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Quickie Book Review – One More Body by Josh Stallings

One More BodyOne More Body by Josh Stallings

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Flabbergasted. Sated. Speechless. Once again, I am in awe of the tale spun by the Josh Stallings in this third (and final?) book of this series. The man is a flipping genius. The kind of genius that other writers would kill to be.

I finished it yesterday, and my brain is still processing it all. I feel like one of those characters at the end of a high-stakes, gritty action movie– walking away bloody and gimpy, with rubble and destruction settling behind me. I feel victorious, heroic and tarnished. I’m pretty sure this is one book that I fell into, lived and breathed. It, and the first two books in the series, have changed me at the molecular level. I’m wearing the battle scars proudly, right along side of Moses and Freedom and the rest of the colorful cast of characters.

I could yammer on about Stallings’ ability to write vivid, action-packed scenes. Or his way of cutting down to the root of humanity’s cancerous underbelly, his minimalistic (and poetic) descriptions, or even his way of flavoring a story with spices from all walks of life. But I won’t– you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

There was one quote I want to leave you with, from near the end of One More Body:
“They say time heals all wounds. Bullsh*t. Time just gives you enough scar tissue to make it bearable.”

Yes, yes it does, Moses.

Earn a Free Copy of SKIN by Alex Owens

As a special thank you for everyone who joins our mailing list to receive infrequent updates, we are giving away copies of the short story collection SKIN, by Alex Owens!

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For the entire month of October, to honor the spooky, strange and downright creepy, all you have to do is sign up through our mailing list. Once the month has ended, expect an email with the download code for a FREE copy of SKIN! See, easy-peasy!

To Sign up: http://eepurl.com/eaOhH

Or, you can capture the QR code and sign up that way!

What Readers are Saying About Skin:

“SKIN features three short stories, all well-written. The author has a definite talent … I predict great success for Alex Owens, a genuine storyteller in the best traditions of the art form.” from Karen Wodke on LibraryThing.com

“…definitely interesting and unusual-not found in any other book that this reader knows of. This book is recommend to adults who enjoy the odd side of genres…“ from Krystal on GoodReads About SKIN: Short Fiction

“Well written book with dark twisty tales. I recommend this book.” from KarenW on GoodReads.com

A Blade Away by Jack Wallen – Book Review

A Blade AwayA Blade Away by Jack Wallen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are two kinds of “disturbing” novels, the kind that splashes blood and depravity around for cheap shock value, and the other kind- a novel so delicately contstructed that the reader goes willingly into that dark night. And such is the case with this novel, A Blade Away. The journey, while disturbing, reads honest and true. The details maybe gruesome at times, but what other than horrendous acts of violence could give birth to a serial killer who doesn’t even realize that’s what he’s become. Not to sound like a PSA, but serial killers are people too, though society often forgets that. Wallen has given us a complex bad-guy with deep battle scars and a warped sense of purpose. Serial Killers may not think like the average person, but they do think and feel just ilke the rest of us. Wallen is that good… I found myself both repulsed by and empathetic towards the twisted Doctor at the same time.

In the other corner, battling against evil and a narrow-minded boy’s club is Detective Jamie Davenport. Along with her unofficial partner Skip, Jamie is plunged headfirst into Louisville transgendered community. Whle battling a downright frigid work environment, her neglected libido and potentially complicated relationship issues, Jamie must track down the killer before another person falls victim – or before the Chief busts her back down to desk work.

I’ve said before that the hallmark of a good book is two-fold: If you’re tired the next morning from staying up late to read just one more chapter (and then another, and another) and if your mind revisits parts of the novel days, weeks, or even months later, like remembered reaility instead of a fictional account. A Blade Away had me on both counts. If Wallen can handle serial killers, the transgendered, cross-dressers and the suspense genre in such a creative, finely-tuned, and insightful way as he’s done with A Blade Away, then I can’t wait to read his other novels!

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Co-Authoring Trend on the Rise

 I noticed, while preparing to read the James Patterson book  below, that he had a co-author for this book. This triggered the standard domino chain of synapses firing, and I remembered other Patterson books that were also co-authored. I had to ask myself, why in the world this commercially successful author needed someone to help him write books? This was a question that I had to answer.

After some searching on the net, a little bit of Partypoker, and 1/2 of a blueberry bagel, I found what I was looking for.

POP-QUIZ:

–Is Patterson so benevolent that he grabs an aspiring author up by the shirtcollars, effectively saying, “Here my child! Hitch your wagon to my Star!” while posing for the photogs?

–Has Patterson written so many dang-blasted books that he can no longer grasp that illusive *unique* idea?

–Has Patterson fallen into a deep coma, prompting a greedy agent/ publisher to hire someone to churn out more money makers?

THE ANSWER: none of the above.

Publicity and Money seem to be the key to this mystery.

You see, shrewd Patterson has decided to use his notoriety in conjunction with a struggling writers time. It seems dear Patterson makes the outline, and co-A drafts the first full novel. A round of “change this” or “try something different here” ensues, then out pops a blue-faced spanking new novel a la’ Patterson.

Ingenious really. With co-authors, Patterson can mass produce original books (kind-of) that don’t suck, while reaping in the extrapolated royalties.

Patterson is a man with his eyes on the prize! 

 

***So I wrote thisa while back, and addled-brained me forgot to post it. Still though, I think the topic is one of interest to writers as we see more and more co-authored novels hit the market.

 

 

Not What She Seems – Book Review

Not What She SeemsNot What She Seems by Victorine E. Lieske
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a fast-paced, quick read that will keep you up past your bed time if you’re not careful. There is an underlying romance, but I didn’t find that aspect as captivating as I’d normally like- but perhaps that fault is mine ( I’m used to fiction that’s a little more PG-13) but while I wished there had been a little more depth in the relationship, the rest of the novel was very well plotted. Part thriller, part mystery, this book succeeds in melding genres with finesse. The characters are rich and detailed, and coupled with the exceptional writing, the story as a whole sings true and clear.

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Origin by JA Konrath- a book review

Origin - A TechnothrillerOrigin – A Technothriller by J.A. Konrath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Origin by JA Konrath

As a long-time fan of Michael Crichton and Steven King, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that reminded me how fantastic a book like Origen could be to get lost in. Throw in the clergy who are debating over what exactly the captured creature is, and you have elements similar to something of Dan Brown’s. Don’t worry though, the author, JA Konrath has made this story all his own with original plotting, spot on details and a true understanding of what would scare the beejesus out of a reader.

This book doesn’t disappoint and anyone who likes thrillers with sound science and enough detail to make the story more than plausible should get this book now. As a writer, the research that must have gone into this book would have been a lot to keep up with, from over a hundred years of presidential history, genome mapping, religious and scholarly discourse, and all the way back to cellular biology and linguistics.

This story is a fast paced, terrifying ride through the secret government experimental station where all Hell breaks loose, literally. Well done, Mr. Konrath!