Tag Archives: Thriller

#BookReview ‘Life or Death’ by Michael Robotham. A escape from prison and conspiracy novel rolled in one. And a main character you won’t forget

Title:   Life or Death
Author:  Michael Robotham
ISBN13: 978-0316252034
ASIN:  B00HP4HABG
Published:  July 2014
Pages:  449
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller

Life of Death by Michael Robotham
Life of Death by Michael Robotham

 

Thanks to the publishers for providing me a free copy through Net Galley.

This novel’s tagline is The Shawshank Redemption meets No Country for Old Men and it is fairly accurate.

Audey Palmer escapes prison the day before he was due to be released, and everybody, including the inmates of the prison, wonder, why? This question propels the novel where Robottam makes a skilful use of third person point of view that alternates between a large cast of characters, but they are all so distinct that the reader never loses track.

From Audey, whose memories are slowly uncovered, to a diminutive but feisty FBI female agent, Moss, the prisoner of the next cell and a deeper character than at first appears, a sheriff hell bent on revenge, we get to see things from their perspective, whilst at the same time we’re not shown the whole story until the very end. The pieces fall into place eventually, and although we might have our suspicions, everything fits in beautifully. Considering the times and the stories in the news, unfortunately the truth behind the case does not feel like a huge stretch of the imagination.

Audey is a survivor against all odds but at the same time has an uncanny talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When asked about it, he comments that he must have broken a mirror and found a horseshoe in the same day. There are many coincidences throughout the plot, but then life is full of them and there is an internal logic to the characters and the story that pulls it all together. Audey has something of the tragic hero as fate seems heavily stacked against him but he never gives up. And those on his side seem to grow in stature by coming into contact with him.

The style of the novel is easy to read, well-paced and at the same time beautifully written, with some gems of insight and style. I also loved the dry sense of humour and the pathos. The plot and the story keep us engaged, but the level of writing and the skill lift it above the humdrum standard thriller. This novel will work equally for people who enjoy complex characters and those who prefer an action filled adventure. A great book.

Life or Death in audiobook format
Life or Death in audiobook format

Here I leave you the description and some editorial reviews:

Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he’s due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent ten years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where’s the money?

On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him – the police, FBI, gangsters and other powerful figures – but Audie isn’t running to save his own life. Instead, he’s trying to save someone else’s.

Michael Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Life or Death is a nerve-shredding thriller with the heart and soul so often missing from lesser crime and suspense novels. I couldn’t stop reading, yet I didn’t want Audie’s story to end. Robotham is an absolute master.”―Stephen King

“A pitch perfect plot with a stunning twist that involves a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Talk about topsy turvy — but it works — big time.”―Steve Berry, author of The Lincoln Myth and The Jefferson Key

“Robotham has a talent for creating fascinating and complex characters, and Audie Palmer may be his best yet.”―Booklist (starred review)

[A] prison-break tale with a twist . . . The writing is top-notch . . . Plenty of edge-of-the-seat excitement, forcing readers to frantically turn the pages to find out how all these different strands intersect. Robotham’s skill as a writer remains undeniable: He offers memorable characters caught up in an irresistible story.”―Kirkus Reviews

“Michael Robotham is the real deal.”―David Baldacci

“Robotham is a first-class storyteller.”―Associated Press

About the Author

Michael Robotham is author of Watching You, Say You’re Sorry, Bleed for Me, Shatter, and other novels of suspense. A former investigative journalist who has worked in Britain, Australia and the US, Robotham is one of the world’s most acclaimed authors of thriller fiction. He lives in Sydney with his wife and three daughters.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at: 
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $15.99 (http://www.amazon.com/Life-Death-Novel-Michael-Robotham/dp/0316252034/)
Kindle: $17.15 (http://www.amazon.com/Life-Death-Michael-Robotham-ebook/dp/B00HP4HABG/)

Audiobook: $22.08 (http://www.amazon.com/Life-or-Death/dp/B00LU0RCVO/)

Thanks so much for reading and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “IN THE BEGINNING” @AUTHORABBYVANDIVER

In the Beginning

Title:  In the Beginning, (Mars Origin I – Series Book 1)

Author:  Abby L. Vandiver

Blog: Abby L. Vandiver.com

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ISBN: 0989546306

ISBN13: 9780989546300

ASIN:  B00DPOF6IE

Published:  December 16, 2013

Pages:  332

Genre:  Science Fiction, Religious and Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

A Biblical Archaeologist named Justin Dickerson decides that she needs a change to her dull academic lifestyle. She accepts an invitation to attend the 50th Jubilee of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and participates in the last of the translation process regarding the ancient writings. While working on the interpretations of these writings, she stumbles upon a journal that one of the original translators compiled. This amazing artifact propels her to search for humankind’s true beginnings in our world.

The original translator, Dr. Amos Sabir was assigned to translate four manuscripts found in Cave #4 at Qumran in the Judean Desert in 1949. A total of seven scrolls were unearthed and translated. What this group of original translators discover, is evidence so earth-shattering that they hide the findings from the world; burying the secret in plain sight hoping it will not be detected. Until 1997, when Justin finds the notebooks and realizes the hidden translations clarify the true beginnings of our species and our existence on earth.

I love science fiction, history, and mystery novels, so when I stumbled upon this book as a “free” Kindle download I was excited. After the first few pages I knew I had scored an excellent read. I did a bit of my own research and found a great site called Bibleplaces.com which helped to fill in some of the questions I had about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the location of the caves, and the actual condition of the authentic manuscripts. The more I read, the more excited I got. I felt like a researcher too!

However, be prepared. This is not a Dan Brown novel that introduces you to religious conspiracy theories. Instead, Abby Vandriver takes a more realistic course. She tells the tale through the eyes of a woman who has deep religious convictions rooted in the traditions of her tight knit family. The whole concept of the hidden translation is thought provoking and will leave you thinking about the origins of man for a long time to come.

Abby L. Vandiver

 

Author, Abby L. Vandiver

The writing was so well done, that I had a hard time separating fact from fiction. This story was so believable that many times I had to remind myself that this was creative writing at its best, and it was not true. Although, I still cannot help wondering if it could it be true…

If you love books that deal with history, biblical history, The Gnostic Texts, aliens, and the unknown, you will love this rendition on the theme of man’s origins. There are two additional books available in the trilogy: “Irrefutable Proof – Book II” and “Incarnate – Book III.” You can bet that I have both of them on my summer must read list!

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5.0

Goodreads

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $12.95 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

Colleen 10.21.14

 

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

 

LitWorldInterviews #Book #Review of The Nibelung Gold by Koos Verkaik.

nibelung-gold

I received this book for an honest review from the author. A very nice man who I have exchanged several emails. How nice? He wasn’t upset that a recent illness that messed with my short term memory problems, which I suffer from due to a concussion, had made me lose track of his review. Fortunately he emailed me and it clicked. I found my notes.

Being a historian and lover of myth and legend, when this book was made notice to me as available for review I jumped at it. I don’t often do that. Less and less these days.

The story is about a man with an obsession. At first Willem Wolf wants to know if the paranormal is real. He and his partner Jacob spend their time exposing false spiritualists as the frauds they are, that is until they meet Wera Keller. Keller makes a believer, of sorts, out of Wolf.

With his meeting with Keller coming to an unexpected end, Wolf finds himself on a hunt for answers that turns into more and then even more than he ever thought he was getting in to. Included in that is a group involved in the occult and of course a major villain.

The Nibelung Gold is a well researched, detailed book that engrosses the reader but you do need to give it your attention. There is a lot of information to glean from the reading and you at times might think you are reading a man’s research, which in a way you might say you are. I think that is part of the charm of the book. It’s not simply a story but it IS research as Wolf is trying to make discoveries. This is a mystery.

Take your time with the book and don’t expect a quick read, unless you are just that sort of reader. This is one you want to take in slowly so you can absorb it all. It’s nice having books like that sometimes. Or it is for me.

The author, Koos Verkaik gives us a view of late 19th century spiritualism in Amsterdam, which is something unusual to read about.

You will discover if Wolf finds out if the paranormal is real and there is of course the Nibelung Treasure itself.

Recommend:

I would recommend this to anyone interested in historical pieces with myths and paranormal elements, and history period. It’s a brain piece, as I call them, but an enjoyable one that is not over the top for an average reader, you get the sense of a great imagination behind the book along with a great deal of research. all of which I believe comes from the vast writing experience of the author.

Rating

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Why not 5?

There are some slow moments that take away and you might get lost along the way with some changes in direction, but you will still enjoy it. This is a book translated to English but that doesn’t take away all that much, and then perhaps not at all once you are engrossed in the story itself.

I would read more by this author.

About the Author: (Click image for author site.)

Koos-kleinKoos Verkaik started to write at the age of 7, published his firt work (comics, 3 pages each week in a magazine) at the age of 16, his first novel was published at the age of 18.
Over 50 different titles are published now, both in The Netherlands, Canada and the USA.
Koos is a master of magic, adventure and mystery, writes many urban fantasy books en children’s books.
His new series for children, ALEX AND THE WOLPERTINGER, is published internationally and there will be at least 30 different titles.

Ebook-award1Ebook-award2

 

 

 

Koos also has other books just released and for different ages.

Click images for Amazon book page for more details.

Voos Verkaik Saldin the Wonder HorseVoos Verkaik

 

Voos Verkaik Heavenly Vision

 

 

@RonovanWrites

ronovanwrites.wordpress.com

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#Book #Review by @OlgaNM7 ‘Chaos Is Come Again’ by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn

Chaos Is Come Again by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn
Chaos Is Come Again by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn

Title:   Chaos Is Come Again
Author:   John Dolan and Fiona Quinn
Print Length: 350 pages
Publisher: Tention Publishing Limited (October 21, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00OSP0AGW
Genre:  Thriller/romance/?
The publishing business, murders and madness

I have read and love the three books (so far) in the series Time, Blood and Karma by John Dolan. I know Fiona Quinn from her fantastic blog (I recommend it to anybody interested in writing thrillers. I had the pleasure of being one of her guests). And I was very intrigued by their collaboration. If any more encouragement were needed, the reviews were great too.

I had read interviews about the process involved in writing the novel and I wondered how it would have worked in reality, as it sounded fairly complicated.

Given all that I had been looking forward with trepidation to reading the novel and it did not disappoint.

The novel is seamless. I could not pick up parts that I fell were more likely to have been written by either author (I might have my theories, but nothing stood out), and once I got into the story that was no longer important.

The novel has two main protagonists: Sean, a young Englishman, a barista diagnosed with schizophrenia and with a violent incident in his past that weights heavy in his mind (although we’re never given any details), and Avery, an American woman, a literary agent burdened with a mother suffering from dementia, and whose difficulties provide at times light entertainment and at others add poignancy to the proceedings.

The two storylines: life in the literary world, a woman’s point of view, friends and chocolate cakes; and London’s gritty life, anxiety and self-doubt, together with a writer with a penchant for scandal (some would say blasphemous), an aspiring poet/singer and girlfriend with no evident redeeming qualities, and a mysterious serial killer, create as many plot threads as any eager reader would wish for (possibly even more).

Social media (Twitter in particular) helps bring them together and reels us into a thriller/romance, with a disquietingly open ending.

It’s dynamic, flows well although the rhythm varies according to whose point of view we’re seeing the story from, and with its mixture of characters and likable central duo it’s difficult not to find somebody to root for.

This is a book for readers who like to explore outside established genres and don’t mind open endings. I’m not sure die-hard thriller fans would approve but writers will have a chuckle. I did.

What the book is about: An American female literary agent, a British man struggling with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and concerned about a previous incident of violence, an irreverent author, a wannabe narcissist singer, who all come in contact with each other thanks to Twitter and the literary world. Ah, and a London serial killer.

 Book Highlights: The London atmosphere, seen both through the eyes of locals and through those of newcomers. The inner workings of a literary agency. The relationship between Avery and her friend Lolly that adds a touch of chick-lit to the proceedings.

 Challenges of the book: The book moves comfortably between the terrains of chick-lit, thriller, and accurately observed London life. The changes of registry, and the fragments of Travis’s novel might prove challenging to some readers, or at least not sit comfortably with everybody.

 What do you get from it: That the cooperation between writers can lead to great things. And, that where there is a will, there is a way.

 What I would have changed if anything: Being a psychiatrist I found it difficult not to diagnose and treat a few of the characters and I wonder how somebody with similar problems might react to some the way some of the characters are treated (Goose and his obsessive behaviours, for example) but it did reflect reality (it was probably fairly tolerant compared to reality).

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: This novel moves across a few genres. I’m convinced most writers will enjoy it, and those who love thrillers with a degree of quirkiness (rather than straight procedural or cosy mystery lovers).

 

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $13.49 http://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Come-Again-John-Dolan/dp/0957325665/
Kindle:$ 4.45 http://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Come-Again-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B00OSP0AGW/

 

 

Olga Núñez Miret

Olga_Núñez_Miret_author.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

#Book #Review @OlgaNM7 ‘Normal’ by Graeme Cameron. A romantic twist on the serial killer novel. And British

Normal by Graeme Cameron
Normal by Graeme Cameron

Title:   Normal
Author:   Graeme Cameron
ASIN:  B00OY2769S
Published:  Kindle version due on 6th April. Hardback  available from 31st March and paperback due in September 29th )
Pages:  301 pages
Genre:  Thriller (serial killer)/romance

Thanks to Net Galley and to Harlequin Mira for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Normal takes another look at the ever popular figure of the serial killer. This one is not only British, but also fairly “normal”. The author choses to use first person narration as a way of keeping the main character anonymous (no description, no personal details other than his own narration of his actions and his environment, not even a name) and of offering the readers and insight into the mind of the murderer. And this was where the problem resided for me. Of course a serial killer deserving of that name would have to appear “normal” to society at large, otherwise he would be easily spotted and stopped. But there are certain psychological characteristics that would be expected, like superficial charm, callousness, lack of empathy… All of these are present to a certain level, and even give rise to pretty humorous (in a dark humour kind of way) situations, but unravel when he seems to fall in love and becomes… an utter disaster.

From being a man who had managed to kill an undetermined number of young women, never getting caught and who had a pretty organised system, he becomes one who starts making mistakes, forgetting to bury bodies, and getting himself caught in all kinds of dangerous situations. At some point, cruelty and all, the novel becomes somewhat slapstick in its situations, and it seems that if he doesn’t get caught sooner is only down to his good luck and to the utter lack of skills of the local police (who pay dearly for their mistakes).

I wasn’t sure if the lack of psychological consistency in the character was meant to indicate a crisis (of conscience, a moral crisis) or to point out at the redeeming powers of love. The characters comments towards the end (that I won’t reveal, although the actual end is not completely closed) indicate the second option, and that stretches somewhat the limits of credibility, but maybe I’m just too cynical. As the book is a Harlequin Edition, this makes some sense, and it’s an interesting move within their line of publications.

Some reviewers have queried the lack of explanation of the motivations for the character’s actions that are only vaguely hinted at. Although that is true, the main character never seems to entertain deep reflections about himself other than in relation to his immediate plans, actions and the likely consequences of these and there doesn’t seem to be much space for biographical reflection in the way his brain works.

The character that I found intriguing is Erica who is totally unexplained and unexplainable, and in some ways I wonder how the novel would have been if she was the narrator of the story (or this had been a third person narration to allows us some insight into her).

This is a good read (if you tolerate violence, although is by far not as violent as other books on the subject), the language flows easily, and it has enough intrigue, and dark humoured moments to keep most readers of the genre happy. Being a psychiatrist (and a forensic psychiatrist at that) I wasn’t totally convinced by the psychological portrayal of the character and his behaviour in the last third of the book but I don’t think I’m the intended reader of this novel. In my opinion most readers of thrillers looking for something a bit different will enjoy it, but maybe not the hard core of the genre.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
 

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback$ 13.04 (Available from 29th September)
Hardback:  $ 18.71 (Available from 31st March)
Kindle: $7.25 (Available from 6th April. Currently on pre-order)

Thank you all for reading, and  you know what I say, like, share, comment, and if you’re really interested, get pre-CLICKING!

Olga Núñez Miret

Olga_Núñez_Miret_author.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

My Grl by John Howell @HowellWave Interview

my girl coverReviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite – Rating – Five Stars

My GRL by John W. Howell is a fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. John J. Cannon was looking forward to a long island vacation but instead ended up chasing and hiding from the bad guys. From losing Gerry who he was getting close to calling a friend, to discovering the real truth behind her death, to discovering who Sarah, Gerry’s friend really was. It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page. 

 

Anonymous Amazon Customer-Rating 5 star The author John W Howell has constructed his thriller very cleverly and created a truly pleasurable reading experience. I found myself suspecting just about everyone of something and being right only about half the time, which is probably in itself one of the marks of a very good thriller.

john howell author my girl

RW: John, what is your background in writing, what makes you a writer other than your ability to hold a pencil, type a writer or in some other way make words appear on a page?

JOHN: What really makes me a writer is I do it every day. Besides that, I have studied the craft and have written four books now. One published, one at the publisher for release (heaven knows when) and one just completed. The other one? Holding the laundry room door open in a breeze. (yes it is that bad)

RW: Where do you live and that will tell us how big that laundry room book needs to be?

JOHN: I was born in Detroit Michigan but have lived in Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, Ohio, and California. I currently reside in Texas on a barrier island off the coast of South Texas 

RW: So you write all the time and live on an island. I always ask what an author does to get away from writing when they need a break from it, when it’s just frustrating them for the moment, I think I can guess yours but tell us anyway.

JOHN: I usually don’t take a break from writing. I do take a break from novel writing by doing short stories. When I really need to get away for a few I take a walk on the beach 

RW: Okay now into the real reason people are here. What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

JOHN: The title of the published book is My GRL. I choose the title since the story is about a guy who buys a boat and he names it My GRL.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

JOHN: My GRL is a thriller.

RW: Why do you write thrillers?

JOHN: I find the Thriller genre open enough to allow me to create the kinds of situations that are interesting to the reader while challenging myself to insert the kinds to twists, turns and excitement the reader is looking for.

RW: Tell us a little about My GRL and what inspired the idea.

JOHN: John Cannon is a San Francisco Lawyer who wants to take a leave of absence from the firm. He buys a boat he names My GRL unaware a group of terrorists want to use his boat to destroy a symbol of America’s greatness. His first hint of trouble is when he wakes up in the hospital and learns he was found unconscious next to the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. The only one standing between the terrorists and the successful completion of their mission is John Cannon.

I was on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Lexington which is moored in Corpus Christi. My sister and I were touring the boat since our father had served on her as a naval aviator during World War II. I was struck to see all the armament was no longer in place. This symbol of America’s military might was defenseless to any attack. After leaving the boat, I constructed a story on how to attack the Lexington and then a story on how to prevent such a thing. The story of My GRL fell into place.

RW: Tell us about your John Cannon and also who you envision playing him in a movie.

JOHN: I think I would like to see Bradly Cooper play John. He has the kind of seriousness coupled with humor that is the essence of John’s personality. John J. Cannon is a normal person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. He is a guy who wants to become a charter captain and ends up having to deal with a bunch of pretty bad characters. John is not a superhero nor does he possess secret abilities that allow him to overcome his adversaries. He is slightly OCD and is worried about many of the same things that we all are. He has a dry sense of humor and his legal training allows him to keep a fairly even disposition while things around him become increasingly complex. He loves good food and is especially fond of a Tanqueray martini on the rocks

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

JOHN: The basic message is people with a cause are convinced righteousness is on their side. The terrorists are firmly convinced that because of past offenses, their current plan to kill innocent people is just. So we cannot hope to convince these terrorists to give up their cause simply because we don’t think it is lawful. I would hope anyone reading this book would come away with the feeling that military solutions are not always the way to stop hostilities. It might take a deeper understanding of the motivation of the adversary to successfully come to a peaceful solution.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JOHN: Intriguing

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

JOHN: The first thing I learned was I could, in fact, finish a book that was readable. Up to this point my efforts were not what I would describe as stellar. The second was I could write about a subject that I knew little about. People who don’t know me think I have been around boats. I really had to research all aspects of the book since none of the hardware and software related items were in my experience profile.

RW: How did you end up with MSP?

JOHN: I did a number of queries and for whatever reason never connected. I then went and did some research on publishers who would accept a first-time author who did not have an agent and found Martin Sisters Publishing

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

JOHN: Too often, authors rush to get a book published with some disastrous results. The author must do the research necessary to find out how they want to be published. If they want to self-publish that carries one set of responsibilities. Traditional publish is another option but does have certain requirements. So my tip is to take the time necessary to determine the path that is right for the person. There is no real right path, but a path chosen that is done in haste could be very disappointing.

RW: When you’re not writing who are you reading?

JOHN: I am reading Allure of the GypsieS by Charles Yallowitz. It is his third story in the Legends of Windemere series. He has actually published five books, but I’m a little behind since my TBR pile gets higher by the day.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JOHN: I have three current favorites, Charles Yallowitz author of the Legends of Windemere series, Kevin Brennan Author of Yesterday Road and Occasional Soulmates and Andra Watkins author of Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace and To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

RW: How do you like to keep hydrated?

JOHN: I love to drink water while working and a margarita after. 

RW: What are you working on right now?

JOHN: I have finished the third book in the John Cannon trilogy and it has a working title of Our Justice. The next book explores the daughter father conflict in a world filled with bad choices. We’ll have to see how it works.

My second book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy is titled His Revenge. It is the story of John’s efforts to bring the terrorist leader to justice with the help of the FBI. The title is a little bit confusing in that we are not sure whose revenge is eventually satisfied Johns or the Terrorist leader? When the book is launched the answer will be apparent to the reader.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JOHN: Impecunious.(poor) I loved the word ever since studying for the GMAT. I used to love to say “In my current state of impecunity ….” I could then beg off anything. 

Acquire My GRL at:
Amazon:  US Canada UK Australia
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Kobo

Make sure to CONNECT with JOHN at:
My Blog Fiction Favorites
Facebook
Twitter 
LinkedIn
Google+
Authorsdb
Goodreads
Shelfari

Living on an island, writing and walking on a beach? John, you’ll have a visitor soon. Ah, the dream life. And John, I have plenty of door holders so pick that one up, dust it off and get to revising it.

As always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Ron_LWI

@RonovanWrites

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Relating to John’s suggestion about knowing your path and role in traditional and self-publishing, check out Choose Your Publishing Option. Free for ebook or pdf at Smashwords here.

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Book Review. The Manuscript 1. The Secret

the Manuscript 1. new coverTitle:   The Manuscript 1. The Secret
Author:   Blanca Miosi
ASIN:  B0141S2FOA
Published:  New version 16th August 2015
Pages:  255
Genre:  Suspense, thriller

As a writer, a book titled ‘The Manuscript’ will always be intriguing to me, and Blanca Miosi’s book did not disappoint me. From the very beginning you are thrown in at the deep end and have many questions that make you keep reading.

The writer protagonist of the book, Nicholas, is having trouble writing. And right in cue, a strange man gives him a magical manuscript of sorts. It is unclear what the magic is, but Nicholas becomes fascinated by the content of the manuscript to the point that he has to go and pursue the story, no matter at what cost.

The novel flows well, and the changes in point of view narration add layers of complexity to the book, and make us feel closer to the characters, a complex array of people, from all walks of life and different corners of the world. Business corporations, Mafia, Colombia cartels, Nazi concentration camps’ experiments, writers block, love triangles, genetics…all have a part to play in this novel that’s deceptively simple. Fictional situations mix with well-known historical characters and create a compelling narrative that will leave you wanting more.

I’ve read many books and one can’t help but guess what will come next. Believe me, I tried, but the book kept going in unexpected directions.

Well-paced, with a great story, likeable main characters and some fantastic minor ones, a great dose of intrigue (and some magic) it is not surprising it was a best-seller in its Spanish version. I’d be surprised if the English version doesn’t do even better.

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

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  
Kindle: Free at time of writing the review

Thanks all for reading, thanks to Blanca for her book and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share and CLICK

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Louisiana Ghost Story” by M. A. Harper

Louisana Ghost Story

51M3WJTC77L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

(Images from Amazon)

Title: Louisiana Ghost Story
Author: M. A. Harper
ISBN-10: 0151011168
ISBN-13: 9780151011162
ASIN: B00CHQBDMO
http://www.maharperauthor.com/index.htm
Pages: 368
Published: January 10, 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal-ghosts, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal Romance

Phil, the owner of an upscale restaurant in New Orleans, and his new wife Michelle have recently married blending their kids, her home, and their work together as a brand new family. Only a few months into their marriage, strange appearances by Michelle’s late husband, A. P. Savoie, who was a famous Cajun musician, begin to occur. Phil is haunted by visions of Savoie, which begins to take a toll on his health and their marriage. As the haunting images increase, Phil and Michelle are forced to consult psychics and even a Priest looking for answers to the horrifying occurrences. I could not wait to find out why Savoie was coming to them from beyond the grave.

I found myself immersed into the life of this family in New Orleans, with just the right amount of Cajun spice and ghostly images thrown in. I was drawn to Michelle, as she was still dealing with the loss of her husband, and how it affected her and her children; even though she was newly married to Phil. The dynamics between Phil, Michelle, and the dead Savoie were especially enlightening to the story. It really made me think about the reach and depth of love between two people.

This family had realistic challenges just learning how to become their own family, let alone the paranormal activity that encircled them. The fact that the children all got along together made me want them to find success as a family. I found the step children endearing and loved how Michelle’s son wanted to follow in Phil’s footsteps at the restaurant when his own children did not have an interest.

Unfortunately, this book has several titles. I downloaded the Kindle version called, “Louisiana Ghost Story.” I understand the original title to be, “The Year of Past Things/Ghost in the Bedroom.” Now the book is listed as, Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3).” Get past the confusion with the title and you will find a great old fashioned Southern ghost story that will keep you guessing from start to finish.

I felt this was a story about the deepness of love shared between a family, and at the same time, about learning how to let go of things that are out of our control. I deeply cared about this family and what was happening to them. It was a joy watching them learn about forgiveness while they moved from the past into the future as a family unit.

I absolutely loved the end of this book. I never saw it coming! On that note, I was also sad to let go of the characters. By the end, I felt like I had lived through this event with them, I was so emotionally involved in the plot.

I totally enjoyed the realistic haunting experience that Phil had. It was not portrayed as a Hollywood version of a horror movie. I was comfortable with that characterization because the story seemed so down to earth and not really fiction at all. As the events unraveled in this ghost tale, I was instantly hooked and drawn in to the intrigue.

If you are a fan of old fashioned ghost stories, this book will enthrall you from beginning to end. Watching a family handle their grief, while learning how to love again was especially poignant and sweet, as they form their own special family unit.

M. A. Harper

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: “The Year of Past Things,” “Ghost in the Bedroom.”
Kindle: $2.99Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3)”
Find the book on goodreads

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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LWI #WeekendDateBookClub

Want a date for the weekend that will LAST?

How about one that is WORTH your time?

We’ve got Authors for you!

IT’S THE

Weekend Date Book Club

 

Is one of our authors on your dance card for the weekend?

Do you have one that you are hot about and might be a great interview or review for LWI and want to share it in comments?

Tell us about your upcoming date. Share your secrets. Then return to tell us if they were as great as you hoped for.

LWI Authors

Adult Fiction

Jeanne Bannon

PS Bartlett

Cyril Bussiere

Paula Cappa

Oliver Chase

Luccia Gray

Alysha Kaye

Jon Langione

Lisa-Mason

Olga Núñez Miret

Jo Robinson

Orlando Sanchez

Jinx Schwartz

Thom Tate

Sandi K Whipple

Kent Whittington

Middle Grade Fiction

Monica LaSarre

Vashti Quiroz-Vega

New Adult Fiction

Lisa Mason

Amira Makansi

Elena Makansi

Kristina Makansi

Young Adult Fiction

Natacha Guyot

Mishka Jenkins

Amira Makansi

Elena Makansi

Kristina Makansi

Shannon A. Thompson

 

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2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

LWI #WeekendDateBookClub

What to do for the weekend?

No date?

Or no date worth the time I should say.

Check out our authors for dates that will last all weekend.

Our first

 

Weekend Date Book Club

 

begins now and you are all invited to join.

Is one of our authors on your dance card for the weekend?

Do you have one that you are hot about and might be a great interview or review for LWI and want to share it in comments?

Tell us about your upcoming date. Share your secrets. Then return to tell us if they were as great as you hoped for.

LWI Authors

Adult Fiction

Jeanne Bannon

PS Bartlett

Cyril Bussiere

Paula Cappa

Oliver Chase

Luccia Gray

Alysha Kaye

Jon Langione

Lisa-Mason

Olga Núñez Miret

Jo Robinson

Orlando Sanchez

Jinx Schwartz

Thom Tate

Sandi K Whipple

Kent Whittington

Middle Grade Fiction

Monica LaSarre

Vashti Quiroz-Vega

New Adult Fiction

Lisa Mason

Amira Makansi

Elena Makansi

Kristina Makansi

Young Adult Fiction

Shannon A. Thompson

Amira Makansi

Elena Makansi

Kristina Makansi

 

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Book Review by @OlgaNM7 of ‘Dead Drop’ by Jesse Miles

Dead Drop by Jesse Miles
Dead Drop by Jesse Miles

Title:  Dead Drop

Author:   Jesse Miles

ISBN: 

 ISBN13:

ASIN: B00NMO1S9I

Published:  Jesse Miles Books (15th September 2014)

Pages:  269

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. Private Investigator.

Dead Drop. A P.I. and Philosopher at home in L.A.

When I read the description of this novel in Net Galley (I obtained a free copy there) the premise sounded interesting. I enjoy mystery, suspense and crime thrillers. For me, the best are a combination of a gripping story and unforgettable characters. With regards to the story, it could be a fascinating and well described setting, or it might take place at an interesting historical moment, or in a peculiar background… And the characters…Real human beings with quirks, conflicts, lives, and voices. A P.I. who gets a job checking a possible case of embezzlement in a huge corporation (that as you can imagine quickly become far more complicated than that) and who also teaches Philosophy sounded promising on both counts.

Apart from all that, Dead Drop (the meaning of the name is explained in the novel) has elements also of the spy thriller. Jack Salvo, the detective, is in quite a few ways, your typical P.I. The novel is written in the first person and therefore we don’t get much on the way of other people’s point of view as to how Jack comes across to others. He seems popular with the women (although in some cases it is unclear if that might not be due to the attempts of the female characters at getting inside information from him), he knows about everything, he is well conversant with L.A. (I’ve never been there but to my untrained eye, the details seemed convincing), he is self-assured…and he teaches Philosophy and seems to enjoy it. But other than that little detail about him (and a very late brief discussion about his life with one of the female characters who becomes his love interest, Lily) I didn’t get the sense that I learned very much about the character or that he was much more than a collection of all his characteristics (that were neither offensive not particularly endearing, other than his interest in his teaching).

The plot is well developed and combines research, intrigue, action and mystery. Nobody is who they seem to be, and the story takes Jack from the corporate world, through veterans of the French foreign legion (and Philosophy experts to boot), bit actresses, luxury car garages, good old fashioned surveillance, breaking and entering, Swiss bank accounts, murder and bluff and double bluff.

The style of writing is clean, direct, easy to read, and fast-paced and fits in with the story. In summary I enjoyed the book but thought it could gain by developing the main character a bit more. Some of his reactions towards the end of the novel and his love story seem a bit sudden and not completely in keeping with the persona developed throughout the rest. As this is the first of a series of novels it might well be that the background will come more into play in later novels and it might allow the character to grow and become more multidimensional.

A solid story, a good and interesting read, just a notch below the unmissable category.

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5

Made Me Think: 4/5

Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5

Readability: 4.5/5

Recommended: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:  Amazon (currently only available as e-book)

Format & Pricing:

Paperback: 

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Drop-Jesse-Miles-ebook/dp/B00NMO1S9I/ ($3.99)

Review by:

Olga_Núñez_Miret_author.jpg
Olga Núñez Miret, author, blogger…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, please like, share, comment, and CLICK! And if you’re a reader, remember to review the books you read. Many thanks!

Covert World-Red Storm Q&A with @ThomasATate

Thom_Thate_Red_Storm.jpgCovert World: Red Storm

Thom Tate

“Great pace, great characters, great plot – a great story.
If you like a good dose of James Bond, Jason Bourne or Will Robie – then you’ll love this new Blake Mackay story. You’ll be engaging with the characters, the antagonist ‘Petrovich’ being a personal favourite, while the thought out plot pulls you along without problems to the very end.”-Amazon Review of Red Storm
 
“A great read !. Blake is Hero in every aspect of the word with a fantastic taste in high-tech toys, too!”-Amazon Review
 

Fast paced action and thrills. I’m talking about the books of my guest today, not necessarily the interview, but hopefully you’ll find that entertaining as well. 5 novellas, one lead character. Seriously, what more could you ask for? Let’s get this things started and have me be quiet.  Meet . . .

Thom Tate

Thom_Tate_Profile - Copy

 

 

RW: Where are you from?

THOM: Cumming, GA  (Originally, SW Indiana)

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

THOM: Vince Flynn, Brad Thor and Robert Ludlum

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

THOM: Family, playing lacrosse, watching TV. Really anything that is an escape.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

THOM: I started writing 3 years ago. Previous to that, I had no experience. I have a pretty vivid imagination and wanted to share my stories with others.

RW: Why did you choose Red Storm for your latest novella?

THOM: It has to do with a Russian Billionaire that built his own weather controlling array, similar to HAARP in Alaska. Since he creates storms and he’s Russian, the name just made sense.

RW: What genre does your book fall into and what makes you a writer for this genre?

THOM: Spy Thriller. I’ve always loved spy thrillers; movies and books. I’m fascinated at all the clandestine missions, the action, deception, etc…

RW: Why do you write in the spy thriller genre?

THOM: It’s what I’m interested in and it is the type of story my twisted mind comes up with.

RW: Tell us a little about the story your twisted mind came up with this time.

THOM: This is the fifth mission for my Black Ops agent, Blake MacKay. Of course there is a beautiful woman that he teams up with. Her name is Sofia Kuzma. She goes to work for a man named Nikoli Petrovich. He has built the worlds largest weather controlling array in the middle of Siberia. She thought that he was building it to bring rain to drought stricken areas of the world and help them to grow food, but while digging through their electronic file system, she discovers a much more sinister reason. She basically steals the data as proof and sends it to an old friend in Moscow for safe keeping, however, when she goes to meet him… let’s just say bad things start happening and she runs to the U.S. Embassy for some help.

Blake is sent to Moscow to get the data from this woman and to look for a missing agent who holds the key to taking out the array and stopping it from doing more damage. This is never easy and all Hell breaks loose. Blake and Sofia eventually team up and devise a plan that will eliminate the threat Petrovich and his weather array pose. Of course there all kinds of obstacles in the way; bad guys on their tail, a ticking clock that needs to be beat, etc… I tried to throw in a little romance with a lot of action, barriers, violence, etc… I think people will like it.

RW: What inspired the book?

THOM: It just came to me while I was finishing writing the forth book in the series. I took some notes and when I finished “Intercept” I started writing “Red Storm”.

RW: Tell us about Blake MacKay and what you think will make readers connect to him.

THOM: Blake is of Scottish and Native American decent. He is in his thirties. Old enough to have experience and young enough where age doesn’t slow him down. He grew up in the mountains of Colorado and is very athletic. He is a true patriot but is also a realist. He understands there are bad people in the world and he has to do bad things in order to protect this country.

RW: Who would play Blake in a movie?

THOM: Taylor Lautner. He’s only 24 now and would have to age a little bit, but who knows, maybe by the time my books become popular he’d be old enough to play him. He has the look and has played in an action movie “Abduction”, so I think he’d do really well.

RW: Agent MacKay is a Black Ops agent who gets into some things normal people don’t, what do you see or hope people will take away from reading Red Storm?

THOM: There are constantly threats against our country and there are people that stay in the shadows and risk their lives for our safety. They deserve our eternal gratitude and respect.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

THOM: That I can do this and I really enjoy it.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

THOM: Thrilling

RW: Where can we get Red Storm right now and what are the plans for its future?

THOM: Amazon.com exclusively through Jan 20th 2015. After that, it will be available on iTunes, Google, Kobo, Smashwords, etc…

RW: Tell us about the other books Agent MacKay has appeared in.

THOM: I have four other books in the Covert World series; Czechmate, Meltdown, The 4th Strike and Intercept.

Czechmate Pulled into the dark world of raves, sex and drugs by the euphoric state the Ecstasy provided her, Tracy Clark, the thom_tate_czechmate.pngall of 19 daughter of U.S. Ambassador James Clark, was a willing player in Sergey Dubrovskiy’s rise to glory among the drug dealers and the club scene in Prague.

Her beauty and charm helped lure in new customers for Sergey, but her diplomatic immunity is what really piqued his interest. However, when Sergey pushed too hard, the Ambassador found himself in a situation that needed to be dealt with quickly and harshly. Deciding to use his friendship and influence with the President, he called in a favor and and asked for the ultimate action.
Agent Blake MacKay has been ordered, as a personal favor by the President, to deviate from his normal clandestine mission types and take on the role of assassin. Blake flies to Prague to hunt down his target and complete his objective. His actions unleash a calamity that will be spoken about for years.

Meltdown A relaxing holiday with his family on the beaches of Bali was just what Dimitri Evanko was looking forward to. Being thrown into the terroristic world of the Jemaah Islamiyah was the furthest from his mind.thom_tate_meltdown,jpg

After awakening from a drug induced torpidity, Dimitri, nuclear physicist from Ukraine, finds himself face-to-face with Indra Gunardi, the man in charge of the infamous Islamic terrorist group in Southeast Asia. With his family held captive and the threat of death to them, Dimitri saw no way out but to cooperate and build the dirty bombs they demanded.

Nearly three months after Dimitri’s reported disappearance, special agent Blake MacKay has been called in to investigate after the lost physicist turned up in Jakarta. With the help of Detachment 88, the Indonesian counter-terrorism group, Blake discovers the conation of Gunardi and his vile organization.

 

When a plan to rescue Evanko’s family backfires, Gunardi fast forwards his destructive plan of terror. In the shadows of an impending disaster, Blake finds himself and Dimitri in a race against time with the lives of thousands on the line.

The 4th Strike A team of North Korean Special Forces has attacked the LORAN station on Attu Island in the Aleutian Islandsthom_tate_4THSTRIKE.jpg and stolen a nuclear warhead that wasn’t supposed to exist. Special Agent Blake MacKay and SEAL Team 5 have been tasked with searching the North Pacific to track them down and recover the warhead.

After a disastrous rendezvous with a trawler that they thought contained the warhead, Blake and his team of SEALs discovered that the search was about to get much harder.

The nuke had been loaded onto an old Whiskey Class Soviet Submarine. Their biggest challenge: force the North Korean sub to the surface so Blake and his team can recover the nuke. If they sink the sub, the nuke will be impossible to recover.

 

With the help of the North Pacific fleet, Blake and his team of SEALs engage in an underwater game of cat and mouse as they tread through the icy waters, hundreds of feet below the surface in search of their prey.

Intercept Being in the sights of a former ally was the last thing Black Ops Agent, Blake MacKay expected, but that’s just where he landed. thom_tate_intercept.jpg

An intercepted call discloses that the former Iranian nuclear guru, Mohsen Fallali, has come back on the grid to head-up Iran’s new nuclear weapons program. Mossad has to act fast and sends Solomon Zinn, an elite sniper, to take him out. However, the Ansar al-Sharia militant group wants Fallahi for their own purposes and will stop at nothing to get him.

Aware of the two groups after Fallahi, Blake is sent to Vienna to capture him before Mossad or Ansar al-Sharia can carry out their plans. When Blake discovers that his Mossad adversary is a former lover, he must devise the ultimate deception to complete his mission.

When the three competing forces descend on Vienna, all hell breaks out in this thrilling spy novella.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

THOM:

Twitter: @ThomasATate

Facebook: Covert World Series

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

THOM: I do not have representation, but would welcome all inquiries. I would like an agent that helps with the marketing and promotion of the book and me as an author.

RW: What are you working on right now?

THOM: My first full length novel, “Spear Garden”. I wrote it three years ago and am doing a complete rewrite. I hope to have it finished and published sometime in 2015.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

THOM: Free Fall, by Kyle Mills

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

THOM: You will hear a thousand no’s. Don’t worry. Just self-publish. The biggest and most important thing is to get your story out there.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

THOM: Casino Royale. Need I say? It’s the book that started it all with James Bond.

 

I want to thank Thom for interviewing today. It was nice to talk with an Author with some regional commonality. I have to admit something here, well it’s not a true admitting if you’ve ever visited my personal blog and read my bio. John Gardner is one of my favorite authors. Why is that a big deal here? Bond, James Bond. I was very interested when Thom showed up. Imagine Bond excitement in novella form. Imagine sitting down and maybe even reading a thriller in a day, okay maybe two. A whole series, a world created and we can jump in so easily. Get the books. Read the books. And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

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Much Respect

Ronovan

bloglovin

 

 

thom_tate_czechmate.pngthom_tate_meltdown,jpgthom_tate_4THSTRIKE.jpgthom_tate_intercept.jpg

Thom_Thate_Red_Storm.jpg

Reviews of other Blake MacKay adventures.

Czechmate:
A great read !. Blake is Hero in every aspect of the word with a fantastic taste in high-tech toys, too!

Meltdown:
Wow! This series gets better with each installment. Fast-paced action at every turn. Thom Tate has met the needs of readers who want spy thrillers. I know he is working on a full-length novel and if it’s anything like his first two releases (mini-reads) I can’t wait.

The 4th Strike:
This is a short novella about North Korea attacking on US soil. North Korea tried to get their hands on an old inactive bomb, but little did they know that The Navy Seals would steal it back. I liked this novella. It was action packed from the minute I started reading it. It was very detailed with the description of the subs, the weapons used. The military jargon was great and I understood it. Being an ARMY veteran myself I appreciated how the author took his time to research for this novella. If you like military reads and action, suspense reads as well, this novella is for you.

Intercept:
WOW! I normally don’t read military thrillers but I’m glad I started with this one, it was amazing! The fast paced edge of my seat action kept me hooked until the very end. I’m making a note to keep my eyes peeled for future works from Thom Tate. The first thing I did after reading was go directly to Amazon to see what other works he has published. I will definitely be adding this to my list of recommended reads.

 

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Q&A Olga Núñez Miret of Escaping Psychiatry @OlgaNM7

Escaping Psychiatry finalEscaping Psychiatry

Olga Núñez Miret

“All three stories offer a great insight into psychological work and naturally allow the wonderfully interesting characters to be explored with depth and analytical sharpness.
On the way the author manages to include deep thoughts aboout a variety of subjetcs, making this a thoughtful and enjoyable read.”-ChristopherFischerBooks

“Through the genuinely interesting characters in her book, Olga weaves a so quite spellbinding study into the dynamics of life. Once one begins reading, it really truly IS difficult to put down. “– Dr. Glen Hepker (author of “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health)

“Olga Nunez Miret writes with a fine eye for the minutiae of human motivations and interactions. I, for one, hope this is not the last we have seen of the author’s central character, the reluctant psychiatrist, Mary. She deserves more outings than a paltry three.”-Diogenes

When I first learned of my guest today and read about her I was truly amazed at all this lady was/is. I think I actually used the word fascinating when I first talked to her. Of course that put her on my list of musts to interview for the site. The fact that she agreed to an interview considering her busy life thrills me. You don’ t want to read any further form me. Meet . . .

Olga Núñez Miret

 

RW: Where are you from?

OLGA: I’m from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (so far. There are proposals for voting for independence but at the moment it’s still in Spain).

 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

OLGA: There are a number of authors I love, some I’d been reading since I was quite young (like Louisa May Alcott. Little Women and the character Jo was a great influence in my love for writing. I’ve also liked Oscar Wilde since I was very young). I love horror stories and Stephen King’s books in particular. I also always try to read all of John Irving’s books. I’m from Barcelona and I read in Spanish and Catalan too and Mercé Rodoreda is one of my firm favourites, although I also love Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez. I studied American Literature and discovered some of their classics (Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne…) and some more recent ones (F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner…). I always try to read anything by Tony Morrison. In more recent years I’ve become quite interested in Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood… And since I started publishing I’ve got to know and love many independent writers, but there are too many to mention. I’ve always felt happy with a book in my hands, since I was very young and that’s never changed (although now I also use an e-reader that makes packing much easier!).

 

 

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

OLGA: I’m not a drinker of tea or coffee, or hot drinks in general. Hot chocolate if it’s very cold, but Spanish hot chocolate is quite different to what we get in the UK and I’ve never quite got used to other versions. Freshly squeezed orange juice, water, and I must confess to being a fan of Pepsi Max and other low-calorie cola drinks. I don’t drink alcohol either. Matter of taste not of conviction.

 

 

RW: What is your favorite word?

OLGA: In Spanish probably susurro. In English….Not sure. Joy?

 

 

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

OLGA: I’ve always been a reader, and I started writing when I was quite young, although longer stories from my teenage years. I’ve always loved literature and I used to exchange stories with other friends who were as interested in stories as I was. Later on I studied Medicine and became a Psychiatrist but I’ve always carried on reading and writing. I’m not very good at settling for anything (only the old favourites) and studied a degree in American Literature and went on to do a PhD (nominally under the American Literature umbrella although I wrote about the films of David Mamet). Many of my stories have been lost in the midst of time and bad storage, but over the years I’ve also taken a couple of courses on creative writing and short-story writing and some of the books I’ve published have been a labour of many years. I guess what makes me a writer is that I love to write.

 

 

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

OLGA: I love to exercise and do it most days but usually a nice walk is always inspiring and relaxing for me. I rarely have to escape from writing, although I do from things related to it (marketing, editing…). I also like to go to the cinema or the theatre but those work out more like organised escapes and sources of inspiration rather than real escape valves.

RW: What is the title of your book?

OLGA: Since I started publishing in October 201 2 I’ve published a number of books, longer and shorter. At the moment I have one novel (The Man Who Never Was), two shorter works of fiction (Twin Evils? and Family, Lust and Cameras), a romantic novel where the reader can choose between three endings (Click Me Happy!), and a collection of three stories Escaping Psychiatry. I will talk about this one in more detail. Ah, I have also published all of these books in Spanish.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

OLGA: Escaping Psychiatry would fit into the psychological thriller genre.

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

OLGA: The book is a collection of three stories: Cannon Fodder, Teamwork, and Memory, with the same main protagonists.

RW: What inspired the book?

OLGA: I wrote Cannon Fodder many years back (in 1998-9) when I was studying at Mount Holyoke as part of my degree in American Literature. I had been reading and studying about American History and the Civil Rights Movement and due to my work as a psychiatrist I got an idea for a story that would combine the two. I showed it to several people I knew, including some of my lecturers, who liked it but commented it was too long for a short story (between 60 and 70 pages) but too short for a novel. One of them suggested that I might want to consider writing other stories with the same main character and publishing them together. I noted the comment but didn’t do much about it until 2 or 3 years ago, when I’d gone back to working in psychiatry and had finished a Masters in Criminology, and that left me a bit more time to go back to my writing. As I was working in forensic psychiatry, that combined with the topic of my recent studies made me go back to look at the story and think up of some others that could involve the same character.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

OLGA: Mary, a psychiatrist and writer, is the main character of the book. She’d love to dedicate herself fully to writing, but people she knows and circumstances conspire to keep bringing her back into her other professional arena. In ‘Cannon Fodder’ one of her best friends, Phil, a lawyer, asks her to provide a report on a young man , Cain, who’s been accused of causing public disturbance and inciting a riot. This man says he can hear God and God is black. In the process of assessing Cain, Mary not only discovers many secrets about the man’s family but opens herself up to discovering a few things about herself. The other two stories are more straight forward thrillers, but the psychological aspect is always pretty central to the plot.

Mary is very insightful in her professional life but cannot help getting personally involved in the cases she comes across. She tries to do right by everybody but in some occasions that comes at a high personal cost. Phil, her lawyer friend, also appears in the three stories, and a bit like Mary, we get to know more and more about him throughout the three stories.

The cases involve a variety of characters, but I think what helps them connect to readers is that things aren’t clear cut and characters are complex, not all good or bad. Also the fact that in the first two stories we see things from Mary’s point of view makes us share with her in the doubts and feelings that she might try very hard to keep from others and puts us in a privileged position.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

OLGA: I haven’t given it much thought. There are many great actresses around, but now that you make me think about it… the actress in the original Danish version of The Killing, Sofie Gråbøl, would be great.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

OLGA: If there is a message it would be that nobody is perfect and appearances can be deceptive, but that works both ways. Somebody who seems to be a pillar of society can in reality be anything but, but we also need to be weary of pigeonholing people due to their appearance, colour, religion, sexual preference, social class, or anything else, because we might well be projecting onto others our own fears and prejudices.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

OLGA: Engaging. Or thought-provoking.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

OLGA: It is available in all the usual suspects in e-format (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Foundry…) and also in paper through Amazon. There is also a wonderful audio version narrated by Emmy Award Winner writer, actor and director Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet) available in Amazon, Audible and i-Tunes.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

OLGA: I am in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, have my own blog where I blog about writing, random things, but also about other authors and books, I have an author page in Amazon and Goodreads, have a website , I’m also in Tumbler, Google Plus and Stumble. I belong to a number of author groups and several readers and writers groups in Facebook and Goodreads. I have shared my e-mail in my website also. I’ve shared some videos in You Tube….If anybody tries to contact me and I don’t answer straight away I’m likely to be writing or translating.

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

OLGA: No, I don’t. I guess I’d like my ideal agent to be a combination of a great PA, a good friend, somebody very adept at marketing, and a magician. I’d like to find somebody to bounce ideas on, who would be able to encourage me but also tell me when something was likely to go wrong, and somebody who would know the market and the publishing business inside out. And somebody who would love writing and books as much as I do.

RW: What are you working on right now?

OLGA: I am in the final stages of correcting a sweet romance, I Love Your Cupcakes, set in the world of TV cooking and baking competitions. I had the idea a while back and I felt it was time for something upbeat and cheerful. Once this is ready I want to finish writing a Young Adult series called Angelic Business, about a young girl’s involvement with celestial (and less so) beings. I’ve written the first two novels but I’ve decided to complete the third one and translate them all before publishing them at short intervals, so people won’t have to wait ages to get the full story.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

OLGA: I’ve started reading Under the Tuscan Sun in French (Sous le soleil de Toscane) that I found at Père Lachaise cemetery with a note asking to read it and pass it on. As I had just visited Florence I had to take it (and it will also be good to practise French!). I’ve just finished reading a book by an author friend, Francis Molehorn, in Spanish La piel del pecado and I’m planning to start reading Waldek the translation of the best-seller book La búsqueda by fantastic writer Blanca Miosi. I review books for BTS e-Magazine and I’m waiting to receive the next book to review for them.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

OLGA: Do not despair just because you think your book doesn’t fit into one of the best known genres or is not about the topics that make it into the best-selling list. If you really want to write about something, do it. With regards to getting published, explore all options. It is very difficult to approach the big publishing companies without much of a writing record or agent representation, but consider other options like small publishing companies (beware of what used to be called ‘vanity publishing’ and anybody who offers to publish for a fee…), and self-publishing. Even if you don’t feel confident on how to do some of the things, there are people who offer their specific services, lot of advice on line, and I’ve found other authors very generous in sharing their expertise and advice. Seek them out. Of course, write the best book you can, correct it, edit it but above all, never stop writing. And be prepared to keep going. Don’t expect immediate success. But if you really love it, do it.

 

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

OLGA: Wow! That’s a question! Probably La Plaça del Diamant (The Time of the Doves or In Diamond Square depending on the translation) or Moby Dick.

 

I want to thank Olga for agreeing to an interview. Such an intelligent woman with a wide variety of literary offerings and no sign of settling on one genre. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.

Much Respect

Ronovan

 definitiu 5,5x8,5(13,97x21,59cm) ingportada2 anglèsF(lourdes vidal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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