Category Archives: Indie authors
Guess what? We’ve got news!
Fans of Alex’s should be super-stoked to find out that while she’s waiting on the latest round or revisions to come back for book two in the Blood Chord series, Alex decided to start a whole new series! Drumroll, please…
Introducing The Crow series!
Crow: Episode One is live on Amazon now and Alex has committed to getting out a new episode monthly. Plus, she’s asking for reader interaction! Alex wants to know what you, the reader thinks, where you see things going for the main characters, and anything else you want to say about Crow. Who knows, you could end up influencing the story in a big way!
Here’s the blurb for Crow: Episode One:
Cassiopeia “Pia” Alexander is just your typical college student. She can’t pick a major, her love life is virtually non-existent and the only thing good in her life seems to be her job as an Animal ER Nurse. Even that doesn’t feel like enough, though.
Beylin Callaghan is one of the Brotherhood tasked to give souls a winged-ride from one life to the next, and to remove the memories from each soul so that they can start with a fresh slate in their new incarnations.
But he’s keeping a secret– a secret that when exposed, will bind Pia’s fate to his own. For better or worse.
Crow: Episode One is novella length (approx. 9,000 words) and is the first installment in this new adult fantasy series. Subsequent episodes will be released on a monthly basis and fans are encouraged to visit Alex’s website to influence the outcome of the overall story.
You can read more about the Crow series, and get the updated release links and schedule by visiting Alex’s site.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve been putting off writing a review of this book, because I just don’t think any collection of words that I can come up with will do it justice. It’s good, so very good that I’d like to take it home with me at closing time.
It may be a memoir, but All the Wild Children reads more like a cross-genre novel (hints of literary, suspense, coming of age, etc.) Like Stallings’ other books, the writing in this book is gut-punch powerful. The bit about the boys being home alone when (can’t say…spoiler!) gave me rolling waves of goose-bumps that lasted damn near five minutes.
Despite having a sh*tty lot-of-it as a child, Stallings isn’t blaming anyone, so much as just telling it like it was. And brilliantly, I might add. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but hopefully once you read this memoir you’ll understand.
One thing I loved is the way Stallings spins a phrase. There were several examples in this book, but the one I loved the most is the one that went something like “This will read better then it lived.” Hell, I probably butchered that one too.
So I’m yelling at you now– go read All The Wild Children. Then check out the novels by Stallings. Your gray matter will thank you.
- Quickie Book Review – Out There Bad by Josh Stallings (quirkygurl.com)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read the first novel by Stallings (Beautiful, Naked & Dead) and loved that one, so I don’t know why I was surprised to find myself deeply engrossed in Out There Bad as well. Maybe it’s because I never love books in a series equally– they’re a bit like children in their own unique way with good points and mediocre points.
But Stallings hit another grand-slam with this one. I finished it well over a week ago and bits of it still haunt me, and my heart breaks all over again for Moses and everything that haunts him so. I don’t know how Stallings does it; he turns readers inside-out, flips them around and drops us on our tails with a thud. And we beg like children, “Do it again!”
Damn fine writing.
Fast, gritty and real is this novel. Don’t dawdle. Read it.
Out There Bad is just bad, man.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve read (and loved) the first book in the Breakers series, finding it extremely well-written and creative to the Nth degree. So it’s no surprise that I was sucked into this novella with such force that my neck feels a little stiff
While the series starts out during the tail-end of the viral outbreak, this novella goes back to the beginning and shows the reader exactly how mankind fell so quickly. I adored the characters and the plot. Robertson paints a vivid picture of just how wrong things can go, and how basic liberties can been taken away in the blink of an eye, and without one’s knowledge even. And it’s all in the name of the Greater Good.
Worth reading. But don’t stop there– go on to read the series as well!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have so many good things to say about this book. First, it’s a very well written novel and the intricate weaving of a couple of timelines was done very well. The characters, while not always likeable, rang true and clear. The setting and descriptions made it easy to transport myself to this strange land as I read along.
The author’s take on the Wyrding and spells was a breath of fresh air, as was her take on fairies. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes their fantasy/ paranormal to have a creative flair.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s not everyday that a book can be depressing one minute and funny the next. Or suspenseful. Or both. But this novel manages to run the gamut of human emotions, much like real life.
I found the writing to be exquisite and insightful. Most of the character’s were fully fleshed-out and just quirky enough to feel real and not contrived.
I’m still thinking about this book a few days later, so that has to tell you something about it’s ability to invade your neural pathways and hang around for a while!
Read it. Seriously.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes a book is so richly woven that it takes on a life of it’s own, projecting itself in vivid technicolor upon the inner walls of ones mind. Asleep Without Dreaming is one such novel.
Decidedly literary and with a healthy dose of suspense and a light sprinkling of young-love, I was pulled into the dysfunctional relationship that the main character Willa had with her mother, Stella.
And that Stella, let me tell you, is a piece of work.
The author gives us glimpses throughout the novel of Stella’s ways, slowly revealing her character or lack thereof. Meanwhile Willa, who has always had to rely on herself (even as a hungry child stealing vegetables from the neighboring gardens under the cover of night)is uprooted by her flighty mother in the middle of the night to head out for parts unknown. Unfortunately, car trouble takes the drifting mother and daughter of the road completely. Add and escaped convict on the loose, and arsonist, a nosy camp owner and a troubled young handyman, and the ingredients are all there for a life-changing time for Willa as she grows into adulthood.
The cast of characters were all very well developed, even the one that you never actually see. So much so, that I found myself getting mad once or twice like it was my own mother ticking me off and not poor Willa’s mother.
While reading this novel, I could smell the lake and ash drifting on the wind, I could feel the sticky summer heat, taste the sugary bottled pop. Barabara Forte Abate is clearly gifted with the ability to write more than just a good story, as she paints people and places to life with the sure, fine brush strokes of a Master.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Although not my usual genre, I found myself captivated by this novel, Breakers. It was like watching the downfall of man-kind in technicolor. In fact, I could see this novel hitting the big screen at some point.
Although (to me) it started a little sluggish, within a few pages I was hooked and I ended up reading Breakers in one sitting. I won’t mention that I completely forgot about a “thing” I was supposed to attend, and instead spent the time deeply invested in the characters and their tribulations.
I found the premise a unique amalgam of the typical apocalyptic books. There’s a pandemic that kills off most of civilization. Aliens come to take over. And both are tied together seamlessly in this novel. So much so, that it was totally believable, and I didn’t even have to worry with suspending my beliefs.
The writing was fluid and sometimes so perfect I had to highlight certain phrases in my Kindle app. I don’t do that often, so that’s saying something. I love how Robertson gives us independent characters without the dreaded author-injection, letting the reader decide what they are thinking or feeling.
Overall an extremely well-done novel and I’d recommend it to just about anyone– not just readers of sci-fi or end-of-the-world tales.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great book, started off with a bang and pretty much kept up the page-turning pace. With the creepy fog comes danger and something no mother ever wants to have to deal with…she has to let a madman walk out of the door with her six year old son.
Overall the book clipped along at a good pace and was well plotted. It had a few twists that I didn’t see coming, a suspenseful (sometimes too suspenseful) story line, and flawed characters. Tardif has a knack for setting a creepy scene and found myself with goosebumps more than once. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes suspenseful, twisty novels with great settings and a flawed heroine that just needs to find her strength to come out the other side.
View all my reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read a short story by PJ Jones (Ralphie the “Special” Werewolf, I think it was) in an anthology collection, I already knew the Jones has some serious comedic chops. So I expected this novel to be funny based on that and of course the cover. And it was… that’s quirky-funny, not silly-funny. There is a big difference.
What I wasn’t expecting was for Driving Me Nuts to have some substantial meat to it as well. Funny yes, but only funny– no. In fact, the absurd/ crazy moments balance out the more serious notes perfectly, making for a complex, satisfying novel.
And what better way to deal with life in all it’s craptastic glory, than to inject a little humor into it? In the end, I knew those damn nut-jobs, felt like they were friends or neighbors. Who am I kidding– they were my kin
Excellent fast-paced, quirky plot, tight writing and 3-D :jump out at you” characters. I will not hesitate to read more books my PJ Jones. In fact, I’m off to search for whatever else she’s written.
As an aside, Amazon Select seems to have lost it’s luster (more on that once I get all my thoughts together) so I’ve decided to go ahead and burn through the last few freebie days I have left with the newly released Kill Me.
Download Kill Me for FREE only on May 14th or 15th, 2012 here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007UPOLR6
It’s day eleven of the blog tour and today over on Masquerade Crew is a review of Kill Me! So hop on over there and check out what Mark has to say about the debut of the Blood Chord Series!
4 Star Review: “The biggest thing for me that brought it down to a 4 from a 5 was the amount of sexual material.”
(Blushes… what can I say? I like my vamps with a little bit of heat )
And don’t forget to enter to one one of the Fab prizes for the Kill Me end-of-tour Giveaway!!
I thought I’d have a little fun today by interviewing the main character from the new release, Kill Me. So put your paws together and lets extend a warm welcome to our guest Claire!
Come on in Claire, grab a seat and settle in. Would you like something to drink? A glass of Merlot perhaps?
Hi! Thanks for having me… mind if I sit over here? No offense, but it’s been a few days since I last fed, and you’re smelling extremely scrumptious today.
Uh, sure. Make yourself comfortable on the stool waaaaay over there in the corner. So nothing to drink? Wait… never mind.
It’s okay. I’m getting used to my diet and I have it under control now, mostly. It’s been quite an adjustment though. By the way, I love what you’ve done with the place. It’s just so… you!
Aww, thanks! I’ve put a lot of thought into the decor. I call it Controlled Chaos Chic. Though to be fair, my husband gets the credit for the Deer heads. And any crumbs/trash/toys would be courtesy of the kids. But I’m sure you understand about all of that.
Do I ever. My daughter’s nine now and it’s a good thing I don’t need to sleep, because my house is in a constant state of disaster. From weird science experiments to makeup and shoes (oh, lord the shoes!) her mess is spread from one end of the house to the other.
You just moved too. I bet that’s kept you busy.
Yes, we did. Within a few days of getting back from my trip to Florida, I found the perfect house for me and Quinn. It’s out by itself, so I don’t have to worry about any nosy neighbors. We’ve got a a sunset view of the creek that will make your eyes water.
That’s great! I’m glad you were able to find something that would work for you guys. And so fast!
Oh, I got lucky. The owners needed cash and I came into some money recently, so I offered a bonus if they could move out within a week. It was a win-win for both of us.
That was lucky. What did you do, win the lottery or something?
Or something… I probably shouldn’t tell you this since they frown on humans knowing our business, but during my trip, I received a nice chunk of change. You could call it an inheritance, but I’ve come to think of it as my Vampire Disability Fund. Because, you know, being a vampire is a huge disadvantage, at least in the begginning. We can’t go out in the sun (most can’t anyway) which makes things like grocery shopping, school plays, and errands super-hard to accomplish. Keeping a job is almost impossible until you get the hang of everything. I won’t even mention how difficult it is to be around friends and family when all you want to do is sink your teeth into them.
Wow, I’d never thought about it like that. I thought being a Vampire was all glamour and romance and crazy supernatural abilities. Seems like the reality of living as a Vampire is something that popular culture glosses over.
Exactly. As my maker, Bette once told me, “Do not believe everything you read or see on television about us. Books and movies often make stuff up for the purpose of entertainment.”
Twilight-Smilight. I’d like to see that little waif of an actress try to work a blood-drive at her child’s school on a sunny Saturday in April. Or figure out how to pretend to eat in front of a child that doesn’t miss a thing.
We live in the land of sun and sand. I’m outside 4-5 times a day, so I’ve had to get creative with things. I have my daughter to think about and I wanted to live as normal as possible. Certainly makes life harder, but I wouldn’t change a thing about our lives now.
It sounds like you’re happy! I’m glad it’s all working out for you. I image that blood drive was something to see too!
Yes, that was a very interesting day. I came home hungrier than I’ve ever been in my life, only to find out that power had gone out while I was gone and my bags of “dinner” were ruined. Good thing I knew where some takeout was!
Too funny! Now, you’ve mentioned your trip several times, and I’m wondering if that’s where your story begins?
Yes, it was. I went to Florida a harried working-mother and came back as something completely different. I blame the violin.
Care to elaborate? Come now, don’t be shy. It’s just us girls here.
Well, it called to me from down the aisle and brought me to Bette and her collection of antique instruments. Then she put the stupid thing in my hands and told me to play it!
Before that, I was normal— I cooked, cleaned and brought home every bit of the bacon. I thought I had life figured out, but I had everything so completely wrong that it’s almost comical. Now the husband is a non-issue, my freakish talents are not of the domestic variety, and being a good mother just became a whole lot tougher.
Holy-Llamas. That was rather on the cryptic side, don’tcha think? Is that all you’re going to give us?
Yep. If you want to know more, you’ll just have to read the book. Anyway, I’ve got to run. I’m due to pick up Quinn from school in a few minutes so she can get to her softball game on time. Yeah, I know. Softball game, vampire Mom– an odd combination, right?
It sure is! Well, it was great having you on the site Claire. Maybe you can come back some time to keep us posted on how abnormally-normal your life is? In the meantime, we can get the scoop from the novel you star in, KILL ME, correct?
Yep! It has a little bit of everything: mystery, magic, suspense, some smoking-hot romance, a sprinkling of rockin’ music and the occasional stripper pole. Oh, and a haunted violin. I can’t forget that, it started everything off.
No need to sell me on it. That sounds like my kind of book Thanks again for stopping by. Give Quinn my best! Ciao’
If you’d like to read more about Claire and her life-changing business trip, check out the newly released novel Kill Me, Book One of the Blood Chord series, by Alex Owens. And do an Indie Author a solid and tweet, FB or share this interview or the book link with your friends and enemies. They’ll appreciate the gesture.
Three days ago, she was a wife, a mother, and very much alive… then the music called for her.
Kill Me, the debut novel from author Alex Owens, is a quirky paranormal fantasy complete with music, magic, fangs and freaks. It is also the first in a planned series, with the second book due out by the Fall of 2012. Be forewarned, this is not your daughter’s paranormal.
Also, being the slacker that I am, I neglected to post to let everyone know that Kill Me was featured over on the fabulous Heidi Hall’s website yesterday, so please so hop on over there and take a gander
If you’d like to participate in the Release Blog Tour for Kill Me, more information can be seen here on the Blood Chord series web site.