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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - "Angel Burn" by L.A. Weatherly

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
~Grab your current read
~Open to a random page
~Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
~BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
~Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
~LEAVE A COMMENT on Should Be Reading with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). 

My teaser is coming from Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, the book I just reviewed for Suspense Magazine. Release Date is May 24th, 2011. If you like YA Fiction, I say add it to you TBR list now!

"Keeping his focus in the ethereal plane, Alex opened his eyes...and saw the radiant form of an angel hovering above the girl's sleeping figure. Instantly, his gun was at the ready." ~ p.87 from Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ABA Interview with Artist, Christopher Chamberlain (NY Art Show 4-22-11)

I am posting today to brag a little about a wonderful artist that I’ve had the privilege of working with on a children’s book. The Canadian artist, Christopher Chamberlain, has been invited to show his work at the "Art of Fashion" show, at The Chelsea Room in the Hotel Chelsea on Friday April 22nd from 7pm-11pm.

If you are in
New York City, as I wish I was, please drop by to say, "Hello".
The Facebook link to this event is: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=161054500620904

"My intent is to create artwork that provokes a reaction from the viewer (which is what I think all artists strive for). The discerning difference for me is that it must also satisfy my innate need to constantly execute pieces of art.  I like to create pieces that cover a broad spectrum of genres, styles, and age appropriateness.  Art is in the eye of the beholder, after all.  Currently my work is created with various forms of pen & ink, brushes, watercolours, gouaches, acrylics and coloured pencils.  Artwork is organic and I look for the myriad of ways through medium and content in which I can create stunning pieces that evoke reaction, however varied they may be for each viewer." ~Christopher Chamberlain

So, without farther ado, I’ve invited Christopher here today to answer a few questions.

Kiki: You say in the above quote that your work covers a broad spectrum of genres, styles, and age appropriateness. Can you give me two examples of your work, descriptions of two pieces, one from each end of the spectrum?

Christopher:  Sure, I can give you two examples.  Here’s the first, one that I recently created for a childrens Hallowe’en text book.  It’s only a few lines and deceptively simple in appearance.
And here’s the second one, which I’m sure you’ll agree is not so appropriate for children, and it’s done with water colours and a little bit of digital manipulation.
Kiki: You spoke of a variety of mediums. Do you mix them within one piece? Why or why not?

Christopher:  Often I do mix media within a piece.  It depends on the effect that I’m looking for.  Some pieces I create with a single medium such as marker or pen and ink.  While there are other pieces that I employ markers, inks, water colours, coloured pencils and gouache.

Kiki: I am dying to know how you came to this amazing opportunity. How did you become involved with this show?

Christopher:  Oddly enough I responded to a somewhat vague online advertisement.  A week or so later I was asked to show!  It is pretty amazing.

Kiki: Can we have a glimpse at a piece of your work, a picture with explanation about its creation?

Christopher:  I’ll go a little in depth with this one.  I’m working on a new webcomic called “Kid Robo” that’s hosted at Grayhavencomics.com and it’s a lot of fun.  It would definitely fall to the child appropriate end of the spectrum in terms of my work.  When I started working with my writer on the series, Marc Deschamps, we had to design Kid Robo and all the other characters.  Once we’d gone through a round of designs it was time to create the first page.  Which looked a little like this once I had it all penciled out:
I happened to take a photo of it taped to my somewhat messy looking board.
After it’s at this stage, I ink the characters, letter and draw in all the word balloons and borders.  Since it’s such a simple and clean drawing style for Kid Robo, I like it to have some extra depth so I’ll add some tone with water colour.  And I end up with the finished page:

Kiki: What inspires you? I am going to assume that inspiration would come from many places given the variations of your work, but can you tell us about a few of the things that inspire you most?

Christopher:  I get my inspiration from all sorts of areas.  It could be a few words I hear on the radio or television; from a walk down the street and just letting my thoughts clear for a moment; seeing something as I pass by; or by something that a writer has suggested to me; and other times just an image that pops up in my imagination.  And then there are quite a few pieces that have come about from conversations with my lovely wife. 

Kiki: To be on ABA, everyone gets this question! LOL Tell us something we wouldn’t have guessed about you. 

Christopher:  Probably my age…

LOL, and I see we are never going to find out! But, I so appreciate you being on, and wish you much luck with your show. I'll be there in spirit. Enjoy :)

More information about Christopher can be found at:


More Information about the show:
THE ART OF FASHION PRESENTS:

NYC's #1 "Pop Up" Art Exhibition & Fashion show After Party !
Come See NYC's #1"Pop up" Art show top emerging  artists on display with art for sale

Friday April 22nd
Art Exhibit  7pm til 11pm
Fashion Show at
10pm

Presenting  "Candy-Rock Couture"
by  Harmony Corbett 

After Party all night long!
At the world famous
Hotel Chelsea
222 w. 23rd st . NYC
@ The Chelsea Room
(Right side of main entrance in basement ) 
Mention :  "The Art Of Fashion" at door for FREE ADMISSION 7-10pm .

 DRINK SPECIALS:
2 FOR 1 Vodka Drinks 7pm-8:30pm
Discounted Drinks $10
7-11pm

Exhibition presented by:
Art curated by John McMullen :
 www.art-chelsea.com
www.theartoffashion.net
www.facebook.com/ theartoffashion
In association with Herbert Fox Productions
www.herbertfox.com
RSVP: herbfox519@aol.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Review of "When Wicked Craves" by J.K. Beck


Book Blurb:

Their love could bring the most potent pleasure—or the darkest nightmare.

A danger to both the human and shadow communities, Petra Lang is cursed never to love. For one touch of her skin unleashes the vilest demons imaginable. Sentenced to death by the shadow authorities, who fear she’ll turn her curse against them, Petra is rescued at the last instant by vampire advocate Nicholas Montegue. As their bodies merge and transform into mist, Petra feels an urgent erotic longing.
Nicholas fought long and hard to save Petra—and nearly paid the ultimate price. He risked his own life to spare hers, yet he knows he can never give in to the explosive attraction he feels for her. But the deep yearning they share can only be deferred for so long. Together, they must find a way to lift the curse. For only a love this strong has the power to overcome such monstrous evil.
My Review:

When Wicked Craves is the best book I have read in a long time. I simply could not put the book down. I believe a lot of various elements have to flow together to create a story as engaging, suspenseful and powerful as this one. One element which stood out to me from page one was J.K. Beck’s gift of choosing just the right words, formulating the appropriate sequence of them to create not only an image but a mood, a setting, the depth of a character…grabbing the reader and holding on tight until the final page is turned. The simple act of recalling a touch, Beck described as “the hint of sensation upon the breath of memory.” That phrase within the context of the chapter sent shivers down my spine.

The story flowed, an atmosphere arose—one mystical, tense, dark and sensual. I fell helplessly into this author’s world. The paranormal elements had enough familiarity to easily allow the genius of Beck’s differences. The intricacies of her shadow world, the way the characters were intricately intertwined, lead to new and complex complications in the relationships. I am not only speaking of the tangled labyrinth of the alliances and the discord between creatures within it such as vampires and weren, succubus and sorcerers, but of the sexual tension and romantic entanglements between them as well. It was this edge to the book which had me hook, line and sinker devouring the book rather than merely reading it. It was seriously non-stop action within the confines of very layered twists and turns, one surprise after another to be discovered and explored while magic flared, a monster once friend ripped people apart and vampires turned to mist to escape.

The best thing about this book, hyped up by the constant turmoil created for the characters, was the erotic intimacy between Petra and Nicholas, their passion and the anticipation of such even when sex, not even touch, was involved. Beck is a creative genius, an entrepreneur of romance and a wizard of plot.  The whole book took my breath away.

I have always enjoyed series which keep the same characters throughout, each book giving you an indepth view of a few of them. I can’t wait now to read the stories of Lissa and Rand, Sara and Lu. I’d like to thank Suspense Magazine for introducing this author to me. Guess I’m her newest fan!


Reviewed by Kiki Howell for Suspense Magazine

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Review of “Dying for Mercy” by Mary Jane Clark

Short chapters and multiple point of views make for an interesting compliment to this novel which seems to mix suspense fiction with aspects of both mystery and thriller genres. The story is fast-paced as the author quickly moves you from one head into another. Yet, the puzzle you are trying to get all of the pieces to is very complex. The pages of “Dying for Mercy” are layered with not only slightly obscure, yet auspicious clues, but also a wealth of suspicious characters.


One particular, anonymous point of view----always written in italics—who seems to have everything to lose, lends a deeply enigmatic element as well as a spooky touch. Also, Innes Wheelock, the man whose death the puzzle of this novel evolves around, is an elaborately baffling character. He is an enigma in the best sense of the word. The mix of a life of excess and prestige weaves with his religious ideals and goals of justice. With his death, he begins a puzzle for those connected to him in a mind of forcing repentance.

Mary Jane Clark has a way of making you question everyone. With her omniscient point of view, all that is purposefully left unsaid along with the little hints the reader does get, makes her excel in her craft. I was even questioning the good guys!

Her setting of Tuxedo Park is a wonderful, complimentary backdrop—extravagant—lending wealth, beauty, excess and the illusion of safety. It is rare an author comes up with a setting that so matches the characters, the setting becomes a character in its own right.

Thinking back over the story, for a murder mystery, her characters were well-crafted, circling their personalities around the character Innes and his suicide. The story was really about motivations right to the very end. You find yourself questioning not only what motivated the initial suicide and following murders, but, what keeps you reading, is the goal of finding out what is being covered up.

Reviewed by Kiki Howell, Author of  "A Modern Day Witch Hunt" for Suspense
Magazine


When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, cohost of the country's premier morning television show KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead—a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose the sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens.

Determined to find out the truth, Eliza and her KEY News colleagues—producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman B.J. D'Elia, and psychiatrist Margo Gonzalez—discover that Pentimento holds the key. Nestled in the park's sprawling architectural masterpieces, picturesque gardeners' cottages, and lush, rolling landscape, the glorious mansion is actually a giant "puzzle house," filled with ingenious clues hidden in its fireplaces, fountains, and frescoes that lead them from one suspicious locale to another—and, one by one, to the victims of a fiendish killer.

As Pentimento gives up its secrets, it becomes clear that no amount of wealth or privilege will keep the residents of Tuxedo Park safe. But just when Eliza unearths one final surprise, she comes face-to-face with a murderer who believes that some puzzles should never be solved.

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.