"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Monday, February 28, 2011

Interview Wtith Ian Ayris

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I am interviewing Ian Ayris on my blog today. Not only has he become my friend; but this is my very first interview and Ian's also. That makes it all the more special to me. So, without further ado, I will get started with today's guest.


Bio: Ian Ayris lives in London, England, with his wife and three children. He has had over thirty short stories published in the last two years. His stories can be found in all four of the Byker Books 'Radgepacket' collections, plus two Static Movement anthologies and Out of the Gutter 7. Online 'zines carrying his work include Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, Pulp Metal Magazine, A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, Curbside Splendor, Powder Burn Flash, Yellow Mama, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and the Waterhouse Review.




Ian, I do love that pic of you. It makes you look like you are up to some mischief!

 Okay, lets get to the meat of things.

1) I know you have a book coming out with Caffeine Nights Publishing. What is it called and when can we expect it?
   My debut novel is called 'Abide With Me' and is slated for release some time around October this year.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
  ' Abide With Me' tells the story of John and Kenny-two boys growing up in the East End of London in the nineteen-seventies. John is streetwise and football mad, growing up in a loving, hard working family. Kenny, slow-witted and forever silent, lives in the house opposite, his family dominated by a drunken, abusive father. When John sees Kenny on Cup Final day nineteen seventy-five tumbling out into the street, blood streaming out of his nose, the fate of the two boys becomes inextricably linked. John takes Kenny under his wing, looks out for him like a big brother. But not even John can see the fire burning deep within Kenny. No-one can. Until it's too late.

   John's own life soon begins to descend into the darkness, a life once perfect now utterly broken.

   When John and Kenny are reunited years later, dragged down to the wastelands of Wapping by local villain, Ronnie Swordfish, it seems the game is all but up. But the waters run deep in Kenny. Deeper then John can imagine. And as it turns out, John doesn't even know the half of it....

   The book is told in the first person, through the eyes of John, in the East London vernacular. It's a story of hope, friendship, football and gangsters. It is the story of John and Kenny, who against all odds, against all their shattered lives have to throw at them, find the strength to stand together in the darkness and emerge as men.

3)Who has had the most influence on your writing and why?
   I think the biggest influence on my writing has been James Ellroy, specifically his book 'L.A. Confidential'. I remember thinking, 'Blimey' I never knew you were allowed to write like that. Reading that book made me realize that there is a whole world out there beyond the rules of writing.

4)Do you tend to write in a specific genre? If so, what and why?
   I don't consciously write in a specific genre. I suppose my writing falls into the Realism world, if any, perhaps even the Naturalism. My short stories have tended to veer towards the dark crime/noir genre. I think I have fallen into that area for a couple of reasons. A lot of my life is taken up looking after my children- my counseling work and my work in a care home, also involving taking care of others to some degree. So Jung's shadow side, that place in the darkness we all have, doesn't get much of a look-in. The writing, therefore, becomes a necessary cathartic exercise, I suppose, a balancing of the Ying and the Yang. In my counseling work I've also had the privilege to witness the extraordinary capacity of those once broken and lost to find the courage within to face their deepest pain. Noir, to me, is all about experiencing that pain, drowning in the darkness. But I've got such belief, such faith in the power of the human spirit, I'm not sure my writing will remain strictly within the bounds of the dark crime/noir arena forever.

5)What is the best thing about writing?
   The thing I love most about writing is the freedom to say exactly what I want in exactly the way I want to say it. The freedom to make a real something I've yet only to see inside my head. It's like a magical process. And you can't beat that.

6)Do you have any other writing projects in the works?
   I've just been asked to contribute a short story to a really exciting e-book anthology. I can't say too much about it yet, but some of the names of my fellow contributors make it an absolute honour to be along for the ride. I've also got some vague notion of constructing an e-book of selected short stories I've had published in the last couple of years; but that is probably a little ways off yet. But the main thing is knocking 'Abide With Me' into shape ready for publication. All else, apart from existing commitments, will have to go on hold for that.

7)Many authors write trilogies. Do you see yourself doing this? If not, why or why not?
   I don't think I've ever read a trilogy-tell a lie- 'Lord of the Rings'. But that's about it. I don't ever see myself writing a trilogy as the characters I tend to create seem far more suited to stand -alones. With all the blood and dark and warped characters spewing out of my head, I doubt I'd be able to get a character to last for more then a book and a half anyway. Dangerous places, them pages. You never know what might happen....

8)Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you get serious about it?
   Like a lot of kids growing up, all I wanted to do was play football for England. By the time I was in my mid-thirties, it no longer seemed a viable option, so I had a go at writing a couple of stories. I was enormously lucky to have the first one I ever wrote published.Then the next, and the next, and the next. I didn't really take writing seriously, it was just fantastic fun. I'd write a story, submit it to a publisher, it would get published. I'd write another one, etc. It was only when I began writing 'Abide With Me' about eighteen months ago that I realized I was writing something that meant far more to me then merely words on a page. The experience of finishing the book, and the confidence it gave me, led me to believe I could really make a go of this writing lark. I began to write a few short stories whilst the book was doing the rounds with agents and publishers, and was amazed at how they were just snapped up. After having twenty-four short stories for publication last year, plus 'Abide With Me' being accepted by Caffeine Nights, I now take the writing very seriously indeed. I have to, just to keep my head above the proverbial water. Drowning just isn't an option.

9)Who is your favorite author and why?
   My favorite author, blimey, there's so many. At a push, I reckon I'd have to say Ernest Hemingway. I first read 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' about five years ago. Just blew my mind. Never had I read an author who wrote with so much pretension. It completely changed the way I approached literature, and subsequently, my own writing. The ghost of Hemingway hangs over every sentence I write, sitting there with his elephant gun, ready to blow to bits any adjective that may slip through.

10)What do you do when you are not writing?
   Being a house-husband of varying degrees of incompetence, when I'm not writing. I've got a house to clean, dinners to cook, kids to take to school and pick up, lunch boxes to remember, etc. And I can't go half a day without reading something. I have to have a book on the go. I've got lists upon lists of books. I love a good list, me. As soon as I finish one book, I begin another straight away. I can't have a gap. I just can't.

Ian, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview for me and letting us get to know you better. I so look forward to your book coming out and hope to have the opportunity to read and review it for you.

Just want to thank you, Eva, for inviting me to do this interview. It's been a fantastic experience.
Warmest regards, Ian

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review of The Inconvenient Corpse

The Inconvenient Corpse
 
The Inconvenient Corpse
A Grace Cassidy Mystery
Jackie King
Deadly Niche Press 2009
ISBN 9780937660539
 
   Grace Cassidy heads up to Northern California after spotting her husband with his mistress at a business convention. She lands at a bed&breakfast called Wimberly Place. Much to her chagrin, she lands smack dab in the middle of a murder with herself as the prime suspect. To make matters worse, the murdered victim is found stark naked in her bed. The story just gets more interesting and bizarre as the investigation proceeds. Not only is Grace the prime murder suspect; but she has found herself penniless because of her no good husband and gets herself attached to a host of people who appear to have escaped the loony bin.
   Grace becomes acquainted with a couple of the ladies that are spending the summer at the B&B. They all become fond of each other, so when the lecherous Mr. Wimberly's wife plans to get a much needed vacation to Hawaii, Grace gets duped into being the inn sitter. Of course the fact that she needs money and fast is a good incentive. Grace discovers that all of the folks staying at the inn have secrets, so she is determined to be an amateur sleuth to find the real murderer.
   This book is not your usual murder mystery with all the horrors involved. This is a quirky story about a woman who has been scorned and is determined to get her life back. Her life may not be what it was before; but it will be her life. The story has twists and turns just like any other murder mystery; but you have some rather strange and unusual characters that not only liven up the story; but will give you some chuckles along the way.
   This is a light hearted story of murder, friendship, secrets, family and love. It is a wonderful story for you to curl up with and get lost  in for a while. I highly recommend this book for anyone who just enjoys a good read. This was my first read by Jackie King and it will not be my last. I look forward to the next installment of the Grace Cassidy Mystery series.
 
I give The Inconvenient Corpse 4.5 stars out of 5
    
  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Blog with Carol Bridgestock

   It is will a great deal of pleasure that I introduce my guest blogger today, Carol Bridgestock. Carol and her husband Bob are writers from the UK on the Isle of Wight and write under the name of RC Bridgestock. I became acquainted with Carol last year on Facebook and we have developed quite the long distance friendship. I will now give Carol the floor. 



   Eva asked us to write a blog about ourselves, our careers and our writing. Writing about taking charge of murder enquiries is easy because we have been there and done it, as well as, worn the T-shirt as they say. How we use that experience in our writing is more daunting, partially because there's no answer that comes easily to mind, no magic, no formula. But requests for another novel spurs us on!
   We, Bob and Carol Bridgestock, otherwise known as RC Bridgestock in the literary world have our daily rituals. We walk the dogs, clean the house, do the laundry, drink coffee, eat pizzas and love chocolate; turn onto Emmerdale Farm and Coronation Street at night to relax and love films with a romantic twist. Carol's office is above the dining room where Bob works at the sitting room table with his laptop. The white noise is a necessity to writing creatively for Carol. Bob can write with the radio on. Once focused, he's not easily distracted.
   Bob writes the storyline of their crime fiction novels. Carol puts the flesh on the bones to the idea that's been with him for months, maybe years or sometimes something that just comes into his head one night. Bob knows how long the story should be- how the story will play out- how it will end. But he doesn't scribble down ideas, sentences, paragraphs on sticky notes like some writers do. It's all in his head. Because, having run high profile murder enquires and being in charge of serious incidents, the memories don't go away easily. We don't write about factual murders, we feel that would be too painful for the relatives of the victims who have already suffered enough; but every crime scene Bob writes about he has seen. Every post mortem is etched in his subconscious forever: all he has to do is to draw on the memory of the incident. He will never forget.
   Bob was a detective for 28 years of his 30 year service and has performed every role of a detective in the CID office in that time. As you can imagine he has a lot of incidents to choose from. He was a senior detective for 18 years. In his last three years as a Detective Superintendent he took charge of 26 murder investigations, 23 serious incidents including shootings, serious rapes and attempted murders, as well as, over 50 suspicious deaths. He was also a hostage negotiator taking charge of extortion and suicide intervention cases.
   Once Bob has a crime scene in his mind, he can now write about the enquiry till he captures the murderers, as he did in real life with all the highs and lows of any investigation he has taken charge of, which could have happened in any CID Office, in any part of the world. When his first draft of around 70,000 words is complete he passes it to Carol. She adds the emotion. She draws out of him his feelings, she writes the scenes from his sometimes harrowing descriptions. Carol says it's cathartic for Bob. Bob says it's work. There is never the case of not knowing how to move the story forward or writers block because the investigation opens up automatically just as in real life. Did we say there is no magic? Maybe we're wrong, because suddenly we have a fictional story with the real life feelings of the man in charge who happens to be called Dylan in their books and his partner Jen, who are very loosely based on us.
   We'll never write something because it is what everyone else is writing. Our experience and feelings are genuine or we don't write it at all. We eventually give the story the first of a dozen titles. One will stick and then people make suggestions to change it. We don't get too attached to what we write and are not averse to changing the story if our publisher thinks we should, as long as, what we write really would happen, could happen and the procedural side of the story is correct. We're happy.
   One of Bob's pet hates is to watch a TV series or read a crime novel and the police procedure is wrongly portrayed. But the story is after all fiction. It's fluid. Lines blur. Rules change. It's about writing about the truth of feelings for us and correct police procedure with some version of reality in the murder. There is something about writing something we know.
   This year is going to be an exciting one for us. Not only will Caffeine Nights Publishing republish Deadly Focus in the spring, on e-books, as well as, paperback; but Consequences will be out in the summer. Although Consequences stands alone it is a sequel to Deadly Focus and we are writing two more books in the Dylan Series at present. By looking at our publisher's website you can sign up for an electronic newsletter which will keep you up to speed with where we are throughout this year.http://www.caffeine-nights.com/rc-bridgestock.html#axzz1EiqiU9s0

Here you can also listen to our interviews on line. Just scroll to the bottom of our author's page. This will be updated as and when we do them so you don't miss any.
   We will be out and about doing talks and book signings this year so hopefully we will meet up with some of you. Please make yourself known if you come along. It will be great to see you!

Bob&Carol
http://www.rcbridgestock.com/




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review of Bandits

Bandits
 
Bandits
LM Preston
Phenomenal One Press 6/1/2011
ISBN 9780984198931
 
   Daniel's father has been murdered and Daniel is intent on finding the treasure his father died for and the person responsible for his death. Daniel has been brought up as a Zukar and wants this for his future. As far as Daniel is concerned, his father's loyalties were not as they should be. This caused a heavy rift between the two for years. Now he is intend on finding the killer and saving the world from destruction.
   Daniel's plan is to go it alone; but his cousin Faulk, younger brother Nickel and his best friends pesty sister Jade, tag along. Intent on ignoring Jade, Daniel finds himself developing feelings for her. Is she worth the sure fired beating he will receive from his best friend?
   They are on the run from the king's officials and his father's killer. Their journey takes them from their planet of Merwin to planets unknown. Will Daniel be able to find and destroy the killer and save his planet from impending destruction? Everything Daniel has been taught  and learned to believe in will be put to the test.
   I have to say I am really developing a taste for YA reads. That is what I have mostly read the last couple of weeks. This is truly an awesome YA, sci-fi, fantasy with some romance thrown in for good measure. This is my first read from LM Preston and it will not be my last. I actually purchased her other two books which are waiting on my TBR pile.
   This book really stirred my imagination and had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. There is everything in this book that you could hope to find in an adventure story. It was packed with adventure, ugly crawling and slimey creatures, battles packed with murder and mayhem, jealousey and love, greed and treasure. One thing that boggles my mind. Why do guys feel they can't go after their best friend's sister? I guess that is a mystery that only a guy knows the answer to. I sure don't understand it.
   If you are a fan of science fiction and adventure, you really must check this book out. It has a wonderful storyline that you will surely want to sink your teeth into. Grab a copy and pull up a seat. I don't think you will be disappointed.
   I don't know if there will be a sequel; but I certainly hope there will be. The story ends in such a way that it is a definite possibility. Read it for yourself and see what you think. Maybe we can convince LM Preston to do a sequel or maybe even a trilogy. I am certainly up for it. What about you?
   I want to thank Phenomenal One Press for providing me with an ARC to review. I was not compensated in any way except for the privilege of reading the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
 
I give the book Bandits 5 out of 5 stars
 
 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Transparent Lovers


Transparent Lovers
Transparent Lovers
Scott Nicholson
Haunted Computer Books
Kindle Edition Jan.31,2011

   PI, Richard Steele has solved many a case; but his most challenging has just arrived. Steele must solve his own murder. He is caught between two worlds and cannot travel forward until  his murder is solved. No amount of luck will help him this time. He must depend on his only weapon, faith. He must confront his own feelings, as well as, that age old thing called love. To make matters worse, he has his lover Lee on one side and his ex-wife on the other who is determined to make his afterlife as miserable as she can.
   I am a fairly new reader of Scott Nicholson's work; but each piece that I read just gets better. He has his own style of writing that has a way of drawing you in from the very start. He has quite the imagination and brings his characters to life. They are strong, yet vulnerable. He has a way with dialogue that just keeps you guessing. His characters are serious; but they have a humorous side as well. He can definitely make you laugh.
   If you are in the market for a fast paced, humorous read; I highly recommend this book. You will be able to read it in one sitting. Curl up and take a load off and enjoy the ride.
   I wish to thank Scott for providing the kindle edition of this book to read and review. I was not compensated in any way  except for being given the book.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I give Transparent Lovers by Scott Nicholson 5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review of The Cajun's Captive

The Cajun's Captive (Stormy Weather)
 
The Cajun's Captive (Stormy Weather)
Selena Blake
Kindle Edition
Originally published by Cobblestone Press
 
   Sebastian Deveraux is the alpha of his pack and sexy as sin to boot. He has waited for decades for the right woman to be his wife. Ten years ago he thought he had found her and she ended up running away from him. Amanda St.James returns and he has no intentions of letting her go. He will keep her this time even if he has to tie her up to do so.
   This novella is a fast, sensual read that will keep the heat turned up for you. You just may need a cold shower after you are finished reading. It is a book that can easily be read in one sitting. Sebastian and Amanda are a match made in heaven and the sparks fly from the beginning.
   This book is not for everyone; but if you enjoy erotic stories and want to turn up the heat, give it a try. It is well worth your time. My only regret is that it was not a full length novel.
   I want to thank Selena for providing me with the kindle edition to read. I was not compensated except for the book and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
 
I give Cajun's Captive 4 out of 5 stars

Review of Barok's Exodus


Barok's Exodus (The Stritonoly Chronicles)
Barok's Exodus
William LK
Sci-fi-cafe.com 2011
   This is the second book in the Stritonoly Chronicles set on the planet of the same name (the purple planet). If you are not familiar with the books, I did a review on The Eye of the Storm in an earlier post. I have read several sci-fi books in the last few weeks. This means I have read more of them then I have read in my entire life so far. Lets just suffice it to say, I have been converted. I will no longer cringe when I am told someone is reading sci-fi. I figure this is a good thing when I have opened my mind to something new.
   The last story ended with a catastrophic storm that brought ruin to the planet and a new Czar was appointed. This story begins six years after the event. The Princess is confined to her chambers with guards because of the havoc she inflicted on her family. She has a bit of a split personality and you never know what she is up to. She also has those womanly wiles that makes her capable of getting men to do what she wants. On the surface, they think she cares for them. Underneath, she thinks them idiots.
   If you remember Barok from the last book, he is the head of the acidels; the slave laborers of the planet. He waits for the opportunity to escape and leaves his mate behind. He runs into this dense forest where the spiderons live. He makes a pact with them and is allowed to live. Is he really making a pact with the devil?
   Becki is kidnapped by beings posing as someone else. It will interesting to see how far each of them will go to get what they want. We can already see Becki's womanly magic working on the leader. Another Eve in the making? Will the planet survive or will the apocalypse be near?
    The story flows quite nicely from the last book and the storyline continues to flow as we get nearer to the next installment. Man continues to show his blatant disregard for human life. War is brewing on the horizon with the possibility of a catastrophic event taking place. A woman who is willing to use whatever is in her power to get what she wants. Even in this fantasy world, things are not much different then real life. As this book ends, you can see clearly where the next book will begin. 
   If you haven't read these books yet, I highly recommend them. If I can be swayed, anyone can. They are an excellent read for young and old alike. I am anxiously awaiting the third book in the series and I am hoping for the opportunity to read it very soon.
   I want to thank William LK for providing me with a copy for my kindle. I was not compensated in any way except for the privilege of reading the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I give Barok's Exodus 5 out of 5 stars

 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review of His Other Wife

His Other Wife

His Other Wife
Deborah Bedford
Hachette Book Group 2011
ISBN 9780446698672

   Hilary is a busy working mom who loves her son and husband until the day her husband tells her he doesn't love her any longer. He is in love with someone else. Her world crumples around her; but she is determined to raise her son the best she can. She is a devoted loving mother to Seth. When he is close to graduation and ready for college, she doesn't know how she will let him go.
   At Seth's graduation, Hilary's ex-husband decides to bring his entire family including the new wife. The tensions are mounding for all of them, especially for Seth. He does not want to do anything to hurt his mom; but his dad wants to waltz in and make up for the years he hasn't been there.
   Tragedy strikes at a graduation campout that gets out of hand. Seth finds himself in the middle of the nightmare with family conflicts, fears and guilt. Because of Seth's choices, he loses his college scholarship and finds an uncertain future ahead of him. Will this family be able to find a common ground and be able to support whatever is in their future?
   This is a nice christian story full of many conflicts and good and bad choices. In addition, it is a story of love and betrayal and the ability to get past the conflicts, jealousy and unrest. All of the characters are quite interesting and each have their own personal conflicts. The storyline was good in general; but I found it a bit choppy in places and sometimes had a little trouble seeing why we went from one place to another. Overall all it was a good read and I would recommend it.
   I received this book through the Hachette Book Group on Book Blogs through their ARC program. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I give His Other Wife 3.75 stars out of 5

Friday, February 11, 2011

Review of Across the Desperate Miles


ACROSS THE DESPERATE MILES

Across the Desperate Miles
Patrick Michael Murphy
Kindle Edition 2010

   Rand and Kera Priven are having difficulties in their marriage. Rand is a professional photographer and spends almost his entire life working and never sees his family; not unlike many in our society today. In an attempt to protect her children, Kera sends them to a retreat in Washington state with the intentions of confronting Rand. Much to her horror, terrorists have infiltrated the countries control systems and the entire country is at a virtual standstill.
   Kera convinces an extremely reluctant Rand to travel the 2500 miles from New York to Washington state to  collect their children. The journey places them in harms way and they face evil that no one should have to encounter. Citizen militias are protesting across the country and waging war on the government. Will they reach their children in time and will their marriage be saved? Will they even survive the trip across country?
   I do not even know where to begin. I have read many many books that I have loved; but I have to tell you, this book left me speechless. You want to think that something like this could never happen. After reading this book, I would never say never. The storyline is absolutely fantastic and everything just flows and falls into place. I wanted to hate both Rand and Kera; but there is something about them that would not allow me to do so.
   In amidst the turmoil in the country, there is still love and devotion. There are those who are willing to go the extra mile and help no matter what it may cost them. This is a story of change and the harrowing path it takes to get there. It is a story of horror, brutality, friendship, love and forgiveness. I have never read a book that has had me in such emotional upheavel. Even so, I would read this book again in a heart beat.
   I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes a well written book with a wonderful storyline and characters. After reading it, you may take a second or third look at what is happening in our country. You may never look at things the same again.
   I want to thank Patrick for providing me with a copy of his book for reading on my IPad. I was not compensated in any way except for the privilege of reading it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

I give Across the Desperate Miles 5 plus stars out of 5.
  
  
  
  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guest Blog Post with author William LK

   It is with a great deal of excitement and pleasure that I welcome my guest author, William LK. Since this is my first guest blog, I am even more thrilled to have him be my guest today.

William's Bio:
William L.K. lives in the suburbs of New York with his wife and two children. He began writing creatively as a teenager and has written and produced several successful plays and musicals in the NY area. William earned his B.A. and M.S. from Dowling College. He is currently a professional musician on the weekends and a science fiction/fantasy author during the week.
He is currently working on The Stritonoly Chronicles  which begins with the novel,  The Eye of The Storm. This is the first in a series about the purple mountain planet called Stritonoly.



The Multiple Self: Writing The Eye of the Storm
   The Eye of the Storm was a unique writing experience for me in this way; the story had been brewing for some time, and the subplot (as it turned out) became not only the basis for the main plot but the driving force behind it.
   The idea of having the subplot fuel the main plot intrigued me. I am quite used to reading and writing subplots that too often serve the story only as a decoration of sorts. This book purposely strayed from that familiar formula. Every character and event on the planet Stritonoly takes place in the form of what I’ll call a ‘multiple-self separation.’ In fact, I found a considerable amount of enjoyment going back and rereading the book after its completion. It was interesting to analyze the aspects of Rebecca Brown’s inner self and discover how she materialized in a new world.
   The idea that human’s have many different selves is not new. However, the theory behind multiple selves was stretched to a science-fiction fantasy in this book by asking this question: What if multiple selves could become physical entities? That’s right, not pieces of our memory, or neurons firing off, or even mental infiltrations into our psyche, but real physical beings. In a world ever more aware of artificial intelligence and virtual reality; is it really so difficult to fathom a world where some of our ‘selves’ may live on? Personally, I would like to think it’s possible.
   I humbly submit, as many have before, that no one person can be all good or all bad, it is simply not a possibility. The nuances of the human self are far too complex for such a generalization. This is a fact we see over and over again, just read today’s newspaper, or any day.
   For me, the character Dmitri symbolizes the tormented self struggling to find out who he truly is. And as much as I want to hate him, I cannot. Even in his madness, there is a goodness that flickers through, a trace of normalcy, something that says there is more to him than the actions he commits.
   This thought leads me to wonder if there is something we are missing entirely. What if all the lives we will ever live, or have lived, already exist within our subconscious? And what if these inner selves are not just pieces of one personality? Couldn’t they become living, breathing, physical entities, each individual unto themselves?
   It’s something I’d like to believe. And in the absence of a realistic answer to the daunting mysteries of life and death, it could certainly be perceived as na├»ve…but also somewhat comforting.


The Eye of the Storm


   I had the distinct pleasure of reading and reviewing this book recently. It is a wonderful science fiction read and I highly recommend it. I will be reading the second book in the series Barok's Exodus very soon and I am really looking forward to it. Three of William's books are presently on sale for $0.99 at Amazon until the end of the month. If you go to http://www.sci-fi-cafe.com/, you can click on the book and it will take you directly to the Amazon location. You can also find out more about William's books.


Barok's Exodus (The Stritonoly Chronicles)


   I wish to thank William for stopping by my blog today and giving me the opportunity to have him as a guest.




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thursday- Guest Blog by Author William LK

I am gearing up for my very first ever guest post on my blog. Tomorrow I will have the pleasure of having author William LK talk about his book Eye of The Storm. This is the first book in his series about the planet Stritonoly. I hope you will stop by and see what he has to say. Don't be shy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Help Choose New Covers for Georgette Heyer

Hello everyone. Attached is a link to help vote on new covers for some upcoming spring releases of Regency romances. I hope you will take a look and join in the voting. There is a description of four books on the Sourcebooks website. Vote for all four.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Review of Gideon's Sword

Gideon's Sword (Gideon Crew #1)

Gideon's Sword
Preston&Child
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Book Group 2/2011
ISBN 9780446564326

   Preston&Child are about to debut a new action packed series with the protagonist, Gideon Crew. Gideon is a brilliant physicist who is also a great con artist. You see, Gideon Crew is a former art thief. Even though he has left that life behind, there is a part of that person that still exists in Gideon.
   Our story starts off when Gideon was a small boy of twelve and witnesses his father's murder. He grows into a young adult when he is called home to find his mother dying. On her death bed, she tells her son the truth behind his father's death and wants Gideon to seek revenge and clear his father's name.
   The plot thickens when Gideon becomes a private operative. His assignment is to retrieve plans for a weapon of mass destruction from a Chinese scientist who has defected the country. The scientist is murdered and Gideon is taken from New York to Hong Kong and back. His journey eventually leads him to an uninhabited island on Long Island Sound.
   This book is full of action and packed with adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Gideon is a keg of dynamite throughout the story and feels he has nothing to lose. His one major flaw seems to be his soft spot for the ladies. This in itself gets him into more then one unpleasant situation after the other.
   I have read some of Preston&Child's Agent Pendergast series and I believe Gideon Crew will be just as successful and popular. If you love a good mystery with lots of action, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it and I doubt you will be disappointed. I know I will anxiously await the next installment to see what mischief Gideon will get himself into next.
   I received an ARC from Hachette Book Group through book blogs. I want to thank them for the opportunity to read and review this book for them. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am required to disclose this through the Federal Trade Commissions Regulations.

I give Gideon's Sword 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review of The Heiress


The Heiress (Madison Sisters, #2)
The Heiress
Lynsay Sands
Harper Collins 2011
ISBN 9780061963094

   Suzette is not your typical heiress. She is interested in finding a husband who is penniless and will allow her access to her money as she chooses. He doesn't even have to live with her if he doesn't want to. Along comes Daniel Woodrow who has no desire to marry because all scheming mothers want rich husbands for their daughters. He decides to tell Suzette he is poor as a church mouse so she will not be interested. Much to his dismay; she is ecstatic and asks him to marry her.
   Despite his attempts to ward her off, sparks fly between the two. He convinces her to give him until the next day to decide. Finally, he agrees in the hopes to let her down easily before they wed. A chain of events, which started before they met, intensifies. Someone or something seems determined to prevent the wedding from taking place. Is this a match made in heaven or union destined to fail?
   This is the second book in the Madison sisters series. I absolutely loved this book. It is a wonderful historical romance wrought with sexual tension, murder and love. Mixed in with that is a humor that will keep you smiling and laughing throughout.
   The storyline is fast moving and exciting. I love the strength of character of Suzette and the way she says what she thinks and does what she pleases. She definitely has spunk and is a take charge woman. I was unable to put this book down and couldn't wait to see what mischief Suzette would get herself into next. The story did not go in any direction I expected.
   If you are a fan of romance, I highly recommend this book. I don't think you will be disappointed. Lynsay Sands has produced another winner.  
   I  received this free as an eBook from the publisher through NetGalley's book review program as an ARC. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's regulations.

I give The Heiress a 5 out of 5 stars.
  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review of Wings of the Demon by Ashley Davis

Wings of the Demon

Wings of the Demon
Ashley Davis
Lulu.com 2010
ISBN 9781257083534

   This is book #1 of the Demon Keeper Series and can be purchased on Lulu.com in paperback or PDF format. Book #2, Traits of the Heart will be published soon.
   Cilia Bradley has everything she could possibly want including a drop dead gorgeous husband. Unfortunately, the one thing she wants; companionship, he cannot provide. Her arranged marriage does have its limitations. She is desperate not to back out of the agreement; because it is the one thing keeping her alive. Trent, a paid assassin for the controller of the under realm, has nothing to live for until he meets Cilia.  He is only half way through his contract; but he will stop at nothing until he has her. Unfortunately, Cilia's father-in-law can void his contract and end Cilia's existence.
   Overall, this was a very good story. The main characters were strong and full of surprises. There was lots of action and some juicy romance. You might even need a cold shower after reading. The problem I had with the story was it was a bit too choppy. The storyline following the main characters was great. When other characters were introduced, I was sometimes lost as to why they were there and who they were. There was no smooth transition so it looked like pieces from another story were inserted into the body of the book at various points.
   This does have the possibility of a good paranormal/fantasy read with some adjustments in the storyline.
   I was provided a copy of this book by Ashley Davis in PDF format. I was not compensated in any way and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own

I give this book 3.75 stars out of 5.