Books/book review/Romance
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Follow that dog!

irish setterAn Irish Setter. Beautiful to look at!
Ah – just when you thought you were safe – you really should never own property with your ex-husband (Stu)  – and when he owns the other half of your duplex – (semi-detached) then you are in trouble.
And then there is the dog Carrie ends up getting asked to babysit- dogsit – by Ryan - the person renting her husband’s duplex -not a very well trained dog at that but then Irish Setters are:  Lively, Playful, Energetic, Companionable, Affectionate, Independent and can be 32k in weight as a male and 27inches high. Not really giant but certainly large enough.
They are a very active and alert dog, and enjoy long daily walks and runs. Due to their highly trainable nature, they are usually good off the lead, provided you have trained them with a reliable recall. 

This of course may vary according to the dogs personality as some Irish Setters are so playful they may develop selective hearing when called back to go home!
This is a breed of dog which does not relish being alone for long periods of time and inactivity may lead to separation anxiety, boredom and destructive behaviour. www.pets4homes and Riley also howled...
So we see all of this behaviour in the story - and of course, this is what causes the ‘problems’ with Riley – the dog- and Ryan who was asked by his sister to dogsit Riley, but fails to realise all of the above about Irish Setters, 

And then of course his neighbour Carrie who is the unexpected recipient of Riley’s boredom behaviours. Carrie who lives in the other half of the duplex and wants to get on with her painting in peace and quiet and not be bothered with her ex-husband's tenants. Or her ex-husband for that matter.
Other than the above the story line is not unusual but it is good fun reading. Light, bubbly and well paced. And the dog is delightful.
4 stars mainly for the dog! An honest review for NetGalley.

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Books
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Summer Lane tells us about Nuclear War

Interview with Summer Lane 
 Surviving the Nuclear War 
 State of Destruction brings in a whole new level of the apocalypse: a nuclear warzone. How does this change up the game in the series? 
 It gives a whole new dimension of intensity to Cassidy Hart’s situation. Radiation fallout is deadly, and the nuclear war will, for the first time, make specific locations uninhabitable, destroying former safe havens. It makes the war even scarier – even worse.
I knew a long time ago that a nuclear was was on the horizon for Cassidy and her friends. It’s finally hitting them hard in this book – the beginning of the end.
How would you survive a nuclear war? 
 It really depends on how close you are to the blast site and the rings of radiation emanating from it. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t read the book yet, but in Cassidy’s story, she is able to survive the nuke because of her location. The Jetstream, and the kilotons of the nuclear warhead all come into play, too.
If I knew a nuclear weapon was headed toward my area, I would retreat to a place out of the Jetstream, with plenty of underground facilities. I would have my own fresh water and food sources, and I would never leave the house without being adequately covered (if I was on the closer side to the blast site).
What is in YOUR theoretical bug-out-bag? 
 The essentials to maintain life! Water purification tablets, dehydrated food packets, pain medication, a first-aid kit, socks, underwear (hey, you gotta think about these things!), dry shampoo, several knives (bowies, machetes, etc.,), maps, gloves, any weaponry and ammunition available (self-defense is essential during the apocalypse!), a good set of tweezers, spare sets of sunglasses and reading glasses, duck tape, and climbing rope with carabineers.
Those are just the basics, though. I would definitely fit a sleeping bag onto the pack, and I would most likely be wearing layers of clothing so I wouldn’t have to carry so many things – although I would have to ditch jackets and thermals if the weather was hot and humid.
The Soundtrack and Soul of the Apocalypse 
 If you could choose a song to represent each of your main characters in your novels, which ones would they be?
 I love music, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one single song, but I’ll give it my best shot!
Cassidy Hart: Warriors, by Imagine Dragon. It’s such a fitting song for what Cassidy has become through the course of the series.
Chris Young: Taking Care of Business, by Bachman Turner Overdrive. This just reminds me of Chris’s approach to every situation. He just takes care of business.
Elle: Renegades, by the X Ambassadors. Living like we’re renegades! The perfect song for Elle, for Collapse and her own trilogy.
Uriah True: Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen. Read my books. You’ll see why this just works. * wink *
What are some of your favorite songs/bands who you like to listen to when you’re writing? 
 I actually write my books with classical music on, but I love, love, love, some certain artists and bands when it comes to representing the world of Collapse. Gotta love Avicci, The Cab, One Republic, and DEFINITELY The Black Keys. The Kongos, Trapdoor Social (shout-out to my friend Miranda for introducing me to them!), AC/DC, the instrumental epic-ness of Really Slow Motion and occasionally a little ZZ Top or Neon Trees. I enjoy listening to Thomas Bergerson, as well, when I’m writing.
Do you listen to classical music? What’s your favorite? 
 I will basically listen to instrumentals of anything. Right now I’m currently listening through everything that Andre Rieu has conducted. I love Johann Sebastian Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. I stand by the belief that classical music stimulates your creativity. It works great for me!

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Books/book review/crime fiction
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Can the dead remember?

The competing offerings in a very small town on the edge of the desert, nestled in a valley in the mountains, made it into a truck stop and wayside stop for (executive) travellers.
sandusky
Gambling and ladies of a certain morality available at the two ends of the spectrum and the town works as the establishments are aimed at different markets.
But
At one of these establishments, the truck stop versions, the truckers have a couple of sidelines that make good use of their trucks and make them more money than just shuttling their loads.
  1. 1. The transport of stolen goods away from their point of origin to another site where they can be sold ‘no questions asked’.
  2. 2. Transport of cannabis. This being flown into the local private airport by a small plane and then sent onto to further destinations by road.
Both of these streams of income are very tempting to others.
And then there is some very dodgy financial dealings going on through the local bank  - note that centralised banking conglomerates as per the UK and Europe were certainly less common at the time this book was set, and there were a lot of very small and very local banks.
The main ethos of all the people living in the town was that of the 3 monkeys:
I don’t see; I don’t hear; I don’t say.
Unfortunately one policeman decided to see, and hear, and then say.
Peter Bragg was a PI involved in some death threats to an ex-member of this small town and went to discover why this was happening and then became embroiled in the seeing and hearing. 
But did he see and hear the truth? 
And just how much of this truth did he hear? 
And with whose agenda?
This is the first book in the series and other than the issues with phones stands up well to modern situations.

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Books/book review/crime fiction
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Before Evil? and then After?

Just what is vengeance? And when is it appropriate? And what is appropriate vengeance? And can you have a general kind of vengeance?
If you can answer some or all  of the above questions, you might be able to make a judgement on the actions of the main 'criminal' in this book.
We know who the person committing the crimes are from the very first paragraphs and just what she does to her victims - and it isn't pretty - men particularly will be feeling a little shaky and may even clutch tightly a certain portion of their anatomy once they read this. Women might go ouch for them.
But why does she do this? And how does she choose her victims? These are the questions the FBI and Jake Roberts need to find out - but it even they cannot imagine that it is a female committing this crime, let alone how she does it, and why the cases are so scattered across the country. The reader however, knows the answer and it is for the story teller to take us on the journey that Jake and the FBI take to find out the answer we already know.
And the story teller - the author - does this very well.
The suspense builds and the reader is telling Jake silently to watch out for where his emotions are taking him and silently warning him that his new friend is not all that she seems.
So, I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to reading the other 2 books in the series that I have in my very large to read pile. More of that on another post!

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Lindsey Pogue says what it takes

Interview with Lindsey Pogue, author of Whatever it Takes


What made you first decide to become a writer?

It has always been easier for me to write down how I feel opposed to communicating it to someone aloud. I started writing in journals at a very young age and inevitably my ideas, dreams, and life experiences starting turning into more than that. 

Little bits and pieces of my observations and of my life turned into storylines, and soon fictional characters and plots began to develop until I had so many story ideas that I had to invest in cases of floppy disks (yes, real plastic floppy disks) to save all my stories onto. 

I’ve been writing so long that as I go back now and read through some of my stories from ten years ago, I can’t help but laugh because they are so horrible and yet so refreshing and awesome.

You’ve published dystopian and new adult stories, and you have historical adventures in the works. What is your genre?

Writing stories is like eating Skittles, I want to taste the rainbow. 

After all, writing and reading is about losing yourself in something else, right? Someone else’s life, a place faraway… I want to write them all—the fantastical and gritty real life—and just thinking about the possibilities gets my gears turning and revved up for my next writing adventure. 

Let me tell you, when your book doesn’t fit nicely into a perfect genre package, you open yourself up to harsher reviews from people who were expecting one book but got another and your book is much more difficult to market.  BUT, over the past few years, especially working on The Ending Series, I’ve realized something: nothing is black and white. 

There are tons of authors out there who write historical fiction and paranormal romance, erotica and thrillers. If I want to be myself, to write what I’m passionate about, I’m going to be all over the place. For instance, I’m infatuated with history, have lived the true life gritty stuff, love adventure and happily ever after, so why not write about it all? Life is all about exploration, so why should writing be any different?

Is it difficult to switch gears after finishing up The Ending Series and now working on a contemporary new adult series?

My answer is yes, it is for me. When I’m writing, it takes a lot to get into my characters and once I do, the last thing I want is to jump back and forth. While I was working on Whatever It Takes in between Ending Series books, that probably won’t be the case moving forward. 

I have limited writing time, and in order to make the best of it, I need to keep myself focused, something that is difficult for me. I’m like a squirrel with shiny objects; I have so many different stories I want to write about, if I don’t stay focused, I’ll start them all and finish none of them.

What other stories do you have in the works?

Besides the rest of the Nothing But Trouble Series (Mac and Nick’s stories), I started a historical/adventure/romance, Wrecked. 

It’s essentially Jane Austen meets Swiss Family Robinson. I wanted to explore life and society in 19th century England and America and what would happen if idealistic romance met survival adventure. 

What would conversations sound like and what would relationships and social class barriers look like in an era turned upside down, when women weren’t allowed to show their ankles and everyone was expected to say and do the “proper” thing. What happens when you’re bred one way but thrust into a whole new world where survival is all that really matters?

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