Books
1 Comment

Mind Warp? Author tells us…

Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors Book Cover Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors
(The Guild Codex: Warped #1)
by Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: August 7th 2020

Synopsis: My name is Kit Morris, and welcome to my warped life. Picture the scene: Me, an average guy with psychic powers—not that my abilities are in any way average—just trying to scrape by in a harsh world. So maybe I’ve conned a few people, but did I really deserve to be thrown in MPD jail alongside magic-wielding serial killers? According to Agent Lienna Shen, one-hundred-percent yes. But her hardass attitude and “Arcana prodigy” status aren’t enough to bring down my former best friend, who slipped through the MPD’s fingers and is days away from unleashing untold horrors upon the city. Or he’s going to steal something. I don’t really know. Whatever he’s up to, that’s why I’m sitting in an interrogation room with Lienna. And that’s why I just offered myself as her temporary new partner for the purposes of thwarting my ex-accomplice. And that’s how I’m going to escape. I might even help with the case before I cut and run. — Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors is the first book in a new series set in the world of The Guild Codex. It can be read on its own or as part of a larger adventure. More series in the Guild Codex world: The Guild Codex: Spellbound The Guild Codex: Demonized

1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I don’t know if I can pinpoint one specific author. Chuck Palahniuk had a lot of impact on my writing for a while, as did Laurence Sterne’s novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Even screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin and Diablo Cody shaped my writing style quite a bit. In terms of Kit’s voice in the Warped series, I’d have to say that Dean Koontz, especially in his Odd Thomas books, is particularly influential.

2. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Oh, man. I have no idea. I honestly don’t read very many “funny” books. OH, I KNOW: Annette Marie. All the Guild Codex series are hilarious.

3. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

I understood Inception on my very first viewing. (As much as anyone can truly understand Inception.)

4. Do you have an unusual hobby? Is it related to the books you write? Or is it for relaxation? Is it dangerous/ adventurous/ requires travel?

I am a very mediocre rock climber. I don’t think that qualifies as “unusual” because I live in Vancouver and everyone here climbs. I really want to write a rock-climbing scene in a Warped book but I have yet to convince Annette that it’s a good idea.

5. Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

For the last few summers, I have spent at least a couple of weeks in Kananaskis, which is in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. There is a beautiful campground there by a lake, almost completely cut off from the world. There is no wi-fi, no cell phone reception, no TV. It is the perfect place to reset your brain and eat a lot of fire-cooked food.

6. If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

It’s tempting to pick Dracula because he’s rich and immortal and talks with a cool accent. But then I remembered that he can’t eat garlic, which is an automatic deal-breaker. So I’m going to go with Captain Jack Sparrow. A life of adventure? Sign me up. Be half-drunk ALL THE TIME? Yes, please. Have an incredible fashion sense and eyeliner that never streaks? …why are we still having this conversation?

7. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Oh, god. I so badly want to travel more. I can’t pick a single location because I haven’t experienced enough places yet! I spent a couple of weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico last year for a film festival and I could see myself living there. The city was stunning, the people were amazing, and the food…sweet mother of taste bud bliss…the food was yumtastic.

8. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

I’m going to go ahead and assume I’m gonna be on this desert island for a while and that I don’t require “How to Survive in the Middle of Godforsaken Nowhere” manual…

Does The Lord of the Rings trilogy count as a single book? Let’s say yes. That’s gotta be in there. A good collection of short stories, like The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury or Nine Stories by JD Salinger, would be on the list. I’d have to finish it off with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Not only is it a long (which is important on a desert island) and beautiful novel, but it is essentially six vastly different stories nested inside one another. They range from a 19th century drama to a 1960s thriller to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi; that kind of variety would hopefully keep me sane while I forage for coconuts, befriend scorpions, and make a man-kini out of banana leaves.

9. What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?

My writing playlist varies from scene to scene. For action scenes, I love listening to heavy music: Rob Zombie, Underoath, Static-X, Lamb of God, Bring Me the Horizon, and even some Skrillex. When I need something moodier, I’ll listen to Carrollhood, Holy Fawn, a bit of Billie Eilish, or the entire Gone Girl soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. For more general work, I have hours of Odesza and The Glitch Mob to keep me in the zone. While I’m writing this, I’ve got some Missy Elliot going in my headphones.

10. Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

Totally! In order to prevent going stir crazy during isolation, my wife and I created a web series called Max and Mousee. It’s about a woman (Max) who is so lonely during quarantine that her imaginary best friend from her childhood reemerges to keep her company. Hijinks ensue. We made the whole thing with just two people acting as the cast and crew. It was a lot of fun, although there were some challenges. For example, after filming the first two episodes, I realized that I hadn’t changed the batteries in my microphone for like…seven years? So the sound quality is a little gross early on. But we also threw in a couple of Guild Codex easter eggs and references for any readers who come across it.

11. What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? Why? Why not?

Hard YES. Filmmaking is my first love. I’ve done some acting and made some of my own films. One of my dreams is to be a television showrunner. If I got the opportunity be involved in the film/TV adaption of my book, I’d be on that like Jack Sparrow on a fresh bottle of rum.

12. Is it easy to write humour?

I often find it easier to write humour than to be super-duper serious. It’s probably a coping mechanism. Maybe I should see someone about that…

AUTHOR BIO:

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities. 

http://www.authorannettemarie.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8546572.Annette_Marie

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMariehttps://twitter.com/annettemmarie

https://www.instagram.com/annettemarie.author/


Author links: 

Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.

Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.

Author links: 

https://www.facebook.com/therobjacobsen

http://www.robjacobsen.net/

https://www.instagram.com/rob_jacobsen/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067921.Rob_Jacobsen

Share This:

Books
0 Comments

Department store makeup?

Someday at Christmas Book Cover Someday at Christmas
Lizzie Byron
Fiction
Hachette UK
September 3, 2020
400

Enter the magical world of Duke & Sons department store, with this enchanting and laugh-out-loud funny romcom from Lizzie Byron, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Jenny Colgan and Beth O'Leary! Shell Smith is the most popular make-up artist on the ART counter at Duke & Sons, a beautiful but old-fashioned department store in her hometown. But whilst Shell's love life is looking up, now that her long-time crush Nick is back in town and business is booming in the beauty department, the rest of the store is noticeably quiet . . . The owner's grandson Callum has come up with some creative ways to keep Duke & Sons afloat this Christmas, including allowing a production company to film a romcom after hours. When Shell discovers the secret, Callum recruits her to help out and, in the process, Shell finds there is more to Mr Duke Jr. than sharp suits and a business-like demeanour. Change is coming and romance is in the air for Shell during this most wonderful time of the year. Except real life is nothing like a Christmas romcom . . . right?

Here we have a small town with an old-fashioned department store.

As we are all too aware these days, department stores are struggling and they need everything they can offer to help them make it into the next few years of consumer choice- adding to the experience of shopping seems to be the way forward.

I only use a department store myself for 2 things: 1. A personal shopper – for which they don’t charge; and 2. An occasional  quick facial – for which I usually pay £15 and then I purchase – often – some new item. But I never get the money I paid back in purchases! But then nearly every shop assistant in these beauty brands gets a bonus on sales so…

This store is very old fashioned in that people are salaried without bonuses on sales – except that the more funky make-up brands begin to offer their sales assistants interesting prizes if they do well. Take a look at the Gucci pink Marmont bag!

I do like to look at the funky brands myself – a cabinet full of items just for eyebrows for instance.  And lots of new products. Always coming out. The beauty department is where I gravitate! To it makes sense that this store should use it to help bring itself into a new age.

A sweet romance in the trope .

Share This:

Books
0 Comments

Tempt me not?!

Midnight Temptation
Ravens Hollow Coven Book 2)
Shari Nichols
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
City Owl Press
jun 30th 2020

What are the stakes for falling in love?

That’s the question tarot card reader Gillian Howe ponders when she hosts a supernatural speed dating event. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire provides her an opportunity to attend an exclusive after-party and prove she isn’t opposed to love. But she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. The night ends in a police raid and of all the vampire detectives in Raven’s Hollow, Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene. Even if he is scorching, hot, he accused her of a crime she didn’t commit and nearly ruined her life.

Fate has thrown them together again…

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. The fact    that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Knowing who to trust and who to love becomes a matter of survival, and possibly the only way to take down the Brotherhood.

Book Cover

As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

Share This:

Books
0 Comments

Billionaires of the USA

Billionaire’s Girlfriend Bet Book Cover Billionaire’s Girlfriend Bet
Billionaire’s Club #3
Leslie North
General Fiction (Adult) | Romance
Relay Publishing
Pub Date 1 Jul 2020

For all of his life, billionaire Blake Harrison has firmly believed the route to happiness was keeping his heart free. But after seeing two of his best friends fall hard for women, he’s starting to second guess himself. The problem is, if he can’t get past the second date with a woman, how can he possibly consider settling down? Jokingly, his buddies bet him he can’t go out with the same woman five times. When he gets beaned in the head with a baseball at his team’s practice field, trainer Michelle Stewart is the one to patch him up. His buddies immediately set their sights on the beautiful trainer. She’s the one, they agree. And after a few dates, Blake begins to wonder if she really is…


Sure, Michelle is attracted to Blake. He’s sweet and charming and the hottest guy she’s ever dated. But if she’s attracted to him, it’s got to mean he’s wrong for her. For one thing, she works for him. For another, she has a rotten track record when it comes to men, and it’s better if she just steers clear of charming, hot guys. Besides, she has to think about her daughter Mollie and what’s best for her, too. Even though her mind is telling her no, her heart is shouting that Blake is a big yes. The problem is, listening to her heart has always gotten Michelle into trouble. Could it be possible that her heart is finally telling her the truth? Or is Blake just too big a risk?

USA Today Bestseller Leslie North invites you to indulge in a steamy billionaire romance with an unforgettable bad boy billionaire and the smart-talking woman who tames him..

Last in this series about 3 friends who are all billionaires. Lucky them! Each male has had a romance written about them and in this final one we have the biggest playboy – who never spends more than 2 nights with any girlfriend – just in case they think he might get serious. Too wary of his money and influence? So his friends bet him that he can have 5 dates with the same girl just as he was meeting his baseball club’s physiotherapist for the first time. And she is chosen.

Again the story follows the trope with the slight addition of a child to make things difficult for them. A delightful girl who loves ponies. I thought that was a theme that could have been followed up as the billionaire tells her he has ponies. Instead the baseball theme is followed up and she starts learning softball.

This is competent but again not exciting. The characters don’t have a great deal of life on the page. They perform as expected but without a great deal of humour or snark.

Share This:

Books
0 Comments

Medieval Forensics?

Centaur of the Crime Book Cover Centaur of the Crime
Fantasy and Forensics #1
Michael Angel
fantasy, crime, forensics, murder, mystery
Banty Hen Publishing
(17 Jan. 2014)

C.S. Lewis meets CSI...when Michael Angel presents a new series mixing magic, mystery, and forensic science - 'Fantasy & Forensics'!

She's the LAPD's best corpse-kicker. Dayna Chrissie, LAPD's leading Crime Scene Analyst, relishes finding the one clue that can solve a crime. When she finds a golden medallion on a body that's been dumped at a downtown construction site, she doesn't think it's all that unusual. Until that medallion's enchantment brings her to the magical world of Andeluvia.

She must find a killer in time to stop a war. Dayna discovers that she's been summoned to solve the murder of the realm's king before war breaks out between Andeluvia and the Centaur Realm. But no one wants peace when war offers chances for riches and glory. So Dayna ends up with a team of cast-offs: a centaur wizard with father issues, a brash griffin warrior, and the world's unluckiest magical deer.

And the trail leads where she least expects it...back home! When the trail of evidence brings Dayna and her new friends back from Andeluvia to Los Angeles, she must use all of her forensic knowledge in order to solve the case.

The price of failure? A war that will kill millions and devastate Andeluvia.

Hope she works best under pressure.

Books in the 'Fantasy & Forensics' Series:
Centaur of the Crime
The Deer Prince's Murder
Grand Theft Griffin
A Perjury of Owls
Forgery of the Phoenix
Assault in the Wizard Degree
Trafficking in Demons
A Warrant of Wyverns
The Conspiracy of Unicorns
Dragon with a Deadly Weapon

This is a 10 book series – and yes, I did read them all in one great reading splurge…

Important characters:

Dayna – the forensics expert; Grimshaw – a griffin; Liam a type of deer but not; Abbess Thea – an owl; Perrin , Holly and Destiny,

 Not to mention Fitzwilliam, Shelley and Esteban – Dayna’s boyfriend in the police.

A large cast of characters, all of whom manage to speak English, though they may have their own languages as well and also magical or ancient languages. After all, we are not on Earth are we?

Dayna is (accidentally) called into this fantasy land by a gold coin she finds in a cavity in the body she is examining at a crime scene. The coin could have been picked up by anyone, but was aimed at someone with forensics knowledge as the world she was called into was still operating as a Medieval society.  So no mechanical items, no science, but poisons and other mysterious happenings including murder that was difficult for them to find out who-dunnit.

Rather reminiscent of the Cadfael TV series (and Ellis Peters books,) with Derek Jacobi – as the monk who solved murders with medieval herbs and elementary forensics, I immediately saw the TV episodes in my mind, once I started reading these books! I liked both…

If you are going to live in a medieval palace/tower with only a fire to keep you warm and are going to spend a lot of the time riding around in cold weather, she clearly needed to think more practically.

I thought Dayna was being less than practical. Once she discovered that she could take a knapsack to and fro, I would have packed the following for her:

Caffetiere

Metal kettle for a fire

Coffee grounds

Aspirin and ibuprofen

Arnica gel and tablets

Plasters and needles and thread

Other over the counter medicines as suitable including anti-diarrhoea meds,

Other instant / dried drinks eg milk, chocolate etc

Chocolate bars

Protein bars

Apples – fresh plus assorted dried fruit

Packets of soup – instant (and other instant foods)

Lemons and limes

Fleeces

Long Johns and silk underwear

Padded riding knickers and saddle pads (fleece lined and waterproof jodhpurs)

Fleece lined wooly hat.

Thermal socks.

Neck gaiter

Waterproofs and hiking trousers that were fleece lined

Ski wear

and look at these lined riding boots – who wouldn’t want to wear them?

I enjoyed these books and binge read all 10.

5 stars for something new in the fantasy genre.

Share This:

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com