Spiral Bound Brother

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as thee new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Triumvirate–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: “Diabolically delightful and perversely moving, Ryan Elliot Wilson takes us on a chaotic, engaging and excruciating journey with his train-wreck team of protagonists whom we hate to love.” ~ Moira Walley-Beckett, Writer/Co-Executive Producer, BREAKING BAD

Craft, 47, has always craved the comfort of his role as the eccentric English teacher at Earhart High in the suburbs of St. Louis. But now he finds himself in the school’s library, suffering a mysterious mental paralysis that won’t allow him to stop reading “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

Lila, 21, has a holiday-break rendezvous planned with her old mentor, Craft. Actually, Lila has many plans—and they’re not all nice. She’s feeling more than a little betrayed and bewildered after discovering that her father is not the man her mother always said. In fact, he kills people.

Duke, 17, is a high-school dropout working in the bowels of Disney World. In his room before dawn, he stuffs essentials into a backpack, preparing to leave home for the first time. It’s news to him, but he has this (disturbed?) sister, Lila, and she wants him to come to L.A. to meet her.

The altered reality Craft and these lost-and-found siblings inhabit propels them on separate journeys across America. In a landscape of angels and mirrors, allies and adversaries, Craft, Lila, and Duke converge to expose the man whose life of violence connects them. Will they find wholeness, justice, and love? Or is it all an invitation to unleash demons best left asleep?

Pick up your copy of this Literary Fiction/Coming-of-Age/Tragicomic through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

My Review:

Open your diary. The one from your childhood. What do you see? What do you learn? Turn the page- What if someone with ties to your family revealed a secret about your identity that changed the course of your life?

This is what happens to Lila, who reunites with her former favorite teacher and mentor after receiving this news, but it goes downhill from there.

In a crazy chain of events, she tries to figure out her purpose and make some type of resolution to her conflicted life.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I’d always been able to spot what I thought were beautiful approaches to prayer in others, singers, carpenters, painters, actors, waitresses, poets too, but I had, subconsciously, written it off as impossible, or perhaps deceptive, for myself.”
  • “And to be sure to change her audience of one forever, she must continue to check the mirror to see which pair of eyes has elbowed its way to the front, looking out and back at her. Wanting, as everyone does, to be recognized, fully.”
  • “Even fools love to watch the fool fall—but more so to rise up, from something, against something, so that we may leave with the tiniest inkling that we might do the same.”
  • “Because Jesus, as smart as he was, should’ve known that there isn’t a teacher alive or ever lived who can teach walking on water to everybody. Which is what you sure as shit better be able to do if you’re going to love all your brothers, every last one.”  (This is true, because what Jesus wanted Peter to do when he told him to walk on the water was to look at him- Jesus- only. Not the waves, not the wind or the storms of life. This is very hard to do and not many people can “walk on the water” amid the storms of their lives. More to come on this?)

Pros:

I thought there were some redeemable characters and there was a dynamic plot line.

Cons:

I felt the ending was weak and did not show a strong resolution. I did not like how the story was organized, a little too many threads that did not tie together.

This was not my favorite book, as the train wreck of characters was not ultimately redeeming.

Overall:

I would recommend this is for fans of chaotic story lines, Walt Disney fans, and those who like a unique take on literature and family conflicts, long lost siblings and doppelgangers.

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About the author: Like his characters in the novel, Ryan Elliot Wilson shunned the ambivalent hospitality of the Midwest and the bizarre mix of Hell on Earth meets Happiest Place on Earth of Florida for the great, continually unfolding spectacle of humanity that is Los Angeles. There he found his tribe of the maimed in the form of East Side poets and musicians, Hollywood agents gone mad, and socially inept high school teachers. Wilson has found this mix to be ideal for his pH. His writing can be found in the L.A. anthology, IN SEARCH OF A CITY: Los Angeles in 1000 Words, Thunderdome, Drift, and The Painted Bride Quarterly. He teaches Creative Writing, works in high school counseling, and lives in Los Feliz with his family. SPIRAL BOUND BROTHER is Wilson’s first novel. Connect with Ryan on his website, Facebook, or GoodReads.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Spiral Bound Brother, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? by Andrez Bergen or Gripped by Jason Donnelly. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.

Learn more about Spiral Bound Brother’s tour mates HERE.

Superheroes in a Virtual World: 101

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Everyone secretly wants to be a superhero…

In this virtual world, you can be! Heropa, the world where the superheroes reign, is a place where you can escape and become your own superhero. A great premise for a story makes this a fun read for comic book and superhero fans alike,  along with entertaining trivia for the curious mind.

I enjoyed the way the characters were explored and the twists involved made for an enjoyable ride through the virtual world of comic book heroes  and super heroes.

(Read on to learn how to win the prizes!)

Favorite parts:

  • The love (?) story! The dynamic between the love duos in this book were refreshing and told a brave story where they were willing to fight for each other
  • The awakening of the hero (oes) and how they found their strength and their truth (It does relate, doesn’t it? You need to know the truth to be brave enough to do your part to be a hero! You also need to be brave enough to face what that truth calls you to do!)
  • The lessons learned about what it means to be a hero: We all have it in us. Even those who seem to be a Regular Joe or Plain Jane have it in them to be a brave, passionate and  fiery fighter! You are a hero in your own right! You have it in you to play a special role and can do what no one else can!

superhero

Disliked:

  • Slow start to the story
  • Some of the character’s dialogue seemed redundant

Overall: 

  • Would recommend for comic book fans, superhero lovers and those who enjoy exploring a virtual world
  • Those who think about the “What if’s?”
  • Those who like a good action and love story😉
  • Heropa makes for an entertaining story with a satisfying ending!

superheros1

Which superhero would you be if you could create your own? Please comment below and tell me what defines a superhero! Any superheroes in your life?

~~~

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as thee new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Triumvirate–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: A vast, homogenized city patrolled by heroes and populated by adoring masses. A pulp fiction fortress of solitude for crime-fighting team the Equalizers, led by new recruit Southern Cross – a lifetime away from the rain-drenched, dystopic metropolis of Melbourne. Who, then, is killing the great Capes of Heropa? In this paired homage to detective noir from the 1940s and the ’60s Marvel age of trail-blazing comic books, Andrez Bergen gloriously redefines the mild-mannered superhero novel.

heropa cover

Pick up your copy of this Science Fiction/Noir/Fantasy through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Andrez Bergen is an expat Australian writer, journalist and DJ who’s been entrenched in Tokyo for the past 12 years. He put out the noir/sci-fi novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011), slipstream tome One Hundred Years of Vicissitude in 2012, and now Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? through Perfect Edge Books – a novel that combines classic comic books, noir, pulp, fantasy and sci-fi. Bergen has published short stories through Crime Factory, Snubnose Press, Shotgun Honey and Another Sky Press and worked on adapting the scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani. Connect with Andrez on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, Gripped by Jason Donnelly or Spiral Bound Brother by Ryan Elliot Wilson. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.

Learn more about Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa’s tour mates HERE.

Learn about how to win your gift card with the Rafflecopter giveaway


Finding Favor (or Finding Happiness?)

Finding-Favor - high res

Finding Favor begins with anticipation from the first breath as we get inside the head of Favor, a girl who was been brought up by a rich family ever since her father died. It brilliantly blends the worlds of the classic literature novel you love with the world of the modern in a unique way and was inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. (Check out the Bonus Guest Post at the end by the Author- Why I Love Jane Austen!) How about you- what are your favorite classics? Looking forward to hearing from you!

Keep reading for some awesome prizes! My review is below, after the blurb on the book!

Launch Week Prize Basket – Journal with a cover inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (as is this novel), note cards with an orchid design (Favor’s favorite flower), a hard cover edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (Ethan’s favorite book), and a cool pen (who doesn’t love cool pens?) (Reviewer-only giveaway at the end!)

About Finding Favor

Which would you choose:  friendship or freedom?

In the eight years since seventeen-year-old Favor Miller’s father died, she’s had to endure her reluctant, self-righteous guardians the Browns. Every day for eight years, they’ve reminded her that she doesn’t fit in, that she’s not one of them. Every day for eight years, she’s eagerly awaited the day when she’ll finally be free to live her life her way.

On the eve of high school graduation, Mr. Brown ambushes Favor with the offer of college funding and a to-die-for summer internship–with the one stipulation that she must discontinue her friendship with his son, Ethan.

Accustomed as she is to sharing everything with her best friend, this is one secret Favor must keep in order to protect Ethan. The distraction of his new girlfriend, her growing friendship with his older brother, and her need to understand her family history, add in further complications.

As Favor debates signing the contract, she must decide if she’s willing to give up her best friend in order to pursue her dreams.  Will she have to stay in the place she’s so desperately wanted to escape in order to make the right decision and get what she really needs?

~~~

My Review

Lana finds it nerve wracking as she wonders why her guardian has called her in for an official meeting- especially as she will soon be leaving and going out into the real world, where she will not be under their watchful rules and expectations any longer.

She is given an ultimatum, so to speak- to follow her career dreams (with their help and money and recommendations) or to follow her heart and be with the one she loves.

She has to sign away her love. Sign in blood? She might as well be. As she would be signing her heart away if she does this.

signed vblood

It has that classic feel but is immersed in the modern era. It is quite reminiscent of some of the classic novels with the heroine coming into her own. Our heroine in this novel is not like any other, though. She may have worn the corset, so to speak, at first. And it may have taken her quite a long time to learn how to breathe, but she really jumps off the pages right away and into your heart and mind.

classic girl

I found myself putting off other books so I could get back to this one! (And that is saying something, as I read several books at a time including fast paced action and thrillers!)

classic

But this story has that special essence- something about it stays with you and you want to be immersed in the world of the engaging characters and plot. It has its own unique twist and the characters don’t fall neatly in any patterns or expectations. Favor ends up getting more choices than she bargained for and finds that freedom also comes along with other things, things that could be both good and bad.

classic heroine

I will not say anymore- just this- get the book now and see for yourself! It’s a delicious world to fall into!

Below are a few quotes that will give you a taste of the exciting world of these characters.

“Everything stopped. Nothing existed but him. When he saw me, his whole face lit up.”

“His face lit up, and my little experiment seemed doomed to fail before it even started.”

“The sheer drapes blew gently in the breeze. I walked straight onto the deck not stopping until the railing caught me. I stood on the verge of freedom; it swam with the ocean currents and sailed with the ships. Nothing stopped me from seeing all the possibilities of life. I believed Mr. Rushworth’s words; I made my own possibilities.

ocean waves

Want more? Read below for a sneak preview from the book and here’s how to win the prizes:

Our big launch week prize basket includes:   Journal with a cover inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (as is this novel), note cards with an orchid design (Favor’s favorite flower), a hard cover edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (Ethan’s favorite book), and a cool pen (who doesn’t love cool pens?). CLICK HERE NOW TO ENTER!

Finding Favor is priced at just 99 cents as part of its special launch week sale. Pick up your copy on either Amazon US or Amazon UK now, and don’t forget to stop by and participate in the special release week contests.

Read an Excerpt from

Finding Favor by Lana Long

I woke early after not sleeping well. I threw on gray shorts and a black T-shirt, and put my hair in a ponytail. My eyes were only slightly puffy.

Thankfully the kitchen was the only room awake, and not even Brenda bothered me.

When I opened the greenhouse door, I stopped short. It was only seven but there she stood, by my work table—a place she’d never been—waiting for me with a malicious smile on her face, a metal garbage can at her feet.

“Hello, Favor,” Madison said. A chill traveled up my spine.

“Hey.”

“So yesterday was rather embarrassing for you.” She picked a piece of lint off her shirt. “I thought that would be enough, but after a restless night I decided it really wasn’t. My dad sent you a birthday card.”

Her eyes flashed and shone like emeralds. “I knew something needed to be done. And you know what that means.”

“Madison…”

She silenced me with a finger to her lips. “Now is not the time for groveling, Favor. That time has passed… if it ever existed.” She pulled a book of matches out of her pocket.

My heart sped up. She was going to burn down the greenhouse. I took a step toward the door. I didn’t need her knocking me over the head and leaving me in the burning building. She was sadistic, but I’d never thought of her as violent. With the manic look in her eyes and a matchbook in her hand, I discovered that I’d never before known true fear.

“Madison,” I said in a warning voice. “What are doing?”

“What am I doing? Favor, I know you’re slow, but c’mon. Even you aren’t that slow.”

“Madison, if you burn down the greenhouse your parents are going to be really, really mad. Murder is a capital crime.”

She laughed at me, her head thrown back and her fist clutched to her stomach. “That is hilarious. You think I would risk my future for you.” Her eyes went bright green and even crazier still.

“That’s it, you know?” She took a step toward me and I took a step back. “The attitude that everything is about you. Always about you.”

“Are you crazy?” I screeched. Not the best thing to say but she’d gotten me going. “Nothing is ever about me!”

“Really? Then why did my dad send you a birthday card when he didn’t send one to me?”

All hope of reasoning with her drained out of me. Mr. Brown had forgotten Madison’s birthday earlier in the year. I’d been too distracted by my own problems to make the connection.

“Madison, you have to know the birthday card had nothing to do with wishing me a happy birthday.”

“Oh, I know.” She waved her hand, making my stomach plunge as the matches waved, too. “I know about the contract. I found it in your desk.”

I tightly fisted my hands to stop my urge to throw her to the ground and take the matches.

She stretched her neck and smoothed her hair.

I stepped toward her.

She went perfectly still. “Now, now, Favor. If I were you, I would try not to piss me off anymore this summer, or I’ll tell my dad about your little crush on Ethan.”

Another thing she knew about me. I felt exposed.

“He’ll take away your money for college. And something tells me your precious internship is in this deal, too. But right now I’m feeling charitable, and really, angrier at my father. So, unless you do something to make me less charitable, your secrets are safe with me. But that doesn’t mean that I can let you get away with garnering even a little attention from dear, old Dad.”

I swallowed hard. “What do you plan to do?”

“Oh, I plan to burn these.” She held up the trash can and inside, stacked neatly on top of each other, were my journals.

“Madison…” I took a step towards her.

Uh-uh.” She twisted her body so the trash can was farther away from me. “Like I said, the time for groveling is over.”

“Madison, please.” Tears welled in my eyes. “You don’t understand. Those journals are all I have of my dad. They’re everything that’s important to me.”

“I know that,” she scoffed. “Why do you think I choose this method of retribution? You take away my dad’s attention, and I take away your dad’s attention. It seems fair.” Her tone turned sinister and she sounded crazier.

“How did you find them?”

“Oh, I have my ways. You’re not the only one with secrets.”

“Madison, I will do anything you want.”

She put the trash can down and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Stop saying my name!” She started out in a whisper and was screaming by the end.

I should’ve turned to run and save myself, but I couldn’t. Those journals meant everything to me.

“God.” She sighed in frustration. “Don’t say another word, okay?” She smiled at me. “I have a whole day planned so I’m going to get this over with. This is for the birthday card.”

She pulled a match out of the box.

I stared stunned, shaking my head. She struck the match, and I felt faint.

“But most of all, this is just fun.” She flung the match into the trash can and a flame shot up a few inches from the can. Even Madison jumped back.

Huh,” she said thoughtfully. “Shouldn’t have used so much lighter fluid.”

The flame jumped inside the trash can, but thankfully, stayed contained.

I gave Madison plenty of room as she left, not daring to take my eyes off of her. Once the door slammed shut, I grabbed the nearest water can.

Empty.

I tore through the greenhouse trying to find water. Finding a half-full can, I doused what was left of the fire, a plume of smoke rising and encircling my face. I coughed, waving at the quickly dissipating smoke.

***

Finding Favor is priced at just 99 cents as part of its special launch week sale. Pick up your copy on either Amazon US or Amazon UK now, and don’t forget to stop by and participate in the special release week contests.

Our big launch week prize basket includes:   Journal with a cover inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (as is this novel), note cards with an orchid design (Favor’s favorite flower), a hard cover edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (Ethan’s favorite book), and a cool pen (who doesn’t love cool pens?). CLICK HERE NOW TO ENTER!

***

Why I Love Jane Austen

A Guest Post by Lana Long

I can sum it up in one word: escapism.  Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy reading books that deal with hard-hitting issues—issues that are real and difficult—but for the most part watching one nightly newscast can provide enough reality to last a few weeks. When it’s late at night, the kids are sleeping, the dog is sleeping, the husband is sleeping, everything is real quiet and the day’s activities are slipping into memory, I want to spend my last waking minutes in a world that’s interesting, satisfying, and nice.

That is why I love Jane Austen.

The social propriety of Austen’s works fascinates me. All of Austen’s novels struggle with the hierarchy of society.  In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy fights his feelings for Elizabeth because she’s not quite up to his social standing. In Persuasion, Anne pines for her lost love because she allowed her family to convince her that Wentworth isn’t good enough. In Sense and Sensibility, Willoughby leaves Marianne when the risk of lost fortune becomes all too real. Willoughby is not a hero, and in the end Marianne comes to see that love doesn’t need to burn bright and hot to be real. Society tries to deflate these characters, tries to ruin their chances at happiness, but they fight through it and come out stronger, better off, and at peace. All except Willoughby, but that lout deserves what he gets.

That is why I love Jane Austen.

The physical world of Austen’s novels is like a mythical place to me after growing up in the 20th century western United States. In Austen’s world, people live in houses the size of apartment buildings. They travel by coach, horseback, or they walk. If they’re wealthy enough, they summer in the country, winter in London, and vacation or convalesce in Bath. Servants take care of the family (don’t insinuate to Mrs. Bennett that she can’t afford a cook), drive them from place to place, work the land, and take care of the estate. Quaint villages and abbeys sustain small communities. Without wealth, people become isolated in their communities due to the time and cost to travel from one place to another. The characters in Austen’s novels—affluent or not—find ways to traverse this world and allow the reader to glimpse the countryside, the city and everything in between at the dawn of the nineteenth century in England.

That is why I love Jane Austen.

In Austen’s novels, the family structure and the roles of men and women are so foreign but at the same time so simple. What would it be like to spend all day sewing, playing the piano, reading, drawing, or walking in the garden? At the same time the women find themselves helpless because they aren’t allowed to learn anything besides these activities. In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor is powerless to find a way to care for her sisters and mother after her half-brother inherits her father’s estate and doesn’t care for his sisters as promised. Emma‘s friends, the Bates, live off kindness and a small living, because Miss Bates never married and her father is deceased. It’s not necessarily easier for the men. If you’re not the oldest son your choices are limited to clergy, military or another profession deemed acceptable by the gentry.  Still, these people fight against the rules of gender and birth order. They are funny, kind, caring… frustrating and irritating, but they are always likeable and I cheer their success and mourn their losses, even Emma. And most of all, there’s a happy ending; our heroines and their friends find love and peace, and their foes find discomfort and an unfulfilling future.

That is why I love Jane Austen.

So why did I choose Mansfield Park for an adaptation out of all the Austen works? First, it’s a great story. The story is of Fanny Price, a young girl, coming of age away from her immediate family, who is too poor to rear all of their offspring. Fanny is required to uphold expectations set upon her by her caregivers, her wealthy aunt and uncle, but she is never to be rewarded for living up to those expectations because her true parentage is lowly. She’s in love with a boy, her best friend, who’s falling in love with someone else and by all of society’s rules unattainable even if he was available. The story felt ripe for a modern Young Adult novel.

That is why I love Jane Austen.

Second, well, I hadn’t seen Mansfield Park retold. It would take your hands, my hands and twenty of our closest friends to count the number of times Pride and Prejudice has been adapted. I’m not complaining; I love it. Other Austen works need the opportunity to be discovered through modern retellings as well. As a teenager I read Emma because of the movie Clueless.  Jane Austen’s been gone for almost 200 years and we still read her novels and draw inspiration from them because they are truly great stories.

And that is why I love Jane Austen.

***

Finding Favor is priced at just 99 cents as part of its special launch week sale. Pick up your copy on either Amazon US or Amazon UK now, and don’t forget to stop by and participate in the special release week contests.

Our big launch week prize basket includes:   Journal with a cover inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (as is this novel), note cards with an orchid design (Favor’s favorite flower), a hard cover edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (Ethan’s favorite book), and a cool pen (who doesn’t love cool pens?). CLICK HERE NOW TO ENTER!

***

About Lana Long

As a devoted fan of young adult novels herself, Lana Long is thrilled to be gracing the YA world with her first novel, Finding Favor. Many years of daydreaming and several writing classes and workshops have contributed to the development of Finding Favor as well as to her inevitable future books. Through her experiences at Lighthouse Writers in Denver, the Big Sur Writing Workshop in California, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference, she has learned an amazing amount about writing novels.

Although writing serves as a relaxing process, Lana is also grounded by her family, by her work as a church treasurer, and by volunteering at her kids’ elementary school.

She hopes that her books provide readers with the same entertainment she herself finds in YA novels. If you enjoy a good coming-of-age story featuring enthralling characters, check out Finding Favor and read more of Lana’s thoughts at www.lanalongbooks.com.

Click here to enter the Reviewer-only Rafflecopter giveaway to win cool prizes!

Please comment below on your favorite classics! What makes you fall in love with the story and the characters?

The Sound of Loneliness (Or Lunacy?) A Review

Sound of Loneliness

This book was quite a read. It was thought provoking and draws interesting parallels to real life.

starvingwriterI started reading it because I was drawn to the idea of a writer giving just about everything up to become  a published author, which is my goal. (Becoming published, that is…) The way he goes about it is quite different from the normal routes one might normally use. He sets out to practically starve himself in the hopes of dedicating himself to nothing but writing. Quite a premise for a novel.

lunacy

The topic that the book ended up delving into was very revealing (and somewhat questionable). The main character tried to come to terms with who he really is. And what he’s learned from his family. And if he is destined to repeat their mistakes. This makes you think about the “genes” you may have inherited from your family line. But also shows, in the end, that you don’t have to follow the pattern. You can break free out on your own.

But it takes a turn in a different direction when it focuses on the main character’s obsession with a young girl that borders on pedophilia. Not in a very good way. Not the horrors of The Lovely Bones, thankfully (I say thankfully, for the sake of the girl in the story, as The Lovely Bones is actually quite a powerful- though disturbing- read), or the twistedness of Lolita.

This actually describes our character almost to a ‘T’ : Psychology of the Pedophile

safety

Related: Must read for parents, caretakers, older siblings- how to keep your child safe

It also plays on the theme of “the grass is greener” elsewhere, quite a bit.  His loneliness takes him to many places and he is quite foolish in the way he deals with it at times.

Related: The Right Way to deal with feeling lonely and where it really comes from

The writer side of him seems to suffers from delusions of grandeur (grand, GRAND grandeur!). He tells people all about himself becoming a famous author but sadly, does not always put the work in to accomplish this. (Which may be some telling advice for would be writers out there, myself included, I would confess.) As NephGirl quotes, Dreams don’t work unless you do ~John C. Maxwell.

Related: Ways to start writing

But the main character goes quite overboard with his arrogance and how he views himself, which is a red flag of another color- (Read: Wizard of Oz- Now that’s a horse of a different color). horse

Arrogance is not the key concern as we discover what kind of person he really is.  He is one of those characters that is easy to hate.  He really has no major redeeming qualities and he does not change in any major or important ways.

Meaning of horse of a different color

Back to his writing- it is only until later in the novel that he meets someone who does not put up with the dramatics of his ideas about his writing.

greener (Where can you water your grass to succeed at what’s important to YOU?) Related: How to water the grass of your goals

Overall, I would recommend this book for those who want to see another side of one particular writer who thought he could not make it with his writing nor with making any good choices, but finally got around to see otherwise.

I was disappointed with how one of the main plot points was handled, because of the conclusion. Yes, he didn’t damage himself in the choices he made (too much). But it focused on that, I felt, at the expense of discovering what really was at stake and I don’t feel he really learned anything crucial from his journey. It takes him full circle, but is he really any the better for it?

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s first ever publishing house blog tour. Join us as three new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Trifecta–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: Manchester in 1991 is a town suffering under the weight of high unemployment and massive government budgetary deficits that is plunging the UK into a recession.

To Daniel Crabtree, a struggling writer, it is the backcloth to his first novel, one that will see him become a famous published author. Living off mostly water and flour, Daniel has embraced penury into his life under the mistaken belief that many young artists have: one needs to suffer for success in art. But Daniel is a terrible writer. In the three years since signing on the dole, of every morning chastising his Irish singing neighbour for waking him from his sleep, and scrounging food from his close friend Henry Soperton, Daniel Crabtree has produced one short story. His heart is bereft of words as much as his pockets are of money.

The Sound of Loneliness is a story of love, and how a poor starving man chasing a dream came to the understanding that amidst the clamour of life, the sound of loneliness is the most deafening of all.

Pick up your copy of this Literary/ Urban Life/ Black Comedy through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Craig Wallwork lives in West Yorkshire, England. He is an artist, filmmaker and writer. His short stories have appeared in many publications in the US and the UK. He is the author of the short story collection Quintessence of Dust, and the novels To Die Upon a Kiss and The Sound of Loneliness. Craig is also the fiction editor at Menacing Hedge Magazine. Connect with Craig on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of The Sound of Loneliness, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, Stranger Will by Caleb J Ross or Angel Falls by Michael Paul Gonzalez. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.

Learn more about The Sound of Loneliness‘s tour mates HERE.


Worst Nightmares Coming True

Live Reactions as I read the rest of the Gone series by Michael Grant

Now Reading Fear: Book Five of the series

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Join me as I read and share your reactions!

Read my other Gone reviews. Read the Series Spotlight to to catch up and see which book to start with to join!

Caution- Proceed at your own risk- Spoilers may be ahead, but I kept it as vague as possible to not give away anything major!

This book definitely tones up the dial on the fear factor, so it is true to its name!

It is one of those books that I suspect, shows your worst fears realized. Which for this series, can be pretty daunting and downright horrifying!

The kids suspect that someone who cannot die (apparently) is on the way back and is looking for them.

The Healer, Lana, gets some inkling of the Darkness’s thoughts and knows that he is after Diana for her new connections to the dark side. How does Lana know this? She almost “hears” another characters’ voice- can the darkness sense Diana’s voice or fears because of her connection? Does this mean that the beloved Diana will go over to the Dark Side? (Pun most likely intended…?)

lana quote

Will Diana’s guilt and fear lead to her downfall? She feels horrible about what she has done and greatly struggles with giving into her dark side or fighting it. Can it be stopped or does she feel it’s too late?

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Penny= the queen of all fears=your worst nightmare! What’s even scarier is there is not a simple way to fight her- she can give  visions of your worst nightmare to a group of kids at once, so she can fight many people at a time.

evil girl worst nightmare2It feels so real, that it is hard to fight what you feel is happening to you, even though your head might say it is not real. She really knows how to get in your head, as she uses even what you enjoy against you, to the point of you not knowing what is really happening and doing damage to others or to yourself in the process.

worst nightmare

But this shows that even though people may fear you, they do not respect you or love you or like you in the slightest- which is a lesson that several characters might have to learn, as they let the thirst for more power and risk and danger overtake them…

Penny is not very smart though either, as she has lost her mind. She doesn’t think things through. Her hate rules everything. She wants to be in charge and uses the fear of others to get on top, so she can get back at them and express her hatred of being rejected all those times. calm hater

So this also is stemmed in fear on her end (of others, what they think of her, not being part of the group, being alone, we all have fears…) she wanted everyone to like her and wants to get back at Caine for rejecting her. She wants to get back at Lana now as well after their showdown. But if she kills the only one who can heal people, she might be signing her own death warrant in the process in this desert wasteland with no other way of getting help if everyone is your enemy (no one else to go to in the FAYZ, is there?).

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Talking about death warrants, one of them was not signed for a major character in the FAYZ after all. The consequences of this could be fatal for many of the survivors left in the FAYZ and could have some pretty far reaching consequences.

The deliciousness of the fear in this book is that anything can happen and you are shivering in anticipation (and horror) just thinking about all the things that could wrong with the new ways of life here under the barrier. Past decisions come back to haunt some of the characters and the newfound power in the FAYZ just hints of all the darkness that is coming and ever growing as life continues for the kids as they try to do what they can to survive.

The fear is not only growing on the inside of the FAYZ either.

I like how the outside world is being explored more in this book of the series. Before we only saw glimpses, now we are getting a story line that is being shown alongside of all the craziness of the FAYZ.  And if what is inside is somewhat “contained,” then just imagine what the outside is like in response to the creation of the barrier. This also leads to more tension and dials up the fear as well because of the choices of those on the outside and how it will affect the kids-  will those on the outside do whatever they can to help?  Or will they risk the lives of the  children stuck inside?

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To join me as I read the series (and possibly re-read the earlier books!) comment below and share where you are in the series or if you would like to start it! It’s always more fun to read together! I want to hear your reactions as you experience life in the FAYZ- so please do share below. And if you would like to post it on your blog- please link back to your blog in your comment! I would like to share some of your posts here in the Castle!

What scared you the most as you read? What power would you want to have in the FAYZ? Who would your allies and enemies be?

Gone Postal: The Ultimate Gone Post

Series Spotlight: Gone

fayz pic

Let’s hear it for the Gone series!

Have you ever gotten lost in a book series that you didn’t want to end, but couldn’t wait to read the next book as soon as it came out?

This is that series!

There is nothing quite like getting entranced with a new world when you discover an amazing new series.There is the rush of experiencing and learning about a whole new world and all of the unique characters. It’s like opening up a gift! There is also the pleasure, the hope, of knowing that this world has no end yet in sight, though with each book you read, you know you will want to get the next one right away.

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When you start getting to the last couple of books, the feeling increases that you don’t want this world to end. I did the same thing with the Lost TV series- I did not see the last final episode(s) until later- which is a whole different story (though I also was overseas at the end of the series). Sometimes I don’t read the last book right away to extend this feeling! Though that is not always possible, of course😉 !

This seems to be the case with this series– not reading the last couple of books, that is. Yes, normally I would have finished the last book by now. Especially.with.a series.like.this. With moving overseas to different countries the past couple years, I didn’t stay current with this series, so I will be reading the last two books! (Though are we not too far away from the recent release date of the final book- Light in this amazing series, which was just released on April 2nd, just 10 days ago from the date of this post!)As I complete this series, I will be posting the rest of my reviews! (So please don’t send me any spoilers!😛 ) If you haven’t read the whole series, now is the perfect time to do it- we can read them together! I will be recording my reactions as I read, so please join me and read along!

light ending

The new Series Spotlight page will highlight some of the series I have enjoyed immensely and would recommend, as I would not mind getting lost in them again. (And I don’t usually like to read a book more than once, same thing with seeing a movie more than once!)

I would like to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below. What are some series you would recommend checking out? What series should I highlight next?

Here is the first series I will spotlight, in honor of it being the first series and the first book(!) I started reviewing here on BookwormCastle! Click on the titles below to check out my reviews! More reviews to come for this series soon- as well as highlights after I finish the series and other juicy tidbits as I read! So sign up for updates above on the top right hand side of the page or Follow my page! (NOW!😉 )

What did you love (or loathe) about this series? (Remember, you can have a love/hate relationship sometimes with books too!) Favorite parts? Favorite quotes? Best and worst characters? (I have a whole yearbook style section below for the highlights, bests (and worsts sometimes!) too, which I can add to as I receive feedback from YOU, my dear readers! And best of all, for those who want to read along, there are no major spoilers below, just teasers*!🙂

*Read at your own risk. May become hooked to the series.

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Book One:

Gone

Favorite Parts: When Sam decides to make the right choice and take a stand. He really comes into his new power and learns how to use it! This is something we all can do too! We all have the power inside of us to live the best life we can, it’s a matter of making choices and taking the next step towards your goals, towards what is really important to you.

Favorite Characters who really shine (in no particular order): Sam, Brianna aka “The Breeze”, Lana

Lana’s back story and strength is just amazing and reminds me of Julie of the Wolves meets Lord of the Flies, (then meets Animorphs ;)- check out this great description of this amazing series here- Why Animorphs is awesome– that you may remember from childhood. But anyone would love it!)

Noteworthy Characters: Caine, Drake

Caine loves conflict and is bloodthirsty, hence his namesake. He has to be in charge or there is hell to pay. Sacrilegious (?) view of Cain’s story (does not necessarily reflect my beliefs)

Favorite/Amusing/Haunting Quotes to Introduce the World of Gone: “Welcome to Perdido beach, where our motto is: Radiation, what radiation?”

“But if all they did was kill time, time would end up killing them.”

“Sam was slow getting up. To Quinn he looked like an old man standing up after slipping on the ice. But he looked up at Quinn and performed a sort of salute.
I owe you, Quinn.”
I’m sorry I didn’t get him,” Quinn answered.
Sam shook his head. “Man, don’t ever be sorry you don’t want to kill someone.”

samastrid

Best Couple: Sam and Astrid

Most Cringe-worthy moment: Meeting the Darkness, Drake’s “healing”

sam light

Book Two:

Hunger

Favorite Parts: Duck’s heroics, Dekka’s courage,  Caine showing his love for Diana in quite an unexpected way

cainediana3

Favorite Characters Who really shine: Astrid, Quinn, Duck, Dekka

Noteworthy Characters(For better or for worse): Caine, Computer Jack, Drake

Favorite/Deep/Comic Relief Giving Quotes: “She collapsed at the bottom of the trail, at the edge of the ghost town. Dekka sat on Edilio and pressed down on the wound. The force of the blood was weaker now. She could almost hold the blood back now, not a good thing, no, because it meant he was almost finished, his brave heart almost done beating. Dekka looked up straight into the glittering eyes of a coyote. She could sense the others around her, closing in. Wary but sensing that a fresh meal was close at hand.”

“Brianna dropped the skateboard in front of Sam. “Don’t worry: I won’t let you fall off.”
“Yeah? Then why did you bring the helmet?”
Brianna tossed it to him. “In case you fall off.”

Best Couple: Caine and Diana

Most Cringe-worthy moment:The Darkness controlling the kids, Caine VS. Drake

diana

Book Three:

Lies

Eerie Parts: The eerie nighttime beach meetings that brought to mind “Who’s Afraid of the Dark?” meets Poltergeist with a bit of The Adam’s Family mixed in

Scary Parts: The Helicopter scene. Picture this: Caine and a helicopter….

Favorite Parts: Caine showing his love for Diana and sweet (and crazy!) ways (again..).

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Favorite Characters Who really shine: Dekka

Noteworthy Characters(For better or for worse): Nerezza, Pete, Diana

Diana is really starting to step out and step up more and more. Girl crush?

Favorite/Amusing/Gone-esque Quotes:“Hey, thanks for stopping by,” Howard said. “I’d offer you some tea and cookies, but all we have is boiled mole and artichokes. Plus, we kind of have a dead girl in the living room.”

Best Couple: Caine and Diana

Most Cringe-worthy moment: Everyone following the namesake of the book title to their own destruction, Hints of someone’s return, Caine’s choice to feed the others…

drakesback

Book Four:

Favorite Parts: Sanjit meeting Lana for the first time😉

Favorite Characters Who really shine: Dekka, Edilio, Diana

Diana is like a magnet and you are attracted to both of her polar opposite sides.

Noteworthy Characters(For better or for worse): Caine, Bug, Sanjit

Favorite Quotes: “Okay, look. I get it. You’re one of those people who thinks they have to help screwed-up people. Or maybe you’re attracted to dangerous, unbalanced people. But listen up: I’m not Edward and you’re not Bella” – Lana
“Let’s get out of here while we can,” Dekka said. “I brought a gun, by the way.” “Are we going to be in danger?” Taylor cried. “The gun’s in case you get on my nerves, Taylor.”

caineanddiana2

“It’s Sanjit. It’s a Hindu name. It means ‘invincible.'”
“That’s great,” Lana said.
“Invincible. I can’t be vinced.”
“That’s not even a word,” Lana said.
“Go ahead: try to vince me,” Sanjit said.”

“Caine met Diana’s disbelieving gaze and laughed aloud.
“Why so gloomy? Doesn’t every little girl want to grow up to be a queen?”
“Princess,” Diana said.
“So, you got a promotion,” Caine said.”

queen diana

Most Cringe-worthy moments: (Other than the whole book…?)

Knowing that certain people in the FAYZ are capable of more than you think (and more people than you think are!)

Hunter’s Choice and Sam helping him had to be one of the saddest moments!

Drake’s conquering and convincing methods

Thinking of Penny’s power (C’mon, Admit it! Her power could arguably said to be the scariest one, because of its…. great flexibility and changeable qualities to the situation at hand. You would be scared, there is no denying this!)

lana quote

Book Five:

Do not Fear- Book Five and Six sections to be coming soon! Don’t let your fear stop you from reading- grab the next book in the series now!

Book Six:

What are some of your favorites series- recent, ancient, from your childhood?

grant

More to come on this soon! Please share your thoughts and votes for the categories in the comments below! Do you agree with my selections? Which book is your favorite? Stay tuned for Best “Bad Guy” Characters Coming Soon! What other categories would you like to see? Soundtracks? Sound off below!

gonequote

Angel Falls: The Way through Hell and Back?

Angel Falls cover

“I closed my eyes and felt her presence in my veins, wandering, like a lost girl inside of a dark tunnel. My pulse pulled on her, drawing her ever closer to my heart, until the gravity was too great. I felt her soul enter, felt the familiar fire burn, felt myself grow stronger even as she vanished. And for some reason, for the first time, I cared.”

Ever wonder what the devil really wants with all those souls? Or about what hell is really like?

Angel Falls (a.k.a Hell) has an interesting perspective on what hell could really be like if it were a city with gods who could rule it as if it were their own playground.

pripyat-abandoned-city

Angel Falls is very tongue in cheek and is an enjoyable read as you imagine what could be true about our final destination.

Related: What is heaven really like?

heaven

This tale will open up the question as you read about a new and unique take on hell. It stands on its own, while also making you think about some of the classics and has fun references to modern culture.

Think you know all about how it went down in the Garden of Eden? This tale will enlighten you and will give you a taste of the forbidden fruit.

Milton-Paradise-Lost-b9

The characters in the story will surprise you- it reads like a confessional mixed with a fairy tale-like romp that mixes the pilgrimage of The Canterbury Tales with Dante’s Inferno and blends in some new spices that you wouldn’t have suspected resulting in an engrossing and enjoyable journey as long as you don’t mind too much heat- and it’s the right amount of heat, so if you think you are too faint of heart for a tale of hell, don’t be afraid- angels can even make the journey here, though they need to first announce their names, positions, who they were sent from and for what purpose when they do (as Lucifer kindly reminds the visiting angel that this is protocol  when he visits him down south, much to his chagrin).

hell city

Overall, you will be delighted at the characters you meet- and the ones you thought you knew will shock you as you learn about a whole new side of them here in Angel Falls.

No holds barred. No punches held back. The characters band together and do whatever it takes to complete an impossible mission: to break out of hell and take on heaven. The question is- will they ever be able to return alive?

street paved with gold

How about in real life? Does hell really compare to the stories? What do you believe hell is like?

hell

Do you believe in heaven and/or hell? Do you think the devil is like we imagine him to be? Please sound off in the comments below!

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s first ever publishing house blog tour. Join us as three new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Trifecta–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: It’s been rough lately for the Lord of Darkness, with ex-girlfriend drama rearing its head at inconvenient moments, ancient gods returning to take over the universe, and Satan’s own unstoppable laziness. But whatever.

Satan is okay, and he thinks you’re okay, too. This whole eternal damnation thing is all a bit of a misunderstanding.

He runs Hell as a resort, kind of. A vacation spot. The point is, he’s not a bad guy. He’s trying to save Heaven and all of creation, and he only has a dimwitted giant, a surly waitress, and a monkey to help him. So, a thank you might be nice. Maybe buy him a cup of coffee next time you see him. And you will see him.

It’s the Apocalypse, and all that.

Pick up your copy of this Fantasy/ Satire through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Michael Paul Gonzalez lives and writes in Los Angeles. He is the editor at ThunderDomeMag.com, an online lit zine and small press. He is at work on his next novel as you read this. Seriously. He probably just rattled off a really amazing chapter, and someday you’ll read it and think back to this moment, and exhale. Connect with Michael on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Angel Falls, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, The Sound of Loneliness by Craig Wallwork or Stranger Will by Caleb J Ross. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.

Learn more about Angel Falls‘s tour mates HERE.

Perfect Edge Trifecta

Enter the contest to win prizes! Get your code here!