Review: All Saints (Murder Ballads and Whiskey #4) by Jason Jack Miller

All SaintsDisclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am friends with the author and we shared a publisher.


The flow and style of the language in this novel took me on a trip around the world that I’m not sure I wanted to come back from. Whether it was modern-day, war-torn Afghanistan, the European countryside that wasn’t in much better shape during the Great War, or the humid depths of the Mexican jungle, I was one hundred percent there with the characters. Even when I wasn’t precisely sure what was going on, I didn’t necessarily care because the words swept me up in their wake.  Continue reading

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Review: For a Good Time, Call… (Bluewater Bay #17) by Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell

For a Good Time CallThere were moments while reading this book that I forgot it was a romance novel. It’s just that the romantic element felt like a subplot to all the craziness going on regarding Seth’s familial estate, but we happened to also spend a lot of time in Nate’s brain as he angsted about Seth.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Nicholas Conley

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing two projects by Nicholas Conley, so I jumped at the chance to pick his brain about his latest novel. Intraterrestrial was a wild ride, and you can find my review of it here.

IntraterrestrialABOUT THE BOOK

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.

After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

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The premise of this book revolves around traumatic brain injury (TBI). Can you tell us about your interest in this topic?

So as with my previous novel, Pale Highway, the inspiration for this book came from my years of working in the long-term care unit of a nursing and rehabilitation home, where I cared for people with many health conditions. When I started writing Intraterrestrial, probably my biggest goal was to always make sure that the main character — Adam — is in the driver’s seat from start to finish: he’s always the central protagonist, never just a supporting character in his own story. It was extremely important, I think, to show that Adam’s TBI doesn’t make him into a plot device. Both before and after the accident, he’s a real person, with the same sorts of hopes, dreams, fears, thoughts, and feelings of anyone else.

I also wanted to explore the painful family dynamics that are caused by accidents like this one, which I saw all too often when I was working in that field. When a kid gets thrust into the medical system, their parents have to be intimately involved in every step of the process, and those parents have an insane amount of pressure (and expectations) placed on their every decision. There are no easy answers, I think, so I felt like it was important to look deeply into the pained humanity behind every person in this narrative — Adam, his parents, the medical professionals — to see each person honestly, openly, as human beings instead of caricatures.  Continue reading

Review: A Scandal in Battersea (Elemental Masters #12) by Mercedes Lackey

Scandal in BatterseaThe novels of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series take two forms. The first is re-imagined fairy tales set in Edwardian England (and Europe beyond). The second is a more of a traditional (historical) urban fantasy series that centers around a group of magicians, psychics, and mediums in London, starring two plucky young women and their avian familiars. They hang out with Sherlock Holmes sometimes, which is why his star-power gets him on the cover of the book.

A Scandal in Battersea is the latter style, which is not my preference of the two, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. It was a solid, magical mystery adventure filled with comforting characters familiar from earlier in the series. Watching Nan and Sarah grow up has been a lovely ride, and I do enjoy checking in on them.  Continue reading

Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

ArtemisWhen the credits rolled on Ant-Man, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Marvel made me a heist movie!” When I read the first blurb about Artemis ages ago, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Andy Weir is writing me a heist novel!”

Considering I read the book in the space of a solid 4 hours on Wednesday night, the day after the book’s publication, I think it’s safe to say that Weir did not disappoint. (Since this review is coming out so close to publication, it has no spoilers).  Continue reading