Oct 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

I’ve mentioned before that Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite novel of all time (and also the best novel I’ve ever read).  Every year, once the weather starts getting cold and the days shorter, I reread it, and it’s about that time.

This year, I want to share my love/obsession with the world (or at least the regular visitors of this blog).  I’m going to read two chapters a week, and post my thoughts and feelings about them.  And I’m encouraging any and all of my visitors to join me, both in reading the book, and in discussing it.

I’ll kick things off right here, talking about the very brief prologue.  Even before that, Helprin starts us off with a quote that sets the tone for all that’s to follow:

“I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.”

That sentiment could apply to many of the characters in the story about to unfold, and it prepares us to jump across both worlds and eras (and different times ARE other worlds; as the famous quote has it, “the past is another country.”).

The prologue showcases Helprin’s gift of prose; it’s gorgeous from the very first word.  As he opens things:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

He goes on to talk about New York City specifically, where our story is set, and, really, the book is one long love letter to the greatest city in the world.  We’re told about the mass of white clouds that surround the city, about which we’ll learn much more as the novel progresses.  We  also get our first reference to the the city as one great machine, about which, again, much more later.

And then we are told:

…our swift unobserved descent will bring us to life that is blooming in the quiet of another time.

This is important, as we’ll see very shortly in chapter one.  The prologue ends with an invitation:

As we float down in utter silence, into a frame again unfreezing we are confronted by a tableau of winter colors.  These are very strong, and they call us in.

Colors, both wintry and otherwise, play a large role not only symbolically, but very literally in the story, as we’ll discover early on.

So the stage is set.  We’re about to embark on a journey that will span worlds and centuries.  I hope you’ll come along with me; our first steps will be onto the snow-covered streets of pre-World War I Manhattan, which is where chapter one begins…

 

Chapter Index

I’ll keep an updated list of links to the individual chapter discussions here, so it’ll all be easy to find…

Part 1, Chapter 1 (“A White Horse Escapes”)

Part 1, Chapter 2 (“The Ferry Burns in Morning Cold”)

Part 1, Chapter 3 (“Pearly Soames”)

Part 1, Chapter 4 (“Peter Lake Hangs From A Star”)

Part 1, Chapter 5 (“Beverly”)

Part 1, Chapter 6 (“A Goddess in the Bath”)

Part 1, Chapter 7 (“On the Marsh”)

Part 1, Chapter 8 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 1, Chapter 9 (“The Hospital in Printing House Square”)

Part 1, Chapter 10 (“Aceldama”)

Part 2, Chapter 1 (“Four Gates to the City”)

Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 2, Chapter 3 (“In the Drifts”)

Part 2, Chapter 4 (“A New Life”)

Part 2, Chapter 5 (“Hell Gate”)

Part 3, Chapter 1 (“Nothing is Random”)

Part 3, Chapter 2 (“Peter Lake Returns”)

 Part 3, Chapter 3 (“The Sun…”)

Part 3, Chapter 4 (“…and The Ghost”)

Part 3, Chapter 5 (“An Early Summer Dinner at Petipas”)

Part 3, Chapter 6 (“The Machine Age”)

Part 4, Chapter 1 (“A Very Short History of the Clouds”)

Part 4, Chapter 2 (“Battery Bridge”)

Part 4, Chapter 3 (“White Horse and Dark Horse”)

Mar 18

Buy the Books!

Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!

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Jan 29

Cover Reveal – “The Holy Dark” by Kyoko M

I’m happy to host the cover reveal this morning for a new novel by Kyoko M.  First, a bit about her:

Kyoko M is an author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm central Florida night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.

 You can follow her on the Interwebs:

Website: http://www.shewhowritesmonsters.com

Blog: http://www.shewhowritesmonsters.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/misskyokom

Tumblr: http://www.minaminokyoko.tumblr.com

 

And here’s the cover for her new novel:

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Are you ready for Hell on Earth?

Then check out the final installment to Kyoko M’s urban fantasy series, The Holy Dark.

Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.

 

Jordan’s demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch’s plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race.

 

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Supernatural/Paranormal Romance

 

Cover artists: Gunjan Kumar and Christopher Cold

 

The Holy Dark is the third novel and fourth book in the Black Parade series, following The Black Parade, The Deadly Seven, and She Who Fights Monsters. If you’re curious, the first book is actually permanently free to download on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBookstore. The others are free if you’re a member of Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited.

 

The Holy Dark will hit shelves April 2015. You can add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf, like Kyoko M’s Facebook page, or sign up with the mailing list to find out more about the series and to hear the official release date.

And to seal the deal, here’s an excerpt:

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

JORDAN

 

Honest to God, I hadn’t meant to start a bar fight.

“So. You’re the famous Jordan Amador.” The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big.

He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. “I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What’s with the name, girlie?”

I shrugged. “My mother was a religious woman.”

“Clearly,” the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat.

“I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you’re doing in my bar,” he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket.

“Just here to ask a question, that’s all. I don’t want trouble.”

Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. “My ass you don’t. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.”

I held up my hands in supplication. “Honest Abe. Just one question and I’m out of your hair forever.”

My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. “What’s left of it, anyway.”

He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder.

“Fine. What’s your question?”

“Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?”

He didn’t even blink. “No.”

“Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.”

I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I’d let them have a taste, but I didn’t spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies’ room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list.

“Hey. He’s here. Yeah, I’m sure it’s him. They’re lousy liars when they’re drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.”

I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do.

I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn’t tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance.

The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things—three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith & Wesson .9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible.

I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, “Oops.”

“Thanks,” I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster.

The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. “The door is that way, Seer. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.”

I smiled back. “God bless you.”

She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d been counting on it.

There was a large, white, four-door pickup truck idling in the rear of the lot. Its driver had the window down so she could blow smoke out every so often and watch it spiral up into the cloudy night sky. She was black like me, but in her mid-forties; her hair, peppered with grey streaks, elegantly permed and pulled back into a neat short ponytail. Even though we were here to work, she still wore dark red lipstick and mascara just because she liked looking good.  Her clothes were practical as well—denim jacket, white t-shirt, black jeans, and boots.

I opened the passenger’s door and climbed in. She glanced at me with a smirk as I put my seatbelt on. “Took you long enough.”

“They patted me down, remember? It kind of takes a while, especially after I kicked the bouncer in the nuts for groping me.”

She glanced at my shirt, hiding 34 B-cups, and that was being generous. “Where?”

I smacked her in the shoulder. She laughed, making her own C-cups jiggle and turning me green with envy. “Shut up and drive, Myra.”

She took one last drag on her cig and tossed it out the window, adopting a feral grin.

Avec plaisir.”

She revved up the engine, threw the truck into gear, and then drove straight towards the building in front of us at breakneck speed.

The impact rocketed the two of us forward in our seats. The seatbelts did their job, keeping us from flying headfirst out the windshield as the guard rail smashed straight through the wood and plaster holding the rear wall together. Dust and rubble kicked up everywhere, engulfing the vehicle. I let out the terse lungful of air I’d been holding and unbuckled the belt before leaping out.

I drew the Glock and pointed it at anything that moved within my line of vision. The demons clustered around the wreckage in anger and confusion, but they stayed back when they saw the gun. The fat demon I’d interrogated stumbled from around the overturned pool table, his cigar forgotten somewhere, fury blazing in his eyes.

“What the hell did you do that for?”

“I told you I was looking for Matthias Gruber. You have something I need.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Bullshit,” Myra spoke up, cocking back the shotgun she held. She kept it steady on him, her voice clear and hard as glass.

“You can either hand it over or we’ll tell your mates why we’re here.”

He spat at her feet. “Rip ‘em apart, boys.”

His five hulking bodyguards darted forward—two heading for me, three heading for Myra. They were liquid fast, almost too fast for me to see, but unfortunately for them, our bullets were faster.

I plugged the dark-haired guy first, two in the chest. The bullets hissed as soon as they hit him and steam issued from the wounds. He fell to his knees, screaming and clawing at the holes as they burned him alive.

I swung the barrel towards the blond. He grabbed it just as I fired and the bullet tore straight through his palm. He didn’t even flinch—instead, he wrenched it out of my grip and grabbed me around the throat. He slammed me into the hood of the car, squeezing so hard that white specks popped up all over my vision.

I grappled for the holy water in my pocket and smashed the vial into the side of his head. His skin bubbled red with a second-degree burn, but he wouldn’t let go, digging his calloused fingers in harder. He was trying to outlast me, ignoring his own injuries because it would only take another minute before I’d suffocate.

With my last bit of strength, I grabbed the torn Bible page and pressed it to his chest, gurgling the words, “In nomine Patris, et ego repellam te!”

The paper glowed brilliant white and then his entire body burst into flames. He dropped me and screamed, clawing at his clothing, but it was more than that. His very skin was reacting to the purity of the holy item and decomposing from the inside. The other demons scattered as he rolled past them, thrashing violently until the fire took its toll. As soon as he died, the fire vanished, leaving a charred corpse.

I rubbed my sore throat and picked up the page, then the gun. The tussle had distracted my attention from Myra, but thankfully, she had fared much better. Her shotgun had left three victims on the ground and she only had a bloody cheek to show for it. She was ex-military so I wasn’t surprised, merely jealous because I only knew basic martial arts and self-defense. Plus, I was only a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet.

“We can do this all night, Matthias,” I rasped. “Give us what we came for or this is going to get even nastier.”

“Blow me, Seer.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Fine. Have it your way.”

I raised my voice to the throng of demons watching us. “Attention, bar patrons. The man standing in your midst who so kindly provided you with drinks and probably sacrificial virgins is on the Top Ten Wanted List of every angel in the known world. He is in possession of a piece of silver that we and the angels have been searching for. In fact, it is right there around his neck.”

Many of them glanced over to confirm it. The necklace was a thin chain holding a gold coin slightly larger than a quarter. “That ain’t silver, lady.”

“Because he painted it gold so no one would figure it out. So if you all don’t want a first class ride back down to the Pit, please proceed to tear his head off and hand over the coin.”

“Bullshit, Seer,” one of them said.

I holstered the Glock and reached into my pocket, this time withdrawing a lighter. I lit it and held it just underneath the Bible page, lifting my voice so they could all hear. “Afraid not, friend. This is a page from the personal Bible of Pope Benedict XVI. If I light it, it sends out a wave of energy so pure that it’ll burn your rotten souls right out of your bodies. Test me and I’ll toast the lot of you.”

Furtive glances darted between the demons, some whispering to each other for confirmation. It was understandable. Not many common demons like these knew the sorts of stuff Myra and I did. And we’d been counting on it.

“You saw what it did to your buddy. Do you really think I’m bluffing, assholes?”

Matthias swallowed hard as he noticed the unfriendly looks he began to receive. He raised his huge hands, backing away from the crowd. “Don’t listen to her. If you guys rush her all at once, she can’t stop you all.”

By the looks of things, they believed us and not him. Myra spoke up then. “Well, now you have two options, Mr. Gruber. We can take you alive or let them take you dead. What’s it gonna be, buddy?”

“There’s forty of them. You can’t get out of here alive.”

“Wanna bet your life on it?”

He cursed under his breath, stumbling over to the truck. “Fine, fine! Get me out of here!”

“Get in the back, fat ass.”

He climbed into the truck as the other demons advanced, some licking their lips and flexing their hands eagerly as they cornered us.

“Jordan?” Myra said.

“Got it.”

I nodded to Myra and she got in the truck first, firing up the engine. I stepped back until I could reach the rear passenger side, opening the door.

“Oh, and one more thing.”

I lifted the lighter to the paper, grinning. “Vaya con dios, bitches.”

The page exploded a blinding white wave of light at them. The demons didn’t even have enough time to duck for cover. It blew them straight off their feet, evaporating their bodies into ash. The burning paper fluttered to the ground.

I got in the truck. Myra pulled out of the gigantic hole we’d punched in the back of the building and drove off into the cool October night.

 

 

 

Jan 29

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 4, chapter 3 – “White Horse and Dark Horse”)

We open right where we left off in the previous chapter, and we pay a visit to Athansor, still toiling away in his mill deep in the city of the poor.  He’s been at it for over a year and

he had lost his sense of time and come to believe that he was winding up an eternal spring, to which others from the starry meadows had been apprenticed long and often.

I suspect that’s exactly what he has been doing.  He circles endlessly, ignoring opportunities to escape, paying little notice to the faces that would peer down at him.  The monotony gets to him, and

He half wished that a head would pop up from behind the fence and give him something to worry about.

And one night, his half-wish is granted: Athansor feels the presence of someone watching him, and when he sees who it is, he stops for the first time in fourteen months.  He breaks the bonds tying him to the beam, and the beam itself, at the sight of Pearly Soames.

We knew he’d be back, and here he is, electric eyes and all.

“You don’t know how long I’ve been looking for you, horse.”

Athansor smashes through the walls of his prison and knocks Pearly aside, galloping off into the night.  Pearly is pleased:

“That’s right, you marble bastard.  You find him for me.  Take me right to him.”

So here’s a question: has Pearly lived through the whole of the 20th century, taking “the slow route” (as it’s sometimes put in “Doctor Who”) to catch up to Peter Lake?  Or was he, too, plucked from his proper time by the cloud wall and deposited in the New York of 1998?  I’m not sure, but the presence of his Short Tails at his back suggests the latter.  Pearly may well be a little bit more than merely human and able to live through a century without showing a bit of age, but I don’t think the rest of his gang is capable of that trick..

We leave him and focus on Praeger and his odd, improbably campaign for Mayor.  When an early snow blankets the city in October, Praeger celebrates it, talking about it in all his speeches and slowly rising in the polls.  That’s just a brief interlude (we’ll get back to the campaign shortly), before we rejoin Hardesty, who’s preparing with Virgnia to make the long-delayed trip up to Lake of the Coheeries.  He fetches a sleigh and horse, coaxes a reluctant Abby out of her hiding place in the linen closet, and the family sets off.

The trip is gorgeously described (a mirror of Virginia’s journey to Manhattan way back in part two).  It’s a serene trip, the Marrattas all getting lost in the night and the hypnotic rhythm of the horse’s gait.  But they hit a frozen river that isn’t quite frozen, and their horse begins to founder.  It seems that she won’t be able to pull the sleigh out of the water, until inspiration arrives, in the form of Athansor.  The great stallion impels Hardesty’s mare forward, and tremendous speed, and when they finally hit the outskirts of Lake of the Coheeries, the Marrattas are left wondering if the white horse was real at all, because

when he parted from the mare, he banked up and to the left in a blaze of white.

They’re backat Virginia’s home soon afterwards, greeted by a neighbor who informs them about Mrs. Gamely:

“She’s fine.  I hope you brought your dictionary.”

We leave the Lake of the Coheeries just as we arrive, and it’s back to New York City politics.  We go inside the de Pinto for Mayor campaign, which is running as unconventional a race as one can imagine.  No TV ads.  No campaign buttons.  Attacks on the very people who are funding his campaign (although, without advertising, and with a campaign headquarters with no furniture or even a phone, one wonders what exactly the money is going towards).  And, lastly, campaign rallies scheduled outdoors, in the dead of winter, to audiences composed primarily of the local fauna.  One such “mass rally” featured Praeger’s best-ever speech, and it’s attended by exactly one other human: Peter Lake.  Peter thinks he may have found a kindred spirit in Praeger, although he’s not sure what might connect them:

“Are you one of us?  I mean, are we the same?”

Praeger is equally confused, and wonders if Peter’s suggesting that he is a Freemason, or perhaps that they’re both gay (a big no to both).  Peter can’t quite express what he’s feeling, but he thinks it might have to do with not belonging in this time.  Peter wonders if Praeger was born “in this age”.

“Are you sure?  Because, you see, I think I wasn’t. And the way you talk about winters leads me to believe that you weren’t either, because what you describe as the future was once the past.  I know.  I’ve been there.”

Again, we come back to the past, present and future all being illusions – time is only a human construct, not necessary if only you can view things from the right perspective.  Praeger doesn’t get it, but Peter doesn’t mind.  He’ll still vote for Praeger.  He does mention one other thing, before he leaves the “rally” – he’s been hearing music, played by a piano.  He doesn’t know who’s playing it, or what piece it is, but:

“Whoever it is, though, she’s playin’ it real nice.”

No doubt.  Beverly Penn has been very busy, between appearing to Hardesty in the last chapter and calling out to Peter Lake back in New York.

Meanwhile, up in Lake of the Coheeries, there’s a tearful reunion between Mrs. Gamely and the Marrattas.  And then there’s skating and iceboating, and a bitterly cold night (sixty degrees below zero).  Hardesty is entranced watching what might be meteorites falling fromt he sky, and young Abby develops a sudden fever.  Hardesty is dispatched to find the town doctor, who is otherwise occupied, in a barn with nearly all the other men of the town.  They’re all pointing guns ad a collection of 50 or so very strange men.  They’re all ugly, they’re very threatening, and they’re dressed as though they came straight out of the early 20th century.  Clearly they are the “meteorites”, deposited here via the cloud wall, plucked from decades in the past to join their leader, who’s also in the barn.

Pearly does not act like a prisoner or a man under threat, and although Hardesty (barely) works up the nerve to challenge him, he doesn’t speak a word in answer.  There’s an interesting sentence:

But as far as Hardesty knew, this had nothing to do with Abby’s sickness, and he stole the doctor away from the Coheeries men

The way Helprin phrases it (and given the man’s skill with words, I think that when he deliberately puts it that way, it has to mean something), I read it to mean that Pearly’s presence has everything to do with Abby’s sickness.  Going all the way back to part one, I wonder if – although it’s never explicitly stated (or even really hinted at)  – Beverly’s sickness is also related to Pearly.  She was sick for a long time before Peter Lake met her.  I would not be at all surprised if the onset of her consumption matched up precisely with Peter Lake’s betrayal of Pearly during the abortive attack on the men of the Bayonne Marsh.  Now Pearly’s back, and another girl with a connection to Lake of the Coheeries, and Peter Lake, has contracted consumption (no real spoiler here; you’ve probably guessed it already!).  And that links back even farther, to Peter’s encounter with the nameless child in the tenement the night after his arrival in Manhattan.

Let me go even further outside the text and speculate: in a symbolic sense, the child in the tenement, Beverly and Abby are the same person.  Not literally; I don’t believe Helprin is talking about reincarnation (although Jackson Mead’s example tells us that death is not automatically the end in Helprin’s world).  But one child with consumption stands in for all people who are condemned to death.  Saving one child might save everyone.  And remember Mrs. Gamely’s words to Virginia back in part two: “what we are trying to do is shatter time and bring back the dead.”

The next night, after receiving a diagnosis from the doctor (it’s unstated, but it’s clearly consumption) the Marrattas begin a return journey to Manhattan.  They’re attacked by the Short Tails, but Athansor descends from the sky slaughtering them and clearing a path for the Marrattas to escape.  He then heals the Marratta’s horse by licking her wounds, which then immediately disappear, and then he vanishes.

Back in New York, the Mayoral campaign is in full swing.  The big debate is held outdoors, in Central Park (because Praeger refuses to appear on television).  Wanting to see him, people flock to the Park, and the crowd swells to massive proportions, while Praeger rhapsodizes about the city:

“The city is no less an object of divine affection than life itself or the exact perfections of the light-paced universe.  It is alive, and with patience, one can see that despite the anarchy, the ugliness, and the fire, it is ultimately just and ultimately kind.  God, I love it.  I do love it.  Forgive me.”

The Ermine Mayor knows he’s done for:

He feared that the city was going to answer Praeger’s unusual appeal.  And indeed it did.  Not only were its citizens enthralled, but, when Praeger looked up, the city made itself very clear.  For it was all around him, and it was sparkling like a diamond.

Whew!  There was certainly a lot going on in this chapter, and a lot more to speculate on.

One note that I didn’t get to above is something I read in another review of this book: Peter Lake’s resemblance to the foretold Jewish messiah.  That’s a subject I know basically nothing about, but take a look at these notes from the “Judiasm 101″ website concerning the messiah:

It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.

That fits nicely with the information we’re given in “A Very Brief History of the Clouds”, doesn’t it?  And also with Cecil’s confession to Virginia in the last chapter?  And with Peter’s lack of understanding about himself and what he’s capable of?

Just something to keep in mind as we head for the end – especially considering that Helprin himself is Jewish (and, having served in the Israeli armed forces, one can assume he’s quite serious about the history and the beliefs of his faith and his people).

Jan 28

Indie Author spotlight – Chris Redding and “A View to a Nerd”

Say hello to fellow indie author Chris Redding!

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and two show rabbits. Her youngest son is a member of 4-H, hence the show rabbits.

Chris graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism and is still a diehard Nittany Lions fan. In fact, she bleeds Penn State Blue! Her dream is to get her Masters in Education degree and teach creative writing at Penn State.

Her books are filled with romance, suspense and thrills. She also dabbles in copywriting, including web content and product descriptions. When she isn’t writing, she works for a local winery.

You can follow her at her website: http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.com/p/home-page.html

Her new book is out today, and it’s called “A View to a Nerd” (book #2 in the Nerds Save the World series)

A View to a Nerd PB cover small

Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes her realize that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t speaking until a series of events convinces her she needs protection especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both of their lives. This was originally published as A View to a Kilt.

You can buy it right now on Amazon – on sale for just $0.99 today!  Here’s the link: http://amzn.com/B00SU0LVFA

And Chris has given us an excerpt, too…

“I just got a call from the Commissioner. He talked to the Mayor. If you weren’t finished, you would be now.”

The detective grumbled, but obeyed the order, turning off the recorder.

The Lieutenant shook his head as he ushered Miriam out of interrogation and down the hall to his office. “I’m sorry, Mim.  He’s a little overzealous. He’s new at this.”

“I’m sure he’s just doing his job, and considering what the situation looks like, I understand his position. By the way, someone hit me on the head.”

Bob stopped to examine her. “Guess the killer wanted you out for the count. I’ll get someone to take you to the hospital to get checked out.” He paused. They both stopped to face each other in the drab gray hallway. No pictures adorned the walls. He shuffled his feet then looked at her. “May I ask what your relationship with Joe Waltney was?”

She stared up at him. His eyes found a spot on the wall behind her to look at then the floor.

“I’ve given you no reason to believe you have the right to be jealous. Haven’t I made things clear? I’m only interested in friendship.”

They stared at each other for a moment before he nodded his head as if in agreement.

 

Jan 27

Book Launch! “I Think About You” by K.S. Thomas

blogcover

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Jan 26

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 4, chapter 2 – “Battery Bridge”)

Before I go any further, I want to take a step back and follow up on something I mentioned at the end of the last post.  I referenced Wagner and specifically “Gotterdammerung”.  I think every reader brings their own experiences and their own likes, dislikes (and maybe obsessions) to a new book, and can’t help but see things through the lenses created by those experiences.  As a Wagnerian, I see his influence probably far more often than it’s warranted, so keep that in mind as you follow along with me; you’re probably seeing completely different influences than I am.

That said, I think that  it’s not just the end of the Ring Cycle that we can see echoed in “Winter’s Tale” but some of Wagner’s other works as well.  Much of his work touches on (or is completely centered on) the mythological, and Helprin visits similar realms, so it’s only natural that – even if totally unintentionally – there are some correspondences.  If you’re familiar with Wagner, I think you’ll see echoes of “The Flying Dutchman”, “Tristan and Isolde” and even “Parsifal” as we delve into the end of the book.  Anyway, I can see them!

So, onward.

We open with Peter Lake, who “thought that he could hear the coming of the future in his machines.”  I think it’s clear by now that he definitely can.  We get a glimpse of his new life as Chief Mechanic of the New York Sun; he slips in and out of lucidity, falling into reveries while working, among his fellow mechanics, and sometimes in his nightly wanderings.  His coworkers dispatch a young apprentice to follow him and report back, and they get a strange tale.  Among the highlights

“He had conversations with fenceposts and fire escapes.”

“He put his arms around an old chimney like it was someone he knew, and started crying.”

“Whenever he’d come to something that was a bright color, he’d stare at it for hours.  He sniffed it.”

That last one is interesting, isn’t it?  Is he remembering Pearly Soames and his “color gravity” or channeling it?

We go from Peter to a different sort of madman, Craig Binky.  Unable to learn anything about the giant ship in the harbor, he’s at loose ends and decides to attack the Mayor, who has thus far refused to talk about the ship.  He enlists his chief book critic and attack dog, Wormies Bindabu (love the name!), who proceeds to call the Mayor out in the pages of The Ghost as:

a lout, a pimp, a crocodile, a Nazi, a populist, a Fascist, a pederast, a porcupine, and a glowworm.

In turn, The Sun defends the Mayor, leading to renewed open hostilities in the ongoing war between the two papers.  But the editor of The Sun has his own ideas.  Praeger de Pinto, along with Hardesty Marratta, have kept at their investigation of Jackson Mead, and discover in New Jersey massive industrial activity.  Jackson Mead appears to have limitless material resources. Praeger reflects that:

“We’re dealing here with something different than we’re used to.  Things of the world seem to be no obstacle to him, and his problems no doubt lie elsewhere.  If he’s struggling, as he appears to be, it may be in a way we can’t even imagine.”

At least, Praeger can’t imagine it.  He’s much too grounded to be able to see or understand the battle Mead is trying to fight.  Hardesty, however, is another matter.  He’s halfway to being in another world, which I think explains his curious behavior at a packed eating-house where he’s overcome by a beautiful waitress and seems ready to cast aside everything and follow her (just as he was ready to cast aside his life and follow the vagrant Peter Lake back in part three).  But the moment passes, and the two men finally end up outdoors, watching Manhattan from across the river, as it’s battered by thunderstorms.  It’s a spiritual moment:

All the time that the storm was pounding, New York remained serene.

Hardesty imagines that he may have seen a glimpse of the perfectly just city.  Praeger has seen something else: the future:

“I went to see Binky.  I sold my soul, and I’m going to be Mayor – of that.”

But he sees more.  There is something huge, apocalyptic coming, a battle that’s been put off for years, decades (centuries?).

“I don’t want that.  No one does.  No on ever did.  But should there be a reckoning, I’m going to lead the city as it falls…so that I may lead it as it rises

Praeger’s vision will prove to be quite accurate.

We go back to Peter Lake, and delve further into his state of mind.  He’s quite mad, and we follow him one night back to the Five Points, to the “city of the poor” where he falls asleep in an abandoned tenement.  What follows is something I’ve never really understood.  As Peter experiences it, he’s taken hold of, driven through the wall, and taken on a tour of all the graves in the entire world, in one night.  He takes note of every single body, every single person, regardless of where they’re buried, or how, or their former station in life:

There was much to be done.  He had to know them all.  And, in his mad and breathless flight, he did not miss a single one, but worked as if he had been created to be their registrar – the mechanical mole, the faithful observer, the gleaner of souls, the good workman.

I still don’t know what to make of this.  My first thought is to wonder whether it “really” happened or if it was a dream of Peter’s, but I’m not sure that distinction is even relevant in this book.  I think we have to assume it was a real experience, and all I can think of is to relate it to the idea of seeing all of time and space as one still, solid thing, from a far enough perspective.  Can speed substitute for distance in that equation?  Has Peter already seen perfect justice?  Or is his tour of the graves of the world a prerequisite for him to become the perfectly just man that the previous chapter refers to?

Helprin does not tell us, but instead switches gears, and we turn to Virginia.  She’s in search of a new coat, one fit for a trip to Lake of the Coheeries, which has been planned for several years, and which she hopes might happen this year.  But in her search, she passes Carnegie Hall, and spots Mr. Cecil Wooley, who’s there to attend the day’s performance (a mixed program including Mozart and also the Amphibological Whimsey Dances, composed by Minoscrams Sampson).  Virginia follows him in, takes in the concert, and observes Cecil the whole time.  She then accosts him when it’s over and drags him off to the Hotel Lenore, where she offers to buy him an ice cream soda.  He protests (he’s not allowed to talk with strangers or be out at night away from the ship), but quickly gives in, and he’s provided with a chocolate ginger cream soda, “very, very, very heavy on the special ingredient” (rum).

Cecil, under the influence, begins to talk about the good old days with Peter Lake.  Virginia misses some of his tale when Craig Binky and his entourage enter (a fun little scene), but she picks up the story at the end:

“Then he disappeared.  It was a surprise to us all, since Jackson Mead thought this one was going to be the eternal rainbow, the real one that had no end.  And then he and the horse just vanished.”

This is obviously talking about the end of part one, and Peter’s disappearance into the cloud wall.  But note the phrasing about the bridge – an “eternal rainbow”.  Here’s an echo of the Ring Cycle, and Norse myth more generally – the Rainbow Bridge leading to Valhalla.

Cecil ends with this note about Peter:

“I loved him.  He was like a brother to me.  He protected me.  And he never knew who he was.”

He still doesn’t, although when we next meet him, he’ll start to figure it out.

Meanwhile, Hardesty is doing his own research, and it takes him to San Francisco.  While searching for something – he’s not sure what, but Jackson Mead’s words about the Eternal Rainbow are guiding him – he finds himself at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the water.  And then he finds himself rising.  He’s in a room, in a house, filled with golden light, and he’s approached by a woman whose eyes were “liquid, electric, bright, uncompromising blue.”  When she leaves him, he awakens at the Presidio, at dusk, and he picks himself up to walk back to the city.  He passes by the toll booth of the Golden Gate Bridge, and in a little park, he sees a memorial.  The memorial is a statue of the chief engineer of the bridge, Joseph Strauss.  Inscribed below it is this:

HERE AT THE GOLDEN GATE IS THE ETERNAL RAINBOW THAT HE CONCEIVED AND SET TO FORM.  A PROMISE INDEED THAT THE RACE OF MAN SHALL ENDURE INTO THE AGES.

Three guesses who the statue resembles, and the first two don’t count.

upon his return to New York, Hardesty immediately goes to visit Jackson Mead in his headquarters at the museum.  Hardesty passes by a painting of Frederick the Great.  Hardesty feels as though he’s headed to an audience with Frederick, and he realizes that it might well literally be true.  Who knows how many names Jackson Mead has had over the centuries?

The two men talk about politics, and the expected public opposition to the bridge, as well as Praeger’s upcoming campaign for Mayor.   Mead is confident that this bridge will be the one to accomplish his ultimate goal.  He does deny that he was the builder of the Golden Gate Bridge (not very convincingly), and Hardesty lets that pass.  He also declares his neutrality in the conflict between Mead and Praeger.  “Things seem to be in balance, and my inclination is to let them stay that way.”  He’s wrong, of course, which he’ll discover soon enough.

We end with Mead answering one final question: what will the bridge be called?

“The name isn’t important, but we’re going to call it Battery Bridge.”

Whew!  A lot is going on.  Everything is in motion now, and nearly all the pieces are in play as the story moves towards its conclusion.

And I think we can see the shape of that conclusion.  We’re definitely headed towards something earthshaking.  Praeger can see it.  Jackson Mead is expecting it, as the opposition to his bridge begins to grow.  And the very name of the bridge suggests it.  In the Ring Cycle, it’s Wotan’s desire to get out of the bargain he made with the Giants in building Valhalla that ultimately leads to the ring becoming cursed, and eventually the end of the world in fire and water at the conclusion of the cycle.  At the end of the first opera of the cycle, Das Rhinegold, Wotan and his fellow gods cross the Rainbow Bridge, ascending to Valhalla, setting in motion their own destruction,.  What events will be set in motion by the building of Jackson Mead’s rainbow bridge?  Hang on, we’ll find out soon enough!

Jan 25

Author spotlight – Kryssie Fortune and “Knights Vampire”

I’d like to welcome author Kryssie Fortune back (she was here to talk about her book “To Mate a Werewolf” back in November).

Her new book is “Knights Vampire” and without further ado, here’s Kryssie…

When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old,
He was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold,
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand,
For God and for valor he rode through the land.

Jan Struthers

Imagine King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Whether your favorite is Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, or Sir Gawain doesn’t matter. Their greatness shines through the ages—but how do you become a knight?

Picture_1_-_knight

Every noble’s son learned basic swordplay and archery. They’d ride daily and maybe learn tracking skills. Then, at an age where modern day children are learning their multiplication tables, their family sent them to live with strangers and train as a page.

Picture_2_-_Battle_ax

Homesick and lonely, these boys would run messages or help serve meals. Sounds harsh I know, but in a time of kill or be killed it made sense. As well as attending to his duties, the boy had practice battle skills. In between all that, they learned how to read and write in Latin and French. Then there was the poetry and the dancing. They must have been exhausted. Every night they dreamed of becoming a Knight.

Picture_3_-_knights

Eventually the boy would become a squire. The word squire comes from the French word for shield-bearer, and that’s exactly what a squire did. He would carry his Lord’s shield, clean his armor, tend his horses, and fight at his side.

Picture_4_-_Knights_into_battle

Fourteen years after leaving his home and family the boy was ready to become a man. Knighthood loomed, but he still needed to win his spurs. To misquote Shakespeare, Some are born to be knights, some achieve knighthood, and some have knighthood thrust upon them.

Picture_5_Boy_being_Knighted

Blaxton the Bold had Knighthood thrust on him.

His parents broke with custom and kept him at home until he was twelve. By then he was bigger, stronger, and brighter than any of the other boys. Well trained in etiquette and poetry, he quickly became his master’s favorite page. Even the other boys looked up to him.

At just sixteen, he singlehandedly faced down the mob an anti-semetic mob intent on burning Jews. Unarmored, battle-ax in hand, Blaxton’s courage and fighting prowess won the day.

It was only a couple of weeks after King Henry ordered him to court and dubbed him a knight. Many years later, scholars have suggested Sir Walter Scott based his book Ivanhoe on the legend of Blaxton the Bold.

Picture_6_-_Ivanho_cover

Blaxton won every tournament he entered, and dominated every battle he fought. Ladies swooned in despair when he joined the Knights Defender—an order of fighting monks who took vows of chastity and poverty.

Picture_7_-_Joust

Blaxton sailed with King Richard the Lionheart on his third crusade and fought at his side. Then his cousin stuck a knife in his back and killed him. That night Blaxton de Ferrers rose as a vampire.

For over eight hundred years, Blaxton has wandered alone and tried to live a good life. He’s forgotten how to laugh or feel, but his current identity is a billionaire property developer with a philanthropic steak.

Underneath the modern veneer, he’s a Knight Vampire

Knights Vampire2

 

Book Blurb

Betrayed by the Knight Defenders and murdered by his cousin, crusader knight Blaxton de Ferrers rose as a vampire. For nine centuries, he’s preyed on the people he once swore to protect. Gradually, as his emotions leach out of him, he forgets how to feel. Then he meets Harriet.

Harriet Mortlake’s a strong sassy woman who battles her weight and her temper. Her job is to seek out the ancient secrets of the castle that was Blaxton’s childhood home. Instead, she finds the love of her life.

When danger threatens Harriet, Blaxton steps in. Harriet and Blaxton, are a match made in heaven. Except… he’s a vampire and to fully claim her, he’ll have to kill her.

 

Buy Link

Buy links

Loose ID                               http://www.loose-id.com/knights-vampire.html

Amazon US                         http://amzn.to/1umoSyY

Amazon UK                        http://amzn.to/1Ch1LMx

Amazon AU                        http://bit.ly/1BeXhVm

All Romance Books          http://bit.ly/1AOLsm5

Author Links

I’d love to hear from you, or answer any questions you might have.

Facebook                          https://www.facebook.com/kryssie.fortune

Twitter                                https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune

Blog / Web site                 http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=ccc4a46fd9391f4c

 

Excerpt

Mortified, she realized she’d just asked this stranger for his phone number. He wound her up like a clockwork toy, and when she chased after him, he talked with such authority she almost believed him. Besides, even if he’d made his wild story up, she really wanted to see him again. Who was she kidding? She needed to know if he tasted as great as he smelled—all sandalwood and exotic spices. If he did, she’d surely find him addictive.

Blaxton grinned, pulled out a business card, and scribbled a cell phone number underneath his business contacts. “Here. That’s my personal number.”

She studied the card and laughed. “It says here you’re a property developer. I can’t see you being able to do much with a twelfth-century castle, even if it wasn’t grade one listed.”

He stared out to sea, and for a moment he looked lost. His smile returned so quickly Harriet wondered if she’d imagined his brief withdrawal.

He finished his coffee and stood up. “Maybe I could demolish the damned temple and replace it with a real chapel. I’m not staying in Yorkshire long, but would you have dinner with me tonight? We can discuss the Knights Defender if you like. How about we meet up in the Italian restaurant by the harbor? I’ll book a table for eight o’clock tonight if you’re free.”

Harriet blushed, but she smiled back. Tonight she’d be dining with the best-looking guy in the town—if he turned up. She’d been stood up so many times by her ex before she’d stupidly let him share her body and her bed. After the way he’d treated her, dating came hard.

Blaxton de Ferrers seemed genuine. Part of her wanted to run out and get her nails done right along with her hair. What the hell am I going to wear? She wasn’t some sophisticated London beauty, but she cleaned up okay despite her extra ten pounds. Besides, no way would she miss a chance to pump him for information. And if he wants to kiss me goodnight… Well, I might just let him.

 

Jan 23

Book Tour! “Conflicted” by Heather Dahlgren

 

ConflictedBy: Heather Dahlgren

Release Day Blitz: January 23rd, 2015

Hosted By: Author Sandra Love

Keith Dickson has not had an easy life.
He grew up fast thanks to his father’s problems.  He made a promise to his sisters, a promise
to always protect them and his mom.  He’s
been doing that ever since.  He set out
to college with the sole purpose of becoming a cop, to serve and to protect.  He ends up finding so much more.

Becca
Sinclair had a great life.  Loving,
supportive parents.  She knew at a young
age what she wanted and that was exactly what she set out to do.  She goes off to college to become a
lawyer.  She ends up finding her best
friends and so much more.
Keith
(Dick) and Becca meet through their friends.
After watching Campbell and Kenz, as well as Young and Maddie end up
together it was finally their turn, right?
A
cop, A lawyer.  Two worlds that seem to
go so perfectly together, but do they?
What
happens when life takes you down a different path?  When everything you thought should happen
starts to slip away? 
Maybe
being Conflicted will prove to be the best thing.
 

(Will Get them Upon Release)

 

 
 

I am
36 years old.  I am married to my high
school sweet heart.  We have been married
for almost 12 years and have 3 amazing kids.
I’m a stay at home mom and my kids definitely keep me busy.  I live at the Jersey Shore and love all there
is to do here.  I love nature, birds
especially.  I enjoy hiking and fishing
with my family.
I
have always loved to write.  In high
school I used to write stories, poems and a lot of love notes!  I absolutely love to read.  I love the way I can get lost in a book and
forget about the world around me.  Now
that I am writing books, I feel the same way, only it’s my book I’m getting
lost in.
As
for now, I am loving this journey of becoming an author.  It has been more then I dreamed it would be.
You
can always find me online.  I love social
media, so please feel free to interact with me.
 
 
ChangedRelease Date: June 4th, 2014

Kenz hated high school. Having no friends, no
boyfriend, and worst of all being bullied—graduation was the only thing she
looked forward to. After graduation, she completely reinvents herself becoming
the person she always wanted to be. Someone different. 
Changed. When she gets to college, she easily
makes friends, boyfriends, and loves life. For once in her life, she adores the
person she has become. 

Enter Campbell Boyd —the attraction between them
is instant. He is sexy as hell. Sweet, romantic, flirty. He definitely knows
how to treat a woman in and out of the bedroom. 

Once he has his sights set on Kenz, there is
nothing that will stand in his way. Or maybe there is something that could ruin
it all? One small detail that Kenz tries desperately to ignore—one that can
only be swept under the rug for so long. 

What happens when the past and present collide
and secrets are revealed? Is it possible to forgive or will it destroy them
both? One thing’s for sure—things are going to change.

 
CommitmentRelease Date: July 30th, 2014

Maddie Duff had a horrible
childhood – dreadful, vile, and appalling, thanks to her deranged mother.
Maddie was forced into a life that made her believe that perfection and beauty
were the most important things. She was taught that the only relationships
worth having with men were those of a sexual nature; men were not worth the
commitment.
She leads a life of fun, carefree, emotionless sex with countless men. She
lives with her best friends, Kenz and Becca, who she considers her only family.
She also has an ongoing ‘friends with benefits’ thing with her friend and
neighbor, Young.Tyler Young is hot, sexy and loves women. He is foul-mouthed, idiotic and hysterical.
He lives with his best friends, Campbell and Dick. These three may bust each
other; however, they have each other’s back in the blink of an eye. Young has
his sights set on Maddie. They have an intense, mind-blowing time in the
bedroom … Until he decides he wants more.

Even though Young has Maddie feeling things she has never felt before, not to
mention her panties on fire, when he suggests a relationship she takes off.
Young is determined to make Maddie his, whatever the cost. He comes up with a
plan that he believes will do just that. Make Maddie his … mind, body and
soul.

Can Young convince Maddie that he is worth breaking all her rules for? Will
Maddie be able to let down her walls, forget what she believes, and let Young
in? What happens when the past finally catches up with you and the truth is
revealed?

Is the Commitment worth it?

 

Jan 16

Book Launch – Lia London and “Her Imaginary Husband”

I’m happy to welcome a fellow indie author to the blog.  Say “hi” to Lia London!

Lia London was a high school English teacher. Many of events in the story were based on real things she either experienced or witnessed. However, there was neither a lecherous, hunky coach nor a campus cop. When her son was born, London came home to stay, and has since written nine books in a variety of genres. In addition to writing, she is the creator and curator of Clean Indie Reads, a book blog featuring “Flinch-Free” fiction by her esteemed peers. She lives happily with her real live husband (a teacher) and two children (teens), a dog and a cat. She loves jazz music, Taekwondo, and milk chocolate.

Follow Lia in the Interwebs:

Website:  www.LiaLondonBooks.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/LiaLondon1

 

Her brand new book is “Her Imaginary Husband”

Her Imaginary Husband300dpi

New teacher Nikki Fallon is trying to ward of unwanted advances from the hunky football coach. She should…

  1. slap him silly.

  2. report him for harassment.

  3. invent an imaginary husband.

 

You can buy it, right now, at:

http://bit.ly/ImaginaryHub

Here’s a little more from Lia explaining how the book came to be:

 

Back in college, while studying to be an English teacher, I worked in the local grocery store. I had to put up with some really annoying customers who felt it was their right to flirt obnoxiously with me because I was in customer service. I took to wearing a fake wedding band which I would wiggle at them to hint that I was not available. Once I quit and began my teaching career, I naturally dropped the ruse. However, I have often wondered what would have happened if I’d kept it going.

 

This book is a blending of that “what if” and many memories I have from my first two years of teaching English. Quite a number of the funny and poignant incidents in the story were based on real events. Names have been changed, of course, and there never was a romance story involved. I wasn’t as adorable as Nikki.

And I’ve also got a great interview with Lia:

Who is your favorite author?

That’s always a tricky question because it depends on what I feel like reading. I can tell you some favorites, though: Douglas Adams and Eoin Colfer for humor, Orson Scott Card and J. K. Rowling for sci-fi/urban fantasy world-building and just plain amazing plots, John Grisham and Michael Crichton for suspense (like a cardio workout from your chair), and C. S. Lewis and Mark Twain for depth of message and beauty of language. I simply must give props to fellow indie authors Michelle Isenhoff and Annie Douglas Lima for exquisite writing and brilliant story-telling (two different skills).

How do you describe your writing style?

I seem to be a bit split on that. Most of the time, I’m very conversational and a bit silly/snarky. That is definitely what comes out in Her Imaginary Husband. At other times, in other books, I wax poetic and get all literary.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

You’ll laugh, you’ll sigh, and you’ll come away looking at teens and teachers a little differently than before. It’s also a very sweet romance that’ll restore your hope in nice guys.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

Absolutely. Nikki is a cute, desirable version of me. Her teaching style and the way she interacts with her students, colleagues and mother are very much like me. I, however, do not act like her in romantic situations at all.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

With Nikki, of course. I’d love to go back into the classroom with the kids.

What books have most influenced your life?

In terms of my life, it would be the scriptures which shape my whole persona. In terms of my writing, I had two influences that come to mind. One was John Christopher’s White Mountain trilogy. It’s the first time I remember being exposed to the scifi/fantasy genre other than Narnia, and I fell in love with the whole realm of possibilities that went with creating another world. The other is more representative of a style: The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s not like I read it over and over, but the delightful manipulation of language Douglas Adams used intrigued and inspired me. (He wrote for Monty Python, y’know.). I wanted to do that to sentences—make them take sudden turns at the end that slam a person into a giggle.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Perhaps the Eragon series. The writing was so abysmal, and yet the story itself was good.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

I’ll have to go with the Beatles. They are more prolific, and often much more profound. I love a catchy tune, but lyrics that make me think are even better.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Doesn’t everyone want Meryl Streep? Or Sally Field? They are both so genuine in their performances, not worried about “pretty” more than real. They have great energy and depth, and seem to really care about people. I wish I had their figures, too.

 

Jan 16

Book Launch – “Mirror, Mirror” by Renea Porter

 

Mirror
Mirror
By: Renea Porter

Release Date: January 16th

Hosted By: Author Sandra Love

 
Male/Male
Country Romance
Everything about me is a lie, except that my name is Dean.
I don’t want to be the person I feel I have to show the world anymore. I’m sick
of living a lie. What I want is to be free. Free to love who I want, not who
people think I should.
When you’re not living your life on your own
terms, everything suffers. My happiness, personal relationships and even my
music. My music has suffered greatly. I sit down to write and—nothing.
My manager is pushing me to get back on the
road to create a buzz about the songs I actually have been able to write. He
says we’re picking someone up along the way to collaborate with who will help
me write again.

Ayden is everything I’m not. He’s comfortable
in his own skin. Not afraid to show his true self. He’s also a talented song
writer. Not only is he insanely gorgeous overall, but he has the deepest blue
eyes I’ve ever seen. He’s beautiful and makes me question everything.

Can I be my true self? What would happen if my
label found out about whom I really am? What would happen after the gig was up?
What would happen if I took that chance? Is love worth the fight in the end?

 
 
Renea has always had her nose inside of a book
ever since she could remember. She has wrote ever since she was young enough to
write, never showing anyone what she was writing. Initially she started writing
Coming Back to You without intending to publish, but her hubby of 15 years
encouraged her to publish it. And she did. She couldn’t imagine never writing.
Its in her blood.
Her mind is always wondering, plotting and full of ideas. Even her hubs
questions her sanity sometimes, because she well her characters are real. They
feel real
 
 
Other
Books By Renea

 
Coming
Back To you
Bare Hearts

Driving Layne (Unspoken Truth Book 1)

Switching Lanes (Unspoken Truth Book 2)

Outbound Lane (Unspoken Truth Novella)

Undefinable

 
 

Jan 16

Cover Reveal – “Rekindled Desires” by Debbie Macarter

cover

About the Book

Title: Rekindled Desires

Author: Debbie Macarter

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Anticipated Release Date: February 7th, 2015

Book Links: Goodreads

Book Blurb:
On her best friend’s wedding night, Becca Lawson becomes distressed when she runs into the man who once held her heart and shattered it completely. One night of intense emotions and daring confessions is all it takes to rekindle long-lost emotions. Fearing another heartbreak, Becca shuts herself off completely, denying herself a chance at true love.
On the surface, it seems Austin Blackstone has it all. He’s rich, young and strikingly good-looking; but deep down, his heart aches for the unforgettable girl who slipped through his fingers. When a serendipitous encounter places them together on a tropical paradise, all of his deepest and darkest secrets threaten to spill over. He’s willing to forsake everything he has built to finally get what he truly desires.
Rekindled Desires is a touching love story of second chances and new beginnings. Can two vastly different people forget their rules and take a chance at love? Fans of Deborah Bladon are sure to love this sweet tale set on a beautiful, Caribbean island.

Rafflecopter Giveaway:
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