Monday, September 30, 2013

Vampire Breed (Kiera Hudson Series 1 Book 4) by Tim O'Rourke

 There was a deep cut running from my shin to my knee.  Although it looked as if it had begun to heal, it didn't look good.  A long, black crusty scab had formed over some of the cut, but other parts still looked open and wet.  It made me feel sick.  It wasn't just how it looked- it was the odour- it smelled bad.  I desperately fought to remember how it had happened, but I had no real memories of anything after that night I had been taken kicking and screaming from my cell hidden beneath the mountains.  But how long ago that had been, I didn't know.

   Kiera Hudson has been trapped in a cell, her whereabouts unknown.  After being tested on and bitten by a werewolf, she sits waiting.  Potter said he would come back to save her, but she isn't even sure he got away.  And she has no idea how long she has been held captive.  But there is one thing she does know, she needs to get out of here fast before worse things happen than what already has.  And Kiera needs to find Kayla and Isador too.  There's no way she's leaving them in this godforsaken place.  With the help of an unlikely ally, she makes her get away.  But nothing done in this world is without sacrifice.

*image via Tim O'Rourke
*quote via Tim O'Rourke

Win A Kindle Fire HD!!

Clarice's Book Nook is helping sponsor this giveaway!  Make sure to go enter!!  Look for this blog under the sponsor list #42!

fall kindle fire This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
    Fall Sponsoring Authors & Bloggers
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  Sign up to Sponsor the NOVEMBER Giveaway   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Ends 10/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Product by Ian McCain

   He can't remember what happy feels like.  He has been a bum for a while now, living on the streets,

getting booze however he can.  Ernie is dying, slowly.  But he knows this.  His lifestyle choices are slowly killing him.  He has lost several of his teeth and has a cough that he knows is a very bad sign. His clothes are filthy.  But he won't go stay at a shelter, not even for his daughter, Marie, the only thing in the world he still has.  He doesn't want her to see him like this.  However, she still looks for him.
   One night Ernie witnesses something he shouldn't have while in his cardboard box of a home down an alley.  Some men in a nice vehicle come down the alley and start loading silver cases into their vehicle.  Some gang members try to rob them of their product and ride by shooting the men.  The only problem?  They didn't kill them.  The men get up as if they were never shot and take down the others.  But not before one of them has fatally shot Ernie.  While he is out, he is taken to a facility of sorts.  When he wakes up he realizes that he feels much different.  Maybe he's dead.  But when he figures out he is restrained in a bed and has all his body parts, nope, he isn't dead.  And the real kicker?  Gideon, the man in charge, tells him he has been infected and will start wanting to drink human blood.

   This was a great and very fresh book!  It kind of has that Men in Black feel mixed with the Gangs of New York and Interview With a Vampire mixed all in one.  You've got your gangs defending and taking turf and lives, vampires staking out the city and trying not to kill people, and that whole surreal thing about going out and getting recruits to be blood donors while you live for who knows how long in this youthful body that won't seem to die.
   If Ernie doesn't keep his thirst under control, a demon is set loose.  He literally changes into this demonic creature and from what we see so far in the book, you don't change back.  But coping with this new body is harder than it seems.  While it seems like the greatest deal ever to be able to grow back teeth and body parts you lose, needing human blood is definitely a downfall.  And because Ernie wanted to live, he has also made a deal to serve Gideon for the rest of his life, however long that may be.  It is interesting to watch Ernie struggle a little with wondering whether what they are doing is right.  They go out and get gang members, bad people, and use them to farm blood basically.  Although it seems done in a humane way, Ernie still wonders if this is right.  And while you wonder if Gideon is a bad person or not, what you don't know is that there could be a worse person out there.  A lot has yet to be seen in this book.  But I have a feeling the next book, Byproduct, is going to be a real kicker and I can't wait to see what type of destruction and mayhem is in store!  Because it's sure to be there!

*image via Ian McCain
*quote via Ian McCain

Friday, September 27, 2013

Indie Author Book/E-book Giveaway

It's GIVEAWAY TIME!!  The prize?  One winner will receive 3 SIGNED COPIES of books from Erica Stevens and Brian D. Meeks, and all 3 e-books from Tara Elizabeth!!  The giveaway will run from September 7th at 12 a.m. to September 27th at 12 a.m. (central time)  Open to U.S./Canada only!!  One winner will be drawn at random.  Thank you to all of my Indie Authors who have contributed items for the giveaway!!  Good luck everyone!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


And the winner of the Indie Author Book/E-book Giveaway is.............

                            Jessica Lynn Leonard!!

Congrats Jessica!  You will be receiving an email very shortly!!

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest!  Keep looking for more giveaways to come on my blog!
And a very big thank you to all of the authors that contributed to this giveaway!  Thank you Erica Stevens, Tara Elizabeth, and Brian Meeks!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On Kindness

This is not a normal run-of-the-mill post for this blog, but I am rather proud of the fact I had a small feature published today on the Arkansas Women Bloggers website!  It is about teaching our children kindness and how it matters!  Check it out!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vampire Shift (Kiera Hudson Series 1 Book 1) by Tim O'Rourke

Instead of a review, I will be doing a "what-if" type situation.  After returning from The Ragged Cove, Kiera Hudson most likely had some type of debriefing or interview about her experience there.  This is a model for that interview.
(Picture it like in most crime novels and movies: dark interview room with one very bright light hanging over the interview table. Kiera Hudson sitting on one side of the table and the Chief Inspector on the other side.)

Please state your name for the record.
My name is Kiera Hudson.

Constable Hudson, do you know why you are here?
I believe so.

Then let's get down to business.  You were stationed at The Ragged Cove, correct?

When you came back from Ragged Cove, you say that you saw vampires there, correct?
Not just vampires, Vampyrus as well.

And what exactly is the difference between the two?
A vampire is a product of a Vampyrus feeding on a human.  Once the human dies they come back as a frenzied vampire.  You know, glowing red eyes, thirsty for blood.  The Vampyrus are not like this.  They have control over their thirst.  And they have large black wings, unlike the vampires.  Vampyrus go underground when the thirst for blood becomes too much, until it passes.  Most are not willing to feed off of humans.  They generally don't want the human population to know about them.
Will you please go through the events at Ragged Cove that brought you back here, constable?
When I came to Ragged Cove, I met Jim Murphy, Luke Bishop, and Sean Potter the night before I was supposed to start my first shift.  There had been a murder, a small boy, and I went with Luke Bishop out to the scene of the crime.  I have to say, Inspector, that they were very unprofessional in their approach.  The boy's throat had been completely ripped out and there was hardly any blood at the scene of the crime.  That is when I first saw what the Vampyrus were capable of.  Strange things started happening very quickly.  I could tell right away that I saw much more than my fellow officers.  They seemed rather incompetent. But they also brushed me off when I tried to show them the clues to what I had seen.  But it was to no avail.  Then a man started following me.  He kept leaving me crosses and notes about being in danger.  I was injured a few times due to different circumstances.

Yes.  I believe you wrecked a police car in Ragged Cove, as well as your own vehicle, correct?
Yes, that is correct.  My car slipped off the road due to a patch of ice.  It happened while I was trying to leave The Ragged Cove.

And the police car?
I was attacked by a vampire.  Luke and I went to examine a grave desecration.  A young teenage girl's body had been dug up and taken.  When we got to the grave we met Father Taylor, a dangerous man I might add.  

And why is that, constable?
He's one of them.  A Vampyrus.  But he is also one of a group who no longer want to live underground.  They want to live on the surface like humans do.

Please continue.
I got down into the grave to examine it more closely.  I noticed that there were claw marks in the dirt inside the grave as well as under the coffin lid.  My conclusion was that this poor girl had been buried alive.  I tried to radio Luke but couldn't get him to answer.  Perhaps the transmission didn't go through.  It's not like anything works in that area anyway.  I could never get any type of cell service.  When I got out of the grave, the girl was standing right beside it.  She kept saying she was hungry.  Then she attacked me.  When I ran to the police car she broke into it with her bare hands trying to get me.

And you think she was a vampire?
Yes.  She had fangs coming out of her mouth and she had inhuman strength.  She was trying to kill me!  

How did you get away?
I put a cross into her mouth and she started burning and exploded. 

I see.  That is quite enough constable.  I believe that the stress of this job has become too much for you to handle.  I am going to recommend that you be put on leave indefinitely.  And be required to get some psychiatric help as well.
But why?  I am telling the truth!  You know that I work with the facts!  And however impossible it may seem, this is the conclusion those facts have led me to!

Check out Book Two: Vampire Wake

*image via Tim O'Rourke

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thirst (Ava Delaney Series Book 1) by Claire Farrell

 Ava Delaney looks like a normal girl.  She lives in a small apartment by herself and sells stuff online.  Some would say she's a hermit.  But she would say she's avoiding humanity.  It's best for her and for everyone else.  Avoiding humans means keeping them safe.  She isn't exactly human.  She's a half breed. A species thought to be nonexistent.  Part human.  Part Vampire.  Ava has a beating heart like other humans, but the thirst of a vamp.  It's this reason that she is hiding out from humanity.  She doesn't want to be a monster.

If I didn't help then it meant I was as bad as the vampires.  I couldn't conquer the thirst, but I could keep my humanity, even if I did my best to avoid humans. 

   One night Ava encounters a human being toyed with by a vampire.  She doesn't want any other vampire to know she exists, since she isn't supposed to, but she isn't about to let the human die either.  By saving Carl, she unknowingly enslaves him to herself.  He is not himself anymore.  He wants to be with her constantly and "feels" her need for things such as blood.  He is a willing sacrifice, so to say.  She, however, is not willing to drink blood.  Since Ava can live on human food, that is what she does. She has to figure out a way to send Carl back home before she loses control.
   After fighting within herself, Ava calls the only person who might be able to help her: her grandmother.  They were not on the best of terms due to how her grandmother raised her.  She had tried everything to get the vampire side of Ava out of her, including exorcisms and beating.  She wanted nothing more than for Ava to be a normal girl. And after all these years, that is what Ava really wants too.  But to save Carl she is going to have to start embracing the vampire side to deal with the odds.  Now she is on the grid for two very powerful vampires at odds with each other and they both want her.  And even though she has found some help, she doesn't know exactly who she can trust.

   I love how Claire Farrell made a blended  human/vamp with unknown powers.  And we still don't really know all of what she can do after this first book.  We are just starting to get a glimpse at her loner-type life she is living.  She doesn't live really among the living or the dead.  She is alone.  Death and war in the vampire world is normal.  But they are two things that Ava tries her best to avoid.  Although she identifies more with the human side of her, she is forced to bring out the vamp in her to survive.  And in order for her new "friends" to survive as well.  Her worst fear is becoming a bloodthirsty monster.
   After living alone for so long, Ava doesn't trust anyone easily, and with good reason.  Between the past, and everyone after her now, how can she?  But sometimes you have to do what you really don't want to in order to protect those around you.  Ava thinks very little of her own self-preservation.  In the end, she has to make a deal with the devil.

Can't wait to see what else is in store for Ava Delaney!

*image via Claire Farrell
*quote via Claire Farrell

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cool Video!!

You guys gotta check out this awesome video made by Anitra from Can't Read Just One!  She made it about The Captive Series by Erica Stevens!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Giveaway!! Here are the paperback books!

Here are the (signed) paperback books I will be giving away on the 27th of this month!!  I will also be giving away 3 e-books by Tara Elizabeth!!  If you haven't done so already, be sure to sign up!  One winner will get all of these books!
                                                               US/Canada only!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

   When I stopped in front of him, he glanced up at me, and I was taken aback by how much anguish was in his honey-brown eyes- the torture and internal suffering.  I'd never seen so much of it in anyone my age before, and even though I didn't know what was causing it, I guessed we were going to be friends  He looked how I felt inside, like I'd been broken apart and the pieces hadn't healed correctly. (Nova's thoughts on Landon)

   Most of us have had to deal with loss in our lives.  But Nova had to see two very important people in her life die.  Her father died when she was a young teenager of an unknown heart condition.  Then, years later she found her boyfriend, Landon, when he decided to commit suicide.  Over a year later, she still has trouble believing that he is really gone.  Landon was an artist.  He liked to sketch and he always looked so sad.  But they had become friends right after Nova's dad died and were best friends for a very long time.  Then their relationship escalated.  They loved each other.  His death had broken her down.  She was no longer the person she had been.  This girl was a depression ridden, obsessive-compulsive.  Now routine was everything to her.  She counted the seconds until the sun came.  She counted the pictures on the wall.  Counting gave her a sense of control over her life that she had lost.  And what was worse, no one, not even she, knew how to get herself out of this deep dark hole.
   Quinton was a normal teenage guy until one fateful event.  One night he had a car wreck that involved his girlfriend Lexi, his cousin, and some other unknown guy.  Both girls died.  Quinton was driving.  He held his girlfriend in his arms while she lay dying.  Quinton's heart stopped as well, but they were able to bring him back.  And now, serving as a constant reminder, he has a tattoo of the two girls on his arm.  He drags around the guilt of being the one that "killed" them.  In his depression he turns to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain.  Everyone blames him for their deaths so he moves in with Tristan, the brother of one of the girls that died.  He is more forgiving of Quinton than others seem to be.

I wonder if that's why she looks so sad all the time.  To see something like that-to see death.  It's the kind of thing that scars people on the inside.  And not just small scars, but long, thick, jagged ones that never go away.  The kind of scars that alter the appearance of things, change people. Ruin them. (Quinton's thoughts on Nova)

   Nova and Quinton meet when Nova's best friend, Delilah, decides to get back together with her ex, Dylan.  And Dylan lives with Tristan and Quinton.  Dylan is not a model citizen.  He is into drugs and alcohol as well.  It starts to make Nova wonder if maybe Delilah was still doing weed even though she had said she quit.  Seeing Quinton is physically painful to Nova.  He reminds her so much of Landon.  Not in the way he looks, but the sadness, the look of a tortured soul.  He is also an artist.  Their relationship is uneasy but they quickly realize that they are beginning to have feelings for each other.  They make each other feel like they haven't in a long time, spare moments of freedom from the pain that they both bear.  But neither of them are ready for anything like this.  Quinton doesn't want to feel like he is betraying Lexi.  And Nova is still trying to deal with the death of her father and Landon.  She can't help Quinton when she can't help herself. I all too painfully know, you can't force someone to be happy, no matter how much you wish you could.

   The use of weed becomes Nova's quiet and solace.  Now she understood why Quinton and the others did the drugs that they did.  It helped, if only for just a moment.

...sometimes stuff happens and we find ourselves lost, and suddenly we're standing in a place we don't recognize and can't remember walking-or falling-there, and we're unsure how to get back or if we even want to.

   This book is so sad in some ways.  It hits home to me and I am sure to many more people.  It is a masterpiece of the pain and suffering one goes through when losing someone you love.  Not all of us cope in the same ways, and not all of us cope as well.  Death can be a difficult subject, and accepting it can be almost impossible.  Nova and Quinton both had seen so much of it in such close proximity that they shut down part of themselves just to go on living.  Life was hardly worth living to them anymore.  Instead of a world full of color, all they were seeing was the black, white, and grey.  Meeting each other caused that little spark of color to come back into their lives.  It took a while, but Nova started trying to deal more with her grief.  Quinton was not ready yet and dove further into his grief.  Even though this book has great sadness because of the stages of grief that we see these two go through, it is also about hope.  Hope that there is something better out there.  Hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I know what I want in life. 
I want happiness. 
 I want hope. 
 I want a life.

*images via Jessica Sorensen
*quotes via Jessica Sorensen

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Changes (Family Portrait Volume 1) by Gillian Felix

   I don't mean to be cliche' by quoting something like this, but the song about the lifestyle of the rich and the famous comes to mind whenever I read this book.  It somewhat adequately sums it up as well.  Get the feel of it here with a little Good Charlotte...

   In some cosmic way, these families collide with each other, whether it's in small ways or not.  It is still strange how their lives start to interweave.
  The Banovics....struggling financially these days.  Robin, the dad, had cut off ties with his father, Viktor long ago.  Kevin, the oldest son, is the obedient child and also on the other side of the law at times.  Everyone at school either adores or fears him.  Zax, the quieter one, studious, and has the hots for a girl who he's never had the nerve to ask out.  Adriana, drama queen, literally.  She was on the number one soap opera for eight years and then was fired and booted back to school.  No one seems to like her at school and she could care less.  She will do anything to get what she wants.  And she is all about the limelight.  Then there is Jayne, the good wife to Robin.  She's his support.  Roxanne is Robin's Olympic medalist sister.  And then there's Adrian, the missing brilliant neurosurgeon brother who doesn't want to be found.

   The DaCostas....Stefan, widowed when his wife died in childbirth with his first child.  Owns a chain of hotels.  Savi, the other wife of Stefan, that is now estranged from him.  She manages the career of their youngest child and likes to be in control.  She will also go out of her way to get what she wants.  L'Wren is the child of Stefan and his first wife.  When Stefan and Savi split, L'Wren chose to go with her father to stay. She is protective of her younger sister, Leighann, who is Stefan and Savi's child.   Leighann is the star of the family, whether she likes it or not.

   The Banovics and DaCostas are both families that came from money.  Viktor Banovic created a small empire out of the winery he built himself over the years of his life.  The DaCostas wealth comes out of Stefan's hotels and especially Leighann's fame.  Her mother likes riding along on her fame, but Leighann is exhausted and ready to quit.  When she does she walks away with nothing, including her own mother.  She goes to live with L'Wren and go to school like a normal girl.  All she wants is a normal life.  She encounters Adriana Banovic when she starst school at Westwood Academy.  Adriana is not well liked since she is no longer a star and she is rather confrontational.  However, with her history of fame and family connections there is no way she would ever get in much trouble for anything.
   After the death of his father, Robin returns home to find that the winery and manor has been given to him.  The thing he never wanted.  He never wanted involved in it and walked away as soon as he could when he was younger.  Now, after all this time, he begins to wonder if he was wrong.
   So many drugs, schemes, and much more.  One girl just wants to be normal.  One girl just wants the limelight.  Selfish motives abound and changes are coming for everyone.  It's Hollywood....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Interview with Indie Author Brian D. Meeks!!

I had a little email interview with Brian Meeks this weekend and here is what he had to say!

1. How long have you been writing?

 I started writing on Jan 2, 2010. I hated writing before that, but the college football game didn't kickoff until eight o'clock, so I was wandering around the internet and found the blogger site. I had taken up woodworking and decided to write a post about my foibles. After I hit post I went to a woodworking forum and decided to post it there, too. The next day, when I went back, 300 people had read the post and 25 had left comments. It is amazing how external validation can change one's perspective. I've blogged every day since.

2. What was your main reason for becoming an Indie Author?

I didn't intend to write novels. I wrote the 1st chapter of a noir mystery that takes place in 1955 New York City for my blog. My blog was about woodworking and I didn't have anything to write about that day, so I created Henry Wood. He's a detective with a love of woodworking and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The readers of my blog asked for more of the story and three years later I've written four mysteries, one thriller, one YA, a satire, and a book about the 1986 Iowa Hawkeyes Men's basketball team.
The thing about writing books is that I could never write an entire novel, but I can write one chapter. I don't plan out my novels, I just bang out the next chapter, and eventually I get to the end of the story.

As for why I choose the Indie path as opposed to the traditional route, well, it's I like my books. I like them a bunch and I think others will, too. When the day comes that I'm selling thousands of copies per week, then I'd rather get 70% of gross than 15% of net. Another reason is speed to market. I can finish a novel and get it published in a month, or quicker if I've been giving my chapters to my editor while I write.
My greatest skill is not writing, but analysis. I was a data analyst for GEICO, where a 15 minute call could save you 15% on your auto insurance. I worked in the marketing department and learned a bunch about data. I track lots of different things with regards to my books. If I went the traditional route, I wouldn't have access to the data, and that would drive me nuts.
With each ad I run, I learn valuable information that I can use to improve my marketing. Two months ago I had 277 sales and last month 513. I could talk for hours about the data I gathered and the patterns I see, but most people would stop reading, so I won't.

3. Do you normally insert a little bit of yourself into the books you write, like we see in A Touch To Die For? Yes, but it isn't always where people expect.

In most of my books there are people eating food. 90% of the time they are eating what I'm eating at the time I'm writing that bit. Sometimes, though, I have the characters eat something I hate, just to be different. Also, most of the "me" is sprinkled into characters other than the main ones.
I have a book I'm working on publishing now called Underwood, Scotch and Wry. The snark from the main character is very much me, but his lifestyle isn't me at all. When that books becomes a huge best seller, and people offer to buy me a drink, they'll be shocked that I'll likely order a Pepsi. I'm not really a drinker. I usually drink about once every year and a half or so.
The serial killer's computer in A Touch To Die For is exactly like the type of thing I'd have built if I were a billionaire. However, I'm not much of a mass murderer, though. So, the point is, I sprinkle myself all over the books, but it isn't always apparent except to the people who've known me for twenty plus years.
I had one person ask me how long I had lived in New York City, after having read Henry Wood Detective Agency. I've been to Manhattan, twice, for a total of three days. I'm not afraid to do research.

4. How do you deal with writer's block?

I don't believe in writer's block. I believe in writer's lazy, though. If I sit down and write, I have no problem getting into the flow. I don't really ever have deadlines, but if I put one on myself, it is just a matter of tuning out the world and letting myself get into the story.
One thing I like to do, that helps with writer's lazy, is to write in public. The Hamburg Inn No. 2 is a great little place to go eat and write. There is something about tuning out the white noise that gets the words to flow. It never fails.

5. How do you keep from burning out?

No idea. I guess I just like writing books. I've never burnt out with regards to golf, tennis or eating bacon. I think I'm not really prone to burning out on something. I still love all my hobbies, but I just don't have time to devote eight hours per day to 20 different things...oh but if I would be awesome.

I'm not sure one can be a successful author if they don't imagine it taking a decade to achieve their goals. It is rare that one can make it with one novel. Sure, occasionally there will be a Harper Lee, but more often than not, it is the third, forth, or fifth book that takes off and then ones that came before are discovered. Again, one can point to J.K. Rowling, and others, but they are the exception not the rule.

6. who/what is your biggest inspiration? 

I have a degree in economics. My hero is an economist by the name of David Ricardo.  He lived from 1772 - 1823, and most people have never heard of him. His theories were so advanced that they weren't fully appreciated until 140 years after his death. I like thinkers.

7. What type of novels do you enjoy reading?

I love many different types of writing. My favorite authors are Rudyard Kipling, Ivan Turgenev, Elmore Leonard, Vladimir Nabakov, J.K. Rowling, Vikram Seth, and indie authors Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. Johnny and Sean have just released a science fiction series called The Beam, and one day it may be considered a classic. They also write the series Unicorn Western, which is delightful.

8. Do you have other hobbies you are passionate about?

Those who have known me for a decade or two would laugh at this question. The first question people ask when my name comes up, "What's Meeks' latest hobby?"

My interests are many and varied. I have, at various points in my life, been obsessed with...fencing, chess, badminton, golf, tennis, baseball (and softball), photography, video games, woodworking, collecting baseball cards and comic books, learning French, and squash. I'm sure that is an incomplete list, but to answer your question, yes I do.

Currently, I limit myself to writing and golf. I'm constantly seeing things I'd like to try, but it is my nature to throw myself into a new hobby one hundred percent, and that would be bad for my writing. I'm committed to making it to the "Tipping Point" as an author and I don't want to get distracted.

9. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I have learned a bunch over the last few years. I could write a book...maybe I will. But, in the interest of brevity (I'm rarely interested in brevity)

    1) Learn Scrivener and use it for writing your novels or screen plays. If one has the talent to write one novel, they will surely write more. The ease in publishing with Scrivener, once it is learned, will save the new author hours.

    2) Hire a great editor.

    3) It isn't necessary to describe every detail you imagine. Yes, you may be able to see every lamp, chair, and sconce in a room, but it is enough to say, "He walked into the library with all its Victorian finery and stopped when he saw her in the glow of the Tiffany lamp." I'm sure you can see the desk, the paneling on the walls, the carpet, the paintings, but even if you can't see what I see, your image is just fine. The best part about creating scenes that let the reader fill in the blanks is that they will give you the credit. 

 4) I leaned this from reading Elmore Leonard. If character A asks a question, sometimes character B will say something unrelated because they may not have been listening. It's how people talk and it makes for good dialog.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's almost time for a giveaway!!

BIG NEWS to all my avid readers out there!!  I will be starting a giveaway for a pretty awesome prize pack very soon!!  Keep on the lookout for it!!    Coming Soon!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Touch To Die For by Brian D. Meeks

   Let me introduce you to our main cast of characters here.
Mitch:  The writer.  That encompasses all about him right there.  He writes, he blogs, etc.  It is his life.  He is also head-over-heels in love with a woman and it is making his brain kind of foggy if you ask me.
S.: She has been Mitch's unicorn among women for so very long now.  We never find out her name, which I will admit is strange.  But we know she works in the art world.  So she and Mitch are connected by that thin strand of creative talent.
Paul: He is a super smart idiot.  That doesn't make sense?  Read the book and all will become clear.  The guy is a genius, in some areas.  He is also a little on the crazy end.

   Mitch has finally found himself "with" the woman of his dreams, and just does not know what to do with
himself.  So he takes a little trip over to Italy to try and clear his head some, and to check some things off of his life to-do list that he has.  While he is in another country mooning about S. and trying to over analyze everything (a possible problem I fear most writers probably have), she is going out on dates with some other guy and getting constantly harassed by her assistant.  Unbeknownst to him, Paul has finally decided to act on his grudge he has been holding in all of these years.  He hatches a plot to frame Mitch for murder.  He starts watching every move that Mitch makes and starts killing the people he comes into contact with.  At first, his work is sloppy at best.  And it's a little ridiculous for someone trying to be a serial killer.  He changes tactics too much.  And you can't just take credit for what was pretty much an accident.  Nevertheless, he follows Mitch around Italy and carves some initials on two of his victims.  Then both men are back in the United States.  Things start heating up and Paul starts getting more elaborate on his killing spree.  And a spree it is.  The bodies just start piling up.  Not only that, but he is now posing as a separate serial killer who videos people confessing to bad things they have done right before he kills them and sends it out to social networks like YouTube.  All the while, he is still trying to frame Mitch.  About halfway through the book, Paul's rage starts consuming him.  He starts going crazy.  Where before he was sane enough for it to sicken him to kill people, now it was nothing.  And he had starts talking to Pepsi cans.  Either the guy is super isolated and lonely or he has just gone off of the deep end.  The closer Paul gets to Mitch, the more you wonder if S. is going to be his next victim.  And then Mitch gets picked up by the FBI.  It just so happens that all of his online time might be what clears him.  Now he just has to stop Paul before he kills someone he cares about.

   I find it highly ironic that Brian Meeks wrote a book about a writer.  And that the writer had just created his own best real life type novel through something he had done to Paul years ago.  The best part is that Paul the crazy man was created rather unknowingly.  Mitch created his own monster.
   I will admit, the first of the book is kind of slow, but it definitely picks up.  At times I wanted to thump Paul because of his idiocy.  And then there were times that I sat there wondering how in the world Mitch could go about like he was without knowing at all what was going on?  Everyone knew about the murders it seemed like, except those within his little circle.  And although these things may seem like little annoyances, it is also what makes it so good.  Books that don't evoke feelings are boring.  And this is a great thriller!  It's not overly violent while still a great read!  Refreshing!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It pains my soul to have to give even a half way bad review of anyone's book, whether it's on my blog, amazon, or elsewhere.  But some things just can't be helped.  To all my authors out there:  PLEASE don't be vague in your novels, and don't leave too many loose ends.  Vagueness causes confusion.  Details are amazing!  It's what can really make a book shine!  Too many loose ends can create confusion too.  And it can cause people to lose interest easily.  Many of you are very good at keeping this to a minimum!  Keep up the good work!!  Those who aren't, keep trying!!  It will get there!!
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