The PERIDOT SHIFT series! Pre-order book three today.

Thanks to my friends at Books Forward for sending me the first two books in The Peridot Shift series as well the Third, CAST OFF, to be released Dec. 6, 2022.

With amazing reviews, I can’t wait to jump into the adventure. If you’ve been visiting LitWorld for long you know I like some steampunk, scifi, and fantasy… but it has to be good for me to put down my other books to do it. Well, I’ve put the others down and am about to JUMP! I just hope CAPTAIN TALIS is there to save me.

On a planet cracked open by ancient magic, outlaws and pirates are the only ones with what it takes to save Peridot from its next apocalyptic threat.

CAST OFF by RJ Theodore

is available for pre-order now.

 

Peridot Shift Series

https://rjtheodore.com/

© 2014-2022- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

Andrew & The Treasured Spirit of the Northland – Guest Post by Author Able Barrett

Andrew & The Treasured Spirit of the Northland

I enter the darkness that has been cultured for thousands of years, the legends of life gone by, ringing within its corridors with a deafening silence. I feel the presence of both good and evil, which seem to loosely pull at me. Which direction to take? A light can only slightly penetrate the thickness of the darkness. Faces begin to appear as ghost-like images; it’s a warning, which I do not heed.

The images become clearer. They are the faces of beautiful women, goddesses perhaps; they draw my very being deeper into the darkness, serenaded by their gentle voices lifting away my fear of the unknown. I am floating now, effortlessly on a bed of soft blowing air. I am totally consumed. Have I fallen under a spell? I call out for help.

Suddenly there is a flash of brilliant light and the real faces of the women are revealed to me. They are the true evil ones, the guardians of the darkness, the Temptress Sirens of the Dark Lords. They have surrounded me. I see a faint light in the distance. I begin to run towards the light, I feel Temptress Sirens clawing at me as I try to go towards the light in hopes of a safe passage. I hear a voice ever so softly… “Don’t go to the light……. Don’t go to the light……. It will deceive you. Use your faith and follow your heart.”

I stop but I can feel the Temptress Sirens stalking me. I move through the
complete darkness with my eyes closed now. There then appears a golden mist that forms a stairway leading upward through the darkness. Without hesitation, I follow the stairway climbing slowly out of the darkness. I can still feel the draw of the Temptress Sirens at my back growing stronger. I become weary as I continue to climb. The strength of the Temptress Sirens is beginning to hold me back. I fear I cannot make it to the top. A silhouetted hand appears from out of the darkness above me. I do not know whether to take it. I have no choice. I grab the hand and a gentle pull brings me away from the grasp of the Temptress Sirens. I hear their shrieks of madness slowly fade away as I am pulled forward.

A gentle light appears and an Angel appears before me. She has the youthful
beauty of a thousand ages. I hear her gentle voice speaking to me yet her lips do not move. Her name is Afriel. She is a being of light charged with safeguarding young life. She is to protect that which is youthful and tenderly growing within each of us, no matter how old we actually are. Afriel grants youth, vigor, and vitality. She places her hand on my forehead and closes her eyes as she nods her head and says, “go forward and save your brother, Nicholas.”

The Great Tree coverAndrew and his older brother Nicholas were separated as children.

Nicholas had been snatched away by the Prince of Darkness, and Andrew had all but given up hope, but now their mother is ill, and he’s determined to reunite them before she passes – despite her objections.

With his dog Jenny by his side, Andrew sets out on an epic and perilous crusade well beyond his wildest imagination, facing evil protectors, giant wolves, dark magic, Sorcerers, Goblins, and even the Prince of Darkness himself.

Then there’s The Great Tree.

It’s enormous, with a presence that’s nearly impossible to describe…

And it’s clearly the heart of the kingdom of the wicked Sorcerer.

This is the setting for the adventure story that changed Christmas forever!

All proceeds from the sale of The Great Tree go to The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary to rescue unadoptable dogs, cats, and horses, an approved 501 (c)(3) Animal Public Welfare Charity that greatly appreciates the ongoing support of readers like you!

Jenny the dog is based on a very real Jenny, the author’s vision of a true warrior – who has her own inspiring story that he’s happy to share with anyone who asks.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BGK2ZNJF
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60553311-the-great-tree

Author Links:
Website: www.thelastroaddog.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLRDSANCTUARY
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blkdogr4/

Able Berrett photoAuthor Bio:
Able Barrett is a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force Prosecutor who shamelessly admits he loves animals more than most people, and he’s the manager of The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary.

Able Barrett Blog Tour Image

© 2014-2022- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

LitWorld’s 10 Questions with M. Laszlo, author of The Phantom Glare of Day.

 
The Phantom Glare of Day book cover.LitWorld’s 10 Questions
with
M. Laszlo

What would be your one sentence elevator pitch of what your book is about?
In this trio of novellas, three game young ladies enter into dangerous liaisons that test each one’s limits and force them to confront the most heartrending issues facing society in the early twentieth century. The Phantom Glare of Day is a compelling interrogation of who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong.

[The novellas are set during the height of WWI and post-WWI Europe.]

What book/author/movie/TV show/song might a potential reader compare your book to in order to get an idea of its feel and why?
The Phantom Glare of Day might best be described as traditional, twentieth-century melodrama suffused with the following: Goth youth culture, the film Nosferatu, lots of Germanic brooding, the poetry and symbolism of Nietzsche, and a ravishingly beautiful figure-skating ballet just for good measure.

Why did you choose this topic for your book?
This topic chose me. These novellas arise from a deeply held obsession with grasping the essential ethical issues that face society. By writing the book, it is my hope that the novellas may challenge readers to think about and to come to terms with those same heartrending questions.

What led to your choosing the setting for your book? In part your mention of steampunk as used in your book.
Having traveled to London, Paris, and Prague, and having kept travel diaries for those beautiful cities, there was no way to avoid my setting stories in those remarkable places. Interestingly, though, my impressions of Prague were always informed by the genre of steampunk. What I mean by that is that Prague is the city with which I’ve always associated the science-fiction play Rossum’s Universal Robots. Because of this, Prague inspired me to write about steampunk/primitive robotic technologies—as such, these peculiar technologies and themes and obsessions appear in that tale. With regard to Weimar, that’s the most peculiar question for me because I’ve never been there. Still, the history of das Bauhaus has always fascinated me—and because of this, there was no way to avoid the temptation to set a tale there.

How did you come up with the title of your book?
The Phantom Glare of Day comes from a line in “Butterflies”—a WW-era Siegfried Sassoon poem. The title seemed perfect to me because various world religions have always associated butterflies with the immortality of the soul. For me, that metaphysical idea resonates because these three novellas amount to a new kind of metaphysical storytelling.

How has your world traveling impressed itself on your writing?
Nothing has impressed my writing more than my travels to London, where I became fascinated by British colloquialism and phraseology. Nothing else makes British characters come to life more than giving them authentic voices as they engage one another in dialogue. In short, dialogue has to be real. Characters must talk the way people really talk. This comes down to the fact it is the vernacular that makes characters and their stories seem genuine. My travel diaries provided me with all kinds of descriptions of various places, of course; nevertheless, my travel diaries were most important to me in that they included many, many lists of those remarkable terms that only the Brits use.

What will connect the reader to the story?
These novellas tell of how people struggle with issues that anyone can find relatable: school bullying, abortion, euthanasia, political extremism, and homophobia. As such, any reader should be able to connect with the characters. At the same time, the narrator’s voice remains solemn and philosophical; moreover, the writing is suffused in objective correlative—symbols intended to resonate with the reader’s unconscious mind. If the reader really gives my work a chance, the reader can and will connect.
Remember, though, when you read The Phantom Glare of Day, you’ll quickly see that it’s like nothing you’ve ever read before. Perhaps that’s why the work is fated to get so many mixed reviews. This work is weird and revolutionary in its style.

Did you have difficulty deciding your book was ready to publish?
Yes and no. Leonardo Da Vinci said it best: “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

What genre(s) and reader ages would your work fit best?
As for genre, there are different possibilities: coming of age, urban fantasy, historical fiction, metaphysical fiction, melodrama, and perhaps even magical realism. In truth, the work is trans-genre. Also, who cares what the genre is? It’s literature. And it’s meant for anyone mature enough to embrace the idea of freethinking and/or open-mindedness and/or freedom for the sake of freedom.

What’s your next project idea?
My next project promises to be a complete mind-scramble. In the coming book, it is my intention to take the reader on a journey alongside a figure who resolves the riddle of the universe—and in the final movement of the tale, the character will in fact explain the riddle of the universe. For that matter, too, the answer provided will be accurate. And that is my pledge.

Biography of M. Laszlo

M. Laszlo Author Photo M. Laszlo is the pseudonym of a reclusive author living in Bath, Ohio. According to rumor, he based the pen name on the name of the Paul Henreid character in Casablanca, Victor Laszlo.

He has lived and worked in New York City, East Jerusalem, and several other cities around the world. While living in the Middle East, he worked for Harvard University’s Semitic Museum. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio and an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

His next work is forthcoming from SparkPress in 2024. There are whispers that the work purports to be a genuine attempt at positing an explanation for the riddle of the universe and is based on journals and idea books made while completing his M.F.A at Sarah Lawrence College.

The Phantom Glare of Day is available at Amazon.

© 2014-2022- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

16 Questions with Kurt Hansen, author of Daughters of Teutobod.

Daughters of Teutobod is a story of love triumphing over hate, of persistence in the face of domination, and of the strength of women in the face of adversity.

Gudrun is the stolen wife of Teutobod, the leader of the Teutons in Gaul in 102 BCE. Her story culminates in a historic battle with the Roman army.

Susanna is a German American farm wife in Pennsylvania whose husband, Karl, has strong affinity for the Nazi party in Germany. Susanna’s story revolves around raising her three daughters and one son as World War II unfolds.

Finally, Gretel is the infant child of Susanna, now seventy-nine years old and a professor of women’s studies, a US senator and Nobel laureate for her World Women’s Initiative. She is heading to France to represent the United States at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the liberation of southern France, at the commemoration site where her older brother, who was killed in action nearby, is buried. The site is very near the location where the Romans defeated the Teutons.

 

Daughters of Teutobod Front Cover

How did you do research for your book?
Online searches for everything about the Teutons to pre-war Pennsylvania and the earliest training of American Rangers, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and modern-day sites in Paris and Southern France.

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
Hardest? Ada.
Easiest? Gretel.

How long have you been writing?
After heart disease forced early retirement, I began attending the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival in 2014. I began writing poetry, but soon began writing novels.

What is your next project?
A book entitled Chameleon, about a man in treatment for Borderline personality disorder.

What genre do you write and why?
I write character driven stories and historical fiction because those are what interest me.

What is the last great book you’ve read?
Chances Are by Richard Russo

If your book were made into a movie, who would star in the leading roles?
The only one I’ve had an instant intuition for is the elder Gretel, who would surely be portrayed nicely by Meryl Streep.

If your book were made into a movie, what songs would be on the soundtrack?
Not sure, but during closing credits, I could suggest Respect by Aretha Franklin.

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing your book?
Greatest reward is the coming together of the various story elements. Greatest challenge is slogging through the research and persisting through the dialogues.

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like?
It was painful and frustrating.

Which authors inspired you to write?
Philip Roth, Harper Lee, Richard Russo, Flannery O’Connor, Charles Dickens, Michael Crighton, Dan Brown, Kurt Vonnegut, Amy Hassinger
 

Fun stuff:
Favorite travel spot?
Toledo, Spain.

Favorite dessert?
Sour cream raisin pie.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you?
To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tale of Two Cities, and the Bible.

Any hobbies? or Name a quirky thing you like to do.
I collect rock-n-roll memorabilia. Signed record albums and photos and so forth.

What is your theme song?
“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor

Kurt Hansen HeadshotAuthor Bio:

Kurt Hansen is from Racine, Wisconsin, and has lived in Kansas, Texas, and Iowa. He has
experience in mental health and family systems as well as in parish ministry and administration.
He holds degrees in psychology, social work and divinity. Kurt now lives in Dubuque, Iowa with
his wife of 44 years, Dr. Susan Hansen, a professor emerita of international business. Kurt is
the author of Gathered (2019). Daughters of Teutobod is his second novel.

Website: https://www.authorkurthansen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/revkurthansen
Amazon: Kurt Hansen Author Page
Goodreads:  Kurt Hansen

Kurt Hansen blog tour Image

© 2014-2022- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

14 Questions with Reenita M Hora, author of Operation Mom.

Ila, a Mumbai-based teenager, is going nuts with Veena, her controlling, single mother who prevents her from stalking her pop idol, Ali Zafar. Veena wants her daughter to date real guys in the lead-up to finding a husband. But Ila decides  that the only way to get her mom off her back is by finding her a boyfriend instead. With the help of her best friend Deepali, her crush Dev and her mother’s best friend Maleeka, they will come up with a plan to make it happen by setting up a profile in dating apps.

 

Operation Mom cover image

This interview has to start off with this question. In your book you make a reference to George Michael, how did you come up with this idea?

In my book, I make reference to George Michael of Wham, the famous English pop singer who I was desperately in love with in my teen years. And I know that I speak for just about every woman who grew up in the 80s!  The George Michael anecdote is taken directly  from my life – I stalked him in my teen years, and in mind you in those days there was no such thing as social media, cell phone – smart or dumb or the internet. So the fact that I traveled from Mumbai to London one summer and tracked him down is a real life example of investigative research that I take great pride in!

I guess here is the story – a year or two before I wrote the book, I was chatting with my brother’s friend at a party and somehow, we got talking about the whole George Michael episode. The guy listened with rapt amazement as I gave him the details of how I stalked the pop star through his cat. He said to me ‘That would make a great chick flick, you know!’

I was intrigued but know nothing about film so decided to turn it into YA chick-lit instead!

There are many books out there about the life of women in India, Mumbai in this case….What makes yours different?

Oh my goodness, do you like to laugh? If so then Operation Mom will hit your funny bone. I think that many of us Indians take ourselves too seriously and cliched as it sounds, laughter really is medicine for your mind-body. The BBC has done huge amounts of research on how it helps the aging process, supports fitness and keeps couples together. But this book is not simply about LOL moments, it’s about LOL moments in the Bombay context — it offers a real window into the trials and tribulations of the feisty Punjai woman in Bombay.

And then there is that whole element of predictability and safety in India. You don’t find stories where the daughter is setting the mother up – usually it happens the other way around. You don’t find stories which expose you to a variety of ethnic situations strewn around Mumbai – all ripe for comedic interpretation. That’s what I wanted to do. As a Mumbaikar…or a Bombay-ite, I feel like I have many affinities – to the Punjabi way of life, to the Parsi community, to places like Swati Snacks and Worli Seaface…these all found their way into my book.

How did you do research for your book?

Having grown up in Mumbai, the research was easy. I knew the places I wanted to set the story in. I knew what they were about and the kind of crazy character chaos that I would find in those locations.  Of course, this being a YA book, me now being a full-fledged adult (at least in size if not maturity levels), I knew I had to be up with the ‘method of madness’ of the current Mumbai young adult. So I had huge amounts of fun talking to my school going nephew and his friends to learning the lingo, compare the mindset from my time to theirs and quickly adapt to the change. Then of course I had fun taking long bus rides through town and hanging out at places like Swati Snacks and Kalaghoda Cafe (locations referred to in the story) to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations.  Research is really one of the most fun parts of creating a story.

In your book you seem to look at relationships between flawed characters….why is that?

In my book I talk about relationships among flawed characters because isn’t this who we are and what makes us tick? I capture the sometimes-difficult relationship between mother and daughter, friend and friend, husband and wife, and boy and girl. My exploration is that of coming of age in a world filled with imperfect people. I aim to be both humorous and heartfelt, and from beginning to end, I resist any attempt to apply makeup to innocence, or hide the stubbornness or intelligence of my characters.

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Another hard one. While in many ways I myself identify with the plight of Ila and her mom, Veena, it’s hard not to fall in love with the wild and wacky Aunty Maleeka or Deepali. They are the very antithesis of the classic Punjabi woman and in many ways they are who Veena and Ila live vicariously through. Truth is, I think we all need a bit of Aunty Maleeka or Deepali in our lives!

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

Oof, this is hard to say. Ila and Veena (mother and daughter) are essentially the same woman in two different generational bodies. So when I look at the zany women in my own household, Yours Truly in particular, it isn’t hard to come up with traits and quirks that easily define these main characters. As to the hardest character again…there has been.

How are you similar to or different from your lead character?

Like I alluded to earlier, in many ways I identify with the plight of Ila and her mom, Veena. Both of these characters are essentially the same woman in two different bodies. When I look at them, I see aspects of my teenage self and my adult self. My traits ring through in both — obsessiveness, zest for life, indomitable free spirit, my insecurities….oh yes!

What is something you had to cut from your book that you wish you could have kept?

I am not sure about the book but there is plenty I have to cut from the screenplay…like the whole flamenco dance class scene.

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?

Readers tell me that they can totally identify with my characters even if they are from a different culture. This makes me happy  😊

Also Chanticleer Reviews said: “This book will have you laughing out loud. It will keep you reading into the night to see what life has in store for these lovable characters who leap off the page and capture your heart and your imagination. Reenita Malhotra Hora’s novel, Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life and a Man, is a highly recommended and delightful five-star read.”

This made me happy too 😊

Which authors inspired you to write?

Oh goodness! So many!

As a child – Enid Blyton. Not the choice of children’s author for anyone who has been a child since I became an adult!

As a child and an adult – Lewis Carrol, Gerald Durrell, Eric Segal

As an adult – David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, Andrew Ross Sorkin.Walter Isaacson, and of course the inimitable JK Rowling.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

1980s. Bombay to relive my teens and London to see George Michael 😊

What song is currently playing on a loop in your head?

Duran Duran’s – Wild Boys.  I just saw them in concert, that’s why.

Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

George Michael of course!!!!

What is your next project?

Oof, which one?! As far as books and stories go, I would say Shadow Realm – Part 1 & 2 of the Arya Chronicles series.  This is a YA fantasy fiction story. Part 1 is already out as an audio series which you can check out here: www.thearyachronicles.com/podcast. We are currently in production for Season 2 which will launch in Spring 2023.  The print book version of Shadow Realm will be next as far as books go, followed hopefully soon thereafter by a graphic novel.

I also have a historical fiction novel in the works – Playtime at the Bagh and Ace of Blades, the “Succession-like” memoirs of my later father, RK.Malhotra, the dynamic creator of India’s home-grown shaving products industry.

Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life… and a Man is available at

 

 

 

Reenita M. Hora Author PhotoAuthor Bio:

Reenita Malhotra Hora is a founder, executive-level content, operations & marketing leader, and prolific writer. With multiple years of experience in media, entertainment, communications, tech/innovation and wellness industries in the USA and Asia, she grows organizations, ranging from early stage startups through mid-size businesses, through storytelling, creative marketing and business strategy.

Reenita has written seven books – five non fiction and two fiction. She is the writer, anchor and executive producer of Shadow Realm and True Fiction Project podcasts and founder of the Chapter by episode fiction app. She has contributed to The Hindu, South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Asian Investor, Times of India, National Geographic Kids, Cartoon Network Asia, Disney, and more.

Website: http://www.reenita.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReenitaMalhotraHora
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reenita_storyteller/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/reenymal 

Reenita Malhotra blog tour dates and sites.

© 2014-2022- Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

Get Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin #Free Read the #BookReview by @FTThum

I read Anne Goodwin’s “Sugar and Snails” and loved it, as my review below shows :-).

Now you can read it for free! Get your e-copy here before 28 Feb 2021, and enjoy!

~ FlorenceT Sugar and Snails Title:                     Sugar and Snails
Author:                Anne Goodwin
Publishers:         Inspired Quill (23 July 2015)
Format:                Paperback
ISBN-10:               1908600470
ISBN-13:               978-1908600479
Website:             http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/
Twitter:                @annecdotist
Pages:                   342
Genre:                 Contemporary Fiction, LGBT

What’s it about?

This is a story of a woman’s journey of self-discovery.

I am introduced to Diana through the narrative of the life she’s lived, so far filled with insecurities and fears. The story begins in the present day with a confronting scene of Diana self-harming as a result of, so it seems, her partner leaving. The vivid description of her bringing a knife to her arm, after many years of abstinence, caused me to put the book down and almost not returning to it. But I did, because I wanted to know more.

What happened in Cairo? Why is it significant? What is she hiding? Why? What? How? So many more questions asked as I followed Diana Dodsworth’s life journey…from a young kid to a professor of psychology at university. Diana’s story weaves in and out of different pasts as she held the attention of the reader, slowly and steadily divulging the story of her life.  Goodwin has written real characters, not just in Diana but with each of the significant figures in Diana’s life – flawed, conflicted. As the reader, I can empathise with each of them. What are the motivations for parental love? How is one changed by childhood events? Is an adolescent capable of deciding her future? What is the value of friendship and love in shaping a life?

As a therapist, I would have loved to get greater insights and explore Diana’s psyche as she slowly comes to the realisation that she has held herself back and living in a time bubble, and that she is indeed alright. Not that it is indeed the case, or is it? I appreciate a psychological study however may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This said, my reading experience was not compromised in any way. There is enough to maintain my attention and interest. After a somewhat slow and for me, perplexing take by Goodwin in ‘jumping’ across time and events, the second half of the book provides resolutions which showed Goodwin’s skill in weaving all the threads into a coherent tapestry.

Goodwin has created an intriguing story of a person’s life, complex and filled with the confusions of a child, the pain of existence, of irrevocable decisions and the effects on the subsequent decades of her life.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. Mesmerising, especially the second half of the book, thought-provoking and sensitively written. If you enjoy reading real and flawed characters set in a  contemporary background with controversial issues (still!) to boot, this is the book for you (and your book club, if you belong to one).

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 4.31
  Paperback USD 12.99
Booktopia Paperback AUD 38.95
Bookdepository Paperback €15.47

– FlorenceT @FTThum MeaningsAndMusings  © 2015 LitWorldInterviews  

The Wager: A Romantic Comedy as Christian Allegory #bookreview

  • Title:  The Wager: A Romantic Comedy By Christian AllegorThe Wager: A Romantic Comedy as Christian Allegory by [Brister, Mike]y
  • Author: Mike Brister
  • Print Length: 284
  • Publisher: Michael E. Brister
  • Publication Date: August 9, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Christian Fiction, Romance, Comedy

The Wager is written as a cross between a romance novel and a play. We meet two very distinct characters and we quickly fall in love with them. Sarah Dumont is a famous actress, rich, grew up in a prominent family as the oldest child. Because of her status, she is driven, focused, and pretty much snotty. Matt Shepard is not rich, who was the youngest child growing up on a farm. Matt is working hard at putting pieces of his life back together, friendly and sly.

The two meet based on a wager: Sarah is challenged that she wouldn’t be able to earn Matt’s attention. Sarah’s first intention was to have him make furniture for her in LA. Then when the wager is made, I felt like something was missing within the story line. Sarah wants furniture, then the woman tells her Matt wouldn’t meet with her no matter. From there, it seems Sarah’s immediately offended being told she wouldn’t be able to get Matt out on a date. I felt I needed something more to explain.

When they finally do meet, from there on, the two personalities clash and are full of hilarious banter. You can’t help but love them. I also love the use of Doodle, Matt’s dog, in the story. It only made me love Matt all the more. I found him to be very charismatic and charming.

The writing style flowed nicely. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was that the narrative repeated pieces of the dialogue and vice versa. Having to read too much repetition made me skim more than I’d like. However, it was easy to get the feel of the southern accent. Whether you’re Midwestern, southern, northern or from Mars, readers will find themselves slipping into a southern accent.

Sometimes it was difficult for me to gather the feelings of the characters but I think it’s really up to the reader. After reading parts of the scene, I would go back and reread in order for me to get the sense of how they felt during the incident. I feel this is primarily due to the fact that it’s more of a play (or movie/TV script).

Regardless of the few “negatives,” I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It had humor, it had tears, it had love, and of course, a hidden moral to the story.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Book Reviews

Biography

Mike Brister

Mike Brister was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1952. His father worked for the Illinois Central Railroad and in 1955 was transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. This began a lifelong relationship with one of the most unique cities in the world. Eventually, the family would return to Jackson.

Mike received degrees in mathematics and spent his working career as a consulting actuary. Now retired, he has written his first novel. He has made numerous trips to Haiti and plans more. The hope is that the novel is a fun read and allows for the purchase of goats for families in Haiti.

Poet of the Wrong Generation #BookReview

  • Title: Poet of the Wrong Generation
  • Author: Lonnie Ostrow
  • Print Length: 455
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult

My Review:

I was surprised to find that I loved everything about this book–from the cover to the prose. The storyline was engrossing, the characters extremely well-developed, the dialogue superb…well, Poet of the Wrong Generation is a book you have to read when you have no pressing matters to attend to because it’s that hard to put down.

We open with a prologue to the present. Johnny Elias is staring into a photograph taking himself back into a time when life was good and carefree. He was in love, had friends, he had happiness. And now, because of the things happened since then, he’s feeling regret. Don’t we all when we start feeling that nostalgia?

After we’re through we the prologue, the next time we see Johnny is back in time in 1991. He joins Megan Price, the girl he loves, and their friends at a concert in Central Park. However, soon after, everything changes. Feeling heartbroken and betrayed, he begins doing what a lot of real people do in these kinds of situations: a writes down his feelings. But these aren’t just words. They’re magical poetry from the heart. Johnny ends up turning his writing to music and falls into success and fame.

This was a truly amazing novel. I can see it becoming a summer series or even a mini-series on the Hallmark channel. But at the same time, perhaps they better not touch this story. After all, bringing stories to live, especially on network television, it just may ruin this beautiful creation of Lonnie Ostrow’s.

If you want a book complete with twists and turns, pick up Poet of the Wrong Generation. If you want a book with star-crossed lovers, pick up Poet of the Wrong Generation. If you want a book that tugs at your heartstrings in every way, pick up Poet of the Wrong Generation. It’s well worth the time it takes to read. I highly recommend this pleasure of a book.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Lonnie Ostrow
Biography

Lonnie Ostrow has been an innovator, storyteller, promoter and celebrity-insider for more than two decades. With Poet Of The Wrong Generation, he combines all his unique experiences to bring you a novel of love & betrayal, music & fanfare, downfall & redemption — a fable of stardom’s rewards, set in New York City during the 1990s. It’s been hailed as “the ultimate rock & roll love story.” Since 2001, Mr. Ostrow has been the publicity/marketing director & researcher for the iconic best-selling novelist Barbara T. Bradford. He also serves as an editorial and marketing consultant for a collection of first-time authors through The Editorial Department in Tucson, AZ. Previously he served as a PR executive, promoting an assortment of first-time celebrity authors including Ray Manzarek of The Doors.

From 1995 – 2001, Mr. Ostrow was widely credited with inventing the “living celebrity postal phenomenon.” In all, he worked with more than 40 legendary personalities from the Bee Gees to Bob Dylan, Sylvester Stallone to Jackie Chan, creating media events to celebrate their postal recognition by an assortment of foreign nations.

Ostrow’s first publication, Titanic, A Postal Collection, was published in 1998.

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Altar of Resistance by Samuel Marquis.

Altar of Resistance Book Coverfive gold stars image

 

Altar of Resistance

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Historical Thriller/Suspense/Espionage. 368 Pages Print. Mount Sopris Publishing (January 24, 2017)

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 an iconoclastic spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He also has a deep and abiding interest in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror.

Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, “Blind Thrust kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun.” Kirkus Reviews proclaimed The Coalition an “entertaining thriller” and declared that “Marquis has written a tight plot with genuine suspense.” James Patterson compared The Coalition to The Day After Tomorrow, the classic thriller by Allan Folsom; and Donald Maas, author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and two novels, compared The Coalition to the classic political assassination thriller The Day of the Jackal.

Book Review

Espionage, intrigue, romance, battle, and more. Altar of Resistance has a difficult time finding one genre to fall into.

To start off with I see myself reading this one again. And I don’t read books more than once very often these days. This is the second of Sam Marquis’ WWII Trilogy, all standalone books, and it’s going to be hard to beat. That third one is going to have to be something else to surpass this one.

Altar of Resistance by Sam Marquis is about the Occupation and Liberation of Rome in 1943-44 Italy. The story is told through the viewpoints of four main characters: Pope Pius XII (sometimes called Hitler’s Pope), SS Colonel Wilhelm Hollman (a character based on fact), US Army Special Services member John Bridger, and Roman Resistance fighter Teresa Di Domenico. The last two are fictional characters, but in the book share a secret with the SS Colonel.

Having been a World History teacher and taken a semester of Nazi/Fascism class I know a little bit about WWII and what happened in Italy. Marquis uses factual events to give his story life or maybe he adds fiction to the facts to make it easier to handle. You read and decide which. Either way you look at it, he brings the subject to life.

We don’t get just a superficial story from Marquis to create a thrilling read. He gives us layers to add dimensions to each character, even the minor ones. He even has you like the Nazi torturer/interrogator at one point. I think Marquis’s fiction elements actually make sense in context of history. We see the Pope silent against atrocities not only throughout Europe but in his own city. Marquis gives us reasons why. SS Colonel Hollmann is based on fact as far as his existence but how he is used and his complexity is believable. He is perhaps my favorite character in the book. John Bridger is a tough Army commando who kills without hesitation but tries to keep his humanity. And Teresa is her father’s daughter, but which father does this good Catholic girl take after?

We see the war and the battle for Rome from every possible level and realize not one could achieve success without the other. We see how a girl leads to the success of the Allies in Italy, not a farfetched idea. We see how love exists and even sprouts during great turmoil, and how it doesn’t die regardless of tragedy.

There are no bogged down moments during this read. I didn’t find myself having a difficult time making my way through a passage to get to the next. The only parts that even remotely slowed me down were later chapters involving the Pope, but that is in part due to the success of the author in the character’s portrayal. Got to love a Pope but man can he be frustrating at times.

The only bad thing about the book is not knowing the future of all the characters. Sam Marquis does give us details of the factual characters and what happens to them, but the fictitious ones perhaps are left unknown because we may seem them some other time?

I’ve read all but one of Sam Marquis’ books. This is his best one yet. If you’ve never read historical fiction, this is a way to start. So far this is my book of the year and I’ve read four so far. It’s going to be difficult to top this one. It had all the elements to keep me engaged.

 

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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

illusions-of-magic-cover4_stars_gold

 

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 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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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Eleven Miles,” BY AUTHOR @LANCEGMITCHELL

eleven-miles

  • Title:  Eleven Miles
  • Author: Lance Greenfield Mitchell
  • Print Length: 254 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: lulu.com
  • Publication Date: September 25, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QH0EDGE
  • ISBN-10: 1326108034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1326108038
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature and Fiction, Contemporary


“How far would you have walked to gain your high school education?

From an early age, the greatest passion in Boitumelo Tumelo’s life is learning. Boi, as she is known to her friends and family, just loves going to school. Her primary school is in the local village, but when she graduates to secondary school, two obstacles stand in the path to her further education. Firstly, there are fees to be paid. Secondly, it is eleven miles to the nearest secondary school. She would have to get up very early, and walk that long distance to school every day, and walk home after school. There are many potential dangers along the remote African track between her village and her school.

This is the inspiring story of how Boi overcomes the obstacles and dangers to gain the education that she so desires. Not only does she achieve her ambitions, but she manages to make life better for the children of her village who wish to follow in her footsteps.

Eleven Miles is a fictional story based upon a true-life situation in Botswana. Until the target of Princess Boikanyo’s School Bus Project is achieved, 50% of all profits from the sales of this book will go into the project funds.”


Open the pages of this book and slip inside the existence of Boitumelo Tumelo, a young girl from Botswana, who leads the reader on an incredible journey from her childhood into adulthood in a world fraught with difficulty and strife. Boi’s life humbled me with her compelling story and the bravery and determination she exhibited to achieve her dreams.

Boi is a gifted child who lives in abject poverty. She faces cruelty and stares down social injustices. Food is scarce, and many mornings she begins the laborious eleven-mile walk to school on a breakfast fueled by a crust of bread. Life is not comfortable in her village, and it is a struggle just to survive.

Her parents, grandparents, and her older brothers contribute their hard-earned cash to send her and her brother to school. Not only is this considered an honor, but it is also a calling. Boi realizes early, that if she is to succeed in life, she must get an education.

Like the proverbial sponge, Boi soaks up one academic challenge after another, and her hard work and determination finally pay off. But it is her commitment to change that grabs the reader. Boi realizes that if she runs the miles to school and back, she will have more time to dedicate to her studies. Her ingenuity is stunning.

Boi turns the daily obstacle of the eleven-mile walk to school into an active endeavor. After running twenty-two miles a day, Boi discovers her real gift, that of becoming a long distance runner.

I had this book in my “To be read,” pile for quite some time and couldn’t wait to read it. The story did not disappoint. I loved Boi’s story from start to finish, and I enjoyed the cultural elements the story provided. Lance Greenfield Mitchell takes you on a journey to a place far away from our western philosophy. I wish Boi’s story became mandatory reading for young people everywhere so they could appreciate their advantages. I know it made me appreciate the many opportunities I have enjoyed.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Author, Lance Greenfield Mitchell

My name is Lance Greenfield Mitchell.

Before you ask, my natural father’s name is Greenfield. My Step-dad’s name was Mitchell. So, I changed my name by deed poll when I left school, from Lance Greenfield to Lance Mitchell, to avoid confusion. My Step-dad, whom I loved, died. I eventually got back in touch with my real Dad, who, unbeknownst to me, had been banned by the courts from contacting me. I didn’t know that till I tracked him down. To avoid confusion, I added the Greenfield back in as a middle name.

Confused? So am I!!!

I live in Andover, Hampshire, Southern England, but I sometimes wonder where I am or where I come from! I have visited about eighty countries in my life. I just love traveling and immersing myself in different languages, cuisines, and cultures.

Because of family complexity, I attended ten schools, the last of which was HMS Conway, a Naval school in North Wales.

I was in the military for 22 years, Royal Navy AND Army (Royal Engineers) before going into technology as a second career in civvie street. I am now a VP of an international software company, and I fly around the planet a lot. What time is it?!

I started writing reviews as part of the BBC RAW (Read and Write) campaign a few years ago. There was huge enthusiasm for my reviews, so I resolved to publish a review for every book that I read. I publish my reviews on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, goodreads.com and waterstones.com.

In my spare time, I started writing a couple of novels about eight years ago. They are still not finished!

Two years ago, I was part of a group read for a book from the erotica genre, which I wouldn’t normally have read. Not only did I enjoy it, but I thought that I could maybe do better.

I like erotica for the double-A. That is AROUSAL and AMUSEMENT. There are very good authors in this genre. One of my favourites is Chloe Thurlow. She’s great!

I got so into it that I wrote a couple of short stories and shared them with a select few friends who loved them. They encouraged me to write an anthology, which I have now completed.

Two publishers rejected my stories, so I have now self-published on Amazon. I don’t know if my work is any good. I like to think so, but that is for others to judge.

The title is “When Pleasure Blooms.”

If you do take the time to read it, please leave a review. Receiving criticism, good or bad, is the only way that I can hope to improve.

My all-time favorite book of any genre has to be “Skallagrigg” by William Horwood.

I have three grown up children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Hence my comment about being too busy in the opening paragraph.

My eldest son is a tattoo artist, and he recently persuaded me to have some artwork on my skin. It only took him ten years to get me into his studio! I now have two tattoos and will have two more very soon. Take a look at the photos on my GR profile if you want to see them.

Eleven Miles is a fictional story based upon a true-life situation in Botswana. Until the target of Princess Boikanyo’s School Bus Project is achieved, 50% of all profits from the sales of this book will go into the project funds. In the meantime, please feel free to make additional contributions to this worthy cause by clicking on the project link.

You can find Lance Greenfield Mitchell on Twitter @lancegmitchell and Facebook Lance Greenfield Mitchell. You can also find Lance on his blog at lancegreenfield.wordpress.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#Book #Review by @HughRoberts05 of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Rose Collins

The Night Before Christmas by Rose Collins

Title: The Night Before Christmas

Author: Rose Collins

Format: Kindle Edition

Genre: Children’s Book

Language: English

Published: 7th December 2015 by NurseryBox Books

Print Length: 28 pages

File Size: 15661 KB

ASIN: B0193Y9PHW

Price: £1.49

Sold By: Amason UK Amazon USA

A free copy of the book was provided to me in exchange for a review.

Clement Clarke Moore’s much-loved poem is brought beautifully to life in this gorgeous picture book with a twist – as Santa visits a family of bears on Christmas Eve.

I’ve always loved Clement Clarke Moore’s poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.’ For me, Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year. So when I was asked to review this book I didn’t hesitate in saying ‘yes’.

Christmas Eve is a magical night and this book is just as magical. The pictures, story, and vivid colour not only help in making the book a spellbinding read, but they captured my heart. I could not fail in taking in every last detail of the illustrations and being whisked away on Santa’s sleigh for the time it took me to read the book.

I thought I was going to get the story of ‘The Three Bears’ but was very pleased to say there were no hints of cold porridge or lumpy beds. I smiled throughout the whole book and could feel it pulling me back to the days of my childhood. Not only will every child enjoy reading this book, but so will any adult who reads it to children.

As I have already mentioned, the illustrations are both beautiful and colourful. Children, young and old, will take a great time in absorbing the whole story not just from the words, but also from looking at the pictures and taking in everything that has been captured in them. They are mesmorizing.

Although the book is aimed at younger children, I’d encourage parents to get older children to read the story to their younger brothers and sisters. Didn’t we all love the magic of Christmas, especially when very young? The book will certainly help anybody reading it to spread that magical feeling to their audience.

The only slight problem I had with the book is that there is a small section of the story which refers to Santa smoking his pipe. The illustration on the particular page also shows this. Given the anti-social attitude towards smoking these days, some may find that they don’t want to promote Santa’s bad habit, as a smoker, to children. I was a little surprised to see it in the book. Had the book been published 30 or so years ago, then I don’t think it would have been considered that much of a problem but, in the current climate, it may raise a few eyebrows.

Realistic Characterisation: 5/5

Overall Enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

Hugh Roberts

Twitter: @HughRoberts05 (https://twitter.com/HughRoberts05)

Blog: hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

Facebook: Hugh W. Roberts (https://www.facebook.com/HughsViewsAndNews05)

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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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#Bookblurbs Any tips? What are your favourites? #amwriting

Hi all:

As you know I write (and translate) and I’m currently going through the corrections of my next novel (Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies, is proving challenging, or rather the circumstances around it are. I might tell you the story some day). Although there’s still a while to go (I always publish both versions, Spanish and English, of my books at the same time, and that means multiplying by two everything, including the time it takes to get everything ready), I started thinking about blurbs. Despite having written quite a few, I always hesitate when I’m about to write another one, and check advice on it.

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now... well, not quite
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now… well, not quite

I decided to share some of the articles I found about the subject (the advice isn’t that different, but I thought you might find that the style of the writer of some of the articles connects better with you than others).

17 tips on how to write blurbs that sell:

http://authorsociety.com/17-tips-how-write-blurb-sells

The dos and don’ts of writing a blurb for your novel :

http://www.blurb.co.uk/blog/writing-blurbs-for-novels/

4 easy steps to an irresistible book blurb:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/

How to write a book blurb:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/04/how-to-write-a-book-blurb/

Writing a short book blurb:

http://www.writing4success.com/Writing-a-Short-Book-Blurb.html

The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them):

https://www.standoutbooks.com/five-elements-of-a-book-blurb/

And after all that advice, I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or any strategies (different to those ones or adapted from them) that you found particularly useful. And also, what are your favourite book blurbs? They can be your own or other writers’. Personally, although I agree certain elements are expected, I think what will entice readers depends on each individual. As one of the articles observes, some very successful books have not-so-good blurbs. But I’m curious and I guess the best way to learn is to analyse well-written blurbs. So, please, do share! And if we get a good response, I’m happy to collect the best and share them in a future post.

Books and more books

(Ah, and a word about blurbs. It seems that in some cases, although not so much now, in the US a blurb might mean only a list of recommendations or positive reviews of a book added to the back-cover. That indeed can be included in what we are talking about, but we refer more to the short description at the back of a book in paper that tells the reader a bit about it and tries to hook him into buying and reading it).

Thanks so much to all the writers of the articles, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, do like, share, click on the articles and COMMENT!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#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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@FTThum #bookreview ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh

I needed a book to read, and this Sunday Times bestseller was compared to ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Girl on the Train’ so how could I not?

I let you go

Title:          I Let You Go
Author:          Clare Mackintosh
Publishers:     Sphere, Hachette (2014)
Format:          Paperback
Website:         www.claremackintosh.com
Pages:             371
Genre:            Psychological Thriller, Fiction

What’s it about?

Jenna Gray’s world disintegrated when she lost her son, in a hit-and-run.

It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a bid to escape the memories and pain, Jenna ran away to the Welsh coast, initially keeping her identity a secret but gradually, as she re-discovered her old passion and talent and more, her life began to turn around.

But it was not to be, as her past returned to haunt her.

In the meantime, Detective Inspector Ray Steven was assigned to solve this hit-and-run case, only to find the mother of the victim missing, and encountering the world of web-shaming directed at Jenna as he experienced the tension between his career aspiration which demanded that he closed the investigation down and his moral conscience to solve this case. And all this on top of marital problems.

So how did the two worlds converge? This psychological thriller kept me guessing and truth be told, flipping back pages to ‘work it out’.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. An entertaining gripping read by the beach. Kept me up till I got to the twist end.

P/S Clare Mackintosh’s next book ‘I See You’ is due on 28 July 2016. Check it out here.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 9.08
  Paperback USD 6.05
Booktopia Paperback AUD 13.95
Bookdepository Paperback £7.99

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

Thursday’s Thoughts

Prompt for Challenge

Please remember, this is for fun and to help get that writing mojo of yours flowing. Thursday is only a part of the title, not a deadline.

Here are the following rules:

  • Word count? Who needs word counts? Maybe you’re using the prompts because you just love writing OR maybe you need help to get through those pesky roadblocks. Either way, just let your fingers write the story and when you’re done, you’re done! (Of course, if you like flash fiction, let’s put a limit of no more than, say…500.)
  • Using the prompt of the photo below, WRITE. What is the bird doing? What is he looking at? What strikes your attention about this photo? (REQUIRED)BirdImage Courtesy: Angela Kay

Crave For Me by @RebeccahChase. #BookReview

Crave for me by Rebecca Chase Image with link3 Gold Stars image

 

Crave For Me

by Rebecca Chase

Fiction: Erotica/Romance.  Says 139 Pages but my Kindle has it at 274 pages. Amazon Digital Services LLC (February 21, 2016) $2.99 or Free to Read on KindleUnlimited.

Author Biography

Rebecca Chase is an English rose with a taste for sex and romance.

Starting life as a superhero she found she liked stockings more than tights so writing erotic romance was the obvious next step. When she’s not busy going on amusing and passionate dates with sexy suitors, or whacking shuttle cocks in thrilling badminton games, she dances the night away in random clubs. Frequently she can be found enjoying the spectacle of rugby men battling with balls. Rebecca loves finding interesting story ideas in everyday life and can frequently be caught daydreaming in coffee shops, while trying to hide her writing from sneaky-eyed baristas.

Book Review

I received this book for an honest review.

Although books of the more erotic nature are not my usual cup of tea, I agree to read some books at times because I feel every author needs reviewed, even if not by me. I had the time for this one, with it being three short stories, so I agreed.

The three stories in the book, Crave For Me: three short tales of erotic romance, are Fight For Me, Work For Me, and Play For Me.

The first, Fight For Me finds two childhood friends reunited over a brother’s wedding. But more is going on inside each than the other knows. Juliet Scott has been in love with Joe Adams since she knew boys weren’t all that bad after all. He’s been gone in the Army but her desire hasn’t lessened for the bad boy she knew. What happens when the old friend who thinks of her as a baby sister comes home on leave?

This is the right one to start the book with. It is the best of the three, in my opinion. It has more depth and seems to me a lot was put into this one. There are supporting characters that are well done and there is a good plot. I would like to say this could have been a longer novella length book, but does well on its own in its current length. I don’t think the intimate scenes were overdone or to stereotypical. Except for some word play around the scenes were well done. The characters nicely developed. A good story overall.

Work For Me is about Alana, an office employee and the fix-it man, Nick. She’s older and in need, and he’s ready to fix her kitchen and maybe more. That’s what she fantasizes about. Not as good as the first story, shorter and more typical of the genre I think.

This one starts off with some phrasing that’s quite different from the first story and thus took me a while to grow accustomed to. I gave it a chance and enjoyed the parts after that, they were quite realistic, until the last half, which turns into a fantasy piece. You’ll see when you read it.

Play For Me: Teacher, Kate Benson ends up with a surprise when her elderly private piano teacher is replaced with her former high school piano teacher, Nat Chapman. The one she had to stop piano because of the feelings she had for him.

Another realism turns fantasy piece, but that’s what the genre is about. Creative in the construction of the intimate scene.

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Visit Author Rebecca Chase at:

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Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss by @NadiaLee. #BookReview

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Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss

by Nadia Lee

Fiction: Contemporary Romance/Sagas. 256 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 12, 2016)

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Bilingual and formerly a management consultant Nadia Lee currently shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website nadialee.net or her blog nadialee.net/blog.

Book Description

Alex Damon is the self-made billionaire who has been possessed in recovering his father’s reputation and attaining not only the wealth his father lost but surpassing it beyond imagining, all while exacting revenge on the woman he lays the blame for his father’s ruin and death.

Natalie Hall is an intelligent executive, the loyal adopted daughter of a powerful political father, and hated by her father’s wife and sister. She’s the object of more plots and secrets than she could know possible and caught in the middle of a fight she has nothing to do with. Where will his loyalties end up?

Why I Picked Up the Book

I first picked up this book for three reasons: 1) It was written by a New York Times bestselling author, 2) It was free (and still is as of this review), and 3) I wanted to see how romance and seduction was written by a woman. You see, I write romance and wanted to see if I were getting it right on a certain level. I wanted to see how the seduction parts were written.

What I ended up finding was a good story that could have been taken to a whole new level if the author had that intention. I mean new level as in this could easily have been a political thriller. However, a full blown political thriller was not her intent. I honestly could see this being a movie.

Book Review

Natalie Hall is a strong character who is not only intelligent but independent as well. Her life does not depend on her family ties. Her career has been built on her own merits. Alex Damon is more complex than one first thinks. He has some typical aspects I’ve seen in other books of this genre, but I think Ms. Lee has taken steps to give him a touch more depth than I expected. I was very pleased. I could see the truth in a lot of his motivations, thoughts, and actions from a male perspective. Nicely done.

The supporting characters are well done, for the most part. Alex’s best friend is just what a powerful corporate raider needs. Natalie’s family is dysfunctional at best, except for her father who loves her, but holds a secret that may just tear the entire family apart. Her godmother is very proud of Natalie but holds secrets of her own that end up causing problems in Natalie’s life.

Alex never suspects that his plans to ruin a family name and business would end up with his own agony and need for something he never knew he wanted. Something he never knew he needed before.

I would recommend this book for a quick escape and lovers of the alpha male with an independent woman thrown in the mix.

DID IT DELIVER

Did the book give me what I wanted when I chose it? I have to say the romance and the “scenes” as I call them are well done, descriptive without being over the top. Except for some word choices for things, I would say she nailed it. (Pun unintentional, sort of.) And I don’t mean the use of profanity, which there was very little of, almost to the point I can’t even say specifically where some may have occurred.

RATING: 4 out of 5

When determining a rating I look at the book itself and not my expectations. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. The writing was strong, as was the plot and main characters. A couple of the supporting cast were a little weak, but I saw why things were done from a writer’s view point. The ending was good and no real loose ends were left to wonder about. But I could see where another book could come about with these two as main characters. (The rating was very close to a 4.5, which surprised me since this is not my usual sub-genre to delve into.)

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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Get the print options at:

http://www.nadialee.net/bookshelf/taken-by-her-unforgiving-billionaire-boss/#order-book

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