Lori Pescatore - Human Blend

Friday, December 31, 2010

33. Human Blend by Lori Pescatore (2009)
The Blend Series Book 1
Length: 234 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 28 December 2010
Finished: 31 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Lori for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 December 2010
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and Lori Pescatore is a new author for me.

When Laney escapes her captors, she runs to Marion, Virginia, hoping to escape an abusive childhood and trying to find any family that she may have left. She is older than she looks - about 18 in human years - can see numbers and is a healer. She begins work in the local hospital and generally lies low until she meets Austin and the dour Dr. Eli Elsworth. Now known as Julie Miller, she doesn't have any idea that she is being followed by her captors and when the murders start she attempts to shun her newfound friends.

However, she may find that her friends have more secrets about them then she does. And they may have all the answers that she seeks about who she is and what she can do - if she would just ask. I really enjoyed this book and it leaves a lot of questions for a sequel. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Tia Nevitt - The Sevenfold Spell

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

32. The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt (2010)
The Accidental Enchantments Series Book 1
Length: 97 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 26 December 2010
Finished: 28 December 2010
Where did it come from? From Netgalley
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like short stories and Tia Nevitt is a new author for me.

Since she has always known that she is not typically beautiful, Talia has instead relied upon her abilities as a spinster to earn her dowry. However, she and her mother soon find themselves in dire straits. Apparently by royal proclamation, the local constabulary and those so-called "good fairies" have gained the right to confiscate their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess...or so they say.

Having essentially destroyed their livelihood, the constables and the fairies expect the hardworking townspeople to pick up the pieces of their various lives - and to learn an entirely new trade - however they can. Without the promise of a continued income from her spinning, Talia's marriage prospects soon disappear. When the father of her most ardent suitor sends his son to a monastery, rather than allowing him to marry Talia, she and her mother face utter destitution. They become desperate.

Since she understands that not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue, Talia realizes that she must rely on her own ingenuity to survive. So she determines to build a new spinning wheel - the only one in the nation. Although she knows that such a rebellious act could inevitably lead to her death, Talia is past the point of caring about breaking some arbitrary and cruel law. After all, she could not possibly be prosecuted for something done in secret - could she?

However, Talia has no idea just how much her final decision will play right into the evil fairy's diabolical plan. She will ultimately discover that finding a truly happy ending requires sacrifice. But is that sacrifice going to be one that Talia is willing to make?

I downloaded this story in August and didn't get a chance to read it until now. I wish I had read it earlier because it was a wonderful story. I love fairy tales and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Graham Parke - A Gomessy New Year: Random Acts of Senseless Kindness

Sunday, December 26, 2010

31. A Gomessy New Year: Random Acts of Senseless Kindness by Graham Parke (2010)
Gomez! Book 2
Length: 26 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started / Finished: 26 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Graham for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 December 2010
Why do I have it? I have always been interested in contemporary mysteries and Graham Parke is a new author for me.

Gomez Porter is at a loose end - he just recently inherited an antiques store after his parents had an accident, his girlfriend is acting strangely and he hasn't been invited to any New Year's parties. Add in a suspicious homeless man who seems to be testing him and it all adds up to quite a New Year for Gomez.

I have never read Mr. Parke's No Hope For Gomez!, so I think I missed some characters relationships but I did enjoy this short story. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith - The Last Vampire

Monday, December 20, 2010

30, The Last Vampire by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (1992) (Revised Author's Edition 2010)
Length: 259 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 17 December 2010
Finished: 20 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathryn Meyer Griffith for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 October 2010
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Emma Bloodworth had survived the earthquake which took her husband and children and left the world clinging to life. The apocalypse had started a year earlier with plague, starvation, war and death. Emma tries desperately to locate the rest of her family in Maine, and along the way struggles to keep alive.

When a calamity befalls Emma and she is initiated into a frightening new world, she still struggles to survive what she has become. It becomes more and more difficult to hide what she is from Matthew Whitefeather, a Cherokee Indian who has lost his wife and daughter to the plague. As they grow closer to each other, Emma must make a choice, to fulfill a promise she made to herself - a human promise - or succumb to what she is.

I truly enjoyed this story and give it an A! I would definitely recommend Ms. Griffith's books to anyone who likes horror with a little romance woven in as well.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Amanda Wolfe - Secrets of the Black Box

Friday, December 17, 2010

29. Secrets of the Black Box by Amanda Wolfe (2010)
Beneath the Silver Lining Series Book 1
Length: 382 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 7 December 2010
Finished: 17 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like autobiographies and Amanda Wolfe is a new author for me.


Amanda Wolfe writes about overcoming her abusive childhood in this gripping trilogy. Secrets of the Black Box starts out by introducing the reader to nine-year-old Amanda, who was born in Ottawa, Canada and first dealt with parental neglect which grew into sexual and physical abuse by her father and grandfather. Her spirit and spunk shines through this book continually and, in my opinion, this is a book that needs to be read even though it is truly difficult to read. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Michael Sheahan - The Roof Top Hop

Thursday, December 16, 2010

28. The Roof Top Hop by Michael Sheahan (2010)
The Mr Holidays Presents Series Book 1
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started/Finished: 16 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Anita from Daly Communications for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 December 2010
Why do I have it? I received a copy of this book to give away on the radio


This is going to be a different kind of review for me. You see, Anita Daly is involved with sending Rosefire and me Irish CDs to play on our Irish Radio Show. As I have said before, I don't usually tell anyone outside my family that I have a blog. Ms Daly doesn't know that I have a blog, either but I thought that since I recieved this book from her, I would review it here. Anyway, on to the book. It's a beautifully illustrated children's book with a four-song CD and a DVD that teaches children 'The Roof Top Hop' - a dance that Santa does every Christmas while delivering presents. The book is rather simple but fun for children. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Tim Slover - The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus

Monday, December 13, 2010

27. The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus by Tim Slover (2010)
Length: 160 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 3 December 2010
Finished: 13 December 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee at Pump up Your Book
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 5 November 2010
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Tim Slover is a new author for me.

This is a wonderfully new Christmas story that is destined to become a Christmas classic. In 1343, orphaned Klaus is adopted by the Craftsmen Guild to become a master woodcarver with a true gift for making toys for children. He meets Anna, the woman who will become his wife. But it's not all snowflakes and candy canes: envious Rolf Eckhof shadows Klaus ready to subvert him at every turn. In the end, it's a battle between good and evil fought under snowy skies which unleashes Santa's true magic to the world.This is truly a sweet Christmas story which I loved for its portrayal of Santa Claus. I give it an A+! It's very like A Christmas Carol in its portrayal of the Christmas spirit. A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite holiday stories.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Monica M. Brinkman - The Turn of the Karmic Wheel

Monday, November 29, 2010

26. The Turn of the Karmic Wheel by Monica M. Brinkman (2010)
Length: 214 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 19 November 2010
Finished: 29 November 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Monica for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2010
Why do I have it? I like horror and Monica M. Brinkman is a new author for me.


When the residents of Raleigh, Missouri begin to hear music and voices that aren't there, and to receive frightening messages to do things from no discernable source, it soon becomes apparent that their lives and very souls must - and will - change drastically. This book is very interesting because of the characters' intertwined relationships and the touch of the supernatural. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)


May you read well and often

Patrizia Murray - Justine's Auction

Saturday, November 13, 2010

25. Justine's Auction by Patrizia Murray (2010)
Length: 132 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Started: 10 November 2010
Finished: 13 November 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Patrizia for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary romance and Patrizia Murray is a new author for me

Ryan is helping his cancer-stricken sister Leah by being auctioned off as a bachelor in a breast cancer charity auction. Justine is roped in by her best friend Marda in honor of her grandmother's and mother's battle with the disease to be auctioned off in the auction as well. Both Ryan and Justine are shocked at themselves spending ten thousand dollars on dates with each other.

The dates go like a dream for each of them, but suddenly, Ryan gets cold feet and breaks up with Justine two months into their relationship. Now Ryan's sister, Leah, must discover why Ryan is acting so strangely and find out whether this auction "date" really means the world to Justine and Ryan's happiness. I really enjoyed this story and give it a B+!

B+! - (89-94%)

May you read well and often

Kieran Kramer - When Harry Met Molly

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

24. When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer (2010)
The Impossible Bachelors Series Book 1
Length: 411 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Started: 2 November 2010
Finished: 9 November 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 October 2010
Why do I have it? I like historical romance and Kieran Kramer is a new author for me

Lady Mary Fairbanks - Molly to her friends - is in trouble. She had planned to elope to Gretna Green with her father's archeological partner, Cedric. Cedric is somewhat unromantic, lackluster...but she digresses...anyway, Cedric is currently rocketing down the road in a coach and four with a lightskirt...not his "intended" new bride leaving her in the somewhat dubious company of her childhood foe Lord Harry Traemore.

Lord Harry Traemore is somewhat shocked to discover the delectable Fiona on her way to Gretna Green with a stranger. Not that Harry wanted to marry Fiona, of course, but he needed a mistress to enter The Most Delectable Companion Contest that he must win each year to avoid marriage by Royal Decree. Now he's stuck with Molly Fairbanks - the most annoying, stubborn...but he digresses. The point is, he needs a mistress, and he needs one now...but can a false mistress, in other words Molly, help him when he thinks no one can?

I truly enjoyed this book and give it an A+! I look forward to more books in the series.

A+! - (96-100%)


May you read well and often

Kersten Hamilton - Tyger, Tyger

Monday, November 1, 2010

23. Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (2010)
The Goblin Wars Series Book 1
Length: 325 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 22 October 2010
Finished: 1 November 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kersten Hamilton for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 June 2010
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Kersten Hamilton is a new author for me.

When Teagan Wylltson's best friend Abby begins to have nightmares involving goblins, Abby shares the dreams with Teagan claiming that they are searching for Teagan. Abby's dreams get worse when Finn MacCumhaill comes to live with Teagan's family. Finn is a Traveler - an Irish gypsy - who has come with a secret mission of his own.

When Teagan's mother dies and her father goes missing, mysterious shadows begin to hunt Teagan and her brother, Aiden. Now, Abby, Tegan, Aiden and Finn must evade the goblins and search for their father in Mag Mell - the sidhe underworld. I really enjoyed this story even though it took me a long while to read it. I give the book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Kathy Bell - Regression

Thursday, October 28, 2010

22. Regression by Kathy Bell (2009)
The Infinion Series Book 1
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Started: 20 October 2010
Finished: 28 October 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathy for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 September 2010
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Kathy Bell is a new author for me.

Fourteen year old Adya Jones wakes up from a coma claiming to be a forty year old. She evidently believes that she is a mother of six children who has recently been in a car accident. The doctors in 1985 believe that Adya is suffering from severe head trauma and they keep her in hospital for most of the summer. Adya Davies is extremely frightened and confused when she wakes up in the hospital and the doctors won't let her see her daughter Hope. They claim that she is fourteen and unmarried, which Adya doesn't believe because she has clear memories of her life in 2011. A life which includes a husband and children and a career in child psychology that she loves.

As Adya tries to find out why she's reliving her teenage years, she discovers that there are some things that are subtly changed in her life in 1985 and sets out to find out more about the mysterious and almost omnipresent Three Eleven corporation. I truly enjoyed this book and give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Adrienne Barbeau - Love Bites

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

21. Love Bites by Adrienne Barbeau (2010)
The Vampyres of Hollywood Series Book 2
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 16 October 2010
Finished: 20 October 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Adrienne's literary agent for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and I had read and enjoyed Vampyres of Hollywood by the same author in the past.

Detective Peter King and 'Scream Queen' Ovsanna Moore are recovering from their clash with a serial killer the tabloids had named the 'Cinema Slayer'. They decide to get to know each other better but this is made difficult with Ovsanna getting attacked by a werewolf soon after the earlier battle. And there is Maral, Ovsanna's jealous personal assistant, who is convinced she needs magic to try to keep Ovsanna.

Romance is increasingly difficult with murder, werewolves and magic mixed in. Ovsanna and Peter join forces again in order to save Hollywood with the help of Ovsanna's vampire clan: 'The Vampyres of Hollywood'. These former A-list actors and actresses are just chomping at the bit to get back into circulation any way possible.

I enjoyed this story very much. It was funny and fast-paced and I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith - The Woman in Crimson

Friday, October 15, 2010

20. The Woman in Crimson by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2010)
Length: 258 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 9 October 2010
Finished: 15 October 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathryn for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 September 2010
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Adrian and Caroline Stone run a bed and breakfast called Willowind. It's a very popular place until the murders of several former guests of the inn. For centuries, Lilith Roselle had lived in Willowind a recluse, creating demonic art and only emerging at night to drink the blood of terrified townspeople. During the Civil War, Lilith met and fell in love with a Confederate soldier - Jedidiah Smithy, and he with her. They lived as husband and wife for a peaceful year until Jedidiah disappeared. Centuries later, a distraught Lilith is awakened by the death of Caroline's father when at his burial one of her statues is destroyed.

Her vampiric wraith begins to haunt the inn attacking everyone except Adrian - who is the reincarnation of her lost love, Jedidiah and whom she is desperate to have return to her. The one person Lilith doesn't count on is Caroline and the fact that Caroline will fight for her husband and Willowind with everything within her.

I enjoyed this book and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin - Juggler in the Wind

Friday, October 8, 2010

19. Juggler in the Wind by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin (2010)
The Wand Bearer Series Book 1
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 3 October 2010
Finished: 8 October 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Monserrat at Chiron Books for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 3 September 2010
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin are new authors for me.

Randy Carmichael is 14 years old when the mysterious Olympus Circus comes through Buchanan, Kansas. He lives with his alcoholic mother and generally is shy and bookish. Randy notices the effect the circus has on his mother, she becomes more withdrawn and less accepting of him going to see the circus in his free time. She distrusts the performers and his growing interest in Circus Olympus. Randy believes that his mother's strange, distant attitude towards him is directly related to the coming of the circus and resolves to solve the mystery.

To do that, he runs away with the circus, which is now on the run from the law, itself. He finds that the circus performers are searching for a purpose in life; just as he is. He begins to wonder whether the circus is linked to the god-like being who appears in his dreams to be searching for a mysterious wand. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott - Vampyres of Hollywood

Saturday, October 2, 2010

18. Vampyres of Hollywood by Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott (2008)
The Vampyres of Hollywood Series Book 1
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 21 September 2010
Finished: 2 October 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Adrienne's literary agent for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott are new authors for me.

Ovsanna Moore is known as the 'Scream Queen' of Hollywood. She is a horror movie actress and the head of Anticipation Studios - an up-and-coming studio hoping to become more well-known. Ovsanna is also known as the Chatalaine of Hollywood - a 500-year-old vampire who is leader of a clan of jet-setting actors and actresses known as the 'Vampyres of Hollywood'.

When the Hollywood A-List is shaken by the murders of three major stars - an Oscar winner, an ingenue and an action hero, they all have links to Ovsanna Moore. It's enough to draw the attention of Detective Peter King, who knows that the City of Angels hides many secrets and vices. Peter, however, can't even begin to know what secrets Ovsanna has to hide. When the cop and the sultry siren join forces to stop a serial killer, sparks fly and so do the creatures of the night.

I really enjoyed this story and give it an A+! I will certainly keep my eyes open for more from Ms. Barbeau and Mr. Scott.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

John Knapp II - Earth is Not Alone

Thursday, September 16, 2010

17. Earth is Not Alone by John Knapp II (2009)
The Emryss Chronicles Book 1
Length: 500 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Started: 6 September 2010
Finished: 16 September 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Rebecca at The Cadence Group
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 6 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like Christian fiction and John Knapp II is a new author for me.

After the Earth experiences an eletromagnetic pulse that wipes out all electricity, people in Susquehanna Territory in rural Pennsylvania try to continue their lives. About a month after the global tragedy, two Christian students are accused of cheating on an assignment. What follows is a deep discussion between them, their atheistic teacher and their pastor which leads to the discovery of possible life on other planets that may have already visited Earth.

I enjoyed this story very much and I don't usually enjoy science fiction that much. It is very thought-provoking and I give this book an A! Definitely recommended if you don't mind a strong Christian storyline.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Sapphire Phelan - To Teach an Ancient God

Monday, August 30, 2010

16. To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan (2008)
Length: 21 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 30 August 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Sapphire for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2010
Why do I have it? I like short stories and Sapphire Phelan is a new author for me.

When Hades finds Jenna Krinard in the mortal world, he is convinced that she is the incarnation of his missing wife, Persephone. He has been searching for her for a thousand years and is slowly losing patience. He kidnaps her again as he did a millenium ago and takes her to the Underworld.

Jenna Krinard is just getting her life together with a new job and a new house - one that is truly beautiful to her. Then Hades kidnaps her and she remembers her former life with him. Now, she is desperate to find a way to keep her love and her life together.

I really enjoyed this short story. It was a sweet paranormal romance. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Andrew Feder - Spirit

Saturday, August 14, 2010

15. Spirit by Andrew Feder (2010)
Length: 356 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 4 August 2010
Finished: 14 August 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Rebecca at The Cadence Group for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 3 July 2010
Why do I have it? I like horror and Andrew Feder is a new author for me.


Randall Lender is a wanted man. His radical ideas annoy governments, organized religions, and elements of the dark side. a dark warlock manages to trick Randall into the body of a mob "hitman" who subsequently is put on trial for murder. Now with the help of his lawyer, his fifteen-year-old daughter and his mentor, Randy must find a way to escape the warlock's plan which will ultimately lead to Randy's execution and spiritual "marooning". This is a very unusual story with discussion of astral projection, out-of-body experiences and in depth discussions of conspiracy theories. I give it a B!

B! - (80-88%)

May you read well and often

Bill Walker - A Note From an Old Acquaintance

Monday, August 2, 2010

14. A Note From an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker (2009)
Length: 360 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Started: 28 July 2010
Finished: 2 August 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 June 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary romance and Bill Walker is a new author for me.


Brian Weller is a haunted man: his wife has been in an irreversible coma for two years as a result of a car accident which took their little boy. He also is a struggling author who seems to have run out of ideas for his next book. Enter the love of his life from 15 years ago, Boston sculptress Joanna Richman. Brian is not sure if he wants to rekindle the relationship with Joanna, although her sudden email to him brings back poignant memories of their first meeting at a friend's party and the sparkling affair that they had before Brian broke it off for reasons which he never explained. Now, fifteen years later, will Brian allow love to have a second chance, or will the forces that kept them apart fifteen years ago win again? I loved this story and give it an A+! Highly recommended!

A+! - (96-100%)



May you read well and often

James Boyle - Ni'il: The Awakening

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

13. Ni'il: The Awakening by James Boyle (2008)
The Ni'il Series Book 1
Length: 216 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 17 July 2010
Finished: 27 July 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tracee at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 June 2010
Why do I have it? I like horror and James Boyle is a new author for me.


Dan Connor is the Chief of Police in the tiny town of Placerton, Oregon and he has a big problem. Several dogs have gone missing and when the crimes escalate to include killings, Dan knows he's in trouble. The only witnesses to these crimes seem to be a pair of Native Americans who disappear before Dan can talk to them. When Dan's friend Stephanie Amis suddenly disappears the tension is racheted up and the suspect seems to enjoy the 'game' he's playing with Dan. Now faced with losing a second person he loves, Dan must come to terms with his newly-discovered powers and in the midst of a violent storm learn all he can about the Ni'il. This book is filled with brilliant Native American lore and I loved the buildup of terror in it. I give it an A! Highly recommended!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith, author of Before the End: A Time of Demons Chats About Getting Back Into Writing Horror

Friday, July 9, 2010

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21 and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance and two mysteries) previous novels published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-three years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have two quirky cats, Sasha and Cleo, and the four of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die.

Synopsis from Shelfari: 

Since Cassandra Graystone was a child and her family perished in a fire she knows and sees things other people don’t…when someone will die or that a demon lurks beneath a human skin. She sees phantoms. Yet she craves a simple life singing out with her musician brother, Johnny, and caring for her elderly aunt and uncle; to be with her friends, Sarah, a psychic, and Walter, a clown in a carnival circuit. But when Sarah sees apocalyptic events in her tarot cards and demons are everywhere, Cassandra fears she’s going insane or something terrifying is happening in the world. 

Rayner, an ancient blood demon, lodges next door. He becomes obsessed with her. Never having felt pity or affection for a human before he believes he loves her, would die to protect her. The demon realm gathers for the final confrontation between us, Rayner warns. The apocalypse comes. You and your friends must prepare. 

Cassandra flees that knowledge until an angelic being, Manasseh, appears. Your powers will grow. You must fight for humanity’s survival after the first wave is taken. Seek out others like you. Persuade them to join the battle. Only these can see and challenge the demons until the end when all eyes see them. She doesn’t want her life to change; doesn’t want to be a nomad who battles demons. Doesn’t want to be anyone’s protector. Until a tornado flattens Sarah’s house. Johnny’s apartment. There are monsters maiming and killing everywhere. Demons persecute her and those she loves, burn down her home and force her family and friends onto the road, as everywhere cataclysmic weather and signs of the end days make things hellish for humans. Cassandra and her friends can no longer deny their destinies. They must fight…or see the remnants of humanity engulfed in flames. 


Coming to Amazon on 30 May 2010!


I would like to welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith, author of Before the End: A Time of Demons to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Griffith was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Why I Wrote A Time of Demons'
by author Kathryn Meyer Griffith
(First book of the Before The End series) 
You Tube self-made Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo

Around 2003 or so, as many times before in my roller coaster thirty-nine year long writing career, I had about given up. Again. I had eleven published novels (mostly romantic horror and horror) and six short stories to my name published between 1984 and 2003 with Leisure, Zebra, and Avalon Books.

In 2003 I’d had a dark murder mystery called Scraps of Paper from Avalon Books come out, had finished the second All Things Slip Away in the series for them. I was proud of the mysteries and the books themselves. The two had fairly decent, but mundane covers, and were hardcovers…my first. I believed the novels were my best so far. Contemporary and simple, but people loved the characters and the quirky town they lived in I’d tongue-in-cheek called Spooky. The price was steep, I thought though, at $26 dollars each. But I’d already seen the writing on the wall. I’d gotten a $1,000 advance for each but there was this sneaky little clause in their contracts I’d learned that said I wouldn’t see a dime more of royalties until 3,500 books were sold. That alone would probably keep me from seeing any more money – unless the books were run away hits and more would be printed, or other rights would be sold. That rarely happened I’d been told by other authors for they only printed about 1,750 units at a time and that meant it would have to go into a third printing to gain me anything else. And Avalon didn’t usually go after outside subsidiary rights of any kind. Of course, over the years, though both books have had great reviews, A’s really, neither book has gone into a third printing. Oh, well. As warned, I haven’t seen another penny though the novels still seem to be on sale everywhere. Everyone loves them and wants a third. No way. I’ll wait until my long ten year contracts are up before I write another Spooky town mystery for Avalon Books. You live and learn. It seems like over my career I’ve had a lot of such lessons to learn. Ha.

Anyways, I’d missed my horror genre so much and had been thinking for a while about this new book of mine. Oh, okay, yes, I said I was ready to throw the towel in…but stupid me, I never do. When will I learn? It all started with a tiny seed. Two characters. Siblings. These characters, a loving brother and sister, Cassandra and Johnny Graystone, would be nightclub playing musicians who’d lost their whole family (five brothers and sisters and a mother and father) twenty years before and in the present would be living with and taking care of their elderly aunt and uncle. The aunt would have Alzheimer’s and the uncle, age catching up with him, would be frail, as well. They’d be Catholic. As I’d been raised. The uncle would believe the end days had come. Cassandra would be happy with her life singing out with her brother and living with her sick aunt and uncle. Until…she’d begin to know when people were going to die and she’d begin seeing these hideous creatures – demons–hiding behind some of her human audiences’ faces; bad things would start to happen around her, and she’d think either she was going insane or something terrible was happening to the world.

Turns out her uncle was right. The end days had come. I saw demons and angels swirling around her that only, at first, she would see. Then I saw her with a glowing sword that she’d use in battles with other human soldiers of her kind she’d meet along the way fighting a growing horde of demons. The apocalypse not far behind.

Ah, it would be an apocalyptic novel. That’s it. But one with heart; characters you could root for and love, more a layman’s view of the biblical end-of-days, and not near as much preaching as The Left Behind series which I’d read years before and liked.

Since I’ve always wanted to write an end-of-days novel –I’d loved Stephen King’s THE STAND so much– the story had taken firm root and wouldn’t leave me alone until I started writing it. I had to. It would be my masterpiece! The book called to me that strongly.

The woman eventually discovers she is one of many who will have powers to see and fight demons, with the help of angels, as the end days draw near. She must seek out others like herself and convince them to join the fight. She must begin to battle the powerful evil entities she alone is aware of, as well. In the process I send her, her brother, aunt and uncle, and their friends, on a rousing but dangerous quest across the country in a RV…after tornadoes and demons destroy their homes. The world is falling apart around them. Catastrophic earthquakes, tornados and hurricanes are everywhere. A rise in terrible human crimes…most caused by demons or demonic influences. But I tried to make it a story of family and human love as well as a survival story in the face of overwhelming odds as the world spins to its end.

Many agents, editors and publishers turned it down. Too religious. Not religious enough. Not enough this, not enough that. .. I wasn’t a big enough writer. How dare I write something on such a huge religious scale. Oh, no, you have angels in it? Oh, no, you have demons in it! Whatever. But I believed so much in the book I didn’t give up. I kept sending it out.

In 2010 I finally sold it to Kim Richards at Damnation Books, her brand new publishing company (and now she also owns Eternal Press and Realms of Fantasy Magazine). She read and loved it. She got it. By then I’d also finished another horror novel, more a romantic horror tale about a witchy vampiress resurrected from her Civil War era tomb and now haunting her old home, an atmospheric lovely bed and breakfast run in the present by a loving husband and wife. The wife has to fight to save her husband’s life when the vampiress believes he’s her reincarnated soldier/lover from the Civil War days and tries to take him back for her own. A real eternal love story. A dangerous love triangle. Of course dead drained corpses show up all over the place. I called that book The Woman in Crimson. Kim loved and contracted both of them.

An editor, Lisa Jackson, helped me polish up A Time of Demons until it shone and Annie Melton created a striking, scary, cover in vivid scarlets with the two main characters at their microphones and a demon-hiding-behind-its-human face customer at a nearby table.

So that’s how the BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons was given life. Hopefully, in the next few years I’ll write the second novel in the series…when I get all my old Leisure and Zebra paperback books (going back to 1984) all rewritten and out again between June 2010 and July 2012. Kim offered to reissue all ten of them, revised and with astonishingly striking new covers, and I couldn’t say no. It’s been a heck of a lot of work, but a labor of love. What writer wouldn’t want a second chance to make an old book a better one and have it rereleased all over again? Not me, for sure. Grin.

And A Time of Demons? Since its release last May it’s gotten fantastic reviews (see there all you naysayers!) and has even won the She Never Slept’s 2010 Nightmare Award, as one of the three best romantic horror books they’d read in all of 2010. Yeah! Now if more people would give it a try, a read, I’m hopeful they’d like it, as well. It’s far more than a simple horror or religious parable…it’s a family and earthly human saga. All I can do is pray, hope…and promote, promote, promote!

I’ll never give up. How can I? It’s my masterpiece. As my mom used to say, winners never quit and losers never win. And me, I’m not a quitter. Or I try not to be. Sometimes the crazy book/publishing world can drive me plumb nuts. But I always get over it. Grin.

So thank you all for letting me ramble on and on…warmly, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

P.S. Below is the blurb and an excerpt of A Time of Demons. Hope you like them.

A Time of Demons Blurb:

Since Cassandra Graystone was a child and her family perished in a fire she knows and sees things other people don’t…when someone will die or that a demon lurks beneath a human skin. She sees phantoms. Yet she craves a simple life singing out with her musician brother, Johnny, and caring for her elderly aunt and uncle; to be with her friends, Sarah, a psychic, and Walter, a clown in a carnival circuit. But when Sarah sees apocalyptic events in her tarot cards and demons are everywhere, Cassandra fears she’s going insane or something terrifying is happening in the world.

Rayner, an ancient blood demon, lodges next door. He becomes obsessed with her. Never having felt pity or affection for a human before he believes he loves her, would die to protect her. The demon realm gathers for the final confrontation between us, Rayner warns. The apocalypse comes. You and your friends must prepare.

Cassandra flees that knowledge until an angelic being, Manasseh, appears. Your powers will grow. You must fight for humanity’s survival after the first wave is taken. Seek out others like you. Persuade them to join the battle. Only these can see and challenge the demons until the end when all eyes see them. She doesn’t want her life to change; doesn’t want to be a nomad who battles demons. Doesn’t want to be anyone’s protector. Until a tornado flattens Sarah’s house. Johnny’s apartment. There are monsters maiming and killing everywhere. Demons persecute her and those she loves, burn down her home and force her family and friends onto the road, as everywhere cataclysmic weather and signs of the end days make things hellish for humans. Cassandra and her friends can no longer deny their destinies. They must fight…or see the remnants of humanity engulfed in flames.

A Time of Demons Excerpt:

Beyond the windows, darkness and rain had arrived, slamming a storm surge against the glass. Thunder and streaks of electricity ripped and echoed across the sky. The windowpanes rattled in their mountings and the lightshow brightened the world. Even with the downpour, the temperature had become warmer. The humans drifting into the bar were soaked in water and perspiration and were short tempered as the heat and the noise level rose to a shrill crescendo.

Manasseh recognized demons behind several of the human faces.

More than usual tonight.

They were one of the reasons Manasseh didn’t like going into buildings where there were crowds. The ratio of demon to mortal was shifting quickly. There were demons everywhere.

Manasseh detected and avoided them and they couldn’t see him. For now. There’d come a time when the blinders would be lifted from everyone’s eyes, including theirs, and he’d have to kill them. They’d have to try to kill him.

His foot tapped softly at first and then faster. His body tensed. He couldn’t wait for the day when he could raise his sword and strike all the fiends down once and for all. It’d been coming for so long and he was tired of waiting.

There were demons, disguised as humans, drinking at a table beside the bandstand. “When’s the damn music going to start?” one griped.

“Yeah, when are we going to get some entertainment in this dump?” His friend threw the remaining contents of his drink at the waitress as she scooted past, barely missing her. He stuck his booted foot out and tripped a man returning from the restroom. The guy sprawled on the floor, stunned surprise on his face. But when he looked up at who’d waylaid him, he just lowered his eyes and stumbled off to hide in a corner. Demon mind control. The weaker the human mind, the stronger the control.

Dressed in T-shirts, ball caps, and blue jeans the demons appeared to be ordinary mortals of different ages and races. Manasseh never understood why, but most of them wore beards and never robed in bright colors. They especially hated yellow and sky blue. Most were wearing dark glasses. That he understood. In certain lights, their eyes, empty as their souls or, when angry, burning like crimson embers, betrayed them.

Manasseh could hardly bear to be in the same room. Demons had a stench of burnt blood and ash around them and their minds were as dark as the place they’d come from. They mingled among men and committed the crimes that made humans cry: arson, wife beating, torture, and murders. Manasseh scowled. If there was a heinous crime being committed somewhere, there was most likely a demon perpetrating it or somehow behind it.

They were making him angry. He had to remind himself why he was there and that his first responsibility was guarding Cassandra. It was difficult because all he wanted to do was to exterminate them.

Not here. Not yet.

Cassandra, guitar case in hand, wandered in with her brother in tow. They set up their equipment, tested microphones, got something to drink, and after tuning their instruments began to play.

The demons were instantly agitated at the sound of Johnny and Cassandra’s voices. One of them glared balefully at the girl as another snarled something to his friends, his face shifting into a sneer.

Manasseh didn’t like the looks of any of them. They were a fight waiting to happen. Malevolence glinted in their looks and their pretend smiles had no mirth. But he knew their kind. Most of them were cowards and wouldn’t hurt Cassandra or Johnny in such a public place. It’d garner too much attention and they wouldn’t want that. They usually waited until they could get the humans alone somewhere to do their damage.

An omen of things to come, thunder rippled through the sultry air and eerily mimicked the resonance of human screams. Manasseh shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

Still there was no sign of the demon, Rayner. Perhaps he wouldn’t show, though there was enough danger lurking in the crowd without him.

Manasseh listened to Cassandra and her brother. Choir music was more his style, yet their voices were harmonious and their instrument playing skillful. There was an innocent goodness in their demeanors and the messages of their songs that made their performance compelling. And behind the melodies, their souls were luminous and shone like beacons from their eyes. Both of them were pure of heart and strong, the brother not quite as much as the sister, and would need to be because the future wouldn’t be easy for either of them.

An hour went by. The songs and sibling banter were entertaining. People drank, conversed, and socialized. Rayner never showed up.

The demons behaved themselves as much as they were able, hiding their impatience behind their smirks. No doubt they were planning something wicked for after they left the bar.

He was about to see to Obadiah, when one of the demons behind him threw a bottle at Cassandra. She ducked before it made contact and smashed into the wall.

Another demon flung one and hit Johnny in the head…and the brawl was on.

Everyone shoved and kicked each other. Fists and flesh collided. The demons had instigated the clash and notched it up and that alarmed Manasseh. Though it was in their nature to cause pandemonium wherever and whenever they could, they were usually less obvious about it. Another bad sign.

The room was an erupting volcano and people spilled into the stormy night to escape the flying glasses and bottles.

Crouched down behind the bar, Maggie shouted into the phone: “Morey, you better get over here quick. There’s a big fight and everything’s being busted to hell. I’ll try to call the police–” The phone obviously went dead in her hands. “Damn!” She dropped it and ran out the door.

Someone threw a table through a window and wind and rain splattered in. Everyone was screaming, slugging each other, or trying to escape through a door or window.

One of the demons hurled itself at the two singers as if it wanted to tear them apart. Cassandra nimbly stepped aside and the fiend overshot and ended up beneath a table scrabbling to keep from being booted by a bunch of furious cowboys.

Amidst the chaos, Cassandra shoved her wounded brother towards the back exit, their guitars protectively cradled in their arms.

Manasseh followed them into the alley. He’d shield them if he had to. But Cassandra knew what to do. Survival was an instinct she’d been born with. Through the falling water, she aimed her brother towards her car and they scrambled in.

The sound of police sirens rivaled the thunder.

There were demons behind Cassandra and her brother and Manasseh slammed the door in their faces as the pair of humans drove away. ***


- Kathryn Meyer Griffith, author of Before the End: A Time of Demons
- Visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019954486
or my Myspace page at www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith - Before the End: A Time of Demons

Thursday, July 8, 2010

12. Before the End: A Time of Demons by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2010)
The Before the End Series Book 1
Length: 478 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 28 June 2010
Finished: 8 July 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathryn for sending me a copy of this book for me to read.
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Cassandra Graystone is a woman living a nightmare. She can see people who are about to die. She lost the rest of her family in a house fire twenty years before, and she and her remaining brother are musicians who play in bars and take care of their elderly aunt and uncle. Her unusual secret is one that she'd rather keep to herself until she begins to see darker and more dangerous visions and manifestations. She discovers that her visions are precursors to Armageddon and she begins to get visitations from an angel claiming that she is one of God's soldiers drafted to fight in the coming battles. Now her family and friends are given a mission: find the warriors of God's Army and warn humanity of the coming terrors. I really enjoyed this book. It has horror, characters to care about and hope in the midst of despair. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Cynthia Roberts - Wind Warrior

Sunday, June 20, 2010

11. Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts (2010)
The Iroquois Series Book 1
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Started: 10 June 2010
Finished: 20 June 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Cynthia for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 May 2010
Why do I have it? I like historical romance and Cynthia Roberts is a new author for me


Leslie Michaels has suffered much in her young life: death, destruction and pain are all that seem to come to her through mysterious visions that have lasted all her life. Also prevalent in her dreams are visions of a handsome Native American warrior. Escaping from an insane trapper intent on having her for himself, Leslie runs into the forest and runs into the man from her dreams - Winnokin - a war chief of the Seneca tribe on a vision quest.

Winnokin is shocked to discover such a beautiful white woman who played such a large part in his vision there in the forest. Leslie is badly hurt but is convinced that her path and Winnokin's are meant to cross, she is not afraid when Winnokin takes her to his home and desires to marry her after her adoption by his people. Leslie and Winnokin endeavor to overcome many obstacles, but will the actions of a jealous woman threaten to tear them apart forever? I enjoyed this story immensely and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Wind Warrior Release Contest hosted by Cynthia Roberts

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hello Everyone, how are you all today? Good, I hope! :)

Cynthia Roberts is hosting a five prize giveaway starting today (June 15) to June 30, 2010 to celebrate her release of Wind Warrior. Log on to: http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com/Release_Contest.html to see the prizes. Below are the rules:

Participants must show proof of purchase of Wind Warrior by either scanning their store receipt OR forward a copy of their online purchase confirmation to cynthia@romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com. Contest begins Wed., June 15th and ends on Wed., June 30th. Participant must also provide name and mailing address as well as email address at time of entry. Only one entry per household allowed. Winners will be notified via email and all gifts will be delivered directly to the winner's home no later than July 30, 2010

Good luck to you all.

May you read well and often

C. J. West, Author of The End of Marking Time, Talks About His Latest Book Tour and His Plans For the Future

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who Wants to be a Hero?
Kickoff Event With Advanced Driving & Security
April 10, 2010
Your wife has never taken you to a book signing like this!

I would very much like to welcome C. J. West, author of The End of Marking Time as well as six other books to Emeraldfire's BookmarkI had the pleasure of emailing Mr. West several weeks ago because I wanted to interview him and he was kind enough to answer some questions from me about his recent plans for a previous book being brought to the Big Screen, his family, the plot of The End of Marking Time, his Who Wants to be a Hero? book tour and his potential future plans. Thank you for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Mr. West, and I wish you all the best now and in the future! 

Meet C. J. West   

C. J. was raised in a tiny town in Massachusetts where his family has lived for four generations. When C. J. was a boy, the family had a variety of animals and boasted a poultry incubator large enough to hatch a chick for every resident of the town – all at one time. Although it was never a professional enterprise, the family continued to raise animals for many years and C. J. developed a love for the outdoors and wildlife. 

C. J. wrote his first book in 1979 while bored during school hours, but at that time writing was second to golf. C. J. practiced hard daily and eventually entertained hopes of playing professionally. In 1985 he chose Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMASS Dartmouth) over golf and studied Business Management which advanced his career in computer technology. 

C. J. spent twenty years helping companies solve computer networking and information management problems with firms including Arthur Andersen. In 1999, he began writing thrillers and several years later transitioned to writing fulltime. 

Sin and Vengeance, the first book in C. J.’s Randy Black Series, was optioned for film by a screenwriting firm in early 2008. The screenplay, written by Marla Cukor, is complete and in development with Beantown Productions, LLC. A Demon Awaits, the second book in the series offers a major twist in the storyline and challenges readers to forgive Randy Black’s mistakes and follow his journey in future novels. Gretchen Greene, the third Randy Black novel is the first in a series of characters Randy will be tasked with saving. C. J.’s latest standalone thriller, The End of Marking Time, was published in 2010.

C. J. hosts a Blog Talk Radio show called The Thriller-30 each month where he interviews contemporary thriller and suspense writers. C. J. embraces his fans with contests, promotions and innovative events. He has hosted firearms training, winery tours, an advanced driving course, visits to settings from his books, and he also writes, directs and acts in live murder mystery events throughout New England. If you're outside New England, you can usually find him at Bouchercon each fall. 

Synopsis of The End of Marking Time:

Michael O’Connor has spent years perfecting his craft. Unfortunately, his craft is breaking and entering. He’s so good, he can stand in a shadowy corner of your home and wait until you fall asleep before he begins bagging your valuables. With his skills it was unlikely he’d ever be caught, but one supremely unlucky day his credit card fence turned him in. Just when you think the world is safe from Michael, the supreme court rules long term incarceration is cruel and unusual punishment and releases 2,000,000 felons.

Criminals rampage on the outside. Citizens barricade themselves in. Police departments take extreme measures to end the crime spree. Corrections departments have a flood of new offenders, but no way to deal with them until Wendell Cummings develops reeducation. The system is a brutal violation of privacy and human rights, but citizens don’t care anymore. They want protection at any cost and the government has no choice but to give it to them. For the first time, felons fear the system. 

The End of Marking Time opens with Michael trapped in a hallway before a one-way mirror. He tells you his story because he believes you are his jury and if you press the green button, he will be given another chance. Michael doesn't understand what is happening to him because he was the last felon released. He was unconscious while reeducation was introduced and he doesn't believe he can be punished in a world without prison. The mystery of this book is not who Michael thinks you are, but who is sitting in the thirteen chairs behind the window and what fate they will choose for Michael. 

Coming to Amazon on May 22, 2010!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Did you have any say in casting or producing your book (Sin and Vengeance) for the Big Screen as well as writing it? 

C. J. West: Like most authors, I didn't have any say in casting once I signed my contract. Fortunately I did specify two cast members. I will be making a cameo and my daughter will appear in the movie as an extra. I'm not sure where we will appear, but I will post this to my Facebook fan page and my website when the movie is released. I was also fortunate to have a screenwriter who wanted my input. We talked many times on the phone and I read several iterations of the screenplay and provided feedback. Marla, the screenwriter for Sin and Vengeance the movie, attended a book group with me by phone to listen to what the members wanted to see in the movie. When the screenplay was nearly finished, we assembled a group of dedicated Sin and Vengeance fans and gave them the screenplay. They read it and then we got together. Marla listened in on a focus group discussion that lasted for hours. When we were done she had some great ideas to help her capture the essence of the book in her screenplay. I was amazed at how seriously everyone took the project. Several readers came with notes, one person had over ten pages of handwritten suggestions. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Is your family involved with you as regards your writing, such as promoting your books at all? 

C. J. West: My family isn't officially involved in the company. My wife reads my books along with several other beta readers before they go to press. My mother is my best saleswoman by far. She loves talking about my work and uses my press clippings to sell lots of books around my hometown. She outsells every bookstore except Amazon. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Are your two children interested in writing at all? 

C. J. West: I'm delighted that both of my children are avid readers. My youngest daughter thinks she wants to be a NYT Bestselling author. I haven't had the heart to tell her I don't think the New York Times will be around when she's old enough to write novels, but I do think she has the talent. For Mother's Day she wrote a poem shaped like a woman, with colored text that looked like a picture from a distance. She has amazing talent for her age. My oldest daughter shows her talent in songwriting. She writes lyrics that are far beyond her years and posts her work on Youtube. I'm very proud of them both. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Where did the plot of The End of Marking Time come from? 

C. J. West: I had been thinking about the plot for The End of Marking Time for about 3 years before I began writing. Michael O'Connor is a gifted housebreaker. I knew I wanted to tell the story of how Michael got off track and the massive undertaking that would be required to repair his life, but I hadn't figured out how to tell it. The idea for a reeducation program came to me in a eureka moment. When I decided to have Michael tell the story directly to readers as if they were his jury, I knew I had a hit. I finished the first draft in six weeks (about 1/4 the time it normally takes me). The reaction from everyone who has touched the book since has been electric. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Tell me all about the Who Wants to be a Hero? book tour, is it as exciting as it looks? 

C. J. West: Who Wants To Be A Hero? was another one of those eureka moments. I was planning my tour and trying to think of ways to make it fun when I realized that the things my character Randy Black does are very exciting. I decided to teach these things to readers one event at a time. The kickoff was an advanced driving class that my readers just could not believe. There is a video on my website (http://www.22wb.com/) of me being driven by professional driver Anthony Ricci. He takes me through the obstacle course at 40 mph - backwards! To bring excitement to bookstores, I'm giving Texas Hold 'em lessons. One store is even running a tournament where readers can play against me. I'm also hosting a winery tour, a newsroom tour, a firearms training day and a murder mystery night. All the events promise to be fun and this format allows readers to get to know me on a personal level. A side benefit is that I've enjoyed myself on this tour more than any other. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: How would you cast The End of Marking Time if it were optioned for a movie as well? 

C. J. West: If I had my choice for Michael O'Connor it would be Charlie from LOST. I think he really fits my image of Michael. I'd like to fit Kate, Claire, and Shannon in there somewhere too, but I won't be greedy. Thanks for having me Mareena. I welcome your readers to come and visit me on launch day (June 10th) or anytime at www.facebook.com/cjwestfans. 

May you read well and often

C. J. West - The End of Marking Time

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

10. The End of Marking Time by C. J. West (2010)
Length: 284 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 1 June 2010
Finished: 8 June 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to C. J. for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 May 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and C. J. West is a new author for me

Michael O'Connor is a skilled housebreaker, one who finds it easy to escape justice. Then he is arrested for breaking into a district attorney's house and stealing his credit card and Mercedes. An attempted jail break on the way to jail puts Michael in a coma for four years. When he wakes up, he finds the justice system totally changed. Criminals are now called relearners and are assigned to reeducation programs that track their successes or failures in navigating their lives in the outside world. Michael is assigned to such a program and may find it harder than he thought to escape justice this time. I enjoyed this book and give it a B+!

B+! - (89-94%)

May you read well and often

Cynthia Roberts, Author of Wind Warrior - Book One of the Iroquois Series - Talks About Her Writing Influences

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meet Cynthia Roberts

I have been writing since a Crayola was placed in my hand. My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family.

I wish I could have gotten to this point in my career much sooner rather than later but, life simply got in the way far too many times. I know because of those detours I have become a more passionate and expressive writer and draw upon those moments in my past many times.

Connect and Socialize with Cynthia!
 


Synopsis from Goodreads

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. 
 
Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again. Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. 
 
It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivate their hearts.

Coming to Amazon June 15, 2010!

I would like to welcome Cynthia Roberts, author of Wind Warrior - Book 1 of the Iroquois Series - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Roberts was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:
 
'The Birth of Wind Warrior'
by Cynthia Roberts

Hello everyone. Like all of you, I lived and breathed reading romances … it filled many long, lonely evenings when my husband worked nights in law enforcement and I was raising our children Jason and Alyssa (now 31 and 29). It proved my constant companion later when my “Cinderella” marriage of twenty-five years came to an unexpected end. There is a quote I heard once I can’t remember verbatim but goes somewhat like … “There is no greater loss than a love once known.”

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing at the edge of a fathomless abyss and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen. You can either let fear consume you, roll up into a ball and waste away or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

I’ve always had a passion for writing from that very moment a Crayola was placed in my hand and throughout my career in marketing, public relations and sales writing creatively came easy. When my marriage ended at the age of 45, life as I knew it was never the same. It was a time of unrest, uncertainty, losing friends and family and financial ruin because I also found myself jobless which continued nearly two years.

Wind Warrior became my salvation. One evening I sat in front of the computer and decided to write instead of read and figured all I could do was fail. It proved my therapy back then but not quite up to par to win the favor of publishers. I received so many rejections I could have wallpapered a small room in my house and almost gave up on my dream. That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time. I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing.

I chose to write an historical Indian romance because the first fiction I ever read was a novel from Cassie Edward’s Savage series and instantly became hungry to read more. I tracked down every one of those babies; let me tell you, until I read them all. However, every one I read from that point on was based on a Plains tribe. I wanted to focus on a tribe indigenous to my area and decided to write a series based on the tribes that make up the Iroquois League of Nations here on the east coast. Their warriors were the fiercest ever known to strike terror in the hearts of early settlers from Pennsylvania to Canada. They were referred to as “People of the Longhouse” because their families lived together in wooden structures upward of 40 feet long. They were an extremely powerful nation that was sadly torn apart by the American Revolution. I fell in love with the simplistic beauty of their culture and folklore. We could learn so much from our Native American brothers and the reverent love and respect they have for everything that is natural and of this earth. They knew how to live in balance with plants, animals and the natural elements …never taking more than what was needed to sustain their people and way of life.

Wind Warrior will officially be released on June 15th and available now for purchase through Tate Publishing’s website. It is my heartfelt hope readers will find it as enthralling to read as it was for me to research and bring to life. Book #2 Captive Heart is finished and expected to be released the end of this year.

Now that the writer in me has been unleashed …look out world! If I can leave my beautiful five grandchildren any legacy, it will be the strength, conviction and passion put into every story I bring to life. Please stay tuned for future projects which will include a series introducing contemporary shape shifters and two mainstream romance thrillers entitled Pawn For Malice and The Keeper’s Watch.
 
May you read well and often

Cynthia Roberts, Author of The Iroquois Series, Opens up About the Importance of Writing in Her Life

I would very much like to welcome Cynthia Roberts, author of three published books. Ms. Roberts was nice enough to answer some questions for me about her various literary inspirations, her books, and her writing plans for the future. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Ms. Roberts, and I wish you all the best now and in the future!

Meet Cynthia Roberts: 

I have been writing since a Crayola was placed in my hand. My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family.

I wish I could have gotten to this point in my career much sooner rather than later but, life simply got in the way far too many times. I know because of those detours I have become a more passionate and expressive writer and draw upon those moments in my past many times.

Synopsis of Wind Warrior:

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. 

Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again. Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. 

It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivate their hearts.

Coming to Amazon June 15, 2010!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: You are an author who is new to me, where do you live?

Cynthia Roberts: I’m a newbie straight out of the running gate…a little later than most starting out in this business but with a fire in my gut that burns a lot hotter. Are you ready for this…we not only live in the same state Mareena but we’re practically neighbors. I live in Cohoes about a 15 minute drive from you.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: If you hadn’t needed to start writing, do you think you would have done so at any point in your life?

Cynthia Roberts: Most definitely. It was sooo inherent, it was inevitable. Ever since a Crayola was placed in my hand, I was scribbling and making sense of something on paper. Sadly, life just got in the way and it has taken me until my more mature years (chuckle chuckle ) to make the dream happen.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Do your children enjoy writing as well?

Cynthia Roberts: Not a lick of it…weird hah? My son Jason is in law enforcement and hates to even fill out reports. My daughter Alyssa loves to read, writes beautifully when she has something to express but adores her job as an esthetician.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Everyone’s life’s shadows influence them in some way, how have yours influenced your writing?

Cynthia Roberts: Life this past decade has been one heck of a challenge and growth spurt for me. If I came away with anything, I know that I’m a better writer because I know how to describe raw emotion…I lived it. It’s amazing how fate has a plan for you…even if you don’t agree with it, somehow it all works out in the end if you’re willing to see it for what it is…another chapter. 

The end of my marriage nearly devastated me. When you get plowed under and never see it coming, it pulls your soul from you. It took me a while to find mine and prove to myself there was something better and that was my dream to write.

May you read well and often