Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Curse of Ash and Iron

Check out this amazing cover by fellow Curiosity Quills author Christine Norris!

Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be. She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn't believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful eye and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spell before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press (www.curiosityquills.com )

Release date: May 21, 2015

Author website: www.christine-norris.com
Author Twitter: @cnorrisauthor
Book Trailer link: http://youtu.be/x1HcaJt2Owg

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Saintly Killing

I received a copy of A SAINTLY KILLING by Martha Ockley from Lion Hudson via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  It is a Faith Morgan Mystery, third in the series.  I have read the first two installments in the series and enjoyed them tremendously, so I was thrilled to sink my teeth into this one.  I knew I would encounter Christian fiction coated with edge of your seat excitement and realistic characters.  I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Faith Morgan is the vicar of Saint James Church.  Sal Hankley is preparing the cover for the church’s memorial booklet when she is killed.  I loved the twists and turns – even Faith is suspected of being the murderer!  I enjoy mysteries, but I can never guess the truth until the end.  This was another one of those instances, but it did not make it any less enjoyable. 

The quaint English village adds a sweet aspect to the setting.  You really feel as if you are part of the neighborhood.

I highly recommend this to fans of Christian fiction and murder mysteries.  Martha Ockley is excellent at painting vivid scenes and memorable characters.  I hope to see more Faith Morgan mysteries coming soon!

My Little Life of Jesus

I received a copy of MY LITTLE LIFE OF JESUS from Lion Hudson via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  The book is written by Karen Williamson and illustrated by Amanda Enright.  I’ve read other children’s book by Karen Williamson and enjoyed the simple complexities immensely.  This book was no exception.

It spans from Jesus’s birth to his death; children will recognize Christmas and Easter, and be able to understand the background significance of those holidays.  This can also be read on those holidays so that children can see a wider range of Jesus’s life at those times.

The illustrations are colorful, so they will keep a young reader’s interest, and the writing is easy enough for a child to read on his or her own.  No matter if it is read by a child or by an adult to a child – or by an adult for pure enjoyment – great conversations will be launched.  Readers can then turn to the Bible for more in depth reading.

I highly recommend MY LITTLE LIFE OF JESUS to families and classrooms.  This can become a beloved book. 

I look forward to discovering more book by Karen Williamson.  This one is being passed on to a friend for her son.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Author Interview with Darin Kennedy

Our next author interview features the one and only Darin Kennedy!

Kissed by Literature: Tell us about your latest book.

Darin Kennedy: The Mussorgsky Riddle is the story of a 13 year old boy lost inside his own mind and the psychic that’s got to go in there and find him. My main character, Mira Tejedor, is a psychic that has been called to town to try to help a boy who has gone near-catatonic with no medical explanation. Drawn into a world the boy has created within his own mind, Mira must use what she learns there as well as clues from the real world to both bring the boy back from the edge, even as her search for the truth embroils her in a missing persons case in the real world.

KBL: How did you get your start writing?

DK: In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq for 11 months, and in between the busy times, there were long stretches of nothing to do. I had been kicking around the plot of my first novel since I was a teenager and decided that my deployment was the ideal time to start writing. I finished that novel which got the attention of my agent, then wrote The Mussorgsky Riddle, my first published novel.

KBL: What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

DK: I have been publishing short stories in various anthologies and magazines since 2010. By the end of this year, I should have about 22 in total published. I have compiled several of these into a couple of short ebook anthologies that I self-published once the rights reverted. I also wrote a chapter on Medical Malpractice in a non-fiction book on using movies in education.

KBL: What is your writing process?

DK: I hold my hands above the keyboard and press the keys in order to make words and punctuation appear on the screen. ;-)

No, seriously. I am a plantser. I think too much plotting goes into what I write to truly be a straight pantser, but I am a complete failure at using note cards or anything like that. I usually get about halfway into the book before I start really mapping stuff out. Also, with some of the themes I’ve chosen to write about in my longer pieces, a structure is present before I even have down the first word, which helps a lot. For instance, The Mussorgsky Riddle is based on the classical music piece, Pictures at an Exhibition, which has fifteen movements detailing an individual walking through an art exhibit and admiring ten different paintings, all of which are major pieces of my story. This structure existed before the turn of the 20th century, and long before I ever came along…

KBL:  What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

DK: Each book I’ve written has been different than the one before, and with each it’s been a new experience. The wonder of discovery of the new story and seeing where the characters go and what they do as I put them in new situations and dangers is what I enjoy most.

KBL: What writing projects are you working on now?

DK: I can’t say for certain at the moment, but I will let you know my new Stravinsky CD just arrived in the mail this week and I am enjoying it very much!

Extra Information:

Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in 2003 in the sands of northern Iraq.

His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. His short stories can be found in various publications and he is currently hard at work on his next novel.

Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion. Find him online as well as links to his books and social media at darinkennedy.com.

The Mussorgsky Riddle is available at Amazon.com and can be ordered at most bookstores.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guest Author - Randy Attwood

Greetings, one and all!  Our next author is Randy Attwood.  Read to the bottom for a giveaway.

Kissed by Literature: Tell us about your latest book.

Randy Attwood: My most recently published book, by Curiosity Quills, is my political comedy "SPILL: Take That, Big Oil." It has an interesting background. I wrote it out of a kind of despair. I had been writing all my life and having little, almost no success as getting published. In 2005 I and my department were axed and, at age 58, I was on the street. Now having time on my hands, I turned my attention to trying to snare an agent or a publisher. More rejections. I thought my stuff (it's a smorgasbord of genres) was pretty good. Maybe I was self-delusional. But I hated to show it to friends or family. If they said it was good, could I believe them? If they didn't like it, could they tell me? It seemed wrong to put a friend in that position. The reader I wanted was the one who didn't know me from Adam. I had an idea for a comedy. I had never written one. But I thought if I wrote something that made a reader laugh, you couldn't deny the writing was successful. SPILL wrote itself in three months. Never written any novel that quickly. Most took years to complete.

SPILL got me an agent. We came close with the then-Big Six traditional houses. Editors at two of them urged my agent to encourage me to self-publish. Kindle was just taking off. I'd always been against self-publishing, admitting defeat, I thought. But I entered the fray and now have never looked back. I've found those readers who don't know me from Adam and each of my works have received some reviews that show the writing really connected.

KBL: How did you get your start writing?

RA: I started in college. Took a creative writing course. One visiting writer was the Southern writer, Reynolds Price. I showed him some paragraphs, about all I had to show, and he called the "lovely."

KBL: What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

RA: Curiosity Quills has published four of my works. "Blow Up the Roses" is a very dark suspense/thriller. Then they published the two works in my Phillip McGuire mystery series, "Tortured Truths" and "Heart Chants." Phil is a burnt out foreign correspondent who had been kidnapped by the Hezbollah and tortured. He quits journalism and returns to his college town to buy and run a bar. Adventures come his way.

Self published are "Crazy About You," set on the grounds of an insane asylum because my father was a mental hospital's dentist and the state provided us housing on the grounds. Write about what you know, they say. So I did. "Crazy" is my most downloaded work. Other novels are "The 41st Sermon;" "Then and Now: The Harmony of The Instantaneous All;" "Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America;" "One More Victim," a collection of novellas and short stories; and "Very Quirky Tales," a collection of sci-fi type stories. I won't take time summarizing these. A visit to my Amazon author page will explain all.

KBL: What is your writing process?

RA: I don't outline. I'm a pantster. I have an idea, I see a scene, I create a character and then I find out what happens to them. It's taken me down a lot of blind alleys. It's meant being patient with myself. The novella "One More Victim" took me 30 years to finish. I have to have a deep involvement with a work. Something deep inside me needs to come out and be explored. But when a reader does connect with a work of mine, they usually connect also on a deep level.

KBL: What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

RA: At first it was that connecting with the reader I didn't know from Adam. But last year I got a letter from the wife of an old friend. She had had a brain aneurism and fortunately recovered but found she couldn't concentrate on reading. I had given the friend "One More Victim," because the collection contained stories set around our common high school town. She found herself entranced with those stories and returned to her was the ability to read again. I don't think I can have a better writing experience than that.

KBL: What writing projects are you working on now?

RA: I finished a few months ago a noir mystery featuring Ellie McCrary, a female protagonist who is bartender/manager of a strip club. Here's the opening sentence:" I hadn’t seen that good-lookin' motherfucker for almost a year when he walked in with his partner to ask me about the dead dancer found that morning in our dumpster." Five years ago Ellie fled her job as a TV reporter in another town because two things happened. One of those two things come back to haunt her. The name of the club is The Fat Cat and that's the name of the book. The book has a happy ending, so I don't know if it's noir still or not. Also, it's only 37,000 words, which is awfully short for a novel. I like the feel of the work a lot. I think it has some of the best dialogue I've ever written and that is one reason it is so short.

I'm hoping to do a Kickstarter project to come up with the cover art. I've met a lady who does body painting. Seems natural to have her paint the torso of a dancer with the image of a fat cat and use that as a cover. If we film the process, I could give donors not only a copy of the book, but the DVD of the painting process. Run it backwards and it'd be like a painted torso was stripping!

I'm 63,000 words into an alternate future history I call "Stop Time." Here's a novel I started around 1992 and couldn't move forward. Now it has. I reread what I had written the other day and realized something was missing. Now I know what that something is. I just have to create it. This darn thing has about 17 points of view and made it difficult to keep track of. I'm thinking of seeing if Curiosity Quills might be interested in releasing it as a series.
Amazon author page:





Note:  Randy Attwood is willing to gift a reader with any one of his works from Amazon in digital format.  To enter, email me at SignedJori@gmail.com by February 1st and let me know your favorite part of this interview.  The winner will be notified on February 1, 2015.  Good luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Guest Author - Sharon Bayliss

I present Sharon Bayliss as the next guest author.  Both of us are published by Curiosity Quills Press. 

Kissed by Literature: Tell us about your latest book.

Sharon Bayliss: Watch Me Burn (add link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QESA3P4) released on 1/5! It’s the second book in The December People Series.  It’s a paranormal mystery surrounding the disappearance of a summer wizard.

KBL: How did you get your start writing?

SB: When I was a child, I had trouble sleeping. I kept asking my mother to read me stories over and over. She eventually suggested that I make up stories in my head while I lie in bed. I thought it was a great Idea and I’ve been doing it ever since.

KBL: What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

SB: The Charge, Destruction, Watch Me Burn, and a short story in the anthology Primetime. (add link http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Bayliss/e/B00BNQU24E)

KBL: What is your writing process?

SB: The word “process” sounds so official. I feel like writing just sort of happens to me. J I generally write in long bursts of productivity, then I’ll do nothing for a while. Then repeat.

KBL: What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

SB: Having real fans. I love meeting people who care about my characters and my stories almost as much as I do. I love seeing them react to the story, and worry, and be upset, and scared, and happy, etc.

KBL: What writing projects are you working on now?

SB: I’m working on book 3 of The December People series. I also have a secret new story I would like to write this year. I spilled the beans to you about it, but have told almost no one else. ;)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Guest Author - Jesse Baruffi

Our next guest author is Jesse Baruffi, author of THE WORLD, MY ENEMY. 

Kissed by Literature:    Tell us about your latest book.

My latest, and by that I mean first book, is the one coming out in just a couple months. It’s called Otto Von Trapezoid and the Empress of Thieves. I am aware that this is a bit of a mouthful, but I’d like to think it fits with the tone of the story, which is comedic. It’s primarily the story of two supervillains, those being Otto Von Trapezoid, a mad scientist who lives on a space station with an army of robots at his command, and Esmerelda Santa Monica, the self-styled Empress of Thieves. Otto’s grouchy and misanthropic, and has no clue how to interact with others, while Esmerelda is obsessed with wealth, style, and her own personal legend. The two of them both enact evil schemes at the same time and attempt to blackmail the UN at the same time. This leads to them bickering and fighting, which leads the forces of good to thwart both of their plans and send them running. As a result, they each swear revenge on the other, and attempt to ambush each other by setting up a phony date. During the course of the date (which causes a few million dollars in collateral damage), they find they have a lot in common, and actually hit it off. Can a pair of evil masterminds make a relationship work? You’ll have to read the book to find out. There’s also an over-the-top superspy named Jake Indestructible, a battle between a robot tyrannosaurus and a heavily armed zeppelin, and several villainous poker matches. And while my primary focus is comedy, the action is gripping, and the love between Otto and Esmerelda as sweet and sincere as possible. I am, perhaps, biased, but I think it’s a great story, and one worth reading. For those interested, it will be out in the Fall/Winter of 2015.

Kissed by Literature:      How did you get your start writing?

I suppose I’ve always been telling stories in one form or another. When all the other little boys said they wanted to be astronauts or firemen when they grew up, my first response was cartoonist, because I loved cartoons and wanted to make my own. Sadly, I never really had the talent to draw the worlds that were constantly popping into my head, so eventually I decided to go the other way and write them down. That worked out a bit better, at least in terms of my ability to do it. I went to college and graduate school for writing, which helped teach me a lot of great theoretical knowledge, and when I got out of school, I became an English teacher and tutor, which surprisingly enough gave me a lot of practical experience in terms of both what to do and, more importantly, what not to do while writing. I wrote creatively as well, and created some works I was pretty proud of, but sadly I got a lot of rejections, which I suppose is something most people go through. It was hard not to be discouraged at times, especially when it felt like stories that were my heart and soul were just casually tossed aside by people who’d probably barely read them. My first professional break was really just this last year, when I sent a half-finished version of Otto Von Trapezoid and the Empress of Thieves out to a bunch of agents, and one, namely the amazing Mark Gottlieb of the Trident Media Group, got back in touch with me and told me he loved it. I worked like a madman to finish the book (without skimping on quality, I hope), and he hooked me up with Curiosity Quills, and the rest is history. Well, recent history anyway.

Kissed by Literature:      What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

Otto Von Trapezoid is my first real literary publication. I used to do a blog and podcast called Geekademia with my pal David Lawrence. At the time, we were both geeks who worked in academia, so we focused on our love of the weird and unusual and tried to be academic about it as well. We also did a lot of interviews that I’m pretty proud of, including authors like A. Lee Martinez, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Rich Burlew, as well as TV producer Fred Seibert. It was a lot of fun, but when Dave moved away and we both lost our academic jobs, it just sort of ground to a halt. You can still find all the stuff we did at non-productive.com/geekademia, though. I remain very proud of the month when I wrote about villains every day. Perhaps I have a thing for morally dubious characters? On the other hand, my favorite hero is Captain America, the most fundamentally good good guy there is, so I don’t know.

Kissed by Literature:      What is your writing process?

My process is probably not one consistent thing every time, but ideas come from everywhere. An odd moment I experience, a person unlike anyone I’ve ever met, some strange insight that I don’t think anyone’s expressed before, a minor facet of a story I read that I think could become its own tale. A lot of times I’ll have ideas completely separately from one another and eventually pull them together into a cohesive whole. Then I make sure it’s a story worth telling, which is to say, I ask myself if the characters are interesting, unique, and relatable, and if the plot is exciting enough to follow without getting either convoluted or overly simplistic. And then my inner 13-year-old asks me if the story is totally awesome, which I think is absolutely important to have a good answer to. Then I plan and outline, making sure I’m not writing myself into corners or open fields. Poor planning and jumbled endings have killed many a great story. As I write, I usually add new ideas and details that weren’t in the plan, and I find that I’m usually pleasantly surprised by these. If they fit well, it means the story and the world make sense in my head and I’m not lost. Finally, I suppose, I edit, edit, and edit some more. I have a few trusted friends who assist me with this part, catching stupid mistakes and any logical errors or clich├ęs I may have missed. I suppose that’s how I do it. I hope that’s not too pretentious or theoretical or boring.

Kissed by Literature:      What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

Hmm, I suppose I’ll have to tell you when it happens. Nah, seriously, I’m pretty new at this, so the fact that I’m actually in the game at all is in itself amazing to me. I have a lot of people who are excited for me and find the book to be funny, and that’s a big ego boost. And the fact that I’m even doing this, an actual interview where I can vainly talk about myself and how great I am, is pretty satisfying in itself. Eventually, I’d like to be able to say my most rewarding experience was when I bought that international airport and laced the runways with rubies from my private collection, but you know. Baby steps.

Kissed by Literature:      What writing projects are you working on now?

I’ll be starting work on a new novel in probably a month or two. Don’t want to say too much about it yet, but it will be comedy like my first one. I’m also working on supplemental material for the novel. I’ve written a prequel story detailing the origins of Otto, and eventually I plan to do more, based on the other major characters in the book. I’m also going to write a few very short stories that are epilogues for the novel’s minor characters. They should be up soon. If you want to check out Otto’s origin, entitled “The World, My Enemy,” you can head over to http://www.wattpad.com/user/JesseBaruffi and give it a read. Also, you can see the amazing artwork Streetlight Graphics did for it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Author Interview - Ann Noser

I would like to introduce you to Ann Noser!  She was gracious enough to answer some of my interview questions.  How nice is that?  ;-)

1)      Tell us about your latest book.

My first published novel was How to Date Dead Guys (released last July). The second book in the Under the Blood Moon New Adult, Urban Fantasy series (entitled How to Ditch Dead Guys) is due June 2015.




College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice:  “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”.  But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters. 
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back.  Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell.  The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury.  As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn't the only one.  
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first.  More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows.  Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

2)      How did you get your start writing?

My day job as a veterinarian brought me back to writing. I'd dabbled as a child and in college, but then set it aside. My frustration with cat owners' confusion over how to properly maintain a litter box caused me to contact the local Post Bulletin newspaper and begin the Pet Vet column (written as Dr. Ann M. Anderson, my maiden name).


Then I joined the Rochester Writing Group to get feedback, broke off into a smaller group of CPs, and keep building from there.

3)      What publishing credits do you have under your belt?

Besides How to Date Dead Guys, I’ve penned pet-related articles for the Post Bulletin newspaper, RunMinnesota magazine, the DVM360 journal, and The Wagazine.

4)      What is your writing process?

Catch as catch can, I guess. I grab minutes, or hours if I'm lucky, here or there. I just snatch the laptop, sit down, and type. The more books I write, the more I attempt to work out a "fluid outline" ahead of time—at least in my head and a few notes on an open, somewhat messy, folder. If I have troubles, or don't know where to go next after I've written myself into a corner, walking the dogs helps my mind calm down enough to undo the knots and twists—very therapeutic, on many levels.

5)      What has been your most rewarding writing experience?

There have been several. Holding my book in my hands for the first time was pretty cool. Having teachers and friends that I haven't seen in years show up unexpectedly at book signings has undoubtedly been my favorite.

6)      What writing projects are you working on now?

Just finished a YA dystopian which is under consideration, entitled Dead Girl Running. (Yes, it appears that all my titles will have the word "dead" in them.)


Working on the final book in the Under the Blood Moon series (entitled How to Destroy Dead Guys) at the moment, but it's going a bit slower than the others since I've promised to do a lot of beta reading for other authors, and January seems to be the month that everyone else "just finished" a book—except for me, that is (gotta get a move on). I spent this fall writing articles, starting a few projects that got stalled for one reason or another, and working on marketing (writing is infinitely more fun, I tell you). J

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dead Gorgeous

I received a copy of DEAD GORGEOUS by Elizabeth Flynn from Lion Fiction from Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  It is part of the “A Mystery for D. I. Costello” series.  It is the second book.  I hadn’t read the first book – I will have to look for it now – but this definitely works as a standalone novel.

Considering this is the story of a dead model, Kristy Manners, the book was exceptionally fun to read.  D. I. Angela Costello is a lovable character, with quirks and an appetitie for the truth.  The truth involves prosititution and drug addicition, which I was surprised to find in Christian fiction.  Yes, the morals of the story do shine through, and yes, it was realistic.  The world is a dark place, so we must appreciate those who help make it lighter. 

This is a topnotch mystery.  I grew up with the Mandie Shaw mysteries in junior high, read some Agatha Christie in high school, and then fell in love with the Veronica Mars show.  I was looking for a new mystery fix and this did it for me.  Plus, it involved the fashion world, which isn’t often covered in literature, at least not in the type of books I normally read.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Treasure Darkly - Cover Reveal

Beware a Treasure Darkly…

(Thank you, Amalia Chitulescu, for the stunning cover art.  It goes so well with the story)

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe…until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

And he is not alone. His new found sister, Amethyst, thinks that's rather dashing, until Horan kidnaps her, and all she gets is a bullet through her heart. When Clark brings her back to life, she realizes he's more than just street-smart - and he's not really a Treasure. Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

TREASURE DARKLY, book 1 of the Treasure Chronicles

This young adult fantasy introduces the Wild West to a steampunk world, mixed together with romance and a touch of the paranormal.

Enjoy the following excerpt…

“Looks like he did drink it up.” The general client spoke from the right. “Must’ve interacted with all that bloody hertum. Look at ‘im, he’s bleeding already.”
“What’s it gonna do to him?” the guard from the morning asked.
“Lots of stuff.” The general laughed. “When he touches the dead, he’ll be able to bring them back, and exchange that life for another. Perfect soldier, huh? We only have one vial ready and I was going to give it to a lucky fellow. Guess it will be this boy.”
“Whatcha gonna do with him?” The guard snickered.
“Have to be a test subject,” the general said. “Sure thought it was that Judy who stole my bottle. Pity I killed her. She sure knew how to make my pecker sing.”
Clark’s mother.
Clark bolted off the ground and ran. He could hide in the hole under the shed behind the brothel. Mable never found him under there. He might be cursed with raising the dead—he’d already done that to the poor mine worker—but it didn’t mean he’d let them take him for tests.

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, is the author of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW and a contributor to GEARS OF BRASS, both available from Curiosity Quills Press.  GEARS OF BRASS includes a short story featuring Amethyst Treasure, one of the main characters in the Treasure Chronicles.  Check out Jordan’s website, JordanElizabethMierek.com, for contests and book signings.  Jordan is represented by Belcastro Agency and President of the Utica Writers Club.

Steampunk is often recognized by its unique jewelry.  The Treasure Chronicles include a rugged “Western” setting, so I went for something with an explorer feel for a giveaway.  Presenting a beautiful necklace created by me, Jordan Elizabeth.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Like a Flower in Bloom

I received a copy of LIKE A FLOWER IN BLOOM by Siri Mitchell from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  I always love Siri Mitchell’s books, so I was thrilled to receive this.  I haven’t missed one of hers yet.

This time she takes the reader to Victorian-era England.  Bravo!  That’s a dear sport for me, for I once worked at a Victorian Fair.  Reading this novel was a bit like stepping back to that fun summer.

Siri Mitchell always rewards with an unusual plot – and a romance to make you coo.  In this novel, young Charlotte Withersby loves helping her botanist father, but then her pesky uncle insists it is high time she married.  Enter Edward Trimble, who is now going to help her father.  Of course Charlotte must hatch some schemes to continue on as her father’s assistant, and along the way she takes a liking to dear Edward Trimble.  This book includes plenty of humor, so be prepared if reading in it public.  It elicited many a chuckle from me.

Overall, this is another top-notch novel from a master of historical romance, Siri Mitchell.  I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next.  

The Singular Illusion

Hi, everyone.  I met a great author - Michael Wessels - on the Internet.  Not only did he send me a copy of his book, THE SINGULAR ILLUSION, for review, but he agreed to an author interview!

The review:

THE SINGULAR ILLUSION is the type of book that keeps you engaged.  Nothing felt forced or dragged out.  The characters are realistic, as is the dialogue.  I look forward to reading more in this series, as I see this is book one.

The interview:  

Kissed by Literature:  Tell us about your novel.
Michael Wessels: My novel, The Singular Illusion, is about a boy named Matt who discovers a world that is hidden in plain site. The general idea of the book is based on the old wives tale that we only use 10% of our brains. The other 90% in this case is taken up by another being in a sort of symbiotic relationship, but some people lose this other being and then gain access to their whole brain. These people are very smart and have abilities that allow them to communicate with people using their minds or manipulating the world around them.

KBL:  How did you decide on that cover?
MW: The cover is how I imagined a person mind to look like if they were in this world. Each person mind would be unique and reflective of their personality. I worked with Johann Wessels, who is a fine artist, to nail down the best way to represent a person mind visually.

KBL:  Which character was the most fun to write?
MW: The characters I enjoyed most were Fred and Bruce. In my head they are almost the same person and they allow me to have fun with the book. Any time I am getting to serious with a scene, or myself, I like to add something in for them. Small things like the race up the stairs shortly after Matt meets them for the first time.

KBL:  Tell us about your writing process.
MW: The first step to my writing is just about words on the page. I have a rough idea for what I want to get across and I just put as much down as possible. Then I leave the story alone for a few weeks to get my head away from it. Then I reread it and edit as I go. Once it is possible for other people to understand it, I send it to a few friends for opinions and some further editing. I repeat that process until I am happy with it.

KBL: What has been your happiest publishing/writing moment?
MW: I have a couple really great moments. The first was seeing the first printed copy of my rough draft. It was really satisfying to see such a thick volume of pages that showed the journey. Another was getting a message from someone who I didn’t know who had read my book and had questions about how they could go about writing their own. It felt really good to think that I helped someone else pursue something they were interested in.