Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taking a Short Break

I hate to do this, but I've decided to take a short break from reading. Not long. Only a couple of days or so. But I need to finish work on my book so I can send it off to be edited. If I don't get it done now, it will not be ready in time for some events I am participating in over the next couple of months, and I will not forgive myself. So, I apologize to every one whose books have not hit the review board yet. I will get back to them as soon as I tie up all the loose ends on my book, which shouldn't take me too much longer. And thank you to everyone who has participated on the review board. I've enjoyed every minute of it and can't wait to get back at it..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Equilibrium by Imogen Rose

It's not every day you see a naked body slumped by the side of the road... This ominous sight is just the beginning of a mystery that will span two dimensions. When California teen Arizona Darley and her siblings go missing, their mother, Dr. Olivia Darley, discovers that the time-travel portal she invented has been hijacked. Is the hijacker responsible for the disappearance of her children? Have the children been transported to another dimension? If so, the police and FBI will never be able to find them, and Olivia must find a way to rescue her children on her own. How will she do this without access to the portal? EQUILIBRIUM is book two of the Portal Chronicles.

Imogen's Website
Imogen's Fanpage

Dawn's Review
I heard over and over again that Equilibrium was better than Portal. I thought to myself, "how can that possibly be? Portal was awesome!" I don't know how she did it, but Imogen truly has outdone herself. Equilibrium delivers all that is promised and then some. It is an action-packed tale filled with mystery and suspense. The story starts off where Portal ended, and we are drawn further into the bizarre life that Arizona has found herself in. Any and all questions that you may have had after reading Portal are answered by the end of the book. Well, not all. Imogen has deviously put a few new twists and turns in the story. But we will have to wait for Quantum to get those answers. I for one, cannot wait!!!

More information on Imogen can be found on our previous interview with her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Failing Test by J.M. Pierce

You know him, but you can't remember his name. He is the one that is always there, in the background, all but invisible to those roaming the hallways. What if he had a secret? What if it was a secret that even he didn't know?

Test Davis has always been a blur to those around him. He's a shadow like a million other kids--not smart enough for the academic team, not beast enough for the football team, not extroverted enough for the drama crowd. In all things Test is just...not, which is why no one ever notices him.

But what happens when someone does notice him–Nicole Paxton, a cheerleader, no less? What happens on the night that Test finds out there's nothing average about him and that a powerful gift has been hidden within, secretly waiting to be set free and alter his life forever? The question is, will that power save him and those he loves or tear them apart?

Imogen's Review
Just as teenager Test Davis delves into a blossoming romance with his long time crush, Nicole, he discovers that he has supernatural abilities. His powers are so intense that he struggles to control them, exploding his life into turmoil, violence and angst with the result that he becomes a fugitive running from the authorities while coming to terms with his powers. Will his romance with Nicole survive? Will he be able to come to terms with his powers and learn to control them? Will the world be able to accept him?

JM Pierce has written an engaging story told by two voices, by Test and by Nicole. Both characters are well fleshed. Test's frustrations and angst left me rooting for him. I felt Nicole's pain as she tried to decide whether to lead a fugitive's life with Test or give him up. The story is far from over and I look forward to the sequel.... Get writing, JM!

About the Author
J.M. Pierce is a simple midwestern man with a creative side that has found writing as his primary outlet. He lives happily with his wife and two children in rural Kansas and finds happiness in a good cup of coffee, a Kansas sunrise, a good book, the sound of his daughter singing, his son's laughter, and his wifes eyes. Everything else is gravy.

Q&A with J.M. Pierce

What/who was the inspiration behind Failing Test?
The inspiration behind FT was a series of lucid dreams that I’ve had since high school, a span of nearly twenty years now. I found myself longing to have the dreams when I lay down at night and was upset when the morning came to bring them to an end. I had taken some writing classes in college, and had thought about writing a story around these dreams, but never gave a thought to the possibility that it would turn into an 83,000+ word novel! It just sort of happened. As I began to write, the story really began to take on a life of its own and characters began to appear spontaneously, particularly Cliff; some of which became an integral part of the story. While the base of the story originated from within these dreams, that is about where the relationship ends. Sadly, since having written Failing Test, I no longer have the dreams.

Test is interesting choice of name, how did you come up with it?
This sounds strange, but I heard a voice whisper it in my ear. Seriously, while taking a shower the name just entered into my mind like a whisper and I knew immediately that this was to be my main character’s name. After that came the title of the book. I already had the concept in mind and those pieces fit the puzzle perfectly.

Who can you see playing Test and Nicole in a movie adaptation of your book?
Funny that you ask this! I recently put up a thread on my Facebook page on this exact thing. The actress that I agreed with the most for Nicole was Ellen Page. I think she is perfect. Test is a little more difficult for me. I haven’t been able to come up with anyone current that fits what I have in my head so I’d have to say maybe a younger Joaquin Phoenix.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many books will there be in this series?
It is a part of a three book series. I’m hoping to have the second book titled “A Shadow’s Light” done and in print by the end of December 2010.

How long have you been writing for?
I have always been a writer in one form or another. I was big into poetry while in high school and then as I grew older, I began to write songs. Failing Test is my first ever attempt at a novel and I began writing it in early 2009. I love the release and I love feeling everything that my characters are feeling. When writing a given scene, my heart will race and the world around me disappears. It is cathartic in a way. I love it and don’t see an end in sight.

Have your friends and family read Failing Test?
Some have yes. That was a difficult thing for me. It was, and still is, such an intimate thing for me, writing that is. It was easier for me to put it out into public hands than to let family and friends read it. I can’t explain why that is, just that it’s the way I felt.

Who is your favorite contemporary author?
The genre thing has always been blurry to me, especially in regards of the classification of an author into a particular one. I was a Michael Crichton junkie for a long time. I was amazed with every book as it seemed like within his stories, everything was actually possible.

I will say, though it seems to be extremely unpopular to say so, that I am also a fan of Stephenie Meyer. Call it a guilty pleasure, call it whatever you want, but my main goal when reading is to get away from the everyday stress of life, so I look for authors that can transport me to another reality. I try not to read with a magnifying glass. I much prefer to get lost in the story.

Since becoming an Indie Author, I have discovered many other Indies that I am very excited to read. The traditional market has become a little stale so I am very excited to get into the wealth of titles on this side of the fence. I haven’t been this excited to about my TBR in a long time!

Why YA books? Will you write other genre's as well?
I didn’t really choose to write a YA book, it kind of chose itself. Aside from the sequel to FT, I am currently working on a book that is titled “Duality”. It is completely different than FT and is leaning more towards the Horror/Thriller side of the genre spectrum.

If you could be the lead singer for any rock band, which group would it be?
I actually was the lead singer of a rock band. Just go to YouTube and type in Bitter Sane. The guy in the cowboy hat (or ball cap depending on which clip you see) and the white Les Paul guitar would be me a lot of years ago! I wish that I could scream like some of these guys doing it now though. It must be such and emotional release to be able to blast out vocalizations like that! Anyway, my musical claim to fame was that we opened up for Slaughter one time!

I have such broad musical tastes that this is a difficult question to answer. I would go nuts if I could ever jam with the original Allman Brothers line-up. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Merle Haggard, the list just goes on forever and covers nearly every style. It’d be amazing to jam with any of them!

Can you tell me about your current projects?
As I stated earlier, I am currently working on a book titled “Duality”. It is a very intense book dealing with the devil, demons, and the faltering of faith throughout the life of one man. I estimate that I’m about 40% finished with the first draft and am very pleased with the ease in which the story is flowing onto the keyboard.

I’m about 70% finished with “A Shadow’s Light”. It was going very well, and I have the story completed in my mind, but had to put it down to get “Duality” out of me. My muse was very persistent about which I was to finish first!

I have several starts to other books as well. The only thing that I lack is time. I am a proud father of two with an incredibly supportive and understanding wife and they come before anything. My kids tell me to write so I can sell lots of books and get “lots of money” so that my daughter can have a horse and my son can have a bulldog puppy. I guess I better listen to them, huh?


Friday, August 20, 2010

NoHeart by Ronnell Porter

Charlotte Roote is a twenty-four year-old convenience store clerk and upstanding citizen of the small Terrebonne Parish town of Coeur, LA.
But by night, she's a Mambo's apprentice; a hoodoo practitioner who conjures and fixes with the blink of an eye.
The only problem is that Charlotte isn't very good. In fact, on her first test she accidentally created a vampire when she was supposed to conjure a hoodoo zombie. Things only go downhill from there for Charlotte as she tries to tame her unpredictable vampire puppet.
But when a string of murders spring up Charlotte is obligated to find out who's been skinning the people of Coeur when her Mambo, The Widow, goes missing.
Magic, murder, mystery and mayhem take the lead in this romantic, sexy and enchanting tale of southern rituals that weave together an unpredictable ending and leave you craving for more.

Dawn's Review
Charlotte Roote's life is about to take a turn into the freaky and bizarre. Vampires, wolves, creatures of the unknown; that's just the beginning. From the very start, this book is an adventure. With each twist and turn I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I couldn't help but feel a deep connection with the characters as their lives unfolded in the pages, and felt like I was right there, experiencing everything they were. This is truly one of the best thriller books I've read in a long time, and I can't wait to read more by Ronnell.

About the Author
Ronnell D. Porter currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT. He is always striving to tell a story focusing on vivid characters and their emotions as much as their actions.

Ronnell's Website

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion

When free-spirited Skyla marries proper and predictable Thomas Plinka, she finally finds the love and stability she’s craved since childhood. She also acquires a new family: mother-in-law Audrey, disapproving and suspicious of Skyla’s nomadic past; father-in-law Walt, gruff but kind; and Thomas’s brothers, sofa-bound Jeffrey, and Dennis, who moved across the country seemingly to avoid the family.

Skyla settles into marriage and motherhood, but quiet life in small-town Wisconsin can’t quell feelings of restlessness. Then into her life comes Madame Picard, the local psychic from the disreputable bookstore, Mystic Books, and new neighbor, Roxanne, whose goal in life is to have twelve kids even though she can’t manage the five she has. Despite her family’s objections, Skyla befriends Roxanne and gets a job at the bookstore, and life gets fuller and more complicated than she ever imagined.

Imogen's Review
"OPEN YOUR HEART." Three women living a small-town life in Wisconsin. Karen McQuestion's novel is narrated by these three voices. The first, Skyla Plinska, a former free-spirit, now firmly seeded into a middle-class life with her level-headed husband and their well-behaved daughter. The second is Skyla's mother-in-law, Audrey. Audrey has spent her life caring for her now three grown-up sons and husband, but always longing for a daughter. Will Skyla fill this void? The third is Roxy, Skyla's new neighbor and friend. Roxy is totally obsessed with her five sons and longs for more children, particularly a daughter.

Karen McQuestion draws us into the life of these three women in an engaging and easy fashion. The story line is entertaining and touching on many different levels, as each of the characters are fleshed out and their personalities and quirks revealed. I am very much looking forward to the movie adaptation of this novel. Thanks for a great read, Karen.

About the Author
Karen McQuestion is the author of six books on Amazon’s Kindle, including the novel, A Scattered Life, which has been optioned for film. Five of those originally self-published books are now under contract with Amazon's new publishing imprint, AmazonEncore. Other writing credits include humorous essays in Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Denver Post, Wisconsin Academy Review, and numerous anthologies. In addition, she was awarded a 2003 Ragdale Foundation residency for fiction. She lives in Hartland, Wisconsin with her husband and three nearly-grown children.

Q&A with Karen McQuestion

What/who was the inspiration behind A Scattered Life?
The characters came first for me. I knew the main character, Skyla, would be a free-spirited young wife and that her husband’s family would be the antithesis of everything she’d ever known. I wasn’t entirely sure what the deal was with her mother-in-law, Audrey. When she first came on the scene I knew she was going to be a source of tension, but I had no idea she’d play such a large role in the story.

I can’t say that any of these characters are based on anyone I know, although my husband, like Thomas, is the oldest child in his family, and like Skyla, I once worked as a waitress. Other than that, it’s all fiction.

How were you approached for the movie deal? What was your initial reaction?
After A Scattered Life had been available as an ebook for a few weeks I received an email from the head of an L.A. based production company wanting the contact information for the person handling the movie rights for the novel. I was flattered that he even thought there might be such a person. Obviously he didn’t know there was only me—a woman writing novels in her basement. I was initially skeptical of the offer, but when I realized it was for real I was elated.

When can we expect the movie?
That’s a question I’d love to know the answer to! The last I heard the project was on track, but these things take time, and often the movie never gets made at all. I’m grateful it was optioned and anything beyond that will be a huge bonus.

If you could have anyone play the roles of Skyla, Audrey, and Roxy, who would you choose?
I’ve thought about this and changed my mind a million times. Honestly? Anyone who plays my characters will be just right as far as I'm concerned. I really can't choose.

Do you have any music in mind for a potential soundtrack for the movie?
Thanks for asking, but I have to confess to a complete lack of talent in the musical or visual arts and will leave that for others to decide.

What are your favorite movie and book?
The first answers that popped into my head were, When Harry Met Sally for the movie, and The Accidental Tourist for my book choice, but I’m sure if I say that I will later think of a million others that I love just as well, so I’ll just have to take a pass on this question.

High heels or flats?
Flats definitely! I love the look of high heels, but can only withstand the discomfort for a few hours at most.

What kinds of books do your children enjoy? Have they read your books?
We seem to go in phases at my house. At one time it was Captain Underpants and Goosebumps, then it evolved to Harry Potter and (for one) the Twilight series. Now that my children are older I’m seeing a lot of humorous books, Stephen King, and paranormal fiction. Two of my kids have read some of my books, and one hasn’t shown any interest at all, but that one brags about me, so I've made my peace with it.

Team Edward, team Jacob or team Eric?
It would definitely be Team Edward, if he weren’t so cold and I wasn’t so old. J

Please tell us about your current projects.
I’m working on an adult novel and it’s going very slowly. I have this idea that once the school year starts the house will be quieter and I’ll get back on track and become a writing maniac. We shall see.


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Hunted of 2060 by Ami Blackwelder

Set in Alaska in 2060, when April enters her Sophomore year at University, she thought Robert might be the love of her life, but as she discovers, she is hiding something inside her, something the rest of the world believes to have died out. She struggles with who she was and who she is becoming as she learns of a family she never knew existed and of enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. As April embraces her new identity, will she have to leave the life she loves behind?
With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages of April’s story.

Q&A with Ami Blackwelder
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
The Hunted of 2060 was inspired by ideas of metamorphosis, wildlife conservation, and prejudice. I had a vision a year ago of a woman being hunted in the forest and when against a tree with the gun to her face, she changed...metamorphosed into a panther...I was fascinated by the concept and also being a wildlife conservationist thought about how I could incorporate the two themes.
The names you used were so unique. How did you come up with them?
I wanted names not used before, unique to the characters, unless they grew up in the human world. Arquet was born out of Patricia Arquette's last name. Arken was a mix of two male names on my mind (Alex/Kyle). Umin and umia were actually a names to begin, but confusing with all the other a names, and so were changed. Umia was inspired by Uma Thurman's first name. Umin was worked afterward. I use other people's names I find interesting and play with them. (The secret is out;)
What are your plans for this book?
This story is not finished. There will defiantly be a prequel and sequel. I am working on the prequel, The Shifters of 2040 now and am on chapter five. At the end of this interview you will catch a snippet of the prequel;) (Lucky readers). I will send copies of it to celebrities and directors, and producers monthly and hope for a movie deal;) Everyone tells me they can see it on the big screen as a movie. My mom was the first!
If your book makes it to the big screen, who would you like to see play the characters?
When this book makes it to the big screen I would love for Jessica Biel to dye her hair black and play April. She is an amazing actress. Cate Blanchette for Diamond. Jennifer Love Hewitt for Susan (have you see her in The Client List-bad girl). Laura Prepon (from that 70's show) for Umia. Tyrese Gibson for David. Meagan Fox for Arquet. Daniel Radcliffe for Umin, Zac Efron would make a delicious Arken, Robert, Sam Neil for Colonel Marn, Tommy Lee Jones for General Raul (He'd have to grow a mustache).
Are you working on any other projects right now?
Currently, I am writing the prequel The Shifters of 2040.


About the Author
I am a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. My unique experiences allow me an original perspective and a plethora of ideas to entertain readers.
I grew up in Florida and went to UCf. in 1997 had my BA in English and teaching credentials. I decided to travel overseas and teach and have worked in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered my second home now. I have always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, my novels began when I was in Thailand.

Dawn's Review
The Hunted of 2060 puts a unique twist on the shape-shifter tale. Set fifty years in the future, Ami puts us in an exciting yet controversial time. We quickly learn that all is not as it seems and that those who discover the truth about themselves will be forced to fight for their lives in a war they didn't know existed. The reader is drawn right into the thick of the story, and as we learn the truth about April's life, we become sympathetic to her plight. This story is exciting right to the very last page. I was thrilled to learn of the upcoming prequel and cannot wait to read it.

This week's featured author: Susanne Lambdin

Susanne's love for Star Trek took her to Los Angles in the late '80s. She is best known for her 'based in part' contribut...