Archive for category Character Interview

The Black God’s War: Splendor & Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III

Storyline: Holy Moses! What a splendid and unique fantasy start to an original fantasy series! The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I written by the highly talented Mr. Mosey Siregar, will grab a’hold of you and pull into his world where gods fight alongside man and destinies unfold in unimaginable ways.

A mighty empire pushes to conquer the neighboring kingdom of Pawelon and after ten years of endless fighting, an end might finally be in sight. Lucia must decode the meaning of The Black God’s messages for her and her holy brother, Caio. Even though Caio is a man of peace, their father, the king, thrusts this war upon them, risking both of their lives for glory.

Prince Rao is powerful sage who will stop at nothing to see this war stopped and gone from his lands. He must use all of his skills to fight not only the gifted siblings, but their gods as well. Rao must reconcile his own philosophical beliefs with those of the myths of the invaders’ gods.

Can a peaceful resolution be met without anymore unnecessary bloodshed and tears?

Grammar/Spelling:  Incredibly, this might be the first book I’ve read in ages and ages without a single grammatical or spelling error. I don’t know if it’s because I was so captivated by the story that I overlooked them, but Moses did a phenomenal job editing his book!

Character Development: The story focuses on a variety of characters and fully develops each person perfectly. Moses carefully crafted each character’s personality so that the reader can truly feel Caio’s reluctance in leading his father’s army into battle. The inner-struggle of Prince Rao as he tried to convince his father that he was worthy of his respect and was a worthy fighter. Lucia’s strong will and desire to protect her brother at all costs while hiding her own dark secrets came across clearly and distinctly.

Writing Style: The story flowed beautifully and quickly. Even though Moses introduced two very different and wholly new religions and a completely new pantheon if gods, I never felt as if I were overwhelmed with information. Nor did I felt as if I there wasn’t enough information about each side’s beliefs and rituals.

Another unique facet of The Black God’s War was the telling of all sides of the story. I’ve read books (and hell, watched movies) that showed both sides of warring nations, but never with this approach. Every important scene was told through the eyes of each player’s perspective.

I felt myself being pulled in separate directions: Huzzah! May the Rezzians conquer all!

No, wait! Let’s hear it for the Pawelons! They must destroy the invaders!

Well played, Moses. Well played indeed!

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 5

The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III was a dazzling beginning to a fantasy series that was a delight to read and nearly impossible to put down. I am really looking forward to continuing the series and believe that Moses’ story will only get better!

Everyone and their respective mamas should go out and get a copy (or sit on their couch and order it)! I only hate that it took so long for me to review the book and pass along the greatness to you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I would like for you to meet Lucia, the royal daughter of the Kingdom of Rezzia. She’s as stunning as she is fearless.

Celia: How did you first meet your writer?

Lucia: You want to talk about that bastard? Was it when he was torturing me with nightmares of dying children? Or when he tortured me with nightmares of my flesh burning? Or when he decided to kill (SPOILER ALERT)? No, I remember now. It was when he dropped me into the black god’s underworld lair. After falling through the pitch black for so long I lost my sanity, I landed in a dark sea full of the dead bodies of our soldiers. Yes, that was how I met him. You’ll pardon me if I prefer that we change the subject.

Celia: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Lucia: Yes. The Book of Time. I am a member of the royal family of Rezzia, and I have a patron goddess. At the least, a brief mention of my life would have to be written into The Book.

Celia: What are your favorite scenes in your book: Action, Dialogue, Romance?

Lucia: Romance. There are so many scenes in this book. Action? There was too much of it for me. Dialogue? I prefer quiet. I only found some modicum of repose in my romance with Ilario.

Celia: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Lucia: No, but the bastard had to work on some things.

Celia: Do you infiltrate your author’s dreams?

Lucia: Ha! What kind of person do you take me for? Do you understand that Lord Danato, The Black One, has invaded my dreams since I was thirteen years old? For the last sixteen years? And after all I’ve been through, you think I would be so insensitive as to infiltrate another person’s dreams? The answer is no.

Celia: Are you happy with the genre your author has placed you in?

Lucia: I’d much prefer to be in a trashy romance. A very trashy romance, at that. That sounds rather pleasant after all I’ve been through. But the bastard put me in the correct genre. I can’t hold that against him.

Celia: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer is so inclined?

Lucia:  *Sigh*

He hasn’t put me through enough? Why would I want to be subjected to his cruel treatment again? I suppose it’s possible that my life will be very different in the future. I admit, I’ve put some of my demons to rest. But I’m afraid the decision I made at the end of this book will haunt me, and I’m not sure I’m ready to face those issues.

Celia: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Lucia: You haven’t read this book yet, have you? I have powers, but I didn’t ask for every power that I have. Although, if I could, I would choose to have one of those powers again. I’m sorry I can’t say more. You’ll have to read the The Black God’s War.

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Venom of Vipers – K.C. May

Storyline: Oh, K.C. May! You got me again! Venom of Vipers is a science fiction tale that will grab you and hold you until the very end. 5 well-earned stars, K.C. May!

It’s the not too distant future and we human folk are down to a very small number due to an outbreak of a fatal disease. Kati Marsh, the daughter of a leading genetic scientist, has spent her life working towards developing a new species of human that will be resistant to this virus. In the process, she and her father’s team have created a race of part human, part reptile creatures that could be the key to helping us survive this epic illness.

Her friend, Ryder, is the result of these genetic experiments and all he wants is to live free and not be just another lab rat, being subjected to test after test. But, there are people in the world who want nothing more than to destroy him and other saphers like him. Can a middle ground? Can mankind and the newly created saphers help each other survive their own destructions?

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed very few grammatical/spelling errors. My usual suggestion is for one more read through by a good beta reader.

Character Development: The characters were fully developed and spectacular – as per usual when reading a K.C. May tome.

Can I say that I developed a crush on the main character, Ryder, without sounding odd? He’s a sapher, but I’m cool with that. Throughout the story were several “firsts” experienced by Ryder and each one was described perfectly. I really felt Ryder’s shock of his first time seeing a dog in person, the feeling of the dog’s coat and tongue as he was licked by the puppy. Can you imagine never have actually been around a dog? Or a cat? Or, really, any pet ever in your life?

Writing Style: It’s a sneaky sci-fi book. Somehow, (I guess through “talent” or whatever, pshaw!) Miss May pumps you full of information on diseases, reptilian DNA and various other science related facts without overwhelming or alienating the reader. I bought into every single facet of the story and did not find myself with any questions left unanswered about the various processes and techniques used by the researchers.

Continuity:  No issues with the continuity.

Overall Rating: 5

Look out! Venom of Vipers will getcha and leave you wanting more! K.C. May has created an exceptional sci-fi story that is both relevant and fascinating. I recommend this to anyone and everyone because, as I stated earlier, the science is well-explained, but not overpowering. I hope that this isn’t the last of her sci-fi adventures!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was lucky enough to get an interview with dreamy Ryder. Yay! But, alas! He is spoken for!

1.        How did you first meet your writer?

She just showed up one day like they all do. At first, I thought she was there to tell Katie’s story, so I didn’t really have much to say to her. Then I realized this was a perfect opportunity to get the word out about what’s happening in here.

2.       Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Never. I didn’t there’d be anyone left alive who’d care.

3.       What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?

I like how KC quotes me exactly. She wanted to edit out the curse words, so I told her she could write about someone else then. I guess she decided to leave them in.

4.       Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

I wanted her to give me a love scene with Katie, but she just gave me a sly look and said, “We’ll see.” Then I asked her to let me beat the crap out of Stuart Mann. She said if I could find him, I could do it. I looked for him. I looked all over.

5.       Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Shhhh! She’s not supposed to know it was me.

6.       What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Dane and Mack and I shoot pool a lot, and then there’s my art. I’m pretty good, if I do say so myself. I paint, sculpt and draw. You should see the drawing I did of my daughter, Evie. Henry sold it on eBay for twelve hundred bucks!

7.       Are you currently engaged in a relationship?

Now, come on, Celia. You know I can’t tell you that. If you want to know who the repro scientists usually pair me with, it’s Teresa. She’s a fine Sapher woman, but she’s not currently pregnant. Maybe soon.

8.       Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Sure. I can’t imagine where else it would fit. I’m genetically-designed mutant, and I got people trying to kill me. Sci-fi thriller all the way, baby!

9.       If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

I’d make it so I find Stuart Mann. Can you guess what I’d do to him?

10.   Do you like the way the book ended?

*blushes* Yeah. I owe KC a beer.

11.   Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Are you kidding? After what I went through? No way. She can be pretty mean. Let her to do it to someone else. I hear Pavel wants to be in one of her books. *snickers*

12.   Do you believe that you are suitable portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Nah, I like knowing my story is out there being read right away. However people want to read it is fine with me — as long as they know the truth about what happened.

13.   Did you have any input into the book cover design?

You know, I swore I wouldn’t try to run if they took me out to the desert for the photo shoot, but noooo. I blame Hamilton. Pretty sure she nixed that idea. They got some human kid to play me for the cover. Kid with fake fingernails and special-effect contact lenses. KC told me she’s thinking of changing it, but I don’t know what she has in mind.

14.   What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

She tried to make me seem hot-headed. Can you believe that? Passionate, maybe, but hot headed? Give me a break.

15.   If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Well, since I can already heal people that wouldn’t be it. Maybe the ability to fly. Then they couldn’t keep me locked up in that place.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

The Witchcraft Wars: Ursula’s Quest – Tracey Alley

Storyline: Since I’ve already used the “right up my alley” pun already, I’m just going to be blunt and say: Ursula’s Quest was wonderful. Tracey Alley has picked where she left off with Erich’s Plea and continued with a new, exciting story that is hard to put down and leaves the reader clamoring for more!

Ursula is plagued with dreams of her father’s voice telling her that she must find the missing key to save the kingdoms. She must leave the safety of the Monks of the Black Lotus and strike out across the desert lands of Kemet to reach the Temple of Life and she must do so even at the risk of her unborn child.

All the while, Slade and his companions are fighting their way across the wilds to find his father and try to stop the evil witch from winning a war that will surely end their world as they know it.

Grammar/Spelling: I think another beta-read would be a great idea. And it might help with the comma conundrum of which there is a lack of. (There is a lack of commas, not the conundrums. There are plenty of challenges…the key, the Dark One, the upcoming war… A LOT of conundrums abound in the story…)

Character Development: As usual, Ms. Alley’s characters are both well-defined and quite captivating. With Ursula’s Quest, we really get to dive into Slade’s sister side of the story and learn how she came to be part of the Black Lotus. Like Slade, she wants nothing more than to find her father and save the kingdom from the evil witch, Shallendara’s, plan to conquer the kingdom and let chaos reign. She worries that her unborn child will keep her from making the ultimate and difficult decision of choosing to fight and risking the baby or fighting and losing everything that is important to her.

Writing Style: The writing style is fluid and easy to follow. Again, Ms. Alley has incorporated her knowledge of ancient religions into the history and beliefs of her fantasy realm. Ursula and her traveling companion, Ming, travel to the Temple of Life and find that they must make it through a series of tests in order to reach their goal: the missing key. This is very closely related to the path that the ancient Egyptians’ souls traveled to Heaven. Since I love all things Egyptian, (except maybe all that heat – c’mon! Couldn’t they live in a more a temperate climate? Maybe even closer so I wouldn’t have to travel so far to see the pyramids?!) I really enjoyed those details and loved the use of the Reverse Confession.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4+

Ursula’s Quest written by the talented and charming, Tracey Alley is fantasy at some of its best! Ms. Alley keeps you interested without being too heavy handed with the fantasy aspect that some novels rely heavily upon. This journey is not only about elves, trolls and magic, it is about love and the recognition that there is something stronger than evil in the world: faith.

I anticipate that the rest of Ms. Alley’s series will be as fresh and exciting as the first two books have been. I would recommend this story to all ages and especially anyone who is just starting out in the fantasy genre. Good job, Trace!

Now, an interview with Tares, the Minotaur from Tracey Alley’s Witchcraft Series:

(Celia’s Note:  This was my first interview with a Minotaur up close and personal and I must say that I was suitably impressed with Tracey’s ability to capture this fellow in all his wonderful glory.  I’d hate to have him mad at me, let me tell ya!)

Celia:  You are the first Minotaur ever to join the ranks of the Knighthood of Ilmater and, if you’ll pardon my saying so, yours is a race better known for its’ savagery rather than sacrifice.

Tares: I do not mind your question, [said with a slow smile], it is true that my people are more known for their skills as warriors than for their willingness to sacrifice for others but you must also remember that the minotaur people are a very honourable race.   I was brought up to believe in honour and that dishonouring oneself or one’s tribe was the greatest sin one could commit.  After I left the Isles of Dread to make my way in the world and met priests of Ilmater they seemed to me to be perfectly compatible with all that I had been taught.  I feel honoured and humbled to be a member of Ilmater’s Knighthood, although I am, as yet, still only a warrior priest.

Celia: Were you surprised when Lord Michael Strong teamed you with Lara, a former thief and assassin in your task to find and free Sir Patrick san Decroix?

Tares:  I was a little surprised and, in truth, at first found the pairing to be… difficult.  Lara is, or I should say was, very efficient at her profession.  Yet she is also extremely irreverent and it is difficult to get her to take things seriously.  I found that something of a trial, yet Ilmater tests us all and I looked upon it as such.

Celia:  After your escape from the prison in Zeaburg you readily joined Slade in his quest to find High King Erich rather than return with Trunk to Lord Michael, why was that?

Tares: It was my belief that following Slade was the will of Ilmater.  The Knighthood have always served the Royal Family of Vestland.  I could do little by returning but perhaps achieve much by continuing to serve the former Crown Prince.

Celia:  Yet your companions, for the most part, were highly the ideal companions for a warrior priest of Ilmater.  How did you reconcile yourself to following orders from someone like Nikolai for example?

Tares: Ilmater moves in mysterious ways and although I would not say so directly to the mage I believe that Ilmater has marked out Nikolai as one of His own.  It was extremely difficult for me to follow someone who had dedicated themselves and their lives to a deity of blood and evil yet in time I saw a different side to Nikolai, a side that the necromancer may not even be aware of himself.  Apart from which Ilmater calls upon all of us to make sacrifices for Him, I was merely following the tenants of the Knighthood that I believe in with all my heart.

Celia:  One final question.   Do you believe that the Knights of Ilmater will be able to win the war against the evil sorceress Shallendara?

Tares:  Firstly you must understand that we fight a war on two fronts.  We must not only defeat the war of conquest that Shallendara incited among Prince Ulrich and The Dark One but we must also stop the witch from her plans to open the portal to the gods.  If she should succeed then all of Kaynos will be destroyed.  This is a very difficult time for all of us, we still do not know the whereabouts of High King Erich, the Knights must fight a deadly war against a type of magic for which we still have no defence and Shallendara must be stopped from opening the portal.  I have not been given any insight from Ilmater as to how the war will proceed.  It is my hope and my prayer that we will succeed on all fronts and that the loss of life will be minimal but I have felt the effects of witchcraft and know how deadly it truly is. *sigh*

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles – Michael Crane

Storyline: Michael, you leave me CRANE-ing for me! (And she’s back with the puns! HI OH!)

Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles is a collection of shorts with a most decidedly humorous and horror filled twist. Each short, or “drabble” as they’re called in the Biz (I was just educated about this particular style myself. Thanks, Michael!) is a little snippet of a potential whole story – usually the most amusing and horrific bit. They’re almost like one-liners for horror writing.

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed no issues with grammar or spelling.

Character Development: Since these are each less than 100 words, there isn’t really a need to develop a character in-depth. But, each character adds there own unique morsel of delicious drama to the story.

I especially liked the doting father. That poor kid should have listened and made sure his daughter was home on time! Reminds me of my own father…

I know that I’ve had a similar thoughts regarding nearly every story involving a child’s fear of a monster… Because, sometimes, there really IS a monster even if the adults don’t see it!

Writing Style: The writing style is quirky and hilarious. Even though each blurb is quite short, there’s no lack of talent. I’m dying to read more of his short stories! A few of these might even make great short stories themselves.

Continuity:  No concern with continuity given the style of the work.

Overall Rating: 4+

Michael Crane does a phenomenal job with his dribbles and drabbles in Lessons and Other Drabbles. I hope that he continues to churn these out and maybe even consider making them into an anthology. Maybe release a new one each October…?  (I’ll be expecting SOMETHING for that brilliant suggestion. Maybe even a new pair of shoes?! Hmmm?!)

I would say that this is definitely not for the young, the old or even the infirm. And if you have a fear of clowns or puppets: FORGET IT! There are some pretty serious scenes of gore and quite a bit of adult language.

Character Interview with Mr. Giggles

An interview Mr. Giggles, evil Monkey sock puppet, about his relationship with his author, Michael Crane.

Celia:  How did you first meet your writer?

Mr. Giggles:  Hee-hee-hee… I was hiding under his bed, and when I heard he was writing a book of horror shorts, I told him to put me in one—otherwise I’d bite his effin’ legs off.  Tee-hee-hee…

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Mr. Giggles:  It doesn’t take long for me to have anybody see things my way.  Those who refuse to see things my way… well… it’s kinda hard to argue when you’re a rotting corpse.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your author’s dreams?

Mr. Giggles:  Of course.  I get bored easily.  Have to find something to occupy my time, now don’t I?

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Mr. Giggles:  It’s already happened.  I made darn sure that I was in LESSONS II.  I mean… what’s a LESSONS II without Mr. Giggles?  Of course… one other author was upset that stupid Clown didn’t make it into the sequel.  He keeps crying about it.  You know… I may have to pay that little punk a visit.  Both of them, actually.  Hee-hee-hee…

Celia:  What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Mr. Giggles:  Look, Missy… I don’t like where you’re going with this.  Lame?  LAME?  Are you calling me lame?  Really?  Do you really want to go there?  I don’t think you want to know what happened to the last person who thought I was “lame.”  Let’s just say he has a permanent smile now, thanks to yours truly and a very, very sharp kitchen knife.

Celia:  Do you like the way your story ended in the first LESSONS?

Mr. Giggles:  Hee-hee-hee… But of course.  That kid’s mother thought I was harmless… well, I quickly showed her otherwise.  Her hand was delicious…  Hee-hee…

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Mr. Giggles:  Superpower?  Mr. Giggles doesn’t need any superpowers!  I’m an evil puppet!  What more can one ask for?  Batman would “S” himself if he saw me.  That’s the truth, Lady.

Celia:  Anything else you would like to add before our time is up here?

Mr. Giggles:  If you see that idiot Clown, tell him I’m coming for him.  Stupid little swine.  Thinks that leaving threatening notes is so evil… give me a break!  I’ll show that punk what true evil is once and for all!  Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!

Note from Celia:  I feel that I may have to have my locks changed after this interview.  The little guy looked so cute… but don’t let that fool you.  He is evil incarn

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Ghost in the Crystal – Matt Posner

Storyline: A Ghost in the Crystal beats two Harry Potters in the bush…? I might be incorrectly quoting that old adage, but I’d say that Matt Posner is definitely on to something with his new magic school series.

Simon Magus is starting his freshman year at New York City’s School of the Ages. Of course, this isn’t your typical school – it’s a school for magic – and Simon isn’t your typical teenager. Even before the school year starts, Simon finds himself caught up in mysteries, intrigue and even a personal haunting.

With the help of his clever study partner, Goldberry, and his roommate, Robbie and some other friends and even the help of an enemy, he must unravel the mystery of the spirit that is haunting him and, all the while, keep up grades in his classes.

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed several punctuation errors throughout – mostly with the usage of the quotation marks. The only grammatical error of note was at the beginning of the story: “…the cats are all asleep in their special hiding places and don’t like being waked up.” A very easy fix.

Character Development: Since I have had the pleasure of interviewing Miss Goldberry Tinker prior, I had assumed that she would be one of my favorite characters throughout and I was not disappointed! Goldberry is very talented, whip-smart and so very posh. I am looking forward to watching as she develops her power and skills. I believe that she will be the one to keep Simon grounded and, through her, Simon will definitely hone his own abilities.

Writing Style: Mr. Posner’s style carries the reader along swiftly and smoothly with his apparent wealth of knowledge of the more esoteric aspects of magic and religion. I truly enjoyed the mixture of Cabala, the more well-known “traditional” beliefs and the fresh spin on the religions of the Indian continent.

Continuity:  No issues at all with continuity. Even with the element of time travel.

Overall Rating: 4+

School of the Ages: The Ghost in the Crystal written by Matt Posner is a fantastic start to a series about a school for magic that is surely to give that other series a run for it’s money. Not only was the story great, it was also fascinating seeing how almost all religions, faiths and beliefs can be intertwined. For my personal take-away from the story, I am definitely interested to learn a bit more about Cabala and Jewish beliefs. Absolutely intriguing!

Great job, Matt! I hope you’ll continue on in this vein and look forward to many more books in this wonderful series!

A Character Interview with Goldberry Tinker

Celia:  Won’t you tell everyone a little about yourself, Goldberry?

Goldberry: Good evening. My name is Goldberry Tinker. I am a supporting character in School of the Ages:  The Ghost in the Crystal.  Specifically, I am a thirteen-year-old British girl living in New York. As a magic student, I am the study partner of Simon Magus, the main character, and my main roles in that story are to help gather information, to be more sensible than he is, and to make witty remarks. I’ll have more to do later, since it is a series. My specialty is divination, which is to say using magic like tarot cards and tea leaves to get information.

Celia:  How did you first meet your writer?

Goldberry:  I think my writer is such a fan of British humor and the British style of speaking that he couldn’t do without me. Presumably he knew that he needed someone named Goldberry in his book as a way of acknowledging his childhood fascination with Tolkien, although I’m nothing at all like Tom Bombadil’s charming little domestic partner. I’d rather be out in the world doing things than just being pretty and keeping house. And you know, Simon is a very good young man whom I am proud to have as a partner, but he tends to go off the deep end emotionally. He can lean on me then, because I know that if I’m in trouble, he won’t back up an inch till it’s settled.

Celia: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Goldberry:  I know the future—well, usually — so I did rather see it coming.

Celia:  What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?

Goldberry:  There is a lot of action in the story, but Simon does most of the fighting, and I help him clean himself up afterwards. I did have a nice moment making Yakov Mermelstein back off in the corridor outside the entrance to the cabala school. Then there’s the fight with the heretics in Alexandria, but that wasn’t so nice for me.  I think there were some good bits of dialogue between my partner and me at various points, including the bus ride to school, when I had to admit that he had surprised me – not something easy to do. And it was satisfying when he finally told me what his problem was and I got to explain to him what an ass he was for not telling me earlier. Romance? Well, William Goodenough is rather interested in me, but I’m only thirteen – not ready for a serious boyfriend yet.

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Goldberry:  He doesn’t want me to get hurt, so he won’t let me fight in particular, but I’m not afraid. And I think he doesn’t want to show me getting along with William, since William and Simon are rather on bad terms.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Goldberry:  I hope not. I’m only thirteen. I don’t want middle-aged men dreaming about me, thank you very much.

Celia:  Of course not.  I understand that completely.  What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Goldberry:  I have a very strong sense of fair play, and I like to care for people in trouble. I got that from my mother. What I got from my father is that if you mess with me, I’ll make you regret it. As far as hobbies are concerned, I do rather enjoy fashion and shopping. I’m not as beautiful as my mother, but I enjoy being a trend-setter, and there’s no one else at School of the Ages who knows how to dress. One girl even wears a cone hat with stars and moons on it, like Mickey Mouse in the cartoon. Crikey, what a frump.

Celia:  Are you currently engaged in a relationship?

Goldberry:  I’ve begun seeing William Goodenough. He gives me tea and tells me the latest gossip. William is fourteen and he’s very handsome, but he does tend to talk down to people. I think he’s only testing them to toughen them up, but Simon really doesn’t like it.  One day something bad is going to happen between them.

Celia:  Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Goldberry:  I’m in a young adult novel about a magic school. I’m a young adult enrolled in a magic school. It rather seems to fit. I do rather wish they would stop comparing me with Hermione Granger. I’m nothing like that overeager little rabbit.

Celia:  If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

Goldberry:  A lot of very sad things happen in the climax and the coda of the story. I do survive them all, but they are quite horrible. I’d rather have the book end with all of us sitting down to have tea and a laugh.

Cela:  Do you like the way the book ended?

Goldberry:  Well, it’s well-written, if that’s what you mean. Do I like how things turn out for me? Not so much. However, at least my author has promised not to kill me off during the series, so I suppose I’ll get through all the hard times.

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Goldberry:  I understand he’s now finishing the third book in a five-book sequence, and the second book is due out before the summer. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me overall, but I know I won’t be pampered and I’ll have to get my hands dirty from time to time. I don’t mind that, so long as nothing happens to my mother. (I’m not worried about my father; he’s commonly known in European magic circles as “The Butcher.”)

Celia:  Do you believe that you are suitable portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Goldberry:  I expect to be in both formats for the entire series. Shop for the books at amazon.com. If you ask me, I should be on the big screen, and my writer will do the screenplay and make sure I get to wear a lot of different outfits.

Celia:  Did you have any input into the book cover design?

Goldberry:  It would have been the book cover of the year if it had had me on it. Of course if it had my roommate Leah on it, the boys would buy it just for the picture.

Syria Says:  What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Goldberry:  I’m not very good at magical combat at age thirteen. I assure you that will change. I have every intention of backing up what I say.

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Goldberry:  I’m a magician. I already have superpowers.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Death Has a Name – Jerry Hanel

Storyline: Gah! I have no puns! Death Has a Name by the talented Jerry Hanel is great – puns or no puns!

Poor Brodie Wade. He’s had a rough go with life. From being taken from his mother to institutionalized to dealing with his psychic abilities. The Truth (as Brodie knows it) is always trying to tell him its story and guide him into helping those around him.

After a couple of beheadings, he and Det. Dawson must work together to figure out if the Midnight Killer is back from the grave or if this is a whole new set of problems. What is the meaning behind the mysterious writing on the wall? What do the necklaces have to do with the murders? Does the Angel of Death really exist? And can it be stopped?!

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor spelling errors. I’d suggest another read through by a beta reader.

Character Development: As you all know, I was able to interview Brodie before I read his story and wow…what a character. Brodie is as every bit paranoid and nervous in the book as he is in his interview. He seems to cope pretty well for someone who can see The Truth manifesting everywhere and around everybody. (Not sure if I’d be that “calm.” I’d probably fixate on my cat too.) I am curious to know more about his relationship with his mother – if he was even able to maintain one after they took him from her for the alleged child abuse. Maybe Mr. Hanel will let us in on more of poor Brodie’s life story as the series progresses.

Writing Style: The writing style is wonderful and moves a great pace. I started reading this right when I first got to work (around 8 a.m. or so) and finished up right after lunch and I didn’t even notice that much time has passed! I loved Mr. Hanel’s attention to detail and the idea that normal – though specially trained – every day people are standing between humanity and the Angel of Death was pretty awesome. A tad unnerving – but still a very cool concept.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 5+

With a title like, Death Has a Name, I was unable to think of any clever puns, but that does not take away from the well written and thoroughly entertaining story. Mr. Jerry Hanel has created a unique and endearing character with Brodie.

Mr. Hanel also included a preview for Thaloc Has a Body and I’m almost positive that it will be as enjoyable as Death Has a Name.

An indepth interview with Brodie Wade, Psychic Detective from Death has a Name, concerning his relationship with his author Jerry Hanel.

Celia: How did you first meet your writer?

Brodie:  What? Oh, Lord. No… no, no. I’m hearing questions in my head again. Make them stop… make them stop…. Just answer them, Brodie.. just answer them. The Truth just wants to be known. (* deep breath *) Ummm…. My Writer? Jerry? He said that he enjoyed mysteries as a kid, and really likes thinking “outside the box” when it comes to paranormal and such. Through a series of coincidences, and a little too much caffeine, we ran into each other.

Celia:  Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Brodie:  (* Looks to make sure no one is watching him speak to himself, then whispers *) No. You wrote all of this down? Even the parts where I freak out? Please… don’t send me back to the institution.

Celia:  What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?

Brodie:  I remember when I was thirteen, in the institution. That’s in the book, and I appreciate how it shows why I am what I am… It was when I first realized that The Truth isn’t purposely trying to kill me. It’s trying to warn those around me about things in their own lives. I still hate the Truth, but over the years I’ve come to accept it.

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Brodie:  No. I’m having a hard time convincing him to stop writing. He wants to write more about me, but the more he writes about me, the more people will see how I spend most of the day talking to myself, and to The Truth, which no one else can see. I’m afraid of what people might think if they saw. What if they knew? They’d send me away for good.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Brodie:  No… my own head is freaky enough.

Celia:  What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Brodie:  I like to read. There’s an Escher’s dilemma for you… What would happen if I were to read about me reading??? (* ponders the thought deeply while holding his head between his hands. *)

Celia:  Are you currently engaged in a relationship?

Brodie:  No. No, no no no no no… no. No one would want me. I’m… damaged goods, as they say. Jerry says he’s going to fix me up with someone soon, but I can’t see myself loving anyone.

Celia:  Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Brodie:  Yes and no. The Truth and the paranormal world I have to deal with is all I’ve ever known, even as a little child. But I would do anything to give it up. I want — more than anything — to be “normal” … whatever that is.

Celia:  If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

Brodie:  I didn’t write a book. Oh… in Jerry’s book? Probably me getting shot. Yeah. That hurt.

Celia:  Do you like the way the book ended?

Brodie:  Yes. But I promised not to give away the ending, so I can’t say more than that.

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Brodie:  Interested? No. Will what I want deter him? No.

Celia:  Do you believe that you are suitable portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Brodie:  I would prefer the world wasn’t aware of me at all… but if Jerry has his way, it will probably be primarily electronic, with a paper offering sometime later this year.

Celia:  Did you have any input into the book cover design?

Brodie:  (* shudders *) No. Just the sight of it makes me want to hold my cat close and wish it away.

Celia:  What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Brodie:  My stupid cigarettes. I just wanted ONE more, but no… he would’t write a single one into the pages for me.

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Brodie:  I already have one. I want to get rid of it. Make it go away. Please?

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Widow’s Tale – Maureen Miller

Storyline:  Maureen Miller’s Widow’s Tale is a tale for a long, cold winter’s night in front of a roaring fire with a many cups hot cocoa topped with extra marshmallows!

Our hero, Brett Murphy, is every girl’s dream, but he has a problem with our heroine, Serena Murphy.  Besides the fact that they are related by marriage, there is more between them than first meets the eye.  Serena’s deteriorating state is lost on him at first when he comes to town asking questions about his brother’s mysterious disappearance.  In his eyes, the residents of Victory Cove are all suspects including Serena.

Serena, on the other hand, seems to have a death wish regarding her brother-in-law, which appears to be insurmountable. She has her own ideas about her husband’s disappearance which leads the reader to assume that she is either deranged or at the very least deserving of Brett’s suspicions.  As the story develops and the mystery unfolds, so does their on again, off again relationship.  In the end, it was not what either of them expected.  Her warm descriptions of O’Flanagan’s Tavern has me yearning for a trip up the eastern seaboard and a bottle of Allagash beer.

Grammar/Spelling: I found very few typos and/or grammatical errors in Widow’s Tale.  Maureen put together an excellently edited work with no more errors than a reader might expect to find in a Danielle Steele novel.

Character Development:  The characters are very well developed over the course of the novel with emphasis on the two main characters, Serena and Brett.  Her descriptions of them paint wonderful pictures of two very real persons with real issues and real emotions.

Two secondary, but very distinct personalities were also well portrayed.  My personal favorite was Harriett, who ran a local fishing tackle and charter boat operation.  She is a very colorful character that added a touch of humor to the situation.

Writing Style: Ms. Miller’s writing style is fresh and clean with little if any distraction from the storyline.  The action flows as smooth as melted chocolate.  Mmmm.  And is just as sweet.  She draws the reader into a frenzied state of anticipation and then backs off (I would say just like a good lover, but that might offend someone.)  She knows how to bring her characters and scenes to life without exaggeration or graphic displays of affection.  Certainly, she is able to turn out a grand romance with style, mystery and adventure woven into the tapestry.

The dialog is realistic and believable and quite colorful according the coastal folks in the area.

Continuity: I did not notice any problems with time-lines other than the fact that it seemed we would never get to the nitty-gritty and that just keeps the reader interested.

Overall Rating: 5-

Overall, I gave the book good marks in everything from plot to grammar and spelling.  Widow’s Tale does justice to the romantic suspense genre and is well worth the reader’s time.  I would recommend it to everyone who likes romance stories tied into quaint settings, mysteries, thriller and just a bit of ghost suspense thrown in for a very pleasing experience.

Character Interview with Harriett Morgan

Harriett Morgan of Widow’s Tale talks about Maureen Miller and other things related to the novel in which she plays a supporting character.

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Harriet:  I wanted to catch the killer, but they said I was overweight…well, actually they weren’t that delicate.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Harriet:  God no!  The last time I tried to get into one of her dreams she had me battling a giant fly armed only with a mozzarella stick.

Celia:  What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Harriet:  Drink beer and catch up on gossip.  I do that while I’m being actively read as well.  I enjoy it.

Celia:  Are you currently in a relationship?

Harriet:  No. No.  There was one man for me and he passed on ten years ago.

Celia:  Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?

Harriet:  Romantic suspense.  That’s just fancy mumbo jumbo for ‘you get to have hanky panky while you run around saying, “Oh my God. Oh my God.”‘  Yeah, it fits.

Celia:  If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

Harriet:  I’d make Cooper Littlefield open up his wallet for once in his life and buy something at my tackle shop.  Cheap #$%@!

Celia:  Do you like the way the book ended?

Harriet:  Oh yeah.  I was there.  I liked it.

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Harriet:  I hear rumors she has me in one.

Celia:  Do you believe that you are suitably portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Harriet:  E-books flatter my figure.

Celia:  Did you have any input into the book cover design?

Harriet:  Yeah, I told her to hold the camera steady.

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Harriet:  The ability to eat without gaining weight.

Note from Celia:  Harriett was a good sport, though a bit gruff at times.  She has a good sense of humor and certainly has the ability to put a person at ease.  Not a bad person to have around in a pinch!  Thanks, Harriett!

, , ,

1 Comment