Blog Tour and Author Guest Post!!!

Hi y’all!

 

I have some exciting news for everyone! I am one stop on the Stack a Deck Virtual Blog Tour, and as a part of this stop Bestselling Author Sue Duff is here to write a guest post on how she began writing! Let’s all welcome Sue.

Sue Duff

I stumbled into writing. Well, more like tripped, if that’s even possible with skis that don’t eject because they’re set for an experience skier. Only a newbie skier would be stupid enough to slowly ski backwards down an icy run, watching as your son navigates the ice cube hill you just finished. Stupid me, I was worried about him and didn’t see the mogul that reached up and grabbed my rear ski tip, sending me on a tumbleweed journey down the slope. It ended with my son standing over my prone body, then had the audacity to say, “Well that was embarrassing.”

The inevitable surgery two months later laid me up for the entire summer. The beforementioned son, however, eventually discovered that the handicapped car sticker was good for something. A small price to pay for waiting on mom the first couple of weeks. I was used to being active, independent and resourceful. I had to put that aside, along with my self-esteem, and scoot down stairs on my rear and traverse my house while hopping from one stable surface to another.

I turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. It also helped to ignore the whiny teenager who wasn’t old enough to drive himself anywhere and had convinced himself that mom had chosen to make him a prisoner in his own home. Like that would have been my first choice. EVER!

The novel that emerged from that summer was a welcomed respite from my frustration, lack of control and the inevitable self-pity. I loved the newfound control over a world of my making, but especially characters that I loved and loved to hate. Who needs therapy when you can hang out with people of your own creation, have them fall in and, if you feel like it, out of love. Instead of killing my teenager, I killed others and avoided incarceration in the world that frowns upon such atrocities. I found out that I not only enjoyed writing, but that I was good at it. Racing thoughts transformed my fingers into a typing machine and I’d stay up till the middle of the night, having forgotten to feed the dog, eat more than a single meal, or provide sustenance for the boy who peeked around the corner, no doubt wondering where his mother had gone, and who this stranger was that took her place.

I LOVE writing! On my journey to a successful series with four novels and two anthologies, to-date, lining my shelf, more than anything, I cherish the writers I’ve met along the way. They are incredible people with more talent than I, and I want to be them someday. All it took was a stupid accident. May you be so lucky 🙂

If you want to follow the rest of the tour, click the banner below to see the other stops.

stack-a-deck-vbt

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Blog Tour and Review of Chameleon Assassin by B. R. Kingsolver

Displaying the chameleon assassin.jpgLibby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized. There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets.

In the year 2200, the world has barely recovered the level of technology that existed before the ice melted and the subsequent wars. Corporate elites live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized. There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets.

In the year 2200, the world has barely recovered the level of technology that existed before the ice melted and the subsequent wars. Corporate elites live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.

Hello Everyone!

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Chameleon Assassin Blog Tour, one of the better books I have read in a long time. I will get to the review in just a second, I know you’ve all been waiting for it 🙂 But first, let me tell you about the rest of the stops on this blog tour, or rather, send you the place where you can learn about them.

Just click on the picture below and it will give you a list of stops, as well as what the content on their blogs will be!

Displaying Tour Banner .jpg

 

And now, on to the review.
Characters

One of my favorite parts about this book were the people. Libby was amazing, an assassin, thief, hacker, and basically a jack of all trades in the criminal world. Best of all, she knew her own limits – meaning she never shied away from asking for help when she needed it.

“I’d also want my own cavalry.”

His brow furrowed. “Cavalry?”

“You know, tough guys ready to ride to my rescue. I’m pretty slippery, but I have a cogenital aversion to pain and death. If I get into something I can’t get out of, I want to know someone has my back.”

That’s not to say that Libby is a damsel in distress, quite the opposite!

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah. Why shouldn’t I be?”

“You just had a run-in with a gang and killed two people.”

“Oh, that. Jorey had it coming.”

Libby is simply the rare person who realizes that there are situations in which she might need help, as all mortals do. And she isn’t scared of asking for it.
Character Relationships

Besides a protagonist who has enough self confidence to know what she can and cannot do, this book also boasts one of the best character relationships I have seen in a while.

The one involving Libby’s mother and father. Though it is described as a one night stand that produced a baby their relationship is a tangled mess that is so fun to watch.

What truly speaks to the talent of B. R. Kingsolver is that though this relationship is so fun to watch, you don’t really see it in the novel but rather see it through Libby’s interaction with her parents and her parents interaction with her.

Setting

The setting of the novel was interesting and fun to read. I particularly liked the way that the world had changed since the apocalypse. Dallas was in the middle of the desert and had moved underground, Toronto didn’t get any snow, the air was so toxic that you couldn’t breathe in without gas masks, all of it woven in to make a place that was vibrant and alive.

Questions, Gripes, and Complaints

A few nitpicks I have with the novel, which are really small things in the grand scheme of things.

  1. What was the point of the beginning? Though it was only a small point of the overall novel, it seemed like there was a lot of filler that there really was no need of. I mean, yeah Libby is a badass, but we found that out later in the novel too.
  2. Some small writing mechanical type complaints. The story could have been smoother, but really, not that big a deal.

I give this book a B.

I was provided with a ARC copy of this novel by the author for the purposes of a free and unbiased review. All views expressed are my own and true to what I think.

2017 2nd Annual Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Hello Everyone!!!

I am sorry that I have been away so long. It has been a very busy few weeks in my corner of the world, the details of which I won’t bore you with.

Instead I shall bring to you the details of this amazing contest!

I actually learned about this contest in mid December, and meant to tell you about it then, but life got in the way.

But, I’ve posted it now! So let me tell you what this contest is. If you haven’t already figured it out, I like lists. So we shall be doing this in a list format, just to keep things organized. 🙂

First: Who is Qualified to Enter?

  • Authors who are 18 years of age or older

Second: What Can You Enter?

  • Published and unpublished books, manuscripts and eBooks are accepted
  • Books in the following categories:
    1. General Fiction
    2. Romance
      1. Note: (Erotica is currently not accepted. Spicy and steamy? Yes, but nothing explicit.)
    3. Mystery
    4. Thriller
    5. Sci-fi
    6. Paranormal
    7. Horror
    8. General Children
    9. Young Adult Fiction
    10. Non-fiction

Third: What Are You Entering?

You are entering a book award contest, hosted by Authors Talk About It (ATAI), which provides critiques to every entry entered, no matter if you win or not, always a helpful thing. In addition, if your book gets 3-5 stars, you get tons of promotion, which is listed in more detail below. If your book gets below 3 stars, you get a review emailed back to you, which is yours to do with as you like. If you win, you get tons of prizes all associated with different levels of prize winning.

Fourth: What Do You Get

  • If You Enter
    • Everyone who enters, no matter what happens next, gets a 250-350 word critique/review of their book, which can then be posted anywhere they wish, as long as it is cited properly
  • If You Get 3 – 5 Stars
    • Promotion across all of ATAI social media platforms
    • Featured blog post on ATAI, Authors Village, Readers Village, Download This Book
    • Promotion across combined social media of 40K+
    • Digital Badge for 4-5 Stars
  • If You Get Less Than 3 Stars
    • Your critique, featuring helpful feedback, will not be posted in a featured post, but emailed back to you, to do as you will
  • If You Become a Finalist
    • Invitation into private mastermind for 12 months
    • Monthly live calls – ability to participate
    • FREE monthly training shared online
    • $997 Value
  • If You Place First in Your Category
    • Promotion across combined social media of 40K+ for 3 months
    • Extra blog posts via ATAI blogs as winner
    • HeadTalker created to promote winner
    • Featured on sidebar of ATAI through January 2018
    • Listed on winners page as ATAI Book Award Contest 1st Place Winner
    • Badge as ATAI Book Award Contest 1st Place Winner
    • Announced during ceremony via video
    • Finalist invitation into private mastermind
    • Bragging Rights
    • $1697 Value
  • Grand Prize
    • Author VIP Day with Rob and Janelle (virtually or in-person)
    • Promotion across combined social media of 40K+ throughout 2018
    • Featured on homepage of ATAI throughout 2018
    • Featured on sidebar of ATAI through all of 2018
    • Extra blog posts via blogs as Grand Prize Winner
    • HeadTalker created to promote Grand Prize Winner
    • Announced during award ceremony via video
    • Podcast interview as Grand Prize Winner 2017
    • Listed on 2017 ATAI Winners page
    • Badge as ATAI Book Award Contest Grand Prize Winner 2017
    • Finalist invitation into private mastermind
    • Serious Bragging Rights
    • $3997 Value

Last: How To Enter

  • Go to Authors Talk About It
  • Click the drop down and select
    • Book Entry $35
    • Book Entry With One Added Categories $45
    • Book Entry With Two Added Categories $55
  • Each manuscript can be entered in a maximum of three categories, using the prices listed above.
  • Submissions Deadline
    • September 30, 2017
  • Finalists Announced
    • October 15, 2017
  • Winners Announced
    • November 1, 2017

If you have any additional questions go to http://authorstalkaboutit.com/

Good Luck!

 

When Our Worlds Collide by Kellie Wallace

When Our Worlds Collide by [Wallace, Kellie]As one city’s fate hangs in the balance, a woman’s destiny is about to be determined…

Amira Frost is forced to watch her home be invaded by the warmonger state, Argos. Divided into multiple class zones, the city’s once peaceful existence is threatened.
When an opportunity arises for Amira to get close to the General, she accepts with the hope that her new position as his personal food taster can help reclaim the municipality, but she is pulled deeper into his regime than she initially anticipated.

For every controlling force, a resistance is born…

The Ravens’ elusive leader, Grayson Roe, has one goal—to lead the resistance to victory against the barbaric military. Dedicated and ruthless, he sets out to use Amira to their advantage by offering her a proposal she’s unable to refuse.
Nothing will stop him from regaining control over his city and its people—not even the dark haired beauty whose loyalty seems questionable.

A city threatens to fall and a decision needs to be made…

As the battle rages, Amira is caught between two opposing forces and reevaluates her allegiance when her loyalty is tested. Her home is under attack, her friends and family are dying, and she is faced with a grueling decision that has the power to save or bring down an entire city.

When worlds collide, she must choose between saving her home or surrendering to the one man who threatens to destroy it all—including her.

When I picked up this book, I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. It definitely wasn’t what I got.

When Our Worlds Collide is a novel loosely based on war occupied France during WWII. Amira is the girl caught between loyalty to her homeland, and the desire to keep her family safe. She is the girl who has to choose between the man who took over her land, and the man trying to free it. And this choice is not as easy as it might seem.

Background

This story begins with Amira walking to the market. Kellie Wallace makes this seemingly simple task into a journey of exploration. You learn the history of the city, the changes made in the city since the occupation, the terror and the fear of the people in the city, and how they are fighting back. And you learn all of this in a manner that is relatively smooth and relevant to the storyline. As the story progresses this theme continues, there are some nuggets of information that are out of place, and don’t really need to be there, (why did we need to know about the former queen?!!?) but on the whole this is a well developed storyline that imparts background information in a way that is genuinely interesting.

Storyline

This story is a organically woven, complex tale. While some of the twists and turns seem a little rushed at times, overall, the story follows a natural flow and cadence, showing you things you never expected, and things you might have, but not in the way you saw them.

Kellie Wallace, following the loose tie to WWII shows the reader familiar landmarks, the labor camps, Hitler’s bunker, the French Rebellion … and shows you the other side of the story. You feel horror and sympathy, betrayal and loss all regarding the same event

Characters

Perhaps the weakest link in this story were the characters. The supposed hero, Grayson Roe, is dark and cruel and manipulative, without any explanation for this or his sudden mood swings.

The villain is innocent, and tongue-tied, while confident at the oddest times, with no explanations for the reasoning behind the horrible things he does to the populace he has taken over.

And Amira, the heroine, is perhaps the worst of all, switching from one extreme to the next, one love to the other, one side to the other, without any explanation as to why. The only constant in her character is her love and loyalty to her family, and even that is shaky at times.

 

Summing It Up

All in all this book is a pleasant read. Not for the characters, but for the world around them. The idea behind this novel is powerful, and I would love to see the beautiful creation it could become with some characters that, if not likable, can at behave in a manner that can be understood.

 

I give this book an B-.

*Disclaimer: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy by the author for a honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own.*