Accepting NO review requests

As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Sunday, September 30, 2012

BAD JUJU by Dina Rae_Blog Tour




Title: Bad Juju
Author: Dina Rae
Genre: Dark, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Young-Adult, (R-Rated although teens would love it)
Publisher: Amazon
Ebook
Words: 93,000

Purchase:

Amazon |

Book Description:

Lucien Nazaire flees his Haitian homeland and meanders around the United States for decades.  He settles in a Wisconsin trailer park filled with elderly tenants.  He meets Jake, his teenage neighbor, and hires him for odd household jobs.  As their relationship progresses, Lucien invites the boy into the world of Voodoo.

Jake LaRue lives in foster care with his abusive uncle.  The Voodoo lessons give him a sense of power within an otherwise helpless situation.  Although the boy is a loner, he feels an instant connection with his classmate, Henry, and introduces him to Lucien.
Henry Novak has Asperger’s Syndrome.  He fixates on historical events, most recently the 2010 Haitian earthquake.  Like Jake, he becomes passionate about the dark side of Voodoo.  They learn how to cast spells on those they hate and lust, leading up to dire consequences.

Several months after the Haitian earthquake, Henry convinces his family to volunteer with their church in the island's reconstruction.  Their mission turns into a nightmare when he mysteriously walks off of the campsite.

Bad Juju is a balance of horror, romance, and literary fiction intended for ages fifteen and up.   Research about the Voodoo religion, shapeshifting, zombies, and possession and themes of redemption and loneliness emerge throughout the plot.

Excerpt:

Jake rolled out of bed and army crawled to the doorway.  Looking through the
opening that separated the door from the carpeting, he saw Leah’s head
bloodied.  She lay limp on the floor.  Pete stopped hitting her.  His whole
demeanor changed.  With a wolfish expression, he began to unbuckle his belt.
Rhianna’s screams got closer.  She must have darted to the other side of the
living room, putting her smack-dab in front of Jake’s bedroom door.  He could
now see her foot.  It partially blocked his view.  Shit!  Can’t get involved!
If I open the door…
“Pete, what the hell is a matter with you?  Stop it!  She’s passed out.  You
beat her into a coma, man!  And now you’re gonna…Sober up and think of what
you’re doing!  Right in front of your daughter!” T.J. yelled.

Is he suicidal?  Jake knew his uncle would make T.J. regret his words.  Like
Leah, T.J. was small.  He was filled with faults, but violence was not one of
them.  On perfect cue, Jake could hear his uncle’s bare fists hooking T.J. in
the jawbone.  Rhianna’s screams turned into full-blown hysteria.  The poor girl
was hyperventilating while desperately grasping Jake’s locked doorknob for
refuge.  I don’t want to be involved!  Go back to your closet and lay still!

“Jakey, Jakey, pwwweeeze!” Rhianna sobbed.
Jake couldn’t take her suffering any longer.  Quickly unlocking the door, he
grabbed the little girl and pulled her inside his room and then relocked the
door.
The living room had grown eerily quiet.  Jake had a difficult time hearing while
Rhianna wailed.  “It’s okay now.  Try to be quiet,” he whispered, straining to
hear.  Nothing but silence was on the other side of his door.  His heart rate
doubled.  Always quiet before the storm.  Was it over?  Or was I next?  He slid
on his gym shoes, took a can of Comet cleaner from his bathroom, and crept up to
the only window in the room.  It was small, but Jake knew he could fit through.
Then came the sound he was waiting for.  Click, click, click.  Pete was
delicately trying to open the door.  He now knew it was locked.


About the Author:

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs.  When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.  

Website | Blog | Twitter: @haloofthedamned | The Last Degree | Halo of the Damned |

 http://fmbblogtours.blogspot.com/2012/09/tour-schedule-bad-juju-by-dina-rae.html


Tour Schedule:
Oct. 1st- Mallory Heart Reviews (Review/Giveaway)
Oct. 2nd- A Bit of Dash (Book Playlist/Giveaway)
Oct. 3rd- Musings of a Writing Reader (Excerpt)
Oct. 4th- My Cozie Corner (Interview)
Oct. 5th- Kaidans Seduction (Review)
Oct. 6th- A Buckeye Girl Reads (Interview/Giveaway)
Oct. 7th- A Bibliophile's Thoughts on Books (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Oct. 8th- Reading with Holly (Spotlight)
Oct. 9th- Paranormal Romance Fans for Life (Guest Post)
Oct. 10th- The Avid Reader (Review)
Oct. 11th- Lauie's Non-paranormal Thoughts and Reviews(Interview/Giveaway)
Oct. 12th- Waiting on Sunday to Drown (Review/Giveaway)
Oct. 13th- The Avid Reader (Excerpt)
Oct. 14th- The Life of Fiction (Excerpt/Giveaway)
Oct. 15th- The Insane Writings of a Crazed Writer (Book Playlist/Giveaway)
Oct. 16th- Books and Beauty (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Oct. 17th- Happy Tails & Tales (Book Soundtrack/Giveaway)
Oct. 18th- I am, Indeed (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 19th- Holly Adair (Book Soundtrack)
Oct. 20th- Sweet Southern Home (Book Soundtrack)
Oct. 21st- TBA
Oct. 22nd- Red Headed Bookworm (Book Soundtrack/Giveaway)
Oct. 23rd- 1889 Labs (Guest Post)
Oct. 24th- Lizzy's Dark Fiction (Review/Giveaway)
Oct. 25th- TBA
Oct. 26th- Queentutt's World of Escapism (Review/Giveaway)
Oct. 27th- Kharisma Rhayne (Excerpt/Giveaway)
Oct. 28th- The eBook Reviewers (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Oct. 29th- TBA
Oct. 30th- TBA



THE EXOTERRESTRIALS by TW Brown_Review


The ExoterrestrialsThe Exoterrestrials by TW Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of The Exoterrestrials by TW Brown
5 Stars

A delightful contemporary science fiction tale with an enterprising moral, “The Exoterrestrials” introduces readers to the castaway Dre’le’exx, marooned in Earth’s Pacific Ocean after an unfortunate near-miss encounter with an “alien spacecraft” (from the United States) in 1970. Since their ship was permanently and irreparably damaged and the commander and the remaining crew had to crash-land, the four decided to make good use of their tenure on this planet by “cleaning it up”; that is, by eliminating whichever individuals do not subscribe to the human moral order. That ranges from school-age bullies to middle-age perverts to serial killers, and these beings, who somewhat resemble giant spiders and weave “Mindwebs” to read thoughts, conscious and unconscious, spend their time moving into empty residences, weaving strands of their webs, then collecting the nasties and eliminating them by processing their energy, just as spiders do with flies and other hapless creatures.

Despite the premise, “The Exoterrestrials” is a well-written and delectable little tale, and just the thing for late-night reading in those last moments before turning off the lights to sleep.


View all my reviews

Friday, September 28, 2012

THE ANTITHESIS by Terra Whiteman_Review


The AntithesisThe Antithesis by Terra Whiteman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of The Antithesis by Terra Whiteman
Reviewed for Full Moon Bites Blog Tours

An unusual and highly complex novel of metaphysics, philosophy, and quantum physics, “The Antithesis” postulates not just one universe, but thirteen Multiverses-all of which contain hundreds of planets. Only forty of these worlds, though, are controlled by Heaven and Hell, in the form of The Atrium, housed in Purgatory. In The Atrium, a coalition of judges, all Vel’Haru-one noble and her three guardians-rule on soulcases, determining which side gets the points for each individual soul at death. The newest judge, Alezair Czynri, is taken straight from the Nexus, turned Vel’Haru by noble Leid, the Justice Commander, and made her guardian. Alezair retains no memories of his tenure in the Nexus..or of his “before.”

I can honestly say that “The Antithesis” is unlike any other metaphysical novel I have read. This is Heaven and Hell, Lucifer and Yahweh, as you certainly never expected to see them. There is no shortage of passion, sensuality, character derivation, profane language, or graphic violence. Readers will keep turning the pages to discover what new wonder appears next (yes, there is planet-travelling too). I do rate this book 18+ for violence, language, sensuality.


View all my reviews

DUTY AND DESIRE (WINDS OF FIRE #1) By Anju Gattani



Title: Duty and Desire
Series: Winds of Fire #1
Author: Anju Gattani
Genre: Family Saga
Publisher: Greenbrier Book Co.
Ebook/Paperback
Pages: 304

Purchase:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Books A Million |

Book Description:

How Can Happiness Survive When Duty Clashes With Desire?

Sheetal Prasad has it all: youth, beauty, wealth and education. But when this modern Indian woman surrenders love for honor and marries into India’s most glamorous ‘royal family’, these very advantages turn against her and she is stripped of her freedom.

Meet the Dhanrajs — a powerful family bound together by a web of lies where infidelity, greed, secrets and hidden identities lurk beneath the lush tapestry. The Dhanrajs have plenty to hide and will do what it takes to mask the truth from the world.

As Sheetal peels back the layers of deceit, she confronts a haunting reality and is threatened by the blazes of passion she ignites.

Excerpt:

“She loved him. She reached out to touch him and soothe his anger. “I risked everything just coming here to be with you.”          
“Not to be with me. To tell me. You came to tell me you’re marrying someone else. And you expect me to do nothing?” That’s exactly what she did expect, because society required a woman to marry the man her parents chose for her.
Arvind grabbed Sheetal by the shoulders and gazed into her eyes. “Do you understand how much I love you?”
She understood. “I have no choice, Arvind.” Sheetal took a long, deep breath and clasped her fingers together. “Love isn’t enough for my father. Money, reputation, class and status. That’s what matters to him.” Until now she had ignored the imitation suede shoes on his feet and the ripped, beige, front pocket of his shirt; things she would have never have noticed if her mother hadn’t brought them to her attention a while back. “My father wants me,”—she bit her lip, knowing her words would hurt him—“well taken care of.”

About the Author:

Anju was born in India but grew up in Hong Kong. Her Indian upbringing and British education worked together to strongly influence her writing.

Anju’s fiction explores how the distinct mindsets and traditions of different cultures permanently shape people’s values, thinking, and behavior patterns—for both good and evil—despite the “leveling” effects of 21st century communications and travel.

Anju earned a Bachelors degree in English Literature in India and a teaching degree in the United Kingdom. She has also studied creative writing.

Anju has lived in Singapore, Australia, India, New Jersey and Connecticut. She now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two kids. Anju is a columnist for a multicultural magazine in the USA. She is also an avid guest blogger, who loves to share her experiences in health and fitness, food, self-empowerment and great fiction reads.

Duty and Desire is her first novel.

Visit Anju at www.anjugattani.com

Find the Author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

RICHARD LONG, Author of THE BOOK OF PAUL_Guest Post

Richard Long, Author

Please enjoy this guest post by Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.


The Tarot

A guest post by Richard Long


Tarot

Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself  ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”

Stop it, you’re killing me.
***
You just read the opening lines of The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul.  They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.

Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards--The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower--can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.

William, the narrator of The Book of Paul, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.

The mythology of The Book of Paul is based largely on my very unique (so unique you’ll never see it anywhere else) interpretation of the twenty-two trump cards of the tarot.  As William endeavors to unravel Paul’s nefarious intentions, he discovers an arrangement of the trumps that reveals the true story being told. In the following excerpt from one of William’s journal entries, Paul congratulates William on his discovery (which is not revealed, so no spoiler alert!) and rewards his efforts with a very special gift to add to his collection, and the promise of an even greater prize.

A fabulous tarot reading from Richard Long? A Kindle Fire?

No, William isn’t as lucky as three of you wonderful readers.

The Book of Paul
He’s about to have his very first look at The Book of Paul, a gift that comes with a very hefty price tag.                                                           
***
“You’ve done exceptionally well here,” Paul said, “but you’re never gonna get to the bottom of this no matter how many of those old books you poke your nose into.”
“And that’s because…”
“For starters, those writings were deliberately intended to disguise the truth in countless metaphors and scrambled codes to keep the idiots at bay. They’ve been translated, and re-translated back into the original demotic, Coptic or Greek countless times, every scribe adding his own pontifical touch in his glorious interpretation. Of the more accurate writings, there’s more missing from the tracts than what remains, as you’ve seen in the Drivel of Mary. You’ve about as much luck hitting pay dirt in those dustbins as those literalist born-agains have of seeing the Rapture. However, I have a gift for you that should prove far more enlightening, if you apply yourself with half the dedication of these research efforts.”
He reached deeply into his pocket and told me to close my eyes. “Don’t go using yer second sight and spoil the surprise.” I nodded and felt him place a large rectangular object in my left hand. “Okay, open ’em.”
It was a tarot deck. Older than any I’d seen. The paintings were incredibly detailed and absolutely exquisite. I turned them over one by one, The Hero, The Herald, The Oracle—all the trumps labeled with Paul’s titles. “These are amazing!” I said, awed and yes, flattered by his incredible gift. I had a hard time spitting it out, but I managed to say, “Thank you.”
“You’ve earned it,” he grunted, taking the cards back before I had a chance to look at the rest of them, setting the cards down gently on the table. “But don’t stay up too late gazing at them. This deck can be quite…entrancing.”
“Is there something else I should know about it?” I asked apprehensively.
“Indeed, there is. Get a good night’s sleep and meet me in the chapel tomorrow. I’m bumping you up to the advanced class, so make sure your eyes are bright and your head is clear. You’ve earned a little taste of the Gospel according to Paul.”


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
    
  • Visit today’s featured social media event
  • About The Book of Paul:  A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction.  Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    About the author: 

    Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    SANCTUM RETRIBUTION (SHADOW HAVENS BOOK 3) by Edenmary Black_Review


    Sanctum Retribution: Shadow Havens Book 3Sanctum Retribution: Shadow Havens Book 3 by Edenmary Black
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    I received an ebook copy of this novel from the author, Edenmary Black, on Sept. 5, 2012, at her request, in return for my provision of a fair, impartial, and authentic review.


    Review of Sanctum Retribution by Edenmary Black
    Shadow Havens Book 3

    In the third entry in the Shadow Havens series, Author Edenmary Black once again rivets her readers with edge-of-the-seat action and passion, adventure and Supernatural culture and society, secrets, revelations, joy and insanity. Ms. Black weaves a tapestry so complex that I must marvel at her ability. A cast of multiple characters, varied locales, and a hierarchy of Supernaturals that is original, creative, and imaginative, populate this series. Although of course I recommend that readers get the entire series, if this novel is chosen first, it can safely be read on its own because Author Black weaves in sufficient backstory for events and persons that no one can fail to be apprised of the background, and can enjoy all of this novel. But why not read all three? You’ll have three times the excitement, three times the enjoyment (and three times the passion, heart-stopping action, and developing love interests!) Readers: if you love Paranormal Romance, if you want your novels flavoured with delicate yet passionate sensuality, if you don’t mind a bit of adult language and credible violence in the context of the story lines, by all means, run, do not walk, to your favourite bookseller and buy this series! Then lock your door and turn off your TV and phone, because you will not want to be interrupted till you’re finished.


    View all my reviews

    Interview_Richard Long, Author of THE BOOK OF PAUL


    Please enjoy this interview with Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.



    1. Tell us about the spark of inspiration that eventually grew into The Book of Paul.

    The initial inspiration for The Book of Paul came when I wrote the first line of the first chapter called Exercises: “He practiced smiling.”  I wanted to explore a character who had been so damaged by childhood trauma that he could no longer feel compassion, joy, affection, and had, accordingly, committed all kinds of horrible acts. I wondered if such a person could ever regain his emotional capacity and be redeemed by love.

    2. What was the research process like for this book (which can at times deal with some pretty heady and—frankly—grotesque goings-on)? Any horror stories to share?

    There are many aspects to the story, so the research was really extensive. I love doing the research almost as much as the writing, so it’s a joy for me to read and learn so many new things. The creation mythology literally goes back to square one and builds from there, tracing the history of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy, alchemy, druidism and pagan mythology--particularly Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions. There’s also a strong science fiction element involving quantum physics, artificial intelligence, life extension and what’s known as The Singularity. Other lines of exploration involved Irish genealogy and what I call the pain culture: tattoos, elaborate piercings and body modifications.

    I made some gruesome discoveries along the way. The most disturbing was the Extreme Body Modification website I stumbled upon, which is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the early days of the Internet, which is pretty amazing in itself. I checked recently and it’s still there, though I didn’t have the stomach to peek inside again. I’m actually as squeamish as some of my readers about certain things, which is probably why the horror comes across so vividly. If something scares the hell out of me, it’s easy for me to convey that fear and revulsion.

    3. Tell us about Paul. Who is he and what is his book about?

    The Book is a 4th century codex, the only one of it’s kind. How and why it was made and what it contains is one of the central mysteries of the series, so I’m not going to spill those beans. Paul is every bit as mysterious. When he is first introduced you might think he’s a serial killer involved with the occult in some way. As the story progresses you discover some really unexpected things about him. One thing is clear from the outset – he is one very nasty piece of work. I’ve always felt that any horror novel or thriller is only as good as the villain. I definitely aimed for the fences with Paul.

    4. There is a strong tarot undercurrent to this novel. The protagonist even makes his living by reading the cards. Why did you decide to work it into The Book of Paul, and how does it surface throughout the course of the story?

    I actually did tarot and numerology readings when I lived in the East Village many years ago. The tarot led me to a lot of dark occult explorations, which are mirrored in William’s journey. I was lucky enough to pull out of that nosedive and hop over to the Buddhist side of the fence. William is not so fortunate. The reader gets drawn into William’s world through his first person narration as he talks about becoming a collector of ancient occult manuscripts, which leads him to the tarot. Then he gradually reveals more through his journal entries, which contain the meat of the mythology and all the Hermetic and Gnostic lore. Finally, he discovers that the tarot is actually related to an apocalyptic prophecy, which Paul is determined to fulfill by any means necessary, which is very bad news for Billy.

    5. At almost 500 pages, this is not a short novel. From start to finish, how long did it take you to write, revise, and ready for publication?

    I’ve written over 2,000 pages for The Book of Paul and the series. The first draft of this volume was close to a thousand pages long. I cut out eight characters and their storylines in the second draft, which netted my first agent. She wanted a lower page count, so many of the narrator’s interior musings were cut. Those were actually some of my favorite sections. Then I moved to another agent and he wanted more of the mythology put back in, so it grew close to this size. After six months he hadn’t sold it, so I got sick of the whole process, wrote it the way I wanted, and published it.

    6. The concept of synchronicity plays heavily in this novel. What attracts you to it, and has it proven a heavy influence in your own life?

    I’ve always been a spiritual seeker. I was raised as a Catholic, but the nuns effectively beat those beliefs out of me quickly. Even as a kid, I couldn’t accept the idea of God as the big guy in the sky with the white beard. Science and mythology and my own imagination showed me all kind of possibilities. I first noticed synchronicity when the number eleven kept showing up for me all over the place--addresses, hotel rooms, etc. Someone suggested I get a book on numerology and I discovered that eleven was my “name number” and also a power number. I started noticing all kinds of things after that, coincidences that were just too weird to brush away. Then I read some Jung, and when I got into quantum physics that sealed the deal. Synchronicity for me now is the manifestation of interconnectedness in the universe. There is nothing you can perceive that isn’t connected to you. As the Buddhists say, “no separate self.”

    7. Paul is... scary (we’ll leave it at that). How were you able to effectively become this deranged character, and how did you hang on to your own humanity after the fact?

    I would imagine it’s much the same as when Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter. He was very disdainful of method actors who got all caught up in identifying with their characters. There’s a famous story about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman on the set of Marathon Man. Hoffman was a method actor and he stayed up all night before their torture scene together and Olivier said something like, “Why don’t you try acting, dear boy?”

    That being said, I’m not immune to being disturbed by these things. When I wrote the traumatic scenes of him and Martin--well, I cried when I wrote them and they stayed with me for days. So maybe the method is working for me too.

    Paul is great to write because it’s like letting my Id out of a cage. I get to play out my most evil imaginings and nobody gets hurt. I also had to find Paul’s humanity to make him really interesting for me. I didn’t want him to be some cartoon monster. Paul is also in a lot of pain; he was traumatized as a boy and his life was changed forever. By the end of the story you get to see many other sides of him. And of course, there’s a lot more to come.

    8. Irish mythology is woven into The Book of Paul, and at one point, Paul even makes a sarcastic quip about the luck of the Irish. Why Irish, and how all does its culture influence the story?

    When I’m writing, I go into a daydream state where I imagine the character and what he or she looks like and where they are and what they’re doing. No outline usually. I sit back and watch and listen. If it’s great the way I imagine it, then writing the dialog is like taking dictation. When I wrote the first chapters with Paul, I was surprised because I kept hearing him speak with an Irish brogue, but his accent went in and out – sometimes really thick, sometimes a little lilt, sometimes no accent at all. So I’m thinking, what’s that about?

    I come from Irish American stock, but my parents told me absolutely nothing about their parents other than to say they were cruel. So that’s the starting point with Paul. He’s the ultimate bad dad. The more I explored Paul, the deeper it led me into Celtic mythology, Irish genealogy and history. I suppose I’m trying to find the missing links of my own heritage. My grandmother was born in Ireland, so I have dual citizenship, even though I haven’t been there yet. I’m thinking I’ll go next year when I’m writing the third sequel.

    9. The Book of Paul is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and in that way, it can be difficult to classify. So tell us, who is your target audience for this novel?

    Given the fact that there are some rough episodes in the story, you might think that the so-called target audience would be men who are into horror, thrills and mayhem. But women actually seem to be my biggest, or at least, my most vocal fans. I’ve been getting some really enthusiastic reviews from men, but even more so from women, who surprisingly seem less squeamish than some of the male reviewers.

    The Book of Paul doesn’t fit into any neat, tidy genre. It’s very complex and like you say, unlike anything I’ve read before either. There’s a Pulp Fiction element to it, with quirky characters in a seedy environment. There’s a major religious/mythological mystery for the Dan Brown crowd. It’s very funny, but incredibly poignant. It’s very disturbing, but there are lots of fast-paced action scenes. There’s romance and kinky sex. Something for everybody.

    10. Why did you decide to self-publish The Book of Paul, and how has the journey been so far?

    Read above. The traditional publishing industry in general is like a boxer on the ropes in the tenth round. For fiction it’s even worse. Add first-time novelist to the list and sprinkle on an unclassifiable genre for a little seasoning. I had two agents who were well known and successful, and very enthusiastic about the book. But the editors they reached wouldn’t take a chance on it. I could have kept trying, but frankly, I ran out of patience.

    How has it been so far? The book is out in the world and it’s just the way I wanted it. I have complete control over everything I do, including the cover art, which is also exactly how I want it. The marketing is a lot of hard work, particularly the social marketing, which I had never done before. But that’s turned out to be a lot of fun too. I’m meeting so many great people--other authors and readers--and getting such a strong response on the book that it feels like a vindication. See? I told you so. Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!



    As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

    All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

    To win the prizes:
        
  • Visit today’s featured social media event
  • About The Book of Paul:  A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction.  Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    About the author: 

    Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

    THE TUBE RIDERS by Chris Ward_Review


    The Tube RidersThe Tube Riders by Chris  Ward
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Review of The Tube Riders by Chris Ward

    An amazing adventure through a dystopian futuristic Britain that I sincerely hope no one ever lives to witness, “The Tube Riders” is an immensely creative and thoroughly imagined, riveting novel. I couldn’t step away and I doubt any other reader could. Marta, Simon, Paul, Jess, Switch, and later Paul’s brother Owen, and young Carl, undergo danger, horror, adrenaline surges, friendship, family loyalty, deaths galore-and what doesn’t kill them does indeed make them stronger. “The Tube Riders” possesses incredible characters, and not just the “heroes.” No, even the “villains”: Dreggo, Clayton, the Huntsmen, Dr. Karmski, and the mysterious, elusive, incredibly powerful Governor of Mega Britain, are vividly imaged and truly four-dimensional.

    Author Chris Ward weaves Dystopian society and culture with a natural outgrowth of the current rush-to-collapse seen in some segments of contemporary society, and with the history of decades of scientific experimentation, vivisection, and genetic engineering and manipulation. The quest to engineer a “Super-Man” in the Nietzschean sense is well more than a century old, but  in the deft hands of this author, the quest reaches a horribly ugly but effective conclusion.

    I was provided with an e-book copy of this novel by the author, Chris Ward, on Sept. 12, 2012, via the Goodreads Group Making Connections, in exchange for my fair and impartial review.


    View all my reviews

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    BONE WIRES by Michael Shean







    Title: Bone Wires
    Author: Michael Shean
    Genre: Dark, Mystery, Science Fiction,
    Publisher: Curiosity Quills/Whampa, LLC
    Paperback/Ebook
    Pages: 380 (paperback)

    Purchase:


    Book Description:

    In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies.

    In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important - even glamorous - department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job. That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.

    When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial.

    A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.

    Excerpt:

    The scene of the crime was an alleyway behind an abandoned Roziara Deli. Crowding the street outside the deli were a pair of patrol cars, white wedges of steel with ribbon lights that stained the nearby buildings red and blue. Street officers clustered around the mouth, black body armor over blue uniform fatigues; unlike the sidearms that Gray and Carter carried, the streeties carried the blunt, brutal shapes of submachine guns close to their plated chests. A cordon had been set up; the narrow yellow band of holographic tape that stretched across the alley mouth glowed as it cycled through baleful warning messages.
    “They used to have good subs here,” said Carter as they pulled up in front of the moldering delicatessen. “Slabs of capicola as thick as Annie Cruz’s ass. Just incredible.”
    “Don’t know that name,” said Gray.
    “Porn star,” said Carter, who produced his badge and flashed it at a streeter who was approaching them. “Way before your time. Put on your war face, here comes the Pacifier.”
    Carter’s Amber Shield glowed like the very words of God Almighty in the low light. “Carter and Gray,” said Carter, keeping his identification held up so that the streeter could see it. “Homicide Solutions.”
    “Lem Martin,” replied the streeter. “Pacification Officer, patrol region 927.”
    “This is your beat then,” said Gray, who produced from the inside pocket of his suit coat a slim Sony microcomp and engaged its holographic display. Data from the Nexus sprang to life above the palm-sized slab. “What do you have for us, Martin?”
    Martin winced a bit at the lack of ‘Officer’ before his surname – you got a lot of that with Pacification Services, of which street patrol was the biggest group. They didn’t like being talked down to. Gray outranked him, however, and didn’t give a shit besides. “Nasty stuff,” Martin said, jerking his head toward the alley mouth. “Victim’s name is Anderson, Ronald P.. Administration. His panic implant was set off about an hour ago and flatlined soon after; me and my partner were in the area, and when we found him…well. Real horror show back there, is all I can say. I called for backup. Dunno what they used, but…well. You’ll see.”
    Carter and Gray looked at each other – streeters saw all sorts of things. If they said it was a nasty scene, they’d probably do well to get smocks and rain boots. “All right, Officer,” Carter said, at which Martin seemed to relax a bit. “Were there any witnesses, security footage, anything like that?”
    “Nothing we could find,” said Martin. “This area’s been abandoned for years. Anyone who lives here cleared out as soon as they heard us coming. You know how it is.”
    “Yeah,” said Gray. Don’t want to get arrested for just being around. “All right, thanks, Officer. If you and…”
    “Conklin and Peavey,” Martin replied. “In the other car. Patel’s with me.”
    “…Right,” Carter replied with a nod. “If you fellas can keep up the cordon on either side of the alley, we’ll have a look. Call the coroner while you’re at it.”
    “On it,” barked Martin, who stepped away from the alley mouth while touching the side of his throat where a subvocal mic, standard issue for street patrol, had been implanted. Carter waited until Martin had backed up a few steps and was well into conversation before he gestured for Gray to follow him. The two men passed through the holographic cordon, the barrier no more solid than the air around it, and took a few steps into the feebly-lit alleyway. The space behind the deli was dark and thick with shadows, lit only by the dying bulb of a lamp set over the shop’s sealed back door. A figure slumped or lay in the cone of dim light that spilled across the building’s crumbling facade. The air was faintly tinged with the smell of ozone and cooked meat. The two men approached; Gray held his computer in one hand while Carter fished the flat, card-sized shape of a palm lamp from a coat pocket. Cupping the lamp in his hand, Carter threw a beam of bright blue- white light across the alleyway and clearly illuminated the corpse.
    Lean and muscular in life, that which had been Ronald Anderson half-crouched, half-sprawled across the alleyway, his handsome face pointing down toward the filthy concrete. The corpse’s posture reminded Gray of an old girlfriend; she was a yoga fanatic and used to do something similar called the Child’s Pose. Anderson’s formerly clean white dress shirt had been cut open, straight down the back from collar to waist, and his belted slacks had also been cut down to the base of the pelvis. His back had been tattooed with a medieval Japanese wave scene.
    Anderson’s flesh had been laid open. Arching upward and away in a v-shaped furrow, a deep channel now butterflied the man’s back half from the base of his skull to the top of his pelvis. Where his spine should have been there was only a bloodless, grayish-red channel. The red and ivory of cleanly clipped bone and cooked organs were clearly visible in its absence, his heart a gray and veined lump. It was as if the tattooed sea had somehow come alive, restless and roaring, and attempted to rise away from its host who could never have survived its rebellion.
    Without the slightest drop of blood, Ronald Anderson had been boned like a fish.
    “Damn,” muttered Carter, stepping forward so he could track with his light the awful wound. “Never seen that before. What do you make of it, Dan?” For Gray, who had only experienced the more pedestrian horrors of stranglings, stabbings and gunshot wounds in his brief career, there was no clean reply. “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” he breathed instead, staring down at the carved gutter. Gray had said ‘strangest’ – however, what he had truly wanted to say was ‘most horrible’. Looking down at the murdered man, Gray knew that his ‘sexy’ case had arrived, just as he had wished for it, but the only thing he could wish for now was to be anywhere else.
    As if sensing the truth behind Gray’s words, Carter snorted softly. “Lucky you, kid,” he replied in a wry and vaguely weary tone. “Lucky you.”

    About the Author:                                                         

    Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.

    In 2001 Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry, and he settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his current fiancee, who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Several years of work and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star (2011). Michael is currently signed with Curiosity Quills Press, who has overtaken publication of Shadow of a Dead Star and the other books of his Wonderland Cycle.

    Find the Author:

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    CASSANDRA BY STARLIGHT by Susan Mac Nicol_Review and Blog Tour Review Blitz

    BLURB: Cassandra by Starlight by SUSAN MAC NICOL A London woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen. TO CATCH A RISING STAR Unconventional though she may be, Cassandra Wallace leads the life of an average Londoner, from blind dates to rush hour traffic. Then, along comes Bennett Saville. Charming, erudite, the up-and-coming actor is like the hero of a romantic movie. He sets Cassie afire like he has the stage and screen, and defies the tragedy that brought them together. From the tips of his Armani loafers to their scorching hot first kiss, he’s perfect. Only, he’s ten years younger and from the upper class, and those emerald eyes invite dangerous secrets. The world is full of hungry leading ladies, and every show must have its villain. Yet a true romance will always find its happy ending. BIO: Sue Mac Nicol was born in Headingley, Leeds, in the United Kingdom. When she was eight years old her family emigrated to Johannesburg, South Africa. One day, after yet another horrific story of violence to friends, they decided it was time to leave. In December 2000 they found themselves in the Arrivals area at Heathrow and have stayed in the UK ever since, loving every minute of it. In between her day job as a regulatory compliance officer for a financial services company in Cambridge and normal daily life, the inspiration for the Starlight series was born; Sue’s characters, Cassie and Bennett, finally made their debut onto the flickering screen of a laptop and gave her the opportunity to become a published author—a dream she’s had since being a young girl old enough to hold a pencil. Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She lives in a town house in the rural village of Bocking, Essex, with her husband of twenty eight years, Gary (who believes he deserves a long service award for putting up with her for so long), two children, Jason, 24, and Ashley, 19, and a mixed collie mongrel called Blu. BUY NOW LINK: • All Romance • Amazon • Smashwords ONLINE LINKS:
    Susan Mac Nicol Online: Website http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com Blog http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/blog Facebook http://www.facebook.com/boroughspublishing Twitter http://www.twitter.com/BoroughsPubGrp Giveaway: Rafflecopter a Rafflecopter giveaway If you cannot use rafflecopter here is a link
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    Chapter 1 The day the sky fell changed Cassie Wallace’s world forever. She woke up that morning with the expectation that this day would be like any other. She also had a slight hangover from the abundance of wine she’d drunk the night before to try and get through a blind date organized by her work colleague, Sarah. The evening had been a total disaster. Not only had the man been an absolute misogynist, one of the cardinal male sins on Cassie’s unwritten list, he’d also had a habit of leering at her chest every time he spoke as if he thought it might talk back to him. She’d smiled politely whilst thinking she’d like to take his smarmy public school tie and shove it down his throat. When she’d finally left at around eleven, she hadn’t been able to get away fast enough. She stood in her bedroom, checking her outfit in the mirror and sighed. Was it too much to ask to find a decent man just to share things with and have a good time? They all seemed to be absolute idiots and in the old but true cliché, only interested in one thing. Cassie had been out on a few dates in the past few months but somehow she never made it past the first one. A previous date gone wrong had told her she was too independent and perhaps a little bit ‘emotionally challenged, not affectionate enough’ for him. She’d shrugged this off but it had hurt her deep down especially as she knew it to be true. My bloody expectations aren’t even that high, she thought in exasperation as she fastened her necklace. It’s not as if I’m such a great bloody catch myself! Middle-aged and not really all that exciting. I’ll take what I can get within reason. Cassie smoothed her skirt down over her hips and picked up her handbag. When she left the house at six thirty, it was a typical dark English winter morning. Fortyfive minutes later she was sitting in the traffic on the motorway, listening to the news bulletin. “Bloody idiot,” she mumbled in between bites of a banana that she had hastily grabbed on her way out. “He wouldn’t know a bloody budget if his life depended on it. Silly sod has got no idea how to run a bloody country.” She crept forward in her Honda Jazz at about two miles an hour, watching the traffic in front which seemed to have ground to a halt for no reason at all. I really need to try and find something closer to home, she thought, not for the first time. This travelling lark is really starting to piss me off. Four hours a day in traffic is not my idea of time well spent. Cassie wasn’t sure what other quality pastimes she’d be engaging in if she did have more free time, given her current ‘lack of male’ situation but she supposed she’d find something. Join a book club perhaps, or find more time to get to the gym. She might even start writing that novel she’d always planned on doing. Her fingers impatiently drummed on the steering wheel in time to a melody on the radio. In response to another bulletin by the newscaster regarding the level of binge drinking in the county, she burst into a further diatribe. “For God’s sake, let the bloody idiots lay where they fall. If they had any brains they wouldn’t let it get that far so they needed an ambulance to take them to A and E. It’s my taxpaying money that’s looking after these morons!” She glanced at the clock on the display. Seven thirty a.m. She’d be lucky to make it in on time today. The story of my life, she thought resignedly. Slow death by traffic jam. The traffic still seemed to show no signs of moving any time soon. She switched off the engine and took out her Kindle. She may as well catch up on her reading whilst she had nothing better to do. Her concentration span was low as she tried to read. Last night’s ‘date’ kept replaying itself in random snippets of conversation. Cassie could still hear Ron’s supercilious comment about women needing to have a man in their lives to keep them focused on what was important—the man and the provision of all his needs. She’d almost choked on her wine when she’d heard this and only just stopped herself retorting sarcastically that as a man’s needs were so simple, the only ‘provision’ they really needed was a soft toy shaped like a pair of boobs to play with and talk at. As she had very little money in her purse other than her taxi fare home, she’d stopped herself. After the hell she’d been through sitting and listening to Ron’s drivel, the least she’d make him do was pay for dinner. Cassie had made a decision after last night. She’d stay home with her own company for the near future, with a bottle of wine and a couple of decent movies. She’d rather drool over a virtual Mark Harmon in NCIS than a real life douche bag like the Ronalds of his world. As for sex—well, that was what vibrators were made for. It was nearly ten minutes later before the car in front of her re-started its engine and she followed suit and sped up to about twenty miles an hour as the queue took flight. She settled in as it got back up to the more respectable speed of fifty miles an hour. As she drove she glanced idly up at the foot bridges to see the people strolling with dogs, on bicycles and footing it on their way to work. At the bridge just ahead she saw a solitary figure leaning over looking down at the motorway below. She slowed down a little. Ever since those incidents a few weeks ago when someone had thrown a concrete bucket off the bridge at a passing car, she tended to be wary of people standing watching the traffic. The figure didn’t appear to have anything in its hands but then she had only caught a glimpse of it before turning her eyes back to the road. She increased her speed as the traffic flowed easier. There was no warning, just a sudden deafening bang of metal as the windscreen of her car collapsed inwards. Cassie screamed in terror as glass flew towards her like wafer thin slivers from a frozen icicle. Her hands left the steering wheel in panic, her foot pressing down on the accelerator. The Honda Jazz went out of control, spinning around like a dirt dervish. Debris from the windscreen flew like lethal missiles around the interior of the car. Cassie cried out in pain as she was subject to a vicious assault by anything lying loose in her vehicle. She tried to cover her face in an instinctive reflex but her left arm seemed unresponsive. The pain horrifying. She whimpered as she glanced down and saw the bone shard sticking out. In her pain and terror she didn’t notice that the car had stopped spinning. Everything went quiet. Cassie lay slumped in the driver seat, dazed and unresponsive as the shock set in She could hear the sounds of people shouting and heard someone asking her if she was all right. She vaguely registered the sound of screeching metal as someone tried to pull the driver door open. It was as if everything was being done underwater. The sounds were muted and her brain was sluggish. The older man looking in at her from the road was speaking but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. Cassie looked at him blankly. She couldn’t see clearly, as if a can of fine red spray-paint had been aimed at her and the nozzle depressed, coating her eyes. She tried to move her body but the pain in her right leg was excruciating. She watched dully as the man outside starting pulling away metal struts and twisted the door to get inside to her. She could hear his voice vaguely now, a rough London Cockney accent as he spoke reassuringly whilst trying to free her. “All right, darling? Just stay calm and I’ll try and get to you. The ambulance is on its way. They’ve told me not to move you so I just want to try get in and keep you company till they arrive. You look as if you could do with a bit of company. Just stay with me now. Don’t go anywhere.” He smiled at her, trying to keep her reassured. With a final tug at the door, he made enough of a space to squeeze in slightly and he took her right hand, avoiding the bad condition of her left arm with its broken bone. Her hand was freezing and he rubbed it gently. “There we go. That should feel better. You just stay calm now and we’ll have you back to your old man in no time.” He continued holding her hand, talking to her as she slipped in and out of consciousness. In one of her lucid periods she raised an unsteady hand to her face to wipe her eyes. The fog cleared a little and she was able to focus, then desperately wished she hadn’t. Lying in front of her, across the bonnet, was a face, pulped and looking as if dark sticky jam had been smeared all over it. She could see the eyes open, looking at her and she could see the mouth forming words before she screamed and screamed and eventually the fog of blackness claimed her and the face could be seen no more. Doctor Ian Spencer frowned as he read the patient chart in his hand. He glanced at the patient, an old man in his seventies, matted grey hair curling around his face like tendrils of an octopus, framing a bucolic face of cherry red, his bulbous nose caked with fresh snot. “Up to your old tricks again, Terry?” the ER doctor asked resignedly. “I thought perhaps last time we had reached an understanding of sorts?” The old man chuckled hoarsely. “The drink beckoned again, Doctor, I’ve told you before, cider waits for no man.” He coughed, his body wracked with spasms. The doctor motioned with a hand to the waiting nurse who offered Terry a glass of water. He drank it greedily and lay back in the hospital bed. Ian Spencer made a notation in his patient’s chart. “You realise this time, Terry, you’ve really outdone yourself? You had what we call a minor varicose bleed which basically means your insides leaked with blood because they couldn’t do what they were supposed to do. I managed to stabilise you and you’ve been in intensive care for two days. Given the state of your liver you were very lucky not to have it worse. As it is, you’ll need to be here a few more days before I can release you.” “I’m very grateful to you, Doctor.” Terry leered at the nurse who moved out of the way of his groping left hand. “I can always count on you to put me right.” “Not always, Terry, not always.” Ian passed the chart to the nurse and continued on his way. He’d just completed his surgical rounds and was walking down the hospital corridor when he heard an ambulance arrive and saw the frenetic activity bursting through the double doors. He heard the ambulance staff calling out their incoming triage procedures to the attending doctor and watched as a trolley with a woman covered in blood was wheeled into the waiting operating theatre. One of the staff nurses, Judy, a good friend, hurried past him. “I don’t believe this one,” she muttered to him. “Some poor woman minding her own business on the motorway and somebody falls on top of her car. We were lucky no one else was hurt as well when she spun around or we’d be running out of space this morning.” “What about the man who fell?” “He’s dead, poor bugger.” Judy’s voice was terse as she hurried off. It was some hours later in passing Ian saw his colleague, fellow trauma surgeon Phil Moodley, come out of the operating theatre where the woman had been wheeled. “Phil!” Ian hurried to catch up with him. “Wait up.” Phil turned and proffered a tired smile when he saw Ian. “Ian, how are things? I’m just on my way to catch a few minutes doze. It’s been a long day.” “How did things go in there?” Ian motioned to the OR. “I heard she was hit by a man falling on her car.” “Yes, it was very bad. The poor woman has a ruptured spleen, a hairline skull fracture, a broken femur and radius, and a wealth of lacerations and internal bruising.” He frowned. “She also has a small foreign body embedded in her left temple. It’s in an awkward place and fairly deep. I’ve recommended not removing it at this time. I’m not sure it would be prudent. It doesn’t appear itself to be life threatening. She’ll be in intensive care for some time. I need to keep an eye on her for any possible embolism. She’ll probably need some physical therapy afterwards if there are no complications.” He squinted at Ian with tired eyes. “You seem interested in this one, Ian? Did you know anyone involved?” Ian shook his head. “I was involved in a similar situation some years ago when I was at Lakeview Hospital and that one—that one I did know. The person that fell though, not the victim.” Phil nodded his head. “This woman was very lucky, the young man was not. He was dead at the scene. His relatives are on their way.” Ian nodded. “Thanks, Phil. You’d best get off and get that sleep, you look all out of it.” Phil patted Ian’s arm and wandered down towards the staff room. Ian wouldn’t tell Phil the real reason for his interest. It was too personal and no one in the hospital knew anything about his reason for leaving Lakeview three years ago and joining Tilhurst Hospital on the outskirts of Essex. In 2009, his wife Sandra had jumped off a foot bridge straight into the path of a passing mini-van. To this day he had no idea why. The mini-van driver, a young man called Freddy Clifford, who had just become a father, had died in the incident with Sandy. The feelings of guilt for both Sandy’s and the man’s death (he should’ve known what was going on in his own marriage for God’s sake!) had never left him. He’d left Lakeview and started again where no one knew his history and no one could feel sympathy for him. He felt he didn’t deserve it. He was sure a psychiatrist would have some insight to offer on his reaction but he had never engaged with one, preferring as he did to manage it himself. Ian made his way over to the nurses’ station outside intensive care. He saw Nurse Angie, a bubbly young woman with bleached blonde hair and a Carry On set of breasts, sitting behind the desk. She smiled as she saw him approach. There were more than a couple of nurses who’d tried to form a relationship with him but none of them had been successful so far. “Doctor. What can I do for you?” “The woman that Dr. Patel has just operated on—can you tell me a little bit about her? How’s she doing?” Angie consulted her notes. “Let me see. Hmm, she’s in a private ICU room, so she must have great insurance. Room 310. Cassie Wallace, forty-seven years old, divorced. Her sister is coming in to see her. She’s on her way from Kent.” She looked at Ian enquiringly. “Has Dr. Patel asked you to keep an eye on her?” Ian shook his head. “No, just curious about how she’s doing. It just seems so tragic, minding your own business then POW! You find yourself in this situation. Thanks for the info, Angie.” Ian made his way towards Room 310. He couldn’t say why he was so interested in this woman, only that he felt he had to find out more about her. He clothed himself up with a mask and gloves and nodded at the ICU nurses as he walked through the main ward to the private ones at the back. The hum of machines and the absolute quiet in the ward was strangely restful. Ian reached Room 310, opened the door and slipped in. Cassie Wallace lay on her back, surrounded by soft light from the equipment. The constant beep of the life support machines and monitoring equipment comforted Ian. This unit was dedicated to keeping people alive with the best care the hospital could provide. Cassie Wallace was in good hands. Cassie had her left arm in a splint, her fingers cold and pale like soft, limp white gloves. Her right leg with its broken femur rested on the bed covers. Ian guessed she had pins and rods inside keeping it together. Her face was battered and bruised from the accident. He could see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her pale strawberry blonde hair was spread across the pillow like soft gold straw, with a large bald patch on the left side where Dr Patel had shaved her skull. Even through the cuts and bruises, Ian could see she was a very attractive woman. Not just pretty or beautiful, but with a look of her own that even under current circumstances made her look younger than her forty-seven years. She reminded him very much of a curvier Michelle Pfeiffer. A noise at the door made him turn. Judy stood there, looking surprised to see him. “Ian? What are you doing in here?” she whispered. “I was just checking up on her. I know I’m not her doctor but I really wanted to see how she was doing.” “It’s all right, Ian.” Judy patted him on the arm. “She can do with all the help she can get. I need to check her vital signs now. Do you want to stick around?” “No Judes, I’ll let you get on with your job. Thanks.” Ian left the nurse with her patient and made his way back towards the main reception.
    Review of Cassandra by Starlight By Susan MacNicol Reviewed for Innovative Online Blog Tours Sept. 24 2012 5 Stars Although I expected an enjoyable story, “Cassandra by Starlight” proved to me much more than I expected. Beyond a contemporary passionate romance, which seems at times almost Cinderella-like because of the disparity of its partners, in wealth, age, social position, and celebrity, “Cassandra by Starlight” brings mystery, suspense, thrilling adventure, and fascinating cultural background. So this novel is yes, a sensual, passionate, love story-but multi-layered. Truly, I couldn’t put it down. Cassandra, an independent, hard-working career businesswoman, is driving to work one early morning when a body crashes into her hood, wrecking her car and causing her broken bones and a temporary coma. The deceased is the wild younger son of a high-powered upper-class businessman, the younger brother of the famed actor Bennett Saville. Bennett visits Cassie frequently in hospital and is struck by her beauty as well as her character. While an ER doctor, Ian, falls in love with Cassie, Bennett makes a point to spend time with her, and soon Cassie and Bennett are both passionately and emotionally entwined. But Bennett, as a celebrity, has his fans and groupies, and he also has a psychotic stalker, one who is determined to control Bennett as she has so many other men. Although I do rate this novel 18+ for sensuality (tastefully sensual) and for some violence and suggestions/discussions of violence, I highly recommend it for almost all readers. It’s very enjoyable and I believe will find a wide and happy audience of fans.

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