Sunday, March 30, 2014

Attwood Collected Works: Reporting in after Voice of Lawrence Interview

Follow the link below to go to the original post at Randy's site, and from there you can follow a link to listen to his interview.

Attwood Collected Works: Reporting in after Voice of Lawrence Interview: The March 28 interview experience was really very interesting and rewarding. The Voice of Lawrence studios are on 8th street just off ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why liver biopsies suck

For those of you following along at home, last week was my first chemotherapy. The week before that I'd had an MRI of my abdomen and the doctor spotted some lesions on my liver, so I needed to have a biopsy done. My oncologist hoped to have it done right away so I had all the right chemo meds from the start, but alas it was not to be; the biopsy was finally scheduled for today.

Now, last week I had a port implanted, and while they numbed me up very well, they didn't manage to sedate me. I was alert through the whole procedure, so today when I went in I made a lot of noise about not wanting to do that again. Well, they gave me some fluids and then started doping me up and voila, I was out. Until the doctor stuck the needle into my liver. That woke me right up... screaming. They put me under again and tried again with the same results. Apparently they did finally manage to do the trick, because I was finished and taken to recovery and finally back upstairs, where I waited for 4 hours just in case it started bleeding or something.

They said the needle they used to punch through to my liver was smaller than a toothpick. They said that the lesion was close to the surface. They said I shouldn't feel anything because they would numb up the area before they did the procedure.


This was almost as bad as a barium enema. The only difference being with the barium enema there was absolutely NO attempt to sedate me or reduce my pain, so it still remains the most painful procedure I've dealt with.

Next week is my next chemo treatment. I have them every two weeks. I want to thank all of my wonderful friends for their support, encouragement, and gifts over the past few weeks. It has meant the world to me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: New Watch

New Watch
New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy/Magical Reality
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of series, urban fantasy, magical reality
Book Available: April 22, 2014 in paperback, Kindle, and audio book (MP3 or CD)
Trigger Warnings: Danger to child, mention of rape in historical context, killing

My Thoughts: A few years ago, when I read The Last Watch, I thought the series was finished. Fortunately that was not the case. In fact, looking at the Russian language series information, I see that there are a few more books yet to be translated into English and released in the US, and I'm very excited about this.

Lukyanenko is a highly prolific writer, and has very talented translators that allow the ideas behind his stories to come through clearly, which is not always the case in translated literature. As this series continues to unfold, we learn more and more about not only the Others, but also about the magic system and the world created. I think this author is one that all fans of urban fantasy, magical reality, and fantasy will enjoy. The characters are fascinatingly multifaceted and quirky and often not at all what you would expect based upon their introduction. I love that the world is so deeply covered in shades of gray, that there is no real black and white.

If you enjoy complex stories, no moral absolutism, and characters that force you out of your comfort zone, these books are awesome. I do recommend reading the series in order for maximum enjoyment.

Series Information: The Night Watch series
Book 1: Night Watch, review linked here
Book 2: Day Watch, review linked here
Book 3: Twilight Watch, review linked here
Book 4: The Last Watch, read but not reviewed, 5 stars
Book 5: New Watch, available April 22, 2014

Disclosure: I received an ARC (unproofed) copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Walking the streets of our cities are the Others. These men and women are guardians of the Twilight, a shadowy parallel world that exists alongside our own. Each has sworn allegiance to one side, fighting for the Light, or the Darkness. But now, beyond the continuing struggle comes a peril that threatens their very world .

At Moscow airport, Higher Light Magician Anton Gorodetsky overhears a child screaming that a plane is about to crash. He discovers that the child is a prophet: an Other with the gift of foretelling the future. When the catastrophe is averted, Gorodetsky senses a disruption in the natural order, one that is confirmed by the arrival of a dark and terrifying predator.

From the Night Watch headquarters Gorodetsky travels to London, to Taiwan and across Russia in search of clues, unearthing as he goes a series of increasingly cataclysmic prophecies. He soon realises that what is at stake is the existence of the Twilight itself—and that only he will be able to save it.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#Giveaway "Unnatural" by @JABelfield ARC from @JTaylorPub

J. Taylor Publishing are giving away FIVE ARCs of Unnatural by J.A. Belfield!

Check it out!

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom. The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.
A great addition to the Holloway Pack, UNNATURAL will please both veterans of the series and new readers alike. It also just might be the paranormal romance you've all been waiting for.
And J. Taylor Publishing is giving away FIVE ARC copies.
You don’t even have to be a book blogger!
Nope, so long as you are willing to leave an honest review* between the dates March 19th and April 6th 2014, you are eligible to enter.
Then just fill out the form and keep your fingers crossed.
You have until midnight of March 18th to enter.
*A review should consist of your honest thoughts regarding a book, usually a few paragraphs long and around 150 - 500 (sometimes more) words in length.

About J.A. Belfield:

One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield's head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if ...? How would they react if ...? Who would they meet if ...? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family ... they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She's yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#Cover reveal @JTaylorPub @LaneyMcMann "Torn" by Laney McMann cover now revealed


Release Date: September 8, 2014
Target Reader: Young Adult

Back of the Book

Find Max.

That’s all Layla cares about. Not healing from the Fomore attack. Not finding answers to how she survived a fall that nearly killed her. Nothing will stop her. She will find him. She’ll even pair up with an overbearing Fallen Angel who’s hell bent on making everything harder than it needs to be if she has to.

Protect Layla.

For Max, nothing else matters. Not the bruises covering his body. Not the pain radiating from his broken bones. Not even his hands tied behind his back. He will find a way to save Layla, and the Fomore will pay if they’ve hurt her.

Every. Single. One of them.

In the second installment of The Fire Born trilogy, a new breed of villain looms—one Layla and Max will never suspect, and this killer has nothing to lose. Better yet, with Max and Layla’s deaths, victory is in the grip of the enemy.

Will Max and Layla find each other in time, or is it already too late for them both?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller

A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller
A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller by Stephen G. Mitchell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please Note: I originally read this in August, 2011, and was provided a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: A Cure to Die For is a medical thriller, encompassing the greed and hypocrisy of the “health care” system. When Maury Bernstein, a brilliant geneticist, develops a plant that cures cancer, the pharmaceutical company that had been sponsoring his research (hoping for a cure for the common cold) sets out to destroy all evidence of the results – including Maury. Murder, kidnappings, theft and destruction all result as Alex Farmer – Maury’s childhood friend – and Cyd Seeley, Maury’s research assistant, desperately try to keep the dream of health alive.

My Thoughts: Drawing distinct parallels to the demonization of hemp, this book is taut and fast-paced. Each character is strongly individual and quirky, well-drawn-out and finished. The idea is one that is actually fairly realistic and should keep fans of thrillers up at night. A well-edited, well-crafted tale, suspense enthusiasts should get a bang out of reading this one.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: The Professor

The Professor
The Professor by Robert Bailey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Legal suspense/thrillers
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of legal suspense/thrillers
Trigger Warnings: murder, rape, violence, blackmail

My Thoughts: Let me state right off that this is not a mystery. In a mystery, neither the reader nor the characters know “whodunit” and the book is a journey to discover who that is. This is a suspense/thriller book in the legal field, which means the reader, at least, knows who is involved and how, but we watch as the characters try to legally prove what they are learning.

This book is described as “the first McMurtrie and Drake Investigation,” so although I don't know when or how many, there will be more book in this series. I think the idea has merit, but there are things I'd like to see in future books, such as: how the lawyers and their staff go about gathering information; acknowledgment that lawyers never work on just a single case at any given time; the distressing tendency of lawyers to put everything off until the last minute and the effect that has on their staff. In essence, I'd like a bit more realism.

All that said, this was an entertaining read, and fans of legal thrillers/suspense should enjoy it. While it didn't blow me away, I did enjoy it well enough and will likely watch for future books in this series to see where the author plans to go with this. If this sounds like something you'd like, check it out.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from JKS Communications (this author's publicist) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Thomas Jackson McMurtrie is a living legend scorned. Forty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a trial lawyer to become a law professor at the University of Alabama at the request of his mentor. Alabama football Coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant. Now Tom is forced into retirement, betrayed by both a powerful colleague and his own failing health.

Meanwhile, the young family of one of his oldest friends is killed in a tragic road collision. Believing his career is over, Tom refers the case to a brilliant, yet beleaguered, former student, who begins to uncover the truth behind the tragedy, buried in a tangled web of arson, bribery and greed.

But as the eve of trial approaches, the young attorney's case begins to unravel. In over his head and at the end of his rope, he realizes there's only one man who can help...

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: A Taste For Life

A Taste For Life
A Taste For Life by Patrick Freivald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this piece of flash fiction online at this link. This is a fairly early work for Freivald, and I can see where the idea for his books Twice Shy (review linked here) and Special Dead (review linked here) came from. Since this is flash fiction, I can't really go into the story or provide any sort of synopsis other than what is given on this book's page without the risk of spoilers, but if you enjoy zombie stories, especially ones that move away from the traditional zombie genre stories, then definitely give this a read. It's short and sweet.

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