Month

December 2016

Stephen C. reads… #carolinareads

steve-colsonWhat’s the first book you remember reading?
I had real difficulties with reading,writing, and talking properly in early life, so I didn’t get into reading books to quite late. The first book I remember reading is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, which I read in my early teens.

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
Goya by Robert Hughes

Why did you choose that book?
I am an artist myself and I love the work of Goya, so I jumped at the chance to discover something about his life and times. (Robert Hughes is an art critic)

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
Charles Dickens. He used to take long walks around Victorian London at night. I would love to join him on one of those excursions and chat about life.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
William Faulkner – As I Lay Dying                                                                                                                                               Samuel Beckett – Nohow on (3 short stories -Company/Ill Seen Ill Said/ Westward Ho)                                             Mario Vargas Llosa – In Praise of the Stepmother                                                                                                                   Emily Dickenson – Collected Poems                                                                                                                                                 Paul Celan – Poems (in English translation)

I am an author and sculptor living in London. I have co-written a book with my sister, Cynthia – Memoirs of a Lab Rat. Some examples of the artwork I make can be found on this Amazon link to our book:


Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

Daniel S. reads… #carolinareads

snapshot_20160512_1What’s the first book you remember reading?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Why did you choose that book?
I’ve devoted my October and November reading to the horror genre.

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
J.R.R. Tolkien (yes, he died years before I was born, but we’re talking hypotheticals). So many questions, so little time…

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
(1) The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien.                                                                                                                                               (2) The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien                                                                                                                                       (3) The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (it has been published in one volume!).                                                   (4) Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny                                                                                                                                                   (5) The Emperor of Dreams, by Clark Ashton Smith

I love writing as well as reading; in addition to bits and pieces of poetry, I have my first novel, entitled Wise Phuul, out as of November 2016. I live in Dunedin, New Zealand, have a fondness for chocolate and cats, and am in the process of pursuing a legal career.

Website


Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

Paniha’s Taniwha by A.W. Exley

STOP THE PRESSES!

My plans for this holiday was to take some time off from blogging and just relax and catch up on my reading. Then, the author A.W. Exley contacted me and asked me to read an ARC for her latest book, Paniha Taniwha. Loki, Captain Lachlan Hawke, has been a minor, though an important character in her other books. He has been such a strong force he needed his own book.  I planned to share several fun memes and videos over the next few days, but having reviewed the other books in her Artifact Hunters series, I had to read this one.

This is the kind of book you will want to stay up late and finish or make your family live off of sandwiches and cereal until you finish it. I received and ARC, but I will be buying my own copy of this on payday.

Loki was sent to test the long range capability of a new style long-range airship and to open trade with the Maori. A die-hard playboy who is more open to all sorts of pleasures than settling down, he never counted on meeting a woman who made him feel things; want things. This trip challenged him more than any other.  One of my favorite parts of this story is the description of the setting. It is easy to visualize the story. I feel like I sat in an omnipotent chair and watched the whole story unfold. The characters are so well-rounded that they feel like real people. It is easy to get swept up and live Loki’s adventure right next to him.

The book came out this week and I think everyone should get a copy and end the year on a great note. I read it in two sittings because I had to finish it to see what would happen next and how it ended. It was one of those books that once I finished it I felt a slight pang because there was no more. So I was stuck, I wanted to read it fast, but in reading it fast it ended quicker. Now I sit and wait unpatiently for the next one to come out.

Amazon

T.O.E. Trilogy by Alecia Stone

It happens every 26,000 years.

Only a few ever survive.

This time …

No one will.

That is unless Charlie Blake can locate all four diamonds to restore the Talisman of El and receive his calling from the remaining three elements before the Annus Magnus strikes. With both Arcadia and the mortal world in a state of unrest, his life quickly spirals out of control as it seems everyone has put a bounty on his head. Maybe even his closest allies.

Not knowing who to trust, Charlie starts to dig up the past. When new revelations arise, he begins to question whether the Legion of Light really is what it claims to be and whether he’s been fighting for the wrong side all along. The line between good and evil is no longer as clear-cut as it used to be, especially when it appears Charlie’s destiny could very well be to destroy everything he loves.

Hero or villain? Charlie isn’t so sure anymore.

Excerpt for Ground Zero

The crowd outside the cafe had scattered, the lingering bystanders making a move only upon Charlie’s approach. He exited the cafe onto a wide cobblestone street with buildings left, right and centre. Whispers travelled among the frantic crowd as people shot wary glances at him. The gunshots had to have been heard some distance away. He had to move. He held his palm up to his face for the second time and then glanced left and right along the street. The place somewhat resembled a market, stalls lining both sides of the street. Charlie caught sight of a large yellow phone icon with the word Publitel beneath it.

Heading in the direction of a castle-like building with a corner tower topped with a domed kiosk, he made haste towards the phone sign. He got only a few feet when he heard a noise that made him look to the sky. He stopped, his blood running cold as he gazed at the flock of birds moving across the clear blue sky, all heading in the same direction. The last time he had seen this many birds, he’d been standing in a graveyard. After the birds had come an army of the dead. The only difference between then and now was that this wasn’t a vision.

This can’t be good, he thought as he glanced around him. People had stopped what they were doing to look at the sky. Taking this moment to slip away unnoticed, Charlie took off again but stopped almost immediately when he spotted the uniformed officers moving through the crowd ahead of him. Whirling around, he took off in the opposite direction, his pace measured at first but after a few glimpses behind him and realising that he’d been made, he started to sprint.

He ran down a narrow, winding market alley covered by huge supportive eaves, two police officers hot on his tail. Charlie made his way through a warren of alleyways lined with closely packed white-washed houses with blue details. Everything looked the same. For all he knew, he could have been running in circles. Whichever way he turned, a circuit of walls surrounded him, but as lost as he felt, he had to keep going or risk being caught.

As he ran from alley to alley, he kept wondering if his parents had set him up. Then he chastised himself for even thinking such thoughts. He turned a corner and came to an abrupt halt. Two more officers had joined the chase. The situation suddenly intensified when the officers opened fire. Charlie picked up pace. He had no abilities but his senses were still sharp, allowing him to put a good distance between him and the officers. By now, he knew Azrael wasn’t coming. He was on his own. Whatever was causing his disconnection from the archangel, it had to be linked to him having no abilities.

After finally losing sight of the officers, he spotted a shaded tunnel with a lantern right above the entrance that he headed towards. As he approached the tunnel, he bounded off the adjoining wall and caught hold of the lantern pole and swung himself up onto it. With the aid of a semi-circular balcony, he made his way up onto the roof of a two-storey building and ducked out of sight.

Situations like this, no one had prepared him for. Mortal combat involved a lot more compromises than battling with Archons, he realised. Sure, he could easily execute the officers and give himself a good head start, but there was no guarantee they were immortal. With a demon, he wouldn’t have thought twice about his actions.

The sound of raised voices and hurried footsteps clotted Charlie’s eardrums. Keeping low, he scurried over to the other end of the roof and peered over the edge. He spotted a few awnings and about a dozen folks in the market alley below. Crouching down, he closed his eyes and focused on his breathing. He singled out each sound, mapping the area in his head. After a few seconds, he opened his eyes and stood up, shooting his gaze around the surroundings as he contemplated the best way to escape the maze he was trapped in.

The ancient walled city was situated on rising ground, the tallest structure being a circular watchtower that had to be nearing ninety feet, which was a good distance from where he was standing. The buildings within close proximity were no greater than three or four storeys high, ideal for Charlie, who saw a good means of staying off the radar.

He didn’t waste any time deliberating. He leaped across the seven-foot gap, landing on the opposite roof with a thud. For the next three minutes, Charlie travelled via rooftops. When he rejoined the masses on the ground level, the atmosphere appeared a lot different. People were no longer gawking or chasing after him.

As he headed along a busy street, he felt a tremor under his feet that made him look down, but he kept going. It wasn’t until the third tremor that he finally stopped. The vibration was light at first, but then the shaking became more intense. It seemed almost as if the earth was coming apart but everything was still intact.

Charlie glanced up and down the street. Everyone had stopped what they were doing. Panic didn’t set in until a horrific noise blasted across the city. He didn’t recognise the sound. At one point, the noise resembled that of a jet engine building up. Were they under attack? Immediately, Charlie thought Gaddis’s minions had found him. He looked up at the sky, not sure what he would find. Nothing flew by overhead.

Then the screaming started. Charlie glanced away from the sky and saw people scattering in the distance. The folks nearby looked just as confused as he felt. Although he didn’t know what was happening, he didn’t stand around and wait to be trampled by the frantic group rushing towards him. He took to the street along with the crowd.

Chaos reigned everywhere.

‘Water, water,’ Charlie heard someone behind him yell in Arabic.

Before he knew it, he found himself being knocked off his feet by a strong force from behind. He landed in shallow water. When he got to his feet, another burst of water hit him; so strong and fast moving it was that it almost sent him hurling to the ground again, but he managed to stay on his feet, braced against a car. The water was up to his knees now and was moving with such speed that he could barely move his feet against the current.

It was suddenly very windy. Slowly, the screaming started to fade as the engine noise became louder. When the car Charlie was leaning against started to shift, he made a move, just in time as another vehicle made a strong impact, denting the side of the car he had been leaning against. Standing in the middle of what used to be a street but now looked like a river, people scattering all around him, he saw what had the folk of Tunisia in hysteria. Rushing towards him at a great speed was a black wall of water, maybe three to four storeys high. The huge wave smashed everything and anything in its path.

Charlie whirled around and powered through the water. Each time he glanced behind him, he saw the monstrous wave swallowing people as it gunned for him. The water was just a few feet away when he spotted a young woman kneeling on the bonnet of a car ahead of him, her eyes wide with terror as she stared at the oncoming wave.

‘Run,’ Charlie yelled, but she didn’t budge. He wasn’t even sure she had heard him. Taking two big leaps, he lunged forward. The moment he made contact with the woman, the wave hit him hard.

 

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