Okay, my Wednesday post is a day late. We are getting ready for an estate sale so I don’t have much free time to be online. But missing yesterday’s post lets me give you this one today. It’s a great “On the shelf” interview with indie author, Kathryn Biel. I hope you enjoy it.
Rave Reviews For The Writer’s Soul
This is a collection of short stories and poems penned by the members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. It contains something for almost every taste, from the haunting Garden In A Flat by Sarah Udoh Grossfurthner, to short stories Life On The Move by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Sorrow And Light by G. Whitman, Cloud Movers, by Rea Nolan Martin, and so many more.
This is great reading material for anyone who enjoys the work of indie authors, and who likes having a variety of thoughts, emotions, memories, and hopes between the covers of one book. I fully enjoyed Rave Soup, and I think you will too.
Minions, by Garrett Addison, kept my attention from beginning to end. The story revolves around Devlin Bennet, a guy who’s hit rock bottom. He thinks that his fortunes have changed when he receives the job offer of a lifetime, but it’s not long before the bloom is off the rose. There is death, there is mystery, which I do like, and there is action, all of it very well written. The plot takes the reader on a twisting path of intrigue, and I found myself trying to figure things out as I went along, which I normally don’t do. There is some pretty strong language in this novel, and some violence, but I don’t think any of it is gratuitous. All in all, an enjoyable read, and as soon as I have time I’m going to add The Traveller to my must read list. What can I say? I’m a fan.
My friend John visited, and we spent last weekend at the movies. And for once, we didn’t see a bad one. Lol So…I thought I’d write a few more reviews. The movies we saw were Run All Night, Unfinished Business, Focus, The Lazarus Effect, and McFarland, USA. I hope you enjoy my reviews.
1) The Lazarus Effect – This movie is about a group of scientists who are tying to bring the dead back to life. They have success with a dog, then use the process to bring back one of their own after her death. Gee, no surprise there. The rest of the film follows a fairly standard pattern, but the ending does stray from the stereotypical path and I found that refreshing. It was very much a low budget film, and I don’t think I knew anyone in the cast, but it was a fairly good plot and the acting was pretty good as well. This one gets a 3* rating.
2) Unfinished Business – This Vince Vaughn romp follows a three-man company competing for a contract with Vaughn’s character’s ex boss. There’s not much I can say without giving spoilers, but I will say that it’s a fun movie, excellently cast and acted. Nick Frost, Tom Wilkinson, and Dave Franco provide wonderful accompaniment to Vaughn, and overall this was a highly enjoyable film. An easy 4*.
3) Focus – This film reminded me of those wonderful Ocean’s movies. The plot twists and turns, and the line between what is real and what is con is often very hard to see.
The cast includes such notables as Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Gerald McRaney, Rodrigo Santoro, and D Wong. This is a top of the line film, and one that I highly recommend. 5*
4) Run All Night – Oh my goodness, this is a “don’t miss” movie! Former hit man Jimmy Conlan, expertly portrayed by Liam Neeson, is put in the line of fire when he kills his mob boos best friend’s son to prevent the murder of his own estranged son. I’m really liking Neeson as an action star, and this stellar cast also features Ed Harris, Bruce McGill, Joel Kinnaman, Holt McCallany, and Common. If you like high-intensity action, if you like mob vengeance, and if you like to be pulled to the edge of your seat and held there until the credits roll, you’re going to love this movie! A well deserved 5*.
5) McFarland, USA – I saved what was far and away the best for last. I don’t think there are enough words in any dictionary of any language on the planet to adequately describe how phenomenal this film is. Family fare at its best, this film showcases a group of young actors who bring incredible depth and drama to the tale of a volatile coach who starts a cross country team at what is probably the last school that would hire him. After Coach White moves his family to McFarland, a poor California town with a predominantly Mexican population, they must adjust to a lifestyle that is completely foreign to them. White’s students come from “picking” families where poverty is a fact of life and college is a pipe dream. The high school is a stone’s throw from the prison that will provide a future address for many of the young men in McFarland, who see crime as the only alternative to the same dead end life that parents could not escape from. This is Costner’s best film yet, and when placed next to Black & White, I think he’ll be forgiven for both Waterworld and The Postman, many times over. 5* are not enough for this movie.
Please forgive me for a little more self-prootion. Tomorrow, March 19th, I am so fortunate to be interviewed by Renee Hand. We’re going to be talking about Shadow of the Drill, and I’m thinking it’s going to be a festive chat. Please stop by http://www.blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors if you find yourself with a few minutes to kill. Thank you so much for your support of my blog, my writing and…me. 🙂
Today, I have the privilege of hosting J.L. McFadden, the author of Choices (The Guardian, Volume 2). I haven’t read this book as of yet, but I think I’m going to have to add it to my TBR list. Now, here are some things you may not know about J.L. McFadden:
How long have you been writing?
Well, as far as books I have been writing for around three years, but as far as articles for different sites and news sources about six years; I have written for various blogs including a Ukrainian site that asked me to write about historical pasts of countries that they don’t hear about often. I love history, so it was an honor.
What is your writing style?
All of the books I have put out are Paranormal Romance, but I have some in the works that are Mystery and Dystopian.
What are your favorite characters that you have created?
I have two that are my favorites: Adela and Priest. Let’s start with Adela, she is a vampire that was turned in 1215, she watched her family be murdered in front of her by the very man that turns her as punishment for her rejecting him. She goes on through history and becomes one of the strongest vampires and eventually gets her revenge on him. She is torn in a love triangle, one that she feels guilty about, because of one of her ancestors who Adela turned to save is attached to this man through a bond that gives her human lover supernatural strength. Gala is a snotty girl who treats her Guardian – the man bonded to her – as a curse and Adela is always trying to get Gala to calm down while Adela herself is attracted to him – she sacrifices her wants for what she feels is best for Gala – but for how long?
Priest is a vampire hunter that had his clan of hunters slaughtered; Adela saved him and they both work together to find out who slaughtered his group and to go after vampires that target humans.
What is on your reading list these days?
I love Fiction, but for the most part I stay buried in History, Philosophy and a lot of Science Journals. My favorite author of all time is Terry Pratchett though.
Are there any methods to your writing?
To start with, I believe that you need to be honest to yourself for yourself and your readers. Every author has her/his specialty and needs to capitalize on it. Developing my own style of writing was very important to me. I believe every author needs a different amount of times or books written to find themselves. It took until Choices for me to truly feel in my skin with it.
As far as my method: An idea pops into my head and I take a mental note, go home take a few notes and go back to the book I was working on. I have a line of books waiting to be written at this point in time. I do research when some books are in another area or place, but for the most part, because of being studious of history my whole life I usually can move straight through it.
I also need to be left alone while I am writing; my chinchilla is the only thing that doesn’t bother me while I am writing.
Do you have certain songs you listen to while writing?
Usually, I start out with Hale Storm’s I love the Misery – it always puts me in the mood for writing, but each book has its own play list. I always keep the playlist on my YouTube channel. Another staple is Alice N Chains, Slot and the Pretty Reckless.
Do you have any hobbies?
Most of my life I have studied Jujitsu, but currently I am studying Aikikai Aikido; I am actually the first foreigner excepted into the Crimean Federation of Aikido. I have enjoyed studying from Senseis from around the world – Belgium, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia. Sadly, I have not been there for a Japanese Sensei. One of my favorite things is meeting people from around the world; learn about their culture and language.
Is there a piece of advice you would give to other authors?
Never give up and always strive to be better is the keys to success in anything we do.
J.L McFadden was born in Pennsylvania and spent his life bouncing around the States until beginning to travel the world. Starting out he was a well-known musician in upstate New York that had a heavy playing schedule. Later he went back to his home state to work in the Lumber mills of the mountains. In California working in sales, management and even directed a small moving company until deciding to see the world. His travels around the world have allotted him to not only join an International Aikikai Aikido Federation, but have trained with Sanseis from Belgium, Ukraine, Russia and other European countries. He accounts his journeys and meeting of new people to his broad character types in his books.
While still doubled over, picking up a book, Adela stated with a sultry voice, “One of these days, I am going to make you deliver on all of those promised ideas, running through your head when you watch me.” She had a playful sound to her voice with her smile, telling that fulfilling his dreams was not out of the question.
Rafflecopter Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4af5be7f12/
Goodreads Event Page: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/956279-choices-blog-tour
Today I decided to repost my very first blog entry. Since it was my first post, I’m sure that very few people read it. So, now that there are a few more people reading my blog, I thought that these fabulous books deserved another day in my mini spotlight. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and this series rates at the very top of my “must reccommend” list. I hope that this post catches your attention, and that you swing by Amazon and treat yourself to a truly phenomenal read.
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My first post will introduce some of you to my favorite vampire book series, written by the amazing Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I discovered the world of Saint-Germain in the late seventies, and immediately fell in love. This is historical fiction at its best, well blended with romance and low-key horror.
Saint-Germain is not a stereotypical vampire. Crosses have no effect on him, and he can move freely in the daylight, though direct sunlight will cause him to weaken. Having watched the atrocities of man through countless centuries, he abhors violence and will not willingly participate in any form of it. He is wealthy, sophisticated, eloquent, and handsome; everything we long for in a vampiric lover. He is also lonely, which does not detract from his allure in the least. His intimate encounters are passionate, yet tender, and completely focused on his partner’s pleasure.
My first look into the series was The Palace, published in 1979. Set in 14th century Italy, the book tells of Saint-Germain’s arrival in Florence and his friendship with Laurenzo de Medici, shortly before Laurenzo’s death and the rise of Girolamo Savonarola.
I followed The Palace with Blood Games, the third book in the Saint-Germain series. The story takes place in Rome during the time of Nero, who becomes connected to Saint-Germain through the latter’s friendship with Titus Petronius Niger. Convicted of crimes against the state in the Year of the Four Caesars, Saint-Germain is sentenced to die in the arena.
When last I looked, there were almost a dozen books in the series, and there may be more by now. I’ve read several, but the two I mentioned are still my favorites. Ms Yarbro has spaced her books through history and her depiction of each period is so precise that one might think she had somehow lived through those days herself. Historical figures share the page with fictional characters, and their presence adds to the impression that she is writing from memory.
I recommend the Saint-Germain series to those who enjoy historical fiction and romance novels. Ms Yarbro is an excellent writer and these are beyond excellent books.