Monthly Archives: August 2017

Book Review: ‘Death Scares Me’ by Keelen D. Cloud

Title: Death Scares Me

Published: 9th February 2016

Author: Keelan Cloud

 

Synopsis:

Modern poetry and short stories.

 

Review:

An interesting collection of poems and short stories that start to interlock the further you get to the end. Some I liked more than others and some were a little stranger the deeper they went but overall an interesting read.

I liked the flow and pace of the ‘Real Good Country Girl’ poem. You could almost imagine it as a country song about a guy describing his perfect country girl with what she’d look like and how she’d act. I was almost humming a tune with it to see how it would go.

First Verse:

“I want a real good country girl

I want a real good country girl

She’ll be moral and chaste

With a pretty little face

Wearing ribbons and curls

In our beautiful world.”

Found a fun message from ‘Shopping at the Goodwill Store’ poem with how you can be thrifty with your money. Every loves a bargain and you can find some interesting buys, you just have to hunt for them. If you know where to look you will get a true find with money to spare.

The short story I liked was the one with the on going battle between a couple of farmyard tomcats fighting it out. The older one of them is protecting the honour of the female from the farm while the younger one is trying to become the new top cat. The battle commences but is set between a few parts. Each one is a winner and loser at certain points but it’s the younger one who always seems to bite off more than he can chew. Not just with their fight but with when other animals pop up too. They might hiss and spit at each other but need to mend fences or they will soon get a telling off from their owner. The battle is over and peace rains but how long before another starts? Oh to live the life of a cat. Eat, sleep, protect your territory, sleep, eat again, get some fuss from your owner and then sleep some more. Purrrfection!

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Reading Nook Blog Posts, Contemporary Fiction, Non-fiction

Author Interview: ‘Dawn: Freedom Takes Fight’ by Weston Westmoreland

About the Book:

On a planet forsaken by a pan-stellar Empire in times long forgotten, old stories tell of an infamous day when swarms of imperial starships clouded the sky and abducted all able men and women. Nothing was ever known of them thereafter. The planet, known as Arweg, was left stranded, inhabited only by orphaned children, the unlearned elderly, and the helpless. Years went by, the old died, and the children grew to become adults in an ignorant world surrounded by crumbling technology they were unable to understand and much less operate. After ages of darkness, civilization reemerged to a point where a small portion of the little technology preserved in time could be worked.Two young Arwegians unearth a metallic capsule and trigger a chain-reaction. The strange pod will relay a signal into deep space and summon an immense octopus-shaped starship known as Goddess. The Empire is back, and it wants to restore Arweg to its former status as a full member of the Confederacy. It is the Dawn of a new Era. Or is it?

A voice from the past will warn the Arwegians the real purpose of the Empire is to modernize the planet only to make it suitable for a renewed colonization and slavery. Some will believe it and some will not. The Revolution has begun.

Dawn follows a small group of characters from both sides who will be drastically changed—those who survive—through war, love, loss, courage, hate, compassion, and friendship as the years go by, extreme events take place, and hope is almost the only thing left…

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I had always seen writing as a means to express myself across the distance. I kept handwritten correspondence with several friends for years and thoroughly enjoyed both the intimacy it offered and the way writing allowed me to put my thoughts and feelings into words, thus giving me a better way to explain and therefore understand myself. I soon found out that thinking about something and explaining it in written words were two different things, and that I enjoyed the process, the extra reflective effort to dissect ideas, thoughts, feelings, and to finely define them with words. I have never stopped ever since.

The way I got into fiction writing, however, was purely coincidental. I was sitting one Sunday evening with an old friend on my porch stairs, and he started a game: a shared story. I said the first paragraph, he added a second, I added a third… the following day I simply started writing. I had never written a single short story before. It had never occurred to me. Seems like I thought I had something to tell, because it caught. Story making lets you write about anything while playing God at the same time. The power you have over your characters and their world is both exhilarating and terrible. I am always glad when my characters are doing fine, and I always have a hard time when they suffer. Even after having finished, re-reading certain paragraphs always comes at a price. I didn’t expect that. And I like it.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I write at any time and normally on my PC, but that’s incidental. I could write anywhere, provided I have an urge to. I never push it. When I feel I have something to say, I write. When I don’t, I do not. And when I do, neither the time of day, the place, or the distractions are a factor. Everything vanishes, the text flows, and something concrete is distilled from a general idea. It’s pretty nice.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

From everywhere? From nowhere? I don’t know. I blog about things that matter to me and write about these same things in my fiction work too, albeit metaphorically. I normally write about feelings, although I often disguise the message. In the end, I think many of us writers are just trying to fix our own worlds. I didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel, I wanted to write about the irreversible, about how we face and cope with those life-changing experiences that cannot be turned back. The characters who carried my hopes and fears just happened to live on another planet.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

More than a plan, I have a concept, a line of ideas or of feelings I want to explore, and a rough context in which to place it. When I started Dawn, I wrote the first part in two months. Then I stopped for five years. I had known what I wanted to say first and I had written it. I knew what was expected to happen then but I didn’t know how or why. It is like I knew the question, that was the first part, but not the answer. Took me five years to figure it out. Once I did, I wrote the second part in another two months.

The details, the little intertwinings that make the plot fresher and more interesting are the “chance” result of thinking about the story over and over again. Most of these big-little things come from the subconscious and are like tiny gifts that explode in your mind without warning. I enjoy those events quite a lot.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My first and only novel is Science Fiction. I have a non-fiction book almost finished and have started a third work, a prehistorical fiction novel. The reason why I picked sci-fi is quite simple. I wanted to tell a story, but I didn’t want to burden myself with the documentation effort it would take to properly fit it in any given time-period. Sci-fi allowed me to start from scratch. Later on it turned out I extremely enjoyed adding to the sci-fi part of the story, but that is something I didn’t expect in advance, although I do read sci-fi with certain frequency.

My next novel is all about documentation. It’s a long term project, hopefully to be finished. It’s yet to be determined if I will be up to the task.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Ha ha ha that’s a nice question. I do not know. All my characters have faces of their own, of course, but they do not always come from real people. Brod is a guy I know, Mara takes after a marvel comic hero called Longshot, Arlet might look like Marvel’s classic Dr. Strange (comic, not movie). Dunali comes from several women, Arzo Barr could be Rob Reiner with black hair, General Suwen could be Lee Van Cleef, or a short haired Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball.

If you push me, Jared Leto/Jake Gyllenhaal could be Brod, Eddie Redmayne/Tom Holland could be Mara, Marion Cotillard could be Dunali, James Franco could be Arlet, and Emma Stone could be Rora. I’d love to have Clint Eastwood for General Trop or the Pilgrim.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read much but I read all the time. I do not have favorite authors, I have favorite books. My top 30 books are probably from 25 different writers. I could name Patrick O’Bryan as the author of my most loved historical novel saga, I read all Stephen King in my youth, but not anymore.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Right now I am reading Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Just finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and Two Westerns by Forrest Carter. I spent the winter and spring either aboard WW2 U-boats or in the Eastern Front, which I didn’t know much about.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

If I have to choose a novel, it would be Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey Maturin saga. There are so many reasons. I love the history period, absolutely love the main characters and how you accompany them as they get on in age along the 21 books. I find the way O’Brian depicts tall-ship warfare fascinating, and I love the kindness and the humor of the author’s tone. So much more than frigates shooting canon. It would be Frank Herbert for SF, Tolkien and Abercrombie for fantasy… I read a lot of non-fiction and the books and authors are simply unaccountable. You can learn more through my Goodreads page.

If you want an unfair list, apart from the mentioned ones, I could Add One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi, Flowers for Algernon, The Physician, Aztec, The Journeyer, Shogun, With the Old Breed, Russia’s War, Guns, Germs and Steel, Q, A higher Call, I am Legend, Gates of Fire, It, White Fang, The Hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy, Cryptonomicon, Hyperion, Armor, Band of Brothers, The Chosen Species… and comics…

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

That’s pretty simple. Stop thinking and start writing. Go one step at a time, get your idea, put it down black on white, and finish it (the hardest part). If you enjoyed the process, repeat freely as often as you want. If you are asking about becoming a selling author, now that is a totally different issue that has not much to do with writing.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I am not a very dedicated social media inhabitant. I tweet now and then and I blog, or used to (always depending on me having something to say). I also have a web-page, but it is a store for my work as a freelance photographer, not to my writing. My FB is next to nonexistent.

Website: www.WestonWestmoreland.com

Blog: www.InspiringThoughtsAndImages.com

Twitter: @WWstmoreland

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16893100.Weston_Westmoreland

 

 

 

About the Author:

Weston Westmoreland was born in the spring of 1972. He is married and father of two kids.

Weston earns a living working by himself as an engineer, teacher, and freelance photographer, but not from writing. In all honesty, even though he enjoys writing in different forums and used to blog every now and then, he does not see himself as a fiction writer. Dawn is his first work of this kind, which is the reason why he invested in it far more effort and love than it probably deserved.

Avid reader, lone traveler, slow trail-runner, passionate photographer, terrible guitarist and worse singer, amateur modeler, persistent sketcher, weekend trekker, occasional painter and sculptor, self-taught gardener, committed father and husband, and first of all, a curious man… you can learn more about the way Weston sees life through his old but still current blog.

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Book Review: ‘Hot Bachelor’ by Katie McCoy

Title: Hot Bachelor

Published: 26th July 2017

Author: Katie McCoy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiemccoyauthor

 

Synopsis:

He’s off-limits… and we’re breaking all the rules!

I just landed my dream summer gig: working as a production assistant on TV’s smash-hit reality show, Ever After. Two months of sun and fun at the beach? Sign me up! Until the moment I come face to face with this season’s bachelor, racing’s bad boy Dash – aka, the mysterious hottie I just hooked up with at a creepy motel off the I-80.

Can you say, awkward?

Dash is sexy, charming – and totally off-limits. But the chemistry between us is way too hot to ignore. He’s playing to win, and he’s got his sights set on the prize: me!

Soon, the action is heating up off-screen. But between ratings-hungry producers, back-stage drama, and twelve of the most cutthroat glamazon contestants known to womankind, I’m in way over my head. Can I find my happily-ever-after, or will it be lights, camera, heartbreak?

The Bachelor gets a rom-com twist in Katie McCoy’s hilarious, sexy new read!
**HOT BACHELOR is a full-length standalone rom-com with HEA. This bonus edition also includes another full-length romance by Katie, GAME ON. **

 

Review:

Loved the book from start to finish. Comedy, banter, passion, romance and drama throughout, and that’s just off camera. What’s not to love when Dash and Paige get going with the back and forth? Ever After may be just a show but from the way things heat up between them the real happily ever after might be happening off screen.

Comical banter, frustration and passion are where we start from the plane to the car ride and then the motel room but it’s the ending that will make you swoon. Dash sure knows how to make up for his stupidity. Something I think we can all be very glad about. Spark from the start and both seem to be on a mission to get to the same place so it’s only right that they help each other out. No full names are given but with the chemistry building on the car ride when they get to the motel room – after she has been a bit freaked out by being by herself with what’s happening next door – she is all too happy to share for a bit. Seems sharing snacks isn’t all either of them want but it appears a phone call puts a stop to that with Dash having to dash off. Paige just thinks that the crazy trip with be a fun one to remember but she gets a bit of a shock when the suitor on the programme she has been hired to be a PA on is none other than her motel hook-up. Queue tension people this is about to get interesting.

You know reality shows are manufactured creations the producers want you to see but it doesn’t stop you craving them every now and then. Here we have a behind the scenes look at Ever After with Dash as the suitor with 12 women vying for his attention. Only problem is that it’s a red headed PA he wants but one who keeps trying to stay away no matter the pull they feel with each other. Well you know that won’t last.

The more they try to keep their distance the more fate and schedules seem to put them together. There’s only so much they can take before the tension makes them snap. A kiss is where it started and they sure go from 0 to 100 on the passion-o-metre. Which would be fine if they didn’t keep getting interrupted. Though every interruption is a bit funnier than the last when they try to stay a step ahead of being caught. Think they like the thrill of it to begin with but it’s hard for Paige to see where they might be going when she has to see him on the show. What’s real and what’s fake seem to be running through her mind. They were meant to be a bit of fun but the longer they spend together the closer they get. Telling each other things no one else knows. It’s like they have known each other forever but when the chips are down do they really know each other at all. With how quick one is to judge the other not so much. You just hope they will get their gear in order to correct their mistakes before its too late. We want a real happily ever after and not the shows ‘illusion’ version.

Side note: Patrick is a vial creepy producer that you wish Dash would just punch. His illusion for the show is all he cares about not anybody themselves. Well not completely true as he does care about himself.

Great characters that draw you in to a world of comical mishaps and there’s a lot of passion thrown into the mix too. First book I’ve read of Katie McCoy so would definitely want to check out any others.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Humour, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance

Release Blitz: ‘Havoc’ by Laramie Briscoe

Title: Havoc
Series: Moonshine Task Force #3
Author: Laramie Briscoe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Blurb

When a marriage of convenience turns into the passion of a lifetime…

Holden “Havoc” Thompson

My job as the leader of the Moonshine Task Force is my life. I eat, breathe, and sleep it. The men under my command mean the world to me. Knowing they count on my guidance has kept my demons at bay for longer than I care to admit.

The control I have over myself is an iron fist that sometimes threatens to squeeze the life out of me. What I want more than anything is to live again – let go of the hurt smothering every bit of light I have in this darkness.

I don’t expect it to come in the form of a Moonshiner’s daughter needing my protection.

Leighton Strather

My whole life has been defined by who my family is. In the state of Alabama, we’re number one with a target on our backs. The danger and prestige isn’t for me. I don’t care about the money, and I care too much about the families we’ve ruined.

My brother and my dad are proud of it. They wear their arrest records like a badge of honor. Me? I want as far away from the lifestyle as I can get.

It’s the only reason I ask Holden to marry me. At least that’s what I tell myself.

I never expect his whispered yes to cause such upheaval in my life. Even though I resist, I learn some havoc is good – and this one? It’s a whirlwind of lust, hope, and love and all I can do is let it sweep me away.

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AUFree in Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio

Laramie Briscoe is the best-selling author of the Heaven Hill Series & the Rockin’ Country Series.

Since self-publishing her first book in May of 2013, Laramie Briscoe has published over 10 books. She’s appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling E-books Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. She’s been called “a very young Maya Banks” (Amazon reviewer) and her books have been accused of being “sexy, family-oriented, romances with heart”.

When she’s not writing alpha males who seriously love their women, she loves spending time with friends, reading, and marathoning shows on her DVR. Married to her high school sweetheart, Laramie lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband (the Travel Coordinator) and a sometimes crazy cat named Beau.

Author Links

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Filed under Reading Nook Blog Posts, Release Blitz

Book Review: ‘Tompkin’s School: For the Dearly Departed’ by Tabi Slick

Title: Tompkin’s School: For the Dearly Departed (Tompkin’s School Trilogy Book Two)

Published: 2nd August 2017

Publisher: Crane & Company Press

Author: Tabi Slick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tabislick

Twitter: @tabislick

 

Synopsis:

Visions of the past, powers beyond belief, and a school that has been waiting for them for over a hundred years. Kain and Izara’s abilities have advanced far greater than they ever imagined possible and it’s all due to their new friend that has joined them…or is it?

This year will bring the Torvik twins closer to solving the mystery of who they are, why they have these powers, and even closer to unveiling the school’s most haunting secret.

I shivered at the sight of the wolf-man killing one of the intruders that night they had chained Bart to the ground.
“Destiny of beings is about to come to fruition,” the voice of the being’s human companion rang in my ear.
The scene turned to liquid and then I saw Izzy standing in front of me.
“You know his face,” a voice that didn’t belong to my sister bellowed from within her.
I will return…. I will return to my children.

My whole body writhed in pain as the voice filled my head.

 

Review:

Intriguing characters that grab your attention quickly with the curse and powers that have fallen upon them. Ones they do not want. The pull of the moon is strong but the pull of powers once untied is stronger. Lets see how they all cope with continually having to feed on their prey. The choice of these victims it seems is out of their control. When they become the monster they lose a bit of themselves.

The Torvik twins, Izara ‘Izzy’ and Kain, seem to be cursed with the monsters they become. They have no control over them at first but that seems to be changing. The pressures of just being in school can be hard enough but when you throw in what they do when the moon comes out you can see their lives getting turned upside down. They have certain ideas of what they get up to when they no longer have control but when people start to hunt them down for what they are they know they need to be more careful. Everything seems to be interlinked from the past and present with what has happened and what will be. They are developing with their powers and soon getting ready for more craziness to appear. It seems that Tompkin’s School has a mystery of its own, one linked to everything.

Choyce seems to be a key link for the twins as he is the only one who knows what they are going through with being the same. His past plays a part in the future. You can see him getting closer to Izara and you are never quite sure what his motives are going to be but it seems its others that they need to worry about. Chaos is surely going to continue with many people playing a key part. Lee being one of them I feel. He is going to go a bit dark in the next one so will be interesting to see how he copes, or doesn’t as the case may be.

Structure and pacing was good and even though I haven’t read the first book I didn’t feel lost. Mainly because you get a few recaps with the visions and dreams Izzy and Kain have. Will be interesting to see how their powers develop further, whether they discover the mystery surrounding their school and how they are going to deal with what’s coming their way.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author to proof and for my honest review.

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Filed under Fantasy, Reading Nook Blog Posts