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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Brain to Books Blog Tour Chariss K. Walker

Brain to Books Blog Tour Chariss K. Walker

Fast Facts:

CRESCENT CITYAuthor: Chariss K. Walker
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Horror/Dark Fantasy
Book: Alec Winters Series
Crescent City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1)

Award winning author, Chariss K. Walker, M.Msc., writes fiction and nonfiction books with a metaphysical/visionary message. All of her books are sold worldwide in eBook, paperback, and many are in large print. Chariss lives in Amarillo, Texas.


Crescent City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1) takes place in New
Orleans, Louisiana where secret, despicable crimes against children often go unpunished. Alec Winters quietly moves through the city streets looking for predators--those who destroy and prey on innocence. His alter-ego tracks down these sexual deviants to give them exactly what they deserve in chilling, horrifying details. Trained in close-hand combat, he uses these skills when necessary to kill the offenders. Sometimes, his military training isn't needed at all. Sometimes, the only thing it takes to end the lives of wicked, evil men is one look at him.

After two suspicious murders in only a short time, the main problem Alec faces in his quest of redemption is a nosy reporter. Vivien Simon came to the metropolitan area to do a series on the effects of Hurricane Katrina--with crime rates on the rise, her interests are drawn to the seedier aspects of the city. She's hoping to get the story that will make her career. When she discovers that both murder victims were pedophiles, Vivien begins a newspaper and blog campaign that frightens parents and turns the city upside down.

Some say the perpetrator of the murders is an angel while others insist it's a devil. With contrasting accounts, Vivien wonders if a vigilante is on the loose--or worse, a serial killer. She's hell-bent on discovering the truth, but her persistence and stubbornness might bring her closer to death and damnation than she ever imagined.
No one can stop the Angel of God...and they wouldn't want to get in his way as he metes out the punishment deserved. Continue this thrilling adventure as Alec travels to Mobile, Alabama in Port City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 2).

Author's Note: This novel includes A for Angel-Avenger; D for Demon-Destroyer; E for Explicit; G for Graphic and Gritty; L for Language; M for Murder and Mayhem; P for Punishment of Pedophiles and Rapist; R for Retribution; V for Vengeance and Violence.

Book review:

Crescent City (An Alec Winters Series-Book 1) by Chariss K.Walker, is a book in the fantasy genre. The story is based in New Orleans where the protagonist, Alec Winters, is hot on the trail of sexual predators. When two similar and horrific murders rock the city, Vivien Simon, an investigative reporter, tries to uncover the connection between the two. Who is behind these murders? When the murder victims are proved to be pedophiles, the police and Vivien have to decide who are they pursuing: a serial killer or a vigilante?

The running theme of the novel is retributive justice. The author focuses on sex crimes, especially pedophilia, present in every society. The book is based in a dark, urban fantasy world. The description of the sex crimes committed in the book is so graphic that it made my skin crawl. The best (and the worst, for the weak hearted) quality of these scenes was that they were pretty realistic and the author effectively couches the dark reality in fantasy fiction.

The writing style is crisp and the author creates images which are disturbing, to say the least. If the description of the sex crimes was not enough, the killings are described in a more horrific and violent fashion. The author’s writing style is quite persuasive and succeeds to a great extent in convincing the reader that the culprits in the book deserve the punishment they get.

What really impressed me was the manner in which the author explains the psychology of victims of sex crimes. The author drives home the point that often sex crimes, like pedophilia, are more about control than about actual physical violation. Often the offender is someone from the family or someone who is well respected in the society, and the author does a good job of describing the mental abuse felt by the victim. The sex offenders in the book leech happiness and courage out of their victims. The author also dealt effectively with the gullibility of children and how the offenders manipulate them to believe that they were responsible for what was happening to them. The emotion of fear has a certain duality in the book. It is felt by the victims, when they were about to be violated and by the criminals, when they were facing their horrific punishment.

What I found slightly disappointing in the book was the climax. Firstly, the climax was quite predictable and secondly, the last scene is not as action packed as the rest of the book. But apart from that, the book is fast paced and engaging. I rate it 4 out of 4, though I would advise teenage audience against reading this book. Also, readers who cannot stomach excessive violence should avoid this one. – Official Review: Online Book Club.org http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=25074

5.0 out of 5 stars Angel or Demon? January 16, 2015
By Madelon Wilson Format:Paperback
There are a number of reasons that I might not have read this book, but I did offer to review it, so read it I did. A book located in New Orleans draws me in like a moth to a flame, but the abuse of children is a subject that just leaves me cold. I am not a religious person, so I don't usually pick books about angels, but I certainly read horror, so demons are right up my alley. If you are beginning to sense that I have mixed feelings about CRESCENT CITY, you would be correct.

If asked to pigeonhole this book, I would be hard pressed to select a single category. It is certainly a mystery, perhaps even a thriller. All in all, I think I would call it a tale of horror, both supernatural and psychological. Then there is the fairly graphic telling of the abuse of children, which truly disturbed me. I used to watch "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," but I stopped watching it a number of years ago because too many of the stories just made my skin crawl.

Setting aside my personal bugaboos, CRESCENT CITY succeeds on many levels. The writing is very good, the characters, both human and not so human, are believable, and the plot is well developed and moves the story along without foreshadowing everything that is about to happen. I am giving it five stars on its merits, and I do look forward to reading the next two books in this three book series.
I am not one to retell the story, so I have tried to illustrate why this book is both compelling and disturbing with the hope that all who read take the plunge with an open mind.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! January 26, 2015
By Sheri A. Wilkinson Format:Paperback
Crescent City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1) by Chariss K. Walker
Set in New Orleans Alec Winters in not an ordinary guy. He is an Angel, both dark and good. He is out to clean up the city by getting rid of pedophiles. The victims see Alec as an angel, their savior. While the cruel viscous men see him as something dark, evil and dangerous.
Reporter Vivien Simon is reporter, looking for the perfect story to make her career. She soon starts to investigate Alec, and she gets contradicting stories. Some see him as a vigilante (An Angel) while others see him as a Demon, possibly a serial killer. She is determined to discover the truth at any cost.
A fast paced story, original and well written. Alec is unique and (to me) very likable. Vivien is likable as well. I liked the message the story tells, and I like the fact that the hero is an Angel.
A captivating, thrilling, dramatic, suspense story that mixes supernatural, religion (just a bit) real life crime/drama/suspense. A perfect blend that made for a fantastic all night read. I highly recommend Crescent City to those who like dark/fantasy (angels).

4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and Intense! March 16, 2015
By Amy's Bookshelf Reviews Format:Paperback
A serial killer is on the loose, but it's not what anyone in New Orleans thinks it is. Pedophiles are becoming the victims to the Angel/Devil. Alec Winters is a amazingly complex character who has the ability to not only see the auras surrounding a person, but see the truth behind their evil or innocence. Alec also has a great gift, some see him as an angel and others see him as the devil. The story is very intense and graphic, and the scenes may not be for everyone, but it is very well written. I look forward to reading more of Walker's work. Alec Winters is a character unlike any I have ever read about, and I would read more of his stories.

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Brains to Books Blog Tour John W. Howell

Brain to Books Blog Tour C.C. Koen

Fast Facts:

Unlikely AlliesAuthor: C.C. Koen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The Path to Serenity Series:
Fast Facts:

Photo by Tim Burdick
Photo by Tim Burdick
Author: John W. Howell
My genre(s): Fiction Thriller
My book title: My GRL from the John Cannon Trilogy


John was born in Detroit Michigan but has lived on all coasts of the United States as well as Chicago and Indiana. John graduated with
a Social Science degree from Michigan State University and after working for a large consumer products company he went back to school to obtain his MBA from Notre Dame. After twenty-five years in the consumer products industry, John then worked as a consultant and then finally in the telecommunications industry for fifteen years. John finally escaped organized commerce to pursue writing full-time.
John is married and lives by the Gulf of Mexico in South Texas with his wife Molly and loving rescue pets.
Author Accomplishments

Molly and John are active in Austin Boxer Rescue where the emphasis is on saving individual Boxer dogs from euthanasia in community shelters and finding suitable forever homes.

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.
Book Blurb

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting thriller and terrific fun January 25, 2014, Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
My GRL is a terrific thriller – exciting, with an engaging and very likeable protagonist (who has a wonderful dry, self-deprecating humor that had me laughing out loud at times!), and full of twists and turns that keep you guessing and turning the pages to see what happens next. Throughout the action builds very well and is fast paced when needed and very believable. Every aspect is described so well you feel almost like you are watching a movie, and indeed I believe this would translate very well to that sort of medium and be very successful in that form too.
The story commences with a lawyer going on a sabbatical, buying a boat and starting to enjoy a new way of life. Little does he know what these innocent and worthy pursuits are about to bring into his life! I won’t give spoilers because a great deal of the pleasure of this book is having the story unfold, but suffice to say the hero finds himself with far more than he bargained for!
The author John W Howell has constructed his thriller very cleverly and created a truly pleasurable reading experience. I found myself suspecting just about everyone of something and being right only about half the time, which is probably in itself one of the marks of a very good thriller.
I do note there is a vague hint at the end of a possible sequel – if, so I say bring it on! I’d love to read the next stage of this story! But if that’s just wishful thinking on my part I certainly look forward to any other work from this engaging and talented thriller author.
Read the Excerpt

Gerry and I finish our beers at the Sandbar and make a move to cross the crowds toward the front door. Before the karaoke noise starts, we agree to go to another place for some pizza. She directs something to me which I can’t understand, so I hold my hand to my ear and try hard to hear her. She looks a little upset. I signal we should wait until we get outside to talk.
She nods and I take the lead, reach back, grab her hand, and act like a bulldozer while I separate the crowd as we pass through. It becomes harder since everyone has begun to pay attention to the drunken girl singing what sounds a little like a slurred Avril Lavigne song to the karaoke machine on the stage up front.
We make it to the door and go out into the humid night. I drop Gerry’s hand and notice there are two guys walking toward us. I tell her to stay close and figure the guys will eventually make way and go into the bar. I am about to ask her what she was trying to get me to understand in the bar when I feel a rush of air behind me and hear what sounds like someone thumping a watermelon. That was the last thing on my mind when the lights of the world go out.


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Interview with John. W. Howell

Angela B. Chrysler: Tell us a little about yourself (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you are not writing?

John. W. Howell: I have always wanted to write and tried doing it while working full time. I found that neither the work nor the writing was quality output when done in the same time frame, so I waited until I retired to devote myself to wring full-time. I started writing as a kid and did it for the enjoyment. When I’m not writing, I usually spend time on the beach with our two Boxers.

ABC: Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (If any?) List other titles if applicable

John. W. Howell: My first book which is titled Next Door is in manuscript form and works to hold the laundry room door open. I have not published it since during my first edit I realized just how bad it was. My GRL is my second book, and I have since written three more. Two are the final books in the John Cannon Trilogy, and the forth is a different story and being queried.

ABC: What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?

John. W. Howell: I most enjoy Thriller Fiction since there is always the challenge of crafting a story that is not easy for the reader to guess the twists before they happen. My GRL is about an ordinary guy who gets caught up in a terrorist plot to blow up a symbol of America’s greatness. He is not a superhero so he must use his intellect and whatever is at hand in order to thwart the plot.

ABC: What inspired you to write this book?

John. W. Howell: My sister and I visited the Aircraft Carrier Lexington since our dad served on her as a naval aviator during WWII. I was standing on the massive flight deck, and it struck me that if anyone wanted to destroy this symbol of America’s military strength they could do so with no resistance. Later I developed a plan to destroy the Lexington and then a plan to prevent it. The story just flowed from there although in the book the Lexington is not the target.

ABC: How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

John. W. Howell: The title MyGRL came from the name John J. Cannon; the protagonist gave this boat. The boat played an integral part in the story, and the name reflects John’s affection for her. The second book is titled His Revenge, which leaves the reader guessing if John gets revenge on the terrorist boss or is it the other way around. The final book is titled Our Justice, which leads us to believe all ends well.

ABC: Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? 
Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

John. W. Howell: The cover was designed by Martin Sisters Publishing. The image symbolizes the final scene of the action, and although it appears calm, it is a view that John sees as he is slipping away.

ABC: If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

John. W. Howell:
John Cannon – Bradley Cooper
Ned Tranes – Sam Elliot
Jason Savard – Gerard Butler
Ralph Winter – Matthew McConaughey
Matt Jacobs – Christian Bale
Sarah Barsonne - Kate Beckinsale
Choices from the serious list
ABC: When did you consider yourself a writer?

John. W. Howell: The day I opened my first case of books I considered myself a writer. I have to say the day I got my first royalty check enhanced that view.

ABC: What does your writing process look like?

John. W. Howell: When I’m working on a novel I, set a daily word count goal. The count that is comfortable is 1000 words. My routine is to accomplish the goal first and then do other writing or jobs around the house. This gets me to about 90,000 words in three months. I use a laptop computer and operate from a limited outline of the story. The characters and story develop while I am writing although I have written the last three lines of the book before starting the first chapter as an ending spot.

ABC: What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

John. W. Howell: When I’m asked, I always tell aspiring authors not to show their work to others until it's finished. The reason is too often I have seen writers showing pieces of a book to someone only to get discouraged when the someone has some critical comments. This leads to a self-confidence problem that might not be solvable. Once a work is finished there is plenty of time to show it around and get all the advice in the world. At least the advice won’t stop the book from getting written. Don’t stop writing for any reason is another piece of advice I like to give since procrastination is so much easier than the hard work of writing.

ABC: Do you read reviews? Do you respond to them good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
John. W. Howell: I always read reviews. I consider understanding what the reader thinks of my work is a part of my job. I hope everyone enjoys what I write but know that does not always happen. I don’t respond to reviews as I think the person wanted to leave the review without having to worry about the author making comments. I respect the reviewer’s privacy in this manner. My advice on dealing with bad reviews is simple. If the bad review is well thought out and has some merit, learn from it. If the review is nasty and obviously meant to deride the author, then it should be ignored. In no case should an author engage in any response.

ABC: What are your current projects?

John. W. Howell: My publisher has waived their first right of refusal rights on the sequel to My GRL,which is titled His Revenge. I am currently working to self-publish the work so I have the book out for a beta read and once done then it will be professionally edited I expect publication before the end of the third quarter. The final book in the series Our Justice is complete and waiting a beta read and professional edit. I think the publication of Our Justice will be in April of 2016. I also have a general fiction novel completed titled Circumstances of Childhood. It is the story of a successful athlete and business person who gets sideways with the SEC and Justice Department. He ultimately finds out his firm has been compromised by a thief and yet must stand trial as if he committed the crime. This book is currently in the query process and is being reviewed by an agent.

ABC: What do you do (when not writing) to support yourself?

John. W. Howell: As I mentioned, I am retired, and I have my pension and investments to keep me in the necessities. For support, I generally turn to a well-made margarita or an IPA since I very seldom am not writing.

ABC: Which of your books was the most fun to write and why?

John. W. Howell: Circumstances of Childhood was the most fun for me. I’m not sure if it is because I think I know more now than I did when I started the first or if I am less concerned about making mistakes. I do know that I wrote this book exactly as I wanted to write it. The characters were developed on my terms, and the story flowed more from the character development than story construction. The freedom I experience was such that I almost don’t really care if it ever gets published. Of course, it will but if not it was like taking a test drive in a Lamborghini. A real pleasure that not being able to afford the car will take away.

ABC: Here are some zanier and off-beat questions. What do you wear while you are writing?

John. W. Howell: Since I live on the Gulf of Mexico, I’m usually in a T-shirt and board shorts. I very seldom have shoes on my feet unless I need to go down to the beach. I also listen to music while I write and find IHeart radio to be a real pleasure since I don’t have to fool with playlists or CDs

ABC: Do you have a pet or pets?

John. W. Howell: We have two feral cats and two Boxer dogs. The cats were found fifteen years ago out in the wild and were brought into our house when they were four weeks old. They don’t know they are feral and are as kind as they can be. One Boxer was rescued from the streets of San Antonio, and the other is from a litter in Port Aransas Texas. All four get along as if they were raised together. My wife and I do realize we are outnumbered.

ABC: What is your favorite snack food?

John. W. Howell: I’m afraid I am addicted to potato chips. I just love them in almost any form. My favorites are Cape Cod, and I am embarrassed to say I visited the plant when I lived back east. I could hardly wait for the free bag they give you at the end of the tour. I like my chips plain but can go with French onion dip once and a while.

ABC: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

John. W. Howell:My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut and what really strikes me is his ability to blend humor and a sense of history into every story. He was able to capture the headlines of the day and turn a piece of fiction that was amazingly plausible in its creation. I was particularly taken with Jailbird, which had the Watergate break-in as a backstory. The main character went from being in prison for getting caught with a bunch of Watergate-related evidence to heading up a worldwide company that owned everything. The story is well crafted and to me at least represents some of Kurt’s finest work.

ABC: What are you reading now?

John. W. Howell: I am reading a fantasy book by Charles Yallowitz titled The Family of the Tri Rune. It is the fourth book in the series and although I’m not a fantasy fan I am totally enjoying each of his books. He writes a very plausible story that is well thought out and detailed. After the fourth book, I’m beginning to realize the series has a sophisticated continuity about it, and I am feeling more comfortable with understanding some of the conventions that come with the Fantasy Genre.
Angela: We are pleased to have with us John J. Cannon the leading character in the John J. Cannon Trilogy. I hope you are comfortable John. I will be asking you a few questions and want to thank you for being here.

John: My pleasure Angela. After what I have been through being with you is like a vacation.

Angela: I’m sure we’ll hear more about that but go ahead and tell the audience about yourself.

John: I’m a litigation attorney working for a law firm in San Francisco. About six months ago I decided to take some time off, so I asked for a leave from the firm. Up to then I’ve been working straight for the last ten years and haven’t taken any time for myself. In fact, I was quite surprised at how much money I had in the bank, and so I convinced myself to spend some of it on a beautiful boat. You see I have always wanted to be a charter captain and figured now was the time.

Angela: Tell us where and when and were you born.

John: I was born in 1977 in a small town in Indiana. The town is named Nashville and is in the heart of the tourist area. My parents still live there.

Angela: How would you describe yourself?

John: I think I would describe myself as a normal perso0n. I am a bit driven though and from the time I left high school and until this year I have kept a pretty stiff pace. There was college, Law school, and then the firm.

Angela: Tell us about where you grew up.

John: My hometown is small and during the summer it is packed with tourists. It is a very quaint town, and people come from all around to shop in the stores and look at the wonderful scenery. I worked in a few of the stores while in high school and during the summer in college. My friends, I have known since kindergarten, and most still live in town. We used to do all the normal stuff. We played football and baseball and when old enough we would hang out at the Dairy Queen. When I went away to college, I pretty much lost contact with them. I had hoped to go to our ten-year reunion but was busy with a case

Angela: Tell everyone what it is you do when you’re not working on a law case?

John: Up to six months ago I really didn’t do anything but work on law cases. When I bought my boat which I named My GRL I had every intention of staying in the small fishing village where I took up temporary housing for a year to get my captains license. I really didn’t know if I was ever going back to the law.

Angela: Are you serious with anyone?

John: Yes I have a special person who I have found. Her name is Stephanie Savard and in addition to being a terrific partner she is a combat pilot in the Air Force

Angela: Tell us about your worst fear.

John: Right now my worst fear is that the leader of a group of terrorists by the name of Matt Jacobs will elude being brought to justice. If not incarcerated he will carry out his plan to exact revenge on America. He holds America accountable for the injustices perpetrated on Palestine by the Western World for the last five hundred years. He is a dangerous man and a billionaire to boot. I hope he is reading this interview since I have sworn to help the authorities bring him to justice.

Angela: Wow, John. I had no idea you were involved with such dangerous people. I hope that all will be resolved, and you will be able to go for that charter license.

John: Thank you again for having me and I share your hope for normalcy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What does it mean to be an indie author?

What is it to be an author? It's incredible knowing that my books are entertaining people. Authors are entertainers. We want people loving our books, hating characters, feeling a connection with other characters. Shedding tears and doubling over in laughter, shouting at their tablets and biting their nails as the turn the next page.

How is it different to be an indie author? To truly answer that question I'd have to jump to the mainstream side for a bit. What I can say is being an indie is amazing. It's a ton of work. We aren't simply authors we are promoters, beta readers, editors, graphic designers, marketers, salesmen/women and business entities. We are CEO's of our own corporations. We are shrewd business people with wild imaginations who want to share our stories with the world.

We have flexibility in our writing schedules without anyone but ourselves breathing deadlines down our backs. We schedule our own appearances. An agent doesn't decide if our book can be marketed and accept or reject it. We decide how to approach promoting and marketing our next book. What we lack in staff we fill with assisting each other. I have found an amazing community of support and friendship.

In the not too distant past self-published authors books were considered sub par. People complained they're not edited or lack this and that. That's changed in the past 3 years I've been reading indie work I have found few books that really needed help - grammar, plot, flat characters. I work and talk with other indie authors daily, we all have different methods but use editors, sometimes more than one. Beta readers are common too. I love beta readers and I want them to be picky. Tear my book apart so I can build it stronger. 

I love being an indie author and I support other indie authors in ways that I can. If it wasn't for the amazing support I've received from various indie and small house published authors my books wouldn't be what they are.

If you love indies get involved. #indiebooksbeseen. Use this hashtag when you share indie books on social media.

Check out the website http://www.indiebooksbeseen.com/#/

http://www.indiebooksbeseen.com/get-involved.html provides a few ways you can get involved and a contact form.

Indies post your picture with your book(s) July 1st!
Indie lovers post a pic with a book of your favorite indie author(s)!

Help spread the word!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Order of Curse Bound Knights by Cheri Schmidt

Book Blurb for The Order of Curse-Bound Knights 
(book 4 in The Fateful Series)

A dying knight, the infamous Sir Maximilian...

He is saved by a curse. That curse makes him even more dangerous...and he likes it. To him, a new life as a vampire is an appealing thing.

The man who turned him into this great, fearsome warrior tasks him to watch over and protect his mortal daughter, Nadia. But the beautiful Nadia puts Max’s skills as a knight to the test, captures his heart, and bewitches him with eyes of emerald green. A power more potent than any magical curse.

Inspired by ballads of Robin Hood, Nadia is a bit too rebellious for her own good. And with a kind heart, she is much too trusting and forgiving for Max’s peace of mind, because those attributes get her into a great deal of peril. Deadly creatures surround her—some of them are there to protect her and some want to lure her into a trap—and she has no idea...

But can a knight in shining armor heal a lady’s heart when her love for the legend of Robin Hood is used against her?

Author Cheri Schmidt
Cheri is the bestselling author of Fateful. Think "The Vampire Diaries meets Jane Austen." Fateful is followed by Fractured, Forever, and The Order of Curse-Bound Knights. And she has one other book in another series out entitled, Fair Maiden.

Her Fateful Series has been a bestseller ever since she published it, and well over a 150 thousand copies have been downloaded worldwide.

Cheri will say that her head is a very crowded place, and she wishes she could write faster. She will also tell you that if you do not like glittering fairies, hot vampires with British accents, knights in shining armor, the dashing Mr. Darcy, girly-girls who wear skirts, modern-day vigilantes, or large amounts of snogging, then perhaps her stories are not for you.

Currently she is working on The Trapping Club, a sequel to Fair Maiden, a contemporary/spy romance series, and a Steampunk series.


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Marie Collins A Brief Stay At Earth Human Camp Tour

A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp: Book 1 of the Secrets of Farbookonia Series Once you find out your mother is an alien, what ISN’T possible?! 
 That’s what 12-year-old Anne and 10-year-old Atticus Reade want to know. Minutes after learning that their mother is from the planet Farbookonia and that their parents’ secret project has put them all in danger, the children are wrenched from their sheltered existence in the Midwest and whisked off to a safe sleep-away camp in New Jersey — each with a tiny, protective “Globot” on one shoulder. Painfully aware they’re not like the others at camp, Anne and Atticus do their best to fit in while concealing their alien background and the “special talents” that go with it. But everything is so new to them, they have a hard time sorting reality from fiction. Quirky campers, campfire ghost stories, a bizarre camp director, Anne’s mysterious dreams, and Atticus’s unusual animal encounters are all equally disturbing. Just as they start getting the hang of life among young Earth humans, a broadcast on the Rec Hall TV shakes things up, and things that are truly strange emerge from normal newness. It turns out Anne and Atticus — and their new friends — may not be safe at camp after all. A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp soon thrusts them into a reality they wish was fiction.

Smashwords (ePub & PDF) 
My website (signed paperbacks)


Character Interview With Maylin Sòng (Anne’s Bunkmate in A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp)

Q. Welcome, Maylin! Thanks for agreeing to talk to us. Should we get started? What is your favorite thing about yourself?

A. Oh. Well, that’s kind of an embarrassing question. So-o-o ... hmm. Okay, I guess I’m — wait, really? I mean, I hate to use up my pass on the first question but ... Yeah. Pass.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. Much easier! I would be more — patient? When I have something on my mind, I can’t think about anything else. Even if there’s nothing I can do about it. Like right now, for instance. Anne’s father gave me Anne’s email address, but I have to wait until they get moved into their new house and someone sets up her computer and hopefully a phone. Right now we can’t video or talk or even write because Dark Ages! How did people even live before technology?! It’s only been one day — and I probably only have to wait a day or two more — but I can’t take my mind off it. It’s a problem. I need to talk to her. When she finally logs on, she’s going to see about 50 emails from SO-not-patient me!

Q. You talk about your mom in A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, and we meet her at the end of camp. Who else is in your family?

A. *shrugs* My dad’s not really in the picture, you know? It’s okay that you asked, but I don’t really want to talk about him. And I totally hate it when someone gets all “oh I’m so sad for you” over that, so please, don’t be sad for me! I’m not sad so I don’t really know who you’d be sad for. I live with my mom and Aunt Mingmei (my mom’s younger sister) and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Q. No judgment! Sounds cozy! So what’s your favorite thing to do together as a family?

A. Yay! Another easy one: Watching movies together at home. All three of us love it. If competitive analyzing and talking was a thing, my mom and Aunt Mingmei would be the world champions. When I was little, they sat on either side of me and talked to me through every movie we watched to make sure I got stuff! I loved it then, but when I got older it got annoying because I wanted to get stuff on my own. So get this: Now they take notes so they don’t forget what they want to talk about! After the movie’s over, I just sit back at let them go at it. I can barely listen as fast as they can talk! The thing is, they’re super interesting. And I totally love it when I say something they didn’t think of. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, they go quiet for about 10 whole seconds, then take off again, only on the reboot they include what I said! Okay, so it’s nerd joy ...

Q. In A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, Anne and Atticus go to camp for the first time. But you’ve spent other summers at the same camp. How was this summer different?

A. Wow, how wasn’t it different? Did you ever do that thing with two magnets where they snap together? That’s how Anne and I became friends. It was instant. I never had a friend like that before. But really, everyone was different — and not just because we were a year older. I think because Anne and Atticus were new and questioned everything, we all started asking ourselves the same things. Like yeah, why is so-and-so always so mean? And why do I hang out with this person and not that one? You know? It’s like we all suddenly realized we had choices — then these invisible gears rotated, shuffling people I already knew into this perfect group of friends! Who knew that was even possible?! Amazing. And that doesn’t even touch on the bad stuff (which Marie said I shouldn’t talk about by the way). So the short answer? Before and after. My life will be forever divided into what it was like before this summer and whatever comes after it.

Q. It’s pretty clear from A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp that you really like science fiction. A. You can say it. It’s okay: I’m a little obsessed. No, wait — you can’t be “a little” obsessed – obsessed means “a lot,” right? So okay, I’m just obsessed. I don’t skip meals or not do my homework because of it or anything, but I’m definitely into it. Wait – what was the question?

Q. I haven’t asked it yet! If you could be in any science fiction movie ever made, what would it be.

A. Wow. Okay. Right back to before and after. Up until this summer, I would have said Star Wars. I wouldn’t want to be a character though. I’d want to be a techie behind the scenes — the one in charge of the robots. I kind of have — had — a thing for C3PO and R2D2. Dream job: Keeping the robots in line. But that’s all changed. You do get that my very own life became science fiction this summer, right? For as long as I can see into the future, I think reality’s going to be enough for me — it might even be more than I can handle.

Q. What would be the perfect gift for you?

A. *big smile*

Q. I sense that you are thinking about your perfect gift ...

A. *bigger smile*

Q. Okay, you’re right. This is a no-brainer. A robot?

A. * huge smile while nodding vigorously*

Q. All right, Maylin. Thank you so much for talking to us today. In A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp, you promised Anne and Atticus you’d send them a sci-fi watch-list after camp, and I understand you’re going to share it with us, too. Is there anything you want to say about it?

A. Oh, yes! Thanks. Well, first of all, this list could easily have been 100 titles long. It was SO hard to keep it to 20! To make it work, I tried to define science fiction as our relationship to science, space, or the future. This eliminated paranormal and horror, which is an arguable distinction, but definitely helped me stick to the limit. Also, I tried to choose an early representative of what you might call each subgenre, then didn’t repeat other examples in that category. For example, I included Gozilla, but left out Mothra and King Kong. The way I see it, if you love Gozilla, you’ll be motivated to seek the others out. As another example, I included The Thing From Another World, but left out The Blob. (Heehee, notice I just secretly added some titles to the list?) There are definitely some places where this gets blurry. That probably just reflects my personal taste. The only other thing I would say is that, in terms of how sci-fi has evolved so far, you can’t leave out sci-fi books! But that’s a topic for another day.

 Marie C. Collins lives in Lambertville, New Jersey (USA), with her two dogs, George Eliot and Henry James, who — in spite of their snoring and a tendency to sniff horrifying things — are very good company (and in return, willingly endure Marie’s insistence

that they love being kissed on their snouts). Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Douglas College at Rutgers University and a master’s degree in English Literature from Temple University. She has held sundry jobs throughout her life, like caregiver, cook, waitress, newspaper reporter, and even a brief, misguided stint as a ballroom dance teacher. However, for most of her adult life she has written for hire, usually on topics related to education, as writing is the thing she likes to do best. Marie has a daughter she adores, Laurel Pellegrino, who is now a doctor in Seattle. Throughout Marie’s life, she has at times felt like an alien — mostly because she was extremely shy and didn’t react to things the way other people did. When she decided it was time to try to write a novel, she found herself wondering what it would be like to actually be an alien — then it struck her that that might be a good place to start. But since she’s also intrigued by the way cultures blend to make each of us feel a bit “different,” she decided her aliens should be half Earth human as well. Marie is currently writing the second book in her Secrets of Farbookonia series: The Quest for Normal. Her goal is to publish it at the end of 2015.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Long Island Secrets by Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi and Susanne Leist

I opened my tablet last night and felt overwhelmed by the amount of books. I am a book addict and have tons, hundreds. I searched through and Long Island Secrets caught my eye. I am a fan of Susanne Leist. I hadn't yet read anything by Pattimari although I own some of her books. As I said earlier I own hundreds of books, mostly independent authors. I thought why not? I read the entire book in a few hours. It was that intriguing.

My Review:

Long Island secrets is a fun who done it mystery. Rose and Sammy are best friends spending the summer together. They happen to be at the pool the day a man turns up floating in the pool face down. The life guards move in and bring him out of the water. He’s pronounced dead then gasps for breath, alive and out of sorts. His name Ben Martin. The women are intrigued by the situation and friend him. They want to help solve his attempted murder. Finding the attempted murderer takes the three on a wild ride and a deluge of secrets.

The story is well written and the characters are full of vibrancy and life. It takes place during the summer and mostly near the beach. I am a beach lover so was automatically drawn to the story. I also love murder mysteries and suspense. The book has an easy flow and is a quick read. 

Fantastic murder mystery!

Where to find the authors
Susanne Leist

Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi

Buy Links

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tear Tracks by JS Luxor Book Review

Tear Tracks by JS Luxor is a phenomenal story! It's a journey through love, betrayal, and drug addiction.

My Review:

Tear Tracks is the journey of a young couple who become estranged over a misunderstood event that catapulted into a series of events. Savannah learns she is pregnant, her husband Collin isn’t thrilled. The change of life style, putting off their dreams, it all crashes down on him. One thing leads to another and Savannah leaves. Collin becomes desperate to find her but when he does the two have a long road before them.

This story is more than a romance. The author takes the reader into the dark world of drug addiction and recovery, abuse, feelings of low self-worth and more. I felt a deep connection to Savannah and Collin but more towards Collin. He’s a loving husband who adores his wife. Instead of giving him a chance Savannah jumped the first boat out of town. She had her reasons but few had anything to do with Collin. In fact I really didn’t like Savannah but it takes an excellent author to bring out those feelings in me.

Tear Tracks is an amazing read!

Follow JS Luxor

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Lycan Love by Barbara Chioffi Book Review

I have fallen in love with this authors books! I'm more of a suspense on-the-edge-of-my-seat kind of gal. Romance isn't so much my thing but this author may change that. Her books are sweet romances with a tinge of suspense but her writing is so graceful I have to turn each page.

Book Review:
A beautiful love story! Julia was forced into one foster home after the next, never loved. She meets Mr. Flannery who takes her in, employs her, and provides her a place to live – a cottage in the woods on his property. He becomes something of a father to her. Julia is peaceful and content then meets Justin. A sweltering hot werewolf. The passion they feel for each other heats up.

I love Barbara Chioffi’s books! They are the perfect length for a quick entertaining read yet the characters are rich and developed. Her writing is impeccable and the stories easy to follow. Lycan Love is an absolute joy to read!

Where to find Lycan Love

Visit her Blog

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Davidia's Seed by Michael Smart

Michael Smart author of the Bequia Mysteries has just released the exciting Sci-fi novel Davidia's Seed.

TITLE: Davidia’s Seed
GENRE: Science Fiction
PUBLISHED: June 15th, 2015
Print ISBN:  978-0-9914008-2-9
ebook ISBN: 978-0-9914008-5-0
Amazon ISBN 10: 0991400828


"They met as enemies, unaware their intertwined destinies held the key to preventing the annihilation of two cultures."

This story is set in the Cygnus arm of the Milky Way galaxy, an area explored and colonized during the middle wave of human colonization of the Galaxy. Their arrival, hundreds of millennia before on two habitable planets of a circumbinary star system, planted the seed for the evolution of a new species on Cygnus Prime. A species, which would ultimately dominate and domesticate the human descendants of both planets.

The inhabitants of Borinorhnus believed their world and civilization to be the center of all things. The pinnacle of creation. Until an unsettling truth shattered their complacency and threatened to tear their society asunder.

Buy Links
Smashwords Store
CreateSpace Store
Amazon (Print)
Amazon (KDP)

Amazon UK (Kindle)

Author Bio
A baby boomer, I was born in the Bronx, New York, inheriting a love of reading and travel from my adventurous mother. Her fascinating story a book in itself, one I have yet to convince her to write, or allow me to write. I’m not sure where the writing bug came from, but I remember first putting pen to paper around the age of thirteen. 

My restless urge to travel carried me around the United States and to distant corners of the world after college. Eventually I landed in Key West Florida, in search of a crew position on any cruising yacht heading for far horizons. In the interim I completed flight lessons and acquired my private pilot’s license.

I did find a yacht, a home built fifty five foot gaff rigged schooner, headed for the Caribbean, and I embarked on my first ocean crossing under sail. The experience provided a life changing epiphany, and I spent the next eight years living and sailing around the eastern Caribbean.

Long stretches at sea allowed countless hours absorbed in the pages of favorite authors like Chandler, Spillane, John and Ross MacDonald, Robert B. Parker, Le Carre, Forsyth, Follett, Dick Francis, Asimov, Clarke, Herbert, Wells, Verne, Bradbury, Heinlein, among others too numerous to mention. And time to write, short stories, a bit of science fiction, sailing and flying journals.

Following diverse careers as a charter and delivery captain, yacht broker, air traffic controller, marina manager, and raising two extraordinary kids, I now write full time, imbuing my love of the sea and sky in my characters.

Where to find Michael Smart
EMAIL: michaelwsmart@hotmail.com; michaelwsmart@bequiamysteries.com
WEBSITE: http://www.michaelwsmartauthor.com
BLOG: http://www.bequiamysteries.com/blog/


Other Novels by Michael Smart

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Loose Change

I save money every place I can find. Growing up my parents taught us the value of money and showed us how to save it for the future.

Then I got married and had two children. It seemed impossible to put any money aside. My ex found many ways to spend money we didn't have. I don't throw all the blame on him when things were good I went a little overboard myself at times. When times were bad they were bleak and hopeless.

I made a promise to myself to never be destitute and penniless again. Now I have quite a few strategies I use with my limited income to accomplish that. They are all mind tricks. For example I recently bought a new phone. After three years my other one had a multitude of issues. Instead of buying it as soon as I found the one I wanted I waited until payday and bought it. Yes, I could have bought it when I saw it but that would have meant digging into my savings. In order to save money I set it aside and forget I have it. So waiting for payday meant it came out of my paycheck and gave me less spending money for the pay period. 

Other mind tricks I play are stashing chunks money into places that I can't touch or are very difficult to get too meaning I can't easily access them. Another trick I have is dropping my spare into a jar change which sometimes includes bills. The jar trick works well
for me. I just dumped my jar and counted the money so I could hide the chunk into one of my not convenient places. That stack of dollars looks pretty good but it was mostly ones. 

Since I actually rolled all the change myself I had extra that wasn't enough to roll. I dropped that back into the jar until next year and took my bucket o'money (I placed it in a small bucket) and stashed it in phase two a place that isn't convenient. A place I forget about.

Those are some of my nifty money tips. Feel free to share any strange ways you have found to put money aside.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

No More Black Magic By A.L. Kessler

About the Author:

A.L. Kessler is a paranormal romance, urban fantasy and steampunk author residing in Colorado Springs. Since she was a teenager she's loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she's not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful
puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband, she's either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles.

Explosions, body parts, and black magic are all part of Abby Collins’ typical day. As the top Paranormal Investigation Bureau agent, she only gets the best cases, but when the Cult of Ra comes to play she might in be over her head. Finding a murderer while up against a hex, an overprotective coven, and a stubborn werewolf reminds her that nothing in the paranormal world is easy. As the death toll rises and a decades old crime, linked to Abby, is uncovered, disturbing information is brought to light. Abby must unlock an ancient language steeped in black magic to uncover the truth before the murderer comes for her.

Character Interview (thank you to my Beta team who helped with questions):

Q. Do you have a nickname?

Abby. Depends on who I’m talking to. Sometimes it’s Abby other times it’s Agent A.

Q. Do you have any siblings?

Abby. Nope, only child here. I don’t know what Levi would have done if he had to adopt two children. I’m pretty sure one was enough for him.

Q. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Abby. I brought a date home with all intentions of sex, I was a grown adult, and I was living in the guest house. Apparently, Levi did not appreciate it and decided then was going to be the best time to tell me about my new assignment. Needless to say my long term relationship ended then. That was also about the time I decided I needed to move.

Q. Did you date in high school?

Abby. A little bit, but a lot of people were scared of me. They knew I was a witch and that my guardian was one of the most powerful vampires in the area. That tends to make dating rough.

Q. Why won’t you date Simon?

Abby. People I love and get attached to die way too often for me to consider dating him. Even if that’s what Levi wants I can’t date Simon, not right now.

Q. What’s the one place you always feel at home?

Abby. My chamber, Levi had it constructed especially for me. I can let my magic go and practice there. Most of the time people leave me alone while I’m in there and the whole room just brings peace to me.

Q. What are you most afraid of?

Abby. Becoming a psychopath. You laugh, but there are rumors that people in my family have gone insane with the amount of power they hold. I’ve also seen it happen, I’ve track down serial killers who have lost control of their magic and their mind. I’m not okay with becoming that and it scares the living shit out of me.

Q. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Abby. I’ve killed someone…okay a few people, always in self-defense and always as a last resort, but the guilt still eats at me.

Q. Would you ever consider getting a familiar?

Abby. Normally a familiar chooses you, they offer you companionship and you accept. The closest I’ve gotten is considering getting a cat, but mostly so I have something to come home to. If the right creature comes a long and chooses me, then I’d be okay with adopting a familiar.

Q. How do you think your life would be different if your parents hadn’t died?

Abby. I think I would have grown up with more control over my magic than I have now. So many things in the past wouldn’t have been hidden from me. I might have been a linguist like my father or maybe a healer like my mother, not a Paranormal Investigation agent. It’s hard to say what else would have changed and who would or would not be in my life at this point.

Q. Did you ever have a crush on Levi growing up?

Abby. No, not really. Since he took me in when I was for I’ve only seen him as a parent figure and he’s always made sure he stayed as such. Nothing weird going on here, despite what the supernatural tabloids say!

My Review:

No More Black Magic is a thrill ride. Abby is a witch who works for the Paranormal Investigative Bureau. They find an arm at a crime scene and then the barn blows up eliminating all other evidence. Other crime scenes and body parts start popping up.Whilst investigating other small twists in the plot put Abby in danger.

The action, suspense, and rich characters kept me hinged on each word. The story starts with a mystery that grows thicker each page, littered with plot twists and red herrings in a fictional yet believable setting. I fell in love with Kessler’s work since I first read In the Light of the Moon. She has a magic (pun intended) touch with action, descriptions and character building. She has an ability to build a riveting tenseness between characters and scenes.  Her books have a paranormal edge that makes them more intense.

A book both paranormal and mystery fans will love!

Pre-order Links

Find A.L. Kessler