Thursday, November 10, 2011

Discussing Books From Authors I Know

Hey Bunnies,

Have you missed me? The computer is up and working again. I've been thinking about all the great writers I know through my website and my workshop and I realized that I know a lot of published writers.

So today I'm going to talk about the books published by people I know. I hope you'll look at these books and consider adding them to your read list.

After compiling the list, I realize I know a LOT of authors, both traditionally published and independently published. Due to the sheer number of books, I'm splitting this post up. The second half will be posted over the weekend.

The books talked about on this post are: The Celibate Mouse, I Wish I Were Engulfed by Flames, Girl in The Box, This Time You Lose, The Bum Magnet, Far From Happy, The Grateful Undead: They're So Vein, The Love ThingTirzah

Books from AUTHORS I KNOW:

The Celibate Mouse--Diana Hockley
Book Description: Shell-shocked from a tragedy at work and an acrimonious domestic upheaval, Detective Senior Sergeant Susan Prescott flees town to recuperate, but fate has other ideas. Her plan to house-sit for relatives in a rural community is shattered when Susan witnesses a very public murder within an hour of her arrival.
Click Here For Book Trailer

My Thoughts On the Cover: I love Diana's book cover...although I probably would have made the red coat a little But I think it's a great cover and really builds suspense. And I'm a little sad I didn't create it. :) This book was one of the first ones I made a book trailer for so I'm fond of it.

Thoughts on the Book: Oh I love a good murder mystery, don't you? The plot is beautifully detailed. I really think it'd make a nice weekend mystery for television--someone tell a producer. The characters are flawed enough to be human and interesting enough to deserve a book be told about them.

Overall, I find this to be a great little rainy day murder mystery, perfect for curling up to in a warm bed. Hey, I have no boyfriend so if I chose to curl a book, don't judge me. :)

Invisible-Jeanne Bannon

Description: Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that... For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose. Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish.

Click Here for BOOK TRAILER
My Thoughts on the Cover--This designer went for less is more. The eyes grab you in the middle of all that whiteness. The feel of aloneness feeds into the plot. This cover shows restraint sometimes is best.

Thoughts on the Book: Jeanne can thank The Hunger Games for gettting me excited about YA again. After years of reading bad teen porn (what else can I call those adolescent make out books with some sort of magic in them?), that book made me excited for YA again. So I was willing to give her LOLA a chance. I related heavily with her main character. Haven't we all felt like the ugly duckling and haven't we all wished to disappear? This book is one that should be read in high schools. I think it has what so few YA books have--it has heart.

The Apocalypse Gene--
: Global pandemic is raging.

Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying. Her ability to see auras forces her to witness, with agonizing detail, the vibrant colors of life consumed by malignancy. When Olivya sees evidence of disease creeping into her mother's aura, she has no one to turn to but Mikah. Can he unearth the Kindred secrets and find a cure? Can she trust this boy whose power allows him to manipulate her very emotions? With her mother's life, and that of the world, in the balance, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to stop the Pandemic, only to discover it is far, far more than a mere disease . . .

Click Here for the BOOK WEBSITE
My Thoughts On The Cover--Ah love the lightening blended with the DNA strands. It's science and fantasy blended. I wasn't sure I liked the brigher color strands at first but I've warmed up to it.

Book Thoughts--Another YA that should thank The Hunger Games I've warmed up to YA again. I'm so glad I didn't miss this book. The book is dark but never hopeless. It's a wonderful blend of dysopia, love story, a touch of sci-fi and a bit of fantasy. Boys and girls, it's Christmas already and I'm happy with my gift. :) What I was struck by in the book is how effortlessly the world building is done. I believe in this futuristic dark Chicago. I hope for Mikah and Olivya. And the authors slowly lead the reader forward until the whole premise seems like truth. Hard to do but---so wonderful to read.

Hardware--J.L. Campbell

Descrption: Camille Moyston has managed to put the nightmare of a violent attack behind her. Having forged a safe, predictable life, the last thing she needs is a cliché, oversexed Jamaican male expressing interest.For Quinn Mayhew, life is too good to waste time chasing a haughty, irritable woman who is too cautious to accept him for the man he is, but somehow she symbolizes everything he desires in his future.

When Camille's inner fortress finally starts to crumble, Quinn is arrested for murder and everything changes...

Thoughts on the Cover--Lovely blue water tones, sexy tells me what I'm getting. A tension filled love story set near the water.

Check out Joy's website: The Character Depot

Thoughts on the Book--I haven't read this one. BUT I have read Joy's award winning short stories and I love the taste of Jamaica in her books so I can't imagine this isn't a good book.

The Grateful Undead
Descripton:--Be careful what you pray for. I merely asked to live a long healthy life and hinted that I wouldn't mind starting over while keeping the knowledge I had accumulated in my 58 years. And if a more youthful body and less wrinkles were involved, I certainly wouldn't complain. Well, I'm here to tell you, God does listen… to everything… and he's got quite a frigging sense of humor. I'm the undead proof. And so are the rest of my family, the whole dysfunctional lot, who wasted no time in baring their necks for a chance to share in my new found fountain of vampire youth.

Cover--It's irreverant and so is the book. I still think it needs more color. But I always love more...that's why I no longer own a bedazzler. :)

Thoughts on the Book--HAHAHAHAHAHA--does that sum it up? The only thing worse than a house full of pissy menopausal women is a house full of pissy women with 20 year old bodies and bad attitudes. It's a darkly funny.If any of you have ever had family problems or 'female' problems and love the vampire life---please, please go buy this one. Volume 2 comes out soon--Gator Baitin'.

Check out her website: The Grateful Undead: They're So Vein

Far From Happy-- Jeni Decker/Not Yet Published

Description: Jackson Fouchet steps off a bus at the Port Authority in June of 1987—directly onto Times Square—an 18 year old kid with the word naiveté plastered across his forehead.Immediately spotted by a young hustler, he begins his journey from peep shows to the last bathhouses, getting involved with Mr. B, the mob-connected owner of multiple clubs, all under fire from a new mayor embarking on an anti-sleaze campaign directed squarely at The Deuce.

He spends the next 20 years on the streets trying to swim against the mob who controls the gay sex trade, the politicians trying to eliminate it, and the misfits addicted to it—until a call in 2008 forces him return to his native New Orleans and a dying sister. Coming home proves harder than coming out in this story about love, family and acceptance.

PUBLISHER WEEKLY Review: "[Far From Happy] does a fine job navigating inner turmoil, family dynamics and political realities, grabbing you by the heart even when you’d rather turn away. Its no-holds-barred sexual content is challenging, but far from gratuitous; rather, it sharpens an already edgy story of indifference, shame, and, finally, acceptance."

Thoughts on The Book: I read this book in my online workshop before it was picked up by a publisher. If you've never read LGBT literature, this book may be the one to start with. It's gritty and the sex scenes may be overly graphic for some BUT this book is more about emotional growth of Jackson. Yes, he was a hustler but Jackson is also a person who is broken emotionally. I bawled reading this book, just bawled. I was at turns repulsed by Jackson and heartbroken by him. In the end, I just really wanted to save him. It's a wonderful book but it is NOT for every reader. Be prepared for a gritty, dark climb into the light.

I Wish I Were Engulfed In Flames-Jeni Decker

Description: This is Jeni's brutally honesty and darkly funny memoir on raising two boys with autism.

Book Cover--It's kitchy. The cover was debated, disected and discussed to death at my workshop. Although I don't think it would have been the author's first choice, I think it does grab the eye off the book shelf. What I worry about is that the cover is a bit cutesy. As the book's title tells you, this is a funny memoir with an edge. The edge is missing in the cover.

Thoughts on Novel: This is non-fiction. If you are looking for a book where we all hold hands sing 'Oh Happy Day', this isn't that book. Engulfed is an honest book full of frustration, pain, love, anger and laughter. Probably the most commerical of Jeni's books, it's still a book unafraid to look you in the eye and tell the truth. A rare commodity.


This Time You Lose--Chris Strayln

DESCRIPTION: What would you do if street thugs invaded your home? What if you’re a daycare provider, caring for a dozen children at the time? Lisa Kaamp, a most unlikely heroine, faces just such a nightmare in This Time You Lose, the suspense driven story of one woman’s struggle to survive when she and the children she cares for become victims of a home invasion gone terribly wrong. Lisa Kaamp operates a small childcare business out of her home in Nogeksum, Michigan. Highly respected and known for going the extra mile for her daycare kids, she thinks she’s handled every daycare emergency possible. But nothing prepares her for the horror she now faces. Lisa finds herself bound and gagged, four strange men in her home, and the daycare children held hostage in the next room.

Book Cover--One of the very first covers I ever designed so, of course, I LOVE it. Hah.

Book Thoughts: A home invasion story where being a hero is more than just words. It's a tense book, a real nail biter. It reads quickly but you'll be reading it sitting on the edge of your chair. Not a book if you have high blood pressure, the excitement may hurt you. :)

CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE for This Time You Lose

Girl In The Box--Sheila Dalton

Official Reviews
ABNA Publisher Weekly Review
In a series of deftly handled flashes ... this novel successfully juggles themes involving relationships, commitment, professional jealousy and helplessness in the face of international issues.

--Publishers' Weekly
One to Watch: The protagonist's dark past, not to mention the book's focus on international issues, professional jealousy and journalistic crusading, is akin to [Stieg] Larsson's Lizbet Salander. --Quill and Quire, Jan./Feb. 2011

Description: Caitlin Shaughnessy, a Canadian journalist, discovers that Inez, a traumatized young Mayan woman originally from Guatemala, has killed Caitlin's psychoanalyst partner, Dr. Jerry Simpson. Simpson brought the girl, who may be autistic, back to Canada as an act of mercy and to attempt to treat her obvious trauma. Cailin desperately needs to find out why this terrible incident occurred so she can find the strength to forgive and move on with her life.

Book Cover: I like the subtle colors of the cover. I also like that the girl is faceless. The cover echoes the title, she's boxed and removed from color. It's sad cover but very self-contained, just like Inez. I also really liked what they did with the font. Font is so important.

Thoughts on the Book: The book builds slowly. Unlike so much of the in your face suspense, this book warms to a acid burn of psychological suspense. Oh what a film this would make, somebody get ten million together and help Shelia bring it to the screen. I think the opening scene where the image of Christ is bleeding sets the theme for Inez. Both she and Jerry are both sacrificed for the sins of others. Am I reading too much into it? Dunno.

Beautifully paced, emotionally suspenseful--The Girl in The Box is what psychological suspense use to be when it was still good. You won't get Die Hard action so if you want car chases and jiggling boobs, it's not the book for you. But if you like a thinking suspense book that grows organically? Then buys this!

The Bum Magnet--K.L. Brady

DESCRIPTION: Charisse Tyson’s got it all going on . . .
She’s a savvy, successful real-estate agent with a quick wit, a low tolerance for BS, a gorgeous size-14 body, and a thirst for top shelf vodka. Despite her dream house, luxury car, and appetite for life’s best—like fine dining and hot men—she seems to have her own special talent for attracting players. Why do all of her ex-lovers belong in the Losers Hall of Fame?

There was Lamar, the hazel-eyed Adonis who sowed more wild oats than Quaker. . . Sean, an expert at juggling relationships . . . Marcus, whose lips wandered as often as his eyes . . . and others, too. But just as Rissey swears off sex and vows to dump her emotional baggage, she meets house-hunting client Dwayne Gibson. There’s no way she can resist his seductive smile and rock-hard body. . . . Will Dwayne turn out to be the biggest bum of them all? Or will this time be different?

Book Cover: There are so few great racially diverse stock photos, that's why I was so excited to see the cover for 'The Bum Magnet'. The African American model is beautiful, plus-size and gorgeous. Pefect for the character. The only thing I might have added was a bit more sex but can you have too much sex?

Thoughts on the Book: I read the early draft of this book on my online workshop. Karla shopped it for a bit but couldn't quite find a place for it. Then she self-published the sold well and attracted the attention of a mainstream traditional publisher. This book is the pubilishing Cinderella tale. Her second book publishes within months.

The Love Thing--Chris Delyani

DESCRIPTION: Twenty-two-year old Greg DeAngelis moves to San Francisco from New York to escape his overbearing father, who's pressuring him to go to law school, and his ex-boyfriend Matthew, who dumps him for an older, richer man. To make desperately needed money Greg temps at a law firm, where he blunders into the role of the firm’s official birthday cake maker—despite his utter lack of culinary skill. A lot of guys vie for the hero’s attention as he navigates the rough waters of office politics and single life in San Francisco, but only one of them can give him "the love thing." Can he figure out which one, before it's too late? This comic novel is about the importance of love and friendship, and of knowing who your true friends really are.

Book Cover--Actually, it's not one of my favorite covers. I think this cover could use a little romance. :) BUt it's not a bad cover, just not as engaging as I'd like.

Book Thoughts: This was my first male-male romance. It opened my eyes to a whole world of LGBT books that are at heart--romantic. The main charcter is a bit lost. Greg's dad wants him to be a lawyer and he'd be good at it but his heart's not in it. When the guy he loves leaves him for another man, Greg re-locates, finds a temp job and searches for himself. He makes a few wrong turns in life, love and cake recipes but I loved this young man. I wanted him happy. It's a sweet book.


Check in next week for more books by authors I know.

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