Book Reviews

Review: Evasion by Becca Boucher

A zombie pandemic has already happened and left scars behind. In the meager life that is left behind, a new problem arises – drugs. The main character, Lizzy, never saw the signs her husband was involved until it was too late. As the story progresses it becomes clear much more is being created than meth & heroin – someone wants to recreate the pandemic.

I am obligated to give my usual warnings: strong language; drug addiction; and violence. Recommended for mature audiences.

I love the idea of a man-made, mind-eating bacteria and the use of drugs as a means of distribution. Bringing in elements of intrigue, government conspiracy, interwoven lies, kidnapping, and murders, all within a small town, makes this a fast-paced page-turner. There is a touch of romance that hits out-of-the-blue. It’s a nice touch, but happens a bit too fast considering all that is going on.

Overall, the characters are well-developed, but I was more intrigued by them rather than emotionally vested in their fight. I would have liked to have had a bit more of a look at Luca and Lizzy’s relationship before the pandemic to give me a little extra emotion about what was happening to them – perhaps a prologue of life before the war.

A recommended read for government conspiracy theorists. Although this book is technically about zombies, they have a rather short role on screen.

Four out of five stars!

The 'Write' Information

Hide a Book Day – September 18th

I’m sure you’ve heard of it before – celebrities hiding books in well-known places. This year is a bit different. Goodreads, for their tenth anniversary, is teaming up with The Book Fairies.

Don’t be surprised if you find a book or two on your way to work or at the park. Book Fairies will be hiding books in some unusual places to help promote reading and literacy. Pictures of Emma Watson hiding a few of her favourites are already making rounds on the internet.

This is an amazing event, but did you know you too can participate?

As a reader, I know first hand I always have excess books my shelves can’t handle. Rather than leaving them sitting in boxes this year, I plan on distributing a few around nearby towns for people to find. As an author, I’ll be adding a few of my own into the mix.

On the Book Fairies website, you can order book bags, bookmarks, stickers, buttons and ribbons to include with the books. It can add up fast, though. Authors can also offer their books to be hidden by others – an amazing idea. Other than the price, the other downside is you have to order them from the UK, making shipping time an issue. I’ve ordered mine.

If you want to participate and are out of time there are still a few options. Write a note on a sticky pad and attach to the inside cover, or, if you are the author, write a note directly in the book and sign it for an added special touch!

I’m looking forward to participating and hope to run into a few other fairies on September 18th. Thanks for reading, and see you next week for more of The Write Information.

For more information on The Book Fairies please visit http://ibelieveinbookfairies.com/

Articles

Winners in the Summer Indie Book Awards

Voting is all wrapped up for another year. The Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing has released their winner list. Congratulations to all the winners! Let’s see how my predictions did.

Anthology

Prediction: There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Winners:

  1. The Collective by Riley Edwards and Jonathan Edward Ondrashek
  2. Ghostly Writes by Plaisted Publishing House and Many Others
  3. Man Behind the Mask by Audrey Brice (Author), Stevie Kopas (Author), S. L. Mewse (Author), D M Slate (Author), Dawn Cano (Author), Debbie Dodds (Author), Michelle Garza (Author), Alice J. Black (Author), Melissa Larson (Author), Fox Emm (Author), Dani Brown (Author), Kasey Hill (Author), Delphine Quinn (Author), Kindra Sowder (Author), Carly Holmes (Author), Jaime Johnesee (Author), Lisa Lane (Author), Rose Garnett (Author), David Owain Hughes (Editor), Veronica Smith (Editor), Jonathan Edward Ondrashek (Editor), Linnea Quigley (Foreword)
Results: I missed the mark for the Anthology genre.

Biography

Prediction: There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Winners:

  1. Breaking the Glass Slipper by Sherry Rentschler
  2. The Puppet Master by Stephen E. Crockett
  3. From Cropduster to Airline Captain by LeRoy Brown
Results: No prediction was made

Children’s

Prediction: Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Winners:

  1. Dragon Lightning by Jenny Burke
  2. Giorgio and the Olive by J.L. Gonzalez
  3. A Home for Emy by Chris Turnbull
Results: I’m left asking… Where’s the Frog? My predictions rate a zero in the Children's category.

Contemporary

Prediction: We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Winners:

  1. An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco
  2. ICE – Knights of Silence by Amy Cecil
  3. Enigma of Life by Shandi Boyes
Results: ICE made the list.

Crime

Prediction: Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Winners:

  1. Take You Home by T.J. Spade
  2. Right to Silence by Lily Luchesi
  3. Blood Lust by Markie Madden
  4. Siren Song by Markie Madden
  5. Welcome to Central City by Adam C. Mitchell
Results: A fail in Crime!

Diversity

Prediction: I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Winners:

  1. Catch Me If I Fall by Kay Blake
  2. Freak by Erin Lee
  3. Her Name was Sam by Erin Lee
Results: Successful prediction

Dystopian  

Prediction: I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Winners:

  1. Untamed by Madeline Dyer
  2. Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick
  3. Operation Child by Jaci Wheeler
Results: Successful prediction

Erotica

Prediction: Pandora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Winners:

  1. Disgraceful by Dee Palmer
  2. Blurred Edges (Volume 2) by Kane Caldwell
  3. Waiting by R.M. Gauthier
Results: Failed prediction

Fantasy

Prediction: This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough though with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Winners:

  1. Hat Trick by Jeremy Croston
  2. Color of Evil by S K Wee
  3. The Council by Kayla Krantz
  4. Playing with Fire by Clare Meyers and Cris Meyers
Results: Failed prediction

Historical

Prediction: This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Winners:

  1. Letters Away by Elias Raven and Sharon Johnson
  2. A Nest of Hornets by Robert Krenzel
  3. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan
Results: Successful prediction

Horror

Prediction: Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Winners:

  1. Shadow Puppets by Carver Pike
  2. Odium IV by Claire C. Riley
  3. Dead Normal by D M Singh
Results: Failed prediction

Holiday

Prediction: Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Winners:

  1. Christmas Miracle in July by R.M. Gauthier
  2. Horny Santa by Ethan Radcliff
Results: I nailed the prediction in this category!

Humor

Prediction: This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Winners:

  1. Welcome to E. Mayberry by Chris Genovese
  2. Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me by Leia Star
  3. FaeTal by Becca Moree
Results: Prediction placed second

Mystery

Prediction: I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake-in the votes on this one.

Winners:

  1. Severed Heart by Kristy Ferguson
  2. Agents of Shadow by Richard Crofton
  3. Patriots Passing by Summer Prescott
Results: Prediction placed second.

New Adult

Prediction: I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Escape to Darkness by C.A. King
  2. Concealed by the Night by Michael James
  3. In Her Woods by Jaxson Kidman and London Casey
Results: Surprise - shock! Thank you!

Novella

Prediction: Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category for which one of my books is nominated. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated!

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Collecting Tears by C.A. King
  2. The Ghost in the Mirror by Faith Gibson
  3. Kiss of Vengeance by E.A. Copen
Results: Prediction placed 3rd. I’ll add some surprise and shock for my novella placing first. Thank you.

Paranormal

Prediction: This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Winners:

  1. Deceit Can be Deadly by Nicky Charles
  2. Night Orchid by L. Lombard
  3. My Champion by Alanea Alder
Results: Failed prediction

 Poetry  

Prediction: Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition. Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Winners:

  1. Love Letters Destroyed by Winter M. Balefire
  2. Inhale Love Exhale Poetry by Lo-arna Green
  3. Nova by Joanne Van Leerdam
Results: Failed prediction

Romance

Prediction: This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Winners:

  1. My Light by Echo Hart
  2. Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels
  3. Fit for a King by Susan Fisher-Davis
  4. Hart of Country by Kris Nacole
Results: 50-50

Science Fiction

Prediction: I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Winners:

  1. Riddle of the Gods by Lyra Shanti
  2. Starstruck by S.E. Anderson
  3. Zeeka Chronicles by Brenda Mohammed
Results: Successful prediction

Self-Help

Prediction: With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Winners:

  1. Victor or Victim by YM Zachery
  2. One Good Reason by Erin Lee
  3. The Lion and the Peacock: How I Conquered Anxiety by Jennifer Peacock-Smith
Results: All three did place well!

Short Story

Prediction: There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Winners:

  1. New Horizons by Joanne Van Leerdam
  2. Freeing his Dark Edges by Kane Caldwell
  3. When Leaves Fall by C.A. King
Results: No prediction made

Thriller

Prediction: I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Winners:

  1. Finding Forever by Amanda J. Evans
  2. Cain – Rage of Angels by Elias Raven
  3. A Tale of a Rough Diamond by P. J. Mann
Results: Prediction successful

Time Travel

Prediction: An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear-cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Winners:

  1. Booth by Jason Pellegrini
  2. Do You Realize? By Kevin A. Kuhn
  3. A Love Beyond Time by Bella Emy
Results: No prediction made

Young Adult

Prediction: Again, I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!

Winners:

  1. The Adventures of Nick and Billy by Michael Hoard
  2. 16 Myths by Aim Rivivar
  3. Fragmented by Madeline Dyer
Results: You decide!

Congratulations to all the authors both winning and nominated.

There is no exact science to predicting the results of a vote like this. In a fan-based award, it’s anyone’s game. Just being nominated is an achievement to celebrate. I’m following all of these authors and look forward to reading more from each over the next year!

Until next time, happy reading.

Articles

Things to Know About the New IT

I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. We all know the story, but not the surprises.

IT was the very first Stephen King novel I ever read. I was a teen at the time, and after finishing IT, I found myself led into a fairly long love affair with his other books, although none ever quite lived up to the first.

As a Tim Curry fan, the miniseries in 1990 combined two things I adored. Over the years, I watched it multiple times. It strayed from the book and I wasn’t a fan of the ending, but overall I found it as an acceptable from-book-to-screen transformation.

When they announced a new IT was coming to theatres I was elated. Even better, it carries the seal of approval from both Stephen King and Tim Curry. I made sure I was at the first showing available. I stayed away from articles and trailers hoping for that “WOW” factor that not knowing brings. In retrospect, I wish I had known a few things.

  1. IT was split into two parts. The movie which was just released follows the children in Derry only. I found it reminiscent of The Goonies.
  2. The adult half is not being released until 2019.
  3. There are Easter eggs. Make sure you watch closely to collect them all. Some I found quite amusing.
  4. Be prepared for a long movie. IT ended up being over two hours, plus the usual beginning advertisements.

My Personal Thoughts on the Movie

Strictly from a film standpoint, I agree with the critics – it is good. A few spots were a bit slow for me, but all-in-all it was an enjoyable flick. The child actors were great choices and spot-on. There are some great shock-value scenes, which I loved.

From a book standpoint, it is a different story. The movie deviates so far from the novel. I was disappointed. While I understand some of the reasons why it does, I can’t help but feel too much was missing.

I’m interested to see the direction in which part two goes.

The 'Write' Information

My Top Picks for the Summer Indie Book Awards

It is September and that means the polls are open for the Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing. Readers can vote in flocks for all of their favourites from September 1st to September 11th, 2017. This is the event’s second year and so far it looks like the growing pains it experienced in 2016 have been eliminated.

Full List of Books Nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards


It’s still early, but here are the categories and my personal picks for front-runners in each:

 

Anthology

There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Biography 

There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Children’s 

Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Contemporary

We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Crime 

Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Diversity 

I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Dystopian 

I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Erotica

PanDora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Fantasy 

This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough, though, with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Historical

This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Horror 

Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Holiday 

Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Humor 

This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Mystery 

I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake in the votes on this one.

New Adult 

I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Novella 

Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed In to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category one of my books is nominated in. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Paranormal

This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Poetry

Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition and Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Romance

This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Science Fiction 

I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Self-Help 

With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Short Story 

There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Thriller 

I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Time Travel 

An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Young Adult

Again I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!


Good luck to all the authors nominated. I can’t wait to find out the winners! Whether you agree or disagree with my picks, you can have your say by voting daily!

Until next time. Happy reading!


KEEP READING! ARTICLES ON BOOKS AND AUTHORS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE: 

Q&A: E.A. Comiskey
Q&A: Karen Glista
Q&A: Amanda J. Evans
Review: Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi
The 'Write' Information

The Art of Writing Short Stories

One might expect writing a short story to be an easy task in comparison to penning a full sized novel. The age old saying, ‘not everything is as it appears’ definitely applies here. The short story is actually one of the most difficult literary genres for an author to find success.

For all intents and purposes, the short story is a beast on its own. It isn’t a poem or novella or even a novelette. It isn’t meant to lead up to something bigger and should never be the first chapter of a book yet to come. When a reader picks it up they know it is self-contained and stand alone.

That doesn’t sound so hard, until you break down what needs to be incorporated:

  1. A complete plot, beginning to satisfying end.
  2. All loose ends need to be tied up. Readers shouldn’t be left with questions.
  3. Characters worth caring about. This is probably the most difficult part. Many times it is difficult to make readers connect with characters in larger works.
  4. The story needs to be thought-provoking.
  5. An infusion of emotion.

All of that needs to be accomplished in less than ten thousand words. That’s a task! Those who are successful find a way to infuse the emotions of their genre into a web of words that traps their audience for a short while, before releasing them back, ever so slightly changed.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring the world of short stories and their authors. I hope you’ll join mine on my latest literary adventure! Until next time, happy reading!

Interviews

Q&A: Cindy Tomamichel

Cindy Tomamichel is hanging out with me today!

She is a writer of action adventure novels, some with a touch of romance. The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Her first book Druid’s Portal: The First Journey– time travel romance in Roman Britain near Hadrian’s Wall has been published with Soul Mate publishing. She also has a number of short stories and poems published in various anthologies.

Check it out: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBLQ1G/?tag=geolinker-20

Her next book, Druid’s Portal: The Second Journey is in progress. An action adventure time travel with a touch of romance set in Roman Britain.

Book: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love – but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman hurts and abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain, and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves – Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out – for everyone.

A Druid’s Portal Excerpt was provided by the author to share with our readers. Let’s take a look inside the book:

Hugh held onto Janet as the windows banged open and a gale tore through the room, heavy with the scent of forest loam, oak leaves and thyme crushed underfoot. Above the man, a black shadow gathered, silver sparkles gleaming in its impossible depths. Janet shook off Hugh and edged closer, trying to convince herself the ceiling was only a few feet above the void.

The blackness slithered down in long tendrils, and as it reached the man’s hands, Janet leapt forward, catching hold of the pendant. Startled out of his chant, the man held the chain tight even as the dark void began to swallow him.

Janet staggered as the pendant was released. Hugh pulled her backwards as the man cursed them, the unknown words of power loaded with rage and venom. Through the fading blackness of the void, Janet glimpsed a horde of dark beasts, and felt the warmth of carrion breath. As the void faded into silver sparkles, the man’s curses became an incoherent roar of rage and anger, echoing into the distance.

And then there was nothing. The man had vanished.


It’s time to delve into the Q. & A.

This my favourite part. My Questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

 

Question: Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Answer: My hero, Trajan Aurelius is probably my favourite because he became a symbol of the Roman Empire and devotion to duty, but also a man dealing with some past pain.

 

Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.

Answer: He is from Italy, so has black curling hair with silver streaks, tanned and muscular from living outdoors and being a soldier in the Roman Empire. He is also scarred from previous battles. He is a deep thinker, widely read and has a sense of humour.

 

Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?

Answer: “To me, men!” Trajan roared. “Show these curs how to die like a Roman!”

“History may be just bones and ruins to you, but it is people, Janet. People loving, hurting, and dying.”

 

Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Answer: It is listed as time travel romance, but is also historical fantasy.

 

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?

Answer: There are some graphic fight scenes, and part of the theme of the book deals with domestic violence and its effects on the heroine, Janet.

 

Question: Do you have any upcoming events?

Answer: Druid’s Portal comes out in paperback in September. It can be preordered now.

 

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

Answer: I am working on the second in the trilogy, so The Second Journey.

 

Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc…)

Answer: Soul Mate Publishing have been great to work with, and I certainly recommend them. My cover won the cover of the month with Books & Benches in June, so a shoutout to the artist Melody Pond.

 

Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. (The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc.)

Answer: At the moment I am obsessed with Hadrian’s Wall, having done so much research for the setting of the books. So a walk along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland in the UK, in mid summer, perhaps with the sun rising and cutting through the mists in the valleys, listening to the distant baaing of sheep, and watching the sun light up the Wall.

 

Question: If the character from above were in that place what would they be doing?

Answer: In the second journey, I have just written a scene where Trajan and his son are talking about the past. Trajan points out the remains of the fort where he stood guard 2,000 years ago, and how the enemy often used a valley to try and attack the fort.

 

Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?

Answer: In the words of Marcus Aurelius, ‘Do not spend time arguing about what a good man is, be one.’

 

Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?

Answer: As a soldier, I think Trajan would donate to a returned veteran’s charity.


Thank you for your time. If you are looking for more information you can connect with this author online using the following links:

Contact Cindy on:

Website: www.cindytomamichel.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16194822.Cindy_Tomamichel

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author page: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel


Until next time, happy reading!

Uncategorized

Q&A: Dan Melson

Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer in his day job, Dan Melson lives in Southern California with The World’s Only Perfect Woman, daughters in training to take over the world, and two dachshunds.

Life in the Empire has finally settled down. The last of the ston rebels have taken amnesty, and re-joined civilization – or have they? A massive terrorist attack kills millions and the trail leads the investigator straight to a remote world with no known Imperial contact – a world known to its inhabitants as Earth.

My questions are all about Melson’s book: The Man From Empire (Rediscovery book 1 of 4). If you are looking for additional information about this author and his writing check out the following social media links:

Blog: http://www.danmelson.com/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Dan.Melson.Author/

Melson provided me with an excerpt to share with my readers.

Let’s take a look inside the book:

Twenty-three kilometers up, Osh Scimtar felt the explosion through his feet.

More ominously, he immediately realized that he was no longer feeling the full force of Sharanna’s acceleration. The building was falling.

Quick probes with his mental abilities and datalink told him all he needed to know about this disaster before it happened. Blue Gold Arcology held fifty-two million people at the peak of the primary business day, and its’ support columns had been severed and back up gravity generators destroyed by a series of cutter bombs at the base.

There was no time for anything but trying to save as many people as possible. He commanded all portals within the arcology to lock into emergency exodus mode – they would lock onto the destination chosen by the first person to enter them, and would refuse to accept any incoming traffic. Matos, his superior, beat him by less than a millionth of a second to flashing the emergency via all data channels.

Osh wasn’t concerned for his own safety. Like roughly a seventh of the Imperial population, he was capable of generating his own portals. The question was how many he would be able to save with himself.

Next question, what would happen to the mass of Blue Gold as it fell? Either of the destroyed systems would have had no difficulty keeping the Arcology up alone, but with broken supports and no gravity generators, the hull charge on the building wasn’t enough to keep it from falling – down or over. That hull charge was the real issue, as it was likely to cause irregular resistance as the massive arcology fell, imparting lateral force to the building as a whole. In short, the hull charge made it more likely the building would fall sideways, into the lesser arcologies surrounding it. The choice was to order the hull charge dissipated and hope it fell straight enough not to hit the smaller but still populous arcologies around it, or keep it on in order to buy perhaps an extra minute to escape with a practical certainty it would fall and hit at least one of its lesser brethren, more likely two or three.

Osh ran a quick mental simulation – the structural systems of arcologies were tough. It would take something more than bare mass to bring them down, but if Blue Gold Arcology still had its own hull charge when it hit a neighboring arcology, there was considerable doubt they’d maintain their integrity. He linked with Matos, his superior, who concurred in his estimate, and Matos ordered the hull charge dissipated. It wouldn’t make that much of a difference to those inside Blue Gold Arcology.

Already in the first four seconds, at least a million would have died as the lower floors pancaked, falling ever faster with the force of Sharanna’s acceleration. Ironically, the people at the top would have the longest fall, and therefore the greatest chance to find a way to save themselves. More than eight sixtieths of the imperial population were Guardians, and most of them would be able to rescue some non-operants as well – perhaps two or three each. Perhaps another five or six sixtieths might make it through a portal on time. Some few would be close enough to vehicles or spacecraft on the parking levels to get out. Isolated individuals might figure something out that enabled them to escape or be rescued, but already the lowest levels were crushed debris, and the levels above were crashing to ground with ever greater force. Osh estimated than probably eighteen million would die in the minute it would take for the collapse to complete itself – at the end, the top floors would be falling at supersonic speeds. Most of the non-operants were simply too far inside the building to have any hope of escape.

Osh, Matos, and all three of Osh’s Primus subordinates were among the Guardians – one of them, Fridalisa, was a known Fourth Order Guardian, and she had already created a portal for everyone in the government office to escape the fall, with a terminus in Leading Edge Arcology, too far away to be endangered by the fall of Blue Gold. Aided by Matos she was expanding it downwards as fast as she could – an escape column in one corner of a building several kilometers on a side. It wasn’t much, but it was what could be done. Matos and the Primuses had the situation in hand; that left Osh free to investigate.

He stretched his perception to the now crushed sublevels where the explosion had been. There was a fading Instance Portal not five steps from one of the blast centers. Where it led, he couldn’t tell, but it wasn’t the home Instance. There wasn’t much doubt; the ston terrorist who planted the bombs had fled through that portal. The time for action was now; in the next minute tracking down the exit Instance, let alone a precise destination, would be something that would take a specialist days at least to track down. Osh didn’t want to emerge right on top of his quarry, so he applied a small lateral – thirty ififths. He was confident he would be able to sort out the proper Personal Event Line from that distance. He reached his hand into his personal pocket for his main weapon, and projected himself through the portal.

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A.

This my favourite part. My Questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

 

Carol Ann: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Dan Melson: Space Opera. It has elements of action/adventure and coming of age story, but it’s a space opera.

 

Carol Ann: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?

Dan Melson: Two non-sexual adult situation scenes, including one with nudity

 

Carol Ann: What is your favourite Quote?

Dan Melson: “Don’t you have any adults on this planet?”

 

Carol Ann: What advice do you have for new writers?

Dan Melson: The same advice my dachshunds would have about most things: Persistence will get you there. Don’t expect to succeed immediately. I’ve been writing for forty years. Some of it, I’m really glad it wasn’t published. But everything you write will help you. The difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried. I’m not claiming to be anything like a master, but it’s the failures that helped me learn.

 

Carol Ann: Where do you write?

Dan Melson: By preference, at my desktop at home. I really appreciate having a good keyboard and a good trackball and a broadband connection for research on the fly. But I can write on my laptop any time I have half an hour to work with.

 

Carol Ann: Are your characters real to you? Do you speak to them?

Let me illustrate: In pretty much all of my stories, the characters – not me – have had better ideas that have changed my pre-planned plot significantly, making it better.

 

Carol Ann: What piece of advice from other authors do you hear the most but choose to ignore?

Dan Melson: Follow the market. The money is in traditional publishing.

 

Carol Ann: Which do you prefer – Novels or Novellas and why?

Dan Melson: Evidence says novels. Every one of my stories has been over 60,000 words. The characters think things through. They make plans in response to events, and sometimes the adversaries do smart things too. You can’t gloss the thought process of the characters coming up with something better. Not and have it be an actual thought process.

 

Carol Ann: Are there any Easter eggs in your book(s)?

Dan Melson: General pop culture references, yes. Teasing other story lines from other works, which is what I consider to be Easter Eggs, I try to avoid except where necessary. They’re cool, but they can also alienate someone who’s giving you a try for the first time.

 

Carol Ann: What’s your favourite food? Have you ever mentioned it in your book(s)?

Dan Melson: Barbecued tri-tip roast, red-rare in the center. At one point, it’s mentioned as being contributed to a potluck, but it’s not the favorite food of any of my characters. Just a convenient thing to use in that particular example.

 

Carol Ann: Do you have a writing Motto?

Dan Melson: The readers can forgive anything but boredom. That said, the best stories are worked into a framework of the way things actually work. Do your research, get your facts right. If you have to distort something from the way it actually works, it will also distort the story. Figure out a story that works with reality as best you can picture it.

 

Carol Ann: If you could change the date to any year past or future, what date would you change it to and why?

Dan Melson: I have an almost boundless confidence in the ability of humans as individuals to adapt and overcome and make things better. If I could change the date, I’d go forward as far as possible. Yes, I’d have to learn everything all over again, completely start over as far as every skill I possess. But I’m as confident as I can be that it would be worth the effort.


Thank you for your time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Q. & A. Session. I’ve already picked up a copy of The Man From Empire. Watch for my review coming soon. If you are looking for a copy, follow the links!

Kindle page: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Empire-Rediscovery-Book-ebook/dp/B00FDLKNXU

Paperback page: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Empire-Rediscovery-Dan-Melson/dp/1493682822

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Melson/e/B00FSDT1MC

Articles

5 Books to Read Before Summer Ends

It’s mid-August and the lazy days of summer are coming to an end. It’s not too late to reach your reading goal for the season. These are short and easy reads you won’t want to miss out on and can finish.

Coin-Op Carter by Sean Benham

At a mere 20 pages, this is the perfect read to squeeze in over a lunch or before bed. Benham has a talent for short stories. In this Was justice served? tale, a homeless man obsessed with quarters has a run in with a bad cop.

https://www.amazon.com/Coin-Op-Carter-Sean-Benham-ebook/dp/B072N3PLML

A Doctor to Dragons by Scott G. Huggins

One of my favourite reads of the year comes in at 51 pages. This tale would be a great family read by the campfire or on a rainy afternoon. Huggins answers the question, where do mythical creatures go when they are sick? The story revolves around saving a Dark Lord’s pet dragon who has armour stuck in its intestine.

https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Dragons-G-Scott-Huggins-ebook/dp/B0713QBG3C

Liquid Gambit by Bonnie Milani

This Sci-Fi piece weighs in at 53 pages. A tale of life on a space station, where slaves and justice are both for sale. This story revolves around one particular bar owned by a lupin (wolf man). He is used to seeing injustice, but this time he can’t turn a blind eye.

https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Gambit-Bonnie-Milani-ebook/dp/B016JH06VK

Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows by Stan Faryna

LITRPG  is a hot genre right now and this novella fits in nicely. It’s a little longer than my other choices listed at 124 pages, but it is worth the time. Faryna writes a thought provoking tale about human nature that will send chills down your spine.

https://www.amazon.com/Francesco-Augustine-Bernadone-Tomorrows-Bucharest-ebook/dp/B071S75DWB

Herbal Lore by K.J. Simmill

My final choice isn’t about book size, but rather more due to the time of year. It’s harvest time for many fresh herbs and this is one of the most complete and helpful guides to their uses I have found. Whether for medicine or magic, readers will find easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. A handy reference book to have around.

https://www.amazon.com/Herbal-Lore-Guide-Medicine-ebook/dp/B012TKXW6C

Thanks for joining me. Until next time, happy reading.

Interviews

Q&A: Daryl J. Ball

I love it when a new author is born and I can help others discover them! Today, I’m chatting with Daryl J. Ball about his debut novel The Tannis Project which was released June 22, 2017.

Being a nearly 200-year-old vampire comes with a lot of experience…and a lot of baggage.

In his weekly blog, Tannis reflects on the experiences and people that have shaped his life, as well as his budding romance with single mother, Kayla. Adaptation ensures survival but offers little insight on falling in love with a human. Kayla accepts him and his struggles, but can he do the same? Her teenage son, Tie, is a challenge all on his own. He may not be ready for a new father, especially one who’s a vampire.

For the first time in his life, Tannis struggles to adapt. Do the rewards outweigh the risks? Having his own family seems like a dream come true, but dreams can just as easily become nightmares.

I asked Daryl to share a bit about himself and here’s what he had to say:

Born in Ontario, Canada in 1977, Daryl J Ball has spent many of his years with one feline pal or another.  He developed a love for reading at a young age especially in regards to Science Fiction and Fantasy.

You can subscribe to his newsletter at http://eepurl.com/cPzqqr

We’ve been provided a short excerpt to share with our readers.

Let’s take a look inside the book:

When I was born, my parents gave me the fascinating name  of  Ignace. I  say fascinating  because of its’ meaning which is that it suggests I am innocent. There is nothing wrong with the name and I used it proudly for many years. I made the mistake not long ago of revealing that name to Kayla, and she on occasion uses it when she is trying to be sweet and loving, as she feels it should register on a different level with me when I hear it; one of loving familiarity. The truth is, it’s a name that is a part of my past and if it makes Kayla feel good to know it and use it in private when talking to me then that is fine. It is not the name I go by these days nor have I gone by it in quite some time.

How long, maybe you wonder? Even after I was turned in Algeria I clung to that name—the last truly mortal part of my life, a reminder of what I had been, and so an anchor to the world I could never really be part of any longer, the family I could never really properly connect with again.

The Tannis Project is available on Amazon at http://lrd.to/tannis-project

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A.

This my favourite part. My Questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

Question: Who is your favourite character in your book and why?  

Answer: Jeremiah simply because he’s so different from the rest of them as far as personality. He seems to be the vampire who comes closest to living in the everyday world as far as his awareness of things going on around him.

Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.

Answer: a) Jeremiah has spent decades being equal parts heavily involved in music and being a part of vampire activities alongside his sire, so he tends to be fairly lean yet well-muscled and has cultivated a slight rockstar-type approach to how he dresses.  That said he keeps his hair as short as he can without shaving it.
b) He’s very outgoing and of all the vampires has probably the strongest connection to his emotions which makes him very different in his outlook. Like the others, he thinks pretty highly of himself but it seems to affect his interactions with other people the least.  

Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?

Answer: Due to the nature of the book being written in blog entry format, there is almost no dialogue.  That said though, Jeremiah does at one point get to state to the reader his opinion of his sire, Tannis, and a few others:

“Tannis: Thinks too much, getting senile.  Destined to die at my hand.”

“Tie: Blinder than a bat wearing sunglasses when it comes to reality”

“Eamon: No clue, Irish maybe?”

“Imeda: Cad, the cadaver-maker, obsessive, vengeance-driven werewolf on steroids.”

Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Answer: Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy/Vampire

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?

Answer: There are several different forms of assault that take place.  Mostly bear in mind it’s a book told through the eyes of a vampire, there’s going to be some less than pleasing stuff mentioned in passing.

Question: Do you have any upcoming events?

Answer: I’m still in the planning stages, so nothing scheduled.  Alongside several other authors though I’ll be selling at the Mill Race Folk Festival in Cambridge, Ontario the weekend of August 4-6

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

Answer: I’m currently working on the first round of revisions to the first book in a planned fantasy series.  It primarily involves elves, humans, the idea of family, and a need for closure.  The current plan is to release it early in 2018.

Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc…)

Answer: Lia Rees (Free Your Words), Ravyn Crescent (Nevermore Editing), and Anika Willmanns (Ravenborn Cover Designs)- they formatted, edited, and designed the cover respectively.  They took The Tannis Project and helped me bring it to life in ways I could never have initially imagined.

Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. (The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc.)

Answer: Anywhere? I don’t know where such a place might exist but if there’s somewhere where it’s not near the Arctic or ridiculously hot, and is free of buzzing insects (this includes flies – the buzz!) I’d like to go there.  I used to love the outdoors but I don’t spend enough time in it anymore due to either heat, buzzing insects or a combination of the two.

Question: If the character from above were in that place what would they be doing?

Answer: Jeremiah would be drinking it all in and writing songs inspired by his surroundings.  He’d likely then try to get a concert organized there.

Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she/they say?

Answer: Jeremiah would say something along the lines of “Why are you trusting anything Tannis says? He is a deplorable person! Are you aware of the horrific things he’s done??”

Question:  If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?  

Answer: Jeremiah would donate to causes more than charities, and as far as causes go, it’d be ones that support those in the LGBT community, wherever in the world they may be.  If we were to be talking about Tannis, who is the primary character in the book, he’d support literacy and education in countries where it is most needed.


Thank you for your time. If you are looking for more information you can connect with this author online using the following links:

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DarylBallTM

Until next time, happy reading!