Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review of The Sceptre of Storms by Greg James

The Sceptre of Storms
The Age of Flame - Book 2
by Greg James



The armies of the Fallen One have invaded the Three Kingdoms. A traitor sits upon the throne of Highmount. Malus, the Necrodragon, has been unleashed to lay waste to Seythe. The only hope left is Sarah Bean. But she has disappeared. Will she return and fulfil her destiny as the Living Flame? Or will she let the armies of the Fallen One conquer Seythe and plunge it into the Age of the Shadow forever?

What others had to say about The Sceptre of Storms:

"With a fluid, dark writing style, James’ words make you feel like Gandalf, or maybe Sean Connery, is narrating masterfully to you as you read." - Books with Verve Review

"I was completely engrossed in this book and I can't wait for the next one. Very entertaining read." - Booze & Books Blog Review

Title: The Sceptre of Storms
Series: The Age of the Flame
Author: Greg James
Publisher: Manderghast Press (June 6, 2013)
Format: Mobi; ePub
Location(s) Available: AmazonBarnes and Noble; Apple - iTunes; Kobo

***I received The Sceptre of Storms in exchange for a review.***

The Sceptre of Storms is the continuation of The Sword of Sighs - The Age of the Flame series.

I have to say, if you want a book that is true fantasy, this is a book for you. The Sceptre of Storms picks up right where The Sword of Sighs left off. The main character, Sarah, learns how to believe and trust in herself. She becomes a fierce warrior, not in the physical sense, but in the sense that she follows her instincts and does what is right even when faced with tragedy and betrayal. I love how the character is strong and still carries on even when the burden laid upon her is a heavy one.

While reading The Sceptre of Storms, it played in my mind like an epic adventure full of beautiful and wondrous worlds and beings. The world that Mr. James builds is like no other I've read or seen. Some of the creatures he depicts in the story are some I've never read of before. I found that very refreshing and frightening. Very happy they don't exist.

The Sceptre of Storms is very unique and I LOVED that. Everything about this story will leave you at the edge of your seat. You may think the story will take you one way but it takes a different and wonderfully surprising path.

When I started reading The Sceptre of Storms, I was in a small reading slump, I was reading but was eh...however, this book got me out of it because I could not put it down and wanted to know what was going to happen.

As far as ending goes, this story left me emailing Mr. James and asking what in the world was he thinking!!! I need book three immediately so I can know what will happen.

Do I recommend The Sceptre of Storms? You bet I do. It's not a fluff piece with words just thrown together. It's a wonderful tale with that will take you to a place far away from here and show you a world full of adventure.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Blitz Excerpt and Giveaway of Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Love 
(Elemental Killers #1) 

by Mia Hoddell


The world is dangerous – but love will kill you. 
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her. 
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason. 
She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

Buy Links: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!

What readers have to say about Deadly to Love:

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing.Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

I will admit I scoffed at the way it started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound. Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

As he spoke I checked out the surroundings. It was just starting to get dark outside but I could still see the black outlines of the trees that surrounded us on either side of the narrow road.

“Why are we in a forest?” I asked, a slight hint of fear creeping into my voice as I was unnerved by the fact that we were in a place where Elementals were most likely to inhabit.

“Because the house is located in the forest. Don’t worry we’ll be safe there, I’ve hardly had any Elemental sightings when I’ve stayed here,” he said, but something about it didn’t sound very encouraging.

“And how often do you stay here?” I said slowly, my tone wary.

“Whenever I’m in the area.” His avoidance of a definite answer unnerved me even more as I knew what he was going on to say.

“I have to say, that isn’t very often, but the four times I’ve been here since buying the place have been peacefully silent.”

I was dumbfounded by his statement and my eyes were wide in shock as I watched him to see if he was joking. I saw nothing that led me to believe that or to make me doubt his words though.

“You’ve only been here four times?! How do you know this is a safe place then? It could be crawling with Elementals for all you know.”

He laughed at my sudden outburst of panic.

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.


Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:
No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth...
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!

To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It's only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Excerpt of The Mine

The Mine
by John A. Heldt

Author: John A. Heldt
Series: Northwest Passage No. 1
File size: 537 KB (Kindle)
Formats: MOBI, EPUB, PDF
Words: 90,200
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Genres: Romance-Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Adventure

Description: In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

The Mine:

John A. Heldt
Excerpt from The Mine
August 18, 2013


Joel thought about mattresses as he walked north on the Ave.
He thought of the queen-sized box spring he had in his apartment, the waterbed he had had growing up, and the king-sized memory foam special in his parents' bedroom. He even thought about flimsy bunk-bed pads, the kind Saint Xavier's Mission had but could not offer when it told him there was no more room in the inn.
The pampered youngest son of Frank and Cynthia Smith could not remember the last time fatigue and hunger had gripped him like this. He gained new respect for those who spent each day walking the streets.
Joel also thought about the blonde. Who was she? And why had she stared at him? Was Joel Smith, world traveler, gold card member, and former all-state linebacker, now an object of pity? He did not think so. He saw empathy in those incredible eyes, not contempt. Still, he wondered.
As Joel proceeded down the busy arterial, he passed a few familiar sights. Some things had not visibly changed in fifty-nine years, such as two brownstone apartment buildings, a Mission Revival grade school in the Heights, and three taverns with colorful names. He stood before one, the Mad Dog, and considered his options.
The Mad Dog did not have memory foam mattresses for weary time travelers. But it did have a long sidewalk bench. Joel sat down on one end and extended his legs toward the other. He pondered walking to a nearby park but decided to stay put. The bench was hard but relatively comfortable. If necessary, he could make it his bed for the night.
He closed his eyes and thought of pleasant things: his mother's Cacciatore, the hot tub at home, Jana in a string bikini, Maui, and the blonde. He could still picture her face.
Miss Denmark has nothing on you.

Author Links:

Other books by John A. Heldt

When Kevin Johnson, 22, goes to Wallace, Idaho, days after his college graduation, he expects to find rest and relaxation as his family prepares his deceased grandfather's house for sale. Then he discovers a hidden diary and a time portal that can take him to 1910, the year of Halley's comet and the largest wildfire in U.S. history. Within hours, Kevin finds himself in the era of horse-drawn wagons, straw hats, and ankle-length dresses. Returning to the same time and place, he decides to travel again and again and make the portal his gateway to summer fun. The adventure takes a more serious turn, however, when the luckless-in-love science major falls for pretty English teacher Sarah Thompson and integrates himself in a community headed for tragedy. Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, THE FIRE, the sequel to THE JOURNEY, follows a conflicted soul through a life-changing journey as he makes his mark on a world he was never meant to see.

Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.

Seattle, 1941. Grace Vandenberg, 21, is having a bad day. Minutes after Pearl Harbor is attacked, she learns that her boyfriend is a time traveler from 2000 who has abandoned her for a future he insists they cannot share. Determined to save their love, she follows him into the new century. But just when happiness is within her grasp, she accidentally enters a second time portal and exits in 1918. Distraught and heartbroken, Grace starts a new life in the age of Woodrow Wilson, silent movies, and the Spanish flu. She meets her parents as young, single adults and befriends a handsome, wounded Army captain just back from the war. In THE SHOW, the sequel to THE MINE, Grace finds love and friendship in the ashes of tragedy as she endures the trial of her life.

John has several works that are really interesting and should be added to your TBR list. Check out his blog or Amazon author page for more on his works.

Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cover Reveal & Giveaway - It's Not Over by A.L. Zaun

I've always loved cover reveals. Here goes...

It’s Not Over
A.L. Zaun 

Release Date:  December 9, 2013
Genre:  Adult Contemporary
Cover Design:  Robin Harper from Wicked by Designs
Photographer:  Tomasz Zienkiewicz 


“If I let go…will you catch me?” 

He had wanted her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back. She had wanted to teach him a few lessons on how to treat a woman. Neither one had planned for the unexpected.

I couldn't stand by and watch. It hit too close to home. I had to run fast and far to get away and forget him. He weaseled his way into my life, making me question rules I lived by and turned my orderly life upside down. I'm falling apart and coming undone. I don't do that. I'm Madison Stuart. I live life by my rules. I won't be derailed by a man. I won't...I can't.

She's gone. I'm desperate and going insane. I'll do whatever it takes to find her. Nothing’s going to keep me away from her. I don't know when it happened, but I won't let her go, not like this. What has she done to me? I'm Rick Marin for crying out loud. I don't chase women, but she's not just any woman. She's Maddy—
my Maddy—and I need her.

Follow Rick and Madison’s story, 
The Do Over’s most notorious couple, as they learn that It’s Not Over.  

Add it to your TBR on GoodReads:

About A.L. Zaun:

A.L. Zaun graduated from Florida International University with a degree in English Literature when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and cellphones were the size of a brick. Her impressive degree did absolutely nothing for her professional endeavors in health care management but did stir her imagination and opened up the world of books in a new way. 

Armed with a large bottle of Diet Pepsi and a multi-pack of Extra Sugar-Free gum, A.L. Zaun spends her evenings bringing to life the characters that dominate her thoughts and interrupt her sleep.  

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Never Goodbye - Excerpt and Book Tour and Giveaway!

Never Goodbye
by Kerri Williams
Book Tour Hosted by
Book Geeks Unit

I absolutely love that quote right there, I would fight for my soul mate. I would fight for my husband. I love books that tell the story of true love and all the obstacles that stand in their way only to have true love win, in the end. 


If you had one chance to be with your soul mate, would you fight for it?

Sometimes the hardest fight isn't finding love, sometimes its fighting against the ticking clock of your life.

Stalked by the shadow of a foreboding disease, seventeen year old, Harper Kennedy finds herself starting a new life in Albany Missouri. With a ticking time bomb, a wall of quotes, a shell of a father and a brother who has no one else, Harper tries to get life in order for those she may be leaving behind.

But fate is cruel when it delivers temptation in the form of Vaun Campbell into her life; Vaun who is kind and sweet and completely out of her league on so many levels. How can Harper find love only to have it ripped away so soon? How can she put Vaun, who has faced more than his own fair share of loss and grief in the past, through all that again?


In one swift, deliberate movement I have her under me. My hands braced on either side of her head; they look big compared to her petite face. Her long hair is spread across the red blanket and I know I’ll keep that damn rug forever. I want to tell her about my tattoo, about my mother, but not now. I study her, her wide bright, blue eyes. They’re most phenomenal in the world; like the colour of the Blue Jays in my mother’s nesting box. I gaze at her for the longest time, our breaths mingling and that in itself has me thinking how much more I want her. Not just as friends, screw friendship. I want her to be mine, to hold her, to kiss her, to keep safe. I don’t even realise I’m getting closer to her until she licks her lips, almost touching mine and I can see she can’t deny what she’s feeling any more than I can. As soon as her eyes flutter closed I close my lips down on her and taste the deliciousness of my blue bird.

Book Links: Amazon; Goodreads

Meet Kerri Williams:

Some might say I shouldn’t be alive today…I like to think that I’m exactly where I should be! I’m a cancer survivor. A very lucky and thankful survivor. I had to fight hard and go through more than most teenagers and I hope I reflected some of the emotion into Harpers story. But firstly, let me tell you a little about my fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I was a typical teenager, 11 years old and just started high school and liking boys. I loved running and one day during a track run my groin began to hurt. Nothing outrageously out of the norm for a runner who didn’t stretch well and I put it down to a strain. I had a lingering cold, just like normal kids in the mountains, but what wasn’t normal was the lump in my groin. At eleven I didn’t know it shouldn’t be there. I thought it was just a gland, no biggy. I was very wrong. I went on for weeks with this cold and antibiotics, I and my children have been through them just this winter. The only difference was, this wasn’t just a cold. My last visit to the doctor, he was placing me on stronger drugs and asked if there was anything else bugging me and that’s when I said those three dreadful words…’My lump hurts.’ You can imagine the look between my mother and the doctor. From there it all happened quickly and was quite scary. I was rushed after hours for an Ultrasound and then straight to the Hospital. I didn’t even get to go home and grab Pyjamas, a book or anything. The very next day I was shipped to Campbelltown Childrens Hospital for more tests. Four scans and loads of needles later lying in a cold, hard hospital bed I remember my Dad coming into the room, his eyes bloodshot and he was crying. That’s when I learned I had two weeks to live. You couldn’t get much crappier odds then that. I cry now thinking of my Dad. For my parents who had their own pain. As a mother now, it’s more heartbreaking then going through it myself. I have no idea why, but they started me on aggressive Chemo anyway, denial maybe, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter now either, because it saved my life. I went through endless days of being sick, I would get sick as soon as I entered the hospital which was all in my head, but tell an 11 year old that. The smell for many years still made me sick. Scans, needles, drips, doctors and nurses. Day in, day out. That was my life and my monster. But you know what hurt me the most? Losing my hair. Pft. Sounds ridiculous, right. But imagine a teenage girl with long brown hair who attracted boys turning into a girl with no hair and was dying. Yeah I had beat the clock, but essentially, that’s what I was…a dying girl fighting for a little bit of normal. Needless to say, I beat that clock, beat it to pulp. I have had a couple of scares since, but I’m still kicking it strong and even showed all the specialist wrong by having two wonderful and gorgeous girls of my own after they swore I would not be able to have children. Although hubby thinks he is Superman and I let him. He is another story all together, he is my Vaun. I met Michael when I was sixteen at a party and let’s just say, from then on we have been living out a dream. He didn’t care about odds, illness or my lack of child bearing capabilities, he wanted me. He loved me. And so, here I am, surrounded by love, disease free and using it all in a book for you to read. My fight against the monster and my survival with love is all there for you to read mixed in with a great dash of fiction. Since writing this I have found a beautiful boy who is fighting his own monster and his family need our help. So I’m donating 50 cents in every e-book and $1.00 in every print to go to Chase and his family for as long as it works. His story I have added after mine. Show him the love too. I hope you enjoy my story and I look forward to hearing your feedback and reviews. Love, Kez

Author Links: WebsiteTwitter; Facebook; Goodreads

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Excerpt of Sorts of Roger William's Little Book of Virtues


In Roger Williams' Little Book of Virtues, a book that marks my first foray into the world of self-publishing, I delve into the life of my 11th and 12th great-grandfather to uncover the untold story behind this forgotten pioneer of religious liberty.  How can Roger Williams' life and ministry shed light on the role of individual beliefs within the context of a pluralized global culture?  

Throughout this short e-book (27,000 words, retail $4.99, pub date April 2013), I speak to those who share Williams' concerns about the historical influence of a politicized form of exclusionary Christian faith that enforces its will in the public square. In this age of horizontal social media where everyone can all state their views in the public arena, what prevents people from standing up to these modern-day Goliaths and taking away their media megaphone? Here I sees hope in the rise of the "nones" for a new conversation. Like Williams, these seekers follow their own spiritual path and create spaces that welcome all including women, people of color, LGBT folks and others marginalized by the institutional church.

Instead of an excerpt, Becky Garrison decided to share an article that she wrote on American Atheist. Here is the link to the article she wrote: Coming Home to a Carlin Companion.

About Becky Garrison:

On the same day that Princess Di was brought into this world tiara in hand, this Yankee gal with an accent befitting a Southern debutante was born breech first. Ever since my upside down birth, I have always viewed life from a unique perspective. "Becky, only you see it that way" is a frequent comment made by friends and relatives alike. I began writing for The Wittenburg Door in 1994 and contribute to a range of outlets including Washington Post's On Faith column, The Guardian's Belief section, Killing the Buddha, Geez, The Revealer, American Atheist magazine, Believe Out Loud, and The Religious Left.
The first video highlighted on my Amazon author site came from the documentary The Ordinary Radicals (; the second and third videos are from (props to Travis Reed); and the fourth is from the documentary Nailin' it to the Church (

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind Interview with George Lockie

When an author sets out to write a story, sometimes he brings in personal experience to the story. These stories are the ones that are made great because there is a real life element to them. This is the case with the next installment of Inside the Writer's Mind with George Lockie.

Welcome, George, to Inside the Writer's Mind.  I'll be asking you some questions, sort of picking your brain a little bit to get to know you as an author. Thank you for joining me. Ready?
Same DiNamics: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world?

George Lockie: I have been an avid reader all my life and having served in the British Army felt that there were two subjects relating to Army service that had never been adequately covered. I have tried to cover them in my two novels to date, Eye of the Hunter and Chameleon.

SD: Who has influenced you as an author?

GL: I became an avid Wilbur Smith follower and have read all his novels. Clive Cussler followed and lately Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy are my favourites. I generally read about four books a month, but lately with my Kindle have increased that.

SD: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?

GL: I suppose having a good basic theme and doing a lot of researching the subject, the timeline, the background adds meat to the basic skeleton and the novel takes shape. When I first start there is only about 40% of the final story clearly defined, the rest slowly just adds as you get into the plots and twists that occur sometimes overnight.

SD: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?

GL: I try and set a basic plan of one year from initial start to publish date with basic writing about half that and editing, reviewing, discussion with publishers the other half. I must admit with computers and Google it is so much quicker than by hand, I could not contemplate the work and effort authors faced prior to these advances.

SD: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it?

GL: I mentioned earlier two issues that prompted me to write my novels. Eye of the Hunter the first covers my belief that the bond that exists between serving personnel in the front line who rely day on day on the fact their lives are totally depended on their mates actions forms a relationship not easily disclosed. The final sacrifice of having to kill one of your closet mates in a death defying action and its effect on the mind are central to this novel. The second Chameleon involves the total disregard the Army appears to have for the servicemen it trains to kill without remorse or thought, who then return to a civilian life without any consideration how they will adapt to a changed environment.  My second novel covers what can happen when one goes rogue and seeks the old pleasure of killing he once enjoyed.

SD: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?

GL: They say that your first novel contains a lot of your own experiences and memories and in my case I agree with that. It is easier to recount actual happenings in your own life, your upbringing, your background, it adds colour to how you see things and you write accordingly. This dissipates as you become more assure in your researching and editor interface tends to help you become more professional in your approach. My third novel currently 75% complete has no link to my experiences at all except to locality and country.

SD: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

GL: I think everybody has a good story in them, it is the discipline, the planning and sticking to it that brings satisfaction. A good team to support, to critique and assist when needed is vital. This I have found reduces as you gain more exposure and learn the ropes.

SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share?

GL: The main difficulty I found occurs after you have your treasured offering ready for review. It is so difficult as a first author to gain any traction in the publishing field. Most editors will not even recognise your approach, others don't even read your submission before sending you brief refusal. There are a few exceptions and I found their reasons both constructive and meaningful and they helped immensely. I have self-published both my novels for this reason but feel much more comfortable my third one will be more what publishers will be looking for so I will try that route with more confidence.

~End Interview~

Synopsis of Chameleon:

Four brutal sadistic murders in multiple locations throughout the UK and committed by four totally different women, according to many reliable witnesses, have the Police Forces baffled. Investigations in all cases have come up against brick walls with no killers apprehended and all at dead ends.
All attacks are identical in method, weapon used and victims, suggesting perpetrators are linked in some way, could it be a vicious female gang. The latest incident draws a tough no nonsense Chief Inspector with a dedicated team of detectives who are determined to bring the killers in. They follow clues that drag them all over the UK as they doggedly follow their investigations relentlessly.
The murders also raise the interest of MI5 who recognise both the weapon and method as those taught to assassins in their service. Thinking it could be one of theirs gone rogue another team of dedicated hunters take to the field. It is their aim to nullify these targets before the public realise the ramifications and their involvement is made public.
Two fearless teams tracking the same killers with different ends in mind create chaos for their leaders one of which is located in both teams. Rory Glassen must tread carefully to protect his identity is not blown by the police before the killers are eliminated by his MI5 squad first.

Available at Amazon.

Synopsis of Eye of the Hunter:

The ability to kill without thought or remorse was bred into Rory from a very young age. Forced to live all alone by bigotry and ignorance he was isolated from the society of the day, with only a grandmother as support. He was born into the world with a German father and Scottish mother just after the First World War. His father’s subsequent death meant he was forced to raise himself in a wild place high in the Scottish mountains, where just surviving was extremely difficult. It was just before the outbreak of World War II that he came in contact with other male company as troops were sent into the mountains for training. Attracted to their disciplines and comradeship Rory was drawn into their world. He gained their respect and trust and felt for the first time in his life, needed.
Once the conflict was over however he had felt lost. He had been unable to return to his former life and eventually he decided to enlist. With his raw talents for survival, including killing without regret and with his physical attributes far above the norm, he rose quickly into a person to be respected in this new life. Forming a close association with another recruit, they slowly became noted as something different and were soon promoted.
This bond grew through years of service with the SAS and close encounters with enemy forces in many parts of the world. It was extremely valuable deep in enemy jungle and fighting as a small team, harassing much larger forces in the post war military struggle in Burma. Only when he was tested to the limit in frightening circumstances, which resulted in the death of his friend, did Rory crack. He was pitted against horrendous physical odds in a cruel jungle, which brought him to the edge of death. 
It was the unexpected appearance of the dreaded enemy leader who was to blame for Rory’s tragic killing of his friend that snapped him back to reality determined to seek revenge. The stalking and planning of this Russian’s execution, brings Rory back to earth.

About George Lockie

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1941. Married 1964 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Wife’s name is Avril.
I have two children, Darren 46 and Vanessa 40.

Enjoyed six years service in the Parachute Regiment in the British Army. 1960/65 mainly in Middle East and Europe. We migrated as a family to Australia in 1965 seeking new challenges and a different lifestyle in a more exciting environment. Travelled extensively worldwide whilst employed by a major Australian International Packaging Group, as National Operations Manager a senior management role. 1986/2003

Started writing in 1995 as I felt that the Army relationships and strong emotional bonds that are created in life threatening experiences in the field had not been exposed or described adequately in the novels I had read. My first novel tried to cover that. It takes place post WW1 through to Post WW2. The second novel, a follow up military story again covering a subject not exposed as a problem before. My third, just in the initial stages, is another military novel again covering a very unique aspect of specialised training and human capability.

Written two novels – 1st Eye of the Hunter. (Thriller, suspense.)             
                                     2nd Chameleon. (Suspense, thriller, crime.)

                                     3rd Novel. (Military, MI5, suspense)

All novels are linked by a common major character Rory Glassen, a ruthless dedicated soldier with extraordinary senses and physical attributes gleaned from his childhood upbringing alone in the Scottish Glens. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Capitol Hell Book Review

Recently, I mentioned that I signed up with IndieView to receive book for review. The next book I'm reviewing is a request from an author with IndieView. 

Capitol Hell
Jayne J. Jones & Alicia M. Long


When recent college graduate Allison Amundson, a small town girl from South Dakota, lands the highly sought after job of scheduler to the newly-elected and rising star of the United States Senate, Senator Anders McDermott III, she thinks she is on the fast track to success.

However, she quickly learns that crazy co-workers, a high maintenance boss, an over-the-top family and an unexpected Presidential bid make Capitol Hill seem even more dysfunctional than portrayed on TV. In fact, it is Capitol Hell.

The second Allison sets foot in the prestigious Senate Russell Building, things begin to go awry. Allison soon realizes her co-workers consist of a Chief of Staff who has little to no control over the antics in the office, a Press Secretary who is not only pompous, but who is constantly primping and preening, and worst of all the Senator himself, who cares more about his rise to fame than the people of Minnesota. 

As Allison struggles to juggle a new career, her blooming love interest in Cam (a quiet but loyal Legislative Assistant), and her ever-declining bank account, she is comforted only by her co-worker Janet, a fireplug who spends the majority of her time on-line dating, trying to land a Senator of her own. 

Just as Allison and Janet begin to figure out the ins and outs of Capitol Hill, their lives are turned upside down when Senator McDermott announces his bid for President of the United States. Soon, Allison and Janet find themselves at the center of one of the craziest campaigns in history, and hilarity ensues.

This off-beat, funny novel captures and shares what it is like to be a young staffer working on Capitol Hill. 

Title: Capitol Hell
Authors: Jayne J. Jones & Alicia M. Long
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press (September 4, 2012)

Capitol Hell is certainly not what I expected. I knew it was going to be a story based on "politics" and I wasn't sure how I was going to like it. 

I gave it a chance because the blurb suggested that humor was involved. I must say, I had several laugh out loud moments while reading the book.

While it was centered in Capitol Hill, politics central, it certainly did not have that political feeling to it. Yes, it talked about politics but the story was so much more than that. 

It was about these two young girls, Allison being the MC, who venture into the real world of work and what's it's like to make a living out of meager wages while trying to maintain a positive outlook on life (and maintain their sanity).  

I found myself rooting for these characters to be winners. Through out the story they are faced with obstacles that would have definitely made me quit or go mental on someone. These obstacles and challenges they faced are so outrageous that I found myself wondering if they were real. I did email one of the authors and just had to ask. She confirmed that yes, these situations were indeed very real. Wow.. is all I can say. I give respect to the authors for having survived their encounters.

There was one character who I wanted to reach into the book and just shake some sense into him. Sadly, there are really people out there like him. 

I have to say, I did learn something from the book, ATD... Attention To Detail. I never realized how much planning and attention to detail goes into making sure a politicians schedule runs smoothly. Not that I need to know but it's good to have ATD so I can put that into use at home. 

Now, I realize that this story shows us just a small glimpse into life of staffers on Capitol Hill. I also realize that not all politicians and staffers are like the ones mentioned in the book. It sure did make for some entertaining reading though. I have to say that while I was reading the book, I thought about the political drama House of Cards. The book reminded me briefly of the show. I remember seeing an interview with Kevin Spacey where he was questioned about how he depicts politicians. He said something along the lines of not all politicians are like his character but there are some out there like that. Well, that's how I took the story to be like. The politician and staffers represented in the book are far and few in between (I hope!). I would like to think that those living on Capitol Hill and who represent our country are far more nicer than the one in the book. However, the one depicted in this story sure did make for a good, funny, laugh out loud read. 

Do I recommend this story? I do. I really enjoyed reading it. I couldn't put it down because I needed to read the antics these two staffers were going through and how they would survive and get out of their current situation. If you want a laugh out loud funny book that will leave you feeling good in the end, I recommend this story. The heroines truly come out shining in the end. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind - Interview with Fiona McGlynn and Review of i and the Great Divide

Normally, I share Inside the Writer's Mind interviews on Wednesdays but being that I can share an interview whenever, :-), I decided to share this one.

When I got the request to review i and the Great Divide I decided to go ahead and offer an interview plus do a mini review, of sorts.

Info on the book:

I and the Great Divide” is an illustrated children’s book, designed to leave kids in divorce feeling loved, peaceful, and self-expressed

In a world where alphabet letters are people, word families can go through big changes just like human families can.

The letter "i" experiences this one day when her parents, "t" and "n" start to fight. "i" gets into all kinds of trouble as she tries to make things go back to the way they were. Just when things can't get worse, she experiences a transformation that leaves her feeling loved, happy and grateful for her family (and the changes too!)

The book has received great feedback from across North America.

"We all are capable of making a difference in the life of a child… 'I and the Great Divide' … takes this truth into the challenges a child may face with the separation of parents. [A situation] that needs to be handled with this level of care, sensitivity and understanding. Well done."
Fred Penner, Family Entertainer

Author, Fiona McGlynn wrote the book with her own parent’s divorce in mind. “As a child, I blamed myself for what was going on between my parents. I wrote “i and the Great Divide” to help kids feel loved and to create an open family discussion on divorce.”

Welcome, Fiona, to Inside the Writer's Mind.  I'll be asking you some questions, sort of picking your brain a little bit to get to know you as an author. Thank you for joining me. Ready? 

Same DiNamics: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world? 

Fiona McGlynn: About a year ago I received two wonderful pieces of advice on living passionately that inspired me to write “i and the Great Divide”. A mentor of mine said, “If you want to be passionate in life then look at the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome and help the next generation overcome it”. I thought about my internal struggle with parents’ divorce as a kid and decided that was something I could help other kids overcome. The other piece of advice was from my boyfriend. He suggested that I start doing all of the things I loved most as a child. One of these things happened to be writing so I decided to write a book for kids on divorce.

SD: Who has influenced you as an author? 

FMc: The greatest influencers on my writing are kids. We took rough drafts of “i and the Great Divide” into several schools and the kids co-created the story with us, helping to shape the message and illustrations.

SD: Can you share how you came up with the concept of using letters to share the story? 

FMc: I chose alphabet letters because I was looking for characters that existed both individually and in groups (like families). I was up North playing Boggle with Robin’s family one morning and the idea popped into my head. I later chose the letter “I” as the main character to help kids personally identify while reading the story.

SD: How long did it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to illustrating it and getting it published? 

FMc: From start to finish it was a six-month process. I wrote the first draft in a day and then revised it with teachers, parents, and kids for five months. Robin was illustrating for five months, adapting to incorporate the kid’s feedback. The last month was mostly getting the word out there.

SD: Why should I read it? 

FMc: I think this is a relevant topic for all families (divorced or not). Families in divorce should read “i and the Great Divide” to start a conversation about divorce. It’s very common for kids to internalize a lot of what’s going on around them and this creates a negative internal dialogues “my family is broken”, “I’m not good enough”, etc. Having family conversations about divorce can do wonders to undo these kinds of thoughts. I also think it’s a great read for families who are not in divorce as it gives kids insight into the changing family situations of other children they may know.

SD: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?

FMc: Quite a bit! I based the character of the child going through divorce on my experiences/emotions as a child with my own parents’ divorce.

SD: What advice would you give to someone who has a story that needs to be shared?  

FMc: My advice is that they get it out there as soon as possible. Even if their topic is something that’s very well covered you just never know how one individual’s voice can make a difference in someone else’s life. For example, assume you write a children’s book on the virtue of sharing. There may be a lot of books on this but your voice could make the difference for one child where no other voice could. 

SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share? 

FMc: Nope – great questions!

~End Interview~

I had an opportunity to read i and the Great Divide, I love how Fiona uses letters as characters. Letters make up words in many different ways. The thought of using one letter, such as "i", in many different ways can help to bring across the message that families are made up of different characteristics and traits. Families are those who love us, help us and make us better individuals. 

As a child, my mother and father were never married but not together either, so yes, I did grow up in a single parent home. While I didn't blame myself for that, it was what I knew, there were times that I wished both my parents lived together. i and the Great Divide teaches children that is not their fault why their mommies and daddies are no longer married. Most importantly, it teaches parents to always remember to show that love and compassion they have for their children each and everyday. Listen to your children, cue in on behaviors displayed and keep an open communication all the time. 

I would certainly recommend this story to everyone. Like Fiona said, even children whose parents aren't divorced should be exposed to this story. It teaches them that families come in all different shapes and sizes. 

About the author and illustrator:

Fiona McGlynn

Fiona grew up on the West Coast with a love of stories. Like i, Fiona's family changed when she was young. Fiona found this hard at the time but later realized that it had all worked out for the best. She wrote "i and the Great Divide" to help others with changing families. Fiona loves to play ukulele, climb rocks, sail boats, and curl up with a good cup of tea and a book.

Robin Urquhart

Robin was born and raised in Canada’s great white North.  His father, a well-known Northern cartoonist, instilled in him a love for bringing stories to life through pictures.  In addition to drawing, he loves animals, climbing and playing music. Robin lives in an igloo (not true) and takes a dogsled to school everyday (also not true).

Social Media links and buy link:
Book Website:
Facebook Page:
Google+ Page:
You can purchase the book on Amazon.