2 Short Story Reviews

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RHT.LucasReview

Going to do a double whammy today and break a few rules! It’s anarchy here!

I was asked, in exchange for a free copy, for an honest review on a couple of short stories. I’ve never done a review on a single short story before, so here’s my first attempt on a couple by author T. Lucas Earle.

The review format has changed because with short stories you don’t get the same depth as a novel or even a novella so the genre ratings and conclusions are going out the window. Both stories have Sci-Fi elements but I’ll let you judge for yourself.

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13thprophet

The 13th Prophet (short story)

Synopsis:

Mulligan Burke, an over-the-hill P.I. who has forsaken the evils of Personality implants, is brought back from Alaska to investigate the murder of one of the Prophets. The Prophets inhabit the highest position of the social hierarchy – they dictate fashion trends. Fashion, in this instance, encompasses much more than clothing. And, as Burke discovers, being fashionable is something to die – or kill – for.

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.co.uk

MyTwoBits

Four-Five Overall

In my opinion, this shouldn’t have been a short story.

There was too much information to digest over a short period of time, making it somewhat confusing at first. If it hadn’t been for the blurb, I’d have been lost on what was going on until the very end and by then the reader could be frustrated. After finishing the story, I realized it was far too complex for something meant of 8000-ish words! This isn’t an insult by any means, this is a compliment. The imagination that went into this sci-fi dystopian world is amazing and I wished Mulligan Burke had about 80,000 instead.

The mystery was a good one and I enjoyed the twists within, but again, I wish it were longer!

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Monkey Talk (short story)

Synopsis:

Monkey Talk is loosely based on the Chinese myth, the Monkey King, a timeless story about who belongs, and who doesn’t. In a future in which Chimps can give lectures on cybernetics, Mr. Towry is a Chimp with an attitude. Unfortunately, the rules are still “No shirt, no shoes, no service.”

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.co.uk

MyTwoBits

Three.Five-Five Overall

An unusual take on “if an animal could talk”. In this case it’s Professor Towery, an ape who was genetically modified to become as smart, if not smarter, than a human. It’s set in the future when Towery is visiting Boston for a lecture. At first the idea seemed a bit odd though watching him fall victim to a disease his species is susceptible to makes a statement, to me, much like that of Jurassic Park:

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The only twitch I had about this story was that my curiosity regarding the details of Moira’s death weren’t fully explained. That’s a short story for you though, you only get a snippet. As uncomfortable as the ape made me feel about human women, it was a decent story with good imagination and a strong-willed main character.

About the Author

T. Lucas Earle is a writer and filmmaker. T. Lucas has a degree in Film Production from Emerson College, and currently works as a script reader in LA. His stories have been published in Electric Spec and The Colored Lens. T. Lucas also writes two blogs and reviews television pilots for Blogcritics. His dark comedy, Abduction, was premiered in the 2013 LA Shorts Film Fest.

Where to Find:  Website  |  Twitter

(!!Zombies!!) Origins of the Outbreak – Interview!

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RHInterview-Origins of the Outbreak

WELCOME! 

We’ve all seen the Halloween Stores popping up since August but it feels we can really celebrate now that it’s October. I’m a bit of a fan this holiday here in Canada so this is going to be a fun, especially since Origins of the Outbreak is $0.99 in the US & £.99 in UK from October 1st (TODAY) to October 7th!

Now, to start off the “holiday season” I wanted to present to you an author I totally agree with on the “Starbucks/Author” fad. Also, Elfstones kicked ass, at least until the post-apocalyptic stuff aka “Genesis of Shannara” gets rolling.

Go see what he had to say about life, his book and writing!

RHHappyReading

Origins of the Outbreak Cover

Genre: Horror

Publication: August 11, 2014

Publisher: Permuted Press

 

Synopsis:

Every epidemic begins with a relatively small group of people who’ve been exposed to an illness. The Centers for Disease Control believes that it is imperative to reach the site of an initial outbreak as quickly as possible in order to prevent further spread of the disease. Sometimes that isn’t always possible and events reach a catastrophic tipping point before the government can organize a response.

Origins of the Outbreak follows the chain of infection from one person to another after a university researcher in a small Texas town unwittingly develops a virus that threatens to destroy the world as we know it.

Told from the perspective of each victim as they experience their own version of hell while struggling to survive, Origins will leave you gasping in fear and wondering, “What if?”

 

 

Where to Find:  Goodreads  |  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  B&N

 

 

 

Interview

Tell us about “Origins of the Outbreak”.

This book is different than any of the other books that I’ve written.  I’d been reading a lot of serious zombie books and I wanted to write something that would be fun and not as gory as the stuff that was out there.  I wanted it to be a light-hearted look at the zombie apocalypse and get inside the heads of people from a small town that was at the center of the initial outbreak.  It’s a series of interrelated stories that build off of each other, with different characters in each story – although some characters reappear.  The end result is a fun story that you can read in easily manageable “chunks” and not obsess about every little detail because the one clue that you likely missed was on page five and now the story doesn’t make any sense.  Read it and enjoy yourself!

 

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer, but when I joined the Army – over 19 years ago! – I put aside writing for fun because I was “too busy”.  It’s a mental trap that a lot of professionals fall into, regardless of their field.  Then, in 2008 or 2009, I read “Day by Day Armageddon” by J.L. Bourne and when I found out that he was an Active Duty Naval officer, I decided that I could find the time to do it as well, I just watch a whole lot less television than I used to.

 

Do you reflect people you know into your characters or do you prefer making them up on the fly?

I got the idea for the crazy Canadian plan of world domination for my book “The Collective Protocol” from a Canadian that I worked with who had a major desire to influence everything around him. But other than that, most of my characters are just made up as I go.

 

What kind of research did you do for “Origins of the Outbreak”?

I really dug into the CDC website and got a lot of info about how they classify diseases, but pretty much everything else was on the fly.  But, I always have Google open when I write so I can do quick checks on facts.

 

Which character(s) do you think is the most like you?

Hmm…  Well, in “Origins” there aren’t really any characters that I would say resembled me (well, maybe the military guy who’s looking forward to retirement), but the main character Grayson Donnelly in my book “GNASH” actually resembles me a lot.  He’s confident in his abilities, but doesn’t force his views on others; he’s compassionate, but not one to be taken advantage of; sarcastic, loyal, a man of his word and he has zero problem fighting for what’s right.  “GNASH” will be released by Permuted Press in February 2016, so keep an eye out for it!

 

What is your next project?

I’m currently writing two books at once – not a good thing in my mind because neither is getting finished! – I was about ¼ the way through the fourth book in my contract with Permuted Press when this non-stop nagging voice wouldn’t leave me alone to write a military fiction story that I’ve had in my mind for a while.  I think it’s because I’m currently deployed to Afghanistan and the story is set in Afghanistan that my mind was just preoccupied with it.  I have the time until my contract book is due, so I focused on this one.

Anyways, the book “Battle Damage Assessment” follows a new Army recruit as he joins a unit and then deploys.  When he first gets to Afghanistan, he’s appalled at the daily reporting of the BDA (Battle Damage Assessment) – some call it the “scorecard”.  To him, each of those numbers that are so casually reported represents a life that was taken; a living, breathing person that is no longer alive.  Then he begins to go into battle against the insurgents and he becomes part of the crowd that relishes the death of his enemy.  He doesn’t even realize that it’s happened to him until one day he’s in an overwatch position guarding his fellow soldiers as they search the enemy bodies for intelligence.  He gets mad that he couldn’t see the bodies of the people who had just tried to kill him.  That’s when he realizes that he has a problem and needs to seek help.  The rest of the book deals with his redemption as a human being.  Along the way, I interject stories of what bored combat troops do for fun to help keep the book from being too heavy on the emotional side.  I expect to release “BDA” in late November/early December.

 

Where can we find you?

Oh, I’m all over!  My primary interaction with readers is on my Facebook page although I’m trying to increase my Twitter usage.  I also have a website that I’m horrible about updating, but it is available and I usually post unedited portions of my works in progress on there.

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website

 

 
This isn’t your first book. What other novels have you written and where can we find them?

I have two novels available now, a children’s book “Zombie in the Basement” with an accompanying coloring book and a self-publishing how to guide. I also have a four-book publishing contract with Permuted Press and those novels will be available in the near future from them (www.permutedpress.com).

Here are the books that are available on Amazon now:

“Origins of the Outbreak” – US: www.tinyurl.com/Origins-Parker ; UK: www.bit.ly/Origins-UK

 The Collective Protocol

Zombie in the Basement” 

Zombie in the Basement: The Coloring Book!” 

Self-Publishing the Hard Way” 

Upcoming Novels by Brian Parker from Permuted Press and their dates of release:

 

“Enduring Armageddon” (May 2015)

“GNASH”, Washington, Dead City Book 1 (February 2016)

“REND”, Washington, Dead City Book 2 (March 2016)

“SEVER”, Washington, Dead City Book 3 (April 2016)

What advice could you give aspiring writers?

Keep at it and don’t obsess about turning the perfect phrase.  I’m a member of a lot of writing pages and try to get to them as much as I can, but so often I see people talking about editing and re-editing and going crazy over their first chapter and never advancing beyond that.  They get frustrated because they put so much effort into making it perfect without actually doing any writing.  Here’s what I do: I write the entire book, only making minor changes as things develop that need adjusting and then go back and edit once I’m done.  It’s that simple.  My first book “GNASH” took me 2.5 years to complete, in part because I hadn’t learned that trick yet.  I mostly incorporated it into my writing when I wrote “Enduring Armageddon” and that took me eight months.  For my third book “REND” I didn’t editanything until I was done with the story, four months.  I’m averaging about four months per book now.  It works for me; I hope that it’ll help others out.

Oh yeah, another piece of advice and pardon my French, but don’t be a dick.  Yes, you’re a writer and you’ve accomplished a huge feat by finishing a book, now be nice, be courteous and help advance our craft.

 

What is your least favorite thing to write? How do you accomplish it?

My least favorite thing to read and hence I won’t write about it is the death or maiming of children.  Too many times in the horror genre, writers try to gross out their readers in the belief that is what makes a good horror story.  In my mind, it doesn’t; but then again I’ve been in the Army for all thirteen years of our current wars and I’ve seen that stuff in real life.  It is absolutely horrible.  Yes, in a hypothetical zombie or apocalyptic scenario, children would be injured or worse at a higher percentage than adults, but I’m not going to describe that to my readers.

 

What is your favorite zombie movie?

My favorite would be “28 Days Later” for a serious zombie movie, but I love comedies and “Zombieland” is a pretty damn good movie too!

 

What is your favorite zombie book?

World War Z” was a perfect example of how to do a worldwide zombie outbreak novel by having the multiple stories and viewpoints of the survivors.  I also really enjoyed Mira Grant’s “Newsflesh” trilogy which is set in a future world where zombies are a way of life, but are isolated to contamination zones.

 

Pen, Pencil, phone, tablet or computer?

Computer!  Well, I’m in Afghanistan right now, so I’m using my tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard.  I always have a pen and notebook in my uniform pocket, so I jot down notes when I get ideas, but I couldn’t imagine writing a full book longhand.

 

What does your writing sanctuary look like?

At home, I have a full office area that I like sit at to write, but I use a laptop, so I can take it anywhere.  I’ve tried the whole “brooding author” thing at Starbucks before, but it was just way too distracting for me.

 

Where are you from?

I’m an Army brat, so all over the place originally, but my dad retired when I was in 3rd grade and we bought a farm in Seymour, Missouri (the main character from “BDA” is from Seymour!).

 

Do you prefer paperback or e-books?

This is a cop-out, but both!  I prefer eBooks overall though because I’ll often get into a book and find out that it isn’t really what I was expecting, so I can just swap to a different book, no problem.  It comes in very handy when you’re overseas too since you can load twenty, thirty books onto it and be good for the year.  I also have like eighty-seven pockets on my uniform, so I always have a paperback in my cargo pocket that I can whip out and read when I have to wait around for things (which still happens a lot…).

 

Is there an author out there that you’d really like to meet?

I met my favorite author at the Space City Comic Con last January.  We both had booths near each other and I totally fanboyed out over Cherie Priest (“Clockwork Century” series).

 

What book could you read over and over?

I’ve read “The Elfstones of Shannara” by Terry Brooks about ten times.

 

List the last three books that you’ve read?

I just discovered “The Dresden Files” and I’m on book four right now…  Yes, the last three books that I read were books 1-3!  I love the series and you can see how Jim Butcher’s writing improves the more he writes.

 

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Life happens when you’re busy making other plans.”  I could consult the Oracle (Google) to find out who said it, but it’s easier to just leave it at that.

 

What is your favorite drink?

Jalapeño margarita; or a 90-Minute IPA from Dogfish Head.

 

Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Yes!  I’m extremely lucky in that I only need about 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  I’ve been in the Army my entire adult life, so I’ve gotten accustomed to waking up early every day and most of my writing is done after my kids go to bed, so…

 

About the Author

Brian ParkerA veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan war, Brian Parker was born and raised as an Army brat. He moved all over the country as a child before his father retired from the service and they settled in a small Missouri town where the family purchased a farm. It was on the farm that he learned the rewards of a hard day’s work and enjoyed the escapism that books could provide.

He’s currently an Active Duty Army soldier who enjoys spending time with his family in Texas, hiking, obstacle course racing, writing and Texas Longhorns football. His wife is also an Active Duty soldier and the pairing brings its own unique set of circumstances that keep both of them on their toes. He’s an unashamed Star Wars fan, but prefers to disregard the entire Episode I and II debacle.

Brian self-published four books before signing a 4-book contract with Permuted Press. His novels GNASH and Enduring Armageddon were previously self-published and will be re-released by Permuted beginning in May 2015 along with two previously unpublished works, REND and SEVER.

He is also the author of The Collective Protocol, a paranormal thriller that shows how far people will go to gain power; Zombie in the Basement is a children’s picture book written to help children overcome the perceived stigma of being different than others; and his how-to guide Self-Publishing the Hard Way is for writers looking for pointers to self-publish their manuscript.

Where to Find:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

(Fantasy) Eden’s Ore: Secrets – Review!

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RH- Edens Ore

Eden's OreEden’s Ore: Secrets by B.V. Bayly

Book #1

Synopsis:

This is a fast-paced science fiction thriller in which a near-future Earth has solved its energy crisis with… the Ore.

Powerful crystals of endless energy, they promise to reshape the world into the Eden it once was, but at what cost? When one man gets a shard of the Ore embedded in his chest during an freak accident, he gains unexpected powers – and is set upon a dangerous path where he is hunted by those who control the Ore. As he struggles to unlock his own abilities, he discovers the terrible secret of the Ore…

 

 

 

Where to Find:  Eden’s Ore  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.com  |  Chapters/Indigo  |  B&N  |  Goodreads

 

 

 

 

GenreRating

3 SciFi Rating

I don’t think this genre exists, but “Eden’s Ore” felt like an Urban Sci-Fi. You’ve heard of Urban Fantasy, haven’t you? This is like that but where the slight future meets technology. There’s a bit of new technology but nothing overwhelming, mostly the focus is placed on the new source of power called ‘ore’ and the main characters discovery of his family’s past as well as his own, complicated future.

MyTwoBits

It begins with a burst of action when Gabriel wakes to see a tornado outside his window. Without a forecast or any reason to have suspected this, Gabriel loses the only home and security he’s ever known and nearly dies himself. What saved him was the ore his late father left behind.

The “ore” is a substance that has been discovered in the last few decades (I believe). It’s a powerhouse of energy, basically. When the world couldn’t produce its own energy the ore was able to take over, but with severe consequences. Gabriel’s dad was one of the pioneers in the ore’s discoveries as there are several different kinds of ore and each color does something different.

The novel feels like an origin story. Gabriel is thrust from the world he knows and into an unfamiliar one. We get to discover it alongside him and experience his emotional roller-coaster as if we were right there with him. Thankfully, he’s not entirely alone. His older brother is there to guide him, even if they disagree sometimes and his longtime family friend is too. Gabriel was described as (I think) an 18 or 19 year old but I always pictured him as a 14/15 year old the way he interacted with people and progressed through the story. I think YA-Fans would like this book as much as adults, even if the character is older.

Gabriel is given the role of a hero, one he’s uncertain of. He doesn’t know all the answers and each move he makes is being watched. I loved the uncertainty and the human aspect to this character.

There’s plenty of action and intrigue when it comes to this new world and Gabriel is a strong character whose journey to self-discovery isn’t an easy one.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

After the introductions, the story launched at a breakneck pace. We learn more about the ore and how it affects everyone. Gabriel is pitted against a corporate world and underground mob of powerful people. If it weren’t for organizations created as a resistance and their own political complexities, Gabriel’s story would be rather short.

I thought it was paced well with a likeable main character (even if he felt younger than his age). The world felt a bit underdeveloped but I suspect it’ll be enhanced in future “Eden’s Ore” novels.

I’d recommend this to Sci-Fi/Fantasy & YA fans alike. There’s everything from action, discovery, science and a bit of a mystery. If that’s not enough, the main character makes the story highly enjoyable and I found myself rooting for him.

About the Author

bayly

 

 

From selling time share in Cancun to working in the not-for-profit industry, B.V. Bayly has had a myriad of jobs. Never one to conform to the traditional nine to five work model, he did whatever it took to provide for his family while still maintaining the simple life they desired. Imagine his pleasure when he discovered his passion was creating and telling stories. The life of a writer is far from the norm. He resides on Vancouver Island with his beautiful wife, two energetic sons and one lazy dog.

Where to Find:  Website  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Book Giveaway! “To the Stars” (YA DYSTOPIA)

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ToTheStars_Cover_EbookTitle: To The Stars

Author: Tiaan Lubbe

Genre: Dystopian / YA / NA / scifi

One boy. One girl. One world about to end.

When the world finds out its inevitable end will come in sixty years, it seems like all hope is lost. Until a man steps from the darkness. He offers salvation, but demands total control. The world accepts.

Sixty years later, the old saviour’s son is leader and watches over the last proceedings of his father’s plans – Seven Ark ships called the Astrum Portas.

Noah is the next leader. He doesn’t want to be.

Zara is the girl he’s in love with. She doesn’t know it.

Three lives become complicatedly intertwined when a bomb on the Astrum Porta unexpectedly throws them into a whirlwind of secrets, forbidden love and violent clashes all while the looming apocalypse approaches rapidly.

The final adventure awaits…

 

Where to Find:  

 

 

 

excerpt

They bow before him. He is their High Chancellor and whether they do it out of fear or respect, it does not matter. The fact is that they are under control. His control. This brings order and steers them away from chaos. It is his responsibility to control them.

It is the root of order.

He comes to a halt in front of large, golden elevator doors. They open at the swipe of his wrist in front of a little panel to the side. The High Chancellor steps inside and the doors close immediately behind him.

Security clearance needed for code one restricted area. Please state your name.”

High Chancellor Edison.”

Voice code recognised. Welcome High Chancellor.”

With this, the elevator shoots upwards. Small numbers are shown one by one, as he passes the floors. It picks up speed as it proceeds. Twenty… Thirty…

Seventy… Ninety… It slows down and comes to a halt at the floor numbered Ninety-Nine.

The doors open on the opposite side of where it closed. He steps into a dark room and at first it remains like this until six black and red emblems appear on six separate glass screens spaced in a half circle around him. They hang in the air, as if connected to nothing else but the darkness that accompanies them.

The emblem shown on the screens is the emblem of Last Empire of Earth.

My Empire, he thinks.

It is composed out of a large red circle made to represent the Earth in its last, bleeding faze. Perched on top of the red Earth stands a black figure – The Saviour, Professor Garth Edison. The figure points upwards with his right hand and a phrase wraps around the Earth.

Ad Astra Imus.

We go to the stars.

The High Chancellor straightens his back and lifts his head as he projects his voice to all six screens.

Good morning, Chancellors.”

The faces of the six Chancellors of the Last Empire replace the six emblems on the six screens. They bow their heads in respectful acknowledgement.

High Chancellor,” they say in absolute synchronization. “What needs my attention so urgently?”

No one speaks.

You test my patience, Chancellors. You are advised to speak,” he says and gives them a few seconds to respond, but still silence prevails. His breathing hastens with each silent second passing until it reaches its peak. “Speak…Now!”

It is a man with white hair that adheres to their leader’s command first. He bows his head again before starting.

My Lord, we have troublesome news from some of the continents”, he says. “And is your Europe included in these troublesome continents?”

No, my Lord”

Of course not. I would not expect it from you Chancellor Skym. Now, can someone tell me the news?”

A tiny man with slanted eyes answers, “It is the Rebels, High Chancellor. They have struck again in three continents.”

The Rebels.” He cringes at the sound of the word. “I thought I told all of you to deal with them. Was I wrong to expect my Chancellors to succeed in the task I have given them?”

About the Author

Tiaan LubbeTiaan Lubbe lives in Pretoria, South Africa where he spends his time teaching little monsters, directing plays, doing what he calls writing and dreaming up the future. Mostly all at once.

Where to Find:  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

Win a signed copy of “To The Stars” and a signed poster.

ENTERGIVEAWAY

Broken (Historical/Paranormal)

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I want to thank Traci L. Slatton for taking the time to answer some of our questions. I hope you enjoy her answers. I especially liked her responses to her research and what made her Historical/Paranormal stand above the rest!

All the best and HAPPY READING!!

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BrokenCoverFINAL 72dpiBroken

by Traci L. Slatton

Publication date: September 5, 2014

 

Synopsis:

Power is pornographic

Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?

Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?

Where to Find:

Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
B & N

Interview

Tell us about “Broken”.

Broken is the story of a fallen angel in Paris under Nazi occupation, from 1939-1942. The main character is Alia Mercier, and she’s torn apart by the forces of war roiling through the world. She takes lovers and makes friends whom she loves deeply, and she faces loss and betrayal. She comes to terms with what it means to be human.

What made you want to become a writer?

When I was 6 years old, I went in a few months from reading “See Spot run” to reading novels. I was enthralled by reading. The first “big book” I read was called “Angel Unaware” and it was about a deceased child looking down on her family from heaven. It made a huge impact on me. I was moved to tears, and I thought, “I want to do this! I want to write stories that make people feel things so deeply!”

By the way, I just got that there must be a connection between that first novel I ever read and Broken, the one I’ve just written, since both feature angels!

Do you reflect people you know into your characters or do you prefer making them up on the fly?

Oh, good question, excellent question. I absolutely draw on people I know for my characters. But it’s not usually a one-to-one correspondence; usually I take one trait from one friend, relative or acquaintance and another trait from another and cobble them together until I have a three dimensional character who feels real. For example, I know a man who is very, very manipulative and constantly plays games. He has other qualities as well, but I drew on his manipulative nature to create the Gestapo agent Knochen.

What kind of research did you do for “Broken”?

I did A LOT of research for Broken. This novel is set in recent history, so I felt an urgency to get the details right. I read dozens of books and researched online, there are some wonderful internet resources for this time period. I also watched Youtube videos—the old black-and-white news videos from World War II are posted, and those are wonderful. Both from a point of view of a chronicle of the time and also from a propagandist perspective, they’re a rich source of information. I bought the documentary series “The Nazis: A Warning From History” and watched those, along with other documentaries on TV and Youtube. I also spoke to people about what their families were doing during the second world war. My husband knows a German man who was 15 when the Soviet army marched into Berlin, so I flew to Florida and interviewed him for three days, buying him scotch and letting him blow cigarette smoke into my face.

What themes might we find in “Broken”?

The themes concern the power of love and the fact that spirit informs everything.

Which character(s) do you think is the most like you?

Well, hmm. I think I put pieces of myself in several characters. I’ve been married with children for my entire adult life, so I never had a chance to experiment with numerous lovers, as Alia does. However, she has my appreciation for poetry, music, and good wine, my love for children, and my dislike of cooking. Suzanne, Alia’s beloved neighbor, lives a more conventional life, as I’ve had. Jeanne Bucher the gallerist has my penchant for a tart comeback and my dislike of authority.

What makes this book stand above the rest?

I think the combination of sensuality with spirituality and painstaking research will differentiate Broken from other historical novels set during WWII. Broken is not a book for children—there are graphic, explicit sexual scenes. Those aren’t gratuitous but are integral to the story. At the same time, Alia is a fallen angel, and she retains vivid memories of her time as one of the host. She is always aware of spirit, and she has visits from the Archangel Michael. Those visits too, are integral to the story. 

This isn’t your first book. What other novels have you written and where can we find them?

Immortal, a historical novel, a rags-to-riches-to-burnt-at-the-stake story.

Fallen, a dystopian romance, Book 1 of the After Series, “When the world ends, all that’s left is love”

Cold Light, Book 2 of the After Series, “In the end, love demands everything”.

Far Shore, Book 3 of the After Series, “Love is Salvation”.

The Botticelli Affair, an art history mystery vampire romp.

The Love of My (Other) Life, a bittersweet sci fi rom com.

The Art of Life, a photoessay on figurative sculpture through the ages.

If your book could be a movie, who would play your main characters?

Fun! I would love to see Alia played by the woman who plays Virginia Johnson in the Showtime series Masters of Sex, Lizzy Caplan. Pedro could be played by Alejandro Nones or Diego Boneta or William Levy—some very hot Latino actor. Josef could be played by Daniel Radcliffe or Jesse Eisenberg. Suzanne could be played by Emilia Clark. Gestapo agent Knochen must be played by an exceedingly talented actor, someone like Christian Bale or Ryan Gosling or James Marsden.

What inspired you to write this book?

I spent a month in Paris in 2013, researching a different WWII novel, one set primarily in Germany. I had meant to use Paris as a base from which to travel into Germany, because I love Paris and can negotiate the language. I found myself walking the streets of Paris when I should have been writing. For hours and hours every day, I wandered around Paris, starting from the Boulevard du Montparnasse and straying into every arrondissement. I got to know the city from the street level. Then I started taking the walking tours, and reading about the history of Paris. Somehow all those kilometers of walking inspired Broken.

List three adjectives to describe your main character.

Alia: ethereal, tolerant, sensual.

What advice could you give fellow/aspiring writers?

Don’t give up! It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

What is your favorite historical movie?

A Room with a View

What is your favorite historical book?

Whom the Gods would Destroy by Richard Powell

Pen, Pencil, phone, tablet or computer?

Computer, baby, but never discount the analog blessings of pen and notecard!

Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.

My dad was an enlisted man in the US Navy, and I’m from around the country. I was born in Great Lakes, IL and lived in Groton, CT; Norfolk, VA; Millington, TN; and Olathe, KS.

Do you prefer paperback or e-books?

Paperbacks! Love the sensual feeling of paper on flesh.

List the last three books that you’ve read?

I am reading Dr. Jane Ely’s book Remembering the Ancestral Soul: Soul Loss and Recovery; I recently finished The Eternal Nazi by Kulish and Mekhennet; before that I read Top-Secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich. My reading taste is eclectic!

What is the one thing you cannot live without?

My husband and children, and chocolate.

What is your favorite drink?

Crisp, cold, flinty white wine.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

My husband sculptor Sabin Howard. He is a model for me of artistic courage and integrity, and he has staunchly supported me as I write. I’m grateful for him and to him.

Do you have a book trailer? 

Yes! I have a few.

For Fallen and Cold Light,

For The Love of My (Other) Life,

About the Author

Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She is also the founder of Parvati Press, an independent press which was recently recognized by the IRS as a 501(c ) (3) not-for-profit corporation.

She lives in Manhattan and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novelIMMORTAL, which was published around the world and achieved bestseller status in Italy, Russia, and Brazil. BROKEN tells the sensual, heart-rending story of a fallen angel in occupied Paris from 1939-1942. Her novel THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR is a contemporary romp through the art history byways of vampire lore. Her novel FALLEN is the first of the acclaimed romanticAfter Series set during the end times. Its sequel COLD LIGHT and Book 3 FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. The quirky, bittersweet sci fi love story THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFEseeks to answer the question: What worlds would you move for your soulmate?

DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry; PIERCING TIME & SPACE is a non-fiction look at the meeting of science and spirit. THE ART OF LIFE is a photo-essay of sculpture history and philosophy written with her husband Sabin Howard, whose work is also showcased.

Where to Find: Goodreads  |  Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook-TraciLynnSlatton  |  Facebook – traci.slatton

(Historical/Fantasy) Goddess Born – Review!

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02_Goddess BornPublication Date: May 29, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ISBN: 9781426898365
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult

2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist

2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

Synopsis:

The power to heal is her divine gift, the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.

Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by Tuatha Dé law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged for a witch. In 1730 Pennsylvania, the Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.

For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation, until the day a prominent minister uncovers her secret. Obsessed with her power, Nathan Crowley disregards her betrothal to a distant cousin from Ireland and demands marriage in exchange for his silence. Selah stalls for time, but when news reaches the Colonies of her cousin’s death, time has run out.

Rather than submit to Nathan, Selah coerces a stranger to pose as her husband. It’s a good plan—her only plan—even though Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. But when she returns to Hopewell a married woman, the real fight has just begun. As unseen forces move against her, Selah doesn’t know which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the internal fire that threatens to consume her heart.

Book Two in the Goddess Born series will be published in November 2014 and Book Three in June 2015.

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Where to Find:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble   |  Carina Press

GenreRating

ThreeFantasyR

Paranormal, Historical, Fantasy & New Adult are the genres that have been listed for this book. I rated it according to what I expected from the synopsis, which was in Fantasy/Paranormal-ish. However, I found none of the list above sat above the rest. The one that did, however, was not listed and that was Romance. I felt a little bit cheated because of that. The Paranormal/Fantasy part wasn’t as fully realized as I’d hoped and honestly, I tend to avoid Romance because my excessive eye-rolling can lead to headaches.

That being said, I had no headaches with this novel…hmmmmmm.

MyTwoBits

 

Set in the 1700’s where it was still legal (at least until 1750) to burn a woman for witchcraft, I expected the subject to be dark, but it really wasn’t. The idea made the main character uncomfortable but the whole idea of a real witch was often disregarded by the locals whenever asked. The small community was rather realistic and I enjoyed the characters Kari Edgren put forward as the locals.

The story focused on Selah, the heiress to an estate and unearthly powers. She is, as the title suggests, Goddess Born with the power to heal people. During such a time where powers could easily be mistaken for evil, she has to be careful in her Quaker community. Quakers, like the Puritans were a religious group that fled England in hopes to practice their religion freely. For more information on the two groups, I found a link: Differences Between Quaker’s & Puritans also, the two religions really didn’t like each other.

Either way though, as per the King James Bible, it’s quoted in Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” They took that rather seriously, so when Selah is threatened to either marry a minister or be accused, she sets out on her father’s dying wish to get her husband-to-be who’s sailing to the Americas from Ireland. Tricky situations begin when her future husband turns up dead and she has to find a quick substitute.

Entering here would be Henry. Their conflicted interests and attitudes toward each other was highly entertaining. There was situational humor and awkward arguments but it comes to the conclusion that Henry will help Selah with her future accuser and together they might keep the secret of her fiancés death as well as their unlawful marriage otherwise they could both be shipped off to the gallows. Meanwhile, Selah manages to make the witchcraft accusation more damning, usually by pure accident and the “evidence” grows bigger and bigger. Enough so that she could be in some hot water. Speaking of hot, that Henry fellow is growing attached and most of the story revolves around their slow and charming union.

Selah’s hesitancy to her growing attraction is that she could lose her powers to heal if he ever found out. This is where the book is a bit wishy-washy on the whole paranormal/otherworldly part, for me anyway. There could have been so much more to the Otherworld other than a garden and more to Selah’s powers but we’re left with a few rules that pop up for convenience and a rather generic garden of eden. Thankfully, the often awkward relationship between the two characters kept me reading to find out more.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

 

It was a little longer than I think it needed to be, but Henry and Selah’s relationship was distracting enough and learning about the Quaker’s beliefs and customs was interesting.

I felt the author missed an amazing opportunity to make an imaginative Otherworld and the “rules” applied only when it suited the story, hardly complicating much as Selah has broken a few minor ones and wasn’t punished for either. Overall, I think Romance fans will really like this story. There’s conflict, adventure and a smidge of mystery so those looking for a New Adult read would be satisfied with this novel as well. :)

About the Author

03_Kari EdgrenKari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.

Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

$10 Amazon GC + Ebook Giveaway! “Fading Light” (Urban Fantasy)

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FadingLight300Fading Light
Shadow Born
Book 2
Angela Dennis

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: September 23, 2014

ISBN: 1619224569
ISBN13: 9781619224568
ASIN:

Number of pages: 279
Word Count: 76,000

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Tagline: Everyone has a breaking point.

Book Description:

Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures—and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It’s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it’s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree—the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.

Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species—humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension.

Where to Find:  Amazon  BN   Kobo  iTunes  Google Play

excerpt

Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication

Darkness embraced Brenna like a thick wool blanket. It wrapped around her, blocking the dim lamplight as she walked toward the seedy bar. Glass residue from the riots crunched beneath her leather boots. Mixed with snow, the bits of broken beer bottles and smashed windows glittered like an army of broken icicles. She breathed deeply, inhaling the cool night air. It smelled of sour beer and clove cigarettes and left a bitter taste on her tongue.

Shadows embraced the sides of the stone structure that housed the Dirty Ruby, one of the few multi-species bars in Denver proper. They stalked across the snow and mixed with the night to merge into a black mass. From its midst stepped a man. Well over six feet, he moved with grace in contrast to his size. The moonlight played across his face, highlighting his chiseled features.

Brenna’s pulse quickened and she took an involuntary step forward. Self-conscious, she ran a hand through her copper curls, freeing them from the careless bun. The thick strands streamed down her back like fire as she moved, her breath coming in quick harsh bursts. She slipped off her black leather duster and draped it across her arm. Without it the tight black corset left her taut belly and back exposed, but she didn’t feel the cold. She never did around Gray.

Four demons. Thirty humans. Keep the casualties to a minimum.” Brenna brushed past him, tossing him her coat. “I’ll bring them out. You send them back to hell.”

Hell?” Gray grinned. His teeth gleamed in the moonlight. “You speak human now?”

She shrugged. “When in Rome.”

Her back to him, she turned toward the freshly white-washed door. But before she could move, he had her shoulder in a vise grip. His fingers twined in the hair at the base of her skull. His breath hot against her cheek. “I know your other partners let you boss them around.” He turned her to face him. “I’m not them.”

He stepped forward, forcing her back. They moved in an awkward dance until her ass hit the stone wall. Trapped, she stared at him, wary. A shadow fell across his face hiding all but his piercing violet eyes.

We enter together. Once they’re dead, we leave.” He stepped back, loosening his hold.

The humans—”

Won’t remember a thing.” He crushed his lips to hers even as he slid the duster across her shoulders. “And I’m not your coat rack.” Releasing her, he stepped back.

Brenna rubbed the back of her hand against her bruised lips. Gray would be the death of her.

If she didn’t kill him first.

She leaned against the wall to regain her bearings as he stepped into the light. He moved like a jungle cat. Ropes of strong muscles slid beneath his bronzed skin as his wild untapped power stirred beneath the surface. Akin to a force of nature, he would never go unnoticed. Even incognito, only a fool wouldn’t recognize Gray was dangerous. He was a beautiful, powerful thing to behold. And he was hers.

If she wanted him.

His black hair shimmered in the pale lamplight. It was tied with the usual brown leather strap, but a few pieces had slipped free. They curled around his face, softening his features. The sight of him stirred memories of what they had been to each other. Memories she had struggled for nearly a hundred years to repress. But she still wanted him with a fervor that was both frightening and exhilarating.

A sigh slipped from her lips as she pushed off the wall to follow him into the bar. Wooden planks creaked beneath their feet as they stepped inside. The room was crammed wall-to-wall with sweaty bodies. Humans surged on the dance floor, moving in chaotic abandon. Brenna stripped off her duster. The heat from the wood stoves was overpowering. Sweat beaded on her forehead. It dribbled down her face, sliding across her bare skin to pool between her breasts.

She threw the duster on the seat of a red plastic booth then slid in beside it. Her leather pants moved across the slick fabric like silk as she took a quick inventory of the room. Humans clanked beer bottles together, their shouts drowning out the death metal band screeching in the far corner. She closed her eyes to focus and searched for her prey. It took several minutes, but she found what she was looking for. The stench of rotten flesh and brimstone. It was subtle, but unmistakable. The demon was here, but he wasn’t alone.

Her seat shifted as Gray slid into the booth beside her. “This is new. They don’t usually hunt together.” He tossed a muscular arm across her shoulders.

Brenna leaned into his body. Her head against his chest, she breathed him in. He smelled of sage and wood smoke. “I doubt they’re aware of each other. Demons are territorial. They don’t play nice, and they’re not that bright.”

Gray shrugged. “There’s a first time for everything.”

True.”

He brushed a stray curl from her face. Unable to resist, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the simple touch.

You take the males. I’ve got the females.” His breath was hot against her skin.

Her body tightened. She pulled back, a false smile playing on her lips. Beneath it she cursed her inability to keep him at a distance, even on a job. With a quick nod, she tossed back the shot of whiskey he shoved across the table. She leaned into him, her hands pressed against his chest. “We’ll meet at the van.”

Agreed.” Gray kissed her lips. “Sam knows the drill.”

She could still taste him as he walked away, and that treacherous part inside her yearned for more. The best way to blend in was to act like a couple, but they needed another option. She was already sexually frustrated, and the night had barely begun. But there was nothing more cathartic than a good hunt.

Brenna glanced at the demon. It lounged on a barstool, deep inside a human man around thirty. With a bored look, he watched as a young woman, her shirt in tatters on the dirty floor, straddled him. Her skirt hiked to her crotch, her body trembled as he drained her life force. A second woman stood behind him. Clad in tiny purple panties and a lace bra, she swayed to the music. Glassy eyed, breasts heaving, she waited her turn. It was disgusting.

It had been a human war that had ripped through the Veil between the planes of reality, and the humans had paid the price. Supernatural creatures, the humans now called deviants, had poured onto the Earthly plane, only to be trapped once the Veil had healed. The humans had managed to survive the onslaught by allying themselves with sympathetic deviants, but they had gotten too comfortable. And the demons were taking full advantage.

Brenna slammed the shot glass on the table. Time to play human.

About the Author

head shot 1Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex.  When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com  or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com

She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis

Where to Find:  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Blog  |  Website

Giveaway Details

1 ebook copy of Fading Light and a $10.00 Amazon gift card

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