Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest spot with Jason Parent author of What Hides Within

As a new author, people sometimes ask me what writers my work is most like. While I’d like to think everything I write is 100% unique right down to the last word, parts of What HidesWithin have been compared to just about everyone from King to Kubrick (okay, so “Ki” to “Ku” isn’t that broad of a range). While these comparisons are awesome and, admittedly, undeserved, they probably go more toward the content of What Hides Within than its style.

So, the easier question to answer is this: Which authors have inspired my writing? Here’s a few of them:

1. Edgar Allan Poe – Poe is the granddaddy of American horror and my favorite required read in school. He didn’t need guts and gore to instill fear or create an atmosphere of true horror. Poe could have taken any two people and placed them side-by-side as they walked through a flower bed surrounded by kittens and teddy bears, and from that, created some of the best, quietly building tension – something far more deliciously menacing than anyone who has come after him. Poe’s mastery of the craft is the standard that I will always strive to reach. For those looking to cheat on a book review, I’ve written several articles on Poe that may be useful.

Favorite Short Stories: The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart

2. Stephen King – Any horror author who claims he/she hasn’t been influenced by King is a liar. If Poe is the master of classic horror, than King is the “king” of the modern day variety. (I’m sure he’s never heard that play on words before). His imagination seems boundless, as he continues to pump out fantastic novels. There’s a reason his works rival the Bible in sales: he writes what fans of horror want to read, myself included. It used to irritate me when I’d read some critic who called him a hack, the reason being (as far as I could ascertain) that he writes “genre fiction.” Not that King ever needed me to defend him. Countless bestsellers later, he has pretty much quieted those critics . . . or maybe he killed them. The Dead Zone serves, in part, as the inspiration for an upcoming novel of mine. It won’t star Christopher Walken or Anthony Michael Hall, though.

Favorite Books: The Stand, The Dead Zone

3. Tess Gerritsen – Gerritsen writes thrillers, sometimes pigeon-holed as “medical thrillers,” and each one is thrilling. Dr. Gerritsen wrote her first novel after becoming a physician. That’s a ton of work on top of a ton of work, and I admire her for it. I have followed a seemingly analogous path (lawyer first, then author, but don’t expect to see me writing any “legal thrillers”), so I can imagine her commitment. And we’re all better off for it, because Gerritsen has enormous talent. She’s introduced the world to Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles. I have one recurring character in my work thus far: Detective Samantha Reilly. I’d be remiss if I didn’t concede her passing resemblance to Gerritsen’s far more famous female detective. What can I say? Who doesn’t love a take-charge woman with a badge and gun to back up her authority? Um, criminals, I suppose, but besides them, no one.

Favorite Book: The Mephisto Club

4. John Carpenter – Okay, he’s a director. But when it comes to horror, Carpenter has been a huge influence on my work. His films never pretended to be something they weren’t. They lacked pretentiousness or illusions of grandeur. They merely sought to entertain, and damn, his films were entertaining! But keep in mind, I think Slither should have been Oscar-nominated, so I may be somewhat biased in favor of the campy-fun horror movie. I try to put a little dark humor in everything I write. Even if my readers don’t come away with some life-altering epiphany, I hope to achieve that which Carpenter, even at his worse, never failed to provide--a roaring good time with a fair dose of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Favorite Movies: Everything with Kurt Russell in it.

Those who have read What Hides Within will likely see little of those above re-envisioned upon my pages. But mash them all together into some twisted genetic marmalade and mold an ill-begotten spawn from it, and you’d get me . . . or something like that. I’m not really a fan of marmalade.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest post by Brooklyn James author of the Vigilare series

Thank you, Scott, for hosting me on Indie Book Blogger. I look forward to your future review of my paranormal thriller, Vigilare.

Brooklyn James, author/singer/songwriter here, from the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. In chatting with Scott about a guest post, he shared that gaining insight on writer's perspectives and their writing process can be interesting. Although I do not find myself particularly interesting (as I believe most writers don't...that's why we create characters in the pages of a book...quite possibly our alter 'interesting' egos...right), I'm willing to give it a shot.

I would say the 3 key things that define my writing process are:

1. Physical Activity

2. Character Interviews

3. Research (even in writing fiction)

Writing, usually a most solitary act, and most definitely a mentally powered device, does one of two things to me. It either leaves me feeling a bit drained at the end of a session, or my mind continues to whirl about in a frenzy as I plan and scheme what will happen next in the plot. I find physical activity the perfect yang to my mental yin. If I find myself with a case of infamous writer's block or spontaneously privvy to more options than I know what to do with, I take off for the running trail, a weight-lifting session at the gym, or maybe a kayak excursion on townlake. I truly believe that physical and mental stimulation go hand in hand, most likely attributed to the increased blood flow, where by proxy we get that surge of oxygen to our brain. When truly mentally exhausted, the only way for me to counteract that state is to exhaust my physical self, resulting in a renewed sense of center and clarity. I have written my best characters and scenes in my head while running and working out. Be it writer's block or firing on all 8-cylinders to a point that the pistons are about to blow with ideas, physical stimulation is the only prescription for me. 'Prescription,' reminds me of Christopher Walken and his cowbell skit from Saturday Night Live. I giggle. Laughter is pretty good medicine, too.

I love character interviews when developing characters for a novel. Asking basic questions, such as: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you a grumpy bear or a chirpy bird? What one word would your friends use in describing you? Do you have friends? What is your favorite quip or quote? What would I find under your bed? What is your family life like? What is your favorite food? What is scariest moment of your life? And so on... Character interviews help me asses my character's values, fears, achievements, motivations and goals. If you know all of this about your characters, then I think they will begin to write themselves into the plot. And maybe the plot will thicken due to certain traits a character may have. For instance, in my novel, Vigilare, the Vigilare doesn't know much about her family, she has visions of a man and a boy, but she is unable to identify them as hers. Those very visions are the key to her past and how she came to be the Vigilare, allowing the plot to unravel for both the Vigilare and the readers, as they find out her true identity and motivation together. I think character interviews are critical in understanding and elaborating on the forward movement of any story, be it a natural progression or an instant and chilling revelation. What I love most about character interviews, is when the answers surprise me in their unpredictability. When you discover that one little nugget that truly defines your character, although you may have initially seen that character in a different light. It's amazing how one piece of the character puzzle can change the entire outcome.

The thing I loathed the most about my Master's education in Communication was research, be it qualitative or quantitative. As a college student, I just wanted to say what I thought simply because I thought it to be that way. Thank goodness our professors were adamant about our reasoning and deducing, requiring us to provide a trail, a systematic link of how we garnered such an assessment. Even though, at the time, I knew writing fiction would be much more fun that factual collegiate theses. However, it turns out, research is important in fiction, too. Most of us probably write fiction because it allows our imaginations to explore and build characters and worlds that may not be realistic, as we all know reality can be quite stifling and disappointing at times. Having said that, research, even in fiction, can be the difference between a good story and a great story...a story that causes us to actually go to that 'what if' this could really happen stage. Vigilare is a detective thriller at its core, but it has paranormal elements, as the Vigilare's super power resides in her having rh-negative blood. I've worked previously as an Intensive Care Registered Nurse, and in drafting Vigilare I knew I wanted her blood entail some supernatural component. As a Nurse, I knew a bit about blood. However, after employing some heavy research, I knew more about blood, and actually found numerous theories about rh-negative blood and its link to the 'ancient astronauts' or descendants of extraterrestrial beings, if you will. I know, I know...but, I just can't help myself, after all, I am a fan of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel! By shear definition, these 'theories' are not proven fact. Nonetheless, they make for a delectible little story and allowed me to tie together all of the missing links in my paranormal plot. I would never have the audacity to liken my writing to that of Crichton, Patterson or Preston, however, one reviewer said, "James crafted a story that fully explores a scientific approach to hematology reminiscent of Michael Crichton's meticulous application of medicine while she juggles the pins and needles page-turner style of James Patterson." While another reviewer, stated, "Vigilare walks the line between a thriller and a supernatural adventure while safely anchored in a scientific discourse around blood that James put together so well that it's reminiscent of a Douglas Preston or Michael Crichton novel." That scientific twist came from the research that I applied in drafting the novel, truly desiring for it all to come together and make as much sense as a supernatural novel can. Since I am sharing the positive feedback, I feel it my duty to expose the negative, as one reviewer also said of Vigilare, “Hard to believe. Seems unreasonable to think of such a far-fetched event as this could happen." Hopefully, you will be the judge and weigh in, if you take an interest in reading my novel. Just in time for some dark, menacing, Halloween reading, Vigilare is an adaptation from a student short film, inspired by such vigilante comics and movies as The Punisher, Boondock Saints, V, Sin City and Batman.

Vigilare Amazon Link

Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. The Vigilare trilogy is an adaptation from a short narrative film, inspired by vigilante movies, such as The Punisher and Boondock Saints. She is currently working on the last novel in the series, as well as another book and music soundtrack combination. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author. Listen free at www.brooklyn-james.com or www.facebook.com/BrooklynJamesSinger.

Finding Brooklyn James:   Website       Facebook       Twitter       Blog     Amazon Author Central ReverbNation   iTunes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest post with L.M. Sherwin author of Night Bells

MAKING DREAMS A REALITY

Growing up, I was the kid who spent 80% of the day in my imagination. I wrote stories all the time about distant worlds and fantastical people. I dreamed big dreams for my future. In third grade, I decided I was going to be an author one day. Now, at twenty-four, I have realized that dream. But what does that mean exactly? What does it mean to make a dream part of your reality? For a long time, I operated out of the fountain of hope. I hope I’ll be an author one day. I hope people will actually read my stories one day. Sure, I wrote snippets and pieces of novels all growing up, but I never finished one until after I was married.

What changed? In February of 2011, I was discussing my dreams for my writing with my husband. In his endearing and blunt way he told me, “If you’re going to be a published author, you need to just do it. If you’re really serious about this, you’ll make a commitment. Write for an hour a day. Every day. No exceptions. We’ll see what happens.” Never one to back down from a challenge, I accepted and do you know what? It worked. In a year of prioritizing my writing, I finished four complete first drafted manuscripts: three novels and one novella. The first of those manuscripts became my book Night Bells which was published in August of this year.

I realized something after I sat day after day at my desktop or netbook...dreams require hard work. In fact, dreams can’t come true at all unless you pluck them out of your head, give them feet and hands and set them moving in your life. Dreams are achieved only after you attach realistic and achievable goals to them. That’s when the magic started. In my childhood, the dream was: write a book and get published. When you think about it, that’s a pretty big undertaking. So, when my husband challenged me, he changed my thinking. It wasn’t any longer “Write a book. Get published.” It became, start a sustainable habit and see where it goes. In other words, the dream became condensed into an achievable goal.

After I proved to myself that I could keep up my habit of writing an hour a day, I started attaching more goals to my lofty dream of becoming published. I created editing goals, word count goals, and eventually...the deadline goal. I decided to self-publish, because it is such a “me” thing. I love being in control of every aspect of my work and I loved the idea of putting that much confidence behind my novel. Bit by bit and piece by piece, the novel came together and I made more “goals” for my dream.

Finally in the summer of 2012, I knew it was time. I would publish my book before fall came. And I did. I achieved a lifelong dream. If I hadn’t put the work, effort, and time into it, it never would have happened. In order to make a dream reality, you must treat it like a precious treasure. You must cultivate it, invest in it, and most importantly...work on it. Nothing gets done by sitting and “dreaming”. If you want those dreams to come true, get up and do something about them! You can do it. Anyone can do it. If you have some specific writing dream or reading dream...make goals, lists, and priorities and make it happen!

Thanks, Indie Book Blog, for having me as a guest today! I was thrilled to do a guest post for you all! If you’d like to know more about my writing journey, check out my website. If you’d like to read the fruit of my dreaming and hard work, check out my book Night Bells. It is available in print and eBook at Amazon and in eBook at Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Don't Judge a Book By It's Magic by Kate Policani Release Party!


Colleen is a normal girl. She loves shoes, chick flicks, and cute clothes. The only thing abnormal about her is that she’s just become a magician; not the disappearing bunny kind, but the power-shooting-out-of-your-hands kind of magician.
Her problem now is that she doesn't believe in magic. Well, she believes in it. She's seen it shoot out of her own hands, but she opposes it in a moral sense; no hexes, no spells, no incantations, no potions, no amulets, no tomes, no casting circles, no eye of newt, none of that. She has to be very clear because people pressure her about it. Whatever they say about “how it’s done,” this is a morality issue for her and she will not cave in to their pressure.
Join Colleen at Seattle Pacific Regional University, where she becomes a part of The Convergence. She'll learn the freaky side of Work Study, Financial Aid, and Vyxhepiocht. Seriously, she's never seen so many hot guys. It's going to be wild!


If this sounds like a book for you get your copy from Amazon if you'd still like some more info click the banner at the top to go to the book release homepage or check out the trailer Kate made for the book.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Giveaway: Wolf Hunt by Sebastian Breit

Today's giveaway if brought to you by Sebastian Breit author of the alt history novel Wolf Hunt.  He has generously agreed to provide three digital copies to the readers on the Indie Book Blog.  Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions for your chance to win.  Good luck everyone!!


2024. The world we know is crumbling. A devastating war in the Persian Gulf has left the global economy in ruins, and civilization itself is beginning to crack under the strain.

When a war-weary task force of NATO ships races against time and a rival fleet to prevent Brazil's descent into a murderous civil war, their mission is unexpectedly upset by a mysterious tempest. Thrown back in time, Captains Steven Flynn and Florian Hallwinter with their crews emerge in the year 1940 as the world is gripped in the fires of World War Two.

Presented with the opportunity to change both past and future for the better, they find themselves drawn into a maelstrom of conflicting interests. While overcoming the suspicion of their natural allies of the time proves harder than they imagined, they soon discover that even the best intentions carry the seeds of doom. For whereas Flynn is American, Hallwinter and his crew are from Germany...



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sword of Neamha by Stephen England review

Almost three hundred years before Christ, northern Gaul is a dangerous place, home to warring tribes, envious chieftains, and mighty warriors. And in the midst of it all, the leaders of the Aedui have chosen to flee. A better land awaits across the waters, if only they can reach it. If only they can survive. . .
This is the story of Cadwalador, a young Gallic warrior in the retinue of Tancogeistla, heir to the Aeduan throne. The story of one man's struggle to remain true to himself as the world crumbles around him, as loyalties change at the turning of the wind, as men claw desperately for power.

For, in this new land, nothing will change. Men's hearts do not change with the landscape. And Cadwalador will be plunged once more into the maelstrom. . . .

4 stars

Sword of Neamha by Stephen England follows the Gallic warrior Cadwalador.  The watches the rise and fall of a Kingdom in the middle of some major conflicts.  As a young man Cadwalador joins a fighting force going out to explore some new land for his people.  After his first taste of combat is an unmitigated disaster he years for a simpler life.  That is something he is not destined to have after saving the his leader, Tancogeistla, he is often brought into advise and accompany on dangerous missions.

This book focuses on the hardships that were faced by a simple man in the times.  The battle scenes are down and dirty, everything is in your face action with swords, shields, spears, etc.  I'm not an expert on the era, but things seemed to be pretty realistic in terms of materials used and fighting styles employed Stephen does not pull any punches in the story.  There are some fairly tragic moments and a lot of emotional turmoil.  This is a good read for fans of historic fantasy novels.

Pick up a copy on Amazon, Smashwords, or get more info from Stephen's website.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Intrusive Memory by Leonardo Noto FREE!!

Intrusive Memory is the true story of how I overcame a severely disabling case of PTSD to realize my dream of becoming a physician. This book is not for the faint-of-hearted. It begins in a coldly sterile mental hospital, where I spent much of my childhood after being removed from my home by Child Protective Services, and then whirls the reader through a grand cascade of pathological environments, including a violent military school and a Mississippi jail cell. This is the story of how I fought against the odds and against my inner demons to claw my way through college and into medical school, where I graduated in the top of my class!


Free this weekend 19-21 at Amazon.  I haven't gotten around to reading this, but it sounds like a fascinating story of overcoming adversity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review of Journeys of Wonder Anthology

Journeys of Wonder is a new anthology of genre fiction. We’ve assembled three talented writers to bring you five chilling tales that are guaranteed to keep you up at night – or at least make you turn on the lights.

Featured in this first volume:

The Door: Six people are stuck in a room with no memory of how they got there while a fear of the unknown keeps them from opening the only exit they have.

Blackout: A terrifying tale of a young woman whose memory is shattered and a creepy neighbor who is not all that he seems.

Infinity: Two brothers, forced to travel through time to save the world from an unspeakable evil, have little idea of what they have actually gotten themselves into.

Eye of the Wolf: A young girl struggles against the power of the full moon as she tries to hide her deadly secret from her family.

Afterdeath: In a future where our journey beyond death is no longer a mystery, the promise of eternal love waits, unless you break the rules.


4 stars

Journeys of Wonder, Volume 1 is an anthology of horror/thriller fiction by three authors.  These stories lean more toward psychologically thrilling than what has become standard blood and guts horror.  I'll admit that I am pretty unfamiliar with the genre in general so I can't really compare it to anything else, but it is a good quick read for fans, or people on the fence about the genre.  These are well written stories that go by quickly and give you a good taste of what will be offered in the future editions.  This collection is well worth the meager investment it takes to get your own copy.

Pick up your copy on Amazon or get more info from the book's website or Facebook page.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review of Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere with giveaway!!

Jason Mondy’s world is unraveling.

He’s frustrated with his job. And his most recent girlfriend has just walked out on him. Even a simple trip home to find some rest leads his adoptive mother to share a stunning secret she’s kept for over twenty-six years . . .

Jason has a brother he doesn’t remember existed.

Desperate and uncertain, Jason can only watch as one by one the pieces of his life fall like dominoes. The more he uncovers, the more everything he thought he knew about himself and his past begins to turn to ash.

His truth isn’t true at all . . .


4 stars

Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere is a tough book to summarize without giving away something important to the plot. It's about a firefighter trying to figure out some truths about his past. There are some relationship issues, family secrets, fires, tragedies, and triumphs.

Jason Mondy was a great character to me. I've read some other reviews that say he wasn't a character that people could relate to, but for me it was easy. He wasn't a guy that was great in the spotlight and didn't really seem to go for large social situations. He had his friends and firehouse family, but he really didn't seem to understand certain social interactions. That is very easy for me to understand so I found him easy to empathize with on his journey of discovery.

I thought the plot pacing of the story was done very well. There were parts that pulled away from Jason's mystery a bit, but I thought those did a pretty good job of helping to develop a better feel for the man. I also thought the reveals of the layers of mysteries were spread just about perfectly to really sink their hooks into you right when you started to wonder what was really going on. There were some that I saw coming and some took me totally by surprise.

The only real negative that the book held for me was the large number of characters. There were a lot of firefighters that were introduced at the beginning of the book and a few more throughout. Sometimes these characters were addressed using their first names and sometimes their last which made it a bit difficult for me to keep track of them all through the story. The major players in the book weren't difficult but some of the smaller characters had me a little confused from time to time.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and will be checking out more from this author in the future. I understand she has some audiobooks and that is something that I will look into for sure.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is Utukku so everyone knows what they have a chance to win!  For more info on the audiomovies check out the author's webpage.

Guest post by Elizabeth Baxter author of Circle Spinner and Other Tales

The rise and rise of genre fiction


I read fantasy fiction. Always have, always will. Perhaps that’s why I began writing it. But when I was a kid, (which wasn’t all that long ago I might add) if you enjoyed fantasy or science fiction you were automatically labelled as something other than the ‘norm’. Goth. Emo. Nerd. Geek. Take your pick. I remember hiding my copies of Tolkien and Donaldson from my classmates for fear of ridicule. I remember the look on my English teacher’s face when he caught me reading The Hobbit. The look said he hoped this was a phase I’d grow out of and then I’d start reading ‘proper’ literature. I remember thinking, “Damn you all, I’ll read what I bloody-well like!”

Seems that times have changed. Genre fiction is becoming cool. I recently read an article in The Bookseller which said, “Mainstream publishers can "no longer afford to ignore" science-fiction and fantasy projects… as a flurry of six-figure deals and chart successes point to a rising demand for the genre.”

My first thought was: seriously? Genre fiction is becoming that popular? These days, anyone who’s anyone has read such things as the Twilight Saga, the Harry Potter books and George RR. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. And it’s not just books either; the same is happening on TV and the big screen. There are fantasy/sci-fi shows all over the place. Just look at the success of Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, True Blood. The list goes on. So what’s changed? Why has genre fiction become suddenly so popular?

The Bookseller raises some interesting points. Perhaps the rise in popularity of ‘escapist’ type literature is due to the global depression. Everywhere you look these days, there’s tales of doom and gloom. Economic failure. Job losses. Home repossessions. Strife in foreign climes. Seems to make sense then that people might want to escape into a good fantasy or science fiction tale doesn’t it?

As a fantasy writer, these are interesting times. I wonder if the trend will continue or if the bubble will soon burst. Trends come and go after all. One thing is for sure, with the plethora of great reading and great TV, us genre fans better enjoy it while it lasts. I know I will.

If you’d like to take a look at The Bookseller’s article, you can find it here.

Elizabeth Baxter
Author of Circle Spinner and Other Tales
http://elizabethbaxter.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free Book The Chosen of Gaia by M Mariz

Fifteen year old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few.

Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.

A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.

Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a "normal" family striving for their place in a "perfect" world.


As part of the KDP Select Program The Chosen of Gaia will be free Oct 12-14.  For more info check out the review I did for her blog tour here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Guest spot with Emily Ford author of 2:32 a.m. with giveaway!

One of my most frequently asked questions is: How did I begin the writing process for The Djinn Master’s Legacy? I’ve always felt slightly awkward answering this, because unlike other authors, I didn’t set out to write a novel at all, let alone a trilogy.

In fact, I’d long considered myself a storyteller, not a writer. So my “writing” began more in the “telling”.

Although I’ve written in some capacity or another my entire career, my greatest creative outlet began at my children’s bedtime. It was there I honed my skills as a story creator making up “quick” five-minute tales before either they, or I would fall asleep. As time passed and my kids grew, the stories became longer, more sophisticated and unique to each child. They became my harshest critics, not only did they catch every inconsistency to the tale, but it was challenging to keep the plot one step ahead of what they expected. They could be very tough customers!

In what felt like an instant, my children began spending more weekend nights away from home, and our stories fell by the wayside. My head, however, was still buzzing with a tale that wasn’t going away. So I decided to write it down and give it to my kids as a gift. Hopefully one day it would bring back memories of past tales, and they would want to share it with their own kids.

The story began as a single scene in my head, and quickly moved into another, then another. Before I realized it, I had written clear to “the end.” Once finished however, there seemed a dimension missing. So I began adding what would later become the beginning of the first book, and wrote until I met up with the original scene of the story.

Five years, two additional books, three editors, and at least eight revisions later, that single scene is not only still present, but it rests squarely in the center of the first book, 2:32 A.M.

AND THE STORY BEGINS...

In the early morning hours nearing her 17th birthday, Cat Townsend woke to the sudden blur of a mysterious unknown man sitting on the edge of her bed. She did not feel fear -- rather a strange calmness overtook her. In an instant their eyes locked, he lightly touched her hand, and then he disappeared into the nothingness of night.

Caught in that undefined place between asleep and awake, the moment felt hazy and surreal. A chill ran down Cat’s spine as she glances at the time – it’s 2:32 a.m.

What unfolds in the first book of The Djinn Master’s Legacy trilogy, is young Cat’s personal struggle with the overwhelming choice to accept a destiny of magic. As she contemplates the merits of unparalleled power, her new and ordinary world in Savannah, Georgia is understandably shaken. The closer her decision gets, the more twisted her life with family, friends and boyfriend becomes. Will she choose to give up everything she cherishes?

Find out, in 2:32 A.M. The time everything happens.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 8, 2012

A different kind of review: Jack3d Micro

Hey all, this is a bit of a departure from my normal book reviews, but every once in a while I get to beta test a workout supplement.  This time USPLabs let me get an early peek at their new preworkout Jack3d Micro.  Here are some of my general feelings about the product:


Background:  I was chosen to be a beta tester for this product by the company.  In order to prepare I went cut my caffeine to the bare minimum for maximum effect.

Taste: First taste was not so good, but as I continued to take it I adapted and it no longer bothered me.

Effect: I got a really good amount of energy off of this product.  Not a jittery sick feeling, just a strong boost to my energy level.  The pump was pretty incredible after about a week.  I'm not sure why there was a period of minimal returns, but my first couple of times using it I wasn't sure it was going to work for me.  I also noticed my pump lasting a significant amount longer than usual.

Results: I had some pretty decent strength gains while taking this product.  I also had a noticeable increase in the size of my arms.  As a disclaimer I had taken a fairly long layoff and only started working out about a month before I began taking this.  The results were still accelerated far more than I expected.

Sides: My normal workout time is in the evening and there were times that I had a lot of difficulty sleeping after taking two scoops.  I also had some issues with an upset stomach if I didn't have my timing down right for my preworkout meal.

Overall: This was well worth the jug that I purchased after my beta bottle ran out.  As a side note there are some fairly potent stimulants in here so be careful if you have any kind of medical conditions.

If anyone has any questions about the product feel free to ask in the comments section.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Now available: Bakkian III, the wait is over

For those that have been around the blog for a while I'm sure you are familiar with Mr. Jeffrey Poole, as he is a pretty regular guest here.  Today the long awaited conclusion to his Bakkian Chronicles has hit Amazon with the other retailers to follow upon completion of Smashwords meatgrinder process.  Celebrate by getting your copy today!  Also I was privileged enough to be a beta reader for this book and for the fans of the series you will not be disappointed.


Realizing they can no longer keep the future king safe, bodyguards Steve and Sarah escort the Lentarian prince, Mikal, back to his home world to not only determine the best course of action, but also to verify the king and queen haven’t become targets themselves.

In Mikal's home world, dragon raids are on the rise. The dwarves are preparing to go to war, and the evil sorcereress has managed to reach across time and space to attack Mikal on his protector's home world. Their only hope to save Mikal from Celestia and her minions lies with the recovery of a piece of an ancient talisman believed lost centuries ago. Having the ability to enhance the holder's jhorun, namely their magical talent, to unheard of levels, the amulet pieces must be found before they fall into the wrong hands.

But are they too late? Don’t miss the exciting final chapter in the Bakkian Chronicles!


Pick up your copy at Amazon today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Free book notice!!!

For those of you who read my interview with author Heather Leighton Dickson you'll remember reading about her Tails from the Upper Kingdom series.  For two days only (Oct 5 & 6) you can get her second book To Walk in the Way of Lions FREE!!!  If it looks good to you her first book To Journey in the Year of the Tiger for is only 2.99.  According to the Amazon stats that's over 1100 pages of anthropomorphic fantasy for less than $3.00!  Check out the covers for more info:


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Concerto by Sandra Miller review

"I see you."

Three simple words from her telephone in the dead of night send violinist Chrispen Marnett's life spiraling in directions she never imagined. The chance to work with the greatest violinist alive drew her to Newton, but nothing could have prepared her for what she found there. Terror lurks in innocent places--a ringing phone, a late-night rehearsal, unexpected flowers.

And what could have prepared her for Alexis Brooks: symphony concertmaster, international superstar, and accused murderer? Withdrawn and moody, Alexis is cut off from everyone around him; his colleagues in the symphony, his fans, even his own father. Everyone from her mother to the Newton Police has warned Chrispen against Alexis, but as her own danger increases, he may be her only ally.

Join Chrispen on the journey of a lifetime as she fights for her sanity, her happiness, and her life. To survive, she must unravel the layers of the past and learn the secrets the Newton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra hides.

Concerto is the first in a series of fast-moving, tightly-plotted suspense novels.

4 stars

Concerto by Sandra Miller is a fairly well written suspense novel.  It follows Chrispen as she deals with what starts out as a fairly normal life.  Chrispen is a violinist in the Newton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.  She is there because Alexis Brooks plays there.  Alexis is a world renown violin player who also happens to be the main suspect in the brutal murder of his wife.  Chrispen doesn't believe the allegations and nurses a pretty heavy duty crush on him despite being told he is a danger to her.

When Chrispen receives a message her life begins to change radically.  The message is a simple one: I see you.

I thought the book had a lot of good thing going for it, but there were a few drawbacks as well.  Chrispen was a little bit of both.  I actually liked her character for the most part, but she did a lot of stupid things with the evidence of her stalker.  I'm not sure if Sandra intended for her to be a frustrating character (if she did she did an amazing job!) or if it just turned out that way, but it took me out of the story a bit.  Also the villain wasn't terribly hard to figure out and is actually revealed about two thirds of the way through the book.  The level of suspense is kept at a pretty good level through trying to figure out what is going to happen next, but knowing who the bad guy is takes a little away as well.  I have to say that the while the stalker remained mysterious he was exceedingly creepy and that part was done extraordinarily well.

The characters Chrispen, Dwight, Kolbi, and Alexis were are done well inspiring the emotions that I felt Sandra wanted felt about them.  There were even some little humorous parts injected with Alexis telling orchestra jokes.   The flow of the story moved fairly well with only one or two places that slowed down a bit.  

Overall once I got into the story I didn't want to stop reading until I finished.  I believe it took two or three sittings to go through the whole book.  If you are a fan of suspense novels this one is definitely one to check out.

Sandra's work is also available on Smashwords.