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.