Monday, September 1, 2014

Straight Browsing from the Library - Stan Schatt


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stan will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.

READ AN EXCERPT

“Duh. Of course I am, but I’m also the one who tripped you. Give me some credit for that. I think it’s like a hundred years of bad karma if you let the person you’re protecting get killed.”

“You’re protecting me? How come you didn’t keep me from being shot?”

“Give me a break. I told you that I’m new to this. The bullet only nicked your butt; so don’t make a federal case out of it. If I hadn’t tripped you, you’d be paralyzed. You should be grateful to me.”

Josh felt a cold shiver run up his spine.

“Then you’re dead?”

“We don’t refer to it that way. We like to say that we’ve moved to another plane.”

“How come I can see you?”

Andy smiled thinly.

“You Harrells have a gift. Everyone has a guardian angel, but only certain people can see us. It’s easier in a way for us if you can’t see us.”

“You’ll keep anything bad from happening to me?”

“There’s such a thing as free will, my dear. I can only help you so much.

If it’s your time, then it’s lights out. Now that you’re thirty, things are going to get a lot harder.”

“What do you mean?”

Josh had a sinking feeling in his stomach, and it wasn’t the alcohol.

“A lot of things are going to change for you now. As I said, you Harrells are gifted, although some of your relatives thought of it as a curse.”

“I don’t believe this. You mean my father really did see someone? He wasn’t crazy?”

“Of course he saw someone. I hope you don’t throw your full glass of whiskey at me the way he threw his at his guardian.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“You’re asking too many questions. Just take my word that everything’s relative, including time.”

“What do you want?”

About the Author:
Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co- author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.

He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.

http://www.pen-l.com/SilentPartner.html</ a>
http://www.stanschatt.com
http://www.twitter.com/stanschatt

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Straight Browsing from the Library - H. Peter Alesso


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host between this tour and the Review Tour, here.

READ THE BLURB

In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

READ AN EXCERPT

Gallant ran—gasping for breath, heart pounding; the echo of his footsteps reverberated behind him.

He hoped to reach the bridge, but hope is a fragile thing.

Peering over his shoulder into the dark, he tripped on a protruding jagged beam, one of the ship’s many battle scars. As he crashed to the deck, the final glow of emergency lights sputtered out leaving only the pitch black of power failure—his failure.

He lay still and listened to the ship’s cries of pain; the incessant wheezing of atmosphere bleeding from the many tiny hull fissures, the repetitious groaning of metal from straining structures, and the crackling of electrical wires sparking against panels.

Thoughts flashed past him.

How long will the oxygen last?

He was reluctant to guess.

Where are they?

The clamor of dogged footsteps drew closer even as he rasped for another breath. Trembling from exhaustion, he clawed at the bulkhead to pull himself up. His hemorrhaging leg made even standing brutally painful.

Nevertheless, he ran.

The bulkhead panels and compartment hatches were indistinguishable in the dimness. Vague phantoms lurked nearby even while his eyes adjusted to whatever glowing plasma blast embers flickered from the hull.

As he twisted around a corner, he crashed his shoulder into a bulkhead. The impact knocked him back and spun him around. Reaching out with a bloody hand, he grasped the hatch handle leading into the Operation’s compartment. Going through the hatch, he pulled it shut behind him.

He started to run, then awkwardly fought his own momentum and stopped.

Stupid! Stupid!

Going back to the hatch, he hit the security locking mechanism.

It wouldn’t stop a plasma blast, but it might slow them down, he thought. At least this compartment is airtight.

Finally able to take a deep breath, he tried to clear his head of bombarding sensations. He should’ve been in battle armor, but he’d stayed too long in engineering trying to maintain power while the hull had been breached and the ship boarded.

Now his uniform was scorched, revealing the plasma burns of seared flesh from his left shoulder down across his back to his right thigh. He had no idea where the rest of the crew was; many were probably dead. His comm pin was mute and the ship’s AI wasn’t responding. He had only a handgun, but, so far, he didn’t think they were tracking him specifically, merely penetrating into the ship to gain control.

Gallant tried to run once more, but his legs were unwilling. Leaning against the bulkhead, like a dead weight, he slid slowly down to the deck.

Unable to go farther, he sat dripping blood and trembling as the potent grip of shock grabbed hold. The harrowing pain of his burnt flesh, swept over him.

Hope and fear alike abandoned him, leaving only an undeniable truth; without immediate medical treatment, he wouldn’t survive.

I’m done.

Closing his eyes, he fought against the pain and the black vertigo of despair. He took a deep breath and called upon the last of his inner resolve and resilience . . . No! I won’t give up.

Exhaling and opening his eyes, he caught sight of a nearly invisible luminescent glow of a Red Cross symbol, offering him a glimmer of hope. He stretched his arm toward the cabinet.

“Argh.”

He heard a cry of agony and only belatedly realized it had escaped his own lips as he strained to pull away twisted metal from the door to a medical cabinet. Reaching inside, he grabbed a damaged medi-pack.

MEET THE AUTHOR

As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books. You can visit his Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

Author Social Media:

Author Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lieutenant-Henry-Gallant-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00MOLJ4Y6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407955491&sr=1-1
Goodreads Address: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/413852.H_Peter_Alesso
Midshipman Henry Gallant Facebook for Henry Gallant Saga: https://www.facebook.com/MidshipmanHenryGallantInSpace
Author Blog Address: http://cosmologysymmetrybreaking.blogspot.com/
Amazon link for Volume 1 of the Henry Gallant Saga: http://www.amazon.com/Midshipman
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MOLJ4Y6
Apple - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lieutenant-henry-gallant/id912251673?mt=11
Barnes&Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lieutenant-henry-gallant-h-peter-alesso/1120206324?ean=2940046123388
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469510
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22914214-lieutenant-henry-gallant

Book Reviews for Volume 1:

Past Reviews of the first volume: Midshipman Henry Galant @2013

"The author has created a wonderful piece of work with his first novel in the Henry Gallant Saga. Between Henry Gallant beginning his new life on the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse and trying to save the world the author has came up with it all. Henry Gallant is an admirable character with many wonderful features such as courage, intelligence, humility, kindness and special powers. ... the odds stacked against him pretty high. But maybe through it all, Kelsey will see the remarkable things about him." Ashley Patts, Teenage Rush teenagerush.blogspot.com

"This story moves along at a swift pace, with interesting character development and plot surprises. The characters are complete and engaging. This could develop into a good series." Rae

"Its style and flavor reminded me of The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell." - JJH

"Space Opera at its finest. Rousing read, introverted young man against impossible odds, a girl to win or lose, an enemy or is he? Way too much fun...can't wait for the next one." - vrzepka

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Straight Reading from the Library - Michael John Grist


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding an autographed print copy of Ignifer's Rise to a randomly drawn winner.

READ THE BLURB

The fate of the world is written in scars. In a bleak industrial city where marks in skin are a sentence to death, Sen is a child condemned. Cursed with mysterious scars carved by his own mother's hand, he leads a fearful hidden life in the city's last abbey.

Then the King's brutal Adjunc attack, and Sen barely escapes with his life. Lost and alone in the city's dark hinterlands, he begins an exhilarating race to find the truth behind his scars. In stinking black sewers and the lava-buried ruins of an ancient civilization, he uncovers a truth far stranger than he ever imagined, laid out by his long-dead mother: an apocalypse god is rising, and only the legendary hero Saint Ignifer can stop it.

But Saint Ignifer is dead.

Revolution rocks the city. The blood of all castes runs in the streets. With a storm of new faith raging out from the barricades, Sen must embrace the terrible fate his mother wrote in his scars- in the volcano's caldera, at the end of the world- before the black jaws of the apocalypse descend. For the Rot is coming, and the Saint must rise.

READ THE REVIEW

Ignifer's Rise is a wonderful introduction to a new world... a world composed of many different castes. There is a lot of conflict between the castes and a mystery surrounding Sen and his mother.

There are many characters and, in many books, the sheer number of characters make the story hard to follow. However, Mr. Grist's characters are fully realized to the extent that there's no confusion between them. The main character, however, is Sen and his interactions with the other characters as he searches for the truth.

Sen's journey takes him on a quest not only to discover the meanings of his scars, but the truth behind the legends and the prophecy. The action kept this reader glued to the pages. There was some laughter, there were some tears, and at the end, there was a desire to read the next book in the series.

Well done, Mr. Grist... 4 stars.

READ AN EXCERPT

Sen bolted into action.

His shoulder took the Spindle in the gut before he even knew he was moving. It drove a grunt from the taller boy and knocked him from his feet, sending them both tumbling across the dry spring grass. More images sparked through Sen's mind, hands stretching through a fence that were his father's hands, but not, a long and shameful walk led by bloodless Molemen, an overwhelming anger rising up.

Sen fought the images back even as he scrabbled in the grass, reaching instinctively for the weapon. He'd never fought before, but while the Spindle wheezed from the blow he managed to grasp the hard metal tool, wet with blood, and pried it away with both hands. Then the Spindle's elbow found the back of his head.

It drove Sen face-first into the grass, head spinning. He felt the weapon snatched back out of his hand and rolled away, expecting another blow to fall, but none came. Looking up he saw the Spindle running away back down the path for the gates.

Sen lurched up, catching a glimpse of Sister Henderson closing in. There was no time. He started after the Spindle at a ragged sprint, down through the trail of white chalk dust the boy had left. His vision was blurry from the blow to the head, the world was turning, and his mind reeled from the strange images and anger, but he could still just pick the taller boy out. He was nearly at the gate, and all Sen wanted to do was hurt him. He pumped his elbows hard, thumped his feet down on the chalk, and reached the gates just as the Spindle was about to straddle the top.

He leapt, snagged the boy's ankle with one hand, and wrenched him off the metal. The boy windmilled down with a thud into the chalk, and Sen threw himself on top, batting away the Spindle's efforts to lash out, throwing his own wild fists at the boy's long thin face.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Michael John Grist is a 34-year old British writer and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He writes dark and surreal science fiction and fantasy, inspired by authors such as David Gemmell and Orson Scott Card.

In his free time he explores and photographs abandoned places around the world, such as ruined theme parks, military bases, underground bunkers, and ghost towns. These explores have drawn millions of visitors to his website: michaeljohngrist.com, and often provide inspiration for his fiction.

You can buy Ignifer's Rise here on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Ignifers-Rise-Ignifer-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00J3IZKPU
uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Saint-Ignifers-Rise-Ignifer-Cycle-ebook/dp/
Sign up for his releases newsletter here: http://michaeljohngrist.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe/
And, friend him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/mjgwrites
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Straight Reading from the Library: Up the Tower by JP Lantern

The Library loves YA Fantasy, so we were thrilled to be able to take part in this review tour scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. One reader will win a $25 Amazon gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE BLURB


Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.

READ THE REVIEW


UP THE TOWER is not your "normal" YA distopian. This is an ensemble cast that includes a wide variety of characters. There is also a historian who bookends the narrative and who periodically explains some of the background and the "history" behind this event. The book reads like a documentary interspersed with vignettes of the real action.

JP Lantern takes us so a dark place--there's not a lot of redeeming qualities to the setting. People strive to achieve citizenship where they receive free healthcare, government benefits, etc. But, the best situation would be to be a shareholder in one of the major megacorporations that run everything.

My favorite characters are Samson and Partner--although the stories of all the characters are interesting.

UP THE TOWER is not a "feel good" book nor is it a book of fast-paced action. Even though it's relatively short (less than 200 pages) there's a lot packed into those pages.  Pick it up when you have some time to read it carefully and digest the story the author has to offer.

4 stars.
READ AN EXCERPT


“This kid comes in, okay? Starts doing all this stuff with Wallop's tech fists. Powering them up and such. You know, they can bend steel, they can punch a man so far a distance, all of that. At first, I think the kid's pretty young, but then I see his eyes—they're old enough. I seen his eyes, they're about my age, those eyes. And it’s important, okay, how old he is. Because this kid? He looks a hell of a lot like me.”

“So what? Lots of kids look like you.”

“Yeah. So do Georgeson. So do Jonesboy. So do Figueroa.”

“What are you saying?”

“I'm saying…” he palmed the side of his head. “I’m saying, it ain’t no secret that you got yourself a certain type of person that you pick up. A type of boy. I sort of thought I knew why. Last night I found out for certain.”

Konnor was right. Ore was angry.

“The hell are you saying to me? Just say it.”

“You said you had a brother. His name was Samson. He was good with tech, you said. Well this kid? The one tailoring Wallop's new fists? Samson. That's what Wallop called him. ‘Samson, touch here.’ ‘Samson, look at that, is that right.’”

Ore didn't say anything.

“He's alive. Your brother. In The Tower. He’s maybe been alive this whole time.”

Silence, then. Even the eyebots outside seemed to get quiet.

That goddamn Wallop. Her job, her Haulers, and her eye. Now he had her brother, or near enough. Everything. Would he take everything from her?

Konnor stood up and headed to the door. The shack squeaked beneath him.

“If it was any other sort of job…if it was a job that maybe wouldn’t have gone against the Faces…”

“Shut up, Konnor. It’s all against the Faces. It’s under ‘em or it’s with ‘em. You know that.”

“All right. All right.” He opened the door. An argument had started down the street; someone lit a fire in a barrel on the balcony above her shack; an eyebot stopped, scanned the two, and then zipped away. “It’s a hell of a plan, though, Ore. A hell of a plan. And maybe I won’t get around to telling Wallop what’s what for a little while.”

MEET THE AUTHOR


J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171112.J_P_Lantern
Blog/website: http://jplantern.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JpLanternBooks
twitter: @jplantern

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


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Straight Chatting from the Library - Michael John Grist


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding an autographed print copy of Ignifer's Rise to a randomly drawn winner.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Scarred boy, hunted by monsters, must unite castes and save-
Sorry, ran out of words :(

Do you have any bad book habits?

Dog-earing instead of using a bookmark. Actually, with a few books that I re-read multiple times over the years, it's always really funny when I come upon a past dogear, and find myself folding it back down. How funny, that me in the past, with mostly the same brain as me but thoughts that must be a little different, was reading this same story, and choosing to stop at this same place. A kind of time travel, peering into the past. Or into the future?

Also taking books into the bath. I never dropped one, but the steam makes them swell. However, neither of these is a problem any more, because ebooks! And I have a waterproof case for my reader (an iphone).

One book at a time or multiples?

I don't like to do two things at once, so just one. Likewise if I have study I have to do (I'm on an intensive study course right now) I can't write until I get it cleared away. Then, as long as I have about a month or two fairly clear, I'll pick up my computer and write a book. So yeah, one book at a time for both writing and reading. And less study...

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

I do believe I pre-answered this one, excuse me.

Least favorite book you've read this year?

Easy, Blake Crouch, his book is called Run. It's been really popular. It's a story about a family that has to run away from gangs of people who are hunting them down. I just found it dull and repetitive. I put it down halfway, after already thinking I should have put it down quarter of the way. Sorry Blake. But he doesn't need me, obviously his book hits the mark with plenty of people.

Favorite book you've read this year?

Also easy, The Martian by Andy Weir. they're making it into a movie, I hear. Great science fiction tale of a guy that gets stranded on Mars, and how/if he survives. Most of the book is made up of fascinating calculations about how to make oxygen, food, water, from the bare materials he has left over. It's a series of short, sharp problems being solved, in a fascinating setting, and it just gripped me.

When do you do most of your reading?

Probably on the train these days, while commuting. Ereader apps are a brilliant thing.

Favorite place to read?

Probably lying in bed in the morning or the evening, tired through from a good day, and it's raining outside so feeling no pressure at all to go out. Even a storm would be better. Dive into a book, yeah.

Favorite genre?

It used to be fantasy, but these days it tends to be science fiction. I'm not sure if that's where the interesting ideas are now, but perhaps. I haven't read a Tolkien-ish fantasy for years. I still read some weird fantasy, some dark, most stuff except elves and dwarves.

How do you keep your books organized?

I didn't have a lot of shelf space in my apartment in Tokyo (I'm now in London, where I probably won't have too much space either), so I catalogued by how much I liked my books. My favorites got to be in the most visible spots, and near me. the ones I didn't care about got relegated to the hidden bookshelf in the corner half-blocked by the TV.

READ THE BLURB

The fate of the world is written in scars. In a bleak industrial city where marks in skin are a sentence to death, Sen is a child condemned. Cursed with mysterious scars carved by his own mother's hand, he leads a fearful hidden life in the city's last abbey.

Then the King's brutal Adjunc attack, and Sen barely escapes with his life. Lost and alone in the city's dark hinterlands, he begins an exhilarating race to find the truth behind his scars. In stinking black sewers and the lava-buried ruins of an ancient civilization, he uncovers a truth far stranger than he ever imagined, laid out by his long-dead mother: an apocalypse god is rising, and only the legendary hero Saint Ignifer can stop it.

But Saint Ignifer is dead.

Revolution rocks the city. The blood of all castes runs in the streets. With a storm of new faith raging out from the barricades, Sen must embrace the terrible fate his mother wrote in his scars- in the volcano's caldera, at the end of the world- before the black jaws of the apocalypse descend. For the Rot is coming, and the Saint must rise.
READ AN EXCERPT

Sometime after his four hundredth posting he saw the creature clearly for the first time. In the distance over a dawn-dappled roof-rise, it was an insect-thin figure bowed beneath abulbous sack, tearing at a posting stuck to a foundry's brick wall. Sen's heart lurched with asickening double beat, then he dropped his pack and bucket of paste, sprinted to the cornice,slid hand over hand down an anchored revelatory tube, and landed near where the creaturewas scrabbling.

It turned slowly, and for a moment Sen's knees weakened as he met its Sectile eyes.

A Spider.

The caste was Unforgiven, excised in the city for centuries as a monster. He'd only ever heard of them in the legends of Saint Ignifer, but here it stood before him, fear blooming off it. Its shaggy black head was monstrous, too large for its shrunken body, blooming with bulbousompound eyes. Within its lipless black mouth waggled only dark stubs, where long mandibleshould have protruded. It stood on two stick-thin Sectile-limbs, with two raised to the wall, while only bulges within its brown mocking coat hinted at its remaining four limbs.

Sen stared at it, and it stared at him, the moment stretching out in the pink dawn light.

"What are you?" Sen asked at last.

The sound broke the spell, and the Spider hurled its sack of papers down and took off down the nearest alleyway.

Sen sprinted after it. His feet hammered the cobblestones, his arms pumped, and the strange Spider bolted along with an awkward and rolling grace, its four limbs twisting in unnatural ways. It turned left onto a hawking street just beginning to fill with morning crowds, sped amongst them like water  through a sieve, never losing pace as it darted left and right, always ahead.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Michael John Grist is a 34-year old British writer and ruins photographer who lives in Tokyo, Japan. He writes dark and surreal science fiction and fantasy, inspired by authors such as David Gemmell and Orson Scott Card.

In his free time he explores and photographs abandoned places around the world, such as ruined theme parks, military bases, underground bunkers, and ghost towns. These explores have drawn millions of visitors to his website: michaeljohngrist.com, and often provide inspiration for his fiction.

You can buy Ignifer's Rise here on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Ignifers-Rise-Ignifer-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00J3IZKPU
uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Saint-Ignifers-Rise-Ignifer-Cycle-ebook/dp/
Sign up for his releases newsletter here: http://michaeljohngrist.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe/
And, friend him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/mjgwrites
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: Christine Wenrick


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else's Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE INTERVIEW


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

Nancy Drew. I loved Nancy Drew. She seemed so smart and so independent. I wanted to be just like her.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Even when one is grieving, love finds a way.

Do you have any bad book habits? Actually, I do. When I’m reading I have this really terrible habit of bending the spine. Brand new books look ten years old after I’ve read them. It’s ridiculous!

*Sigh* Christine, Christine, Christing. E-Reader or print? and why?

Wow, even just a couple of years ago I would have answered print, but that is changing. (Probably because I do such damage to the paperbacks, lol.) Actually, it’s just that E-Readers are easier. They travel well, have more user friendly options, and the one I have is backlight so I can adjust the light when I read at night before bed.

Yeah, I think staying with your ereader is a really good choice for you! One book at a time or multiples?

One book at a time. When I get the time to read in my schedule, I usually will sit down and read a book from start to finish in one day. If I change over to another book it’s because the first one does not have me entirely engaged.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

OK, so you know the bending the spine thing I mentioned above? Well, I dog-ear as well. Really I should never be allowed to touch a Library book!

*Making a note in my library patron "do not loan" list* ;-) Favorite genre?

I’m a bit quirky that way. I write contemporary paranormal but I love to read historical romances. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Maybe partly because I don’t want my stories and ideas to be influenced too much by other writers of my genre. I do read a lot of straight contemporary romances as well.

Re-reader or not?

Wow, these are some good questions that I never get asked. I do re-read! Sometimes, when I’m stressed or tired I like to read a book that is familiar to me. I guess because it’s easy and I know I’m going to like it!

What would make you not finish a book?

I think I’ve only had one book that I did not finish. I’m usually pretty good at selecting things I will like based on other’s recommendations, but nothing about this book worked for me. The characters were flat, the love scene dull and it repeated constantly. There was a phrase that was used literally every other page and it drove me so crazy that I finally threw it down. Luckily, I’ve managed to avoid is another such disaster since. :-)

Keep books or give them away?

I regularly recycle books for kids. There is a drop box near my home.

READ THE BLURB


ONE NIGHT . . . ONE VIOLENT, SUPERNATURAL BATTLE . . .

AND FIVE STORIES OF THE MEN WHOSE LIVES WILL BE CHANGED BY IT.

Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.

Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.

WILL ALEC FIND HIS WAY OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND SURRENDER TO HIS FEELINGS FOR POPPY BEFORE THE WARLOCK CHASING HER CATCHES UP TO THEM BOTH?

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Sovereign Elder Joseph Davin stepped forward to embrace Poppy. “You’re not safe here, little flower.” Now Alec really felt like he was intruding on a private conversation. “I must protect you the best way I know how. I promised your mother.” He then motioned back to Alec. “I trust Alec. He’s a former Guardian—and a very good one. You yourself said that you can feel Irina getting closer. Let Alec take you someplace where he can protect you and you can know what it feels like to be safe. In the meantime, I will find a way to deal with Irina.”

Poppy dropped her head quietly, and for a moment it seemed she wasn’t going to answer him. “I feel safer here with you than I will with a stranger.”

“He’s right,” Alec finally said as he came slowly to his feet, realizing he needed to do something to gain this woman’s trust—though he could hardly blame her for being guarded after spending a lifetime on the run. “I may be a stranger to you, but I can protect you. And more importantly, I can give you all the tools at my disposal so you can protect yourself. If you have a sense for recognizing the warlock who’s threatening you, your Dhampir instincts are telling you that you’re in danger. You need to start trusting those instincts.”

Those huge gold eyes of hers locked on him fully with a look of utter determination as she walked right up to him—thankfully, straight this time. He had to admit, he flinched just a bit with the possibility she might trip again.

“I don’t want any part of witchcraft, Dhampirs or vampires. That’s not who I am.”

“Yes, it is,” he challenged her without hesitation. “That’s exactly who you are.”

Her eyes narrowed as if she were preparing to blast him with a thousand different reasons why that was not true, but instead she replied, “I will agree to go with you on two conditions.” Alec simply crossed his arms in front of his chest. What was it about women and their conditions? Why couldn’t they just agree? “One, you’ll agree to never disagree with me again.” Alec’s brows arched high at that rather impossible request. “And two, I will only go with you if it doesn’t require us crossing an ocean in an air-”

Poppy’s words were cut off by her small squeal when Alec caught sight of Joseph sticking a needle into her arm. Her eyes widened in shock and she tried to turn to Joseph, but her limbs gave out from under her almost immediately. Alec reached out and caught Poppy when she would have otherwise collapsed to the floor. “What in the world did you do that for?”

“No worries,” Joseph assured him. “It’s just a little something to help her relax for the trip.”

Alec blinked at him. “Relax? She doesn’t like flying?”

Joseph shook his head. “Terrified of it, actually. Unfortunately, Poppy lacks an appreciation for the severity of her current situation. We need to get her out of London tonight—hence, something to relax her. But once she’s someplace safe she’ll be no trouble at all.”

Alec’s gaze narrowed shrewdly. By what he had already witnessed in the few scant minutes he had been in this woman’s presence, she was the very definition of the term high maintenance.

So he doubted that very much.


MEET THE AUTHOR


Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christine.wenrick
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Twitter: @CWenrick https://twitter.com/CWenrick
Website: http://www.christinewenrick.com/
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Straight Browsing from the Library: The Cairns of Sanctuarie


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The Cairns of Sanctuarie: Volume I - The Bleikovat Event

Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.

The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa, and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.

Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.

But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’รค blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.

Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.

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There had been warnings…far from the Feldon River, across the flat prairies and far-flung farming settlements, in the grain fields and remote gelf ranches of the far-west reaches of Feldon provinces. Most dismissed them, “…idle gossip from those with too little to do.”

The onslaught struck late and faraway during the last harvesting moons of the growing season, and once again unsettled whispers passed. Among the markets and along trade routes far from the fields and farms of the Feldovat fiefdoms the word spread. That was before dispatch riders and message runners on ponderous muscled claks brought more disturbing rumors: “Heavy raids and ambushes all along the hinterlands this side of the Bleikov-Bormeikovat frontiers.”

One grizzled Murian farmer’s slit-pupils narrowed to thin slivers. Gently tightened the reins. Hooked to the plough, the lumbering gelf plodded to a stop. He laid the planed-wood handles of the plough sidewise onto the fresh furrow. Without moving from the trenched rows the gelf reached its thick neck to nibble the green tufts around its feet. The weathered work-aged farmer carefully slipped the reins off his shoulder. Fingered the split creeping along one sweat-stained handle, “…get this to the woodworker before spring ploughing times. Get it braced before I have to barter for a new plough handle.” Pulled off his wide-brim woven hat; wiped his forehead. Uncorked his gelf-leather water pouch; took long slow swallows. Spit a bitter-chewed slurry of brown chakklu; scowled, "…ill-tempered uplander Bleikovats." Another long swallow…re-plugged the pouch. Bit off another twist of dried chakklu.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Welsh and Scottish Hawk MacKinney grew up in northwest Arkansas, and wrote for his school newspaper. Hawk served over twenty years as a Special Staff Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Recruiting Officer, a Navy Recruiting Command Liaison Officer, and Commanding Officer of units attached to the U.S. Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California. Along with his postgraduate degrees, he studied English and Russian history and foreign languages. As a faculty member in major medical and veterinarian universities, he authored professional articles and taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. In addition to his sci-fi series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Hawk MacKinney has authored the Craige Ingram Mystery Series and Moccasin Trace, a historical romance nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

www.hawkmackinney.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m-H8pfoh-A
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