"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination. 
Ami: I enjoy paranormal and historical romances. I love futuristic/science fiction as well. I love reading about new worlds, unseen past or future...

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read. 
Ami: I support self-published and Indie Authjors like Rhiannon Frater, Jim Berheimer, and Imogen Rose.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite. 
Ami: My favorite classic would be Pride and Prejudice and I am reading now a favorite: As the World Dies (Zombie Trilogy)

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend? 
Ami: Last month I read Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater and yes I would recommend it. But it is an adult book.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book? 
Ami: I read about a  book a day. I am a reviewer, so I do a lot of reading. I prefer paperback or .pdf. I read during commercials of programs I watch in the evening or first thing in the morning. I like to read in bed, on the beach, by the pool...

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite? 
Ami: For now, I have to say As The World Dies. It is a fun stroy with lots of action and it would make a good movie.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write? 
Ami: Sometimes personal events or sometimes just feelings I have write on paper.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write? 
Ami: Characters, and imaginative, creative plot lines...

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.
Ami: I started writing novels when I was 34. I have enjoyed the process immensely.

Ami Blackwelder
‘Paranormal and Historical Romances of Forbidden Love’

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Karen Kostlivy Reviews "Blood Over Badge" by Wayne Farquhar

Book Blurb: From the Publisher: Two seemingly unrelated crimes - Two seemingly unrelated killers - And two mysteries waiting to be solved ... The murder of the Mayor of San Francisco's daughter sets the stage for this intriguing and spell-binding crime thriller. Two police detectives, Jack Paige and Casey Ford are assigned to catch a cold-blooded rapist and killer. In this gritty, realistic tale of homicide, unrelated mysteries of two murderers seem to come together and make little sense. What does a man rotting away behind the stench-enclosed walls of Angola Penitentiary have to do with an evil and cruel rapist and killer now on the run from California to Texas? What is the relationship to the killing of the Mayor's daughter?

My Review: Blood Over Badge is a fantastic murder mystery! I had a hard time of putting the book down. Wayne truly engages the reader into the story with his descriptive style of writing that places the reader into the center of it all. The twisted ending is more evidence that Blood Over Badge will no doubt be on the best sellers list.

Reviewed By: Karen Kostlivy

Author Website: www.cyberwriters.net

Blurb for Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life by Karen Kostlivy:  Mason Witt, a skateboarding American teenager, catapults himself into the greatest adventure of his life after reading the plight of a new Cyber Writer from Africa. Lutalo knew he would come so he sent Mason an urgent plea for help. His village has lost its precious Zebra of Life -- and his father has gone missing in the pursuit of the evil men who stole it. Here begins this thrilling adventure of two boys, a smart-talking panther, and an amazing zebra that sustains life.

"Kostlivy did a great job with her first book in the Cyber Writer Series. I found myself anxious to find out what happened next, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I was amazed with the plot and she kept my attention from beginning to end.  I give Cyber Writers and The Zebra of Life ***** (5) Stars" Daniel Dietz, children's book reviewer for BK Walker Books.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Erin O’Riordan Reviews “Each End of the World” By Heather Smith

Each End of the World By Heather Smith
Book Length: 52 pages
Publisher: Main Street Rag


"Although Heather Smith's astonishing first book is located, mostly, in the conflagration of human meaning that was Bosnia in the1990's, it's a collection that, in an unforgettable way, examines the terrifying bitterness and danger of contemporary life, when There are flashes of light strobing from the windows/ of the Holiday Inn.../ They are shooting at us from the Holiday Inn. What does it mean, now, to give witness? The language of devastation courses through the book, and seems to course through the poet herself. Smith's sweeping current of voices is somehow both individual and a great collective outcry. Each End of the World is a devastating performance."


Each End of the World was written by Heather Derr-Smith (credited on this book as Heather Smith) and published by Main Street Rag in 2005. The poems in this anthology have appeared in literary magazines including The Chattahoochee Review, The New York Quarterly, and Pleiades.

This isn’t an easy book to read. Most of the poems (probably all of them except “Mt. Olivet Old Regular Baptist Church”) are about the civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The civil war was ugly, but it’s an important thing to remember. Why? Because the city in the epicenter of the war, Sarajevo (now the capital of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina), was a fully modern European metropolis, just like Paris, Berlin, Prague, London or Dublin. If you, as an American, had visited Sarajevo in 1990, you probably would have been shocked by how familiar it felt. Many of the people there did, and still do, speak English.

Sarajevo had been inhabited by a mixture of Croatians, Serbs, Muslims and Jews since the Middle Ages. The Muslims there are the cultural legacy of the former Yugoslavia’s being a part of the Ottoman Turkish empire, as was much of Eastern Europe. Croatians, Serbs and Muslim Bosniaks are all the same Slavic ethnic group, and their languages are so similar they are mutually intelligible (if you speak one, you understand the other ones). The differences have traditionally been largely religious ones: Croatians were Roman Catholic, Serbs were largely Eastern Orthodox Christians, and the Muslim Bosniaks were Sunni Muslims. Communism, which forbade the practice of all these religions, hid some of these differences, and they resurfaced after Communism collapsed.

In 1991, Croatia (which is separated from Italy only by the small country of Slovenia, and has many cultural similarities with Italy) declared its independence from Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavian government was headed by Slobodan Milosevic, an ethnic Serb, who fought Croatia to keep his country together. However, a large part of Milosevic’s motivation was hatred toward Croatians and Muslims. His Serbian army carried out a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against ethnic groups it considered inferior. (Milosevic would eventually die in jail in the Netherlands while awaiting trial for war crimes.) The region of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the unfortunate position of being sandwiched into between Croatia and Serbia.

The assault on Sarajevo was brutal. (Remember, this is a major, modern European city, and this was less than twenty years ago. If it can happen there, it can happen any time, any place.) The Serbs divided the city in half and cut off the electricity and water supplies to the non-Serbian half. They shelled the non-Serbian half of the city with mortar rounds, and snipers fired into the streets across the dividing line. The only access the people under siege had to food was through the black market. The United Nations was allowed to bring them food and water, but snipers would take shots at people as they stood in line for these things. People ate their cats and dogs or ate grass just to keep from starving to death. The war killed between 140,000 and 200,000 people (accounts vary) and created thousands more refugees. Thousands of women were sexually assaulted in “rape camps,” and after the war there were hundreds of babies given up to orphanages because their mothers had been raped.

Many Americans had, and still have, a hard time picturing the Bosnian people in human terms. I went to high school with Boris, a teenager from Sarajevo whose Serbian college professor father and Croatian-Muslim professor mother sent him to the U.S. to avoid the war. If you didn’t know Boris’s story, it was impossible to tell him from an American teenager. He spoke English flawlessly, without even an accent, and he loved The Beatles above all things. The Bosnian war was never nameless or faceless to me. If you’re an NBA basketball fan, you may also remember the L.A. Lakers’ Vlade Divac (from Serbia) or the Chicago Bulls’ Toni Kukoc (from Split, Croatia, on the Dalmatian coastline). Once teammates on Yugoslavia’s junior national basketball team and close friends, they were split apart by the war. Divac publicly spoke out against Milosevic and the violence, worked for humanitarian charities, and even went so far as to personally adopt two war orphans, but he and Kukoc couldn‘t reconcile their differences until after the war was over.

Even if you can’t put an individual face to the war, though, consider this: many Serbian people opposed the violence, and there were also atrocities on the side of the Muslim-Croatian coalition. However, the majority of the victims of the war were Muslims. In some Muslims villages, the men were all lined up and shot and then buried in mass graves. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have used the Bosnian war as an example of the West’s hostility to Muslims and as incitement to violence against the West. The Bosnian war was an unthinkable human tragedy, but it also made the world less safe for everyone.

For all these reasons and for its own poetic merits, Heather Smith’s Each End of the World deserves a place on your bookshelf. The title refers to the moments in time when each victim of the war had his and her world destroyed. That destruction may have come through death, living through trauma, or losing one’s soul by victimizing another. The speakers in these poems are young and old, male and female, and from all sides of the war. The poems are full of violence, but they also incorporate snatches of Bosnian folk songs. They juxtapose beauty and horror, the everyday and the nightmarish. The poems will be haunting, but don’t be tempted to look away. We all need to remember this like we remember the Holocaust, so nothing so evil can be allowed to happen again.

Reviewed By Erin O’Riordan

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interview with L. E. Harvey

Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre
that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that
particular combination. 

LEH: I love a good suspense or romance.  I love action, and I love books that can just sweep me away right from the get-go.  I’m also a hopeless romantic, though.  So, a good romance novel is always fine by me.  J

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please
tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.

LEH: My mentor, Chelle Cordero, has written several fantastic romance novels and one great creep mystery book called Final Sin.  She doesn’t pay me to say this.  I highly recommend her books!  J

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what
about that book makes it your favorite.

LEH: Albeit simplistic, the short story, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry has been one of my all-time favorites stories since I read it back in school.  The love and devotion they have for each other, the sacrifices they are willing to make for each other, and then the bitter irony at the end.  It is a very deep and sensitive story.  I simply adore it.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

LEH: That’s a toughie.  I’ll go with The Cabin, by Smoky Trudeau.  It’s so different than my typical read, and it was great.  It was so unique and touching.  I’d definitely recommend it.  Its originality and sentiment are phenomenal.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

LEH: Wow.  Ummmm…that depends on the day!  LOL.  It’s really tough.  I have a small heard of special needs animals, a four year old, I help my partner with her business.  I read what can when I can and how I can!  LOL.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written?
Why is it your favorite? 

LEH: Another toughie.  I’m going to have to go with Imperfect and Impeccable (two, but they’re together).  It’s a story that is so near and dear to my heart.  It’s extremely emotional and vulnerable.  The story, though broken up between the two books, is so important to me (and I really just view it as one story even though it’s sequelled).

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

LEH: My publisher is really good at that!  LOL.  She likes to push me, and in a good way.  My background is non-fiction, and yet she accepted Loving Her, my first work of fiction in over 15 years.  Then she challenged me to write a full-length novel and also a suspense novel.  Thus, Unbreakable Hostage and Imperfect were born.  Amazingly enough for a non-fiction gal, the stories come to me quite easily.  It’s just a matter of me getting that nudge to stretch myself that much more.  To test new waters.
Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

LEH: The beginning and the end.  Every time I write, I can clearly see the beginning and the ending.  It’s just very fluid for me for some reason.  So, I write the beginning and the ending to each story and work my way in towards the middle.  A rather unique way of writing, I know, but it seems to work.  J

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

LEH: Well, a little known fact about me is that I am a world-class car dancer.  You know you’ve seen us.  We’re those people just happily bee-bopping to music in the car next to you.  I am one of them.  I also make facial expressions while I car dance and I sing and dance for the cars around me.  It’s a little known talent that I have, so it’s easy to understand why I don’t get asked about it.  J

L. E. Harvey
L. E. Harvey is a pinup and "alt" (alternative) model, and author based in Philadelphia and Las Vegas.  A fun, vivacious, studious, and very creative person, L. E. Harvey brings life to all of her various forms of work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brita Addams Reviews “Master, An Erotic Novel of The Count of Monte Cristo” by Collette Gale

Master, An Erotic Novel of The Count of Monte Cristo by Collette Gale
ISBN: 978-0-451-22412-5
Signet Eclipse Historical Romance

REVIEW: Having never read Alexander Dumas’ novel, I can only base my adoration for the story of the Count Of Monte Cristo on the movies. There was a film in 1975 with Richard Chamberlain in the lead role and then another in 2002 with Jim Caviezel of “The Passion of the Christ” fame. Though I love Chamberlain, Caviezel is without a doubt my favor movie Monte Cristo. Therefore, he is the person I pictured when I read “Master.”
Master is a wonderfully written novel, which deals with Edmond Dantes’ time after his escape from Chateau d’If, a hellhole of a prison, where he was sent basically to keep his mouth shut, to protect the political career of Villefort and others.
The book tells the story of Monte Cristo’s need for revenge against five people, including the woman whose memory was the only thing that had kept him alive while in the rat infested prison. The thought of her waiting for him kept him sane. When he returns he finds she’s married Fernand Morcerf, one of the men Monte Cristo seeks revenge upon.
He ingratiates himself to all of Paris society and nobody, save one, recognizes Monte Cristo as Edmond Dantes, all the better to enact his plan. It is Mercedes, his lost love, who knows his eyes and had never forgotten the man. Her marriage was one forced upon her, all the while she mourned the loss of Dantes, the man she’d been told had died.
Collette Gale is a fine writer, who has also tackled a retelling of the Phantom of the Opera (Unmasqued) and Maid Marion (Bound by Honor). I’ve not read either but definitely plan to. I enjoyed the dark telling of the story, the mysterious Monte Cristo’s approach to his feelings toward Mercedes and the picture she painted of Paris. Monte Cristo’s anguish, and there is much, is understated but palpable.
The timeline was quite different from what I knew, but it worked. In that regard, Ms. Gale had to shift some relationships to fit, but they were minor adjustments and were not a detriment to the story.
The last thirty pages are yummy and anyone who enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo would likely appreciate this erotic telling of the story after the story Dumas wrote.

Brita Addams, author of Serenity's Dream, available from Noble Romance (http://www.nobleromance.com)
For more information on Brita Addams, please, visit:
Website & Blog:
http://www.britaaddams.com       Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100000877072873 Twitter: http://twitter.com/BritaAddams

Serenity’s Dream Excerpt
Brita Addams
      A somewhat disheveled Lucien Damrill entered the sanctified environs of his library, a well-outfitted cave for the bear he was becoming. It being Thursday, he’d just finished his usual session with Lady Amelie Foxworth, an insatiable beast of a woman, who could be thrashed bloody, fucked insensible and still beg for more. A more jaded woman he’d never met and he’d seen it all. He was tired, aroused and feeling rather beastly himself.
      With a compelling need for the burn of his favorite libation, he walked directly to the rosewood sideboard and poured himself a generous measure of his finest French brandy. He turned to make his way to his desk when he was stopped in his tracks.
      Before him, on a red and gold striped Hepplewhite chair sat someone whom he thought, nay, prayed never to see again. “How in bloody hell did you get in here?”
      “Why, dear, is that any way to speak to your dearly beloved wife?”
      Lucien cringed at the thought, feeling his aroused cock wither. “It is simply by an aberration that state exists between us. You are no more my wife than this glass is,” he spat out, holding up his cut-glass snifter with the figure of a nude woman as the stem.
      “It may surprise you to learn I have returned and wish to make up for all of the years I have neglected you.”
      Lucien affected a laugh, remembering how his beloved wife, the former Serenity Malin, had met him at the altar, stiffly consummated their union and promptly hied herself off to the country, where she’d resided uninterrupted for the last ten years.
      “Serenity, dear, I have not felt neglected in the least. You really shouldn’t have troubled yourself with thoughts of my welfare, for I have given yours less thought than I would give a stranger. But wait, we are strangers, are we not?”
      Serenity maintained a haughty mien. Lucien saw how her bottom lip quivered ever so slightly. Knowing his wife wasn’t given to dramatic displays, he knew he’d struck a chord.
      He would also have been blind had he not noticed that in ten years his wife had matured into a rather lovely woman. Her chestnut hair was stylishly coiffed, with curls framing her heart-shaped face and tendrils flowing from the loose knot at the back of her head. Her breasts were nearly overflowing her bodice, making Lucien imagine releasing them from their bonds and burying his face between them. He quickly dismissed his licentious thoughts, remembering who this woman was and why he held not a single pleasant thought concerning her.
        “I am serious, Lucien, I wish to be a real wife to you. That’s why I have come back.”  He felt her icy blue eyes follow him as he paced the room.
      “It would have nothing to do with the fact I am now wealthy and you wish to relieve me of some of my wealth?”
      “How can you say such things?  You have always provided for my needs and I could ask for no more.”
      “Then why are you really here?”
      “I have heard things about you and they intrigue me.”
      Lucien laughed again. “It seemed nothing about me ever intrigued you before. Why now?”
      “Oh, but you are wrong, my dear. You have always fascinated me, but just recently I learned about the club and what you do here.”
      “The club?  You have come back because of the club?  Serenity, I have owned The Sapphire Club for five years and you have just heard of it?  I must see to it my man of business does a better job of spreading the word.”  He was more suspect than ever since the club wasn’t news, unless of course, one had been living under a rock for five years.
      “I was attending a house party in Yorkshire and overheard some gentlemen talking. They said some very provocative things, and I was fascinated to say the least.”
      “Provocative, you say. Such as?”
      “Well, it would seem they were under the impression you ‘blister arses and fuck ‘em insensible.’  That’s an exact quote.”
      Lucien chuckled at hearing his once prim and proper wife cursing like a gob in a sleazy tavern. “Yes, that’s what I do, among other things and I have a very satisfying life doing so. I fail to see how that would be impetus for you to return to hearth and home.”
      “Well, when I learned of such things, I found I was curious. If you would perform such services for others, would you offer the same to me?”
      If incredulity had a face, it would have been that of Lucien Damrill, for he was undoubtedly the very definition at that moment. “You wish to have your lily-white derriere paddled?  My dear, pardon my foray down the path of skepticism, but as I recall, you had no interest in getting naked with me for any reason, a slight omission on your part when you accepted my marriage proposal, as I recall.”
      “I will admit I was willful.”  That earned her a loud snort. “I was wrong and I am willing to admit it. Many years have passed between then and now. I have changed. Then to hear you were so, ah, adventuresome, I simply couldn’t believe what I had heard.”
      Feeling his deuced body betraying him as he spoke, he continued to pace, albeit somewhat less comfortably. “I have created a place where people can come to fulfill their sexual fantasies. As you can see, I have done well,by myself, I will add. Why would I want to have you around my neck, when I worked so hard to forget I even had a wife?”
      “I wish to be treated like one of your clients, Lucien. I wish to submit to you completely. I yearn for your discipline and I wish to your satisfy your sexual needs. I am desirous of being all you would wish in a wife. I have much to make up for.”
      “What has brought about this change of heart?  You must admit it is suspect.”
      “I have been lonely all of these years. When I heard you owned a club where people could go to see their sexual fantasies become reality, I realized I have needs and wish to have them fulfilled. Who better to do that than my own husband?”
      “You have sexual needs, Serenity?  I find that extremely difficult to believe. You had no use for my cock in the time, albeit one night, we lived together in the holy state of matrimony. I have suspected you found your ownfulfillment elsewhere in the time we have been apart.”
      “Have you, Lucien?”
      “I’m a man, what would you think?” He waved his arm and sloshed some of his precious brandy onto the red, cream and blue Aubusson carpet.
      “I have never begrudged you. I know I’ve not been a true wife to you, but I wish to change, if you will let me.”
      “So what you are telling me is you wish to be a wife to me in exchange for having your fantasies become realities?”
      “Yes, dear. I believe you would find I am willing to do anything you ask. I have thought long and hard about this and I find the more I think of it the more I wish I’d never left you.”
      “This would have nothing to do with wanting children would it, because I have no interest in such things.”
      “No, Lucien, I am past my childbearing years; I was thirty on my last birthday. I gave up that dream about the same time I walked away from you and our marriage. I wish to come back and be a part of the life you have established for yourself.”
      Lucien’s head was pounding from the long hours he’d put in at the club and most particularly from the conversation he was having with his wife. Traitorously, his cock had heard every word, too, damn it.
      It was most unexpected she should suddenly appear, here, at The Sapphire Club. Somehow he’d never imagined that would happen.
      “Yes, I would imagine my wealth would appeal to you. The country estate wasn’t enough to entice you to remain there?”
      “Lucien, don’t be cruel. I understand you don’t trust me, but I swear to you, I am telling you the truth. I only wish to be your wife in every sense and I ask you allow me to demonstrate my sincerity.”
      “Fine, if that’s what you wish, bend over the sofa and show me how sincere you really are.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.
Cate: Genre isn’t a concern to me. If I hear good things about a book, I’ll read it, whether literary, mainstream, romance, urban fantasy, historical, contemporary or whatever. My bookshelves are filled with any and all of the above, and then some. Labels aren’t important, it’s how well the author engages readers in the story, how compelling the plot, and the depth of the characters portrayed.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.
Cate: Again, it’s not dependent on genre, and I have difficulty picking any favorites. The authors I most admire defy categorization.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.
Cate: I honestly don’t. Certain authors made a deep and lasting impression on me so I seek out their books: Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon and TC Boyle.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?
Cate: Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch, which had elements of urban fantasy, literary, suspense and romance. It was a wonderful read because all those elements worked seamlessly together. Definitely a recommended read.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?
Cate: My reading habits are sporadic. I keep a book tucked in my handbag, about a dozen at my bedside and have dozens of ebooks on my computer. I sneak in a read whenever there’s downtime. Luckily I have some great critique partners whose stories always keep me entertained too – I love having a sneak peek at their work.

Kiki: If pressed, could you choose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?
Cate: No, that would be like picking a favorite child. It’s always the one I’m writing at the time because I fall in love with the characters. My books span from contemporary to historical, sweet to erotic, fantasy to mainstream, romance, speculative – whatever idea strikes me hard enough to follow through.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?
Cate: One of my favorite quotes is from the bestselling novelist Barbara Kingsolver: Chain that muse to the desk and get the job done. I don’t wait for inspiration. I sit at the computer and write, or jot story lines in a notebook whenever possible.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?
Cate: My critique partners tell me my descriptions make them feel as if they’re in the story. Others have praised dialogue as realistic. Several reviewers wrote they were pulled into my stories and didn’t want to stop.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.
Cate: Well I could tell you about my releases. :) Eternal Press published Fever Dreams, a contemporary novel with fantasy elements, on May 7 (ebook and print), and will release a short speculative, Winning, on July 7. In August, Whiskey Creek Press will release Surfacing, a fantasy novel, and Eternal Press will release a historical novel, Follow the Stars Home. Another historical novel, Angels Sinners and Madmen, is awaiting a release date from Freya’s Bower, hopefully this summer.
I also want to thank you for allowing me to be a guest at ABA – it’s been a pleasure.
Kiki: Thanks, it has been great to get to know you better.  And, now it looks like I have to dust off Season of the Witch, and finally begin reading it!  I love historicals, and the cover to Angels, Sinners and Madmen is really enticing. 

Cate Masters

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Review of "Swimming With Wings" by Lee Libro

What do a 20th century light healer who can raise the dead, an eccentric, would-be dubutant teen and a wandering gypsy have in common? A story of human brotherhood released only through the colliding dogmas surrounding their shared tragedy from long ago.
Lark Jennison is a free thinker and imagines she has wings! Set in the 1970's in a small southern town laced with folk mysticism, faith healings and the evangelistic zeal of the era, Swimming with Wings is her coming of age story. Orphaned, seventeen-year-old Lark and her brother are the last generation of the illustrious Jennison lumber family, and her uncanny ability to read a person, along with her eccentric ways as a budding artist, shine a spotlight of scrutiny upon her. When she falls for Peter Roma, a river gypsy from Summerville, she finds in him an equal, but is soon disturbingly set on a collision course with his fanaticism.

The drowning accident that had killed their fathers remains a mystery, a harbinger of ill feelings between the Romas and the Jennisons.  Is Peter Roma, a scammer, a real gypsy or Lark's personal savior? To protect her, Lark's older brother sends her to art school in Maine, the home state of their mother's family. Uninvited, Peter follows but eventually considers their relationship a danger to their souls. His grandfather had been a mystical light healer and heralded the rising tide of a new age; however, Peter's "being saved" interpretation of this leads him into a cult and a world of corruption. Through it all, Lark and Peter remain in love, but in the end who will save who?

An arresting blend of literary fiction, mystery and romance, this is a story about searching for direction, the hidden influences of ancestral roots and the forces that shape belief.

My Review:
Swimming With Wings by Lee Libro is so much more than a coming of age novel.  It is a tale of love, family secrets, social stereotyping, etc.  It is rich in family histories and the mysteries that surround them.  It gives new meaning to the old adage about the sins of the father.  It is about grief and finding one’s way despite the loss.  I could go on and on.

Libro’s descriptions with use of alliteration and metaphor and similes are phenomenal creating an amazing portrayal of the protagonist, Lark’s mind, body and spirit along with the world around her and her interactions with it.  It is true literary fiction, and I easily got caught up in the language.

The exploration of spirituality is immense.  In fact, the quirkiness of the characters in the beginning when they are younger evolves gracefully into a great philosophical investigation into spirituality without preaching.   It is more of a laying out of the big questions, in a way that brought about a feeling of peace in this reader by the end.

I was thrilled with this tale, and can’t wait for more books to release by this author.

You can order this book at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble   
For more about the book and the author go to http://www.swimmingwithwings.com/

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Favorites - Author Katie Salidas

Please welcome Author Katie Salidas. She is the author of Immortalis: Carpe Noctem, and appears today as part of the Authors Supporting Authors Virtual Book Tour to answer ABA'a Friday Favorites Questions.

Favorite Genre(s):
Well, it should go without saying that I love Urban Fantasy and its sister genre, Paranormal Romance. Along with that I am a fan of Erotica and have written a few short “quickies” myself.

Favorite Author in that Genre and Why?:
Oh my oh my, the list could go on.  Let’s see. Paranormal romance would have to be Sherrilyn Kenyon. I started reading her books recently and I must say, Yummy! A close second there would be Lara Adrian. I love her Midnight Breed series. Urban Fantasy would have to be Patricia Briggs. Now she has two series that straddle the lines, Alpha Omega is more romantic where as Mercy Thompson is more Urban Fantasy. No matter what the official genre, I am HOOKED! I devoured those books they were just that good.

List of at least 5 Favorite Books in that Genre:
Can I list series instead? I tend to fall into them and once I pick up one book in a series I love, I buy the rest and devour them.
Mercy Thompson series – Patricia Briggs
Alpha Omega series – Patricia Briggs
Midnight Breed series – Lara Adrian
Dark-Hunter series - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Vampire Chronicles – (an older series but it still ranks high with me) Anne Rice

Favorite Book of All Time:
Queen of the Damned. I actually dusted it off just last month and read it again for probably the tenth time.

Favorite Book Read Last Month:
Silver Born – Mercy Thompson series – Patricia Briggs. I could not put it down. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Favorite Book You Wrote and Why?: 
Oh, that’s just an unfair question. They are all my favorites! It’s like asking a mom which kid is her favorite. How does one pick from the things they create? I guess in fairness, the story I am currently working on could be considered a favorite for the moment. Technically it is still untitled. I am working out the kinks on the third book in my Immortalis series. The creative process is fun. Working out the story and seeing it grow is akin to the joy of pregnancy. You see this thing forming and growing but (if you are a pantser like me) you are not 100% sure what it will be when it is finished. It’s fun, so I guess that makes it a favorite for the moment… until the next story demands to be written.

Write Your Own Question:
Name your FAVOURITE vampire:

Lestat! The Brat Prince. He was my first vampire love. I know I know, I have mentioned Anne Rice a few times already, but she was a pioneer. I believe her’s were the first stories to feature the vampire from the vampires perspective and she gave us Lestat, the guy you love and want but shouldn’t. He will always have a special place in my dreams. Ha ha.

Katie Salidas 
Publisher (Author Signed Copies of Immortalis) http://www.risingsignbooks.com

Immortalis: Carpe Noctem Summary:

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by the cold and aloof, vampire, Lysander. Taking pity on her, he shares the gift-and curse-of immortality. She awakens as a vampire and is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.
As if having her humanity stripped away was not enough to make life interesting, Alyssa finds out her “turning”, did not go unnoticed by the rest of undead society. Old enemies; an ancient sect of vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, as well as a powerful Vampire mistress, each set plans in motion to destroy both Alyssa and Lysander.
Only by accepting her newfound immortality, seizing the night, will Alyssa hope to survive. She and Lysander must fight together against two sets of enemies bent on destroying them both.

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.