Dwarves In Space by Sabrina Zbasnik

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Dwarves In Space by Sabrina Zbasnik

 

DIS coverBook DescriptionThousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans.

Dwarves in Space is Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a horrific transporter accident.

The Elation-Cru is not the flashiest ship, nor the newest, or even has all of its bolts attached; but she can fly. Well, sort of wade through space, and that’s when all the parts are working. She supports a sugar addicted dwarven pilot, an elven engineer, an orcish doctor, a silent djinn, and the lone human trying to hold the entire thing together with duct tape. Variel, the captain, has been hiding from a secret for the past five years and time’s finally run out.

When she goes against her common sense and fights to save her onboard assassin/renter from a job gone sour, she finds herself before an ex-colleague that knew her in her previous life as the Knight of the realm. The entire ship is sent on a mad dash across the universe — from a decaying space station, home to the wackiest species the galaxy has to offer, down to the Orc homeworld, which wouldn’t be so bad if Variel hadn’t spent most of her previous life fighting in the war against them. Chances of survival are nil and slipping fast.

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

My Review: I love this book and I fully intend to read it again. It’s smart, funny, and so sharp that you could use it to open a spaceship like a tin can. Okay I’ll leave the humor to Sabrina Zbasnik.

This book has everything that I loved about The Kings Blood and more. (Like space. At some point I became a space opera junkie.) Memorable characters and the best one liners anywhere are what I have come to expect from Sabrina Zbasnik. She delivers on an intergalactic scale. ( I swear that was the last bad space joke. Promise.)

If you read the book description above then you saw this book described as “Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a horrific transporter accident.” I completely agree with that. I would also say that there is some Firefly and Red Dwarf thrown in too for good measure. These are just a few of my favorite things.

I have to admit that I’m not really one for humor. There aren’t many things that I find funny but I find Sabrina Zbasnik’s humor completely accessible. She snatches the funny from thin air and shows us what was hiding there. It’s very clever and everyone knows how much I appreciate clever. I LOVED this book. Fun, funny, and entertaining this book has it all. It will be on my list of best books of 2015.

My only problem with Sabrina Zbasnik’s books is that they contain such epic stories that I can’t do them justice. I never know where to start and I can’t adequately describe how I feel about them because so much happens. She manages to make all the story lines important and none of them suffer as a result. It is my humble opinion that it takes a unique talent to pull that off. She honestly does write Tolkien- like stories.

Dwarves in Space will be released April 8th.

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Try our other reviews from this author:

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100 Malicious Little Mysteries

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100 Malicious Little Mysteries

100MMM Book Description: Charmingly insidious and satisfyingly devious, these 100 baffling little mysteries—selected by such prominent authors as Isaac Asimov—are just the thing to suit your most malevolent mood. These tales come from the pen of many well-known writers in the field, including Michael Gilbert, Edward Wellen, Edward D. Hack, Bill Bronzini, Lawrence Treat, and Francis Nevins, Jr. Whether it’s “The Unfriendly Neighbor,” or a “Class Reunion,” “A Recipe for Revenge,” or “An Exercise in Insurance,” these stories are sure to keep you up all night, puzzling over their possible solutions. Each one has its own particular and irresistible appeal: an unexpected twist, a delectable puzzle, a devastating revelation, or perhaps even a refreshing display of pernicious spirit.

My Review: As far as I’m concerned this is the ultimate collection of short stories. It’s been a favorite of mine for years. I go back to it over and over. A lot of these stories were written before I was even born but they stand the test of time.

These stories are very well written and completely entertaining. I even enjoy the stories where I don’t understand the twist.

There are a few stories that I have read a dozen times. A Matter of Life and Death by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg may be my favorite short story in this collection. It is told through a series of letters from Herman Skolnick to a variety of people. He wants an answer to the question: Is there life after death? He gets several answers that urge him in different directions that all lead him to the same place to spend time and money. They want him to spend time and money on their products. I won’t spoil the end. It’s very clever and I enjoyed that the story was told in an unconventional way.

Most of these stories are very short. Perfect Pigeon is only two pages and manages to entertain while getting directly to the point. There is a story in this book for everyone. I love it an so will you.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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by Gillian Flynn

Book Summary:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?    As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

My Review:

This is one of those times I am not sure where to begin.  I picked up Gone Girl because it was on sale and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I could not put this book down.  Amy and Nick are two of the most messed up characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about.

The book goes back and forth between the perspectives of Nick and Amy.  There are three parts to the book a before, during and after if you will.  We first meet Amy as she narrates her story through her diary and Nick tries to decipher the clues she has left for him from her anniversary treasure hunt. Let me break it down individually.

Let’s start with Nick. He is portrayed in a way that makes him out to be the bad husband. Not that he is a great husband.  He lacks the interest that should help him through the clues.  But then again a lot of men I know don’t listen. He does things or says things through out that make you wonder did he do it or is he telling the truth.

Then there is Amy.  Oh Amy.  Let me state first that I had heard all about the book before I started reading so I knew what was to come. Amy comes across as your “All American Girl”  she is the apple of her parents eye, the inspiration for their books and just an all around good girl.  Or is she?  She is a master manipulator who knows the value of patients.

I could not put this book down.  It was well thought out, well written and well executed. I was completely drawn into this malfunctioning family and couldn’t wait to see where the story would take us next.  temp-4

 

 

 

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Original background image by Lisa Runnels at publicdomainimages.net

 

 

 

Cover Reveal

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About the Author:
BR Kingsolver is the author of the Telepathic Clans series (The Succubus Gift, Succubus Unleashed, and Succubus Rising) and Broken Dolls, a paranormal thriller.

BR grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. BR has lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. BR currently splits time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

BR made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way BR worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

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Title:  I’ll Sing for my Dinner
Author:  BR Kingsolver
Published:  April 1st, 2015
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Recommended Age:   17+
Synopsis:
When Cecily Buchanan walks into the Roadhouse Bar and Grill and offers to sing for a meal, ex Marine Jake McGarrity can’t say no. Some say Jake is too soft hearted for his own good. But letting the waif with the cover girl face and the voice of an angel walk away would be more than he could stand.
Cecily’s sweet nature, bubbly personality and obvious talent endear her to everyone she meets, and Jake soon knows his heart is lost.
Cecily has secrets and won’t talk about her past, one so dark that she has nightmares and clutches a knife while she sleeps.
When those who are chasing her close in, she faces the decision of whether to run again or to trust her life to the cowboy angel who has taught her the meaning of love.
Excerpt from I’ll Sing for my Dinner by BR Kingsolver:
A pickup truck pulled up in front of the bar and stopped. It looked like Luke Sowers in the driver’s seat. The door on the other side opened, but I couldn’t see who got out. Then the truck pulled out again, the tires throwing gravel, and sped off.What was left, standing in the parking lot, looked like a hippie. A girl, with a backpack and something else. She shouldered the pack and picked up what I now could see was a guitar case, and headed for the door. Apparently, she was a hitchhiker and he dropped her off at my place. Thanks, Luke.Making her way through the door, she came straight toward me instead of taking a seat at one of the tables. The sign by the door said ‘Seat yourself.’ I wondered what in the hell this was all about.
Stopping in front of me, she looked up into my face and asked in one of the most beautiful voices I’d ever heard, “May I speak to the owner, or the manager?”

The voice was a surprise, like a flower blooming in the desert. Her face was a shock. For all the grime, she was beautiful. Not pretty, but the kind of beauty you see on the covers of magazines. Long, stringy, greasy hair fell past her small breasts. She was thin, too thin, with a look in her gray eyes I hadn’t seen since coming back to the States, a combination of shell shock and hunger. The overall impression she projected was fragility. She came up to about my shoulder and I wasn’t sure she was old enough to be in a bar. What in the hell was she doing hitchhiking alone?

“I’m the owner, and the manager,” I replied. “I’m Jake McGarrity.”

“I’m Cecily,” she said. Turning, she looked around the room. The Roadhouse is a pretty typical bar with a bandstand at the end opposite the door and an area cleared for dancing. It was six-thirty in the evening, and we had two families with kids, about half a dozen couples, and two groups of four cowboys, all eating dinner. On a Wednesday night, that was pretty good. On a weekend, we did a lot better, and lunch was usually packed.

Turning back to me, she licked her lips and then said, “You have live music in here.” It was a statement, not a question. I nodded. The bandstand with the microphones and amplifiers made that pretty obvious.

“We have a band start at nine on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,” I said.

“Do you ever have live music for your dinner guests?”

I gestured to one of the speakers on the wall. “We use canned music.”

“Mr. McGarrity, I don’t have a red cent to my name, and I haven’t eaten in two days,” she said. “I’ll play for your guests in exchange for a meal.”

My God. The raw, naked hope in her face was almost too much for me. My eyes blurred a little bit. People tell me sometimes that I’m a soft touch. I figure that charity never hurts the giver. I was going to feed her. There was no way I was going to turn someone away after they approached me like that.

“What kind of music do you play?” I asked.

She shrugged. “I can play anything. For dinner music,” she gestured toward the customers sitting at the tables, “something soft and relaxing, loud enough to be noticed, but not so loud that people can’t carry on a conversation. People’s behavior is different with live music, you know. They stay longer after they finish their meals, and order more drinks.”

In addition to the beauty of her voice, her accent was cultured. This girl was raised with money, or at least well educated. And she hadn’t been on the streets long enough for her vocabulary to degenerate. She didn’t even speak like a normal kid.

I took a deep breath, and then she said in a rush, “Let me just play a couple of songs. Okay? Before you decide. Please? And then, if you don’t think it’s a good idea, I’ll go.”

Go where? Go out and stand beside the highway with her thumb out? Just the thought of her hitchhiking, getting in strangers’ cars and ending the night raped and dead in a ditch, scared the hell out of me. If I read about her in the newspaper tomorrow, I’d never be able to forgive myself.

Nodding, I said, “Let’s hear what you’ve got.” I pulled a menu out from under the bar and pushed it across to her. “Give me your order, and you can play until your food is ready.”

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Cover Reveal: Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

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Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy

 

Awarded Goodreads’ Book of the Month in July 2012

 

Releases July 28, 2015 – Second edition by Clean Teen Publishing, new cover and new interior!

 

Current Rating on Goodreads: 146 ratings, 4.3 stars

 

Summary:  Two destines. One death.

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

 

Join the Dark:

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/series/121294-the-timely-death-trilogy

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Timely-Death-Trilogy/227663240691565

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/AuthorShannonT/the-timely-death-trilogy/

Extras – http://shannonathompson.com/novels/a-timely-death-trilogy/extras/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Shannon-A.-Thompson/e/B00AXANG76/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Reviews:

  • “A magical, if slightly dark, tale.” – The Reader’s Review
  • “Wonderfully unnerving.” – Coffee Shop Reader
  • “This is a story of forbidden love, hidden love, and a war of love.” – Endless Reading
  • “This book was brilliant, original and romantic. This is a timeless love story with incredible character growth, action and twists of fate.” – Note to Selph Book Reviews
  • “Miss. Thompson twisted the concept of Light and Dark, reversing the well-known roles, changing the time-old dance and making it her own. Brilliant and true, “Minutes Before Sunset” is thought-provoking, bringing real-life lessons and morals from a world of the supernatural.” – Live. Laugh. Read

 

About the Author:

Shannon A. Thompson is a 23-year-old author, avid reader, and pic1habitual chatterbox. She was merely 16 when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads Book of the Month. She is currently represented by Clean Teen Publishing, and Minutes Before Sunset releases on July 28, 2015.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.

 

Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.ShannonAThompson.com.

Check out our reviews of the Timely Death series and our author interview with Shannon A. Thompson:

Minutes before Sunset

Seconds Before Sunrise

St. Nick by Alan Russell

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St. Nick by Alan Russell

 

St. Nick coverBook Description:  When Santa Claus is a cop, you better watch out.

It’s not looking like a very merry Christmas for San Diego cop Nick Pappas. Suspended from his job, alienated from his family, and persecuted by the press, he’s sorely tempted to turn his gun on himself. Except for his first name, he couldn’t possibly have less in common with jolly old St. Nicholas. But when a local mall decides it needs a secret Santa to help collar some vicious muggers preying on its holiday shoppers, Nick’s persuaded to red-suit up so as to take the naughty punks down and avert a ho-ho homicide. For a chance to bust bad guys, Nick’s willing to deal with crying kids, pushy parents, and a chronically cheerful “elf” sidekick. But the biggest challenge for this cop-turned-Claus is one that would confound even the real Kris Kringle: making a pair of next-to-impossible Christmas wishes come true for two children in need…before it’s too late.

 

My Review: This book was not what I expected. I expected, from the book description, that this would be about a suspended cop that took on some freelance Santa-ing security to help pay the bills. What I got was an emotional ride through loss and redemption. I was impressed. Everyone should read it. Everyone except muggers. It will make muggers sad. Come on you knew he caught the bad guys in the end. That isn’t the important part of the story. It’s extra and if you’ve read the story that far and catching the muggers is your only concern; well then, you’re soulless.

This story is about Nick waking up every morning and looking at the gun on his kitchen table while he drinks his coffee. It’s a story about a Santa’s elf who turned all of the hurt and pain of a life changing event into the promise of a joyous season for all. I will never forget that elf. It’s also about two very different children who end up having a very important person in common, one who enriches their lives while they both change his forever. I will carry these characters with me forever.

I love this book. It’s not the kind of book you will ever forget. It’s strong, heartfelt and reminds you that Christmas is a time when anything is possible. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a Christmas story. This story transcends seasons. And just think, you can have Christmas again. And it’s March. Who wouldn’t want that?

 

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Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne

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Throwback-Thursday

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Narrated by Peter Dennis

winnie_the_pooh_audioBook Description: Come with us to an Enchanted Place, a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo. The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble. It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling no matter how young or old you may be. It is painful to try and imagine what the world would be like without them.

Blackstone Audiobooks presents, from the unabridged collection A.A. Milne‘s Pooh Classics, the 10 stories of Winnie-the-Pooh performed by Peter Dennis. This is the only reading of these immortal stories authorized by A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, who wrote, “Peter Dennis has made himself Pooh’s Ambassador Extraordinare and no bear has ever had a more devoted friend. So if you want to meet the real Pooh, the bear I knew, the bear my father wrote about, listen to Peter.”

This collection includes the chapters:
In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin
In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place
In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle
In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One
In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump
In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents
In Which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest, and Piglet Has a Bath
In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole
In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water
In Which Christopher Robin Gives a Pooh Party, and We Say Goodbye

 

What I think: I recently listened to this audiobook for the very first time and I’m sad that I waited so long. Peter Dennis is Pooh. If I find Peter-Dennis-head-shot.jpgthat if I’ve had an unpleasant day, I can listen to this audiobook and instantly feel better. Peter Dennis completely transports me to my new (old) friends. I’ve never listened to any other version of these stories but I can’t imagine anyone else narrating them. Peter Dennis is now, and forever will be, Pooh Bear for me.

I’m sure that my mother read at least one of the Pooh stories to me as a child but I don’t have any lasting memories of them. Maybe she didn’t do the voices. I would have remembered the stories if she had done an imitation of Peter Dennis being Pooh.

I’m sort of glad that I wasn’t attached to the original look of the characters. My childhood memories of Pooh are the cartoons. The Pooh in the red shirt. I’m not sure that, as a child, I would have been able to love the red shirt if I had known there was an alternative. Wikipedia tells me that Stephen Slesinger was the first to draw him with the red shirt in 1932. There isn’t an explanation given for why other than it was the first time the Winnie-the-Pooh gang had been drawn in color. I guess that’s as good of an explanation as any.  We have Stephen Slesinger’s widow Pooh-bear-clip-art-winniepooh_1_800_800Shirley Slesinger Lasswell and A. A. Milne’s widow Daphne Milne to thank for the cartoons and movies from Disney. Shirley Slesinger Lasswell continued to work on Pooh after Slesinger’s death. She licensed the rights to Disney in the 196o’s along with Daphne Milne who owned the motion picture rights.

As an adult, I am appreciative of original Pooh. E.H. Shepard’s illustrations are a true thing of beauty. As a child I would have said something like pretty bear and moved on. Now I can understand the quiet elegance complete-winnie-poohand simplicity of the illustrations. Simple yet sophisticated. E. H. Shepard didn’t just illustrate Winnie-the-Pooh. You should go to his Wiki page here for the long list of all the wonderful illustrations that he did for books like The Secret Garden and The Wind In The Willows. He also drew cartoons for Punch magazine. There is a lovely Telegraph article by Max Davidson from 2012 (the house Shepard owned was for sale) that tells a little about Shepard’s life. It also tells about the model for Pooh.

A.A. Milne was a true author. He was diverse, writing for adults as well. It’s his children’s stories of Pooh and his friends, however, that have become larger than life. I think they tell us all we need to know about Alan Alexander Milne. He loved imagination.

Listen to A.A. Milne read In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”  ~ A.A. Milne

This audiobook was the deal of the day from Audible recently. If you picked it up for the children in your life you should consider listening with them. Peter Dennis is fantastic. It’s a wonderful way to spend two hours and forty-six minutes with the children in your life or with the child inside of you.

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Fun Fact: A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard had more than a Pooh connection. In 1929 A.A. Milne adapted The Wind in the Willows for the stage.  In 1931 & 1969 E.H. Shepard illustrated an edition of Wind in the Willows.

Original Background Image: Glade In The Woods by Larisa Koshkina

Forever by Olivia Darlene

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Welcome to Wattpad Wednesday, where we feature an Author who has an interesting tale to tell.

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Forever

by Olivia Darlene

About the Author:

I am currently working on my novel Forever. Please go an check it out. It has now reached 1k reads! You know how exciting that is? Okay, so I may be a little new to this whole experience, but it is so thrilling to say the least.

Forever has a website you definitely need to check out!
www.oliviadarlene.wix.com/forever
There is also a shout box/chat box on my home page where you are able to leave comments and please do.

Also, please help spread the love and comment, vote and share Forever with everyone!

Book Summary:

Something terrible has transpired, leaving Aislin Camille Burd with no recollection of anything. She awakes to an empty room and stumbles upon a note addressed to her. Hearing the distant footfalls and voices of others, Aislin grabs the note and climbs out of the only window in the room. Intrigued by the mysterious message, she sets out on a mission to find the author. Questions loom before her and she must find the answers before she goes mad. She is a person of ambition and is ruled by her need and desire to bring order to chaos…

 

 

 

Author Interview with Amanda Dewees

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1. Do you like your ice crushed or cubed?

Crushed. There’s something very satisfying about how graciously crushed ice yields under one’s teeth.

  1. If you could have any super power what would it be?

just-loveI’d like the ability to change hatred or contempt–or even indifference–into love. It would transform the world… not to mention my social life.

  1. If you could go any where in time where would you go and why? 

Oh my, such an array of tempting possibilities. Right now I’m drawn to the idea of witnessing some of the great actors perform. While researching Nocturne for a Widow I read a lot about the 19th-century theater and became very curious about how some of the most acclaimed actors and actresses of the Victorian era would appear to modern ears and eyes. I’d love to go back in time and see Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and other greats on stage.

  1.  If you could be any fairytale character who would you be?dutton_meet

I think I’d choose to be Janet in “Tam Lin,” because she’s independent and courageous and capable. She stands up to great danger and rescues the man she loves.

  1. Do you kill bugs or set them free?

I kill cockroaches or palmetto bugs with extreme prejudice. Other critters, like spiders, I try to set free.

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  1.  There is a lot of foreshadowing in With this Curse.  That takes a lot of time and planning.  Do you have a strategy for planning a book, or does it just unfold?  

downloadI outline my books very thoroughly, especially my historical novels. That doesn’t mean I don’t surprise myself with new developments during the writing process, but I like the security of an outline. Since gothic romance plots contain a lot of mystery, I want to be sure ahead of time that the solution will make sense, and I like to know in advance what clues and red herrings I’ll plant. As you say, it does take a lot of time, but with a good outline in place I find that the drafting process goes pretty quickly.

  1. Sea of Secrets didn’t feel like a retelling of Hamlet.  It didn’t feel like you wrote it around the story but fused the two. How did you go about incorporating Hamlet into Sea of Secrets?

I really started with Hamlet. For years I had been interested in 510xCRhaLVL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Ophelia’s character and her relationship with Hamlet, and I wanted to explore what seemed to me a new perspective on their romance. Once I realized that the play shared a lot of qualities with Victorian gothic fiction, which was a real Eureka moment, I set about thinking of 19th-century analogues for the major elements in the play. Of course, there were plenty of bits of the play that I dispensed with or altered. And I introduced some gothic romance tropes, although I deliberately changed some of them.

  1. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a sequel to With This Curse, called Cursed Once More. Originally I hadn’t planned to write a sequel, but it turns out that I love Clara and Atticus too much to say goodbye to them just yet. I’m also excited to show what their happy-ever-after looks like… until more gothic intrigue overturns their lives. After that I’ll be writing book two in the Sybil Ingram series, so I’m already mulling plot ideas for that.

  1.  Who inspires you?

I’ve been fortunate to get to meet many wonderful writers over the last few years, and it seems like every one of them has inspired me download (2)or has had something to teach me. I love learning from them and seeing what different paths everyone takes. One author I never had the chance to meet but whose work has been particularly inspiring to me is Barbara Michaels, who also wrote as Elizabeth Peters. Her ability to weave together mystery, humor, gothic chills, and compelling characterization set a high bar.

  1. You have many great characters in your books.  One of my favorites is Jim from On Shadowed Wings.  Do you have a favorite?  Is there one that you love to hate most?

81XY8j3DwWL._SL1500_I’m so glad you like Jim! When I’m writing a story I become very fond of my major characters (except for the truly nasty ones), and that’s certainly the case with him. Atticus and Clara in With This Curse are especially dear to me, as I mentioned. If I found a real-life man like Atticus, I think I’d spend the rest of my life stalking him. Another one I have great affection for is Sybil Ingram, who started downloadout as a fairly minor supporting character but turned out to be so delightful that I gave her her own book, Nocturne for a Widow. I love spending time in her head because she’s so confident and self-assured and spirited. I relate more to Clara, but Sybil is terrific fun. I’m looking forward to writing more stories for her.

  1.  We are very big supporters of Self Published Authors.  What are some of the obstacles you have had to overcome being self published?

Visibility is one of the greatest challenges–just getting my books in front of readers. Although I know that traditionally published download (1)authors face a similar difficulty, they often have the advantage of greater reach–the ability to get their books into more places than self-published authors can. A more surprising challenge is time. Even though I outsource tasks like editing, layout, and cover design, it still takes a lot of time to handle all of the things that traditional publishing houses generally take care of for authors! Still, it’s thrilling to have so much control over my writing career, and I’m excited to be writing and publishing right now.

  1.  What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Join the community of other writers. You can learn so much and benefit enormously from that system of support, knowledge, understanding, and inspiration. I’ve made wonderful friends through different writing groups and networks, and I’m always delighted to see how much writers help other writers.

  1.  Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers? 

I’d like to thank them for reading and for their enthusiasm. There is no feeling in the world like hearing from a reader that they’ve read something of mine and enjoyed it. And posting a review on a site like Goodreads is a tremendous help to indie authors, so I always appreciate it when readers take the time to review my books (and that includes wonderful bloggers like you!).

You can find Amanda here:

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Thank you very much for your time.

It’s been my pleasure!

To see our reviews of Amanda Dewees book click here:

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With this Curse by Amanda DeWees

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downloadWith this Curse

by Amanda DeWees

Book Summary:

Can a curse strike twice in a woman’s life? In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her–and for Richard’s death soon after in the Crimean War.

A proposal…
Now, more than eighteen years later, Richard’s twin, Atticus, seeks out Clara with a strange proposal: if she will marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will then endow her with a comfortable income for the rest of her life. Clara knows that he is not disclosing his true motives, but when she runs out of options for an independent life, she has no choice but to become Atticus’s wife.

A deception…
For Clara, returning to Gravesend as a bride brings some triumph… but also great unease. Not only must she pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of the love she lost, but ominous portents whisper that her masquerade brings grave danger. “This house will take from you what you most treasure,” her mother once warned her. But the curse has already taken the man Clara loved. Will it now demand her life?

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

Once again Amanda Dewees has created a story that I just can’t stop reading.  Clara and Atticus are great characters who complement each other completely.

Clara has made her way in the world since being sent away from Gravesend.  She has had a hard life, but is in a place where she feels comfortable.  Then Atticus comes with a proposal.  Be his wife. Not in the true sense, but in name alone.  Let him right the wrong that his family did to her all those years ago.

Atticus is the man every woman dreams about.  He is kind and gentle.  He would do anything to make Clara happy. He is truly in love with her. As you watch there time together unfold there are a lot of really great moments. Moments when Atticus kisses Clara’s hand and takes her breath away.  Moments of gazing into her eyes. The moments when he lets her know he loves her.

There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book.  There were times when I went oh yes of course! And times when I thought, well I didn’t see that coming. The writing and flow of the story are brilliant.  It takes you back to a time and place that you can picture.  The way the ladies talk and the topics of discussion that are deemed inappropriate.  Amanda Dewees captures the time period beautifully.  As far as a good Gothic Romance goes, you won’t find much better then this. temp-4

 

 

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Come back tomorrow and see our Author Interview with Amanda Dewees.

About the Author:

5783151Amanda DeWees is an author and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her PhD in English literature from the University of Georgia and likes to startle people by announcing that her dissertation topic was vampire literature. Besides writing, her passions include theater, classic film, Ioan Gruffudd, costume design, and the preservation of apostrophes in their natural habitat.