Saturday, 29 September 2012

Salems Saturday Review


A Game of Smoke and Mirrors


When Jia Mason’s estranged husband turns up missing from their Florida vacation home, Jia is the prime suspect in his murder. Afraid she’s being railroaded by the police, she flees to New Hampshire in search of answers only to be arrested there.
Zack Sizemore is tasked with extraditing the beautiful fugitive back to Florida until a blizzard strands them with nothing but their mutual attraction to keep them warm.
When they stumble upon a deserted cabin, Jia sees her opportunity to charm Zack long enough for her to escape. What she doesn’t count on is falling for the handsome lawman. Or the danger that awaits them in the remote cabin.

Meow! Salem here. Mistress read me a nice romance this week, while I cuddles up against her side. Wynter Daniels is a new name to me. Her style is certainly enticing. This book has lots of romance and lots of sex which I purr-sonly can't complain about. Its certainly a hot little read considering all the snow in the story. But unfortunately mistress and I have a few problems with the story. The cops in it are A typical of bad lazy cops. They don't seem to want to believe anyone but the wife could do it and they miss keen details. Jia is portrayed as being a smart woman but yet she runs away. Also they send in Zack in to retrieve her without letting him see her file, so later when she reveals a prior conviction, his reaction is totally off balance. Their relationship, as with a lot of romances was instantaneous and intense, which is all right as that's what we picked it up for. Then you have Kelly's story, which was not executed very well. The author went way over the top when it would have been enough to make her the woman scorned. Also you never find out what happens to her later, its as if the author threw her in and then forgot about her. Okay, Jia and Zack get there happy ever after (after a climax that was a tad predictable) but I don't like loose ends. Unless its on a ball of yarn, then I love it. Meow!


Game of Smoke and Mirrors gets:

 

Speaking of yarn.... Catch you next time

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Cornelia Amiri





1. Tell me about your book Vampire Highland Fling and where you got your inspiration for it?

 It’s a paranormal/erotica/romance, a quickie form Ellora’s Cave and the second in the Dancing Vampire series, Dance of the Vampires is the first. Murdina, a dark vampiric fey, hunts the Scottish Highlands for a man, but not for blood. Murdina wants love. She spots Cameron playing the bagpipes as he’s coming from a wedding. When a strong wind lifts his kilt, she takes a good look and decides he’s the one.  Wrapped in each other’s arms they discover true love, but their time together is limited before Murdina’s fey sisters cross the portal to steal her away and probably kill him. I was inspired by Celitic lore of the Scottish baobhan sith, also known as the dancing vampires.

2. Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general?

I am often influenced by Celtic myth, legend and history.

3. When did you first become interested in writing?

 I loved writing from age six on but I didn’t have the confidence. The Celtic Warrior Queen Boudicca made me start writing professionally. I love history and in reading a book about the dark ages I came across Boudicca. I was so impressed by her, I started jotting down notes, but they were fiction, about how I envisioned it to have happened. Before I knew it, I had written a novel. I thought, gosh I can really do this. So after accidentally writing that novel, I wrote one on purpose, The Fox Prince, which turned out to be my first published book.

4. What was the first thing you wrote?

I When I was six, I had a little stand, like a lemonade stand, but instead of lemonade I sold books I made. Pieces of paper with some simple six year old writing and pictures I drew, stapled together.

5. How do your family feel about you being a writer/author?

My family is my son, as I’m a single mother. He is now 31 and has always been very supportive of my writing. He understands it’s my dream and he has told me many times how proud he is of me. I am very proud of him. I also have an eight year old granddaughter, who is proud that I am a writer as well. She wants me to write something in her age range.

6.What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author?

Find your unique author voice and go with it, always. Never give up, following a dream is always hard work, but it's the only way to truly live.

7.Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?

At book signings I sometime run into people who believe reading is only for children or that spending time reading is a bad or unpopular or that most people have no time for reading. Those beliefs annoy me especially when people pass them on to their children. Reading is incredible fun and it broadens your mind and your life experiences and no one should be discouraged from this wonderful pass time. When you enjoy a book, it doesn’t take long to read it at all. 

8.Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member?

Yes, in my young adult novel, The Prince of Powys, I drew on a zany, bubbly, and sweet co-worker. When she came into a room, it was as if sunshine came with her. I used her personality for my heroine, Branda.  For the same book, The Prince of Powys, I drew on an old boy friend as inspiration for the hero, Blaise. But I took his name from my son's history teacher, Mr. Blaise, who was Welsh. In A Fine Cauldron of Fish I drew the heroine, Margaid’s personality from a good friend of mine. And the heroine, Ceridwen, in To Love A London Ghost was inspired by a trainer at a customer service job I had. She was bright and bubbly and loved food, she’d get so excited about all the pot lucks we had. I’ve never eaten better in any training class. We had pot lucks every other day.  In to Love A London Ghost, my heroine can’t eat as she’s a ghost, so she talks about food all the time and floats around the dining table smelling all the delicious Victorian fare, especially the yummy deserts.

9.If you could hang out with one of your characters, what would you do together? 

Since my characters are mostly Celts from the dark ages or ancient times, I would like to dance around a Samhain bonfire with them. That has always seemed like a lot of fun to me.

10. Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story?

In a day dream I had, a missing head was placed back on the neck of a statue which then came to life. I thought now there’s the beginning of a story and the steampunk/ romance novel I wrote under the pen name Maeve Alpin, As Timeless As Stone was born.

11.What was your favourite book as a child?

I loved the Little Bear books and Charlotte’s Web was the first book that made me cry.

12.What was the last movie you went to see?

Safety Not Guaranteed which I loved. And before that I saw Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. They are both marvellous and I loved them. They both follow the type of Sci-Fi I like the most. Take a plain, average person and place them in extraordinary circumstances and see what happens. Concentrate on the characters, flesh them out so they are a s real as can be, add a little humour and a touch of romance, then kick in with the mind blowing Sci-fi aspect right at the end.

13.If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you?

I need a lot of books to read
Pens and paper, someway to write
My cat, I would miss him so much otherwise, and also he could kill snakes and strange bugs. 
A tent with misquote netting, a comfortable cot, and bedding
My son and granddaughter to make me laugh and keep me from getting lonely

_______________________________________________________


Murdina, a dark vampiric fey, hunts the Scottish Highlands for a man, but not for blood. Murdina wants love. She spots Cameron playing the bagpipes as he’s coming from a wedding. When a strong wind lifts his kilt, she takes a good look and decides he’s the one.  When Cameron meets a beautiful, mysterious woman who dances the Highland Fling for him, his blood boils for her.  Soon Murdina and Cameron are doing more than dancing.  Wrapped in each other’s arms they discover true love, but their time together is limited before Murdina’s fey sisters cross the portal to steal her away and probably kill him. Is their love strong enough to overcome the threat her sisters pose to Murdina’s heart and to Cameron’s life?




About Cornelia

Cornelia Amiri is the author of 16 books both novels and novellas. She writes Celtic/ Paranormal/ Romances under the name Cornelia Amiri and Steampunk/Romances under the name Maeve Alpin in a wide range of heat levels form young adult to erotica romance. Please visit her websites at http://CelticRomanceQueen.com and http://MaeveAlpin.com

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Salems Saturday Review

The Body Finder Series


 




 Kimberly Derting

Meow! Salem here. Time for my first review. My mistress has read this entire series to me up to date and I find it purr-fectly interesting. Violet Ambrose is a teenager whose always had a special ability - the ability to find the dead. She keeps it secret from everyone save for her parents, her uncle and his wife and her best friend, later boyfriend Jay. Violet senses what she calls Echoes, each one different for each life cut short but also a matching imprint lays on those that killed them allowing her to match a murderer to his crimes. Her ability gets her into trouble first from a serial killer, then when she discovers a long buried secret and in the latest instalment when "the girlfriend collector" selects her as his next victim. The books are fast paced, they deal not only with her strange "gift" but also with a her teenage life from homework to dating. There is also the added curiosity of a government agency that want Violet to work for them and at the end of The Last Echo there is a twist I didn't quite see coming. However that said, I don't find myself panting for mistress to get the next book, I find that I can wait for it and its going to be quite a wait as the next book isn't due out till April 2013.

 
Cat note: Violet is not the real star of this story. Our star is much shyer than his human support cast. Karl the cat, who is always shooed from the house by the over sensitive Violet, because he is such a proud hunter. We cats are.

The Body Finder Series gets:


I'm off to lie in the sun and dream about mice. Meow!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Salem


Hello everybody. My name is Salem. I'm Sonnet's cat. Some might call me a familiar but those people I eat ~licks lips~

I thought I would hop onto my mistresses blog and introduce myself. I'm a happy affectionate boy who loves to lounge around, be tickled behind the ears and I will head butt you for attention if and when I desire it. No exceptions!

I will be popping up every now and again when I am not getting my belly scratched. I love books, either for reading or chewing on and have decided that I will be taking over the Saturday/Sunday review from here on out. Give my mistress a breather. Its so tough being a human sometimes. She should be more like me, nap all day and only get up when I hear the shaking sound of my kibble.

Here's how the reviews are going to work. I will pick a book that my mistress will dutifully read to me and I will mark it out of five.

One Black Cat - It just wasn't for me
Two Black Cats - It was Ok
Three Black Cats - It was enjoyable
Four Black Cats - I really liked it
Five Black Cats - I couldn't put it down and highly recommend it

As for requests - Mistress informs me that she hasn't had a request to review a book before but I am open to them. You will always get a fair and honest review from me-ow. If it two cats or lower I will give you the option as to whether it goes live or not. Email me - sonnetodell@hotmail.com with Salem's Reviews in the Subject line.

Bye for now

Salem (the cat)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Dina Rae





1.    What was the first thing you wrote?

My thesis for my master’s degree. Once I knew I could write one hundred pages coherently, I realized three hundred was possible. The first piece of fiction I ever wrote was The Last Degree.

2.    Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?
The query process is very frustrating, but nothing compared to the promotional end of it. Learning something new every day.
3.    Pick one of your characters and tell me what they would do in the real world?  

James Martin, the protagonist in The Last Degree, is a recovering cokehead who builds a dream underground bunker/compound. In the real world he would be the envy of every prepper in America and guest star on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers.
4.    Is there anything you particularly like to write about? Is there anything you don’t? 
I love using facts/lore/myths/literary references/theories/etc. in my work.  Dan Brown, the master at mixing fact and fiction, is one of my favorites.  I don’t like writing love scenes. Something very embarrassing about it, like you are exposing yourself.
5.    What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future? 
I am currently working on a sequel to my other novel, Halo of the Damned.  I have a third novel, Bad Juju, which I just started querying out.
6.    If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man?  
Easy, breezy. James Martin. He and Bella Thompson are extremely wealthy and both build dream bunkers for off-the-grid living. They have an arsenal that most small countries would envy, medical supplies, food, water, generators, photovoltaics, and security up the wazoo!  Bella gets a helicopter later in the story.
7.    What was the last book you read?
Almost finished with Joel Rosenberg’s The Twelfth Imam.
8.    Where would you like to go if you had a time machine? 
I would love to go to Jerusalem and see Jesus while he preached.
9.    If you could speak to one kind of animal what would it be? 
My dog/wolf. She’s such a sweetie! We kind of talk to each other now.
10. What two fictional characters would you put into a boxing ring and who would win? 
Carrie and Danerys would make an interesting match!
11. If you could have one piece of technology from a sci-fi film or book what would it be? 
Harry Potter’s wand. It seems to come in handy every time he’s in a jam.
12. If you could secretly observe one person for a day who would it be?
I would love to observe the President and see the kinds of decisions he makes from dusk to dawn.

_______________________________________


The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war.
Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, and U.S. shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.



To find out more about Dina visit her at - www.dinarae.com and
www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...




... April Grey




1.    Tell me about your book, Chasing the Trickster, and where you got your inspiration for it? 

Chasing the Trickster came together from many places. I've long been interested in Jungian theory and Jung wrote some very interesting things about the Trickster Archetype. I've also been interested in liminality and the idea of transformation. I love metaphysics and magic realism along with urban fantasy and horror. I've tried to blend all my interests into this novel. It's a romance examining the power of loyalty and unrequited love. Furthermore, what it's like to be on the threshold of change.

2.    Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general?

My interactions with life. Things which frustrate me, or make me angry, or even something which fascinates me. Trickster was written during a stressful period of my life. My husband nearly died of a heart attack and I had to remove my son from public school to home school him. I had to be strong, and I sometimes envied my younger self who didn't have these challenges.



3. What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author?

· Keep reading! Read everything and anything. When you read you are priming the pump.

· Write without fear. Writing is something you do for yourself. I kept journals in spiral bound notebooks for years. They were my friends. You don't have to be published to be a writer. All you have to do is write.

· Learn to edit, first by editing other people's work. Find a group to write with and then you'll learn and grow. Good editing skills is the path to be published

· If you no longer enjoy the process of writing, quit or take a break. Don't call it a writer's block.

· But if you are passionate about writing (not just the idea of being a writer) then never get discouraged. And don't be in a rush to self-publish.

4.    If you could hang out with one of your characters, what would you do together?

I'd love to be a student in Pascal Guzman's anthropology class.


5.    What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?

I teach ESL, I quilt, do fiber arts, read and take care of my family.

6.    If one day you are world famous what would you entitle your auto-biography? And would you tell the whole truth?

I've long planned a memoire called Getting Back to Normal.  The past 16 years have been filled with family health challenges and I'm beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel. Writing has kept me sane through good times and bad. However, part of my question is "What is Normal?" Sometimes it's just good adaptation to life around us. And yes, I'd tell the truth, but I'd change names to protect the innocent--Me.


7.    If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man?

Without a doubt, Anita Blake.  And she's free to bring along all her eye-candy lovers. I promise not to touch.


8.    What was the last book you read? 

Are you there, Blog? It's Me, Writer by Kristen Lamb.


9.    If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

Marcus Aurelius


10. If you could speak to one kind of animal what would it be?

Cats

11. If I came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator what would I find?

Tins of cat food and dog food, watermelon, cherries, apples, kale, carrots, celery, home made kombucha tea, black current juice, cold cuts, cheese, half and half, almond milk and regular milk, cold cooked shrimp, cold leftover chicken, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, cocktail sauce, ketchup and mustard. 

I have a husband, teenager, dog and cat and they all are always hungry.

12. You find a genies lamp and are granted three wishes. What would you wish for? *note you cannot wish for more wishes, it’s cheating. ;)

World sustainability (wise use of our planet's resources), universal mutual respect between all people, and excellent health for everyone.

13. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek

14. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you?

Crank run two way radio, crank run laptop (running Word and Kindle with my entire library of books), an axe, a year's supply of freeze dried food and a year's worth of water.

____________________________________________________


One Man, Two Women, Two Gods...who will survive the Trickster's snare? Ghostly images materialize in Nina Weaver's photos. Goons try to kidnap her. When her photographs are stolen and her best friend is shot, she realizes that she has no one to turn to but her ex-lover, Pascal "Goofy" Guzman. Together they go on a desperate road trip in search of answers. The truth is darker and more terrifying than Nina could ever have imagined. After their love re-ignites, they fall into the Trickster God's trap.

Excerpt:

She stared at the photo on the gallery wall and silently swore. All semester ghostly images had marred her work. And now not only a strange inclusion ruined her photo, but the pin light needed to be repositioned as well. She found a ladder in the hallway supply closet. Balancing precariously on the top step, she noticed that the imperfection had changed into the image of a vehicle, and it was on fire. She could see the superheated air wavering up off of the flames. The crackling and sudden heat of a blaze forced her to lift a hand to guard her face. It was going to explode. She was quite sure of it. And then she was falling backwards, falling down…


 BUY

About April 

 
 April Grey's urban fantasy novel, Chasing The Trickster, is published by Eternal Press. Her short stories have been published in such print anthologies as Demonmind's Halloween 2010, The Best of Everyday Fiction 2, Northern Haunts, Ephemera and Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry. Many of these stories can be found in her collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe available through Amazon and Smashwords.

She and her family live in Hell's Kitchen, NYC in a building next to a bedeviled garden. Gremlins, sprites or pixies, something mischievous, lurks therein. Someday she'll find out.