Talking Story

Book Reviews

True_Heroes_finalOpportunities to be part of something this special are rare in life. Back in December Jonathan Diaz approached me and several other authors about participating in his quest to help pediatric cancer patients. He had the deceptively simple idea of taking photos of kids living lives far away from the realities of hospital corridors–dreams of being a mermaid, a bull rider, a dancer, a baker, more than twenty in all–and pairing each image with a short story.

I wrote The Mermaid‘s Tale for Caimbre, four years old at the time of her photo shoot and with a smile that makes you want to take her home in your pocket. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever written. How could I possibly come up with words to do justice to her photo, to her smile, to her dreams? I couldn’t, not really. I’m just a writer.

caimbre2She and other kids are the TRUE HEROES, a collection of modern-day fairy tales about real kids who are fighting cancer. The book is available now in major bookstores and online through Amazon. All proceeds go to support the Anything Can Be Foundation in its mission to help pediatric cancer patients see themselves as the TRUE HEROES they are.

If you’re in the Provo, UT, area on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 3 pm, stop by the Provo City Library to meet some of the authors and kids. Pick up a book and support something truly special. Let’s show cancer how strong dreams can be. ‪#‎TrueHeroes‬ ‪#‎ShowYourGold‬ ‪#‎hope‬

cover This spectacular cover was created by Lyndsay Johnson for Christine Haggerty’s Pretty Things. From the back of the book.

When Maddie’s father catches her with a boy, he hauls her into town in a pig wagon and finds her a husband. But Peter’s cabin in the woods promises something very different than Maddie’s happily ever after.

Pretty Things, a retelling of “The Robber Bridegroom,” is the first novella in the Grimm Chronicles series. Warning: not your granny’s fairytales!

Fairytales with an attitude. What’s not to love? Pretty Things is published by Crimson Edge Publishing and is available as an eBook from Amazon.

christine_authorpicConnect with Christine Haggerty

Website: www.christinehaggertyauthor.com

Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/ChristineHaggerty

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7468114.Christine_Haggerty

 

coverDisturbing,  intriguing, and definitely going on my to read list, L.K. Hill’s newest novel has a cover I can’t stop thinking about. From the back of the book:

In the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears—she may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most. 

Published by Jolly Fish Press, The Botanist will be available March 31, 2015 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine retailers.

Liesel_HillConnect with L.K. Hill

Facebook: facebook.com/lkhill

Twitter: twitter.com/lkhillbooks

Pinterest: pinterest.com/lkhillbooks

Goodreads: goodreads.com/authorlkhill

G+: plus.google.com/+LieselHill

 

Tourists_lehua_parker

When a young location scout from Hollywood dashes into a local Hawaiian bar, she bites off a little more than she can chew. Set in Hawaii with a hint of ancient mythology, Tourists is a companion story to the Niuhi Shark Saga and is intended for adults.  Like the woman in  the story, there’s no long-term commitment here. Tourists is a quick coffee break and dessert read.

Available in eBook from Amazon.

SD_web_coverSecrets & Doors is an anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories by the Secret Door Society, a philanthropic organization of amazing people who also happen to be authors, editors, illustrators, and publishers.  All of the proceeds from this book are going to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

The cover was designed by Faun Jackson, a fine arts photographer who moonlights as a librarian. Published by Crimson Edge Publishing, Secrets & Doors is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon.

From the back of the book:

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

Quick note: while all proceeds benefit children, this one’s for adult readers of science fiction and fantasy.

Front Cover-Old Scratch

I wrote a gritty short story called Red. It’s published in a collection of western horror by Griffin Publishers and available as a trade paperback and eBook through Amazon and other retailers. It’s not for the faint of heart–my son refused to read past the opening paragraphs because–well, he’s a gentle soul and at first this story is shocking and raw, but there’s a pay-off that puts the whole thing in a different light. I’ll be signing copies in February at LTUE and advanced copies will be available in January at FanX in Salt Lake City, UT.

From the back of the book:

The West has always been a symbol of the wild frontier, rugged adventure, and dangerous exploration. However, if it wasn’t for fear of the unknown, the West would just be another cardinal direction. Old Scratch and Owl Hoots delves into that fear and captures it in fourteen tales of terror set in the West ranging from the 1800s to the present day. Take a gander inside and you’ll find stories dealing with… …a strange creature on Antelope Island that can never satisfy its hunger… …a young girl kidnapped by highwaymen; but she carries a dangerous secret… …a woman’s vacation to Zion National Park that takes a dark turn when she can’t stop hearing the cries of a newborn baby… …an outlaw on the run from Porter Rockwell who finds more than he bargains for in the Utah wilderness… …a war veteran who carries a darkness inside him that threatens his very own family. Experience these stories and more in Old Scratch and Owl Hoots. All the stories in the anthology are written by authors with Utah connections. Some are veterans at the craft, while others are making their debut. Cozy up next to a campfire and delve into these fourteen stories and find out why it’s dangerous to be out and about in the West when the sun goes down.

ha_cover (1)

Heart of Annihilation by C.R. Asay is an electrifying military black ops thriller with a sci-fi twist that challenges ideas of nature vs. nature and cold war politics.

It’s a little complicated, so bear with me. U.S. Army Specialist Kris Rose has her own hidden agenda when she’s plunged into a military secret. She discovers that our world is home to several societies living in different dimensions with different technologies and philosophies. The most advanced is 13 and it’s been known not to play well with others. Someone in  number 12 has developed a weapon—the Heart of Annihilation—that has the potential to take care of number 13’s proclivity to end other dimensions.

12’s a mannered, pacifist society, so there’s some (ahem) disagreement between factions about whether or the Heart of Annihilation is a good thing. Most of the time, 12’s solution to conflict is a quick serenity break. For those who can’t chillax, 12 relocates them to a penal colony more their speed—our everyday world. Medium bad guys keep their memories. Really bad ones gets the ultimate reboot with their memories wiped and are regressed back to infants. They aren’t human, but can usually pass.

Did I mention the Heart of Annihilation is lost?

You can see where all of this is heading.

C.R. Asay’s own military experience shines as so many of the details from wounds to the interior of a C-130 to tactical mind-sets are spot on. Lovers of stories within stories will find much to enjoy here along with a lot of shoot-‘em-up-cloak-and-dagger action. As fun as the guns and camaraderie are, it’s really a story that explores the nature of evil and questions how much a person can be nurtured away from destiny.

With such big concepts and worlds to explore, Heart of Annihilation is the first in a series. Looking forward to the next book!

Heart of Annihilation by C.R. Assay is published by Wido Publishing and is available in trade paperback and eBook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

cr_asayConnect with C.R. Asay

Blog/Website: http://www.crasay.com/

Facebook: C.R. Asay

Twitter: @Stauna

eyes-final

Eyes of Persuasion by Adrienne Monson is an afternoon’s escape into a world of dressing for dinner, marriage as high finance, and a lady who intends to stay that way despite her uncle’s gambling debts. It’s a romp through polite English high society that isn’t afraid to take a side trip down the steamier side of the docks.

Lady Isabeau Maybrick’s got a deeper secret than playing detective or dress-up—a paranormal superpower that would put her life in jeopardy if anyone knew about it. She’s a modern thinking woman in a repressive historical past, so it’s no surprise that the unconventional Everette Radcliff turns her world upside-down.

Eyes of Persuasion is the kind of book that’s best read with a hot beverage and a plate of cookies. It’s an easy, entertaining read that will leave you wanting more. Readers who like historical romances are sure to enjoy the paranormal twist on an (almost) bodice ripper plot.

Eyes of Persuasion by Adrienne Monson available as an eBook or trade paperback from Amazon.

 

Authorpic smallConnect with Adrienne Monson

Web site: http://www.adriennemonson.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adriennemonson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/adriennemonson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6584385.Adrienne_Monson

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/adriennemonson

 

Black_Moon_Cover

Teri Harman’s Black Moon, book two of the Moonlight Trilogy, continues the story of Willa and Simon, young adults taking those first steps into a grown-up world of magic, witches, soul mates, trials, and too many talents. It’s a fast-paced and engrossing read that expresses all the confusion of perfect love that isn’t perfect, leaving home to share one’s life with another, completing magic trials to prove one’s worth, and, oh, saving the world.

I won’t mention the guilt Simon oozes because of the deaths in Blood Moon (book one) or Willa’s anguish in wanting to save someone who won’t let her in. I won’t say a thing about the balance of light covens and dark covens and how truly twisted the dark can be when it seeks to control the powers of the earth on the night of the black moon. And I can’t tell you about the whole terrifying plot around being extraordinarily gifted magically and the suspicion and doubt having too much talent can cause. I can’t tell you any of these things because that would Ruin the Story.

And this is one you’ll want to read for yourself.

Black Moon by Teri Harman is a New Adult paranormal thriller with a romance twist sure to delight readers 16 and older. Published by Jolly Fish Press, it’s available in trade paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other purveyors of fine books.

teri_photoConnect with Teri Harman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTeriHarman

Website: http://teriharman.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriHarman

jabberwocky half cover 300 dpi

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love all the hidden faces and creatures in it. This is a new edition of Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman with illustrations by E.K. Stewart-Cook. From the back of the book:

How can a boy succeed where an army has failed? 

Tjaden, a young man who aspires to be an Elite soldier, blames himself when Elora’s beautiful face is disfigured by a bandersnatch. Elora hides behind her scars, feeling unlovable in a world that only confirms her doubts. 

Before Tjaden has a chance to convince her that scars don’t matter, an even more terrifying monster comes between them—the Jabberwock. 

If the secrets of the vorpal sword fail, so will Tjaden. 

This book is on my to read list. I’ll be reviewing it soon. There’s a pre-release eBook sale going on where Jabberwocky is a steal at $.99. Don’t miss it.

Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

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Because even out of the water Zader's not safe.
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Zader's greatest fear walks the shore.