Tuesday, 2 September 2014

#BookReview - Seasons' End by Will North @WillNorthAuthor #ReviewShare #WomensFic

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 20:30 with No comments
Seasons' EndSeasons' End by Will North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, a short personal intro. The past six months have been the longest months in my life since I left the corporate world. A close friend is in the midst of being diagnosed with Parkinsons at a young age. The book club I’ve worked with for many years is growing, evolving. My three small ones aren’t as small as anymore. As life changed, books became my escape. When I started Seasons’ End I immediately knew that this was different. This is one of those books that you feel honored to read, the kind where you are humbled by any kind of social media contact with the author.

Yes, It’s that good and you can read my past reviews, very few authors have left such a mark on me. Will North has a way with words that not only enables you to escape into the story, it reaches out to your insides emotionally. His tone is gentle and there is nothing forced about how he writes or introduces his characters. Everything has its perfect time and place.

If I had to pick one scene as my favourite, it would be when Adam walks along the beach on Labour Day. How many times have we wanted to be alone to think and just as we do that, the memories come flooding back locking out the silence and beauty in front of his. Powerful stuff.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely, I also recommend buying the paperback version because this is definitely a book you'll want to keep with you at different stages of life.

Overall assessment:
Content: 5/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 5/5
Pacing: 5/5

Offensive content?: I received this book with a PG rating but I don't think so. Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 15 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

#BookReview - Devolution by @PeterClenott #ReviewShare #YA

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 10:30 with No comments
DevolutionDevolution by Peter Clenott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story grabbed from the first chapter where the reader becomes engrossed in Tree Storm’s reflection. I love stories that bridge gap of humans and animals so this is definitely one of my new favourite books. My heart ached for Chiku in this engaging story. Can you imagine trying to look for your missing father amidst a flurry of identity issues?

The characters are believable despite their settings, the stakes become higher for Chiku at the turn of every page and by the time you reach the first half of the book, you are racing to the end to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This book was definitely hard to put down and I loved every bit of it.

Would I recommend this read? Yes if you are looking for a different kind of YA story.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 4/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 15 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

#BookReview - Lethal Journey by @KimCresswell #ReviewShare #Thriller

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
Lethal JourneyLethal Journey by Kim Cresswell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murder, suspense, mob and romance. Kim Cresswell delivers on many different levels and if you are expecting a thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat then look no further. Her plot is filled with suspense that will leave you startled and yet as the explanation or reasoning comes to pass, it makes sense. Lauren Taylor’s attitude in court makes one think of Demi Moore in The Juror and Bridget Moynahan in Blue Blood. A strong sense of family but with cutting edge independence.

The romance between Lauren and her ex is predictable and heightens the involvement of the main characters. Some readers may argue that the love interest was not necessary or that it made Lauren a weaker character, I am somewhere in between these two arguments. Had the romance been played down just a little, I would have liked the relationship more.

Lethal Journey is a thrilling read and I loved the eye for an eye flow. What is introduced in this chapter is later revealed in another. Not many writers can pull this off well, Kim Cresswell did. I do however have some complaints about question marks, full stops and sentence composition. One of the most glaring was this:

After the waiter put the salmon roll and caviar on the table they dug in.
When their entrees were served, Lauren …

The person is a waiter, if he does not put food on the table, is there somewhere else he’s going to put it on? Once food is put on the table, do you look at it for awhile and then eat? Then there’s the confusion of dinner, salmon roll, caviar and entrees. Which is it? This happened in other pages as well, the over explaining of the obvious that had me rereading some lines to make sure I understood what was being said. Some readers may find this distracting, some may not. In general, it was a good read.

Would I recommend this read? Yes. Despite the few odd sentences here and there, this is a very good book.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 4/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for adult readers.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Evolutionary Journey of #Woman & What You Didn't Know @EvolutionWoman #NonFiction

Posted by Bob Richardson on 11:00 with No comments
8 Things You Didn’t Know About The Evolutionary Journey of Woman
  • This book tells the story of the beautiful, adventurous Sumerian goddess Inanna.
  • It debunks Man the Hunter as the primary, prehistoric hero of human evolution.
  • The Evolutionary Journey of Woman suggests that a number of key social, cultural and technological factors formed a key tipping point in the Mythic Age that led to thousand of years of women's oppression.
  • This books sees the emergence of feminism as evidence of the positive unfolding of consciousness in the world.
  • It expresses the hope that we are emerging into a new Integral age that might be able to reintegrate our lost female and feminine wisdom.
  • It also debunks the idea of a past matriarchal golden age of human history.
  • It explains the three waves of feminism as moving from a focus on social rights, to cultural rights, and finally to diversity.
  • It argues that women need a tradition of spiritual grandmother's to help them fully become who they can be in the world.
evolutionaryJourney


evolutionaryJourney

The story of human evolution that we've been commonly told is one built on the shoulders of male heroism, competition and dominance; but, what if it isn't the whole story? This book tells the lost story of women in evolution.

The Evolutionary Journey of Woman: From the Goddess to Integral Feminism looks towards a future that brings together and reintegrates women's wisdom traditions through establishing a spiritual lineage for women that is traced all the way back to ancient Sumer with the goddess Inanna. 

Marrying the ancient wisdom traditions with adult developmental theory, this book charts a pathway towards the full spectrum of possibilities for women's self-actualisation in the coming Integral age. The Evolutionary Journey of Woman is academically rigorous, historical, philosophical and spiritual, but, most fundamentally, it is a narrative that will change the way you think about woman as a heroine of history.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Non fiction, Women's Spirituality
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Sarah Nicholson on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

#BookReview - Is the Seawater Always Blue? by @ShabanaMuhajir #ReviewShare #KidLit

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 16:30 with No comments
Is the Seawater Always Blue?Is the Seawater Always Blue? by Shabana Dastageer Muhajir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good summer read. It does not matter that it is based in Asia, sea water can be found anywhere in the world and summer brings with it many questions, experiments and lessons for life for any child irrelevant of location. The sections in which “Mum” explains seawater to “Aayan and Rayan” are the best parts of the book.

The introduction and conclusion are disjointed. More information on their current location and on their holiday destination would have helped the reader to connect more, especially when the reader is a child. For example, my 4 year old is currently hooked on books by Ed Shankman. She started with My Grandma Lives in Florida and then asked for other books by the same author. The main reason she liked these books were because, “the characters talked to her.”

This is a non-fiction read for which the author does include references. For the older child, if parents are looking for reading material related to nature and outdoors, this is definitely a recommended read.

Would I recommend this read? Yes for its educational points but it does require some improvement.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 3.5/5
Formatting: 3/5
Pacing: 3.5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 3 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Along The Watchtower by David Litwack @DavidLitwack #BookClub #Fantasy #Fiction

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. In less than a minute, I found myself in physical therapy. Like the rest of the hospital, the room was green-tile sterile, but someone had made an effort to cheer it up. Porcelain clowns lined the windowsill. Stuffed circus animals—lions and elephants and a family of monkeys—surrounded the rack that held the free weights. And a variety of fresh-cut flowers had been set in mugs in the cup holder for each exercise bicycle and treadmill. Later, I’d learn from Ralph that Becky kept them fresh, paying for them out of her own pocket. He said she’d deny it, but he’d seen her sneak in on more than one Monday morning with an armful.

Fresh-cut flowers. Mom used to get them every Monday as well, to brighten up the gingerbread house. But after Dad died, she started leaving them too long, not replacing them until they’d decayed so badly they smelled. After Joey died, she stopped buying them altogether.

The girl I met in the courtyard stood over a rolling aluminum table, organizing things I didn’t much like the look of. She was sufficiently absorbed that she didn’t notice us until Ralph called out.
“Afternoon, Becky. Brought you some fresh meat.”

She turned and grinned. “Always love a new victim.”

“Great. I’ll leave you two alone. Sounds like you need some privacy.”

After he left, she went back to finishing her preparations, making me wait. Finally, she came over and extended a hand.

“We already met, but let’s make it official. You’re Lt. Williams, but I can call you Freddie. I’m your worst nightmare, but you can call me Becky.”

I reached out and shook her hand. She didn’t seem scary.

“Ralph says you’re the best, that if anybody can bring me back, you can.”

“Ralph’s wrong. I’m just the guide. You’re going to do most of the work.”

“But are you the best?”

“Let’s say I haven’t lost one yet.”

“So I’ll be back on the basketball court in no time.”

Her grin vanished. She grabbed a chair, dragged it over and sat next to me.

“We’re going to be spending a lot of time together, Freddie, so we need to be straight with each other, right from the outset. My goal is to get you back to as normal a life as possible. If you work hard, I’ll have you out of that wheelchair and on crutches in a month. A month after that, maybe a cane. Beyond that, we’ll see. I make no promises other than to work as hard as you will.”

She stared at me. I stared back, captivated by my reflection in her gray-green eyes. She blinked first and went back to the rolling table.

. . . . . . .

She sat down again and undid the Velcro from my brace.

I winced. I hadn’t looked at my leg much since my peek the week before. The incision was less angry and the oozing had stopped. But what shocked me were the muscles. Where once I had bulges, now there were hollows. Not the leg of an athlete or soldier. Not the leg of a guy who might someday dunk. The leg of an invalid. Becky’s words rattled around in my brain. Crutches, then a cane. After that, we’ll see.

“It may not be pretty,” she said, as if she’d read my mind, “but it’s yours. Take a good look. Let it motivate you when you start making progress. And trust me, you will make progress.”

She squeezed some ointment from a tube onto her hands and rubbed them together.

“This will feel a little cold.”

She spread the ointment, swirling her fingertips over what had once been my quad. When she started the e-stim treatment, I felt the muscle spasm and contract involuntarily, a strange but not entirely unpleasant feeling. As she slid the wand around, humming along to its buzz, I noticed her touch more than the current.

She spoke out of nowhere. “I read the report. Says you have no family.”

I kept staring at her making figure-eights on my leg.

“Is that right?” she said.

I nodded.

“What happened?”

“I was born an orphan.”

She turned off the e-stim and looked up at me.

“Want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Ralph said you don’t talk much.”

“I talk when I want to. I don’t want to talk now.”

“Fine with me.” She resumed the treatment, hummed a few more bars, and then spoke without looking up. “Ralph was right about another thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You are a hard case.”

She was quiet after that, going about her job while I focused on the clowns at the windowsill. Every now and then, I’d sneak a look at her. A beautiful, happy optimist. But she’d never lived my life.
Crutches and a cane. After that, we’ll see. I was different from her—a realist. I knew what “we’ll see” meant. I’d need more than physical therapy to bring me back. I’d need a miracle.

AlongtheWatchtower

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author and the book
Connect with David Litwack on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Lichgates: Book One - Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce #AmReading #Fantasy #Excerpt

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments
Kara rubbed her temples and leaned on the submerged library’s stone desk, her eyes unfocused as she stared at the letter she could now magically read. She didn’t try to tell herself to calm down, to chill out, or to breathe. Her only thought was of how royally she’d screwed herself over by walking through that gazebo or lichgate or whatever it was.
She had walked through a door in a mountain. A ten-by-ten dirt closet had swallowed her phone. Her pack and stun gun had probably already been eaten by a bear. She had heard whispers while alone in a massive, underground library and opened a secret book called the Grimoire, which was apparently pretty important. She’d discovered a hidden pocket of Earth called Ourea.
In an effort to stay calm, she took deep breaths. It didn’t work. Each breath became a panicked gasp as she tried to figure out what was going on. Only, she couldn’t figure out what was going on. That’s why she was panicking.
It was a vicious cycle.
The flick, flick, flick of the Grimoire’s turning pages stole her focus. The last page lingered in the air as it fell to reveal a small block of red text on the otherwise empty beige paper.
I wish I could have caused no pain or fear, but such isn’t a reality of life. A treasure has been awoken within you—you are now a vagabond of Ourea.
She groaned. “Yeah, thanks, I gathered that much. So what happens now?”
The pages flipped to another image of the hooded figure, but this time he wore a thick leather band wrapped around his wrist. Spidery red text adorned the paper beside him. Something was off about the drawing, and she leaned in for a closer look. It took her a second to realize the clover pendant in her hand was also drawn into his wrist guard.
The last blood-red rays of the day poured through the skylight. She sighed. Her dad’s search party would head out any minute, scanning the ditches for her body. Oh, he was going to love this story.
She resigned herself to the impending lecture and leaned in to read the red text besides the drawing.
This is the Vagabond as he was in life. He wrote the observations of his travels here, creating me over his lifetime. The trials he faced were treacherous, and you will fare the same. The life of a vagabond isn’t an easy one.
I was made to open only for the gifted and the strong. Be patient in the times to come and trust yourself, for you are worthy of the power here.
Though it may sometimes seem as if life is decided for us, remember that in all actions before this, you made the choices which brought you here. You alone decide where to go next. There is always choice.
“Freaking awesome.” She rubbed her eyes. Apparently, it was her fault she’d been dragged by a root down a dirt closet.
She fiddled with her locket and looked down once again at the tiny clover amulet. Its diamond wasn’t blue anymore, though it did shimmer. She slid it over her head with a quiet sigh, and the clover dangled just above her collarbone.
“Look, I just want to get home. How do I get out of here?”
The pages flipped toward the back, where a sketch of the library consumed the page and more spidery red text described how to open a secret door in one of the shelves. She lifted the book and carried it with her as she looked for the way out. At least using the Grimoire was easy enough. That had to be some small compensation for the unrestrained hell it had already brought upon her.
Kara scanned the shelves for a few minutes, browsing through titles like The History of Isen Guilds, Earaks are Evil, and even such treasures as All Anyone Will Ever Need to Know about Beer before she finally found The Ways of Peace, the green cover mentioned in the Grimoire’s instructions. It was the last on its shelf to survive the gale from earlier, as the rest of its neighbors littered the floor. She took care not to step on them as she reached for the green book and pulled, rolling it back on a hinge. The crack of splitting rock broke across the room.
A rumble quaked through the library. More books fell. Two shelves pulled inward on the opposite wall, opening like doors and missing the edges of the desk by inches. Beyond the confines of her book-lined prison was a dark cavern, its roof riddled with holes that leaked in the twilight and dripping lines of rainwater. The broken remnants of a white castle tower lay against the side of the cave, most of its bricks crushed to dust.
But Kara had a visitor.
A brunette looked up from where she knelt on the floor. The fading light caught the glint of a golden cross in her hand as flowing curls coursed over her loose white tunic. The stranger paused, watching the library with narrow eyes, but quickly stood and sneered.
Kara forced herself to swallow the rising sting of fear in her throat. She should’ve just stayed in the stupid library.

“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. – Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
—————-
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
—————-
Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Lichgates (#1)
Treason (#2)
Heritage (#3) – Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) – Available Fall 2014
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
 Connect with SM Boyce on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest

Monday, 25 August 2014

#BookReview - Haunted by @EileenMaksym #ReviewShare #YA #Paranormal

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 18:30 with 3 comments
HauntedHaunted by Eileen Maksym
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

The beginning chapters of this book were not appealing to me. I was close to giving up. The characters seemed juvenile and dialogue is not the author’s best skill. The only thing that kept me going was the ghosts itself and who they were. I half expected a scene straight out of The Others (Nicole Kidman) where the ghosts did not know they were ghosts. Did Haunted turn out like this? Read it to find out.

The three main characters aren’t easy to connect with. At least one is moody and changes moods sooner than you turn a page, while the others seem to be placed in the story to aid her. However, it is easy to empathise with her because you know she is trying to find answers as much as the reader wants to know them.

Haunted by Eileen Maksym is a successful young adult paranormal story which maintains suspense for the reader. I only felt that the plot could have been further enhanced as it was underdeveloped because of the length of the story.

Would I recommend this read? Yes but don't expect too much. This is not a full length novel and as far as I know it is the author's first book.

Overall assessment:
Content: 3.5/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 3/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 13 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

#BookReview - Cast in Blood by Michelle Rabe @michrabe #ReviewShare #Paranormal

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 16:30 with No comments
Cast in BloodCast in Blood by Michelle Rabe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Morgan Blackstone is not your everyday vampire and I think this is what sets this book apart from the rest. The plot is highly original and right from the start the reader is hooked into Morgan Blackstone’s world. If you have read the multiple books that are similar to Twilight and think, “oh no, here’s another one,” you have my full assurance this book is nothing like Twilight.

The settings are rich and I liked that about this book. You are transported to the exact location of the character in the most creative of ways and you see their locations from the author’s worlds. In essence, Morgan Blackstone is faced with a big problem and the reader follows her on a journey to solve these problems.

Of course, in the spirit of drama, more problems pop up but the female lead is definitely one to behold. This book is intense and easily enjoyed. Will definitely be reading more books from this author.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. Any vampire or paranormal fan will definitely enjoy this book.

Overall assessment:
Content: 5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 4/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 13 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Friday, 22 August 2014

7 Questions with #Author David L. Dawson #AmReading #Paranormal #Romance

Posted by Bob Richardson on 20:30 with No comments
Tell us a bit about your family.

My parents are divorced, though I do see them regularly.  have an older sister with a fourteen year old daughter, and a younger brother.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

Chocolate and Coca Cola Zero Cherry

What scares you the most?

Deep water

What makes you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m writing and really getting stuck into the story.

What’s your greatest character strength?

I’m passionate about what I do.

What’s your weakest character trait?

I can get distracted very easily.

Why do you write?

Writing for me is a compulsion.  If I don’t write I get anxious.  If there’s a story in my head I have to free it.



Epic paranormal romance with a dystopian twist!All 6 parts of the epic Blood Dynasty Chronicles in one super-sized boxset!

Ashlyn Fountain has woken from a thousand year sleep.  Her family is dead.  Her friends are dead.  Her whole world is gone, replaced a new terrifying reality; a future ruled by vampires, where humans are viewed as cattle, and kept as slaves.  She is sold into slavery and bought by the powerful Sublimes, a decadent vampire family ruled over by the charming Grey Sublime and his wicked wife, Catherine.  Ashlyn resigns herself to her fate.  What can she do but accept what is her life now?
Then she meets Jensen Sublime and Union Jack.  Both are sexy, intriguing, and inject a little romance and mystery into her life.  Who will ultimately win her heart – the handsome vampire, or the man who could free her from slavery for good?
The Blood Dynasty Chronicles is a bold new paranormal romance series, fusing the passion and romance of vampire fiction with the adventure and intrigue of dystopian adventures.

This boxset contains the following:
1. The Girl From Yesterday
2. The Streets Are Paved With Blood
3. Masks
4. Movie Night
5. New Whitby
6. The First Vampire
That’s over 180,000 words of vampires, romance and dystopia!

OUT NOW – “Shadow of the Snow Queen”, a Blood Dynasty Chronicles Christmas Special, featuring a long tale all about Ashlyn, and several short stories featuring the other characters.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Paranormal romance
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with David L Dawson through Facebook

7 Questions with #Author Amy Lewis (What Freedom Smells Like) @AmyLewisAuthor #Memoir

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

When I’m writing I am very intentional in creating a safe, creative zone to work from. I come from a theater background, and I remember learning early on that the stage was a place of safety and creative freedom where there was no room for self-doubt or judgment. I try to mimic that in my writing space. I do not think with a critic’s mind when I’m in that zone. It feels amazing and free – no editing allowed. This helps a great deal with keeping my fears from creeping into my work. When the work is ready to go out, well, then I must say I do have to contend with those fears. I have not found a way to get rid of self-doubt at that stage, but I think that’s part of being a creative artist.

What scares you the most?

What scares me most is not leading the life I was meant to live. I do believe we all have a purpose, certain gifts that we are meant to express in this life. The universe wants to see our own unique flower blossom, and while that sounds beautiful, I’m keenly aware of how hard it can be to allow yourself to bloom. Your flower might not look anything like what you thought it would, or what you wanted it to look like, or what your family or town or community wants it to look like. The courage to first discover and then be who you really are is no small thing.

What makes you happiest?


Stillness makes me happy. Slowing down makes me happy. Watching my daughter sleep and hearing her howl with laughter when I tickle her. Sitting under the stars with my best friend and feeling immense gratitude for his presence in my life. Dancing makes me insanely happy, Expressing emotions that have no words but come out in movement. Spending time with people that get me. Being around boldness and creative energy.

What’s your greatest character strength?

This one is not so easy and clear as my weakest trait. I’ve been told by many people that I have a great deal of courage – I’m ballsy. I’m an Aries so I have that strong, I’ll go first and I’m not afraid of anything energy. I can definitely see that trait in me, but I can also be very timid so it almost feels like a toggle switch that is either on or off. I also have a very strong awareness of my emotions and what I’m going through at any given moment (thanks to years of therapy, acting classes and a masters in spiritual psychology).

What’s your weakest character trait?
I have very little patience. In fact, I don’t even have the patience for this question. It’s been like this all my life. I blame it on the stars. Seriously. So many tasks, challenges, and goals I gave up on too soon because I didn’t see any early success. I would like to say I’m working on this but I’m not. I don’t know even know where to begin. Perhaps there’s a support group?

Why do you write?

I write for many reasons. Pure selfish self-expression is one reason. I write sometimes to discover where I am at psychologically speaking. I feel like I can move energy when I write and in doing so heal. I write stories to perform on stage. I write to tell people’s stories who might not have been heard. I write because it feels alive to be living in a story and not know where it will take me.

What motivates you to write?

Creativity equates to aliveness. It’s where anything is possible. And when I write, I feel alive. The irony is that my mind is necessary for me to write but I prefer to write as if I’m out of my mind. And by mind I mean my inner-critic, the judging, non-life affirming part of me.

whatFreedomSmellsLike
 
Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. 
 
During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.
 Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter

Thursday, 21 August 2014

7 Questions with #Author @KimberlyShursen (Hush) #AmReading #Thriller

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? The only thing I fear is losing one of my sons or a person I care about. Failing has never made me fearful. A bigger fear would be to never try to achieve my goals.

What’s your greatest character strength? Loyalty. Once I take you in, I’ll never let you go.

What’s your weakest character trait? Writing for hours, sometimes forgetting about eating or sleeping.

Have you always enjoyed writing? Always. I am an introverted/extrovert. I enjoy being around people, but value and protect my alone time to write.

What writing are you most proud of? (Add a link if you like) I am proud of all three of the books I have written. I cannot write a book in two or three months. It takes a lot of time for me to research the cities, neighborhoods and even bars or restaurants where the novel takes place. Using HUSH as an example, I wanted the legal facts to be correct and spent hours talking to friends who are lawyers, and using an online law site where I paid for answers to legal questions.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?  I am proud that I am a strong role model for my three sons. We all go through difficult times in life. They have watched me pick myself up and dust myself off more times than they’ve wanted.

What book genre of books do you adore? Thrillers of any kind. I am not into blood and gore, or reading about it, but enjoy being held on the edge of my seat.


hush
Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.

Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.

Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.

And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.

Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.

*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.
 EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today."

Katie French author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kimberly Shursen through Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mikey D. B. Shares His Inspiration for #SagaoftheNine #Area38 - #30SecondstoMars

Posted by Bob Richardson on 09:30 with No comments
What inspired me to write my book?

This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars.  I got that album for Christmas in 2009, and the second I heard the first song, Escape, my mind went crazy.  Youtube it!  It’s the only way to properly visualize what I’m about to tell you.  

As that first song played, I imagined a man, tortured and beaten, sitting in a chair in the middle of an abandoned football stadium.  The war drums built and built and as they did, another man, a rebel, stepped into the scene and began to circle the one in the chair.  As the lyrics then played, I pictured that it’s what the rebel would be saying to the man in the chair.

Time to escape the clutches of a name,
No this is not a game,
It’s just the beginning.

I don’t believe in fate but the bottom line,
It’s time to pay,
You know you’ve got it coming.

The way Jared Leto says these words, it’s as if he’s seeking revenge for the destitute and war torn lifestyle the man in the chair caused.  Just then, he and a crowd of people shouts:

This is war!

I was listening to that song on a major sound system, taking in the details of all the instruments and voices, and when this declaration of war sounded out, the bass shook and goose bumps shot all up and down my arms.  The rest is history really.  I wanted to write about a revolution, and that album became a major player in my writing process.  I did end up getting stuck at one point.  The plot became a poor version of The Hunger Games that had a lot to do with some drama I was dealing with in the dating world.  That whole sad realization put the project on hold and I started a second one that ended up becoming the missing half to Area 38. 

I do have to say, that the ending though, it was my favorite part to write and is my favorite part to ask people about.  I came up with it while sitting on my bed.  No music this time, just was pondering and it came.  I won’t give any spoilers, but it leaves the reader asking “How--what just happened?”  It makes them mad because it seems so contradicting to the nature of a character, but that’s what I love about it.  

This book, Saga of the Nine: Area 38 leaves the reader asking these questions, and more, in utter confusion, while the rest of the three books in the saga are meant to answer those concerns.  The ending seems random to some, but that’s only because the reader is missing a huge middle chunk.  They’ve read ABC and then X.  They don’t know the rest of the alphabet, and that’s where books two, three and four come in.
Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Mikey D. B. on Facebook & Twitter
Website www.mikeydb.com