Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Post by Joe Schwartz, A Season Without Rain

Why Men Must Write


Joe Schwartz

I have a goal as a writer; strike that. To quote the immortal Blues Brothers, ‘I’m on a mission from God’ to get guys reading again. When did it become so uncool for dudes to read anyway? It is hard goddamn work to write anything, much less something good enough, that deserves to be read by others. There was a time being a writer was an ultra-badass job to have and considered dangerous as driving race cars or being a spy. So when did being a writer become synonymous with being a pussy?

            This trend for watered down prose came with what I’ll call the formulaic novel. You know them. Every character is referred to by their full name the first time they’re mentioned and each one is about as deep as a kiddie pool in the dessert. They are almost always of practically infinite means, stunning good looks, and it seems their biggest problem is having great, unprotected sex on yachts, in mansions, on vacation in Monte Carlo, or while aboard a private jet. Give me a fucking break!

            I’d rather get a rectal exam sans the lube than read a James Patterson novel. If I were on a desert island with nothing to read but the Twilight trilogy, I would burn them for warmth then piss on the ashes. Locked in a cell with Fifty Shades of Grey I would fashion the pages into a noose and try to hang myself. I am sick to death of trite romance stories disguised as mystery and paranormal fiction. Give me Carrie or The Girl Next Door any damn day rather than these blabbering, idiotic nonsense novels as good for reading as extreme nachos are for dieting.

            The time is ripe again for the next Donald Goines or George V. Higgins to come along and scare the hell out of us telling tales that seem much too real to be fiction. Men need to start reading stories written by men again. Although most readers are currently women, I hope that they’ll give a sharp poke in the ribs to their men in bed at night, push a book under their nose, and tell them you need to read this. And they will. That is the nature of men, to do whatever it takes to make their wives or girlfriends shut up. But I believe something remarkable will happen. Men will start wanting to read again.

The soft novels featuring ghosts, vampires, and werewolves will always have an audience. There is, however, ample room for stories about guys digging their own graves and unable to stop themselves. Breaking Bad did just that and middle class white males couldn’t get enough. Elmore Leonard, may he rest in peace, was an absolute aficionado of writing the guy novel, as is Cormac McCarthy and Chad Kultgen. It’s not about sex or even violence for men, its men truly about men acting like men. Sometimes you get your ass kicked and occasionally you get lucky when you should get what you deserve. More importantly, it is the language of men. I can no more write what it feels like for a woman to find the man of her dreams delirious at the prospect of having his children than a woman can write how it feels for men to simultaneously lust after and hate a woman. There is a special language we men use that is filled with vulgarity but an imagery we know well, that we learn at the armchairs of grandfathers, under the hoods of cars with fathers and uncles, in converted basement bedrooms of friends with access to several used copies of Oui, Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler. To say our stories are the same is like saying there is no difference between a dog or a cat except one shits in a box and the other the yard.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Cursed Man, Keith Rommel

A fellow GMTA author has a movie in production!  Pick up your copy today and look out for this fellow at the Oscars!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

LARP: The Battle for Verona; Justin Calderone

What an interesting book with a character that’s pretty damn relatable to those of us who didn’t quite fit in whilst in high school and are trying to break out on a new path as adults.  Poor Dennis made the decision to stand up for two of the less popular kids and now, years later, believes those decisions have trapped him into a life he’d rather not live.  Then, when disaster strikes, it’s up to Dennis and his friends to save those idiots who have always been pushing them around.

This is definitely a light hearted, fun read which probably isn’t intended to be taken seriously.  There are some points where the jump from POV to POV can become confusing, but, overall, the book was an excellent escape from reality.  I give it a very solid 4 stars.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Phantom Dreams -- T.K. Harris

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed the book.  When I first started reading it I had a hard time getting into it.  However, once I got to know the characters I found I couldn’t put it down.  The book starts off with the murder of a woman as she’s jogging through the woods.  The person who killed her seems to be a bit psycho (not a stretch, right?) as he seems to be talking to another voice in his head.

Another woman, Kathy, has been having dreams off and on for years that she doesn’t quite understand.  As they become unmanageable, she seeks assistance and is told to start writing her dreams down when she wakes up so that she can try and piece together what’s triggering them.    The dreams start occurring more and more often and she finally ends up confiding in her best friend.  As they put the pieces together, they realized that the faces in her dreams match those of several murder victims.  She also realizes, soon enough, that the murderer might possibly be in her own home town. 

I’m usually pretty good at picking out who the murderer is in these types of books and, although I was close, I didn’t quite hit the mark.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery story, but be prepared for a little paranormal activity as well.  As for me, that just added to the fun.

If your interested in a copy, I have twenty to give away.  But you have to contact me today after visiting this blog.  Otherwise, you can pick up a copy on your own at

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Change of Heart

Thanks to the encouragement of other authors, I've decided to keep this blog going for book reviews and virtual tours.  The rules have changed slightly, however.  I will no longer contact an author prior to posting my review of their book.  Nor will I allow myself to be bullied with the threat of a poor review for my own body of work.  The reviews here are my opinion and only my opinion.  I wish all of my fellow authors luck and I intend to support them in every way that I can. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sadly, I have no choice but to close this blog.

After some negative comments for giving various authors less than a perfect 4 to 5 star reviews and being told I have no right to review  the works of other authors, I am shutting down Author to Author Reviews.  The blog was intended to build support among authors and I've taken hours from my own writing to read and post my opinion.  This is a positive step for me as I've given up valuable writing time and can now focus on Rise of Babylon.  I apologize to any author waiting for a review from me, but need to focus on my own works given this turn of events.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Silent No More; Krista K. Hatch

I’ve always been fascinated by WWII Nazi Germany.  How did this monster known as Hitler gain the support he needed to inflict such horrific acts on a portion of the population of his people?  This was probably the largest reason that I picked up Krista K. Hatch’s Silent No More.

The beginning of the book is extremely intriguing.  A father is trying to make choices to save his family from the government that is rising to power.  Then we are introduced to a modern day character who vacations to Munich in present day times and is attacked by the roommate of a man she’s just met over spite and jealousy that was truly non-representative of the facts surrounding them.

Wounded, Elsie falls into a comma and travels back in time with the young man, Matthias, who has no obvious wounds, to a world where Hitler reigns supreme.   Though Matthias has retained all of his memories, Elsie has not.  When Matthias shares with her their plight she is, understandably, afraid and confused.

The two find help in the form of a band of individuals, including Hans and Sophie Scholl.  As they get to know these young people, and witness the unfolding of their campaign, they place themselves in danger to help out.

All in all I really enjoyed this book.  Enough so that I found it hard to put down.  The family ties and the interwoven love story made for a very enjoyable read. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Interview with Lachelle Redd, author of When Angels Fall

I am here today with Ms. Lachelle Redd, the author of the novel When Angels Fall.

 Welcome, Lachelle.  I have just a few questions for you.
Question:  For those readers who have not yet read your book, please provide a description.

When Angels Fall is a dark, sexy horror novella about a cursed angel who tires of his tasks in the underworld. He decides to come topside and cause problems for employees at a financial firm. His arrival is at a time of turmoil because the young CEO is about to be fired for embezzlement. However, when Margonne, the fallen one, takes over by possessing the body of the young man, all hell is unleashed and life on earth becomes a battle of sexual pleasure, revenge and deception.

Question:  The story is very dark and sexy.  What inspired the concept of the book?

I wanted to write a story about saying whatever you want and doing whatever you want and not caring about consequences. The workplace for me was a perfect backdrop because of office politics, deception and attitude.

Question:  Who was your favorite character in the story and why?

Margonne, I loved the treacherous, deceptive parts, but he is also vulnerable when he meets the woman that captures his attention.

Question:  There seems to be a growing number of books today with characters that are either angels or demons.  Do you believe that this may be the new fad for readers?

I think that horror is more mainstream and that people are branching out and yes angels and demons are always fascinating subjects.

Question:  What would you say is your favorite genre--not only to read but also to write?


Question:  What inspired you to become a writer?

I love telling stories and seeing the looks on the reader's face when I delight them.

Question:  If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three books would you be glad you packed to take with you and why?

The Pokey Little Puppy - It was my first favorite book as a child
Survival Guide - for the obvious reason
The Counte of Monte Cristo - I would be off the island before I could finish it

Question:  Finally, what one piece of advice do you wish you had been given when you decided to publish your books that you stumbled upon on your own?

Find a good editor.
Thank you, Lachelle and good luck with the rest of your tour.
For those interested in receiving a copy of When Angels Fall, send me a message via the contact link.  I have twenty free copies to give away.  Or, you can pick up a copy on your own at the following link:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When Angels Fall; Lachelle Redd

When Angels Fall by Lachelle Redd is an erotic and dangerous tale of an angel who wishes to live with, and damn, human kind. The main character inhabits the body of a mortal and proceeds on a rampage of sex and debauchery with the sole intent of finding those he can control and damn. The “Masters”, who oversee the demonic angel, find amusement in his disobedience and turn his quest into a game. Bets are laid as to the success of his mission and the cost, should he lose, is high.

The writing is brilliant and the imagery and terror that the humans the demon toys with is palpable. Though the book could do with a bit more editing for punctuation and complete sentences, I found the story, overall, to be enjoyable. The ending could have been a bit more satisfying. It seemed that the demon was dispensed with far too easily. Yet this did not detract from my overall appreciation of the book itself as, it seems, we have a possible sequel to look forward to.

I would suggest that the formatting of the kindle edition be revisited as, at Chapter 6, the text no longer flows on one page and seems to separate by paragraphs. Although it’s just the flick of a finger to move on to the next part of the story, it can become cumbersome. This irritation is further compounded in Chapter 8, where the justification doesn’t follow the general flow of the text.

Overall, however, I base my rating on the writing, itself. That said, I would rate this book 4 Amazon stars. When Angels Fall was an extremely satisfying read that held my attention to the very end. With a bit more care in the editing and formatting, it would definitely have captured a 5 for me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Edge of Temptation; Nik August

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book.  I'm glad I bought it.

I picked up the book because the author is a friend. I kept reading because I couldn't put it down. Along Temptations Edge is extremely sexy but at the same time asks us to consider what we would do if we lived in a world where our men were unable to breed and so the women were forced to visit a new society to propagate. The characters are well thought out and even those we hate at the beginning we start to adore. This is an exceptional book and I can't wait to read the next installment.

I Call Myself Earth Girl; Jan Krause Greene

WOW.  That’s the first thing I’m going to say about this book.  Beyond that, I’m pretty much speechless.

I Call Myself Earth Girl starts out with a woman who has mysteriously become pregnant during her menopausal years although she hadn’t had sex with her husband in a period of time in which this may have logically occurred.  Now, at first I rolled my eyes and wondered what kind of ride I was going to be taken on.  Thoughts of Jesus and the Virgin Mary aside, I assumed her condition was probably psychosomatic and the story was going to be about some poor crazy woman who would end up destroyed when she realized that her pregnancy was a lark.  Yet, the pregnancy turned out to be very real and the manner in which the characters dealt with the situation extremely human. 

I’d love to go into the details of the story but to do so would rob future readers of the incredible journey that Jan Krause Greene has taken me on.  Therefore, I’ll leave it to Ms. Krause Greene to take you down that road.

If I had any complaints about this book it would only be that the characters often times became repetitious with their thoughts.  Prior to becoming a writer myself, however, I never would have noticed this.  I only did so because I’ve been criticized for the same thing.  Aside from that, this was a perfectly written novel that I would recommend that anyone and everyone reads.

Note:  This book was given to me by Ms. Krause Greene in exchange for a review on my blog.  However, this in no way changes or influences my opinion about this book.  Run, don’t walk, to your local book store for this one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Interview with Michael W. Garza

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First off, thank you for talking the time to speak with me and offering me a guest interview on your blog.  I truly appreciate your time. 

I grew up as the youngest of five siblings in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I now live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  I moved here about four and half years ago following the closure of the company I worked for as I was in need of a day job.  Although I miss my family and friends, it was a much needed growing experience that proved to me that I can succeed at anything I put my mind to if I just take that risk.  Having found this new faith in myself, I swept the dust off of some old manuscripts in the hopes of pursing my true passion—writing.

As for my personal life, I’m a single mom.  I have a fourteen year old daughter with a great sense of humor who has been extremely supportive with my desire to become successful with my writing.  Together, we have two dogs, a Siberian husky and a dachshund, and a grouchy, but lovable, cat.

 What made you want to become a writer?

 I started writing after I’d read V.C. Andrews book, “Flowers in the Attic”, when I was about fourteen years old.  It was probably the first book that I read cover to cover three times in a row.  After I read it the first time, the journal I used to keep stopped being about my life and, instead, became a collection of short stories.  From then on, whenever I found the time I would find myself constantly curled up with a spiral bound notebook free-forming my ideas.  

What authors have influenced your writing style?

There are so many talented authors who have influenced my writing, but if I had to narrow it down I’d say Stephen King.  His Dark Tower series had me hooked.  Although, to be fair, this had as much to do with the narration of the books on tape by the late, great Frank Muller as King, himself.    Sometimes when I write I imagine how Muller would have given life to the voices of some of my characters.  The man was a genius at narration.  

 Tell us what you're working on right now and what we might see from you in the near future.

 Ashes to Ashes, which is the book I’m featuring here today, is the second in a series entitled The Scribing of Ishitar.  At this point in the series, a great war has occurred, followed by a second revolution, and the characters of the novel are left to deal with the fallout of both.  Ishitar, the protagonist of the series, is the son of the King and, now exiled, Queen of the Gods.  The Queen is trying to reclaim her throne, but Ishitar has plans of his own regarding who should wear his mother’s crown.  The end of Ashes to Ashes leads into the third book, which is what I’m working on now, where Ishitar is wrought with guilt because he has made a terrible, gut-wrenching miscalculation as to the extent of his true powers.  The plan for book three is that this will be the point in the series where Ishitar truly transforms from a spoiled prince into a man, but this story seems to have taken on a life of its own so we will just have to wait and see. 

 What was your inspiration behind your latest work?

Although I was born in Salt Lake City, I wasn’t raised within an organized religion and so had the opportunity to explore various faiths.   I noticed a theme between all of the religions.  Even if the story was different, the message was always the same.  Then in Junior High School I had a teacher who introduced me to Mythology and, once again, I connected the dots and found that even the old stories related to those of practicing faiths in these days and times.  From that day forward I began compiling and comparing and, thus, The Scribing of Ishitar was born.

Did you self publish your book or was it professionally published? What was that experience like?

I did self publish both of my books.  It’s been a very interesting and educational experience for me because, honestly, I never thought these books would see the light of day.  Then I found another author that found out I was in the process of revising my novels who gave me further encouragement to proceed.   At that point I started researching agents and publishers but found a print on demand site that made self publishing something that is fairly inexpensive to do.   After the publication date was the hard part.  Now that it’s out there, what do I do?  Luckily there is a great community of self published authors willing and ready with excellent advice so that by the time Ashes to Ashes was published I was able to form a prepublication plan and haven’t floundered quite so much.

 If your latest work was made into a movie, who do you see playing the lead character and why?

You know, I’ve actually discussed this very topic with several of my readers.  I’ve read so many books that became movies and the actor looked nothing like what I pictured that I walked away from the film disappointed.  One of my readers came up with two suggestions, however, that were spot on.

I have two main characters.  One is Azrael, who is the Archangel of Death and the narrator of the first two books.  The other is, of course, Ishitar.   
For Azrael, it came down to Nathan Stewart-Jarret.  He was chosen because Azrael is a wise character who is full of knowing and an illimitable supply of love.  Nathan Stewart-Jarret has an extremely expressive face which can convey the idea of someone who sees something terrible happen but has no choice, no matter how deep the desire, but to sit back and watch events unfold before him.

Ishitar was a bit easier.  In the first book he is extremely young and learning the ways of the world.   In both books, he believes that he is far wiser than he truly is.   He is still so young compared to the people that surround him that any actor who plays him would need to be able to convey all of the emotions of someone who is coming into age too fast for their own good.  That being said, Robert Sheehan seems to be the actor to play the part!

If you're stuck on an island, what three books do you have to have with you?

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien and any one of Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels.

Can you give some lessons learned for the aspiring writers out there?

Beta readers are the key to a successful book.   Find them and mull over any advice that they give you before discounting it.  My beta readers turned both of my books from something that was merely good writing into a something that is so much more.

Please let us know where we can find you online.

Visit my website at or like me on my Facebook Page, The Scribing of Ishitar.



Books in for review!

I have a ton of books in for review right now so if you haven't seen yours yet, don't despair. 

Current books in for review in no apparent order:

Edge of Temptation by Nik August -- Read and formulating review.
I Call Myself Earth Girl -- Jan Krause Greene -- Currently Reading
Transported for Life by E Van Jonson -- Next in Line
Hunter by Campbell Jefferys
Revontuli by Andrew Eddy
The Geek -- Eunice Oweifaware
The Neighbor - Robert Moore
Tallas -- Cathrina Constantine
The Secret Passage -- Bridgette Stotzka
A Second Chance -- Christina Paul
Anne -- Carmen Stevens

Sorry for the delay folks.  I've had a bigger response than I anticipated but I promise to get to every one of you.

If you don't see your book here and you've sent it, contact me to make sure I add it to the list.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Awesome Five Star Review for Fall From Grace from Nik August

I have been reading all my life, and never have I come across a work where the characters express so much emotion toward each other. Whether it be great love, or hatred, I found myself brought to tears at the level of caring companionship, created by the author. I can guarantee you'll never think about human creation the same way again. I must express my delight with the wonderful cosmic world imagined in this tale. My heart sings throughout. Bring on the next book!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ashes to Ashes: The Scribing of Ishitar (Vol. II)

Thank you sybillreader with for this excellent 4 out of 4 star review of Ashes to Ashes!

Ashes to Ashes: The Scribing of Ishitar is a very compelling story. It is a fictional account of how the angels and demons faired after the original rebellion from on high. I found it to be fascinating, especially since this is not the type of book that I would normally read. I had to keep reading to figure out what the characters’ motive were and try to distinguish the good guys from the bad. The cast of characters includes Gods, angels, demons, vampires, mortals, fairies, and creatures that I could never fit into any category at all.

The battle of good and evil is as old as time. In this case greedy gods fight amongst themselves for kingdoms and positions that they desire and many times non-gods get caught in the crossfire as pawns. The vampires need blood to feed upon yet they cannot breed; the angels can breed, but must do so with a lesser class; the demons want to get rid of the angels; and the fairies will do whatever their mortal master tells them to do. A war for survival begins, and it is time to call in old favors. Add in forbidden love, deceit, lots of secrets, murder, and revenge and boy what a story we have!

I was amazed at the obedience and loyalty in this tale. A friendship that spanned centuries between a demon and an angel is tested as the war escalates. Will it survive or will they feel the compulsion to remain true to their own people? A love affair ends in the most heart-breaking way. A young boy becomes a man as he leads his people on the battlefield. Help comes from surprising and unexpected sources, testing trust on all sides as class classifications go by the wayside. Unnecessary deaths broke my heart and made me want to cry while one called a friend turns into a traitor. One particular god is the vilest of the vile and I wanted to get him myself. The author blends all of this into one of the most amazing and emotional adventures that I have read.

The names gave me a little trouble at first, but as I got to know the characters I could place the names in my head even though I could not pronounce them. Then I realized that I missed the first book in the series. I will read it now that I know about it and I highly recommend reading Fall from Grace first to understand the who, what, why, and how of this continuing story and definitely for character development.

There are several sub-plots within the main story and I guarantee that this book will keep you going. I recommend this book even if it does not fall within the genre that you normally read. You will not be disappointed. Please hurry with the next one! I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.

A Flight of Marewings; Kristen S. Walker

The book was an interesting tale of a young bastard heiress who has been promised to a warlord.  She goes with him willingly enough to fulfill her dead father’s wishes and finds herself in a situation where the Council who now rules denounces those wishes and she and the warlord must now make other plans.

The story, over all, was extremely enjoyable and I really liked the manner in which the POV chapters were laid out.  My largest complaint, however, was that the characters seemed to contradict themselves often and without much explanation.  Also, some of the timeline wasn’t quite in sync, causing a little bit of confusion. 

That being said, I do look forward to the next installment in the series.  Therefore, I give Kristen S. Walker a solid four stars for her efforts with A Flight of Marewings.

Note:  I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for a review on  This in no way influenced my opinion.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tempus; Holly Lauren

Tempus was everything that every YA author should strive for.  Chapel Ryan, the POV character, understands that something about her is different from other people.  Those close to her tried to slough it off as a symptom of PTSD.   On top of dealing with this, she is mending the broken heart of first love, the gradual loss of a somewhat close relationship with her mother and a creepy stepfather that seems to be more interested in the results of his election than what is happening in his own house.   But rather than wallowing in self-pity she puts on a brave face throughout most of the book and focuses her concerns on finding out what is wrong with her and how to normalize herself.

Over the course of the book, Chapel finds a new love interest, Isaiah.  Ms. Lauren did an incredible job in building this relationship.  The chemistry between the two is perfect from the beginning and Chapel’s reluctance to trust another boy so soon after having her heart broken is played in a manner that shows inner strength rather than weakness.   At the same time, the mystery surrounding Isaiah is more than Chapel can resist and, eventually, a small crack in her self-imposed armor spurs the events that lead her to allowing Isaiah in just enough to solve her own mystery. 

The book kept me guessing all the way through the reveal of why Chapel had these mysterious episodes and who (or what, given the paranormal undertones of the novel) Isaiah actually was.  Never mind that as she made her journey to self discovery I wasn’t sure who was on Chapel’s side and who I wanted her to stay as far away as possible from.  Even her three best friends came into question in my mind somewhere near the end of the book.

Other reviewers have made mention of the grammar and formatting issues so, although I must point them out, I won’t harp on that here.  Because Ms. Lauren has acknowledged the feedback of her readers, and has expressed her gratitude for it, I also won’t let it hinder my review score and will, instead, focus on the exceptional plot and the brilliant writing style prevalent throughout the entirety of the book.

Let it be known that I do NOT enjoy YA romances; especially those with a paranormal tendency (although I’m a rabid fan of adult novels in this genre).  Upon reading two extremely popular series where the POV female characters felt so damn sorry for themselves all the time, I’d sworn off of them for good.   Having said that, I hope that the fact that I give Tempus a five star rating will convince others who have been turned off by the recent fluff of YA fiction give this unexpected treasure the well deserved benefit of the doubt.   
Note:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for the review.  This did not effect the rating.

Pick up a copy of Tempus in either print or kindle on at the following link:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This Changes Everything (The Spanners Series); Sally Embers

As I started reading this book I was extremely confused.  The initial writing style is uniquely jumbled and somewhat difficult to follow.  However, I believe that this is somewhat intentional based on the first concept initiated within the story—everything happens all at once.  Time is not linear, but expansive.  Once I understood that this was one of the major messages being shared within the book (note, I do not believe that sharing this will be giving a spoiler as it’s pretty clear within the first 25 pages) the strange manner in which the story, itself, as written, makes perfect sense.

Although I do not predict this story will become a mainstream success, it will definitely appear to a certain subset who have an interest in discussing the possibilities of linear time and alien interaction with what Sally Ember has labeled as “Earthers”. 

The concepts that the author discusses certainly align with some of my own beliefs and, perhaps, this is what kept me turning the page to see the direction in which the story would lead.  By page 36, I was glad that I did.  It was around this time that I started to enjoy the spin the author put on past events, giving them flavor that played well into her vision of the purposes of past alien encounters.

I will say that what I enjoyed the most about the book was the main character’s interaction with both “The Band” and her fellow humans.  The interactions gave ground to the underlying plot, taking it from something akin to a research paper and back to the world of storytelling.  I especially liked the fact that not all of her family is receptive to the sudden announcement of the other world visitors and her realization that, perhaps, she’d best prepare some of these people for the publication of her visits to the world at large.

Because I did have some problems following the timeline off and on throughout the book, I’m unable to give it a solid five star rating.  However, I will say that very rarely do I finish a 248 page novel in the course of two days and that, even more importantly, I’m curious to see where the author takes this series in the next installment.  This speaks volumes as to Ms. Ember’s writing skills and ability to keep her readers interested in her content.  As such, on an Amazon rating scale, I rage This Changes Everything as worthy of four stars.
This Changes Everything (The Spanners Series) can be picked up on at the following link:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Precipice: The Beginning; Kevin J. Howard

Here is a book that starts out with a bang and takes you on a ride that only gets better and better.  The characters were rich and the horrors that befell upon them vivid.  By the time I reached the books cliffhanger ending I desperately wanted to pick up the next installment simply to learn if the people I’d come to care about would make it out of their current situation as planned.

I didn’t find myself any too attached to the main character, unfortunately.  I found his wife a much tougher breed of hero.  Still, given the situation that he was in prior to almost the end of the story, I wouldn’t have expected him to behave any differently than he did.  When the time came, we got a glimmer of who the man really is and how he might break out and show us his quality in the next installment.

It’s a difficult thing to write a book with changing POVs and to do so in a successful manner.  But it’s also the type of book that I really like because it gives me perspective not only on the motivation of the characters, themselves, but how others see them.  Especially when you throw in opportunists who justify their less than honorable actions in a crumbling society.  Kevin J. Howard certainly managed to bring out both the best and worst of the characters at the exact time you’d expect to see it.

I read another review by a reader who didn’t like the lack of sci-fi in this book.   I may have to lean toward agreement that, for now, the genre is mislabeled.  But that didn’t really disturb me too much as I found the pages turning quickly and a lunch hour or two passing by far too swiftly.  At the end of the day, Howard has delivered a solid story with great potential to become even better still in books two and three. 

If you’re the type of reader who likes to get lost in a story, this book is one to definitely consider.   Precipice:  The Beginning is available on in both print and kindle format.  Note that, as of the posting of this review, the kindle version is on sale for $0.99. 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back to Work!

Hello my fellow authors and readers,

I took an unexpected break over the holidays to take care of some personal business but it's time to get back to the wonderful books that have come my way!  Thank you to everyone who has submitted your work!

Books will be read and reviews posted in the following order:

The Precipice:  The Beginning by Kevin J. Howard
Tempus by Holly Lauren
This Changes Everything by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Transported for Life by E Van Jonson
Hunter by Campbell Jefferys
Revontuli by Andrew Eddy
A Flight of Marwings by Kristen S. Walker

If you've sent me your book and you don't see it listed here, drop me a line so that I can be sure to bump you into the schedule in the order the book was received.

Now it's time to dig in and get some serious reading done!