Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story Review

I just finished Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score.

I must say I’m conflicted. I’m a writer and a voracious reader but this type of genre is really not my thing. That being said, the storyline was interesting. The author did a great job of engaging the reader and for a romance she certainly applied her skill set there. 

To me the love scenes bordered on erotica which isn’t something I enjoy, I prefer for the suggestion of sex to be there but there’s no need to get so graphic; that’s my personal perspective and not something I would nail a writer for. I knew I was reading a romance novel so that’s something you expect these days.

I picked up this book because it was ranked so highly on Amazon. Every now and then, I choose books from the top list to see what’s selling and even though this is currently in vogue it’s not something I would generally read.

Would I recommend this book? Um…not for my readers who generally are a more serious bunch. If you love romance novels, like say, Fifty Shades of Grey, you’ll enjoy Pretend You’re Mine.   I will try to stick with the genres I know and love. 🙂

 

Not Self But Country by David C. Perry


I love reading about our nation’s history, but I’ve never considered how the United States Navy was formed. Not until I read Not Self But Country by David C. Perry, which is a fictional version of those early days of the Revolution, did I realize what a monumental feat it was.

Author David Perry expertly composes the daily lives of those who helped form the first US Navy. You feel the salt spray on your lips and relive the struggle of enemy capture after a harrowing sea battle. His writing is superb and the picture he paints for the reader makes this book an enjoyable and informative read. What’s more, is that Not Self But Country is the beginning of a series. Not only has Perry offered us the first, but he also has the second novel published as well, titled The Crucible of Tradition.

Both books are currently only .99 on Amazon! To read more about this author and his other works you can visit his website at Leadership, Legends and Lore.

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The Virginian by Owen Wister

As a post-apocalyptic writer, I read an abundance of survival fiction. Like many like-minded readers, post-apocalyptic has become known as the modern day westerns like The Virginian by Owen Wister.

I read across many genres, but mostly modern bestsellers. It’s refreshing to delve into the older classics and rediscover something I’ve missed in the past. That’s the case with The Virginian. A friend recommended the piece to me and I loved the lengthy novel.

Owen Wister aptly captured the old west and traditions of the early 1900’s. It’s amazing to see the differences between human nature of those that lived then and even more surprising to notice the similarities today. Women are still doing their best to prove they’re more than just wives. Men are perhaps less hardened than they were in those days.

And yet, the criminal aspect of human nature certainly exists in the same form only this author caught even the minute malicious tendencies of manipulation between his pages. The subtleties of attitude which can change a man and wreak havoc on society then is also performed so today, but with social media tools, they exist even greater. For there are Trampasses in abundance today.

So after I finished the novel, I discovered that not only is there a film made, there are many. The first one was made in 1929, and so far the latest one was completed in 2014. I intend to start with the earliest and watch my way through; I expect the earlier films will be of the best quality and stick closest to the storyline.

So if you need a break from your current reading genre and want something different to help cleanse your palette, I’d suggest The Virginian. It’s a classic that appeals today as much as it did over a hundred years ago.


One Year After by William R. Forstchen – A Review

After reading the much-anticipated One Year After by William R. Forstchen, I’ve become jaded against sequels.

I didn’t expect the wild twists and turns Forstchen paved for the reader and yet there I was in the midst of it all. The government, I mean assumed government because it’s only a claim, has taken over the United States. This new faction goes about helping it’s citizens in the oddest of ways.

Our protagonist recalls his training and steps up to the plate once again, even in his broaching golden years, though he complains about the efforts.

Overall, One Year After was beautifully written. Forstchen is a great writer and there isn’t anything to complain about. The action is there to get your heart rate up and there’s enough character development to keep you interested in the individual plights. It was a great read. If I’m sounding a little unenthused, it’s only because it wasn’t as great as the first. We all know that happens. I mean, One Second After was a tough act to follow and well even though I thoroughly enjoyed One Year After and the furthering of the storyline, I kinda, sorta hope there won’t be a third in the series. Some books need to stand on their own because they were so great to begin with; stringing out a second lesser sibling, takes away from the golden child’s spotlight.

This is just my opinion. Do I recommend you read it? Yes, please do! Let me know your thoughts too.

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The Martian the Movie?

Should you go and see The Martian the movie? Pay the $11 per person just to sit in a germ infested theatre next to a bird flu carrier just to see the movie before it’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Video or Netflix?

Um… Yeah! It’s that good. And even though there are a few differences in the ending and they left out a few little bits of humor, it’s still very good and you should totally pop for the exorbitant fee and buy the popcorn because when is there going to be another movie that I recommend you see before waiting for the cheaper less germy version? Like never! I’m a huge proponent of homemade popcorn and the comfy couch version.

Though there are a few changes in the storyline, it’s extremely entertaining and well done.

Hurray for Andy Weir and Ridley Scott!

I do however, hope you’ll read the book before you see the movie. If you haven’t done so, you’ll still enjoy the movie immensely but you won’t be able to detect how great or how funny the Mars inhabitant is.

 

Book Review – Friction by Sandra Brown

 

I just finished Friction by Sandra Brown and found the novel intriguing.

It’s about a widower who’s trying to regain custody of his little girl from his in-laws when during the court hearing a masked man runs through the courtroom and aims at the judge but kills the court bailiff instead.

Soon the judge and the father, who just happens to be a Texas Ranger during his day job, try to solve the mystery of the masked man.

When I started off reading this novel, I wasn’t really expecting a romance or the tantalizing bits of bedroom drama, though there isn’t too much of it to be a problem. In short, it’s a cute story though I wasn’t sold on a judge compromising her ethics. You have to remember, this is fiction.

Here is Amazon’s description:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, ambitious and confident, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford’s obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large . . .and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

FRICTION will keep you on the edge of your seat with breathtaking plot twists and the unforgettable characters that make Sandra Brown one of the world’s best-loved authors. It is an extraordinary novel about the powerful ties that bind us to the ones we love and the secrets we keep to protect them.

So, if you’re looking for a quick read with a little romance and a nice ending, here you go.

Sandra Brown delivers well-written best-sellers. Check out her website here.

 

Book Review of The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello

I just finished The Einstein Prophecy and what an adventure it was.

This was not my typical read; even though I partake across many genres. I must admit it started off a little slow and I wasn’t sure where it was going in the beginning. On a side note: I’ve read a lot of stories lately dealing with the same time period. Like All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, The Einstein Prophecy is set during WWII. And. . .  they are all currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List. I’m not certain why, but it seems more than mere coincidence.

(Back to the story). It’s about a US soldier who is an art professor by education and he ends up in the quest to reclaim fine art that Hitler has stolen or art that’s hidden away in an attempt to keep Hitler from stealing them. Unfortunately, some of these artifacts are boobytrapped and our protagonist becomes injured. He returns to his university job when an uber important artifact is delivered to him for study.

That’s when things start to go a little crazy and our hero just happens to be boarding across the street from none other than Einstein himself. Obviously this is historical fiction and though Robert Masello takes liberty with history and real characters, he does so with talented flair.

Though there were some odd fantasy moments in the story, I liked the novel. It was a treat to get to know Einstein in real life and our hero played his part well. Amazon described the novel this way,

As war rages in 1944, young army lieutenant Lucas Athan recovers a sarcophagus excavated from an Egyptian tomb. Shipped to Princeton University for study, the box contains mysteries that only Lucas, aided by brilliant archaeologist Simone Rashid, can unlock.

These mysteries may, in fact, defy—or fulfill—the dire prophecies of Albert Einstein himself.

Struggling to decipher the sarcophagus’s strange contents, Lucas and Simone unwittingly release forces for both good and unmitigated evil. The fate of the world hangs not only on Professor Einstein’s secret research but also on Lucas’s ability to defeat an unholy adversary more powerful than anything he ever imagined.

From the mind of bestselling author and award-winning journalist Robert Masello comes a thrilling, page-turning adventure where modern science and primordial supernatural powers collide.

This was, I believe, the first time I’ve read a Robert Masello novel.  Which is crazy because he’s published traditionally many titles through Simeon and Schuster, Penguin, and Random House. Though The Einstein Prophecy is his latest release, his last two most popular novels were:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of which were highly acclaimed.

So for a change of pace read The Einstein Prophecy, it’s a quick read and you’ll enjoy Einstein’s character; I did. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah



image I’m not certain if it’s several authors that get together in a smokey room with whispered voices and agree to work on a particular moment in history or if authors are all just a little bit seer and the scenarios we write about are warnings or signs of times to come; a little like the guy driven to sculpt mashed potatoes in Close Encounters. In any event, Kristin Hanna is an author to applaud. There’s a good reason this one is on bestseller lists.

Like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerrit’s written during the horrible human atrocities of occupied France and it leaves me in a delimma. You see, when I read an amazing book in a particular year I can easily say…This is the best book of 20whatever. It’s my own little way of bringing authenticity to the various best seller lists.

As you may know, I’ve already announced All the Light We Cannot See as my best read this year. It’s was only June. I was confident no better novel could be as good this year. I was kind of wrong because The Nightingale is just as good in my opinion. It’s a tie. Anthony Doerr’s writing talent wins, but Kristin Hannah has brought back to life the lessons we should have learned from the pain and suffering of not only the Jews, but of all those who suffered.

Like All the Light we Cannot See, The Nightingale is a masterpiece. It’s the kind of manuscript one would call a career capstone. I’m enthralled and I cried for the sisters. I hope everyone reads it. We need to. We have to see it again to do all we can to avoid a reoccurrence of what drove man to the worst we can be.


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Wayward Pines Night!

Today is Thursday. You know that means? Wayward Pines night!

D1JLaCrfAiS._SL250_It’s funny how it’s the little things you look forward to during a repetitive week. I mean, The Walking Dead is out of season, Doc Martin is over for another year, and Downton Abbey is also in a lull. So what a treat it was to find out one of my favorite book series was becoming a TV show!

Tonight is the fourth episode of the series, and although I know what should happen next, they’ve skipped around a little and now I have no idea what’s in store. So it’s fun to enjoy the series after I’ve read it, in a different light. This is the TV producers version of Wayward Pines, and though many things are different, it’s still very entertaining. The one thing that’s a little cumbersome to me is the son. Why did they go with an older teen? Perhaps it’s because they needed to show a really dark side of the school, and they needed a perspective of a teen for that instead of an eight-year-old boy. Who knows?

One thing I do know is that I’ll keep watching. In the meantime, did you know there was a Kindle World’s for the Wayward Pines series? There is, and my friend Steven Konkoly wrote a three novella series highlighting the FBI guy Hassler. It’s really awesome. I’ve read them all.

In fact…(I’m saying this quietly; almost a whisper.) I’m working on a novella outline for one of the Wayward Pines characters to submit to Kindle Worlds too. Of course, this is on the side as I finish up Malefic Nation. It may be a few months before that becomes a real thing and I’ll be certain to announce it when it does come out.

 

 

May Newsletter & Random Musings

May Newsletter

Signings, New Vendors & More

Hello. I have a few updates to share about the series.

Availability – I’ve often received emails expressing issues with the ebooks lack of availability beyond Kindle. In the past, I’ve only listed it exclusively with Amazon Kindle however, that has changed this week and The China Pandemic eBook version is now available at most major retailers. Kobo, BN.com, Scribd, Page Foundry, Tolino and of course Amazon. By next month, The Cascade Preppers and The Last Infidels will also be available at these retailers.

Book Signing – I will be reading from The China Pandemic on May 28th at 6pm at the Liberty Lake, WA Library. If you’re in the Spokane area, I’d love to meet you. Bring your paperback book for signing or you can purchase one there. (No purchase necessary) We’ll talk about the series, the publishing world and any other topics that arise.

Editing News – This has been a long journey. One of the most major issues in indie writing is finding a professional editor. Though I’ve had The China Pandemic edited five times, I knew it still needed polishing. So, I finally tracked down the best possible editor with fantastic credentials and he accepted me as a client. He has worked for major publishers. He’s worked for Amazon’s imprint 47north. And he’s worked on many major bestsellers. His name is Brian Bendlin and he just completed The China Pandemic. He is now re-editing The Cascade Preppers and so on and so forth. I’m finally relieved that when I publish something, it will be in it’s best form, from now on and I know you are too. 🙂

In other news, I’ve received a few contacts who are interested in representing the series as literary agents. This means, that possibly in the near future, Graham’s Resolution will be professionally Published. This is something I will only agree to if I do not have to sign a no compete clause which limits the number of books an author can produce in a year. If so, it means the series will be more broadly available and I can focus on writing instead of business; which would be nice…

Last but not least, I’m taking a trip soon to Hope, Canada. Though I’ve traveled to every destination in the series, I haven’t been to where the group is fleeing. I feel no matter how much research you do online, nothing compares to the impression you get gleaning from the place you’re writing about. So next month, off I go and I’ll take pictures to post. (Now I just need to write about Hawaii or France…)

Also, The Malefic Nation is coming along well though I don’t anticipate it release date until the end of summer, I’ll keep you posted. The manuscript is over half way complete and I want the story to end the best way possible. After completion, I’m leaving the series for a while. I may come back and write a prequel and/or a sequel, but I have a few stand-a-lones that I’d like to get out of my system first.

One thing I could use your help with, if you haven’t left a review on the series, please do. I would appreciate reviews on all the books I’ve written including Deception on Durham Road. This is one way you can support your favorite authors.

Thank you for all you kind notes. I welcome them anytime.

Until later!

A. R. Shaw