Traveler Series by Tom Abrahams

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Traveler Series by Tom Abrahams is reminiscent of the old classic western series.

You must know what I’m referring to… the ones my dad in Texas still watches in the afternoon while sitting in his armchair. They were quality then, not like the quick scotch tape versions now. They were the kind that were laced with subtle humor. The ones you’d catch a moment later. Genius works of art, really. The films were long then. You had to have patience in the old days but they were worth every minute. That’s what Author Tom Abrahams has done here with The Traveler Series.

His main character, Battle, is like that famous actor, he’s tough yet weak, he’s dangerous and he’s funny. He’s got that quirky sense of humor that only men of danger rely upon. I loved the series.

The first book in the series, Home, begins in Texas before the Scourge, which was a pandemic. It’s where the pain of the character sets in profoundly. Tom Abrahams has two elements that many authors do not. This is where you see that he can provide both the action and the emotion. That’s uncommon and a great combination.

Canyon is after the Scourge and in the upheaval of a power struggle. Though there’s also another element in Canyon; one I thought Abrahams pulled off very well. He implemented a secondary storyline, weaved through excellently. I’m a terrible guesser to plot lines. I tend to ruin anything I sit through with the family… it was the butler! But, I didn’t see this coming which tells me he’s good and when he revealed the ending I was satisfied that he’d entertained me. That’s what we all want isn’t it? To be entertained. To not guess the ending or to know who did it in the end?

And then Wall brings everything’s full circle. Forget succession. Texas, in this setting, is long past succession. The state itself is fractured. In Wall, we still see an emotional struggle that’s very personal to Battle. He struggles to overcome the worst battle he’s ever endured and it’s within himself. Of course, there’s an outward struggle as well. Abrahams again brings in his artistic talent. He combines these battles for one man and makes him deliver despite the pain. And just like in the old west movies you wonder if he’s going to get the girl in the end, survive his inner struggles and triumph over the bad guys. Well, I won’t ruin it for you. Read it for yourself!

French Wardrobe Cover Reveal

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The French Wardrobe Cover Reveal

Tada… Here is the cover design for The French Wardrobe. It was a tough decision and at first I thought we were headed in a very different direction entirely but after asking the design team to tweak a secondary design, the artist came up with hand drawn version and this design reflects the story so well, I was hooked.

Now, I just need to finish the story. The French Wardrobe is about a widow’s journey out of grief when her overly protective husband suddenly is taken from her. Though she’s strong in her own way, she has no idea how to cope in this new life solo. Then, strength, comes from an unlikely source. It’s a tale of finding power within in the hardest of times.

This book is considered contemporary fiction and is a departure from the type of stories I typically write. I’m hoping to write in many different genres so this will be a first, though I don’t see my writing style ever completely removed from dystopian. Call me a synic, it’s just the way I’m built.

Stay tuned and I will let you know when The French Wardrobe is soon to be released. Better yet, join my newsletter up on the right of this website and you’ll receive an email when there’s news to share.

Silver Star by Jeannette Walls – a Review

Silver Star by Jeannette Walls is a true look into the childhood of those less fortunate and who live by their wits at a young age.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. It was sitting around on my TBR pile for a while, (to be read). Had I known what a wonderfully written and engaging story it was, I would have moved it to the top of the pile a little sooner.

The main character reminds me of my own childhood and I think that’s why my friend referred the story to me to begin with. Those of use who grew up like this know what it’s like to be in charge of yourself, the boss of you, at such an early age. Jeannette Walls truly made the story come to life and she didn’t hold back; it the raw deal and I loved reading The Silver Star.

It starts off with two girls in their young teens trying to avoid the dreaded CPS (child protection services). They end up making a run for it since their crazy mom has left them on their own for far too long. They take off across the country to their only known relative and discover that not only is their mother looney but so are the rest of the adults they encounter. They fall into life in their mother’s old town but not without resurrecting old ghosts and finding out who they truly are in the process. This is both good and bad and you’re left with hoping they made the right decision all along.

I completely recommend it to my readers and though I know my female readers will enjoy it, so will my male readers. There’s no real romance but lots of life involved.

This book is also available in audiobook format and I think it would be a great listen-to on your way to work.

Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann: A Review

51VYYx9hHgL._SL250_Moonlit Garden is a treasure to read. I loved it completely.

I recently took advantage of the Kindle First opportunity to download The Moonlit Garden for FREE. It was a great deal and wasn’t to be released until the next month. I love Amazon Prime, there are so many benefits like the Kindle First program, Amazom video…Amazon will rule the world soon and we know it. Maybe that’s okay…I for one am fine if drones deliver my products. Sure beats the mailman delivering boxes and ringing the doorbell when I’m hard at work in my fantasy lab.

Anyway… I’m so far behind on my book posts that I wanted to highlight the few good reads that I’ve read in the past month. The Moonlit Garden is one and it’s a lovely story about a widow who receives a mysterious violin. She owns an antique store and tries to find out more about it. The journey she goes on is something she never expects and it was a treat to see her path as she discovers the true meaning of the violin, it’s original owners and how it’s related to her afterall.

This is one I know my female fans will like. It’s like the pearl in the gravel patch. It’s certainly worth a spot on your kindle. Enjoy.

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum, the author of that wonderful childhood favorite, The Land of Oz, also wrote The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. 

I’d never heard of this title before and in light of the season, I made it my mission to read this looked over classic. It’s pretty long and took me more than a week to read through it. It covers everything from his youth and how he was found in the forest of Burzee to how he became immortal.

This classic version of Santa’s life explains a lot of those unanswerable questions we wondered about as a child. Like how did he fit down that chimney? This book also introduces several fairy characters that you may not have ever heard of before.

At times, it reminded me of the Lord of the Rings. At one point Santa is kidnapped by the evil Awgwas and kept from delivering his beloved toys to the children. The Awgwa’s mission in eternity was to whisper in children’s ears and encourage them to be naughty…kind of creepy.

I really enjoyed reading this classic. I’m not certain it’s a great read-a-loud to children though. Perhaps a fourth grader would enjoy the read and as an adult I certainly love the old classics. I think there’s a lot to learn from them and I try to interweave them through my reading list.

It’s also interesting to learn about the great author’s of our past and study what worked for them. For instance, L. Frank Baum wrote over 60 stories and also wrote over twenty stories for young girls under a female pseudonym Edith Van Dyne. This one is The Flying Girl and Her Chum. There are so many to choose from. I can’t imagine why I never ran into these as a girl.

He was a newspaper man and had both successes and failures in life like most. He passed away in 1919 and I find it an honor to get to read his work today. What a wonderful gift he left behind for us. I hope that all of my fans will get to read a classic or two on their Christmas break. I’m now moving on to H. G. Wells’ lesser known works and it’s quite interesting.

Merry Christmas!

AR Shaw

Home by Tom Abrahams – The Traveler Series

 

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I just completed reading Home by Tom Abrahams and I’m blown away. This well written, fast paced story is a modern day western.

One that will have you riveted to your reading device. At times, I dodged bullets, cried, and prayed along with our hero who goes by the apt name Battle.

You can feel the emotion within Home. A lot of it’s humor though awful sadness too. It’s one of those books you think about for days later. Home is also a novel of preparedness but not overly so. I think there’s a great balance in Home that will satisfy not only the preparedness reader but also someone who loves to read survival fiction.

More and more readers compare the post-apocalyptic genre with westerns and I’ve got to say, Tom Abrahams proves it with Home. The great thing is, this is only the beginning… Home is the first book in The Travelers series.

Here is the description from Amazon:

HE THOUGHT HE WAS PREPARED. HE THOUGHT HIS FAMILY WAS SAFE. HE WAS WRONG.

Five years after a pneumonic plague killed two-thirds of the world’s population, army veteran Marcus Battle is isolated. He’s alone with his guns, his food, and the graves of his wife and child.

Unaware of the chaos that’s befallen everything outside of his central Texas ranch land, Marcus lives a Spartan life. If anyone steps onto his property he shoots first and never ask questions.

But when a woman in distress, chased by marauders, seeks asylum, Marcus has a decision to make.

Does he throw her to the wolves to protect himself or does he help her and leave the shelter and protection of home?

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If you’ve not heard of Tom Abrahams before, he’s from my home state of Texas. He’s also a news anchor for Eyewitness News in Houston, Texas. I met Tom, virtually, through the collaboration with Steven Konkoly’s Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse project.  As I wrote Deception on Durham Road, he wrote three novellas, The Pilgrimage Series, as his own contribution. Either I’m a slacker or he’s an overachiever. 🙂 I’m just getting started on the second novella my own series.

He also has a successful three book series out titled, A Jackson Quick Adventure and a stand-a-alone, Sedition.

I know you’ll enjoy Home by Tom Abrahams as much as I did. It certainly is a new twist in post-apocalyptic fiction.

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A Death in Sweden by Kevin Wignall

A Death in Sweden isn’t so much a James Bond thriller as it is a thrilling mystery. I loved it.

I thought it was a refreshing take on the whole spy, revenge killer thing. There’s a bit of humanity lost in our main character, and he not only recognizes this with the aid of a beautiful Swedish agent, and dead college, he dares to overcome that legacy but not before revenge of course. I thought Kevin Wignall did a great job. His writing is certainly excellent and I’ve got to say I thought it was much better than the bestselling thriller currently running, Girl on the Train.

This is a very worthy read. As a writer myself, I’ve learned to ignore other reviews and choose books based on the author’s merit, not other opinions that seem sometimes to become copycats of their predecessors. Bad habit that… thinking for oneself is so much more worthy.

A Death in Sweden doesn’t actually release until January 1st, but I was able to read it early through Kindle First. It’s worth mentioning that if you are a Prime member of Amazon, there is a new monthly perk where you can obtain one book per month that hasn’t even been released yet! Yipee! There is usually several to choose from, and A Death in Sweden was one of them. This is FREE to Prime members, and if you have it, you can already take advantage of this. Cool huh? I know I was thrilled.

If you are not an Amazon Prime member, I encourage you to become one because of all the FREE 2-Day shipping, music, photo storage, books, live stream shows…so many advantages. It’s awesome, and the yearly fee is well worth just the free 2-day shipping alone. You can watch Man in High Castle, which I recommend, for no additional fees…I’m sure I’m only using half of the advantages as it is but my family loves it and the monthly household products we purchase through Subscribe and Ship are well worth it too. You can even give Amazon Prime as a gift.

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Durham Departure – Cover Reveal for a Perseid Collapse Novella

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It’s time for the cover reveal for the short story I’m currently working on. Durham Departure is the second book in the Deception on Durham Road series I’ve written for the Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse series.

The story is coming along well and as soon as it’s complete, I will let my newsletter fans know first as it’s sent off to my editors. This is a short story about 25 thousand words and it continues Jamie’s adventure after the fall. She’s now responsible for three girls with no family or friends around. How will she make a life for them and what happens when they’re forced to flee. If you think you can predict where this is going, you’ll be surprised as I was writing it. It’s not what I expected. I hope you’ll enjoy the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

At the same time, I’m working on a co-book story with author Steven C. Bird. We are complete with the first ten chapters and sending it back and forth as we both develop separate parts. It’s a fun project and I hope it turns out well, I’m pretty sure it will. More on that later.

If you’d like to keep up to date on my writing projects and learn about great book deals join my newsletter list where I send out something once a week or so, letting you know what’s happening or who might be having a great sale on their books.

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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.


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.