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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Behind the scenes around here there has been a lot of discussion of HEA (Happy Ever After) and HFN (Happy For Now) endings.  A wonderful author, Simon Lowrie, has begun delving into this matter for me with the great post below.  Please comment! We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 
Thanks,
Kiki

Simon Lowrie Begins Authors By Authors HEA/HFN Discussions


"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means."

So said Oscar Wilde, in perhaps the most famous ever dig at happy endings.  He died in 1900, so clearly the tyranny of neat conclusions has been around some time. These days,  happy-ever-after is as much a part of the package in some genres as the ISBN, and even has the handy little code of HEA to save the chore of writing it out.  A modern editor of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, or Jane Austen’s Persuasion, would return the manuscripts with a curt note saying that while the writing and plot show promise, the finalĂ© is unacceptable and badly needs a rewrite.

Romance books have become a product, a brand like Oxo or Coca Cola. Upon consumption it must have that dependable taste or risk being considered a rogue sample.  Mills & Boon were the first to carve The Rules in ink, discovering a formula that allowed safe and predictable escape from the Great Depression of the thirties.  Outside the window was the Dustbowl, while between the covers of their books was a sheltered paradise of love gone right. 

It is perhaps true that endings, even ones which try to be clever and escape the box, must always be a little artificial and forced. A real life situation, after all, just muddles on and on until it fizzles out, and the same could be argued for life itself. Nobody wants that in a novel – why should they?  But before Mills & Boon ushered in the new idea of Rules on Rails,  writers were as free with their ends as with their middles and beginnings. These days the Rails lead to a different place - only women can write, the bedroom door must be left wide open, and so forth, but the concept itself is here to stay. The purest form of story ever invented is the fairytale, and while they don’t always end happily, they always end well: justice is done, or a lesson is learned, or a great obstacle overcome.  End a book this way and you can’t go wrong, for you’ll have all of history on your side. But happiness? That’s optional.

Simon Lowrie

Monday, March 22, 2010

Selena Kitt Reviews "Marianne! A Journey Round A Golden Sun" by Simon Lowrie


Marianne! A Journey Round A Golden Sun by Simon Lowrie

BLURB:
Marianne and Simon have been more than friends since they were kids, but when she meets Mark her whole life changes. It's not easy being spanked when you're not used to it, but although the two men in her life are rivals the one thing they agree on firmly is that Marianne needs her wild side taming. And once she's had a taste of what that kind of life can offer, she's no longer sure she wants to argue. She loves them both and means to have it all, but Mark is not the kind of man to share. He breaks the triangle and makes her choose, but at a cost to everyone - himself included. Can Sophie save the day? She isn't beautiful and dazzling like Marianne, and the special qualities she has aren't on the surface. Sophie is a quiet girl who accepts Simon's discipline with absolute humility and never one word of complaint. It's how she wants her world to be, and her love for him goes past all limits. Shy and gentle though she is, perhaps her resolve to heal two broken hearts will prove to be more powerful than all Mark's dominance and strength...
Warnings: This title contains bdsm, explicit sex, and a small amount of graphic language.
Word Count: 89,042
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


REVIEW:
Simon Lowrie is the Jane Austen for the BDSM set. His British style and delightfully labyrinthine sentences are certainly reminiscent of the inimitable Ms. Austen, but the similarities don't stop there. Mr. Lowrie has Austen's respect and longing for a natural caste and order to the universe. Opposites may attract, but like also pairs with like, and in Marianne!, you find yourself pulled into a world far beyond Pride and Prejudice where men and women are drawn to one another based on their core characteristics. Just as we all knew Elizabeth was meant to be with Darcy, we instinctively sense that Marianne is meant for greater things than just her dear, devoted friend Simon. The relationships in this book unfold with the beauty, grace and delicate timing of a well-worth-the-wait bloom - indeed, reflecting the ultimate unfolding of Marianne herself. Hardcore BDSM fans won't find any sordid details here - but if you love the psychological aspect of the genre, the submission of a woman to her man, you have found a rare jewel in Marianne!


REVIEWED BY:
Selena Kitt
Erotic Fiction You Won’t Forget!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Review of "Midnight Rose" by D. McEntire

My Review of Midnight Rose by D. McEntire
Blurb:
Sometimes a rose is more than a rose.
The countdown is on for Louisville, Kentucky’s fireworks show and the Watchers are in place. Rogue vampires, being the ultimate party crashers they are, are expected to join the revelry.

Rosa Bella, standing-room-only singer at the Black Panther Lounge, has her own chaos to manage. As a vampire who manages to blend in with society, she doesn’t need any more complications. But a gorgeous one has just turned her life upside down—Vane, a Watcher assigned to hunt down and eliminate Rogues prowling the downtown streets.

Vane, dubbed “Latin Lover” by his fellow Watchers, fills his nights with his favorite letter of the alphabet, “F”— females and food. But nothing fills his empty heart like Rosa’s soft, sexy body. Still, a Watcher’s life has no room for attachments, even one who can defend herself with a pair of red stilettos.

Then two unexpected players join the game, and Rosa is thrust into the middle as the prize. They never expected their relationship to be a bed of roses, but as the festival-ending horse race looms, the only way to survive to the finish line is to face the dangers—together.
Warning: Contains sex, drugs, rock and roll, and a sexy vampire with a big appetite.



Review:

D. McEntire’s is a great suspense writer. Her use of certain plot conventions naturally seem to creat a story which keep a reader guessing, reading, and therefore waiting with bated breath for the other axe to fall, or should I say, next bite to happen. Midnight Rose is different and in some respects is the same as Midnight Reborn, the Watchers Book 1.  I must say, I liked the blend. This series is definitely not one composed of several books with the same basic plotline, but different character names

Book 2 was a new romance, new issues, new battles with a rich back story to pull from. I enjoyed the return to Robyn and Trigg from the first story and the way this one begun where the Book 1 left off. 

There was a constant interlacing of the new bad guys, new agendas, with the old connections. This book is more blood and less violence, if you know what I mean in the vamp world. And, I found it just as addicting as the first book. Even the relationship complications were different giving an interesting twist to the conflicts of the plot. McEntire is a true genius at writing a series!


With a satisfying ending which left open and lingering aspects of other supporting characters you are still lead right into the next book.
I am looking forward to reading Midnight Revelations.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ANY BOOKS IN THE WATCHER SERIES http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/d-mcentire

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Interview with Scott M Baker

Kiki: After reading the bio on the homepage of your website, I have to ask Modern European History, rabbits, writing horror stories about vampires and zombies…can you tell me how you came upon your interest of each of these things?

Scott:  History has been in my blood as far back as 1976 when my old man took me to see the movie Midway.  I was fascinated and wanted to know how much of the movie was fact and how much was Hollywood, so I hit up the local library and started pouring through the books on the Pacific War.  By the time I got to college my interest centered on Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  I even taught history at Wakefield High School for several months.  Now I use my background in history in my novels via flashback sequences in The Vampire Hunters trilogy.  One of my future projects will be a historical paranormal thriller involving Hitler’s preoccupation with the occult (think zombie Nazis).

Rabbits were an unexpected blessing.  My wife and I are allergic to cats and most dogs, and were resigned to never being able to have pets.  In 2002, while at a demolition derby at a fair in Berryville, a woman at the 4H booth introduced me to this tiny white rabbit with red eyes, telling me she was a rex breed which had short fur that was non-allergenic.  I spent the next half hour petting the rabbit, rubbing my eyes, and sticking my nose in her fur, and didn’t have a reaction.  Knowing what my wife’s response would be if I called and asked if I could bring the rabbit home, I did the typical guy thing -- I bought her home without getting approval, hoping my wife wouldn’t banish me and the rabbit to the garage.  She didn’t.  That tiny little rabbit (Ruby) just celebrated her eighth birthday.  And Ruby opened the door to all the other rabbits.  Those that share our home with us are hard-luck cases, rescues, or shelter rabbits.  And yes, the rabbits run the house.

I’ve loved horror and writing as far back as I can remember.  Thankfully, my parents nurtured my obsession, realizing anything that excited my imagination and creativity was a good thing.  When I was a kid, my folks set me up with an old manual typewriter in a corner of the family room where I used to type out a weekly horror magazine.  It only had a circulation of one -- my mother.  But I’ve been writing ever since.

Kiki: That is all very cool! We have the same allergy problems, and I never knew that about rabbits.  But, please tell me one thing you wrote about in that horror magazine! It is so cool that your parents were so nurturing.

Scott:  Okay, now you’ve asked the embarrassing question.  I got my material by watching the monster movies on Creature Double Feature (shown on Saturday afternoons on WLVI Channel 56) and reviewing my favorite movies.  I would fill out the remaining pages with trivia quizzes, small features that I paraphrased from other sources, and photographs I cut out from my horror movie magazines.  Please don’t ask me about the abysmal cover art. 


Kiki: You stated in a blog post, “After six years of writing and three years of trying to get published, I finally got my break.” I hear authors talk about the waiting and the frustration and wanting to give up all the time. So, tell me how you persevered during this period.  What kept you writing?

Scott:  Those three years trying to find a publisher were definitely frustrating.  No matter how confident you are in your writing abilities, after a while the endless string of rejection letters starts to wear down your ego.  Fortunately I went into this venture with realistic expectations, knowing full well that the success of Stephen King and J.K. Rowling were anomalies, and that the best I could reasonably hope for was a career as a successful mid-list author (which means I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon).  Even more important, I’ve had the good fortune during those three years of making the acquaintance of numerous authors and literary agents who offered professional advice and considerable moral support, and who would good-naturedly chide me when they found out I had only been trying to get published for three years (the average is six years).  Knowing that my experiences were typical, and having that support from those already in the industry, helped a lot.  Otherwise I probably would have deleted all my files from the laptop and downloaded video games instead.

Kiki: Are there sites you recommend where aspiring authors can go about making the same types of connections?

Scott:  Aspiring authors can find websites, blogs, or Facebook/My Space/Twitter  accounts for most authors and can try to make connections that way.  However, their web presences vary from those who don’t even use the Internet, to those who have websites/blogs but rarely update them, to those who blog daily.  It’s also very impersonal.  If an aspiring author wants to use the Internet to make contacts, I recommend finding one or two genre-related chat rooms/forums that they feel comfortable with and start frequenting them.  Most of the people on these chat rooms/forums will be fans or aspiring authors themselves.  But authors and sometimes publishers also join in to meet and chat with fans.  I’ve become friends with a few authors on such forums. 

However, most of the authors I know I did not meet via the Internet.  I’m fortunate in that I run a writer’s group and over the years have arranged for various individuals from the publishing industry (authors, screen writers, literary agents, publishers) to speak.  I made my first contact for this group by going to horror conventions where some of my favorite authors were signing books and talking with them.  Most were very outgoing.  A few gave me their e-mail addresses and offered to answer any questions I might have, and over time we became friends.  They introduced me to their friends in the industry who would speak to our group, and in turn these individuals introduced me to their friends. 

Let me offer a word of advice, and I can’t stress this enough.  Don’t take advantage of an author’s good will.  Most authors don’t mind chatting with fans, answering questions, and providing advice.  However, nothing will turn them off quicker than someone who asks them to read their manuscript or to pass it along to their editor.  If you’re lucky enough to get to know an author personally, and if he/she asks to look at your work, thank your stars.  And listen to whatever feedback they provide, even if you don’t like what you hear.  All authors were once aspiring themselves and remember how hard these early years were.  Many found mentors who helped them along and enjoy returning the favor to the newcomers.  But no one likes pushy people.


Kiki: You also wrote, “Until then, beware of that thump you hear in the middle of the night. It may be some infernal creature that wants to chew on your soul, or it may be something furry and adorable that just wants to gnaw through the wires to your computer.” I love this. I know we touched on this with the first question, but tell me more about the draw to the horror genre.  Also, do you remember the first horror movie or book you experienced? If so, what was it and how old were you?

Scott:  One of my earliest memories was hiding in the family room one night to watch the original King Kong, which was being shown on the local affiliate.  I was discovered early.  (When you’re six, you think hiding under a TV tray is brilliant because, if you can’t see your parents, they can’t see you.)  I begged my folks to let me watch it, promising I wouldn’t get scared.  They relented.  My imagination ran wild along with Kong as he tore apart downtown Manhattan.  And so did my fear.  The scene when Kong looks through the hotel window into Fay Wray’s bedroom scared the hell out of me; for months I couldn’t sleep unless the blinds in my bedroom were drawn.  But from that moment on, I was a bona fide Monster Kid. 


Kiki: First you had a few zombie stories published, but your first novel is about vampires.  What made you chose the characters and storyline for this first big undertaking?

Scott:  I decided to write The Vampire Hunters after going to see the movie Van Helsing.   I found the movie entertaining.  It had plenty of action in it, but a lot of the scenes were too farfetched, even by Hollywood’s standards.  Like when Kate Beckinsale is swinging across the chasm between the two towers of Dracula’s castle in the middle of a thunderstorm and catches the vial of serum thrown to her.  After the movie, I mentioned to my wife that I could write better than that.  She said, “Then why don’t you?”  I started The Vampire Hunters a few months later.


Kiki: I read “Incident on Ironstone Lane” on your website. I must admit I have been watching horror movies since I was too young to be watching them, and this story had several shocking elements for me still. Where did the idea for it come from?

Scott:  The idea for “Incident on Ironstone Lane” was developed during the first horror convention I attended back in 2005.  I met several authors who were relatively new in their career, and who were still excited by writing and had a pool of ideas they wanted to put down on paper.  That‘s when I came up with the character of Tom Bowen, a washed up author whose career was waning and who needed some inspiration.  I originally intended “Incident” to be more tongue-in-cheek, but it was impossible to keep it light-hearted with that type of subject matter. 

The final torture comes from my own experiences.  I suffer from acid reflux.  There has been many a time I’ve woken up in the middle of the night choking on some of my own vomit.  So for the story, I just extrapolated on what it would be like to drown in your own puke.  One of my readers who also suffers from acid reflux said it was one of the most powerful scenes she had read. 


Okay, onto some lighter and less gruesome questions. So, relax a bit.
Kiki: I see all of your latest posts on Facebook were about snow. I live in the Ohio snowbelt, so I can relate.  Give me your feelings on snow…

Scott:  I love snow -- as long as I don‘t have to drive in it.  I’m from New England, so a foot of snow and blizzards are old school to me.  I don’t even mind shoveling because I have a ritual that makes it fun.  When I’m done cleaning out the driveway and front steps, I set myself up in the garage with a cigar and a hot cup of coffee laced with whiskey.  It’s my reward for a job well done.


Kiki: You are a Pisces like me? Do you fit the description? (I fear I am the poster child for it!)

Scott:  I think I fit most of the Pisces characteristics.  I’m creative and artistic (at least I hope so, or my writing career won’t get very far).  I’d like to think that I’m sensitive, which seems contradictory given that I write about cutting zombies in half with a chainsaw.  I’m also an escapist and an idealist much of the time.  But I diverge from the traditional Pisces when it comes to being weak and easily pushed around.  I’m accommodating, but if someone tries to push me around or take advantage of me I fight back like a rabid badger.


Kiki: I read a few tweets mentioning Resident Evil.  Are you a big fan? If so, why?

Scott:  I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil, both the videogame and the movies.  I’ve loved first-person shooter games ever since my brother-in-law introduced me to Resident Evil.  Doom, Dead Space, and the Left for Dead series are also among my favorites.  When I reach a point that I can’t read/write/watch TV any more, or when I have a really aggravating day at work, nothing beats coming home, cranking up the X-Box, and annihilating hordes of zombies.  After a couple of hours of mindless monster slaughtering, I’m usually able to break down the mental blocks and get the creative juices flowing again.

The movie was a pleasant surprise.  Usually video games do not transfer well to the big screen, but Paul W.S. Anderson did a fantastic job in directing Resident Evil.  It encompassed all the elements I like in a horror movie -- isolation, desperation, intense action, hordes of zombies, a good amount of gore, and kick-ass heroines.  That and it’s two sequels --  Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction -- are the movies I watch most often from my DVD collection. 


Kiki: Tell us something interesting about Scott M Baker that I didn’t ask about.

Scott:  Although The Vampire Hunters is my first published novel, it’s not the first book I’ve written.  Back in the late 1990s I wrote a techno-thriller about North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and using them against the United States.  I even had an agent for it.  Unfortunately, I was trying to find a publisher after 11 September when techno-thrillers were no longer marketable.  Several publishers read and liked the book, but they all passed on it.

Purchase The Vampire Hunters at http://shadowfirepress.com 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catherine McKenzie Reviews “Jessica Z.” by Shawn Klomparens



Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens

Blurb: When Jessica Zorich met a tall, charismatic artist at a San Francisco party, her life had been all about coping: with a baffling and dangerous world, with a mostly inane job, and with a sweet but meandering relationship with her upstairs neighbor. But Josh Hadden doesn’t cope: he’s a man of action, of big visions, and of relationships that span the globe; a man certain of his passions, politics, art, and desire. And what Josh desires most is Jessica—at a time when being desired might be the most desirable thing of all.
Book Length: 352
Publisher: Delta
Author Website: www.shawnklomparens.com

Review:

Jessica Z. is set in an alternative, post-9/11 future (a flash-sideways for all you Lost fans out there) where our security concerns are more than justified. You see, people are blowing up buses in San Francisco at regular intervals, shaking the world, and reshaping people’s lives in an instant.

Against this tense background, we meet Jessica, a woman in her late twenties who’s struggling to find her place in the world. She’s involved in a dysfunctional way with her upstairs neighbor, Patrick. They are clearly desperately in love, but neither can come out and say it and both thinks the other is the reason things aren’t working out. So Jessica imposes a rule – no more sleeping together. And soon after, she meets Josh, a controlling and gifted artist. They become involved, almost against Jessica’s better judgment, and she becomes the focus of Josh’s next project – a map of the human body, hers.

As the slow, and sometimes embarrassing, process of mapping her progresses, Jessica becomes increasingly concerned about Josh, and his influence over her. He is so certain about everything, it shuts out everything else, even her. She knows she needs to break free of him, but breaking up is hard to do. And then something literally knocks her sideways and she’s faced with a whole new set of problems and suspicions. Can she fix herself and find her way back to Patrick?

I enjoyed this novel very much. Klomparens creates a realistic female voice in this first-person present narrative, so much so that I doubt you’ll remember a man wrote the book for much of it. It is by turns funny, poignant, interesting and touching. It made me laugh and, I admit, cry – it made me feel.

Klomparens also weaves tension and suspicion throughout the story, particularly in the latter sections. Because the book just starts at a particular moment in Jessica’s life, no explanation is given for the state of the world, it just is. This creates some (intentionally, I think) disorientation, which keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning page after page.

This book might be a little hard to categorize, genre-wise, but that’s not a problem for me. It’s just good. Read it.

Reviewed By:
Author Name: Catherine McKenzie
Author Tagline: Author of Canadian bestseller SPIN

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review of "Samhain's Embrace" by Jesse Fox

Samhain's Embrace by Jesse Fox


Length: 65 pages 
Genre: GBLT, Contemporary, Fantasy, Magic, Paganism 
Warnings: Graphic Sexual Relations Between Two Adult Males 
Click Here To Purchase


Blurb: 


What is loss to the human heart? 


A spirit of nature, misunderstood and forgotten by modern man, when drawn out on the one night he roams the darkness freely, seeks to understand the meaning of loss and ease a young man's pain. 


Bran Conleth is a man broken by the ultimate loss - death. Desperate to summon his deceased lover he chooses the one night when the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest. Instead of his lover he calls forth the embodiment of the night - Samhain. 


Together they share one incredible journey that will teach Samhain about human loss and Bran that there is life after death. 


Review:


So much of this story is interlaced with the dark, mystical tone and setting which is richly constructed with vivid, timeless and at times I though purposely enigmatic descriptions.  Because of this, I felt immediately wrapped up in an esoteric blanket, one that not only has the potential to send shivers down your spine, but can touch your sympathies as well.  The partial line,  “but everything held power, and even that which you might believe soulless had a voice,” is one of many perfect examples of this. “Samhain’s Embrace” could not have been a more perfect title for so many reasons. 


The story goes so much deeper than a paranormal tale, more than touching on prevailing issues of our times and thus the evasive loss that can sometimes come as a result of them.  Death and magic used in despair are always a powerful match, a force to be reckoned with in a story; and I think that Jesse Fox dealt with them well. Not only that, but Fox took on the ideas of love and loss and loneliness to the beyond and back.


Reviewed By:
Kiki Howell 
http://www.kikihowell.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

Aleksandr Voinov Reviews “Day 94” by D M Slate



Day 94 by D.M. Slate  

Book Blurb:
In the wake of a large meteor collision, a fast-spreading disease epidemic is unleashed upon rural Colorado Joslin, Grant and their two young children find themselves barricaded within their home as the city is quarantined and the fight for survival begins; battling an airborne disease, lack of electricity and running water, starvation, frigid Colorado winter temperatures and worst of all morphs. The family embarks on a journey that tests their strength, sanity and conviction to live. 

As the morphs, carriers of the disease, become more numerous and aggressive, Joslin and Grant realize they'll have to defend their home to protect their children.  As each strand of hope frays away, the risks they must take in order to survive grow larger - until at last, Grant is attacked by a morph.  Knowing he's been infected, Grant leaves his family to fend for themselves. 

Just when Joslin thinks things can't get worse, her morphed husband returns to their home on day 94.  Crazed and delusional, Grant is determined to get into the house.  Joslin's unwavering desire to save her children drives the assault, knowing it may cost her life in order to stop her husband, Grant.

Book Length: 22,000
Publisher: Eternal Press

Review:
This little horror novella (a mere 22thousand words) packs quite a punch. I started reading after a long day at work, trying to catch up with my book pile, and I have about an hour of commute. Normally, I drop the book at the door when I get home. I need to check emails, after all. There are very few books that "make it past the door", but in this case, I needed to know what happened next. So I made myself a coffee (while reading), toasted a bun (still reading) and ate it (while reading).

The test of any good horror/suspense story is – can I put it down? In this case, “Day 94” passed with flying colours. I couldn't. It's tightly written and plotted, with twists that keep you on the edge of your seat, like it or not. I finished this in one go, and I had a great time throughout.

The premise is horrifying all by itself. A family gets trapped in their house, while civilization crumbles around them. A mysterious plague transforms people into 'morphs', this author's take on zombies. Under siege, hungry, cold, terrified, the mother, Joslin, writes a diary. Re-reading it, she thinks about the entries and comments on them, while facing the challenges that are ahead: finding food, keeping her children alive, and facing the greatest fear of them all – an ally who has turned into 'the enemy'.

There is more than a dash of "The Shining" by Stephen King in there, the crazed husband trying to break down the door with an axe, and Grant, subsequently, in my mind, looked like Jack Nicholson. That's not a bad thing – it's a classic, written by one of the masters of horror.

The book has a few issues, of course, and some aren't even the writer's fault. On my reader, the ebook started with the climactic battle, then stops, and then comes copyright and author's name and then the book actually starts, jolting me right out, until I realised that this was just the cover blurb. In paperbacks, I don't like that kind of formatting, and I skip it, but in ebooks, I loathe it. It gives away too much of the book, and starting something with the most dramatic scene and then ripping the reader right out didn't win any brownie points with this reader. The formatting that shows that it's an excerpt comes through nicely on the PDF, but on the ereader looks exactly the same. Please change that.

Secondly, the editing could have been better. "Through" is spelled "thru" several times, and I thought, OK, that's the first person narrator's quirk, but then it became "through", so I assume it was passed over in the editing. There were a few instances of missing words and commas as well, which have a way to jar me out of the text. And in such asuspenseful text, that's not what I want to think about. I want to fear for the characters' survival rather than think "hang on, there's a 'the' missing".

The information we get about the author is that it's a debut, and there are a few insecurities. Joslin and the other characters could use a little more depth, the story could be a little longer, maybe another five to ten thousand words more. The text veers wildly between past tense and present tense, confusing me a bit about when the action takes place (and not just in the diary entries). In places, I would have wanted more detail to really feel more of it, but, for those small flaws, the story passed the real test: I couldn't put it down. The author has an excellent feeling for suspense, which many more advanced writers don't have, and the sheer tension of the text overshadowed the little glitches in craft and editing.

Well done, Mrs Slate.


Reviewed By:
Author Name: Aleksandr Voinov
Author Website: www.aleksandrvoinov.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review of “When Dreams Bleed” by Robin Cain





When Dreams Bleed by Robin Cain

Blurb:
A software genius with a knack for business, Frank’s been living the dream his whole life. He’s amassed money, success, and is now accumulating women, but someone out there thinks he’s gone too far. 

Who is seeking revenge and why? His wife? His mistress? Or the shadow who’s been following his every move? 

Just when he thinks he has anticipated his opponent’s next move a tragic car accident leaves him paralyzed, his life’s work is being stolen and his wife has disappeared. Just how far will someone go to teach him the correlation between deception and despair? 

WHEN DREAMS BLEED examines temptation and the ensuing consequences in a contemporary world. It’s no secret that dreams come at a price, but what happens WHEN DREAMS BLEED?


Review:
This was one of those books, even at over 300 pages, you read very quickly thanks to the suspense-filled plot. I actually read it in only three nights. The story is so multi-layered that every answer forms a new question.


There were a lot of characters, and at times I did have to take pause to review it all in my head. However, in the end, the varied point of view changes and frequent introduction of new characters only seemed to deepen the plot, digging the main character,Frank, in even deeper.


While there was a lot of romance and sexuality in the book, it was not a romance, per say, but more a mystery novel. So, if you are hoping for a happy ending, then think Edith Wharton, and get over it. I personally love Edith Wharton novels – sometimes not having any clue how the book will end heightens the excitement of reading it. I feel Robin Cain did a great job of creating this story, keeps the reader on their toes, and paints an appropriate and believable tale of what it can be like today in big business - of the price one can pay to get it all.

Reviewed By:
Kiki Howell  

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Aaagh! I Thought You Were Dead (And Other Psychic Adventures)  by Natasha Rosewood - Seven Keys Productions

How to Get the Most Out of This Book . . . (from http://www.natashapsychic.com/)

My Intention. The purpose of this book is to open readers' minds to the eternity of life and the magic of their own minds so they may understand how to use universal energies for their highest good. In the process, I hope as always to empower and entertain as well as enlighten. The chapters, therefore, have been broken down into two parts: the stories and the Dear Natasha questions and answers that follow each story. These are the most common queries posed by my clients. My responses to the ques- tions are intended as a metaphysical, spiritual, psychological, quantum- consciousness teaching to elaborate on the preceding story.

Some readers of my first book, Aaagh! I Think I'm Psychic-in which I used a similar format-preferred to first absorb the stories while skip- ping over the teachings. Once they had read the main chapters straight through, they then returned to absorb the stories and the teachings. Try it your way, whatever that may be, and see!

Your Beliefs. I have not written either of these books to beat you, dear reader, over the head with my beliefs nor to discredit any religion or credo about our spiritual journey. These stories are based on my own personal and professional experiences as a psychic. I will, of course, only see my experiences through my own set of perceptions. Our beliefs, whatever they may be, serve us in some way until they are no longer valid, and then we change them. If this book offends you, therefore, know that it was not the author's intention. (Just leave the book at the local funeral home.) I will not apologize for expressing my truth. If it is also your truth, you will recognize it. Validation, peace, freedom, relief, and even joy may resonate within you. What I do hope is that these writings will empower you to forgive and heal your old hurts and/or aid you in com- muning with loved ones, alive or dead. Some of the stories might put a smile on your face or even make you cry. Mostly I hope that my writing will inspire you to live freely in the moment, without guilt, and to know that no one is dead, because life is eternal. It is never "too late" to love and be loved. 

Review:
I have to state first that after receiving this book into my home, a flurry of activity and special events began in my life and the life of a friend whether coincidence or not, who knows.  So, this review, while written up by me is coming from the sentiments of both me and my friend who were both touched by the book.    

This book is an informative and useful guide/handbook for anyone who wants to develop their own psychic abilities and seek deeper spirituality, or even just someone who wants to learn more about the life of a psychic.  Natasha Rosewood is a wonderful story-teller which lends itself well to the way the book is written with personal narratives taking up the majority if the chapters followed by her wonderful insight in a question and answer format.

Ms. Rosewood's obvious enthusiasm, wisdom and extensive knowledge acquired over years of practice shines.  Even confirmed skeptics would be deeply moved by her compassion, and thus her ability to teach her clients to heal their own wounded souls. She seeks to teach and counsel her clients, and she has a way of delivering the messages she receives in a positive and nurturing manner. She answers many of the questions we all have, delving into her own extensive personal experiences to provide a wealth of useful information. Ms. Rosewood offers hope and guidance to people who have lost their way, who have sought traditional help without results. Her exploration of past lives and the affect they have on present lives is extensive.

She inspires the psychic in all of us to explore the endless possibilities and signs that unfold each day of our lives, if only we stop long enough to see and hear them.  Also, she introduces the reader to a wealth of other avenues of study like quantum physics and EFT. Her guide to life at the end of the book is priceless in and of itself.

I can say that personally, both my friend and I are stronger individuals, more secure in our paths having read it. Thanks Natasha!



Reviewed By:
Kiki Howell with the help of a Special Friend

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.