Search

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

July 2014

Blog Tour: The Last Ancient – Eliot Baker

curlyThe Last Ancient Blog Tour

curly

The Last Ancient 2

About the Book:

Around Nantucket Island, brutal crime scenes are peppered with ancient coins, found by the one man who can unlock their meaning. But what do the coins have to do with the crimes? Or the sudden disease epidemic? Even the creature? And who–or what–left them?

The answer leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past, which turns out to be even darker than he’d realized; his murdered father was a feared arms dealer, after all. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters — some natural, others less so — while his heiress fiancee goes bridezilla, and a gorgeous rival TV reporter conceals her own intentions.

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

Title: The Last Ancient
Author: Eliot Baker
Publisher: Burst Books, imprint of Champagne Books
Pages: 316
Genre: Supernatural Thriller, Historical Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Around Nantucket Island, brutal crime scenes are peppered with ancient coins, found by the one man who can unlock their meaning. But what do the coins have to do with the crimes? Or the sudden disease epidemic? Even the creature? And who–or what–left them?
The answer leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past, which turns out to be even darker than he’d realized; his murdered father was a feared arms dealer, after all. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters — some natural, others less so — while his heiress fiancee goes bridezilla, and a gorgeous rival TV reporter conceals her own intentions.

curly Book Excerpt:

The deer’s blood catches the golden hour light. It radiates throughout the animal’s carcass in fall hues that reflect the island’s rustling red leaves and honey-colored needles littering the sand. Such eerie, blasphemous beauty. I fire shots from my Nikon.

“That’s six. Six deer mutilations this month,” I say to my experts. Click. Click. Click.

Branches partially cover the deer. Its eyes are wet brown marbles rimmed and veined in burning red, as though it had been hung upside down for a day. Its lips are peeled back above the gums in a grimace of broken teeth. Brain matter spills through a crack in the skull. Two yellowjackets buzz over the red pulp. Land. Feed. Hover above their feast. Click. The neck is attached to the body by a flap of hide. One of the deer’s forelegs is missing. Inside the hole in its torso I can see that its entrails have been removed. I get on my elbows and snap pictures from the cold, damp sand. The heart is gone, too.

Pauline Driscoll, Nantucket’s town biologist, is squatting beside the carcass. She’s furious at Sgt. Brad Fernandez, who is cursing and stomp-cleaning a gore-splattered boot into the sand. She affects his tar-thick Roxbury accent. “Nice shaht cut, ace!” Her silvering French braid swings out the back of her UMass baseball hat as she unpacks measuring tape, sample tubes, and baggies from her turquoise external frame pack. Sgt. Fernadez kicks bloody goo into the bushes.

“Maybe I wanna carry da machete fuh once, Doctor Driscoll,” he says.

Driscoll mutters and scribbles into her notepad. She is oblivious to her windswept beauty. Her dark eyes shine and sparkle, and she’s maintained her triathlete’s figure despite being on the other side of forty. She’s over a decade older than me, but I understand why Sgt. Fernandez wants to impress her.

Driscoll carves out an eyeball, coaxing it from the deer’s eye socket with a gloved hand. Tendons follow the jelly marble from the orbital cavity like melted provolone. She saws through the tendons with a retractable scalpel. Fernandez gags. It makes him look like a blushing Boy Scout in his green Environmental Police uniform and billed hat and bulky black utility belt. Driscoll smiles school-girl sweet, dropping the eyeball into a baggie. She offers Fernandez the instrument and baggie, asking him if he’d like to carry the scalpel for once.

Fernandez holds up one hand at her and balls the other over his mouth, gulps twice. “You’re one sick hippy,” he says.

Driscoll hums a macabre rendition of Melanie Safka’s Lay Down as she scoops bits of brain from the crack in the animal’s skull.

I sniff the shrieking wind. It’s bowing the barrens of pitch pines toward our clearing in the scrub oak like gnarled magnetic filaments. I can smell the ocean, almost hear it, but not see it. From our elevated bald spot in the suffocating brush, I can see the sandy path we just traversed. It cuts like a surgical scar through the open conservation land’s tufts of bladed grass and bristling patches of black huckleberry and pasture rose. It winds up Altar Rock into the reddening horizon, where a hunter stands silhouetted on the rim of the valley, binoculars pressed to his face. The strapped shotgun jutting from his shoulder makes him look like a fierce insect with an antenna.

“You poor baby,” says Driscoll, passing a black fine-toothed comb over the deer’s patchy fur. She taps the comb and a dozen ticks fall like grains of volcanic sand into a plastic dish. “Those teeth, that pelt–man, you were one sick fella.”

Fernandez breathes, gets down on one knee, and starts shaving samples from the spine with his own folding knife. He then slices off chunks of muscle and organs that he places into baggies under Driscoll’s direction. Click.

“I’m bustin’ heads, and you can quote me on that,” says Fernandez through clenched teeth behind his trimmed mustache. “Someone was huntin’ before dawn.”

“Or something,” I say, snapping close-ups of the spray radius. Drops of blood shine like rubies on wooden pendants in the foreground against a hazy cloud of thorns. The experts exchange looks and groans.

“Anyways, this is roundabouts where da Pike brothers said dey heard something freaky ’bout an hour ago,” says Fernandez. “Said it was like a deer cry, but kinda mutant, with loads a struggle.”

Driscoll stands and examines the sand and rocks for tracks. She picks up the machete she used to carve a trail here through the scrub oak. “Man, what is wrong with people?” she says and hacks at the thorny curtain with skills she picked up surveying birds in the Amazon and in Africa. She asks Fernandez if he can find any boot prints. He shakes his head.

I ask them to speculate on a predator. No dice.

“How about speculating on how it got in here then?” I say. “We lost the tracks and the blood trail way long ago.”

“Good point,” admits Dr. Driscoll.

The deer’s remaining foreleg suddenly stiffens as though saluting, hitting Driscoll’s thigh.

“Oh, fuck me hard on Sunday!” says Dr. Driscoll, jumping into Sgt. Fernandez’s arms.

He whispers, “Relax, it’s a fresh kill. And sure, Sunday’s good for me.”

Driscoll shoves Fernandez, and says to me, “Don’t you dare put that in the article.”

“I’ll think about it,” I say, and try to smile. Can’t. I’m shaken.

curlyEliot_Baker[1]About the Author

Eliot Baker lives in Finland. He teaches communications at a local college and runs an editing and translating business, but would be content singing for his heavy metal band and writing novels full-time. He grew up near Seattle, got his B.A. in World Literature at Pitzer College, and got his M.S. in Science Journalism from Boston University. He was an award-winning journalist at the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, and before that he wrote for the Harvard Health Letters. He spent four years pursuing a career in the sciences while at the Harvard Extension School, during which time he spun old people in NASA-designed rocket chairs and kept younger people awake for 86 hours at a time in a sleep deprivation study. He likes good books, all music, and bad movies, and believes music and literature snobs just need a hug.

His latest book is the supernatural thriller/historical mystery, The Last Ancient.

Visit his blog at www.eliotbakerauthor.blogspot.com.

Connect & Socialize!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

curlyMedia Contact:

pumpupyourbooksDorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

Email: thewriterslife@gmail.com

 

curly

 

 

 

Advertisements

My Kind Of Crazy: Living In A Bipolar World by Janine Crowley Haynes

For free at eBooksHabit.com My Kind Of Crazy: Living In A Bipolar World
by Janine Crowley Haynes

Get This Book FREE

“The author lures us into her Bipolar world by injecting humor into the serious subject of mental illness. She acts as a tour guide and takes the reader on her manic journey and then steers us straight into the abyss of her depression.” –Diane Urban, PhD, NYS Licensed Psychologist, Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College and Westchester Community College, SUNY

“MY KIND OF CRAZY is an important contribution which sheds light on the often hidden world of mental illness. The line between reality and psychosis is impossible to comprehend unless one has seen the world from both perspectives. The author unlocks the door to a locked psychiatric facility and allows the reader cross the threshold. The story is further enhanced by glimpses of her experience through the eyes of her husband and son.” –William M. Dince, Phd, NYS Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist

Review: Into The Fire by Jodi McIsaac

intothefireCedar McLeod had a quiet life before the action in Through the Door, the first book in The Thin Veil series. A tired, overworked single mother, Cedar and her daughter Eden still manage to have a happy life. But one day, things change drastically. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door sends Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, pushes a child to make a devastating error – an error which cost lives, and lead to the kidnapping and terrorizing of Eden, and a trip across space and time to the land of Tír na nÓg, and a battle to save two worlds.

As Into the Fire, the second in The Thin Veil series, begins Eden and Cedar, and their newly found family, including Eden’s father Finn, have returned to Tír na nÓg. Destined for the throne, Cedar finds instead that Nuala, Eden’s kidnapper and the partner of the destroyer of Tír na nÓg, has entranced the Council, and is making a strong bid for the throne herself. Though Cedar’s parents were the King and Queen before their deaths and baby Cedar’s banishment to Earth, she finds that she must fight for her position, and for the protection of her family – and to save Tír na nÓg from the evil Nuala. It won’t be easy, and she will have to fight against the very people who should be working to help her, but in order to save her world, it must be done. Filled with Celtic myth, mystery, suspense and adventure, this second installment of The Thin Veil series is as good, if not better than, the first – and I great look forward to the third!

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

bonesIt has been a long time since I read a Kathy Reichs book. I used to wait breathlessly for each one to come out, but at some point, I backed off, and I don’t even remember why. The last I actually tried to read was 206 Bones and I don’t know why, but I stopped listening (it is an Audible edition) less than half way through the book and the marker is still sitting there, so I never picked it up again.

Apparently, a lot has happened since my last reading. Relationships have changed, and I missed what sounds like some serious action where Temperance was apparently kidnapped and nearly burned to death, and Ryan’s drug addicted daughter died, sending Ryan off the edge. This information is lightly covered so that you know what happened earlier, but you aren’t hit over the head with it. This storyline itself shows the police procedural and lab knowledge Reichs is known for. However, there were things that totally turned me off about the book.

The language is stiff, awkward and completely without flow. Honestly, it feels like the work of a freshman author, not the well known author with over 20 books to her name I know her to be. I seriously wondered, and still do, whether the book was written, as apparently is the case with other “names” by a new author, hired on the cheap. I don’t remember her books being this awkwardly written, in a “See Jane, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run” style. Needless to say,  where I would normally read the book cover to cover in at most two days, I found that it took me two weeks. Pick it up, read a few pages, get bored and put it down, then pick it up again later on.

I became terribly disenchanted with the TV show Bones based on the novel series, over a year ago, when Tempe gets pregnant. At that time, for some totally weird reason, the TV writers seemed to think that dumbing Tempe down was the thing to do if she was actually going to be living with that idiot Booth, Mr.” I Am Dumb As A Post But The Hot, Brilliant Doctor Still Let Me Knock Her Up.” I stuck with it for a short time after the dumbing down, but couldn’t stomach it any longer. I did watch the “Christmas Baby” scenario and was so disgusted that it took me a week to get over being pissed at how incredibly CRAPTASTIC it was! Haven’t watched it since.

I was pleased to be offered the book by the publisher. I had really hoped that Reich’s writing had not fallen into the “Dumb Tempe Down” trope. Sad to say, I can’t say that I was impressed – not by a long-shot. It’s a shame, but maybe Reichs is simply burned out? Whatever the case, I can’t give this any more than three stars, and that is based strictly on the storyline itself, not on the writing.

This book was received by Bantam Publishing in return for a realistic review. All thought are my own. Tentative on-sale date s September 23, 2014. If you are a loyal reader, I am sure you will add it to your shelf. If not, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, read her earlier works, which were quite good.

Review: I Married the Third Horseman – Michael Angel

imariedCassandra “Cassie” Van Deene is a smart, artistic filmmaker who takes the Sundance Film Festival by storm. Ka-ching!! Her career is bright and shining and the world is her oyster. Well, for about five minutes. Then she meets Mitchel Thantos. Yep, he is gorgeous, rich, and rides a real white stallion. What is to dislike?

Weelllllll . . . how about if your brand new hubby is Plague? Yep, that Plague. Oh, man! Of course, she doesn’t know she is married to Plague. Not at first. But when her security cameras pick up Mitchel turning to a deaths head figure on that same white stallion – on the apartment balcony at that – it is time to run, run quickly Padawan!! For when all the divorce court judges come down with horrific diseases, it takes a bit of cosmic ingenuity to keep away from the homicidal brothers of the Apocalypse long enough to exorcize her preternatural hubby.

Michael Angel is hysterical. He mixes mythology, modernity and comedy in an immensely enjoyable tale of whacked out, obsessively possessive immortals, other immortals who have actual day jobs (Circe works the Las Vegas strip) and a strong, funny heroine with tons of attitude and guts. When you are being chased around the West by War, Famine, Plague and Death, well, you really have to be rather gutsy, wouldn’t you think?

And Gin Hammond does a kickin’ job as the narrator! I will listen to this many more times than once . . . how cool is that?

Highly, highly recommended for fantastical humor!

Happy Birthday, Gammy Rose

img034It is my grandmother’s birthday today. Rose Walker Cooper. She was born on July 25, 1895 and was quite as an unusual lady. She was a nurse who worked at Levi Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas for many years, and was a private nurse for the private practice of one of the hospital doctors by the time I came along. You can’t tell from the photo, but her hair was so bright red it was nearly orange, and she had skin like alabaster. She was a gentle, quiet woman. Of course, she was so quiet because her husband was a complete and total bully.

I didn’t get to see gammy Rose a lot, the Crazy Bitch had me working from the time I was tiny, putting me on the wildest horses she could find – she came very close to getting her wish and having one of them kill me, but it just never quite worked out that well. Although I got all sorts of broken bones, concussions and once got my right arm torn nearly all the way off (over 600 stitches before the doc stopped counting) and the left side of my head ripped off as well. Glad they found my ear, LOL!!!

I think that is the longest I got to stay with my gammy, as she liked to be called, was after that incident. The yelling I heard was no doubt her trying to get the Crazy Bitch to leave me with her and Arch, but that didn’t happen. I did, however, get to stay a few weeks, which was awesome. She was a sweet woman. She was on duty one night when a Quapaw woman was brought into the hospital. The woman was pregnant with twins and died in childbirth. Gammy Rose decided she wanted those babies, a boy and a girl. The Crazy Bitch was the girl, of course. So her loving husband, Arch, bought them for her. Hey, they were just savages, right? Bought and paid for, and brought them home to her, handed them off, and then went back to work. As the Chief of Police he could do things like that. Especially since he also owned businesses with some of the various mafia bosses who called Hot Springs their home away from home.

I really wish that I had of had the opportunity to take down their stories before they died. They would have been fascinating, I have no doubt. His especially, of course, as he was Chief during the period when Scarface, Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, Bugs Moran and Frank Costello were known to vacation in The Spa City. And from my second-hand stories, gramps was quite happily involved with the whole thing. Well, that and burning down black people’s houses, hanging people under overpasses, and generally terrorizing the populace.

Of course, being a nurse at the ‘swanky’ Levi Hospital during the same time period, I have no doubt Rose had stories of her own to tell. I wonder how many shootouts, bar stabbings and other various and sundry Mafia related wounds she was involved in healing?

A nice woman named Constance Peck sent me information that she found on one of the genealogy websites a few years ago, and I was surprised to learn that gammy Rose was married before. I knew that she married Arch when she was 34 – quite a late marriage at that time. However, Ms. Peck pointed out in her documents that Rose was actually married at 17 to a man named Weekly. And she divorced him! Very scandalous!

Through it all, gammy Rose was the only person to ever show me kindness. And I miss her more than I can say. Happy Birthday, Gammy Rose. I miss you.

World’s Best Story

I am really excited to tell you about an innovative new contest platform for both readers and writers. Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours is now a proud sponsor for World’s Best Story!

More and more authors and writers are discovering the power of readers. Books are written for the reader audience, so why not have a say in telling others we think a writer’s story has blockbuster potential? That’s what World’s Best Story allows you to do.

In view of this, I hope you will join me in helping to spread the word and to sign up as a member of World’s Best Story to find talented storytellers and get great prizes.
But first let me tell you more about World’s Best Story.

World’s Best Story was launched at BookExpo America on May 28. It’s the first social contest to reward readers and writers with exclusive partner prizes. So what does this mean for you?

If you are a writer:

  1. Submit your story. Entering is free and the entry period ends Aug 12.
  2. Prizes include publishing contracts, celebrity master classes, trademark and IP protection, book tours, big box retail distribution, PR and marketing support and more!
  3. Top ten finalists and grand prize winner will be announced at the Toronto International Book Fair on November 15, 2014.

If you are a reader:

  1. You get the chance to be the judge, discover new stories and win great prizes.
  2. When you sign up to become a member, you automatically get $10 to spend at Beyond the Rack. Signing up is easy, requiring only your name and email.
  3. When you rate and vote you’ll get a chance to win cool prizes, and the grand prize package includes a $2000 shopping spree at Beyond the Rack!

So how can you help us spread the word? There are several ways:

  • Write a post about it and you can enter in a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and one of 6 $25 Beyond the Rack Gift Cards
  • Add the World’s Best Story logo on your blog with a link back to their site.
  • If you are an iRead tour host, your post will count toward your incentive program if you do the above.
  • If you are not yet an iRead tour host, join and you will qualify for the incentive program
  • Tell all your readers about WBS through social media networking.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Words Best Story Logo

 

THANK YOU!

The Strain: Not Your Teenager’s Vampires!

redstrainEveryone’s first priority is covering their asses…. Pilot, Boeing 777 carrying The Box

He knew quite well that it was plague and, needless to say, he also knew that, were this to be officially admitted, the authorities would be compelled to take very drastic steps. This was, of course, the explanation of his colleagues’ reluctance to face the facts.
-Albert Camus, The Plague, Part 1

I first read The Strain back when the by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan first printed the book. Scary, very, very scary! I wandered away from horror right after reading this book, but I still remember it well.

Now, I have just watched the first two of the F/X series, and it meets all of my requirements for creepy, bloody and very, very scary! Staring Sean Astin and Adriana Barraza and produced by Cory Bird. This is not your teenager’s vampires. This is most definitely an adult program, as was the book. Blood and gore are the main aspects of the story, bloody as all get out.

The storyline follows the book closely, which I really like. There will, no doubt, be additions and subtractions to the script, but I did enjoy the two shows I watched.

If you like horror, you should read the book. It is quite good, and the series shows promise.

strain-master675 strain

 

The Party is Over for Authors – Really?

All writers need to think about how they get their books out there – how to get their name in front of the public and actually live from their proceeds.

Savvy Writers & e-Books online

.
Champagne-for-all

.

Aaron Shepard Wrote a Blog: The Party is Over.
“Amazon has been touted as fostering a thriving culture of self publishing with its level playing field for online sales and its promotion of new reading and publishing technologies, particularly the Kindle. Well, much of that is valid. Amazon has made self publishing more and more accessible to writers and for many years supported a good number of them with sales. But with the Kindle, Amazon has also commercialized books to the point that fewer and fewer self publishers can make a living from them.”
“Print-on-Demand (POD) books provided a handsome profit margin even at reasonable prices. But Kindle books, with their lower prices, have decimated POD sales. Meanwhile, Kindle customers expect more and more for the low prices they pay. Many feel cheated if they spend 99 cents or even less on a book that isn’t “full-length.”  And the flood…

View original post 1,035 more words

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑