Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review: Post Parcel

Post Parcel is the second book by Indie writer, Kate Kulig.  I enjoyed her first book, Bloody Murder, but this second effort was a whole lot better.  There were actual moments while reading this story that I thought, "ooooo the plot thickens."  I wasn't planning on reading this right after reading the first book.  I thought I would check out the first couple of pages just to see how it was and I was hooked.  I had to read on.

In Post Parcel - Zofia at the Bloody Murder Bookstore gets a UPS delivery of a steamer trunk with a body inside wrapped in plastic.  (I won't make the COD joke)  "It's a considerate thriller that wraps his or her bodies in plastic."

The book flows excellently taking the reader along with Zo, Michael, Feliz, and a cast of characters through the streets of New Orleans.  I wanted to climb into a chair with a bug cup of bitter chicory coffee, a Po'boy sandwich, crank up the Harry Connick jr.(my New Orleans favorite), and read the book from start to finish.

I can't wait for the next book in the Bloody Murder series.

5 Stars out of 5

Memorable quotes:
"Reality outdoes the imagination every time."
"A geek and a laptop.  It's a beautiful thing."
"It's a lot easier to sell someone on a new author if you have his or her earliest work."

Jerry looked at Michael.  "What have you done with Zo?"
Michael returned the level gave.  "Would you like the list chronologically or shall I start from her toes?"

Post Parcel on Amazon

Monday, 22 October 2012

Interview with No More Wasted Time author Beverly Preston

I had the great joy of interviewing author of the book, No More Wasted Time, Beverly Preston.  Her book,  The only bad part is that I didn't get to go to her home town of Las Vegas.

Welcome Beverly.
Hi Lorne!  Thanks so much for having me.

LO:  Tell me something about yourself and your book, No More Wasted Time.
BP:  I've been a Domestic Enineer, aka mom and wife, for twenty years.  In January, I published my debute novel, No More Wasted Time.  It's been a busy year!  No More Wasted Time has nearly 50,000 downloads and has been ranked #1 in Travel on Amazon for six months.  I recently, last week, completed my second manuscripts and books two and three are plotted out.  The second book in the series will be published early 2013.

LO:  How much of your novel is drawn from real life?
BP:  I definitely write in my own voice.  I draw inspiration from friends, relatives, and I live in Las Vegas which makes for fantastic people watching.  I was lucky enough to travel to Bora Bora a few years ago.  Greece and Tuscany are on my bucket list.  (No More Wasted Time takes place in Las Vegas and Bora Bora)

LO:  From a previous conversation I remember you telling me that you wrote the fourth book before writing the second...I was wondering why?
BP:  Sheer dumb luck, Lorne!  I removed the epilogue from No More Wasted Time right before publishing, realizing it set me up for an entire series about the Mathews/Clemmins Family.  I began writing the next story in my imagination, but quickly realized that I had a big info/back story dump.  So by removing the epilogue and back story it created basic plots for all four books in the series.

LO:  Do you anticipate a lot of changes in book 4 after writing the second?
BP:  No.  Crossing fingers, but no.  Each book is about Tess' grown children.

LO:  Are you going to release them close to each other?
BP:  All four books will be published by the end of 2013.

LO:  Are you able to give us any clues to the second book?  Title, plot, etc.
BP:  I can tell you that book two is the story of Shayla Clemmins and I'm leaning toward the title Shayla's Story.  The third book in the series is about Tracy Mathews.  Book four is titled The Perfect Someday and it's the story of the very spicy JC Mathews.

LO:  I'm a chef so I have to ask, what do you like to eat or snack on while writing?
BP:  Apples with peanut butter, cashew clusters and chocolate.

LO:  If your main character Tess were to come knocking on your door, where in your home town of Las Vegas would you go?  What would you do and what do you think you would talk about?
BP:  We would hit Starbucks on the way up to Red Rock, where we would go hiking for the afternoon, assuming it wasn't the middle of July.  Then the Yard House Restaurant at the Red Rock Hotel for tasty food, great beer, and some good old rock-n-roll while chatting!

LO:  My 10 year old son read the first two pages of my novel and told me it was pretty good (best review ever) and then he tried getting his Grade 5 teacher to go online and buy a copy.  What do your children think of your book?
BP:  I have four kids ages 22, 19, 19 and 12.  My nineteen year old daughter is my biggest cheerleader and helped me a lot with the writing process, including final edits.  My youngest daugher gives her teachers, if we know them, my book for teacher appreciation day.  Wrapped in a brown bag of course.

LO:  Does your husband read your writing?
BP:  He is not a big reader, unless it's a set of house plans, but he has read my book and LOVD it!  He tells all of his friends to get it for their wives and...well, I'll just leave it at that.

LO:  My wife has a copy of your book so we will see what happens.

Click here to check out Beverly's novel No More Wasted Time

After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning.
Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess.
Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride.
Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet.
As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Review of BLOODY MURDER by Kate Kulig

Okay so I'm trying my hand at this reviewing other novels thing.  If you know me intimately you know that I was never a fan of reading.  Pretty stupid for a guy who wanted to be a writer since he was 10.  In school I moronically (my new word - it'll catch on) prided myself on getting through English class without reading the actual books we were studying.  I have since read most of those books...Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Slaughter House 5 and so on.

Since becoming a published Indie writer I have decided to read Indie authors and give some reviews.  I'm starting with those that have reviewed my novel.  So for my first official review....Bloody Murder by Kate Kulig.

Bloody Murder is the definition of a cozy mystery.  It is not action packed and there is no gore, but you quickly start to care about the main character, Zo, and you want to stick around.  It made me want to curl up in a chair and read on to unravel the mysteries in this woman’s life.  Zo owns a mystery book store titled, of course, Bloody Murder in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  That is the one city in the world I would like to go to so I thank Kate Kulig for taking me there.

I don’t judge books by their covers, but I do judge books by their opening lines.  “I’ve never seen a crime scene contaminated by muffins before,” had me hooked.  I also then have to give bonus marks to someone who uses the line, "Nothing comes between me and good food."

Now I will say that the first half of the novel is slow.  You learn about Zo and all of the characters that work in and out of her Bloody Murder bookstore, you learn about her ill-fated career in journalism and the sadness she had from her tragic family life.  But you are also witness to her growing relationship with Michael.  As you round the halfway mark you have to keep reading to find out what happens.

I’m really looking forward to reading Kate Kulig’s second novel in this series, Post Parcel, to find out what else happens to Zo and her friends.
4 stars out of 5
(There are formatting errors and some spelling missteps much like the ones I have in Red Island.  Seeing as I have the same mistakes there isn't much I can say about it.)

For my next review I will be reading Assaulted Souls by William Blackwell (a PEI writer)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Stop Blocking Your Path

I used to teach Martial Arts.  It seems like so long ago, but it is still there in my memories.  I mostly taught children and one of my favorite things to do was to sit them all down and have a Zen lesson.  We would talk about all sorts of things.  In my view martial arts was more about learning a lesson inside than learning how to do a jump sidekick five feet in the air.  Though I did that to.

My favorite lesson was one I got from a book written by none other than Chuck Norris.  As soon as you stop laughing you can remember that God rested on the seventh day because Chuck Norris gave him permission.  Ha!

The lesson was this:
A man had to travel over a mountain to get to the village on the far side.  As he started it was a wide path, but as he walked the path up the mountain got thinner and thinner.  On his left side of the path was the cliff going straight up.  On his right the path dropped off and went straight down.  The man felt a weakness in his knees.  He continued walking as the path got thinner. 

Suddenly he saw another man come around the corner of the path on the way down.  Both men stopped in front of each other.  They looked one way and then the other.  The first man knew there was no way to get around the second.  He turned around and began walking back down.  He felt calmer.  The path got wider.  He quickly looked over his shoulder expecting to see the other man, but he wasn't there.

The first man stopped and turned around.  Where was he?  He shrugged his shoulders and started walking back up the mountain.  His knees started feeling funny and the path got thinner.  Suddenly the second man rounded a corner.  The two of them stood before each other with no way to get around each other.  The first man looked at the second's face.  It was oddly familliar.  He rubbed his eyes and realised the man standing before him was himself.  There was no second man.  There was only the first.  The light dawned inside his mind and he realised the only thing getting in his way of getting up over the mountain was himself.

Everyone...writers, artists, cooks, bookkeepers, housewives...have to get out of their own way.  I had the fear of putting my own book out there.  I tried sending books to publishers and thought, I'll do more someday.  Someday.  The only thing getting in your way of doing anything is your own head.  How many people have I heard complain about not having a better job?  How many times have I asked them if they sent out a resume and they said no?  Just as many.

You are the only one who can do what you need to do.  If you want to have a published book you have to do the work.  You have to do the writing.  You have to get the editing done.  You have to be the one to either send you manuscript out to publishers or get it published on Amazon or Smashwords or Kobo or whatever.  You have to be the one to advertise it and get your name out there.

See, Chuck Norris is one smart mother!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


When I write a new blog for my page I think of the movie Pump up the Volume.  Christian Slater plays a guy who just moved to a new area so he doesn't really know anyone.  Instead of walking up to someone he talks on the radio, mostly about sex and masturbation with a few deep thoughts thrown in, and at first he doesn't think he has any listeners but then it turns out he does....that's how I feel about my blog.  I have 27 followers but does anyone know it's here?  Did anyone miss me while I didn't have internet?

Anyway, in case there is that one person out there...I'm back now and should have Internet for a little while so hopefully we can see how far I can bring this blog.