A Break From

Sweet Spring Break.   You will mostly be a break from my day job although I have work to do there for which I will be sneaking into school and completing later this week.  Not that I really want to, but lesson plans have to be written and prep.  Such is the life of a teacher.

The life of a writer is also similarly never ending cycle of work.  This week, I make no promises on what I will be accomplishing on various writing projects.  I will be writing, but school breaks tend to be horrible times for me to write as everything I put off during the school year gets shoved into a break.  I do promise to do a lot of reading.

Recently, I finished the “Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer.  I own both the book and the audio book.  I can’t recommend the audio book by enough.  It is like having Amanda Palmer speak directly to you.

Currently, I am listening to the audio book of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and narrated by Scott Brick.  And reading the Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead by Heather Pringle which is an invigorating look into the lives of the preserved dead.

After that, I am not sure. I have a lovely stack of to be read books waiting for my attention.  Although, I expect to be distracted by the latest offering by Edward Medina. Bones, Crowns and Gaman is the second novella in the Adventures of the X Pirates series.  The first book is the Demise of Foxy Jack which is available on Amazon Kindle. There is also a prolog entitled a Murder of Crows.

Alethea Kontis will be releasing the next book in her Arilland series on the 28th.  Sadly, this is the day that I go back to work so I will have to wait to dig into it.

If you need something for your reading list, check out my book, Blood Child, on Amazon.

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A Book Out and A Short Story on the Way

Blood Child

Coverart by Steven Warrick

February 13th is fast approaching and with it comes the one year anniversary of Blood Child‘s release.   Over seven hundred people have it in their hands and on their devices.

Thank you, because thanks to you, dear readers,  I made it on an Amazon Best Seller list.   For those of you who haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy, it is .99 cents for a limit time on Amazon.

“This is an amazing book! As the story progressed and more pages were turned I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be part one and I’d have to wait for a second book to find out what happened but then right at the end it all came together and was an ending I never saw coming. Excellent work Lucinda! Can’t wait for your next work!” – Amazon Reader

“Blood Child will keep you on your toes until the very end. You will not want to put it down. Grab a refreshment and cozy in for a good read.” – Marie Arminger

“Excellent. Grabbed my attention from beginning to end. I devoured it and now I’m craving more.” – Amazon Reader

I have begun work on the next book, Blood Ties, which is set to take place five years after the first book.  I won’t say much as it is very much a work in progress.

What I can talk about is Shadow Cat which is currently in the hands of my lovely editor, Zee.  It is a short story about a rather spectacular specter of feline making his rounds on All Hallow’s Eve.  ShadowsTale

Here is a brief taste of that Shadow’s Tale has in store for you.

The Florida air on All Hallow’s Eve isn’t crisp or chill, but muggy and dank giving way to a proliferation of minuscule costumes for all ages and sexes, although the ubiquitous robe with accompanying mask are still a favorite for the adolescent crowd. In days past, every neighborhood had houses with their porch lights lit declaring their intention to pass out candy.  But neighborhoods change.  City ordinances restricting teens from roaming the streets left some parts of the City Beautiful virtual ghost towns with only a few hearty souls daring to search out the few houses dispensing confections. The streets of these neighborhoods are far riper with ghosts and ghouls than one would imagine, but that is really neither here nor there since they are also well-suited to a black cat slinging his way home when all the good little kittens are tucked into bed or sleeping on people’s heads. A black cat not on a mission from some demeaned witch or demon, but one who has a story to tell.

Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Read this book today... seriously go to Amazon and buy it.

Read this book today… seriously go to Amazon and buy it.

Several months ago, I brought Enchanted by Alethea Kontis in anticipation of reading shortly after I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Barnes N’ Noble event in Orlando, Florida.  Needless to say that life intervened and I didn’t crack open the book until this past week.

I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I have been waiting for a book like this. A book to spark the imagination of both myself and my students. I told them about the book shortly after I started reading it and now they are eager to read it.

So let’s get to the good stuff.

Enchanted is the tale of Sunday Woodcutter who lives in the magical kingdom of Arilland where fairies and fairy tales are woven into everyone’s lives.  Sunday is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and being the youngest of the youngest has left her feeling like she is the leftover child in the family.  She and her other sister are each named for a day of the week by their mother, Seven Woodcutter.

Each sister takes on the attributes of the day on which she was born.  Kontis weaves the stories of the Woodcutter family together seamlessly hinting at the mysteries and secrets that all families have.  They may live in a magical land where talking animals are common place, but they have real problems and concerns.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

From the beginning of this enchanting tale (punt intended) to the last line, you are taken on a journey through everything you think you know about classic fairy tales isn’t just turned on its head, but pulled into reality.  And it all begins with a lonely girl named Sunday sitting by a well and reading her journal to a frog named Grumble who will become her friend.  But what happens when that friendship turns into love?

The blending of classic Fairy Tales and modern humor carries the reader to a new realm where the Princess and the Pea meets Cinderella, the Frog Prince and reality head on for the win.

Visit her website and you can find out more about her and her books.I promise you that you won’t regret it.  You can also purchase the books from Amazon or Barnes  and Noble 

 

Book Review: The Eterna Files

Misc 081Book Review: The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber.

Available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other retailers.

Addicted. I am officially addicted to Leanna Renne Hieber’s writing.   I have no problem with this addiction and intend to do nothing but feed it over the coming months.

If you love reading, I would suggest that you also develop this particular addiction. She has seventeen titles available on Amazon.  Seventeen delightful things… a few that are out of print as a result of the publisher going out of business.  The good news is that her new publisher, Tor, is releasing her lost titles soon.  I can’t wait.

I felt in love with her book, The Eterna Files, from the very first page.  I wanted to know immediately how Clara Templeton was going to fair in her quest for immortality, not for herself, but for the leader of our beloved nation. Clara’s quest begins in the wake of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln and continues to England’s Victorian Age and an assignment from the Queen Mum herself. Clara’s counter part Harold Spire has been appointed by her majesty’s command to purse the Eterna project. Both are bound by their honor to do what they think is right.

Hieber has a wonderful way of creating rich historical worlds that draw you in and keep you enthralled.  You want to know what is happening with both teams as they search for the answers to death.  Tragedy has stuck both teams and each believes the others to blame. It is difficult to image the days when America and Great Britain were enemies, but it is barely a hundred years after the revolution and both countries are hunting the same prize. It is easy to see how both would see each other as the enemy and not the ally that they are today.

If you love a mystery, Gothic fiction and an all around good story, you need to read this book. And everything else by this writer, Leanna Renee Hieber.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

 

Lu Friday’s Bookshelf

Misc 081Well, dear readers, I once again have a Kindle thanks to the generosity of a friend (Thanks Mr. Scott).  I have finished one book and am half way through another one.  In the morning before work, I am sitting down with my coffee and reading as I finish my breakfast. It is a relaxing way to start the day. I admit that leaving my books has been pretty hard this week, but to work we must all go.

Entera Files by Leanna Renee Hieber ~ A week in and I wish there was more time in the day to read.  Unfortunately, there is this little thing called work that gets in the way.  From the days after the assassination of  Abraham Lincoln to the streets of London, this story continues to delight and intrigue me. I can’t wait to see where it goes. The language is beautiful and the imagery amazing.

Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire’s chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

The Demise of Foxy Jack (Adventures of X Pirates of Book 1)  This is the latest book by Edward Medina and I can’t wait to read it.  Medina writes with the zeal of  showman and the talent of Shakespeare. You can find an excerpt on his blog, Just Sayin’.  The Demise of Foxy Jack follows up where the Murder of Crows left off. The second installment of the new X-Pirate series is coming out soon and I can’t until the next one and I haven’t even read this one, yet.

Want to add my book to your pile, Blood Child? It is available on Amazon. What’s on your reading pile? Come one, don’t leave a girl hanging…

Lu’s Bookshelf

With the death of my Kindle, I have gone back and forth between using the phone app and solid tangible books.  The app isn’t perfect and I would love to own a new Kindle, but it isn’t in the cards right now.  And even when it is, I know now that I will never give up my old fashioned smelly books. There is nothing like reading a physical book.

Here is what is on my to-read pile:

Entera Files by Leanna Renee Hieber ~ I started reading this one last night and I am officially hooked.  From the first page, I want to know what is going to happen to Miss Clara Templeton, a gifted sensitive, and a member of a team of scientists, theologians, magicians and philosophers hunting for way to protect the nation’s leader from harm. Set in the period after the civil war, this novel is promising to take me on an amazing journey.

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton – I have lost track of the number of times I have read this series.  This is the fifth installment.  It is just before it takes a turn for the erotic. Anita is ass deep in trouble not of her own making.  At this point in the series she isn’t the hero that she will later become. She is a gifted animator (zombie raiser)  and vampire slayer. She comes through with the grace and stubbornness that we will come to expect in the later books.

The Demise of Foxy Jack (Adventures of X Pirates of Book 1)  This is the latest book by Edward Medina and I can’t wait to read it.  Medina writes with the zeal of  showman and the talent of Shakespeare. You can find an excerpt on his blog, Just Sayin’.  The Demise of Foxy Jack follows up where the Murder of Crows left off. The second installment of the new X-Pirate series is coming out on the 28th and I can’t until the next one and I haven’t even read this one, yet.

These are the books that fueling my inspiration this week. What about you?

Book Review: No Lasting Burial

No-Lasting-BurialNo Lasting Burial by Stant Litore

Available on Amazon in both Paperback and Kindle Formats

Another fabulous installment of the Zombie Bible by Stant Litore.  In this installment of the Zombie Bible by Stant Litore, we find ourselves in the Gospel of Luke, outside a small village that has been spirituality and physical torn by a horde of zombies after a brutal occupation by Roman soldiers.   For followers of the series, it may have seemed inevitable that the Zombie Bible would move from the Old to New Testament, but moving forward from the stories recited in Sunday school to the ones recounted from the pulpit is risky.

So how did he do it?

The same way the writers of Jesus Christ Superstar did when they created that infamous musical with care, joy and great skill. Both of which profoundly shaped the way that I approach the bible and particularly the stories of Jesus.  Too often the human side of Jesus is forgotten and he is made out to be so divine that no human could walk in his steps.  Litore creates realistic characters which are both relate-able and true to the original biblical tales.

Did he do it well? 

Yes, the action is non-stop so readers won’t be bored or feel weighted down.  At the same time, Litore takes you to emotional depths that you might not have thought possible. This isn’t just a bible story with zombies added into the mix; it is instead a masterful piece of story-telling. A must read for horror and historical fiction fans. This novella is well work a space on your reading list.

Book Review: Nation by Terry Pratchett

nationNation by Sir Terry Pratchett 

Available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats

As some of you may have heard, Sir Terry Pratchett has had to cancel an appearance at a UK  convention due to the embuggerance  catching up to him.  In 2007, Sir Pratchett was  diagnosed with an early form of Alzheimer. He made the announcement to his fan community on December 11th of that year.  In 2008, the Nation was released.  Over the course of his career, Sir Pratchett has published over 50 books, including his fantasy Discworld series.

Six years later, a helpful volunteer for the local library dropped off the paperback version at my school to spark the student’s interest. It was the end of the year by the time that noticed it sitting on a shelf. The  Nation‘s colorful cover drew me to it and I asked the teacher who had been gifted with the book if I could borrow it.  After all my years as a geek and book lover, I am a bit shy to admit that this is the first book of Sir Pratchett’s that I have read.  It did not disappoint in anyway.

The Nation tells the story of two young people who find themselves struggling to survive after a tsunami hits the South Pacific stranding them on the same island.  The bigger problem is that while Mau called the island home before the wave is that Daphane is a trouserman, an alien in his world.  As you might have guessed, they quickly form a bond that helps them transcend cultural and language differences.  It is then that the real action begins.  Throughout the novel, they will fight to protect the island and the people slowly begin to gather afterwards.

It is the novel’s approach to culture and how it explains both Daphane’s and Mau’s world, that really caught me. I knew that I could use this novel to teach culture and its intricacies in my classroom.  The potential for a love story would engage my classroom’s readers as well as its character’s logical approach to their world. The concepts of what it is to be adult and what defines community after  a disaster. Others have pointed out that this is a character driven story tackles themes of death and faith as well.   All of this is present in the novel and while that may should heavy, Sir Pratchetts’s narrative flows in a way that the reader absorbs the gravity of the situations faced by the characters, but is never overwhelmed by it.  It is as the Washington Post Book World said “A terrific thought provoking book.”

While this novel isn’t set his Discworld universe, it clearly demonstrates his gift for storytelling and why readers have been flocking to his books for years.

Book Review: My Psychic Eye Addiction

lethaloutlook

Lethal Outlook by Victoria Laurie

Available in paperback and Kindle Formats on Amazon.

I love brain candy, but before you begin to think that Lethal Outlook by Victoria Laurie is a piece of fluff, let me give you my definition of brain candy.   My kind of brain candy is rich like Godiva chocolate.  Intense and absolutely delicious, something that keeps me coming back. A book where I am going along for the adventure and I don’t want it to end.

A book that keeps me up late into the night.

Lethal Outlook was as predicted an absolutely fabulous piece of brain candy. I didn’t want to put it down last night.  My brain wanted to continue, but my eyes finally closed on about 4 am.

After her last adventure, Abby aka Edgar, is slowly recovering from her injuries, a fracture pelvis.  She is determined to walk down the aisle without her cane.  Between physical therapy, running her business, dodging phone calls from sister who is obsessed with planning Abby the perfect wedding and her contractor, Dave,  she is in over her head as the book begins then she gets the case of a missing woman handed to her by a mystery woman.   A woman who is clearly in danger if anyone knew that she had come to happy for help.

Kendra Moreno, a young mother, has gone missing and investigators have no leads and suspect  her husband, Tristan, of doing away for his wife.  Abby and her partner Candice know they have  a case when Abby sees a picture of the missing woman and knows the she is dead. The only problem is that they don’t have a client.  When meetings with both the parents of the missing woman and her husband go wrong it doesn’t look like will be getting paid for their investigation.   The two persist and the action of books picks up and takes you in.

One of the best things about a Victorie Laurie mystery is that she weaves it so well that you won’t guess who the killer is until the end of the book. Her heroine is realistic and the rest of the cast of characters are genuine and lovable.

Lethal Outlook is the 10th book in the series.  Book 11 – Deadly Forecast is already out and I am happy to say downloaded onto my kindle.  The only reason that I am tearing into today is that I have work to do and I know if I get started I won’t stop.

 

 

Book Review: Dusk and Summer

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCover_Large_zps307b1fc0

Dusk and Summer by Joseph A. Pinto

Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.

The first time I read this book, it held me captive, curled beneath my comforter until it was done with me.  Recently, it was released under a new publisher and with a new cover. Dusk and Summer kept me prisoner for a second time this afternoon.

The novella published by Pinto in 2008 is a deeply personal metaphysical journey that we are guests on.  The beginning of the novella brought out the English teacher in me;  I wanted to make some corrections.  It seemed to me like he was using to many words when fewer would have allowed the tale to flow more evenly. Don’t allow the rocky beginning to turn you off.  It has a purpose and if you let it, it will take a hold of you.  Pinto is a gifted storyteller knowing which elements of the story to share and which to hold back.

If you are tempted in novels to skip the forward and go straight to the meat of the book; don’t.  You will miss some much needed information about the author and how this book was birthed as well as the love behind it.  All books in one form or another are born of an author’s heart.  This one came from a love grown and nurtured over decades between a father and a son. It is also about letting go and following the wishes of a love one.

There is a villain, one that I have had personal experience with, cancer.  It claws and rakes families with misery.  Some survive, and others goes through what the Pinto family did.  They sit day after day with their love ones doing everything they can to make it though the next day, hour or minute with their sanity in tacked.   Hoping and praying for miracles that never come.  Searching for meaning.

This is a book about one man’s search for meaning; about a son looking for a way to fulfill his father’s last wish and finding strength in his father’s life and death.

For more information on the author please visit: www.josephpinto.wordpress.com