Book Review A Family War

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30174284Title: A Family War

Author: Stewart Hotston

Genre: Science Fiction

Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead.

“A Family War” was an amazing book, and I loved it. Helena is awesome, and she makes such an interesting character. She didn’t need people to save her all the time, she was strong, capable, and I felt a connection to her right away. The storyline totally rocked, and the writing was brilliant, and not too heavy on the technology.science explanations.

Author Interview Chaos Rising

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Author Interview

How long have you been writing? I wrote my first “book” when I was 7 years old. I still have it in a box somewhere. It was less than ten pages and was about a cat and a dog—complete with pictures. What was the most challenging part about writing CHAOS RISING? Chaos Rising is the second book in my epic fantasy “The Lemurian Chronicles” and the world expands considerably in this book. The most challenging thing was introducing new characters in a way that didn’t overwhelm the readers. As I reader of fantasy myself, I know I like to get back to the “main characters” often. So I had to be very measured about how much time to spend away from Avaris and Renn. What do you enjoy the most about being an author? Getting feedback from readers—especially if it’s positive  Is this book part of a series? Yes, this is book 2 of the Lemurian Chronicles Do you have any works in progress? Yes, I am working on book 3 of the Lemurian Chronicles now. There will be a few more books in this series and then I plan to write a prequel, a sequel and a spin-off series using the character named Raven.

About the Book

Chaos Rising CoverTitle: Chaos Rising

Author: Perry Morris

Genre: Fantasy

The Lemurian Chronicles by Perry Morris is an epic fantasy that began in 2015 with the publication of Children of the Blessing.  Readers all over the world have been enthralled with the gripping tale of Renn and Avaris—two boys who were marked by the gods to become powerful magic users.  Chaos Rising, the eagerly anticipated second book of the Lemurian Chronicles, continues the exciting epic story.

Avaris travels into the heart of the Cragg Caves—the home of horrifying beasts, warlocks and demons—to rescue his sister and best friend from slave labor in the mines deep underground.  But getting out of the caves alive is only the beginning of his troubles as he is hunted by an army of evil magic users and blood thirsty beasts who have been given the assignment to kill him before he learns to fully use his powers.

Renn (Demaris) is studying at the castle on Elder Island under the watchful eye and protection of the lore masters.  But a traitor is in their midst who is being blackmailed by Shamael Daro, the new Grand Warlock, to carry out a single task—eliminate Renn.

Shamael’s power has increased significantly since taking on the mantle of Grand Warlock and he discovers the dark secret of how the most powerful Grand Warlock of all time, Nefarian Drakkas, nearly took total control of Lemuria more than two thousand years ago.  He uses this secret to create a group of soulless, magic using spies and killers to do his bidding.  His plan is simple; create chaos across the land so the dark forces of the Aven lore can destroy those who follow the gods of light once and for all.

Author Bio

Headshot C 1200pxPerry was born and raised in the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area. He is very happily married and has seven wonderful children and one grand-daughter. Perry works for a large, publically traded, international company in Provo, Utah, where he manages supplier management, procurement and packaging engineering functions.  His first exposure to the great world of fantasy literature was, of course, J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, when he was fourteen. After that, he read the books of Patricia McKillap, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson, etc…Currently his favorite author is Brandon Sanderson. He loves the unique and interesting magic systems Brandon creates, the memorable characters and interesting stories.

Perry is an author every day for an hour during lunch. He actually began writing the Lemurian Chronicles in 1993, and after more than two decades of rewrites, editing, re-editing, etc… finally decided to “take the plunge” and publish his epic fantasy. Don’t worry; each additional installment will be released no more than eighteen months to two years apart.

Thanks for you interest in Perry and his works.

Links

Author website:  www.perrymorris.net

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Buy the book on Amazon

Guest Post A Family War

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Guest Post

Science Fiction has been slated by nearly everyone who doesn’t read it. It’s easy to see why – it’s rarely literary, it grew up out of the pulp fiction golden age and it’s often more interested in the story than the characters. Perfect fodder for snobs.

However, and it’s a big however. Science fiction is a wonderful medium for telling stories. Like all fiction it permits us to discuss that which in real life we might find awkward or taboo. It gives us space to ask the questions of ‘what if?’. Fiction is a mirror for the reader and their society while also being a place where we can have a lot of fun at the same time. Good writing doesn’t preach, doesn’t tell the reader what to think. Instead it provides us to room to reflect on our own place, our own values without judging us.

Science Fiction is genre and by that we mean it collects together certain recurrent themes and motifs. I’m not interested in those – they’re well discussed elsewhere. What interests me about science fiction is that when written well it should transcend the speculative slant and provide characters that people want to read, that they care about enough to accept the discussions on spaceships, laser guns or whatever else the author populates their world with.

I write science fiction because I want to ask questions that contemporary, or even historical, fiction can’t address as easily. Helena’s story about a genocide is a good case. I could have looked at a historic case but it would come with real world baggage – both political and emotional. By looking to the future, to a world that’s recognizable but different, it’s allowed me to ask the same questions but shorn of the other baggage that might stop people accessing the ideas I’m interested in exploring. Now, the story isn’t simply about ideas, it’s about individuals and how they live out their beliefs and relationships within the context they find themselves. In other words, although the story is set in the future, the people in it will be people you can relate to. If I can’t manage that, all the science in the world isn’t going to help you, regardless of how exciting that element is.

Science fiction can match up to the snobs – just see Adam Roberts or Jeff Vandermeer if you don’t believe me. Yet it doesn’t need to. It is its own beast, capable of wowing us, touching us and taking us to places no other genre can.

About the Book

30174284Title: A Family War

Author: Stewart Hotston

Genre: Science Fiction

Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead.

About the Author

stewrthotstonStewart works in the city but was once a quantum physicist who always liked his science fiction to have actual science in it as well as the thrills and characters that make great stories. Oh, and he likes fighting with actual steel swords.

Links

Amazon.co.uk:  eBook

Paperback

Amazon.com

eBook

Paperback

Promo Post Traveling Left of Center

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About the Book

Christie--Traveling Left of Center-printTitle: Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories

Author: Nancy Christie

Genre: Literary Fiction / Short Story Collection

There are some people who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Unable or unwilling to seize control over their lives, they allow fate to dictate the path they take—often with disastrous results.

TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES details characters in life situations for which they are emotionally or mentally unprepared. Their methods of coping range from the passive (“The Healer”) and the aggressive (“The Clock”) to the humorous (“Traveling Left of Center”) and hopeful (“Skating on Thin Ice”).

The eighteen stories in TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES depict those types of situations, from the close calls to the disastrous. Not all the stories have happy endings—like life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.

In these stories, the characters’ choices—or non-choices—are their own. But the outcomes may not be what they anticipated or desired.

Will they have time to correct their course or will they crash?

About Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie-2Nancy Christie is the author of the fiction collection, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and two short story e-books, Annabelle and Alice in Wonderland (all published by Pixel Hall Press).

Her stories have been accepted by print and online publications such as St. Anthony Messenger, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, Talking River, Wild Violet, EWR: Short Stories, Hypertext, Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, and The Chaffin Journal.

She is also the author of The Gifts of Change (Atria/Beyond Words), an inspirational book that encourages readers to take a closer look at how they deal with the inevitability of change and ways in which they can use change to gain a new perspective, re-evaluate their goals and reconsider their options. Since its publication in 2004, The Gifts of Change has been released in three foreign editions.

Currently Christie is working on several book projects, including a second collection, a novel and a book for writers. The founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day, and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), Christie hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, OH.

Website: www.nancychristie.com

Blogs:

Focus on Fiction The Writer’s Place One on One Make A Change

Social media links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nancychristie.writer Google+: http://gplus.to/nancychristie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancychristie/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NChristie_OH @NChristie_OH

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1048768.Nancy_Christie

Links

Buy on Amazon (Paperback)

Buy on Amazon (Kindle)

 

Sale

Summer Blog Tour Special-5.21.16(1)

The book will be on Sale until June 30! Get it while you can. More info about the sale is here.

 

Author Interview Sole Obsession

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How long have you been writing? 

First of all, thank you so much for reading my work, I know you have choices and I appreciate it!

I started writing when I was about 6, my Dad was a writer/editor and I thought everyone wrote books. They were magical to me as I was learning to read, and I wanted to participate in the fun. I heard a girl had written a series of books when she was about 8, and I felt like I was being left behind. I didn’t know what I was doing, at all. I was probably pretty awful, but as with everything, enthusiasm often counts more than competence.

 No one starts out a great writer, it is an art that has to be cultivated and a crazy amount of training goes in to really being able to articulate actions and events into a reading format. As I look back, had I known how hard it was going to be, I might not have started.

I was taught to write in many voices, from many perspectives, and usually to leave personal opinion out of it. The freedom of writing fiction, like this book, is that I can sneak my personal views in. Sometimes I like making a broad point, other times they are more subtle. This book has an underlying theme of nature vs. nurture which I intended, but as I developed the storyline I may have strayed from the planned intensity of my original concept.

This was because I had to take a long break half way through the book due having a very ill child who needed my complete attention for many years. When she got better, and I came across the first part of the book among my many projects, I had forgotten my storyline. As I re-read what I had done already, I had 2 thoughts:

  1. Wow, I don’t remember writing some of this, it’s good!
  2. Wow, I was a really angry person back then.

I liked what I had started and I had received a few offers regarding the unfinished manuscript back before my kiddo was hurt, so I decided to go ahead and finish it and see where it took me. I was able to pick up where I left off and am happy with it. I don’t ever foresee a time when I won’t be writing, I juggle many projects at a time and they are quite varied. The satisfaction of sculpting language into an art form which elicits intense visual imagery drives me.

What was the most challenging part about writing SOLE OBSESSION?

That is an excellent question and I appreciate the opportunity to share my journey. Writing a book like this is scary in itself. I didn’t know the reception of the storyline, and I was very apprehensive about writing in a voice I hadn’t explored before. Writers constantly transform as they mature, and I had just gone through a really traumatic time period with a terrible divorce, so I was someone completely foreign to me. I didn’t know what I was going to tap into as I explored certain characters and I didn’t know how it was going to affect me.

I chose to write the bad guy perspective from inside his consciousness and that was a challenging journey for me. I have always known I’m a method writer, but this took me to a place I hadn’t explored prior. A method actor becomes the character they are performing in order to deliver a believable performance. They take on their life and their mind. A method writer does the same. The main issue for me was that I have healthy brain chemistry, so inhabiting an unhealthy mind to deliver the most impactful experience was very hard on me. I had to take long breaks between writing his parts in order to regain my emotional balance.

I love so much bringing to life happy characters with joyful experiences, I glow inside and out when I am creating them. The flip side, is in order to create a believable world, I have to include the reality of life and that’s not always as much fun to bring to life. The challenge is to stay as committed to the process of honestly representing the evil as the joy. It would be easier to back away from that challenge and dial in the bad guys, but I knew my vision wouldn’t be completely realized if I did.

There were other very challenging aspects, but since you only asked for the most, I’ll stop there.:)

What do you enjoy the most about being an author?

Writing is my way of creating art. I suck at drawing, although love it, and I suck at every other form of art, although I am passionate about most of them. Writing is the one place I can bring together the parts of my mind which want me to create beauty or vivid imagery. I seriously wish I could draw, I really wanted to be a cartoonist. Instead, I’m ‘punchline gal’.

My most treasured part of being an author, though, is that I have been able to write books for my kids as they have grown and share them with their schools. I have been able to encourage children to dream and put their dreams into writing. My high school daughter still comes home and tells me she is approached at school about books I wrote and shared way back when she was in elementary school. I wrote comedy books about funny stuff my kids did, and they still stick. I love that.

This genre is not one which I’ve shared with my kids, it’s obviously for adults only. It has been fun writing in an indulgent manner that’s meant to express myself and suit no other purpose than to entertain other adults.

My son is writing as well now, and his brain is way more impressive than mine. The things I can learn about him through reading his stories make me feel so happy and excited for him. My daughter is not the world’s biggest fan of writing, but I can see the influences of advocated creativity working for her in other areas that are very artsy. Enabling my kids to create their own artistic legacies is definitely the greatest aspect of being an author.

-Pam Stanley

Is this book part of a series? 

Sole Obsession is the first book in a series. The series is labeled ‘Wilde Horses’, a nod to the strong and confident women I enjoy writing about. This first book introduced my main cast of characters I am working with in the future. I will continue to develop new people, and they are all based on either people I actually know or interesting personalities which intrigue me.

This next installment is named Miss Match. I am really excited about this project, it has been in development for many years. As a single mom, I have dabbled online looking for my Mr. Right. Once I got over the shock factor of what the types of men were really available to me, I relaxed and checked out a bunch of different sites. Along the way, I have talked to some of the oddest men. I have also met or observed so many singles out and about that I have a really fun database of single dating stories.

The avenue I thought would be funny to explore shows itself in Miss Match. I never use anyone’s actual name, but some of the things I have experienced I could simply not make up. I am so excited to finish this next book, I know it’s good when I’m laughing as I write it. At the very least, I am entertaining myself.

I will continue to add to this series, as my own life has changed over the last many years, so shall my cast. I see a lot of fun to be had with ‘Wilde Horses’. I hope you enjoy its evolution as well!

Do you have any works in progress? 

I am currently finishing the second book in the series ‘Wilde Horses’, and am also co-writing a steamy cookbook with a celebrity grill-master. The cookbook should be quite fun to read as well as to try out the recipes.

I have projects in other genres in which I am developing as well. I have been writing an interesting sci-fi book for teens and young adults, my kids are helping with that. I was heavily influenced by sci-fi as a young reader, and it’s rewarding to tackle the medium. My favorite works to write are usually comedies or self-help material regarding relationships and interpersonal communication.  When I can integrate those into a singular piece like Sole Obsession, it makes me feel satisfied.

In closing, I thank you for taking the time to read this interview. I will be as candid as I can when being asked questions, and I appreciate the time you are taking to get to know me. I hope you enjoy Sole Obsessions and I hope to see you again when Miss Match is released!

About the Book

Sam_So_CoverTitle: Sole Obsession

Author: Pam Stanley

Genre: Erotic Romance / Comedy

A sizzling red hot and very funny erotic romance series starring the spunky heroine Sydney Wilde, presents Book 1- ‘Sole Obsession’. This is the perfect easy pool read book, complete with suspense and comedy, and topped with a large serving of indulgent sexy scenarios. The storyline follows a frustrated woman looking for love, all the while unaware she is the sole obsession of a predator who is determined they shall be together. The Wilde Horses are her group of friends, all sexually confident and happy to share their skills and passion. You will certainly recognize at least one person you know among these characters, if you don’t recognize yourself. The book will thrill, excite, and make you laugh out loud as well as look over your shoulder more often. Enjoy the journey and look for the next in the series, Book 2-‘ Evangeline,Miss Match’… AKA ‘The Online Date Killer’ coming soon!

Author Bio

Pam Stanley is a Southern California transplant to Kansas City, and if you are in a great pub or night-life place there, he or she is probably standing right near you watching for you to do something funny or ridiculous so a good story comes out of it. When not writing, Pam is tossing back beers with friends, running for miles, or taking in any of the fantastic live sports and music Kansas City has to offer. Most of Pam’s friends don’t even know who Pam Stanley actually is. Do you?

 Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MMsZTr

Release Blitz A False Proposal

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About the Book

FalseProposal,A_500X750Title: A False Proposal

Author: Pamela Mingle

Genre: Regency Romance

London 1812

War hero Adam Grey returns home with a burning ambition to run for Parliament. But he needs the support of the local baronet, who controls the seat. Adam’s plans are thwarted by his dissolute father, who has promised him to the baronet’s daughter in return for forgiveness of his debts. Adam wants nothing to do with marriage or his father’s problems, so he fakes an engagement to Cass Linford—his best friend’s sister.

Cass has been through hell since she last saw Adam. Her betrothed committed suicide, forcing her to withdraw from London society. Heartbroken, she’s given up on marriage. So when Adam suggests a temporary engagement, she agrees. He needs help with his campaign, and Cass can’t resist his charm or the chance to be involved in politics. It all seems so easy, until she finds herself falling in love with her fake fiancé.

Author Bio

MIN12035-27Pamela Mingle has spent much of her professional life in libraries and classrooms. With a lot of persistance and a little luck, she’s found a new career as a writer. Pam is the author of The Pursuit of Mary Bennet, A Pride and Prejudice Novel, and Kissing Shakespeare, a young adult time travel romance. A self-proclaimed Janeite, Pam is Regional Coordinator for the Denver/Boulder region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA).

Pam lives and works in Lakewood, Colorado. On trips to England, she and her husband enjoy walking from one town to the next. While those long treks have often been challenging, they’ve proved to be a wonderful way to discover new settings for her books.

Links

Website: http://www.pammingle.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pamelamingleauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pammingle

Goodreads

Amazon

 

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Book Review Mercy Row Retribution

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mrrfrontcoverfinal copyTitle: Mercy Row Retribution

Author: Harry Hallman

Genre: Historical Crime Fiction

Rating: A

While serving as a pilot during the Vietnam War, Gerry Amota, the grandson of Jacob Byrne, the head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family, seizes an opportunity to create a lucrative marijuana smuggling operation. It’s 1967 and under the secrecy of a classified military operation and with the assistance of a French Marseille Mob, who owns plantations in Cambodia, he is able to send tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana a month to Philadelphia. His grandfather’s criminal enterprise distributes the drug to a population who has developed and insatiable appetite for the marijuana.

A rival French from Paris gang tries to force Amato to buy their product and this triggers war between the Byrne family and the Paris mob.  From the steamy jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia, to the streets of Saigon, Paris and Philadelphia the ruthless actions of the Paris mob threatens to destroy the Byrne family. Gerry Amato orchestrates merciless campaign of retribution against his foes in order to save himself and his family.

In part two of Mercy Row Retribution, the third book in the Byrne family saga, it is April 1975 and South Vietnam is about to fall to the North Vietnamese communist. Gerry Amato fears that the communists will take revenge on the population and especially children, many of whom are Amerasian, at an orphanage he supported and volunteered at during his time as a Pilot. He orchestrates a rescue mission to retrieve the children and bring them to the United States. This takes him and his team into harm’s way in Thailand, across Cambodia and into worn torn Vietnam and back. The fate of 75 children and 30 adults rest squarely on Gerry’s shoulders.

Bonus Section
Mercy Row Retribution includes a bonus section of short true stories of the author and his friends’ experiences growing up in North Philly in the 1940s and 50s. This is a true reflection of what life was like for kids from working class families growing up on the streets Philadelphia.

Crime and mayhem meet in this book about questionable morals, history, and unlikely heroes. Gerry is just about the unlikeliest hero you’ll ever meet – he’s part of a crime family, he has an idea to expand the criminal enterprise by selling drugs, and while fighting out a battle over drugs with a Paris gang, his family still finds time to do nice things for people in need. A strange juxaposition, but one that works, and shows how people who we see as ‘evil’ sometimes aren’t quite so, and that there are more sides to a story. Took a while before I warmed up to Gerry, but I did start to like him halfway through the book.