Wednesday, 10 December 2014

#PUYB - 10 Things You Will Explore in The Temple of All Knowing by Lee Papa #Religion #Occult

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 15:30 with No comments

About the Author

Lee Papa’s start in the corporate world was in sales for the Hyatt Regency Hotel chain, which led to being head hunted by a NY based real estate developer. Lee spent the next 11 years as a key employee working in commercial real estate leasing and management in Baltimore, Maryland. Although, commercial real estate was now in her blood and she loved the art of the deal, a different road in the industry was presenting itself and that brought her to heading up the benchmarking division for a Los Angeles based real estate consulting firm. Her job had her traveling nationally and setting up programs to benchmark customer satisfaction. Understanding there was not a one shoe fits all approach to customer surveying, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey and started with consulting to serve the customized needs of her clients.

Lee’s first book, The Temple of All Knowing, is a memoir of her several years journey prior to her near death experience, through the completion of the 6,000 square foot Ganesha Center in Las Vegas. The book details the roadmap from personal darkness through spiritual, emotional and physical transformation.

Since the completion of the manuscript the Las Vegas Sanctuary for the Spirit evolved by moving to a downtown Las Vegas location and now offers targeted classes and workshops while focusing on a Virtual Ganesha Center supporting individuals and corporations with programs and a Referral Network with expansive reach for optimal awareness.

For More InformationVisit Lee Papa’s website.
Connect with Lee on Facebook.
Visit Lee’s blog.
Contact Lee.



***********************

10 Things You Will Explore in The Temple of All Knowing

1 Death

Afterlife

3 Meditation

4 Channeling

5 Psychic ability

6 Energy healing

7 Meaning of life

8 Synchronicities

9 Signs and markers

10 Spiritual development

*********************** 


About the Book

The Temple of All Knowing is a memoir of one woman’s passage from personal and professional turmoil to spiritual awakening. A compelling straight forward and sometimes humorous account of the most personal of journeys as this 40-something woman finds herself in Sin City with promise of a new life, new husband and elderly mother living with her. She instead is uncovered as a central character in the deepest of possible challenges only to break through to discover her authentic spiritual self through a near death experience and a personal mission in Soul City – Las Vegas.

For More InformationThe Temple of All Knowing is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

7 Questions with #Author Kat de Falla @KatDeFalla #AmReading #Fantasy #Series

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:00 with No comments
1. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
That writing can be likened to growing as a person. With every word, sentence, book, and review, I can get better.

2. Will you write others in this same genre?

There are six more coming in this series!

3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
Be careful, you never know who you’re talking to!

4. How important do you think villains are in a story? 
Integral.

5. What are your goals as a writer? 
To grow to be a stronger writer with each book.

6. Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
I just finished Inferno by Dan Brown.

7. Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU!!!

The Seer's Lover

For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

**Download free music for The Seer's Lover at http://www.bayafaya.com/

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Dark Fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Kat de Falla through Facebook & Twitter

Monday, 17 November 2014

#PUYB #YA #Giveaway - 10 Things You Don't Know About Erna Mueller @theerna7 @pumpupyourbook

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
About the Author

I was born in Austria and my family immigrated to the U.S. I loved living here as a child and considered the U.S. my home. My family returned to Austria and of course I had to tag along. I missed the friendly faces and the cultivation of the free spirit which America symbolizes. In Austria I completed my education but always wanted to return, so here I am.

I traveled the world and lived in many exciting cities such as Paris, Munich and London. I currently work as an accountant for a large pizza company in Seattle by day and passionately pursue a career as a writer in my spare time.

My new book, K-9 Cop, is adapted from my multi-national award winning screenplay. The book has won several awards including first place in the 2009 National Good Read Competition sponsored by awomenswrite.com.

Please visit my web site at http://www.k9cop-woofwoof.com for more reviews

• Connect with Erna on Facebook and Twitter.

***********************

10 Things You Might Not Know About Erna Mueller

1 I was born in Austria and immigrated to the U.S., returned to Austria to finish my education and happily returned back to America.

2 I had a difficult time adjusting to my homeland Austria; yes the U.S. can spoil a girl.

3 I love good books, especially the classics.

4 I love screenwriting and have won many awards

5 I am a mild mannered accountant by day, but a passionate writer by night.

6 I live in Kirkland Washington, a burb of Seattle. Yes it rains but the beautiful scenery makes up for it.

7 I love the 60’s music and fashion. Yes, the 60’s are calling me and want their Gogo boots back.

8
My cat Snickers is very grouchy but I love him anyway. What can I say? I am his slave.

9 I dream of becoming a full time writer. Anyone rich want to adopt me?

10 I’m a Christian who will fight for the rights of gays, and although I personally would not have an abortion, I will fight for every woman’s right of free choice. If we only selectively disperse freedom, one day our religious freedom will be selectively taken away.

*********************** 




About the Book

No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.

After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But - what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out?

He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.

But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.

And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.

Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.

But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.

Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?

Can a selfish man find a heart?

You bet. He just has to become a dog first.

For More Information

• K-9 Cop is available at Amazon.

• Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

• Watch the book trailer at Youtube!

• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Erna is giving away one audiobook of K-9 COP!

Terms & Conditions:

• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.

• This giveaway begins October 6 and ends Dec 19.

• Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, Dec 22.

• Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

7 Questions with #Author Christopher Mannino (School of Deaths) @Ctmannino #AmReading #YA

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments
 
Can you tell us about your main character?

Susan Sarnio is a 13-year-old girl who’s losing weight inexplicably. Though her doctors fear anorexia, a much darker cause reveals itself, when a Death brings her to the World of Deaths, and tells Suzie that she’s a Reaper.

Suzie starts as the object of derision and bullying. The men, even her teachers, don’t accept her, since she’s the only female Death. Suzie’s character is resilient. The bullying only serves to make her stronger, and by the end of the first novel, she has turned into a leader. Suzie is also very curious. Her curiosity both propels the plot and sometimes gets her into trouble.

How did you develop your plot and characters?

In the earliest draft, the main character was actually a boy. However, I didn’t feel that he was isolated enough. I rewrote the story about a girl, focusing on a single female alone in a world of men. The mystery elements of the novel then started to develop. I envisioned the entire trilogy at about the same time, though I wrote the first novel as a standalone.

Who designed the cover?

The cover was designed by Anna Spies of Celairen Art, in Bamberg, Germany. She was contracted by my publisher, and did a fantastic job creating a stunning cover.

Who is your publisher?

My publisher is Muse It Up, an independent “small press” in Canada. Muse It Up houses about 300 authors, making it one of the larger small presses. They release books in ebook format first, and then release them in print, pending sales. I’ve found MIU to be a very supportive group of authors who constantly communicate and support each other.

Will you write others in this same genre?

Absolutely, though I hope to branch into other genres as well. I have at least twenty novel ideas in me, which I plan to develop.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Taking a stand for yourself, in even a difficult situation, is admirable. Most people suffer from bullying at some point in their lives, and how we cope with those challenges helps define us.

How much of the book is realistic?
I’ve been bullied, and also know what it’s like to feel completely alone. Those traits are taken from my experience. My experiences as a teacher have helped me bring realistic teens to life. The first chapter, where Suzie deals with weight loss, is loosely based on a girl I knew who suffered from diagnosed anorexia.

School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Girl Who Came Back to Life by Craig Staufenberg @YouMakeArtDumb #Excerpt #MGLit #AmReading

Posted by Bob Richardson on 07:30 with No comments
THE YOUNG ORPHAN

Sophie was twelve years old when her parents died. Three days later, she sat on a hill overlooking her town’s cemetery and watched the gravediggers chip away at the hard winter ground for the better part of the day.

Sophie watched as the sun began to set and two holes appeared in the ground, large enough to fit her parents’ bodies. When she saw the small procession of mourners carry two cheap wooden caskets out of the funeral hall and down the crooked path to the cemetery, she stood up on that hill and walked the other way.

Though they had taught Sophie about the pilgrimage north to the City of the Dead, and though they told their daughter she would have to Send them one day, her parents had died suddenly and never fully prepared her for the realities of life, death, and the journey that lay ahead of her.

In her innocence, she didn’t understand the full weight of her parents’ death. It was just another problem to solve, and as she walked away from the cemetery, back into town and towards her grandmother’s house, she settled on the single obvious solution to her parents’ passing. She would take the pilgrimage north, yet, while the other mourners would travel to say “Goodbye” to their loved ones, Sophie would implement a different plan. She would find her parents’ spirits in the City of the Dead, remind them where they belonged, and return them back home to be with her once more.

Sophie had never heard of the dead coming back from the north, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming of returning to life what death had claimed from her.

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Middle Grade
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Craig Staufenberg through Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

7 Questions with #Author Kate Bracy (That Crazy Little Thing) #AmReading #WomensFic

Posted by Bob Richardson on 07:30 with No comments
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I grew up in Northern New York, on the border with Ontario – not “upstate” as people say, but “Northern” – and it influenced me tremendously. The winters are harsh, the people are real, and there is a Canadian influence that I see in my worldview. We had to travel to many services (good healthcare, education, concerts, etc.) and it helped me understand the value of urban resources. I live in Washington State now, near Seattle. I appreciate the nearness of cultural riches, growing up so far from cities, but I also seek a place where there is a “small town” friendliness and a general willingness to know and help neighbors.

How did you develop your writing?

I developed my writing by writing at every opportunity by taking many, many classes; by reading many, many books on writing; and by being willing to hear painful critique. I think that combination has served me well, but none of it is easy. I also think it’s important to say that learning about writing can be a comfortable substitute for doing the actual work, so at some point you have to put on your big-girl panties and glue them to your chair. The only way to become a writer is to sit there and write.

Do you plan to publish more books?


I hope to publish more novels and probably some essay collections. In my ideal world I would publish one book a year. (And knit one sweater a year. And make one quilt a year. And take one course a year.) But I don’t live in an ideal world, so I hope no one is keeping track.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…

I am a nurse. I’ve worked as a staff development coordinator, as I do now, and have also worked as a nurse-practitioner, a clinic supervisor, a psychiatric nurse and a medical writer.

What other jobs have you had in your life?

I’ve done lots of things that have nothing to do with writing except that, as Nora Ephron’s mom said, “It’s all copy.” I’ve been a babysitter, a line worker in a paper plate factory, a nurse’s aide at a large psychiatric hospital, a waitress in a pizza place, a secretary, a seamstress, and a high school English teacher. Whatever it took to stay employed, I did. Growing up in a small town, the choices were limited. Once I finished college, I had more options.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?


Right now I live on an island near Seattle. I have to say, I’m pretty happy here. I love the peace it offers, there is a strong writing community, the weather is moderate and it is close enough to the city to take in cultural events. While there are many places I’d like to visit, I’ll probably live here happily for a long time.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it depends. Expanded answer: I write on the desktop computer whenever I can. I have a nice office with a view, and I’m comfortable at the desk and can save the files any way I like, and go back to them later. I use a laptop when I travel or go to classes – I like the portability of it, and the flexibility of what I can do with the material for sharing with others. I have notebooks that I keep near my bed and near my TV chair, so that I can jot down ideas and brief thoughts when they occur to me. Sometimes I take the laptop to a coffee house and write for hours.

I did the final edit on my novel in various coffee places on the island where I live. I also like to take a journal and hike to a quiet place and write. Especially when I’m puzzling through something emotional, this seems to help. So it really depends on where the urge strikes and what I am trying to get down and whether I will wake anyone up if I sit at my computer. I like all these ways of getting things down, but I prefer to do it directly to a computer so that I don’t have to transcribe. I’m not very reliable when it comes to transferring hand written material to electronic files, so much of that writing will be forever stuck in notebooks.
 
ThatCrazyLittleThing

Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kate Bracy through Facebook

Saturday, 1 November 2014

@KimberlyShursen on Author Branding - Find It, Implement It and Hang Onto It #WriteTip #Thriller

Posted by Bob Richardson on 09:30 with No comments
Branding? What’s that have to do with me?
By Kimberly Shursen - Author of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Hush
 
If you’re familiar with branding, most of us relate this to logos or a clich├ęs such as “Have it your way,” or Coke’s “It’s the real thing,” or State Farm’s “Like a good neighbor.” So, what does that have to do with writing? In my opinion it has a lot to do with retaining and capturing the right reader base.

Now I’ve heard from time to time that authors should write several genres. I’m not a believer. I’m sure it has been done and done successfully, but most of us focus on one genre. Why? Because we know it’s where we will achieve our best writing.

If you take a look at my covers, you will notice that this is where I begin the branding process. I hope that one day readers will look at my covers, and without noticing my name, will say “That’s a Shursen book.” Now this may never happen, or may happen after I’m six feet under, but this is my hope. I use the same somewhat dark colors, and eerie fonts that are always in a blood red.. So, this is the beginning of branding my products. Okay, I don’t like to use the name “product” to describe my writing, but we’re working with the “other” side of the brain when we talk business here.

Now we move to the content of the book. Ya gotta have a style. Find it; implement it; and hang onto it. Don’t let editors tell that you have to use a complete sentence. How often do we greet someone with “Hello. How are you? I haven’t seen you in a very long time.” Really? Real, live people say, “Hey. How’s it goin’?” Characters need to be real. After a character murders someone would we say; “He ran down the street and through an alley. His heart was beating so fast, he thought he was going to pass out.” My words would be; “Racing between houses … through back yards … into a dark alley … his heart beating out of control, Caleb could taste the bile that rushed into his throat.”

There are three things readers will get to know about me; 1) no flowery, continual, ongoing verbiage about centerpieces, hairdos, or designer clothing, and 2) each chapter will be a cliff hanger, and lastly 3) there will be an unpredictable ending. There will always be those who claim they already knew the ending, but it would be highly unusual. Most readers say they read my novels in either one or two sittings, in spite of the fact they range anywhere from an 80,000 to a 92,000 word count. It makes me tingle all over when I know someone couldn’t put my novels down.

Many of the “greats” write in different genres, with book covers that don’t use the same font or types of images. For me, I don’t feel I would do well writing other genres as I need the constant tension that writing thrillers offers. I leave that up to my peers, and enjoy reading their romance, cozy mysteries, historical, literary fiction, or biographies.

We all have a unique niche, and it’s up each of us to find it. With branding, you won’t lose readers; you’ll find readers who are interested in your style and genre who will become fans.

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

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Caskets from Costco by Kelly Wilson @LiveCheap #Memoir #TBR

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:00 with No comments
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Caskets From Costco

When it’s time for a trip to Costco, shopping for a casket probably isn’t the first item on your list. There are many questions that come with potentially buying a casket from Costco, such as whether or not you should store this purchase in your garage and if Costco would accept a return on such a purchase.

In Caskets From Costco, the author ponders these kinds of questions and more in this funny book about grief. Here are ten things the average person does not know about Caskets From Costco.

Costco really does sell caskets. And urns. And additional funeral…accessories.

Costco doesn’t sell any of these items in the warehouse. They are probably afraid of people like me, who would lay down in the caskets and then pop out, shouting “BOOOOOO!” to scare other shoppers.

When I asked the Costco corporate office for permission to use their name in the title of the book, they answered my request within 24 hours.

All characters in the book except for four of them have fake names; many of the people in the book chose their own fake names.

A few of the fake names are “bar names,” like Rod Johnson and Alexis Everlasting, also chosen by the people they represent.

It took me ten years to complete the book, at the cost of hundreds of trees in drafts.

The title comes from my writing friend Jone, who suggested it after we had gulped down a glass of wine (or two…or three).

I wanted to burn the manuscript in my backyard a couple of times. My writing friends stopped me.

When I didn’t know how else to revise and edit the book, I hired an editor – one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I have no regrets writing or publishing Caskets From Costco (I thought I would) – although I was nervous-pooping for days before it was officially out.

Author's Bio: 

Kelly Wilson is a Portland, Oregon author and comedian who loves a bargain and will probably end up buying her casket or urn from Costco. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, and cat, with a stereotypical minivan in the garage. Read more about her at www.wilsonwrites.com.

Caskets From Costco 
For twenty years, Kelly Wilson thought that she had been marching through the stages of grief in a straight line. She had been following the formula, crossing each processed grief experience off her list.

Except that Kelly was totally deluded. And she didn’t discover that until Jim, her beloved father-in-law, died. She found herself drying off from her shower the morning after his death, really hoping that he couldn’t see her naked. Or, if he could, that he was averting his eyes.

From that moment, Kelly's path through grief resembled a roller coaster, spiraling and twisting and turning, circling back around. Echoes of past trauma, including childhood abuse and cheating death, would no longer be ignored. She somehow needed to get from the beginning to the end of this grief adventure, and she doesn't have a good sense of direction.

But what is always present during a journey through grief, regardless of the path chosen?

Hope.

Caskets From Costco is a funny book about grief that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Memoir, Humor
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kelly Wilson on Facebook & Twitter

#BookReview - Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard @benswoodard #Mystery #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 09:00 with 1 comment
Steps Into Darkness (Shakertown Adventure #2)Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The plot and story flow is something that has been tested over the years. Nothing unique here. However, what appealed to me most was the author’s characterization and references to an old style Kentucky without making it sound cliche or dull. This really enticed me to keep reading.

In comparison to the first book, I did felt that the pacing Steps into Darkness was slightly different. It was more upbeat and the characters were more involved in each action / reaction.

Steps into Darkness gripped me right from the start with it’s tight plotline and how in the end, every single character made a difference to the story. The mystery was intriguing and sometimes disguised so the reader is kept in the dark of the next step.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. This is clearly a book for the teen reader but any adult who likes a good, clean mystery will also enjoy it. This is the second book I have read by Ben Woodard and I can tell you, I definitely wouldn’t spending time with him as he builds and plots his mysteries. Excellent, excellent work.

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

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 10 and up.

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.(less)


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

MOXIE'S PROBLEM #Excerpt by Hank Quense @hanque99 #Fantasy #AmReading

Posted by Bob Richardson on 09:30 with 1 comment
Scene background: Tristan is rehearsing his latest play and Merlin wants to check it out.
Merlin entered the room in the back of the keep where Tristan rehearsed his new play, Rolf and Hild. The play’s premier was planned for Camelot’s annual Yuletide Feast and Merlin was curious about what abomination Tristan had hatched this time.

A few knights milled about the room while an apprentice knight with a bandaged arm stood on a chair. The apprentice had a woman’s wig on his head and didn’t look happy. Tristan placed a second chair alongside the first. “Let us begin with an important scene. One that will leave not a dry eye in the audience.”

Tristan grabbed a second knight and dragged him over to the empty chair.

“You are Hild,” Tristan said to the apprentice on the chair, “a rich maiden. Let us pretend the chairs are a balcony in a garden behind Hild’s house.” Tristan smacked the second knight in the chest with the back of his hand. “Your name is Rolf. You are wandering knight who has fallen in love with Hild as she has with you. Her family refuses to allow you to marry her or even see her, so you have to meet in secret. Is this clear?”

Both characters looked puzzled.

“Why don’t I just kill her parents,” Rolf asked, “and run away with her?”

“Because I didn’t write the play that way,” Tristan replied. “You stand over there,” he told Rolf, “until Hild calls you. Then you approach the balcony and profess your love.”

“How the hell do I that? And what does profess mean?”

“Never mind. Just go stand over there.” Tristan said in a threatening voice.

Merlin loved to watch Tristan lose his temper. One never knew what to expect when that happened and Merlin suspected a temper tantrum was about to break out.

Once Rolf had been positioned, Tristan stood behind Hild and her chair.

“I’ll whisper the lines to you, and you repeat them, all right?”

Merlin realized Hild couldn’t read and Rolf probably couldn’t either, so the actors had to memorize the lines as Tristan read them.

Hild braced herself, cocked an ear towards Tristan and then said, “Rolf, oh Rolf. Wherefore art thou, Rolf.”

Tristan pointed and Rolf moved to the chairs where Tristan whispered lines to him. “I’m here, Hild, my beloved. Say you’ll be mine forever and a day.”

“I will. Oh, I will. I will be thy wife and change my name to yours. What is in a name? A nettle by other name would still prick thy hand.”

Tristan directed Rolf to climb on the chair, embrace Hild and kiss her.

“I ain’t kissin’ a guy,” Rolf snarled. “What kinda nasty mind do you have, Tristan.”

“It’s a play and she’s supposed to be a woman, so it’s all right to kiss her during the play. It’s part of your role as a character.”

Rolf climbed on the chair and loosely embraced Hild. Hild closed her eyes and puckered up.

“I ain’t kissing’ her,” Rolf said. “She’s got stubble all over her face and her breath stinks.”

Hild opened her eyes and glared at Rolf. “You should talk. Your breath smells like a midden.”

Rolf and Hild both made fists and assumed fighting stances while still on the chairs.

Merlin shook his head. He had seen enough to confirm his suspicion that Tristan’s play writing talent was equal to his poetry talent. Merlin left the room while, behind his back, Rolf and Hild threatened to settle the dispute with swords.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical that Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story take space against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, 11 October 2014

7 Questions with #Author Kirsten Arcadio @KirstenArcadio #AmReading #GoodReads #Thriller

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments
 

Q: Please tell us how you came to be a writer.
 
In 2012 I completed Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel (online) course. It was a fabulous experience bringing me into contact with some interesting and gifted writers, and it launched me into the world of writing. Before the course I had vague ambitions, but afterwards I was quite determined to write novels and to make it part of my life long term.
 
Q: You generally write in the genre of speculative thrillers. What can readers expect?
 
Readers of this genre would need to enjoy a wide range of genres, I suspect. They can expect page turners which, at the same time, have a layered feel to them.  A touch of supernatural runs through all my stories, but readers can choose to interpret these threads as metaphysical too. So my novels straddle the intersection between supernatural and science fiction.
 
Q: The protagonist in your latest novel is Dr Elena Lewis. What can we expect from her?
 
Dr Elena Lewis is a layered character whose motivations are sometimes ambiguous. If you like complex characters thrown into challenging circumstances which often contain some element of illusion, she’s an ideal protagonist for you!
 
Q: Which is your favourite fictional character and why?

I quite like Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy! I like her strangeness and her strength.
 
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
 
I’m currently working on the third book in my series of speculative thrillers The Borderliners Trilogy, ‘WorldCult’.
 
Q: Some writers plot to the last detail and others let the novel develop organically. Which are you?
 
I’m a plotter but I don’t plot to the last detail. I do about twelve major plot points, divide those into four quarters, Act 1, 2 and 3 with Act 2 having two parts, and then put up the structure for my story using that structure to guide me. I won’t plot in any more detail than that as things come up as I go along, and I like that! After my initial draft I go back and layer up using the snowflake method. I see it as chiselling out a basic statue before going back to hew in the detail later.
 
Q: With the number of self-published books increasing exponentially, it is difficult for authors to make their books stand out? How do you go about this?
 
I’m still working this all out, but as a digital marketing professional by trade, I’d say it’s about content surfacing through collaboration with others. And it’s about building readership long term. I’ve always believed email is the killer app and this would appear to be as true of publishing as of any other industry, so collaboration and email are the two main avenues I’m working on in this respect.
 
Q: As a self-published author, how do you divide your time between writing and marketing?
 
With difficulty. I’m still trying to get the balance right. Ideally I’d want to set a stop watch to around 30 minutes a day on marketing and the rest of the time (the time it takes to write or edit 1,500 words) on writing. I’m quite disciplined about the marketing and I have a content plan of blogs, links and quotes which I publish to various different platforms on a regular basis. I would like to do more live events though. Maybe next year!
 
Q: You’re based in the UK, so what’s your readership? Do you have readers in countries outside of the UK?
 
Most of my readers are based in the UK with a smaller percentage of the majority based in the US. I have some readers in Pakistan due to a personal connection there promoting my books. I would like to promote my books in Italy as I have many friends and family there, but they need to be translated into Italian in order to do so. I would hope that my novels have international appeal!
 
Links:

Split Symmetry

Lost meets The Poseidon Adventure with a hint of Sliding Doors!

It's 2015 in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range of central Italy.
Quantum physicists in a lab beneath the ground begin an illegal experiment. 
A landslide hits and a hiking group is stranded. 
Every decision, every step of the way...changes reality. 

Book #2 of the best-selling Borderliners series, this other-worldly adventure will keep you turning the pages to the very end!
 'A novel about what it is to survive and endure, what defines us, how it is to be ruled by fear, to be a slave to the terror of nature and what it feels like to love.' Five star customer review. 

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Speculative thriller
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Arcadio through Facebook & Twitter