Growing Up Little

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Exodus 2022

EXODUS 2022

Book Review

EXODUS 2022 Cover

My Rating:  Four Stars

Four Stars

One word to sum up my opinion of Exodus 2022 – IMPRESSED.  I don’t normally read anything that could be described as sci-fi but the synopsis for this book lured me in and I’m glad it did.  If you’re a sci-fi fan – you’ll love it.  If you aren’t a sci-fi fan – this will be one sci-fi book you WILL enjoy.  Give it a shot!

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

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of EXODUS 2022! 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 the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form on the official EXODUS 2022 tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. Or so it seems.

Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs.

What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns.

With the help of his girlfriend—the woman he loves and dreams of marrying—Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance—and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity—they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s newfound understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain

Get EXODUS 2022 through Amazonor Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the young adult novels, THE GAIA WARS and BATTLE FOR CASCADIA, and the new sci-fi thriller, EXODUS 2022. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys mysteries, science fiction, action adventure stories and, most especially, novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son and two hyperactive Australian Shepherds.

Kenneth G. Bennett, Author

Connect with Kenneth on his website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

 

3 Comments »

Sabrina’s Window

Sabrina’s Window
by Al Riske

Sabrina's Window Cover

MY RATING: FOUR STARS
Four Stars

My Review:

This book centers around two main characters, a 17 year old teenager named Josh and a 31 year old hairdresser named Sabrina.  Josh’s life intersects with Sabrina’s when he breaks her window while trying to deliver her newspaper.  He wants to make retribution for it and they end up developing a complicated but interesting relationship.  The characters in the book are well developed and intriguing.

I really did enjoy this book, however I kept waiting for something MORE to happen.  The plot was a little bit slow paced and I felt there could have been so much more done with it.  Sabrina’s Window reminded me a little bit of the book “The Reader” by Bernhard Schlink but without the sexual scenes and focus on the romantic relationship.

Bottom line – worth reading.

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

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

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Sabrina’s Window by Al Riske, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, Antiphony by Chris Katsaropoulos or A River So Longby Vallie Lynn Watson. 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 Luminis Literary Triad tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: On a chilly morning in Taos, New Mexico, a 17-year-old paperboy breaks the window of a 31-year-old hair stylist — an accident that marks the beginning of an instant, inexplicable bond between them. In the course of one high-desert summer, Joshua and Sabrina share confidences, intercede in each other’s love lives, go on a date that scandalizes the town, and confront questions of fidelity, desire, and the nature of love.Get Sabrina’s Window through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Al Riske grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and ghostwriter. His short stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Pindledyboz, Switchback, and Blue Mesa Review, where his story “Pray for Rain” won the review’s 2008 fiction prize. His second novel, Faint Promise of Rain (Luminis Books) is due out in the spring of 2015. He now lives in California with his wife, Joanne, and their dog, Bodie. Connect with Al on his website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Al Riske

Author – Al Riske

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field.

Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN.

Learn more about Sabrina’s Wndow‘s tour mates HERE.

 

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY… CLICK THE LINK BELOW!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

4 Comments »

Silent Words

Silent_Words_CoverMy Rating:  4 Stars

Four Stars

My Review

“The tiny word factory hidden behind her heart shuts down.”

Silent Words is not your average children’s book.

Zelda is a happy, talkative child, with loving parents, until a storm changes everything.

The futuristic styled illustrations are a diving board into a world of limitless imagination for a child to explore and become lost in.

While the story itself is a sad one, the ending is filled with hope and healing.

There aren’t a lot of great children’s books based around bereavement – this is one of them.

“LOVE, SAFE, HAPPY, HOME.”

If you are looking for a book to read to a child to help them with the loss of a loved one – I would highly recommend it.

Enter the GIVEAWAY to WIN some great prizes… look for the Rafflecopter link at the end of this post!

Available NOW on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel

ABOUT THE BOOK: Zelda loves to talk. She always asks a million questions and her head is full of words like apple, bunny, cartwheel and dwizzledoodle. But when a sudden storm turns Zelda’s world upside down, all her words go silent. Zelda must embark on a quest across mountains, forests and oceans to find her parents—and her voice.

This moving tale about loss and hope will tug at your heartstrings. Author Chantal Fournier’s poetic storytelling style and illustrator Nicolas Lajeunesse’s evocative artwork combine to create a poignant story in which a child discovers comfort in the power of words.

Images

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

TogetherChantal Fournier (Author)

Originally from a small-ish city not too far from Montreal, I now live in Toronto, Canada, after a long stint on the beautiful Canadian West Coast, where I taught French to university students.

Silent Words, the story of a girl floating on a peculiar cloud, is my debut book. It is the fruit of a long collaboration with my artistic husband, Nicolas.

Nicolas Lajeunesse (Illustrator)

As the son of a sculptor and the grandson of a painter, art has always been a part of my life. After studying filmmaking in Montreal and working with my father for a few years, I left my French-Canadian roots and headed for the West Coast, where I discovered digital arts.

I live in Toronto, Canada, with my wife and family.

THE GIVEAWAY

Click on the link below to enter to win some great prizes!  Good Luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

9 Comments »

The Angry Woman Suite

The Angry Woman Suite

by Lee Fullbright

The-Angry-Woman-Suite-194x300

MY RATING:  FIVE STARS

Five Stars 2MY REVIEW

I don’t give many books a five-star rating but The Angry Woman Suite truly deserved every shiny one!  This book has everything I love about an excellent read.  WARNING:  This book is not for those looking for a ‘fluffy’, ‘easy to read’, ‘simple’ story.  If you aren’t paying full attention – you’ll miss out on one of the fascinating, psychological twists and turns and there are LOTS of them.

The characters are intensely well-developed, the plot is absolutely fascinating and there are so many layers, so many interesting sub-plots – I’m sure this will be one of those rare books I will take the time to re-read and enjoy all over again. 

Do yourself a favour – pick this one up.  It’s the type of book… you’ll hesitate to lend out to friends – in case you don’t end up getting it back! 

WIN PRIZES

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of The Angry Woman Suite! 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 $50 Amazon gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win… the full list of participating bloggers can be found here.  The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter.  You can find the contest entry on the Angry Woman Suite tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About The Book

Master storyteller Lee Fullbright weaves three unique voices together in her award-winning psychological mystery about consequences. The Angry Woman Suite is a rare and bold novel; a heartbreaking, hopeful marvel.

“They need to be exercised, hearts do … to keep them strong.”

Every family has skeletons, but the Grayson family has more than its share of secrets–and of portraits. Mystery portraits that incite and obscure. Portraits to die for.

An unsolved celebrity double murder in Pennsylvania. A girl looking for autonomy. A young man in search of an identity. An older man’s quest for justice.

A plot that pulls and twists.

“A special read … a very gifted writer, like a seasoned classic composer. So great is the writing, it’s worth the read just for that, but then Fullbright brings in story, rich in character, and descriptions that bring you home, with scenes that flow one into the other, even in divergent times, decades apart–and it all works, and works so well that I’m going to read it again and then put Lee Fullbright’s The Angry Woman Suite on the shelf along with Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.”–Paulette Mahurin, author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap“What Lee Fullbright has put between the covers of The Angry Woman Suite, even if I were to learn how it was done, still would border on literary magic.”–Sean Keefer, author of The Trust

Awards for The Angry Woman Suite:

  • SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD, Best Mystery
  • 2013 GEISEL AWARD, Best in Show
  • 2012 INDIE DISCOVERY AWARD, Literary Fiction
  • 2012 GLOBAL E-BOOK AWARD NOMINEE

About The Author

Lee-FullbrightLee Fullbright, a lifelong San Diegan, lives on beautiful Point Loma with her Australian cattle dog, Baby Rae (owner of her heart). Her literary mystery, The Angry Woman Suite, was a Kirkus Critics’ Pick, and won a Discovery Award (for literary fiction), as well as a Royal Dragonfly HM, and the award for “Best Mystery” at the 2013 San Diego Book Awards. Lee Fullbright is also the recipient of the 2013 Geisel Award, for “best of the best” at the SDBA.

Connect with Lee on her websiteFacebookTwitter, or GoodReads.

 

 

 

9 Comments »

Pleased to Announce…

I am so happy to announce that one of MY readers, astraltravler has WON the random commenter award, which is a $50 Amazon gift card as part of Novel Publicity’s – Collateral Damage book tour.

collateral damage hi res cover

You might remember my review of Collateral Damage but if you don’t… you can read it here or just click on the book image above.

amazon gift cardCONGRATS ASTRALTRAVLER!

I AM SO PLEASED THAT ONE OF MY READERS WON!

 

13 Comments »

Maybe I Will

Maybe I Will – Book Review

Maybe I Will - Book Cover

My Rating:  4.5 stars!!!Four and a half stars

My Review:

This is an important book.  Parents with pre-teens and/or teenagers – buy this book, read it yourself and then pass it along to them to read.  I am a mother of a teenager myself and I know that often teens shut their ears and don’t listen to a lot of the wisdom and advice we have to offer.    Encourage them to read ‘Maybe I Will’.  It covers a lot of vital, important information about sexual assault.  Here are just some of the important things I think this book portrays to pre-teens, teenagers and young adults in a sensitive way:

  • Sexual assault can be perpetrated by someone your own age, it can be one of your friends, someone you know.  It doesn’t have to be a stranger or a creepy neighbour or relative.
  • Sexual assault can happen in seconds.  It doesn’t have to be what people often think of as a ‘traditional rape’.
  • Sexual assault can happen when other people are in the room or nearby and it is possible that those other people may not know anything has happened at all.
  • Unfortunately, all sexual assault victims are not believed.  Even by their own friends.  However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t occur and it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
  • Sexual assault victims don’t always report right away.  The ultimate important thing is that you share it with someone you trust.
  • Sexual assault victims can be of either sex, male or female.  Perpetrators can also be of either sex, male or female.
  • Pre-teens, teenagers or young adults that are acting out, by drinking or by getting in others types of trouble, are often crying out for help.  Parents… if something out of the ordinary is happening with your child – Listen.
  • You are not alone.  Sexual assault happens to many people.  Perpetrators often have many victims.  Seeking support from other survivors is an important step in healing.

This book does a really good job at showing the after effects of someone who has been sexually assaulted.  The doubt that can creep into one’s mind.  Did that really happen?  Am I making a big deal about nothing?  What will people think if I say anything?  Will they believe me?  Is it my fault?

I will be passing this book along to my teenager to read, it’s too important an issue to ignore and hope that it simply doesn’t happen to your child because unfortunately – it can.

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

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s latest publishing house blog tour. Join us as two new titles from Luminis Books–we’re calling them the Luminis Duo–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: It’s not about sex.

It’s about how one secret act of violence changes everything–how best friends can desert you when you need them most, how nobody understands. It’s about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It’s about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors–all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.

It’s about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over… and all you can think is Maybe I Will.

Author Laurie Gray presents a compelling picture of the realities of sexual assault in Maybe I Will, drawing on her years of experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, dealing with crimes against children. The twist in the story is that we never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl, and we realize that it doesn’t matter, because it’s not about sex.

Pick up your copy of this Young Adult (with mature themes) through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

Laurie-Gray-150x150About the author: Laurie Gray has worked as a high school teacher, a deputy prosecuting attorney, and the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC (www.SocraticParenting.com). In addition to writing, speaking and consulting, Laurie currently works as a bilingual child forensic interviewer at her local Child Advocacy Center and as an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. She has served on the faculty of the National Symposium for Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama, annually since 2009. Her debut novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/2010) received a Moon Beam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. Her third young adult novel Just Myrto (Luminis Books/2014) will carry readers back to ancient Greece to meet Socrates, Laurie’s favorite teacher of all times. Connect with Laurie on her website, Facebook, or GoodReads.

WIN PRIZES!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray Aloha, Mozart by Waimea Williams, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, Aloha, Mozart by Waimea Williams. 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 HERE or on the official Luminis Duo tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN. Learn more at www.luminisbooks.com.

Learn more about Maybe I Will‘s tour mate HERE.

6 Comments »

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage – Book Review

Enter to Win Prizes!

collateral damage hi res cover

My Rating:  3.5 stars

Three and a half stars

Synopsis:

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore? The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual. Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

My Review

I have a love-hate relationship with this book.  There were things I really disliked about it and other things I really enjoyed, hence the reason I am awarding Collateral Damage a three and a half star rating.

First off – I dislike the cover.  The girl on the cover, looks pissed off and it’s almost like she is giving the readers the finger (am I the only one who did a double take???).

I liked that the chapters in the book were from the point of view of either Annie (the main character) or of Salvatore (Annie’s fiancé).  The book was fast paced and the reading was smooth through-out.

What I really disliked about the book – was the believability factor.  There were SO many things, that were way too far-fetched.  A few examples:

  • Annie’s ex-boyfriend breaks into her sister’s apartment, lies in wait for several hours and then emerges from a closet when Annie comes over to visit her.  It is also discovered that this same ex-boyfriend, Michael, was the masked person who attacked Annie on the street as she was jogging the previous day (Michael claiming it was all so he could put an invitation into her pocket to go to a reunion party with him).  If those aren’t two HUGE red flags that this guy isn’t playing with a full deck and to avoid him like the plague – I’m not sure what is.  Then Annie is stalked by Michael to her cabin hideout in the woods… so what does she do?  She decides to hop in Michael’s car with him, to drive for hours and hours… crossing State lines to go to his reunion party.  All of this, without Annie even going home to grab some clothes, grab a toothbrush or speak to her fiancé about the trip.  Seriously – who would do that???
  • At the reunion party, Michael’s buddy and roommate is murdered (in his bedroom, with over a hundred people present at this house party).  Michael is arrested for murder because his prints were on the murder weapon, which was his very own bayonet.  What does Annie do?  Plunks down $10,000 as a retainer for a lawyer.  This just hours after, she discovers Michael had stolen her engagement ring off her finger, then lets her stress and worry about it and then announces to the entire reunion party that THEY (Annie and Michael) are engaged and slips the ‘missing’ ring back on her finger.  (I don’t know about all of you… but that sort of behavior would creep me out).
  • After Annie and her friend June, are attacked, drugged unconscious, rolled up in carpet and thrown down a Florida sinkhole, where they are left for dead  – the very next day they are catering a charity event.

It was these types of things… the believability factor – that I just couldn’t get over, which was frustrating as a reader because the rest of book was really good.  The characters were interesting, the plot was fast paced and interesting.

If this author worked on the believability factor of certain things – I would have rated this MUCH higher.

So, if you don’t care that much about believability (like I do)…  and you like fast paced, modern who-done-its, you’ll love this book.

Everyone – please remember to enter to win the great prizes!  See how below….

How to WIN Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Collateral Damage! 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 the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form HERE or on the official Collateral Damage tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the Book

About the book: When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore? The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual. Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

Get Collateral Damage through Amazon.

About the Author

About the author: Frederick Lee Brooke is the author of the widely-acclaimed Annie Ogden mystery series, which includes Doing Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral Damage. The books do not have to be read in order. Having lived in Switzerland for the past two decades, Brooke has taught English, run a business and learned French, German and Italian.

Collateral Damage Frederick Lee Brooke author photo

You can find him online at www.FrederickLeeBrooke.com.

Sign up for his newsletter and read all about his travels, recipes, and upcoming works!

Connect with Fred on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or GoodReads.

5 Comments »

The Sound of Loneliness – Official Book Review – WIN PRIZES!

 

The Sound of Loneliness – Book Review
By Craig Wallwork

TSoL-cover-194x300

My Rating:  Four Stars ****

My Review

The main character of this book is Daniel Crabtree.  He is in his early 20’s and has recently moved out from his mother’s house, his father having died when he was 13 years old.  He is now living on his own, considers himself a struggling writer and living from some sort of government welfare.  He thinks that in order to become the great writer he believes himself to be, he must be subjected to great suffering.  In this way, he will obtain the tools needed to write his great masterpiece.  Suffering he seems to be willing to do but the actually writing… not so much.

Daniel Crabtree drives me crazy, which is why I ended up having a love/hate relationship with this book! 

Let me explain.

Picture from Miss Lexi Rose at worpress.com

First the love.

I adored the way the author described things.  The imagery used in this novel, is five-star quality for sure.  For example:

No matter what floor you arrived at, an old bicycle would be propped up against one of its walls, the front tyre missing or handlebars rusted.  A few of the residents hung window-baskets or mounted brackets for hanging baskets.  There were never any flowers in them.

This novel is FULL of gems like the one above.  His description of people, places and things, goes way beyond average.  For that alone, Craig Wallwork is one to watch. 

I loved the dark comedy woven through out this story.  An example is when Daniel enters into his cancer stricken Uncle Billy’s apartment to discover, what he thinks is his deceased body on the toilet.  His reaction:

My experience in dealing with the dead was at novice level.  I tried to remember films and television shows where the actor had stumbled upon a dead body to understand the correct procedure for such an event.  They used the phone to ring the police, and when the police arrived, the person who found the body was usually accused of killing the person.  I returned the receiver and sat on the couch to mull it all over.

Another example of this dark comedy was when Daniel’s son was born weak and with only half a stomach.  His reaction:

I couldn’t see the complications of having a baby that needed only half the food of other babies, and probably shat less too, but I had to accept their efforts in wanting to provide us with a fully formed child.

Many characters in The Sound of Loneliness, suffer from alcoholism.  The author describes alcoholism and its realities so vividly.  At times the author relieves the reader and numbs that reality down effectively, with his use of dark humour… but the deep sadness of it, still remains and exposes a necessary and accurate truth.  This is a difficult balance to achieve but Craig Wallwork does so quite gracefully.  He writes:

It struck me that most of the people who drank were just waiting for their end, seeing out the hours among those already dying…

 

Now the hate. 

By the end of the book, the main character made me nauseous with his way of avoiding responsibility for his own life and his own choices.  As a reader, I had hoped and had expected him to obtain some self-awareness or some maturity by the end of the novel.  It didn’t happen.  The character remained stagnant.  A true sense of himself, always out of reach and well beyond his reasonable grasp.  His fanciful dreams and wishful thinking was supported only by his ego and certainly not by any actions taken on his own part.

Daniel ‘inherits’ Emma, when his Uncle dies.  Emma is a beautifully compassionate and unselfish 15 year-old girl.  A girl who, a character like Daniel certainly needs in his life but in no way deserves.

Emma wanted to understand me, and I guess she wanted to understand love too.  Never had I wanted to sit with a person and talk about life and the silliness of it all more than I did with Emma.  I wanted to brush the hair from her eyes and articulate the mistakes maturity brings.  Wisdom does not come with age, only with experience.

The above quote (which is from Daniel’s perspective) is evidence of his self-delusion and his grandiose sense of self.  Daniel is 8 years older than Emma but she already has more wisdom, kindness, and compassion for others than he does or ever will.  The connection between Daniel and Emma, brings such hope to the reader that he will grow up because of her influence but he does not.  He allows their age difference to be an insurmountable obstacle and he abruptly ends their friendship with no true explanation to Emma, an impressionable, young and vulnerable girl.  The way that Daniel handles himself at the end of their friendship, is cruel and unforgivable.

Near the end of the book, Daniel returns to his home town, novel unwritten and all short stories he has actually written – rejected.  He considers himself to be a lowly workingman with a mortgage, a wife and child – something he never wanted.  Daniel expected better than that for himself.  He feels that he has failed and he is right.  Not because he is unpublished but because he can not appreciate himself, even see himself, as he is.  He rejects the people and the love that is available to him.  He is ungrateful, miserable and lonely and the only person or thing to blame, is himself.

As a reader, I can not forgive this character for being so unyielding, so depressing, so unaware of himself and so stuck. 

For this reason, I awarded The Sound of Loneliness, four stars, instead of five. 

So, there is your love and there is your hate.  I love the dark humour, the wonderful imagery and the brave, open raw style Craig Wallwork has and for those reasons – this book is well worth reading.  However, I hate that the author never allowed any real growth to happen in the dismal, stagnant, and truly selfish main character that he created.

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE CONTEST (info about how… can be found below)!

I would LOVE for one of my readers to WIN!

BEST OF LUCK!

 

My Favourite Quotes From The Sound Of Loneliness

And so my anger toward people became the one constant fire that burned within me.  (pg 9)

I find it hard to see how a person can place trust in the hands of God and Fate, when neither entity has provided for them in the past.  (pg 19)

It was true that the only suitcase never moved from the top of my parents’ wardrobe in the twenty-one years I lived there, its role more concerned in keeping my father’s porno magazines safely hidden from view than allowing recreation to sully its interior.  (pg 20)

In the infancy of life, the womb is more an ocean liner, gently rocked by shifting seas with access to the twenty-four-hour buffet.  (pg 63)

Sometimes a writer forgets where fiction ends and their life starts again.  (pg 72)

It seemed to me the only noticeable changes she ever made were the bed sheets.  (pg 107)

I am one of those men willing to make the same mistake over and over.  Not because I wish to experience the same anguish, but more that I can live in hope my luck will change.  It never did.  (pg 117)

Death has a weird effect on many people;  for me it made me compliant and agreeable without dispute.  (pg 120)

A female can be many things, but their candidness toward talking openly is a quality I have grown to appreciate.  (pg 153)

Having Death breathing down your neck really adds to the absurdity of life.  (pg 184)

Like me, he must have known loneliness allowed mistakes to be your own, risks undertaken of no consequence to anyone but yourself.  You live life freely that way.  (pg 202)

These are the solutions that mask the cracks in your heart, a life that allows you never to be dependent on anyone, or in turn, they dependent on you.  (pg 202)

For that reason I envied the path less travelled because it was paved with ideals and self-deluded pipedreams.  (pg 202)

 

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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:

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.

Craig Wallwork

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.

 

 

8 Comments »

Angel Falls – Review – WIN PRIZES!

Angel Falls

by Michael Paul Gonzalez

Angel-Falls-HI-RES-cover-194x300

My Rating:  3 Stars ***

A note about my rating:

What does a 3 star rating mean to me?  Pretty good.  Not great but not bad.  I would recommend based on certain tastes.

My Review

Angel Falls is Hell, renamed appropriately by its caretaker Satan.  Angel Falls isn’t such a bad place to be, in fact it’s more like a vacation or a resort and has all the fun and entertainment there that you might want.  There are bars, theaters, restaurants, clubs… everything to keep those who aren’t too eager or interested in beginning their Long Walk.  After all, Satan isn’t such a bad guy, he’s just misunderstood.  He feels like he was tricked into the responsibilities of taking care of Angel Falls and as he puts it:

I’ll be damned if I do anything other than the minimum required of me, which is to watch over these poor lost souls.

It was difficult trying to review this book because there were both some true strengths to it, as well as some significant weaknesses, which is why my rating isn’t higher than it is.  At first, I was pretty impressed and enthused about where the plot was going.  I was enjoying the characters and really liked the author’s clever use of humour.  There were some fantastic one liners.  Occasionally I groaned and rolled my eyes but for the most part the humour hit the mark and made the reading quite enjoyable.

While there are obvious biblical references, I didn’t feel as though you had to be super religious in order to follow along and understand.  However, it is likely that a deeper understanding of the biblical references, would likely add a more meaningful layer into the story.  I do not consider myself ignorant to what is contained within the Bible but I am certainly no biblical scholar either.

Another enjoyable aspect of Angel Falls was how the author used widely known characters, and put his own unique spin on each of them.  Characters such as:

  • Satan
  • Goliath
  • Eve and Adam
  • Cain and Abel
  • St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven
  • The Boss (aka God)

Michael Paul Gonzalez took these well-known characters, stripped away their stereotypes and created alternate personalities for them.  In addition, he developed unique dynamics between those characters.  This created a lot of interest for the reader.

My favourite character in the book was Eve.  The way the author portrayed her was brilliant.  We first meet Eve working as a waitress at the ‘Garden of Eatin’, a popular restaurant in Angel Falls.  As the story progresses, the character of Eve has the opportunity to reveal herself.  Her need to be surrounded by living things, her love of nature, the way she communicated with nature, were some truly beautiful moments in an otherwise lighthearted novel.  For example, Eve commands the trees to provide a layer of warm leaves for Satan to spend the night on and the trees out of reverence for her do just that.  She is gently rocked to sleep high in the canopy of the forest, the trees cradling her like a newborn child.  The respect between both Eve and nature is obvious and these interactions are beautiful and memorable.

However, there were periods of time in the novel when the interest and enthusiasm started to fade for me. I felt like there were events that just weren’t necessary for moving the plot ahead and it made me want to skip pages to get back to the ‘real’ story.  It felt as though, there was a bit of ‘filler’ used to extend the story, when it really wasn’t necessary and that is frustrating to me as a reader.

There were times in the story when things simply got confusing.  Normally I may have gone back, re-read or tried again to make sense of what the author was talking about but there just wasn’t enough interest in it for me to do that.  A bad sign indeed.

Another thing I didn’t care too much for in this book… there were times when I thought the author was simply in poor taste. An example of that would be when a Chihuahua dies falling off of a bridge.  Shortly after, a character retrieves the dead dog carcass and ‘plays’ with it and makes it dance.  I simply don’t see the humor or value to this scene at all.

So in summary, this novel certainly won’t be added to any of my favourites lists but I might recommend it to a certain type of reader… I just don’t happen to be one of them.

 

Some of My Favourite Quotes From Angel Falls

“That was beautiful,” The Righteous whispered.  “And everything beautiful dies.  See?”  He held the dog pelt towards her.  “It’s done everything it was meant to do,” Eve said.  “It’s still amazing to behold.  And it has the potential to grow again.”  (pg 82)

“There are no such things as mistakes and innocent bystanders.  We are where we are and when we are at all times.”  (pg 87)

“The air was perfectly still around us, the very essence of time and the universe waiting for the balance to shift, for life to return to the giant or dissipate forever.”  (pg 92)

Now would have been a perfect time to faint.  Just take a few minutes off, let my system regroup, start all over again.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.  This is Hell, after all.  Even I must suffer for my sins.  (pg 95)

“Flesh is pain.  It’s the hardest truth I’ve discovered.”  (pg 136)

“You turned gay just to get out of Heaven?”  “When you put it that way, it sounds wrong.”  (pg 156)

“Why would you create a race of creatures only to watch them struggle and fail?  Why would He have me be the fount of the entire human race, and then deny me the right to guide my children?  He made me a soul mate and tore him away.  Why?”  (pg 163)

 

 

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.

Author Michael Paul Gonzalez

Author Michael Paul Gonzalez

 

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 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.

6 Comments »

What Are You Reading?

Monday

 

To join in the fun of:   It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?  Just click on the picture above… it will lead you to Book Journey and you will find all the details there.

Currently I am finishing up Angel Falls by Michael Paul Gonzalez.  I am an official book reviewer for the Angel Falls Novel Publicity book tour taking place this week.  I am hosting and will be posting my review of this book on Tuesday!

So please – come back to read my comments and thoughts on it!

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2 Comments »