Review: The Lawrence Browne Affair (Turner Series #2) by Cat Sebastian

Lawrence Browne AffairA break from the daily routine in the form of a business trip to Seattle for the day job meant a break in my regular reading habits. Ages ago, my favorite contemporary romance author (okay, Anna Zabo is really the only contemporary romance author I really read) noted that a novel by one of their favorite romance authors was having a Kindle sale, so I snatched it up. This story was a quick and fluid read over the course of two lovely evenings, and exactly the right fare for my trip.  Continue reading

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Review: Patterns of Interference (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #5) by Christopher L. Bennett

Patterns of InterferenceObvious benefits of a media tie-in novel are the lack of production value constraints. This means authors are free to make use of a vast array of characters and create new planets beyond the typical constrictions of special effects. Bennett has capitalized on these abilities to great extent, especially writing a familiar cast of characters no longer centered on a single starship. He brings the crew of the original Enterprise to life as they continue their lives beyond the course of the television series, both separately and yet still inextricably linked. He also expands beyond the names on the title cards to create reader bonds to both new and unique characters and those with some familiar names, such as Kirk and Paris.  Continue reading

Review: The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

bronze skiesAfter I finished this novel, staying up until past midnight on a work night, I posted a complaint on Facebook. Not about this novel, but about how I had over 100 more books on my “to be read” shelf, but all I really wanted to do is go back and re-read everything else in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.

Despite the fact that I write in a different genre, it’s safe to say that the space opera universe created in this book series is my favorite of all time. That this is my favorite author. That reading new stories set in this world is like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket and feeling very much at home. As a new addition, The Bronze Skies did not disappoint (see again staying up late to finish).  Continue reading

Author Interview with A.E. Hayes

shatteredFor something a little bit different today, I’m interviewing author A.E. Hayes about Shattered: Memories of an Amnesiac! I know, it sounds like science fiction, despite my own medical knowledge about traumatic brain injury gleaned from my years of editing a medical journal on rehabilitation. So I was instantly intrigued about, well, everything about this.


ABOUT THE BOOK 

“You’ve been captive far too long,” she whispered. “So I’m releasing you.”

The universe was bathed in white light, and as I touched the azure and ruby stars dancing above my head, the crack within me split and fractured into madness.

I felt the shatter. But I was powerless to stop it.

A.E. Hayes wakes up in a bright hospital room on the afternoon of August 24, 2010, with no idea of who she is or what has happened to her. When her doctors begin saying words such as “traumatic brain injury” and “retrograde amnesia,” she realizes that she cannot remember anything at all – including the man sitting beside her who claims to be her husband.

Guided by numerous doctors, hospitals, trauma units, her husband, a mysterious person known only as Starlight Boy, and an equally mysterious voice inside her head that tells her to seek the truth, Hayes sets out to uncover the answers about her rare condition. But is her amnesia truly all there is to her story? Through various sources, Hayes must learn about her startling and often traumatic past – and how that past may permanently alter the future.

Raw and riveting, Shattered: Memoirs of an Amnesiac leads readers down a path of darkness, mystery, and redemption – where heroes are often villains, fiction routinely gives way to fact, and how, ultimately, the truth can be both the disease and the cure.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


Though your academic degree is in writing fiction, I know from my own professional experience that writing nonfiction is another beast. How do you balance the difference in writing styles?

Writing nonfiction — especially a memoir — was absolutely a massive undertaking. I’m very used to writing fictional pieces, in which the characters come into my head, take over, and create a fantastical fictional playground. And I’m quite used to a distanced form of nonfiction, since I worked as a music magazine writer and as a newspaper editor. But writing a memoir — a story that is one-hundred percent true about my life and the events that have occurred — forced me into a different head space. But telling the truth was the key to balance. With fiction, I do have to tell the truth as my characters would tell it — if character X says she didn’t have an affair, but character Y says she did, those are their truths, and I must be honest to those characters and write out those events. But with nonfiction/memoir, I had to tell the truth as it actually occurred in this very human, real life. The only things that were not one-hundred percent factual were names, some locations, and some identifying characteristics (I’m really not a fan of lawsuits). But the events were all true, and I couldn’t have made them up if I tried. Since these things did occur to me, I could rely on my own experiences to guide me, and I think that made the process a little easier (despite the amnesia, which I will get to in the next question).  Continue reading

Review: Points of Origin (SG-1/SGA Travelers’ Tales #2) edited by Sally Malcolm

Points of OriginFavorite story: “Precognition” by Jo Graham touches on the after-effects of one of my favorite episodes of Stargate SG-1, when our heroes travel back in time and are aided by a younger George Hammond. It was lovely to see his progression through the years, taking us to the man we know and love who guided the Stargate Program with such a steady hand. I especially enjoyed the historical twist about some other characters thrown in, which I decline to spoil here.

Story I’d love to see expanded into a novel: “Cotermino(us)” by Peter J. Evans started off really weird. Like the author was trying too hard to evoke the narrative of what we might see on screen rather than reading. But as things progressed, I got sucked in by the possibilities of what might be happening. The final scene packed an emotional punch, and I’d read an entire novel about this story, or what takes place next.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Currently reading: The Bronze Skies (Major Bhaajan #2) by Catherine Asaro

Author Interview with Rebecca Halsey

51g1zqIbhdL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Not every book gets two birthdays, but sometimes life happens. Since I’m a huge fan of authors who face adversity and come back swinging, I’m pleased to host an interview with author Rebecca Halsey on the occasion of her novel’s re-release. I previously read and reviewed Notes of Temptation last year, tearing through it while on vacation and loving every moment of this historical romance with a touch of magic.

I hope this interview with the author and the snippet below provide their own temptation for you to check out this awesome book.


ABOUT THE BOOK

When Carrie Cooper leaves her small gold-mining town to seek her fortune, it’s not until she arrives in L.A. that she learns her college certificate is a fraud. The only work available is in a less-than-respectable speakeasy. The job comes with the opportunity to take the stage with Oz Dean, the club’s captivating bandleader. But rivals out for her blood along with her place in the spotlight lurk behind the curtain. Oz Dean has the rare ability to “see” music as brilliant colors, but nothing has ever dazzled him like Carrie’s pure, choir-girl voice. With a mob debt hanging over his head like a guillotine, he organizes a revue that will launch them all to stardom. Unfortunately, his bold move attracts exactly the kind of criminal attention he would like to avoid. Mired in Hollywood’s underbelly, caught off-guard by their growing attraction, Carrie and Oz are forced to consider the cost of success. Or their one chance to make beautiful music together could be their last. Together they take the stage. Together they must defend it to the death.

Amazon


Writing an historical novel means a ton of research. What was the coolest thing you learned while gathering information to craft the world of this book?

I wanted to set this story at the end of Prohibition and the beginning of the Depression when things were starting to change. So I picked the year 1931. As I was investigating the time period, I discovered that demand for coins dropped off in these years. No quarters were minted in 1931, so if you find one, it’s surely counterfeit.  Continue reading

Review: The Resurrection Pact (Winston Casey Chronicles #1) by Jay Smith

resurrection pactDisclaimer: I purchased an ebook version of this novel at release, then acquired a hardcopy version in a book trade with the author, whom I consider a friend.


Once upon a time, I was one of THOSE World of Warcraft (WoW) players. Had a full-time job, but still spent 30 to 40 hours a week playing the game. Questing quietly was my favorite part, but as these things happen, I also ended up raiding four to five nights a week. These were my friends, my social circle, and my motivation. It wasn’t just a game, it was a lifestyle.

I’m pretty sure that The Resurrection Pact gave me flashbacks.  Continue reading