Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Book Trailer for The Angel of Berlin & Explanation of A Modern Fairy-Tale

As told in previous posts prior to its release, The Angel of Berlin, is a story I wrote based entirely on a dream. I have the curse/blessing of often dreaming in vivid detail, extended version, where I can even awake, get up, walk around with memory and then go back to sleep and continue the same dream. No, it is not related to any drug contribution. It’s something that has run in my family as interpreters and healers.

Description: “When young Robin, a university student, saves the life of a beautiful youth, he finds he’s made a devoted friend. But without memory or voice, the newly named Angel is a mystery. Occasionally exasperating with his child-like qualities, he still has touches of darkness that make Robin wonder what kind of being he’s really taken in.”

The Angel of Berlin is speculative fantasy, as things happen within it that cannot be explained by science. It is magical realism because magic happens in a “real world”, the world you or I might live in and recognize. It is set in Berlin, so it is very much in a place I know (which of course represented itself in my dream). It is very like a fairy-tale, for it’s innocent overall with just a few touches of darkness that end up serving to enhance the pure light of the character Angel and his friend Robin.

In fairy-tales, all things don’t need to be known nor shown as explanation. If that is what a reader is expecting? Look into another genre specifically, or if you cannot adjust your view or appreciate different ways of writing or being? As one reviewer said and many appreciative readers have expressed regarding my writing: “you never know what to expect.”  I write all kinds of stories, fiction and non-fiction; surreal or real, unexpected, crazy, or utterly realistic having sprung directly from my experiences or memories. Serious and grim, light-hearted and gently comical, painfully emotional or academically analytical: those are all things and more I can deal with or am capable of, depending on the dream or inspiration or determination I make and wish to present because those are the range of things and more that my life has thus far been comprised of.

I do not write to be liked. I do not write for money or sales.  I do not write to gain respect nor lobby in any genre for the same reason, as I recently wrote of on a post at the group at Indie Book Collective on Goodreads.com.  I write because I have stories in me to tell that I feel with every fiber of my being because they are my being. They come from my heart, soul and mind, creations that are unconscious such as The Angel of Berlin, and those like The Agony of Joy, which was conscious, coming directly from my personal experiences.

Like much of my work, I’ve always have included a complete screenplay and film version in my mind when writing it. With Angel, I knew as soon as I heard this song that I wanted it to be the opening song of a film I would do of it: as the bicycler Robin rode through the streets on his way to work, and as “Angel” walked through the park watching all the people, marveling at the new place in which he found himself.

In Berlin, being a huge city for film premieres, filming, university courses regarding and the like, its  not surprising to see productions taking place wherever you might be. At one place I lived at Rosenheimerstr. a set production was taking place around the corner filming a story that took place during WW2. All through the day you could hear (and feel) bombing explosions.

At Friedrichstr. just outside the bahnhof, it was all closed off one night, a beautiful night, as they filmed a scene. Or you have movie videos filming professionally someplace, or amateur students doing there thing. I saw three students with a vaccum cleaner, a camera and mic filming…something…on the steps of the Berliner Dom as one actor attempted copulation with the sucking device usually used on carpets. Yea, it can be eclectic and crazy like that here but–back on point: I knew immediately after my dream and typing it up, how I wished the film version of The Angel of Berlin to proceed. Maybe one day it can happen, but for now…here’s the video description. The music is “Wild Is The Wind” sung by Nina Simone. Like my writing and reading, my range of music favorites greatly varies.

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Filed under Announcements, Books, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Writers and Writing

Raven’s Kiss by Toni C. LoTempio

Review: “Out of the ordinary”, would be my first description of this story: average, career minded gal turned shifter after being bitten by demon. Giving up her previous aspirations, Raven begins a life as an officer in an organization very much like your typical police department, yet the perpetrators come in all different forms: vampires, gnomes, trolls and more. When it becomes evident the same demon who attacked her is on the prowl again, she’s determined to bring him to both professional and personal justice.

Written in first person, the sole perspective didn’t become overpowering to me even if the main character had a little too much snark for my own tastes. I love strong woman, ones who get things done and don’t take any nonsense, but I suppose it’s a fine line. It’s all in what you think is amusing and phrases tossed that you might have said yourself or cheered. I don’t care for sarcasm and perhaps would have enjoyed Raven more if that style of delivery had been used less. I think overall that makes even problematic characters more sympathetic, even likeable if there is balance.

As for the romance aspect and the object of her affections, Finn, I’ll have to put him into the fantastic category for his description was over the top. Not to my tastes, but definitely worthy of applause. There were some structural and punctuation issues and periods where I felt it was overly descriptive (rather like the official blurb), but you have to give Toni LoTempio serious marks for a totally inventive tale that stands out from the rest.

Description: “Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame.

Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…”

Published: April 11th 2011

Available on Amazon in both print & Kindle
ASIN: B004W9CMII
Source: Author
For more information about the author, please visit their website:

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Reviews, Romance

The Other Side of Life by Jess C. Scott

Review: A mix of fantasy and science fiction (using “old” terms), The Other Side of Life is in “new” sub-genres as well: cyperpunk and urban fantasy, both types which are sweeping through fiction like wildfire these days.

My editor’s eyes definitely had a problem with the point of view switching back and forth between characters from sentence to sentence within a scene, sometimes leaving me not knowing who is experiencing what, and especially who was thinking certain thoughts. I found this unnecessary, because even if you’re using two POV’s in one scene, the writing and paragraph structures should keep it clean and separate enough. It’s possible to do so, but it takes objectivity, removing what is not absolutely necessary at a certain point, and incorporating the information later. Transitions instead of telling is also something which could have been utilized more, itself of being told fact after fact, movement after movement as at times, this came off as rather disjointed to me.

I thought the ideas were interesting and novel, although it was a theme explored before, Bioware enhancements and the like. It kept me reading to gain more insight into what it could mean for both human and Elven. I know it’s also described as having a romantic element to it, and the author made us aware of the attraction the Nin and Anya felt, but they weren’t very compelling to me, especially Anya, as the world overpowered them with its vividness. I felt it was a great idea, yet a little uneven in execution. In the end “The Other Side of Life” would be appealing to a wider audience than just those seeking cyberpunk fantasy. It’s a nice read.

Kindle Edition
Published January 8th 2011 by jessINK (first published 2010)
ASIN B004IEAEUK
Source: Author
Available at Smashwords and other online distributors.

Author Bio:

Jess identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She was a research assistant to the 2010 Jossey-Bass/Wiley publication, My Lie.

She is currently working on an urban fantasy project featuring cyberpunk elves. Jess also runs the (huge) dragon information resource site, http://dragonsinn.net

Website: http://jessink.com/

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Filed under Fantasy, Reviews, Science Fiction