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Archive for June, 2016

Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut…

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

J. Patrick Black

J. Patrick Black has worked as a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer. While fiction is now his profession, he still finds occasion to ply his other trades as well. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he likes to visit the ocean. NINTH CITY BURNING is his first novel. Find out more about J. Patrick Black online at www.jpatrickblack.com

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Excerpt

The Valentine War, Earth 500 Years Ago

It starts with the world how it used to be, with countries and billions of people living everywhere. Back then there was no such thing as thelemity, and people built houses and machines sort of like they have in settlements today, but all of that changed when the Valentines came.

The reason we call them the Valentines is that the day they first attacked, February 14 on the old Western Calendar, was called “Valentine’s Day”. We still don’t know what the Valentines call themselves, because we’ve never been able to talk to them. We don’t even know what they look like. People had all sorts of different names for them early in the war, but “Valentine” is the one that ended up being the most popular. It used to mean something totally different, but not many people remember that now.

We never saw them coming. All at once cities just started disappearing. A city would be there, everything totally normal, and then it would be gone, nothing but rubble and a cloud of dust. By the time we figured out we were under attack, half the cities in the world had already been destroyed. We tried to fight back, but the Valentines had thelemity, and our strongest weapons were next to useless. They probably would have killed every single person on the planet, except for one thing: It turned out we could use thelemity too.

Ninth City Burning will be out for sale on September 6, 2016.

Make sure to keep your eyes out for it.

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Harvest Moon (A New World – 1) by Tonya Coffey

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Seventeen-year-old Jessa lives in the remote mountains of Kentucky and has always found peace in the forest. Close to her eighteenth birthday, her dad buys her a book and things begin to happen. With her dreams leading her, she uncovers a world within her own with Faeries. They look and act like people she grew up with but she quickly finds she is the one who is different. She is the hidden heir to the throne and the Faeries need her to come home and save them from the Trolls.
If it wasn’t difficult enough for Jessa to move to a different world, she has to marry the man who saved her from the Trolls when all she wants to do is run to his best friend, Micha. With so much to worry about, how can she keep the Faery realm from falling into the hands of the evil Trolls and the Ancients?

Book

My Review

4 stars

Jessa lives with her father where they connect with nature. But she has been plagued with dreams and finds herself meeting a wolf who turns out to be her savior. On Jessa’s eighteenth birthday she learns that she is actually a queen from the Faery realm. From this point forward Jessa is on a break neck pace to learn how to use her power, rule the kingdom, and learn to love her soon to be husband although she finds herself liking his friend too. And if that was not enough then there are the trolls and darkness that are trying to take over. Jessa needs to stop that from happening.

Jessa is a great character. She is not the typical angst filled teen. She has strange dreams that actually lead into a really great ability. Then there is the whole surprise about being queen, here’s your king, and save the kingdom. This happened so fast that I’m impressed that Jessa didn’t freak out sooner for a lot longer.

This is a great story for mid-grade readers and young adults. Although there is romance it is very light and the fighting is pretty mild. It is a wonderful fantasy story and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book Snow Moon.

To purchase Harvest Moon make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Harvest Moon for free from Tonya Coffey in exchange for a honest review.

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Snow Moon (A New World – 2) by Tonya Coffey

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Jessa, the queen of Faeries, finds herself in the midst of disappearances. When she investigates those who have vanished, she discovers a rogue Sylph. He is ridding the realm of the ones he believes are diseased with the help of Trolls.
Together, Micha and Jessa discover their bloodline is more than they thought. They are the descendants of Ancients and Sylphs making them the true Elementals. The very people the Sylph is wanting rid of.

If it wasn’t enough, trying to protect her people, Jessa is forced to let Micha go. She pushes him to go to the Ancients where he will be safe from the Sylph’s wrath.

When Jessa is convicted of meddling in the Sylph’s business, she is sentenced to death. Micha, accepting his new role as the Ancient king, wields their power and frees Jessa from the clutches of the Executioners.
Will Micha and Jessa save the Elementals, and themselves, or will the Sylph take control of the realms?

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My Review

5 stars

Jessa is fitting into her role as Queen of the Faeries. She is even coming around to Micha. It seems that their hidden bloodlines are going to bring change to the kingdom. But when a rouge Sylph joins with a troll and others to keep this from happening, Jessa finds herself in prison being drained of her power and life force. Micha is the only one that can find and save Jessa? Will they be able to join their kingdoms and save everyone?

I really liked how Jessa and Micha are getting along, but clearly not everyone wants this union. Jessa is still stubborn and doing things her way instead of listening to others and finds herself in trouble. But she has a heart of gold and can’t help but do everything she can to save others.

There is lots of action and adventure in this story. There are more prophecies and more happening to the kingdoms than just a union between Jessa and Micha. I love this series and can’t wait for other books from Tonya Coffey.

To purchase Snow Moon make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Snow Moon for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tonya Coffey

Tonya Coffey

If Tonya isn’t writing or reading, you will find her sitting in front of a canvas painting the landscape around her home. Join Tonya’s mailing list to get exclusive news of the series and new books! Check out her website.

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Synchronicity

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Synchronicity (Scintillate – 3) by Karen Tjebben

(Excerpt from Goodreads) “Hayden is alive.” Those three words hurl Kate and her friends towards a mission unlike any other. While honing Kate’s Asteri powers, Kate and Alex delve deeper into their relationship as they untangle Kate from Sarah’s past. Zoe and Evan are entrusted with the task of destroying a magical ring and finding a cure for a poison that threatens their existence. And Nick is determined to locate and free Hayden from whatever monster imprisons her. Working together, their success will ensure that Hayden will no longer be a ghost sketched on paper, but a woman reborn to thrive in Nick’s arms.

Karen Tjebben

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her encouraging and supportive husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her new career in writing. She loves to create worlds filled with unique creatures that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.

Contact Information
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Book

My Review

5 stars

Things are starting to get worse. After their last fight, Kate and her friends learn that Hayden is still alive and her glow is being kept hidden so Nick and Justin go in search of her. After a demon appears in her house and her father learns about her abilities, Kate and Alex head to the woods to start some serious training. Then it is discovered that the demons are using the fire powder to coat their weapons and there are enough weapons for an army to use. Things are getting tough. Are the friends going to be able to stop the demons?

You would think after the last fight they could catch their breath. But you jump right into the action. Kate is having a hard time adjusting with Sarah’s memories. She also doesn’t know how she feels about Alex although he is happy. I loved watching her get stronger and more confident. Watching Nick go after Hayden gave me the warm fuzzies but discovering all the fire powder weapons and the poor unicorns showed that the upcoming battle was serious.

I love this story. There is lots of action, romance, and beautiful imagery. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and yet didn’t want to get to the end of this book. I love this series and can’t wait to read more books from Karen Tjebben.

To purchase Synchronicity make sure to visit Amazon, Goodreads, and Karen Tjebben’s website.

I received Synchronicity for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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In the Mind of Revenge (The Shamed – 1) by Liv Hadden

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In the Mind of Revenge, book one of The Shamed Series, takes a deep look at how monsters are born. Set in a society that glorifies “normal” and demonizes different, this dark tale takes its readers on an emotionally wild ride of vengeance, murder, pain and desperation. Though the reader is warned by its main character, Shame, not to develop an attachment, the first person narrative combined with Shame’s uninhibited vulnerability makes it nearly impossible not to do so. Raw, vivid, honest, fast-paced and beautifully vulgar, In the Mind of Revenge is sure to have you emotionally twisted from beginning to end.

Mine is a tale of pain, hate, lies, murder, injustice, vengeance, and love unreturned. It began much like yours; a hopeful innocent born to a world of endless possibilities. But my journey has rarely been paved with opportunities of light. Confronted by those who sought to eclipse what light I had found, the darkness came for me. Wrapped in its intoxicating embrace, I have risen from the dead to reclaim my dignity and the life that was taken from me. I have begun my journey into the mind of revenge. Revenge for me. Revenge for those like me. Those who are shamed.

This is a story for the shamed, by the shamed. The question is, are you ready for it?

Liv Hadden

Liv Hadden

Author. Creator. Adventurer. Human. In that order.

Debut novelist Liv Hadden has been writing ever since she was a little girl. But, it wasn’t until 5th grade when her teacher said she’d one day write a book that she started taking it seriously.

Her Shamed series began in college, when Hadden employed her writing as an outlet for her feelings during a serious bout of depression. After a brief, yet impactful first night of writing, she dreamt of a shadowy figure, tormented and demonized by their own mind and realized this was the shadow of pain that hurting people everywhere felt.

She woke from her dream feeling more energized that she had in months, picked up her computer and began to write. “I felt if ever there was a story inside me and a character worth taking the leap, it was Shame and this story,” says Hadden. “This one in particular is personal in nature, and perhaps the very reason it’s so close to my heart.”

Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont and has lived in upstate New York and Oklahoma, where she went to college at the University of Oklahoma,, and earned her degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning & Management. She now resides in Austin, TX with her husband and two dogs, Madison and Samuel.

Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis. She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions, like music, body art, dance and photography. “I get chills when I have the great privilege of seeing someone express their authentic selves,” says Hadden. “I believe it gives us a true glimpse into the souls of others.

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To purchase In the Mind of Revenge make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

A thank you goes out to Sami at Roger Charlie for giving me the heads up on this book release.

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Shadows of Doubt (A Series of Shadows – 1)

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Humans sit comfortably at the summit of the food chain; rarely does any other animal get the advantage. But other people? Now there’s something to fear. In Mell Corcoran’s thrilling crime novel debut, Shadows of Doubt, women are being hunted, tortured, killed and their assailant leaves the same clue on each of them but it has no scientific explanation. Detective Lou Donovan must figure out this killer’s signature because he’s escalating and no one knows where he will strike next.

When the first victim appears in Shadows of Doubt, neither Lou nor her partner wants the case but it’s dropped in their laps. As soon as they make some progress, however, the case is taken from them and the explanation is weak at best. Lou won’t let go and tries to work below the radar but she’s foiled at every turn. It’s as if someone is watching her and knows her every move.

Shadows of Doubt is an exciting ride. It has everything a good crime book needs: a fiery detective with a blood hound’s sense, dark figures with dark pasts, twists, turns, and action. And then there’s the tall, gorgeous man. Lou and this mysterious stranger keep crossing paths and his presence disarms her. What she doesn’t know is that her effect on him is the same and therein lies the rub. If he can’t think straight, Lou will die.

Book

My Review

5 stars

Women that won’t be missed are being found around LA tortured, marked, and drained of blood. Lou Donovan and her partner Vinny DeLuca get assigned the case. But just when they are making headway the case is taken from them and given to LAPD because of jurisdiction issues. But Lou cannot just walk away. She keeps investigating but finds herself stopped at all leads. But then she stumbles into a secret group that knows more about the killings and what is really happening. Lou is given the opportunity to become part of this group for information. She cannot just walk away from this case but this group may be her death in the end.

I was completely blown away by this story. Lou is a great, strong female character. She fights to find the killer and can’t just walk away. And although the group can answer her questions she doesn’t know if she really feels comfortable being part of it.

There is a lot of action going on and a ton of misleading clues. Then you find out this book has a great paranormal twist and things just get ramped up. I couldn’t put this book down and was surprised by the ending. This is a great paranormal thriller, definitely one I recommend checking out.

To purchase Shadows of Doubt make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Shadows of Doubt from Mill City Press and Hillcrest Media Group in exchange for an honest review.

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Shadows of Deceit (A Series of Shadows – 2)

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Three bodies. No clues. No heads.

It takes more than a near-death experience to keep Detective Lou Donovan off the job. Three decapitated bodies are discovered in the empty house of a high-profile Colombian coffee mogul putting a drug cartel at the top of the suspect list. Or is that the perpetrator’s intent?

Lou and her team find themselves dancing on the edge of an international incident where every twist and turn uncovers a tangled web of murderous lies. When the absence of evidence is their strongest lead, Lou must find a way to solve the case while navigating a minefield that threatens to expose the people she has come to love.

A unique mix of mystery, crime and a touch of romance, Shadows of Deceit will have readers anxiously turning the pages to discover the truth behind the endless maze of bloodlust and greed. “Shadows of Deceit” is the second installment in the thrilling “Series of Shadows.”

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My Review

5 stars

Lou is out recovering. In the meantime, Vinny is getting ready to work a desk job since his wife is expecting a baby. But he is not going to let just anyone work with Lou. No one seems like a match until he Dillion walks in. Vinny takes Dillion to a triple homicide where the bodies are found in a mansion. When Lou hears about the murders and the lack of clues she jumps in. Using her role as Principate for the Sanguinostri, Lou looks into the murders. Are they really part of the Columbian drug cartel or is there more to this case?

Lou can’t help but run toward a mysterious murder that seems to have a serious lack of clues. Being Principate she uses that role to help fill in the cracks of this case. Dillion seems way to perfect for the role I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of course there is a chance for romance between Lou and Dillion but I’m glad that was not really part of the story. I think it would have taken away from it.

This is the second book in the series. Although you can read this I recommend checking out Shadows of Doubt first. That way you have more background. This is another great story from Mell Corcoran. I’m really excited to see what is going to happen in the next book, Shadows May Fall.

To purchase Shadows of Deceit make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Shadows of Doubt from Mill City Press and Hillcrest Media Group in exchange for an honest review.

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Shadows May Fall (A Series of Shadows – 3)

(Excerpt from Godoreads) Barely catching her breath after wrapping up a string of complex murders, homicide detective Lou Donovan finds herself on the hunt for a new killer with some seriously twisted methods. The ghastly slaughters turn even veteran cops several shades of green, and it’s up to Lou and her new partner to follow their instincts down their dark and deadly path.

As if tracking down a murderer wasn’t enough, Lou finds herself in the middle of a delicate balancing act. Her new and unfamiliar role among one of the world’s most powerful, clandestine organizations has her second-guessing her own instincts. It’s made all the more difficult due to Lou’s refusal to face her inexplicable longing for the new man that looms at the center of her universe.

The third installment in the Series of Shadows saga, Shadows May Fall, follows the series’ beloved detective as she faces new challenges, both professional and personal. Will Lou sort out her tangled life, or will her unresolved emotions result in tragedy?”

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My Review

5 stars

A new killer is out there bashing in people’s heads and it’s up to Lou and Dillion to find the killer. Lou also has to hunt down the traitors in the smuggling operation. But if that is not enough on her plate, it is clear that there is something happening between Max and Lou. The question is where is this going to lead and how is it going to affect her serial killer case.

This books starts out with a bang and a woman that commits suicide over her selfish husband’s obsession with the Clippers. From there we move to a guy that had ties to the porn industry with his head bashed in. I instantly wanted to know what was happening and what the killer was up to.

Clearly Max and Lou have feelings for each other yet they still don’t know what they want/where they stand with each other. I was glad to see Caroline was back, I loved her and wish I had a friend just like her. And the ending, it left me guessing up until the end. There are several twists and turns and I had no idea where this book was going to end.

This is an amazing series, I recommend you go out and get your copy today, you won’t be disappointed. But I would read them in order; I think you will get more out of it.

To purchase Shadows May Fall make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Shadows of Doubt from Mill City Press and Hillcrest Media Group in exchange for an honest review.

 

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The Seventeenth Pocket (The Last Days of Kerious Pye – 1) by Hargus Montgomery

The Kerious Pye™ series recounts the adventures of an ancient Order of worldly Explorers travelling to the universe of matter.  

The Seventeenth Pocket follows Explorer, Arden McGivven, on an expedition that could destroy the barrier between energy and matter.  When the old voyager encounters gravely ill, fourteen-year-old Megan Carlson, he breaks his oath and reveals the Order’s secrets.  Arden’s stories confound doctors, and open a mystery that crosses from this life to the next.  Only Megan can solve the mystery and save the man who helped her.

Hargus Montgomery

Hargus Montgomery is the author of The Last Relicuin, and The Seventeenth Pocket, part of the Kerious Pye series.

Contact Link

Website

Book

My Review

4 stars

What happens to us when we die? What if you could still talk to the person that has passed? What would happen if scientist found a way to do so? Arden McGivven is a traveler sent to the earth world. Scientists have discovered his ability to talk to the dead and want to figure out how to break the code to do so. But what will happen to our world if this is done. Our only hope is a terminally ill girl.

This is a great story. Arden McGivven is a great character that has a heart of gold yet the key to the destruction of the world. I loved how we bounce between the different view characters and how although they start out as a simple character they become some much more the more you read. And Megan, I love the role she plays in the story.

I loved the possibilities surrounding death. What could we learn from talking to those that have passed? How does our negativity affect us and the world around us? There are so many possibilities that come from this book.

If you are looking for a book with a little of everything in it, make sure to get a copy of The Seventeenth Pocket. As for me, I will be checking out Hargus Montgomery’s other book The Last Relicuin.

To purchase The Seventeenth Pocket make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Apple iTunes, and Goodreads.

Reading Addiction

I received The Seventeenth Pocket for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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The Conveyance

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The Conveyance by Brian Matthews

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. But when psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he sets off a series of tragedies that threatens to expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. Relentlessly following a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance.

Matthews, who holds a graduate degree in psychology, draws on his vast experience as a therapist to weave a tale of abuse, betrayal, hope, and terror. The Conveyance is his third book.

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My Review

5 stars

Dr. Bad Jordan is a psychologist and we start with him talking to a troubled teen, Doug that recently lost his father. On the way home he is in a car accident that nearly kills him then returns home to find his wife crying in the shower. Their efforts at starting a family have failed again. After a bad night of card with close friends, they decide to visit Emersville to do some tourist shopping. There they find a strange doll with a shop keeper that suffers from a stroke.

But things get weird when during his next session with Doug, Doug seems to be electrocuted by the doll. Then there is the strange happening at home with his wife and then a burglary. It seems there is a strange metal egg in the doll and someone wants to keep it quiet. But the more Brad looks into it the stranger things become until he learns about The Convergence.

I had no idea where this book was going when I started reading it. But I couldn’t put it down and just had to see how it ended. I felt for Brad, he has a rough past with his wife but they are trying to work through it. I loved the whole idea of the dolls, very creepy. All I can say is beware the Green Queen.

If you are looking for a great scifi thriller look no further, you need to check out The Conveyance. Since this is Brian Matthews third book I will definitely be looking into his other two.

To purchase The Conveyance make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Brian Matthew’s website.

I received The Conveyance for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Invincible Summers by Robin Gaines

After returning home from burying her father on Independence Day, ten-year-old Claudia Goodwin watches from the kitchen window as neighbors drag picnic tables and coolers into the middle of the street to celebrate the holiday. How, Claudia wonders, will she fit into this new fatherless world with the old one still going on around her?

Invincible Summers follows Claudia through eleven summers, from the age of six through twenty-three, as she adjusts with varying degrees of success to what it means to be a daughter, a sister, friend, and lover in a world of loss, betrayal and bad judgment.

Set in a middle class suburb outside of Detroit in the 1960s and 1970s, the novel shows Claudia’s pursuit to find a purpose as she struggles with feelings of rootlessness in a world torn apart by assassinations, riots, and the Vietnam War. It is a coming-of-age story of one woman’s journey through the guilt and responsibility she feels for her father’s death, her mother’s career-altering disfiguration, and her brother’s downslide into drugs.

Invincible Summers weaves a tale about grief and forgiveness and the indelible heartbreak of all the things left unsaid.

Robin Gains

Robin Gaines is the author of the novel-in-stories, Invincible Summers, forthcoming in May 2016 from ELJ Publications. Her short stories and essays can be found in Slice, Crack the Spine, Spindrift, Oasis: A Literary Magazine, Willard & Maple, The Homestead Review, Current Magazine, and Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine.

Invincible Summers was a semi-finalist for The Iowa Short Fiction & John Simmons Short Fiction Award for 2014. She received her MA in journalism from Michigan State University and worked as a research intern at Rolling Stone while freelancing for various music publications. Robin’s interviewed or reviewed acts as diverse as Peter, Paul and Mary to Alice in Chains. Music, or the business of music, finds its way into much of her fiction.

She tries to blog twice a month here about all things literary, but the subject matter usually veers off course into the perils and joys of being human.

Currently, Robin is working on another novel that keeps her up most nights thinking about its characters. She is a member of the Detroit Working Writers and the Metro Detroit Book & Author Society. Born in Detroit, she lives half the year outside of Ann Arbor and the other half on a lake in Petoskey, Michigan. You can find Robin on the web here.

Interview with Robin Gaines,

author of INVINCIBLE SUMMERS

Q: The structure of the novel, eleven chapters dedicated to eleven summers in one girl’s life, is a different way of telling the story. How did you decide to write the book this way? And why the summer season only to tell Claudia’s story?

A: Summer is the season of possibilities. There is light and fresh air and a midwesterner’s sense of freedom. Winters in Michigan (where some of the chapters are set) can be brutal and long. Spring doesn’t come until late April—sometimes May. By summer we’re ready to jump out of our skin. Claudia and the other characters are all jumping out of their skin in this book. Although I wrote Invincible Summers long before the movie, “Boyhood,” came out, I was happy to see someone else thought the idea of exploring coming-of-age in a long narrative arc was creatively intriguing.

Q: Invincible Summers takes place in the 1960s and 1970s in a suburb of Detroit and Europe. Why did you choose this time period and those settings?

A: Assassinations, riots, the Vietnam War formed the backdrop and soundtrack to everything going on in our country then. That period was ripe with turmoil and rage, similar to what my characters experience in their own homes. So “place” becomes a character in the book. Add in loss and the sense of uncertainty and the characters start to fight or flee. Claudia fled to Europe with only a backpack and a dream of reinventing herself.

Q: Although Invincible Summers is a novel how autobiographical is Claudia’s story?

A: Like Claudia, I lost my father at the age of ten. That kind of loss stops a childhood in its tracks. For children and teens, the idea of being perceived as different from your peers, (i.e., the death of a parent, a divorce, illness, financial trouble, addictions, abandonment, etc.) takes up space in their heads usually reserved for normal childhood angst. Making the baseball team, getting invited to sleepovers or the prom, seems silly by comparison when you’re a child worrying about adult things already. Children of halted childhoods wear their indelible scars like scarlet letters. The color fades as time goes on, but not the mark.

Q: The bonds of brother and sister, mother and daughter, are central themes in the novel. How do the surviving Goodwins deal with the loss of their husband and father?

A: With varying degrees of success and failure. They don’t have a choice, do they? Enduring the loss of a loved one and the subsequent grief that follows is hard work—like slicing your way through a thick and dangerous jungle. It’s about getting up each day in a new unstable world and putting one foot in front of the other. Each family member goes about this differently: Fiona, the mother, insists on “moving on” by marrying a man for stability. Burke treats his grief and anger with drugs and alcohol. Claudia dreams of escape. All have narrow views of what is possible. Although forgiveness, of each other and themselves, gives the reader hope for the Goodwins.

Q: Miscommunication and lack of communication in the Goodwin family are evident from the first chapter. Was this an intentional theme while writing the book?

A: No. While doing revisions on the manuscript I was surprised at how the subconscious worked in threading the theme through every character in large and small ways. There’s a line in the book, “Silence, I realize now, the deafening clatter of all things unsaid.” Claudia’s father, in “Doublespeak,” interprets the mother’s mumbled answers to Claudia’s observations and questions. After his death, the family’s translator is gone.

Q: Transportation, by automobile, train, ferry, airplane—even jumping out of one—is important to Claudia’s story. Why did you include so many modes in the book?

A: You forgot hitchhiking! It was a popular way to get somewhere in the 1960s and 1970s. People look funny doing it now. Invincible Summers takes the reader on a journey, literally and figuratively, to the transformative moments in Claudia’s life. While some of those moments/scenes take place in or around her childhood home on Vermont Street, many occur during her travels to and from places in Europe. A life can unfold from staring out a train window at the scenery or from the deck of a ferry looking at the sea. Of this, I am certain.

Q: How do ghosts, or the idea of ghosts, help and haunt the characters in Invincible Summers? Do you believe in ghosts?

A: The ghost that is Claudia’s father seems to haunt her—or at least, that’s what she first thinks—but throughout the book he helps her to confront her fears, and he leads her to Elliot. So there’s that! Big Becca has her ghost, as well, although not as fleshed out as Claudia’s. Maybe her ghost is more of an imaginary friend? I do believe in ghosts. The scene where the radio comes on and plays a single song and then goes dark again actually happened to me. It was the last time I felt my father’s presence, nearly thirty plus years ago. Everyone has ghosts. It’s a choice whether one wants to see them or not.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?

A: I hope the reader feels empathy for one or more of the characters and enjoys the journey Claudia takes them on. As Louise Gluck writes, in “Nostos,” “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.”  

Book

My Review

4 stars

This is the story of Claudia Goodwin. We first find her in the back of her parent’s car with her brother Burke as her parents are heading to a hospital for her mother. Her parents were fighting with her Grandmother when Claudia was trying to help her mother cook. But she accidentally turns the heat up on the food instead of down. The pan explodes in her mother’s face and ends her modeling career. Four years later we find the family at home after a model shoot and Claudia finding her father dead of a heart attack.

We follow Claudia through several more summers as she navigates life. We follow Claudia discovering what she wants to do with her life and how things actually play out. We see how her mother gets on wither step father Roy, how Burke drifts away and finds his way back, and how Claudia does there is always the thought of the loss of her father.

You can’t help but feel for Claudia in Invincible Summers. She loses her father when she is 10 years old and it stays with her throughout her life. Then her mother marries a guy who gets an instant family but you can tell neither are really stellar parents. Poor Burke didn’t really fit in anywhere but you can’t help feeling for him too as Roy clearly doesn’t know what to do with him.

This is a great trip from childhood summers, to the things we all did as teenagers, and into our adult lives. I really liked following along with the different events from history along with Claudia in Detroit and Italy. But in everything that she does, Claudia can’t help but remember that she has lost her father.

This is a great story and one that I recommend you check out. It’s very poignant and shows how different events can stick with us and will shape us.

To purchase Invincible Summers make sure to check out Robin Gaines’ website and EJBook Nook.

I received Invincible Summers for free from Blankenship Public Relations in exchange for an honest review.

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The Zombie Game

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The Zombie Game (The Dr. Scott James Thriller – 2) by Glenn Shepard

(Excerpt from Goodreads) ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America.

The plan: Hijack a hospital ship in Haiti, convert it to a missile launcher, and cruise into Miami Harbor, unnoticed.

Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, and he’s recruited a squad of Haitian zombies to stop the attack. But nothing adds up … until the last seven minutes.

“The Zombie Game” has it all … twists, turns, and tons of action. Ben Lieberman, best selling author of “Odd Jobs” and “The Carnage Account.”

MEET JAKJAK, DEAD MAN
Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.

DR. SCOTT JAMES, TARGET
Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.

OMAR FAROK, MASTERMIND
Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.

SANFIA, VODOUN BOKOR
Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.

ELIZABETH, THE WILDCARD
Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.

“She shook her head. ‘We’re both on the lam, Scott. After what happened in North Carolina, the CIA thinks you’re a cowboy. And believe me, the Haitians are pissed about us giving them the slip at the airport. They’ll throw us in jail. Let’s go it alone for a while, at least until we know what’s going on.’”

Book

My Review

4 stars

ISIS is planning on dropping a missile on the Pope while he is visiting Miami. The key to the plan is to steal a medical ship, Ana Brigette to create an army of zombies. But what they didn’t count on was Dr. Scott James to be on that ship. After an earthquake hit Haiti, Scott is there trying to help the people of Haiti. Scott is going to do whatever he can to keep the assassination from happening.

Dr. Scott James is a plastic surgeon trying to help the earthquake survivors. But there is more to the eye with this guy. He has no problem killing those that have it coming and I love that about main characters. I admit that when I see Zombie in the title I’m thinking the classic walking dead out for brains but these zombies work for the story.

There is lots of action and a good mystery that didn’t really add up until the end. Although this book is a sequel I had no problem following along. I have not read Not For Profit, but after reading The Zombie Game I will definitely be adding it to my read list.

If you are looking for a great thriller make sure to check out The Zombie Game.

To purchase The Zombie Game make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Glenn Shepard’s website.

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I received The Zombie Game for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Summertime Blue (The Existentialist Apple Tree – 2) by John Campbell Rees

(Excerpt from Goodreads) There was a level of activity in the Crown that had been missing for six months. For the upcoming festival, everytlng was awash with the pastel Summertime Blue. The colour of the sky on a sunny day, the colour of happiness within the Tree.

The Light Half of the Year has come to Arbouron. This alternate Earth in a neighbouring reality in the multi-dimensional Cosmos, is built on a far greater scale. On Arbouron life is only possible inside gargantuan trees.

The Inhabitants of the Canopy have returned from their Winter exile. The Canopy is once more a busy industrial complex. When her family, friends and colleagues in the Winter Squad head in the opposite direction, reporting back to their base, Nevamarsya faces a new challenge, life in the cosmopolitan Roots.

Tree-people grow up quickly, going through adolescence in just sixteen week. Nevamarsya and the younsters attached to the Winter Squad for basic training, have seen more than some adults see in a lifetime. Will the years ahead of them as students be carefree, or have they forever lost their youth during the horrors of the viral invasion?

To add to their woes, a ghost from the past threatens. The recently discovered body of Drwgdynant, a long dead loan shark, Mr.D., is discovered. Tabbernant, who helped ind Mr.D’s criminatl activities, is accused of his murder. Only the elusive Commander Gaemlovant knows the truth, but he vanished into thin air, escaping the clutches of the criminal Syndicates two decades earlier.

Excerpt from Book

 As Caitlin Moran says, it was inevitable I would write a book, after reading so many it felt like my turn. Like Ms. Moran, I started writing my first novel aged 12 years old, unlike her, I never finished it. I always knew I wanted to be an author, but I never had enough confidence in myself to go and do it. Even now, I would much rather be talking about the books than about myself. However, a book do not write itself, it has an author who must introduce his or herself. So ladies and gentlemen, I am John Campbell Rees, the author of Summertime Blue and Winter Squad.

I was born in 1967, during the Summer of Love, when Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was topping the album chart, while Procol Harem and A Whiter Shade of Pale was topping the Singles Chart. (Oh well, you can’t have everything). It was not an easy arrival. My mother had been put in a side room of the Maternity Ward and fell of the midwives’ radar. When my Father rung the hospital for news, there was a mad panic, and out of that panic, I was born. My tumultus arrival has left me with several minor disabilities, the most noticable being Dyspraxia, which caused huge problems during my education. However I have overcome these problems in my adult life.

Someone once called me a Trivia Magnet, I remember facts and I am able to use them when needed. This has come from both a lifetime of voracious reading. In school I was known as the boy who was always reading. Not just fiction, but anything that took my fancy. It was no surprise that I ended up working in a library, somewhere with a greater subject depth in their book collection than an ordinary person could possibly own.

However, relying on books as my only source of knowledge would have made me a very dry and dusty person. My widespread travels have given me a wider perspective of the World, made me a more rounded individual.

My experiences abroad include climbing to the temple at the top of the pyramid at Chitzen Itza in Mexico (when it was still allowed) and being overcome by the grandeur of the Yucatan Rain Forest. Or paragliding over the Black Sea at Golden Sands in Bulgaria, three years before the Berlin Wall came down. Or travelling in a bus across the Andes to Caracas in Venezuela on a motorway that would be washed away by a landslide a few months later.

In this country I have visited ancient monuments like the ruins of Skara Brea and the cutting edge modern like Canary Wharf. Visited Breweries and served at beer festivals. Travelled down a coal mine at Blaenavon to see the conditions my ancestors worked under. Watched both Rugby Union and Rugby League at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, both cheering on Wales in the Six Nations and Hull KR at the Rugby League Challenge Cup during its exile, whilst Wembley was being rebuilt and I have even played football on the beach at Dungeness.

I have been exalted, the night my late Father was re-elected and became Mayor of the Borough of Rhondda back in the 1980’s. I have woken up and cried for the future of my niece and nephew and all the other youngsters in this country on 9th May, 2015, when I heard that David Cameron and his Aristocratic Elite had been voted into office for another five long years.

All this and more have given me a vast bank of real life stories I could tell. Instead I write Science Fiction because it allows be to take all these experiences and use them to look at our world from a different angle.

Book

To purchase Summertime Blue make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and John Campbell Rees’ website.

I received the information for Summertime Blue from the publisher Authoright.

 

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