Thursday, March 20, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Zen and Sex by Dermot Davis is a character driven story which revolves around photographer Martin and his thoughts, ideas about how he sees romantic relationships and the world. It isn't always a pretty sight but it is funny.
The plot was well-developed but I did have some issues with how Martin's past experience and age was developed. Given how emotional he was, and how much he was aware of these emotions, I would think he is in his late twenties. It didn't seem to fit but maybe I just missed something between the lines.
Martin is a compelling character who is believable and convincing. I do admire the author for introducing the changes, maturity to his personality gradually so the reader is able to watch Martin grow and experience his 'mishaps' to the entertainment of the reader.
Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
- That I should have started marketing the book many months before the book was released. Wow! This one hurt.
- That high quality book jackets can be bought for as little as $30.00!
- That people selling reviews will contact you as soon as your book goes live!
- That your competitors will buy negative reviews for your precious little book.
- That it is so competitive on Amazon that one is only as good as last few hours of sales before the Algorithms program unceremoniously sweeps one out of the top 100 of whatever list you are precariously hanging inside.
- That some of the people in the publishing industry are angels in disguise. They will come forward with offers of help that make your jaw hit the floor.
- What is good is no longer decided by the publishers, but by the public. What was considered by the pillars of the publishing world as unworthy or tasteless can be crowned king by the buying public hours after being published on Amazon.
- That Book Bloggers have amassed so much clout being featured on one of the big blogs can catapult your book into heart-stoppingly elevated position on Amazon’s bestseller charts.
- That the self-publishing is actually a large lottery of hope. A small number of lucky authors hit the big time very quickly, and make it look so easy it pushes everybody into thinking, ‘I can do that.’ The failure rate is astounding!
- That luck plays a much bigger role than I had given it credit for. Having the right book at the right time is the real key to great success.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Book Excerpt: (Chapter 2)
The brass doors opened behind her bringing with it an unexpected guest.
“I knew you’d come home.”
Onyx’ heart sank hearing him speak in that gentle voice. He always used that voice when he knew he was wrong; when he was trying to make her forgive him. It felt repulsively sweet now.
“She was just leaving,” Jade said in a firm tone as she turned to face him.
“Nicky, you brought a bodyguard with you? That hurts,” he sounded genuinely insulted.
“Goodbye, Philip.” Onyx said softly, suddenly lacking the confidence she just had.
Philip reached out for her arm, but Jade intercepted the action, grabbing him by the wrist and twisting it until he let out an almost inaudible yelp.
“You will not lay a hand on her. Not now, not ever again. If you so much as brush against her in a way I don’t like, I will break every bone in your body, starting with your pinky toe and ending with your skull.” She twisted just a little further.
But he didn’t lose his composure. He looked Onyx dead in the eye, “Quite a lot of bark for your little Chihuahua of a friend here, huh? Nicky, we don’t need all of this. This running away, the muscle, the hiding out, we are better than this. You know I love you more than anything in the world. Just come home, baby. I need you. It’ll be different, I promise. I’ll start going to therapy like you always wanted. You can even hang out with that crayon haired one. No questions asked. Just come home. What do you say? Come on, I need you.”
“Onyx, don’t you listen to him. Put the bags in the elevator, we’re leaving.”
Onyx hesitated, switching her gaze back and forth between the two. He looked so hurt, so broken up, she just wanted to leap into his arms and console him. For a moment, she could feel her heart ripping in her chest; she believed him. She believed he meant he would change and things would be different. She believed it and she hated herself for it.
Onyx rolled her bags into the elevator before she lost her nerve.
“Goodbye, Philip.” She said again.
“If you love her even half as much as you say, you’ll let us leave here. You’ll leave her alone and move on with your life. But keep the therapy bit, you need it.” Jade winked at him before joining Onyx.
As Jade released his wrist, he noticed a small green marking on her arm; a very familiar mark that he knew all too well.
The girls disappeared down to the ground floor, leaving Philip alone in his flower filled living room. He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial.
“She’s with the Order of Earth. Find out what family, find out who their Protector is, and find out now.”
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Genre - Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13
More details about the author
Friday, March 7, 2014
The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.
They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.
The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.
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Genre - YA/Mystery
Rating – PG – 13
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Ashra pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.
She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—
“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?
Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be—
She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.
Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.
Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound.
Elsker stepped forward. The sole male icrathari was slightly taller than the female icrathari, and dressed in a black silk shirt and linen pants. His silver hair was cropped short, and his light blue eyes were wide. “Rohkeus reborn? That’s impossible.”
Siri shrugged, her red gown shifting around her curvaceous frame. Her silver hair, cut short, framed her face. “Stranger things have happened.” Her pale violet gaze raked over the human. “At least he had the good sense to choose a pretty body.”
Ashra shook her head, the movement jolting her out of her daze. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.
Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.
“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.
“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”
Siri seized Ashra’s hand before she could turn away. Siri’s lips, painted the same provocative color as her dress, shaped an O. “You’re not serious. How many people are offered a second chance at the love of a lifetime?”
A second chance? Her traitorous pulse raced even as her lips curled with disgust. “He’s human.”
“We can make him immortal—a vampire.”
Ashra swallowed hard. “But not an icrathari.”
Siri’s gaze fell. “No, of course not.”
“You can’t.” Siri stepped forward, placing herself between Ashra and the barely conscious human. “This is amazing. It’s never happened before—a soul reborn.”
“Rohkeus is dead, and I rule Aeternae Noctis.” She turned to Tera. “I told you to kill him.”
Tera hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then she shook her head. “I won’t do it, and neither will Siri or Elsker. If you want him dead, you’ll have to do it yourself.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jade Kerrion developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too?
So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.
Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, spawned the Double Helix series which has won a total of seven science fiction awards, including first place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and the gold medal in Readers Favorites Awards 2013. She is also the author of Earth-Sim and When the Silence Ends, which placed first and second respectively in the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Awards, Young Adults category.
She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating – PG-13
Sunday, March 2, 2014
From Chapter 37
‘Gramps wasn’t around anymore. Successful industrialists don’t have time for their daughters. My mother had her hands full with the boys. Teenagers crave attention. That’s all I was doing. It turned out I was quite normal. I finally grew up. Sports were helpful.’
He was as intrigued with her as ever. ‘What kind of sports?’
‘Gymkhana horse riding, till I was 15, and then some board surfing, on the odd occasion, and then, more recently, board sailing. I love to be at one with nature.’ She flicked back her hair and looked up at the sun.
‘So,’ he said in response, ‘we both know how to ride a horse – that’s a start isn’t it?’
‘Yeah,’ I guess so, she replied, ‘but I’d rather play golf.’
‘I’d be delighted if you’d play with me,’ he stated enthusiastically. ‘What did you do when you were “finished” at that “finishing school” of yours?’
‘I’ve told you,’ she answered: ‘my old man wanted me “barefoot and pregnant” in the kitchen next door – he thought it was time I settled down. We had a hell of a fight, but I had Guido on my side, and my mother finally came to the party and supported me.
‘I enrolled in a journalism course at Texas U, in Austin. I did quite well. My old man finally acknowledged my existence by coming to my graduation ceremony. And then our relationship became an armed truce, when I “informed” him I’d decided to go out on my own.’ Using her index and middle fingers, she drew quotation marks in the air, around the word “informed”.
‘That wasn’t his idea of how a good Italian woman should conduct herself. I basically told him, “Go fuck yourself!”, but I used more diplomatic language – as they taught me at finishing school. He finally came to realise he’d been a failure as a father, and backed off. From time to time, he still dangles my trust fund in my face, in the hope he can make me see reason and live my life according to his paternal script.’
‘Right,’ Luke acknowledged. ‘And your mother?’
‘Mum died when I was 20, a week before my 21st-birthday party. That rug was also pulled out from under me, and it was the last straw, as far as I was concerned. That’s when I moved to San Francisco to start living my own life properly.
‘That’s also why I wanted to know your views about gay marriage. Like Sydney, San Fran’s got a large gay community, and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of gay friends.’
His ‘naughty streak’ surfaced again. ‘And if you come to live in Australia among the “large gays”?’
She smiled, but was clearly fixated on wrapping up her story. ‘Some of them might miss me.’
‘Did you struggle to get a job?’
‘No,’ she answered, ‘not really. A few doors were opened to me because I topped my class and was the daughter of Louis Marchetti.’
Luke imagined the opening doors, and indulged in a quick fantasy about banging his boys up against her open doors . . . ‘So,’ he remarked, ‘he wasn’t entirely a waste of rations . . . Hang on a second: did you just say you topped your class?’
She had a palpable air of relief that she’d finally told her story. ‘Look, Luke, he’s not really a bad guy; it’s just he’s been hanging on to his old values in the modern world. I’m convinced that somewhere deep inside him, he’s just as sad as I am that we don’t have a relationship. I’m his only daughter. Maybe, if you and I finally get together, it’ll serve as an ice breaker.’
‘You topped your class?’ he persisted.
‘Yes,’ she replied, with a trace of impatience. ‘So what?
He considered his next question. ‘Can I ask you something personal?’
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Genre - Conspiracy Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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Saturday, March 1, 2014
NEW ORLEANS SEP 4, 2009
The Assassin’s voice boomed through the closed double doors to the study for the fifth time since he’d entered the room with Morgan’s Blood Sons, almost five hours before. Marcus cringed as the doors were flung open, and Nicholas strode out, rage radiating from every inch of his six–foot, four–inch frame. Storm–gray eyes landed on Marcus, narrowed to slits, and he stalked past, commanding him to follow with an imperious wave of his right hand. Not wanting to piss the Assassin off more, Marcus bit back a snide comment, and followed him up the sweeping staircase to the mansion’s upper floors.
“Damn it all to hell, Old Man!” Nicholas roared as he began pacing the landing at the top of the stairs. He wanted Marcus to throw himself against his temper to take the edge off.
Ye Gods, Marcus thought, we’ve done this more times than I’d care to count in the centuries we’ve known one another, but this is different. Well, something other than the fact that we’ve barely spoken a civil word to one another in almost two hundred years.
“I take it the boys couldn’t add anything to what we already knew. In spite of the almost five hour interrogation?” Marcus asked, fighting to rein in his own temper, leaning against the banister at the top of the stairs.
“Five hours?” Nicholas stopped moving. He turned to Marcus, meeting his eyes. The other vampire nodded. “It was really that long?”
“Yes. What’s next, Assassin?” Marcus asked, letting some of the frustration he felt give his voice a hard edge. The last thing they needed right now was for Nicholas to go soft.
“We can’t do anything before the sun sets,” he said, after giving Marcus a long, appraising look.
He’s assessed my well–being and decided I’m not fit for the field. I’ve seen that look too many times before and know better than to argue with him, Marcus thought, trying to work out a logical counter argument.
“I haven’t slept.” Nicholas sighed. “You look like death warmed over and those two are rattled.” He nodded toward the room where he’d left the younger vampires.
“Fine.” Marcus nodded. “I took the liberty of having my staff get us some SUVs. If Morgan’s alive, she’s going to need fresh blood. We’re going to need the extra room.” Marcus was almost certain that he didn’t have to mention that, but the desperate look in Nicholas’s eyes led him to believe that there was no such thing as being too careful in this situation.
“She has to be alive, Marcus.”
“We’ll find her.” Marcus answered, feeling like an ass for lying. We both know that the odds suck. This could be nothing more than trying to find her body. Gods, whoever did this is going to pay.
“I have a very bad feeling about this,” the Assassin muttered, looking through Marcus. Nicholas’s mind was turning over what he knew, making connections and searching for others.
“How so?” Marcus asked, prompting Nicholas to think aloud, knowing it helped him make connections he otherwise missed, and it gave Marcus the opportunity to make a few as well.
“The security footage Danny sent over from the club’s parking lot shows Morgan and her attackers, but never their faces.”
“The club has cameras outside?”
“Apparently one of the human staff had some trouble right after the club opened. Morgan had them installed after that.”
“They could have scoped out the cameras. Not too difficult when you know what to look for,” Marcus muttered, his brows drawn together. “Why didn’t anyone see her being attacked, if it was caught on camera? Why are we just learning about this now? Just because she somehow jacked my mind and knocked me flat on my ever–loving ass.” Marcus’s words sped up as he continued, agitation given voice.
“The footage is stored on massive hard drives but not reviewed unless an incident is reported. Since no one reported her disappearance…” Nicholas’s voice trailed off.
“I have a feeling Morgan will be revising that policy when she returns.”
“If she returns.”
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Genre - Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG-13