Friday, May 31, 2013

May -Monthly Wrap-up

 So, time to recap the last month

Books I read/Finished:
This was not a great month of reading.  Life threw some unexpected curve balls my list is not as happy as I would have liked it to be but also brough about some good ones too.  My new puppy took up a lot of my time these past couple weeks.  So I apologize for how short this will seem.  But here you go-

 Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - SpiralDread Champion (Chelsea Adams, #2)Eric Elmoor and The Gauntlet of Godric (Book 1)Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 07 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #7)Dreamer (Book 1 the Chronicles of Marithe)Rosario+Vampire, Vol. 7The Awakening (Ghost Huntress, #1)The Unseen CountryDreamy Drums: Trouble In ParadiseThe Exemeus (The Exemeus, #1)Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1)NamelessKing Solomon's Wives: Addicted

My Reviews I posted:

Nameless by Joe Conlan


Digital copy of Nameless (open until June16)

Author Q&A/Interview:

Nameless   by Joe Conlan

Memes/Other Posts not already mentioned:

And that sums things up for this blog.  I got a TON of new books (see the Stacking the Shelves for details) that I hope to share with you soon.  Lets hope June can be a more productive month and thank for all your support. 

 My blog is nearly 3 months old now!  

Be sure to check out the Giveaway for Nameless.  If it has a good participation turnout, I will be offering up at least 1 giveaway from my personal collection later in June. :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review, Author Q&A, and Giveaway for Nameless by Joe Conlan


Review, Author Q&A, and Giveaway!!!

by Joe Conlan

Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Published Mar 2013
Pages: 364

View on Goodreads

Summary:  "Chilling and taut, NAMELESS, introduces a fresh and exciting twist on the deadly game of cat and mouse.  By virtue of one impulsive and deeply human, but all too grave mistake, a good and decent man finds himself pitted against the embodiment of evil and threatened with losing everything and everyone he loves and values; including the pristine reputation he has endeavored all his adult life to establish.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel Falcone unwittingly steps onto course for a head-on collision with a frighteningly brilliant psychotic serial killer, whose harrowing childhood abuse and neglect left him devoid of humanity and salivating for revenge. Framed for a brutal murder on a commercial cruise ship, and fighting for the right to raise his sons and clear his name, Falcone races against the clock and struggles to keep his eyes on the prize, even while his profound guilt and self-loathing threaten to destroy him faster than his maniacal adversary.

The beginning of Daniel’s journey had its roots in a childhood accident that led to his teenage brother’s tragic death.  Crushed by an overwhelming sense of remorse arising from his perceived contribution to the loss, Daniel ultimately devotes his life to upholding the law.  As a young, rookie FBI agent, he is quickly dubbed the Bureau’s golden boy.  On a meteoric rise to the top, he is tapped as the Special Agent in Charge when his mentor steps down.  His life and career seemed full of promise until he is framed for the brutal murder he doesn’t even remember, yet is certain he didn’t commit.

A perfect, page-turning summer read, NAMELESS takes you on an action packed journey as it explores:
Good vs. evil - We all want to believe good will triumph over evil, but life lessons are learned in how we handle the curve balls thrown our way.
Life changing events - Is the way we react to pain and suffering really all about choice?
Fate - Is our life course plotted for us or do we have free will to decide our own destiny?"    

Review:  Fantastic book!  When I started reading this, even though it sounded interesting, I did not have high hopes.  I had never heard of the author (being this is his first book) and I am very picky about my thrillers.   This is one of the best I have read is some time.

We have a nameless serial killer who does not exist in any record.  He was not born in any hospital, never saw a doctor, never even left home growing up.  Abused in every way possible as a child, he has a lot of resentment to certain people in life and is very perverse in his killings as he grows up.  He sets his sights on a woman named Annie. His jealous nature gets the better of him for those who get too close.  So while stalking her, he is also acting out various murders that are baffling the FBI.  
When he sees FBI agent Daniel Falcone is close to Annie, his jealousy reaches boiling point as he sets of a chain of events that soon have the FBI on his trail and his on Daniel and his family.  A true game of cat and mouse but one in which I kept wondering which is the cat.  

The writing is nicely down.  Very vivid descriptions (sometimes almost too vivid).  I must say this book is not for the faint of heart.  it has several gruesome, perverse scenes.  The killer, Daniel and Annie are all very well created.  So are other characters.  The fear and reactions of the victims comes across so nicely.  The inter-personal relations of the main characters realistic.  

The one character I did not like is Deborah, Daniel's wife.  She comes across as very needy, insecure and judgemental.  Especially when she demands he hand over his cell phone for a full week, knowing he is working a serious case!  Now this is not saying she is not well written, I just didn't like her. 

I really liked how the author gave us backrounds on each main character throughout the story.  It made them that much more real.

Like I said earlier, I am picky about my thrillers.  This author has made a strong impact on my radar and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for his future books.

About the Author:  "Joe Conlan was born in Nassau County, Long Island, New York.  He has lived most of his life in Florida, the great majority in the Fort Lauderdale area.  He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida and practiced law as a trial attorney for 15 years.  Three of those years were spent as a prosecutor in the Broward County State Attorney's Office. He now lives in Jacksonville, Florida. He has two grown children.  When he is not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his family and two best friends who happen to be female Rhodesian Ridgebacks."

Q&A with the author:

Q1.    Tell me about your book.  How did you come up with the idea?

  The conception of Nameless came about from a somewhat strange situation and in fact involved the mother of my children who was then and still is my ex-wife.  My family was gathered for my daughter's 20th birthday when I announced out of the blue that I always wanted to write a novel.  Being retired from the practice of law, my ex-father-in-law, in his inimitable way, said to me, "Well what the hell is keeping you from doing it?"  My ex-wife then suggested, "Write about a cruise ship murder."  When I read, I like to be on the edge of my seat.  So, I thought I would be best at writing in that genre.  That very day, I wrote the first words of Nameless. 

Q2. When and where do you write?
  I write at home on my laptop, usually in a partial or full lay down position because I have a congenital back condition.  I prefer to write in the morning, as my mind is the clearest then.  I don't know how many authors write like I do.  I don't start with an outline of the plot, a list of characters or a timeline.  I place my fingers on the keyboard and let them do the work.  This may sound a bit crazy, but it almost seems as if the story writes itself.  
Q3. Do you have any favorite authors or anyone who inspired you to write?
There's no question that my inspiration to write came from my favorite authors.  Probably, like most writers, I have been an avid reader since I was a child.  My first favorite author was Stephen King.  I kinda like to have the bejeezus scared out of me.  Other authors who have inspired me are Ann Rice, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci and Nelson Demille.
Q4. What are your plans for any future books? Any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about?  Before I ever published Nameless, I had already completed 3/4 of the second book in the series.  The title is When White Fades to Black.  I am currently working on it and hope to release it some time in early 2014.  This book is more in the style of David Baldacci.  Politics and white supremacy are two of the bigger themes.  I think I'll stop there as I don't want to reveal too much.  :-)
Q5.   Which scene was the most fun to write? That is an excellent question.  And I'm not sure that I have an answer.  The entire experience was one of the best of my life.  But, when you're writing such a dark thriller, I don't know that fun is the appropriate way to describe the writing of any particular scene.  Some were actually harrowing.  I had to stop and settle myself after I wrote the scene where Shem punches Hannah with a closed fist and knocks her out.  Thinking as I type the response to this question, perhaps Daniel's trial was the most fun.  It brought back memories of my days in the courtroom.
BonusQ:  Can you tell us a bit about your dogs, the rhodesian ridgebacks?  I, along with many of my followers, are dog lovers who would love to know more.  Pea and Bea are my gorgeous girls.  I love them to death.  I have always loved dogs and owned them throughout my life.  Rhodesian Ridgebacks are the best I've ever had.  They are brilliant.  My two practically trained themselves.  So long as they get their exercise in the morning, and believe me, they insist on it; they are very calm and wonderful for the rest of the day.  I take them to a 26 acre dog park anywhere between 6-8am everyday.  They are big mush pots that think they're lap dogs always wanting to sleep right on top of me after we get home.  I highly recommend them to anyone thinking about getting a big dog.
And now the fun part-I have a PDF copy of Nameless up for grabs so be sure to enter the raffle!!  Please be warned I do check to make sure all entries are valid to determine a winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves 7

   Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, every Weekend. This is to share with you new books I got.  These books I acquired from various sources. Physical books & ebooks both are welcome. If its something being sent to me by mail, I will not mention it until I actually receive it.  

Title links take you to Goodreads. 

♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
Read for Review
 MortalitySecret for a Song The Garden at the Roof of the WorldA Clockwork Heart (The Chronicle of Light and Shadow, #2)Eyes Ever to the Sky (The Sky Trilogy #1)A Legacy of LightThe Last Winter of Dani Lancing: A NovelMother, Mother: A Novel  
Ink (Paper Gods, #1)The AsylumThe Genesis (Blood of Ages, #1)

Mortality by Kellie Sheridan (Amazon)
Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls
A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz (Amazon)
Eyes Ever to the Sky by Katie French (Amazon)
A Legacy of Light by Daniel Arenson (Amazon)
Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas (Amazon)
Ink by Amanda Sun (Amazon)
The Asylum by John Harwood (Amazon)
The Genesis by K.L. Kerr (Amazon)

♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
eBooks from Amazon

 *Several of these were/are free*
In Name OnlyLouisiana Ghost StoryGrimm EndProgenySpooked

In Name Only by Ellen Gable (Amazon)
Louisiana Ghost Story by M.A. Harper (Amazon)
Grimm End by S.T. Cameron (Amazon)
Progeny by Shawn Hopkins (Amazon) Free!
Spooked by Tracy Sharp (Amazon) Free!
Sword Bearer by Teddy Jacobs (Amazon) Free!
♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
Contest/Giveaway Wins
 Mythical (Stone Soldiers #1)Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the DjinnDreams of the Queen (The Brajj, #1)
Mythical (1) by C.E.Martin (Amazon
Dreams of the Queen by Jacqueline Patricks (Amazon) 


Ephemeral by Addison Moore (Amazon)  SIGNED, with swag!!

♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
Used Bookstore

Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins (Amazon)
Desecration by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins (Amazon)
Apollyon  by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins (Amazon)

I now own the entire Left Behind Series!!!

♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Amazon)
Fullmetal Alchemist 7 by Hiromu Arakawa (Amazon)
The Elite by Kiera Cass (Amazon)  FINALLY I can read this! 

♥  ♦  ♣  ♠ 
So which ones look good?  Any Recommendations?  What did you get this week?

Exemeus 1 (review), Folami and Abeni Morris

The Exemeus (The Exemeus, #1) 

The Exemeus (1)
By Folami & Abeni Morris

Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Fantasy
Published Jan 2013
Pages: 337
Publisher: Royal Colours Inc
Buy it or View on Goodreads

Summary:  "Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, she has been given another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime:inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years."

Review:  That summary does not do this story justice.  Nor is it quite how I would describe this book.  This has been one of the greatest books I have read so far this year!
The book starts off with young Dephon meeeting a strange woman and given a book (The Exemeus)   and told he has 10 days to read it before others would try to kill him.  He learns his life is much more than he grew up knowing and it is about to be turned completely upside down.
The setting is a couple decades in the future from current times.  A world where no one goes outsidem schools are outlawed and an unearthly force rules the planet.  His father is not who he seems and the book holds the answers.  
Most of this novel is actually set in time to the book Dephon is reading-The Exemeus.   It is like a living diary of his mother and what led to the current state of things.  I do not want to say too much for fear of spoiling anything.
What I will say, is that this book is almost like a prequel that has me wanting to urge the authors to quickly come out with the next volume to I can see what happens next.  The characters are amazing.  Hyalee is so very realistic and easy to feel for (and with)  I easily felt like I was right along beside her as she goes through her journey.  Or perhaps I should say along Dephon as he reads about it.  Another fun one is the rooster Kayin.  I would love a rooster (or any animal) like him.  He brings out ones inner child. even if all you are doing is reading about him.
The pace is perfect.  Once I started, I didn't want to stop, and yet I had to at times, just to 'pounce around,' knowing this is only this first book and that some of my 'What will happen next?' questions were not going to be answered.   Magic, other worlds, oppressive governments, fantastic creatures await. Perfect for teens and adults alike.  A great start to a new series!