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Friday, February 27, 2015

Excerpt and Book Review of White Swans

b00k r3vi3wsBook Review of White Swans
Sponsored by b00k r3vi3w Tours



Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.



Blurb: 

Kendíka’s second chance at life begins as a nightmare.

Will the eerie eyes always looking down from the sky reveal themselves?

Kendíka challenges the aliens no one has ever seen to bring about a better life for the humans trapped in the surreal Regency world she wakes up in.

While getting to know her alien owner, she discovers the aliens aren’t so perfect and have much to learn about humans.

Will Kendíka survive or perish, attempting to make life better for the people living on Regency?

White Swans A Regency World (book 1) is a fantasy/sci-fi young adult novel filled with adventure and a pinch of romance.

some interesting facts:
-          One of the more challenging items I researched was how to address people. I had been under the impression that I could refer to a duke as ‘My Lord.’ Boy was I wrong! To do so is quite degrading. A duke is addressed as ‘Your Grace’, and he’s introduced as, for example, ‘Charles Emory, the Duke of Deverow.’ Yes, he is one of the leading characters in my book.

-          What about the funny little hat maids wore that looked like a shower cap? Well, that’s called a mob hat, and no, it has nothing to do with mobsters and gangsters. It was an essential part of a maid’s uniform.

-          Speaking of servants, I had to understand what a footman does versus a butler. A footman did a variety of indoor and outdoor jobs. Important to me were the indoor jobs. Learning that a footman laid out the table, served the meal and tea, and assisted the butler helped me determine what Wordsworth’s duties had to be in the book.

-          During this research, I learned that the butler was responsible for household security and most important, the wine cellar. The butler didn’t wear a uniform, but he wore a black cravat instead of a white one so he would not be mistaken for a gentleman.

Author Information: 

Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the States, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

Contacts:

You can visit Annamaria at:
blog http://annamariabazzi.com
website http://www.annamariasbooks.com
Check in on Kendíka’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kendika.burkeshire
 

Excerpt/Other: 

Startled by the lack of movement, Kendíka sat up in bed, scanning the shadows in the moonlit room. Perspiration beaded her forehead while her heart pounded against her ribs. The last thing she remembered was sitting in the limousine next to Mr. Vetrano, arguing about her future. He insisted the will mandated her future, not him. Did the pill knock her out? How dare he drug me!

She blinked and, holding her breath, glanced around the unfamiliar room. When her lungs screamed for air, she exhaled then took another deep inhale. What the hell? What happened to the limousine?

Butterflies unsettled her stomach. Her back stiffened. Her heart drummed. Oh, my God! When did I get out of the car or come to this room? Why would Mr. Vetrano bring me to such a freaky place? Fear and the thought of her parents’ death brought fresh tears to her eyes.

She slid out of bed and shuffled her bare feet along the stone floor, hands held out to make sure she didn’t bump into anything hidden by the shadows.
At the opposite end of the room, she could make out a dark blob, which she hoped might be the door. Somewhere along the wall near it, she would find a light switch. She advanced slowly, making sure not to stub her toes. Her fingertips ran along the smooth wood. The handle felt cold. She pulled on the knob, but it didn’t budge. Strange! Her heart missed a beat. Why is the door locked?

With all her strength, she pounded on the door. “Mr. Vetrano?” She paused. “Is anyone out there?” She beat her fists on it a few more times, but when no one came to investigate the commotion, she slid to the floor and buried her face in her hands. Think, girl, think. Standing again, she moved her hands along the smooth walls at the edge of the molding, feeling for a light switch. Why can’t I find it? She tried again…nothing but wall. Why is no one coming?

Review: 

Entertaining premise.  I enjoyed the mix of Regency era and fantasy.  I like the idea that people who go missing are held in a zoo or habitat for aliens to view.  A comedian that I have heard says that that is what happens.  Cracks me up.

This is a wonderful Regency era love story with modern and fantasy elements mixed in.  The incongruity makes for an interesting story.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds and look forward to reading more from this author.



This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Excerpt and Book Review of The Portal & The Panther

Book Review of The Portal & The Panther
Sponsored by Enchanted Book Tours




Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.


About The Book

Title: The Portal & The Panther

Author: R.A. Marshall

Genre: YA Fantasy / Science-Fiction

The only thing seventeen year-old Jon Parker wants is to escape his sleepy hometown of Mecksville, Arkansas. But everything changes when Jon stumbles into the boys’ bathroom and transforms into a black panther.

Without choice, Jon is thrust into a world where parallel universes are real, shapeshifters exist, and dangerous “intruders” can control the elements with a mere thought. Jon learns he’s inherited his shapeshifting ability from his long-dead mother, and now, like it or not, his mission is to protect our world from invaders from other worlds.

But is it a mission Jon will accept? His decision will determine the fate of the people he loves -- and our whole world.

Author Bio

My first attempt at novel writing was when I was ten years old.  At the time, I was writing fan fiction, without realizing what fan fiction actually was (I don’t think the term existed yet).  I had just finished reading Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein for the second time and, for the second time, couldn’t stand that the book was ending.  I needed some sort of sequel. I think I got about 12 handwritten pages into my Tunnel in the Sky sequel before my father pointed out that I’d never be able to publish it.
 
I tried writing novels again some time in college, but that was the period in my life when I took myself faaaaaar too seriously. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ll know what I mean by that.  I was only interested in writing something Important, something that Mattered, and consequently wrote no more than about 10,000 words before giving up.  In my heart, I didn’t want to write Les Mis or War and Peace, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

When Kindle came along and I stopped buying actual paper books, I realized that there was a revolution going on in the publishing world.  As I heard tales of self-published authors meeting with unprecedented success, I decided it was time to dust off my fiction writing skills and join their ranks.  I could finally just write for the hell of it and never have to worry about what a publisher would think or what anyone else would think.

I finished the first draft of The Portal and the Panther in April 2014; I plan to publish it in January 2015.  Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on the second book in the Guardians of the Portal series, The Girl Between Worlds.  I hope to also have it ready at the same time as The P and the P.

Links

You can read the prologue here:   http://ninja-writer.com/the-portal-and-the-panther/
Email sign-up: http://eepurl.com/SMrjX. If you sign up before March 15, you will get the third book for free. 
Twitter: RAMarshall78

Quote Pictures














Book Excerpts

My back was itching and burning.  My arms and legs felt like I was being stretched out on a medieval torture rack.  And I had a weird, tingling, pins-and-needles pain at the base of my spine.  It traveled up and down my back like an electric current.

I opened my mouth to call out for help, but no sound came.  I was lying on my back like an upside-down cockroach that couldn't flip itself onto its legs again.

That was when I thought I started hallucinating.  Of course, I wasn't hallucinating, but I wouldn't figure that out until later.  Because right then, my right hand turned into a huge black cat's paw.  I would have screamed if I could.  It turned back into a hand in the very next moment, so fast I knew I had to be imagining it, but then my left hand turned into cat's paw.  At the same time, I felt a horrible pressure in my jeans, as if they'd suddenly shrunk by five sizes, and I heard the sound of fabric ripping apart.  The seams of my t-shirt popped, then the whole back of the shirt ripped up the middle.  The pounding in my head kept getting worse and worse, my vision got watery, then really sharp, and instead of sounds coming from down a long tunnel, I felt like I could hear everything happening in the whole damn school.  

Usually you can barely hear the announcements from inside the bathrooms, but I could hear them as if the volume was turned up to full blast and I had my ears pressed against the speakers.  

"HEY MECKSVILLE HIGH!  DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE'S STILL TIME TO JOIN THE YEARBOOK STAFF?!"
 
I could hear the voices coming from Mrs. Mullhooney's room and from the room next door where the girl in the hall had come from.  Despite distance and two doors between us, I heard them as if they were standing right next to me, shouting at me.

"DID YOU HEAR ABOUT JARED AND JADEN?  I HEARD THEY GOT INTO IT AT THE GAME LAST WEEK..."

"AND THEN I SAID TO HER, 'OMG! I KNOW YOU DIDN'T JUST CALL ME A'--"

"...ANYTHING THIS WEEKEND?  'CAUSE, YOU KNOW, I MEAN IF YOU WANT, WE COULD..."

"...NO, THAT'S STUPID.  SHE'S NOT LIKE HER FRIENDS..."

Somewhere in the girl's room next to me, a toilet flushed and a stall door opened, then bounced twice.  I tried to cover my ears with my hands, but my arms didn't want to work.  I kept trying to move them up towards my head, but they just wouldn't cooperate.  And my hands had turned into big cat's paws again.

If the noise was unbearable, the smell was worse.  The boy's bathroom had smelled awful when I walked in; now it was as if someone had swabbed the floor and all the toilets with a q-tip and then stuck it under my nose.

That's when I finally passed out.


Review: 

Exciting coming of age/shifter story.  I enjoyed the confusion and anger of the main character, because it’s exactly how I would have reacted if this had happened to me.  I find some books have the people way to accepting of stuff that it’s unrealistic.  I think the author did a good job of keeping things realistic.

The only thing I didn’t like was the ending.  I hate cliffhanger endings, especially when the ending doesn’t leave my imagination enough to work with to make things end up ok.  I admit it, I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Except for the ending, the book was very interesting and had a good mythological background.

I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.



This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Excerpts and Book Review of Mysticism & Myths

Book Review of Mysticism & Myths
         Sponsored by Enchanted Book Tours


Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.


Book cover and blurb

Title: Mysticism & Myths

Genre: Paranormal Collection

A MUST READ FOR FANS OF THE MYSTERIOUS WORLDS OF GHOSTS, SEA DWELLERS & SHAPESHIFTERS!

Have you ever wondered about different myths of the world? These include the stories that so many cultures live by and the ones that of the best movies are based upon? You do know that these interesting concepts haven’t just appeared out thin air, right?

Introducing Mysticism & Myths, a sampler by six authors of varying genres. Each author has chosen a legend or culture from various regions, and embellished the details. Webs have been spun, and fantasies have been built in an effort to deliver to a collection that is sure to be entertaining.

The worlds captured in these stories are many! From ghosts and vampires to sea dwellers and shapeshifters, and even ancestral rebirths! There's something for everyone.

For detailed synopsis, please visit: http://mythsandmysticism.wix.com/mam1

~~~~~

Bound By Blood (A Night Shift Novella)
By Margo Bond Collins
Sometimes the monsters in the night are real.
Sometimes they live right next door.
~~~~~
Isa: Gift of the Baloma
By Perri Forrest
Isa: Gift of the Baloma is a fantasy tale created from a myth that derives from the Trobriand islands (today officially known as the Kiriwina Islands).
~~~~~
Micco, Anguta's Reign
By Dormaine G.
Revelation can be a disheartening truth.
~~~~~
Cursed: A Yorkshire Ghost Story
By Karen Perkins
She’s back. This time no one is safe.
~~~~~
Carnem Levare
By Jaxx Summers
We are born, live and eventually leave the mortal world.
~~~~~
The Life Keeper
By Abby L. Vandiver
The bloodline of Romania, older than the legend of the vampire, the strigoi are vile, evil creatures who suck the life from the people of the villages that line the impenetrable forests of the country.

 Links
Links

Publisher: Cultural Cocktails
Project Coordinator: Janice G. Ross

Collection Links




Contributing Authors



Book Excerpts
Bound by Blood by Margo Bond Collins

Oatmeal always makes me think apocalypse.
Not the kind of apocalypse I’m actually likely to witness, spread through droplets so small they can’t be seen by the naked eye, by germs so tiny that they might as well be science fiction to most people.

And not the kind we thought we were getting when the vampires showed up a few years ago—though something weird happened in Dallas recently, so the vampires have been hiding out for the last several months. No one knows why, for sure, but I know that the guys in the ER are thankful for the drop in neck traumas and exsanguination victims. And I was glad the hospital had a small isolation ward specially created to watch ex-sang victims overnight, just to be sure they didn’t turn. It made my job as a consultant for the CDC easier.

No, when I’m confronted with the prospect of oatmeal, I begin to think how useful it would be in a world where scavenging became the norm—like one of those zombie movies where people slide through grocery stores throwing food items into baskets, racing to gather as much as they can before the shambling horde attacks.

“I’m just saying.” I tucked a few strands of dark hair that had escaped my bun up under my scrub hat. “When the inevitable zombie apocalypse hits? Go for the oatmeal. It’s lightweight and nutritious, can be eaten alone or used to make easy-to-carry cakes, can even be eaten uncooked. It’s pretty much the perfect post-apocalyptic food.”
 
“That assumes,” Dr. Will Manning said as we scrubbed in at the sinks in the small anteroom that led into the isolation unit, “that either there is someone out there doing all the hard work of growing and then milling it—or whatever it is you do to oats that turns them into oatmeal—or that there are few enough people around that the stores are still chock-full of oatmeal packets, just ripe for the picking.” He wrapped the paper gown ties around behind him, criss-crossing them around his waist and tying them in the front.

“You’re missing the point,” I said, pulling a pair of sterile, blue, non-latex gloves out of the dispenser on the wall and snapping them on one at a time, checking to make sure they covered the wrists on the sleeves of my own white, paper gown.

“So what is the point?” He reached around me for his gloves.

“That it’s important to pay attention to how we can use the things around us.” My voice grew muffled as I tied on a surgical mask.

“So let me get this straight.” With his hip, he bumped the button that opened the door into the unit. “You’re in a hospital full of medical equipment”—he gestured in a circle over his head, taking in all of Houston General—”and you’re obsessing over the post-apocalyptic value of oatmeal?”

~~~~~

ISA: Gift of the Baloma by Perri Forrest

The night was a midnight black across the Kiriwina Islands; the only light, that of the moon’s glow. The illuminated waves performed a subtle dance, ripples softly crashing against the shore before escaping back out into the waiting mouth of the sea; a push-and-pull dance, with each movement as beautiful as the first.

She stood in the center of the tide with her closed eyes tipped toward the sky. Her hands were spread outward, east and west, on either side of her, as if she were deliberating with the gods. She’d been summoned to the sea by chants from her ancestors, which were in chorus with a linear succession of melodic tones.

The water rested just above her nude waistline, the breeze of the night brushing against her torso and blowing her hair in the same direction as the wind. As if instructed, she brought her hands to her own breasts then, moaning, rubbed and caressed her nipples into an erect state. As the seduction continued, a constellation of translucent tadpoles surrounded her, each swimming at the speed of time.

The beings prodded at her, some bouncing off her while others latched on, seeking refuge within the beautiful woman. Her body thrust against the crashing waves as they became more aggressive. Even amidst the chaos, her fear ceased to exist. There was a reason for that—she was oblivious to it all. Had she been awake, she might have been terrified, but as it was she would have no recollection of ever standing in the sea without a single layer of clothing.

When the waves calmed their tumultuous song, the young woman slowly made her way back to the shore. In her trance-like state, she reached down onto the sand to grab the nightgown she’d abandoned hours earlier and, as she picked it up to dress, a distinct melodic tune pierced her ear, causing her to walk in the direction from which it came.

As she neared the clearing, a figure appeared—a man’s figure—summoning her to him. Although now fully awake, she remained fearless. He stood before her, yards ahead; his shoulders broad, complexion dark, hair a mass of tight black curls, and his features chiseled. She’d never seen him before, but was intrigued, her body feeling a gravitational pull toward him. Instinctively, she allowed the gown to fall from her hand when she saw that he too was nude.

“Come to me,” he said as his hand extended to her. “Do not be afraid. I won’t hurt you.” His voice was soft and comforting.

She felt she could trust him. “I’m not afraid,” she whispered. “I know you won’t hurt me.”

~~~~~

Micco, Anguta’s Reign by Dormaine G.

Micco jolted awake; his lids half-closed as he attempted to rouse himself. He lay still, trying to remember last night’s events but they were lost to him. As his eyes opened, he was greeted with darkness. Tiny sparkles with hints of light floated around him.

The glow was shining through, past something. It was hard to make out exactly what. His eyes hurt when he attempted to stare at the brightness, so he closed them. Initially, they burned but this eventually subsided, allowing Micco to relax.

In an effort to sit up, heaviness weighed upon him. It vexed him. With closed lids, he tried again, this time prevailing, forcing through his restriction.

He felt his mind was floating through a haze. His body ached as he moved, so he laid back down, allowing a warm breeze to sweep across his face. He welcomed it, though was still not fully aware of his state.

Once his senses came alive, a strong, sour and putrefied odor caught his attention. It was somewhat metallic. He opened his eyes, but flinched against the burn. His head wrenched to the side, trying to find the assaulter. In doing so, something stiff brushed against his face.

A hand.

His breath contracted slowly. He scanned the surroundings more vigorously only to find not only a hand but several body parts touching him, lying next to him, covering his lower extremities. In a moment of panic he became paralyzed; fear caught hold. But the desperation of escape overpowered this gruesome shock. He eased through tangled limbs, inching beyond the lifeless burden. He scampered as far away as possible, climbing over a sheet of bodies, slipping on eviscerated tissue and cold, wet blood.

Shaken, he fell against a nearby wall to examine the array of strewn bodies that lay within pools of bright red liquid, as if time had stopped. For him, time had indeed stopped. There were more than twenty bodies in his presence, their eyes locking on nothing because they were dead. All of them.

It was a massacre.

The only immediate movement was the curtain flapping in the wind from a shattered window. A lonely arm claimed what was left of the glass, letting flies in to settle upon the cold corpses. A chill ran up his spine from untainted fright as his breathing labored. Who are these people? How did I get here?

A sharp twinge shot across his shirtless chest that was adorned with only scratches. They appeared to be claw marks in the middle of his torso. Saliva struggled to travel down his throat as he swallowed hard in disbelief. Instinctively he touched the slashes, then noticed caked blood on his abdomen and hands. Reaching for his face, he felt layers of the same.


~~~~~

Cursed: A Yorkshire Ghost Story by Karen Perkins

‘Right, tea break over, lads, back to work. Rog, Steve, you’re up on Hanging Moor in the bulldozers. As soon as they’ve gone through, Paul and Simon, you get the chippings down. And take care – don’t go past the markers, that drop’s lethal.’

The road crew groaned, threw their dregs of tea to the ground and refastened their flasks before clambering into their machines to dig out the access road to the new dam spanning the Washburn Valley. The valley would be flooded in a month’s time, creating the new reservoir for the Leeds Corporation Waterworks to supply half of Leeds with drinking water, and the road should have been completed last month.

Rog led the way, the large bucket scraping heather and peat, then dumping it into the waiting tipper truck.

Steve followed, making a deeper cut. Together they gouged an ugly scar over the pristine Yorkshire moorland.

‘Bugger,’ Steve cried out and jolted in his seat, knocking the control levers. The big digger wobbled, teetered, then slowly toppled over towards the edge and a sheer wooded drop of a hundred and fifty feet to the valley bottom below.

‘Steve!’ Rog cried. ‘Guys, help!’

The rest of the crew downed tools and diggers and rushed to the stricken bulldozer. By the time they reached it, Rog was already clambering on to the cab, desperately trying not to look at the vista that opened up before him only a few feet away.

‘Steve?’ he called again. No answer. His mate lay unconscious, twisted in his seat. ‘Bugger!’ The digger slid a foot or two in the wrong direction.

‘Rog, get down; she’s going over!’ Andy, the foreman, shouted.

‘No – Steve’s out cold.’

‘You’re no help to him if your weight pushes it over the edge – get down! Help’s coming, we need to secure the digger somehow, keep her steady.’

Rog took a last look at his mate then nodded. He realised he couldn’t get into the cab without destabilising the digger further and he had no idea how serious Steve’s injuries were. He climbed down carefully, just as Simon drew up in the tipper truck. Half full of soil and rock, it was the heaviest vehicle there.

Andy got on the radio to inform his boss at the dam where there was a telephone to call for help, while Paul ran over with a chain. He secured it round one of the digging arms, and Simon backed up – slowly – until the rope was taut.

The digger shifted, turning around the pivot point they’d created. The back end now hung off the edge of the cliff.

‘Keep it there, Simon,’ Andy called. ‘And keep it in reverse – if the edge fails, you’ll need to pull him backwards.’

‘Can’t he just do that anyway?’ Rog asked.

‘We don’t know how badly he’s hurt. If he’s broken his back or neck, moving him could make it worse. We don’t want to move him unless we have to – not until the Fire Brigade and ambulance get here. What happened anyway?’

‘Uh.’ Rog pulled his attention away from the downed machine. ‘I don’t know – he shouted out, then rolled it.’

‘He shouted before he rolled?’

‘Yes.’

‘Andy, Rog. Come and have a look at this,’ Paul called and beckoned them over to join him where Steve had made his last cut.

‘What is it?’ Andy came hurrying over.

‘Uh, looks like a skull.’

‘What? Oh Christ, it’s a bloody skeleton! Well, that’s us buggered, guys, no more work here for at least a month while they sort this one out,’ Rog said.

‘Bugger that, we’ll just go round it,’ Andy said.

The three men looked over at Steve, then back into the grave. Only the skull and shoulder girdle were visible. As one, they shuddered as a worm pushed its way out of the compacted earth behind the jaw bones, for a moment looking as if the skull had stuck an emaciated tongue out at them.

~~~~~

Carnem Levare by Jaxx Summers

Stefano Bonaro awoke floating face down in a hidden canal. The alley appeared to be closing in on him. He gasped, swallowing a mouthful of fluid. His nostrils filled. He jolted and flipped over onto his back. Looking up, he could see a distant sparkle, letting him know that night was dipping away. The stars clung on, in hopes of providing a touch of added pleasure, Stefano reasoned. He couldn’t understand how he’d ended up this way and in this location.

Luckily, he’d learned to swim at an early age, so he propelled himself around the marble foundation of a palatial structure. At first he felt lost in the once lonely lagoon but, as the edges of the waterfront came into view, Stefano relaxed. Arriving at the steps of the dock, he quickly took to dry land rung by rung. Once settled on the planks, he rummaged through his mind. He remembered drifting along with Anastasia; an argument. Or rather, emotional pain and her speaking in calm phrases. He pictured the detached manner of her rejection.

Rejection!

And then it all came back . . .

Stefano dove back into the water, swimming far out into the Grand Canal and searching for anything that would confirm his thoughts. He sought to debunk what his mind confided. Tears clashed with his surroundings. He dove under, plunging further into the abyss. Forcing his legs to flash fiercer, tearing through the heavy fluids.

“Anastasia,” he gurgled. He was barely able to make out trash that had been thrown against the sea floor, and his frustration at this unproductive search increased.

By the time he returned to ground, he panted in exasperation. And dangled his legs from the edge of the pier, slowly manipulating the waves. He studied his limbs—the watered-down slacks that clung to muscular legs and long fingers that were pale and colorless. A dingy white shirt threatened to smother him entirely, so he loosened the top two buttons and collar. His mind raced as he considered the inward flow from the Adriatic Sea in relation to its exit. In search of true love, Stefano would brave the entire roundabout—even out to the massive entrance. He pondered its strength with slight fear. Common sense forced him to finally step onto the main road.

As his countrymen walked along the paving, they did not take even a moment to acknowledge him. Stefano was distraught. He buried his face in his palms. His weeping was loud, yet no one comforted him. They went about their lives, oblivious to Stefano’s pain. His fingers rested at his forehead before running through the full length of his copper-brushed, curly brown coils. For one so appealing to study, his strong square jaw might as well have been caved in, since heartache so tragically robbed Stefano’s joy.

He forced himself to stand tall, pacing slowly around. His feet shuffled. The sun was now blazing into his face. Of the few people around, Stefano was the only one not in a hurry. He turned in the direction of home, nearly being overrun by another man that was several inches taller. And as Stefano sidestepped, another overtook him. Preparing to withstand the effect, the second man passed right through him.

Stefano was now frozen in the middle of the path. He no longer tried to dodge his peers. Instead, he allowed them all to overtake him. He coughed and spun around. For whatever reason, Stefano was no longer a part of their realm. He had lost Anastasia and at the same time, it seemed, his humanity.

~~~~~

The Life Keeper by Abby L. Vandiver

Family is the most important thing.

That’s what my bunică taught me as a child.

That and how much I worried her when I didn’t eat.

But when my grandmother talked about family that’s the only time I can remember seeing her smile.

My grandmother was not so likable. She had a way and a smell about her that put people off. She always wore the same clothes – a long, black skirt handmade from burlap, huge bloomers, and beige cotton stockings that she pulled up to her knees and tied a knot in it to hold them up. Clad in two shirts, a sweater and the babushka that she wore even in her sleep, she was always cold. She warmed herself all day at the hearth, her toes and soles black from decades of being too close to the fire. And when she wasn’t sitting by the fire, she sat and stared out of the window smoking an unfiltered cigarette she rolled herself.

No one knew how old my grandmother was, not even my father, her only child. Filled with wrinkles - deep lines that carved a roadmap of the hardships she had endured - her skin was tough as leather and her fingers were often swollen, which was difficult to see as they were short, stubby and curled over. And while all in the house respected her, it was me that had an unconditional love for her.

My bunică washed her meager clothes faithfully every Thursday, and baked a cozonac – a sweet bread with dried fruit - for me, her only granddaughter, to have while she was gone. Then before dawn on Friday morning, she bathed and walked three miles to the bus station – she refused to let my father drive her - to visit her sister Eugenia in Cluj County for the weekend. She never spoke to anyone outside the house and very little to anyone inside of it. My mother often commented after she’d leave that she wondered what she and Great Aunt Eugenia did for the two days they were together.

The village people had always called her a witch, but after the summer that my cousin Dragos Vladimirescu came to live with us, people knew her to be a strigoi.

Review: 

This was an interesting mix of stories.  It is like reading myths or fairy tales from other countries and cultures.  The stories are interesting and bring a different perspective.  I recommend it for those who are interested in Science Fiction.  If I was still teaching I would use this to help my students create new cultures and have them predict what the culture of the world that would have a myth like this.

I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.


This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Excerpt and Book Review of Amber Gifts

Book Review of Amber Gifts
Sponsored by Enchanted Book Tours

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.


Book blurb and cover


Title: Amber Gifts

Author: Kevin B. Henry

Genre: Fantasy / Science Fiction / Time Travel

Amber Gifts, begins with the introduction of Mitchell, a man who never expected to become a time traveler. He never believed such a thing was possible. After a decades long downward spiral, Mitchell was at the bottom of life’s rungs. Until the stranger handed him a simple, amber vial he expected life to only get worse.

The Man told him to drink it. He did and Mitchell’s life changed drastically, but was it a change for the better? Now he was a time traveler and when asked to help some fresh acquaintances, he gladly agrees. A simple request to just find some items they had left scattered throughout time. How hard could it be?

All they wanted were the artifacts returned to them, but someone wants to stop him. It will take more than luck for Mitchell to find all the items and survive to complete his mission.

It seemed there was no length his adversary would go to bring Mitchell’s travels and his life to an abrupt end.
A scavenger hunt through time turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Author Bio
From an early age, Kevin B. Henry was a voracious reader. His collection of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books bring tears of envy to the eyes of many small community libraries.

Kevin has worked as an educator, technology specialist and day laborer most of his adult life. During all that time he lived the life of a frustrated author. That it took 30 years for him to piece together Amber Gifts is a testament that the best meals need slow cooking to bring out the flavor.

The Amber Gifts Series begins with Amber Gifts. The second story, which is really the first, is Amber Prelude, scheduled to be published in June, 2015. The third story, Amber Legacy continues where Amber Gifts left off. It will be available in November 2015. All are published by the wonderful folks at the Champagne Book Group. A fourth story is in the process of being written.

Kevin is a natural story teller, so it’s logical that he lectures occasionally. Topics range from the implementation of cutting edge technology hardware to the creation, modification and use of e-books within education. He constantly pursues research to expand his range of possible topics. His most recent research revolved around the aerodynamic properties of reindeer. He’s also been known to include little known facts and trivia within his presentations. Did you know just 146 years ago today the Union Army marched into Atlanta. It took longer than anticipated. They were delayed by a traffic jam on I-75 and the toll booth on Ga. 400

He continues to live in the Mid-West without human or domesticated mammal companionship.

Links

               Amber Gifts:                                                                   http://ambergifts.blogspot.com
               My Publisher (Champagne Books)                              http://champagnebooks.com
               Kevin B. Henry:                                                http://kevinbh.blogspot.com
               Amber Rants:                                                                  http://kevinbh.wordpress.com
               Twitter:                                                             @Kevin_Henry
               Facebook (Amber Gifts)                                http://facebook.com/AmberGifts
               Email:                                                                               kevinbh@gmail.com


Book Excerpts

Six
1938: San Francisco
Impromptu Escape Artist

I spun in the chair. My flight instincts kicked in and I dove for the floor behind the desk. My hand grasped the vial before I escaped the target that was once a comfortable chair.  I felt the second shot miss my head by inches. I gathered the package to me on my way to the floor.

“Wait. Stop!” I stammered on the way to the floor. I didn't believe for a second that he would.

I uncapped the vial with a flip of my thumb while securing the package in my inner coat pocket. I recovered the rubber stopper in midair. My dexterity surprised me. What circus had I escaped from where I learned these tricks?  I raised the vial to my waiting mouth. As I sipped, I took a quick look at my assailant. I wanted to be able to describe him to the Wilsons when next I saw them. He had bon vivant written all over him. He sparkled for the entire world like a fourth of July firework. I needed to ask about the meaning of that if I lived long enough. He dressed in a burgundy velvet smoking jacket, white tombstone shirt with a brown medallion ascot.

His face appeared cold and insensitive, if that’s possible. His blond, short-trimmed hair seemed not to move, despite his trying violently to get through the door and in a better location for the kill shot. When his mouth opened I would have sworn I saw his teeth gleam like one of those Crest toothpaste commercials.  A scowl of bewilderment appeared on his face as he rushed through the threshold. Perhaps he felt as amazed at my continued existence as I. He must have taken his first shot from across the hall and through the office entryway. I didn’t understand how he managed to miss the second shot.

“Sorry, mate.” He said in an Australian accent.

He had a gun in his hand, aimed straight at my head. It appeared to be a Remington Model 95 Derringer. I tend to notice deadly items pointed at me with such professional accuracy. I wasn’t going to trust my life that it was only an authentic double shot model. He had the look of someone intent on firing again very soon. How fast could he pull the trigger? How fast could I dissolve? I hate life or death experiments.

“1643,” I spoke softly. Instantly, I lay on an empty, white, sand beach.

Review: 

            Well I thought I would like this book right from the start since the first words in Chapter 1 are a quote from Doctor Who and I’m a major Whovian.  And luckily for me the book didn’t disappoint.  This is a fun read about time travel that would do Doctor Who proud.

            I love the way the author manages to keep the story straight and include historical facts, a few I had to look up.  This is a fun, quirky story with an adventurous edge.

            I give this story 4.5 out of 5 clouds.


This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.