White Walls and Straitjackets: a Review

I finished reading White Walls and Straitjackets after a copy was given to me from the publisher. I went into the book knowing nothing about it except that I loved the cover art and I was taken by complete surprise.

I met Harry and Crystal, two very devious, manipulative characters who are on the run together. They’re certainly a very toxic mix but they don’t think so and keep on going. When they find a book entitled White Walls and Straitjackets in the glove compartment, Harry begins to read to Crystal as they drive. The first few stories he reads scare them both but as the book winds on they both realise something is happening.

The book contains a lot of gore throughout and some very interesting characters and while gore is not usually something I go for, this I enjoyed. The characters are woven into the main thread until it came out with an ending that left me shocked. The novel itself is written in a different format which I really enjoyed. Having stories within a novel was something I’ve not seen before and I thought it might be distracting but actually, it really worked.

“The Corpse Candle and other Nightmares”

Profound Fiction

After months of writing, editing, and illustration, Profound Fiction is proud to release it’s first Horror Anthology, “The Corpse Candle and other Nightmares”. With 13 contributions from 10 different authors, Corpse Candle  has received favourable reviews on Amazon and AntrimCycle. Here is a brief synopsis of each story in the Anthology.

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3rd Person vs. 1st Person. What’s your opinion?

I’m busy editing a novel (currently titled Labyrinth of the Fallen Angel) that I hope to send off for publication once I finish it. I’ve mentioned it on my blog here before and it’s already undergone a huge overhaul but I still think there’s room for improvement. There are two female leads in this novel and it’s currently written in third person which can make it difficult in terms of pronouns. I find I’m writing a lot of ‘her’, ‘she’ and their names ‘Bryony’ and ‘Francesca’ to try and differentiate and make sure the reader knows who is talking/who I’m writing about. It can get a bit messy and confusing and I’m not sure I’m happy with it.

I’m currently considering overhauling it and changing it to first person. It would be a huge task to undertake but then again, if it makes my work better and would make it easier for the reader, I’m willing to do it (and it’s not the first time either!) Looking for opinions here: What do you think?

So currently it’s in 3rd person and reads as:

3rd person: Over the past few months as Francesca’s relationship broke down and she found comfort in her best friend’s arms, she realised she was beginning to look at her in a different light. No matter how hard she pushed it away or wrote it off as a crush, she knew it was much more than that. “Nothing.” She shook her head, finally catching Bryony’s eye. “And for your information it’s ten.”

Considering changing it to 1st person and it would read something like:
1st person: Over the past few months as my relationship broke down, Bryony was always there to comfort me and as time drew on I realised I was beginning to look at her in a different light. No matter how much I pushed it away or wrote it off as a passing crush, I knew it was much more than that. “Nothing,” I shook my head, finally catching Bryony’s eyes. “And for your information it’s ten.”

I would appreciate any input you have and would like to share with me. It might make my decision easier!

Personalities

I’ve often wondered whether it’s possible to have more than one personality type. I don’t think people are so rigid as to conform to one particular thing and often, people are fluid and ever changing so I certainly think personalities shift.

I have always considered myself to be an introvert. I remember spending entire summers sitting in the house and reading instead of playing out with friends. When I went to sleepovers, though I enjoyed it, I was always the first up the next morning and ready to go home within the hour. I’ve always liked my own company. It’s when I think best, work best, and generally prefer this. That’s not to say I’m a complete introvert. I have my partner and my family and my close friends who I love spending time with. I enjoy going on holiday with them or for a meal or for a night out. And when it comes to work I find that I’m probably the most extrovert I ever have to be. I wonder if that’s by choice or because my job requires me to be a people person. Either way, when I’m at work I’m sociable and chatty and can see dozens of people a day. When I come home I enjoy just putting on my pjs and watching a film or nestling in front of the laptop.

Perhaps being extroverted at work takes my energy away, who knows. I don’t mind either way but that’s the way I see myself currently. Do I think it will change? Not any time soon. Too much time alone and I get restless, too much time with people and I get irritated. Right now  I’m at a happy medium and I’m happy to continue with that too.

What do you think? Is there a possibility that a person can split themselves for certain roles or became more assertive at work? I’d love to hear what you think?

Allegiant: a review

In case you want to read this, be aware of possible *spoiler alerts*


I was as attached to Allegiant as the first two books and couldn’t put it down. Following Tris’ journey through the factions, the factionless and then then outside world was brilliant.<br><br>I really liked that there was a split point of view in the last book. Giving the reader an insight into what was happening for Tobias was good and it meant that we were left wondering what was going on with Tris. Seeing Tris and Tobias at war over their opinions and personalities worked well throughout. It showed how different they were but they always came back together, as if they were magnetised, despite some wrong and misguided choices throughout. The two were meant to be together and  I could feel that from the very start.<br><br>I did find that the story was a little drawn out and perhaps could have been wrapped up sooner. I think the deaths that occurred within the novel were quite important to the narrative but the lead up to it and Caleb who was supposed to open the doors because he was the most hated, I found this bit quite unnerving. It was almost like he was forced into making the decision without much choice and not given a lot of thought around it. It was a big decision and I think one that perhaps he wouldn’t have made if not pressured to do it.<br><br>However, it was a good book all round and one that I enjoyed. There were a lot of good themes within this and think it would be a good read for anyone who likes YA.

Orlando Sanchez on Writing

Name: Orlando Sanchez

Age: 48

Where are you from?

Born and raised in New York but I have travelled and enjoy it.

Tell us a little about yourself ie. education Family life etc.

Let’s see. I grew up in Queens and I graduated Hunter College with a BA in business and graphic arts. I am third degree black belt in karate and a second degree black belt in a related style. My family and I run a dojo and most of my seven children are actively part of our karate school as instructors and students. Family to me is the core of my life.

When and why did you begin writing?

My earliest recollection of writing is in my adolescent years when I kept journals (some of which I still possess and cringe at). After that I was very involved with a close group of friends playing Dungeons and Dragons and my storytelling led me to be the Dungeon Master which meant I created the adventures my friends went through every week. It was a lot more work than I imagined. Writing came easy to me when I was young and it helped me deal with my life issues during my teens.

Do you have a novel/collection published? Would you like to tell us about it?

Sure, I have several novels published. My Warriors of the Way Series is almost done at five books (working on book five this month or my editors will kill me). Its set in New York and tells the story of a martial artist who discovers a hidden world of warriors and guardians keeping us safe.

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What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book The Spiritual Warriors went through several phases and names. I was inspired to write because I was told I couldn’t. Also it was the story I wanted to read and it didn’t exist. I was very naïve and a quite arrogant to think I could just wing it, which is what I did.

 

Do you have a favourite character from your book? If yes, who is it and why?

I really enjoy all my characters even the villains. That is like asking a parent who their favorite child is! If I were forced to pick I would have to say Sylk. I enjoy him because he is a catalyst in the story and plus he is badass. He is also the closest to a father figure in the story, which is just loaded with truckload of emotional baggage for me, which of course has to be in the book because-conflict.

Is your book part of series? If so what can readers expect to find in your series?

The Warriors of the Way series (five books) is set in modern NYC. You will find action, fighting (lots of fighting), martial philosophy, and hopefully a riveting story about self-discovery.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have only been seriously writing books since 2012. I think my writing style is still evolving and growing. I enjoy first person mixed with third which I am told can confuse my readers. Many of them have told me that this style of writing gives the story a sense of urgency and intimacy. It works for me but like I said I’m still growing in this area of my writing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Getting the story out the way I envision it in my head seems to be the most challenging. Sometimes words just don’t do the ideas, concepts and images justice. Also increasing my writing speed.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on Book five of the Warriors of the Way series-That book is titled The Master Warrior. I’m also working on a mystery for later this year and the main character in that story is a sorceress.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Resolutions, betrayals, huge epic battles, surprise deaths and endings.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I would have to say as a writer we are always aware of whats going on around us as material for our work. My books are very much part of who I am and loosely on those who have impacted my life positively and negatively.

 

What books have most influenced your life most? Do you have a mentor?

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho was a huge impact for me. In addition to The Right to Write and the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. I don’t have a mentor but I am always reading on improving my craft.

Have you ever been able to travel in regards to your books? What was it like?

Not specifically for the writing although that would be a blast. However I just got back from twelve days in London and I will be using that in my mystery thriller coming up. I took a ton of photos and spoke to lots of strangers just to get a feel for the city. That was an adventure to do and I hope to be able to visit other cities in the world for my writing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Here is the wisdom I have acquired in my long writing career of three years. Writing is a craft you will get better. Always strive (and study) to be a better writer today than you were yesterday. Don’t compare your writing to anyone else, you have a unique voice, and only YOU can tell your stories. Don’t be afraid to send your work out on the world. Get an awesome editor and yes, covers do matter- make them great. Write all the time and facilitate this for yourself either by carrying a notebook and pen or a tech equivalent. You will get your best ideas at some of the most awkward moments be ready for these because trust me you will not remember said best idea twenty minutes from now.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

THANK YOU. I am immensely grateful that you chose to share your time and attention with me. Thanks for the wonderful feedback even when I have confused the hell out of you. Thanks for the honesty and the fact that you return to keep reading my books. Most of all thanks for the patience.

What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading Story Fix by Larry Brooks. If you haven’t read it, get it. I also just finished Lies Ripped Open by Steve McHugh its his fifth book in the Hellequin Series and its excellent!

Do you remember the first book you read? If not tell us what your favourite book is and why.

There is no way I could remember the first book I have ever read. My brain just cant go back that far. I can tell you the books that stand out in my memory. Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg stands out for some reason(maybe the juggling?), Every summer for as far back I remember I would read all of Tolkien starting with the Simarillion and then the rest of the books. I don’t think I have ONE favorite you do know that’s almost impossible right? I do have a favorite series though and that would be Discworld, Terry Pratchett was incredible and his stories are fantastic.

Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I go to the gym with one of my sons.I play video games with my other son. I do arts and crafts with my creative and amazing six year old daughter. I play handball and of course practice martial arts. I am also studying Japanese.

Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do?

I own and manage a martial arts school (dojo) and I am the head instructor.

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I don’t really watch TV but I do have Netflix and I just finished season one of Blacklist. Prior to that I watched all three seasons of Luther. I also enjoy watching anime and that list is quite long.

Favourite foods /Colors/Music.

Favorite food: My wife’s Tandoori Chicken

Color: Indigo

Music: Vocal trance(for writing) Deep Vocal house (for editing) 

Links:

Blog: http://www.nascentnovel.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OSanchezAuthor

Twitter: /twitter.com/SenseiOrlando

Instagram: instagram.com/osanchezauthor/

Bio: http://amzn.to/1ISpvWF

Purchase links for my novel: http://amzn.to/1ISpvWF

Blood Moon Rising Event

I bet you’ve all heard of the Blood Moon that’s going to be happening overnight? I know I’ll be up to watch this rare phenomenon that won’t happen again until 2033. But what about Blood Moon Rising the event?

Are you a fan of horror, sci-fi or fantasy? Do you love reading? If so, this event is for you. I’m taking part in a social event hosted on facebook whereby 31 authors will get to talk to you over the course of the month of October to tell you about themselves and their work. It’s a great chance to meet and greet some new authors and find some new reading material. I know I’ll be tuning in every day to see who I can meet!

I’ll be taking part in this wonderful event on 11th October where I’ll have the full day for a Q&A and you will be able to get snippets of my current work in progress. Interested? All you have to do is follow this link: Blood Moon Rising Facebook Event

I hope to see you there so I can connect with you all!

Rayme Michaels on writing Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri

I would like to start off by thanking Alice J. Black for this opportunity of promoting myself as a writer and author, along with my work, on her blog. I greatly appreciate it and would also like to say hi to her followers and fan base. Hi, everyone, and thanks for reading! Cheers!

After high school, I studied Theater Arts Performance and Radio Broadcasting in college, and then, as an undergrad, majored in Philosophy with a minor in Psychology. I then went on to get a Master’s Degree in Comparative Philosophy while working as a teaching assistant. Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri is my first full-length novel, but it is my third book, my other two being novellas released in 2012. My first book was a quirky, bawdy comedy entitled Incorrigibility. My second one is a dark, gory, romantic vampire thriller called Red Love, which won Honorable Mention right at the top of the list for General Fiction in the 2014 London Book Festival.
I became a bookworm at the age of eight and have been influenced by, and continue to enjoy, a wide variety of writers that range from the solemn to the satirical, the serious to the jovial, both in fiction and non-fiction, contemporary and old. This invariably comes out in my writing, since my literary interests are very broad. As an existential thinker, I am fascinated by the human mind and the human predicament, yet, as a Rabelaisian human being, laughter and joy are the reasons I get up in the morning. Well…that and sex, of course. Oh, and my first name is pronounced with two syllables, by the way. The “e” is not silent.
I am pleased to announce the promotion of my dark, urban comedy drama, Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri. Here’s the synopsis:

When womanizer, and possible schizophrenic, John Hazel, is suddenly offered a serious job promotion by the CEO of his company, David Wall, under the condition that John help him kill his wife, John finds himself between a rock and a hard place when Mr. Wall’s wife, Victoria Wall, asks John to do the same for her.

John, an office temp, photographer and university teaching assistant of philosophy, has more than enough on his post-traumatic, hyperactive mind, without something as absurd as this weighing down on him, not to mention that he is haunted—well, annoyed more than anything—by either the spirits or imaginary spirits of Giovanni Boccaccio, Francois Rabelais and a she-devil named Sabrina. Influences such as these do not help with John’s very prurient but fascinating mind, which his psychologist tries as best as she knows how to get to the bottom of.

His life-long existential crisis, having two hit men on his back, a bad-to-the-bone best friend named Alex, and a manic, sex-crazed, power-hungry, confrontational co-worker named Jackie, who happens to be Mr. Wall’s mistress, certainly do not help matters either. Life does not seem to want to let up on John. Will he make it through this very bizarre time of tribulation, or will he end up behind bars, stone-cold dead, or simply cracking under the weight of it all?

Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri is available in both print and eBook formats.

Book Details:
Screw the Devil’s Daiquiri
By Rayme Michaels
Publisher: Melange Books
ISBN: 978-1612359311
ASIN: B00LBBLZCE
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Urban Comedy, Drama

All three of my books can be found at my Lulu spotlight below and at just about every other online retail book outlet, including Amazon, of course. Please help support me and my work simply by liking my Facebook author page below. For copies, author interviews, blog posts, updates, or more information, please find and contact me at:

Rayme Michaels Links
Email: theray_81 (at) hotmail.com
Publisher’s Website Landing: http://melange-books.com/authors/raymemichaels/screwthedevil.html
Blog: http://www.rayme-michaels.blogspot.com
Lulu Spotlight: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Rayme
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rayme_Michaels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rayme-Michaels/1654482248109702

Divergent: A Review

<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13335037-divergent&#8221; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img alt=”Divergent (Divergent, #1)” border=”0″ src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328559506m/13335037.jpg&#8221; /></a><a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13335037-divergent”>Divergent</a&gt; by <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4039811.Veronica_Roth”>Veronica Roth</a><br/>
My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/866386653″>5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I have to say that from the moment I picked this book up, I found it so hard to put down. I was immediately sucked into the world of the Factions. I went along the journey with Beatrice as she went to the Choosing Ceremony and picked the Faction she would spend the rest of her life with. I was with her when she changed her name to Tris and became tougher and fought the Abnegation thoughts that kept creeping back. Despite the fact that Tris had a lot of self-doubt, she was a smart girl and she did what she thought was right. She’s a very strong, independent woman and I like that about her.<br><br>The budding relationship growing between her and Four moves at a great pace and left me in anticipation for them to finally get together. Their relations were described brilliantly and the author let the reader into Tris’ mind so we could understand where she was coming from the whole time.<br><br>The world of the Factions is built really well. Everything has been considered and I found myself immersed in the factions wondering which one I would have chosen.<br><br>A brilliant book. I can’t wait to start the next one!
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/29103098-alicejblack”>View all my reviews</a>

Nancy Pennick: Waiting for Dusk Series

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Cinnamon bread. Coffee. MiMi biscuits. All part of my childhood. My grandparents were immigrants from Sweden and although I never met my grandfather, my grandmother filled her home with Swedish traditions.

When I began to write this young adult series, my Swedish roots took hold and called out to be written into Waiting for Dusk. I grew up hearing stories about my grandmother and grandfather coming to America, separately, and meeting here. My grandmother found a job working as a maid in a mansion where the lady of the house helped her learn English. My grandfather eventually opened a grocery store.

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The character of Carl Johansson is based on this brave man who came to the U.S. at the age of sixteen. Carl travels farther than my grandfather ever did, ending up at the Grand Canyon back in 1927. He meets his wife in an unusual way—through time travel. She continues his Swedish traditions by filling the kitchen with wonderful scents.  Katie, my main character, ends up back in time and that kitchen is one she grows to love.

The kids in our family had a running joke that our mothers swore they didn’t know the language until it was Christmas or they wanted to talk without us knowing what they said. We learned a few words along the way but like all children, we didn’t want lessons. Now we wished we paid attention! So, of course, I had to include a few words in my novel and have Katie learn their meanings.

Waiting for Dusk is more than a Swedish lesson. The story revolves around a teenage girl living in the modern world who learns what’s important in life. She has some growing up to do and by the end of the series becomes her own woman. Along the way she learns to cherish friends and family, knowing they are the ones who will always be there for her. She meets her true love and they face more problems than the typical teen couple. Time being one of them.

I never had the privilege of knowing my grandfather but I hope my tribute to him bodes well. In honor of both grandparents, I hold my Swedish coffee high in the air, as a toast. Waiting for Dusk is for you both.

Waiting for Dusk is the first of the series. Call of the Canyon continues the story and ends with Stealing Time. Broken Dreams is a prequel to the series, following the lives of two girls Katie meets at the canyon. Taking Chances is a free short story from Drew’s perspective.

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Here are links to books –

Fire and Ice http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/nancypennick/index.html

Amazon – http://bit.ly/waitingfordusk

Amazon – FREE short story – Taking Chances http://amzn.to/1KxA0QL

takingchances-FINAL

Amazon – Broken Dreams – http://amzn.to/1J7qwLP

Amazon – Call of the Canyon http://amzn.to/1frzv1Q

Amazon –  Stealing Time http://amzn.to/1J6CHuC