Sunday, June 19, 2016

COLD SANCTUARY by Anthony M. Strong_Review

Cold Sanctuary Cold Sanctuary by Anthony M. Strong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of COLD SANCTUARY by Anthony M. Strong
(John Decker #2)

Wow!! I loved the first book in this series, WHAT VENGENANCE COMES, but I love this one even more! Might be because this is set in Alaska, not Louisiana, and focuses on biohazards and genetic engineering instead of curses and Loup Garou, but it was a very rapid one-sitting, nonstop reading experience with lots of excitement, adventure, and suspense. Mr. Strong has a talented way with a tale, and while allowing the local populace and perhaps some of his readers to suspect a possible mythological creature come to life, instead he points us in the direction of Dr. Frankenstein, reenacted as it were. I'm not sure I want to fall asleep after reading COLD SANCTUARY, but I'm very glad I read it. My imagination has been totally ignited.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

RATH'S DECEPTION by Piers Platt_Review

Rath's Deception Rath's Deception by Piers Platt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of RATH'S DECEPTION by Piers Platt
[Janus Group #1]

Rath's Deception is the first in a delightful hard-science fiction series set in the somewhat distant future. [Distant because of many colonized planets, faster-than-light travel, medical upgrades far in advance of anything dreamed of today--except in science fiction, and highly-advanced nanotechnology, controllable by the user.] The protagonist is a young man with whom most readers can identify. We first meet him at fourteen, devoted to his brother Vonn, who works for a small-time criminal enterprise, and in avoidance of their addicted parents. Rath has an eidetic memory, but when he loses Vonn, he leaves home and drops out of school. Three years later he is "recruited" for testing to enter an organization so secretive that the real name is never known, "employees" (contractors) are killed if incarcerated, and the mere idea of such a group is considered fantasy, a sort of long-lasting urban legend.
Author Piers Platt neatly constructs a multiplicity of worlds, and smoothly handles the science and medical aspects. The Group's ability to mimic, not just in voice and mannerisms, but in biological appearance, is phenomenal--and fascinating.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Tour: STONE WORK by Dominic Stabile

Stone Work
by Dominic Stabile
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: STONE WORK by Dominic Stabile

In a post-apocalyptic, seriously dystopian "City," the prolifically scarred former "prisoner" who calls himself Stone hunts the dark side, sometimes as a gun for hire, sometimes as a thief. In this trilogy of tales, Stone and his young hacking partner Megan prove that even science is no stranger to the demands of greed; battle a secretive corporation which literally "disappears" people, with complete immunity; and battle a cult whose members insist they serve the one true God--and sacrifice to prove it.

Filled with hopelessness, crime, violence, and gore, STONE WORK is a clarifying look into the kind of ugly future humanity may yet encounter. It's a suspenseful and subtly gratifying page turner.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

High Summer Readathon July 18-24 COMPLETED = 11 books

High Summer Readathon

What I've Read:

Reviews are in except for OUT OF RANGE.

Join in the High Summer Readathon, a project of Seasons of Reading. July 18-24. Since I had already designated July as a personal challenge Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction month, that's what I intend to read. I hope to catch up on some science fiction/fantasy reading overdue reviews:) and also to read Peter F. Hamilton's THE VOID TRILOGY, before continuing with his THE FALLERS DUOLOGY. (in September) Here's the hook-up:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Spotlight: THE KNOW: PRESERVATION by Ed Kurst

Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with Author Ed Kurst and his first novel, The Know Preservation! As usual, we've got great bloggers joining us with reviews, guest posts and interviews as well as unique prizes like a Kindle Paperwhite, and pen set!

As part of our launch week celebrations, The Know: Preservation is on sale for only 99¢! Get it before the end of the week!


Guest Post with Author Ed Kurst

Maddie Alkira Reminisces About The Passing of the Journey Stone

Sometimes very old memories are actually just recollections of remembrances. They are a group of fuzzy images and half heard sounds, or they can sometimes not even be real events. But this day, I still remember moment by moment as if I am still there.   It was 1915. I wasn’t obsessed with saving all humankind. I was only five years old.   My parents were taking me on a trip: a long dirt road, hours of travel, the heat of the day beating down. I alternately sat and slept on top of the newly shorn sheep wool that was sheltered under the canopied cart. Alice, our lone mare, pulled it. This was the first time my parents had allowed me to accompany them to the city and marketplace.   What excitement I had felt going to the city, the anticipation of the many stalls, and my parents trading our wool with strange people for flour and sugar. It was also where Maw Maw lived, of whom my mother always spoke.   After five hours of jerky, bumpy travel in the cart, we finally reached the city of Darwin.   In those days, only about a thousand people lived in the city, mostly foreigners. The Aboriginal community where I was from numbered many, many thousands, but they lived in small settlements in the surrounding area. When we arrived, my parents left me with Maw Maw while they went to do their trading.   Maybe it was just because I was only five years old, but I remember my great-grandmother as being very tall. She had very dark blue eyes, much like my own.   I thought Maw Maw was the oldest person in the whole world. And, in fact, that actually may have been the case at the time. She would have been one hundred years old that year.   She lived in a simple one room house with a white clapboard front and a flat tar-paper roof. There was a large garden in the back filled with flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Combined with my parents’ sheep jerky and trade goods, it provided most of Maw Maw’s food for the year.   But it wasn’t how she looked or the excitement of being in the city or the prospect of freshly baked sweet biscuits that makes me remember that day. It was the odd question that she asked me.   When we were seated across a rickety old kitchen table, she asked, “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”   “Of course,” I had replied with some pride. “I turned five years old two weeks ago. Mother and father said I was old enough to see the city market…and to visit you. That’s why I am here today, to see you Maw Maw!”   My great-grandmother had stared so intensely at me, and it had seemed her deep blue eyes had glowed from within. “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”   I had looked away, troubled, and had thought harder.   In the last year I had started Knowing things: when the neighbor’s dog would be hit by a car and when lightning would strike our barn. After the first Know, I had understood, heeded the second, and shooed Alice out just in time.   I hadn’t been sure if Maw Maw was asking me about those things.   I hadn’t intended to tell her. I had thought those were my secrets. Then I had looked deep into her eyes, and something had changed.   I had felt weightless. The light streaming in through the kitchen window had seemed to grow dim, as if I was falling into an unending well of darkness. Frightened, I had closed my eyes and cried out. It was like my mind was a part of hers. I also was connected to something else—something dark and frightening—but enriching and amazing at the same time.   In my mind’s eye, I had had a vision, a Know. Starting with me, a seeming unending line of people had streamed into the distance, into the ancient past. And in front of me, a long lifetime, but one that ended in fire, destroying everyone and everything.   And then there was nothing.   When I opened my eyes, Maw Maw’s wrinkled face was looking down at me, happy and smiling, which was odd given what I...we, had just seen together.   I was on the floor, and she had helped me to a sitting position. She had seemed so full of energy and purpose. “Maddie, you brighten Maw Maw’s day like no other in her entire life. Can you keep a secret?”   A five year old can pledge almost anything—and yet it really had no binding effect—but this was different. It had a deep, gut-tumbling meaning to me, and it was my Maw Maw asking. “Yes Maw Maw, I promise.”   And then my great-grandmother had told me the legends of the Great Migration of our people and the Dream Time and the Know. She had spoken of old Tril with awe and then more affectionately of someone called Tirnal. My Maw Maw had said that whenever I Knew something, I must always believe it; never cast it away as a day dream or casual thought.   That had been the beginning of my training. I spent every summer for seven years with her. At the end of the seventh summer, on her deathbed, my Maw Maw had asked the question one more time. “Do you Know why you are here my child?”   I had replied solemnly, “Yes, to preserve the Know and begin the evolution.” She had handed me the talisman of our Clan, the journey stone, and then joined our ancestors.

About the Book

John Preston set aside the easy bullet that would end his certain lingering death. He now Knew too much. His mind had just returned from a wild ride tens of thousands of years into the past where he witnessed three primitive humans divining a path to save humankind from a global fiery catastrophe. What John now Knew might cure him but could also require he shred the very fabric of time and space.   John’s quest for answers will thrust him into the lead role to confront the Consortium, a cabal of eight families with the power to Know the future and the past. Guided by John’s latent Know ability and a 70,000 year old prophecy, he sets out on a path for his own salvation. Success will mean life, failure…a cruel doom for all humankind.   Preservation is the first book in the Know Trilogy which wraps a new theory of space-time, humankind’s evolution, millennia old conspiracies, and imminent global destruction around a broken man’s redemption, an evil man’s reckoning and a driven woman’s unique destiny.        

About the Author

Ed Kurst’s life as a child was a nostalgic bit of Americana, with two married parents, one sibling, and a pet beagle. They didn’t even lock their cars. The only thing missing was the proverbial white picket fence, but their neighbor did build a split rail one from seasoned logs. As a kid, Ed frequented a neighborhood library, accessed by a spiral staircase to the second floor of an old brick building. It was a wondrous place to a curious child. Hardback novels were stacked from floor to ceiling and nestled in every nook and cranny of the library’s dusty shelves. Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Asimov were his first and favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. In between reading these classics, he devoured every book about dinosaurs and astrophysics his young mind could comprehend. These early literary influences eventually led him to study a pre-med, engineering curriculum with a special focus on the psychology and physiology of the human brain. Eager to get out in the real world, and not spend six more years in school, he decided to pursue the engineering side of his interests. He didn’t completely abandon his calling for medicine. But getting an EMT qualification and occasionally riding an ambulance at night seemed to satisfy that urge. Ed Kurst’s engineering vocation led him to live and work in five European countries and several places in the United States. During the last decade of a varied career, he settled in the US Gulf Coast and specialized in leading diverse technical teams to implement new technology and develop mega engineering projects. Once retired, he turned his attention to other pursuits. One fateful month, about eight years ago, he was reading all he could about the CERN particle accelerator, the migration of homo sapiens out of Africa, the demise of the Neanderthals, and epigenetics. He also was reacquainting himself with his favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. VoilĂ , The Know trilogy was born! The first book—The Know: Preservation—is due for publication in 2016. The second—The Know: Evolution—is in draft form and scheduled for 2017. The last in the series—The Know: Salvation—should follow in 2018. And, another novel—The Fae—is in progress as well. It’s packed full of strange and wonderful fantasy creatures that live and love and scheme right under our very noses!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Parallels: Felix Was Here Parallels: Felix Was Here by L.G. Keltner
My rating: 0 of 5 stars


An anthology of the Insecure Writers' Support Group, these ten stories explore parallel probabilities (and alternative history) in ways that are subtle, scary, unsettling, and quite unnerving, often Dystopian, and paranoia-instilling. Indeed, I am still experiencing subtle shivers and chills. I recommend reading this anthology one story at a time, letting each percolate.

I reviewed via StoryCartel.

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