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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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. 🙂

 

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. 

Cover Reveal & Wayward Pines Giveaway!


Delicious, Stress-Free Paleo Meals

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Cover Reveal & Wayward Pines Giveaway!

A few announcements. Now that The Malefic Nation is awaiting the final editing, I have all this spare time to waste? Not exactly. While the Malefic Nation is on PreSale, I’ve been busily working on another short story for Kindle Worlds. Some of you may have heard of the series by Blake Crouch. Not only is it a Kindle Worlds, it’s also been adapted to television. Wayward Pines is a hit summer TV show starring Matt Dillon. The novella for Wayward Pines will be based on the series and not the TV show, however. There are many differences between the two.

I encourage you to read the series and enjoy this world. My upcoming Kindle Worlds addition to the Wayward Pines series is titled Kate’s Redemption which will be based on the untold story of how Kate assimilated so well into Wayward Pines…or did she? Here is the cover reveal for Kate’s Redemption. I’m looking for a quick release on this one. As always, I will let you know the upcoming date.

(In addition, please wait to purchase The Malefic Nation until I give you the special upcoming pricing dates which will only be announced to those on my newsletter list.)

Also, the audiobook for The Last Infidels, narrated by Jim Cunningham will be released on Amazon, Audible and iTunes any day now and this same narrator will begin The Malefic Nation by late summer.

To celebrate Kate’s Redemption, I thought I’d run a giveaway for a Kindle ebook copy of Pines, the first book in the Wayward Pines Trilogy in anticipation of Kate’s Redemption. I’ve read the whole series as well as several of the Kindle Worlds novellas in the Kindle World. It’s unlike anything you’ve read though it’s compared to Twin Peaks. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I know you will too. Blake Crouch is a very talented author.

To enter click below.

I wish you luck!
AR Shaw

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Delicious, Stress-Free Paleo Meals

The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway


The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale and a Giveaway

As promised, the last book in the Graham’s Resolution, The Malefic Nation is now a PreSale on Amazon. You can purchase it now and it will magically appear in your Kindle Reader upon release, however, if you are a Newsletter Recipient, don’t buy it now!

Newsletter recipients get special pricing dates, so if you’d prefer to only spend .99 on the new release please wait until I tell you of the special dates via newsletter.

Also, The China Pandemic, the book that started it all, is currently on a .99 special until the 12th of July so if there is anyone you know who has not read it, please pass on the good news to them.

Now what? Well, I’ve got a few short stories to work on, one of which will be a Kindle Worlds sequel to Deception on Durham Road, and the other??? I’m also working on a Kindle Worlds addition to the hit series by Black Crouch, Wayward Pines. More to come soon… Beyond that, I’m working on a stand-alone idea. One that I think will be well received. Thank you for sticking with me on this journey into my fiction worlds. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have finished a series.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to run a little giveaway. Below, enter to win a signed copy of The China Pandemic. To enter, just tweet or visit my FB page. Very simple. Please share away as well. Thank you!
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Graham’s Resolution has an Ending


The Graham’s Resolution series is complete. It’s a bittersweet realization that you’ve finished a series you love.
Malefic

Like naming Sheriff, picking the virus, the position of Hope; everything seemed to fall into place as if it was meant to be there. So too was the finality of the last line I wrote today; it felt right. It’s the end of the Graham’s Resolution series. And, I’m a little crushed.

I’ll move on. I’ve got more ideas. But, I think I’m mourning a little over it all. Of course, I left a little opening to go  back and do a sequel for the next generation at a later date, but it won’t be the same and I know this.

To me, this story was one bursting to life. There were times, I couldn’t keep up. My characters let me know when I went off track. My fan encouraged me to go on. And I did…until it was done and now I’m a little at a loss. I think it will take me a day or two. I’ll clean off my desk and wait for the Beta readers to finish and offer any suggestions, then it’s off to my editor. I’ll implement the edits and then The Malefic Nation will become live, the last in the series of Graham’s Resolution.

I don’t think I could have made the story better. Of course, in the beginning the editing could have been a lot better. But the story itself, it’s what it needed to be and I hope everyone enjoys the ending as well. I believe in human evil and I believe in the human spirit. The battle of good and evil is real in fiction and it’s real in reality. Either can win. My hope is that no matter how evil the world becomes, there’s a way to win it over and strong people willing to make the sacrifice to bring it back at any cost.

Now what? Now, I think I’ll take a long walk and try to let those old ideas flood back in. I’ll let you know. Perhaps a quick sequel to Deception on Durham Road before I start the next big novel? Apparently, I need to blow up the neighborhood on my way out. 🙂 Might be fun.

In any event, I’ll keep you informed.

The China Pandemic Giveaway!

Because it’s Monday after my vacation, I thought I’d start it off by doing a Giveaway.

Enter below.
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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

Book Review – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

There are a few books you read in a lifetime and think, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Without a doubt, that’s how I feel about All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

It’s about a gemstone, an orphaned German boy set during WWII and a French girl; the daughter of a museum locksmith. The narration goes from one to the other as the events of the war culminate in a town in France, where the three finally meet.

The tale is profound and heartbreaking at times. I typically avoid anything to do with WWII, it’s just not my preferred genre, but I found this book mesmerizing and beautifully written. The only negative that I can come up with is the title. It’s just not worthy of the story inside. I understand why it’s used. I get the relationship with radio, I’m a radio operator myself, but this novel deserved something better. I don’t know what that is, but I do know what it isn’t: a long title that is so vague it’s hard to remember. Instead, one might be apt to say, you know that book by Anthony Doerr; the good one? That’s the only thing that troubles me. The rest is perfection.

The last, best book I read was Eleanor by Jason Gurley. I loved Eleanor, it was my best read of 2014. So far, this is my best of 2015 and the year is nearly half over. Somehow I don’t think I’ll find anything better; even this early in the year.

Anthony Doerr is the author of five novels and, not surprising, is a Pulitzer winner. He’s practically plastered with well-deserved literary awards. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family. You can check out his website by clicking on his name above.

So if you’re going to read one book the rest of the year, and you’ve already read mine 🙂 read All the Light you Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Book Review – The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

I’m still behind on the books I’d like to recommend, but I promise to catch up soon. I rarely read paperbacks anymore. It’s a shame. However, my family and I walked into a small bookstore after watching Interstellar (if you haven’t seen Interstellar, go see Interstellar) several weeks ago, and I had read a blurb about The Orchardist and wanted to give it a try, so I purchased it.

What I didn’t know at the time was the author lives in Washington state. And, I was in contact with the editor of this book before realizing she was the editor. Small world. The Orchardist is a lovely book. The book itself is beautiful. By that I mean, the physical book. It has a cover like watercolor paper, and the pages are uneven in the old style. It’s a work of art, and the story is a treasure.

I wasn’t sure I’d like the story, but that’s why we read isn’t it? You should learn something from a story that you didn’t know before or you should be gifted something at the very least. I began The Orchardist, and it turns out, the story was as lovely as the cover and the pages in between.

I will say, I wish the ending had been different, but I  loved it despite that. It’s a tragic yet beautifully written tale. I don’t think I learned anything from it, but I often find that I’m thinking of the picture Coplin painted with her words. She gifted something and for that I loved The Orchardist.

It’s a lengthy book so if you’re an impatient reader needing constant action, this isn’t for you. If you’re a male reader who loves action, this isn’t for you. If you’ve read the classics such as Of Mice and Men or Pride and Prejudice, you’ll like The Orchardist.

I still have reviews coming for At the Water’s Edge, and my current read All the Light We Cannot See, coming soon.