Monday, August 27, 2012

Author Interview with Nicole Persun

 A Kingdom’s Possession blends ancient magic, love and intrigue in a romantic fantasy told in a fresh new voice.

A wayward prince, his twin brother, a mystical woman of fire, and an escaped slave band together, to free an outcast goddess – if they can elude a powerful rogue kingdom intent on their destruction.

Max, a young woman who has just escaped a life of slavery, finds herself at the heart of a heated rebellion and a complicated legend. As the kingdom of Alice seeks power among the realms, a flawed goddess is thrown from the heavens and forced to reside inside Max’s body. The king of Alice, lusting for the rewards the goddess will grant upon the kingdom that releases her from her human cage, sends spies to capture Max and release the goddess in the most ruthless way: through death. Will Max and her friends solve the magical riddle before her pursuers? And what of her budding love for the prince? A captivating tale of love, freedom, and choices.

 Nicole J. Persun is a Fantasy writer who lives in Port Townsend, Washington. She started seriously writing when she was thirteen, and hasn’t stopped since. “I write to explore, to transport myself somewhere new, and uncover the complex minds of my characters.”

Goodreads page for this book.

On your nightstand now:
Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke and A Place Called Armageddon by C.C. Humphreys
Favorite book when you were a child:
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Your top five authors:
Such a hard question! It changes often, but at the moment, I’d say:
1. Lily Tuck – Her novel, I Married You For Happiness was the best book I’ve read all year
2. Terry Persun – Not because he’s my father, but because his fantasy novel (which comes out later this year) made me cry and laugh out loud
3. C.C. Humphreys – His character development in Vlad: The Last Confession was phenomenal
4. Sharon Shinn – I have a weakness for her Twelve Houses series. Good stories paired with solid writing make her romantic fantasy novels a treat.
5. George R.R. Martin – His world building is amazing yet he doesn’t bog the reader down with detail. A little dense at times, but I’m definitely hooked on his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Of course, if you get me talking about the big guys, I’d mention people like Tolkien, Hemingway, Vonnegut, Shakespeare, Steinbeck… Again, it’s a hard question!
Book you've faked reading:
Why would I want to fake reading a book? If it’s worth reading, I’ll read it. If not, then it’s not even worth faking.
Book you're an evangelist for:
 I Married You For Happiness, by Lily Tuck and The Writer’s Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long
Book you've bought for the cover: 
 The Memorist by M.J. Rose. It was the pretty blue and metallic peacock that attracted me. As far as covers go, it doesn’t really portray what the book is about, but it did the trick as far as getting me to pick it up! The story was good, too. The way she interwove the different past lives was amazing.
Book that changed your life:
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. It inspired me to dream big when I was writing my (now unpublished) third novel, and let me just say, my third novel remains a great love of mine.
Favorite line from a book:
On page 269 of A Game of Thrones when Martin writes something like, “his private face and his public mask were one.” In context, it’s an amazing description that is spot on and puts the reader right in the scene.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
I Married You For Happiness, by Lily Tuck. Did I mention that it’s the best book I’ve read all year? And if not that one, I’d like to read one of my novels for the first time, just out of curiosity. I wonder what I’d think?
Why any human should plunk down cash money for your book: 
 I think the number one reason anyone should pick up a novel is for its prowess in plot, writing, and character development. The best books are a solid combination of the three. I’d like to think mine is one of them.

What made you decide to write this book in the first place?
There was no avoiding it. I had no choice but to write it, because the characters wouldn’t leave me alone.
What is your writing style? 
  I work best in the morning, when it’s quiet and my mind is fresh. I sit at my desk, which is in a loft, so it’s high up and there’s a huge set of windows to look out. Beside me is an old Royal Typewriter, and typically a vase of fresh flowers. I also have a corkboard nearby for each of my novels, where I tack up 3x5 cards with ideas, notes, and other thoughts that keep me organized throughout the process.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m in college full time, but I still write every day, no matter what, for at least two hours. My father always said, “You are not a writer unless you write.” It’s as simple as that.
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
As a reader myself, I always hope to learn something from a novel. It doesn’t have to be profound or factual, just something that changes me. I wish that on my readers as well. That they feel as though they learned something about themselves throughout the journey, and as though the book was worth reading.

In the point of view of any of your characters, Answer these three questions:
Avaline, from my novel A Kingdom’s Possession:
What is your darkest secret? 
 How I came into existence is my darkest secret. My story is a long one, where I begin as a phoenix, and end as a woman.
What is your heart’s desire?
To be in my natural form again. To feel at home in my own skin.
A dragon has just appeared in front of you, ready to attack. What do you do? Fight fire with fire.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
  I am a mentor, and have been alive for hundreds of years. My knowledge of this land and its history is extensive, but I’ve kept to myself fairly well. The wizard Storret Airet could tell you a lot about me. The rest who’d know are long gone. There is information in the Vault beneath the Castle in Valta that holds some of my secrets, but the best way to learn about me and my work is to ask me yourself.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Author Interview: Stephen Register

Stephen Paul Register moved around often as a child in the American South. He settled in Nashville before joining the Tennessee National Guard. He was deployed to to Baghdad, Iraq and Kuwait for over 16 months from 2003 to 2004. He served in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and also had the duty of supporting Border Patrol in Yuma, Arizona. Stephen attended Belmont University in Nashville from 2005 to 2008 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and the Arts. He then went on to Yale University to earn his Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where he graduated in 2011. He now lives with his wife Anna in Nashville.

 An intense, artful, and heartfelt U.S. military memoir detailing accounts of war-fighting in Baghdad, Iraq, Border Patrol in Yuma, Arizona, and Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

On your nightstand now: 
A.N. Wilson’s biography, Tolstoy; Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait, selected by W.H. Auden; Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, by Mikhail Bakhtin; Ian McEwan’s Saturday; and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. (It’s hard for me to limit myself to just one book at a time.)
Favorite book when you were a child: Tie between The Giving Tree and Where the Red Fern Grows.

Your top five authors: 
Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Faulkner, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway.

Book you've faked reading: 
 Up until age 19 I faked reading every book I was supposed to read except for Where the Red Fern Grows, a few books in the Star Wars series, Rifles for Watie, Stephen Decatur, and Ender’s Game. When I turned 19 I quit fake-reading books altogether and actually started reading.

Favorite line from a book: 
"Whatever [the writer] beholds or experiences, comes to him as a model and sits for its picture. He counts it all nonsense that they say that some things are undescribable. He believes that all that can be thought can be written, first or last; and he would report the Holy Ghost, or attempt it." Emerson, Essays and Journals, from his essay, Goethe; or, the Writer.

Why any human should plunk down cash money for your book:
1) Simply put, the most important reason to get the book is that it is well-written; 2) Another reason is that the book does what very few other military memoirs, in my mind, succeed in doing: telling the truth about what it means to be a soldier. If you want to know what a soldier is, what is required of us and what society asks (demands?) soldiers to be, then you’ll want to read my book.

Based on the description of Meantime I know there may be some exciting scenes as well as a bit of humor. But can you tell us what more to expect?
 Meantime is a book about a person—a soldier—in the field, doing his duty. It is a look into the life of a soldier; where he goes, what he does, what he thinks, and what he feels. You can expect from Meantime to get a real portrayal of what I went through as a soldier on the Mississippi Gulf Coast doing disaster relief work after Hurricane Katrina; what I went through as a warfighter in Iraq in the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and what it was like to guard the U.S.—Mexico border in support of U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona. The reader, through Meantime, gets to be in all of these places with me; I had to relive all these experiences in order to truly write them and so the reader is able to walk with me through these events as I relive them.

What is your writing style? For example, I write with a laptop on the floor of my bedroom listening to music.
 I usually write at my desk; I have a picture of Picasso’s The Old Guitarist hanging above my desk, and pictures of Dostoevsky, Proust, Faulkner, and Joyce on top of my bookshelf so I can see them easily while writing; I also have a picture of my wife close by. I can pretty much write anywhere, but it helps to have these images all around me, to remind me that I’m in good company. It does need to be quiet when I write; I’m easily distracted.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
 Right now I’m a part-time writer, longing to be a full-time one. When I have a steady schedule then I make sure my writing is scheduled for a set time also; when my schedule is erratic I write whenever I get the chance. In my experience the most important thing is showing up to the page—it doesn’t matter when you show up or for how long, just as long as you just show up; if you keep returning to the page then the work will get done.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
 I hope they’ll get some idea of what it means to be a soldier, and that they’ll have a better sense of what a soldier goes through. I hope that, when we’re deciding to send soldiers off to war or wherever in the future, that people who have read Meantime will have a better understanding of who soldiers are and what society is asking of them.

What did you like about writing this book, and books in general? 
Writing this book helped me understand my experiences and (existentially) my self better than I ever could have imagined. In remembering and constructing the elements of this memoir helped me to gain a much deeper sense of my self—who I am and what I’ve been through—than I ever thought possible. It was an amazing spiritual experience and nothing yet in my life has come close to rivaling its intensity and benefit.

What is the tone of the book? Satire? Humor? Informative? 
This book shifts between emotions, whether it is humor, anger, sadness, or excitement. In that it is a memoir it shifts between all human emotions as I tell different scenes. I think that Meantime is also informative, but I would say that the tone is predominately emotive (or emotional), and the tone fluxes and shifts according to whatever emotion the memory evoked in me as I was writing it.

Where can the book be bought?
 The hard copy book can be bought on Amazon or through my publisher’s website, The audiobook can be bought on or iTunes. The eBook can be bought on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Diesel,,, or my website,

Where can people learn more about you and your work? 
You can learn more about me at my website,; on my website I have some free poems and a short biography, etc. And you can learn more about Meantime in particular at my publisher’s website, Also, here are links to two TV interviews I’ve done on Youtube: and And there are also three clips on Youtube of the audiobook version of Meantime:,, and I also have a pretty extensive author’s bio on

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview with Doug Richards

 Douglas E. Richards was born on May 7th, 1962.  He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with his parents and his sister, Pam.  He went to Finneytown High School, and then graduated with a degree in microbiology from Ohio State University, a master's degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. 
Douglas now lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Kelly, and his two children, Ryan and Regan.

Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. But what if this transcendent level of intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania?

David Desh left the special forces after his team was brutally butchered in Iran. Now he has been reactivated for one last mission: find Kira Miller, the enigmatic genius behind a bioterror plot that threatens millions. But when Desh learns that the bioterror plot is just the tip of the iceberg, he is thrust into a byzantine maze of deception and intrigue, and he becomes a key player in a deadly game he can't begin to understand. A game that is certain to have a dramatic impact on the future course of human history.

The sequel to the NY Times & USA Today bestseller, WIRED, which was also the #1 bestselling Kindle book of 2011 in two major categories, "technothrillers" and "science fiction" (19th overall).
Kira Miller is a brilliant scientist who discovers how to temporarily boost human IQ to dizzying levels. But this transcendent intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania. Determined to use her discovery to propel human civilization to a higher plane, despite this side effect, Kira and ex-special forces operative David Desh recruit a small group of accomplished scientists, all of whom are safely off the grid. Or so they think .

Soon Kira and her team are fighting for their lives against unknown but powerful adversaries. Worse still, while on the run and being relentlessly attacked from all quarters, Kira comes across evidence of savage acts that the enhanced version of Desh kept hidden, even from himself. Now both she and Desh must question everything they think they know. Can they trust each other? Can they even trust themselves?
And all the while, the greatest threat of all may be coming from an entirely unexpected direction. A threat that could lead to devastation on a global scale. And time is quickly running out .

How did you come up with the titles?

I was going for something punchy and interesting. The books are about a brilliant woman who finds a way, for about an hour at a time, to boost human intelligence to immeasurable levels, but this boost comes with a price. She does this by using genetic engineering to re-wire the brain (so "WIRED" seemed to make sense for a title). Since I have a master's degree in genetic engineering, I did a lot of research to make this as plausible as possible.

How did you come up with the idea for your series?

I've always been fascinated with the potential of the human brain, especially given that autistic savants, by being able to memorize entire phonebooks and calculate square roots in their heads instantly, give us a glimpse into the brain's vast potential. 

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

I've tried to include a lot of food for thought in the books. There really isn't anything specific I'm hoping readers will grasp, I just want to entertain them, yet also present concepts that I hope they will continue to think about long after they've finished the books.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

For me, the writing is the easy part. It's figuring out the plots that can drive me crazy, or even what will happen in a given scene. It's one thing to write in an outline "hero cleverly escapes from an inescapable prison," but it's another to actually figure out how this happens :)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My boyhood favorite was Isaac Asimov. I loved his plots, and the clever twists he always had at the end.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just that I hope they will enjoy the books.

Who is your favorite or least favorite character to write?

Kira Miller is far and away my favorite character to write. I find her fascinating on a number of levels, and she is not only brilliant, but street smart, fascinating, and incredibly resourceful and formidable. 

Fun time!

In the point of view of any character you choose, answer these:

From Kira Miller's point of view:

What is your dirty little secret?

I have lots of secrets, but they're all plot spoilers :)   (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you)

You're walking along and a dragon appears in front of you. What do you do?

Calmly assess the situation, and then impress it and outsmart it on so many levels, it decides to be my loyal servant.

What is your heart's desire?
To destroy the world or save it. I can't be more specific without fear of a plot spoiler.

 Bonus round!

Where can we all follow you?

My website is at, but I'm horrible at keeping it up to date, and to be honest, it isn't very good (although it does have some articles I've written for the BBC, Earth & Sky, Today's Parent, etc. and some samples of my work for National Geographic KIDS magazine. I find my Author Facebook page is far easier for me to update, so "Friending" me on Facebook at Douglas E. Richards Author might be the best way to go.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: A sense of Direction; Pilgrimage for the restless and the hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Kraus

 In medieval times, a pilgrimage gave the average Joe his only break from the daily grind. For Gideon Lewis-Kraus, it promises a different kind of escape. Determined to avoid the kind of constraint that kept his father, a gay rabbi, closeted until midlife, he has moved to anything-goes Berlin. But the surfeit of freedom there has begun to paralyze him, and when a friend extends a drunken invitation to join him on an ancient pilgrimage route across Spain, he grabs his sneakers, glad of the chance to be committed to something and someone.
       Irreverent, moving, hilarious, and thought-provoking, A Sense of Direction is Lewis-Kraus's dazzling riff on the perpetual war between discipline and desire, and its attendant casualties. Across three pilgrimages and many hundreds of miles - the thousand-year-old Camino de Santiago, a solo circuit of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and, together with his father and brother, an annual mass migration to the tomb of a famous Hasidic mystic in the Ukraine - he completes an idiosyncratic odyssey to the heart of a family mystery and a human dilemma: How do we come to terms with what has been and what is - and find a way forward, with purpose?

My Review:

Pros:   It was far more interesting than I thought it would be. I expected some sort of drab monologue about a man who walked quite a bit. It was, admittedly, the exact opposite.

Cons:  This is where reading personalities comes in. I prefer fiction books and dragons. There were no dragons in this book, at least not literally. It was a great read, but not something I spent more than an hour at a time flipping through the pages.

Movie Potential:   Not quite something I would line up to see, but perhaps something that would haul in a fine revenue from almost-middle-aged persons on up.

Writing style:  Easy to follow, almost as if you were having a conversation with the author and hearing of his escapades.

Format:  Kindle. Mind you, a real proper kindle and not my iPod this time. No problems reading.

Overall Rating:  3/5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Review: The Metaphysical Double Life of Eri Lane

Everyone knows that fourteen-year-old Eri Lane is different. She is too intense, always tells the truth, and she somehow knows things she shouldn’t. Her confused teachers know she’s different. The means kids know. Her hardworking single mother knows. The cute, nerdy senior that she loves knows. There is just something about Eri Lane. But none of them know just how different, because absolutely none of them know that there are actually two worlds, the world of Dream and the world of Wake. Only Eri Lane and her best friend Malcolm Harris know that.

Eri and Malcolm never sleep, since they were twelve they have been among the special guardians of the boundary between the two worlds, known among themselves as the Awake. Now it’s November of their sophomore year, and Eri has been having a hard enough time trying to repair psychic leaks all night, and then navigate the ups and downs of being the black sheep of Marchland High School for the Gifted every day, (not to mention protecting Malcolm, who is openly gay, and their other best friend Ashley, who is too nice, from bullies), when a strange new creature shows up in the world of Dream, wreaking havoc and possibly even attempting to tear open the barrier between the two worlds. Now, Eri has to figure out how to stop it/him, how to save the world, and most importantly, whether or not the world is worth saving.

My Review:

Pros:   This is a fascinating book that keeps you reading. The change in tense between the Dream world and the Awake world is a bit unusual (though not unpleasant) at first, but you get used to it.

Cons: The ending felt kind of incomplete. There were no plot holes, and everything was wrapped up--but it all seemed a bit too quick. I expected more mystery concerning the mom, but it didn't happen.

Characters: I would ask for more backstory, but at this point it would be like asking for their biography. The main characters are well thought out and mostly everyone else is developed, if not in the Awake world then in their Dreams. The only person I felt that could have used a bit more spotlight was Eri's mother. In the book, there's a big mystery introduced that involves Eri's mother. It's not really talked about, though--Eri just says what it means and it's never, ever mentioned again.

Movie Potential: It would be a pretty cool movie, I admit. Not really a live action movie, though. I feel this would do better as an animated sort of film. Something along the lines of Popoyo and Spirited Away.

Format:  Kindle, a few typos here and there.

Overall Rating:  4/5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coming Up

I have this blog planned out for quite a while. Every review is scheduled about a week apart, to give me space for unplanned surprises, like a book that needs to be reviewed on a certain date or if I decide to host a giveaway.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review: Shaman, Friend, Enemy

Patients with fractured souls, clients threatened by deadly ancestor spirits, and now the paparazzi–it’s all in a day’s work for techno-shaman Olivia Lawson. Livvy has rocketed to the top of the shaman world, bringing old friends with her but also attracting new enemies.

Even as her career soars, her personal life spirals downward. Broken bonds and lost love finally force her to confront the terrible secret of her beginning in shamanism. Despite being attacked by dark shamans and navigating a spiritual plane that seems out of control, Livvy’s single-minded quest steers her into dangerous territory and puts her on a collision course with those dearest to her.

No longer interested in walking a fine line, Livvy discovers that–when the one thing you need is the one thing you can’t have–you’ll risk everything.


My Review:

Pros:   This was an excellent sequel to it's partner novel, which I reviewed three days ago. Reading this, I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed in my choice to review these two books at all.

Cons: It felt short. Normally I love short books because they're easy to get through and I have more time to read more books. But I felt like there was a whole other chapter missing--perhaps the next book in this series. I got so involved with the characters and the story that I was shocked to find myself at the end of the last chapter.

Characters: There were some definite advances made with most of the characters. A couple previous characters, though, seemed faded out by comparison. I felt like I know so much about Livvy and her best friend Min, even about her mother and SK. That is brilliant. But I want to know more about the other shamans from the first book. They didn't get as big a spotlight this time around, almost seeming as if they were pulled in last minute.

Movie Potential: I stand by my decision that this would rock as a movie. After reading this second novel, and noting its length, I would put the two books into one movie. Not sure how the transistion would go, but it could work.

Writing style:  still consistent, still enjoyable

Format:  Still kindle, with no problems.

Overall Rating:  4/5

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green

 Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong---it's impossible.

Or is it?

Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.

My Review:

Characters: The characters were well-rounded, even the bad guys. I was interested in every one of them, and was genuinely surprised when one of them turned out to be evil (I won't tell you who, though!)

Movie Potential: This has fantastic movie potential. I would probably go the route of "The Borrowers"//"The Secret Tales of Arietty" and change the name for the movie. But other than that, there's mystery and an interesting cast and adventure. The rating, most likely, would be pg-13 for a couple scenes. My personal rating guide for this book, as well, would be a PG-13 average--unless your child is like a lot of children I know (mature for their age) in which case, PG-10 should be fine.

Writing style:  Enjoyable. It's not a style I've ever read before, but that's a good thing. From quiet emotional scenes to big loud battles, the style doesn't change or falter.

Format:  Kindle. Absolutely no problems.

Overall Rating:  4/5

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flash Fiction: Cub scouts

Flash Fiction: Write fast, and don't edit.

 I really liked the idea of just dialogue, so I'm doing that again.

"Good evening, sir."
"Look, kid. I don't want any cookies. So go make a radio out of coconuts or something."
"Well, you're in luck. I'm not selling cookies. I'm doing a survey."
"Great. I don't want to take a survey. Ask that nice old lady over there."
"I just need to know what you want for christmas. Like, I want world peace so--"
"Look. I'm very busy trying to take over the world."
"I'll leave if you tell me what you want for christmas. Please? It's for a badge!"
"Fine! I want world domination, a copy of Mein Kamph, and a box of cracker jacks. Now scram."
"Mister, you ARE a box of cracker jacks."
"That's it. You have two seconds to leave before I cram that survey right up--"
"Tch. Humans."

Book Review: Economics A Simple Twist on Normalcy

 Professional football players, corporate tobacco advertisers,  volatile gasoline prices, and the Cold War all share an undetected commonality—each is an intrinsic part of economics. Though not obvious to the naked eye, each entity shares a pattern with the others. This book helps to shed light on these mutual characteristics. It is an extensive compilation of theories interpreted using supportive examples.
Economics is an enthralling science that encompasses our actions, thoughts, and emotional rationality every day in the unconscious. This book dissects economic theory into bite-size, entertaining snippets that anyone can understand and apply to their daily routines. It is a compelling depiction of history, business, pop culture, and social movements intertwined with relevant economic trends. Economics is part of daily life, and this book challenges readers to question how and why people make decisions by adding a simple twist on normalcy.

 “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” -Arnold H. Glasgow
Kersten L. Kelly is a self-published author of narrative non-fiction and semi-fiction books. She grew up in Munster, Indiana, and currently works in a sales role based out of Chicago, Illinois. She started writing at an early age and graduated from Indiana University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Communication & Culture. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and writing as well as international travel in her spare time. This book is her first piece of published work.

My Review:

Pros:   I'm not a big fan of nonfiction, but this book was educational and rather entertaining. As a student of psychology, there were a few chapters and theories that I had heard of before (like the Prisoner's Dillema) but hadn't applied to anything other than psychology. Having these theories applied to economics was a new way of thinking for me and kept me reading.

Likewise, Kersten uses plenty of real world examples such as getting gas, football games, cigarettes and medication that will be relevant to the reader. Very unlike a textbook, this book is full of theories that are then applied to the real world, and I think that is what kept me going as well as something that will keep the reader turning the pages.

Cons: This, being a nonfiction book, didn't keep me up at night. It was fun to read, but I didn't get excited whenever I turned on my kindle to read. Most fiction books will have me reading at starbucks until the sun moves enough for me to be no longer in the shade and leaving with a sunburn. This was not such a book. If this book were a national holiday, I'd rank it to be that long weekend you get off of school for Columbus day, whereas Pawn Of Mine was a lot closer to thanksgiving or Christmas.

Writing style:  It was simple and easy to understand, but not boring. Everything was explained thoroughly enough that I have a working understanding, but at the same time I don't think I'd like to be tested on what I learned. Mostly, understand, because I loathe tests. If I were to get a pop quiz on economics, after reading this book I may get at least a passing grade--anywhere from 78-85%
correct answers.

Format: Kindle--no problems with the words, but with the kindle app on my iPod I did have to zoom in for the graphs.

Overall Rating:  3/5   (For someone interested in economics, I'd say it would be a bit higher.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

 John is on my Author Idols page! Go check him out.

My Review:

Pros:    This is a great book to read even you don't like books with cancer in them, or have never heard of John Green, or if you have ever been to or wanted to visit Amsterdam. It's a book for everyone, for all ages, provided they have no medical complications that may arise from smiling too hard or crying too much.

Cons: Side effect of reading this book include anxiety, almost unbearable sadness, an abundance of emotions, laughter and weeping at the same time, and soul searching.

Characters: When someone was describing this book to me, she said "It's sad. It's about two kids with cancer." But once you read this book, you will know that is far from the truth. This book is about a small group of kids, each with their own little touch of cancer, who live life as much as they can and find love and never for a moment pretend that dying isn't horrible and unfair. The characters are well rounded and grab your heartstrings without ever letting go.

Movie Potential: This would make an amazing movie. Not only because of the emotional content, general fame of the author and amazing potential cast and audience. But because this book, no matter how horrible the movie adaptation, cannot be ruined. That's the best kind of book, really. That's what makes a classic.

Writing style:  John Green is a genius, plain ans simply put. The dialogue and prose are flawless in execution, and the words themselves will likely be quoted across the world for years to come.

Format:   Physical, hardback. It smells nice and it's shiny. Also completely hug-able with a glossy cover resistant to spilled tea and/or tears.

Overall Rating:  5/5

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: Pawn of Mine

 The world never ended in fire and ice. The people were consumed by it and now control the elements. The Fires have harnessed the power down to an art while the Waters cower in fear of their abilities, remaining weak and hopeless. Seventeen-year-old Sage Sinclair hopes to dispel the weakness of her Water people because she knows that if she doesn’t do anything, no one will. When she discovers something special about herself, she seeks the Humble Narcissist Ruler Agni in the great fire city, Saint Firefly. Once she gains his seal of approval, she’s admitted into Erra Academy where she secretly sparks a revolution among her ennui peers—a revolution to fight back against the Fires. She has every hope in her movement, just as long as her feelings for a handsome and frivolous Saffron Larkspur don’t get in the way—that, and Agni’s sudden fascination with her.

 I'm 20 years old, from Portland, Oregon, and have a passion for writing. There isn't much else to say about me since I'm a new author! Aside from writing, I'm a college Sophomore, I've lived in South Korea, I love traveling, love Glee, Friends, and Modern Family, and I love being outside! Can you keep up with all the books I'll be publishing? Hope so!

My Review:

Pros:   Tabitha mixes passion with romance with action perfectly, with bonus points for most of Sage's impulsive plans not actually working; just like a teenager's impulsive plans usually don't.

Cons: There were a lot of boy problems. It turned from a line to a love triangle to a love square, at one point, complete with competing girls for each boy included. 

Characters: I really like the fact that this is a book about teenagers who constantly bend the laws and live at school, and they're all very involved with their parents at home. In most books like this, the parents would be forgotten. But here, we always know where the parents are and the parents know exactly what their children are doing, whether they approve of it or not.

Movie Potential:  I went back and forth on this for a while. There is plenty of action, it moves quickly enough and the elements of romance would attract both boys and girls. But, that is what was said of The Last Airbender, and lots of people didn't like it. It actually went through my mind at one point, though, that it could be made into an animated movie. I quickly discarded it, though. All in all, I think it would be a brilliant movie, but I'm not sure how popular it would be by itself. I'll have to read the sequel to make my final decision.

Writing style:  Good. Not groundbreaking or new or amazing, but believable and interesting. It'll keep you turning pages until dark. I particularly like how it ended, set up perfectly for a sequel but more importantly; set up exactly so the reader wants to read the sequel.

Format:   Kindle, a few basic grammar problems. Nothing major, but noticeable.

Overall Rating:   4/5

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flash Fiction: Pure dialogue

Flash Fiction: Wait. You get this by now, right? This has been going on for a while. Write fast, don't edit.

My Flash Fiction brings all the boys to the yard. And they're like, that doesn't seem hard.

"Now, that crate you guys are standing on is an island in the middle of an ocean. You need to get to the island on the other side of this ocean without touching the ground."
"What happens if we touch the ground?"
"The man eating sharks eat you. Remember: Think outside the box."
"Outside the box. Right. Well, I can fly. See? I'm halfway there already."
"Wait, no flying! The sharks just ate your eyes."
"How can imaginary sharks eat my eyes when I'm flying?"
"They just can. The rest of your body just wasn't tasty enough."
"Charming. Fine, I'll take the blue blindfold."
"Okay, now remember to watch eachother's backs. Especially those who have disabili--Hey, watch out!"
"Ahh! Stupid tree! I quit!"
"Don't quit. Just try again."
"Do you know the definition of insanity?"
"Yes. To try something the same way expecting different results."
"I don't think choosing the red blindfold will get me any closer to this island of milk and honey."
"Fine. You can have your eyes back."
"That's all I ask."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taste Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

 At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


The material below can be added as need for what you have planned for the post:

Song Credits: "Hunger" © Noelle Pico.
Full Download available at

An Excerpt for you lovely readers. :)

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts.  I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.
“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.
He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self-assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch-black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.
“Human,” he whispered.
He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.
Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.
“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.
He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.
Footsteps retreated behind me.
Luka reached out again.
It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.
“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.
I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”
“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”
My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.
From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue-black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.
Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.
“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.
I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.
I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.
“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”
“I don’t think so.”
Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”
“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”
There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.
“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.
Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”
Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.
Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?
Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic. The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.
Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.
Luka nodded once.
Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: