Posts Tagged ‘book’

The Grove Blog Tour!

So in celebration of the release of The Grove, I’m going on a Blog Tour!

Between September 26th and October 21st, I will be doing interviews, guest posts, and other fun stuff. At different stops, you can win prizes such as a copy of my Official The Grove Coloring Book: Pacific Coast Oddities Museum Wildlife Coloring Book! I hope you check out some of the blog stops.

September 26 – Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours – Kick Off
September 27 – Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt
September 28 – A Life Through Books – Interview
September 29 – Steamy Side – Excerpt
September 30 – Novel News Network – Excerpt
October 1 – Chosen By You Book Club – Excerpt
October 2 – Satin’s Bookish Corner – Excerpt
October 3 – My Reading Addiction – Interview
October 4 – Mello and June – Guest Post
October 5 – Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Review
October 6 – Jazzy’s Book Reviews – Excerpt
October 7 – Evermore Books – Guest Post
October 8 – Mary’s Cup of Tea – Review
October 10 – On a Reading Bender – Excerpt
October 11 – Authors That Rock – Review
October 12 – Just Us Book Blog – Excerpt
October 13 – Texas Book Nook – Review
October 17 – J Bronder Book Reviews – Review
October 18 – The Indie Express – Review
October 21 – RABT Reviews – Wrap Up
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The novel fairy visited last night and now The Grove is here!!!

Full of anticipation I went to bed last night…and lo and behold… my next dark fantasy novel, The Grove is now live. The novel is available at Amazon for the Kindle and Paperback, Barnes&Noble for the NookKobo, and IBooks.

The Grove Cover_blogsized

“Chaos, murder, sacrifice: it was a delicious read, and I devoured it all.” Dan Thompson, The Black Petal

“If you’re a fan of well-written, fast-paced, fantasy thrillers that trot into the neighborhood of horror, you’ll love it…” Fia Essen, Ariel

“Guizzetti’s delusional and magically gifted anti-hero is truly terrifying…” Janice Clark, Healer’s Apprentice Series

“I was blown away…” Madison Keller, The Dragon Tax Saga

 

About The Grove:
Sitka’s Quay appears to be like every other coastal tourist town on Highway 101, but lurking below its southern grove of ancient spruce are three sleeping primordial gods. For an eon, their bloodthirsty dreams have radiated into the ground and restore anyone who walks within the Grove. The Keeper, Dayla Fischer, must remain in control of her magical abilities or fall into sickening madness, but lives a relatively quiet life with her husband, Oliver, their cat and garden gnome roommates.

That is, until the delusional, but charming Jonah Leifson comes to town with a plan to awaken the Three. Soon, children begin disappearing. With powerful suggestion spells and mind reading abilities, Jonah wins over other sorcerers, meth users, the police, and eventually even her husband. Though no one believes her and she doubts her own sanity, she must stop Jonah, before he wakes the Three and brings about the end of the world.

340 Pages, Published by ZB Publications (September 13, 2016)

E-Book ISBN: 978-0-9801459-2-2
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9801459-0-8

As I said above, the book is available at Amazon for the Kindle and Paperback, Barnes&Noble for the NookKobo, and IBooks

Want to know more? Check out a preview at ZB Publications? Or watch this video of me reading the first scene!

Sunday Book Review: Welcome Despair


A regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


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Welcome Despair By Maquel A. Jacob

I purchased this book directly from Ms. Jacob at the Capitol Indie Book Fair. Both when I spoke to her and in her blurb she says, “this collection of shorts that lets you dip one foot into the shallow end of horror.”

I would agree with that assessment. These stories are suspenseful, but only a few delve deeply into horror.  Think Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow on the level of horror. However, in one topic, I would say Jacob definitely is fully into horror side of things. She pulls no punches is she explores rape and sexual sadism in every story. There are no happy endings.

FYI: This is not a spoiler, it literally says this on the back of the book.

Her use of language is quite straightforward. There was a few minor typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. (Sometimes I am not sure is a typo or just a style choice.) In my opinion, I’d have liked a little more poetry in the prose, but overall it was pretty solid.

The standout (and goriest) story of the five is Taken. Earth has been ravaged by aliens and a group of children are abducted by the sadistic enemy. One boy goes on a rescue attempt for his best friend only to discover he has been turned into a girl (why is unclear) who is being terrorized by the alien emperor.  The aliens are as cruel to each other as they are to the humans. And as I said there are no happy endings.

I would recommend this book for fans of Tales of the Crypt or Creepshow who aren’t’ afraid of reading sexual horror.

 

Sunday Book Review : Esquelle and Marie

As a regular feature to my blog, Sunday Book Review, is simply a review of the book (or books) I read during the previous week on Sunday. While on Goodreads and Amazon, I give books a star rating, I don’t do stars here. I just say what I liked and didn’t like. You will notice that some will be independent titles, some will be mass market books, others will be classics. I write a review on whatever I read that week. I get most of my books from conventions from the author or bookstores, but as per FCC regs, I do mention if I received a book for free.


Apparently my reading this week was all about government secrets, espionage mixed with science fiction  with a kickbutt female title character.  That is where the similarities end. I enjoyed them both, but for different reasons.

51x-xe5tnjl-_ss300_Joe Dacy’s Esquelle is a book that Ihad been meaning to get to for awhile. An enjoyable techno-based thriller filled with smart characters, action and adventure.

While there is a lot of technology in the novel, the plot didn’t get bogged down. Dacy’s prose is detailed enough that you feel like its coming from a place of authority. It read very much like a Dan Brown’s book when the characters are discussing art or Tom Clancy discussing the ins and outs of submarines.

My only negative was the romantic subplot. I saw it coming when Dacy started mentioning what pajamas the two leads wore. It just seemed rather pointless. Or rather that “this is the spot where a sex scene goes.”  (But I admit, I find most romantic subplots pointless.)
Otherwise this is a awesome book.

People who enjoy books about computer technology or hard science fiction would love this novel.

511-11zherlMarie (Teumessian Trilogy Book 1)  by Ana Elise Meyer

Though it starts a little slow, once it gets going the action sequences are excellent and the pace quickens. And the climatic scenes is written wonderfully. This book is Jason Borne mixed with Kill Bill.

The title character Marie goes on a murdering rampage after the death of her husband and son, but she was so sympathetic (and kind to children) that I was cheering for her.

Marie is a great first book, but it has a few “first book” issues. As I said above it took awhile to get going. Since the first 100 pages was dedicated to the experiment to create super soldiers, I wished there was more science, but that was glossed over and instead we were shown how cold and calculating the scientists were. The book is well written and nothing pulled me out of the story, but the prose was blah specifically because the author used expositional dialogue. (Used in television and film this is dialogue  that no one would really say, but tells the audiences something. But books can use a little exposition) For example: There is a scene when the experiments are teenagers that is specifically to introduce their traits, but it was slow and plodding specifically because all the descriptions of each person was in the dialogue. “You are the X”  It didn’t need to be there.

However, if you like revenge books with secret government programs check out Marie.

 

The Light Side of the Moon Deleted Scenes: The Ferryman

The Light Side of the Moon FinalEver wonder what happens when a book goes through a full rewrite? A lot of deleted scenes. Some of the scenes were deleted for length and pacing. Some were cut because I realized they confused my main plot line, such as the one below.

When I wrote this “Ferryman” scene, I was trying to show the poverty that the average person faced and how love had nothing to do with their marriages. HOWEVER, I realized the scene needed to be cut, because though the ferryman is willing to marry an under-aged girl, I did not write him as a villain nor consider the ferryman a bad man. Notice: he isn’t trying to screw her over, he is trying to find an honest marriage arrangement. I actually imagined him having this conversation at least a few other times with girls/women he ferries across the river until someone agrees to marry him. He has no money or family to arrange a marriage for him. He’s doing the best he can in a world that doesn’t care about him. But that confused the greater conflict.

NOTE: This was not edited by anyone, but me.

LISTENING FOR WATER, ELLIE EDGED towards Missoula proper until she found the river. Not sure where to go, she wandered eastwards until she found a sign reading: FERRY 2 CREDITS in front a wide flat-bottom boat tied to the shore. The ship didn’t moving at night, so she hid on the leeward side of a fishing shack. As it did every day, dawn lightened the sky as the sun rose over the Rocky Mountains. She waited in her hiding place until she saw the ferryman stretching out of his blankets.

“Excuse me, I don’t have any money, but I’ll clean the deck if you get me across the river to the mills,” Ellie said.

“Girl, get yourself back home.”

“Look, I heard there were jobs at the mills. I need a way across the river.” 

“You’re about to get my boot,” he snarled, but he didn’t lift his foot.

Deciding the ferryman wasn’t likely to call to police or the convent, Ellie stood her ground. “I’ll run an errand if that’s what you need.”

The ferryman narrowed his eyes. Then glanced at his torn cuff. “You know how to sew?”

“Yes, sir, but I haven’t any needle or thread.”

“I keep some line and needles in the tool kit. I want my jacket mended and my boots shined. Do a good job, and when I have another customer, I’ll ferry you across.”

“Thank you.” She put her hands together and bowed in respect.

Grumbling, the man repeated the gesture towards her and pushed his toolbox with his foot.

Ellie’s fingers ached in the cold, but she sat beside his chair and mended the rip with fishing line. She took a rag out of the man’s tool kit and shined his boots. It would have been easier if he hadn’t been wearing them.

He opened his thermos. The smell of fish broth made her stomach growl. “You hungry, girl?”

Ellie nodded. He poured her a bit of broth in the thermos top. It was hot. Though her lips stung from the salt, Ellie drank the soup greedily.

“So how long have you been homeless?”

Licking the salt from her lips, she said, “Only a few days. My mama died. Papa died a few years ago.”

The ferryman nodded. “Yeah, you don’t seem the type. They just beg.” 

“I’ll find a job and never have to beg.”

“Times are hard. People might not be willing to chance a job on an untested girl. Why don’t you be my wife?”

She pressed her legs together and pulled her sweater tighter around her. “I’m only fourteen,” she lied. “I need a ride.”

“You are? Shit, I thought you were older,” The man frowned. “Well, now, your mama’s dead, no one will mind. Better than being homeless anyway.”

Ellie looked closely at the man’s face. His beard was brown scraggly, windswept, but his brow and cheeks were unlined. In fact, if it wasn’t for the beard, she guessed he was about Peter’s age. He was just a lonely guy with a newly mended jacket and hardly any gift in cooking. If she married him, it would be her own choice, but she wouldn’t get to the moon. Still she found herself asking, “Do you have a house?”

“Nope, just the boat.”

“I’ve never cooked a fish before. Only rabbits and eggs. I don’t know if I’d be a good wife for you,” Ellie said.

He shrugged. He pulled out a narrow fishing rod as long as he was tall. “You couldn’t be any worse of a cook than me.”

“I’d poison you if you ever beat me or our children if we had ‘em.”

“Your pa hit you, did he? Hit your ma?”

Her throat tensed. She refused to show emotion so she didn’t answer him.

“I won’t hit you,” he said. “But I expect a faithful and hardworking wife. I need help cooking and mending. Sometimes there’s work around the boat, but I’ll catch and clean the fish. The money from passengers keeps the boat afloat. Sometimes I catch enough to trade for bread and eggs.” The ferryman threaded the end of his fishing line through his hook, and wrapped it four times.

“But you don’t have extra for a bride price,” she said.

“No, I don’t. But you obviously don’t have any money either, so I figure we could help each other out. Two people work better than one. I’ll even put your name on the title of the boat.” He fed the end of his fishing line back through the looped hook and pulled it tight. He pulled out a dark wriggling worm from a small cup. Ellie looked away as he pierced the worm with his hook then attached three pieces of rusted metal to his line above his bait. Then he cocked back the rod, pushed the button on his spinner, and when he pointed it back to the water, he released the button to cast his line into the dark water.

Fingering the map in her pocket, her mind spun with worry. What if I can’t make it any farther? What if I get arrested and taken to the convent again? “Do you catch fish everyday?” she asked softly.

“Nearly,” he replied. Then leaned back and shoved his hands in his pockets. 

“Have you gone hungry?”

The ferryman studied her. “No. And I’d be damned before I let my wife or kids go hungry. And I know it looks rickety, but the shelter is pretty warm at night.”

If I married someone else, my brothers and betrothed wouldn’t ever come after me. Ellie bit her lip. “I’ll expect a faithful and hardworking husband, so I’ll think about it. I still want to see if I can get a job.”

He shrugged. “Your life, but if that doesn’t work out, come back. My offer will stand ‘til I find someone else.”

They sat in silence as he fished. He looked over his shoulder as a young couple with a baby asked if they could be ferried across. The ferryman gestured at the payment pad. The man pressed his hand on to it. Four credits were charged, two for each adult passenger. The family took a seat on the cracked polymer bench under the shelter. The ferryman pumped a lever, which opened a slot in the engine panel. He turned another cylinder. Methane belched out of the pipe as the ferry jolted off the dock.

Ellie’s stomach lurched as the water grew deeper and faster moving underneath the boat. Though the dark water underneath the hull frightened her, she wondered if the ferryman’s proposal was genuine. He didn’t seem like a bad man.

Thirty minutes later, she was across the river. The ferryman was happy to see five people waiting to cross back to the other side.

As she disembarked, he tipped his hat towards her. “Remember what I said.” 

“I’ll remember, and thank you.” Ellie pressed her palms together and inclined her head. She followed the couple towards the city center. She hugged to the outskirts of the mill to the eastbound trucking lane. Glad she had mittens, she put out her thumb.

If you liked this, check the rest of the deleted scenes here.  http://other-systems.com/dscenes.html

Meet Rosalind: A Secondary Protagonist of The Light Side of the Moon

The Light Side of the MoonRosalind

Age Unknown

(EC 302) Manufactured in India/Programmed in France

Expert Compatible Android (Accountant)

Personality: She loves deeply, she does not want to be stuck on Earth. She is a leader, but can aggressively pull for dreams.

 

Description Excerpt

She zoomed her optics from the nebula to Earth. The enlargement algorithms resized the sky as her crafted compound lens flipped to a smaller aperture to allow in less light. Her world shifted into millions of colored pixels. Images smoothed. She could see.

Ceramic tiles had continued to fall through the rotting, scorched wood in the ceiling, but the tenement was the same as it had been the last time her consciousness was on Earth. She rolled to her side and pushed strands of dirty blond hair out of her scarred face. A pigeon clapped its wings; its tiny claws scratched her aging silicone flesh as the bird bounced onto the dirt floor.

She rubbed her corroded knee joints. Using the doorframe, she lifted herself to her full height and held back screaming as she broke through the oxidation. Gazing upon her brothers who still dreamt toward the nebula, she could not remember her name, or her brothers’ names, but serial number EC 302 was embossed with black ink on her left bicep. Her brothers looked the same: inactive burnt flesh, visible indo-skeletons, absent limbs, and each one missing an optic. They were built to be imposing sentinels of this place, but their injuries exposed their weakness. S467’s legs were nothing more than scorched stumps.

S455 had a pigeon nesting between his unmoving chest and arm. She almost pushed it away until she saw the eggs. She let the pigeon be.

Meet Ian Whitlatch: Secondary Protagonist of The Light Side of the Moon

Ian

Ian at graduation. Digital Painting by me.

Ian Marcus Weaver Whitlatch is the only child of a doctor and the manager of a charity soup kitchen in Salisbury. Dad helps everyone whether they can pay or not. Mum doesn’t take a salary for her work instead donates her time to feed the impoverished.At the beginning of the novel, his parents employ two domestics: Ian’s tutor Mr. McKay and Ms. Blacksmith the housekeeper and cook.

Note: For the Other System’s Universe, they are upper middle class, however, their lifestyle for the average family in today’s world, they would be lower-middle class.
For example: like most people on Earth at this time, they don’t own a car. Since Dad’s clinic and Mum’s Soup Kitchen is across the back garden, they also generally have no need of one.

Virtues: Respects every person, doesn’t believe in violence, hard worker, kind-hearted

Virtue that hurts him: Unfaltering idealism which presents as pretentiousness

Vices: Judges by outer beauty, doesn’t always get along with his parents, can be self-absorbed

Parents: Grace Alice Teague. Weaver, Royce Xavier Langly Whitlatch  No Siblings.

Education: Home Tutor until age fifteen, then Oxford undergraduate studies and Oxford Medical School

Description Excerpt

Age 13

Ian yanked off his apron and washed his hands. The cut was deep, but not bad enough to show Dad. Pressing a handkerchief to the wound, he scrutinized himself in the mirror and tucked in his shirt. An angry pimple had formed between his nostril and cheek. Ugh. Even when his skin was clear, his nose was too big. Mum always said he had Dad’s handsome looks. That was unfortunate for them both.

*

Age 21

Ellie jumped for it. Knowing momentum might carry her in medium gravity, she forced herself to fall and hit the decking. Her legs burned as she skidded the last four meters, but the luggage stopped moving. She pressed her lips together and blinked back tears. 

“Vous allez bien, mademoiselle?”

Light created a halo from his straight hair, but when her eyes cleared, she looked past his nose into his deep green eyes, filled with concern.

Without thinking she answered back in English. “Yes, thank you, sir.”

He wore an officer’s uniform, but she recoiled from the soft, delicate hand that reached for her. He was probably going to yell at her like everyone else did.

“You’re an Englishwoman?” he asked helping her to her feet. 

“I speak English. I’m from Seattle. My name is Ellie Sethdottier. How do you do?” She curtsied though she wore pants.

“I’m Dr. Ian Whitlatch, and I’m just fine, but that looked like a nasty spill you took.”

Coming this Summer

The Light Side of the Moon Final

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