22 Oct 2013

NEW RELEASE: “STEALING ASIA” BY DAVID CLARKSON

1 Comment Book Reviews

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“Stealing Asia” by David Clarkson is another great travel adventure story by this talented author.
The first part of this book is told by Ben, a traveller in South East Asia, somewhat inexperienced but brave enough to save a girl from a mugging. The two become lovers and have a great time together until odd occurrences no longer can be seen as coincidental and Ben and his girl, also named Asia, need to get away.
But all is not as it seems, as we learn in the subsequent parts, told by different characters of the book.
The unfolding and unravelling of the plot and the change from holiday romance and harmless adventure story to action packed thriller is done very well, I did not see the twists and deceits in the story coming. The change of voice in the different parts is something often frowned upon in reviews but I personally find the benefit of added perspectives always intriguing and in this story particularly useful and enjoyable.
There is a lot of thought and plotting in this novel and we are casually confronted with the ins and outs of travelling in Asia as tourist, the author seems to have sound knowledge of the area he is writing about and feeds us information in a low key journalistic style. The narrative voices are also often understated and do feel very realistic rather than sensationalist or over the top.
I may have a thing for travel writing ever since I read “Backpack” in the 90ies but few have impressed me as much as this novel has. 
If beautiful, atmospheric and descriptive writing about a holiday adventure gone wrong is your thing and you like fast paced thrillers this is definitely for you.
Highly recommended.

 

Find David on his website:

http://www.davidclarksonwriter.com/2013/09/why-you-should-get-into-habit-of.html

Link to his book on Amazon:

http://bookShow.me/B00FNUGZQU

David on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18633941-stealing-asia

My feature on his book “Outback” and an interview :

 

http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/the-outback-by-david-clarkson/

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Ben is a backpacker struggling with life on the road. That is until a chance encounter brings him together with the enigmatic Asia. She is smart, beautiful and everything else that he could possibly desire in a woman. She also has an uncanny habit of attracting danger. 

When events conspire to keep the pair apart, Ben begins to question if it is coincidence or a conspiracy. He learns that Asia’s life may be in danger, but he is unsure of exactly where the threat is coming from and who to trust. Only one thing is certain; unless he acts fast, it will be too late. In order to protect his new love, he is forced into making a drastic decision..

 

17 Oct 2013

“Sounds of War: Iraq Attack of Thomas Edington” by Thomas Ferreolus

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“Sounds of War: Iraq Attack of Thomas Edington” by Thomas Ferreolus is a gripping and powerful book that shows what the Iraq War could be like for some of its participating US soldiers.

It depicts in much detail and with well chosen characters the lost battles for the Al Anbar Province during Operation Iraqi Freedom as experienced by Thomas Edington.
Ferreolus describes the all day life of soldiers, the continuous threats, the ‘luck’ of surviving because a bomb blast just missed its target by metres, the at times disgusting food and water situation, interpersonal relations and the technical and tactical problems to carry out their missions. 
Interlaced with memories from Thomas’s past we get a good picture of Thomas and his life. 
This is a rich read, unlike many war novels it feels both real and surreal.
“The Devil has no remorse….he poisons humanity with war…Mankind’s apocalypse, all balancing on the individual” to quote the book.
A colleague being left by his wife, the fear of losing your loved ones while being unable to do anything about it, the threat that lingers with every possible false move, the weakness against the suicidal tactics by the enemy, the temptation the female soldiers can pose on his minds – Ferreolus has given his protagonist a lot to experience. 
There is heroism and foolishness, dark humour and a glimpse of what the war really felt like.
This is a very impressive read and unusual in its own brand and combination of wit, horror and realism. It is very impressive as audio book, too. Highly recommended.

Interview with Thomas:  1920ab1d0c6b0a22d17a2d.L._V369201168_SX200_

Hi Thomas

Your novel is set in the Iraq war. Can you briefly explain your connection to Iraq and to war?

I served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom…

How did the idea for the novel come to you? What motivated you to write about the subject/ What do you think is missing in films and books about the subject?

What started out as hobby turned into a goal to publish an entertaining story.   I have watched movies about the war and felt Holly Wood has fallen short in bringing certain aspects of realism out, and the same goes with the few books I have read…most have disappointed me in not being brave enough to bring to the table of what was really being served to the fighting soldier. Overall, I really wanted to give to my audience an after taste, a same gritty and unforgettable taste that every soldier who fought in the conflict came home with.

Will there be another book/ series?

Yes, this the first book in the series and I am planning a total of three.

How did you come to writing in the first place? Was it always going to about this subject or did you have other genres in mind, too?

During my college days I wrote screens plays and poems. Then, I had no idea I would write anything on this level or about this subject.

How did you choose the characters for the story? Who did you have in mind when you wrote the characters? Who would play them in a  film?

The characters are strictly fiction but we writers tend to take bits and pieces of people we know or may have known.

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

Well, I would be a liar if I said no.  Parts of myself may be reflected in the protagonist Thomas Edington.

What was the most fascinating aspect in the research and the writing for you? How did you research for the book?

I think I am more of a story teller than a writer, and I found that without a life full of experiences I wouldn’t be able to write down anything interesting to share. 

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

Someone once wrote: “Life is stranger than fiction.” And it was easy for me to just look around at what was going on during the war to come up with material to write about.  The news channels filled the cable networks with twenty four seven hours of ideas.

Tell us about the audio version and the production of it?

Awesome narrator, I feel he deserve more attention, and there is no doubt that F. William Baldwin rivals James Earl Jones.  Also, I am very proud of the post production via: P. Rebog Productions.  Right from the introduction, the audio book really captured the essence of what it felt like to be standing on the battle fields of Iraq.  With all the special sound effects, and when I heard it for the first time, I had flash back for the first time in years.  The audio book is nothing short of spectacular.

What is your writing environment like? Do you have any habits?

I have taken over the entire dining room table and strangely enough, I like to listen to opera music.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Including my home life, I have to shut out the entire world. Obsessively, I become part of the story and think about nothing else until I finish the chapter or chapters. 

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

Right now I am concentrating on trying to spread the news about my first book but soon I will delve into the second book. That will be easy enough because when I came home from my tour of duty many years ago, I wrote the frame work for the three books then…I just have to pull it off the shelf and dust off the proverbial cover.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I spend time with my lovely wife and family.  By the way, my wife is a fantastic writer. We are collaborating on a project and we’ll be releasing the first of many books next year. For some strange reason, I feel absolutely confident that the series will be a huge success.  Call me an optimist if you will but nothing short of earth grabbing entertainment is coming your way.

Who are your biggest influences? Which are your favourite books and authors?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield are two that come to Mind.

Which indie writers can you recommend?

There are so many to choose from I can’t decide right now…

What would you take to an isolated island?

I would say my wife and family.

Who would you invited for dinner?

William Shakespeare

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

If you are going to buy my work, I would highly recommend the audio book or only the kindle version of Sounds of War.

‘Sounds of War, ‘ is a historical fiction of lost battles for the Al Anbar Province during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Richly rot with lambasted situations, follow Thomas Edington’s gritty journey as it teeters on the edge of the surrealism. Always landing in hot water, his life is altered when he is forced to navigate down a precarious path of unspoken truths all while a barbaric war rages around him. The war’s twilight reflects a rainbow of dark hues bathed in blood soaked colors of altruism, and if it were not for the gruesome realities of war, the ‘Sounds of War, ‘ would be a fantastic comedy. Entertainingly witty, the story line easily unfolds like a Hollywood block buster. “A modern day Iliad.” P.Rebog – Author “What really happens behind the tent flap, gruesome and funny all rolled into one. I’m not much into war stories but I was mesmerized with Thomas Ferreolus’s not so normal fiction, ‘SOUNDS OF WAR, ‘ had me hooked from the get go.” S. Churchill – Author

www.thomasferreolus.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00CG624IC

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sounds-of-War/142422565953813?ref=hl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lm7IaFZ-uM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuC2gZ7b6Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6XjHKyBf3c

Kindle link:

http://www.amazon.com/Sounds-Attack-Thomas-Edington-ebook/

 Audio Book Link 

Thomas Ferreolus, adventurer and great outdoorsman, proudly served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Loving a good cliff hanger, he continues to write fictions in the Pacific Northwest where he now resides with his beautiful wife, and family.

Web & Email
www.prebogproductions.com
www.thomasferreolus.com
www.facebook.com/thomas.ferreolus
thomasferreolus@gmail.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lm7IaFZ-uM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuC2gZ7b6Ec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6XjHKyBf3c

13 Oct 2013

Amy Metz: “Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction”

1 Comment Book Reviews

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Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

“Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction” by Amy Metz came with high recommendations from a friend. I am not a great fan of murder mystery, but this one was as good as I was promised.
Cleverly told in separate narratives jumping between 1932 and 2010, there is the story of an old bank robbery that is connected to an unsolved murder, and there is the story of Tess.
Tess recently divorced her philandering husband and is trying to make a fresh start in a Southern town, aspiring to write a book. With help from local celebrity writer and unexpected love interest Jack Tess investigates mysterious break ins into her new home, which leads to the past.
Tess is an engaging character, as are her companions. The setting in the South sounds authentic and endearing to my European eyes and the plot is well paced and intelligently unfolded.
This is a very charming and entertaining read and one that I am sure may fans of the genre will follow through the entire series as it is being written. Great fun and highly recommended.

 

Interview with Amy Metz:

Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

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Well, I have a husband, two sons, one daughter-in-law, one dog, two granddogs, and two grandcats. I am a former first grade teacher and PTA mom. I’m currently writing a humorous mystery series, a chick lit book, and a thriller (when I’m not dealing with a crisis with my mother, who has dementia). I started writing about four years ago, and I have one published novel that is a cozy mystery.

What made you decide to be a writer?

Necessity. It was either start writing or go insane. I chose the former, but the latter might have chosen me. I started writing as therapy when I became a caretaker for my mother who had just been diagnosed with dementia—that’s what I meant by necessity—but halfway into a memoir, I started writing a humorous southern mystery as an escape from real life. I found I really like living in imaginary worlds and talking to imaginary people, so that’s what I do most days now. And nights.

What made you decide to write comic crime fiction?

The memoir I mentioned was therapeutic to write, but it was also like immersing myself in depression. I needed something to laugh about. When I started thinking about writing a mystery, stories from my childhood came to mind about murders in my family’s history. The need to laugh and the need to tell the story of those murders just melded into a humorous mystery novel.

Tell us a little about your latest book.  GPJbackpainting

My latest published book is Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. As I said, it’s based on real life and told in two different time periods—the 1930s and the present day. The 1930s are flashbacks to the murders—one unsolved—and my characters in the present day try to solve the cold case. My main character, Tess, is a Yankee, new to the town, and she’s a little culture shocked as she gets to know the folks in town. That’s where Jackson comes in—he helps translate the southern speak, helps her investigate the murder, and becomes a temptation Tess doesn’t want.

Did you have it all planned out before you wrote it or did the characters and story surprise you?

My characters absolutely wrote the story. I knew the basic premise, and I kind of knew how I wanted it to end, but they did all the rest.

How do you come up with your ideas?

My characters whisper them to me. Sometimes they knock me upside the head with them.

You also write in other genres. Could you tell us about those projects?

Waxman is a thriller set in the South. It’s also based on a true story—something I experienced, combined with a real serial killer on a college campus that someone told me about years ago. The killer was disguised as an old man, and he’d ask unsuspecting college kids for help. Who wouldn’t help an old man in need, right? Then, he’d get them alone and kill them. Cut to several years later when I was at the park with my sons and we were approached by the creepiest old man I’ve ever seen. He still makes me shudder, and I wonder if he really was an old man or just disguised as one. Creepy doesn’t begin to describe him.

Anyway, Waxman is set at a resort in Alabama, and someone is killing the women guests. The hotel hires a private investigator—Kate Pepper—to find the killer before word spreads and the hotel loses all its business. Of course there’s a handsome FBI agent assigned to the case, and sparring and sparks ensue.

My children’s book is called That Would Taste Better In Your Mouth, and it’s about Louie, who is a very picky eater. His mother tries everything to get him to try new foods. It’s told with alliteration and repetition—two things my kids loved in books when they were little. This is going to sound redundant, but it’s based on real life too. My oldest son was a very picky eater (hence, the storyline), and once when we tried to get my youngest son to eat something new, he said, “I think that would taste better in your mouth” (hence, the title). I’m working on the Guinness world record of rejections for that story, but I’m not giving up on it.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction was published by a small press. It would not be hyperbole to say my experience with them has been a nightmare. The highs? That’s got to be when I was on Amazon.com’s bestsellers lists for mystery authors, mysteries and women sleuths. I don’t care how simple my little book is, it is absolutely thrilling when you see your book ranked in between James Patterson and Janet Evonavich.
The lows? Let’s see…maybe when the publisher pulled my book from Amazon and B&N. Or maybe it was when I got the umpteenth bad comment on the poor formatting of the eBook. No, maybe it was when the eBook was pulled from Amazon for two and a half months while the publisher “fixed” the formatting. No, it was probably when the publisher filed for, and got, the copyright to my book. There have been a lot of lows. If your readers want to read about my experiences with publishing, they can check out these blog posts:

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/guest-blog-amy-metz-when-bad-publishers-happen-to-good-writers/

Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters in Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction?

No, I really didn’t. In my mind, my characters are unique people. I find it hard to pair them with actors when I’m asked to do so in interviews.

What is your writing environment like?

It varies, but it almost always includes a big comfy chair. At home, I write either in my office or my bedroom, both of which have big comfy chairs. But I also like to go to a local dessert café that has big comfy chairs and couches. I love a lot of natural light, and the room is surrounded by floor to ceiling window. I love going there during the week when it’s not very busy. Besides the bright, comfortable room, it has pie. My philosophy is life is always better with pie.

 

But I had the absolute best writing environment last July when I stayed in the Berkshires for a month. Every day, I went to the Stockbridge Library, up to the top floor, which was rarely occupied. And I had thousands of books, lots of history, and a big, beautiful room all to myself. It was wonderful. I worked on GPJ3 while I was there.

 

Tell us about your blog.

 

Stockbridge Library

When I first started promoting my book, I contacted a lot of bloggers. Some were very kind and hosted me with an interview or agreed to review my book. Some said no, and some just plain ignored me. I learned that it’s not easy for an Indie author to promote their work. I saw a need to help authors market their books. So I started A Blue Million Books, in a pay it forward spirit, and a desire to help Indie authors connect with readers.

What is your advice to new writers?

Oh my goodness, how much time do you have? My first bit of advice would be to join a writers group—either online or locally—and get feedback on your work. Beta readers are essential in helping you strengthen your story. I also recommend reading your work out loud after you’ve edited the heck out of it. A final read through out loud will help you see/hear things you might otherwise miss. And if you think your work doesn’t need to be edited—by you or anyone else—don’t quit your day job. Editing can sometimes be painful, but it’s part of the gig. If you can’t edit or can’t take constructive criticism, put your work in a folder for your family to read. Because they’re the only ones who will.

My next bit of advice is read, read, read, and write, write, write, but don’t stress if you get stuck at times.

And my last bit of advice is to thoroughly investigate a publisher before you submit your work to them, and investigate even more if you’re offered a contract. Pick apart the contract, and if you can afford it, have a lawyer, or someone who really understands contracts, read through it too. Whatever you do, avoid at all costs a first right of refusal clause or a contract that binds you to the publisher for longer than two years.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Pimple-Junction-ebook/dp/B009FR8ZO2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=murder%20%26%20mayhem%20in%20goose%20pimple%20junction

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amy-metz


Social Media links:
Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AmyMetzAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/authoramymetz

Blog:

http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com

Website:

http://amymetz.com

08 Oct 2013

Ben Manning: The Vril Codex

2 Comments Book Reviews

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Sep 2013

Karen Prince: Switch

2 Comments Book Reviews

SWITCH!-cover

 

A young adult fantasy adventure about magic, friendship and bravery, but also about bad judgement, rascally witches and thoroughly irresponsible adults.

Trouble is brewing in the secret African rift valley of Karibu and Gogo Maya, the witch, and her leopard familiar are about to make matters worse. Of all the dubious magic tricks in her repertoire, they choose a risky ‘switch’ she’s been working on, to escape from somebody lurking in the forest. Unfortunately they overshoot, switching right out of Karibu and drawing an ordinary Zimbabwean boy into the vacuum they left behind them. The whole disaster that followed might have been averted if another boy had not gone and sucked up what was left of the witch’s power, leaving her too weak to switch back again. CPR, the daft boy called it. He should know better than to risk kissing a witch.

If you had to choose between Joe’s two best friends, or his fifteen-year-old cousin, Ethan, to lead an adventure into the bush to rescue him, Ethan would be the last one you’d pick because, well … he’s useless that way. Yet, the witch’s leopard inexplicably chooses him, and starts issuing instructions right into his head. Apparently he’s Joe’s best hope because he has absorbed some of the witch’s questionable magic powers. Powers which might come in handy if he ever learns how to wield them, and if he can endure the painful backlash he suffers every time he tries.

In a world that quite literally defies belief, where magic seeps into the drinking water for anyone to use or abuse, and the terrain is impossible to navigate without help from extremely risky sources, this is the tale of Ethan’s struggle to reach his cousin, Joe, before Joe falls into the wrong hands and gets himself killed

 

“Switch (The Kingdoms of Karibu)” by Karen Prince is a wonderful and magic story for young adults.
Set in parts in rural contemporary Zimbabwe (with all its beauty but also its faults) and in other parts in the secret rift valley of Karibu the story ‘switches’ between two narratives, keeping up a sense of suspense throughout.
In Karibu, a witch and her leopard suddenly have to escape the Tokoloshe, but their getaway via a magic trick goes terribly wrong and forces an ordinary boy from Zimbabwe into the kingdom instead, while the witch is on the other side.
The rest of the story follows the attempts to reverse the switch.
The book owes a lot to modern fairy tales such as the Lion King or The Jungle Book that opened our minds to speaking animals and even animals that can be human. “Switch” pays a loving tribute to African tribal culture with the colourful characters as well as to the magical mythology.
Karen Prince has written an awesome book that overflows with her love for the continent and its creatures and culture but more importantly so with a lot of original ideas and vivid powers of imagination. One of my favourite parts of the book was about a group of crocodiles who are re-paying a moral debt and therefore help humans across a tricky waterfall.
Easy to read, entertaining and full of surprises this is an excellent debut novel and should do well with both African and non-African readers. I was quite captured by the romantic vision of nature on the continent and thanks to the great characterisation of the boys and the witch it had a light hearted and wonderful touch.

 

ProfileThmNail

How did you come to writing? Is this your first written work?

Yet this is my first book. I came to writing on a whim, really, or a new year’s resolution. I kid you not. I sat on my friend’s verandah and said “This year I will give up working for an unappreciative boss and find another job, and while I am looking for that perfect job, I will write the book I always wanted to write.” I fondly imagined that I would sit at my computer and bang out a book in six weeks or so. Well, what a shock! It took at least six months of intense research and an online course just to learn how to write a good book, and then another year to write it.

Have you always wanted to write in the genre? And for young adults?

I have been a voracious reader all my life, mostly of fantasy. Anything from the epic “Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson to the more offbeat and quirky “Discworld” series by Terry Pratchett, so in a way, it was writing what I know.  Add that to a childhood spent mostly in rural Africa, which is practically like living in a fantasy. Between the awe inspiring wildlife, the lack of technology and the terrors of a civil war that raged for most of my childhood, there was plenty of fodder for story telling.

‘Switch!’ is marketed to young adults because the content is acceptable for advanced readers as young as ten, but it is, in fact, a straight fantasy adventure. Most of my reviews have come from adult fantasy readers.

How did the idea for the novel come to you? Profile Pic

A mash up of a couple of things that intrigue me. One is Ngorogoro crater in Tanzania, a vast naturally enclosed volcanic crater which is so difficult to access from outside that it almost has it’s own wildlife ecosystem. Another is Son Doong cave in Vietnam. It is the largest cave known to man but despite all modern technology was only discovered in 2009 because it is so well hidden in a remote jungle. A third idea comes from my childhood. The village where I come from, on the banks of the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, had no communication with the village across the river in Zambia because the two countries had closed the border and were not talking to each other. Despite the fact that we, and the Zambians, smiled and waved as we boated past each other, we had no idea what was going on ‘over there’. The idea of living so close to a nation that you can see them, and yet know nothing about them, has fascinated me ever since.

For this story I wanted to have today’s people, who we can relate to, fall into a fantasy milieu like ‘Harry Potter’ rather than jump straight into a fantasy where even the behavior is unfamiliar.

May I ask you about your geographical background. Tell us what Zimbabwe means to you and how you chose it as the setting for parts of your story.

As a child I spent a lot of time in the bush. I grew up on a game farm very close to the Victoria Falls — which, by the way, are so awesome that you never get tired of looking at them even if you go down there and stare at them every day. My mother was a tour guide, so I got to go on river cruises whenever I wanted and to fly over the falls and the game reserve in those little light aircraft whenever there was a free seat. What a thrill! Needless to say I think Zimbabwe is a brilliant place for a fantasy setting with all its wildlife, diverse tribes and fantastic terrain. In fact you should put it on your bucket list to visit at once.

I live in Cape Town now, and it is almost as beautiful but a city milieu is not as conducive to fantasy adventures.

You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite?

Aarg! It is so hard to say but when it comes down to it I would have to say Tarriro. He started off being a foil for Ethan’s pickiness but soon took on a life of his own. He will be the main protagonist in the sequel.

How did you choose the characters for the story?

I wanted to tell a story about a bush adventure and I love to make people think outside of their own experience so I started out with the kind of person who would be the most uncomfortable and inept in that situation. Preferably one who would not be there by choice. Hence Ethan; only child, extremely wealthy and privileged, with the world at his fingertips, if only you could tear him away from his computer.

Even though Ethan is picky, with all his education and resources, he’s pretty smart. I wanted him to have some competition along the way. Someone equally privileged, whose agenda would clash horribly with his. And that’s where Tarriro comes in. Anyone in their right mind would have chosen him to lead the group because he is a natural leader; confident, athletic, from a politically powerful family and he’s had practice bossing around his three younger brothers, so it is especially hard for him when Ethan is chosen. And he is grumpy about it.

Neither Ethan, nor Tarriro have any bush skills so I sent  Jimoh along to guide them and keep the peace. . . If he can.

The three boys risk their own lives to save Joe.  So Joe had to be fiercely loved by Ethan, Tariro and Jimoh, and for different reasons because they hardly knew each other before the disaster that started the whole trip. Honor is probably his strongest point, and bravery.

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

Not much, although I may be as picky as Ethan and am surely as bossy as Tarriro. I share their experiences though. Boarding school featured heavily for me like Joe and Tarirro, and I spent a lot of time in African villages and the bush like Jimoh.

Did you have to research for the magic, mythological or animal scenes?

The Tokoloshe, which feature heavily in ‘Switch!’ were as much a fact of everyday life where I grew up as ghosts are for westerners and probably with as many variations. From a mischievous character who’s toxic farts would incapacitate you so that he could tickle your feet, to an evil entity conjured up by a witchdoctor to cause real harm. Mostly they were believed to be about knee high, hairy, lived in crevices under river banks and would come and get you if you were naughty.

I did do a lot of research on the other mythological creatures but since the premise of the story is that the magic alters the DNA of a creature over time, I did not always stick closely to the original myths.

How did you research for the book?

For the magic and the mythology I was not that fussy because I could stretch the information to suit my story, but for animal behavior I preferred books to the internet for research because there is some accountability attached to the information. I read everything I could get my hands on because much of what I learned growing up was based on hearsay and I probably survived by sheer luck. For instance everyone swore blind that it was safe to water-ski because a crocodile does not have the strength to take you in deep water. That turned out to be a myth.

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

I began to write the scenes only once I had a full synopsis of the plot. ‘Switch!’ is not a tale of wonderful good verses pure evil, but rather a tale of ‘what if’. I started off with a set of characters and tribes, complete with character sketches and politics, and a basic premise for the magic, then spent a long time loosely plotting how those people would react to the crises that came their way and how they would overcome them. Sometimes their actions set the plot off in a new direction so it was better to be sure where I was going before I wrote in too much detail.

Could this be part of a series? If yes, how many books will there be and can you tell us where this will be going – without any spoilers?

Yes, this is a series. There will probably be three books, but if this idea is completely mined out by the end of book two and there is nothing really entertaining to go on with, I do not want to force it. At the same time, if the plot naturally runs to four books I will do four.

Although ‘Switch!’ could stand alone, the boys will be sucked back into the politics of Karibu one way or another. Not only does the magic cause havoc with the current residents — the kind of trouble that only the boys can sort out — but all that free magic, just waiting to be harnessed, is mighty enticing for the boys themselves. And I am nowhere near finished with that dragon.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

The best for me is plotting. How wonderful to spend your days making up stories. I also happen to love all the technical stuff; formatting for Kindle and hardcopy, designing covers, designing websites on which to market, even the marketing itself. The worst thing for me is that there are not enough hours in the day.

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

It is impossible for me. Since I do everything myself it takes a very long time to get a book together. I have been marketing the Kindle eBook version of ‘Switch!’ for a year and only just now found the time to format and design a new cover for the print version to launch in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, I have been loosely plotting the sequel. When I write it, I imagine I will keep at it relentlessly until it is finished without distracting myself by dividing my time between writing and marketing.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I am a freelance Interior Designer. The kind that sits behind a computer and makes plans of people’s homes, kitchens etc. Occasionally I will design a pediatric ward for a hospital or paint a mural or something, but I like planning best.

What would you take to an isolated island?

A Boat?! Without my entire family, all my friends and the internet thrown in for entertainment, I’d go out of my head in a week. Besides, I have watched enough Bear Grylls to know that it is not much fun on an isolated island. . . It is all sweating and foraging and wondering if you are going to get rescued.

 

Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Switch-Lost-Kingdoms-Karibu-ebook/dp/B009H28446

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18333130

Website: http://www.karen-prince.com/

My website for young adults: http://www.books4youngadults.com/

 

 

 Photo on 2013-05-02 at 12.14 #5

 

01 Sep 2013

NEW RELEASE: “The Last MacKlenna (The Ruby Brooch)” by Katherine Lowry Logan

3 Comments Book Reviews

The Last MacKlenna (The Ruby Brooch)

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My review:

In “The Last MacKlenna” by Katherine Lowry Logan, the second in her Ruby Brooch series, the focus is on Meredith Montgomery, a breast cancer surviving widow who runs a winery in Napa Valley. Over Christmas she goes on a Christmas time research trip to Scotland to find out about her family’s genealogy, where she meets Elliot Fraser, a rich horse breeder.

Despite her lack of bodily confidence due to her scars, the two of them have some sparks flying between them. However, fate intervenes when one of Elliot’s prize winning horses dies and might have been murdered, demanding his immediate attention elsewhere and leaving Meredith in doubt about his feelings and her own.

The romance between the characters is done really well, understated and realistic, thanks to some greatly set up and developed main characters. None of them is drawn either as a drama queen or too flaccid – both characteristics are pet hates of mine in the genre and the author has done a great job at keeping the story line believable and fresh.

Meredith at the time of her trip has yet another health scare. She finds another lump in her breast just before she sets out on the trip, which brings a more serious note to the romance. This, too, is handled in an understated and delicate manner, which lends the book more depth and makes the story all the more touching.

The book has also a lot of very memorable and colourful characters around Elliot, such as his ‘sister-in-law’ Lou, the owner of the B&B where our lovers meet. This makes the story much more entertaining than you would expect a book with such a serious theme to be and I guess it will prove very compelling reading for anyone who has experience with the big C.

The plot has many surprises and turns which I will not mention. There is a minor paranormal element in the story and a link to the past.The slow build-up of the characters and the story was excellent but it picks up in time

to keep us engaged in the story. This is very well written.

Logan balances the various elements of the story really well and also handles the more serious issues without letting them take over the story completely.

Given the character depth, some excellently placede symbolism and the seriousness of the issues I wonder if this should really be passed as romance writing and not as literary novel.

 

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Interview with Katherine Lowry Logan

Tell us a little about yourself, as a person and as an author.

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, during the 1960s. Sit-in’s, the sexual revolution, pot, campus unrest, and the Vietnam War were brought vividly to life by Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News. While the rest of the world seemed to spin out of control, I spun stories in my head.

College, marriage, and two daughters kept the muse simmering on the back burner. I worked as a real estate and tax paralegal in central Kentucky, and was actively involved in my community. It wasn’t until the nest was empty that I sat down to write full-time. Then, life brought a screeching halt to my writing when my husband died unexpectedly. Healing was a slow process, but two weddings and five grandchildren have a way of putting life into perspective. Following the birth of my second grandchild, I found my writer’s voice again.

I am a marathoner and an avid reader, and I live in Lexington, Kentucky.

Why did you choose this particular period for your novel and the settings?

I’ve been interested in time-travel since childhood. “The Time Machine”, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and my all-time favorite “Somewhere in Time” Also, I fell in love with historicals reading Hawaii, Centennial, The Source, The Fires of Spring and other words by James Michener. Also, I grew up watching all the old westerns on TV along with Perry Mason.

I knew three things when I sat down to write a story: 1. It would be a time travel, 2. It would be a romance, and 3. The story would take place in the west in the mid-nineteenth-century. Other than that, I had no idea would the story would be. 

How did the idea for this novel come to you?

I set out to write a time travel that took place in the American west in the mid-1800s. The story evolved as I wrote by “the seat of my pants.” Something I read triggered the idea of the Oregon Trail. Then, using the map as I guide, I planned and plotted a story based on what happened to folks who travelled to California and Oregon from 1849-1860.

Why the brooch as time travel device?

When I realized I needed a time travel method, I decided to use a ruby brooch based on a bracelet I have. The bracelet has an interesting past. It was an original design made for a woman in the 1970s.  In the 1980s, she paid her CPA’s bill with the bracelet. In the early 1990s, the CPA’s widow paid her legal bill with the bracelet. After the death of my husband (the lawyer whose legal bill was paid), I ended up with the bracelet.  The bracelet is now memorialized by the book.

How did you choose the characters for the story? Who did you have in mind when you wrote the characters? Who would play them in a film?

I think many of the characters have traits of friends and family members. And I can certainly identify with Kit’s grief and trauma. My husband died five days after I wrote THE END. During the many rewrites over the years, I was able to pull from my own experiences and add depth to Kit’s grief and recovery.

Elliott Fraser is a Mark Harman. Cullen Montgomery is Ben Affleck or Hugh Jackson. Braham is Brad Pitt. Meredith could easily be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kit by Nicole Kidman or Kate Winslet.

 Who is your favourite character and why?

Elliott Fraser is Kit MacKlenna’s godfather. In the beginning, he was a groom on the horse farm, but he developed into a 50-year-old veterinarian/bachelor from Scotland.  By the end of the book, I knew I had to write his story next.  Although he has significant physical and emotional scars, he can be tender and passionate. You can’t help but love him.

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

Kit is a strong, determined survivor who wanted to quit but didn’t. In that regard, we are alike. But I can’t ride a horse, sing, play the guitar, or stitch someone up. She was created from my imagination

 How did you research for the book?

I read countless Oregon Trail journals to get a feeling for the life and challenges the travelers experienced.

I joined the California-Oregon Trail Association and had dozens of conversations with experts about life on the trail.

I talked to people all around the world about carbon dating, Thoroughbred racing, guns, clothing, food, snakes, and the list goes on.

I travelled the trail from Independence, Missouri to Portland, Oregon, and in many places followed the actual wagon ruts. The round trip from Lexington, Kentucky to Portland took nineteen days. It was an incredible adventure.

What was the most fascinating aspect in the research and the writing for you?

A few years ago, during the Christmas holidays, I was working on the stampede scene and I needed gun information. So I went to a local store. My first visit ever! The store was crowded with holiday shoppers. I stood at the door not knowing what to do. The cashier asked if he could help me. I said, “I need a gun that will kill as many cows as possible in the shortest amount of time.” The store went completely silent. The men stared at me. I had a lot of explaining to do. After they discovered I was a writer, everyone wanted to give me gun advice.

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

I worked with a cover artist on the design. We used an antique brooch I found on Ruby Lane, an online antique, art, and vintage collectibles site. I was very pleased with the final result.

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

The plot and subplots evolved while writing the first draft. Then, over the years they were tweaked significantly.

Is this part of a series? What are your next projects?

I just completed THE LAST MACKLENNA, which is a standalone book, but it does pick up where THE RUBY BROOCH ends. There are two other brooch stories. The next one is THE SAPPHIRE BROOCH which takes place during the Civil War, and next is THE EMERALD BROOCH which takes place several years later.

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

I lived in a happy writer’s world prior to publication, writing and talking with other writers. I wasn’t concerned with marketing because I had nothing to market. I have since learned that an author needs a platform in place long before there’s a book to promote. Now I split my time between writing and marketing. Like many others, I find social networking a challenge. There are many days when I think Twitter and Facebook control me, not the other way around.

What do you do when you don’t write?

When I get away from the computer and relax, I read, and I read in a variety of genres—fantasy, mystery, suspense, and of course, romance. When the weather is nice, I enjoy evenings on patios at local restaurants sharing dinner and a glass of wine with family and friends. But probably most of all, I relax or de-stress by running. It has become a passion late in life, and I love it because I don’t ponder or worry or plan. I just run because it feels good.

 Who are your biggest influences? Which are your favourite books and authors?

  • James A. Michener: Michener is the author of sweeping sagas. I fell in love with historical novels reading HAWAII, THE SOURCE, CENTENNIAL, and others
  • Elizabeth Lowell: I love her voice, her settings, her characters, and the incredible amount of research she puts into her books.
  • Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: They co-author fast-paced, mind-blowing stories, and I love their character FBI Agent Pendergast

Which indie writers can you recommend?

Clive Eaton, M.A. Granovsky, Michael E. Gunter, Ceri London  

What would you take to an isolated island?

My Kindle and a solar charger!

If you could chose anybody, who would you like to meet?

Hillary Clinton

Here are relevant links to connect with Katherine and her books:

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5806657.Katherine_Lowry_Logan

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13579358-the-ruby-brooch

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18397298-the-last-macklenna

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/The-Ruby-Brooch-ebook/dp/B007QMSONK

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-MacKlenna-ebook/dp/B00EWOFL6I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004632&sr=1-1

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ruby-Brooch-ebook/dp/B007QMSONK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004713&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-MacKlenna-ebook/dp/B00EWOFL6I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378004570&sr=1-1

Website http://www.katherinellogan.com

Blog http://www.katherinelowrylogan.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/katherine.l.logan

Twitter https://twitter.com/KathyLLogan

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/katherine-logan/10/62/752

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kllogan50/

Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/o1518085100

Google+ https://plus.google.com/109100035748879115211/posts

 

25 Aug 2013

Author Interview with Uvi Poznansky

1 Comment Book Reviews

Interview with

Uvi Poznansky

Author of
Apart From Love, A Favorite Son, Home, and Twisted me
Thank you for coming back to my blog for a proper chat this time.
What fascinates me most about you is that you write, make art and promote yourself. How do you find the time and how do you balance the three?
My pleasure, Christoph! And thank you so much for inviting me back here, it’s starting to feel like home…. Balancing is a fine act. Like so many of us I find it challenging. If only there were more hours in the day…
I don’t exactly ‘find’ time—rather, I ‘make’ time, striving to use every moment to its fullest potential. I am working with complete dedication, and those who know me best will attest to the fact that I can make a sharp and immediate transition, turning on a coin, from one form of my craft to another. Even so, I wish I could be cloned. But if that were true, every one of my clones would complain that she wishes to be cloned, too…
Tell us a little about your art.
In my art I seek to stretch the envelope and work in new mediums, with a fresh palette of colours and ideas each time. I delight in change, and hate being boxed in a technique I have already mastered. So I create clay models for my half-life size bronze sculptures—and at other times I engineer paper sculptures. I paint in oil and in watercolour, I draw in charcoal, I dabble in Photoshop, and even create computer animations. Any one of these projects may consume months at a time, and demand my complete attention—but for me, no form dominates over others. I move quite freely between them. You can find some of my art in my website.
Similarly, in my writing I take on different genres. I love writing novels as much as I do poetry, historical fiction, or fantasy, and I trust that there is a lot more still hidden in me… In fact it is difficult to define the genre of any one of my books, just as it it difficult to define the genre of life itself. It is a mixture of tears and laughter, a few lyrical moments, and a dash of fantasy…
I see from your biography that you also have had a very varied and busy working life. Did you write and make art at that time as well or is your creative streak only coming out now?
Ah! You’ve done your research… Yes, I have gone through several reincarnations in my professional career, working as an architect, going back to school for a Master degree in architecture, teaching, going back to school for a Master in computer science, then working in software engineering, with a focus on user interface for medical devices. All along I have been writing and painting—part time, of course.
In my work I have always found a way to turn my professional endeavours into something truly creative. But when my company, Philips Ultrasound, went out of business, and my designs for it never came to fruition, I decided I better focus exclusively on my projects, my art and writing, so as to ensure they come to life.
A lot of your writing is connected to biblical themes but you described yourself as agnostic in a comment on my blog.  Were you at any point in your life a believer?
I went to one of the best private schools in Israel, one that was modelled on a British system of education, where students wear uniform and rise to their feet to show respect, to greet the teacher. This is where I studied the bible. So for every sentence and phrase in the scriptures I know several shades of meaning, which is quite useful when I make a departure from the traditional interpretation. I see the bible as a great piece of literature, rather than as a sacred text. For me it is a great drama, rife with crime, sex and violence, a great backdrop for fascinating characters who are very much like us: flawed.  gen2
In one of your short stories your art work comes alive. Do you find many cross overs between your artistic channels?
This is like asking, do you have many crossovers between taking the world in through vision, hearing, or the sense of smell and touch? It all comes at you at once, doesn’t it? So, input through one channel invokes a sense of another, which is true of art, in all its forms. I write with my brush, and paint with my pen.
The story you refer to—‘I, Woman’—is told in the voice of a clay sculpture. I enjoy changing places: instead of me, the artist, looking at my sculpture, here is the sculpture looking at me. She is coming to life under my chisel. Later in the story she is about to be cast in bronze, which evokes the idea of death and rebirth in a different form:
“A big flame of fire flares up, engulfing me. I feel it in my veins, swelling in me like a flow of molten bronze. I hear it in the crackling of embers from below. That hazy glow of my earlier existence is finally here, burning brighter than ever. 
I am grateful to go back. No longer am I stuck here, in a place of doubt. 
No longer am I inflicted with sensing shadows. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. All my sorrows are about to melt away. In this inferno, nothing will be left behind me but an empty shell. I fly into the brilliance. I am ablaze. I am in bliss. For where I am going I shall be reborn.”
Have you ever started a story that then inspired you to make a sculpture (instead)?
Yes! I have written a poem called Dust, which you can find HERE.
It inspired me to create a series of sculptures, where the figures strike a different pose for each verse. You can turn these sculptures around by clicking their images.
In my mind I became a choreographer, and this was a dance: I could see the figures moving from one pose to another as they were uttering the words of the poem, talking back and forth between them, he said she said. Having sculpted them, one of the figures inspired the story ‘I, Woman’ (as I described earlier.) So the influences go freely in both ways between my art and my writing.
I feel truly blessed for the creative collaboration with gifted voice artists who narrated my books. Three of them—Twisted, A Favorite Son, and Apart From Love—are already available as audiobooks, and Home will come out very soon. I invite you to click the audiobook links and take a listen to the voice sample of each one.
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Links:
US Book Purchase Links:
TWISTED  ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
A FAVORITE SON  ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
APART FOM LOVE ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
HOME ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
UK Book Purchase Links:
TWISTED  ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
A FAVORITE SON  ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
APART FOM LOVE ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
HOME ★ Audiobook ★ Ebook ★ Print ★
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07 Aug 2013

NEW REVIEWS FOR SEBASTIAN

Comments Off on NEW REVIEWS FOR SEBASTIAN News, Review

SEBASTIAN received 3 more 5 star reviews in the last week.  sebastian book

Here are some of the highlights from the reviews:

Historical Novel meets Literary Realism.

Vienna, the beginning of the 20th century, just before WWI. What wouldn’t I give to visit that place to see for myself the so-called “Golden Age” of the center of European science and philosophy, arguably the most liberal place in Europe, where the seeds of the modern ideas of ethnic and religious equality first sprouted and were actually implemented.

The book edges on “Literary Realism.” No character or idea is romanticized and characters are humanly fallible people who are trying to act in their self-interest, be it foolishly sometimes. While I was reading this book, I could not stop making parallels with “War and Peace.” “Sebastian” is, in my opinion, a book about how a war changes people and the society. There’s a tiny bit of a “conclusion” of sorts at the end of the book, in a dialog between Sebastian and one of his friends (no spoilers):

“Many men who are returning from the war have changed and they come home to even more changed women. There comes a time when one needs to let go of the past and live in the present.”

A very good read from a fast-emerging name in historical novels. Recommended

*****

A worthy read,

so it’s with irony that we note his disability.

This author’s talent is the way he gets in those characters’ heads and invites us in too. We’re treated to all those feelings – the good, the bad, and the constantly changing. I love that.

There is also a history lesson going on here, so if you need to brush up on that without getting bogged down by dry dates and facts that have no humanity attached to them – I recommend this book. Very much. Suitable for mature teens – up.

Of course, when book three comes out, I’ll grab it immediately.

****

Great character development

… it is very well written and developed.  

Fischer’s characters are very well rounded.

It is very realistic and I am impressed at the author’s ability to write such full fledged characters.

I was also very impressed with the amount and type of information in the book. Fischer does a magnificent job of showing the tensions between the Jewish and gentile communities. He delves into what happens to the common people during war. In this book you do not see the typical heroes, you see very little of the soldiers, and you hear what is happening politically only as a citizen who was not involved would. This was fascinating, as most of what I knew prior to reading Sebastian was political… not how the regular people would have seen things and the impact on them. I would love to get my hands on Fischer’s research in order to go more in depth on a few questions that I have.

I believe that anyone who likes history and/or enjoys the study of human nature will greatly appreciate this book.

*****
With a cast of well-developed characters, some of whom are extremely flawed, the story is incredibly engaging. In the beginning you learn about about Sebastian and the Schreiber family through Vera, the matriarch. Not only does she suffer from a weak constitution and the loss of her son’s leg, but her husband’s affair with a much younger assistant. But Vera proves herself stronger than she thinks when she takes matters into her own hands and seeks help from the very interesting and extremely entertaining Glueck women. They turn out to be both great resources and wonderful friends to Vera in her time of need.
As the story progresses, you see how against all odds Sebastian finds love and starts a family of his own.

Fischer does an excellent job of capturing the feel of Vienna during such a turbulent time in history. You feel the pain and suffering of the men, women, and children as war tears families apart and hunger and poverty replace the many comforts people had become accustomed to.

A blend of history, romance, and hardships that show the political, cultural, and religious issues of the time, Sebastian is a do-not-miss saga. If you are a lover of historical fiction, this is definitely one you want to checkout!

*****

 

On Goodreads SEBASTIAN tops several Listopia lists and is in the Top Ten of 8 others.
 
In the Indietribe Fiction Charts it stays strong at #6
 
On Amazon.com Sebastian climbed into the Top 100 of Jewish Fiction and has stayed there for several weeks.

 

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5.0 out of 5 stars Completely perfect!
Hands down this author has won me over. Christoph pulls you into his stories from the beginning and refuses to let you go, even…Read more
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY!!
This book is a great story about a kids life just before World War 1 begins. He goes through so much in his life even before he becomes an adult and I can relate to this… Read more
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Historical Drama
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Put Down
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I fully enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, but the author has taken this book to a completely new level…
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is even better!
What a treat! I feel like a just took a vacation back in time to Vienna where I met some very interesting people. Read more
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, and with how much I loved The Luck of the Weissensteiners, it was tough to wait for this one to come out.
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03 Aug 2013

NEW RELEASE: “RUNE II: NEMESIS ” BY J. H. GLAZE

1 Comment Book Reviews

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One of my favourite writers, master of horror J.H. Glaze has released NEMESIS, Episode II of the thrilling YA series RUNE.

Send the demons back to Hell!

At the stroke of midnight on Jacob Rowan’s 18th birthday, he undergoes a transformation that will change our world forever, if only he can survive another day. He learns that his entire life up to this point was a lie, but there’s no time to dwell on it, as he quickly discovers that there are demons desperate to kill him.

With the help of an unlikely mentor and newly formed alliances, he must decipher the language of his ancestors to recover a set of ancient scrolls. These documents hold the key that will open the gateway to the demon’s hellish world and send them back before the final curtain is drawn on all of humankind.

In this new YA Thriller Series, author J.H. Glaze takes his readers on an adventure that spans thousands of years and multiple geographic locations as it races headlong toward its electrifying conclusion.

“Rune Episode II: Nemesis” by J.H. Glaze is a great second instalment of this new series by the very talented master of horror. As this is directed at young adults the horror is less gruesome and presented with a focus on entertaining yet in a strong and powerful style.
Episode II begins where Episode I left us: in the vault of a bank where our hero Jake receives a message by his late grandmother. He learns about his special mission in the battle against demons from hell and how to fight them.
Episode II is less action driven as it is a widening of the plot for the future instalments and introduces more characters that will be no doubt prominent in the next few books. There are some hilarious scenes in the book regarding his companion Pete who inhabits the body of a dog is due a visit to the vet.
Somewhat quieter than Episode I, Nemesis is more playful and stays true to Glaze’s tradition never to repeat himself or resort to formulaic writing. Great entertainment.JHGlaze (1)

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Rune II on Goodreads

Rune II on Amazon.com

Rune II on Amazon.co.uk

My previous feature on J.H. Glaze

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