Nacreous by Sarah Elle Emm

~ Release Day Blitz ~
About the Book:
After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.
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Hooray, it is finally release day for Nacreous! Thanks for stopping by the fabulous Release Day Blitz, organized by b00k r3vi3w Tours. To kick off the blitz, here are a couple of “Fun Facts” about my writing process… I hope you enjoy!

Writing Playlist:

So…Music. Some authors swear by it. They have their playlist set in the background while they pen their latest manuscript. Me? Not exactly. Music is very important to me. I believe in dance parties, and by dance parties I mean cranking up my I-pod to the music fitting my mood, be this salsa, classic rock, blues, country, classical, whatever, and dancing alone in my room or kitchen. (Yes, I said classical and country in the same list). My kids may or may not be in attendance. They like to watch and laugh. Sometimes, they join in. But as far as my writing process goes, the music is sort of my warm up. So I might turn on some music that fits my mood for parts of the story and listen to it in my car or at my desk before I write, but not while I am actually writing. I need it to be quiet in the room, so I can tell the story…(Ahem, hear what my characters are trying to tell me). ;) While I wrote Nacreous, and the other books in the Harmony Run Series, my favorite music warm-up to set the mood was Lorde. Specifically, the songs Team and A World Alone. In fact, if any of the books from my series could be made for film, I would beg producers to include one of those songs in the movies.

My Writing Process:

I can’t sit down and force myself to write everyday because it begins to feel too mechanical, but I am definitely one of those people who thinks about writing, story ideas, characters, scenarios all of the time, awake or asleep. I love using my dreams in my writing and have written a few of them into scenes in the Harmony Run Series. Back in college, the good ol’ stone ages, I had one of the most terrifying dreams of my life about a man with a triangular-shaped eye chasing me down a corridor, one door after the other, with this woman’s voice echoing all around us, telling him to kill me. When I got to the end of the corridor, I opened the last door, and he was standing there facing me. I woke up sobbing…About a year later, a psychology professor at my university asked some of us to share dreams with him so he could demonstrate dream analysis. I bravely raised my hand, (this was huge for me, since I am very shy in person), and shared my dream in vivid detail. After I finished talking, the entire class got eerily quiet and the professor told me I was dealing with issues beyond his realm of help, and went on to the next student’s dream. That student shared a dream about not being able to make a goal in a soccer match, and the professor dissected his dream in depth for fifteen minutes. Years later, I incorporated that dream, adding on some twists and turns of course, into book one from the Harmony Run Series, Prismatic. 

I also come up with ideas when I’m looking out of the kitchen window, when I’m walking, driving, cooking, gardening, taking my kids to martial arts, helping with their homework, basically, every waking moment. I take heaps of notes. I jot notes down for days. And when I’m ready, I sit down and type everything I can. I woke up the other night, and grabbed the notebook and pen beside my bed and wrote down an idea for another story. So my writing process is sort of a twenty-four hour thing. Oh, and probably the most important part of the process…How could I forget? My dog, Shorty, has to harass me to sit in my lap throughout the day. She eventually gives up and sleeps at my feet or nearby. She spares me the occasional glance or sighs every so often when I talk too much. Yes, I like to talk aloud to myself more often than not. If that dog could talk…Well, thankfully that’s not an issue. Here’s a photo of my writing pal…

Isn’t she cute? I hope you stick around to read about Nacreous. I’m going to look up that old psychology professor to see if he wants to read my latest book… ;)

Previous Books in the Series:

(Click on the Cover to know more)
About the Author:

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

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A Review of Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets by Jacob M. Appel

Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets

by Jacob M. Appel

This is the second collection of short fiction by Mr. Appel that I have had the privilege of reading. He has blown me away once again. His stories make you think. They lay out the idea, and then it’s your job to ponder them and see what they are really saying about your life. This is a small book. It has 155 pages and 8 stories, but don’t rush though them. Take your time. Sit there and think about the story before plunging into the next one. It will ripen and develop new ideas as you let it float around inside your mind. When you have spent enough time integrating the ideas that the story has prompted, then you will be ready for the next surprise, the next set of thoughts, the next new story.

Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets is a must read if you like short stories. Mr. Appel will entertain you, but at the same time he will challenge you. He will make you reexamine some ideas that you may have taken for granted. This isn’t science fiction, but some of these stories have that Twilight Zone feel to them. Do you remember the best episodes of Twilight Zone, where you came away with a feeling that wouldn’t leave, an idea that haunted you, something that just wouldn’t go away? That is the experience that you will have reading these stories. They will push you to think about life and death in a new way.

I’m not going to give you little capsule summaries of these stories. I’m just going to tell you that you will love these quirky, wonderful characters in these surprisingly delightful stories.

I give Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! Read it, if you have a chance, I think you will be won over to Mr. Appel’s camp.

I received a paperback copy of this book from the author.

Book Description

Miracles and ConundrumsA visitor from a distant planet opens a Latvian restaurant next to an abortion clinic; a magician learns that true love will cost him a kidney; a blind barber cuts hair for tourists in a gentrifying Harlem…. Enter the mad, moving university of Jacob M. Appel’s short fiction.




Book Details

Paperback: 155 pages
Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (June 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1625579330
ISBN-13: 978-1625579331
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

About the Author

Jacob-M-Appel-Photograph-7-29-10Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of more than two hundred published short stories and is a past winner of the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review‘s Editor’s Prize, the Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review‘s Short Fiction Prize, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award in four different years, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant. His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Mystery Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology on numerous occasions. His first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. His second novel, second novel, The Biology of Luck, was short-listed for the Hoffer Society’s Montaigne Medal. Jacob holds graduate degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics. He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


A Review of Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes (Kindle Single)

by Karin Slaughter

I had always wondered how these new eBook short stories would be. I think that Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes is more of a prologue to the next book, rather than a stand-alone short story. The last quarter of the file is actually a preview of Pretty Girls, which comes out next month. I will read it, and let you know if this story adds anything to the book when I post my review.

I read quite a few short stories, so I have a general idea of what a short story is supposed to give you.

At its most prototypical the short story features a small cast of named characters, and focuses on a self-contained incident with the intent of evoking a “single effect” or mood. Wikipedia

I know that short stories don’t always follow the same format, but I expect a tightly written narrative without a cliffhanger ending. I suppose that the ending of this story would have worked fine if the story was much shorter, and if the ending was more of a surprise, but after a while you really knew what the surprise ending would be.

I checked out the Amazon Singles Bestseller list and saw that most of the Singles written by major authors were this sort of a story. They were the prelude to the next book, something to make you want to purchase it. Many of them included a preview of that book. This may be the next new marketing idea, but unless you just have to read everything your favorite author puts out, you probably won’t be buying many of these stories. If these Singles were less than a buck, there might be more interest, but at two dollars a pop, I think I’ll be skipping most Singles.

I give Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes 3 Stars out of 5, because  the main character was interesting and the story introduced an idea that will probably be further developed in Ms. Slaughter’s next novel. I didn’t really believe the period setting of this story. It was set in the early Nineties, but something just didn’t feel authentic. It seemed forced.

I received a Digital Review copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin SlaughterA beautiful young girl was walking down the street―when suddenly…

Julia Carroll knows that too many stories start that way. Beautiful, intelligent, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, she should be carefree. But instead she is frightened. Because girls are disappearing.

A fellow student, Beatrice Oliver, is missing. A homeless woman called Mona-No-Name is missing. Both taken off the street. Both gone without a trace.

Julia is determined to find out the reasons behind their disappearances. And she doesn’t want to be next…

Book Details

File Size: 640 KB
Print Length: 68 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (August 18, 2015)
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Sold by:
 HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

About the Author

Photo by Alison Rosa
Photo by Alison Rosa

Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Will Trent and Grant County series and the instant New York Times bestseller Cop Town. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print around the world.


A Review of In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson

In the Dark Places: An Inspector Banks Novel

by Peter Robinson

I read my first Inspector Banks book last year. I really liked it. (My review of Children of the Revolution) DCI Banks was the main focus of that book. In the Dark Places shines the spotlight on the rest of his group, and that’s a good thing. I liked getting to know them. It also allows the story to splinter along different tracks. It has many things happening at the same time. You really have to pay attention, because the action jumps around quite a bit. That scene shifting does allow for more tension. It was actually quite exciting and hard to put down. I had expected the slower pace of Children of the Revolution, but this book is a Mystery Thriller, with emphasis on the thriller part.

I was surprised by the contrast in styles of the two Inspector Banks books that I read, so I put a couple of the previous books in the series on hold at my local library. I’m looking forward to reading them. I love the setting in Northern England, with its rural feel and small town type of crime, and the mixture of characters in these books. I want to get to know them better.

I give In the Dark Places 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! If you haven’t been reading the Inspector Banks series, you can start with this one, but don’t stop here, I won’t.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

In the Dark Places by Peter RobinsonPublished in the United Kingdom and Canada as Abattoir Blues

Louise Penny calls In the Dark Places “brilliant.” Tess Gerritsen says it’s “thrilling.” And Michael Connelly describes Peter Robinson as “amazing.” One of the world’s greatest suspense writers returns with this sensational new novel featuring Inspector Alan Banks, hailed by Michael Connelly as “a man for all seasons.”

It’s a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations.

As Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm. In the wreckage, rescuers find the driver, who was killed on impact, as well as another body—a body that was dead well before the crash.

Snow falls. The body count rises. And Banks, perceptive and curious as ever, feels himself being drawn deeper into a web of crime, and at its center something—or someone—dark and dangerous lying in wait.

Vibrating with tension, ingeniously plotted, and filled with soul and poignancy, In the Dark Places is a remarkable achievement from this masterful talent.

Book Details

Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 22)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (August 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062240544
ISBN-13: 978-0062240545
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

Photo by Niall McDiarmid
Photo by Niall McDiarmid

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson grew up in the United Kingdom, and now divides his time between Toronto and England. The bestselling, award-winning author of twenty-two books in the Inspector Banks series, he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, Sweden’s Martin Beck Award, and the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz award.


Why Do You Write?


You just have to read this blog post. The author lets you into her private life. She will inspire you to write, to draw, to talk to someone important, to do something. Read this and then read the comments, thay are just as wonderful!

Originally posted on The Ninth Life:

One evening while on the telephone, a friend asked me the question, “Why do you write?”

“I was just curious. It seems pretty boring to me. I can think of a million other interesting things to do instead of writing” she added.

At that time, I wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted or to answer her question. I had never thought of the reasons why my lungs yearned to write. I just knew that it was a recreational activity that gave me pleasure just as others enjoyed throwing a ball through a hoop, watching two grown men fake wrestle on cable, or listening to Donald Trump’s political poppycock on the headline news.

For weeks, I meditated on my friend’s question, “Why do you write?”

Hmm, I write because….

Eleven years ago, I had my first panic attack. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense anxiety and fear that causes your brain to think you are dying.

At least that is what mine felt like.

One night as I laid…

View original 688 more words

A Review of The Forgotten Ones by Brian McGilloway

The Forgotten Ones: A Lucy Black Thriller

by Brian McGilloway

I had a hard time getting into this book at the start. Part of it is that The Forgotten Ones is the third book in the Lucy Black series, but the other thing is that Mr. McGilloway is an Irish writer and is writing a story that is set in Ireland. I don’t know Ireland well enough to be on top of current events, so I struggled understanding exactly what was going on. Most of these stumbling blocks seemed to resolve themselves by the middle of the book, and I was able to get into the story. If you know Ireland and/or this series, then I don’t think that you will have any problems.

I enjoyed getting to know DS Lucy Black and her partner, DI Tom Fleming. They make a good team, even though they aren’t always working together. Lucy goes off on her own projects, which can cause some problems with management, but it works well.

The underlying theme of forgotten people really becomes more about people who are taken advantage of and are not allowed to be themselves. This idea includes an abused wife or partner, or homeless men who no one seems to notice sleeping under a bridge, or begging on a street corner, or maybe even that young prostitute that everyone tries not to notice. All people need to be acknowledged as people and not objects to be used and abused.

I enjoyed my introduction to the writing of Brian McGilloway, and plan on reading more of his books. I have already purchased a few of the books from his other series featuring Inspector Benedict Devlin.

I give The Forgotten Ones 4 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I recommend it to anyone who would like to read a good Irish mystery, especially if you know Ireland better than I do.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

The Forgotten OnesFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Little Girl Lost comes a brand-new thriller featuring Lucy Black—a twisting, gripping story of secrets and lies, perfect for fans of Louise Penny and Tana French.

The body of an elderly man is hauled out of the rushing water of the River Foyle, cold dead. Detective Lucy Black is called in to investigate when it becomes evident that this was not a suicide: the man’s body was embalmed before it ever entered the water.

Confounded and exhausted, Lucy heads home to review the case in quiet; but there will be no rest for her tonight. She’s barely in the front door when a neighbor knocks because his wife’s sister has been attacked and they need her help.

As a string of strange crimes is unspooled throughout the city, Lucy is pulled in countless different directions… until she realizes there may be something dark and dangerous connecting everything.

Soulful and suspenseful, featuring one of the most appealing characters in suspense fiction, The Forgotten Ones is a novel to take your breath away.

Book Details

File Size: 757 KB
Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (August 11, 2015)
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

About the Author

Brian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black series. He lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife, daughter, and three sons.

A Review of Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance

Remains of Innocence (Joanna Brady #16)

by J.A. Jance

I have been planning on reading this series for a long time, but I just never got around to it. I enjoyed this mystery. Sheriff Joanna Brady is an interesting character, but I’m sure that she would feel more complete if I had read some of the previous books in the series. I liked the way that Ms. Jance tied together the stories that were set on opposite sides of the country. The writing was descriptive enough that you got a feel for Cochise County and the surrounding area. She also draws you into the perilous story of Liza Machett. She finds a lot of money in her dying mother’s belongings. Once her mother dies, she cleans out her mother’s house, filled with trash and horder’s treasures. Then bad things begin to happen, and she has to flee for her life.  Sheriff Brady has to solve some local murders and figure out what is going on with Liza Machett.

I liked this introduction to the writing of JA Jance, but think that it would have worked somewhat better if I had started the series at the beginning, but having said that, I still was able to understand most of the backstory, and enjoy jumping in to the series at this point. I like it when an author allows you that freedom.

I give Remains of Innocence 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. I plan on reading the next book in this series, Dance of the Bones, in September.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

File Jul 29, 2 51 57 PMSheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that may be tied together in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona’s Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty and mystery.

An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner.

Tracing the money’s origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. And now there is the mystery of Liza and the money. Are the two disparate cases connected? It’s up to Joanna to find out.

Book Details

Series: Joanna Brady Mysteries (Book 16)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Printing edition (July 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062134701
ISBN-13: 978-0062134707
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

About the Author

J.A. Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

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