11 Jan 2015

Review: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark series 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

Ceri 1“Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark series 2)” by Ceri London is the excellent and well constructed second book in her space opera series that shines with its masterful suspense, great depth and scientific competence. 

 

The scenarios are thought through and convincing, Niall a fascinating character with many talents and sides to him and the book is rich in plot and intrigue.
London is clearly not a one-trick pony and has many more up her sleeve as far as her stories go. Governmental politics (with some great references to current Earthly affairs), alien immigrants, time portals, telepathic powers, an evil nemesis, threats to Niall’s family and to himself – this really is a fireworks of excellent ideas, put together professionally with attention for detail, tight editing and great use of language.

 

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction and find myself bored easily. This reeled me in depite the late hours I was reading it and the multiple distractions and interruptions.
Truly remarkable.

Blurb/Synopsis:

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Book Links

 Ceri 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon

 

Author Information Ceri 5

Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.

Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.

Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.

Author Links

 

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Website

 Facebook Page

Goodreads

Google+

Twitter

Author Email: cerlondon@yahoo.com

Link to my interview with Ceri 

 

Other Work Ceri 6

Destiny Nexus is the sequel to Rogue GenesisRogue Genesis is the first book in Ceri London’s Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

“I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.” Ceri London.

Rogue Genesis Blurb/Synopsis:

One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

 

My review:

“Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London is a complex, highly intelligent and competently written Science Fiction / fantasy thriller. I don’t often read Science Fiction and only let my curiosity get the better of me because several of my friends raved about this book. They were right to do so.

The story is based on a excellent idea: A man from Earth who kind of lives in two worlds at the same time.
The other world, Astereal, is in danger because the fragile balance of black holes holding it in place is coming loose. The concept of time folds, time warps, astral travel or whatever phrase you would like to use for this double excistence is highly original, fascinating and certainly unique. It made the story stand out from others in the genre just for that. With this creative set up, the subplots and the competent military/ technological writing it is impossible to find fault with this book.

Our protagonist, US Air Force Major Niall Kearey, is a splendid character with his own family life, deep thought and with – literally – A LOT on his overloaded mind. The way the author blends the telepathic fantasy side with more technological science fiction and fantasy is brilliant and made me think that maybe I should read scifi books more often. This is a far cry from repetitive and formulaic writing; this novel is innovative and therefore hugely rewarding.
It is also a gripping thriller, a family story and simply a must read.

 

02 Jan 2015

New Release: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Volume: 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg

Comments Off on New Release: “Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Volume: 2)” by Ceri London #asmsg News

      Ceri 1Destiny Nexus (Shimmer In The Dark, Vol 2) by Ceri London

 

I’m really looking forward to reading this. The genre is a bit of a hit and miss for me but Ceri’s first book in the series, “Rogue Genesis” really took me by surprise with its excellent characters, research and a brilliant premise. I’ve added my review of “Rogue Genesis” at the end of this post.

“Destiny Nexus” has big shoes to fill. 

 

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Book Links

 Ceri 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon

 

Author Information Ceri 5

Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.

Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.

Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.

Author Links

 

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Website

 Facebook Page

Goodreads

Google+

Twitter

Author Email: cerlondon@yahoo.com

Link to my interview with Ceri 

 

 

 

Other Work Ceri 6

Destiny Nexus is the sequel to Rogue GenesisRogue Genesis is the first book in Ceri London’s Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

“I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.” Ceri London.

Rogue Genesis Blurb/Synopsis:

One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

 

My review:

“Rogue Genesis” by Ceri London is a complex, highly intelligent and competently written Science Fiction / fantasy thriller. I don’t often read Science Fiction and only let my curiosity get the better of me because several of my friends raved about this book. They were right to do so.

The story is based on a excellent idea: A man from Earth who kind of lives in two worlds at the same time.
The other world, Astereal, is in danger because the fragile balance of black holes holding it in place is coming loose. The concept of time folds, time warps, astral travel or whatever phrase you would like to use for this double excistence is highly original, fascinating and certainly unique. It made the story stand out from others in the genre just for that. With this creative set up, the subplots and the competent military/ technological writing it is impossible to find fault with this book.

Our protagonist, US Air Force Major Niall Kearey, is a splendid character with his own family life, deep thought and with – literally – A LOT on his overloaded mind. The way the author blends the telepathic fantasy side with more technological science fiction and fantasy is brilliant and made me think that maybe I should read scifi books more often. This is a far cry from repetitive and formulaic writing; this novel is innovative and therefore hugely rewarding.
It is also a gripping thriller, a family story and simply a must read.

 

26 Feb 2014

NEW RELEASE: BENTWHISTLE IN A CHILLING REVELATION

Comments Off on NEW RELEASE: BENTWHISTLE IN A CHILLING REVELATION Book Reviews

“Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Chilling Revelation” by Paul Cude is the second book in his great fun dragon themed fantasy adventure series.A-Chilling-Revelation-Cover-Reduced (1)

The story begins with a thrilling sequence about Aviva, a dragon who infiltrates the human world at the time of Alexander the Great and Ptolemy, trying to interfere with humans and their world. Other dragons have to interfere with her plot and restore what has been disturbed unwarrantedly.

This turns out to be a story told by Peter, a dragon who is currently stuck in human form due to an injury from a precious adventure. The world we live in is that of young dragons at school, part of a society of dragons living underground in a parallel world to humans. There is a king and his council and dragons who can take on human form. The setting is magical, imaginative and great fun. Particularly enjoyable to me were the Laminium Ball matches between the dragons. Cude has given his new world a lot of thought and created a detailed and colourful environment.

The story of this book’s main adventure begins with a mission in the Antarctica and includes a complex terrorism plot.  The opponents in this book are nagas, a new race with their own agenda.

Interesting characters, suspenseful action and great humour are plentiful in this book. There is action, adventure and also young love, making this a rich feast of a novel., that should appeal to old and young fantasy fans alike.

I don’t often read fantasy but this is a series I am thoroughly enjoying and one that I’d highly recommend.

FIND THE BOOK ON YOUR AMAZON SITE: http://bookShow.me/B00ILPLFNW

Paul Cude is no stranger to my blogs. Here are links to previous posts

 Here is his blog: http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Download ‘Benthwhistle The Dragon In A Threat From The Past’ free from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035

Download ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’ from Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394788

Bentwhistle The Dragon Website: http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl

Follow Paul on twitter: @paul_cude

Paul’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Cude/e/B007339206/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Bentwhistle For Nook At Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bentwhistle-The-dragon?keyword=Bentwhistle+The+dragon&store=book

23 Jan 2014

Curran Geist – The Sity

Comments Off on Curran Geist – The Sity Book Reviews, News

The_Sity_Cover_for_Kindle

 

Early on in my blog days I kept coming across the memorable name Curran Geist and “The Sity” which seemed to reap great reviews and admirati0n everywhere. Not a huge fan of Science Fiction I took some time to finally download the book and read it, but curiosity got the better of me. I am glad I did. Here is the verdict and an interview with Curran.

“The Sity” by Curran Geist is a gripping futuristic, interstellar thriller in which three armed green skinned aliens called Kuljiks are ruling the world. Acid rain is making the word less habitable and our story features a kind of circus where humans are being shown on display and made to fight each other.
Carina escapes and hides in a sanctuary where she learns about a time where humans were masters of the world. Victor has helped her but in the process has become a target himself. The only way is to form an army and fight back.
This is great action with some deeper psychological edge to it. It is not just a well done science fiction opus with action and suspense it has also great characters, depth a message relevant independent of its futuristic setting. I loved the ending and am looking forward to finding out where the series is going from here.
If you love sci-fi…you will love The Sity! This is book one of a planned series of four.

Summary:

Victor’s memory has been damaged from months of torture and enslavement. But there’s one thing they couldn’t steal from him…the hope of finding his lost family. Carina is haunted by strange visions and the symbols etched into her skin. She will stop at nothing to discover her true identity.

In this tale of survival and vengeance, two young humans fight back against the oppression of an alien race called the Kuljik. Dangers and unspeakable horrors lie around every corner of the Sity, a violent metropolis where enslaved humans are abused for the pleasure of the aliens. Victor and Carina are both blessed with mysterious supernatural powers and represent humanity’s best hope to escape. Will their personal demons cause them to unravel as they forge the destiny of their futures?

Can friendship, community, and even love survive in the darkest of worlds? Dreams are dashed and nightmares are realized in this Sci-Fi Fantasy novel by author Curran Geist.

BIO:

Curran Geist grew up in the quaint town of Schwenksville, PA. As a home educated student, Curran often lived within books and his vibrant imagination allowed him to escape to fictional worlds beyond the tiny town where he was raised. Writing is and has always been Curran’s passion. By the age of 12, he had already begun writing novels. This included a series called Captured and a children’s book The Ultrasaurus That Was Afraid of Heights. As a teenager, he won multiple youth poetry competitions and started his own independent art newsletter entitled In-Between Dreams.

While studying Religion at Gettysburg College, Curran participated in numerous poetry slams. Human rights has also always been very important to Curran as evidenced through his experience in the Americorps, with Amnesty International, and at the Museum of Tolerance New York. In writing his first self-published novel THE SITY, Curran Geist has merged his love of science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with his belief in combatting social injustices. THE SITY paints a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, extraterrestrial landscape that mirrors many modern day social issues, including: the exploitation of children, sexual slavery, and cruelty towards animals. The lead characters embark on a harrowing journey of survival and vengeance while trying to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and forge a destiny to save humanity. Curran Geist received his Master’s Degree at Hunter College in New York City.

Interview with Curran:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person. Curran Geist

I am a quirky idealist with lots of different sides to my personality.

People have commented that I have a unique writing style. I love that because I see myself as a unique person. I don’t really fit into any boxes, and I don’t think my writing fits into any one genre or category. My writing does, however, reflect the complexity of being human and the best and worst in people. 

What made you decide to write science fiction and The Sity in particular?

I’ve been writing fiction since I was a little kid. I wrote my first sci-fi novel when I was thirteen. I always used to say that the most exciting thing about my hometown was the public library. I lived within the books there and eventually began writing myself. Writing and publishing a novel, whether independently or traditionally, has always been something on my bucket list. Of course, I don’t plan on dying any time soon. Knock on wood. However, I decided a few years ago to really focus my energy and get back to the thing I love most – writing. That, of course, led to The Sity.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?


The Sity is considered sci-fi, however, it is inspired by moral issues in the real world, including child slavery, terrorism, and animal abuse. About six years ago, I spoke with a former child soldier by the name of Ishmael Beah. He wrote a memoir of his traumatic experiences. His story resonated with me on the cycle of violence and impact of war on young lives. My own book started out as a three-page comic spread that I drew of an enslaved child. I then decided to turn it into a novel.

How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?


I start with an outline of the major plot points for each chapter. However, the story has changed quite significantly through the writing process. For me, the characters are like real people. So it’s an organic process, where I will let the characters’ personalities dictate the decisions they make. This might cause drastic shifts in the direction of the book. For example, a very early conversation in the novel, which was supposed to be pleasant and civil, turned hostile due to the volatile emotions of the protagonist.

Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write?
 Who would play them in a film?

It was actually quite fun to write one of the smaller characters, Qhoro. Although he’s only in a few parts, they are all quite significant. I think Ryan Gosling would be great for that role. My wife would be very happy with that casting. She is quite the fan of Gosling.

Are you like any of the characters in the book?

Sure, I am like all the best aspects of the characters. Just kidding. I do think there are aspects of myself in some of the characters. A key theme in The Sity is how people reconcile with their pasts and self doubts. I see a bit of myself in Victor and Logan.


What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

Right now writing is my priority. However, I also spend my time being a good uncle to a two-year old, taking care of my pets, cooking for my wife, and getting my heart broken by my hometown Philadelphia sports teams.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favorite books/ films/ albums?

Many readers have mentioned that they think The Sity would be great as a comic book. It’s interesting, because my writing is very much influenced by comics, such as the Walking Dead and The Watchmen. I would say one of my favorite films is Lord of the Rings and my favorite album is In Utero by Nirvana.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I think indie publishing is great because it gives more authors a chance to get their stories out into the world. There are just so many barriers to break through in the traditional route. Some really great books would never have seen the light of day if not for indie publishing.      

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?


Any book by Christoph Fischer. Ok, no more kissing up. I recently read a great indie horror book called Small Things by Joe DeRouen.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Best quality is probably my helpfulness to others, whether friend or stranger. Oddest quality is that I talk to animals as if they are humans. For example, some times I will wave at dogs and say “Hi”.

 

What are your favorite animal/ color/ outdoor activity?

Otters, purple, tennis

What would you take to a remote island?


I’m not a big fan of remote islands. I prefer to be around people and mountains. I also don’t like the heat and most islands are hot. This might be a boring answer, but I would mostly think of my survival. So number one, I would take some type of water purifier bottle and cutting tool.

 

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?


George R.R. Martin. I’m tired of waiting for his next book and hopefully he’ll tell me some spoilers. Plus, his favorite food is barbeque, and I like that, too.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?


I am working on The Sity: Book Two and hope for it to be done some time this spring. You can follow my progress on my website http://thesity2012.wordpress.com.

Last year, I also launched an independent art website called In-Between Dreams at http://dreamsinbetween.wordpress.com. This online newsletter includes poetry, short stories, drawings, and photos from a variety of indie artists. I invite you to check it out or to even submit your own work.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?


Something random about me is that I often get mistaken for Jimmy Fallon. I wish I was as funny as him! Regarding my book, I would just say read it. If Sci-Fi is not usually your cup-of-tea, I think you’ll find that my novel is really a mixture of many different genres. Ultimately, it is about relationships and the power of people to overcome inner demons and achieve their destinies.

BOOK LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sity-Curran-Geist-ebook/dp/B008MNR49W

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sity-Curran-Geist-ebook/dp/B008MNR49W

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sity-curran-geist/1112181856

http://thesity2012.wordpress.com

@CGeist_thesity

 

09 Jan 2014

Terry Reid: “Crashing down to Earth”

Comments Off on Terry Reid: “Crashing down to Earth” Book Reviews

 

crashing down

“Crashing Down to Earth (Part One)” by Terry Reid is a hugely entertaining paranormal story about the relationship between Hayley and her Guardian Angel Alex.
Although Alex has a lot of ‘regular’ angel attributes and behaviour he often appears all too human, which makes him a really great and often unpredictable character. He fights demons and protects Hayley but not all of his actions are approved by the ‘Elders’, who summon him for help in a much bigger plot.
Having insight into both Hayley’s and Alex’s perspective through the omniscient point of view enables the reader to understand more clearly where the two of them are coming from and for me this added to the charm of the novel.
The book is written with fresh and realistic dialogue, the plot moves fast and sets us up for the next part in the series. There are plenty of surprises and unexpected events as we follow the many likeable characters through the smaller problems and bigger adventure.
In a market almost saturated with paranormal and supernatural books to me this is a refreshing and welcome addition to the genre

Interview with Terry:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

I mainly write fantasy and science fiction novels but I do try to give them a realistic feel as much as possible (as silly as that sounds, I know). As for myself, I live in Dumfries in southern Scotland and have done so for a number of years now. I work full time, so sometimes it’s hard to juggle the job and finding the time to write. I also enjoy painting and running as hobbies.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written?

I have always written, ever since I was a child. Although it has only been this last year that I’ve felt confident enough to release novels. It’s always been my first passion.

Where did you get the inspiration to write about a guardian angel?

It actually came from a dream I had about seven years ago now. Alex was modelled on someone I met in my dream. There’s actually a train scene early on in the prequel to Crashing Down to Earth, Stars and Satellites, which is based on this dream.

Do you see the angel component as religious or simply paranormal?

I see the angel element as simply being paranormal. I’m not a religious person and I only wrote the book for entertainment only. It doesn’t carry any religious messages and it’s not intended to step on anyone’s beliefs. It’s just a bit of fun!

How did the character come to you and why did you decide to write him so human? 7803_161852973986944_1203517126_n

As previously mentioned, Alex was based on a dream. Alex was written the way he is so he can gel easier with the other, human characters. Although there are settings I have thrown in when he will say and do things that will remind the reader that he is not. Also, he needed to be relatable on some level.

Who would play the characters in the movie – if you could chose any actor?

Hayley would ideally need someone who is brunette and a bit feisty – Natalie Portman might be a good choice. As for Alex, Jake Gyllenhaal might fit the bill if he dyed his hair black.

Do you have a favourite genre to read yourself?

Yes, my favourite genre is fantasy. But I do read others.

Tell us a little about the history of “Crashing Down to Earth”. How long did it take you to write and publish?

It took about eight months from concept to the finished product but it was a hard slog. The sequel will likely take longer to finish as it will be a longer book. I started the sequel in June and I’m about two third or the way through.

How do readers respond to the book?

Feedback has generally been positive (thankfully), which is nice after the slamming I’ve received for previous books.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

The easiest part to write was the characters. The hardest had to be the ending, as it is the first of a two part story. The last chapter in Crashing Down to Earth was originally going to feature at the start of the sequel but I felt it would leave a little too many unanswered questions for readers, so in it went!

What are your next projects?

The next project is Crashing Down to Earth (Part Two), which I am currently writing.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life’s quite boring most of the time but it has its moments. I have a large family, which keeps me busy, as I see them a lot. As previously mentioned, I enjoy running long distances. I also paint and I read books. I also play video games, but I’m not sure which next gen console to get just now.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I really like the Song of Ice and Fire books (Game of Thrones as they’re known to the masses). My favourite films include How to Train Your Dragon, The Shawshank Redemption and a ton of other ones I can’t remember right now.

What are your views on independent publishing? 472044_105804122925163_1814082543_o

Independent publishing gives authors a lot more control over their books but it also means a lot more work. If you’re not sure about marketing (like I was when I first started), it is best to speak to people who have gone down this avenue for advice. It does take a lot of hard work.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I would recommend Travis Luedke’s Nightlife Series and CJ Sullivan’s Wings of the Divided. They’re some of my favourites.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

They would tell you that I’m odd, full stop. (Lol) What is your favourite animal/ colour? My favourite animals are dogs. I grew up with them and I’ve always had them around. I’m not sure if I have a favourite colour but I do like red and blue.

What would you take to a remote island?

A knife, a box of matches, a fishing rod and a tent. Who would you like to invited for dinner and why? I can’t say it’s something I’ve ever really considered. Sorry! I know that is such a boring answer!

 I sometimes post updates on my author Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerryReid or on

Twitter @AuthorTerryReid

Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B00EF7XIXK

31 Oct 2013

Paul Cude: “Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Threat from the Past”

1 Comment Book Reviews

1369065_10202406616594515_84887089_n

“Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past” by Paul Cude is using a highly original idea and makes it the centre of a very entertaining adventure story for young adults and those young at hearts. In times of “Eragon” and “The Hobbit” many of us older adults love a good dragon story just as well as the younger ones and I am sure most people who pick up this book will appreciate Cude’s excellent effort in that regard.

Most of the story however is surprisingly set in present day and not in the distant past. The dragons are not enemies of us humans but are actually here to protect us, a tradition that goes a long way back into their past. Using this inventive set up Cude tells us with much love for detail about the world and communities of dragons, their habitat, tunnels under the sea and much more which I found very enjoyable. 
Myths and legends in the dragon world their good and bad members, their habits, their sports and their views on the human world add flesh to the action part of the story. 

Cude has taken the simple idea and given it a lot of thought and imaginative detail, it is obvious what a labour of love writing this book must have been and it certainly has paid off.
Highly recommended, a great and fun-filled read.

1374537_10202406613954449_884609622_n

Interview with the author:

How did the idea for the novel come to you?

In the story that I’d dreamt, the main character, when in his dragon form, had a marking on his scales that looked just like a bent whistle. This is where he derived his name from, and I think I was desperate to include this somewhere in the title. As for the ‘threat from the past’……it just seemed so obvious, given how it starts and ends. Those were two parts of the story I knew in my head in graphic detail, long before I’d completed the book. Originally I’d intended just to write the story for my kids……for when they were a little older. But the more I wrote, the more seemed to spring forth from inside me, far exceeding the length I thought the book would be. About halfway through writing that one, I started dreaming about what would happen in the next book and beyond. The whole thing seems almost to have a life and will of its own.

How did you come to writing in the first place?

Oddly it just happened. Sounds a bit crazy really, but one night, when my elder daughter was just a baby (she’s not far off 11 now), I had the single most realistic dream I’ve ever had. I didn’t remember it until the following day, but when I did, I swear it was just like watching a movie in my head…..so graphic, so intense, so…..mesmerising. Anyhow, I told my wife, who was gobsmacked to say the least. And so was what she said to me, “You have to write it, you just have to.” Initially I just laughed off her idea, bearing in mind that at the time I could only type with two fingers. But over a period of I suppose months, I kept getting more dreams, flashbacks into the story…….sometimes little details, sometimes insights into the characters, sometimes twists and turns to do with the plot. In the end I suppose it was inevitable that I would write it. First I taught myself to type properly…..3 months, and then, well………..I began. At first I needed complete silence to be able to write, something there wasn’t a lot of bearing in mind I was taking care of one young child, with another on the way. But over time I’ve learned to filter it all out and can now write with the kids playing around me if I need to, but I still think I do work more efficiently in total silence. It has taken a long time, and I was surprised how hard and crucial the editing  process was. But in the end it was most definitely worth it.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Difficult question to answer as I love them all for different reasons. The main character, Peter Bentwhistle, is loosely based around me so I suppose I should really say him. But whenever I’m working on the next book, or one of my children asks me a question about any of the characters, each stirs a different memory and emotion in me. Some are based around people I know, and my thoughts turn to them. The lacrosse playing dragon called Richie Rump is based on one of my best friends who was captain of the England lacrosse team and is also a fantastic hockey player. The dragon shopkeeper who sells the best mantras in the world shares the same name with one of my best friends. An important human businessman who is duped, is also named for one of my best friends. Other more minor references feature other friends and acquaintances. When looking for some of the character names I used references from everything around me at the time, while sitting working at my desk. There’s a dragon called Axus….his name was gained from my Canon camera at the time, with just a tiny amendment. Also one of the bad characters is a combination of one of my favourite author’s first names and surnames combined. I now have a long list of dragon names tucked away in my computer somewhere, that I can use whenever I need. I think as it’s my first book, everything, and in particular every character, will always mean a lot to me. So sorry, it’s a bit of a cop out, but they’re all my favourite characters.

Were the plot and sub-plots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

The plot was most definitely planned from the start. I had it all worked out in my head, and the second from last chapter ‘Fawking Hell!!!’ with a huge amount of action in it, I’d known before I’d typed the very first word of the book.

As for the sub-plots, I found my imagination would go off at a tangent while writing. There are a few ‘rants’…..well, that’s what I call them anyway, from the main character, Peter Bentwhistle, who is based loosely on me, which I suppose just flowed out of me while I was caught up in the writing process. I kept them in the story because I thought if they were my opinions, then they should be his as well. They are mainly views on life and morality, hopefully wrapped with a little humour.

Could this become part of a series?

Well, I’ve just finished writing my follow up book….’Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation’, and before any editing it’s just over 215, 000 words long, considerably longer than the previous one. It picks up pretty much from where the first book left off. Only in this one, things get much……..chillier. Quite literally. There’s another tale from the nursery ring (where dragons grow up), related to something that happens much further on in the book. Old and new characters alike feature in what I think is an adventure even more action packed throughout. We come across the mysterious nagas, for good or bad, and we learn a little bit more about the background and living conditions of the king, as well as discovering that he’s far from past his sell by date. There’s much more dragon and human team sport. Tank, one of Peter’s friends, even gets to play a whole detailed game of rugby, in a much similar vein to Peter’s hockey match in the first book. Plus more death defying laminium ball matches, this time in the league, rather than the global cup, with the Indigo Warriors perhaps biting off a little bit more than they can chew. Some of the action here is truly EXPLOSIVE! (A clue, methinks…) The characters, new and old alike, reveal a little bit more about themselves, with something for everyone. The new places visited include Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Egypt, USA, and of course the underground world of the dragon domain. My warped sense of humour still features in places of course. Watch out especially for two of the King’s Guards in the early part of the book, that are particularly good value on that front. Other than that, there’s not much more I can tell you without giving away some of the plot, which of course I’m reluctant to do.

What do you do when you don’t write?

When I’m not writing I like to either spend time with my wife and children, or play hockey. A day at the beach down in Swanage or Hengistbury Head followed by a meal out on the way back sounds perfect. If not that, a family bike ride somewhere or a walk in the New Forest. I do love a game of hockey with my friends at Salisbury hockey club, but as I get older it’s much harder to do on a regular basis. I help coach my kids and other children every Sunday morning though, and still try to get to men’s training weekly. Playing squash weekly with an old friend helps me get through the week. (He’s mentioned in the book.)

Which are your favourite books and authors?

When in my late teens, I mistakenly ordered a Tom Clancy book…..Debt of Honour. I was too lazy to return it, so it sat on my bedside table for weeks. Until one evening, when I picked it up and started to read it. Many hours later I put it down, only because I needed a few hours sleep before I went to work. I was hooked. After finishing that, I went out and bought all the other Tom Clancy books I could find. It was also about that time that the Star Wars expanded universe books started to appear. I caught sight of the first one while working in a book shop in my role of service engineer. I can remember it clearly: Star Wars Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. It had a striking blue cover with some of the Star Wars characters on it, and I had to buy it there and then, in the middle of doing my job, much to the amusement of the owner of the bookshop. My love of the expanded universe has continued ever since, and as soon as the next book comes out…………..I have to have it.

It seems my love of books goes in phases. If I have nothing to read, I wander around a bookshop until I find something I like the look of and then read it. If I get hooked, I go back and find other books by that author. Examples of this for me are Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini…………I love all of their books. The detail, the plot……the characters….are just all amazing. I can only dream of writing as well as they do. Other authors I’ve found and loved this way include Robin Hobb, J.V. Jones, David Gemmell and Trudi Canavan, to name but a few. I love the way they use their imaginations and the worlds that they create on the pages of the book. They’re all very easy to visualize.

My favorite author of all though, is the wonderful Terry Pratchett. If you haven’t read one of his books you really should. While I love pretty much all the books he’s written, the ones about the guards of Ankh-Morpork, Captain Carrot, Sam Vimes, Corporal Nobbs, Angua and of course the Lord Vetinari, are easily my favourites. The characters themselves are described in magnificent detail, all with their own funny little ways. The plots twist and turn like a raging river, and the humour……….well, let’s just say that is exactly on my wavelength. I’ve cried with laughter on many occasions reading some of Terry Pratchett’s books, and I can’t recall doing that for any other author I’ve read. If you’re a reading fan, you really must try one of his books.

What would you take to an isolated island?

My wife and children, a hockey stick for the kids and I, and of course a hockey ball. If permitted, just as many books as possible. My whole family love reading, so with a huge supply of books we’d never be bored.

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?

Currently my book can be found for free at Smashwords, in all formats, or can be purchased in either paperback or kindle version from Amazon

The Goodreads page for my book can be found here

My facebook page can be found here

I can be found on twitter @paul_cude

I have my own website to support the book www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk as wells as a blog www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk that provides an insight into me and also offers author interviews.

 

 

08 Oct 2013

Ben Manning: The Vril Codex

2 Comments Book Reviews

51WG9tyKVLL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

Vril is a force which to its believers can heal or destroy.’ For famous journalist Jane Wilkinson, a peaceful architectural assignment in Berlin is a chance for some much needed relaxation. Until she notices that something very sinister is happening… she is touched by an occult evil more terrifying than anything she has ever known. An evil that will engulf her and reach out remorselessly to her husband Bob who is literally haunted as he tries to discover her fate and what lies beneath the ancient legend of the VRIL CODEX’
Part romance, part conspiracy thriller, involving Nazi’s, and the mysterious cults of the “Thule Society,” and the “Devils Bible.” Supernatural forces and conspiracies combine, leading Bob and his companions into danger and a confrontation with the ancient Vril power’.

“The Vril Codex” by Ben Manning is an unsual and to me a highly original read.
While the main protagonist is a widower and tries to overcome his grief with a work trip to Berlin, the plot edges into paranormal area and sheds light on some supernatural cult around Hitler and his hardcore followers.
I have read quite a few stories and articles about it, all handled as rumours, but their existence is so persistent that the plot – speculative conspiracy as it may be – sounds very plausible to me.
The book is well written and held my interest throughout.
The most pleasant aspects of the book are that the characters are so real and believable, more dimensional and that the storyline is far from flat, as I find so often with books in the genre.
I found it a compelling and fascinating read.

 

26aeb8a704000a20e32fda.L._V177628028_SX200_

Hi Ben

Your novel has quite an unusual theme. Can you explain it to my readers quickly. How did you hear about it and when did you decide to write this story?

Sure I was influenced to write this novel series  – the Vril Chronicles – by reading “Morning of the Magicians”- a cult new age book that covered everything from secret societies to the unexplained.  It was strangely written and published back in 1962 ish but influenced me as did a rather tacky but interesting history channel documentary aired in 2009.  It was in 09 that I completed my first draft, which I rewrote at author workshops in 2010.  Then I got it published in 2011 and 2012 but the final edition with a reputable publisher has come out in 2013. 

How did you research for it? Especially since so much of the information is contested. What was the most fascinating aspect in the research and the writing for you?

I enjoyed travelling to Germany a lot and finding obscure libraries and meeting characters that influenced the book.  To be honest the internet was useful but I enjoyed meeting real people such as Anthony J Hilder who is probably the most unusual conspiracy theorist out there with a fascinating past in entertainment. I also wrote off to lots of obscure people and cults to differentiate what I was writing with what’s really out there, when it comes to Vril.  There are some rare books on the subject but not a lot is out there.  Not many people realize the esoteric traits of Hitler and especially Himmler, either with the Vril Society or the Thule Society or the Black Sun.  There is some on youtube and many obscure pamphlets were printed about it after the war.        

Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

Well the plot was kind of roughly planned but I added to it as I went along. I knew nothing much had been written on Vril and the Nazi’s but paranormal Nazi’s have been written on a lot – from Indiana Jones to James Herbert – so I wanted to create my own myths and figures rather than just using Norse myth and Hitler.  That would have been obvious; they were just the starting point.  Hence my characters such as Helena Hister and the whole mythos around that, that I invented. More recently there have been a few more vril novels out there but it is still few and far between.  There are hundred on the spear of destiny and the Nazi’s for example. As I often say – mine was the first ever on vril and the nazi’s – a fact I am proud of.    

This is part of a series. How many books will there be and can you tell us where this will be going – without any spoilers?

Well part 2 was self-published in 2012 but that will have a proper final release, possibly with Double Dragon Publishing.  That is set in Dresden and is called the Dresden Benefactor.  It is more of a mystery and the one I am working on right now is more of a thriller perhaps.  

How did you choose the characters for the story?

I wanted characters people could relate to.  It is hard trying to be original because you have to produce characters that are familiar so to an extent they have to be based on universal types.  I did base Warwick Blake – a psychic archaeologist – on the late Michael Baigent who was co-author of “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail”. 

How did you come to writing in the first place? Apart from this historically themed blend did you have other genres in mind, too?

I wouldn’t call the Vril series historical fiction as it is set in the present but yes there are historical elements.  I did think of making it more science fiction like because of the aliens and UFO’s but then the whole vril universe is very “Fantasy” too – couple that with the fact that there are paranormal romance elements and crime thriller ones that we have one of the strength’s to critics a possible weakness .  It is primarily a thriller but does genre hop.  But why not break the rules?!  

I wrote short stories as a small child and poetry (cringe!) and as a teen and in my twenties mainly did journalism.  Then in my thirties I decided to turn to novels as I felt the need to be creative. 

Who is your favourite character and why?

Warwick Blake- 

This is simply because he is an interesting outsider.  I imagine him portrayed by Michael Gambon. 

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?

Yes –

I guess Bob is loosely based on me.  Make of that what you will!

Did you have any say in the cover art and who was that process?

To be honest both covers came largely from my idea.  I still do not think there has been a definitive cover and vril 2 and 3 are yet to have a professional cover done.  I do like vril codex’s second “alien” cover most which I designed with Riley Steel. 

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Best aspect is when people like it and the worse is when people don’t but then no writer in history is liked by everyone.  I love the creative highs but I don’t like the writer’s block lows.  I am also dyslexic which makes me a slow writer. 

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

With difficulty!  I know the internet has opened up some opportunities but it is also a boon to criminal publishers.  I worked in marketing and part of me is repulsed by mixing it with my creative side.  In the past, if you had the money to self-publish  – pre web – marketing had to be done by the writer or paid for.  These days whether you self – publish or go with a publisher you still have to promote which is kind of a shame as it used to be more the domain of marketing at the publishers.  

What do you do when you don’t write?

I am a keen actor. 

What would be the cast in a Hollywood or British film?

Michael Gambon or Bill Nighy as Warwick

Rufus Sewell as Bob – depending on budget!  If not – me! 

Romola Garai as Jane

Who are your biggest influences?

Rod Serling

Alfred Hitchcock

Roald Dahl

Gothic Horror

M.R James

Hammer Horror and Amicus  – Vincent Price, Peter Cushing ect…

Which are your favourite books and authors?

I have always loved I Claudius by Robert Graves.

Other favourites are Douglas Adams, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Herbert and Isaac Asimov.

I would also pick Roald Dahl as an author and Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a poet.
Dahl always fascinated me with his short stories for “Tales of the unexpected” on the TV from “someone like you” and “kiss kiss” – but what im most impressed by is that he could write, horror, humour –in a book like “my uncle Oswald” and for children with stories like “Charlie and the chocolate factory”. I think he understood the way people think – in terms of how children feel and react and also the very adult world of intrigue, where there is always a moral twist. A tribute I wrote to both him and Coleridge is at the Roald Dahl museum here in the UK.

ST Coleridge – I would love to know his theories on the universe and life in general, as well as the subconscious and life after death.  Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner is incredible and I used to work at his cottage where he lived in 1797 and wrote it. 

Douglas Adams – “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” 
Aldous Huxley –”Brave new World”

Voltaire – “Candide”  *** Charles Dickens –”A Christmas Carol” *** George Orwell – 1984

 *** Edgar Allen Poe – Murders in the Rue Morgue *** Mary Shelley – Frankenstein.

Which indie writers can you recommend?

Terry Ravenscroft.  His books make me laugh a lot. 

What would you take to an isolated island?

A cat

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

David Bowie

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?

I am in a forthcoming major horror film called “Zombie Snuff Movies”  and I am interviewed in the major magazine “Haunted after Dark” who are sponsors of the British Horror film festival held in Leicester Square, London. 

Links –

http://vrilcodex.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vril-Codex/151342004886833
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vril-Codex-Fanpage/192024584186066
Twitter – “@TheVrilCodex”

New from DOUBLE DRAGON publishing…the number one award winning publisher…the VRIL Codex…a paranormal thriller and the first to ever be written on vril and the Nazi’s…conspiracies and norse myth…

http://www.amazon.com/The-Vril-Codex-ebook/dp/B00EPQT0GA/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1377430967&sr=8-1&keywords=vril+codex

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vril-Codex-ebook/dp/B00EPQT0GA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377432705&sr=8-1&keywords=vril+codex

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: