#CLTBRCHALLENGE15 Book Review: Beauty and the Beast by Marie Prince De Beaumont 3/5 Stars

Overview: A merchant has three boys and three girls, the youngest nicknamed Beauty. The merchant goes to pick something up from town, gets lost and meets the beast. The beast releases him to bring back a daughter and save the merchants life. Beauty volunteers to go. She breaks the curse.

Opinion: I think I am too brainwashed from Disney to appreciate the very short, condensed book. I was looking for the romance and action that the movie provided but was let down. What I did like about the book was that instead of a whole town thinking she was odd, it was just her two sisters.

Recommend: Not really.

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#CLTBRCHALLENGE15 Book Review: Roots by Alex Haley 4/5 Stars

Overview: Roots is the story of Kunta Kinte and his children for seven generations. We follow Kunta’s kidnapping clear to the author’s life and writing of the book. We go on a journey through slave days, being sold from one plantation owner to the next. Learning different trades and finally being freed.

Opinion: It took roughly 12 days, but I did! I made it through “Roots.” First off, the book by itself, just the book and words inside of it, is great. I think I learned more about the 200 year time period from that book than I ever learned in school. That being said I was a bit torn how there would be more description with certain family members than with others. I also didn’t like how there were tons of descriptions on what was happening outside of the plantations, then less when more important events popped up. I guess I’m saying, while we learn a lot from the book, it wouldn’t make a great history book to learn from. Secondly, bringing in the thought that this is supposed to be a book about a true family’s life through the generations. Not only do I find it a bit hard to believe (it was just too “easy going” in some areas), but the author admitted that because he was alive when it happened he can’t say for certain that what he wrote is what happened. Then you have to take into account that he plagiarized a good portion of Kunta Kinte’s story from Harold Courlander’s “The African.” So I am kind of torn on what to think about it being true, but it is a great story to see a glimpse of what life was like back then.

Recommend: Even with the uncertainty of it being a hoax, Yes I recommend it.

Author Spotlight Interview: Zoe Ambler

Welcome Zoe Ambler to Author Spotlight Interviews!

Zoe Ambler is 44 years old and broke through into writing by way of role-play gaming, which she still loves to this day. She has traveled the world, being a ‘military brat’, but always finds her way back home. Her hobbies include sketching, playing violin (badly), collecting oddities and office supplies. Zoe is often found spoiling her fat cat, obsessing over coffee and the coming zombie apocalypse.

Where are you from? Enterprise, Alabama

What inspired you to write your first book? I’ve been writing for a long time now. It started with Role-play gaming writing. Then I took some of those stories and elaborated on them. My friends and family have seen some over the years and were constantly saying ‘publish that’. You don’t want to come under the wrath of my mother. 🙂 That is so cool, I’ve always wanted to get into RPG or LARPing but never gone and tried it.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have about 15 books. Some are in the horror genre, most are erotica…some are both. 🙂 . ‘The Road of Darkness’ and ‘The Path of Redemption’ are looking to be my favorites. I’ve babied and nurtured them along.

What are your current projects? ‘The Path of Redemption’, the continued story of Addison and ‘The Road of Darkness’. “The Road of Darkness is about Addison, just out of her teens in early seventeenth century Louisiana, is the victim of a vampire attack. She is turned. Unlike most, she embraces it rather than fight it. Over her long years, she watches mortal man and their ways, fascinated with the evolution of their conflicts. Moving from country to country, war to war, immersed in the bloodshed and destruction. The road of darkness is a bitter one. From a deal gone bad with the Voodoo demi-god Baron Samedi to encounters with other supernatural beings. Time brings her heartbreaking loss of would-be love and few triumphs. The darkness grows. At the peak of her self destruction in a war torn desert she meets a Slayer bent on saving her rather than destroy her. Sounds Awesome!

What books have most influenced your life most? Oh, wow. There are so many books, I can’t pick just one. I love all genres as well. The horror genre is my favorite thought. Stephen King, Anne Rice, Mira Grant, Eric R Lowther to name a few.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been a huge book lover. Fiction and non-fiction. And then I discovered RPGs and found that I had a real talent for crafting a tale.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? That we all have a bit of darkness within us. It’s up to us as individuals to either fight it, or embrace it. Embrace it! It’s the fun side.

What book are you reading now? Sadly I’m not reading anything at the moment. I’m busy promoting, making new friends, and getting book two in the series completed. I’ve also become a blog stalker….lol

What is your preferred medium of writing? MSWord on my PC or laptop. However, I always keep a little notebook with me for jotting down random ideas when they strike me.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I have made a ton of mistakes. I totally ‘pantsed’ this first book. And I know so little about social media and using it to my advantage…but I’m learning. And there have been so many people out there helping me along the way.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? Writers block is a rare occurrence for me. When I get stumped, I close what I’m doing to keep myself from getting aggravated. I open something else. I usually have 10 – 15 different books in progress. Same here.

What is one random thing about you? I am really looking forward to the zombie apocalypse. I don’t care what science says..it could happen. ;] I’m on your team when the time comes! lol

What is your favorite motivational phrase? If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t. >_>

What is your favorite book and why? Ugh! I have so many! Anything from Stephen King, especially ‘The Stand.’ That is so epic. Eric R Lowthers ‘Area 187: Almost Hell’. If you like zombies, it is worth the time. Same with Mira Grants ‘Feed’ trilogy. It took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. And Anne Rice. Her vampires are beautiful and deadly, just lovely.

What is your favorite quote? ‘Death is the Road to Awe’, from the movie The Fountain.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Stephen Kings, The Stand

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Research. A lot of my writing takes place in different times throughout history and then there are other factors like Voodoo and Voodoun. I want to be sure I’m accurate, but research can be tedious. So true.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Netflix binges. I love to sit down and watch a series from beginning to end. Of course, I get no sleep. I also love Text-based RPG games. It keeps me writing, and gives me a different take on writing since you are writing with others.

What does your writing process look like?
Like a box of squirrels. Really, I’m pretty erratic. I do chronicle everything, however. How many words I’ve written for the day, new twists I could add, etc..

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I talk things out with my cat. And answer for her. Sometimes we argue. >_> Animals can be a big help…even if they are wrong sometimes.

How important are names to you in your books?
Very. I don’t just slap names on my characters. I give a lot of thought to naming them according to their personalities.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? I do read them. I haven’t gotten many yet, but most have been positive. I wouldn’t comment on them though. That would make me feel…narcissistic? As for negative or bad reviews…it’s all part and parcel of the package. It hurts, but we have to pretty much suck it up. We can’t please everyone’s expectations.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Keeping the folklore fresh, and giving it my own twist. I took a bit from here and there in different works and folklore to create something I hope is uniquely different.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Never give up and don’t let anyone tell you what you’re doing is silly or a waste of time. Put yourself out there, overcome the fear. You may not have a best seller, but you put it out there, for others to see. That takes courage.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://zoeambler.com
Blog: http://zoeambler.com and http://zoeambler.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zoe-Ambler/435459453259782
Twitter: https://twitter.com Zoe Ambler@ZoeAmbler5
Lnkedin: LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/zoe-ambler/a3/34a/b9a/
Pinterest:
Amazon Author Page: http://smile.amazon.com/Road-Darkness-Ambler-Zoe-ebook/dp/B00QZFBV6Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420731493&sr=1-1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ZoeAmbler
Book Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Road-Darkness-Ambler-Zoe-ebook/dp/B00QZFBV6Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418872721&sr=8-2&keywords=the+road+of+darkness&pebp=1418872719946
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-road-of-darkness-ambler-zoe/1120913816?ean=9780990870500
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-road-of-darkness
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Zoe_Ambler_The_Road_of_Darkness?id=58ziBQAAQBAJ&hl=en
Scribd.: https://www.scribd.com/doc/250432277/The-Road-of-Darkness
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23931413-the-road-of-darkness
Also available in the iTunes store.

Author Spotlight Interview: Anne Conley

Welcome to Author Spotlight Interviews! Today The wonderful Anne Conley has answered a good-sized list of questions for you readers.

  • So where are you from? I’m originally from Houston, TX, where I met my husband. We moved up to East Texas shortly after marriage, and have lived here for 12 years. Our own little slice of paradise.

 

 

  • Tell about us about your latest works. I just picked up one from each of your two series’ and am not sure which one to read first. It depends on whether you prefer Paranormal Romance (The Four Winds series) or Contemporary Romance (The Stories of Serendipity). The Four Winds is about God’s archangels, Uriel, Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael. He decides to let them fall in love, where they experience every human emotion they’ve never had, for the first time. This series contains sex, as well as elements of Christianity, so be forewarned. That throws some people off, but hey, Christians have sex every day, right? I would hope so, some of my friends wouldn’t be here otherwise. 🙂
    The Stories of Serendipity is a series that takes place in a fictional small Texas town. It features characters in their thirties and forties, just trying to live their lives, but falling in love in the process. Most of the books deal with serious issues (addiction, Human Trafficking, HIV) but not all of them. It is a series of books, but each book is a stand-alone with some of the same characters and places. So it doesn’t matter which order they are read in, correct? Right.
    I’ve also written two stand-alones. One, The Best Laid Plans of Boys and Men, just released today (1/7/15), and is about the whirlwind romance of Taylor, a twenty-three year-old cosmetologist, and Alexander, the forty-one year-old lawyer who is suing her. That certainly seems interesting!
  • How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Currently, I’ve published 14 stories of various lengths. My favorite, at the moment, is Falling for Grace, Book Two in the Four Winds series. I have no idea why, specifically, except it takes place in Galveston, TX, and I’ve always wanted to live there. I’ve passed through there a time or two, it is a pretty nice place.
  • What inspired you to write your first book? My husband encouraged it, actually. I’ve always written in journals and things, but when I told him I had a story about this couple (Claire and Max, from Neighborly Complications) running around in my head, he told me to go for it.
  • What are your current projects? Currently, I’m working on finishing up The Fixer Upper, another stand-alone novel about a reality TV host and his victim, er, I mean, client. I’m also working on a new series of books about a securities team. It’s going to be different and exciting. I’m really looking forward to getting into that one. I’ve got the first two written, they’re going through the revision stage, but I’m anxious to be finished with other projects so I can totally immerse myself in them.

 

  • What books have most influenced your life most? This is a hard question… Lisa See’s Snowflower and the Secret Fan is one of my all time favorites, but Stephen King really sparked my imagination when I was growing up. I’ve always loved everything by Ray Bradbury and Shakespeare as well. The creativity involved with these people is astounding. With Snowflower and the Secret Fan aside, our book tastes were the same growing up. Love SK, RB and WS.

 

  • What book are you reading now? Right now, I’m beta reading Drawn to You for Vanessa Booke and really looking forward to its release.

 

  • Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Haha! Not really. It seems like I’ve always written. I won a creative writing contest when I was in the 6th grade, telling a story about how Fred Flintstone invented the lightbulb, and in College, for my College Math final, I wrote a thirteen page paper featuring Mathew Mattox, PI, a film noire type mystery involving a parabola graph. I’ve always managed to incorporate writing into my life, somehow.

 

  • Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you combat it? Pen and paper. That forces my brain to work a different way than with my keyboard. I’ve also found long drives down country roads to straighten out my thoughts when I’m having a particularly difficult plot issue.

 

  • What is one random thing about you? I can lick my chest. Ok..That is random and now I am picturing Gene Simmons licking his chest…awesome! lol

 

  • What is your preferred medium of writing? My laptop. It goes with me everywhere, but I always have a notebook with me as well.

 

  • What is one mistake you have made in your writing/publishing that you would avoid in future? Publishing something that’s not ready for the public.

 

  • What is your favorite positive saying? When things get hard, I just quote Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, “Just keep on living.” Reminds me of Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.” both are very wise people.

 

  • What is your favorite book and why? Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a great book about women, their relationships, and their friendships.

What is your favorite quote? Dr. Seuss, Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

  • If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Good question! I have no idea, honestly. I could see you have written a modern version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

  • What does your writing process look like? I think about a book/story/characters for months before I outline it. Then I let it sit while I work on something else. Then the rough draft happens, just to get the story down, and let it sit while I work on something else. Then revisions, multiple times. I read and re-read, making notes in my manuscript and fixing things, letting it sit between reads while I work on other things. Finally, I send it off to beta readers, and then revise again before it goes to my editor. I usually have four projects going at the same time. Lots of authors can’t work that way, but I find I can’t really do it any differently.

 

  • Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Time management. I can market myself and sell books, or I can write more books. I can’t seem to do both, successfully. I feel your pain, as I’m sure all other authors do. It is hard marketing and writing.

 

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I read and spend time with my family. It depends on what’s going on in my life as to which one of those comes first. 🙂

 

  • Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? LOL. Not really, except I get up and write at 5:30 am. That’s probably pretty strange…

 

  • Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? Yes, I read them. No I never respond to any of them, unless it’s to thank them for the review on their blog (never on Amazon or goodreads). Unless a reviewer is personally attacking the author, I say to just find the positive in the review (there’s almost always some positive) and focus on that, ignoring the rest. If it’s a personal attack, report it if you can to the webhost, but ignore it personally. There are mean people everywhere, and you can’t really do much about it. Best advice I have ever heard!

 

 

 

Author Interviews

New year, and I have decided to do something new. I am going to try and start doing some author interviews! I’m gathering a following on here, Twitter, and everywhere of Indie authors; so I thought I could feature them on my blog. Help get their words out there and share their brilliance. I all ready have one in the works, and am really excited to start working on more.

If you, or someone you know, would like to have an Author Interview post please email me at Charlie.s_Angel-0069@hotmail.com and we can schedule something.

A Little Help from Friends.

This is Patrick McBroom. He is 17 and has been battling two rare forms of cancer, since early childhood. One of the forms of cancer, is causing tumors to grow around the spinal chord and every so often he needs to go in and have them removed. This last trip they found an inoperable tumor and he has been sent home for hospice care. As he is no longer able to move around as much, his family is asking for pictures to decorate his room with. I am wanting to help get the word out so we can flood his room with pictures and good wishes to help keep him in good spirits. We’d love to invite anyone and everyone to join the fun. He loves KU, Starburst, and Yu Gi Oh. Don’t take pity on him. He’s still an ornery 17 year old boy with a great sense of humor. If you want to join the fun, here’s where to send your card…….
Patrick McBroom
712 W Grand St
Gallatin, MO 64640-1606

B.A.C.A! Best Bikers Ever!

Big, hairy and loud are the first three things a person thinks of when they hear the word “Bikers,” but they are so much more than their exterior. B.A.C.A stands for “Bikers Against Child Abuse,” they go around helping and encouraging abused children.

They are a worldwide organization whose mission is to create a safer environment and lend support to them so they do not feel alone. In rider fashion, a whole chapter rolls up to meet and greet the child for the first time, presents them with a vest and patch. Then proceeds to go through a four step process that involves having two specifically assigned “Big Brother/Sister” type members who check-in on a weekly basis.

It is sad, that the world needs people like these wonderful men and women but it is a wonderful thing that we do have them in the world.

For more information checkout their website:http://bacaworld.org/