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Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights.




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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shadow Over Somerset by Bob Freeman Book Tour


About Bob Freeman:  Bob Freeman doesn't just write and draw occult detectives, he’s also a card carrying paranormal adventurer who founded Nightstalkers of Indiana in 1983.
A lifelong student of witchcraft, magic, and religion, Bob’s studies are reflected in his art, both as an author and illustrator.
Bob lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.
He can be found online at occultdetective.com

Shadows Over Somerset Book Synopsis:  Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.
In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance… and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.
Shadows Over Somerset is the first Cairnwood Manor Novel.


Illustration From the Book





Author Links:
Twitter: @OccultDetective


Tour Schedule and Activities
8/25 I Smell Sheep                             Interview
8/25 Beauty in Ruins             Guest Post
8/25 Shells Interviews                       Guest Post
8/26 The Cabin Goddess                   Review
8/26 Kentucky Geek Girl                   Top Ten List
8/26 The Writing Blog of Deedee Davies   Top Ten List
Illustration From the Book
8/27 Stuart Conover's Author Page            Interview
8/27 Blog of Sheila Deeth                 Post on Art
8/27 Deal Sharing Aunt                    Top Tens List
8/28 Horror Delve                             Top Tens List
8/28 SBM Book Obsession                Guest Post
8/28 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author      Guest Post
8/28 Willow's Author Love               Top Tens List
8/29 Bookishly Me                            Review
8/29 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void     Interview
8/29 Azure Dwarf                              Guest Post
8/29 Vampires, Witches, and me, oh my                Guest Post
8/30 Sapphyria's Book Reviews                   Top Tens List
8/30 Bee's Knees Reviews                             Review
8/30 A Haunted Head                                   Interview
8/31 Horror Tree                                           Guest Post
8/31 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void            Review
8/31 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and more! Interview        


Amazon Links for Shadows Over Somerset:
Print Version: 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Shadows Over Somerset Author Bob Freeman's Excellent Guest Post


The literary landscape is changing and writers are changing with it. Now, more than ever, we have to brand and market ourselves to the readers out there, wherever they may be. Yes, it’s true that ebooks are gaining ground over traditional formats. While my preference remains the hardcover, I see value in ebooks replacing the mass market paperback. I have no fear that this foothold will in any way endanger the books we know and love. Paperbacks have always been disposable. Shifting these into the digital arena is a good thing. It’s good for the environment and it reduces clutter.
Don't Fear the Future
by Bob Freeman

It wasn't that long ago that I began culling my enormous collection of paperbacks. The primary reason was space considerations, but also an aesthetic one. I, of course, cling to those that are special to me, especially those books with deep sentimental attachment and the ones that don’t have a hardcover equivalent.

But what does all this mean for the writer? Essentially nothing. We have to continue writing. We have to continue to grow and express ourselves. And we have to continue to submit our work, from top to bottom. But now, more than ever before, we must be true and honest with ourselves. We must be sure of our ambitions. We must know, without a doubt, what we wish to accomplish, who we are, and what legacy we wish to leave behind.

Will any of us be able to support ourselves solely on our written work? Very, very few. I've a feeling though that for most of us, that’s okay. For the ones that find that a deal breaker, well, I'm not sure you're really a writer anyway. It’s got to be more than what side of your bread gets buttered or you're already doomed to not following your dream, but following trends and chasing dollar signs.

There’s no future in that.

See, a writer writes not for money, but because he is compelled to. It’s in his bones. And yes, a writer is looking for an audience. And he is looking for a paycheck, believe me. But more than anything, it is about the act of creation itself.

So quit fretting about the future. Write your stories, send them out into the world, and let the chips fall where they may.
Just do this: KNOW THYSELF.
Nail that one and you’ll be fine, no matter what the future holds.

Please Come Back Tomorrow 
for the rest of the tour information.

Host Note: Wow!  Bob verbalized so succinctly what I feel about writing.  I've often thought if I didn't write my head would explode!  Sure I get a rush when I get royalty payments but the real rush comes when someone tells me that one of my books has helped them, moved them or amused them.   It has been said that it is easy to recognize someone else's brilliance when they agree with you.  In that case, I'm feeling pretty darn brilliant after reading Bob's post!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rescue Mode by Ben Bova and Les Johnson


This feels like throw back science fiction which may be an oxymoron.   The story is about the first manned mission to Mars.  It had the feel of the stories I read as a child which was a long, long time ago in the far, far away.  

The most dismaying and probably accurate factor in the story was the way politics impact something as important as space exploration.   A President who believes that the world needs a space frontier to both unite it and provide hope is opposed by a self serving senator who want to be President.   This would be trite if it wasn't so realistic.   You can't pick up the paper (age showing) or read news on the net without an example of political corruption.  As I write this, the TV news is discussing a Texas governor's indictment.   We have to accept that we live in an imperfect world and hope that the general population can be made to understand how important a viable frontier is to our national psychic.  

Probably obvious that the book was preaching to the choir.   The technology and industry already jump started by our space program should make it so obvious that space exploration is hardly a waste of money.   With the short sighted poltical climate in DC we have to hope that private industry can demonstrate successful space flight and perhaps shame Congress into providing support.  

This book is a novelization of my diatribe above.

I enjoyed the book and Ben Bova's periodic editorials in the Naples Daily News.


Web: http://www.benbova.com/
http://www.lesjohnsonauthor.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Artwork of Death’s Dance by Crymsyn Hart



When I heard that Death's Dance was accepted with Seventh Star Press I was ecstatic because I had written the book with the hope of getting in and it was a different road than the usual romance novel with horrific elements that I normally write. And then I was told I could pick from their talented artists I was floored because it was awesome. I looked over the artist's portfolios and of all of them I liked one more, Enggar Adirasa.

So I had to come up with an idea for the cover and two interior scenes. The first thing I focused on was the cover. In my mind, I saw the cover differ than what it came out with. I saw the hanging tree, which is a central location in the book, the grim reaper peeking out from behind the tree and a single rotting corpse swinging from the bough. When I told my vision to Enggar, I sent him a few pictures of some old Oak trees and a short scene from the book describing the tree.

Some time passed and the artist came back with a sketch of the cover and it was different than what I expected, but it worked.  He had gotten the hanging bodies, the reaper and what I had asked for. However, when the final version came in colored and all, the overall creep factor of it had been magnified by a hundred and I knew I had made the right see decision about Enggar cause he got my vision and made it his own while capturing the essence of the book.

The two interior sketches I had a basic idea, but it was tougher picking what I wanted. The two scenes were the main character having to confront the reaper who had been manipulating her computer. The second scene was the main characters entering into the haunted church with Death's Dance and interrupting the mass going on. I sent a few images of old church interiors to Enggar and he came back with a haunting depiction of what I had envisioned of the ghosts in the old church not so happy about interrupted.

Overall I was very delighted with the artwork and how it came out. It had been the first time I had worked with an artist. Seeing what I had in my head drawn out as a visual medium instead of what I had just in my imagination was wonderful. It was painless and we worked very well together. I would do it all over again. Actually I plan to considering there are three more books planned in the Deathly Encounters series.


Death’s Dance Blurb:
Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.

Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.

From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.
From there things went from bad to worse.

Death’s Dance Buy Links:
Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo


Bio:
Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn:

Twitter: @crymsynhart

8/20 Stuart Conover’s Author Page Interview
8/20 SpecMusicMuse Interview
8/20 Azure Dwarf Post on Artwork
8/21 Come Selahway with Me Top Ten List
8/21 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
8/21 SocialBookShelves.com Review
8/21 Blog of Sheila Deeth Character Post
8/21 A Haunted Head Guest Post
8/21 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Top Ten list
8/22 SBM Book Obsession Review
8/22 Bee’s Knees Reviews Guest Post
8/22 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More Interview
8/23 Reading Away The Days Review
8/23 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Excerpt
8/23 Horror Tree Guest Post
8/24 Willow’s Author Love Review
8/24 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review
8/24 Bookishly Me Review
8/24 LucyBlueCastle Guest Post


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Fool and His Assassin are Back!


Released Today!


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wild Cards II Aces High edited by George R. R. Martin




The Wild Card series is difficult to review.  I always have trouble with short story collections.  The intent here is to tie the short stories together into a unified whole.  Overall they did that well.  Several of the stories stopped abruptly but the ball was merely juked around and not dropped.  

The series is good.  I find the genetic manipulation by the Takisian virus reasonably plausible which add to the believability of the stories.  The different styles of the different authors provided a some what disjointed read but not so much that you lost interest in the overall plot of the Swarm danger. 

I enjoyed the book.

Web site http://www.wildcardsonline.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Treasure Planet, A Man-Kzin Novel created by Larry Niven


This is the first Man-Kzin novel that was obviously a Young Adult book.  The plot was simpler and there was not a lot of complexity in the story line  A kzinretti and young human seek out an alien treasure, think Treasure Island in space.

Peter Cartwright is the young human who narrates the story. His sidekick and protector is Marthar, a high born kzinretti.   The two of them meet their own Long John Silver and find themselves confronting space faring pirates.

The story is entertaining but very light reading.

I enjoyed the book.

Web site http://www.larryniven.net/kzin/reviews.shtml


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill

 
This is a difficult book to categorize.   Cargill introduces the main characters at an early age and then jumps to later years without warning.  In some ways this is a fable or maybe even a parable but in others it is a treatise on the occult.  The destiny of two children and some long term payback might be the best description.

Kaycee is a lost little girl living through her dreams and Colby Stevens is an equally lost young man fighting to be a good person.   This is apparently the second book Colby Stevens is the main protagonist.  There is a minimum of back story on the first book.   I would have liked more back story only because the initial few chapters of the book are somewhat confusing.

Cargill does a good job depicting despair and frustration.   Equally I found my emotions tweaked when he takes note of the unstinting love of a golden retriever.   Revenge plays a huge part in this book but not always in the way the reader anticipates.  The plot is a bit of a shell game where you wonder exactly which shell hides the pea.

I enjoyed the book.

Web site: http://www.crobertcargill.com/blog/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.