Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review # 234: The Super Spud Trilogy by Michael Diack

Description: (from GoodReads)
     Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again!


     Every great once in a while I decide to take on a book that is outside of the "norm" - one that seems unique, crazy, off-kilter, or even a bit impossible - and this month I chose Michael Diack's The Super Spud Trilogy. Why? Well, honestly, the book blurb mentioned a few of my favorite things: genetic engineering, potatoes (yum-yum!), hidden civilizations, and magic! Sounds strange right? But how could anyone pass up such ludicrous pairings? I had to know how all of these parts came together as a whole, and I was certainly not disappointed! Less than twenty-five pages into the book, I was already giggling at the well-written, wit-filled absurdity, and from there I was hooked, (just like a bag of crisps, you can never eat just one...). I was surprised how original the content was, especially the off-the-wall characters/flavors and the balance between rollick and   reality. I never thought that I could sympathize with an inanimate object, but Diack humanized every crispy character down to the last starch-filled bite. I laughed, gasped, and shook-my-head along with my new spud friends, often thinking, "Oh yeah, they're potatoes...", which only made me laugh more. I must commend an author who can make talking potatoes more enjoyable than their giant human counterparts. The well-detailed locale, the hysterical level of comedic violence, the face-palming puns/ movie references, and the quick-paced stories made for an unexpectedly relaxing, yet mirthful read. I could see the crisps' antics in my head - particularly those of Cougar, King Martin, and Colin - and could not help but imagine how great they would look if Disney/DreamWorks/Pixar Animation Studios got a hold of them! The stories were tied together nicely with an enjoyable overall progression, and were very fun and easy-to-read.  I actually liked the length - all three books in one - but I thought that there were a few sections that could have been shortened due to overly-descriptive background details. Thumbs up for originality, character development, and proper editing! I am not going to forget this book, and cannot wait for volume four! Recommended to anyone who has ever wondered about the secret life of the potato crisp, or those who crave a ton of great laughs to get through the day!

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Lightning Book Promotions) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author:

     Michael Diack was born in the UK and went to the University of Manchester where he studied geology. He wrote The Super Spud Trilogy during his time at university and it was published by Pen Press in April 2012. Besides writing, his hobbies include sailing, skiing, squash, football and playing board gam.es with his friends. He hopes that lighthearted nature of The Super Spud Trilogy will make readers laugh and relax, and is currently writing The Super Spuds: Book 4 - to be released later this year! Readers can interact with Michael on FacebookTwitter, Goodreads or by leaving a comment on his blogsite, http://www.superspudtrilogy.blogspot.com/

Buy the Book:


Paperback Editions

Enter The Super Spud Trilogy Giveaway!!!

Tour dates:

September 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interview: Richard Long - The Book of Paul

Author Interview: Richard Long - The Book of Paul

1. Tell us about the spark of inspiration that eventually grew into The Book of Paul.
     The initial inspiration for The Book of Paul came when I wrote the first line of the first chapter calledExercises: “He practiced smiling.” I wanted to explore a character who had been so damaged by childhood trauma that he could no longer feel compassion, joy, affection, and had, accordingly, committed all kinds of horrible acts. I wondered if such a person could ever regain his emotional capacity and be redeemed by love.
2. What was the research process like for this book (which can at times deal with some pretty heady and—frankly—grotesque goings-on)? Any horror stories to share?
     There are many aspects to the story, so the research was really extensive. I love doing the research almost as much as the writing, so it’s a joy for me to read and learn so many new things. The creation mythology literally goes back to square one and builds from there, tracing the history of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy, alchemy, druidism and pagan mythology–particularly Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions. There’s also a strong science fiction element involving quantum physics, artificial intelligence, life extension and what’s known as The Singularity. Other lines of exploration involved Irish genealogy and what I call the pain culture: tattoos, elaborate piercings and body modifications. 
     I made some gruesome discoveries along the way. The most disturbing was the Extreme Body Modification website I stumbled upon, which is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the early days of the Internet, which is pretty amazing in itself. I checked recently and it’s still there, though I didn’t have the stomach to peek inside again. I’m actually as squeamish as some of my readers about certain things, which is probably why the horror comes across so vividly. If something scares the hell out of me, it’s easy for me to convey that fear and revulsion.
3. Tell us about Paul. Who is he and what is his book about?
     The Book is a 4th century codex, the only one of it’s kind. How and why it was made and what it contains is one of the central mysteries of the series, so I’m not going to spill those beans. Paul is every bit as mysterious. When he is first introduced you might think he’s a serial killer involved with the occult in some way. As the story progresses you discover some really unexpected things about him. One thing is clear from the outset – he is one very nasty piece of work. I’ve always felt that any horror novel or thriller is only as good as the villain. I definitely aimed for the fences with Paul.
4. There is a strong tarot undercurrent to this novel. The protagonist even makes his living by reading the cards. Why did you decide to work it into The Book of Paul, and how does it surface throughout the course of the story?
     I actually did tarot and numerology readings when I lived in the East Village many years ago. The tarot led me to a lot of dark occult explorations, which are mirrored in William’s journey. I was lucky enough to pull out of that nosedive and hop over to the Buddhist side of the fence. William is not so fortunate. The reader gets drawn into William’s world through his first person narration as he talks about becoming a collector of ancient occult manuscripts, which leads him to the tarot. Then he gradually reveals more through his journal entries, which contain the meat of the mythology and all the Hermetic and Gnostic lore. Finally, he discovers that the tarot is actually related to an apocalyptic prophecy, which Paul is determined to fulfill by any means necessary, which is very bad news for Billy.
5. At almost 500 pages, this is not a short novel. From start to finish, how long did it take you to write, revise, and ready for publication?
     I’ve written over 2,000 pages for The Book of Paul and the series. The first draft of this volume was close to a thousand pages long. I cut out eight characters and their storylines in the second draft, which netted my first agent. She wanted a lower page count, so many of the narrator’s interior musings were cut. Those were actually some of my favorite sections. Then I moved to another agent and he wanted more of the mythology put back in, so it grew close to this size. After six months he hadn’t sold it, so I got sick of the whole process, wrote it the way I wanted, and published it.
6. The concept of synchronicity plays heavily in this novel. What attracts you to it, and has it proven a heavy influence in your own life?
     I’ve always been a spiritual seeker. I was raised as a Catholic, but the nuns effectively beat those beliefs out of me quickly. Even as a kid, I couldn’t accept the idea of God as the big guy in the sky with the white beard. Science and mythology and my own imagination showed me all kind of possibilities. I first noticed synchronicity when the number eleven kept showing up for me all over the place–addresses, hotel rooms, etc. Someone suggested I get a book on numerology and I discovered that eleven was my “name number” and also a power number. I started noticing all kinds of things after that, coincidences that were just too weird to brush away. Then I read some Jung, and when I got into quantum physics that sealed the deal. Synchronicity for me now is the manifestation of interconnectedness in the universe. There is nothing you can perceive that isn’t connected to you. As the Buddhists say, “no separate self.”
7. Paul is… scary (we’ll leave it at that). How were you able to effectively become this deranged character, and how did you hang on to your own humanity after the fact?
     I would imagine it’s much the same as when Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter. He was very disdainful of method actors who got all caught up in identifying with their characters. There’s a famous story about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman on the set of Marathon Man. Hoffman was a method actor and he stayed up all night before their torture scene together and Olivier said something like, “Why don’t you try acting, dear boy?” 
     That being said, I’m not immune to being disturbed by these things. When I wrote the traumatic scenes of him and Martin–well, I cried when I wrote them and they stayed with me for days. So maybe the method is working for me too. 
     Paul is great to write because it’s like letting my Id out of a cage. I get to play out my most evil imaginings and nobody gets hurt. I also had to find Paul’s humanity to make him really interesting for me. I didn’t want him to be some cartoon monster. Paul is also in a lot of pain; he was traumatized as a boy and his life was changed forever. By the end of the story you get to see many other sides of him. And of course, there’s a lot more to come.
8. Irish mythology is woven into The Book of Paul, and at one point, Paul even makes a sarcastic quip about the luck of the Irish. Why Irish, and how all does its culture influence the story?
     When I’m writing, I go into a daydream state where I imagine the character and what he or she looks like and where they are and what they’re doing. No outline usually. I sit back and watch and listen. If it’s great the way I imagine it, then writing the dialog is like taking dictation. When I wrote the first chapters with Paul, I was surprised because I kept hearing him speak with an Irish brogue, but his accent went in and out – sometimes really thick, sometimes a little lilt, sometimes no accent at all. So I’m thinking, what’s that about? 
     I come from Irish American stock, but my parents told me absolutely nothing about their parents other than to say they were cruel. So that’s the starting point with Paul. He’s the ultimate bad dad. The more I explored Paul, the deeper it led me into Celtic mythology, Irish genealogy and history. I suppose I’m trying to find the missing links of my own heritage. My grandmother was born in Ireland, so I have dual citizenship, even though I haven’t been there yet. I’m thinking I’ll go next year when I’m writing the third sequel.
9. The Book of Paul is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and in that way, it can be difficult to classify. So tell us, who is your target audience for this novel?
     Given the fact that there are some rough episodes in the story, you might think that the so-called target audience would be men who are into horror, thrills and mayhem. But women actually seem to be my biggest, or at least, my most vocal fans. I’ve been getting some really enthusiastic reviews from men, but even more so from women, who surprisingly seem less squeamish than some of the male reviewers. 
     The Book of Paul doesn’t fit into any neat, tidy genre. It’s very complex and like you say, unlike anything I’ve read before either. There’s a Pulp Fiction element to it, with quirky characters in a seedy environment. There’s a major religious/mythological mystery for the Dan Brown crowd. It’s very funny, but incredibly poignant. It’s very disturbing, but there are lots of fast-paced action scenes. There’s romance and kinky sex. Something for everybody.
10. Why did you decide to self-publish The Book of Paul, and how has the journey been so far?
     Read above. The traditional publishing industry in general is like a boxer on the ropes in the tenth round. For fiction it’s even worse. Add first-time novelist to the list and sprinkle on an unclassifiable genre for a little seasoning. I had two agents who were well known and successful, and very enthusiastic about the book. But the editors they reached wouldn’t take a chance on it. I could have kept trying, but frankly, I ran out of patience. 
     How has it been so far? The book is out in the world and it’s just the way I wanted it. I have complete control over everything I do, including the cover art, which is also exactly how I want it. The marketing is a lot of hard work, particularly the social marketing, which I had never done before. But that’s turned out to be a lot of fun too. I’m meeting so many great people–other authors and readers–and getting such a strong response on the book that it feels like a vindication. See? I told you so. Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

About the Book:

A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace. He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

Guestpost: The Tarot by Richard Long

Guestpost - The Tarot by Richard Long

Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”

Stop it, you’re killing me.

You just read the opening lines of The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul. They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.

Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards–The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower–can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.

William, the narrator of The Book of Paul, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.

The mythology of The Book of Paul is based largely on my very unique (so unique you’ll never see it anywhere else) interpretation of the twenty-two trump cards of the tarot. As William endeavors to unravel Paul’s nefarious intentions, he discovers an arrangement of the trumps that reveals the true story being told. In the following excerpt from one of William’s journal entries, Paul congratulates William on his discovery (which is not revealed, so no spoiler alert!) and rewards his efforts with a very special gift to add to his collection, and the promise of an even greater prize.

A fabulous tarot reading from Richard Long? A Kindle Fire?

No, William isn’t as lucky as three of you wonderful readers.

He’s about to have his very first look at The Book of Paul, a gift that comes with a very hefty price tag.


“You’ve done exceptionally well here,” Paul said, “but you’re never gonna get to the bottom of this no matter how many of those old books you poke your nose into.”

“And that’s because…”

“For starters, those writings were deliberately intended to disguise the truth in countless metaphors and scrambled codes to keep the idiots at bay. They’ve been translated, and re-translated back into the original demotic, Coptic or Greek countless times, every scribe adding his own pontifical touch in his glorious interpretation. Of the more accurate writings, there’s more missing from the tracts than what remains, as you’ve seen in the Drivel of Mary. You’ve about as much luck hitting pay dirt in those dustbins as those literalist born-agains have of seeing the Rapture. However, I have a gift for you that should prove far more enlightening, if you apply yourself with half the dedication of these research efforts.”

He reached deeply into his pocket and told me to close my eyes. “Don’t go using yer second sight and spoil the surprise.” I nodded and felt him place a large rectangular object in my left hand. “Okay, open ’em.”

It was a tarot deck. Older than any I’d seen. The paintings were incredibly detailed and absolutely exquisite. I turned them over one by one, The Hero, The Herald, The Oracle—all the trumps labeled with Paul’s titles. “These are amazing!” I said, awed and yes, flattered by his incredible gift. I had a hard time spitting it out, but I managed to say, “Thank you.”

“You’ve earned it,” he grunted, taking the cards back before I had a chance to look at the rest of them, setting the cards down gently on the table. “But don’t stay up too late gazing at them. This deck can be quite…entrancing.”

“Is there something else I should know about it?” I asked apprehensively.

“Indeed, there is. Get a good night’s sleep and meet me in the chapel tomorrow. I’m bumping you up to the advanced class, so make sure your eyes are bright and your head is clear. You’ve earned a little taste of the Gospel according to Paul.”

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

About the Book:

A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace. He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

Excerpt: Monsters - The Book of Paul by Richard Long

Excerpt: Monsters - The Book of Paul

Richard Long

You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will be all right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.

Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below. Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hopscotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.

“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”

Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to square number five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-gingham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.

The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.

Paul leaned closer, his keen ears straining to pick up the faint sound of her shiny leather shoes scraping against the grimy concrete. He focused even more intently and heard the even fainter lilt of her soft voice. Was she singing? He pressed his ear against the glass and listened. Sure enough, she was singing. Paul smiled and closed his eyes and let the sound pour into his ear like a rich, fragrant wine.

“One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…”

He listened with his eyes closed. Her soft sweet voice rose higher and higher until…the singing suddenly stopped. Paul’s eyes snapped open. The girl was gone. He craned his neck quickly to the left and saw her being pulled roughly down the street. The puller was a large, light-skinned black man, tugging on her hand/arm every two seconds like he was dragging a dog by its leash. At first, he guessed that the man was her father, a commodity as rare in this part of town as a fresh-scrubbed girl playing hopscotch. Then he wondered if he wasn’t her father after all. Maybe he was one of those kinds of men, one of those monsters that would take a sweet, pure thing to a dark, dirty place and…

And do whatever a monster like that wanted to do.

Paul pressed his face against the glass and caught a last fleeting glance of the big brown man and the tiny red-checkered girl. He watched the way he yanked on her arm, how he shook his finger, how he stooped down to slap her face and finally concluded that he was indeed her one and only Daddy dear. Who else would dare to act that way in public?

“Kids!” Paul huffed. “The kids these days!”

He laughed loud enough to rattle the windows. Then his face hardened by degrees as he pictured the yanking daddy and the formerly happy girl. Hmmm, maybe he was one of those prowling monsters after all. Paul shuddered at the thought of what a man like that would do. He imagined the scene unfolding step by step, grunting as the vision became more and more precise. “Hhmph!” he snorted after a particularly gruesome imagining. “What kind of a bug could get inside your brain and make you do a thing like that?”

“Monsters! Monsters!” he shouted, rambling back into the wasteland of his labyrinthine apartments, twisting and turning through the maze of lightless hallways as if being led by a seeing-eye dog. He walked and turned and walked some more, comforted as always by the darkness. Finally, he came to a halt and pushed hard against a wall.

His hidden sanctuary opened like Ali Baba’s cave, glowing with the treasures it contained. He stepped inside and saw the figure resting (well, not exactly resting) between the flickering candles. At the sound of his footsteps, the body on the altar twitched frantically. Paul moved closer, rubbing a smooth fingertip across the wet, trembling skin and raised it to his lips. It tasted like fear. He gazed down at the man, his eyes moving slowly from his ashen face to the rusty nails holding him so firmly in place. The warm, dark blood shining on the wooden altar made him think about the red-gingham bunny again.

“Monsters,” he said, more softly this time, wishing he weren’t so busy. As much as he would enjoy it, there simply wasn’t enough time to clean up this mess, prepare for his guests and track her down. Well, not her, precisely. Her angry tugging dad. Not that Paul had any trouble killing little girls, you understand. It just wasn’t his thing. Given a choice, he would much rather kill her father. And make her watch.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

About the Book:

A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace. He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. Visit Richard on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Guestpost: Loree Lough on The First Responders Series

 Loree Lough Guestpost

I'm convinced that first responders are not like the rest of us.

     Whether cloaked in the uniforms of soldiers, firefighters, police officers, or EMTs, something inside enables each to silence doubt and fear and plow through danger to protect those who were not blessed with the trait. I am one of the Unblessed. To prove it, let me share a true story:

     One dark, starless night, several dozen family members gathered around our campfire, whispering about reports that a mountain lion had been spotted in the area. My brother-in-law excused himself to use the facilities, and, true to his always-joking nature, tiptoed up the hill. When he crashed through the underbrush, growling like a grizzly, adults scattered like ashes on the wind. As our wide-eyed, S'mores-sticky kids said "What's going on!", we—the parents assigned to protect them—huddled on the cabin porch and faced the ugly truth: We could never again claim "I'll lay down my life for my children!"

     While interviewing nearly 200 first responders who served on 9/11, I heard nearly 200 variations of the same story … and 200 ways of saying what this New York City policeman said: "I didn't give a thought to what might happen to me. I just wanted to get to my buddies, no matter what it took." He lost four fingers, digging through the smoking debris in search of his comrades. During my interview with one of the paramedics who carried the dead and dying to waiting ambulances, one said "I don't consider myself a hero … just a guy doing what anyone else would do under the same circumstances."

     No, not "just a guy doing his job," I argued. And although I told my campfire story to underscore that truth, he still didn't get it. What more proof did I need to shore up my belief that first responders really aren't like the rest of us! Is it possible, I wondered, to show them how much we, the Unblessed Cowards, appreciate the matter-of-fact way they gear-up and stride nobly into the line of fire?

     The First Responders series is my answer to that question, and I pray that every reader comes away with newfound respect and admiration for those who take John 15:13 a step beyond its meaning: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friends."

How much greater is the gift of the brave men and women who humbly live those words daily ...

… for strangers.

About the Author:

     With nearly four million 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers alike have called best-selling author Loree Lough “a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives.” The 3rd novel in her popular First Responders series, A Man of Honor (Loree’s 88th published book), reaches bookstore shelves this September. Loree and her husband live in the Baltimore suburbs and love spending time at their tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she loves to show off her “i.d the critter tracks” skills. She loves to hear from readers (who can email her via http://www.loreelough.com) and answers every letter, personally.

Visit Loree Lough’s blog: http://www.theloughdown.blogspot.com

Friend Loree Lough on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LoreeALough

Like Loree Lough’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LoreeLoughAuthor

Pick up your paperback copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Honor-First-Responders-Book/dp/1426714629/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1345257928&sr=8-2&keywords=a+man+of+honor

Download your ebook copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Honor-First-Responders-ebook/dp/B008R3YWOW/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1345257928&sr=8-2

Purchase your copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Abingdon Press: http://abingdonpress.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=7215

Pick up your copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-man-of-honor-loree-lough/1111740676?ean=9781426714627

Pick up your copy of Loree Lough’s A Man of Honor at ChristianBook.com: http://www.christianbook.com/man-of-honor-first-responders-series/loree-lough/9781426714627/pd/714627?product_redirect=1&Ntt=714627&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Visit Loree Lough’s official virtual book tour page: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/08/17/pump-up-your-book-presents-a-man-of-honor-virtual-book-publicity-tour/#

About the Book:

Dusty and Grace find love together, but will it be enough to pull them through tragedy?

     On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker—part-time pastor, part-time search and rescue team leader, and full-time administrator at a school for troubled boys—joins the search for a missing teen girl. He partners with volunteer and inner city school teacher Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected.

     As they begin to build a life together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home.

     But a dark and dangerous threat looms over their seemingly perfect world, and in one terrifying night…

…everything changes

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review # 233: We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats: First Day of School by Peter J. Goodman; Illustrated by Nicolás S. Milano

Description: (from Amazon)
    ''My name is Carlos and I have no fur,'' the kitty cat says to his classmates on the first day of school. 
    A kitty cat with no fur? How strange thought the other cats, laughing and giggling at Carlos. Hurt and embarrassed in front of the class, he sits down at this desk and begins to cry. 
   On his way home from school, Carlos runs into Vinny, a mean kitty cat twice his size. From a distance, Flo and Marla witness what's about to happen. Do they come to his rescue or does Carlos find his own escape? 
    This rollercoaster of a story introduces the cool cast of kitty cats Carlos, Dylan, Flo, Marla, Allie, Vinny and Sammy. It reveals how each kitty has a gift something that makes them special. And sometimes it takes a difficult experience to discover this. All children have unique talents, and in this story...Carlos finds his.

Allizabeth's Review:
     I am a total cat lover! So when I got the chance to read this unique children's book about bullying, I knew that I had to take it! The first thing I noticed was Nicolás S. Milano's strange, yet fun and colorful illustrations! I love when I see artistic concepts that I have not seen before, and I know that children enjoy varied stimuli as well. The exaggerated faces and bodies of the characters are great tools for conveying expressions and emotions, although some of them were more odd than others. The second thing I noticed was the  text/dialogue, which is perfect for kids in Pre-Kindergarten through through Third Grade. The vocabulary is just right for children in these age groups, with a few challenge words dispersed throughout. The material is easy-to-read-and-understand, ferrying a message against bullying and discrimination. It is integral that children learn acceptance and tolerance when they are young, and We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats: First Day of School is a great resource. The only aspects I disliked were the mildly stereotypical characters, particularly Vinny and Carlos, and the blunt ending. I know that children will definitely want to know what happens next, and the ending does not feel as satisfying as it should. I commend Peter J. Goodman and his team for coming up with such a unique and enjoyable children's book, and hope to read more from this series in the future! A book about Allie, Sammy, or Dylan, perhaps?
Rating: 4.5/5 
Shark's Review:
     My daughter had a lot of fun reading this book, and she's 6 years old! She likes the art and the story, especially the part about Carlos and the alphabet. She has been bullied before, so it was good to see a book that tackled the problem in such a fun way. Her favorite characters are Carlos and Flo, and she loves their big eyes and smiles. Only problem is, now she wants a hairless cat, lol. 
Rating: 5/5 

Literary Lola's Review:
     The book, We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats: First Day of School, by Peter J. Goodman/ illustrated by Nicolas Milano, exemplifies the noble message that we are one and the same despite all of our differences. Even though one of the goals of this book was to convey social acceptance amidst the bullied cat’s peers by highlighting the intelligence he portrayed in the classroom – I do not feel like this turnaround was believable. The cat, Carlos, who was consistently bullied for his looks, all of the sudden becomes liked for showing off by rambling off the whole alphabet. In my own personal experience as an educator, I have found that the children who tend to bully usually stay focused on one aspect of the victim, and persist with that one “negative” aspect. 
    I liked Goodman’s idea of pointing out that there were other characteristics of people to admire and appreciate aside from looks. I also really appreciated that Goodman showed a supportive and caring role model as a parent; one who teaches Carlos to look at features within himself so that he was able to accept and change his own psychological concept of identity. 
     Overall, I thought the book was noble in the concept it was trying to portray, but I do not think it was believable as it pertains to the real world. While it is true that bullying is a huge social issue, I do not think the problem would have been resolved the way it was in the book. The ending shocked me because it just seemed like it took an abrupt turn in topic. The graphics were also slightly scary and the eyes made me think of the creepiness of the characters portrayed in the somewhat recent movie, “Coraline.”
Rating: 3.5/5
M. Springsteen's Review:
     The first thing I noticed about the book was the creepy looking cats. They seemed less than kid friendly - more Gothic in nature than I expected. I was distracted by the illustrations the entire book. However, I believe the message is a good one and is important for kids to read and understand.   
Rating: 3.5/5
Becky's Review:
     The illustrations were a bit weird. Usually children's books have really cute illustrations, but I felt that these were sort of disturbing. The message against bullying was clear, encouraging kids to accept individual differences, but it could have been brought up in a more exciting way. 
Rating: 3/5

Katie L's Review:
     I teach Kindergarten and I believe that my students and their families would love this book! It is full of multicolored illustrations, interesting looking kitty-cats, and a wonderful lesson to learn. Kids should be taught to accept everyone, and this book makes it clear - discrimination for any reason is wrong. I only wish that the ending wasn't so quick, a couple more pages to tie up the story would have been nice. I will recommend this to teachers and day care providers in my area! My thanks go to the author for such a great lesson! I wonder if there are any more books to come in the series?
Rating: 4.5/5

Amy's Review:
     The artwork in this book is grotesque and frightening. The stereotyping of people who like football as prejudicial and belligerent is discriminatory. Why give kids the message that liking sports is a characteristic of a bigot? Unnecessary and untrue! The ending was too too abrupt. A book for children ought to have a more clearly defined ending, not just an end. While the intended message is worthwhile and good for kids, the artwork and delivery are lacking.
Rating: 2.5/5

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author:

     Peter J. Goodman is a multimedia children's author. His Kitty Cats book series brings adults and kids together to discuss important social issues from early childhood. The series encourages discussion and dialogue through thought provoking narratives. Peter's first book, Win-Win Career Negotiations was published by Penguin Books in 2002, and he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly among other national publications. Peter is currently earning his Masters of Arts in Writing at The Johns Hopkins University. He currently resides in Washington, DC and is the proud uncle of his two young, adorable nephews, Dylan and Gavin.

About the Illustrator:

Born in Argentina, Nico is a self-taught illustrator who has worked on numerous children’s books since 2008. His passion for drawing was immediate, as Nico drew throughout his childhood and into his teen years. Nico says "being able to work as a professional illustrator is like a dream come true." Nico's one-of-a-kind style has been influenced by such artists as acclaimed Argentine illustrator Carlos Nine and Polish illustrator, Dariusz Twardoch, whose dry pastel creations evoke strong emotional elements of dreams, love, longing and loneliness. He currently resides in Argentina with his wife, Blanca, and his 1-year-old daughter, María, who has lots of blank pages waiting for her colored pencils and pastels.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review # 232: Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down by Pauline Hawkins

Description: (from press release)
     Where were you on 9/11? That question has become part of the fabric of our lives as Americans. On that bright, sunny day, none of us had any idea what was in store and how it would change our lives. Depending on what part of the country you lived in, you may not have known anything was going on until several hours after the first plane struck. You may not have heard the news until you got to work, turned on your car radio, or received a call from a loved one asking if you had seen or heard the news. Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down is a look at the events of 9/11 from personal and informational perspectives. Author, Pauline Hawkins, who lived in Texas at the time of the attacks, shares her experience of 9/11, and its repercussions for her family, her job, and how she viewed the world. Pauline’s story of coping with the news, reframing how she thought about America and the world, and making a conscious decision to become better-informed will resonate with anyone who lived through 9/11. In addition to her personal testimony, Pauline provides a thought-provoking context for the events of 9/11, including political background, social commentary, and reflections on the contributions of everyday heroes. You’ll come away from this book both enlightened and comforted by Pauline’s honesty and common sense, as well as her heartfelt appreciation of those who sacrificed for our country, and those who continue to work toward healing and rebuilding.


     As an American, I will never forget the life-altering events of 9/11/2001. I was thirteen, just starting seventh grade, and the day seemed like any other - Algebra followed by ILA, Reading, Lunch, etc... - but word quickly spread  that the day was anything but typical. After 9:45am, the teachers were glued to their computer screens, shock and utter disbelief on their faces. They wouldn't tell us what was happening, not wanting to start mass panic, but scared parents were already beginning to flood the school's front office. Students were told to stay seated and quiet, locked in the classrooms, sparking rumors about gunmen, bomb threats, and possible power-plant meltdowns, but no amount of twisted imagination could have prepared any of us for the terrible truth - America was under attack, and anything was a potential terrorist target. I can honestly say that this was one of the scariest moments of my life, and a total wake-up call. The safety that I had felt my whole life evaporated into the fear of the unknown; innocent people were dying because they went to work. I reasoned that no one was safe, and I wasn't the only one. These are a part of my personal 9/11 memories, but everyone has their own story, and that is why Pauline Hawkins decided to write Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down. The mere mention of the Twin Towers or 9/11  triggers most people's memories of where they were, and what they were doing when they heard about the attack. The focus of this book is to show how the attack affected all Americans, not just those in New York, or those who lost loved ones, but the country as a whole. The book is well-researched, easy-to-read-and-understand, and very emotional. Reading each story made me remember details about my own experience, and I was impressed by the sections on The Patriot Act, Osama Bin Laden, and the losses we, (America and the world), suffered. There was a lot that I didn't know - some more unsettling than I would have thought - but I am glad Hawkins decided to delve into it. Well-written and poignant, Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down, takes readers back to 9/11/2001, and shows them why America will never forget. Highly recommended!

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey.

     I think I've always been a writer. I’ve always had stories bouncing around inside my head and most anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an over-active imagination. As an Instructional Designer I always loved writing analogies and just think that all goes hand in hand with be a writer. Also I don’t know why but I find it much easy to share my thoughts and emotions in writing then verbally. I’m not sure if it’s the anonymity that allows me to share what I’m thinking and feeling or what it really is. Maybe it’s the fact that writing comes with spell check and grammar check. LOL

     Writing also helps me arrange your thoughts and make more sense out of what I want to say. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written a few pages or even a chapter and then decided I wanted to head a different direction and scrap them and start over. With all of my Instructional Design training I’m also very in tune with writing for your audience and I’m sure that has a lot to do with my decision to sometimes head a different direction. As much as every writer would like to we can’t write to everyone out there we have to decide on a basic audience. But as enjoyable as writing is it is still work.

     All writers, or authors, get writer’s block. We all find ourselves not in the mood to write when we need to be writing to meet a deadline or whatever. Writers are their own worst critics. I’m been frustrated before with a chapter and about ready to trash it but when I ask a neutral party to read it they just love it. I don’t know I guess we just expect the perfection from ourselves and we won’t settle for anything less. You also sometimes find yourself being discouraged by family and friends when they tell you that your writing is a “nice” hobby or that your book is “nice” but it’s no best seller. Ouch! We all hope to write the next best seller but we realize that the odds are against us but we don’t need our family and friends reminding us of it.

About the Author:

     Pauline L. Hawkins was born in Munson Army Hospital at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on Easter Sunday. Pauline has been in the health insurance industry for almost thirty years, working her way up from the mailroom to corporate management and claims payment. In 2002, Pauline received her Instructional Design certification, which allows her to create instructor-led and learner-paced training curricula, along with computer-based learning activities and website creation. Pauline has enjoyed writing since she was in high school, and has decided to start sharing her stories. Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down is her debut book.

You can visit Pauline L. Hawkins’ website at http://paulinelhawkins.com.

Follow Pauline at Twitter at www.twitter.com/paulinehawkins3.

Pick up your paperback copy of Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0578105306

Download your e-copy of Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down in the Amazon Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Twins-Fall-Down-ebook/dp/B008CPXMWS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Purchase your copy of Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ashes-ashes-the-twins-fall-down-pauline-l-hawkins/1111610106?ean=9780578105307&r=1&

Order your copy of Ashes Ashes the Twins Fall Down directly from the publisher: http://www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore/9780578105307.html

Book Trailer

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review # 231: Curb CheK by Zach Fortier

Description: (from GoodReads)
     CurbcheK is the story of a damaged cop, Zach Fortier. Fortier worked in the police department for the city where he grew up. One foot in the world of the cops, courts and legal system. The other in the world of gangs, drugs, thugs and street violence. Where the laws and rules are made by the strongest, the schemers and the most brutal. Read about the transformation of Fortier from a green rookie to a damaged paranoid veteran seeing danger in every situation. Follow along as he walks this tight rope. Trying to make difference, breaking the laws he promised to enforce. This is a story of law and order uncensored.

     This book is not for the fainthearted. Curb CheK is the totally engrossing account of the  gritty police calls handled by officer Zach Fortier - rapes, murders, kidnappings, and thefts, among other heinous crimes. The stories are real, ranging from nauseatingly gruesome to laugh-out-loud absurd. Zach Fortier's feelings towards each case are evident, his well-written narrative a required shock-to-the-system. The world that we live in is not the happy and innocent landscape we imagine as children, but a place filled with hidden dangers - a mix of good and bad - and the author is not afraid to tell it like it is. I have gotten over my preconceived notions of a "perfect world", my interests in biology, psychology, and forensics opening my eyes to a darker side of the human condition, so I am not surprised by the cases described, but I know that it will definitely affect  readers. The subject matter is quite graphic and profanity is common in the narrative and dialogue, however, it is expected given the book's topic, and the area in which it takes place. I will definitely be reading his latest book Curb CheK Reloaded, I just hope that it has fewer grammatical errors because they can be distracting. Curb Chek is one of those rare books that can change how people see those who protect and serve our communities. It is a must read for those in the law enforcement field, or those who want to delve deeper into a nonfiction crime novel. Highly recommended!

Rating: Clean Getaway (5/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author
     Zach Fortier has had over 30 years experience as a Military Policeman, Deputy Sheriff, and Police Officer. Serving on two SWAT teams. He has held positions as a K-9 handler, gang unit detective, sex crimes investigator, domestic violence crimes investigator, bike patrol officer, chool resource officer and has been assigned to the COPS section (community oriented policing). He was diagnosed with acute PTSD in 2003. Currently living in Denver Colorado. He has three adult children, and is married to an amazing woman. 
Hobbies include photography, weightlifting, and hiking.

Ready for More?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spotlight: She Wulf by Sheryl Steines

In the Spotlight - She Wulf by Sheryl Steines

Please enjoy this excerpt from She Wulf, an action-packed urban fantasy by Sheryl Steines. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.

Someone screamed; a terrified, naked shrill cry in the distance. There were sounds of hollering, screeching, grunting, stomping. The ground rumbled under Annie as she threw several layers of animal skins to the ground.

Spencer jumped up; the coven roused themselves.

“The mead hall,” he said as they threw open the door and ran to the village center.

Chaos turned to determination as the coven traveled through the forest toward the mead hall. Annie knew the Vikings were running, screaming, panicked— but all she could hear were footsteps, and her heart pounding in her chest. Spencer had come with her; she didn’t know where he was now. She only knew the steady rhythm surrounding her as the coven followed the trail. Instinctively she went into battle mode. This was what had brought here. Her adrenaline pumped through her, her heart beat quicker, her blood boiled with rage, and she ran faster.

They were through the forest and into the clearing that surrounded the mead hall. Annie’s senses changed, grew clearer and louder. She heard terrified voices; smelled fear hanging in the air. The anxious cries of the Vikings moved through her. She listened to the growling and grunting and the rage and horror the demons brought forth. It crowded her as they broke through the wooded area.

Swords swished in the air; metal sliced through flesh. Anxious, chaotic screams greeted them as they entered the massacre.

Blood covered the earth and stuck to their shoes and clothes. Large dark patches already drenched the ground around the hall and rolled off the dead bodies that littered the ground. Annie was sick. Women and children ran from the mead hall in the direction of the coven village, away from the demons that had overtaken them.

She reached down and pulled a small boy out of the way as a demon lunged for him. She threw her first jinx at the demon, surprised by the strength of her magic. The creature flew through the air and landed on another demon. The demon on top grunted, punched the beast below it and stood up. The one on the ground rose and looked around, confused at first until it focused on a Viking running past. It reached its large hands over and plucked the Viking from mid-run and held him in the air.

Terror filled the night; panic surrounded her as she conjured a small fireball. It hovered above her palm; it grew in size and strength, and she released it toward the demon. Its lightweight clothing caught fire easily. The demon hopped around in one spot, patting down the fire, but the flames grew and inched their way upwards before consuming the demon’s skin. It screamed; pain mixed with terror. The battle stopped around them and the warriors watched, entranced by the only known means to kill the demons.

“Fire!” Annie yelled to them. “Kill them with fire!”

As if the coven awoke from a trance, fireballs lit up the night, flying through the air and consuming the demons. Fire ate away at Annie’s demon’s flesh and crackled its bones. They popped until there was nothing left but ash. The last of the monster’s scream reverberated in Annie’s ear as the wind picked up and scattered its smoking remains in the air. She lit another ball of fire above her palm and threw it in the pile of ash, burning any possible traces of the demon. The blaze flashed and died down to nothing. She ran toward another creature...

About She Wulf:

     Annie is sent through an ancient time portal with only a prophecy to guide her; she struggles with a new destiny as she tries to figure out a way to destroy an un-killable demon and return home. Get it on Amazon.

About The Day of First Sun:

     A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the Author:

     Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Author Interview:

1. When you start a book do you know how it will end or do you create the ending as you go along?
     I have a rough idea of what the book will be about and I have some scene ideas and a rough ending. When I wrote The Day of First Sun, I knew that a high profile, non-magical person was going to be murdered by magic. I wrote out a paragraph of things that I wanted to see in the story and began writing. I didn’t look at the paragraph again until after the book was published and realized that I didn’t keep to my original thoughts at all. I tend to work without an outline because I feel tied to the story as if I’m trying to make everything fit. I prefer to let it flow and change. I like the freedom and the discovery. Sometimes I’m wildly surprised.
2. Do your book characters ever visit you in your dreams?
     Yes and no. Not as much when I’m sleeping, but I daydream about them all the time. It’s how I work out characters and storylines. It’s almost as if a movie is playing in my head and I can change and add to storylines.
3. What are your favorite authors as either an adult or a child?
     When I was a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. I read every one of them, but I didn’t just want to read them, I wished I had wrote them and started to write my own detective stories when I was seven. As I grew older, I read Judy Blume and Stephen King. Both made me feel something and from that I wanted to keep writing. I still read Stephen King and was very inspired by his autobiography On Writing. It was J.K. Rowling though, that reminded me of what I loved to read and that’s what inspired me to write my own fantasy novel.
4. How do you go about finishing a chapter when you can’t get it right?
     I skip it…Just kidding. No, actually I’m not. Sometimes, I make a note in all caps reminding me I haven’t finished the chapter and other notes that I might be thinking about for the chapter and start the next one. Sometimes you just need to move on. The answer will eventually hit you upside the head when you least expect it.
5. Describe your reaction when you saw and held your first book?
     I think I was numb when The Day of First Sun was published. Almost as if I had only done it to satisfy a selfish desire. It didn’t seem real. It was when I held She Wulf in my hands for the first time that I was overcome with emotion. This book consumed me for so long and I was so amazed by the final product and it seemed more than just a fantasy.
6. What is your biggest achievement to date?
     Writing my first book. I always wanted to and never gave myself the opportunity. One day I decided it was time. It changed my life, gave me confidence. I lost the extra baby weight, changed my wardrobe, straightened my hair and gave my girls a role model, an example of taking control of one’s life and being the best person you can be.
7. What’s your favorite color?
     Pink. I’ve always been a girly girl. As much as I’d like to be a sporty girl, I’m just not. It’s all about the pink, purses and shoes.
8. Favorite sound?
     I love the sound of rain on the roof. Not during the sunlight hours, but early in the morning when it’s still dark out. I snuggle under the covers. It makes me happy.
9. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
     An interior decorator. I love being creative and crafty and picking paint colors and getting lost in a fabric store. It’s almost as good as getting lost in a bookstore.
10. Worst fear?
     I fear the alligators under the bed. Since I was a kid I can’t sleep without something covering my feet incase they come and get me. Don’t laugh, Stephen King admitted the same thing in an interview once.

Author Guestpost:

Time Travel? Yes, I Think So!
by Sheryl Steines

     If you could go anywhere, meet any person, in any period of time, where would you go, what would you do, who would you meet? I know this is all hypothetical, but hey, I write in the pretend–in the fantasy. So suspend your disbelief, and come play with me for a moment.

     Not such an easy question to answer, is it? One option would be to go and meet someone long dead–perhaps Elvis circa 1959 makes your heart swoon. Would you take the opportunity to meet a favorite entertainer, or maybe you want your trip to count for something meaningful? But what if you made a change, saved a life, corrected a wrong, how would your alterations affect the future? An interesting notion, don’t you think?

     As I wrote She Wulf, my time travel adventure, I developed the idea of changing the past and how that might lead to the future you are trying to change. Maybe our interference might just be a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s when The Terminator movie struck me as so relevant and important in how I shaped my ideas of time travel.

     For those who don’t know, The Terminator is a science fiction adventure where machines take over the world. The machines are human like cyborgs, ruled by an artificial intelligence program called Skynet, whose sole mission is to annihilate humanity. In opposition, the resistance was created by John Connor and they are winning the war. In an effort to prevent the resistance from being founded, the cyborgs send back one of their own, to murder John’s mother Sarah, before he’s born. To protect her and ensure he is even conceived, he sends back one of his soldiers (his father), to protect her. Got all that. So finally to my point, and I realize this all imaginary and takes place on celluloid but really, had the cyborgs never sent back the terminator, John Connor never would have sent back his father and he wouldn’t have been born. But what can you expect from a bunch of cyborgs anyway?

     For me, in She Wulf, you couldn’t just decide one day to go to the past unless you found yourself there when the past was actually the present. Huh? Picture it this way. It’s 2012 and you want to go to the past, let’s say to the year 1900. You can’t go unless during the year 1900, you actually showed up. I know, it’s all theory, but that’s how it happened when Annie Pearce finds herself falling through a time portal, back to eleventh century England. She understands the concept of time travel, of altering the past and how it can affect the future which makes her reluctant to get involved. But she realizes that she had already been there, in the year 1075, had already altered time and whatever she touched or changed or created, was meant to be touched, changed or created.

     So still think time travel is cool? I know sometimes we’d like a do-over, the ability to change a decision, to not have to live through pain and despair. But sometimes, these things make us who we are. Each experience shapes us, each tear, each laugh, adds to our self. We gain something. All those things that I’ve experienced, including the loss of a child, made me who I am. Without that, could I have written She Wulf?

     So time travel–can you see it? What if it was real and I could look at it from a purely joyful perspective, without those darned consequences hanging over my head. Maybe an afternoon with Elvis would be fun.

About the Book Tour:

     As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the She Wulf eBook edition is just 99 cents this week–and so is the price of its companion, The Day of First Sun. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

     All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes: