Conspiracy Theories Unveiled: Confessions of an Ex-Government Agent by Gabriel Bacopa #books


Conspiracy Theories

 

Title: Conspiracy Theories Unveiled: Confessions of an Ex-Government Agent

Author: Gabriel Bacopa

Genre: Short Stories, Satire, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

The truth about your favorite conspiracy theories are unveiled in these powerful letters from whistleblower John Dover, Ex -Government worker.

Featuring:

Roswell Unveiled: Midgets are disappearing and no one knows why.
The Moon Landing Unveiled: The truth about NASA
The C.I.A. Drug Wars Unveiled
H.A.A.R.P. Unveiled: The truth about the government’s alleged Weather-control program.
The Illuminati unveiled: The sinister truth of the Illuminati is brought to light.
The Jewish Conspiracy Unveiled

 

My Review:

This is a pretty simple book – my favorite author takes a light-hearted look at the conspiracy theories that are rampant on the internet and on podcasts, tv and radio.  At times, it seems one can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a flat earther or an anti-vaxxer or some insane kook like that.  A fun book to read.  One anyone would enjoy.  There are some hard truths hidden in the laughter.  A good solid book.

 

Moon Landing – 4/5

Cute but lacks the punch and depth I have come to expect from this author.

 

Roswell – 5+

The ‘midget’ conspiracy is a fine example of how today people marginalize others and how some people in society would actually condone eugenics.  We do live in a sick world today.

 

CIA War on Drugs – 5+

Hilarious!!!!  I personally do believe that crack was used to destroy African American Musical ability and rap was the result.  Duke Ellington and Satchmo and Billie Holliday’s ability is rarely if ever heard in musicians in the 21st century.

 

Illuminati – 5+

Best line: ‘Most of the Illuminati Elite Freemasons were really stupid’ lol.  Just brilliantly sublime.  A laugher that makes you guffaw!

 

Jewish Conspiracy – 5+

Excellent definition of a politician.  Some truths here like people are good at what they do because they are predestined to be good at certain things that others aren’t as good at.  Superb.

 

HAARP – 4 stars

Was a little too surreal but funny.  I would have rated it 5 stars if somehow they could have worked Harpo Marx and the grouchy harp lady from Gilmore Girls into it.

 

 

My Rating:  4.75 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Theories-Unveiled-Confessions-Ex-Government-ebook/dp/B01MV5CUH6

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Conspiracy-Theories-Unveiled-Confessions-Ex-Government-ebook/dp/B01MV5CUH6

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conspiracy-Theories-Unveiled-Confessions-Ex-Government-ebook/dp/B01MV5CUH6

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34219158-conspiracy-theories-unveiled

 

Author Biography:

Modern Shakespearean/Wise Fool. Gabriel Bacopa has been called one of the best authors of the 21st century. “This Generation’s John Steinbeck.” He was born to a Palestinian Muslim father and an Israeli Jewish mother in the Suburbs of Orange County, CA. His book topics and genres range from mental illness/health, philosophy, politics, Dark Comedy, social commentary, dystopia, sci-fi, romance and suspense.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon III: The Manic Episode by Gabriel Bacopa #bookreview #satire


Eating Ice Cream III

 

Title: Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon III: The Manic Episode

Author: Gabriel Bacopa

Genre: Satire, Short Stories, Dystopian

 

Book Blurb:

Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon III: The Manic Episode

A.K.A. Global Warming Kicks in

Due to the Unbelievable success of Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon Part II, Gabriel Bacopa continues the series where Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon II left off:

After the war, the Ice Cream shop reopens, yet Michael is not welcome there anymore. Michael divorces Pakiza in a Manic Episode; climate change kicks in;. Michael decides to become a politician to win back Halima.

(Due to Unforeseen circumstances, Pakiza, Halima, and Sue will not be Michael’s epic sidekicks in this finale.)

“Women are like a sailboat. A man might steer them in one direction, but the wind, which is the world, pulls them another way.”
– Michael Mahrouq

Also includes:

Affirmative Action: A white social justice cashier lets Black people cut in line.

A Pilgrim’s Defense of the Disabled: Unveiled for the first time, the leader of the Pilgrim community in America made a decision as to how people with different disabilities should be treated.

Comatose: There is something Eerie about America these days.

 

My Review:

Another powerful work from the most prescient novelist of the 21st century.  The stories are well woven but carry much more than just the words… they are helping to define our current world, the current state of the United States and the current thoughts that prevail in far too many minds.  A great book and one that makes you cringe at how truthful the ‘fiction’ is.

 

Eating Ice Cream Part III – 5 stars

What a concise recap – brilliantly conveys part I and II in but a couple of sentences.  Not the story I expected.  This is 5 stars.  At first, I wasn’t 100% sure what the story was really about.  Then it came to me – this is a triumphant championing of the rights of the mentally ill.  Those who are so often cast aside or murdered in the streets are defended beautifully here in this story.  The pace of the story with the quick changes also harpoons the 21st century approach to the second by second attention span.  Society today bounces from story to story at breakneck speed and forgets one crisis for the next one.  This is perfectly illustrated in the writing.

 

Affirmative Action – 5+ stars

Justin is saying and doing what many good minding people wish they could say every day.  I laughed out loud so hard I disturbed other people with me at that time!  Every single white person in North America should be forced to read this story.  So realistic, a great take on the prevalent racism that plagues us all in the 21st century.

 

Comatose – 5++ stars

A telling commentary on the political climate in 2017 America.  The allusion to all being the same is not as farfetched as you would think.  The online supporters of a certain current President are in lockstep with that man and they appear to be as much him as he is they.  Makes one long for the 80’s when every home town had people like that but they were only found if you ran into them in a bar or at a city park.  Those with rabid beliefs now have the world at their fingertips and they unite and make the rest of the majority very uneasy.

 

My Rating:  5++ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US ($1) https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-III-ebook/dp/B06WVFCYST

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-III-ebook/dp/B06WVFCYST

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-III-ebook/dp/B06WVFCYST

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34332043-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon-iii

 

Author Biography:

Modern Shakespearean/Wise Fool. Gabriel Bacopa has been called one of the best authors of the 21st century. “This Generation’s John Steinbeck.” He was born to a Palestinian Muslim father and an Israeli Jewish mother in the Suburbs of Orange County, CA. His book topics and genres range from mental illness/health, philosophy, politics, Dark Comedy, social commentary, dystopia, sci-fi, romance and suspense.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

 

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon II: From Dream to Reality by Gabriel Bacopa #bookreview #Satire


Eating Ice Cream II

 

Title: Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon II: From Dream to Reality

Author: Gabriel Bacopa

Genre: Short Stories, Satire, Dystopian

 

Book Blurb:

Due to the massive success of Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon Part I, Gabriel Bacopa has released a sequel no less epic and bizarre than the first:

 

When Trump makes the moves on Putin’s Very Very Very Distant Cousin Twice Removed, World War III ensues. Michael, an Arab loner author with a Jewish father, has to survive it with girls from an ice cream shop.

 

Also, includes four other comedic stories:

 

Traffic Jam: A man texting while driving disrupts the flow of the country:

 

Pillars of Salt: Two women sitting in a restaurant see homosexuals everywhere.

 

Searching for Cougars: A young wealthy handsome C.E.O. likes older women, then gets turned off when they lie about their age.

 

The Hypocrisy Foundation: A famous author and scientist develops a startling new theory, that all famous people are hypocrites.

 

My Review:

Five amazing stories from one of the best authors of the 21st century; he’s this generation’s John Steinbeck.  This work will be reflected on in 100 years as a series that classically defined life in the early 21st century.  I cannot recommend this book high enough.  A must read for anyone who lives in this crazy world we live in.

 

Traffic Jam – 5+ stars – Ludicrous but so creative.  One shakes one’s head at the incredulous nature of the story but then is terrified at how this is just an exaggeration of the problems that are on every street in North America if not the world.  Wonderful joy ride of ridiculousness.

 

Pillars of Salt – 5+++ stars – Sheer brilliance that every judgemental person should be forced to read.

 

Searching for Cougars – 5+ stars – Shines a spotlight on the current societal ‘need’ to pigeonhole people and judge books by their cover.  Brilliant.

 

The Hypocrisy Foundation – 4.5 stars – Was so real to me that it was too real.  Not every story in these books can be my fave I guess.  Valuable for the dry humor.

 

Eating Ice Cream in the Armageddon II – 5++++ stars – Love the cast of characters.  A laugh out loud moment just reading that!  I love how reality has come from the amazing dream.  The cause of WWIII is so realistic it could sincerely happen anytime in the next 3 years 8 months.  It made me laugh so hard how every hitchhiker was a past crush of Michael’s.  A brilliantly told tale with a strong turn the other cheek message.  Couldn’t stop reading and was sad when it ended. We need a chapter of this story to come three years in the future with 31-year-old Michael marrying 19-year-old Halima.  They need to get together!

 

My Rating: 5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-II-ebook/dp/B01MS5V76X/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-II-ebook/dp/B01MS5V76X/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-II-ebook/dp/B01MS5V76X/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33832563-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon-ii

 

Author Biography:

Book Signing by Author Gabriel Bacopa – Sunday, May 13, 2017:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1950640075171440/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1493065140636732

 

Gabriel Bacopa grew up in Southern California to a Palestinian Father and Israeli mother. He is the author of The Mansion and Love and Paranoia.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Tales of Erana Series by A. L. Butcher @libraryoferana #fantasy #shortstories #SFF


a lady in a medieval gown sitting on a stone and reading a book

 

 

Title: Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

Author:  A. L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb:

Five short tales of fantasy and fantasy romance set in the dark world of Erana; the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.
The Moon on the Water: The tale of the love between a goddess and a warrior and the terrible curse it brought.

The Tale of Treyna the Beloved: When a mortal woman is pursued by two rival gods even the heavens are wrought by magic.

Storm-Born: A lonely magician finds companionship with a creature of the storm but magic demands a price, what price will it be?

The Blue Phial: A lesson in listening to instruction carefully, lest one makes an embarrassing mistake.

The Legend of Oeliana: A story of a nymph and a toad, jealous magic and debts repaid.

 

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends Excerpt

The Moon on the Water

© A.L Butcher

 

War did not know this, and battle will be fought when it chooses. Trolls, elves and men are but its creatures. So the war continued, month after bloody month, and neither side prevailed. With battle came those things which walk alongside war – disharmony, chaos and hatred.  It took much persuasion and whispered entreaties in the passion of lovemaking to convince Acionna to fight for the Var. When gods become involved in war the odds are unfair and a price must surely be paid, but from whom is never clear.

 

Acionna held the wild magic, the primal Power, the very essence of sorcery and for the sake of her lover and his tribe she brought it to bear upon those they fought. From her fingers ran the torrents of the mountain, fierce and unyielding as they swept away the enemies. Sal trolls grabbed at rocks or thrust their weapons into the ground to no avail as warriors were swept over crevasses and into the hard rock walls. The ground beneath her enemies rippled and cracked, tumbling warriors and unsettling their battle beasts.

 

The Sal themselves fielded greater numbers; their tribe spanned many settlements and their Shaman had learned the secrets of the dark magic, traded for gold, for prisoners of war and for blood. The warriors of the tribe of Var were pushed back, and the rocks were stained red with blood as the sickness swept their ranks. Blood poured from eyes and mouths, drenching all about them. Twisting tendrils of magic grabbed at throats like unseen hands, choking away life and squeezing out hope. The dead rose on feet of bone, in the days before the trolls burned their dead and limbs hacked from torsos leapt, kicking, scratching, blinding until the trolls of  Varris trembled. Their Shaman Lirana called the magic from the Relic of the Moon as her sight faded from eyes pulled from her face by the hands of the dead and her throat constricted with the dark, curse magic of her foes. The death-words of a Shaman carry much Power and the magic flowed with her blood to turn the attackers before her to stone; statues now diving forward in attack, and one with a stone arm clutched about the neck of a dying troll Shaman.  With their Shaman slain, the Var were demoralised, yet fought for their own survival as the Relic rolled from the hands of their queen.

 

Diving forward Hirik warrior Orlin Sal snatched the Relic of the Moon and raised it high; the victory chant of his tribe echoed among the towering peaks, a thunderous cacophony roaring among the paths and trails. The Relic soon reached their Shaman, who laughed and motioned her troops onwards. It was not enough to possess the Relic of the Moon, she wished to kill or enslave her enemies. More slaves bought her more magic, more wealth and more status. More blood could be traded with the fae. She had heard the words and seen the tendrils of magic from the previous owner and cried her own. Pouring forth like a torrent with the twisted darkness of the magic she held the Power turned her most of her kin and some of her foes to nought but statues. Frozen and fixed in rock and in time. Magic demands a price and on that plain of war, that price was the lives and the futures of those who fought. Magic is fickle. Magic is wild and magic may be a blessing and it may be a curse.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j0yyEh

 

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2hKoUoZ

 

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2hKOKHP

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2j0DJnK

 

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2iBbmM8

 

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bxgVrw

 

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2i31N56

 

I -books http://apple.co/2hKO19z

 

Kobo http://bit.ly/2i2W0MR

 

 

A L Butcher

 

Author Biography:

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a  A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

 

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, and lyrical fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

 

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

 

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

 

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

 

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

 

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

 

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

 

 

TOE Just One Mistake

 

 

Title: Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake

Author: A.L. Butcher

Genre:  Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

 

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake Excerpt

© A.L. Butcher

 

Darkness oozed lazily in the remainder of the room, nosing into corners, under furniture and behind Coel, unseen, part of it detached. “That was quite a performance, bard. You have some talent, and not just your music. Although your judgement is flawed, it is never wise to steal from a thief,” the voice was smooth, like liquid velvet and very sure of itself.

 

Coel’s hand moved towards the dagger nestling in his belt; it would not be the first time he had been called on to defend himself, although that was how he had ended up in this mess he thought bitterly. Just one mistake, then another and now, it would seem, another.

 

“I do not know of what you speak! I am not a thief.” His brain caught up and he continued, “How did you get into my room? The door was locked. I’m not a bloody fool.” Coel could hear his own heart pounding. There was something about this man which frightened him. He felt like a mouse beneath the gaze of a cat. Perhaps the hangman’s noose would have been the better option.

 

The slate-grey cloak swirled around boots of ebony leather and the cowled figure chuckled. “That lock was barely a moment’s work. I must have a word with the owner of this place about his security. I have yet to find a door in Erana which will not yield to me. You may as well remove your hand from that blade, or would you bet your life you are swifter than the Thiefmaster? I doubt it, boy, I doubt it. Believe me when I say you would be dead before that knife left its scabbard. It would be a pity to waste such talent, would it not?”

 

Coel removed his hand from the dagger, his sense telling him that continuing to draw it would be a terminal decision. Instead, he placed he placed his hand on the table and the voice breathed into his ear, Coel shivered, he had not heard the man move.

 

“I thought not. Sensible lad, if a lying one. This too can be a skill which can save your life, if it is used correctly and with assurance,” Darius told him.

 

This menacing shape was right behind him and Coel began to turn, opening his mouth to protest, and found a gloved hand on his jaw, firm but not unduly painful. “Curious are we not? This may sometimes serve you well. As for other occasions, it is wise to accept things as they are, this is one such occasion… Coel.”

 

The bard caught his breath, how did this man know his name? The sweat began to pool in his back, making his shirt stick unpleasantly to his skin. Had this man been hired to kill him? Had his mistake finally caught him up? Yet as Coel’s brain frantically grasped at any hope and his fingers tried to overrule his brain and reach for the dagger he realised the man had said he was a thief. A robbery, that was not so bad. It would not be the first time.

 

“This is not a merely social call; you are honoured for the Master of Thieves does not always test a potential recruit’s skills for himself.”

 

“I usually charge for my skills, music and other kinds if that is what you prefer. I can be flexible and my tastes are…varied.  Perhaps just this once I might offer them for free. Take the coin and the trinkets, take it all.” Coel’s brain finally caught up with the conversation, “What do you mean potential recruit?”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2pQADCj

 

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2orn0s9

 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/696686

 

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2puZ4WL

Kobo http://bit.ly/2oMTwdh

 

knight and his army on battlefield

 

 

Title: Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse

Author:  A.L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy/Short Story

 

Book Blurb:

He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.

In a land of forbidden magic, a mysterious cave holds both riches and danger for three adventurers who discover a mighty treasure and a terrible secret.

 

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse Excerpt

© A.L. Butcher

On the nights when the moon rose to its fullest, its light a silver sheen upon the roof of the Great Hall, a terrible monster came. His voice was like the rasping of flesh on a blade, his countenance blighted and ugly, twisted like melted flesh with great weeping sores and a putrid smell. Many warriors had tried to vanquish this foul creature, and now their bones lay with the prince’s in the barrow to the east of Eadsham, the settlement that had been forged by blood and toil by the first king, Aedwin. Widows were aplenty and many children made fatherless from this awful beast. Doors were bolted and barred, and not even the lord himself dared to face it. Such was his shame.

 

The king grew ever older, and wishing to marry a man of bravery and honour to his daughter messengers once more rode out north, south, east and west in search of a hero, one with the fortitude to face this cursed beast, as they had done so many times before. On a night when clouds covered the moon’s light and rain fell in drops the size of marbles, the sky was rent with lightning as a great human warrior rode to the gates of the village. “I am Saelth and I have come to slay your monster,” he announced. His words were bold and his demeanour bolder. Behind him rode the fiercest of his band, axe men and archers, trackers and swordsmen. A mean crew indeed and feared about the land; fur-clad and blooded, they were blades for hire.

 

“We have slain creatures from nightmare and beasts that made grown men piss their drawers. Your curse will be lifted if the price is right!” His band nodded, for their rates were high indeed so that only lords and kings could afford their blades.

 

“No weapon forged by man can vanquish it! You’ll simply earn your place in the Hall of the Dead,” someone called.

 

Saelth looked around for the one who had spoken. “Then I shall go to the Halls of the Dead a hero, not one who cowers behind the table, or beneath the bed. I am no coward, nor simpering woman. Nothing is all powerful, or unable to be vanquished, save the gods.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2hHZKm9

 

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2hKOk4v

 

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2buD5qk

 

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2j0EZXP

 

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2i2Woev

 

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bGSoi4

 

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2iBu6er

 

I-books http://apple.co/2j0GNQz

 

Kobo http://bit.ly/2ivU4gV

 

Tales of Erana Series

Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon by Gabriel Bacopa #BookReview! #darkcomedy #shortstories #books


Eating Ice Cream

 

Title: Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon: with Letters from the Fourth Reich

Author: Gabriel Bacopa

Genre: Dark Comedy, Comedic Fiction, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb:

Have a laugh and cry with these three 21st century stories:

 

A Day with the Professor: Yale’s most prestigious and brilliant philosophy professor must take a day off work, and an eccentric yet possibly insanely brilliant man takes his place.

 

Eating Ice cream in Armageddon: A tale of sadness, adventure, and despair, when a man and a teenage girl he is fond of must survive World War 3 Together.

 

“Quite possibly the only teenage romance set during World War 3”

 

Letters from the Fourth Reich: A man sends letters to his love in Germany while trying to survive the tyrannical rule of the new Dictator-President Pump.

 

My Review:

Total review: 5+ stars because I can’t give 1,000 stars!!!!!

 

A gifted writer who has become my favorite politics writer.  Intelligent, witty, crafty, smart, thought provoking.  I sincerely love this book and recommend to anyone who wants to expand their mind while laughing out loud constantly.

 

Story 1 – A Day With The Professor

Superb beginning. I LOVE this story!  It appears the replacement prof is crazy but class doesn’t notice creating a thought provoking correlation between insanity and philosophy.  Just a brilliant story that captures the mind of the reader and speaks to how humanity really is. 5+ stars (or 1,000 stars)

 

Story 2 – Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon

5+++++ stars

 

Brilliant! I absolutely loved the surprise endings. So deeply unsettling is a work of fiction that so closely mirrors the world we live in now.  My FAVE story of the book!

 

Story 3 – The 4th Reich

5+ stars

 

Ronald Pump, Pen Larson …I nearly spit out my lunch laughing at this creatively written send up of the current state of American politics.  Written in a unique format it captives and carries the reader along, not unlike being unable to take your eyes off a car crash.  Fantastic, Chilling, Sarcastic, Realistic – might give a certain portion of voters from last November reason to take a looooong look in the mirror.

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Letters-ebook/dp/B01MYUYEBM

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Letters-ebook/dp/B01MYUYEBM

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Letters-ebook/dp/B01MYUYEBM

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33225045-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon

 

Author Biography:

Book Signing by Author Gabriel Bacopa – Sunday, May 13, 2017:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1950640075171440/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1493065140636732

 

Gabriel Bacopa grew up in Southern California to a Palestinian Father and Israeli mother. He is the author of The Mansion and Love and Paranoia.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Love and Crime: Stories by @VSKemanis #bookreview #suspense #shortstories #thriller


Love and Crime Stories - Half size

 

Title: Love and Crime: Stories

Author: V.S. Kemanis

Genre: Short Stories/Psychological Suspense/Literary Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Loves big and small, crimes forgiven or avenged. These are the themes that drive the eleven diverse stories in this new collection of psychological suspense from storyteller V.S. Kemanis.

 

Meet the husband and wife team Rosemary and Reuben, master chefs known to sprinkle a dash of magic into every dish. Lucille Steadman, a dazed retiree who can’t explain why she’s left her husband, only to discover, too late, the meaning of love and commitment in the most surprising place. Franklin DeWitt, an esteemed ballet critic who witnesses—or abets?—a bizarre criminal plot to topple a beautiful Soviet ballerina. Rosalyn Bleinstorter, a washed-up defense attorney whose stubborn belief in her own street savvy leads her unwittingly into a romantic and criminal association with an underworld figure.

 

These are just a few of the colorful characters you’ll get to know in these pages, where all is fair in love and crime. While the endings to these tales are not always sweet or predictable, and self-deception is rarely rewarded, the lessons come down hard and are well learned.

 

This collection includes stories originally published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The William & Mary Review, Lynx Eye, and Iconoclast, and previously unpublished stories.

 

My Review:

A collection of yes, Love and Crime stories!  The author has the natural ability to bring the reader right into a story.  This allows the book to be an easy read for the reader.  There is a tendency to move back and forth from past to present and back.  I personally found that a little hard to follow but some may truly enjoy that!  The author has a gift for writing crime stories.  The crime stories (#1 is the BEST in this book!) are the highlight and are the super part of the book.  Fans of Hill Street Blues and Law and Order will love the crime Stories!

 

Now for the story by story thoughts:

 

Love Stories

Story 1 – Odd, disjointed – not terribly endearing and as a retired Chef I found the premise hard to believe.  A further aside, I doubt ANYTHING can make capers taste good. 2.5/5

 

Story 2 – Unless a story is really gripping, flashback/forward/back * repeat * is disruptive to the flow.  In the end, the story was hard to follow and concluded in an unsatisfactory way. 2.5/5

Story 3 (Conference) – HUNH???? I enjoyed the story but never understood it. 3.5/5

 

Story 4 (Searching for Ear Wax) – The main character is a bitter/jaded woman who simply failed at love.  The Anti-Vaxxers in this story cry out for a serial killer to put them out of their misery and free the kid to Children’s Services.  NOTE – any relationship that takes one’s interest away from their spouse is an AFFAIR whether there is sex or not.  Had a superb Happy Ending!  Having the child disappear and get away from the crazy Anti-Vaxxers is good no matter how it happens! 4/5

 

Crime Stories

1 – Brilliant, evocative.  Took the reader quickly into a new world and carries the reader along.  Brilliant, the BEST story in the book. A must read! 5/5

 

2 – (Pure Kill) Fantastic, gritty, realistic, exciting/ a pure page turner!! 5/5

 

3 – (Day) 4/5 HATED the ending.

 

4 – (Collectors Find) Very hard to follow and super hard to like the character of Roz. 3/5

 

The Extra Stories

  • Zephyr – 3/5 – meandered

  • Cactus Flowers – 3/5 – no point

  • Cat – 3/5 hard to follow

  • Epiblog – 3/5 Interesting but hard to follow

 

My Rating:  3.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Crime-Stories-V-S-Kemanis-ebook/dp/B01N5X277X

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-and-crime-v-s-kemanis/1125784694?ean=2940154010600

 

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-and-crime-stories/id1205788364?mt=11

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/703882

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34238154-love-and-crime

 

V.S. Kemanis - 1

 

Author Biography:

V.S. Kemanis grew up in the East Bay Area of California in a family with six amazing siblings and parents passionate about politics, social issues, theater and music. Mealtimes were often raucous, stimulating, intellectual and fun gatherings in a household full of family and interesting guests, musicians, actors, artists, professors and university students.

 

Ms. Kemanis holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Colorado, School of Law, at Boulder. In her legal career, she has been a criminal prosecutor of street crime and organized crime for county and state agencies, argued criminal appeals for the prosecution and defense, conducted complex civil litigation, and worked as a court attorney for state appellate courts. She is also an accomplished dancer of classical ballet, modern jazz and contemporary styles and has performed, taught and choreographed in California, Colorado and New York.

 

Dozens of short stories by Ms. Kemanis have been published in noted literary journals and award-winning collections. Her three novels in the Dana Hargrove legal mystery series draw on her personal experience in criminal law, juggling the needs of family with a high-powered legal career. Ms. Kemanis is a member of the Mystery Writers of America.

 

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://www.vskemanis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/V.S.Kemanis.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VSKemanis

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Love and Crime: Stories by @VSKemanis #romanticsuspense #suspense #books


Love and Crime Stories - Half size

 

Title: Love and Crime: Stories

Author: V.S. Kemanis

Genre: Short Stories/Psychological Suspense/Literary Fiction

Publisher: Opus Nine Books

 

Book Blurb:

Loves big and small, crimes forgiven or avenged. These are the themes that drive the eleven diverse stories in this new collection of psychological suspense from storyteller V.S. Kemanis.

 

Meet the husband and wife team Rosemary and Reuben, master chefs known to sprinkle a dash of magic into every dish. Lucille Steadman, a dazed retiree who can’t explain why she’s left her husband, only to discover, too late, the meaning of love and commitment in the most surprising place. Franklin DeWitt, an esteemed ballet critic who witnesses—or abets?—a bizarre criminal plot to topple a beautiful Soviet ballerina. Rosalyn Bleinstorter, a washed-up defense attorney whose stubborn belief in her own street savvy leads her unwittingly into a romantic and criminal association with an underworld figure.

 

These are just a few of the colorful characters you’ll get to know in these pages, where all is fair in love and crime. While the endings to these tales are not always sweet or predictable, and self-deception is rarely rewarded, the lessons come down hard and are well learned.

 

This collection includes stories originally published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The William & Mary Review, Lynx Eye, and Iconoclast, and previously unpublished stories.

 

Excerpt:  

ROSEMARY AND REUBEN

 

ANDERSON IS SINGLE by choice and always has been. True to his one love, he treats himself to an epicurean delight every Saturday night. At this stage of his life, he’s indifferent to money and mortality and gladly indulges to excess. Only the finest restaurants in Manhattan will do.

 

Before stepping out, Anderson trims the goatee and puts on his evening best. Invariably he dines alone, although he isn’t without a list of possible companions, female and male. Still, there’s no wish for a lover to dine with. On his evenings out, he indulges a craving of a different sort, the sensual experience of taste, texture, and aroma, the heft of silver and gleam of crystal, the lengthening and savoring of time. For a few hours he forgets his life—everything it is and is not. A full belly and a buzz from the grape will do that.

 

On this particular Saturday, Anderson is fortunate to have a reservation at the celebrated Ole Factory in the Village. Competition is high. It’s rumored that, after thirty-five years in business, Rosemary and Reuben Blandrigard will soon be retiring.

 

At seven o’clock, Anderson alights from a taxicab, braves an icy blast, and darts over the frozen pavement into the restaurant. The small foyer is square, dim, and hushed like a confessional, with a single, warm light directed from the ceiling toward the opposite wall.

 

Anderson is drawn to the sepia-toned photograph of the owners, framed in a simple mahogany rectangle, displayed on the eggshell wall. Rosemary lovingly gazes at Reuben, and Reuben gazes at Anderson with a look of glazed contentment.

 

Past the foyer and over the threshold, a young hostess looks up. Anderson squares his shoulders and announces his name. She seems to know him. “How are you this evening, Mr. Anderson?”

 

“Fine. Just fine, thank you.” He strokes the goatee and drops his eyes to her neck.

 

“Is this your first time at the Ole Factory?”

 

“Yes, indeed it is,” he informs her neck. “I’ve run the gauntlet successfully it seems.”

 

“And you’ve earned your reward.”

 

“I look forward to it.”

 

He senses her amusement, feigned or real, from the tension in her neck.

 

“Right this way, please.” She turns, sending her long skirt into a gentle swirl, and guides him at a leisurely pace through the well-spaced dining room of about twenty tables. The décor is spare but pleasing. In the far corner, a small, round table awaits him. The single chair is backed into the corner, allowing him a view outward into the room—a thoughtful arrangement. At some establishments he’s made to face the wall, and at others, an empty, second chair stands in silent rebuke of his social failings.

 

Anderson sits and orders an aperitif. Glancing at the menu, he senses, in the periphery, the sexual murmurings of a young, starry-eyed couple at the next table. Against his will, he’s aroused by a fleeting emotional stirring. The moment passes, giving way to the pleasing texture in his hand—the single sheet of cardstock. This is the message printed on the front:

 

“Welcome to the Ole Factory. We’ve created a unique menu for tonight’s meal. Let your server know if your pleasure is One or The Other. Your hosts, Rosemary and Reuben.”

 

Always a surprise, always superb. (The critics agree.) Each meal at the Ole Factory is specially created for the clientele, a process that begins with a telephone interview to vet personal aversions and food allergies. Simpatico tastes of prospective patrons are carefully matched, and a guest list is compiled for each sitting before any reservation is confirmed. It can take a year to get on a list.

 

As a successful applicant, Anderson has won the right to ponder his two options for the evening. Without much thought, he selects “The Other” before flipping the card over. Printed on the back is a short paragraph entitled “The Story of Rosemary and Reuben.” Legend might be the more descriptive term. Everything about them is legend, including their habit of circulating through the dining room during coffee and dessert. They appear at the kitchen door, wrench apart like cloven chopsticks, and weave different routes through the tables, separately greeting their guests.

 

As he sips his aperitif and reads The Story a second time, Anderson silently hopes that Rosemary will be the one to visit him at the end of his meal.

 

Two and a half hours later, he gets his wish. At nine thirty, she emerges from the kitchen with Reuben. Nearly touching, they suspend all movement for barely an eye blink. Reluctantly they part. With a quick, light step, Rosemary toes a straight line along the wall to Anderson’s table. She’s a roundish, dwarflike woman of about Anderson’s age, with silvery-gray hair pulled tightly back into a doughnut at the nape of her neck, exposing delicately-lobed, naked ears. Coming to a halt in dramatic proximity, she’s not much taller than Anderson as he sits. With a familiar air, she regards him from beneath jet-black eyebrows. Hold still please, says the creator of that sepia-toned photograph.

 

“Mr. Anderson. We’re very glad you could come this evening.”

 

His heart races in confusion. Her visit to his table fulfills his dearest wish, but everything else has been less than expected, troublingly so. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the past two and a half hours. He wants to tell her, but the words are bottled under a well-aged cork.

 

Before Anderson can speak, Rosemary lifts a bent index finger and rests the knuckle on the tip of her sharply-pointed nose. The finger covers her nostrils, the fisted hand covers her mouth.

 

Anderson searches for polite words but finds only the single, obvious truth. “The service was excellent, thank you.”

 

With a nod, she removes her hand. “It’s been our pleasure. Is there anything else we can get for you? Anything at all?” Pausing after the last word, the silence that follows announces her omission. She hasn’t inquired whether he enjoyed his dinner.

 

 

*     *     *

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Crime-Stories-V-S-Kemanis-ebook/dp/B01N5X277X

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-and-crime-v-s-kemanis/1125784694?ean=2940154010600

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-and-crime-stories/id1205788364?mt=11

Kobo: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-and-crime-stories/id1205788364?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/703882

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34238154-love-and-crime

 

V.S. Kemanis - 1

 

Author Biography:

V.S. Kemanis grew up in the East Bay Area of California in a family with six amazing siblings and parents passionate about politics, social issues, theater and music. Mealtimes were often raucous, stimulating, intellectual and fun gatherings in a household full of family and interesting guests, musicians, actors, artists, professors and university students.

 

Ms. Kemanis holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Colorado, School of Law, at Boulder. In her legal career, she has been a criminal prosecutor of street crime and organized crime for county and state agencies, argued criminal appeals for the prosecution and defense, conducted complex civil litigation, and worked as a court attorney for state appellate courts. She is also an accomplished dancer of classical ballet, modern jazz and contemporary styles and has performed, taught and choreographed in California, Colorado and New York.

 

Dozens of short stories by Ms. Kemanis have been published in noted literary journals and award-winning collections. Her three novels in the Dana Hargrove legal mystery series draw on her personal experience in criminal law, juggling the needs of family with a high-powered legal career. Ms. Kemanis is a member of the Mystery Writers of America.

 

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://www.vskemanis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/V.S.Kemanis.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VSKemanis

 

 

Meet Gabriel Bocapa and His Humorous Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon #books #FridayReads


Love Dark Comedic Fiction? We do, too, and when we first met Gabriel Bocapa, we knew we were in for a treat. His Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon series is hilarious and we highly recommend it (book one is only $.97). Anyway, Mrs. N sat down with Gabriel for an interview and discovered interesting tidbits about him. So, please give Gabriel a warm POTL Blog welcome. Take it away, Gabriel:

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Franza Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Jake Gyllenhal as Michael and Priyanka Chopra as Halima

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I think the name for the titles of the books are very important. I chose the name Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon as a commentary on the idea that we live in a global world: We can see wars going on, destruction and suffering at the touch of a fingertip (internet, television) yet at the same we can be sitting in a mall eating ice cream. There is more to the title for this book than this, and if you read it and read carefully you might get more of the picture.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

It’d either have to be Conspiracy Theories Unveiled or Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In Hollywood making Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon into a movie.

Have you always liked to write?

Yes.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to write what you want. If someone doesn’t like your writing, who cares. They might just not get it.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I would be a scientist.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I’ve written several books including “The Mansion” which is a collection of dark dystopian stories, and Love and Paranoia which is about a man with schizophrenia who goes on a journey to find love.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m currently working on a book about a schizophrenic superhero.

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Telling my mom I was sick but in reality I wanted to play Mega Man X on Super Nintendo.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

No drugs. Just Drinking Milk Teas and Eating Ice Cream.

What secret talents do you have?

Breakdancing.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Europe.

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was a shy child, yet considered very bright. I taught myself to read at the age of 4. I liked to play puzzles while others were watching t.v.  On the other hand, I was never good with my hands. I was never good at sports, tools, or crafts. My skills were always more on an abstract plane.

Eating Ice Cream

         

Title Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon: with Letters from the Fourth Reich

Author  Gabriel Bacopa

Genre  Dark Comedy, Comedic Fiction, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb

Have a laugh and cry with these three 21st century stories:

A Day with the Professor: Yale’s most prestigious and brilliant philosophy professor must take a day off work, and an eccentric yet possibly insanely brilliant man takes his place.

Eating Ice cream in Armageddon: A tale of sadness, adventure, and despair, when a man and a teenage girl he is fond of must survive World War 3 Together.

“Quite possibly the only teenage romance set during World War 3”

Letters from the Fourth Reich: A man sends letters to his love in Germany while trying to survive the tyrannical rule of the new Dictator-President Pump.

Excerpt

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Letters-ebook/dp/B01MYUYEBM

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33225045-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon

Author Biography

Gabriel Bacopa grew up in Southern California to a Palestinian Father and Israeli mother. He is the author of The Mansion and Love and Paranoia.

Social Media Links

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

From a Poison Pen – Volume II by @BPSmythe #bookreview #horror #macabre


from-a-poison-pen-volume-ii

 

Title: From a Poison Pen – Volume ii

Author: B. P. Smythe

Genre: Thriller, Macabre, Horror, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb:

From the extraordinary mind of B.P. Smythe comes a compilation of short stories.

 

This collection of dark, humours and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

From a Poison Pen II is the second book of collected short stories in the trilogy.

 

My Review:

Not as strong as the first book but there are some extraordinarily good stories in this volume. Be warned: there is one story with graphic sexual descriptions and one story with language that could be offensive (18+). This author is brilliant at short stories.  When he extends the stories to lengthy pieces, he tends to lose his way. It will be highlighted in the individual story reviews.  A decent read with good macabre writing throughout.  Not to read when eating * although I read most of it while eating lol *.

 

Story 1 – Short, sweet, brilliant 5/5 – the retelling of a horror classic done with panache.

 

Story 2 – Too long and disjointed and meandering. 1/5 – If the story was going to be this long, then for me, I needed to see the terrorist slowly and painfully cut to bits.  That would have raised this up two points alone.

 

Story 3 – A strong effort 4/5 – Good pacing, pure evil then pure vengeance. Well done if a tad long.

 

Story 4 – Confusing 1/5 – Unsatisfying story, never knew who was what and they never flew B-52s in WW2.

 

Story 5 – 1/5 * DISCLAIMER * The frequent use of the N-word may be disturbing and offensive to many readers (it was to me). More of a novella again.   This was way too long, too complicated, too many offensive scenes using the N-word and hard to understand.

 

Story 6 – Excellent! 5/5 With a fantastic finish and amazing surprise ending.  A brilliant work and the BEST in this book.

 

Story 7 – Brilliant ghost story 4/5 – Well written and engrossing.  Warning:  There is a graphic sex scene in this story so 18+ is recommended.  The two friends are great characters and the hauntings are spectacular.  This would have been 5 out of 5 but for the ending.  It wasn’t clear and not satisfying and frankly, I didn’t get it.

 

Story 8 – Short and blasé 3/5 – The main character is quickly shown to the reader as a total AHE.  (the author has the gift of doing that very well and to quickly convey a strong negative feeling for a character is a gift).  The story just meandered and was a very unsettling and unsatisfying ending.

 

My Rating:  3 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Poison-Pen-ii-B-P-Smythe-ebook/dp/B01LFM1032/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-ii-B-P-Smythe-ebook/dp/B01LFM1032

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31861604-from-a-poison-pen—volume-ii

 

B. P. Smythe

 

Author Biography:

I studied engineering at Carshalton College and eventually became a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance.

My engineering career took on many roles including toolmaking and being a technical writer for an artificial limb manufacturer. However, I’ve always enjoyed putting pen to paper while raising quality manuals and writing reports. I also write tennis articles for my local county magazine and relax reading crime and horror fiction. This, coupled with my technical writing career, partly influenced my transition into creative writing.

 

Wanting to expand my writing knowledge, I obtained a Level 3 / NCFE Certificate / PI410 creative writing diploma.

 

Sow And You Shall Reap – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/145677171X is my first self- published novel. However, I have submitted numerous short stories for internet competitions including, winning £100 as first prize for my A Rose Without a Thorn for the http://www.spinetinglerspublishing online magazine and winning £50 first prize for my We’ll Meet Again in the http://dark-places.co.uk online magazine.

 

Two of my other short stories, Love Me Do and My Secret Place, have also been published in the printed Litro Magazine – Issue 140 – ISBN 978-0-9554245-5-7 http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/02/litro-140-diaries/

 

Near the end of 2015 I fortunately obtained a three book deal contract with Bloodhound Books http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com to publish a trilogy of macabre/thriller collected short stories. My first book titled – ‘From a Poison Pen’ is the first book of the trilogy and highlights from the stories – What happens when a member of the Hitler youth ends up in a concentration camp? How does a beach side cocktail get in the way the way of one woman’s scheming? What leads a teenage girl to reign down fire and brimstone? When a doctor buries his mistake, can he get away with it?

 

This collection of dark, humorous and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

To purchase ‘From a Poison Pen’ Go to amazon.co.uk for the Kindle and paperback editions…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

 

Favourite books:

The Shining by Stephen King

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Psycho by Robert Bloch

 

Other links to B.P.Smythe for his books – go to:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

http://www.amazon.com/Sow-Shall-Reap-B-P-Smythe/dp/145677171X

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12044547-sow-and-you-shall-reap

http://authorsonshow.com/2011/09/18/contest-entries/

http://www.authorsden.com/barrysmythe

 

Sow and You Shall Reap

by B P Smythe. available COPIES on Amazon Kindle and paperback. Isbn:9781456771713

 

Contact info:

B.P.Smythe

40 Saint Margaret’s Avenue,

North Cheam, Surrey.

SM3 9TT

 

e.mail: barrysmythe@hotmail.com

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5043570.B_P_Smythe

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

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson @AuthorClive #books #POTLReads #amreading


THE TWO SINBADS: A Guest Post by Clive Johnson

Clive Johnson, author of the newly-published ‘Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights’, reflects on the common nature of Sinbad the Sailor and his patient companion, Sinbad the Porter.

 sinbada

 

The adventures of Sinbad the Sailor occupy most of the column inches in the seven tales that feature him in the canon of the Arabian Nights. His voyages, discoveries in strange lands, and many near-death experiences are described in wonderful detail, enchanting anyone who hears them. In many ways, these tales embody much of what is enthralling in The Nights – they are filled with color, intrigue, magic, and surprise, to mention just a few of their many virtues.

However, there’s another Sinbad who features in each of these tales – Sinbad the Porter. This poor street-dweller doesn’t have a shekel to his name–at least before he meets Sinbad the Sailor he doesn’t–and spends much of his time bewailing the injustice of his lot. How can it be, he ponders, that some people such as the sailor can have so much, while so many lack even a daily meal or clothes to protect their bodies?

This is a question that we may well ask today, but that’s a topic for another time. What interests me is how the two Sinbads interact. Their first encounter is cordial, but the porter wonders what the motive of the sailor is. The poor man is invited each night to join the sailor in his house, to enjoy a lavish meal, and be entertained with another of the great adventurer’s stories. He even is offered a monetary gift each time the meal ends, leaving him in no doubt that his host is genuine in his wish to show hospitality.

As the seven tales unfold, it becomes clear that the sailor uses his storytelling as a way of expunging his guilt for some of the bad things he has done during his voyages (like killing). With the ever-more fantastical adventures that he describes testing credulity, we might begin to wonder whether he doesn’t occasionally embellish what really happened. He seems desperate to impress, and possibly lost in something of a fantasy himself.

The porter, meanwhile, becomes more comfortable in himself, increasingly feeling satisfied when he leaves the sailor’s house each evening. The two begin to act out a dance, indulging each other’s company, and possibly even becoming slightly dependent on each other. One projects aspects of himself onto the other; even if they don’t see it, there’s a person they recognize in the character of the other.

Some commentators on The Nights suggest that the two Sinbads are really meant to represent one person. Both may have faults, seen in their shadow selves. It’s by coming together and seeing how they can complement and teach other that both men are able to move on from their current states of mind.

We all have shadow selves, the part of us that is unseen and gets projected onto others. Often it’s those closest to us who are best able to reflect back something of this hidden character. That’s one reason why we are attracted to some people – they are perfect partners for helping us grow. I think that there’s something of the porter and the sailor in all us.

 

anan_cvr_v01

 

Title: ARABIAN NIGHTS & ARABIAN NIGHTS. TRADITIONAL TALES FROM A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, CONTEMPORARY TALES FOR ADULTS

Author: CLIVE JOHNSON

Genre: FICTION / SHORT STORIES (CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY)

Publisher: LABYRINTHE PRESS

 

Audible version available soon.

 

Book Blurb:

Magic carpets and flying horses, caverns glittering with gold, unexpected plotlines following the fortunes of heroes and villains–who cannot fail to be enchanted by the magic and wonder of the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights?

This most celebrated collections of tales feature shape-shifting and miraculous transportation across continents, powerful jinn who rise like smoke from simple vessels, dreams that delve into the secrets of the subconscious, and gigantic, man-carrying birds.

The backdrop for the tales moves from barren deserts to spectacular cities, from the edge of the world to the inner sanctuaries of mighty rulers. Kings and paupers, benevolent sages and devious magicians, worthy princesses and unscrupulous harlots–all play their part in teaching important truths and providing lively entertainment.

This innovative book offers retellings of a selection of tales that have captured the imaginations of countless people over many centuries. Accompanying each is a short story set in a contemporary context, which reframes the messages and teachings of the original, specifically written for an adult audience.

Here are stories of betrayal and murder, exploitation and sibling rivalry, soul-searching and discovery. The modern parallel tales swap the busy alleyways of old Baghdad for the horror of Saddam’s prisons, move from following caravans sweeping across the Sahara to modern day pilgrims trekking along the Caminos of northern Spain, and lift Aladdin out of his cave to unwittingly face Triad gangsters and antiques smugglers.

Wayward Baptist ministers, adulterous accountants, and eco-warrior backpackers follow in the footsteps of the no-less colourful characters than those that feature in the original tales.

Each pair of stories is accompanied by a commentary on how they might be interpreted. The result is a gripping collection of tales that may continue to bring the mystery and magic of the Nights to life, as well as provoking fresh thought and feeling for adult readers. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted and–in the spirit of the original Arabian Nights Entertainments–enthralled.

 

Excerpt:

A journalist had picked up on the news of Todd’s arrest, and by some means had been able to identify him as a Baptist pastor. Soon, the news of my husband’s escapade with the prostitute had made not only the front page of the Louisville Courier-Journal, but had carried across the state to Lexington too. I dreaded to think what the decent people of our church would say when they saw the photograph of their pastor being paraded in front of a police identification plate.

 

When we returned to Lexington, most people seemed to want to avoid mentioning the topic. It was obvious to me that they had been deeply unsettled by Todd’s indiscretion, but to our faces at least, they promised their love, assuring us that ours is a God of love, able to forgive every sinner–even a wayward minister.

 

Todd was not afraid to show his contrition before his flock. Were Oscars awarded for emotional outpouring by those in church ministry, Todd would surely be nominated for an award. Whether or not his tears were genuine I do not know, but he certainly gave a powerful example of how to show repentance when he took his place on the dais.

 

“O my Father, how I have failed you! How I have let these, my beloved brothers and sisters, down! Forgive me, for I am the worse among sinners!”

 

His cries and wailing knew no limit. Kneeling before the congregation, Todd accepted the prayers and blessings of the people. Two of the deacons laid hands on him, commanding the demons that were in him to depart.

 

Perhaps this display was good for our community. Other men in the congregation came forward to confess their infidelity, and to receive the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus and those of us who serve Him. In fact, I don’t think that our church had for a long time felt so overcome by the love and warmth of The Holy Spirit.

 

The experience had certainly been a shock for Todd. He knew that his position as a pastor would be under threat were he to backslide again. More than anything, I think that he was genuinely aware that he’d been unfaithful to his Lord.

 

He had been unfaithful to me too, and privately I went through a period of hurt and suffering. But the fast pace of events, and Todd’s apparent regret for his actions, kept me focused on supporting my husband.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/ks4rLB

Amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/24yhro

Amazon.ca: http://goo.gl/Y2FWlh

Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/mIP8kB

 

clive-johnson

 

Author Biography:

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights is Clive Johnson’s seventh book, and the second in the series that takes old and often familiar tales and retells them alongside modern-day versions. Taking this approach, Clive says that he aims to recapture some of the magic and important messages that can be found in traditional fairytales, stories from mythology, etc, while inspiring fresh wonder among adult readers.

His earlier books were aimed at business readers, and he’s also edited an anthology of interfaith wisdom. Recently, Clive has also started narrating and producing audible audiobooks for other authors, which is an activity that he says he particularly enjoys.

Clive spends most of his time in the UK, where he was born, although he has no fixed home. This allows him to follow his heart from place to place, often house and pet sitting for friends and others who are taking a break away. He also often takes in or hosts retreats and workshops on various themes. Many house sits introduce him to some wonderful furry friends, and provide the perfect opportunity for settling into some serious writing!

Having an autistic condition and with a strong interest in mysticism, Clive likes to approach his work with a keen curiosity. He says that he enjoys researching and imagining a story almost as much as he does writing it.

Clive is an avid reader, and an ordained interfaith minister.

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/VLfGVL

Clive’s Author Facebook page: http://goo.gl/hVrz3e

Clive’s blog (‘The autistic mystic’): http://goo.gl/ZcBNnD

Clive’s Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/AuthorClive

 

potl-reads-2

We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez is a Fresh Take on the Single Life #BookReview #WomensFiction


single-chicas

 

Title: Single Chicas

Author: Sandra C. Lopez

Genre: Short Stories, Hispanic Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you’re looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you’re better off NOT being perfect―Single Chicas

 

Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she’s never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace. Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.

 

My Review:

There’s a brand new voice in Women’s Fiction and her name is Sandra Lopez. Single Chicas brings a new perspective to the trials and tribulations of being a single woman. A Hispanic group of women dealing with everything from being hit on by men in the grocery store to a crank caller to learning to love oneself to trying to please your family. These six short stories will make you laugh, cry, nod your head in agreement and so much more.

 

Sandra Lopez knows what she writes and it adds truth to the characters in these stories. She sprinkles humor throughout while bringing up serious topics like love, friendship, stalkers, self-esteem and what it means to straddle two cultures. I laughed at loud at the story when a chica attempts to diffuse an unwanted suitor trying to pick her up at the grocery store by pretending to be a lesbian, only to have it back-fire on her in a big way.

 

Both single and married women will enjoy these stories. As a married woman, I remembered fondly going through similar experiences as a single woman. Not to sound like a cliché but I could totally see this Hispanic Sex and the City group of women becoming a hit for television. A must read!

 

Favorite Quote:

“Guys really suck. I mean, are they stupid? Do they realize how much they suck?” – The Lesbian Theory

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Single-Chicas-Sandra-C-Lopez-ebook/dp/B01KG85F1Y

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/658343

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/single-chicas

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/single-chicas-sandra-lopez/1124415443?ean=2940153681405

 

sandra c lopez

 

Author Biography:

Sandra Lopez is considered one of today’s influential Latina writers in young adult literature. Her first novel, “Esperanza,” a teen fiction novel, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college! “Beyond the Gardens,” is the sequel to her engaging and inspirational heroine, Esperanza.

 

She travels as much as she can and is currently at work on her next book.

 

To find out more about her books, please visit her website at www.sandra-lopez.com

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.sandra-lopez.com/pages/home.html

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1656820.Sandra_C_Lopez

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-Lopez/173657042664609

Blog http://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/

Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/sandrasbookreviews/shelf

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

#FridayReads – Arabian Nights and Arabian Night by @AuthorClive Johnson #bookreview #shortstories


anan_cvr_v01

 

Title: Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, Contemporary Tales for Adults

Author: Clive Johnson

Genre: Classic Literature, Reimagined Literature, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb:

Magic carpets and flying horses, caverns glittering with gold, unexpected plotlines following the fortunes of heroes and villains – who can fail to be enthralled by the magic and wonder of the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights?

 

This most celebrated collections of tales feature shape-shifting and miraculous transportation across continents, powerful jinn who rise like smoke from simple vessels, dreams that delve into the secrets of the subconscious, and gigantic, man-carrying birds.

 

The backdrop for the tales moves from barren deserts to spectacular cities, from the edge of the world to the inner sanctuaries of mighty rulers. Kings and paupers, benevolent sages and devious magicians, worthy princesses and unscrupulous harlots – all play their part in teaching important truths and providing lively entertainment.

 

This innovative book offers retellings of a selection of tales that have captured the imaginations of countless people over many centuries. Accompanying each is a contemporary short story that reframes the messages and teachings of the original, specifically written for an adult audience.

 

Here are stories of betrayal and murder, exploitation and sibling rivalry, soul-searching and discovery. The modern parallel tales swap the busy alleyways of old Baghdad for the horror of Saddam’s prisons, move from following caravans sweeping across the Sahara to modern day pilgrims trekking along the Caminos of northern Spain, and lift Aladdin out of his cave to unwittingly face Triad gangsters and antiques smugglers.

 

Wayward Baptist ministers, adulterous accountants, and eco-warrior backpackers follow in the footsteps of the no-less colourful characters than those that feature in the original tales.

 

Each pair of stories is accompanied by a commentary on how they might be interpreted. The result is a gripping collection of tales that may continue to bring the mystery and magic of the Nights to life, as well as provoking fresh thought and feeling for adult readers. Prepare to be surprised, uplifted and – in the spirit of the original Arabian Nights Entertainments -enthralled.

 

sinbada

 

My Review:

I remember reading Aladdin and Ali Baba when I was young, imagining I had a magic carpet and could fly all over the world. Now, Clive Johnson has breathed new life into these fantastic stories with his collection of modern-day stories. From Aladdin to Scheherazade to even Sinbad the Sailor, these classical tales are paired with a modern retelling along with detailed analysis and insight.

 

It’s clear that Johnson is a scholar and has studied these tales. His passion for these stories, as well as the modern retellings, comes through clearly and it drew me in. Seven stories featuring everyday people dealing with astonishing circumstances.

 

If you loved reading about Sinbad the Sailor or Aladdin as a kid, you’ll love these retellings as an adult. A great way to escape for a few hours and a must read!

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Arabian-Nights-Traditional-thousand-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B01LFX8VCO

 

Barnes and Noble Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arabian-nights-arabian-nights-clive-johnson/1124459549?ean=9780993202964

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31688975-arabian-nights-arabian-nights

 

clive-johnson

 

Author Biography:

Clive is an interfaith minister, having a particular interest in mysticism and mythology. He is a follower of the perennial tradition, or the belief that at their heart, all of the world’s great religions speak about the same principles for living and connecting with God.

 

Before training for ministry, he spent several years working in management consultancy, and latterly as a specialist in conflict management. His earlier career was in project management and IT. He has worked for clients in many parts of the world and across a wide range of industries and is a qualified coach.

 

He is an itinerant with no fixed home and says that he is happiest when riding a horse on the Sussex South Downs or roaming in some remote part of the world. A self-confessed beginner in most things, he nonetheless likes to try his hand at just about anything – everything from Bollywood dancing to driving Arctic lorries.

 

Social Media Links:

Publisher Website http://www.labyrinthepublishers.com/arabiannights.html

Website http://www.interfaithministry.co.uk/

Blog http://www.labyrinthepublishers.com/blog/

Twitter https://twitter.com/AuthorClive

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales by @LibraryofErana #BookPromo #Fantasy


Kitchen Imps 3
A wise green fairy man profile, beautiful colorful painting of a radiant elven creatures and energy lights, detailed abstract background fractal effect

 

Title: The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales (Fire-Side Tales Collection Book I)

Author: A.L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.

 

Excerpt: 

The Joy of Socks

 

The Round Door of the Machine opened and once more the Offerings were placed inside; although there were many sizes and shapes, they were all white, and all deliciously filthy. The Bringer of Offerings poured in the Fragrant Powder, but as tiny bulbous red eyes watched and sharp-teethed mouths chuckled, the imps knew it would not be sufficient to eradicate the glorious stench they so craved!

 

Tiny clawed, three-fingered hands gripped the edge of the Door of Many Holes, and with a push it swung open to reveal the faces which owned the red eyes and the sharp teeth. Water poured in, and gleefully the imps squeaked and slid into the pile of dirty-white Offerings, hands grabbing and pulling to see what had been brought. They were hoping this time there would be the wonderful stench, the pungent odour of the Socks, as the last lot of Offerings had been most disappointing. Imps loved Socks! The taste, the feel of the crispiness of a week-old foot cover. The stinkier the socks, the more they adored and craved them. The thought of rolling around in such a cheesy, foul stench was what imps lived for.

 

“I love the smell of dirty socks in the morning!” Bunter crooned hopefully.

 

“I love dirty socks anytime at all, day or night!” said Gleego.

 

“Gimme socks for breakfast, lunch and dinner!” shouted Knot.

 

Rolling and bouncing as the water washed over them, seeming to be able to ignore the rushing torrent, the imps sniffed, hoping to find what they sought. Although the Offerings were indeed rather smelly, what the creatures looked for was not there. Bright blue tongues licked, tasting the grime and feeding upon the dirt, the stains and the lumps of grease. Hopefully they snorted and desperately they searched, only to find meagre and most unsatisfactory gifts. The odours of sweat, a myriad of foods and even the scent of something much more unsavoury filled their pointed noses. But their squeaks of displeasure echoed within the Round Cavern: these were not Socks! Such high pitched squeals went unnoticed by the Bringer; the human ear is too feeble a thing to hear the high-pitched voices of imps, so all the man heard was the rumble and roar of the Machine.

 

The chief of the imps, Ikthik, banged a tiny matchstick upon the glass of the Round Door, and at once the Machine ceased its rolling.

 

“Now gather ’round, you boggles, bugs and boogers!” he commanded.

 

The imps slid and swam to sit upon the pile of white Offerings, now soaking and foaming.  Ears swivelled to listen, and all were quiet.

 

Ikthik grunted, squeaked and squealed, waving the matchstick wildly in his tiny clawed hand.

 

“What’s this? What’s this?” he wondered. “This ain’t right!” Poking a nearby lump, he jumped upon it, angry and despairing.

 

“No socks? Where’s the socks? There ain’t no socks!” yelled Knot.

 

As one, many small heads nodded, teeth gnashed hungrily, and Gleego and Bunter scooted backwards towards the Door of Many Holes. Dragging it open, they pulled from the stash of inferior Offerings lingering beyond the door a large, bright blue pair of boxer shorts. Bunter looked at them longingly, for he liked these particular items, and this pair was especially disgusting, being of the two-weeks-between-washes variety. The imp dreamed of such items, but of course reminded himself that these were not Socks. Still, such treasure should not be sacrificed. Swiftly Bunter shook his head and then received a questioning glance from Gleego. Bunter shrugged and kicked the underpants away before pointing to a bright red and rather shredded pull-over.

 

“Bring that to me!” said Ikthik the chief.

 

The two imps dragged the item through to squeaking cheers and clapping of clawed hands, and placed it at the feet of Ikthik. Slinking away backwards, bowing and scraping, Bunter and Gleego exchanged the shared glances of a job well done and a secret kept. Ikthik held aloft the item of crimson red, displaying a strength that was most surprising in one so tiny. With a joint cry of revenge, the imps slithered and slipped back to the Door of Many Holes, disappearing into the darkness. Chief Ikthik again waved the matchstick in the air, and the Machine began to roll and rock once more.

 

“Victory is ours!” cried Ikthik.

 

Sometime later the Bringer fetched out the abandoned Offerings, groaning as he held aloft a pink-stained shirt and formerly white underpants that were now a most fetching, pale shade of rose.  Grunting, he pulled the ruined load from the Machine, his face wearing a look of anger and confusion as the faded, red pull-over tumbled out.

 

It was an article of clothing he did not even own.

 

 

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DPJ5TQC

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Other-Tales-Fire-Side-Collection-ebook/dp/B01DPJ5TQC/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kitchen-imps-and-other-dark-tales-alexandra-butcher/1123756072

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/627195

 

Audio narrated by J Scott Bennett

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Kitchen-Imps-and-Other-Dark-Tales-Audiobook/B01F7TR8Z8

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Fiction/The-Kitchen-Imps-and-Other-Dark-Tales-Audiobook/B01F7TRUVA/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Imps-Other-Dark-Tales/dp/B01F7TRKJC/

http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Imps-Other-Dark-Tales/dp/B01F7TRA1K

 

A L Butcher

 

Author Biography: A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys.  Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

 

Please support her Thunderclap Event: http://thndr.me/dD3ZiC

 

Thirsty for Water by N. N. Light is #FREE May 6-8 #YA #Paranormal #ASMSG


Looking for a super-quick read this weekend? It’s your lucky day because our super-short story, Thirsty for Water, is FREE Friday through Sunday (May 6-8).

What’s it about?

Juliet can’t wait to graduate from high school and finally move on with her life. Five more days and she’s free. She gazes out the window while her history teacher, Mrs. Johnson, drones on about war, famine and lack of water in Africa.

A gong rings, startling Juliet out of her daydream. She looks around to see if it was one of her classmates pulling a prank when a little boy carrying a spear appears. Is he a ghost or something more? He pleads for her help and before she can argue, she is transported to a small village in Africa. History comes alive like never before and Juliet must decide how she can help Noko and his village before it’s too late.

Thirsty for Water tells the story of Africa and the need for water in an approachable way for children of all ages. A great learning tool for teachers, parents and libraries.

 

Click here to download: https://www.amazon.com/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q?

 

Thirsty for water teaser

 

Here’s what readers have to say about it:

“A short but highly emotive story that makes me wish this sort of thing could really happen to snap many of us out of our comfortable complacency.
When you really think about it, it’s always the smallest person, or in this case, village, that gets left out.” ~ Chris Graham (otherwise known as Chris the Story Reading Ape)

 

This is an inspiring story of giving to others unselfishly. A high school girl, Juliet, while in her school classroom has a vision. Her teacher is talking about a young boy and the severe problems in his village. During this vision Juliet meets this young boy, Noko, who takes her to his village to show Juliet how he lives. Juliet is so shocked by what she sees that she announces in class that she will donate to the boy’s cause to bring water to his village. The other students join in because of her enthusiasm.

A lovely tale that touches the heart and brings tears to the eyes! I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this short story.” ~ Janice Spina

 

A Plea:

We’re in need of reviews so please take a moment and write a sentence or two if you download it. We love hearing from our readers and if you like it, let us know. We’re thinking about expanding it to a full-fledged novel but we would love your feedback.

Also, please share and if you think you know someone who’d like this book, let them know. 🙂

 

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography:

N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

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

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

Email: nnlight@outlook.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

Don’t Have Time To Read? Friday Book Round-Up 90 Minute Short Reads #amreading #books


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up! I read this really long and boring article last night how no one has time to read anymore. No matter how much I disagree with that article, I know what it’s like to struggle to read in my spare time. So, I went onto Amazon and checked out their Best Sellers in 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads. Some great stories on there and most of them are only 99 cents. Here are my favorites:

 

The Missing Amish Girl (Amish Mystery and Romance) by Hannah Schrock

When Rebecca Lehman, a pretty young Amish girl, goes missing the whole Amish community draw together to try to find her.

 

When Dana, the police detective brings tragic news the next morning, Sadie Zook, the mother of Rebecca’s best friend, becomes drawn into the investigation to find the murderer.

 

Sadie finds that Rebecca lived in a secret world of Englisch friends and possibly Englisch boyfriends. She also knows that Eli, Rebecca’s father, is very controlling and would not understand why Rebecca would be interested in the world outside the Amish community. Then there is the matter of Mark, a young jealous Amish boy, who wanted nothing more than to court Rebecca.

 

As Sadie investigates further she finds herself drawn deeper into a pool of potential suspects and personal danger.

 

If I’m Dead: A Rachel Knight Story by Marcia Clark

It started with a haunting image: a Ford Explorer, iridescent in the moonlight and alone on a desolate stretch of beach. Its owner, Melissa Gibbons, has gone missing. Her husband says she flew the coop. But Los Angeles Deputy DA Rachel Knight is convinced otherwise: Melissa Gibbons has been murdered.

 

So begins the confounding case that Rachel must present before a disbelieving jury. A dissatisfied heiress and her philandering husband– what really happened? The husband has a fiendishly convincing case that Melissa faked her own death and fled. But with the support of her trusty sidekick, Detective Bailey Keller, Rachel pieces together a much more sinister truth.

 

In this short, standalone Rachel Knight thriller, readers follow our savvy and riotously entertaining heroine through the surprising world of LA crime.

 

3 Truths and a Lie: A Detective D. D. Warren Story (Kindle Single) by Lisa Gardner

In Lisa Gardner’s second short story, after the New York Times bestseller The 7th Month, Detective D.D. Warren takes on her most intimidating assignment yet: a fifty-minute class meant to educate a horde of bloodthirsty thriller writers on the ways of actual police work. Yet sometimes life really does imitate fiction, as D.D. takes the writers through the reality of one of her most twisted cases—a case that involves a seedy motel room, drugs, prostitution . . . and a severed leg.

 

With Gardner’s trademark suspense, sharp observations, and thrilling storytelling, Three Truths and a Lie is a fascinating chapter in D.D.’s storied career. Includes an early look at Lisa Gardner’s next novel of suspense, Find Her, coming February 9, 2016.

 

I Love the Shadows: Kaitlyn Strong (book 1) by Art DeForest

I love the shadows. They keep me safe and secure as I wait to ambush animals like Altheas.

 

Altheas was a real piece of work. He likes to play with his food before he eats and he never leaves them alive after he feeds. His predilections are starting to draw attention. At his age you’d think he’d know better. It was a simple matter to feed after all. Some eye contact and a little mesmerization, a quick lick to seal the wounds and you both went about your night, your meal ticket none the wiser.

 

Well, speak of the devil, here he comes now. A pretty girl is tucked under his arm. Altheas is tall and very good looking. Really, he is pretty much standard for one of our kind. The girl has gorgeous blond hair that made me envious as hell. She’s got some nice curves too and was trying to press every one of them into his side.

 

He only has eyes for the human juice box in his arms as he passed my hidden position. Stepping out of the shadows behind him, I thrust my stake at the center of his back. He was more aware of his surroundings than I anticipated. Whipping around like a coiled viper on speed, he tried to interpose the innocent girl between the descending stake and his body. My eyes grew wide as I tried to divert the strike.

 

++++

 

There are psychopaths in every group. Human, Vampire, Lycan. Kaitlyn Strong was forcibly turned, but managed to escape the clutches of a twisted vampire named Darius. Now, with her forty five pound Savannah Cat, Fangs, she hunts the shadows and kills the monsters, hoping one day to cross paths with the one that changed her life forever.

 

I Love the Shadows is the first book in a new series by Art DeForest. The Kaitlyn Strong Series follows Kaitlyn’s life, loves and adventures as she cleanses the shadows of monsters.

 

Library Of Murder (A Harbor Cove Cozy Mystery Book 2) by Emily Page

It’s just another normal, peaceful Sunday in Harbor Cove for Skyler Avery, her mom Mary Beth, and Skyler’s friend Nichole. The trio are at Momma Avery’s house preparing Sunday dinner. But that peace is suddenly shattered with the delivery of shocking news via phone call. Momma Avery answers and it’s one of her book club friends Teresa Klark. Teresa’s voice is shaken on the other end because she’s in jail. Seems local librarian Arnold Watson was murdered recently and Teresa is a prime suspect! She calls upon Momma Avery and her daughter to find the real culprit before it’s too late.

 

The Mother/Daughter tandem jump into action and soon learn of more suspects in play. While the dark truth lies with one of these suspects, finding out who is behind this will lead to justice. Time is ticking since Teresa’s very freedom depends on the real killer’s identity being revealed!

 

Killchain (Year of the Zombie Book 1) by Adam Baker

Elize arrives in Mogadishu with instructions to assassinate a Russian embassy official. She has tactical command of a US kill-team, CIA operatives, rookies and veterans of a dozen war zones. It should be a straightforward hit but her luck is about to run out. She will soon find herself trapped in a city gone to hell, struggling to complete her mission in the face of betrayal, a spreading pandemic and a population hungry for flesh…

 

Set within the same world as Baker’s bestselling OUTPOST, JUGGERNAUT, TERMINUS and IMPACT, KILLCHAIN will appeal to fans of zombie horror and high-octane thrillers.

 

Praise for Adam Baker’s previous work:

 

‘JUGGERNAUT is hugely entertaining and as unstoppable as its namesake.’ (Financial Times)

 

‘There’s no denying the strength of Baker’s prose.’ (SFX Magazine)

 

‘An original and pacy debut.’ (Daily Mail)

 

‘It had me on the edge of my seat from page one.’ (Stephen Leather on OUTPOST)

 

‘A lock-and-load adventure of the highest calibre.’ (Adam Nevill on JUGGERNAUT)

 

Shot by Cupid’s Arrow: A Short and Sweet Romance by Brooke St. James

Erin Palmer was trying to make a fresh start in a new town. The last thing she wanted to do on moving day was take time out to stop at a Valentine’s Day festival. She only did it to make the move more enjoyable for her precious little girl.

 

Her intentions were to get in and out as quickly as possible. She wasn’t expecting it to be an all day affair, and she certainly wasn’t prepared for a run-in with Cupid.

 

Out of the Tank (Privateer Tales Book 7) by Jamie McFarlane

War veteran, Tabitha Masters, expected to live out the rest of her days with the debilitating scars of battle. But, after her crew made a deal with the devil (Smuggler’s Dilemma, Privateer Tales Book 6), she’s been given a second chance. A month in a medical tank and Tabby’s injuries are repaired, replaced and even upgraded.

 

Within hours of being discharged from the hospital, Tabby hears from Shri Ganguly – a fellow veteran and survivor of the Red Houzi war. Shri is convinced she’s being targeted and hopes that Tabby can help.

 

It will take everything Tabby has to recover, while facing down the danger that threatens her friend.

 

The Side Chick Who Turned into A Wife 3 by MARQUES LEWIS

Karma has finally chased down Brandon. With Tracy walking into the bar catching one of his sidepieces; all hell was about to break loose. Cash made it her mission to make Brandon’s life miserable for denying their child. Untold secrets, lies, and karma are ready to explode on everyone. Author Marques Lewis delivers his last book. Drama, sex, and fight scenes deliver one of winter’s books of the year.

 

The Caliban Program (Eric Ritter Spy Thriller Book 1) by Richard Fox

Months after 9/11, a covert arm of the CIA summons young Lieutenant Eric Ritter to Pakistan. Al Qaeda holds an American operative, and Ritter’s history with the kidnapper is key to rescuing the operative before it’s too late.

 

While the CIA need Ritter’s help, they consider him an expendable asset and throw him into a battle he isn’t ready for. Deep inside a hostile city, Ritter will learn what it takes to fight the cloak and dagger war against a merciless enemy, or die trying.

 

Contains an excerpt from INTO DARKNESS, the first full length novel of the Eric Ritter Spy Thriller series.

 

Eric Ritter novels in order:

 

  1. The Caliban Program amazon.com/dp/B00HUUBZXE
  2. Into Darkness amazon.com/dp/B00HW4497C
  3. The Socotra Incident amazon.com/B00T0WO8ZC
  4. The Beltway Assassin amazon.com/dp/B00WQBKBR8

 

 

Have you read any outstanding short reads/stories lately? Which one is your favorite? Share in the comments below.

 

Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

From a Poison Pen by @BPSmythe is a 5+ Star Collection! #bookreview #thriller #macabre


From a Poison Pen

 

Title: From a Poison Pen: A Collection of Macabre Short Stories

Author: B. P. Smythe

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

What happens when a member of the Hitler youth ends up in a concentration camp? How does a beach side cocktail get in the way the way of one woman’s scheming? What leads a teenage girl to rain down fire and brimstone?

 

This collection of dark, humorous and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

From a Poison Pen is the first book in a trilogy of collected short stories by B. P. Smythe.

 

From a Poison Pen teaser

 

My Review:

A 10 part macabre mystery collection?  I have read many a short story collection but this one stands out as one of the best.  Smythe has a gift for revenge writing and a really solid grasp of the poetically ironic.  I will post as part of this my reviews of each story in turn with individual ratings.  Overall this is a fabulous book and is 5+ Stars.

 

The Individual Stories:

 

  1. Constricted – I didn’t totally enjoy the first one. The Hubby in the story was too much a jerk for me to enjoy.  The surprise ending was a touch predictable but the snake in the end was a nice touch.  6/10

 

  1. The White Room – I was drawn right in with the ‘Charade’ and I did get a little lost but the story ending well, I was laughing and couldn’t help cheering on Charlotte. Great story. 9/10

 

  1. Mint Imperials – The weakest story of the book, I found it hard to read and I couldn’t really get on board with the main character. It was an excellent take on a Hitchcockian horror idea. If you liked Psycho you will love this one. 6/10

 

  1. The Letter – Brilliant, Superb Finish, Gripping, couldn’t stop turning the pages. 15/10

 

  1. Abigail’s Closet – Beautifully written, Justice done is Justice that is sweet. Made me laugh out loud. 20/10.

 

  1. Girls of BDM – Terrific, excellent writing. Perfect and beautiful portrayal of true justice. 20/10. I just LOVED the ending.

 

  1. Love Me Do – Interesting, well written but would have been better if Mariam had killed her. 7/10

 

  1. Bath Night – Readable, engaging, had an odd twist that lost me a bit in the end. 7/10

 

  1. Lover’s Leap – Coulda been titled Crime Doesn’t Pay or Greed Always Kills. or Pay the Badman. A bit long winded but an interesting turn in the end. 8/10

 

  1. We’ll Meet Again – Amazing Story, Brilliant. Not at all macabre. The author has a deft touch when it comes to writing war stories. The best of them all and could easily be a full length novel. 25/10.

 

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  Again, it’s 5+ stars.

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE/

 

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE/

 

B. P. Smythe

 

Author Biography:

 

I studied engineering at Carshalton College and eventually became a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance.

My engineering career took on many roles including toolmaking and being a technical writer for an artificial limb manufacturer. However, I’ve always enjoyed putting pen to paper while raising quality manuals and writing reports. I also write tennis articles for my local county magazine and relax reading crime and horror fiction. This, coupled with my technical writing career, partly influenced my transition into creative writing.

 

Wanting to expand my writing knowledge, I obtained a Level 3 / NCFE Certificate / PI410 creative writing diploma.

 

Sow And You Shall Reap – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/145677171X is my first self- published novel. However, I have submitted numerous short stories for internet competitions including, winning £100 as first prize for my A Rose Without a Thorn for the http://www.spinetinglerspublishing online magazine and winning £50 first prize for my We’ll Meet Again in the http://dark-places.co.uk online magazine.

 

Two of my other short stories, Love Me Do and My Secret Place, have also been published in the printed Litro Magazine – Issue 140 – ISBN 978-0-9554245-5-7 http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/02/litro-140-diaries/

 

Near the end of 2015 I fortunately obtained a three book deal contract with Bloodhound Books http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com to publish a trilogy of macabre/thriller collected short stories. My first book titled – ‘From a Poison Pen’ is the first book of the trilogy and highlights from the stories – What happens when a member of the Hitler youth ends up in a concentration camp? How does a beach side cocktail get in the way the way of one woman’s scheming? What leads a teenage girl to reign down fire and brimstone? When a doctor buries his mistake, can he get away with it?

 

This collection of dark, humorous and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

To purchase ‘From a Poison Pen’ Go to amazon.co.uk for the Kindle and paperback editions…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

 

Favourite books:

The Shining by Stephen King

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Psycho by Robert Bloch

 

Other links to B.P.Smythe for his books – go to:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

http://www.amazon.com/Sow-Shall-Reap-B-P-Smythe/dp/145677171X

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12044547-sow-and-you-shall-reap

http://authorsonshow.com/2011/09/18/contest-entries/

http://www.authorsden.com/barrysmythe

 

Sow and You Shall Reap

by B P Smythe. available COPIES on Amazon Kindle and paperback. Isbn:9781456771713

 

Contact info:

B.P.Smythe

40 Saint Margaret’s Avenue,

North Cheam, Surrey.

SM3 9TT

 

e.mail: barrysmythe@hotmail.com

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5043570.B_P_Smythe

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

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Halibut, Herring and You – Short Stories by @CarlaBillinghur #bookreview #SFF #zombies


Halibut Herring and You

 

Title: Halibut, Herring and You – Short Stories

Author: Carla Billinghurst

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fairy Tales

 

Book Blurb:

A collection of fantasy and sci-fi stories from author and blogger Carla Billinghurst.

“Carla is one of my favourite as-yet-undiscovered writers.” Nike Sulway (Rupetta, The Bone Flute)

Sometimes dark, sometimes tragic and sometimes just hilarious, she brings you stories about our uneasy relationship with nature, about star-crossed lovers a long way from Earth and about the endless absurdities of life as a human.

“My favourite and beloved piece is Counting… it’s short, beautiful and it made me cry.” Sandra Hogan (WriteBusiness.com)

In a universe where the absurd slider control has been moved almost to maximum, Milton wants to live life as a penguin, the Zombie Apocalypse comes to Australia…and Transylvania…and to Cinderella’s night at the ball.

“By far the best Halloween story I’ve read. Brilliant stuff.” Jane Rawson (A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists)

And when it all gets too much, there is always The Emergency Cat.

“Just the right mix of absurdity, gore and humour. And a cat. Mostly the Cat.” – Damien Miller

 

My Review:

This is a fantastic collection of fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction short stories. Carla is a talented writer and her stories reminded me of Roald Dahl. I loved her take on the Zombie Apocalypse infiltrating the Australian Bush. Her fairy tales are modern yet a valuable lesson is hidden underneath fleshed out characters and outrageous circumstances. Here is my summary on each story:

Halibut, Herring and You – My favorite story in this collection. Take one penguin trying to fit in amongst us humans. I laughed so hard, I almost dropped my tablet.

The Usual Precautions I – The Australian Zombie Apocalypse – Imagine what the Zombie Apocalypse would look like out in the Australian Bush. Crikey, I can just hear Paul Hogan muttering about blood-thirsty crocs and other creatures. I loved the new spin on the zombie genre.

Rachel – A delightful cautionary tale for parents on what happens when you don’t listen to children. I cheered at the end.

Fire – A burning fire unveils unexpected results.

The Usual Precautions II – Zombies attack France. While I did cheer for the zombies a time or two, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Counting – A tale of counting. Reminded me of Lewis Carroll for some reason. Delightful.

Seven Hundred – The author mentioned this story was the result of re-reading The White Goddess by Robert Graves. I found it poetic and thought-provoking.

Counting Back – This is part two of Counting. A tad dark but brilliant.

The Usual Precautions III – Watch out, Cinderella, the zombies will eat you! I loved this and it’s my second favorite story.

Shopping – In the same vein as The Matrix and other futuristic tales, Shopping takes us into the future where aliens have taken over our retailers. I loved it for its main character and my favorite line was when the shopper paid in cash. gasp Shocking, but then that’s the same response I get nowadays.

The Usual Precautions IV – Dracula meets Zombies in this fun tale.

Lilies – A murder mystery that didn’t capture my attention like the other stories in this collection. It seemed out of place.

The Usual Precautions V – The hero of the Zombie Apocalypse arrives and yet is not prepared. A lesson is learned here and I liked the ending.

Nanny – Aliens in desperate need of a nanny go to great lengths to get one. A funny tale that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Emergency Cat – Move over Grumpy Cat, Emergency Cat is here. I loved this story and Marvel should look into this for a new line of comics.

The Youngest Serf – A fairy tale inspired by Sleeping Beauty and I enjoyed it.

The Usual Precautions VI – The final tale in the Zombie Apocalypse and it was very fulfilling.

The End of the Line – An inventive story that was originally a competition entry.

 

Favorite Character:

My favorite character was the penguin from Halibut, Herring and You. I love penguins and Carla did an amazing portraying a penguin with a sarcastic wit trying to make his way in a world over-crowded with humans. I want more!

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Halibut-Herring-You-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00WAV3VGC

 

Author Biography:

I write about fitting in.

I write about how hard that is and how beautiful it can be.

I write about how we all need to fit in somewhere even if we don’t need the same things.

When I’m writing I want to have the same sort of dangerous fun that I can have improvising theatre.

I want readers to look up from my work and see the world around them in archetypal form: giants who can be brought down, sleepers who can be woken, magical helpers who can be seduced with crumbs and songs. I’m looking for the happy ending for our culture.

When I said I wasn’t sure how to live with my collection of auto-immune diseases, my husband, a painter, said write a story about someone who does.

Solutions to our difficulties can be that simple.

Of course it’s not that simple because I ended up writing a story about someone who wanted to be a penguin…

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://carlabillinghurst.com/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/CarlaBillinghur

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Love, Peace and Joy: 3 Short Stories by @StephanyTullis #Christmas #holidayfiction


LP&J eBOOK COVER (

TITLE

Love, Peace & Joy: 3 Short Stories

AUTHOR

Stephany Tullis

BOOK BLURB

Love, Peace & Joy is guaranteed to fill readers hearts with the magical, mystical spirit of Christmas. Three short stories filled with all the ingredients of a holiday season like none other: fun, family, food, love, music and the potent gift of giving.

The perfect holiday gift and one you won’t forget: A Holly Spriggs Jolly Christmas, Chocolate Covered Kisses and Joyeux Noelle.

Enjoy!

EXERPT

CHOCOLATE COVERED KISSES

Maddy fumbled as she double tapped the button on the bedside alarm clock. She peeked at her husband and was glad to see he slept through the opening notes of “Joy to the World.” She lay stiff as a board on her side of the bed thinking it would take more than a few musical chords about Christmas joy to enliven her soul on this bleak wintry Sunday morning.

Unable to rebuke temptation, she tugged the blanket up to her chin semi complacent with the thought of lounging in bed all day, ignoring the whispering tinges of guilt. Get up! You know you need to go to church.

Maddy’s Sunday morning routine was just that–routine. Nelson, her husband of twenty-five years, buried his head under his pillow at six AM, thirty minutes before the scheduled alarm and usual brief gospel interlude. Gospel host Judson Johnson had just enough time to bless the Meriweather household with five words of prayer or a few bars of an inspirational tune before Maddy silenced Mr. Johnson in his spiritual tracks.

Nelson appreciated his wife’s efforts each week to let him sleep as she prepared for church. His job demanded an early rise. He had to be on the construction site and ahead of his team six days a week. Sunday was his only day to sleep in. This morning, despite his body’s demanding call for rest, he realized his wife was still in bed. By now, she would be in the shower. Sometimes he was able to fall back asleep to the rhythm of water that melodiously accompanied his wife’s deep contralto as she hummed one of her favorite hymns. This morning’s aberrant silence unnerved him.

“What’s wrong Maddy? Are you feeling okay?”

Without movement she muttered, “I’m fine honey. I just don’t feel like facing the cold weather. Go on back to sleep. Sorry about the alarm.”

He turned over to face her and was shocked! She lay staring at the ceiling and so close to the outer edge of the bed that if he rolled over, she might easily fall to the floor.

“Maddy! Come on now. Cold weather never stopped you from going to church before. So what’s bothering you, baby?” His deep-throated whispered concern nudged her conscience.

Rather than continue to disrupt her husband’s sleep, she murmured, “Get some sleep Nels.” She sweetened her response with a kiss. “I’m okay.”

Officially rebuking temptation, she began her usual Sunday morning rituals. She tip toed to the bathroom, dressed in their spare bedroom and by the time she returned to say good bye, Nelson was fully submerged under their heavy comforter–now with both pillows over his head.

She whispered not wanting to wake him, “I’ll see you after church.”

He grunted a muffled response, “See you later, honey. Hope you feel better. Take some of those cold tablets.”

***********

Thankful she made the trip to church, the service was as special as she hoped. More than fifty crimson poinsettias lined the hallway leading to the sanctuary, huge boughs of evergreen sprinkled with gold sparkles and swathed in multi-shade crimson ribbon draped the pews on each side of the center aisle. The sweet pine fragrance permeated the entire church mystically lifting her spirit as she was ushered to her favorite seat. The triumphant Voices of Angels Christmas Ensemble and red, green, yellow and blue abstract designed stained glass windows in the sanctuary provided the peace she sought. As easy as the peace encompassed her spirit during church service, it inextricably dissipated by the time she crossed the church parking lot to her car…her soul depleted and empty. Again.

BUY LINK

http://getBook.at/Love-Peace-Joy 

 

Stephany Promo Pic

AUTHOR BIO

My spirituality is the force behind my being. In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.

I published my first novel The Master’s Plan, A Novel About Purpose in November 2013 and my first Christmas novel, 48 Hours ‘Til Christmas, in November 2014.

BLUE LADY (a short story), published in February 2015, launched my first series, The Angelica Mason Series. The first full installment in this series, entitled BLUE LADY’S Sweet Dreams is scheduled for release November 6th 2015 to be followed by BLUE LADY’S Mission Impossible in Spring 2016.

I love Christmas and all the merriment and joy that it brings! My 2015 Christmas release Love, Peace & Joy is on pre-order, scheduled for release October 30th 2015.

I live in Georgia with my family where I continue to write professionally and have published on Examiner.com as Atlanta’s Society and Culture Examiner and in various health related peer review journals.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephanyTullis

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/stephany.tullis

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1gwe0xE

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stephey630/love-peace-joy~~3-short-stories/

BLOG: http://www.stephanytullis.com/blog

 

Manhattan Mayhem by @quirkbooks #bookreview #mystery #MWA


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Title: Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America

Author: Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those devoted to the genre.

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime

Book Blurb: 

Best-selling suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark invites you on a tour of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods in this anthology of all-new stories from the Mystery Writers of America. From the Flatiron District (Lee Child) and Greenwich Village (Jeffery Deaver) to Little Italy (T. Jefferson Parker) and Chinatown (S.J. Rozan), you’ll encounter crimes, mysteries, and riddles large and small. Illustrated with iconic photography of New York City and packaged in a handsome hardcover,Manhattan Mayhem is a delightful read for armchair detectives and armchair travelers alike!

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Goodreads First Read Program and I thank Quirk Books from the bottom of my heart.

I love mystery books and this anthology did not disappoint. I found many of the stories piqued my interest in some way and I found new mystery authors to read. If I had to pick my favorite, it would have to be The Five Dollar Dress from my favorite mystery author, Mary Higgins Clark. Here is a run-down of the stories:

The Five Dollar Dress: 5 stars, great intrigue with an ending I didn’t see coming.

White Rabbit: 3.5 stars, good premise, predictable.

The Picture of the Lonely Diner: 4 stars, not much happens but good description of New York.

Three Little Words: 5 stars, brilliant, suspenseful.

Damage Control: 2 stars, no suspense, sad, didn’t like characters.

The Day After Victory: 5 stars, great suspense.

Serial Benefactor: 2.5 stars, great suspense, no ending. So disappointed.

Trapped!: 5 stars, hysterical, suspense in a theatre, written as a one-act play.

Wall Street Rodeo: 1 star, didn’t hold my attention, fell asleep, didn’t care.

Copycats: 4 stars, gritty, intense, post-war crime story.

Red-Headed Stepchild: 5 stars, modern-day Cinderella with a suspenseful twist.

Sutton Death Overture: 5 stars, mysterious disappearance of a rich beauty, surprise ending, brilliant as it kept me guessing.

Dizzy and Gillespie: 3 stars, mother and daughter live in a run-down apartment in Harlem, annoying neighbor, mysterious deaths, good intrigue with a dash of Harlem.

Me and Mikey: 1 star (although to be honest, I’d give it a -10), pointless drivel, hated main characters and I loved Sopranos, whiney MC drove me to drink lol.

Evermore: 5 stars, Edgar Allan Poe and a two-bit crook meet in an alleyway in this fast-paced time travel suspenseful story. I could see this as a television show.

Chin Yong-Yun Makes a Shiddach: 3 stars, not for me, Chinatown mystery.

The Baker of Bleeker Street: spies, Germany infiltrating America during WW2 and an Italian baker. Fabulous spy thriller. I wanted more.

My Overall Rating: 4 stars

Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-Mayhem-Stories-Mystery-Writers/dp/159474761X

Finding Inspiration: A Guest Post by @Nicholas_Rossis #IARTG #RRBC #amreading


Finding Inspiration

Like many authors, I’m asked on occasion where I find inspiration for my stories. As I just published Infinite Waters: 9+1 Speculative Fiction Short Stories, I thought I’d share how I came up with each of the stories there.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

The Things We Do for Lust

Beware of Greek gods bearing gifts

Everyone has their own theory about Greek gods, from aliens to Atlantis refugees. “The Things We Do for Lust” offers a light-hearted alternative. Trekkies will probably enjoy the many Star Trek references.

The Twist in the Tale

A confused woman meanders through a sleepy town. But not all is as it seems

“A Twist in the Tale” came to me while reading on Alzheimer’s. What if the warped reality of those suffering from this terrible disease is actually based on fact? What if we pity them only because we can’t see the full picture?

James’ Life

A man with nothing to look forward to but oblivion, discovers it’s not that easy to escape his life

“James’ Life” is lighter in nature, despite the heaviness. What if video technology evolved to the point of the characters having their own feelings about what was happening to them? How happy would they be repeating the same mistakes night after night?

What’s in a Name?

A cruise to the tropics has an unexpected ending

I thought of “What’s in a Name?” while listening to Little Blue by The Beautiful South. A sci-fi version of the story appears in the third issue of the Nonlocal Science Fiction Magazine.

The Lucky Bastard

How far will the luckiest man alive go to escape his luck?

I was going through a rough patch when I thought of “The Lucky Bastard.” Life can throw us a whole lot of curveballs, but where would we be without them? Would someone who has led a perfect life be happy, or deeply miserable, unable to enjoy and appreciate any of their achievements?

Two’s a Crowd

Blood runs thicker than water. Especially when you spill it.

The idea behind “Two’s a Crowd” came to me from a comic I read as a young teenager. A man has a recurring nightmare. Every single night he fights axe-wielding monsters in a bloodied battlefield. When a monster kills him and the police find his body, they are baffled as to why anyone would commit murder with a large axe. However, once again, it is the nature of reality that’s really questioned here. “Am I a butterfly dreaming I am a man, or a man dreaming I am a butterfly?”, as Chuang Chou put it.

Is There a Doctor in the House?

A high school student just loves to experiment

“Is There a Doctor in the House?” is the tongue-in-cheek story of a well-known doctor’s. What would he be like, as an awkward teenager? Would he continue his father’s experiments?

Sex and Dinner

A timeless combination. Or is it?

“Sex and Dinner” was a Valentine’s special I wrote for my blog, stemming from a discussion with a couple of friends about the strange ways species use to procreate.

Would You Like Flies With That?

Nothing’s scarier than a supermarket.

“Would You Like Files With That” is pretty much copied verbatim from a strange dream I had. I simply added the Halloween aspects when I published it on my blog as a Halloween special.

Infinite Waters

A woman seeks her future at a carnival. She discovers more than she expected.

Finally, I wrote “It’s in the Cards” as a contribution to the Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul anthology. It was published there in December 2014, and became the container for these other stories under the new title, “Infinite Waters”.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KqxjoS (It’s FREE on Amazon Unlimited)

Who is Nicholas C. Rossis?

book photo NR_500

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Philosophical ideas woven into science-fiction stories that read like classic stories by the masters, often with a delightful, thought-provoking and unexpected twist at the end.”

“Phil K. Dick is up on a cloud laughing with glee”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on:

Blog: http://bit.ly/1G79bQS
eNovel Authors: http://bit.ly/1JZEQct
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18lyLr5
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1dKgsPT
Google+ : http://bit.ly/1IkzR22