Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Book Review: The Moon, by L.A. McGinnis

The Moon, by L.A.McGinnis
The Banished Gods Series, Book Two
Published by Fools Journey Press, April 2019

About the Book:
It’s always darkest before the dawn. Or so they say. Clearly, they’ve never seen where I came from.

For four years, life has been good for Celine Barrows. But when a monster comes calling, Celine must answer. Her one chance at salvation is a stranger who makes no promises, and leads her on a journey into the very darkness she thought she had escaped. As the world shatters around her, and war looms on the horizon, Celine discovers that sometimes it takes a monster to defeat a monster.

My Take:

Oh. My. God. Loved it!

Not at all what I expected when I started reading. As in, somehow I didn't realize it was the second book in a series and felt a bit lost in the first chapter - yet it was billed to me as a standalone, so I forged on. And am so glad I did.

If you like mythology you've got to try this book, this series, this author - especially Norse mythology, of course, but if you have affinity for monstrous mythological creatures dragged kicking and screaming into our present day world you'll love The Moon. It reminded me a little of Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series of books, as the Norse gods play large roles in making his main character's life chaotic... Hearne doesn't paint the Norse pantheon with as sympathetic brush strokes as McGinnis uses. She's using more of a Thor and Loki from the Avengers palette, which works just fine for me.

Fenrir, or Fen, has never been a likeable character in any mythological tales. He was created to kill demons and gods alike, and help bring about the end of the world. When we meet him in Chapter One, he's still not very warm or fuzzy, but his character's deep sense of yearning tugs at something inside the reader. An anti-hero for sure, and a hunky one at that. Chapter Two is more clear cut - the heroine's place and plight more well-defined and sympathetic from the start, although it's not clear at first who her tormentor might be.

Told in he said/she said third person, with the odd chapter from the points of view of other characters, the narrative barrels along at breakneck speed. And I know I said I had trouble getting into the story at first, but once I caught on and got hooked, man was I hooked. It's not a short or fast read, with dense beautiful lyrical language that makes you take a breath and re-read paragraphs at times because the author puts together such beautiful and haunting images.

Totally loved and totally recommend. Grab a copy on AMAZON and start reading!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Feature: #Teaser from Forever in a Moment by Charlotte O'Shay

About the Book:

A stormy encounter...
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancĂ© calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being warmed by an old flame.
With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week away from the city and her demanding corporate career at a charming Vermont inn, could be just what she needs to figure out next steps.
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is...until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay.
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer?
Will her secret keep her from trying?


“Are we talking about fate? Because I’ve always believed I control my destiny.”

Karla jerks her chin up. “Pffft. Up to a point. But tell me this. What were the chances you’d be alone on Maple Run Avenue needing a lift just as Jed was driving by? Things happen that we never foresee. We can’t plan everything. Sometimes something great happens and sometimes it’s utter disaster. I’m telling you this because I learned it the hard way. ”

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Buy Links
·         Kobo
·         Amazon AU
·         Google Play
·         Nook

                   Charlotte's Social Media


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Writing Wednesday: Charlotte O'Shay and the Power of Meditation

Happy Wednesday to all - I have a special guest today! Please welcome Charlotte O'Shay, a fabulously talented writer and fellow author at The Wild Rose Press. She's got a new release out this spring as part of our publisher's Deerbourne Inn series. Forever in a Moment is a wonderful fish out of water story of a New Yorker finding her way in Vermont, and finding a second chance at love. (my review posted last week - read it HERE)

Please give a warm welcome to Charlotte!

Hello Katie, Thank you for the opportunity to visit your informative blog.

I thought I’d talk about something I learned right before I wrote my recent novella, Forever in a Moment...


Yes, transcendental meditation.

I wrote this novella fast. As all authors know, having the spark of a good idea for a story is just the very beginning of seeing that project come to fruition. Oftentimes the writing of a book, even a short one, is stalled at some stage, often the middle, or in the editing rounds.

This was not the case for me in the writing of this novella. It flowed in less than a month. After thinking about why I had the focus to hear my characters tell their stories so clearly, I realized, I’d begun the practice of TM around the same time.

I am as skeptical as the next person, probably more so given that I’m a New Yorker, but I will try to explain how TM helps me as a human and as a writer. We all need a method for dealing with the stresses of life in general and in particular, work life, family life and for me, life in NYC. Exercise is great for that and I love to walk. Still after talking about TM for months, I took the opportunity to learn TM from Bob Roth, a pre-eminent teacher/practitioner. Bob Roth’s book Strength in Stillness is a quick read that explains his entry into TM and the basics of the practice.

Here’s what I learned. TM is not a religion. It’s not meant to replace the spirituality of one’s religion. I am a lapsed Catholic and I still pray. A lot. I learned TM is practiced by people in all walks of life and has some famous adherents. Here is Jerry Seinfeld on George Stephanopoulos with Bob Roth explaining TM in his inimitable way. 

Ideally, one finds a quiet space to practice TM for two, 20-minute sessions but often all I have time for is one 20-minute session before I get started in the morning. Even this is difficult for so many. Perhaps, like Jerry Seinfeld midday is a better time. I’ve done TM in a garden (the best) and in the airport. And yes, there is a mantra.

TM helps one find the strong self under the noise. One great analogy is that with TM one can dive under the churning surface of the ocean of daily life into the cool, flowing, soothing calm beneath the waves. The benefits are both mental and physical because reducing stress helps strengthen the immune system.

Now of course for any endeavor including writing, nothing replaces showing up and getting the job done. But with TM, I show up as a more focused me and get the job done quicker and better.

In Forever in a Moment Samantha takes a week away from her daily life to think about her future. Most of us are not given that luxury. But TM is a daily outlet that works for me.

I’m curious what other authors do to spark creativity and gain focus?

Thank for joining me, Charlotte! And for sharing one of your secrets. You can find Charlotte's latest book on AMAZON (highly recommend) and find Charlotte online in the following spots:

Leave a comment below on how you spark your creativity, and come back Friday for an uber-short excerpt - a teaser, if you will - from Forever in a Moment, by Charlotte O'Shay. (better yet, go grab your copy on Amazon and read it this weekend!)

Happy Writing - and Reading - to all!