Book Review: Wild Blue Yonder by Jack B. Rochester

Author: Jack B. Rochester
Release Date: 1st August 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 306
Publisher:
Blurb:
“Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, eh?” said First Sergeant Wilford H. Buford. “That yer real name or one you picked up out there in fairyland Cally-forny?” “Wild Blue Yonder” is the coming-of-age story of Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, a smart but sheltered boy from suburban Chicago whose beloved father suddenly dies, resulting in his flunking out of college. It’s the 1960s, so he gets a draft notice but joins the Air Force to avoid going to Vietnam. Nate’s adventure takes off as he tries to understand the military mindset and the massive social disruption going on in America. His journey takes a Kafka-esque turn when he is sent to Germany to become a military newspaper correspondent whose stories will never see print. Existential, psychedelic, fun-filled and laced with the rock ‘n’ roll of the times, “Wild Blue Yonder” is the story of Nate finding his personal and spiritual values as he discovers the love of a girl and the meaning of family and friendships.

Review

★★★★★

Wild Blue Yonder by Jack B. Rochester is a beautifully written historical fiction book with such realistic characterization that it takes the book to a whole new level of awesomeness.

I truly enjoyed reading this book; it had great writing, really good characterization, very nice pacing and tension and the plot-progression was really, really good. And on top of all this, the story was not only realistic but also very emotional and deep, which made reading this book so worth it. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was in it for good till the very end. The conflicts felt real and the backdrop was fantastic. Overall, it is a very, very good book.

I’d recommend this book to the readers of historical fiction as well to those who are looking for a refreshing new dramatic story and won’t mind the backdrop of war.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Our Frail Disordered Lives by Mary M. Schmidt

Author: Mary M. Schmidt
Release Date: 1st June 2018
Genre: Horror-Comedy, Supernatural
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 188
Publisher: Lulu Publishing Services
Blurb:
Larry Kavanaugh is an ordinary kind of guy. He’s got a nagging wife and two kids, both annoyingly gifted. No matter what he does, there is no end to what his family needs. What’s a regular, everyday guy to do? Well, he cuts a few corners, obviously—one very big corner in particular. He sells his soul to the Devil. Maybe it’s not the actual Devil, but Larry is ready to make a deal with one of the Devil’s minions. He meets some demon whose name he can’t remember. Funny, it was right on the tip of his tongue, a name of something you step on. Roach the Demon has sort of good intentions. He just wants a re-write of Dante’s Inferno with himself as the star. Roach goes after Larry as a rogue operation. He needs to make a point to his boss, Satan, so he uses the body of a human to follow Larry around and stir up trouble. He offers Larry an airtight guarantee that nothing could possibly go wrong. After all, Larry doesn’t feel like he has much to lose—or does he? Even Roach might be in over his head this time.

Review

★★★

Our Frail Disordered Lives by Mary M. Schmidt is a unique story about a guy who sells his soul to the devil a demon in order to make his life better and what follows is a litany of situations one could do better to stay away from.

A very unique story with lots of drama and twists and turns to keep the readers entertained throughout the book. Overall speaking, I liked the idea of the book, the main concept that is, but felt that it needed more polishing in terms of the execution of that concept. The writing was okay but the characterization, for this kind of story, felt weak, and that was my biggest issue. The pacing was good and the plot progression okay, but I really felt that if I would have been able to connect with the main character, Larry, a bit more then the story would have meant even more to me.

Still, it proved to be a pretty quick and easy read. So if you’re looking for a fresh quick read then this might be for you if you’re okay with reading stories with not very relatable characters and care about the story more than characterization.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Caina by Joe Albanese

Author: Joe Albanese
Release Date: 5th July 2018
Genre: Crime Comedy
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 124
Publisher: Mockingbird Lane Press
Blurb:
Twins tend to be closer than typical siblings. They often share a bond that is oftentimes unexplainable.*
For some reason that bond didn’t apply to Grant and Lee Tolan. Grant was always the responsible one. Lee, on the other hand, was always in trouble and in jail, self-destructing to the point the twins hadn’t seen or spoken in years.
In trouble with the Irish mob who wanted him sleeping with the fishes, finding Grant dead of an apparent suicide, Lee did the only thing that made sense. He switched identities.
Instead of making life easier, Lee is plunged into a world the Irish and Italian crime families, the Mexican cartel and the DEA. Pitting one against the other, Lee enlists the help of friends to save his own life. He will need a miracle.
But Grant’s secret is the biggest shock of all for Lee and he must re-evaluate his entire life.

Review

★★★★

Caina by Jow Albanese is a very entertaining crime comedy about a guy who knows only one thing – how to get in trouble.

It was a very interesting read. The narration was good because more than a book it felt like a movie running in the head.  The writing was solid, the characterization was decent and the plot was very exciting. The well-placed twists and turns kept the story engaging and the high action kept me entertained throughout the book.

The ending was really good and felt apt tot he entire plot build-up. The dialogues were good and made the book, again, feel like a film.

A very quick read in which the author’s sense of humour shone through quite well. Overall, this book is a complete action-comedy package and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining quick read.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Spencer’s Risk by Andy Greenhalgh

Author: Andy Greenhalgh
Release Date: 17th April 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Dark Comedy
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 185
Publisher:
Blurb:
SPENCER’S RISK is a dark comic novel. Burnt out and broke, university Drama lecturer Spencer Leyton is a compulsive gambler, estranged from his wife and children and driving his career over a cliff. His some-time friend Justin invites him to a high-stakes poker game. (‘Justin could sell snow to the Eskimos – literally. For some months he had sold cocaine to the Inuit community in Copenhagen’.) The game ends with Spencer owing £10,000 to Paula Malone, the head of a criminal gang.
At work, Spencer is sexually obsessed with a wealthy and glamourous student called Eva. She commits plagiarism,
an offence usually punished by expulsion, but bribes him with £3000 to keep quiet about it. Spencer has inside information about a football game, so he bets the £3000 on it, and that is when things really start to go wrong…
Eva demands the leading role in the College Showcase Production, with disastrous results. (‘Eva was not wearing the costume she had worn in the Dress Rehearsal. Eva was wearing a sporran. And very little else’)
Paula’s deadline runs out. It looks like curtains for Spencer Leyton…

Review

★★★★

Spencer’s Risk by Andy Greenhalgh is a delightful and enjoyable new contemporary read with lots of dark humour highlighted by sarcastic undertones.

It was a very enjoyable book and I had a good time reading it. The characterization was good which was a big plus given the entire story heavily depended on the main protagonist, Spencer. He was very believable and pretty relatable. Even though he landed up in extreme situations, I was able to relate to his worries and dilemmas and hence, was able to connect to him easily.

The writing was clean and good and the author’s clever sense of humour shone through the entire book nicely. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a light and refreshing contemporary book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Business Launch Code: A Step By Step Guide To Starting Your Own Business by M. Salek

Author: M. Salek
Release Date: 19th July 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction, Businesses and Start-Ups
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 274
Publisher: Polymath Publishing
Blurb:
Everything you need to know to start a business, step by step.
Starting a business doesn’t need to be hard, and it certainly doesn’t need to be confusing.
If you’ve ever considered starting a business (or in the process of starting one), then this is the book for you.
Inside the book, you will learn:
1. 10 mistakes new businesses make, and how NOT to fall prey to them
2. How to give your business an edge
3. The people you should talk to before starting your business
4. The qualities that are important to start and grow a successful business
5. How to test your ideas (this way you can find out if your idea has potential or not)
6. How to determine if your business idea can be profitable (& why you need to do this before you start)
7. How to find out if people will buy
8. The different ways to fund your business (including how to start a business with no money)
9. A quick, fun and effective way to plan your business (create a business plan in less than 15 minutes!)
10. Branding for a new business, and what you need to know
11. The crucial steps most new businesses miss
12. Why it is important to take care of the small things (& how these can significantly improve your business)
13. The 5 things you need in place to create a solid, sustainable business (you need these if you want to create a business that won’t disappear overnight)
14. The optimal structure for your business
15. How you can get great people on board (for free!)
16. The 3 main positions every business needs to fill
17. How to cut your initial business costs to nearly zero!
18. ‘Sensitivity Analysis’ – what it is and why you need to know about this (this can make or break a business)
19. A creative strategy for building partnerships (and how it can also help you cut costs & increase profits)
20. 9 proven tips for coming up with a great business name
21. How to create an effective business card (business cards don’t need to boring…!)
22. A quick list of the records you need to keep to stay out of trouble
23. A 5-minute checklist to help guide you start your business the right way
24. How to make your business finally happen
The Business Launch Code offers essential information, insights, and exercises on what it takes to create a successful business. Each step takes you closer towards creating your own business, while at the same time minimising the risks.
This book goes beyond conventional wisdom and combines standard procedures with the latest developments and updates so that you get an edge when starting your own business.
By following these steps, you will find the knowledge, insights, and confidence you need to finally start your business..

Review

★★★+1/2

The Business Launch Code by M. Salek is a very informative book on starting a new business which also gives helpful insights for established businesses.

Unlike many business books, this book had content that was surprisingly well-written. Many authors of business books concentrate only on the content they’re putting forward and pay little to no attention on the way they write it. They do pay attention to the way they present the content in the way of organisation, but the writing is heavily suffered in such books. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book as the ideas are not only put forth in an organized way, but also in a well-written manner.

This book was well-researched and was pretty helpful. The insight into the whole starting-a-new-business scenario in today’s world was very useful, something that I’m sure new entrepreneurs would really appreciate. What better way to start a new business knowing what are the main things that tend to go wrong in 90% of the cases?

It was an easy and interesting read, with well thought out chapters and the points made in each one of them. I liked how the facts, relevant examples and information were presented in an effectively simple way.

I recommend this book to people with new startups and even to the ones who already have established businesses as it is a quick read and also because extra knowledge never hurts.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

Author: J.L. Mulvihill
Release Date: 12th July 2013
Genre: Steampunk, Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: Steel Roots Series (Book #1)
Edition: e-book
Pages: 274
Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC
Blurb:
The Box Car Baby introduces the character of AB’Gale Steel who was born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia, according to what her papa told her. Bishop Steel, a mechanical engineer for the Southern Railroad, found his adopted daughter snuggled in a basket of cotton on an otherwise empty boxcar in the train yard. When no one came around to claim the baby, Bishop Steel, rather than relinquish the child to the State only to end up at the Workhouse someday, smuggled her home to raise as his own. The name on the boxcar he found her in read, A B Gale Logs, and so he named the baby AB’Gale.
But if the mystery of who her real parents are isn’t enough for fifteen-year -old AB’Gale, Papa Bishop goes missing. Worried for her family and afraid of having to spend her life at the Workhouse, AB’Gale goes into town to see if anyone’s seen her papa, only to find a deeper mystery. At the train station no one seems to know who her papa is even though he’s worked for the Southern Railroad for thirty years.
An encounter with a strange Hobo-man, who claims to know her father, results in the acquisition of a leather eye-glass tube that he says belongs to her papa. Before AB’Gale can question him further the man runs away. When she gets home, she finds the Crushers taking her grandma off to the Oldies-home, so she hides until they are gone.
AB’Gale finds that the leather tube contains a map of the United States, with markers made by various towns across the country. By each marker is a word or a name written in her papa’s handwriting.
Alone, and with only the clues of the map to go by, AB’Gale has no choice but to set out on her own to find her Papa.

Review

★★

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill is a steampunk dystopian with a very interesting plot which unfortunately wasn’t executed well.

Considering the beautiful covers of all the three books in this series, I was expecting the book to be really good and polished, but unfortunately, it proved to be a bit of a disappointment. I have the entire series with me and I was really excited about it, but there is so much telling and not enough showing in this book that it gets difficult to read after a couple of pages itself. Plus, the story progression is way off than should be allowed in an edited book.

The writing was too simple and there was a lot of wandering. The characters felt flat and the overall connection was not established (though I was able to see the effort the author put into it, but it simply didn’t work.)

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Watch Me by Jody Gehrman

Author: Jody Gehrman
Release Date: 23rd January 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Series:  
Edition: Physical
Pages: 308
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Blurb:
Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.
Except one.
Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.
As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?
A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

Review

★★★★

Watch Me by Jody Gehrman is a very enjoyable fast-paced psychological thriller with good characterization and a very intelligent story-line. This book reminded me a lot of a book I read a couple of years ago (I have totally forgotten what was the name of the book and the bestselling author duo, though I do remember it was a British book), this one was very similar to that. And most of the plot was kind of the same, but the ending was totally different and the creep in this book came across as a kind of well-meaning psycho (I’m sure it doesn’t make any sense, but you’ll get it once you’ve read the book.)

The story progression is what I really loved about this book along with the detailed exposition. The characters were good and believable enough and the pacing excellent. Though, in spite of all this, I feel that the ending was a bit abrupt and unclimatic. I mean, here I’m reading the book enjoying where the plot is going with high-intensity drama and the high stakes and as I turn the page the book ends with an anti-climactic turn of a page. Now that was a big turn off.

Still, I’d rate the book high as I loved every bit of it except for the last 2-3 pages. If you love thrillers and fast-paced stories about psychopaths and sociopaths then you must read this one!

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara

Author: Carey V. Azzara
Release Date: 3rd July 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 208
Publisher: Glass Spider Publishing
Blurb:
Nothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into turmoil.

Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin’s son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris’s only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents–but the outcome is uncertain.

Review

★★★★

Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara is a beautiful story about relationships and family.

This book was surprisingly good and I savoured reading every minute of it. The overall story was a feast and the writing was pretty good and the characters strong and believable. The character’s inner conflicts seemed real and they complemented the carefully woven tale very well. The beginning was slow but built up steadily and the ending proved to be apt.

Except for a few minor pacing issues, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I’d recommend it to all contemporary fiction readers and to those readers who want to explore new authors and books.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Author Spotlight: Carey V. Azzara

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, we are featuring Ashraf Haggag, author of Legends Over Generations, for the Author Spotlight.

About The Author

Carey V. Azzara is no stranger to twists and turns, overcoming life challenges on route to obtaining two graduate degrees and establishing a successful career spanning public health and market research—all while raising a family and rescuing a few dogs. Azzara has published articles, reports, and books, writing for the joy of sharing his ideas and stories with his readers.

Also by Carey V. Azzara:

Azzara is the author of Kaitlin’s Mooring, a story that spans five generations of the Deveau family. He is also the author of The Lottery Curse and two collections of stories: Uncommon Heroes and Cars, plus the first and second editions of Halley’s Gift and Eight Other Extraordinary Tales. He also authored Heroes, Dogs, and Cars (out of print). He has authored short stories published in Storyacious and the anthology Swallowed by the Beast. In 2010, he wrote the book Questionnaire Design for Business Research, a technical text on marketing research practices.

Forthcoming works include a children’s book titled Ready or Not Here We Come and the novels Halley’s Gift: The Adventure Begins.

 you can connect with the author here
facebook | amazon | linkedin | goodreads

About The Book

Nothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into turmoil.

Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin’s son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris’s only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents–but the outcome is uncertain.

buy kaitlin’s mooring on
barnes & noble and amazon

If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author/book featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Super Me by Jessica Dazzo

Author: Jessica Dazzo
Release Date: 20th July 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
Series: Super Series (Book #1)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 327
Publisher:
Blurb:
What does it mean when your mind goes rogue and starts making stuff up? For example, if you were to hear the radio talk to you—say your name and tell you to do something… that couldn’t be a good sign, right? Or when everyone keeps saying your ex-crush’s name in random conversation when you’re just really trying to get over the jerk because he’s actually terrible? Not good.
Seventeen-year-old Faye Aldright has never quite fit in, but when she starts hearing and seeing things all wrong, it makes life so much harder. Faye knows she’s the cause of all of the intense, awkward, and sometimes explosive misunderstandings with her mom, best friend, and the new boy who she definitely hates. She knows it’s all in her mind and that for some reason, it’s turned against her. It’s trying to ruin her life. She just has to figure out how to fight the crazy in order to get her life back on track–in order to find out what’s really going on in her little town, because something supernatural is definitely going on.
But how do you fight your mind? And what kind of person has their own mind as their nemesis?

Review

★★★★

Super Me by Jessica Dazzo is a refreshing new YA paranormal novel that is hard to put down once you get into the story.

Initially, it took me a while to get into the story, but once I was in, it was hard not to read and finish it off in one sitting. The story is complex, in a good way, and engaging. The writing is good and makes the book an easy and quick read. The characters believable and the setting fitting to the tone of the overall plotline. So, on the whole, it was a complete package and I enjoyed reading it. But what really set this book apart from the others in the genre is the emotional believability of the protagonist’s internal (as well as external) conflicts. I was able to connect with Faye and felt deeply for her. Other characters were also developed well and, hence, the ending proved to be emotionally exhausting yet rewarding at the same time.

If you’re into paranormal and supernatural fiction, then you must check out this book.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Spotlight: Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara

About The Book

Name: Kaitlin’s Mooring

Author: Carey V. Azzara

Publisher: Glass Spider Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance, Family Drama

Page Count: 208

Release date: 2nd July 2018


Synopsis

Nothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into turmoil.

Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin’s son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris’s only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents–but the outcome is uncertain.

buy kaitlin’s mooring on
barnes & noble and amazon

 


About the Author

Carey V. Azzara

Carey V. Azzara is no stranger to twists and turns, overcoming life challenges on route to obtaining two graduate degrees and establishing a successful career spanning public health and market research—all while raising a family and rescuing a few dogs. Azzara has published articles, reports, and books, writing for the joy of sharing his ideas and stories with his readers.

Also by Carey V. Azzara

Azzara is the author of Kaitlin’s Mooring, a story that spans five generations of the Deveau family. He is also the author of The Lottery Curse and two collections of stories: Uncommon Heroes and Cars, plus the first and second editions of Halley’s Gift and Eight Other Extraordinary Tales. He also authored Heroes, Dogs, and Cars (out of print). He has authored short stories published in Storyacious and the anthology Swallowed by the Beast. In 2010, he wrote the book Questionnaire Design for Business Research, a technical text on marketing research practices.

Forthcoming works include a children’s book titled Ready or Not Here We Come and the novels Halley’s Gift: The Adventure Begins.

 You can connect with the author here
facebook | amazon | linkedIn | goodreads

Book Review: The Inheritants By K.M. Mackmurdie

Author: K.M Mackmurdie
Release Date: 30th April 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 402
Publisher: Burton Brown Enterprises Publisher
Blurb:
Many moons ago, the Gods funnelled their gifts into mortals, and the Inheritant Families were born…London 2018
Meredith Earl is an Inheritant orphan with no one left to trust. Her lover Sloane is dead and his corpse missing – now Meredith must find out who took him, and why.
After the tragic death of her parents she vowed never to use her powers again, but to find Sloane Meredith must enter the shrouded world of the Inheritant Families once more, and rediscover who she really is.
Meredith embarks on a voyage rife with love, loss, sacrifice and despair to face an enemy more cruel and vengeful than she could have ever imagined.The Inheritant is K. M. Mackmurdie’s literary debut, a thrilling urban fantasy that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Review

★★★★

Inheritants by K.M. Mackmurdie is a new urban fantasy read that is thoroughly fast-paced, engaging and enjoyable.

A well-written book for a first-time author with a strong main character, relatable secondary characters, good pacing, great story progression and a fascinating new plot – this book ticks off all the major check-boxes for a great read. It was very enjoyable and I am glad that I read this book.

Heavy with twists and turns and magical themes that were not only entertaining but dark too this book kept my mind engaged throughout, something which is missing from a lot of other books in this genre. I appreciated the simple yet powerful writing and the thought that went into crafting each and every single character.

This book is kind of a stand-alone consisting of all three parts of the series. So it’s one book with an entire 3-part story which is always a treat for readers like me who like to finish series they start but can hardly find the time to do so every time.

If you’re looking to discover a new author in the urban fantasy genre or want to read a book that’ll give you the satisfaction of having read a full trilogy in one go then go for this one, I’m sure you’ll like it.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Author Interview: K.M. Mackmurdie

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome K.M. Mackmurdie, author of The Inheritants, for an author interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

K.M. Mackmurdie

K.M.Mackmurdie has always preferred fantasy lands to reality – and it only took her twenty five years to bring her daydreams to life.
Born and bred in Islington, London, she moved from place to place soaking up snatches of conversation and the body language between furrowed brows, before ending up in Hertfordshire, with a wonderful partner and two highly distracting cats. A local government dropout, K.M. Mackmurdie swapped politics for storytelling and published the first three instalments of her hotly anticipated Inheritant Saga in May 2018.

When not being a tortured artist, K.M. Mackmurdie can be found reading, (duh, right?), cooking up a masterpiece or making a fool of herself on the dancefloor.

Check out The Inheritants now on Amazon Kindle and Ingram Spark. K.M.Mackmurdie’s full debut novel is also available in print.

 facebook | instagram | email | goodreads


The Interview

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

My ambition right now is to just keep telling the stories I love and improve my craft. The publishing world can be a daunting place for a debut author and so I want to just keep learning and absorbing as much as I can so that the novels I share are the best they can be.

Which writers inspire you?

I’m very much inspired by a variety of authors, but if I had to pick a top five, I’d have to go with my favourites; Glen Duncan, Neil Gaiman, Lee Child, J.K Rowling and Margaret Atwood.

Tell us about your book?

An urban fantasy, The Inheritants is set in present day London, with the only difference being the descendants of Gods who walk among us. Blessed with special and potentially dangerous abilities, they live under the gaze of the Watchers who ensure that The Inheritant families are contained. None are deadlier than Meredith Earl, who has learnt that using her powers can have fatal consequences.

Yet when her boyfriend is killed and his corpse taken, Meredith will have to confront her past to find him – and the Inheritant families who want revenge.

At its core, The Inheritants is a twisted love story, where old secrets and severed familial ties are resurrected for nefarious means.

How long did it take you to write it?

The novel took about eight months to write and a few more months to edit and publish.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?

Yes! Other than the sequel to The Inheritants, I’m working on a crime novel at the moment, with the working title of The Devil’s Game. In a nutshell, the novel is about a badass female vigilante / private detective, who must work with the police when a young boy washes up on Coney Island’s shore. Who killed Ed Summers and why? Read the explosive new Ash Wheeler novel in 2019 to find out!

Why have you chosen this genre?

The urban fantasy genre is my favourite to read and the only genre I’ve written in previously, so my debut published novel was going to be an urban fantasy. I really like to subvert traditional genres though, so there are some real dark, noir aspects to the novel as well as graphic violence and sex scenes, which really contrast well with the fantastical elements of the novel.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer when it became clear that not writing was making me feel very unfulfilled and unsatisfied. They always say if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life – and all the hard work is worth it for a career that makes you smile.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I write on a Surface Pro, which is the only laptop I’ve been able to stand for hours on end. It’s really comfortable and I can write on it anywhere – I do have a study but I’m rarely one to sit still. I write anywhere and everywhere, whenever the inspiration strikes!

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

A lot of the time I use music and film. I like to make playlists and research scenes that spark ideas in me or fix challenges I’m having with my plot. I find that I can’t ‘push through’ writer’s block like some other authors do. It’s much more helpful for me to read a novel or do some research and switch off as it were. In the creative arts, it’s important to give yourself thinking time.

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

Not to give up, firstly, because it’s very easy to give up and if you do, the important thing is to get over it and try again. I give up on a daily basis!

Secondly though, it’s to be honest about your abilities. There will always be mistakes and things you could do better – writers are their own best critic. Listen to feedback and try to identify your weaknesses and work on them. You can always improve.

Thank you, Katie, for all your insightful answers! 


ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Inheritants

An urban fantasy like no other, The Inheritants delivers adventure and magic with a realistic, gritty twist. Meredith may have inherited her powers from the Gods, but she isn’t the only one….and she soon discovers that the other side fights dirty.

Meredith Earl is an Inheritant orphan with no one left to trust. Her lover Sloane is dead and his corpse missing – now Meredith must find out who took him, and why.

After the tragic death of her parents she vowed never to use her powers again, but to find Sloane Meredith must enter the shrouded world of the Inheritant Families once more, and rediscover who she really is.

Meredith embarks on a voyage rife with love, loss, sacrifice and despair to face an enemy more cruel and vengeful than she could have ever imagined.

Book Links:

Amazon | Goodreads

 

To read other author interviews, click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail: thereadingbud@gmail.com

Excerpt Reveal: The Inheritants By K.M. Mackmurdie

Welcome to TRB-Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author K.M. Mackmurdie, for sharing with us an excerpt from her latest release, a fascinating new urban fantasy, The Inheritants.

Read ahead to get a sneak-peek into this amazing new read!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An urban fantasy like no other, The Inheritants delivers adventure and magic with a realistic, gritty twist. Meredith may have inherited her powers from the Gods, but she isn’t the only one….and she soon discovers that the other side fights dirty.

Meredith Earl is an Inheritant orphan with no one left to trust. Her lover Sloane is dead and his corpse missing – now Meredith must find out who took him, and why.

After the tragic death of her parents she vowed never to use her powers again, but to find Sloane Meredith must enter the shrouded world of the Inheritant Families once more, and rediscover who she really is.

Meredith embarks on a voyage rife with love, loss, sacrifice and despair to face an enemy more cruel and vengeful than she could have ever imagined.

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSJ8TK2 
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40195381-the-inheritants


Book Excerpt

A single lamp illuminated him.

What was left of Sloane was bathed in a feeble, flickering glow. The mulch that served as his head had tipped forward, revealing the debris of skull and brain that congealed on the wall behind him, maggots and porridge against bloodstains that appeared black in the gloom. The blood was still dripping, that night when Meredith knocked at the door, the pool seeping into the hallway being the first thing she had seen. A good girlfriend would have run straight in to face it. A good girlfriend would have had the first two nines dialled before she even discovered it was too late. Meredith was not a good girlfriend, and neither was she an optimist. She threw up right there on the threshold.

When she thought back now she cringed, because the fact was she had sat in that hallway, dry eyed and brain dead, tasting and smelling her own sick for almost an hour. Until the dripping had stopped and the blood that first appeared like clustered, winking rubies was now still and brown, like fatty stew.

She had braved the room eventually with no particular purpose. Something in her bones told her to stand, and so she did. Something somewhere told her legs to move, and her body followed. She had been unprepared by how the blood had stuck to her shoes. It was almost comical, the way each step was accompanied with the squelching sound usually found in tacky clubs and children’s play areas. At the time Meredith was disgusted with the thought. She knew now it was the shock. Still, the distaste persisted. The initial glimpse had been the worst, surprisingly, because there was so much to take in, yet in that moment the smell overtook the visual. Sloane’s bowels and fluids had mixed and spurted from his corpse, wafting a putrid scent of rotting meat and sickeningly sweet perfume to catch in her throat. She couldn’t breathe with the cold heaviness of it; it was as if she were being buried in it, the stench getting stronger and stronger, filling up the air she dragged in until even her oxygen tasted like rancid garbage during a heatwave. Meredith threw up again, right there on the doorway to the living room, as if she were playing hopscotch with her DNA.

The second look stopped her heart and released her tears.

All of him was drenched in crimson, a parody of a king draped in velvet. His legs were crossed under him, uncomfortable, though she supposed that was no longer a concern. The inane thoughts kept drifting and twisting through her head as she took in what she could see of his face, or what remained. It had caved inward, everything above his nose little more than a bridge. He no longer had a mouth or teeth. His jaw hung obscenely by two flaps of skin attached to his free-falling chin. Even under the weak glow of the lamp, Sloane was lit up like New Year’s Eve, alone but for the side table and light, a vulgar tableau.

Eventually, Meredith dialled the three nines but been unable to speak to the operator, so her call was marked low priority and she sat, just outside the circle of blood, for a further half an hour before the police showed up. She had spent forty-eight hours at the station while two greasy officers by the name of Greaves and Judd had worked her over. Meredith hadn’t asked for a lawyer, or even to leave. She hadn’t even said it wasn’t her. Two weeks later they told her the fingerprints had come back and, other than a partial on the front door, there was no sign of her prints anywhere else in the house. They told her she could speak to a grief counsellor. Meredith had hung up the phone. The smell had stayed with her for days. When she closed her eyes and thought of Sloane, it was still the first image to come to mind, no matter how hard she tried to forget it. She knew that would stay with her forever.

 


About the Author

 

K.M. Mackmurdie

K.M.Mackmurdie has always preferred fantasy lands to reality – and it only took her twenty five years to bring her daydreams to life.
Born and bred in Islington, London, she moved from place to place soaking up snatches of conversation and the body language between furrowed brows, before ending up in Hertfordshire, with a wonderful partner and two highly distracting cats. A local government dropout, K.M. Mackmurdie swapped politics for storytelling and published the first three instalments of her hotly anticipated Inheritant Saga in May 2018.

When not being a tortured artist, K.M. Mackmurdie can be found reading, (duh, right?), cooking up a masterpiece or making a fool of herself on the dancefloor.

Check out The Inheritants now on Amazon Kindle and Ingram Spark. K.M.Mackmurdie’s full debut novel is also available in print.

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If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Audiobook Review: Dead Of Night by William. R Todd

Author: William R Todd
Narrator: Ben Werling
Release Date: 
30th March 2018
Genre: Horror
Series: 

Length: 4 hours
Publisher: William Todd | 2018

Blurb
:
Dead of Night is a compilation of turn-of-the-century-era horror stories with a Victorian flair and traditional horror story plots with unexpected endings. If you like ghosts and ghouls and demons and werewolves, these stories are for you.

Review

★★★★+1/2

Dark Of Night by William Todd is a gripping and scary horror story that was narrated in a way that took the spook factor to an entirely new level.

I loved this book, more than many other horror books I’ve read (that have totally failed to spook me.) This book was everything the short blurb promised – dark and macabre. I love reading short stories (the main reason why I picked this one up) and, to my relief, in this book all the short stories were good, some very good and some plain good, but good nonetheless.

All the stories were well-written and maintained a good pace. They all had a good beginning with a really good hook, a good middle point and a nice ending – even if it was an open ending. I enjoyed reading all the stories and plan to read more (or listen to more audiobooks) by the author.

The narration was really good and I loved the deep and dark voice of narration that leant this book a constant eerie air. My only complaint is that in some stories (especially in the first one) the background music seemed a bit funny at times and I felt that the audiobook could really do well without it.

I’d recommend this book to all horror readers and to anyone who’s looking for a nice spooky read around Halloween.

this review is also posted on audible and Goodreads


Tour Schedule:

Jul. 5th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Carolyn M. Walker, Author of Thrilling Fiction

Jul. 6th:

T’s Stuff

Hall Ways Blog

Jul. 7th:

Book Addict

Jul. 8th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Jul. 9th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

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The Reading Bud

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Jul. 11th:

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Book Spotlight: The Inheritants by K.M. Mackmurdie

About The Book

Name: The Inheritants

Author: K.M. Mackmurdie

Publisher: Burton Brown Enterprises Publisher

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 402

Release date: April 30th, 2018


Synopsis

An urban fantasy like no other, The Inheritants delivers adventure and magic with a realistic, gritty twist. Meredith may have inherited her powers from the Gods, but she isn’t the only one….and she soon discovers that the other side fights dirty.

Meredith Earl is an Inheritant orphan with no one left to trust. Her lover Sloane is dead and his corpse missing – now Meredith must find out who took him, and why.

After the tragic death of her parents she vowed never to use her powers again, but to find Sloane Meredith must enter the shrouded world of the Inheritant Families once more, and rediscover who she really is.

Meredith embarks on a voyage rife with love, loss, sacrifice and despair to face an enemy more cruel and vengeful than she could have ever imagined.

Buy Links

buy the inheritants on
amazon

 


About the Author

K.M. Mackmurdie

K.M.Mackmurdie has always preferred fantasy lands to reality – and it only took her twenty five years to bring her daydreams to life.
Born and bred in Islington, London, she moved from place to place soaking up snatches of conversation and the body language between furrowed brows, before ending up in Hertfordshire, with a wonderful partner and two highly distracting cats. A local government dropout, K.M. Mackmurdie swapped politics for storytelling and published the first three instalments of her hotly anticipated Inheritant Saga in May 2018.

When not being a tortured artist, K.M. Mackmurdie can be found reading, (duh, right?), cooking up a masterpiece or making a fool of herself on the dancefloor.

Check out The Inheritants now on Amazon Kindle and Ingram Spark. K.M.Mackmurdie’s full debut novel is also available in print.

 facebook | instagram | email | Goodreads

Book Review: Stellar by Kevin Hollingsworth

Author: Kevin Hollingsworth
Release Date: 16th January 2018
Genre: Poetry Collection
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 140
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Blurb:
“Stellar” is an interesting as well as compelling book of prose poetry that encompasses the wonderment of love. Further, stories of romance, love, and tragedy are told creatively through the eyes of 107 poems. In “Stellar” one will have a chance to go on an odyssey of figurative language, and will also get a refreshing sense of the human condition that we all need, and yearn for love. In “Stellar” one will also have a unique opportunity to view emotionalism seemingly painted by the masters. In reality, however, these poetic words of distinction cannot fit on a canvas, but are to be read on paper, and enjoyed by you and your imagination.

Review

★★★★

Stellar by Kevin Hollingsworth is an impressive collection of emotional poems that are sure to tickle the reader’s emotions.

I enjoyed reading this book and I am glad that I read it. I am not a big poetry fan, but I do enjoy simple and meaningful poems, and this book was exactly that. On the romantic side of the spectrum, Stellar succeeds in grabbing the interest of the reader from the very first poem itself. From the very beginning, I knew it was going to be a rollercoaster of emotions and the book did not disappoint.

The language was good and there was clarity of thought which could be clearly noticed. The poems themselves were little treats and overall, it was an enjoyable and a quick read.

If you like reading poetry by new and talented poets then you must definitely read this book.

Podcast

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Spotlight: The Golden Wizard (Scrolls Of Zndaria #1) by J.S. Jaeger

About The Audiobook

Author: J.S. Jaeger

Narrator: R.J. Walker

Length: 5 hours 55 minutes

Publisher: Golden Wizard Publishing⎮2017

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Series: Scrolls of Zndaria, Book 1

Release date: September 26, 2017


Synopsis

Join Nathanial “Nate” McGray, the 15-year-old son of the king’s woodsman, on an unforgettable adventure. He is determined to be the first peasant to become a wizard in the magical world of Zndaria.

Wedged in a sticky spot, Nate is saved from the town bullies by a mysterious elf named Blinkly. Together, Nate and Blinkly embark on a journey to the Halls of Magic. Along the way, they encounter vicious Dread Vikings, deadly bounty hunters, and a deranged beast.
Just as Nate begins to learn magic, the Infinite Wizard and a devilish army attack his kingdom. Will Nate become a wizard? Can he save his kingdom? The story unfolds in the Scrolls of Zndaria: The Golden Wizard

buy links

buy the golden wizard on audible


About the Author

J.S. Jaeger

Parents to four wonderful children, Jerry and Stephanie Jaeger enjoy working together as J.S. Jaeger to write uplifting, entertaining stories. Jerry overcame bullying to earn his black belt in Kempo Karate. He served as a special agent for the FBI and currently works as a prosecutor. Stephanie ran her own accounting practice for several years before turning her focus to writing Scrolls of Zndaria with Jerry. Together, they are excited to bring readers of all ages into the magical world of Zndaria.

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About the Narrator

RJ Walker

RJ Walker is a performance poet and voice actor from Salt Lake City, Utah. RJ Has performed at the national poetry slam numerous times, representing Salt Lake City, and Sugar House Utah. At the Individual World Poetry Slam he was a showcased poet on final stage and placed 6th overall at the 2017 Individual world poetry slam. RJ won the NPS Spirit of the Slam award for organizing the first Compliment Deathmatch event. RJ has narrated over 28 audiobooks and produced 2 albums of spoken word poetry. He is also an actor and game designer for Mystery Escape Room in Salt Lake City.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

Tour Schedule

Jun. 28th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Jun. 29th:

Happily Ever BookWorm

Jun. 30th:

J.R.’s Book Reviews

Jul. 1st:

In Patti’s Imagination

Jul. 2nd:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Jul. 3rd:

The Reading Bud

Jul. 4th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews


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Book Review: Layers Of Deceit by Robert Stephen

Author: Robert Stephen
Release Date:
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 240
Publisher: Self-published
Blurb:
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO GET BACK SOMEONE YOU LOVEFive years have passed since Jonathan Dunsmore’s last and only best seller. Forgotten, he’s lost everything including beautiful Nisha, the only woman he loved. Dangling on the brink of insanity a stranger appears in the author’s life. A person who knows Jonathan will do anything to get Nisha back.”Do you want to write another best seller,” says Beckett Reed. “To write about a killer you must become a killer.”

Torn between his fear of Beckett Reed and his desire to hold Nisha again in his arms Jonathan must become a character in his next book. Jonathan randomly stalks and kills a man. He makes it look like a robbery-homicide. However, hidden in the dead man’s wallet is a piece of paper, which his brother, the leader of a Russian gang, will do anything and kill anyone to get it back.

Jonathan’s old college roommate and friend, Glen Barton, is a homicide detective. He discovers Jonathan is a murderer, but it’s too late. Glen must choose between upholding the law or breaking it.

Review

★★★★

Layers Of Deceit by Robert Stephen is a very interesting and engaging new psychological thriller.

Being a writer, it always fascinates me to read about writers as characters in books, and this one was no different. I enjoyed the book, and without a doubt was able to connect to the main characters, so I was happy with the characterization as well (not overly impressed, but it were good enough.)

The story was good, writing decent and overall an enjoyable thriller full of some good, some okay twists and turns. The theme was different and good and the plot-progression was nicely done.

I’d recommend this book to the readers of psychological thriller and to anyone who’s looking for a book by a new author (and won’t mind the dark theme.)

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Europa Lander by Eli Clark

Author: Eli Clark
Release Date: 10th April 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction Comedy
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 118
Publisher: Abandoned Park Publishing
Blurb:
Martin Pool, brilliant and reclusive astronomer and Europa expert, is hired by Tycho Tech to win the race to land on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Confident as ever, Martin accepts, only to find with horror, that they intended him to manage PEOPLE. With each passing day Martin is forced closer and closer towards the choice: trust the minds of people with less than 2 PhDs, or risk losing the race to his beloved Europa?
The Europa Lander collects interviews, memos and emails to tell the 3 year story of Tycho Tech’s Europa team to explore from their own view, how they learned to tolerate one another (even though the Trekkies know their Star Wars loving coworkers will never truly understand anything).

Review

★★★★

The Europa Lander by Eli Clark is a witty story with a good storyline and well-built characters.

As a writer, I know that writing humour is no simple task, let alone writing it in sci-fi futuristic settings, so the fact that the author did a really good job in writing this book is commendable. I liked the characterization and was able to feel a connection, in an indirect way, to most of the major characters.

I liked the writing style as it was simple and brought out the plot nicely. The story itself was cleverly written and nicely executed. Overall, it was a fun read and I’d recommend it to all humour readers, sci-fi fans or not.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: The Subject And The Scientist by Montana Stayer

Author: Montana Stayer
Release Date: 6th February 2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Dark Fiction
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 187
Publisher:
Blurb:
The Scientist’s daughter was dying and he was desperate to save her by any means necessary. He illegally and artificially created the Subject, the perfect donor body, but was taken by surprise when the Subject turned out to be a fully conscious child. Faced with the choice of taking care of the child he accidentally created or saving his daughter, the Scientist chose the latter. He kept the Subject locked in the basement with full intent to kill her to save his daughter.
The Scientist’s plan ultimately failed and his daughter died, leaving him with the “thing” meant to save her.
It’s been years since his daughter died and the Scientist has kept the Subject locked up alone in the basement, refusing to acknowledge that she is a child and treating her strictly as an experiment. He keeps a rigid routine when visiting her and attempts to be completely objective, which proves to be difficult as the Subject has grown to be a very friendly child who insists on trying to build some sort of relationship with him.
Nothing’s changed in a long time. The Scientist begins losing sleep because of his worsening mental and emotional states and his exhaustion leads to mistakes, which cause problems with the Subject. When the Subject’s health starts rapidly deteriorating because of him, the Scientist’s forced to reconsider his objectivity but he is adamant about remaining indifferent, endangering the Subject’s life.

Review

★★★

The Subject And The Scientist by Montana Stayer is an unusual sci-fi tale about a man who does something he never intended to do and then ends up, quite unhappily, living with the consequences of his acts.

The plot described in the blurb of the book is simple enough, but the story is not; it is way more than one might expect after reading the summary. For one, the emotional aspect of the story was something I really found interesting, especially the detachment of The Scientist, the lead character, towards the girl, The Subject.

The writing style was simple and okay but the characterization was something I wasn’t overly impressed with. Overall, I feel that the story demanded two very, very strong characters to take the story to another level and that was something I found missing. The ending was different and made sense.

I’d recommend this book to light sci-fi fans and readers of the dark genre.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas

Author: Charlie Avinash Nicholas
Release Date: 20th April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Cross-Genre – Poetry Collection & Short-Stories,
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 316
Publisher:
Blurb:
Dear you,Welcome to my double feature. “For the Lover of Stories” contains two of my books:

1) “Sanity’s War” is an anthology of interlaced short stories and narrative poems. It depicts epic battles between kingdoms, against nightmarish forces, and within broken souls.

2) “Strange: And Other Accounts From the Taboo War” is a novella of short tales, poetry, and letters. It deals with the Unsung Heroes’ battles against the Grim Reaper’s strange sons.

Review

★★+1/2

For The Lover Of Stories by Charlie Avinash Nicholas is a cross-genre contemporary fiction that is an unusual and somewhat interesting collection of poems (mostly narrative), short stories and epistolary texts and overall it was an okay read.

The writing was okay, not great but not bad either, and the content of each and every chapter was also okay, but because of the different types of texts, I felt a bit disconnected from the book. The tone of the book, which was basically dark and war-based, some literal some metaphorical, was something I liked, but the real problem was that I wasn’t able to relate to any of the characters in any of the texts. Microfiction is tricky and I wasn’t overly impressed by author’s brevity in this book (which is actually a combined version of two books.)

If you like reading cross-genre fiction and won’t mind trying out both poetry and microfiction by a new author then you can go for this one, though I can’t say for sure if you might like it or not.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Spotlight: Overland: Welcome to Africa by Pete Mandra

About The Book

Name: Overland: Welcome To Africa
– 16 Total Strangers Traveling Through 8 Countries in 1 Broken Down Truck

Author: Pete Mandra

Publisher: Ingram

Genre: Travel, Non-fiction

Page Count: 388

Release date: May 24, 2017


Synopsis

Join Paul DuPree, who, with his future wife at his side, quit his job to participate in an exciting, humor-filled ‘overland’ journey across Africa with some of the strangest fellow travelers you’ll ever meet.

The wild animals? Dangerous. A canvas tent is the only thing separating you from some of Africa’s most notorious beasts.
Life on the road? Rugged and rustic. You’d sell your soul for the taste of a cheeseburger.
And the break-neck speed of the South Africa to Kenya itinerary? Brutal. And be sure to bring more than one spare tire.

Paul’s hypochondriac girlfriend, joining him on the trip, worries she’s going to die from any number of mysterious tropical diseases. Black market deals, corruption and military convoy escorts aren’t found in any guidebook he’s ever read. And his tour companions, strangers from across the globe, drink, party and destroy their way from South Africa to Kenya.

The only thing keeping him going is the continent itself – rugged, mysterious, and beautiful, in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, dangerous sort of way. Would that be enough, or would his sanity depart him long before he reaches the finish line in Nairobi?

Overland is your ticket to a pain and mosquito free hilarious journey through Africa.

Buy Links

buy Overland: Welcome To Africa on
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple Store | Kobo

 


About the Author

Pete Mandra

Pete Mandra began his writing career freelancing for various Chicagoland publications before settling in as a news reporter at the famed City News Bureau, where covering breaking crime news proved the perfect complement to his dark sense of humor. After leaving City News, Pete slowly gravitated away from journalism as a career but never lost his passion for writing.

Always more of a home-body who had only left the country once for a stay in the Bahamas, Pete’s world turned upside when he met his future wife, Jessica, who shared with him her infectious spirit of travel and adventure. In short order, the two left their corporate jobs, cashed in their savings and gave up their apartment to backpack around the world, including Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Overland is his first novel. Other writing pursuits have included contributing to various popular travel-related blogs and scriptwriting. His screenplays Zombie Seinfeld and Breaking Belding have both been performed by Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre. Pete and his family live in the suburbs of Chicagoland.

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Excerpt Reveal: Stellar by Kevin Hollingsworth

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Kevin Hollingsworth, for sharing with us the excerpt from his latest poetry collection Stellar.

Read ahead to get a sneak-peek into this soulful collection.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Stellar” is an interesting as well as compelling book of prose poetry that encompasses the wonderment of love.  Further, stories of romance, love, and tragedy are told creatively through the eyes of 106 poems.

In “Stellar” one will have a chance to go on an odyssey of figurative language, and will also get a refreshing sense of the human condition; that we all need, and yearn for love.

In “Stellar” one will also have a unique opportunity to view emotionalism seemingly painted by the masters. However, these poetic words of distinction cannot fit on a canvas; but are to be read on paper, and enjoyed by you and your imagination…

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stellar-Kevin-Hollingsworth/dp/1980324158
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37989295-stellar


Poetry Excerpts

 

From the poem The Most Beautiful:

“She was the most beautiful ocean. She was the most beautiful breeze. I looked up, and I saw her beauty design the sky.”…

 

From the poem Blessing In Disguise:

“As he fainted, he saw her from the corner of his eye. She was as pretty as the French language. Her song was like a dream he once knew”

 


About the Author

Kevin Hollingsworth

I have been a dreamer since I was born in N.Y.C. My dreams started September 20th, 1968. I moved to Los Angeles, California when I was very young. I received my education in Los Angeles, and joined the workforce a couple of years after graduating from college…

I did not start writing poetry until later in life. Friends and family really enjoyed the beautiful words I shared with them. So, I continued to write, and published my first prose poetry book, “Wonders,” in 2009. I published my second book of prose, “Romance with A Touch of Love” in 2011.

The dreams kept coming; and I continued to be inspired to write beautiful words. I am honored to share these beautiful words with the world in “Stellar.”

website | Goodreads | Facebook


If you are an author and wish to be featured as our guest or if you are a publicist and want to get your author featured on TRB, then please get in touch directly by e-mail at thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Spotlight: Stellar by Kevin Hollingsworth

About The Book

Name: Stellar

Author: Kevin Hollingsworth

Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC

Genre: Poetry Collection, Non-Fiction

Page Count: 140

Release date: 16th January 2018


Synopsis

“Stellar” is an interesting as well as compelling book of prose poetry that encompasses the wonderment of love.  Further, stories of romance, love, and tragedy are told creatively through the eyes of 106 poems.

In “Stellar” one will have a chance to go on an odyssey of figurative language, and will also get a refreshing sense of the human condition; that we all need, and yearn for love.

In “Stellar” one will also have a unique opportunity to view emotionalism seemingly painted by the masters. However, these poetic words of distinction cannot fit on a canvas; but are to be read on paper, and enjoyed by you and your imagination….

Buy Links

buy Stellar on amazon

 


About the Author

Kevin Hollingsworth

I have been a dreamer since I was born in N.Y.C. My dreams started September 20th, 1968. I moved to Los Angeles, California when I was very young. I received my education in Los Angeles, and joined the workforce a couple of years after graduating from college…

I did not start writing poetry until later in life. Friends and family really enjoyed the beautiful words I shared with them. So, I continued to write, and published my first prose poetry book, “Wonders,” in 2009. I published my second book of prose, “Romance with A Touch of Love” in 2011.

The dreams kept coming; and I continued to be inspired to write beautiful words. I am honored to share these beautiful words with the world in “Stellar.”

website | Goodreads

Book Review: The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis

Author: Watson Davis
Release Date: 12th April 2018
Genre: Swords & Sorcery, High Fantasy
Series:  The Windhaven Chronicles (Book #9)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 315
Publisher:
Blurb:
Welcome to Windhaven and the Wrath of the Wizard-King!A deposed Wizard-king leads his ragged band of followers to the last town before the Far Waste and hides there from his vengeful queen while building an army to re-take his rightful kingdom. A regular army won’t do for the Wizard-king. He needs something deadlier, something magical, something demonic.When Wallak of the Bright Fox tribe wakes up from a night of carousing in Ancliff, he can’t find his nephew. He can’t return to his tribe alone, but if he discovers his nephew whereabouts, he may never return to his tribe at all.

This is a swords and sorcery tale of dark, soul-twisting magic where no-one is safe.

Review

★★★★★

The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis is a beautifully written and a very well thought-out high fantasy read that totally blew my mind!

I am a big fan of the fantasy genre but only if it is done right and that was something I was expecting from this book when I got a chance to read it, and this book did exactly that and so much more. It totally exceeded all my expectations and I was sucked into the story right from the very beginning.

The characterization is spot on, the writing style is brilliant, the world-building is simply amazing and the pacing is superb! All-in-all, this book had everything that I expect from a solid and meticulous fantasy book.

What is really amazing is that even though this was the 9th book in the Windhaven series, I did not feel, even for a second, that I wasn’t getting some part of the story or was missing out on some bits because of not having read any of the earlier parts. Initially, I had forgotten that this was a part of an ongoing series and realized it only when I was near the end (that too only when I was checking its cover on my kindle and happened to read the extra pages of the book which had a list of names of the other parts.) So this can be read as a stand alone without any reservations.

I loved this book and I’d recommend it to everyone who wants to read a nice story involving swords, sorcery and fascinating (and totally amazing) animals.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Book Review: Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh

Author: Vasily Pugh
Release Date: 16th March 2018
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Humour, Dystopia
Series:  Basically Frightened (Book #2)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 260
Publisher:
Blurb:
Leaner, meaner, wittier and wiser, the sequel to hit post-apocalyptic book ‘Basically Frightened’ is here. Taking place directly after the events of the original, ‘Outside Looking Out’ lands our hero in another set of unhinged circumstances. Who are ‘Order’? Who are ‘Protected Infected’? Where are his friends? Who are these new enemies? And who had the last Rolo?
Prepare to enter a dystopia quite unlike anything you’ve read before – ‘Outside Looking Out’ is a comic adventure that combines post-apocalyptic action with blistering satire and heartfelt emotion.

Review

★★★★

Outside Looking Out: Still Basically Frightened by Vasily Pugh, the sequel to Basically Frightened, is a witty book about a guy doing his best to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Just like the last part, I loved the author’s witty style with each and every paragraph dripping with clever sarcasm and an apt play of words that sometimes made me giggle and many times laugh out loud. I instantly felt connected to the main character as the characterization in the last book was spot on and this one picked up immediately after the events of that one.

The pacing was good, albeit I did feel at places it could have been a bit faster, then it did help build the anticipation so I’m not complaining. The plot was strong, clever and good and, on the whole, it was a good book.

I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did the last one and would recommend it to anyone who loves reading apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Looking For Dei by David A. Wilson

Author: David A. Willson
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Release Date: 
30th March 2018
Genre: High Fantasy
Series: 

Length: 10 hours 7 hours 25 minutes
Publisher: Seeker Press
Blurb:
Join Nara and Mykel on a journey through the Great Land….
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never been good at keeping secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her and her friend on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

Review

★★★+1/2

Looking For Dei by David A. Wilson is an interesting new high fantasy read with a believable storyline and an impressive world-setting. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was kept engaged till I hit the middle part of the story, and that was when I kind of hit a brick wall. After about 45% I started to struggle because of the pacing, which was pretty good until that point but then suddenly slacked and the story started to feel like a drag. Fortunately, after a while, the pacing picked up again (albeit a bit slowly) and I was happy to reach the end of the story without any further pacing issues. The story picked up in the ending again and overall I was glad that I picked this read.

I was fortunate enough to get this book in both the formats – e-book from NetGalley and audiobook from Audiobookworm. I started this with the e-book but when I got the audio, obviously I listened to the entire story because that just saved me a hell of a lot of time! Also, the narration was pretty good and I loved the different variation the narrator used especially of the old crone, Ann.

I’d recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers, and even to those who rarely read fantasy and are looking for a new fantasy series to explore.

 

this review is also posted on audible and Goodreads


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Author Interview: Roger Peppercorn

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome Roger Peppercorn, author of On The Devil’s Side Of Heaven, for an author interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Roger Peppercorn has suffered for the better part of his life from wanderlust and this need to see the other side of the horizon has taken him to all parts of the world. The people and backdrop of his travels have served as the inspiration behind his characters and storytelling. As a child, his mother taught him to read and write. His father’s collection of Louis Lamour novels provoked the fantastical images in his mind and the romance of the written word. In the seventh grade, his history teacher brought the characters of a bygone era alive. From that point on, Roger began to hone his skills in storytelling. After high school, Roger took a course in creative writing that was taught by a long haired hippy in a Hawaiian shirt. Roger’s grandmother used to tell tales of traveling across the plains in a covered wagon, the woes of having a son sent off to war, and the larger-than-life man she met at Pea Green Hall who later became her husband. His first two novels “On The Devils Side of Heaven” and “The Sometimes Long Road Home” take place on the western slopes of Colorado, in the sleepy town of Fruita, where he grew up. They center on the strained relationships and sorted histories of three characters – Walt, Ronald and Jessica, and violence that erupts around them. Roger is married and is a father of four beautiful children. He currently calls South Dakota his home.

Contact:

Website: https://rogerpeppercorn.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialRogerPeppercorn 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRogerPepper
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/rogerpeppercorn/

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

To entertain my readers first and foremost. The compliments that has meant the most is ‘such a great story, I just couldn’t put it down and my favorite there is going to be a follow up right?’

I love to tell stories so to have anyone who is willing to read something I’ve written is humbling and flattering.

Money and success would be awesome. It would be great to see the brinks truck back up to the front lawn every day and dump lots and lots of cash on the front lawn. I mean who wouldn’t love that? And if that should ever arrive I’m not going to pretend I would just turn them away out of some artist integrity.

But the reality is at this stage in my life being known as a good storyteller and having the respect of tried and true writers giving a tip of the cap to my stories would mean more to me in the long run and having my wife and kids proud of my work means the most to me. Having people in your life who are closest, tell you what a good read it is, is what gives me the energy to keep writing and telling stories.

Which writers inspire you?

There are a couple of modern writers, James Lee Burke and Dennis Lehane are two of my favorites. Both of them have a style and visceral backdrops and characters. I love the way they paint scenes and write dialogue. I think they may be the best writers of our time.

Tell us about your book?

The book is center on two men and a woman. Walt and Jessica are brother and sister. Ronald is married to Jessica but was the childhood friend to them both.

Walt is a lot closer to someone everyone knows he’s that hot mess in the office but he’s the only one that seems to not know it. An alcoholic whose been fired from being a cop and now is getting by as an insurance fraud investigator. Walt sees the world generally through the prism of an empty bottle.

Ronald has the moral compass of a rock and is a contract killer but oddly it’s not the killing that is an issue for him. It’s being reduced to hitman. He prefers the term human resource manage.

Jessica is the tie between them. Sister to Walt and married to Ronald she is the thing that keeps them connected and from killing each other. She is also the reason they both have moved on from their chosen professions. But is also the reason why they must come together to confront a threat to all of them because of Ronald’s prior bad acts but also because of their own shared violent past.

Ronald’s past begins catching up to him but instead of dealing with it like he would or maybe even should he makes promise not to kill again. Which is how Walt gets drug back into it. You watch both of these guys start morally in very different places and then steadily march towards each other.

Walt erases line after line he swore he would never cross only to see Ronald drawing a line and stepping back from it. It’s fun to watch that play out.

On The Devils Side of Heaven is a fast paced character driven adventure. It’s visceral and is played out in the adobe deserts and the mountains of western Colorado.

How long did it take you to write it?

10 months from start to finish. But like I was just saying it spent about two years in my noggin before I sat down to write it.
The books I didn’t finish I spent anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working on.
The other difference this time is the scenes were so clear and the characters were vivid and three dimensional.

You know, the other thing too is this book here wrote itself, where the other books just stopped. Probably for a variety of reasons, but the plots and arcs just didn’t hold like this one did.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?

Yes, I am working on the follow up now. Which is titled “The Sometimes long Road Home.” It will take place about eighteen months to two years after the first one. I’ve done a lot of research and have about ten scenes laid out. I know where the arcs are and the ending but there are a few details I am still working out. I’m probably around twenty pages into it right now so lots of work to do.

Why have you chosen this genre?

Good vs bad or right vs wrong has always been fascinating to me mostly because there most of the time there are versions of what people think is right and wrong depending on their perspective and beliefs. My brother is detective in south TX. He has said repeatedly the line between police and criminal can be very narrow but with nuanced distinctions. As an example both will look at an unattended cash register and the first thing they both look for is ‘who’s watching?’ While the rest of us are wondering where the clerk is so we can check out and go home.

That similarity has always been intriguing to me and a good storyline in that genre is rich, layered and textured. A good caper story keeps you rooting for the thief not the police. Which is socially wrong but in the realm of entertainment a character like the Punisher is rooted for. Maybe its wishful thinking we have socially to write our own justice or to get away with it.

So for me it all comes down to storylines and perspective.

Which is a long way of saying yes that particular genre has always been my favorite read.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve either been cursed or blessed with an active imagination. Because in my head I’m always writing something. Sometimes it’s watching the interaction between people on the street, or a song on the radio will trigger a scene in my head as its playing. So from that aspect at least for me, it’s always been a lifelong thing.

Actually writing is a different thing. Getting a book written and published has been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve started two or three times on different themes and story lines, but at some point the story stops or life gets in the way and I set it down with the intention of finishing it but don’t.

The difference this time is the story started to come alive in my head in 2013 and it rolled around for a couple of years until it dominated a lot of my waking time.

Why do you write?

Honestly the motivation is to get the words and images out of my head. I lived with the first book for about two years in my head and dreams before I set down to write it. Most of the stuff I produce that I really like comes out of living with it for a while. Turning it over and over. Wash, rinse and repeat. This book came about because I just wanted to get it out of my head and on the page to read.

I really got serious about writing when I started my blog. I know, I know everyone has one and some of them are really not good at all I leave them up for better or worse because it’s a way for me to gauge how I am progressing and maturing in the words and how they fit together.

Where do your ideas come from?

So this goes back to what I was saying earlier. I see and get ideas all the time from music to the people and things in my environment. For me at least it starts with one scene and then progresses from there.

This book here started by a visit to a friend out in the adobe desert of Loma CO. It was so isolated that it stuck me that only people who are looking to get away from society or maybe the law chooses this place to set down a home. From there I started to see scenes play out in front of me. It would take a couple more revisits to see my folks and time on the road in places like Texas and Florida before the whole thing came together for me.

This next novel I’m working on is called ‘The Sometimes Long Road Home’ came alive from an off handed comment of a friend of mine. The whole story just exploded in front of me.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

Laptop definitely. I do have a notebook app on my phone and tablet for thoughts, notes or bits of dialogue I’m working on. I wish I could say I have one of those little bedside notebooks and a pen for dreams you see guys rolling out of bed and franticly writing in the middle of the night but pretty much when I wake up I almost never remember what the dream was or if I do what it has to do with anything. And talking into a recorder just seems weird to me not to mention making myself awkward for no good reason.

What are your 5 favourite books and 5 favourite authors?

This is a tough one because there are a lot of authors I enjoy for different reasons. Just leafing through my kindle I probably have a dozen different authors. But if I had to narrow down my favorite authors and by extension the books they’ve written it would be in no particular order. James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, Harlan Coben, Lawrence Block, Elmore Leonard.

Sins of the Father, Creole Belle, A Drink Before the War, Stick and Deal Breaker.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I’ve never had a situation where I didn’t know what comes next or where the beats are at. But more than once I have had problems with needing a character to get to a certain place but half way through I realize they would not say those words or take that particular action and have to rewind the scene and start over with how they would act or speak.

There is also the occasional problem where I’ve had a scene and get almost to the end and realize I just ended the story in a very logical way but that’s now what I need to happen. As an example there is a scene that takes place in a taco shop between Walt, Ronald, Marcie (Walt’s high school sweetheart) and some state cops. Without giving it away they walk outside and the cops confront both Walt and Ronald. Now in real life they probably go to jail which is bad because I’m on like page one hundred.

I tried a few different scenarios to end the scene the way I wanted but it just didn’t write believably. What I wound up doing is calling my brother the cop and ran it past him. After a lot of back and forth where he ended every sentence with “it wouldn’t happen that way and they go to jail.” Says my brother the cop

I finally said its fiction and just has to be believable enough to keep the story moving.

He gave me what is in the book but it took a lot of effort to drag that out of him!

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

You have to love the process of storytelling first and foremost. Write the stories you want to read and write for your enjoyment and freedom of movement of the mind and expression. Unless you have the magic ticket to literary freedom and success be prepared for a very long road to getting published. Building an audience and a following takes time, energy and some money on your part. But there are a lot of support on social media that can help. Lastly don’t expect anyone in the “bookstore” business to really help out a lot. You are your own best advocate for your work and your brand

Sometimes stories or scenes just don’t write and when it happens take some time for reflection maybe hit the backspace key a few times and either start again or better yet look for those off beat paths that are adjacent to the one you are working on. But never let it stop the story.

Thank you, Roger, for all your interesting answers! 


ABOUT THE BOOK:

With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life. Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he’s retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life. Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado. Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Side-Heaven-Roger-Peppercorn/dp/198351246X/
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36898756-on-the-devil-s-side-of-heaven

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If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail: thereadingbud@gmail.com

Book Review: Purgatorium by J.H. Carnathan

Author: J.H. Carnathan
Release Date: 27th May 2016
Genre: Dark Mystery, Thriller
Series:  
Edition: E-book
Pages: 430
Publisher: J.H. Carnathan
Blurb:
When his watch resets to zero, his morning starts again. Everyday his time always ends right at 60 Minutes, giving him only 5 minutes to stay at one particular place in his normal routine. The empty streets and familiar places are strange facsimiles of his previous life. He keeps reliving these same events over and over, barely able to remember anything and unable to maintain mental order as he stumbles through a strange existence. He soon learns that his physical body is in a coma and his consciousness is currently in a purgatory-like realm. As his body lies in a coma, his mind has been living a lavish lifestyle at a price: his sinful memories and his autonomy. After finding out his life support is coming to an end he must now run the last race for his life to decide if he is a “soul survivor” ready for a second chance at life or a lost soul willing to give it all up. He needs to outrun reapers, outthink the clock, and chase down his inner demons if he is ever going to get free. The race is on, and if he is going to survive, he’ll have to confront the world he’s always been so desperate to escape from.

Review

★★★+1/2

Purgatorium by J.H. Carnathan is a unique book with a story so intricate you wouldn’t mind being lost in it for hours.

When I first read the summary of the book, I was very intrigued and that was the main reason I picked it to read. Initially, it took me some time to get a hold of the theme of the story (obviously I knew it, but it took some getting used to) and once I got into the rhythm of the story flow, it only got more and more interesting.

Without giving away much, I’d just say that this book is more like a puzzle than a story; it has lots of clues and red-herrings and takes you on a mind-bending journey only to leave you baffled at the end. This is the first book of this kind that I’ve read and I did enjoy it. Though, my only problem was that I wasn’t able to feel a connection with the main character. I do get the abstractness of his identity, still, I wasn’t able to root for him to find himself amidst all the chaos.

I’d recommend this book to dark fiction lovers and to anyone who loves solving peculiar puzzles.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon