Interview with M.L.S. Weech

My guest today is author, M.L.S. Weech, otherwise known as Matt!

Hi Matt, welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to begin by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Me

I’ve been published for about three years. I do that when I’m not enjoying my job teaching Sailors at the Defense Information School. I was raised in the desert southwest, and in my youth, there wasn’t exactly a lot to do because I essentially lived in a desert. My imagination was my most accessible toy. I grew up to join the Navy, and after ten years of service, I returned to where my career started as a civilian instructor.

 
When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 8. I’d just watched what is still my favorite movie ever, and my favorite character died. Naturally, I cried, but my biodad sort of chuckled at me and told me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So started work on the sequel, and I’ve been writing ever since. I finished my first book when I was about 17. I got genuinely serious in 2009, when I joined a writer’s group and committed to writing 1,000 words a day. I love stories. I love thinking about the plot. I love the crafting of words. It has simply been a part of my life for so long I’m not sure what my life would look like if I didn’t do it.

 
What inspires your books?

My posts are usually inspired by something random. My first book, The Journals of Bob Drifter, was inspired by my family dod and my dad. My mom had a nightmare she told me about, and that inspired my second book, Caught. My newest published novel is an anthology in which my contributing story was inspired by the riots in Virginia. So usually I see or hear something, and my brain, which is prone to flights of fancy, takes it to an extreme degree.

 
Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?

I’m a believer in work habit and ethics. I can pretty much write anywhere, but I’m most productive on my couch with my laptop and cool elevating table. (I can pull the top up so it’s even with my arms). That’s where and how I’ve written for about five years, so that’s where my body is most conditioned to want to write.

 
What is the setting and genre of The Power of Words?

The Power of Words has four stories. The first is a science fiction novella set in a world where people can virtually swim in a social media world. That world is dominated by a group of speakers called Voices. This is a world in which social media and digital lives (in this case lived through visors known as omnies) rule, and bare faces are considered odd.

The second is a traditional fantasy set in Richard T. Drakes’ Hollow World series. The story takes place at a seedy bar, and it’s essentially a hostile negotiation between an entrenched criminal and a newly risen hero of the people.

The third is the first in a post-apocalyptic series. It’s a zombie survival story taking place in San Antonio. Some might roll an eye at the idea of “another” zombie apocalypse, but this story is unique in that the main character isn’t one who’s in any way suited to survive in such a place.

The last story is my own, of which I’m very proud. It’s a dystopian science fiction heist story. A mom, who’s essentially a former policeman, hatches a scheme to take out the servers for the planetary silence protocol currently enforced. She believes in the right to speak, and, more importantly, she wants her daughter to be saved from the ruthless enforcement policies currently in place.

 
Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out?

The first reason would be that it’s great speculative science fiction in the vein of Hugo novels of old. There’s a clear message and meaning, which is nice in a world of popcorn scifi.

The other reason is that it’s all dedicated to the importance of communication. We live in a world where maybe sometimes people want to be heard, but they don’t want to listen so much. I think people need a reminder on the importance of hearing and speaking. Communication is what matters. These themes are wrapped stories that are engaging and fun.

 
Many authors state that their characters are portions of themselves. Is this true with you?

I don’t even hide from this. Part of my process when I create characters is that I give them one trait from myself. Sometimes it’s a good trait. Sometimes it’s a not so good trait. Every now and then, I take a positive trait to an obsessive degree to see what happens. I’ve has people ask me which character is most like me, and I do have a thought on that, but the fact is every character has a part of me. Those who know me and read my books often comment how much of myself they see in each character.

 
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Umm….(counts in his head)…five unpublished books and one half-finished.

 
What is your favourite part or scene in The Power of Words? Can you give us a peek?

I can’t give you the peek because my favorite part is the reveal in my contribution to the story. I’ve had many people complement me on the plot twist in Caught, and I think this twist is just so much better. That’s honestly my favorite part, but another part I enjoy is a scene in which the crew’s lifter, Laree, is trying to get a security badge. It’s just a cute little scene that makes me chuckle. Here it is:

A pair of glass doors whooshed open as she stepped into the lab. She kept her eyes down, but noticed a few technicians look at her. She pointed at the empty lab chair before snatching up a data pad, pretending she’d forgotten it.
Bad mark! she thought looking at the first person she saw. He didn’t have a red badge either. Bad mark! Bad mark! Two more employees displayed their green badges like wards against her plan, mocking her increasingly impossible timeline.
She walked around the monitors and holo-tables as if simply taking a leisurely route back out of the room.
Bad mark! For spark’s sake does anyone on this floor have a … there’s a good mark.
A spindly young technician in need of two meals and a gallon of anti-acne cream sat at a monitor. His red badge dangled from his white coat pocket like a pretty bow. She made a show of nearly dropping the data pad, and the helpful tech, who’d probably never seen a woman naked before, had his moment in the limelight. He heroically stood there while she plowed into him. He just managed to snag the data pad as she snatched the man’s badge.
He looked at her, and she could practically see the wedding play out in his eyes.
Oh, Sweetie, no! She hid her face with the data pad and winked at him before heading out of the lab.
That’s when her wrist communicator started flashing.
Come on, Laree! Did you really think it was going to go that smoothly?

 
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKAgain, I’m super proud of this one. I actually designed it myself. I knew I wanted a text-based cover because it was an anthology. So I took the title and played with some concepts. One of my favorite design techniques is the Gestalt principle of figure and ground. Silhouettes use this same principle. The idea is the contrast of one set of shapes on a simple background create the impression of an object or, in my cover’s case, words. I took this one step further because I used a very specific set of words as my figure (the text creating element). I keep it secret as to what those words are because I’d like to think people wonder what the words are and end up staring at them to figure out what publication they’re from. It’s a simple concept executed well. I’m not trying to boast. I’m not saying it’s the greatest cover or concept ever. I just assert it’s a solid idea done well. The real judgement of that would be the viewers though.

 
Have you done any personal appearances?

Ever? Yes. I’ve been in a few bookstores, and I usually do a book launches at a local comic book store. The owner (Bumper) is a great guy, and I like to hang out there. I don’t anymore because if I go in there, I’m going to buy rare comics, and they’re expensive. Most of my appearances (and the one I’m about to do) are at conventions. My next one (and last for the year) will be the Baltimore ComicCon Sept. 28-30.

 
What do you think makes a good story?

I honestly have a simple formula for that. Sympathetic, proactive characters + interesting plot + interesting world = good story. The key element there is the character. They can be reading a book or talking about the weather if they’re sympathetic and proactive enough. I do have to explain that sympathetic to me doesn’t necessarily connote “likable.” A character someone hates can be just as captivating as a character someone loves. The point is, the character evokes strong emotions.

 
Which writers inspire you?

Currently, I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. I think Peter V. Brett is the best with characters. Dan Wells is the most underrated author out there right now. Then there are the go-tos, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz. I do want to give special attention to Michael G. Manning and C.L. Schneider, two indie authors who really are outstanding.

 
Do you have plans to, or have you already, released audio editions of your book(s)?

The Journals of Bob Drifter is already out on Audible, and Caught is nearly finished. In fact, the Audible version of Power of Words is in production, though I’ve hit a snag there, so it might not be out as soon as I want.

 
Writing seems to be a large part of your life. Imagine a future (if you can) where you no longer write. What would you do?

Well, I’m getting married in November, so I’d probably just be an annoying dad and (hopefully) loyal husband. I’d watch WAY more football (and THAT’S saying something) and play a few more video games too. I might take up sleeping as a hobby. I’ve heard good things about it.

 
Your blog is a mixture of books (news and reviews), Book Cover of the Month and your Mum/your faith:
How/why did you come up with the idea for Book Cover of the Month?

I love top ten lists and competition and brackets. I also love book covers. So I started out just picking covers I thought were nice because that’s actually how I discovered C.L. Schneider. After I started doing that, I wondered what to do the covers. The idea for a bracket came pretty quickly after that. I just like to talk about covers. I’d like to see more voters, and I would really like to have more (professional) debates about why this cover works and why that one doesn’t. For now though, it’s really fun, and I’d look at the covers regardless. This just gives me an interesting bit of content to offer my readers.

 
Has writing about your Mum’s illness and your ‘Trial of Faith’ helped you?

The testimony is first and foremost about giving glory to God. This trial truly shaped me. It saddened me. It broke me. It humbled me. But it also helped me improve my relationship with God. I struggle with pride so much in my life. I was raised in it. I was trained in it while in the Navy (Take Charge! Be a Leader! Be Assertive!). This event was humbling because here I am, a man committed to the idea of, “There’s always something I can do!” Then I’m placed in this situation where I was simply helpless. It’s put me in a place where I’ve realized I’m subject to God’s will and God’s grace, and I’m better for it. Life was hard when I felt like it was all on me. Now I realize my life is in God’s hands, and everything he does, even this, is for good. The testimony reminds me of that. I still struggle with pride. MAN do I struggle with it, but I hope I’m improving and growing.

It also helped me to open up more. As I said above, I already fail to see what’s “interesting” about me. Combine that with the fact that I’m honestly super private and generally selfish with my time, opening up like this has helped me grow as a person.

The greatest help would be hearing, thinking or knowing that my testimony has helped introduce more people to Jesus, and through him God. I fear now that what I’m doing might be brining too much attention on myself and not enough to God (which is the main objective). I feel this way because our faith and grace are evidenced (not granted!) by the fruits of our labors. I’m not honestly sure if’ I’ve born any fruit. I’m not sure if I’ve helped anyone find Jesus or even encouraged anyone going through something similar. That portion of the blog is almost over. I have ideas on what the Sunday blogs will be, but I want them (and everything I do) to glorify God. I may fail more often than I succeed (because we all fall short of the Glory of God), but I want to try.

 
It’s time to relax! What do you do?

I write. When I’m not writing or watching football, I’m playing video games. Reading is fun. But honestly if I had more time for writing, I’d be much happier. Marketing, editing, publicity, those things just really burn me out.

 
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Favorites ever are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BEST EVER), How I Met Your Mother, Stargate SG-1, and Supernatural (the first five seasons only). Current series would be Doctor Who, The 100, The Marvel TV shows, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

 
If you had to choose a character from one of your books to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Bob from The Journals of Bob Drifter. Sure, he might be there to take my soul, but he’s hundreds of years old. He’d have a ton of stories to tell me before I croaked.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m bad at sharing. Not because I’m unwilling, but because I’m really just sort of baffled at the sorts of things people want to know about. I think I’m pretty boring, so it’s hard to think about things because I just don’t know. I usually talk about my students or my kids (my fiancee’s kids, but I’ve pretty much already hijacked them).

 
Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Good luck with the release of The Power of Words in October, and best wishes for your wedding and the future.

 

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Interview with T.E. Hodden

HeadSpace

Yesterday saw the release of HeadSpace, a sweet but dark romance with a psychological twist.

Today the author, T.E. Hodden, (AKA Tom) in the ‘hotseat’ answering questions about
his books, his writing and himself!

 
Good morning, Tom. Welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you please kick off by telling us a little about yourself and your background?

11692692_751530404964797_6362793632642236555_nMy name is Tom, I’m from Kent, in the UK, and my background is in a very specialised niche of engineering, in the transport industry. I’m married, to the most amazing person in the world, and I am probably best known (admittedly by a very few people) for writing short and sweet romances.

 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It was always there as a hobby. Like a lot of people these days, I wrote stories as a hobby, and had the luxury of experimenting with self publishing digital works before I was brave enough to submit to a publisher like Roane. When I was a kid, I wrote stories in exercise books, when I was doing my apprenticeship, there was poetry or short stories on my laptop, and eventually I wrote something that I was confident enough about to share on Kindle Market Place.

I think a lot of that comes reading a lot, from the TV I loved as a kid, but I think what sparked it seriously in my head was when Virgin Books launched a bunch of original adult novels based on Doctor Who, and shortly after the shock ‘swearing, and sex in Doctor Who!’ came the realisation of ‘Wait, people were paid to write stories like this? And it’s taken seriously?’

I’ve never expected to be taken seriously, and pretty much every time I submit a story to a publisher there is a part of me who is worried they will work I’m still just the kid writing stories for fun.

 
What gets your creative juices flowing?

I wish I knew so I could make it work when I needed it! Sometimes idea pop from nowhere, and sometimes they grow over a long time. Sometimes they come from pulling apart other stories and trying to work out how the plot and the details work under the hood.

 
What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

To just write. Sit at the computer, and write something. It doesn’t matter if you write a few pages of trash, and delete it. What matters is you try, and somewhere down the line, you find an idea that works, and you keep writing it. Don’t care about the rules, or what is meant to happen in stories, or how your English teacher told you the language works. That’s what second drafts, and edits, are for.
Just write.

 
What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like experimenting. HeadSpace is the kind of book I enjoy working on. I like playing with time, and playing around with dream-logic rather than real world logic. A lot of my stories are framed in ways that I hope look at romance plots from a slightly different angle, or to dissect moments in a way I haven’t written before.

 
You’re a prolific writer where do you find your inspiration

The inspiration I go looking for, is from history, mythology, and folk lore. A lot of my stories tend to come from experimenting. I’ll write dozens of first chapters, and find one of them will work, and a story will just grow out of it…

 

What Once Went Wrong.Of all your books do you have a favourite?

It depends how you mean ‘favourite’. The books I write just for my own fun, are the ones about the Bears, because I can just let go, and let the scampering, sticky pawed, teddy bears do whatever seems fun. On the other hand, the book of mine that makes me feel proud, that I can read back and wonder how somebody like me, ever wrote something like that, is What Once Went Wrong. It is a long way from perfect, and it has a lot of wrinkles that I think I managed to iron out, and make right, for the tighter, leaner, more satisfying stories that Roane published, but it has something about it I just got… right.

 

What Once Went Wrong is a wonderful and emotional read, Tom.

 

Do you develop characters from your personal experiences and/or draw from that of others?

A little. If we intend to or not, we all look for characters in life. If you sit there and try to write, you give a character dialogue, and that means thinking about how people speak, and there is a bit of your brain, that we don’t even know is there, that is watching how people talk, and listening for the way they twist phrases. I don’t sit down and think “this character is based on a mate”, but I do consider how I have seen different people react to different emotions, and draw from those experiences to try and make characters feel real, and the characters start growing organically.

 
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

A lot of the time characters start with a name plucked from the ether, that is a little bland and dull, but as I get to know the character they begin to feel more like something suitable.

 
HeadSpace_FinalCoverTell us about the cover for Headspace and how it came about.

It started like as one of my mood sketches. I doodle stuff when I get writer’s block to try and nudge my brain with a little inspiration. So, I doodled a romance story, happening inside a broken mind, and… it worked well, so I tidied it up and toyed around with it a lot on a computer, to use in my promotional work. When the publishers started talking to me about what kind of a cover I wanted, I sent them a few of the doodles, and they liked that one. (It is kind of my favourite. I was aiming for something a bit Saul Bass, and missed, but the result was pretty cool).

 
Who is your intended audience and why should they read Headspace?

HeadSpace is for anybody who likes a sweet romance. It’s a little different, (hopefully you won’t have read a romance like it), but it’s a guy meets girl story, it’s sweet, it’s dark in places, and it is very… dreamy. It’s a good story for those who like fantasy and fairytale wrapped into their romance.

 
What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have a wip we could take a sneaky peek at?

I have WIP but it isn’t ready to be shared yet, it’s still a little rough, and still growing and changing as I hear back from the Beta readers, and proofers. The working title is ‘The Stories We Tell’, and it’s about a guy forced to confront the woman who jilted him at the altar, with a literal gun to his head, and rake up all the dirt of her family secrets.

 
What advice would you give to your younger self?

To cherish every moment with those you love, and not take a single second for granted.

 
How do you spend your free time?

Writing is my free time hobby, it’s how I decompress from my worklife. I also love art, cooking, family, walks, and museums. Above all of these, however, I love to just spend time with my wife.

 
Tell us about your favourite memory related to reading or writing?

Being accepted for publication in an anthology for the first time. It was a story called Feathers, for an anthology called Hearts Of Valour, and although I had played around with some light hearted and silly romance stories before, and some romantic but not quite romances, it was the first time I had tried to write a real, serious, romance story before, and I had never expected it to be picked up.

 
Name three things you consider yourself to be good at, and three things you consider yourself to be bad at.

I hope I’m good at my job, good at cooking, and a person people can approach if they want to talk something, anything, through. I don’t know if I’m quite so good at washing up after cooking, dancing, or adulting.

 
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To like junk food less, and exercise more…

 
If someone gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I have never been to America, and I think I would like to see it some day. Maybe not LA or New York, where everybody wants to holiday, but… a quite corner of New England, or to go ghost hunting in Boston.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Writing is very much a community hobby, and a serious business. I know that HeadSpace would be a far worse book if people like SallyAnn Cole, and Jenn Nixon hadn’t been so supportive when I was writing, of if Terri Rochanski and Sharon Hughson had not offered so much support at Roane. Or if people like you, Rainne, didn’t take the time to write blogs, support writers, and help the readers find books they will love. So, what I would really like to share, as corny as this might sound, is a huge ‘THANK YOU’. And thank you, reader, for sticking with us, and getting this far. I mean, you’re still here! Wow! Thank you!

 
Thank you for joining us, Tom. Congratulations on your new release, and best wishes for all your future projects. Keep writing awesome books!

Find Tom on Facebook, and his books on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and other book stores

HeadSpace by T.E. Hodden

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Title: HeadSpace
Author: T.E. Hodden
Release Date: September 17, 2018
Publisher: Roane Publishing

 

HeadSpace_FinalCoverAny last thoughts?

A few seconds ago I was pushed down some stairs.

A heartbeat ago my head struck cold stone.

Somewhere out there, I am fighting for my life.

But I’m stuck in here, the echo chamber of my thoughts, fighting to hold on, fighting my way back through my memories, my friendships, and my mistakes.

Because, somewhere out there is a woman I should have said three words to, and I have no intention of letting go until she hears the truth.

Dying is easy. Are you ready to live?

Amazon
Roane Publishing

 

Excerpt:

I saw her every night that week. Our first real date was to the seaside, so she could play the arcade games. Her driving lesson had not gone well, and she took out her frustrations on the digital enemies with button mashing and swearing.

“Bloody Hell!” I chuckled.

“Die! You cold sore riddled, festering foreskin!”

“What did they do to you?”

“They are invaders from another world, they deserve to feel my wrath!” She snarled. “Well, mostly because that stupid git who almost hit me on the roundabout can’t! And my Dad!” Her knuckles went white as she punched the fire button. “If I could zap Dad I would, that feckless little runt! But, I can’t, so these little alien buggers will pay! Argh! You bloody peggers!”

The screen flashed red. Game Over.

Purged of her anger, she curled into my arms, her cheek red hot against mine.
We sat on the beach, watched the waves crash in, and listened to music on shared headphones.

She considered the finger with which I stroked her wrists. “You know you are shaking?”

“I am?”

“Yeah.” She placed my hands on her side. “Do I make you that nervous?”

I didn’t answer.

“Let me guess…I’m so much more beautiful than all the other girls?”

“You are beautiful,” I agreed, “and there are no other girls.”

“I know.” She shrank back. “Why would you want anybody else?”

“I meant…” I could feel my words turning to a confession. “There haven’t been any others.”

“Oh.” She shifted so we lay back, and she could rest her head on my chest.

“Really?”

“You couldn’t tell?”

She chuckled.

“And…”

“And?” She asked.

“And… I’m afraid to let this happen, when…” I closed my eyes. “You know that in a few weeks I’m not going to be around much?”

“Oh.” She smiled. “So, you are playing for keeps?”

That she had to ask, unsettled me. I drew back and mumbled an apology. She put her fingers over my lips.

“Are those the only reasons you are so scared?” she whispered.

“Well, that and any moment now you are going to realise I’m a dork, and—”

She giggled and put my hand on her cheek. “It’s the good kind of scared right?”
It was.

“I know you will come and find me,” she said. “You are going to make me a promise. When you go off and train, you will promise to come find me every moment you can.”

“I promise I will come and find you.” I smiled. “Want something you can keep, until I come and find it?”

“Like what?”

I wrestled with my answer for far too long. Every fibre of me wanted to just say the words, but a sudden fear strangled my voice away, so bloody sure it would send her running for the hills if I admitted how much I wanted her, needed her, longed for her hot breath on the cold sweat of my skin.

If I said the words it would be real.

“My virginity,” I said, the moment hitting me like a sledgehammer to the happy sacks. “To be claimed as soon as you will be happy I am always coming home. Whenever you are satisfied I am forever yours.”

She blinked six times, her mouth opened, closed, set in a bright smile, and opened again, without finding any words, closed, pinching her lip between her teeth, before her whole body exploded into a nervous, twitching, shaking laugh. Fireworks went off behind her eyes, and her cheeks filled with colour. She nodded, kissed me, nodded again, and melted into my embrace, still wearing a glowing blush. “I’ll take it,” she said at last, stretching the words in a pantomime of indecision and bartering, “but I want something to remember you by, too.”

Her fingers found my scarf, she toyed with it. “Cathedral Bridge FC?”

I nodded.

“You poor sad bugger.” She lifted it off me. “Still, I’m the one likely to be wearing it in public.”

Her lips brushed my forehead, and we snuggled down into a contented quiet, between kisses.

 

 
26804431_1452384881546009_1814706673425582622_nAbout the author:

T. E. Hodden trained in engineering, and works in the rail industry. He writes as a hobby, when he is not walking the Kent coast, looking for forgotten nooks and crannies of history and folklore.

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Come and join us tomorrow, when Tom will be in the ‘hotseat’
answering questions about his books, his writing and himself!

 
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Lazy Sunday

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Before We Died by Joan Schweighardt

Before We Died

Title: Before We Died
Series: Rivers, #1
Author: Joan Schweighardt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Action & Adventure
Publication Date: September 15, 2018
 

40102009Two young men battle corruption, the forces of nature, and their own weaknesses (including the issue of their love for the same woman) in the deepest part of the Brazilian jungle:

 
In 1908 two Irish American brothers leave their jobs on the docks of Hoboken, NJ to make their fortune tapping rubber trees in the South American rainforest. They expect to encounter floods, snakes, malaria, extreme hunger and unfriendly competitors, but nothing prepares them for the psychological hurdles that will befall them.

 
BEFORE WE DIED, the first in a three-book “rivers” series, is a literary adventure novel set against the background of the South American rubber boom, a fascinating but little known historical moment.

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Author Information:

joan-schweighardt2Joan Schweighardt is the award-winning author of The Accidental Art Thief, The Last Wife Of Attila The Hun, Virtual Silence and other novels.

Joan grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey and lived in Broward County in Florida and Ulster County in New York before moving to Bernalillo County, New Mexico. In addition to her own book projects, she writes, edits and ghostwrites for private and corporate clients.

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See my interview with Joan Schweighardt

 

 

A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZJ is for Journey

 

Joanna’s Journey

Karen J. Mossman

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

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Joanna’s Journey: Review

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

 
Karen J. Mossman

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.

All Karen’s books are in collections – The Decade Series, The Themed Collection, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.’ She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and has four tales in that collection.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, “It’s especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books.”

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

 

The Journey of the Marked

Rebecca P. McCray

The mark means honor. The mark invites death.

On a distant planet, Eros thrives in the Human settlement he calls home. Raised to follow his grandfather’s noble footsteps, he studies the details of each species that co-exist here. But when his sixteenth birthday arrives and the mark appears, he’s called to fight, which changes his life forever.

Forced to abandon his home, the mark makes him the hunted. He’s attacked the night he arrives in the city. A tough, street fighter named Kenrya saves his life. When they join others on the same journey, her cynical attitude drives a wedge between the group.

Given the perils facing them, can they put aside their differences and trust each other long enough to survive?

Discover this epic adventure where an individual’s unique abilities can change the course of the future.

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The Journey of the Marked: Review

21802177Rebecca P. McCray has a fantastic imagination and her vividly detailed writing brings to life the complex world of Zolei.
The many different species living on the planet are wonderfully described and I have a clear picture of most of them, although keeping them straight was hard at first, I soon figured out who was who.

In some chapters we join the five marked teens; Eros, Tip, Kenrya, Prizene, and Azetan, as they make the dangerous journey to the Miyran training camp. Other chapters follow the family members and friends who were left behind, as they meet up while searching for news of the five. There are also chapters that show the story from the Tyrnotts and Graeliths (the bad guys) point of view. These different perspectives give the story and the characters a great deal of depth.

It’s an amazing book that I did not want to reach the end of, but I have, and now I’m desperate to read the next one!

 
Rebecca P. McCray

Rebecca McCray is a financial consultant by day and fantasy world-builder by night. Her debut novel, The Journey of the Marked, is a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. She enjoys building out a world that is a cross between high-fantasy and gritty sci-fi and plans to publish the second novel in the series in the first half of 2016.

Besides being an avid reader, she loves to travel and experience new cultures.

 

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
D is for Death
G is for Ghost
B is for Blood
E is for Emotion
H is for Horror
C is for Creepy
F is for Fantasy
I is for Infinite

Books I Read in January ’17
Books I Read In March 2016

Time Will Tell by Les Lynam

TimeWillTell

 

…Before You Leap

Before You LeapBook 1

Two teens from two centuries apart, one the direct descendant of the other. Einstein’s Theory didn’t cover THIS relativity.

Sean Kelly considered himself an average 16-year-old, living in an average neighborhood in a small University town. Nothing too exciting ever happened in Grover’s Corners, Missouri; some might even label it boring. His ordinary life was disrupted when a distant relative dropped by at the beginning of his Junior year in high-school. A distant relative from the 23rd Century.

Two 16-year-olds in a time machine. What could possibly go wrong?

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My Review:

A well-written and humorous read.

The characters were brilliantly described, completely believable and come alive as you read.

I loved Sean’s reaction to the science behind time travel, which was interesting and not overly complicated.

Ther was no great cliffhanger at the end, but it was left open for another book, which I’ll be more than happy to read

This book was so much more than your typical sci-fi/time-travel novel.

 

…Saves Nine

Saves NineBook 2

Sean Kelly and LX travel back one more generation to the year 1969. The question is: will either teen know how to ‘make the scene’ in the sixties? Can they blend in with the other teens in tiny Mercer, Iowa; including Sean’s dad? When they return to 1995, both of them have regrets about the past.

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My Review:

Wow! Amazing! I loved this book!

If you read and enjoyed …Before You Leap read this! In my opinion, it’s even better.

The plot is fascinating and the writing outstanding.

The characters from book one continue to develop, and the characters new to this book are well fleshed out.

How the author keeps all the toing and froing between different times straight in his mind while writing it so that it’s completely understandable for the reader is beyond me.

I can only hope that Les Lynam can also travel through time so that the next book in the series will be waiting for me when I finish this book yesterday!
(He couldn’t – I had to wait)

 

…In One Basket

In One BasketBook 3

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.

Amazon

 
My Review:

Another great, fun-filled book from Les Lynam !

Having read the first two books of the series I was looking forward to reading …In One Basket, and I was not disappointed.

The book follows on from where the second book ended and I was pulled straight back into the story.

My old friends Sean, Jane/Kate and LX are back and better than ever, and I loved the surprising development of Steffi’s character.

It was an exciting and enjoyable read, filled with non-stop action and unexpected twists!

 

Meet The Author:

Les LynamLes Lynam (1954- ) was born in Creston, Iowa, into a farming family which also included an older brother and two older sisters. The family farm was near the tiny community of Corning, Iowa, (birthplace of Johnny Carson).

After graduating from Corning High School, he attended Central Missouri State University (renamed University of Central Missouri in 2006), graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.

After a short, mostly unsuccessful, attempt at running a print shop, he refocused and returned to a life of studies at the University of Missouri. He received an M.A./M.L.S in 1986 and began a new career as a librarian at Ward Edwards / James C. Kirkpatrick libraries at UCM. He took an early retirement on December 31, 2012 to pursue his lifelong dream of writing Science Fiction.

His premier novel, “…Saves Nine”, was first published in 2014 with hopes and dreams of many more to come. His favorite sub-genre of Science Fiction is Time-Travel, with Martian Colonies a close second.

He has one son and three grandchildren.

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