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Lurking In The Shadows

Honest reviews for whatever I want to review.

My Indie Book Collection…Part 7

This is a new series for my blog.  I hope it is obvious I support Indie Authors and Artists. In this series, I will simply highlight the physical books from Indie Authors I have in my library at home.  I’ve either purchased them, was gifted them by the authors, traded for them with my own books or won them in contests.  

Many of these authors I met through my old Twitter account (it’s dead now) or on the amazing Facebook group The Dragon’s Rocketship.  I miss them all, since I’ve quit FB too.

So, here it is.  The seventh installment.

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This is a great Sci-Fi/Super Hero/Fantasy novel that I traded with the author to get a copy of.  I really enjoyed reading it. Definitely geared towards a Young Adult audience.  I just hope George releases the second in the series soon.

 

Album Review: Obituary – Obituary

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Obituary, the self-titled 10th album by…you guessed it Obituary was released today, March 17, 2017. Yes, I’ve been an Obituary fan since the early 80’s; even so far back as when they were Xecutioner. Slowly We Rot was their first full-length album, and it changed me.

Now, 28 years later, they have released their 10th studio album.  This self-titled album contains 10 official tunes, and one ‘hidden’ track titled No Hope.  Run time is right around 36 minutes.  I gotta say, it’s brutal.

Obituary is now, and has always been, one of my two favorite Death Metal bands.  They and Death are the forefathers of the genre in my opinion.  This album sounds just like their music did back in the 80’s.  And that’s a good thing.  A lot of bands try to ‘re-create’ themselves. Obituary knows what they do well, knows what the fans like, and they deliver again and again.  I will, however, add, that the guitar work on this album is a step up from Inked In Blood.  And that’s saying something.

Brutal from the start, I give this 4.5 of 5 Horns Up!

\m/  \m/

St. Patrick’s Day Promo

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Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends

This is my book. It has green on the cover and there is at least one leprechaun in the story.  How very St. Patrick’s Day-ish.  It’s about Myths, Urban Legends and a struggle between the powers of good and evil – sort of.  It’s written for the YA audience, but everyone will enjoy it.  Oh, and it’s only .99 cents.

The “Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends” is a fast-paced, clever, and lively reading experience, and I happily endorse it to other readers – Scott A. Story

I liked it so much I started the next book as soon as I finished the first one – Amazon Customer

What an enjoyable, clever book! – Jessica

This was funny as well as suspenseful, and a very good read for the YA – S.L Perrine

This is a fast paced and exciting book that I would recommend to any fan of light fantasy. I was reminded of both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I would not hesitate to recommend it to teens or even younger – Michael Burnett

You get the idea, people like it.  You will too!

 

 

Review: Dragon’s Fire by Tiger Hebert

Tiger is a friend of mine.  He is re-issuing his first book under his own publishing house, so I did some digging and found the review I did for it waaaay back.  And a good thing I did. I made a mistake on the rating when I entered it. It has been fixed.

Click the image, it links you to his site.

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Description:

A rising tide of violence is spreading across the land, and it threatens to cast all of Aurion into war and chaos. Slayvin, a terror straight out of nightmare, is at the heart of the corruption. Using dark, and sorcerous power, the shadow drake bends and twists the will of those who would seek his power for their own.

As the dragon wages his war, the survivors are left with a choice; forge unlikely alliances among the disparate races, or become enslaved. In either case, the future is grim. It is a future of war. Axes are sharpened, bows are strung, and cryptic prophecies are examined for the one thing that is all but lost—hope.

Review:

Having recently finished reading Dragon’s Fire: Beating Back the Darkness, Book One by Tiger Hebert, I am left with a difficult task…writing a review. To start off, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The book has very well thought out characters, contained a great storyline and was filled with plenty of action, but it still never “grabbed” me. The author is a Christian man, as am I, and proud of it, as am I; this fact is very apparent in the book. To me, reading this book was like someone merged The Lord of the Rings and the Bible together. Again, not a bad thing, but something about it made me feel like I knew what was coming next.
Theros, an orc Chief, and Dominar, an aging dwarf, were my favorite characters. Together, with various others, they fight off the impending doom that is Slayvin; a black dragon. Slayvin reeks of pure evil and menace, as he tries to enforce his will on everyone. If you don’t yield, you will die. Drawing deeply from the story of Jesus Christ, the author incorporates a Savior, Aneri’On, that must face the dragon alone to save everyone. Although I liked the story, as I said, I felt I knew what was coming.
Beginning the story, I had a bit of difficulty following what was going on, as there are a vast number of characters to this story, coming from multiple settlements. The beginning may have been a bit rough for me, but the author does a good job weaving all of them together in the end to create a good story. I finished the book, encouraged. I do want to see what happens next in the series. I came to like and appreciate the characters enough that yes, I would gladly read the next book.
To sum it up, I would recommend this to fans of Christian Fantasy; even straight-up Fantasy fans would like this. I feel the author, Tiger Hebert, is a very talented author and look forward to what else he has to bring to the Fantasy table.

4 of 5 Stars

Blog Tour

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Today we are happy to be hosting a stop on the Blog Tour to support a great book by a great author.

Umbrae by Debbie Manber Kupfer was released on March 1st, 2017.  It’s the third in the P.A.W.S series, which we’ll get to later on in the interview.  So please give a warm Blog Welcome to Debbie Manber Kupfer!

Welcome Debbie!

Before we get into discussing your books, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? What started you writing? How often do you write?

Hello, and thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog. I’m a writer, puzzle maker, mom, cat-lover, and tea-drinker. I grew up in London, spent some time in Israel and somehow ended up in St. Louis, MO. I divide my time between writing fiction and puzzles and hanging out with my kids and my kitty, Miri Billie Joe.

I started writing as a kid. My first story was about turning into a ladybug – see even back then I liked shapeshifters. I sent that story to the Puffin Post and got a mention in the magazine. I was so excited. I continued writing stories over the years and knew that one day I would write a novel, but thought I had all the time in the world to do that. Then in 2011 I got a wakeup call, a diagnosis of breast cancer. I went through treatment and thankfully today I’m cancer-free, but the experience made me realize my mortality. I understood now that if I really wanted to write that novel I shouldn’t wait.

So in November 2012 I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time. It worked. By the end of the month I had the first draft of P.A.W.S. It took a lot of edits to get it to the point of publication, but it was a start and since then I have started each of my novels this way.

I write the bulk of my first drafts during NaNo months – November, April and July, and then rest of the time I edit and work on my puzzles.

The P.A.W.S series is written for the Young Adult audience, can you give us a rundown on what your stories are about, and why you’ve chosen to write geared towards YA?

P.A.W.S. is the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters. It’s an international magical organization that trains shifters in different cities around the globe. In the first book we focus mainly on the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest, which is hidden in Forest Park, St. Louis.  In book 2, Argentum, we visit New York P.A.W.S., while in book 3 we are going to one of the original P.A.W.S. Institutes, the one located in Vienna.

I think I’m drawn to YA because a lot of my favorite stories are YA from the Harry Potter books and the Percy Jackson books to Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart and Pullman’s Dark Materials. So many of the series I have read and enjoyed in the last few decades have been YA and they say to write the stories you want to read!

Now, please, let’s jump right into Umbrae!  This is the new release we are here to talk about.  Give us an idea of what this third book in the series has in store for us readers?

In Umbrae we travel with Miri to the ancient city of Safed in Israel. There, with the aid of a mystical rabbi and an outspoken werecat, her omama’s story is slowly revealed. And Miri uncovers something else, a world hidden deep beneath our own – the labyrinth of shadows also known as Umbrae.

Your stories have a lot of cats in them.  Is there significance to that?

Yes, I adore cats. And nearly every cat in the P.A.W.S. Saga has the form of a cat I’ve known and loved in the real world. Miri’s cat form, for example, a black cat with one white whisker is that of my childhood kitty, Snowy. And the werecat in Safed, Finny, has the same sandy and white color as the cat that I brought originally from Israel, Cecilia (also known as Cici.)

Cecilia will also be getting her own book sometime this year when I release my first picture book, Cecilia’s Tale. The book is currently in the hands of a talented local artists who is bringing my kitty story to life.

Now the fun question; you have lycanthropes, shape-shifters and animagi in your books. If you could choose to be one, what would it be, what type (cat, wolf, etc.) and why?

Animagus I would think as they have the most choice, being magic makers and all. And like Danny I’d probably flirt with the idea of being a bird, so I can fly, but decide in the end to be a cat because a cat can blend in seamlessly with the world around it. (And as you already know, I love cats.)

Blog Tours: have you found them to be successful?  What other types of promotion have you used? Which have worked and which haven’t? Please tell us about your experiences.

I’ve organized blog tours, like this one after each of my releases and on the whole have found them to be successful. The secret I think to a good blog tour is variety. Each of the stops should be unique with a different interview, snippet or article. I’ve seen too many “paid for” tours where all the content is the same every day. That might be easier for the author and company, but kind of boring for fans who want to follow along.

Other than blog tours I also like to do IRL release events in local places. I’m doing four for Umbrae. Two in local indie book stars, one in a city library, and one at my son’s middle school. I always encourage authors to do this. Get out there and meet your readers first hand and events, cons, school events etc. Oh and get yourself some bookmarks with your cover on them and a QR code to the Amazon page and give them out to everyone you meet instead of business cards.

Who/what inspires you to write?  Do you have any mentors that help you with your writing? What motivates you to keep writing?

Lots of things inspire me to write. I’m an avid people watcher. I will sit in cafes and observe and listen and often times characters and situations emerge from overheard snippets of conversations.

During the course of writing my novels and stories I’m fortunate to have an abundance of support from beta readers, friends, my kids and even my kitty! One friend in particular, Larry Miller, has been my critique partner and mentor throughout my process. We beta read each other’s work and neither of us are scared to say when we think stuff doesn’t work. I believe it’s important for all writers to find someone like this who you can really trust.

And what motivates me to keep writing – the story! I’m a discovery writer. That means I go into each book with only a rough idea of where it’s going. I have to keep writing because I want to know what happens!

This is a question for your main character Miri.  If you could live ‘Happily Ever After’, what would your ‘Happily Ever After’ look like?

Well, um, I’d like it to include Danny. *Blush* And maybe we could settle down somewhere close to St. Louis P.A.W.S. Also if I have a daughter one day I’m prepared to pass on my cat charm to her. But I hope that’s a long, long time in the future.

What’s next?  Is there a 4th P.A.W.S book on the horizon?  Any other short story compilations you are working on?

Yes! I have written the first draft of P.A.W.S. 4. It is called Londinium and I hope to release it at the end of October on Miri’s birthday. In it Miri will visit the P.A.W.S. Institute of London. It’s particularly exciting for me to finally include my home city in a P.A.W.S. book.

Apart from that I have a story in a haunted house anthology coming out later this year. It’s a dark comedy about a ghost dude who watches a lot of boring TV!

And I’m also working with a local artist to produce a picture book, Cecilia’s Tale, a little story about how my cat found me in Israel.

Okay, final question.  It’s pretty much a standard final question, but I think it helps the readers.  What advice do you have for any aspiring authors/artists out there?

Don’t second guess yourself, don’t make excuses. Open that PC or notebook and just write. Let the words and story take you where you will. Also try NaNoWriMo. April is Camp NaNo – an easier challenge as you set your own word count. It’s less intimidating that the full 50K of November. Set yourself a word count of around 30K – that’s only 1K a day. Easy to commit to and see where your story takes you. Don’t worry about edits yet. That’ll come later. Good luck and happy writing!

Thank you very much for stopping by the blog.  Best of luck on the Blog Tour! And best of luck with the new book!

Thank you so much for having me!

Follow Debbie at the following links:

Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

Twitter: @CiciCat42

And of course – The P.A.W.S. Saga – http://mybook.to/PAWS-Saga

The newest installment – Umbrae – http://mybook.to/Umbrae

My Amazon author page – http://author.to/DebbieManberKupfer

 

 

 

 

Free Book Promotion…see below

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – How to take full advantage of FREE book promotions.

via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – How to take full advantage of FREE book promotions. — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

My Indie Book Collection…Part 6

This is a new series for my blog.  I hope it is obvious I support Indie Authors and Artists. In this series, I will simply highlight the physical books from Indie Authors I have in my library at home.  I’ve either purchased them, was gifted them by the authors, traded for them with my own books or won them in contests.  

Many of these authors I met through my old Twitter account (it’s dead now) or on the amazing Facebook group The Dragon’s Rocketship.  I miss them all, since I’ve quit FB too.

So, here it is.  The sixth installment.

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Author Jennifer Anne Seidler

Although I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan when it comes to books, this one is an exception.  When I read this book, I immediately though ‘blockbuster movie’.  The story has a great feel to it.  I just wish the author would write another novel.  Jennifer…where are you?

Book Review: The Pleasure Pools of Persiphia by Hans Cummings

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Description:

From the award-winning author of the World of Calliome and Zack Jackson novels comes a short story from the universe of Seven Galaxies!

Far from Aelfar space, former breeding slaves like Gamma can make a life for themselves away from their oppressors. An engineer on the human-run freighter StarKnight, she looks forward to her upcoming shore leave.

The Pleasure Pools of Persiphia prove more than Gamma expects. What dark secrets does she uncover, and what will it mean for the inhabitants of the Seven Galaxies?

Review:

There isn’t anything that I’ve read, written by Hans Cummings that I didn’t like.  That list of books now includes the short story The Pleasure Pools of Persiphia.  It’s a very interesting, quick hitting short story.  You are plunged right in, as it’s filled with interesting characters, and a story-line that draws you in.

Just like the story, my review is quick and to the point.  Good story.  Great cover too.

Highly recommended for the Sci-Fi aficionado.

4.5 of 5 Stars

A Few Words…

WARNING: Rant-ish sort of nonsense is written below.  Read at your own risk.  It really has no direction.

I’m in a mood. There, I said it.

I’ve been thinking about my writing a lot lately.  I have written recently, which is a change from the previous 6-8 months.  I enjoy writing.  But why do it?

I once had a beta-reader tell me that they would be very disappointed if they had paid for my story.  That hurt.  Especially coming from a respected ‘friend-ish’ person.  No sugar coating, no nothing. Just bam! Your baby is ugly.

I almost quit writing because of that.  But then a real friend (like an actual person I know, and see daily, not an internet friend) said, “I think it’s funny and I like the story.  That is only one person’s opinion.  Why quit based on them?”

I get pretty good reviews, even from strangers, when I get reviews.  And that, I think, is the key to my mood.  Getting reviews.

Like it, don’t like it, just let me know someone…ANYONE…is reading what I’ve written.  I spent time on that story. I want someone to have an opinion on it, one way or another.  Sort of makes me feel justified for spending all the time writing.

Whatever…back to writing.  I like my stories.  I guess that is all that really matters, right?

See, I told you this wasn’t going anywhere.  I’m not even sure this makes sense.

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