Monday, March 31, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Echoes" by Therin Knite

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In the year 2712 Adem Adamend is a genius working crime scenes in Washington DC with the Interdistrict Bureau of Investigation. He has a truckload of work piling up and no credit for solving the unsolvable.
A hotshot lawyer is murdered, and Adem is finally faced with a true challenge: the culprit appears to be a...dragon?
When he meets Umbrella Girl, the only person he can't read, is when this gets really interesting and he realizes that there are more things in the world than he ever dreamed of...literally!

In just 133 Kindle pages, readers will be taken on a wild sci-fi ride from the mind of Therin Knite, the Brooklyn punk-turned-author.
This novella is a quick read that will make readers think about their own perceptions of reality, as Adem does.

Great plot, great characters and a unique story will make Echoes a must-read for Sci-Fi fans! 

4/5--great!

Purchase Echoes via:

Amazon (KINDLE)

Amazon (PRINT)

Goodreads

Sunday, March 30, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Reconnected" by Lisa Calell

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In Lisa Calell's much-anticipated sequel to her novel Disconnected, Reconnected takes up six months after its predecessor ends, after the abused Katie Calder has left her husband Chris because of what her abuser, Casey, has done in front of him.

Katie is promoting her new book, living in Boston, when her husband shows up at a signing in the West Coast, asking to try to reconcile. The trial to convict Casey is in four weeks, and he has some new information about the baby girl that Casey told her she miscarried while he had held her captive when she was a teen. The baby was a boy...and he's alive.
How can Katie cope with this, when she and her therapist, Dr. Jamieson, have come so far since the last incident? How can she have had a child in the world and not known about it? And how can she get him in her life now?

In a book full of twists, turns and three-sixties, Ms. Calell keeps the readers on their toes as each page of Reconnected reveals some new shock for Katie, Chris and even Dr. Jamieson. It's a story for everyone, but mothers and those who are/have adopted children will have a very special connection with this book.
While the last book dealt with rape and PTSD, this one deals with love and forgiveness. I couldn't put it down once I began it. My favorite of it all, however, was how natural Katie and Chris's relationship is. It isn't like they're two characters made for a book: it's more like Ms. Calell had a hidden camera in a real couple's household and simeply transcribed what she saw and heard. That's how real and heartfelt they are.

This book was one million percent worth waiting for. Fans of Disconnected won't be disappointed and new fans will be enthralled and hurry to pick up the first in the series.

5/5--amazing work!

Purchase Reconnected on March 31st via:

Amazon

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble (NOOK)

Friday, March 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "The Lineage" by Gabrielle Faust

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Gabrielle Faust returns to her vampiric roots in her latest novel, The Lineage.

Tristan Faust lived a fairly normal life until he meets a band of vampires lerld by the enigmatic Dorian. He turns and lives with them for twenty years, wondering when the last of his humanity will fade.
When a member of the tribe is brutally murdered in an alley, Tristan starts to slowly see all the lies Dorian told him about vampires unravel before his eyes.
One by one, the members of the group are murdered, each more horrifically than the last. Tristan is forced to face his familial lineage and what he finds might be more than he can handle...

Only a vampire can write vampires so well. Gabrielle Faust is a talented artist in many categories, but she is at the top of her game when writing about the Undead.
With a flowing, lyrical prose as if she's the lovechild of Poe and Bram Stoker, she takes the reader on a horrifying journey of blood, death and truth.

Great read for vampire lovers, those new to the genre and vampires themselves.

5/5--wonderful!

Purchase The Lineage via:

Nightshade Boutique

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

CreateSpace

Booktopia (Australia)

Goodreads

Sunday, March 23, 2014

MONTHLY MUSIC MADNESS (pt. 2): Otep Shamaya

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A vocalist. A lyricist. A poet. A novelist. An activist. An artist. Those are the descriptions for the one and only Ms. Otep Shamaya, founder of the "artcore" outfit she named after herself.
I first discovered Otep when I was about twelve. I saw her video for "Buried Alive" on MTV2's Headbangers Ball and loved what I saw: a beautiful female metal artist not afraid to play in the boys' club and scream her heart out.
I was an immediate fan.
Her music (not something that everyone can enjoy, I'll admit it) is a mixture of metal, electronic, hip-hop and spoken word. The lyrics are meaningful, detailing pain, talking about religion, politics, sexuality and the state of the world.
Her poetry is much of the same. It's a modern, darker version of suxh greats as Sylvia Plath and e.e. cummings. My very first signed book was her poetry collection Caught Screaming, in fact.
Her videos are visual experiences one must see for oneself. Links will be below.

She also helped me, personally, as she has helped many of her fans. Her motto is "art saves" and her art got me through sine of the toughest times of my life, namely my decision to come out as a bisexual. Ms. Shamaya  is an out lesbian and her fights for equality are unmatched by any other activist. She is so inspiring.
Also, she is an animal rights activist, and her posts are more than eye-opening!

She's toured on Ozzfest and with such acts as Shadows Fall, Five Finger Deathpunch, Slipknot, Il Nino, Butcher Babies and many more.
Recently, she's announced that she's left her label and will be recording a follow-up to her latest album, Hydra.
Ms. Shamaya is also a GLAAD-nominated artist and was featured on HBO's Def Poetry.

Enjoy at your own risk of extreme eargasms!

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Purchase Sevas Tra via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase House Of Secrets via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase The Ascension via:

iTunes

Amazon

Google Play Music

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Purchase Smash The Control Machine via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase Atavist via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase Sounds Like Armageddon via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase Hydra via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play Music

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Purchase Little Sins at Lulu

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Purchase Caught Screaming at Lulu

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Purchase Quiet Lightning on the Noisy Mountain at Lulu

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Purchase The Myth at Lulu

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Purchase None Shall Sleep at Lulu

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Purchase custom Otep Converse Chuck Taylor high tops HERE !

Find Otep online via the following sites:

Twitter

Facebook (personal page)

Instagram

Facebook (band LIKE page)

Facebook (personal LIKE page)

YouTube

Friday, March 21, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: John Lansing

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1. When/why did youdecide to become an author?

After years of writing for network television, I was approached to write a non-fiction book. It was a new challenge and I immediately signed on. After that process, I created a fictional detective, Jack Bertolino, who that had all the strengths and flaws I’d been searching for. I decided to try my hand at penning a story around him.  
Television is a very structured medium. Everything is written to a concise outline. Because of the demands of production, there was rarely time to veer off course. Novels, on the other hand can be blank canvasses and for the first time in my writing career, I was flying without a safety net. I loved it.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

I wasn’t an avid reader growing up, but in college I picked up a copy of Raymond Chandler’s, The Big Sleep, and was hooked on mysteries, detectives, and suspense.
As I turn and look into my bookcase I can see books by, Walter Mosley, John Sandford, Ian Rankin, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, and Harlan Coben. I read what I write. I’m currently reading, Jo Nesbo’s, The Bat.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Devil's Necktie?

It seemed incomprehensible to me that a cop could spend twenty-five years of his life putting away high-level criminals, and then waltz into retirement without any blowback. I was also intrigued with the relationship between cops and confidential informants.
 I moved my protagonist, retired Inspector Jack Bertolino, out of his old Staten Island neighborhood, across the country to Marina del Rey, California. He was a man who had suffered a bitter divorce, was in forced retirement because of a back injury, and was looking to reinvent himself on the West Coast.
There’s an old saying, “Man makes plans and God laughs.”
Jack had a few weeks of peace before an old confidential informant arrived on his doorstep asking for help. After a brief night of passion, she turns up dead, and Jack’s the only suspect.
That was enough of a launching pad for me to start writing The Devil’s Necktie.

4. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I hope to see ten Jack Bertolino novels sitting on my bookshelf.

5. Your first book was a nonfiction work called Good Cop, Bad Money. Why did you decide to write nonfiction before fiction?

As I said at the top, I was approached to write a memoir of Glen Morisano, a decorated NYPD Inspector. After writing so many fictionalized cops on television, I jumped at the chance to spend time with the real deal. The experience ended up being a master class in police procedure.

6. Both of your books are based on law enforcement, as was Walker, Texas Ranger (the TV show Mr. Lansing wrote and produced starring Chuck Norris, for the readers who don't know). Why do police proceedings interest you so much?

It’s not only police procedure that intrigues me, it’s also the criminal mind. A hero is only as strong as his antagonist. If the criminal enterprise is heinous enough, you might have a compelling story.

7. If you had to choose between writing fiction, writing television or acting, which would you choose and why?

I would choose writing fiction any day. There’s a freedom that you don’t find in any other medium. I’m not writing to a pilot episode, or a star’s ego, or for a committee. When I’m sitting at my desk, the only person I have to satisfy is myself.
 Of course there’s collaboration involved after the first draft. But working with an editor, a copy editor and a publisher has been a wonderful experience.

8. Would you like to see a film made from The Devil's Necktie? If yes, would you like to be involved in the production and in what way?

I’d love to see Bertolino on the big screen. Or on television for that matter. And then it would depend on the production company, the deal, and my availability at the time. I would like to be hands on. It’s great fun, sitting on a set, watching something you’ve created come to life.

9. What type of novel would you like to try your hand at one day?

I’m open to other genres, but at this point in my career, I’m happy writing what I love to read.

10. Why drug cartels? There are a myriad of criminals you could've written about. Why did you chose Colombian drug cartels?

Jack Bertolino spent twenty-five years of his life, working as an undercover narcotics detective in the NYPD. He infiltrated Colombian Cartels, took down their money laundering cells and put away major players in the drug trade. In the process, he made many enemies.
 It was only natural, that in the first book, his past life would come back to haunt him. And drug cartels are Shakespearian by nature. They have power over life and death, control police forces and armies, and can change the course of a country’s history.
 They make formidable opponents.

11. Would you ever write an autobiography about your time in the entertainment industry?

I’m afraid it would be too boring for words. Ask me again over a glass of scotch and I might have a few stories to share.

12. Were any of the characters in the book based on real people?

My characters are all fictionalized. They are composite sketches of characters I’ve met, read about or wanted to meet.

13. Will you ever write a sequel (or prequel) to The Devil's Necktie?

The next book in the Jack Bertolino series is already written and in the process of being edited as we speak. It’s titled, Working the Negative, and is being published by Karen Hunter Publishing and Simon & Schuster.

14. What author would you love to collaborate with?

I’d love to get Jack Bertolino on the road and have him work a case with Ian Rankin’s, “DI Rebus,” in Edinburgh, Scotland.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I fronted a rock n roll band, and played CBGB’s in New York City, I drink 18 year old Macallan, and I make Italian meatballs that are so light they float.

Find John Lansing online via:

IMDb

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook (LIKE page)

Twitter

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "The Devil's Necktie" by John Lansing

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Jack Bertolino is a retired NYPD detective who now resides in Los Angeles. His biggest worries arehis son's struggles in college and his chronic back pain...that is, they are until he gets a call from an old informant, the beautiful and mysterious Mia. She needs his help, but after sex she falls asleep before she can say anything and he leaves, not knowing that, twenty minutes later, she is killed by the 18th Street Angels gang and Jack is the only suspect.
He needs to find out who had it out for Mia before he gets arrested...or worse.

Written by screenwriter/actor John Lansing, The Devil's Necktie is a good crime novel with all the right elements: sex, drugs and murder. I do believe that it was missing a little more mystery, but I can't fault the expert writing and character development in the story. Jack isn't a one-dimensional cop like you might find on your everyday crime drama. He's got a past and feelings. Longtime crime drama fans might liken him to Law & Order: SVU's Elliot Stabler (played by Chris Meloni).
The violence is just right: not overdone for the gore factor but it's there enough so that you might cringe just a little.
Mr. Lansing got the facts on the cartels and the Mafia straight, which is more than I can say for many authors. I really enjoy it when a writer does his research and you can plainly see it in the writing!
Fans of the Law & Order franchises and the show Graceland will eat this up!

4/5--nice work!

Purchase The Devil's Necktie via:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Laura Enright

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1. When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I think I always had the itch to tell stories. I’ve always been a day dreamer (in fact I often write scenes in my head while doing other things). But when I was eleven I wrote a novel about a woman who finds a dog on the beach. The sort of subject tons of little girls no doubt have written about. I wrote it on notebook paper and bound it by stapling it. My own self-publishing. I even designed the cover. I think it was then that I fell in love with writing.

2. What books/authors inspired you when you were younger? Whose work do you enjoy today?

 It’s always hard for me to name a favorite or most influential anything. There are just too many out there to love. I consider it this way: I fell in love with reading by reading Albert Payson Terhune’s Dogs of Sunnybank series when I was a kid. In second grade, reading The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass made me appreciate how inspiring biographies can be. The collected short stories of Edgar Allan Poe made me realize the power of horror while The Invisible Man by H.G. Welles led me to science fiction. I fell in love with fantasy through the The Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. The first series I collected obsessively was Piers Anthony’s Xanth series (of which I think there are about a 1000). Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (which I read about the same time) made clear the possibility of vampire stories. Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series and Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series helped me appreciate the mix of science fiction and humor. More recently, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson reminded me just how vital well told history can be. And Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd and the books of Ken Follett have made me realize how entertaining history could be in fiction.

3. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I hope I’m a well-established writer with a number of popular series under my belt. I have a lot of stories to tell. I’d also like to get into other creative areas like TV, movies, etc. I like to experiment with different things creatively. Hopefully it won’t take ten years for that to start happening.

4. What was the inspiration behind your novel To Touch The Sun?

It’s kind of funny. I actually wrote To Touch the Sun in the hopes of finding an agent. I had been in cordial contact with an agent prior to this and noticing that the agency represented a vampire series, and knowing that it was a popular genre, I figured I’d try my hand at it. Other than that, while I loved reading the genre, at the time I really had no urge to write a vampire novel. I didn’t have a character or plot idea. Luckily, around that time I did have a slight idea that I could play with. Very slight. A two word description: Vampire chef. I basically built it all from the ground up. So I guess it was a desire to find an agent that inspired me to try writing the novel, and various things along the way that inspired the actual story.

5. Why vampires? Out of all the supernatural creatures, why did you choose them?

As I mentioned, it was in the hopes of getting an agent. But it was funny because unlike my other novels, I had no clear idea for TTTS, yet the more I saw it actually evolving plot-wise and character-wise, it became even more exciting to write than other novels I’ve written. Sometimes I was surprised at the directions it took.

6. Why did you choose to make this a more adult novel as opposed to something like the Twilight series?

Basically because I’m more interested in adult characters and their concerns. One of my problems with some of the Twilight-like books is the notion that these century-old vampires are still interested in hanging out in high school after having lived a couple of life-times. I just don’t find that interesting.
I think the Twilight phenom has been a double-edged sword for the genre. It’s certainly reinvigorated interest in the vampire genre but now mention of a vampire book instantly produces thoughts of Twilight or YA fiction. There are some fantastic YA vampire books out there. I list some in a chapter in my book Vampires Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Blood Thirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers and Other Undead Oddities. But the genre is very versatile, open to so many interpretations and I think YA fiction tends to constrict it a bit to a sort of “vampire meets girl”.

7. How did you decide to make Rain want to be a cook of all things? Do you, personally, enjoy it?

It goes back to my experiment with the genre. Before deciding to write a vampire novel, I was joking with someone about an “evil chef.” I’m not sure what in particular made the chef evil, we were just joking and I liked the concept. When I decided to use it for the vampire novel, I jettisoned the “evil” and replaced it with “vampire”. Because I wanted a sympathetic character, I got rid of the notion of him being evil all together. One of the things I liked about the idea of him being a famous Chicago chef was that it puts a lot of pressure on him to retain a sense of normalcy despite the logistical inconveniences of his condition (especially when old “ghosts” start popping up). There’s a lot riding on him pretending to be normal. For example, in one scene, he’s musing on what he’s going to do regarding his staff, most of which have been with him for many years and who may start asking why a guy who opened a restaurant in the late 80s still looks as young as Narain looks. He doesn’t want to fire them, but he isn’t sure he can trust them with the truth. It’s a dilemma that is unique to his condition. One thing I wanted to do with the novel was to consider what someone in Narain’s situation would do when the realities of his condition warred with every day situations. It adds tension and drama to the plot as well as a chance for humor.

8. What author would you like to collaborate with one day?

Well, I’m sure many would like to do this, but it might be cool to collaborate with J.K. Rowling. I love Harry Potter but I’ve really been enjoying the past non-Harry novels she’s been writing.

9. Can we expect to see another story featuring some of the characters in TTTS?

Well, funny you should ask. Actually, while I was hunting for an agent or publisher for TTTS, I wrote three more novels in the series and a spinoff novel featuring paranormal investigators that appear in the third novel. I started out with no real inclination to write a vampire novel, now I can’t stop telling the stories. I really fell in love with the characters and would love to continue exploring them in a series as well as a series on the paranormal investigators.

10. Do you have anything in the works that you can share with KSR?

Well, I need to go back to those other novels in the series which are in various states of drafts. I’d like to get the second novel in the series tweaked for publication. I also have an Asian dragon novel that I’d like to find a publisher for. That was the one I was shopping around when I was trying to interest that agent in my writing. And I’m working on a nonfiction project with the son of a man who was falsely accused of being a loan shark in the mob during the 1960s in Chicago. It’s a compelling story.

11. Would you like to see TTTS made into a movie? If yes, what actors would you like to see play your creations?

I’d definitely love to see a movie. I think it would work great as a movie. When I wrote the character of Narain, I had Shahrukh Khan in mind. Now he might be a bit old to play a vampire who stopped aging at age 25 and looks no older than 30. But hey, movie magic and his own youthful appearance--maybe he can pull it off.
For Jameson, I could see David Tennant. Tom Hiddleston might be nice too. I need someone who can portray a bastard yet is alluring. Jameson isn’t pure evil or anything. But he’s not above doing evil things to protect himself or his interests.
Cassie and Dom would be a bit harder. I see Cassie as pretty but also a little geeky. She’s close to 30 and doesn’t spook easily which comes in handy considering what she gets mixed up in in the novel. She can get very drawn into scientific mysteries. The actress would have to balance a maturity with that tendency to geek out over science. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence could pull it off.
Dom is husky and a bit short but cute. Like Cassie, he’s very even-tempered which is helpful considering that he’s business partners and friends with a vampire. He’s also intensely loyal. One thing is for sure the actor would have to be able to pull off the Chicago accent. That twang is very much a part of Dom’s character.
Blythe would be someone who is physically big but with a touch of the decent character he was during the war. He regained sentience 90 years after WWI literally falling asleep in one world and awaking in another. Waking up a whole different person. It would need to be someone with an intimidating stature yet who could portray that vulnerable confusion.
Boris’ stature is a bit smaller but he has a crazy energy to him. Psychotic. Aside from his deformed features, that’s where his intimidation factor comes in. Relentless.

12. Since I grew up there, I have to ask: why did you set the novel in Chicago?

Partly for convenience sake. I’m familiar with the town and surrounding area. Researching settings for scenes is easier. The third novel is set partially in Chicago but mostly in London. That’s going to be a bit more difficult. Of course it would give me a reason to do a road trip to London, which would be fun.
But I also love Chicago. I grew up in the area and always liked the city but never realized just how fascinating it was until doing research for Chicago’s Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters and Other Windy City Oddities. Well, you know yourself having grown up there. It’s a fantastic city. It’s a relatively young town but it has a lot of interesting history to it. A lot of stories to tell. I set the fourth novel in 1930s Chicago, which was fun.
Besides, the town is known for its restaurant and food and Narain is a chef, after all.

13. Deep down, a part of the book is about love and loss (especially between Sophie and Rain). Will you ever delve deeper in the drama/romance genres in the future or would you rather stick to paranormal stories?

I actually think I write better when my work has a mix in it. I don’t think I could do pure romance or pure drama. In terms of the series, the second novel has quite a lot of drama in it. I also delve deeper into Narain and Cassie's relationship (as well as featuring the story on how Sophie and Narain met). I also bring a lot of drama and romance in the third novel. So much of it hinges upon the character development. Especially as Narain regains a sense of himself after experiences in the first and second novels and this helps the relationship between he and Cassie. The fourth novel which is a sort of origin story of a character that makes his entrance in the second novel takes place in 1930 and involves gangsters. But it's possibly the most romantic book in the series. I kind of surprised myself in that.
But in terms of any project, I think I work best when I can incorporate a number of elements into the story. And then depending on the story you may go heavier on one thing over another but generally I like a mix. 'Cause life has a number of elements in it. As to sticking to paranormal, I've had ideas for nonparnormal stories. A couple of mysteries have come to mind as well as a historical novel. And I might try giving those a spin one day. But I find paranormal, fantasy, etc. a bit easier. I like a bit of the magical. The beauty of course with fantasy or paranormal stories is that you can still have drama, humor, romance, etc. You just have a little touch of fantasy. The best superhero stories for example give us a taste of the fantastic but are grounded in the sort of life experiences and motivations that everyone has.

14. With the varying emotions and themes (going from a brutal murder to Cassie and Narain dancing together) what is it that you most want readers to take from the story?

When I decided to write a vampire novel, I wanted to address vampirism as a life altering condition. In Vampires’ Most Wanted I write about legends and old folk tales and in a lot of those tales a person is normal one moment, then wakes up (however the vampirism is passed on) a vampire, usually through no fault of his own. One minute he's human, the next he's vampire, his life and probably his dreams changed forever. In the novels for the series, all the vampires deal differently with this condition that has so altered their lives. Jameson for example is very pragmatic about it (but then he has the money to ease the inconvenience of the condition). For Narain it was a bit more of a struggle to find his footing until he met Sophie. She was able to help him achieve a relative sense of normalcy. I didn't realize it until very recently but even though Sophie only appears in a few flashback conversations and some references, she's key to the plot because her death leaves Narain not only scrambling emotionally but he also has to figure out how to hold on to that sense of normalcy Sophie's sacrifice offered him for several decades. Even something like an attraction to Cassie is made difficult by the condition. With Sophie's death Narain finds himself again having to make adjustments to another life altering situation. So even though there is the fantastical element to the novel with it being about vampires and all, I hope people appreciate my attempt to consider the question, “What would it be like to have your life so drastically altered.” What would an average person thing? And in Narain’s situation, he’s had his life altered, found some sort of footing for several decades and is now thrown back to another confusing life altering event.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

Thanks for interviewing me. It was fun.
A few surprising things about me might be that I used to run a receiving dock, emptying 75 foot trucks on my own and processing freight. That kind of surprises me when I think about it. That was a lot of fun, especially in the morning when I would deliver the pallets of freight out to the floor then ride the pallet jacks like a scooter back to the stock room. If the pay had been better, I would have kept that job.
I can sing and play guitar and have written and recorded (on a personal 4-track) songs both serious and comedic (the latter as part of a group my friends and I made up called The Dead Punkheads. I joke that they won the 1988 Grammy for “best unrecorded album.” We did actually record a few Christmas albums that we gave away at parties we held).
My DVD collection would surprise people. It’s all over the map taste-wise. It includes Godzilla movies, Bollywood, Martial Arts, British Comedy, Old U.S. TV shows, Classic Hollywood, MST3K, and Superhero movies. Oh, and of course Vampires.

Find Laura Enright online via:

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

Blogspot

Official site

Monday, March 17, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Night Angel" by Lisa Kessler

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In Night Demon, the second novel of Lisa Kessler's Night Series, we saw one of her unforgettable characters, Colin Flynn, God of the South, lose his ability to fly as his spirit animal, a hawk, after the Night Demon destroyed the muscle in his arm.
Now Colin has returned to Belfast a bitter man. The hawk inside is begging to be set free and he can't get over his new disability.
He meets Juliana, a deaf girl with a gift for prophecy, and he thinks he can find the secret to overcoming his disability through her strength.
But an old enemy had returned and he could destroy Colin and Juliana's life together before it's even begun.

Night Angel is a very quick, very deep read. You don't have to bea fan of bloodsucking immortals with great bodies to enjoy this aside from her undeadly series.
Like Beg Me To Slay, Night Angel is a story with a deeper meaning, about overcoming one's disability to be the best person that he/she can possibly be.

Great story from a great writer. Longtime fans and new readers alike will sink their teeth into Night Angel!

4/5--excellent!

Purchase Night Angel via:

Amazon ($0.99 through 3/19!)

Goodreads

Smashwords

BOOK REVIEW: "To Touch The Sun" by Laura Enright

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In Laura Enright's novel To Touch The Sun (published by Dagda Publishing), she revisits some old vampire lore: how they were made in WWII (some people have said that before) and how some vamps just want to be human.

Narain left India to become a chef, getting to America by becoming a soldier. But when he's left to die in No Man's Land, he's turned into a vampire but had some differences: he's not feral and can move about in society. He can also drink blood without turning the host.
When his beloved companion Sophie passes away, he findsa new love, the scientist Cassie, but can she hurt him more than he thinks?

And when his old CO--now a bloodthirsty vamp himself--finds him and a killer feral named Boris starts slaughtering people in Narain's home of Chicago, things go from bad to worse.

Ms. Enright wrote a great book with a very emotional lead character. Her knowledge of WWII and India help in enriching the story but, ultimately, it's the emotional tear in Narain's psyche that makes this story so great.
Her talent is vast and can go from a brutal murder on one page and a romantic dance on the next.
For fans of old vampire stories like Dracula and Varney The Vampyre, here's something from this century that you can enjoy...a book where the vamps don't sparkle!

4/5--interesting!

Purchase To Touch The Sun via:

Goodreads

Amazon Kindle

Sunday, March 16, 2014

3/17/14 RELEASE DAY BLAST: "Night Angel" by Lisa Kessler

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Sometimes the only way to heal is to love...

When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker is not the protector he had once been. Although his flesh has healed, the scars hide a broken spirit.

Juliana Duffy is a survivor. She owns a florist shop and continues to play piano in spite of her deafness. Her prophetic dreams warn her of coming death and show her the faces of two men: one a customer and one a handsome stranger.

After hearing her music, Colin finds himself drawn to this woman who refuses to be defined by her injury. As an ancient enemy emerges and threatens her safety, Colin will need to learn Juliana's secret to overcome his wounds, and regain his strength.

But falling for a mortal could be the greatest risk of all...


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Saturday, March 15, 2014

MONTHLY MUSIC MADNESS: Eric Victorino

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Eric James Victorino is a true artist. He's a vocalist, a lyricist, an author, a poet and his art has been reprinted in magazines, on tshirts and hung in galleries.
He is a talented man whose work has touched so many people over the years.
I hope that my readers will peruse the article I've written and then try the various art forms Eric had created over the years.
I've seen him live twice and yearn for more. He is a fiery ball of passion with a voice that could carry throughout an arena.
He's also one of the kindest artists to his fans. He'll stand at the merch table or at his art exhibits for hours sometimes, signing autographs, taking photos and just talking with the fans.
He's sweet, talented and dedicated to his art. Here is a guide to his works for you to enjoy.

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Music Career (Strata):

He began his career in his Bay Area hometown in 2001 with the alternative band Downside. They later changed their name to Strata abs released 2 full length albums (Strata Presents the End of the World and Strata) on Wind-Up Records.
They disbanded after Eric left the band in 2008 to pursue a slightly different career path, which I will tell you about in a moment.
Strata toured with numerous bands in their 7 year career, released a few singles and videos (click here for their YouTube channel) and their unique brand of rock music is still relevant today.

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Purchase Strata Presents the End of the World via:

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iTunes

Google Play

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Purchase Strata via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play

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Music Career (The Limousines):

After Eric left Strata he decided to persue other musical aspirations and, along with musician Giovanni Giusti (left in the above photo), he formed the electronic outfit The Limousines.
Using the same amazing talent to write lyrics, fans immediately took to the new sound and the fanbase grew considerably.
They released their first album, Get Sharp, in 2010 and filmed two videos.
In 2013, they decided to leave their label and use crowd-funding site Kickstarter to make their new album, the dark and bombastic Hush.
They've toured with The Sounds and played the 2011 Sunset Strip Music Festival at the legendary Roxy Theatre.
Currently, Eric had stated that The Limousines are going to take a short hiatus from music to focus on the art forms I'm going to talk about below...

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Purchase Get Sharp via:

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iTunes

Google Play

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Purchase Hush via:

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play

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Writing Career:

Eric has written two books, Coma Therapy and Trading Shadows for Sunshine (remastered as Trading Sunshine for Shadows). The books consist of his poetry and cover a wide range of topics so that everyone can enjoy his thoughts.
He has a brilliant mind and it is evident when you read his work. The reader can tell that Eric isn't just a "rock star" who decided to publish books because he can. He is a natural poet and is currently working on his next book and has hinted of book tours!
You can purchase his books via his independent publishing website, Orchard City Books & Noise, by clicking here !

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Photo by @totallyGIO on Instsgram

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Photo by @megatanner on Instsgram

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Artistic Endeavors:

Along with his accomplishments in music and the publishing industry, Eric is a talented artist! Recently, his work was showcased at Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose, California. Photos from that gallery are above with the proper credits. Photos with no credit in this post were from Eric's Instagram account (I'll link you later) or Google.
His art is as unique as he, bearing truthful sentiments that touch the heart. Currently, he's working on his first mural in San Jose.
His artwork can be purchased at Orchard City here .

Find The Limousines online via:

Official site

Merch store

Twitter

YouTube

Facebook (LIKE page)

Instagram

Find Eric Victorino online via:

Orchard City Books and Noise

Twitter

Facebook (LIKE page)

Instagram

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nadine Keels on "Love Unfeigned" and "The Movement of Rings"!

A few months back, I interviewed author Nadine Keels on net novella The Movement of Crowns. Now, she's back on KSR talking about the sequel, The Movement of Rings, and her clean romance, Love Unfeigned.
Enjoy!

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1. Why did you decide to write more about the other side of the story in Rings?

For most of the decade+ that The Movement of Crowns was in my head, I didn't plan on making it a series, and the first book can indeed stand alone. Then on a spring afternoon in 2013, while I was arranging books on my shelf at home--(yes, folks, I still read paper and hardbacks!)--the thought of the "other side" of the Crowns story and a new protagonist came to me, pretty much all at once. That had never happened to me before with any of my books, and I knew I had to write a sequel, the first sequel I would ever write. This new side of the Crowns story came with a sense of risk for me. Not a bad risk, or even a frightening one, but still a step outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes we have unconscious veils in our minds, veils separating us from what we think we won't, can't, shouldn't, or don't deserve to know, discover, or understand. This may sound strange, but I had a feeling like that about the Mundayne empire. Princess Constance from Crowns had been to Munda, and I, the author, hadn't. I knew Constance had more knowledge about that country than I did, and I was initially content to let it remain so. However, when the "other side" of the story came to me, it was like a veil was lifting, like, "Wait a minute. I can know and understand the Mundayne people more, can't I? What will happen if I risk stepping over onto their soil?" After all, the "other side" of a story, of history, isn't the "other" side to the people who are there, living life on that side. So, out came The Movement of Rings.

2. Why is the holy year in Munda every 124 years? Does that have any particular significance?

The "24" represents the completion of a "day": the completion of an era or season. With that, I needed a cycle of years long enough so that not every Mundayne generation would see The Year of Donpoerh, to represent its rareness, its distinct value to the Mundayne people. Hence, the cycle is 124 years.

3. You write about a greedy king who loves his servant, Naona. Why did you choose to make her feelings for him as they were, when many others would've gone the opposite way?

The human heart is complex, oftentimes with care and concern, contempt and resentment, and a plethora of like and differing emotions and convictions all coexisting in a jumble. Naona is a woman who's been placed in a situation that would take a complex toll on any human being's heart, and my goal was to add some of that complexity to Naona's feelings, even in all that she says, and perhaps more importantly, what she doesn't say.

4. Will we ever hear about the futures of either Naona or Princess Constance?

Yes! In the final book of the Crowns series, The Movement of Kings.

5. Of all people Naona could've wanted to learn from, it was the apothecary. Why that profession?

There was something about seeing that little man scurrying across the imperial estate's grounds with a mysterious liquid bubbling in a bottle. Naona's had an eye for and a bent toward mischief for her whole life, and she wouldn't have been able to resist pestering the apothecary about his mystery bubbles. Where was he going with that bottle? Why was he in such a hurry? It was Naona's draw to the little man that drew her into his profession.

6. What was the inspiration behind Love Unfeigned?

On a major note, I was inspired by my conviction that imperfect people can, should, and do experience perfect love. On a minor note, I was driven by my years of longing to one day publish a book with a lot of RED on the cover, red being my favorite color for the passion it represents. For the first time, I designed a book cover before I had a story or plot to go along with it. I only had a title, ideas for the cover, and a desire to write about love. Once I finished designing the cover, the story began to take form, drawn from over twelve chronicled dreams, unrelated story bits with plots too incomplete to even be called "short stories," and little nuggets from my personal history. What I weaved together from all of that became Love Unfeigned.

7. Why amnesia? As a reader, it reminds me of a metaphor for love outlasting anything, and making trauma easier to handle. Is that how you meant it to convey to the readers?

Isaiah's and Lorraine's characters are based most heavily on characters in a story bit of mine called If You Remember, which places emphasis on the power and importance of remembering, and remembering on purpose--not necessarily because something forced you to forget, but because it's time to make the choice to recall. The journey of love is full of choices: the easy ones, the difficult ones, the ones we make without even thinking, the ones we ponder on for years before making a move. Love IS. It's everywhere, and in its purest sense, it never dies. Yet, even in that, Lorraine has to make choices concerning whether she's going to opt-in to what IS or not.

8. Have you written or do you plan to write about Lorraine and Isaiah's life together?

I haven't decided. I would be totally fine with letting Lorraine and Isaiah be, but if more about them calls to be told, and I hear the call, I'll write more.

9. From your posts I can tell church is a big part of your life. Is it that intense love of God that makes you instill it in your characters, and how do you think it comes across to people who might not believe that pick up your books?

I write what I know, and since I've known God ever since I can remember, He naturally ends up in my writing. Not everyone has the same beliefs, but I imagine that most people believe in something, making belief itself a universal theme. For instance, I don't believe in Santa Claus. I don't believe there's a man who really circles the globe on Christmas Eve, leaving presents for folks who celebrate Christmas, and I wouldn't teach my children to believe it, but I love movies like Miracle on 34th Street and The Santa Clause, when little Susan comes to believe Mr. Kringle is who he professed to be and Scott Calvin comes to believe in himself. I can get with that. Besides, when a story is good enough, I think people who aren't keen on all the story's themes or topics can still love the story. I tend not to enjoy stories with any "spooky" aspects to them, but I enjoyed every single page of Jane Eyre, one of my favorite novels. I can't think of a sport that bores me more than baseball, but I enjoyed every single minute of A League of Their Own.

10. The characters are very real. Do you, as their creator, ever wonder yourself about how they lived or what becomes of them after you've finished writing the book?

Oh, indeed. I do it with all of my fiction. I suppose this might have happened to the characters, or that might have happened, or what if this or that is happening to them right now? However, it's all just supposition. The only time my thoughts about what happened to my characters has turned into more than supposition was with my Crowns story, which accordingly became more than one book.

Find Nadine Keels online via:

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Love Unfeigned" by Nadine Keels

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Some of you might remember when, last year, I said in a review that the world needed more feel-good love stories and that that particular genre was often underrated.
If you cried reading The Notebook and Jane Eyre or bemoaned that Romeo & Juliet should've ended happier, you will gobble up Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels.

Telling the story of Lorraine and Isaiah, schoolmates a year apart who met in elementary school, Keels's novella about true love is a treat for the heart.
Told partly from a third person perspective and partly in Lorraine's own words, the reader learns about how she fell in love with Isaiah playing wall ball at recess and how their relationship progressed and declined through high school and their reunion after they have graduated college, but there's something holding Lorraine back, a mixture of things that were and weren't done in the past that make the reader's heart ache for her.

Some authors write from the head and that's great: I love imaginative stories. But few write from the heart and convey emotions so pure to the reader that it makes them feel as though they are one with the characters.
Keels' story doesn't need sex to make it a romance novel: all it needs is her expert pen guiding the words on the pageto our hearts. She writes with emotion and care, creating a story that week be treasured for years to come.

I loved this book. It brought tears to my eyes.

5/5--wonderfully heartfelt!

Purchase Love Unfeigned via:

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Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Monday, March 10, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "The Movement of Rings" by Nadine Keels

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In the sequel to Nadine Keels' novella The Movement of KingsThe Movement of Rings begins by showing the other side of the battle between Munda and Diachona, the side of the greedy King Aud and his maidservant, the feisty Naona.
After detailing what went on behind the scenes when Aud decided to attack Diachona, the story goes on to tell of the fate of Munda, the kingdom nite without a king or queen and no way to crown a brew one, because the Ring Of Will was secretly given to Naona by Aud before his murder.
Can Munda survive and gain back its integrity after civil wars and the forceful taking off land from other countries? And could the fate lie in the hands of a maidservant from the village?

As I said about its predecessor, Rings is a joy to read. It details the story of a strong young female lead and her moral decisions to save a kingdom, her home.
She has to have strength to refuse the love of her master, help a family wrought by tragedy and keep her head in situations that would emotionally cripple other women her age.
Another ditty to mention in this story is Naona's best friend, Fauri, who denies that she is miserable in the service of Aud and refuses to wear the makeup all women must.

I love reading Ms. Keels' work as it is never flowery or overdone. Nor is it overly sexed up or violent. The story is always inspiring, especially to young women who might be feeling oppressed or unable to make decisions for themselves.
Great work and a perfect continuation to Kings!

5/5--wonderful!


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Donald K. Chapman

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1. When/why did you decide to become an author?

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher suggested I enter a story I had written for a class assignment in a local writing contest run by the library. I was chosen as a winner for elementary fiction and thought I just might have a talent in this area. I continued to pursue it throughout middle and high schools and then attended the University of Evansville that, at the time, was one of only a few schools to offer the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. It's been a dream of mine to write novels and I've worked toward that since high school.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy today?

I read a lot of fantasy as a kid, from Tolkien to Eddings to McCaffrey. I also read a lot of Anne Rice; I love how full her writing feels. I've lately been working my way through Shakespeare's complete works and trying to take in as much as I can of his language and turns of phrase.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Blood And The Life?

I've been fascinated by vampires for a long time. Of all the "classic" horror monsters, the vampire is the most interesting to me. I was in the early stages of thinking about writing a vampire novel and wondered what would be the effect on a vampire if one drank from a human with a blood disease. This led me to the image of a vampire stalking Jesus (I was working for a church organization at the time) and wondering what would God's blood do to a vampire? Ultimately, instead of having the vampire stalking Jesus and drinking His blood, I decided the stalking of Jesus would be the beginning of the story instead of the end. It's an origin story for vampires and the classic European vampire myths, but as a backdrop to what Feranos is going through.

4. Why did you choose to include Catholic imagery instead of a less theological approach?

Vampires, at least in the classic European sense, and Christianity have long been connected. Feranos begins his life as a vampire at Calvary and so my vampires and Christianity are linked. Everyone also knows vampires (depending on the myth) recoil from the sight of a crucifix, but why? I decided to answer that question and since in the time periods of my novel the Catholic church was the only church in Christianity, that's the one I used. The stately rituals and history of the Catholic church also lend themselves well to a vampire coming into contact with it and discovering what it's all about. Vampires without the religious aspect are not as interesting to me; to have a creature such as Feranos thinking about his relationship with God and is he separated from God is another layer to explore.

5. What vampire novels do you, personally, enjoy?

Many of the classics. Bram Stoker's Dracula is fantastic. Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire is one I read in middle school that got me thinking about vampires as characters and not just creatures. I enjoyed Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.

6. Will you ever write another vampire-based novel in the future?

As of now, I don't have plans to write another one. Feranos' story is complete and I feel I've said what I wanted to say and dealt with the issues I wanted to deal with in "The Blood and the Life," but "ever" is a long time and I don't rule out revisiting Feranos' world or a new one.

7. You were born in Colorado, educated in Indiana and England, and currently reside in Colorado. Did your travels influence Feranos' travels in your novel?

Very much so. Having the opportunity in college to spend a semester abroad in England had a profound impact on me, widening my view of the world and giving me an appreciation of various cultures. I did a lot of traveling in that semester, so a bit of that wanderlust probably made its way into Feranos' character. In his travels, I tried to make what he was seeing and experiencing as real as possible, since seeing an ancient building or site is much different than reading about it or seeing pictures of it. Walking through an area where History happened makes one appreciate it much more than just reading about the area.

8. Is there any symbolism to Feranos seeing reincarnations of the same woman all his life that you didn't allude to directly in the book?

Probably. ;)

9. Is there anything you're currently working on that you can share with KSR?

I am currently working on a fantasy novel I've been working on in one way or another since high school. It's the story of a prince of an island country that has decided it doesn't want majyk who is suddenly banished from the island into the greater world that still has majyk and him having to face what he has been raised to dislike. I also have a historical romance I wrote during NaNoWriMo this past November waiting for me to revisit it after I finish the fantasy.

10. Would you like to see The Blood And The Life made into a film one day? If yes, who would you like to see portray your colorful characters?

I have mixed thoughts about that. One the one hand, there are some scenes I think would do very well in a movie and I would want to see brought to life on the big screen, but on the other hand I'm not confident the story would be handled correctly. I haven't given much thought to whom I would want as my characters. I would probably want unknown actors who can be seen as the characters rather than as actors portraying the characters.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

With a few novels under my belt, I would love to be able to devote all my time to writing. I have an image of sending the kids off to school and sitting down to work on my novels for most of the day, doing research another part of it, and focusing on writing.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

I'm really not sure. Writing has been a part of me for a long time and I can't see myself not being able to write; probably something creative.

13. Were you concerned at all that people would take your Biblical symbolism as blasphemy and get the correct view of your book?

Definitely. I worked hard during the writing to get the biblical aspects of the book right, as well as making it clear that I wasn't trying to change what is depicted in the Bible or say it didn't happen, but to use that as a starting point and to see those events from a different viewpoint. I consulted a former Catholic priest as well as a Baptist pastor (for different reasons, of course!) to make sure I had the details right. I wanted to make sure that whatever was being said about the Bible's events or Christianity were the characters' viewpoints and not my own.

14. Underneath the blood and religion, the love story between Feranos and Alina takes precedent and shows a softer side of a killer. Is that a theme you might want to explore in the future?

Love is what makes us who we are, so love stories are always included in what I write, whether it's a main theme or a minor one. The historical romance is one where that is a main part of the plot. Whether I return to writing about a killer, I can't say now, but the idea of a killer having that side of his personality makes for a more interesting character. I'm always looking for something in a character that takes him or her beyond being a "villain," let's say, and to a more fully-realized human (or non-human) being.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

The storyline and subject matter of The Blood and the Life may make it seem like I'm a dark person, but I'm really not that dark; I don't enjoy horror movies all that much. I'm a romantic, at heart. I can enjoy Godzilla movies as well as Shakespeare. Thank you for the opportunity of this interview!

Find Donald K. Chapman online via:

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Amazon

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Monday, March 3, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "The Blood And The Life" by Donald K. Chapman

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Donald K. Chapman's debut novel details the story of the first vampire on earth. Now, if you're a Twilight or The Vampire Diaries fan, don't expect to like this novel! If you like bloody, historical fiction that seem like Anne Rice and Bram Stoker had a love child, this is the book for you!

Feranos is a member of a secret brotherhood that lives in caves in a B.C.-era, and survive on, but just food and water, but on blood as well. But Feranos wants more: more power, more victims and more blood.
When he goes through a test, needing to bleed a woman who looks just like his former love, he fails. The brotherhood tortures and expels him. He wanders the world looking for a way to get stronger and best them when he hears about a Jesus of Nazareth who has amazing powers. He drinks of the Savior's blood and becomes immortal: a true vampire.
His life is good, until he meets Alinas in the Eastern European mountains...another lookalike for his lost love. Note he must decide, live with Alinas and watch her die as he lives forever, or turn her and curse her with his affliction?

This is a great novel that makes you want to keep reading. Its facts are spot-on and his take on the crucifixion of Christ is tastefully done, as opposed to coming off as blasphemous, as some authors depicting this type of story can seem.
Each character is well rounded and it says something about the quality of the author when I can actually root for sometime as evil as Feranos to find love and be happy. I'm usually a black-and-white type of reader: you have your heroes and your villains. This book crosses those lines and you, reader, won't notice it until you stop and find yourself thinking about Feranos in a good way.

Excellent work and The Blood And The Life doesn't read like a debut at all, but rather the work of a veteran.

4/5--great work!

Purchase The Blood And The Life via:

Official site (Home page includes links for Kindle, NOOK, iTunes and PDF.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Professor Ronald Probstein

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1. You're a scientist and professor. What made you decide to write a book?

I wrote the book because I thought the story of my father and the Depression era Times Square world
he lived in was colorful and interesting.

2. Were you a big reader when you were younger? If so, of whom were you a fan then? Whose work so you enjoy now?

Yes I was an avid reader as a boy and young man. I cannot use the word fan since I don't recall so many years later.
However, I do remember reading with interest Huxley and Steinbeck. Presently, I enjoy reading Elmore Leonard and Daniel Silva.

3. Why decide to wrote about your father as opposed to your own life in academia?

Because I thought my father's life and the Depression era Times Square world he lived and hustled in was colorful and entertaining.
My own life and career in academia was in some aspects interesting but hardly colorful and entertaining.

4. Do you have plans to write a book about your career in science?

I have no plans to write about my career in science.

5. When you were deciding your career, did you choose science or did science choose you?

I think you put your question very well since it was more that science chose me.

6. Many biographies have made successful films. Would you like to see Honest Sid on the big screen some day?

I have had many comments from readers that the book would make an excellent screenplay. In fact such a screenplay was written by a writer friend who read the book. However, it didn't go anywhere.

7. Do you think that you defied the odds by becoming successful even though you had a somewhat tumultuous childhood?

I don't think I defied the odds but like many others I just came along at the right time when physical science was king
following the atomic bomb development and use. 

8. What do you have to say to kidstoday who might be going through a difficult time at home; to motivate them?

I don't know since as I have written I didn't have a difficult time at home - rather the opposite. As a family we had a difficult time for lack of money.

9. Gambling is a serious addiction that oftentimes gets overlooked. So you think that readers will identify with your father's story?

I believe that anyone who has ever been a bettor at any level on games and horses will identify.

10. Where do you see your writing career in the next few years? Where do you hope to be?

I have thought of another book but am reluctant to proceed with it. If Honest Sid becomes a good seller
I will proceed, if not I won't. At this stage my hope for the next few years is to be counted among the living.

11. Your father had the opportunity to play for the New York Giants. Do you share that love of baseball with him even though, in your own words, you're not athletically inclined?

I absolutely do share the love of baseball and my father was the one who inculcated that love in me. I am a great Boston Red Sox fan.

12. Do you think that you might have ended up living a different life as an adult had your father beena different sort of man?

I cannot say with definitiveness but I don't think I would have. I emphasize again that things came about by chance and that 
is always a gamble.

13. I must ask: what wad it like interacting with Albert Einstein when you were younger?

My interactions with Einstein as a young professor at Princeton were as I wrote quite limited since I came to his house to present my work.
What was no nice was how pleasant he was to me in my short interactions.

14. Overall, what do you want readers to take from Honest Sid?

The story of life for a segment of New Yorkers in the Depression era.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview, Professor. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I don't really think I can. I'm not a surprising person. I think what surprises most readers who have asked me is that given my upbringing how did I become what I did. Unfortunately there is nothing I can say as to why because I believe chance and luck were the biggest factors. I am after all my father's son.

Find Ronald Probstein online via:

Twitter

Wikipedia

MIT Website

Twitter (alternate)

Facebook (LIKE page)

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "Honest Sid" by Ronald Probstein

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I'll be honest, I've never beena huge fan of biographies. I always figured that most of the longer ones are just things you can find on Wikipedia stretched into over 20k long words written for a big payday.
Not since I first picked up Frank McCourt's first memoir, Angela's Ashes, have I enjoyed a bio.
That finally changed.

Pubshelf writer Ronald Probstein wrote a bio about his father and how his father's lifestyle impacted his young life, titled Honest Sid.
In this book we learn about how it was in New York during the Depression when you had a parent who couldn't (or wouldn't) hold down whatever 9 to 5 he could; but instead worked in illegal horse betting, an occupation that, if you weren't arrested, you were always losing business.

He describes Sid's time playing second-string for the New York Giants, his time serving in WWI and, most touchingly of all, his devotion to his son, Ronald.

A lot of people can relate to a story like this,  especially todaywhen the economy is down the toilet and making ends meet seems like an impossibility. Living in a small, one room hotel or motel is still a very harsh reality for families.

This is a well-written memoir by a thoughtful and loving son. Mr. Probstein's intellect is apparent in every well-thought-out sentence. It's obvious how much he loved his father and his mother.
Rarely are you able to havea built-in novel and Mr. Probstein's young life was a story in itself. It's stories like his and the late Mr. McCourt's that make bios a truly wonderful genre to read.
We need more stories like these!

5/5--wonderful!

Purchase Honest Sid via:

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

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