Friday, June 29, 2012

A guest post about Horror by Donna Burgess with Giveaway!!!!

The Psychology behind the Horror: Why we love having the hell scared out of us
Guest Post by Donna Burgess

I love horror. I always have—that’s why I write the stuff I do. But lately, I’ve been wondering why. Why do we love being scared? When you really consider it, it’s pretty silly. Laughing is more pleasant, isn’t it?

Well, maybe not for all of us.

Think about it.

There you are, sitting in the dark on your sofa or in your local movie theater, eagerly awaiting the next horrible thing that’s inevitably going to happen because it’d better. You’re at a horror movie. Thrills, death and scares are what you’re here for.

You keep reading that scary novel, deep into the night. The house is silent and dark, but there’s that one little nagging thought. Maybe someone or something’s hiding in the shadows of the hallway.

You did this to yourself. You wanted this.

But why do we pay good money to have the hell scared out of us? Why do we plug in the latest horror DVD and shut out all the lights? What’s glitch lies within our psyche what would make a seemingly reasonable person want to be frightened?

Well, we’re not as messed up as you might think. We didn’t have parents (well, most of us didn’t) who locked us in closets or sent us alone, at dusk, to place flowers on Grandma’s grave. We’re, well, normal.

Fear is the most negative emotion, and according to Aristotle, we learn more from ugly and painful things than from any other reaction. As human beings, we enjoy learning or “gathering the meaning of things.” Frankly, when I look around most movie houses, I find that to be a true statement. Who goes to see horror? Nerds. Geeks. Bookworms. Writers. Pretty sharp minds. Not the most fashionable folks, but definitely intelligent.

Now, take a look at the crowd at the latest Tom Cruise flick. DUH!

Of course, Aristotle might have had some insight on this, but evolution may suggest something else. Why do we rubberneck in hopes of seeing a bit of blood when we pass gruesome accidents? Most of us live in a cushy lifestyle where the most threat we see is trying not to trip over a curb. Fear and revulsion trigger signals that indicate danger. As a constantly evolving species (again, questionable, don’t you think), we must heed to those signals in order to increase our chances of survival and propagation.

That’s way too scientific for me, but horror movies and scary reads actually do this same thing. The nice part is there is no investment. Once we close that book or leave that theater, we’re finished. No ties. No responsibility. No obligation. No apologies. That’s what good horror is. A building sense of dread, heart-pounding moment, and then a nice climax. It’s a horror geek’s twisted version of pleasure and I love it.

If you love to be scared as much as I do, please check out my latest novel Solstice. Afraid of the investment? Try a sample first. You may enjoy it. Visit Amazon for more information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cottonwood Summer 45 by Gary Slaughter review

Cottonwood Summer '45, the latest novel in the Cottonwood series, continues the tradition of delivering an entertaining, richly-detailed reminiscence of home front America during the summer of 1945, as well as details of the closing events of World War II. The last days of the war have a profound effect on America, as witnessed by the citizens of Riverton, Michigan, and Nashville, Tennessee, the settings of this fast-paced story in which Jase and his best friend Danny, the heroes of the Cottonwood novels, are plagued by yet another passel of bad guys.

When the story opens, Danny has disappeared, along with a desperate German POW bent on making his way back to the Fatherland. With Danny as his hostage, he too falls victim to the wit and valor of the villain-vanquishing team from Riverton.


On their train trip to Nashville, our heroes are robbed but quickly identify the crook. Next, by capturing a nasty Nazi POW, they are awarded the Key to the City by Nashville’s mayor. This action opens the doors to the exciting sights and sounds of Nashville in 1945.

You’ll weep as Danny causes the accidental death of a dear friend. And you’ll marvel at how the duo deals with their first experience with racial segregation. And you’ll laugh aloud at the antics of Danny as his clairvoyance and intelligence bewilder pompous politicians and unfortunate criminals alike.
Gary Slaughter’s previous novels – Cottonwood Spring, Cottonwood Winter: A Christmas Story, Cottonwood Fall, and Cottonwood Summer – were named finalist in six prestigious book awards for fiction writing in the categories of adult fiction and young-adult fiction. Based on early reviews, Cottonwood Summer '45 is his best work ever. Readers are in for a special treat!



3.5 stars

Cottonwood Summer '45 is the fifth book in a series about two young men in Michigan during the era of WWII.  This is the first book of the series that I have read and it had some positives and negatives to it.

First off the positives, when I was younger I would have devoured this book and been off to find the whole series.  The two boys were well written and proved very fun to follow on their adventures.  There was also a lot of historical research done to add realism to the environments the boys found themselves traveling through.

The negatives spin off of the positives, I'm not the same age as the boys so it is harder for me to relate to them.  The historical lessons at times really disconnected me from the flow of the story.  There were some really cool things (learning about the canteen located in Bellefontaine OH was especially cool since I grew up there), but it just slowed down the pace a bit much at times.

Overall the book had more positives to it than negatives and I still will be recommending this series to my nephew as something he should read for sure.  If you are a fan of historical fiction or books with young characters performing heroic acts this is a book for you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rise of the Red Dragon by Martin Rouillard review


When Samuel Osmond sees two pairs of mysterious dice in a store for role-playing games, he thinks they’d be fun to show off at a cosplay event. He buys the white pair, leaving their black companions in the case. But when he casts the dice in his room that evening, he suddenly finds himself transported to a strange landscape, surrounded by scarred men in leather armor.

Samuel soon realizes that the dice have carried him back to ancient Britain, where the Briton army is at war with the Saxons. In this place, he has uncanny gifts, which he must use to put the rightful king on his throne. But darker forces are at work: back in his home world, someone has bought the black dice. Samuel must find the hidden enemy and undo his evil work before he unleashes a force from an even more ancient time.

4.5 stars

Rise of the Red Dragon is a very entertaining story focusing on an Arthurian story arc.  The premise of the story is a bit unique while still being somewhat familiar.  When a young man, Samuel, gets some money for his birthday he heads to his favorite store for RPGs and LARPing gear.  While perusing the shelves he sees what looks like a very authentic set of white bone dice that he feels amazingly drawn to.  When he purchases them and takes them home he begins to believe there is something very special about them, his theory is proven when the dice begin to glow and suddenly he is transported to another world.  When he wakes up he finds he has a fairy who is in charge of his education on his new role as a Lorekeeper.  He learns that he has been transported to a world that is based on the legends of our world that play out over and over again.  There are two forces constantly battling, one to change these stories and therefore change the real world, and the other to keep everything the same.

There were a few flaws in the book, but nothing that is really going to subtract from overall enjoyment of the read.  The first thing is because this book is translated from French there are a few places where there are some typos and grammatical errors.  Nothing that comes off as stilted and confusing, but just enough to put a slight stutter in the flow.  The only other thing that struck me as a little off was a bit of the story in the middle.  It felt a little slow and I was a little bit distracted.

There were many positives in this book so I'll just hit the big ones.  First off was Samuel.  I liked him as a character a lot.  It's nice to see a kid who is willing to stand up for his less popular friends, I know that it's really not a rare thing in this kind of story but Samuel was really done well.  The concept of Lorekeepers is also fantastic.  Although this book featured Sam dealing with an Arthurian myth there is pretty much no limit to where Martin can take these stories.  The second book is due out later this year and I am really looking forward to seeing what myth is dealt with next (I'm hoping for some Norse mythology personally).  Finally the secondary characters really helped seemed to add some depth to the story as well.  The friends that Sam makes while in the other world are some great people and I enjoyed their interactions.

This book was a very fun read and I'm impressed that it is from a first time author.  Hopefully the series will continue to grow and Martin will grow with it.  For fantasy fans highschool age and up should find this book extremely appealing.

Check out the book on Amazon or visit the author's webpage for more info.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Info on another cool giveaway

The blog Kindred Dreamheart is hosting a giveaway featuring the author Kashif Ross and his new book Barcode: Caverns of Youth.  Here is a quick peek of the cover:



If that looks interesting stop by and sign up to win a copy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Making a podiobook a guest post by Weston Kincade

Scott, thanks for having me. 

So far as A Life of Death is concerned, it seems to be the most popular of my books and has been since its release. The podcast I created onPodiobooks.com took a great deal of time and as with everything I do for the first time, I tried to make it so perfect, getting out all the abnormalities and such, that I over-edited it. The Promo can be found here. Editing audio is not my forte, but I'm getting better. If anyone with a good reading voice, experience recording and editing audio, and a desire to re-record the book approached me requesting to make a better recording, I'm not sure I could say no. But while the current version isn't the best recording, it seems to be good enough that many people are listening. A Life of Death averages around 300-400 downloads on Podiobooks.com a month and has accumulated about 6,500 downloads since I put it out October 17, 2011. However, since iTunes doesn't tell me how many downloads have been used through their service, those downloads aren't reflected in the numbers I mentioned. 

The process itself was more difficult than I initially imagined, but fun just the same. I had to get a new computer microphone. After researching recommendations of other podcasters, I wound up with a Snowball Mic. It's worked very well. I'm happy with it and would recommend it to others. My wife, a band director and graduate student, has even threatened to steal it from time to time. I know there are other good mics out there, but this is the one I know about. For anyone interested in recording a podcast or audiobook, I have a few major recommendations that I learned from the experience. 

One: I recommend doing a double tap (not the video game or movie pistol shot that kills zombies) with your knuckle or finger on the desk or surface where the mic is sitting. You do this after you make a mistake. It registers a double spike on the audio recording, making the mistakes easy to find and cut out later. Without stopping the recording, reread the messed up sentence until you get it right, double tapping each time you make a mistake and restarting that sentence. This saves you time when editing.  This also works well if you live places that have periodic noises like fire engines, airplanes,  motorcycles, trains, etc. As soon as these occur, you will have to stop, double tap, and wait for the sound to pass before restarting. I live a couple miles from a naval base where they do aircraft simulation and test work. Try doing a recording with a good mic and random jets flying overhead because of the local Airshow taking place that weekend. It was a great learning experience.

Two: Don't over-edit for noise cancellation. This can wreak havoc on your recording and make you sound like a robot without an ounce of humanity. Who wants to listen to the robot from Short Circuit doing a dramatic reading of Shakespeare or the latest Potter-esque novel? Not me. Just thinking about it brings the old electronic closing song from Doogie Howser, M.D. to mind and sends shivers down my spine. While I grew up loving that show, the eighties soundtrack and robotic voice isn't what you want. While I managed to avoid that in my final recordings, it was only after trial and error.

Three: Pick your recording location very carefully and try to set up wall coverings that will cancel the echo of your voice. Bare walls will echo and the mic will pick it up. Large, open rooms are bad about this too. Not to mention, if you live with other people, you need to pick a place where you can have complete silence. I had to rerecord an entire episode because my roommate came home and began watching Pawn Stars two rooms away. I was so focused on my reading and recording that I didn't notice until the chapter ended. By that time, I just hoped it was too quiet to pick it up, or it could be edited out. A couple hours later, I discovered in editing etc . . . that I would have to redo the whole thing. Talk about time wasted, but yet another learning experience.

Overall the experience has been good though. I intend to make it even better when I have the time, but time is one of the things you can never get back and never have enough of. Either way, the Podiobook is getting the book to a wider audience that I hope will enjoy it. I've seen sales increase some from putting the serialized recording up on Podiobooks.com for people to listen to for free, but it's hard to know how much is due to the recording. In the end though, I mainly just want to get my books into readers' hands, or ears. Readers have said great things about A Life of Death, in its podiobook form and print/ebook forms, calling it a must read and worthy of far more than 5 stars. I'm happy that people are enjoying my books and hope they will continue as I write more. 

I do periodic giveaways and am even giving away t-shirts, signed print copies, stickers, large bookmarks, and the opportunity to publish your character art in upcoming memorabilia and your very own version of the cover for the upcoming sequel to Invisible DawnSalvation, Book Two of Altered Realities. I've had some great submissions so far to both contests, but the deadline for them all, art and giveaways, is June 30. Then, I'll put the art submissions up on my site and we'll have a week of voting for each novel's character art and the Salvation cover. In the end, there will be a winner for each category.

Come by and join in on the fun. There are plenty of prizes to go around.

Weston's Summer giveaway has some very cool prizes stop by his blog to enter and check it out!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview with Arshad Ahsanuddin

Today we have Arshad Ahsanuddin, whose book Starlight is free on Amazon until the 18th, as a visitor here on the Indie Book Blog. First why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

I am a practicing hematopathologist, a physician who specializes in using microscopic and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. I also write what might be described as futuristic-sword-and-sorcery-gay-vampire-soap-opera-supernatural-thrillers, crossing genres between soft science fiction, urban fantasy, and non-explicit gay paranormal romance. Not exactly an intuitive marriage of professions.



What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Creative, passionate, methodical

What prompted you to write about vampires?

Because they’re cool, and have a much more diverse and varied presentation than most other science fiction/fantasy archetypes. Also, I started writing the story during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel heyday. More information on my attitudes towards vampires were described in a guest blog post I put together originally for Red Tash (http://redtash.com/post/10725470418/vampire-friend-or-foe).

Where did the idea of the conflict with the Sentinels come from?

Any story thrives on conflict, whether driven by internal personal demons to overcome or external villains to defeat. Vampires as a race are too powerful to exist unopposed in our world, or they would have killed or enslaved us all by now. In fact, the background mythology of the story, described in Sunrise, indicates that was exactly what happened when vampires were first created, and it wasn’t until the Sentinels arose to oppose them that humanity had a fighting chance to survive.

In a way, they’re just like any other predator. Left unchecked, they would hunt their food supply to extinction and then starve. The prolific nature of humanity aside, there had to be a predator to winnow the vampire population to manageable numbers for even a supernatural ecosystem to survive.

Have you found anything that helps to separate your books from the legions of paranormal romance novels on the market right now?

Well, there’s the fact that the romance storylines are mostly focused on gay characters, though there are two books in the series, Radiant Burn and Moonlight, that deal primarily with straight main characters. However, there is a strong tradition of paranormal romance in LGBT fiction, probably driven by internalized marginalization of the gay community, and subconscious identification with the otherness of supernatural predators in relationship to humanity.

On the flipside (Do people still know what that expression means in the iPod era?), the books are complex on many levels, with deep backstory and intricate, simultaneous plot threads. Many readers find my books to be excessively confusing at first, which some find to be off-putting. I prefer to think of them as challenging, with a commensurately higher pay-off in the end.

How many books are you planning for the series?

The primary novels of the Pact Arcanum series are complete: Sunset, Sunrise, Moonlight, and Starlight. Two intervening novellas are also complete: Radiant Burn (book 2.5) and The Best of Times (book 3.5). I am currently working on a novella designed to fit between books 1 and 2, that focuses on the character of Icarus in Sunset, who has significant backstory that is not well explored in the other books of the series. I am also toying with the idea of a fourth novella to act as a coda to the series, told from the point-of-view of one of the secondary characters on the opposing side of the war.

Once those are completed, I plan to flesh out my ideas for a prequel trilogy to tell the story of that first conflict that destroyed the world when the vampires and Sentinels first came into being, but that’s more of a long term project, and probably won’t see print until next year at the earliest.


You have some pretty awesome designs for the various house seals. Where did you get all the ideas for the symbolism and the art?

The seals were drawn from the text, and were used as symbols to underscore various archetypal themes associated with specific characters. The artwork was first created by me, and then adapted by my illustrator, Craig Payst, whom I met through a fraternity sister (Yes, sister. It was a very interesting fraternity. http://www.stanthonyhall.org/). He took my initial, clumsy designs and put a more artistic spin on them, which I modified slightly to come to the final product. The entire process was described in more detail in one of my early blog posts: http://pactarcanum.com/book-related/heraldic-symbols/.

What author is your biggest inspiration?

Neil Gaiman was my biggest inspiration, due to the depth and range he displayed in the Sandman comic book series, which I collected faithfully since the first issue came out in 1988. I also found his more traditionally formatted fiction to be of extraordinary quality, and two of the crowning jewels in my library are the signed, limited editions of Neverwhere and American Gods.

A close second would be Guy Gavriel Kay, who wrote my favorite high fantasy series of all time, The Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road), for the beauty of the language, and the complexity of the plot and background mythology.

I'd like to thank Arshad for taking the time from his day to answer some questions with us. I wish you the best of luck with all of your writing endeavors, I know I'll be following them all.


So everyone do yourselves a favor and check out this book series.  It remains one of my favorites that I have read since starting this blog, remember this book is free this weekend only!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My interview with Mia Darien

I stepped into the world of Adelheid for an interview with Mia Darien earlier this week and I am just not getting around to posting notice.  Better late than never I guess :p  The interview was a fun one set in her world where paranormal creatures have come out to the public and been granted citizenship in the US.  To see my answers to her questions check out the interview on her blog.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sweet Dream Anthology review


5 stars

Sweet Dreams is a collection of stories from various indie authors.  First off I'll say that I had a hand in helping to promote this collection to gather the stories so this isn't exactly an unbiased review.  The greatest thing about this collection is the fact that no single author is making a cent off of it.  They have donated their work to help a young woman with a terminal brain tumor realize her dream vacation while she is still able.

All that out of the way this is a great collection of stories.  Like all short story collections there were various levels of appeal throughout, but overall it has a high entertainment value.  This collection features some very talented up and coming authors and is a great opportunity to sample some of their work.  There is also a never seen before story from Jeffrey Poole dealing with his Bakkian Chronicles characters.  If you enjoy horror and fantasy stories running the gambit from humorous to intense this collection will have something for you.  Check it out for yourself and you may find a new favorite author.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sweet Dreams the Lyndsey Roughton Anthology is now available!!!

17 talented authors present their tales in order to raise funds for Lyndsey Roughton, a 27 year old currently suffering from an inoperable brain tumour.

Genres include dark fantasy, humour, sci-fi, and horror. The tales in this book will transport you to a different worlds!

Included in this anthology are the following:

Everyone Goes To Hell - Joseph Garraty
Here Be Monsters - Naomi Clark
The Easter Werewolf - Jason McKinney
A Season For Mickey Blayton - Chris Fraser
The Great Zombie Pot-Plant Thang - J H Sked

Descent - Mia Darien

Just how far would you descend into the darkness to bring back something you dearly loved? One woman, one witch, of Ancient Greece is about to find out.

Bakkian Chronicles, The Disneyland Debacle - Jeffrey Poole

An acrophobic pyrokinetic steps foot onto a high-speed roller coaster and leaves an impression that won't soon be forgotten!

The Desert - Richard Shury
Laid To Rest (A Cherry Garcia Story) - Leanne Fitzpatrick
The Garden - Renee Carter Hall
A Thief's Escape - Joseph Ochipinti
All Strung Out - Sky Corbelli
Cypher - Edward Larel
Hard Candy With Strudel & Tea - Jana Hill
Phantom Of The Night - Nicholas Ordinans
Summer Ghosts - Leigh Roughton
The Gene Priest - B. Throwsnaill


Sweet Dreams is the anthology where all of the funds go to the family of Lyndsey Roughton.  Lyndsey is a young woman in England who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  Her dream has always been to travel around Thailand and Vietnam.  All of the proceeds of this book are going directly to her family in order to make her dream come true.  I have read most of the stories in this collection and they are excellent.  Please take a look and help give this young woman her dream vacation.

For more info on the collection check out JH Sked's blog, the author who organized all of this.  You can also check out more info on Lyndsey here.  Thank you to everyone who contributed a story and everyone who purchases a copy.  It's a wonderful thing to see so many people getting together to help a stranger in need.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview with Chris Mendius author of Spoonful

Michael Lira has a problem. Living in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago during the late nineties, he sees everyone else getting ahead except for him and his friends, a bunch of junkies, artists and has-beens. Between slamming dope and slipping away for trysts with Lila, a free-spirited painter who strips to pay the rent, Michael has what he needs but it s not enough. He wants to make a real move. When he meets two frat boys from Northwestern University looking to score, Michael sees his chance and takes it. With the help of Sal, his partner in crime, Michael pulls together a bundle of money. After getting the hard sell from a shady broker, he puts it in the stock market. Everyone else is getting rich. Why can t he? One hot tip leads to another until it all erupts in a bloody confrontation that will change his life forever.


First off I'd like to say thanks to Chris for taking some time out of his busy schedule to do an appearance here at the Indie Book Blog. Why don't you tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks for having me, Scott. I grew up in Naperville, Illinois but I lived in Chicago for a long time after college. That's where I met my wife Jayne. She lived near the Music Box, an old-time movie theater. We got married and a little while later moved to Oak Park right after our kids were born. I got a Bachelor's Degree in engineering and an MBA but I've always been creatively driven. I used to want to make movies and even took a couple screen-writing classes but then I discovered fiction. I could tell the story I wanted, the way I wanted without the need for millions of dollars of investment to get it out there.


The dedication of your book is a little vague. Is there a story behind it?

The book is dedicated to my buddy Humboldt. He was my dog who died last year. I wrote a lot of the book in my head when I was walking him at night.


How did you manage to create Michael in a way that, even when he is breaking the law it's easy to think of him as a decent guy?

I think the main reason Michael doesn't lose his appeal, even as he breaks the law, is because you understand why he's doing it. And he's no bully. He doesn't want to hurt anyone. He just wants to score. I also think it helps to see the fierce loyalty between him and his friends. They stick up for each other and as you pointed out in your review, often pay a bloody price.


Is Dante more than he appears to be? Is his presence representative of a specific type of person or segment of the population or is he just a good friend who doesn't really approve of Michael and Sal's drug habit?

I think all the characters are more than they appear to be though I can't necessarily describe how off the top of my head. One thing Dante represents is my love of of football. I played in Junior High and High School and it's still my favorite sport to watch. In many ways, football is a lot like life. Traits like skill and courage go a long way, but fate always has the last word. No matter how much you prepare, you never know what will happen in a day or game. And given the violent nature of the sport, the fortune of a player or a team can radically change on any snap. Dante also represents the bonds of lifelong friendship. Even though he strongly disapproves of all the drugs his friends do, he refuses to turn his back on them.


Did you have a guy like Dante in your past?

I know some crazy football players and some hardcore alcoholics, but nobody quite like Dante.

I really did not see the book ending in the way that it did. I've seen that you are working on a follow-up book now, can you share a little bit of the plot without spoiling anything?

I'm glad to hear the ending got you by surprise. I had a vision of where the story would go but I wasn't sure how it would get there. I love the way it turned out. My next book is called IN THE PINES, named after another old blues tune. It picks up right where SPOONFUL ends. It's hard to get into the plot without giving up too much, especially for anyone interested in reading SPOONFUL, but I will say that the bulk of the action takes place in Los Angeles.


Can you see Spoonful as a major movie?

Yes I can. The characters and the action in particular would make for a killer movie. I haven't really given the cast much thought but I've had a few good suggestions from readers. I could see Ryan Gosling as Michael and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Sal and maybe Tom Hardy as Dante. And for Lila, I picture an actress like Scarlett Johansson or even Christina Hendricks.


Well I'd like to thank Chris again for his time. I thought Spoonful was a great book and recommend checking it out for a no punches pulled look at drug addiction in Chicago in the 90's.

It's been a pleasure, Scott. Thanks for having me.

To keep track of what Chris is up to check out the Facebook page for his book.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cameron's Law by Mia Darien review

Vampires are people, too.

Cameron's Law has made all supernatural creatures legal citizens, and the boy next door has suddenly become the werewolf next door. With Sadie Stanton, vampire and one of the public faces of the legislation, calling the little town of Adelheid, Connecticut home, it can't help but be a focal point for these once mythical beings.

But when vampires start attacking werewolves without provocation, Adelheid draws the attention of those that would seek to have Cameron's Law repealed and would send the preternaturals back into the shadows they used to hide in, but without the safety of their anonymity and their law.

Can Sadie keep the city's two biggest species from descending into chaos and war before it brings all of them to harm? And can she do it when she herself gets thrust into the spotlight?


4 stars

Cameron's Law is not a typical paranormal story involving vampires and werecreatures.  First off their existence has been revealed and the world is still reeling.  The book follows Sadie Stanton, one of the first vampires to reveal herself and a driving force behind the passage of Cameron's Law (the law making preternatural creatures citizens).  She runs a business helping the supernatural community and helping regular humans who have issues that may be supernatural.

Sadie is actually a pretty normal person, other than the liquid diet and no sunlight thing.  She is dealing with trying to get her office staffed with all of the special ability people she needs to be an effective force for the good of the people.  She is also recovering from heartbreak in the book meets an new potential love interest.  If you are familiar with my reviews you know that kind of plot development can be a bit of a turn off for me, but Mia does it in a way that doesn't bother me.  Sadie also has a pretty potent sarcastic streak which led to some amusing interactions between her and the other characters.  Overall this was a bit of a new take on using paranormal creatures in a book and I really enjoyed the premise.  I'll be checking into the second book fairly soon for sure.

For more info check out the book's Amazon page or visit the author's website.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cleanse Fire by Anastasia V Pergakis

Complete the mission, no matter what...

Treason is only the beginning...

The past holds the key...




3 stars

Cleanse Fire is the debut novel of Anastasia V. Pergakis.  As can be expected from a first time author there are a few things that I thought could have been done better, but there is an almost unlimited amount of potential for this series and author.

The issues that I found with the book mostly revolve around the characters.  There wasn't anything wrong with them, but each member of the Kinir Elite is important and shares the spotlight which leads to a little bit of a lack with all of them.  The tragic past theme is a shared theme for several of the members and it seems a little improbable.

At the same time the characters are a true strength for this book.  Anastasia has built a personality for each of the characters and has a webpage where you can ask each of them questions.  That level of commitment really says something about where this series can go.

The story is well done and moves at a pretty good clip throughout the book.  I was interested enough to read the book in two or three sittings.  The idea of an elven elite fighting unit really worked for me.  This is a series that I will be keeping an eye on to see what Anastasia does with all of her potential.

For more info check out this book on Amazon, Smashwords, or the book's website.