Author Spotlight-A.J. James

Crave: The Grigori Celestial Chronicles is a love story that is quite literally as old as human history. James takes the reader on a journey through Heaven, Hell, and every space and dimension in between in her divinely erotic tale. The novel is based on the Apocryphal Book of Enoch as well as different portions of the traditional Bible, and introduces the reader to the “Sons of God” and the “Nephilim” that are mentioned in Genesis 6. It explains that the angels took human women as wives in direct violation of God’s command. Their children were a human/angel hybrid known as the Nephilim, some of whom became so wicked and destructive that God created the Great Flood specifically to destroy them. However, a small number of these Nephilim survived the Flood and continue to survive to the present day.
One of these ‘fallen angels” is Arma’ros, who, in spite of his sincere attempts to fulfill his duties in accordance to plan, finds he is deeply in love with a human woman named Zo’ana. As punishment for his relationship with Zo’ana, he is condemned to spend seventy human generations on Earth, where he waits many lifetimes for his love to be reborn. She finally is, and the reunited couple have a task ahead of them that has the potential to change eternity…
I was highly impressed with James’ ability to tell a religious-based tale so objectively. She neither endorses nor condemns any religion. What she does condemn is violence, atrocities, and human-rights violations committed in the name of religion. Her use of language is beautiful, and her descriptions are very thorough. Clearly, the novel has been very well-researched prior to writing.  The best part of the novel is the way the readers can feel the deep emotions felt by Arma’ros and Zo’ana/Zoe, as they go through divine and earthly joy and pain. James’ description of the sex scenes are so gorgeously painted that I will use the term again: divinely erotic.
Crave may offer an alternative the way you think about religion and spirituality. It might not be a book for closed-minded fundamentalists or for anyone who desires to use religion as a means of control. However, if you are interested in a more humanized, unique, and exciting perspective on the history of many ancient, sacred texts, check out Crave: The Grigori Celestial Chronicles. “
To read (US customers): http://www.amazon.com/CRAVE-Celestial-Chronicles-J-James-ebook/dp/B00GK7JV8Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420064332&sr=1-1&keywords=crave+aj+james
UK customers: http://www.amazon.co.uk/CRAVE-Celestial-Chronicles-J-James-ebook/dp/B00GK7JV8Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420064469&sr=1-1&keywords=crave+AJ+james
Canadian customers: http://www.amazon.ca/CRAVE-Celestial-Chronicles-J-James-ebook/dp/B00GK7JV8Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420064596&sr=1-1&keywords=crave+aj+james
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“Ice’s” Offensiveness Scale

We writers are passionate people who love what we do more than anything. Recently, I read a post on Amazon KDP forum wherein the author had received a gift card from her boss, but felt conflicted because the sale of her book was going so well. She was wondering what, if any, obligation she had to her employer about her book sales. reading between the lines,I gathered that the author would be risking her day job if her writing career were revealed. While this may or may not be the case, it did get me thinking about what rights do employers have to punish us over the content of our books. If the books are done on our own private time, do they have the right to tell us that can or cannot publish (contracts aside). There is the ever-present danger of offending a client/student/etc. It seems to me that being offended is a national American pastime. I though about what content in “Ice” could be potentially offensive, so here it is, all laid out:

1. Number of Sex Scenes: zero

2. Profanity use: moderate

3. Scenes of Graphic Violence: about the same as the Hunger Games

4. Scenes of VERY graphic violence: just one

5. References to religion/Christianity: several (around 5-6)

6. Number of character who suddenly become religious in the midst of a crisis: None. MInterville is a fairly religious community to start with

7. Number of racist terms: none

8. Amount of profanity in a foreign language: about 3-4 word

9. References to obesity: several

10. Drug references: What do you think the whole story is about?

11. Number of telepathic characters: around 500

12. Number of non-telepathic characters: ??

13. Number of non-telepathic criminals: 42

14. Number of non-telepathic former criminals: 1

15. Number of guys who are desperately in love; 2

16. Number of girls who are desperately in love: same

17. Number of furry kitty cats: just two 😦

18. Number of characters who die during the course of the story: 18

19. Number of furry kitty cats who die during the course of the story: 1 😦

20. Number of abused children: 1

21. Number of battered wives: 1

22. References to female genitalia: 1

23. References to male genitalia: 0

24. References to teenage boys acting like idjuts: several

25. Number of disabled characters: a few

26. Number of times the word “Christmas” appears: once

27. Number of times the word “Halloween” appears: once

28. Number of ghosts: 25+

29. Number of women who hold government seats: one

30. Number of women who are subservient to their husbands: one

31. Number of ninjas: none

32. Number of vampires; none

33. Number of teenagers who kill other teenagers: none

34. Number of jihadists: none

35. Number of narco-terrorists: 40+

36 Number of characters who have AIDS: none

37. Number of characters who go to Hell: none

38. Number of grumpy old geezers: one

39. number of illegal aliens: none

40. Number of prom night dumpster babies: none

41. Number of other out-of-wedlock pregnancies: four

42. References to Michael Jackson: none

43. Number of openly gay characters: none

44. Number of communists: none

45. Number of openly gay communists: none

46. References to President Obama: none

47. Number of people who think pot should be legalized: ? (there are a lot of teenage characters and people who grew up in the sixties, so…)

48. Number of exorcisms: none

49. Number of women impregnated by the devil: none

50. Number of times the American flag is burned: zero

51. Number of bad cops: zero

52. Number of teachers who work as call girls on the side: zero

53. Number of people who died of heroin overdoses: one (in flashback) hey, my pattern is broken…

54. Number of people who were anally probed by aliens: zero

55., Number of times an ordinary object came to life to defend its owner: zero

56. Number of gigantic spiders: one

57. Number of giraffes: zero

58. Number of characters who are secretly porn stars: none

59. Number of characters who watch Spongebob; all of them, because everybody watches Spongebob.

60. Number of characters who get punched in the face: one

61. Number of characters who get kicked in the nuts: none

Well, that’s all I can think of. If there is anything else offensive in Ice…it’s staying. First Amendment and such.

Author Spotlight-Alan Stroe

I had been craving a good dystopian novel, so I scanned my to-be-read list for one. I found it in Alan Stroe’s Against Her Gentle Sword: Fighting for Love and Freedom in a Woman’s World. Stroe’s novel, which is set on an unidentified tropical island known only as The Colony, centers around Dario. As he is set to graduate high school, Dario has been selected for a fencing competition during which he will be selected by certain chosen females for his hand in marriage and his Reproductive License. He need not win, he just has to impress one of the female Protectresses. Dario’s dilemma is that he will have to battle against some of his closest friends. His choices: fight against his friends (knowing the loser will face a humiliating Defeat Ritual) or try to impress Gwendolyn, the girl he has always loved. Things get complicated when the psychotic Sylvester disappears without a trace. Dario, increasingly frustrated with The Colony’s unwarranted gender discrimination and the female-dominated authorities’ apparent unawareness of the danger they are in at the hands of Sylvester and his gang of renegades, knows that now is the time to take action, even if it means losing Gwen, the only thing in his life that means anything to him.
While the reverse gender discrimination is certainly an attention-grabber, it is not the main theme of the book. I think the most important message that Stroe wishes to convey is that people need to be treated as individuals, regardless of gender (or race, ethnicity, or anything else). Making rules and laws based on stereotypes and assumptions is not only unjust, it is potentially dangerous. Stroe also skillfully tackles the theme of civilized society vs. anarchy, and challenges the reader to think about whether a patriarchal or matriarchal society would lead to less lawlessness and violence. The whole novel leaves that question up in the air. Education is also an important theme. School authorities are given very high positions of power within the government, and all children (male and female) are given a solid education (which, yes, does include a healthy dose of indoctrination).
So if the idea of a young-adult dystopian novella without the graphic violence of The Hunger Games sounds appealing, check out Stroe’s Against her Gentle Sword.
To read: http://www.amazon.com/Against-Her-Gentle-Sword-Fighting-ebook/dp/B00NNZRGBU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419355404&sr=1-1&keywords=alan+stroe

Author Spotlight-Amily Clark

I have never reviewed erotica before, so please don’t  think I’m weird when I sat that Clark’s werewolf erotica trilogy Ripped was surprisingly hot. I resisted reading the Twilight series just for that very reason: because I thought the vampire/werewolf/human girl thing was just bizarre and couldn’t understand how people could into it.Now after reading Ripped, I may consider giving Twilight a whirl.

The Ripped series are a trilogy of werewolf erotica short stories. During a full moon, Fiona, a college students, discovers that her sexy buy standoffish classmate Kyle is actually a werewolf. Fiona’s scent acts a powerful aphrodisiac on Kyle, and the resulting mutual attraction is electric.

Pure lust and  animalism, this trilogy was surprisingly hot. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from a werewolf erotica series, but what I got was a pleasant surprise. Congrats, Ms. Clark. When can we see a Ripped novel??

Author Spotlight-Catherine M. Walter

More and more, I am beginning to enjoy reading historical fiction. I am learning a lot. In a 10th grade World History class, I learned about Ancient Egypt and the Pharaoh, but never much beyond that, Until reading The Harmony of Isis, it was difficult to think of ancient civilizations in anything other than abstract terms. Walter, an anthropologist by trade, brought to life the world of the Pharaoh and ancient Egypt in her gorgeously woven tapestry of a tale that juxtaposes the ancient with the modern, the light with the darkness, and the good with the evil. She humanizes people whom we are only used to seeing in heiroglyphic drawings by making them “real” people with pain, fear, joy, jealousy, good, and evil.

Isis (later revered as a goddess) is singing a powerful “song” in order to locate the remains of her dead husband, Osirius, who had been murdered twice by his treacherous triad-brother, Typhon, who lusts after Isis and was hoping to be Pharaoh. The song of Isis resonates throughout the ages and is picked up by a present-day anthropologist Maggie, who, through a series of dreams, learned the history of the sibling-triad Isis, Osirius, and Typhon, from their education and training as young children and their eventual unions, which were made by the choice of the Pharaoh. Typhon’s everlasting fury at being passed over as both mate for Isis and next in line for Pharaoh will have devastating consequences for millennia to come. Maggie is one of many “harmonies” who hears Isis’ song and is willing and able to help her restore Osirius back to life. In a mirroring subplot, Maggie herself is in love with two brothers and is agonizing other which one would be a better choice for her. Her choices are the calm, settled Clem or the flighty but exciting Tris. A third choice, known as Sunny (hinted to be Osirius himself) briefly enters the picture and complicates things further.

Walter’s carefully chosen language is almost poetic and song-like, even though it is written in regular prose. You can almost hear the music as you read. The most important theme in the book is balance. Without it, everything falls to pieces and nothing is as it should be. Finding one’s center is the key to peace and happiness. Good vs. Evil, although cliched as a theme, is crafted expertly in this novel as the key plot centers around the battle between the calm, rational, and just Osirius and the greedy, vengeful, sociopathic Typhon. Walter uses a variety of non-conventional symbols, such as shapes, directions, and numbers. Exciting and educational at the same time, readers will love this gemstone of a story.

To read The Harmony of Isis: http://www.amazon.com/Harmony-Isis-Catherine-M-Walter-ebook/dp/B00FQ70AM0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419117189&sr=8-1&keywords=the+harmony+of+Isis

My Husband Has a Huge…

…amount of experience proofreading and editing, and currently he is accepting short stories and novellas for editing services. If you are looking for an editor for a reasonable price, Patrick Wilson is the man to see. He is a college professor who teaches English and has sixteen years of experience in proofreading. Prices are negotiable. If you need editing work done, Patrick can be reached at wilsonpatrick@hotmail.com or pw00270@georgiasouthern,edu. A well-edited, professional-looking story sells much better than a sloppy looking one.

Author Spotlight-Michael Fedison

Meet the “Eye-Dancers” crew:

1. Mitchell Brant-incredibly imaginative with a penchant for story-telling. He enjoys reading comic books. He has a little sister named Stephanie, both of whom are upset by their parents’ increasing marital conflicts.

2. Ryan Swinton-a conflict avoider who enjoys telling jokes. He often uses levity to diffuse tense situations. He has a little brother named Tyler.

3. Joe Marma-a vertically-challenged dog whisperer who enjoys a good fist fight. He loves justice, and will not hesitate to stand up and dish out a butt-whipping to a bully or abuser. He calls everyone “bud.”

4. Marc Kuslanski-a geeky, scientifically-minded and somewhat arrogant only child who escapes his loneliness in studying. He longs for a sibling.

When Mitchell, Ryan, and Joe, three sixth-graders) each have the same horrific lucid dream about a young girl with swirling blue eyes three nights in a row, they enlist the help of Marc to help them figure out just what is going on. As a result, all four boys are sucked into an alternate universe where their home town is called Colbyville (instead of Bedford), technology is behind the times, history seems to have been completely rewritten, and even the English language has been altered. The girl in their dreams is calling-begging-for them to save her, but will they get to her in time? Will she be able to help them get back to their own universe?

Laced with adolescent sarcasm and boyish antics, “The Eye-Dancers” is a fun, easy read. It contains elements of fantasy, science fiction, and enough humor to go around. The experience challenges everything that each of the boys thought they firmly believed, and the reader will enjoy watching them grow and change in profound ways. Fedison explores the “butterfly effect” theme (such as what would happen if another person had founded your town), but also tackles themes that are identifiable to Fedison’s targeted age group. These themes include family conflict, loneliness, the desire to fit in, the desire for peer approval, and, ultimately, finding out who you are and accepting yourself as is. I would like to see this book on middle schools’ reading list. This is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale that young people will delight in (and will encourage reading, which has been a challenge for educators all over the country). Readers will LOVE the ending. So don’t be a dribbler and check out The Eye Dancers today.

To read “The Eye-Dancers:” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A8TUS8M/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0

Author Spotlight-Deandra Stephanos

Dean is an imaginative but somewhat misfit young boy. In his spare time, he likes to build things and spend time with his imaginary friend, Penny. However, as he approaches middle age, he suffers three broken marriages, increasing debt, and attacks of anxiety and depression. More and more, he escapes into his world of fantasy (and in alcohol). One night, after a drunken spree, he orders a Titanium Sapphire Laser, which activates his Phenomon, He decides to experiment with his fantasy-and in time, learns that his world of fantasy is not so imaginary. Indeed, he was the one who has been predestined to be the Seer, the one chosen to unite the seven lost worlds and free them from the domination of the bellicose, fearsome Shiraz race.After a failed mission, Dean is lost-and is reborn as Dee. Then the real adventures begin…..

In this light-speed science fiction thriller, Stephanos takes her readers to other worlds-literally. The book is so full of action that it actually leaves you with a pleasant feeling of disorientation (similar to what you would feel after riding a carnival ride). As Dean/Dee go on several adventures, the reader braces for impact, as there seems to be danger around every corner. There is no end to the suspense.

However, the book also has a very human element and explores more earthly themes of love, relationships, and friendship Dean/Dee’s friends-Penny, Karen, Kara, Claire, Cheryl, Theus, and many others-provide voices of reason for the excitable and somewhat unstable protagonist. The characters are very believable and likable. The reader will grow quite fond of characters and will be sad to see some of them die. Stephanos (whose knowledge of astrophysics is extremely impressive) also explores the themes of advanced technology, social politics, energy conservation, alternative energy sources, and public opinion/relations.

If you are craving a high-speed, action-packed thriller, I highly recommend I Am Dee. 

To read: http://www.amazon.com/I-am-Dee-Deandra-Stephanos-ebook/dp/B00Q45JNX0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418253551&sr=1-1&keywords=i+am+dee

Jessica’s List-The Fabulous Fourteen

When i first embarked on this career path, I expected that I would have to read, as I put in an earlier post, “pure shit.” I have just finished my fourteenth indie book review, and let me tell you: crow doesn’t taste very good.

The fourteen indie authors I have read are amazingly talented and I have been in awe at their writing abilities. My gratitude to Amazon for providing these amazing men and women to showcase their work has increased exponentially.

Since I do a lot of author spotlights on this page, I am thinking of starting a new website called jessicaslist.com where I write full reviews and feature talented indie authors. Here is a list (in no particular order) of the wonderful indie books I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing so far:

1. Transitory by Ian Williams

2. Tissue of Lies by Carole Parkes

3. A Cry from the Shadows by Emma Burton (which, unfortunately, is no longer available on Amazon).

4. The Spartak Trigger by Bryce Allen

5. Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

6. Imogene’s Message by Christine Sherborne

7. A Game of Greed and Deception by John Matthews

8. The Forgotten Mission: The Return by Jonathan Taylor

9. The Warlock’s Friend: The Crystal Spears by Dean Moore

10. Operation Ivy Bells by Robert Williscroft

11. Legacy Discovered by Kerry Reis

12. The Space Between by Tristan Cruz

13. An Immigrant’s Journey: From Illiteracy to Becoming an English Teacher by M.A. Demle

14. I Am Dee by Deandra Stephanos

Please reblog/retweet/reshare/etc. to make sure these talented authors get the recognition they deserve. Thank you kindly, Jessica

Author Spotlight-Dr. Robert G. Williscroft

Robert Williscroft is the author of a gripping historical fiction novel called Operation Ivy Bells. He served twenty-three years in the U.S. Navy, earned a PhD in engineering from California Coast University, and served a one-year tour in the South Pole and another three years in the Arctic. After his impressive military career (which served as the inspiration for his works), Williscroft decided to focus on writing, much to this reader’s delight.

Operation Ivy Bells is a fictional account of the actual historical event in which the U.S. Navy attempted to tap into the Soviet Union’s undersea communication cable during the Cold War. Narrated by Lieutenant J. R. McDowell (“Mac”), the novel recounts Mac’s adventures aboard the submarine USS Halibut as he completes the mission to place taps on the Soviet’s undersea communication lines. Such adventures include mechanical failures, mishaps caused by human error, attacks by sea creatures, scuffles with enemy Russian divers, attempts to paralyze enemy warships, and others. Williscroft injects moments of humor in the novel (specifically, some accounts of good-natured hazing and a scene with a hilarious prostitute named Snorkel Patty). There is never a dull moment in Operation Ivy Bells. The ending is completely satisfying, and towards the end of the mission, Mac begins a lifelong friendship with a very unexpected person.

I am glad that Williscroft provided a glossary of military terms so that we “civilian pukes” can better understand what is happening. Admittedly, the novel is borderline esoteric, but Williscroft makes it easy to read by taking the time to explain things as he goes. My favorite part of the novel is the camaraderie among the member of the team. They watch each others’ backs and are highly supportive of each other (without refraining from manly banter).The funniest part of the novel is when one of the divers is caught in the jaws of a superfish (and left with non-fatal injuries).

Each chapter begins with an illustration that gives a hint as to what the chapter will be about. i liked this idea so much that I may incorporate it into my future novels.

Operation Ivy Bells is an edge-of-your-seat war novel with characters that you just can’t help but love, and just the right amount of suspense at each turn. As Ed Offley (who wrote the foreword) said, “You won’t be able to put this down.”

To read Operation Ivy Bells: http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Ivy-Bells-novel-Cold-ebook/dp/B00NAGDWL0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1417490265&sr=1-1&keywords=operation+ivy+bells