Tag Archives: writer

The Shake by Mel Nicolai

Review: “The Shake” reminded me of some of Anne Rice’s vampire series in that the author chose to include long passages describing the intimate details of becoming and learning to “live” as a vampire, their individual tastes, etc. but considering this has been done so many times before, this wasn’t very compelling for me and I was hoping for someone out of the ordinary. For lovers of any and all things vampire, that may be a plus, but in the case of historical events or facts, sometimes they seemed like events the author simply wished to include, but I didn’t really see exactly how they added to the whole of the story. Overall, I found “The Shake” to be another author’s take on the explanation of vampires, how they came to be, and how they can overcome their inherent drawbacks. Rather like the minute details included of Sacramento and California, like street names, etc….nice, but truly necessary?  Entirely the reader’s choice.

A twist of mystery, a vampire “cause”, a number of players introduced and expounded upon from the main character’s view, Shake, who I found far less compelling or interesting than most of the secondaries like Mio and Karla. Even ordinary people can have something unique about them, something that makes you want to learn more about them. That’s how we’re seduced, make associations for friend, lovers, or ourselves, how we become attached. I searched for that with Shake, yet it eluded me. From the tone and direction of the tale’s end, there may be forthcoming titles, perhaps in a series, from this author about “Shake” and his fellow undead and human friends and followers.

 

Description: Accidentally turned a century ago, the vampire who calls himself
“Shake” lives a life of inconspicuous suburban anonymity. His driver, Karla (ex-bartender, ex-part-time hooker), is the only human with whom he has regular contact. The only other vampire whose company he tolerates is that of the immensely wealthy and mysteriously powerful Mio Nagaishi. Cautious and prudent, he is, as Mio describes him, “like a wild animal sitting quietly in a room, patiently waiting for an excuse to leap out the window.” That excuse comes when he discovers an envelope in the closet of his latest blood donor.

The envelope contains news clippings and documents related to her husband’s unsolved murder. In itself, nothing that would normally interest a vampire. But among the documents is a photo of a man Shake has had an interest in for some time. On the back of the photo, the woman has written the word “BLOODSUCKER.” The coincidence is like a window, and Shake leaps though it. And thus begins a journey that will lead him to a unexpected confrontation with his own past. A quest for meaning washed in blood and violence, THE SHAKE is unlike any vampire novel you’ve ever read.

 

Published: October 2, 2010

Publisher:  Amazon Kindle by author

Available at Amazon, eletronically and in print.

Source: Author

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Filed under Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Reviews

Dangerous Times by Phillip Frey

Review: The descriptions of the character’s driving, streets, turns and buildings, or the settings in which he finds himself helps set the tone and mood of the story. Frank Moore is direct and brutal, yet I found him believable and even sympathetic to a degree because he does some of the acts that might cross our minds to do: kill the unrepentant druggie and rid the world of one more useless drain on society. Sometimes the detachment left me drifting, or the seeming randomness of thought, but it was all of a piece. It was as if the story itself was a character with clear personality, a certain style of movement and purpose. Frank Moore, his wife, the other players were puppets on a stage.

I found “Dangerous Times” to be both intriguing, for it’s straightforward and direct style of narration that fit the story to a tee; and terrific in it’s intangible build of suspense. I confess I was dismayed a bit by the length, which was 350 pages in .pdf format, but this was accounted for by the 1.5 spacing and Courier font. Not an easy one for eyes, but again, it did seem to fit the “Dangerous Times,” making for outstanding perspective.

For lovers of crime thrillers and suspense novels written in a solid, purposeful voice, “Dangerous Times” is a winner. It’s dark and gritty, yet still touched by flashes of brillance told in a unique voice. Once it grabs you, it doesn’t let you go. As it’s short description states: “this book is not for the squeamish. It begins as a creepy slow burner that leads to sex, violence, murder, and betrayal.”

Description: Frank Moore is a misanthrope with a hellish plan, a malevolent antagonist so compelling that the reader will want Frank to succeed, until the unexpected occurs. After a frustrating search he has found his look-alike, a close-enough double: John Kirk. Auto mechanic John Kirk leads a troublesome life in San Pedro, common troubles that escalate to the dreadful when Frank Moore comes to town.

Published: September 28, 2010

Published by: Phillip Frey

ISBN13: 294001111792

Source: Author

Buy Link: Smashwords

Author Bio:

Phillip Frey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed as a child actor at The Cleveland Playhouse. The day after he graduated high school he moved to Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles City College. Enrolled in their Theatre Arts Department, Phillip performed in many of their plays while also performing in local theater. He then moved to New York, where he performed with The New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center. With a change of interest Phillip wrote, directed, and edited 3 short films, all of which had international showings, including The New York Film Festival. With yet another change of interest he returned to Los Angeles to become a produced screenwriter. “Dangerous Times” is Phillip Frey’s first novel.

Website: http://phillipkafka.blogspot.com/

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Filed under Reviews, Suspense/Mystery

Memoirist Faith Folau, on her story “Stoned Honor”

Greetings, today I am interviewing Faith Folau, a native Hawaiian, part-time dominatrix and author of the memoir “Stoned Honor”. It is the story of one transgender woman’s goal to stamp out pain and replace it will happiness. It is a past many of us have shared, and a healing journey we walk daily.  Available in hardcover, paperback and electronic file, published 4 January 2011.


What was your first published work? When was it written and/or published?

My first book ever was ‘The beginning to an end of a “Bad girl.’  It was published on December 20 2010, but within a week later, I pulled it from being sold.  I revised it because of a privacy violation, and then shortly after the book had a new title and a new cover jacket:“Stoned Honor.”

At what age did you develop an interest in writing? Did you ever ask or let your parents read your work?  I ask that because as an eleven year old I read some of my poetry for my parents and received a very negative response. I didn’t let anyone else read my work for almost twenty years.

I started to write when I was 11 years old also. My early work was songs and poems that I kept to myself. I was afraid to show anyone because they might make fun of me.  Especially the love songs that I used to write, I did not want anyone to see them. Today I have no idea where all those writings are.  So no, my parents didn’t ask or see my writings.

After that, I started a diary and then blogs on the internet.  I would watch music awards on TV and later write my thoughts on the awards shows, and post them onto the internet on forums.
What or who were some of the bands and you liked best?

In the 90’s I listened to Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Salt’n’Pepa, Lil’Kim, Foxy Brown and many others who are not around any more.

Do you have a specific genre in which you write? What are some of your themes?

Well, when I write I don’t really think of a genre. I just start writing from my experience, the things that I went and am still going through.  I guess you can say I write fiction in the biography genre.  This year I am going to push my writing towards erotica.  I will for now stick to what I know, and that is memoirs and erotica.

How would you describe your writing style? To whom would you compare your work?

My writing style comes rolling right off the top of my brain.  Therefore, if I have a writing style it would be a personal style.  A personal style from words of the brains, of me.  A style of words everyone can understand.  As for comparing my written words to someone, there would be no one. I am the narrator.

Your memoir, Stoned Honor, is available now, would you tell us what it’s about?

Before I was a bad girl. I did what I had to do to survive in the streets of Hawaii.  I grew up in church so I knew that there was a higher power out there that I believed in.  However, discrimination all over our Island forced me into picking a career, an industry that involved nude modelling.  After all that, I chose to hold my self higher than nude modelling and sought God for help.

My goal was stay alive and keep positive in my life. It worked. I found many answers in life that took me so long to find out, just simply by going the spiritual route.  In my book, I explain how I kept positive things around me and because of it, I was able to write and publish my book in 30 days.

Please tell us a little more about your background, and what your philosophy of life means.

Growing up in a very strict Hawaiian family that was poor to the bone.  Most times hunting on the land for food and fishing in the oceans was necessary in order to keep from starving.  Going to school and church was a high demand growing up, and if you did not attend, you would be punished.  Punishment from a very abusive grandfather who thought that hard-core beatings was a form of talk.

Everyone has enemies but it’s your job not to acknowledge them with the same feed back they give you, instead show them love and kindness. Because I have dealt with envy and competition all of my life.  As TS (transsexual) women there are other transgender out there that feel the need to compete with everyone, and in my case, it almost turned into a violent situation.  In addition, I was able to save my self from hurt, harm and danger by praying and being three steps ahead of jealousy.

I was able to save my self from suicide from a very abusive father.  My father was a local boxer and taking his fist full force to my face many times since the 3rd grade made me think about suicide.  Everyone was afraid of him so they could not help me, not my mother and not my siblings.  My mother was much brained washed from my father making her think that it was ok to try to convert me with abuse.  He also told her that if I do not change my girly ways he would leave.  Therefore, she let him abuse me, so that her children would have a father around.

In addition, all of this had led to alcohol abuse, divorce, adultery, and violence in the family.  I talk about this in the chapter “Family Affair”, in Stoned Honor.

Now please understand that I do not go into self-pity, I want to share my stories because I know there are people out there going through the same things.  I gave you my stories, and I gave you solutions on what and how to knock out all these negative situations before you do something crazy to yourself.  If it has helped me, I hope my words can help other as well, kids and adult.

I thank you for sharing your experiences. I, in no way, feel it is self-pity of any kind, but rather a courageous declaration. As a survivor of many abuses myself, I know how hard it can be to reach the point to speak of it, and how much harder it is to relive it in order to write a memoir and remain strong.

As a person who survived multiple suicide attempts when I was younger, I love your message of speaking about yourself, from your wisdom, in order to help those suffering through similar feelings. Like you, it is a natural feeling for me to say of what helped me, and to hope it might help others.



Do you currently have any writing projects or works in progress?

I feel like stoned honor was an inspirational and positive book.  Now I am going to talk about my experiences with a more adult genre. I would say this next book is more than erotica, but at the same time, I want to keep this next book in a positive light.  As well as continuing to write articles of everyday life on my blogs.

I wish you good luck with that. I believe erotica, whether fiction or a revealing of personal occurrences can help provide a window into another person’s mind and life which can help others. In particular, understanding that you are a transgender woman, I believe your work would help shed very important light on people who continue to be somewhat misunderstood by others.

You are also an independent publishing author. What made you publish independently versus publishing with a traditional house?


With Stoned Honor I went independent because I do not think you need a book contract to get your words out there for the world to read.  In addition, I wanted Stoned Honor to be an e-book mainly because it is a short book, about 60 pages.  I could not really go into every topic, as I wanted to, because even though Hawaii is a part of the United States, we still have our own laws.  I had to really watch what I was putting in the book because Hawaiian families have their own beliefs, and if I took it far, I would face either death or being abandoned my family.   In addition, that is how the story came about, because in some races if a women talks about sexuality or experiences it, she would get stoned to death.  In addition, the “honor” part (of the title) came because if stoning happened to me, I would take it in honor.

As for my next book, I want this one to be published with a house.  It is going to be 300 to 400 pages long.  However, I am not going to wait for a house to pick me up, if I have to than I am going to publish it myself.

Telling one’s own story, as I am working at through my memoir “The Boys Who Died”, can very well bring retribution from one’s tribe or people. In my tribe, stoning to death is still utilized also. Being shunned and abandoned, not able to return to your home on pain of death, is still applicable for some “wrongdoing”, which can include aspects of sexuality which one has no control over.

What good things have you experienced with independent publishing? Have you had any problems?
It is so easy to be able to put your work out there for people to read. In addition, I like the work that I put in it keeps me productive everyday, so that is the good for me.  Moreover, I had no problems.

Would you suggest other authors self-publish? Why or why not?

Amanda Hocking, she has sold thousands of e-books, and at the time, she was self-published.  Now she has been picked up by a publishing house and has a contract.  Therefore, I suggest her because if she can continue to sell, then her books must be worth it. http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/

Would you care to tell us something about yourself personally?
You all must know by now that I am a pre-op transsexual woman.  I am not afraid to say that I am.  Besides a writer, I am a part time dominatrix.  My next book will be experience from that. 

What kind of books do you like to read? Do you have any hobbies or past-times?
I love to read documentaries on celebrities or real ghost documentary. I try to read non-fiction, but on the back of my mind, I know it is not real.  I want to read a book that has truth.Besides reading as a hobby and past time, I love to cook and bake.  I spend time with family very often.  I love to have talks with them about life.  I love a good conversation or debate.
Thanks for the interview, Faith. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and hope others have as well. Where are some of the places we can find you online?

Like most people, I am on Facebook at Faith Folau.  Find me on twitter @ reality_blogs.  My website www.faithfolau.webs.com, and my blog spot http://faithfolau.blogspot.com/ where all my articles can be found.  I also have my mistress website at www.tskimiko.webs.com .

This interview was originally posted at Swedish website, Queer Magazine Online.

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Deadly Heritage by Toni Leland

Review: What I liked most about “Deadly Heritage” was that from the opening paragraph the author achieved a strong narrative which was both knowledgeable and straightforward without being mundane or ordinary even though the introductory topic was what might be a common occurence with horse owners and lovers. There was a no-nonsense, direct tone which I found very refreshing. I felt the author’s belief in their story, characters and direction. There was no ambiguity about what was going on and the likely direction the story was headed. It did take me a number of pages to get used to the style of the writer, which for me was a little abrupt, as I found the descriptions somewhat unusual yet they were outstanding.

The main character was strong yet willing to admit having made mistakes in life. To me, this made her very believable and empathetic. I wanted to know what would happen to her. Her problems became my problems, and I wanted her to succeed in her fight against those intending harm for her and those for which she cared. As a rider myself, I enjoyed the descriptions of the horses, their definite personalities and the love with which they were presented. But even more so, though I personally found the heroine’s actions exasperating at times, the romantic factor was as poignant as anything I’ve ever felt when still caring for a former lover after choosing someone else.

I found that yet again, and I was not surprised, although a self-published title, there was nothing of “second rate” or “unacceptable” (as if to a publishing house) about it. “Deadly Heritage” matched or exceeded the basic standards I’ve observed in the thousands of books I’ve read.

Description: Somebody is stalking horse breeder Kellie Sutton, and the one person who can protect her is the man whose heart she broke 15 years ago.
A series of vicious attacks on Kellie s champion Quarter Horses brings devastation to her ranch and former sweetheart Ed Campbell back into her life, only this time as the new local sheriff.

Mystery surrounds the wounds inflicted on the animals, then a sharp-eyed veterinarian confirms that someone is out to destroy Kellie and everything she loves.

Publication Date: October 13, 2009

Publisher: Toni Leland

Genre: Romantic suspense, Thriller, Equestrian Fiction

Buylink: Smashwords

Source: Author

Author Bio

Toni Leland has been writing for over 25 years. She is the author of five equestrian novels, a paranormal romance, and two juvenile chapter books. Her short stories have appeared in Arabella Romance Magazine, True Story, Bylines Writer’s Calendar, From the Heart anthologies, and Horse Tales for the Soul.

Toni writes weekly articles for international gardening site, Dave’s Garden (http://www.davesgarden.com); as a spokesman for the Ohio State University Master Gardener program in Muskingum County, she produces the monthly newsletter Connections and has written a biweekly newspaper column on gardening; she writes feature articles for Grit magazine (grit.com), Over the Back Fence regional magazine (overthebackfence.com), Country Living, and Romance Writers Report (trade publication for Romance Writers of America).

In her day job as an editor, she assists authors with manuscripts and publishing, as well as scripting and producing educational DVDs about caring for Miniature Horses; she also writes and edits books about this unique height breed (http://www.smallhorse.com).

Visit Toni at http://www.tonileland.com and follow her writing blog at http://manuscriptmusings.blogspot.com

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Filed under Action/Adventure, Contemporary Fiction, Reviews, Romance