Canine Plague by Burt Walker – A Refreshing Addition to the Prepper Genre

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Canine Plague by Burt Walker – A Refreshing Addition to the Prepper Genre

I was elated when I discovered that my long time fan, Burt Walker, surprised us all with his own novel. He’s a sly, ingenious fellow, much like his main character. So good at his deception he even left his wife out of the loop, surprising her along with the rest of us. I have no idea how you can conceal the workings of a novel from those living in your own space, I for one shout out questions and pull my hair out…my family happily supplying suggestions just to quiet me up.

Moving the Canine Plague up on my TBR (to be read) list, was no problem. I finished my latest read and then quickly opened Canine Plague. I must say I was a little apprehensive about the premise of the book. I mean a dog plague causing a national crisis? I had nothing to fear. Not only did Author Burt Walker pull off the premise, he did so beautifully. You wouldn’t think something like this could spawn a national catastrophe but in the story, you see how easily our system can be manipulated. It’s a scary and realistic scenario, one that I fear is only too easily set in motion.

The research conducted in this novel is apparent in detail. This isn’t a fly by source of information. Burt Walker put a lot of research hours into this book which also astounds me how he kept it from his wife.

If you’re into the prepper genre, this is a must read. I would only suggest you hold off on any assumptions when starting the novel. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I do hope Author Burt Walker has a series in mind for this scenario. I can certainly see a world behind the Canine Plague.

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.

Departure from Durham Road – New Release!

Departure from Durham Road is the second novella in the mini-series based on Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Series for Kindle Worlds.

The first book in the series, Deception on Durham Road, took a secondary character, Jamie McDaniels, and developed her story into a mini-series. The first book drew fans from both the Perseid Collapse of Steven Konkoly as well as the Graham’s Resolution series by A. R. Shaw. That is why I felt the need to write a second novella in the series and I hope Departure from Durham Road fills the fan craving for more of Jamie’s character.

Departure from Durham Road was a fun deviation from my normal genre. It’s actually a mash-up of several genres. I find her intriguing as both a mother and a survivor and hope my fans will as well.

With this new release, I am now able to focus on both Surrender the Sun, a co-book I’m writing with Steven Bird as well as a stand alone I’m really excited about. Stay tuned this year – there’ree a lot of new and exciting projects underway!

 

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitsimmons a Review

 

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons is not only engaging, meaning you can’t put it down to freshen your coffee that you’re at risk of sipping it cold, the story is also complex.

What do I mean by that? You ask…It’s one of those books you read and then days later you thing, yeah, but what about this… 

Again, what do I mean by that? It’s a great book, don’t get me wrong and I hate to list spoilers (so spoiler alert.) And, I wouldn’t review it if I didn’t recommend it. So with that said, I think there might be a plot hole or two. Or, I’m just being picky. I really liked the story and completely recommend it for a good read, however, one issue is the early mention in the story when two investigators compare pictures of the main character and the missing girl. One guys says something like, “you see that,” pointing to the something in the appearance of one of them in a photograph and the other guy say, “yeah, I wonder if he knows.” Though they never explain what the physical comparison was. You’re left to assume a connection later.

(Big spoiler coming,) The missing girl has a baby and sadly this child is the result of incest. Or so the story would have you think because the earlier mention of the similarities is never tied into the fact that perhaps it wasn’t incest at all. The missing girl is possibly the half-sister of the main character though you wouldn’t know that because they never made the connection in the end. And, I hate to think that this fictional baby is living a life thinking she’s the product of incest when she’s not. It’s all terrible and but an interesting story all the same.

This is just one small point in this otherwise excellent mystery that you will enjoy reading in spite of what I’ve said here. Please enjoy the book. 🙂

Oh, and on a side note, I finished the first draft of  Durham Departure. More soon.

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker a Review

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker is a refreshing departure from my normal genre.

Yet, it’s still survival fiction and I’m beginning to think I have a problem. It doesn’t matter the genre I read, there is always some element of survival within those pages. Wreckage is as much about surviving life on a deserted island as it’s about surviving the ‘normal’ life once they’re freed from paradise.

Bleeker’s book is well written and completely different than anything I’ve ever read. The characters are well thought out and the premise is wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. She did a great job. I totally recommend this book for both male and female readers. There’s something for both sexes in this book though I think female readers would enjoy it more. The emotion exuded by the main characters is strong and believable. And, she wrote the novel in an uncommon first person per character which is also refreshing and a nice change of pace from most third person novels.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie.

The public is fascinated by the castaways’ saga, but Lillian and Dave must return to their lives and their spouses. Genevieve Randall—a hard-nosed journalist and host of a news program—isn’t buying it. She suspects Lillian’s and Dave’s explanations about the other crash survivors aren’t true. And now, Genevieve’s determined to get the real story, no matter how many lives it destroys.

In this intriguing tale of survival, secrets, and redemption, two everyday people thrown together by tragedy must finally face the truth…even if it tears them apart.

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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