in him and then becomes a high powered attorney. She looks out for Scrooje and Marley even while both are ruining their real lives while living the Hip Hop high life.

I think anyone can read this and enjoy it. You don’t have to enjoy any type of music to like the story as music doesn’t play a part like you might think. If you want a good what if look at what real life people could turn into this is a good book to pick up. I read the book in one sitting without a problem. It goes very fast.

This is categorized under Humor and Satire but I don’t see an over abundance of humor in the story, but you have to give books a category on Amazon so I suppose this was the best way to go.

As some of you know, I’m a writer myself and have little time to give to reading these days. Having such a quick and enjoyable read was a nice surprise.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Free Books to celebrate Halloween!

Celebrate Halloween early with a free copy of my book, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling!

Click HERE to get it for Kindle NOW!

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Also get the rest of the Pirate Tales series FREE by clicking HERE!

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Magic Unveiled: An Anthology available NOW!

Magic UnveiledGotta have them all! 9 stories of the Magical Realism genre now available. You’ll be surprised.

 

 

USA Today and Amazon BESTSELLING Authors!

 

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༺Uma༻ rated it it was amazing

( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to authors Alesha Escobar and Devorah fox for making sure the copy was made available to me on NetGalley.)

BLURB

Either the wondrous or the perilous awaits us when we play a hand at magic.

A hard boiled detective chases the supernatural, unveiling a frightening world right alongside modern man’s. A mother, able to grant wishes, shows us we must be careful what we wish for. An African Orisha might just pass you in downtown Los Angeles, eager to siphon some of your energy so that he will not fade out of existence.

From heart wrenching, ghostly goodbyes to relatives, to discovering sparks of otherworldly magic permeating contemporary society, these nine tales of magical realism and paranormal fantasy come together to form this enchanting and gripping anthology.

OVERALL REVIEW OF THE BOOK

Magic Unveiled is a well put together anthology of, well, magical stories. The stories deal with wishes to witches, all of them crafted beautifully. My favourites were The Black Dagger Gods by Alesha Escobar, Journey to a new home by Jayme Beddingfield , and Gypsum Jane’s Inkscapes by H.M.Jones.

Each story is unique and deals with various topics but the one thing almost all the stories have in common are human emotions. The stories deal with loss, happiness, fear, hope among other emotions. Despite their fantastical character, the stories are highly relatable because of the emotions prevailing in them. The language and writing style of all the stories were beautiful and uncluttered enabling me to read the entire book in one sitting.

GYPSUM JANE’S INKSCAPES by H.M. Jones (5/5)

A beautiful story to start off the anthology. This story deals with loss, love and hope. The author crafts a story that teaches the reader the tragedy of loss and the need for hope. The descriptions are beautiful and the places described by the author in the story are etched in my mind. I connected with the protagonist and was able to see the story through his eyes.

THE BLACK DAGGER GODS by Alesha Escobar (5/5)

Oh my Gods! I want a sequel to this story! Maybe a whole series would satisfy my appetite for this story. The plot was unique and refreshing. The story starts off with a whole lot of suspense and I loved how the whole thing played out. The writing style was very descriptive and the characters very realistic. Reading about Gods being so human-like was highly enjoyable.

THE ISIS ENIGMA by Samantha LaFantasie (4.5/5)

Once again, I want a whole series!! The author leaves a huge part of the story to the readers imagination. While I liked the end, I don’t just want to have to imagine. I want to know! This story is a different take on witches and is interlaced with emotions. The emotions of the protagonist adds a three dimensional character to the plot that keeps the reader hooked.

UNUSUAL SUSPECT by Ronovan Hester (4.5/5)

The whole premise is different and intriguing. The story left me asking for more. This story deals with hell and evil souls. It was highly interesting and I personally liked Max! I love Kick-ass female characters and Max fits the description to the T.

JOURNEY TO A NEW HOME by Jayme Beddingfield (5/5)

If you thought only long novels about lost love can bring tears to your eyes,..think again. This short and sweet story pulled at my heartstrings and I teared up so much I had to take deep breaths every five sentences or so. Loved the innocence and beauty of the story so much.

THE DARK ONES by Samantha LaFantasie and Keith Goodno (4/5)

Once again,I want a whole series! The premise is exciting. The protagonist’s fear seeps into us and I found myself drawn into the story. The end of the story made me feel all bold and fearless. I felt feminist power surge into me at the end of the story.

THREE WISHES by Alice Marks (4/5)

It is a story about wishes as the title denotes. Being a person who always wishes at 11:11 I totally understand the need to make wishes every chance one gets because who knows! The wish might just come true. It is a light take on wishes with a deeper moral.

BLACKWING by Devorah Fox (4.5/5)

It is a short and sweet story that makes the reader feel good at the end of it. It is the kind of story that puts a smile on readers’ faces. It is a story of lighthearted magic that reaches out to us during the most unexpected of times.

MIRROR ME by Raven Oak (4.5/5)

It is so different from all fantasy stories I’ve read so far. It is an intriguing plot that touches on father-son relationships and human emotions. The protagonist is well rounded and carries the plot forward with ease. For some reason, I really loved the quote below from the story.-

“You try and shut out the world, and the world will swallow you.”

CONCLUSION

It is an amazing collection of magical stories that are unique and different from each other. A must read!

RATING

Its a full 5

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#Interview with author @ProfKellyOliver.

Kelly Oliver ImageToday’s interview is with the author of a book I reviewed not long ago called WOLF. I won’t say too much about it as she discusses it a bit in the interview, and you can read the review by clicking here. Now on to the interview.

You are very eclectic in your writings over the years. What lead you to writing fiction?

Since I discovered writing, I’ve relied on it to give my life meaning. I live to write.

As a philosopher, in my nonfiction, I write about ethics and ways to make the world a better place.

But, with fiction, I realized I could create a world. I could create a world and then live in it for a few months or years. I could create a world where women and girls come out on top.

How did Jessica James, a cowgirl, come to life? I understand the philosopher part, but I’m trying to get the cowgirl part.

Usually, it’s the other way around.  Folks get the cowgirl part, but scratch their heads at the philosophy part.

Some of Jessica’s story is based on my own experience, a working-class girl who grew up in Montana, Idaho and Washington, going to the big city for the first time to study philosophy, a mongrel amongst pedigreed Ivy Leaguers.

But, there’s a kind of funny story about how I came up with “cowgirl philosophy.” A few years ago, there was a move in the philosophy department to create a “Vanderbilt brand” so everyone would associate the Vanderbilt philosophy department with a special type graduate. I imagined taking a hot iron and branding our students as we handed them their diplomas. I got a bunch of the women philosophers together and joked that our brand should be cowgirl philosophy. One of my students made a logo for us with a really cute blonde long-haired Scottish cow that said “cowgirl philosophy.”  I still have that cowgirl philosophy sticker on my office door.

You have two stories running simultaneously in WOLF, how WOLF cover imagedifficult was it to keep things straight as you went along? By the way, you did a great job. I never got confused, even once.

Jessica James and Dmitry Durchenko are very different. In some ways, the brooding Russian janitor is more of a philosopher than the party-girl philosophy graduate student. So, it was easy to keep their stories straight. The harder part was bringing them together organically. I wanted the stories to become more intertwined as the novel progresses, so they’re intimately connected by the end of the book.

When I was sending out various drafts of the novel to get feedback from other writers, some loved Jessica and others loved Dmitry. At one point, when the Dmitry lovers were ahead in the polls, I had started and ended the novel with his perspective. But, in the end, I realized that the ongoing story is really Jessica’s, so I started and ended the novel with her. It just never felt quite right to start with Dmitry, even though he is an important, and hopefully compelling, character. And, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him!

How much of Jessica’s adventures pulled from actual events you’re aware of?

As I said, some of Jessica’s adventures are based on my own experience in graduate school.  But I plead the fifth on what parts.  I like how you asked about events that I’m “aware of”…maybe not being aware could get me off the hook for some of the more incriminating parts of the story. Jessica’s not the only one who drank too much whisky in graduate school.

You have Russian characters in your book, some are very important to the entire storyline. How did you go about getting the language just right? It was a very smooth transition from English to Russian. I thought it seemed very natural and not intruding at all when I was reading.

Thanks. I did a lot research on Russian sayings, culture, food, and drink, and, of course, the Russian mafia. And, I had a native Russian speaker check my use of Russian words and phrases. It was important to make it authentic.

Just before I started writing WOLF there was a huge FBI sting involving Russian mafia in New York that took in over 30 people on charges of illegal gambling, money laundering, and extortion. Some of my characters are inspired by people pinched in that operation, including a beautiful woman running a high stakes poker game for Hollywood movie stars, and the playboy son of a billionaire art dealer. I also learned that the Russian mafia is alive and well, not only in Russia, but in the U.S.. You don’t want to mess with those guys, so I don’t dare say more about my real-life mafia role models.

You discuss the date rape culture that is so prevalent on college campuses. I’m not sure how much goes on at Vanderbilt but I know cases happen where I’m from. So many even go unreported. What made you think of including that in your book? Did you do any particular research into it with victims? I mean you don’t go too much into details but there are some instances where research seems evident.

As I was writing WOLF, a high profile Vanderbilt rape case was making national headlines. It involved a woman who may have been drugged by something slipped into her blue cocktail, taken back to a dorm room, and then gang raped by a group of football players, instigated by her boyfriend. Because she was unconscious, she didn’t know she’d been raped until the police showed her video recordings the perpetrators had taken “for fun” and sent off to their friends. This case was so stunning, so mind-boggling, and so egregious, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to find out something like that about yourself from a video.

That lead me to write my latest nonfiction book, HUNTING GIRLS: SEXUAL VIOLENCE FROM THE HUNGER GAMES TO CAMPUS RAPE. I was writing that book at the same time as WOLF. It was important to include the issue of party rape in the novel since it has become an epidemic on campus.

You did a great job of hiding in plain sight who the killer of the titular character was. Which is always the way with a great mystery. There were so many possibilities that when it was finally revealed, there was a bit of surprise, unless you were really following all closely. Writing a mystery, do you worry about revealing too much? How do you balance the hidden and the revealed?

Thanks. Yeah, it was a bit like Jessica who had the evidence proving the identity of the killer all along in the bottom of her backpack. The killer is there all the way through, and signs point to him, too. But, he’s not your usual sort of killer.

I was actually surprised to find out from some of my friends and COYOTE book imagereaders who they suspected. I was floored that lots of them suspected Jessica’s love interest, since I never intended him to be a suspect.  So, that was cool.

In my second Jessica James Mystery, COYOTE (out in August), the mystery is not so much who are the killers, but what happened in a highway accident eleven years ago that binds all of the main characters together in mysterious ways.

How important are beta readers or test readers for a book like yours? Do you have a target reader who reads your book and you ask, “How soon do you figure things out?”

I have an amazing developmental editor, Lisa Walsh, who reads everything and gives me very detailed feedback. I also have a trusted group of friends whose opinions I trust, and if they tell me something’s gotta go, it’s gone.

A lot of my friends are actually professional literary critics, so they are a tough crowd!

What’s been the reaction of your peers who’ve read the book? Are any of them worried they are the model for WOLF?

Hmmmm….given the continued headlines about sexual harassment by male professors, I don’t think there is too much danger of finding that needle in this haystack.

So far, all of my academic friends who’ve read WOLF tell me they love it!  Of course, they get the inside jokes.

How does Tennessee differ from having been a native of Washington State? I’ve been in the South my entire life so all I know is the laid back life.

As I mentioned, I grew up in the Northwest. I go back as often as I can. I miss the mountains. So, I usually spend part of the summer in Idaho near my folks, who live in Sandpoint. And, every winter, I make an x-country ski trip with my brother and sister-in-law to Glacier Park, Montana. Actually, my second novel, COYOTE, is set in Glacier Park. I love it there, especially in the winter when the park is deserted.

To me, the West is dusty brown, with wispy clouds racing across a Robin’s egg blue sky. It’s that sunburnt blister on my nose when I was a teenager dancing til dark at the street dance on the fourth of July. It’s huckleberry milkshakes and stopping in your tracks for a giant moose.

The South is sticky green, with thunderheads sending me into my moldy basement looking for flashlight batteries. It’s soggy turnip greens, deep fried pies, and painting chigger bites with nail polish. It’s the thickening of my waistline, my corneas, and my resume. And, now it’s home.

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#BookReview of A Perfect Square by @IBlackthorn

A perfect square book coverA Perfect Square

by Isobel Blackthorne

Fiction: Literary Fiction/Metaphysical & Visionary. 242 Pages (KINDLE). Odyssey Books (August 27, 2016)

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Author Biography

A Londoner originally, Isobel Blackthorn currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. She received her BA in Social Studies from the Open University, and has a PhD in Western Esotericism. She has worked as a high school teacher, market trader and PA to a literary agent. Her writing has appeared in Backhand Stories, The Mused Literary Review, On Line Opinion and Paranoia Magazine online. She is the author of the novels, Asylum, A Perfect Square and The Drago Tree, and the short story collection, All Because of You.

Book Description

When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after her breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric artist Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself and contrives a creative collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. Ginny reluctantly agrees.

Mother and daughter struggle to agree on the elements of the collaborative effort, and as Ginny tries to prise the truth of her father’s disappearance from a tight-lipped Harriet, both are launched into their own inner worlds of dreams, speculations and remembering.

Meanwhile, another mother and artist, Judith, alone in a house on the moors, reflects on her own troubled past and that of her wayward daughter, Madeleine.

Set amid the fern glades and towering forests of the Dandenong ranges east of Melbourne, and on England’s Devon moors, A Perfect Square is a work of remarkable depth and insight.

 

Book Review

A Perfect Square combines two mother-daughter stories into one book. Are their similarities? Yes, but not as many as you might think. Both mothers are artists and accustomed to living alone when the daughters decide it’s time to move back home due to the ending of relationships. There ends the similarities.

My favorite storyline was that of mother Judith and the young somewhat rebellious daughter Madeleine. The Judith/Madeleine story flowed well in the alternating structure the author chose. One chapter you have Judith and Madeleine, the next is Ginny and talented pianist daughter Harriet.

The two stories are linked by a mystery that is revealed in the final chapters. It was a surprise to me, although I think I should have realized if I had only known to look for it. The Ginny/Harriet story is obviously well researched from the various subjects discussed and how the author weaves them together to unite mother and daughter.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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#BookReview of Cluster of Lies by @SamMarquisBooks

cluster-of-liesCluster of Lies

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Thriller/Suspense/Environmental/Action. 326 Pages (PRINT). Mount Sopris Publishing (September 15, 2016)

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Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP–Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as a spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, is a Registered Professional Geologist in eleven states, and is a recognized expert in groundwater contaminant hydrogeology, having served as a hydrogeologic expert witness in several class-action litigation cases.

Book Description

In this second thriller in the Joe Higheagle Environmental Sleuth Series, mysterious deaths are taking place in the Rocky Mountain region outside Denver, Colorado. Joe Higheagle–a full-blooded Cheyenne geologist who has recently become an overnight celebrity for bringing down a billionaire corporate polluter–is hired to investigate Dakota Ranch, where four boys have recently died from a rare form of brain cancer, and Silverado Knolls, a glitzy soon-to-be-built development. He quickly finds himself entangled in an environmental cancer cluster investigation as well as a murderous conspiracy in which friend and foe are indistinguishable and a series of seemingly impenetrable roadblocks are thrown in his path.

Book Review

Cluster of Lies is a well plotted, fast paced, story of conscious versus greed. Marquis brings back Environmental Geologist Joseph Higheagle in what seems to be a simple case of reading reports and giving a high paying client his professional opinion, but if it were that simple, I wouldn’t be talking about it. Higheagle has to deal with some deep moments during the book that involve a lot of people. Keep quiet, go public, threaten, what should he do? The problems he faces involves a woman he’s falling for and her son that has developed cancer, most likely due to illegal dumping on the planned community they live in. Another problem is the man apparently responsible for it is the woman’s ex-lover.

Marquis gives us a great supporting cast with the telling of five main stories all linked together through Higheagle and the illegal waste dumping.

I liked Higheagles romantic interest and her son. It was a well used plot tool to discuss issues that one would want to know about while reading the book.

The antagonist of the book is more complex and disturbed than you think at first. Marquis surprised me with this one.

I read this one in about a day. It’s that fast paced and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Magic Unveiled: An Anthology Pre-Order Today! Only .99!

On October 13, 2016

Magic Unveiled: An Anthology

Will be released and I’m part of it.

If you like the genre of Magical Realism, then this anthology of 9 stories from authors including USA Today, Seattle Times, and Amazon bestselling authors.

Not only can you get it on Amazon but Barnes & Noble and iTunes as well. Just click any of those three to pre-order today for .99 cents. When October 13th comes around that .99 cent offer disappears.

Magic Unveiled

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Interview with Bridgette L. Collins of The Chip Maker.

Bridgette L. Collins image.Today’s guest is author and fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins. No, the book we’re talking about today isn’t about fitness. At least not about physical fitness. No today Bridgette talks about her book The Chip Maker, which I reviewed not too long ago here on LWI.

First of all, tell us about where you’re from and a little about it, what it’s like.

Although I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, I lived in the Dallas, Texas area for nearly 20 years before relocating back to Houston, Texas in 2013. It was important that I mention Dallas because it was during that time in my life I embraced my love for writing and became an author. In response to your question, “What it’s like”? Well, Houston is a BIG city with a lot of diversity and down to earth people. If you visit, check out the great offerings in the museum and theater districts. But, if you come during the summer months, just know you’ll definitely experience our high heat and humidity. Being an avid runner, what I like most is the atmosphere Houston and the surrounding areas have created for outdoors/nature enthusiasts which consists of an array of running, biking, and hiking venues.

You’re a fitness coach, among other things. How did you end up writing a work of fiction?

My first three books (Broken In Plain Sight, Destined to Live Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul, and Imagine Living Healthier: Mind, Body and Soul) are all novel-like self-help books that have educated, encouraged, and empowered many through a collection of stories that peel back the masks of challenges with weight, health, work, marriage, relationships, depression, and lack of self-love. Although I have a background in health and fitness which led me to write fictional stories about the failures and triumphs (inclusive of the whys) related to living healthier: mind, body and spirit, I’ve always wanted to write a different type of fiction inclusive of law and order and conspiracy theories. So, when I was presented with a writing opportunity that would take me outside of my comfort zone, I took on the challenge which resulted in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast.

There is a lot of End of Times references in The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast. Are you very much up on apologetics and biblical scholarship or did you have someone to go to for just in case help?

The content for the book was inclusive of both my biblical research and the theology background of a former pastor who resides in Dallas, Texas. During my biblical readings when I was unsure about my interpretation of certain scriptures (which included looking up cross-references), I’d email my former pastor who in turn would provide me with biblical insight based in his studies, in particular, as related to end times prophecy. Because of a myriad of opinions, perspectives, and interpretations on end times prophecy, I was careful about what I presented in the book. However, just like any conspiracy theory writer, I wanted to craft a storyline that combined biblical references, current day events, and the future of the world. It’s no secret that the capability to track and monitor humans via an implantable chip is already in existence.

I found it interesting that you started with several scenes in one period of time and then went back to several months prior leading up to those scenes. What made you choose that road to travel with your story as opposed to having everything in chronological order?

There is no particular reason for the road I chose to travel, other than I watch a lot of movies where the story starts with the climax (or ending scenes) then cuts to say “8 months earlier” (or the like). That’s what I wanted to do with this book. I wanted to show the future, then in reverse sequential order reveal to the reader the precise consequences of each action leading up to the climax.

What is your particular interest in End of Times prophecy?

When you consider biblical prophecies and inferences made by pastors, theologians, and churchgoers about the signs of end times and the second coming of the Jesus Christ, it’s pretty captivating, especially since we are possibly living in the generation and witnessing the events that must be fulfilled before the return of Jesus Christ.  For the true Christian believer, we must be vigilant about seeking knowledge of the truth, consistently striving to be obedient to and a steadfast doer of God’s Word. A reoccurring message conveyed throughout ‘The Chip Maker’ was to be prepared to say “No”.

Did you base any of your characters on well-known individuals? I can almost see Pastor McFarland. There is one pastor that fits him perfectly that I’m aware of. A lot of us use celebrity like figures as models for our characters. At least on the surface.

No, there are no well-known individuals mimicked in the book. The characters in the book like Pastor McFarland were a figment of my imagination. When you read about pastors whose illegal and/or immoral behaviors have been exposed, you already know there are countless Pastor McFarlands walking around in our midst.

You paint a very realistic picture of what could happen in today’s technologically driven world. Where did you come up with the idea and how did you keep it all straight?

My friend Terry McGee, because of his passion to spread a message about one’s decision to repent, choose, and follow Jesus Christ, wanted to write a screenplay based on the second coming of Jesus Christ. To make a long story short, he sought me out. Well, I don’t have a background in screenplay writing, and neither does he. So I convinced him to consider a book in hopes it would be attractive to a film making company thereby resulting in a movie. As time passed we continued to toil over and over on the direction of book. In late 2013 while getting ready for work one morning, I saw a news story about a lost dog. The dog’s owners were so grateful for his safe return and credited such to a microchip implanted inside of their dog. I started to think about the idea of such with regards to humans. So, I started researching microchips. It didn’t take long for me to discover numerous articles discussing an implantable chip which included many opinions and perspectives along with the citing of legislative bills associated with implantable chips in humans. As my research increased, so did my knowledge (which included current testing of the RFID chip on humans) along with negative connotations associated with government power. So, yes, I allowed my imagination to run wild. I convinced Terry on the direction we needed to take which included a story line touting the RFID chip as today’s modern day mark of the beast. Any why not suggest in the storyline, with consideration of the seemingly never-ending evolution of modern technology, vital elements of a bigger picture. Elements such as a relationship between the implantable microchip, mark of the beast, new world order, the antichrist, and world domination. When you consider biblical scriptures in the Bible and the signs the Bible prophesies before the return of Jesus Christ (as evident of the horrific events occurring present day), I know it was the Holy Spirit guiding me and keeping it all straight.

How long did it take you to write The Chip Maker and then get it published?

Although it’s a relatively short book, I must admit the completion of the book took longer than we expected as the idea and discussions started in 2012. Amid life-changing circumstances over the past four years, our delays also included the fear of what the content of such a Bridgette L. Collins image.book would look like and attract. Once a wholehearted commitment was reached, the fine details were organized and put into place. Within the past eight months, the content of the book was finalized and published.

What’s your one piece of advice to aspiring authors to fulfill their dream of publishing a book?

Number one, start writing. A lot of people don’t get started because of fear. Then, never stop searching for the right words and the right phrases to connect with and entertain your readers. Whenever I’m listening to SiriusXM in my car, or looking at a movie on Lifetime, or engaged in an old episode of Criminal Minds, or a viewing a news story on CNN, I am always jotting down words and phrases I may be able to use a later date in a storyline to add more impact. Most importantly, don’t talk yourself out of taking the next steps such as seeking the services of a professional editor, book cover designer, interior designer, distributor, etc. A lot of people will start the writing process, but never pursue the next steps.

Totally unrelated to the book, what’s the one thing someone with spinal problems and fibromyalgia can do in order to lose weight and get fit?

Without knowledge of the individual’s current physical state (i.e., level of pain, fatigue, and physical movement, etc.), I’ll provide a general response. The initial primary goal is to move more. In doing so, it’s crucial that the individual engage in an aerobic activity that does not pose a risk for undue trauma to the impacted part of the body. Although there may be pain and fatigue present, I’ll take for granted that the individual has the capacity to walk. If there hasn’t been no recent consistent movement (i.e., physical activity), then the key is start with something small and gradually increase the person’s ability to move consistently. Depending on the capacity to walk, an example of something small would include the individual walking (slowly) back and forth, from the beginning to the end of his/her driveway, as many times as he/she can for five minutes each day for two weeks.  On the third week, he/she can add a minute and thereafter a minute each week until he/she is up to 30 minutes a day. It’s important not to focus on how long it might take to get to 30 minutes, but to focus on developing consistency with doing the walk activity. I know medication can be a contributing factor to weight gain. So, not knowing the contributing factors related to excess weight (i.e., medication, inactivity, or poor food choices, etc.), I’ll provide another general response. More than likely the need for medication will remain; however, with the implementation of walking and any necessary food consumption modifications, the desire to lose weight and get fit will be recognized beginning with the small change. Remember, walking is the first ‘small change’ step. As walking gets easier and easier, the time to incorporate other physical activities can be explored (i.e., water aerobics, cycling, hot yoga, strength training, etc.). In addition, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to causes of flare-ups. And, most importantly, not to do too much too soon… As you prepare for the small change, think about… Getting started. The progression. The consistency.

By: Ronovan Hester

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#BookReview of Outsourced by Eric J. Gates.

Outsourced by Eric J. Gates cover imageOutsourced

by Eric J. Gates

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Conspiracy. 364 Pages (Print). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 18, 2014)

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Author Biography

Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyberwarfare to spies are just a few of the Eric J. Gates imagemoments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions. He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public. He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

Book Description

Outsourced is a Thriller based in New York City encompassing the storylines of four primary characters, two competing thriller novelists, an Intelligence Agent, and an Assassin as they all try to gain control of ‘the device’.

Book Review

Nic Stiles and Phil Beasley are two writers who are publicly at war with each other in the world of thriller novels. The truth of their relationship unfolds as the story plays out. One thing they have in common is ‘the device’, an object that can make things happen for the owner. It sounds too good to be true and it is. Nic and Phil use their writer talents to face off against the US government and the assassin who owned the device before they did. The problem is, nothing turns out quite the way either intends for it to. Nic and Phil just want to be rid of the thing. The assassin wants revenge and the device back. The government wants it to use against another world power.

Gates weaves all the stories together in a fast paced read that is easy to follow. The only thing that may pull you out of the story and remind you that you are reading is the British spellings of words in the American setting. Normally I go through a book without it bothering me but there are a few times where I am definitely taken out of the world the author has created and reminded I’m reading a book. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the story, but if you have a problem with that sort of thing, like some British readers don’t like it when American writers don’t use British spellings in British settings, then just know there are some cases you’ll notice.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Interview with Mark Donovan of Waterkill.

mark-donovanToday’s guest is Mark Donovan , author of Waterkill, a book I recently reviewed here on LWI as well as Amazon and Goodreads. He currently resides in New Hampshire where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and business, and is a private pilot.

How much of Waterkill was influenced by the headlines?

The headlines of 2015/2016 did not influence me to write Waterkill. It was, however, the headlines from 2014 that compelled me to finish the book. I began writing Waterkill in November, 2013 and then after writing around 25K words I shelved it in January 2014. I Waterkilldidn’t go back to it for another 10 months and completed the first draft in April of 2015. It was the Ebola outbreak that hit the United States and Europe in late 2014 that caused me to decide to complete Waterkill. It was during this time that I realized how feckless our federal and state governments were in dealing with a major epidemic. This fact, along with the constant and real threat of radical Islamic terrorism, made me realize that I needed to complete Waterkill. I felt compelled to raise public awareness to the vulnerability of a biological terrorist attack, and that our public water supplies are soft targets.

I was able to read your first version of Waterkill and then some of your professionally edited version. You’ve done your work justice by doing so. What brought about your having the book edited?

I had half a dozen close friends and family review my “final” draft version of Waterkill and their editorial comments and reviews were benign and very positive. So, I decided to release the book. The first “official” reviews that came in on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads were also very positive. However, as time went on, and the reviews continued to come in, I began to see comments about the book needing some professional editing. So rather than continue to see the book take negative hits, I got proactive and began searching for an editor. After about a week I found a person who had been an editor for the past 25 years and had an impressive resume. I commissioned her immediately to do a Line-Edit and she did a great job, albeit I had a bit of a hard time at first accepting her reduction of the word count by 15%. In the end, after reading her completed work, I had to admit the book was much crisper and to the point. She also gave me a great deal of constructive advice for my next book. One important nugget of advice she gave me was to try to keep one point of view throughout the book. “No head hopping” was her constant reminder to me.

What was researching for the book like? You go into quite a bit of detail as far as geography for certain locations as well as some military weapons.

I’ve spent over 30 years in high tech as an electrical design engineer and product marketing manager. Along the way, I’ve designed or defined radar systems, infrared missile guidance seekers, telecom and datacom equipment and semiconductors, advanced computers that went on the space shuttle, and for the past 7 years, magnetic sensor semiconductors that are used in robotics, automotive and industrial markets. So from this background it was easy for me to write about the surveillance and weapon technology in Waterkill.Mark Donovan image

From the geographical perspective, I have traveled far and wide throughout the world during my career, including North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, I was able to interview my parents who spent nearly 10 years in Saudi Arabia, including 3 years living near the Yemen border to get the perspective on the culture, geography and people from that area.

What authors do you think have influenced your style of writing?

When I decided to begin writing the “Dave Henson” series I wanted to write books that were akin to Clive Cussler, but instead of an ocean/marine background theme, I chose to focus mine on technology and aviation since I have a passion for both. So, Clive Cussler novels certainly influenced me.

Michael Crichton, Ayn Rand and Wilbur Smith have also influenced my writing style. With Michael Crichton and Ayn Rand it’s the technology and willingness to be politically incorrect with the Zeitgeist of the day that inspires me to write. Both told compelling stories that also had messages that went against the grain of the prevailing political winds.  With Wilbur Smith, it’s his human rawness of both good and evil, along with his excellent storytelling, that influence my writing style.

Why a water based bioterrorist threat?

Today when we think of terrorism attacks we normally think of airplane hijackings or bombings and mass murder with semi-automatics. I wanted to make people aware that there are other ways that terrorists can attack, and that it can be fairly sophisticated. Many of the radical Islamic terrorists are well educated people, who have engineering degrees, and I might add provided by the United States College and University systems. Water is our most valuable resource and critical for our survival. It is also a commodity that many of us take for granted and that is also easily accessible to those who want to harm it.

What is your experience with Islam? I ask because there are times you do show a good knowledge during the story. I know because I had several Muslims work for me.

I have worked with many Islamic people over the years due to my high-tech background. Some have been, and are, good friends of mine. This is why I tried to be fair in my book to the Islamic religion, but not hesitating to point out that radical Islamic terrorism is a real problem that must be faced and dealt with. As I also mentioned, I had my parents perspective of them living nearly a decade in Saudi Arabia.

How much of the tech in the book is possible?

Much of it is possible. The work in Nanotechnology, and MEMs technology, has just been astounding over the past decade. Case in point, the drone technology that we have today. Some military drones are as small as a housefly today, and there are companies/research institutions that have demonstrated swarm behavior with these micro-drones. The nano-dust that is mentioned in this book is still for the most part theoretical, however, due to nano-material science I believe we are only a decade away from realizing this concept. Michael Creighton discussed this technology in his book PREY that he released in 2002.

You handle Islam very carefully in Waterkill. Some authors could have made it a one-sided affair but you took the time to show the degrees of the faith. Was this a conscious effort or did the book lead you in that direction?

I made a conscious effort to be fair and not to confuse individuals with twisted minds, for whatever reason, and a population of 1.2B people that practices Islam, most of which is comprised of peaceful people.

There is a quote you use at the end of the book, where did you get that from? (Meaning, did a friend lead you to it, did you stumble on it. Something like that. And I’m talking about the Muhammad quote.)

Through my research on Islam I stumbled upon that phrase/quote and felt it had a great deal of relevant meaning to my story.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new book with the working title “ROBOGOD”. It is a departure from my “Dave Henson” series and delves into the world of robots and how they will impact our lives both professionally and personally in the not-so-distant future. In my current day job I am heavily involved in the robotic industry, and the stuff that I see coming is exciting from a technologist perspective, but also very frightening from a human and ethicist. The book raises questions on how ready the human race is prepared to work and live with robots that look and act very similar to humans. See an article that I recently had published in RoboticTrends.com on the topic of robots: http://www.roboticstrends.com/article/the_role_of_magnetic_position_sensors_in_robots_and_the_iort

Mark Donovan's Lake View imageWhat do you do for fun?

I love to fly, read, hike and be with my family. I am fortunate enough to live on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire where it allows me to do all these things.

What authors do you read?

As previously mentioned my writing has been influenced by reading the works of Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith, Ayn Rand and Michael Creighton. However, my reading is quite eclectic. For example I love reading Lee Child, Ted Bell, and James Patterson. However, I just finished reading the Great Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I remember reading the book in high school, and saw it a couple of weeks ago just before I left for a job trip. So I grabbed it and read it on the plane.

Give us one word to describe your book.

Techno-thriller.

What’s your favorite word and why?

My favorite word is “Do”. I have always been a big proponent of personally doing things rather than just thinking about doing them or watching others do something, e.g. laying on a sofa and watching a sporting event rather than playing the sport yourself. Life is too short to just dream and think, or watch others live life, but never personally do something big yourself.

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An Interview with Kate Frost of Beneath the Apple Blossom.

Kate-FrostToday’s special guest is Kate Frost, a UK author with a personal story to share.

Where do you hail from?

Bristol, a city in the south west of England that’s wonderfully cosmopolitan with lots going on, yet also within easy reach of countryside and the coast. I’ve always lived here apart from three years spent at university in Aberystwyth, a gorgeous seaside town in Wales.

Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?

It was the books I read in my childhood that inspired me to become a writer – authors like Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkien and Arthur Ransome. I loved the way they could transport me to another world, and as I had a vivid imagination anyway, together the two things just clicked.

I imagine you get asked this a lot, but your book, Beneath the Apple Kate Frost FamilyBlossom, covers many of the stages of young 30 something women’s lives, how much for your life or those around you did you pull from?

Certainly friends who know me well will understand how my life has influenced this book. I wrote Beneath the Apple Blossom as a direct result of having fertility treatment, so the emotions within the book and the actual experience of undergoing treatment are true to life, yet the characters and their individual experiences are fictional. I had toyed with writing a memoir but decided what I went through was too personal to share, so I thought about turning it into a novel instead – that’s when the characters of Pippa, Georgie, Sienna and Connie were born. I was inspired by the online friendships (and the one in real life) I made via the fertility centre forum I was a part of during four cycles of fertility treatment, and that led to the relationship Pippa and Connie have in the book. Thirty-something women are interesting to write about as it seems to be an age when there’s a lot going on, whether that be the decision to have babies or not, relationship struggles, infertility concerns or career worries.    

Beneath the Apple BlossomWhat’s the significance of the title of the book?

There are two pivotal scenes that take place literally beneath an apple blossom, which I won’t describe as it will give too much away. Apart from those two scenes the reason behind the title is the idea of an apple tree in bloom being so beautiful and full of life compared to the dark, tangled mass of roots below ground. Often what we see on the surface of a person’s life is completely different to the turmoil they’re going through beneath the surface. 

What genre do you think your book falls into?

Contemporary women’s fiction – although that’s a very broad term. Family life and women’s literary fiction are sub-genres it could slot into quite well.

Tell our readers a little about Beneath the Apple Blossom.

In a nutshell it’s about four women, two longing to have a baby, two desperate to not be pregnant, and how they struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.

Could you have written this book before your son came along?Kate and Leo

Absolutely not. The core idea of this book was a direct result of having undergone four rounds of fertility treatment and the highs and lows that went hand in hand with it. Clearly we got lucky in the end but that was after four years of heartache and despair. As a writer it was all emotional fuel for a novel (not that I was thinking like that at the time!) – infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy and birth. Although the book is fictional it helped to draw upon my own experience of these things.  

How do you think writing for magazines has helped your novel writing?

It’s helped by giving me the mindset of working to a deadline. Particularly with self-publishing it’s easy to let things slip and put things off, so I write novels the way I would write an article for a magazine and set myself a deadline and stick to it. 

The Butterfly StormTell us about your previous book The Butterfly Storm.

It’s quite different to Beneath the Apple Blossom, both in the way it’s written and the subject matter, although there are common themes such as family, friendship and impending motherhood. At its heart is a love story with Sophie Keech escaping from her fiancé and overbearing mother-in-law-to-be in Greece, back to the beautiful north Norfolk coast in the UK when her estranged Mum is injured in an accident. It then follows her physical and emotional journey to discover who she is, where she belongs and who she loves. I published it in 2013 and it’s done really well, featuring in Amazon’s Movers and Shakers chart on more than one occasion and making it into the top five in Literary Fiction and Women’s Literary Fiction categories.

What are you currently working on and why?

I’m working on a lot of things! I’m writing the second book in The Hopeful Years series that follows Beneath the Apple Blossom and Connie’s story in Tanzania and Zanzibar. I’m also halfway through writing the second book of a time-travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year-olds. Into the Past (Time Shifters Book One) is going to be published in October, so it’s a busy year. 

With your being so accident prone, aren’t you concerned about indulging in your cooking obsession?

Ha, yes! I seem to be okay cooking and haven’t had too many accidents, save a couple of minor scalds. I think it’s the fact that I’m pretty unstable on my feet that’s the issue. It’s just as well that we don’t get much snow in the UK as I cannot walk on ice and look like some crazy adult-sized baby learning to walk when I do.

How did end up with your publisher, Lemon Tree Press?

Ah well, Lemon Tree Press is actually my publishing name. Instead of publishing under ‘Kate Frost’ I’ve

effectively set up my own publishing company under which I’ve bought my ISBNs and will publish my books.

What advice to you have for authors out there looking to find a publisher?

Persevere and make your book as good as it can be. I got very close to getting both an agent and a publisher but neither worked out in the end. I personally didn’t persevere with finding a publisher and instead took things into my own hands and self-published. I haven’t looked back. 

Finally, what one word describes your book?

Emotional.

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#BookReview of Blind Thrust by @SamMarquisBooks

Blind Thrust by Samuel Marquis Cover imageBlind Thrust

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Thriller/Suspense/Environmental/Action. 307 Pages (PRINT). Mount Sopris Publishing (October 1, 2015)

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Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP–Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as a spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, is a Registered Professional Geologist in eleven states, and is a recognized expert in groundwater contaminant hydrogeology, having served as a hydrogeologic expert witness in several class-action litigation cases.

Book Description

Blind Thrust by Samuel Marquis is a suspense/thriller set in Colorado that paints a picture of what could happen when greed overrides common sense. That’s a simple way of saying it. But then, I’m a simple speaking kind of guy. Environmental Geologist Joseph Higheagle has a problem, keep his mouth shut and keep a nice paying job, or go with his conscience and do what’s right for thousands of people.

The choice might sound easy but when you factor in a billionaire bad guy, corrupt senators, evil security bad boys and a hired assassin sent to shut you up, you might think twice, at least.

Book Review

In this first Joseph Higheagle adventure Sam Marquis does a great job introducing the core of the main character, as well as his grandfather/father figure Chief John Higheagle, a retired lawyer who now lives with him and acts as his sounding board when the young Higheagle is faced with moral forks in the road.

Combine that with some great supporting characters like the EPA agent Nina Curry, a romantic interest for HIgheagle, the younger one, not the old chief, and the USGS director Nickerson and you have a great story that’s well developed and fast paced.

You might not think an environmental thriller would be very thrilling, but Marquis puts his years of experience as a geologist to work and it is very apparent in the technical speak that’s in the book. Sometimes that sort of becomes a bit heavy and repetitive but I see it as being legitimate to the conversations occurring.

One thing I like about the antagonists in a Marquis novel is that they are not one dimensional. You almost see the humanity side of them and in Blind Thrust it’s very apparent. Charles Quantrill is a powerful man that ends up in a situation that he never saw coming, but that doesn’t make it any better nor does it make him any less guilty.

I read this one in about two days. It’s that fast paced and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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#BookReview of The Rapture: Misunderstood by @JERoyle

the-rapture-misunderstoodThe Rapture: Misunderstood

by Jason E. Royle

Fiction/Non-Fiction: Spirituality/Christian/Eschatology/Religious Studies & Reference. 86 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 30, 2016)

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Author Biography

Jason E. Royle holds a Doctorate in Ministry from Sewanee: University of the South School of Theology and is the author of Judas: Hero Misunderstood as well as Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood. Writing, for Jason, is a way to express the ongoingJudas Hero Misunderstood story of theology. With every book or article, he hopes readers get a sense of the complexity of God and the necessity of faith. Captivated by the spiritual component of life, Jason loves to read everything from the Greek classics to the Sunday comics. While serving as pastor of a congregation near Memphis, TN, Jason wrote a weekly column in a local newspaper called Sermon in a Nutshell and has had devotions published in The Secret Place, among others. Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Schaefferstown, PA, where he serves as the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

Book Review

The Rapture: Misunderstood is the third in Royle’s Misunderstood series, where he takes a well known aspect of Christianity and breaks it down into fact from fiction. This time around Royle divides the book into two parts; one a short story to help ease the reader into the subject and the second touches on some basic scripture and doctrine from four different views of the Rapture itself amongst the Christian community.

The opening story is about 53 pages long and tells the story of a pastor who wants to bring about the Rapture sooner than later. We follow him and his five followers on their journey to achieve their goal and learn along the way. At each step of the journey we learn a truth and then see the pastor make a decision. Ultimately the reward is in his grasp. What does he do next? What he does may surprise some, may not others, but ultimately we learn a lesson straight from the Bible itself.

After the story you get the views of four views on the end times based on the interpretation of scripture. Royle states from the beginning this is not an in depth look at end times prophecy, it would take more than the 23 pages given to it here. His goal to give you a good starting place and an understanding of where the four thoughts are coming from. He’s also quick to note many of us are not entirely one or the other view but instead a mix and match set. Royle’s style and approach has always been open and welcoming to his readers. He’s a good first step in any journey to discovery you may wish to take. He also provides a list of books at the end of the book to further your reading and understanding.

by: Ronovan Hester

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New release: What Tim Knows, and other stories by Wendy Janes

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A gallery-owner’s quest for beauty; a dancer in danger; a new mother struggling to cope with her baby; a sculptor’s search for inspiration; a teenager longing to live in the perfect family; a young boy lost and confused by the rules of life that everyone else seems to understand.

Six stand-alone short stories, spanning five decades. Each capturing a significant moment in the life of a different character.

Separate lives linked in subtle ways.

Gerald

In What Tim Knows, and other stories, six supporting characters from my novel What Jennifer Knows share a pivotal event in their lives. Jennifer appears in each story, aging gracefully from student to grandmother.

Through the life experiences of Rollo, Cynthia, Sue, Gerald, Blythe and Tim, I explore a variety of themes, including, creativity, relationships, motherhood, marriage, adolescence and childhood.

Gerald wins my prize for the most amusing character in this collection.

He’s an English eccentric, rather self-centred and self-opinionated, and very witty. Even after I’ve finished writing about Gerald, I only need to think of him and he makes me laugh.

The inspiration for Gerald’s story came from numerous excellent writing blogs that give information about what to do, or rather what not to do, if you receive a critical review. Authors may recognise some of the sensible advice that these blogs provide through the advice that Jennifer attempts to give her husband.

When the story opens, Gerald has been a successful sculptor for many years. His confidence is high, but when he comes across a very critical review of his recent output, he fails to cope with it. I’d like to think that anyone who has received a negative review for something they have created, will find some catharsis in Gerald’s raw response.

While the next scene takes Gerald to a dark place, I hope that the resolution to the story will bring a smile to readers’ faces.

Author bio:

Wendy Janes spends her time writing novels and short stories,w4400 running her freelance proofreading business and volunteering for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service. Her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows, was published in 2015, and she has recently released a collection of short stories entitled What Tim Knows, and other stories. You can connect with Wendy online and discover more about her writing via Twitter, her Facebook author page, and Amazon author pages (UK/US).

Links to What Tim Knows, and other stories on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Tim-Knows-other-stories-ebook/dp/B01IKYOJLS

https://www.amazon.com/What-Tim-Knows-other-stories-ebook/dp/B01IKYOJLS

#BookReview of The Chip Maker by Bridgette L. Collins.

The Chip MakerThe Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast

by Bridgette L. Collins with Terry E. McGee Sr.

Fiction: Mystery/Suspense/Religious/Inspirational/Christian. 176 Pages Print. Just In Time Publishing (May 9, 2016)

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Fitness coach Bridgette L. Collins is the owner of Total Innovative Wellness Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm that provides individuals and organizations with strategic solutions for implementing and sustaining healthy lifestyle habits. Through MAC Fitness and Origins Bridgette CollinsPublishing Company, subsidiaries of Total Innovative Wellness Solutions, LLC, she introduces innovative and creative resources for achieving well-being and physical fitness to help her clients gain traction on disease prevention and management. Coach Bridgette is also the author of Destined to Live Healthier and Imagine Living Healthier, which have educated and empowered many through the collection of fictional stories that tell of real life challenges with weight, health, work, marriage, and lack of self-love. She is also featured in The Ultimate Runner by Ultimate HCI Books, publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Book Review

The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast is Christian Suspense novel by Bridgette L. Collins, author of Broken in Plain Sight: A Story of Truth, Healing, and Love. In The Chip Maker we see the story of several lives as they run parallel to each other during a time of what seems to be biblical prophecy coming true. World chaos, the mark of the beast, the antichrists, and more. Each person makes a choice that has a definite consequence and we see how the worst can be counted among the best. Using scripture, headlines, and real possibilities, the authors tell a convincing story of what could happen if people put their minds to it. A fast paced read, I read it in one day. The book starts off in the then present day, and then switches back to several months prior. I would have liked the reverse but the story was still a good read. Overall a realistic possibility if egos got out of hand, which we can see happening in the news even today. I recommend the book to people interested in biblical prophecy or even slightly techno thrillers. Even if you’re not into prophecy you’ll still enjoy the book as a world domination story.

By: Ronovan Hester

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#BookReview of WOLF by @ProfKellyOliver.

WOLF cover imageWOLF

by Kelly Oliver

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Women Sleuths/New Adult. 316 Pages Print. Kaos Press (June 21, 2016)

 

 

 

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Kelly Oliver was born on July 28, 1958 in Spokane Washington. She graduated from Gonzaga University with honors in 1979 with a double major in philosophy and communications. She earned her Kelly Oliver ImagePh.D. from Northwestern University in philosophy in 1987. She has held teaching positions at various Universities, including George Washington University, University of Texas at Austin, and Stony Brook University. Currently, she is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.
She has published books on topics ranging from family, love, war, and violence to affirmative action, Hollywood films, and animal rights.
She is the author of THE JESSICA JAMES COWGIRL PHILOSOPHER MYSTERY novels, including COYOTE and WOLF.

Book Review

WOLF is a new adult, mystery, thriller set on the campus of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, with cowgirl philosopher Jessica James leading the ensemble cast of characters into the reasons for the death of her Philosophy Advisor, the theft of two masterpiece Russian impressionist paintings, and the source of date rape drugs on campus. Jessica must find her way through the twists and turns of her meager existence living in the attic of the philosophy department and falling for a billionaire professor in order to keep her dreams alive to get her degree and most of all to stay alive as someone is out to kill her.

WOLF, the first book in the Jessica James Mysteries series has a great cast of characters. The book has two stories in one, linked together as the book progresses. There is the series main character’s quest to continue her PhD program in Philosophy after the murder of her advisor, and then there is the life and death situation for Dmitry Durchenko, the Philosophy departments janitor who also happens to be the son of Russia’s most powerful mob boss. The two stories overlap through the Titular character, Wolf’s death and missing paintings hidden in his office.

You have everything from the cowgirl Jessica who wants to show the world that she can be a philosopher to Lolita Durchenko who looks like super model, rides a Harley and runs a high stakes poker game. Then you have the local Russian mob leader The Pope and the billionaire professor who comes to the rescue of Jessica after she’s been given a date rape drug. And there is a whole lot more. You cheer for Jessica to overcome the obstacles and her own knack for falling into bad situations. She has to be one of the most awkward young ladies around. She shouldn’t wear heels. Oliver balances the humorous moments of Jessica with the more serious story of Dmitry and his need to find his paintings or suffer the consequences at the hands of The Pope. Somehow through it all it comes together in the end. There are times you wonder how this whole thing is going to work out but ultimately it does.

WOLF is a fast paced and entertaining read. The first chapter was a bit slow for me, but once past that the author settled into the meat of the story and off you go on a joy ride. She handles a serious issue such as college campus date rape in a good manner and just how you would want it to be done. For someone so smart, Jessica can really be a bit out there at times under pressure. But I think that may add a bit of realism to it. Things happen. If you like fast paced and fun reads, this is for you. If you like mysteries and a good cast of characters, you’ve got it here.

By: Ronovan Hester

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#BookReview of Waterkill by Mark Donovan.

WaterkillWaterkill

By Mark Donovan

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Technothriller/Terrorism. 302 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Mark Donovan is the author of the thriller novels “Nano Surveillance” and “Waterkill”. He has also authored 32 eBooks and 2,000+ articles on a wide variety of home improvement topics through his website HomeAdditionPlus.com. Many of his articles are nationally syndicated. He currently resides in New Hampshire, where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, and holds a private pilot’s license, and seven U.S. patents associated with sensor and communication technologies.

BookReview

Waterkill is the second book in the Dave Henson series and a Terroristic TechnoThriller by Mark Donovan, author of Nano Surveillance, book 1 in the series. In Waterkill, we have Dave Henson going head to head with the Al-Qaeda terrorist Aref Zarin, a techno savvy villain with a new form of terror weapon that makes nuclear weapons obsolete. Along the way Henson runs into an old friend with a new mission and travels from Germany to Iran and around the world. All in an attempt to stop the deaths of over a million innocent people.

When Mark offered the book for review I couldn’t say no. It’s a paperback, not an ecopy and a thriller. How could I say no? The first chapters were a bit slow and hard for me to get into at first. So I stopped. I don’t force myself to read a book or it’ll be a bad review. Then I decided it was time to read and emailed Mark I was getting ready. He told me he had hired a professional editor who spent over a month editing the book and that thrilled me. I read the book, then looked at the edits and I have to say, it was money well spent and Mark has done his work justice.

The story is fast paced after the initial chapters setting up the story. You have the terrorists, the special forces teams, tech gadgets, the beautiful but not helpless damsel in distress. Did I mention gadgets? Mark brings some serious tech knowhow to the storyline. If these things exist, and I am not doubting some do, there is some seriously cool stuff going on in the world. Mark also does a good job of creating a sense of urgency in the story and an ending that just makes sense. He takes the hot topics of today and handles them very carefully and does a great job not overly sensationalizing them to get a cheap punch for his story. You learn a little about people in this book that may help open your eyes just a little bit.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Interview with @NickyP_author of Horror, Vampires, & More.

A UK lady with a knack for helping young authors while creating her Nicky Peacock Imageown series of books, Nicky Peacock.

Where do you hail from?

I come from a medium size town in the middle of England called Corby. It has a bit of a reputation as a place to live, but I love it. It’s close enough to beautiful wild countryside to appeal to my nature loving side and close enough to pretty decent shopping centers to appeal to my shopaholic side!

Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?

I think that most authors will influence your writing style – whether you want them to or not. Reading a broad range of genres and authors is a necessary part of writing. When I was younger, Poppy Z Brite was a big influence on my horror writing; somehow she made the grotesque beautiful. Anne Rice was definitely the writer that got me hooked on vampires and other monsters.

What’s your favorite word and why?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… as it’s really quite atrocious 😉

Things readers may want to know, hmm, are you married?

I’m currently single. I’m pretty happy with it, although I certainly wouldn’t turn down a gorgeous man with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates at my door! It’s quite a hard life being an author. Most of us still have to work full time jobs, you know if you want those luxuries in life like food and shelter! So, once you try to squeeze in writing and have some semblance of a social life, well dating can kind of feel like an after-thought. Also, I’ve had some pretty dismal dates recently: One guy burst into tears over his ex, another talked all night about his dogs, but by far the worst was the guy, who after learning I was an author, decided he wanted something to eat…at home. He just left! 

How does working with young aspiring authors help your own writing?

Growing up in Corby, I didn’t have a mentor, or someone to look to, for my writing, so I decided that I would try to be that person for the next generation. Writing is hard, getting published is harder and being an author is the hardest of all. You have to not just produce work but have reasonable editing skills, marketing knowledge and time to spend on social media plus all the literary specific sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing. Having someone who has been there and done all that can help make those jobs easier and less time consuming so that a budding writer’s desire to tell a good story isn’t consumed in the fires of work.

Lost In Wonderland imageTell us about your two series with Evernight Teen, Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.

Battle of the Undead is a vampires VS zombies YA urban fantasy set at the start of the zombie uprising. Vampires, fearing the loss of their food supply (us) start to make plans to protect uninfected humans.

The Twisted and the Brave is a YA series that twists the themes of classic children’s books into contemporary, violent thrillers with a supernatural edge.

Being two different animals, which do you enjoy writing more, the anthologies or novels?

LOL, I’m not above saying that I want to sell books and make some money, and that only really comes from novels. Anthologies are great for a quick fix. Short stories are, well short and there are plenty of publishers out there putting out call-outs that writers can answer, but they’re not Battle Covers imagegoing to help boost that bank balance! I do enjoy a good challenge for a short story, but right now I’m focusing on the longer fiction.

Tell us how you get included in so many anthologies. I know some don’t know how to go about getting involved.

The website Duotrope, although you need to pay for it now, is a great investment for writers. It’s a complete database of publisher call-outs for anthologies and magazines. The best advice I can give is to stick to genres that you feel you can write well and don’t take on too much. There are always deadlines for these and part of the trick is picking what you can realistically do, rather than what you wish you could do.

Where can we find your most recent work, and what is your next piece coming out?

You can find my books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1467062178&sr=8-1

It’s a race at the moment because I’m currently working on both the last book of the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the second in The Twisted and The Brave, The Assassin of Oz.

What’s your guilty pleasure movie that would surprise people, being that you are into the horror genre in writing?

Hmmmm, I do like a good superhero movie. I really enjoyed Deadpool and Antman, although they are quite acceptable within my genres. Although not a movie, at the moment I’m binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix – I love that show, it never fails to make me smile!

Thank you for having me on your site today, now I’ll sashay away…

You can get Nicky’s books at:

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