Sunday, February 26, 2012

NORTHWEST by JH Glaze

Guest Review by Books4Tomorrow

If this book had to be made into a big screen movie, I would be running faster than the person next to me to get myself front row tickets for the show. I’m not a fan of science fiction, but having read the first book in this series by the same author, a little over a month ago, I didn’t hesitate to jump right in and tear through “NorthWest” page after adrenaline-spiking page. Once again, JH Glaze did not disappoint. I thought ‘The Spirit Box” was a high-wire suspense read that glued me to the edge of my seat, but “NorthWest” just blew me away!

In the previous John Hazard novel I had difficulty in deciding whether I liked his character or not, as he was a bit rough around the edges. In this book however, John’s character has matured into one I now like considerably more. The transitioning from small town detective to big city PI (Paranormal Investigator) in-training, was skillfully done and a believable explanation was given for his fresh start - one that made complete sense.

The story is made up of a colorful and diverse array of characters, which makes it very entertaining. The first half of the book is spent detailing the characters personalities and giving the reader more insight into their lives and backgrounds. It is done in such a fashion as to by the time the real action starts in the second half of the book, you’re well acquainted with the characters before they meet their inevitable demise - and the suspense just kills you by then, because you know some of the characters are going to die a horrible death, but which ones? That’s when you realize how cleverly the author cornered you into the recurring, yet unavoidable “oh shit” factor.

The first chapter of “NorthWest” serves as an introduction of things to come. And boy is the reader in for quite the ride. While reading the rest of the chapters and getting to know and like the characters, I tried, and failed miserably, not to feel too close to them as the author regularly hints at the horrors to come. This technique builds up and prolongs the suspense and served as a reminder to why I’m so addicted to JH’s writing. He trusts his own intelligent writing as well as the astuteness of his readers, to put two and two together, without the necessity of having to spoon-feed the obvious to them. And just when you think you have it all figured out, he surprises you with yet another shocking twist and a moral dilemma or two!

The subtle, but dark humor scattered throughout the book, is another reason why I love reading this author’s books. You know you’re going to laugh-out-loud somewhere in the book, whether you want to or not, because it catches you off guard and leaves you amazed at how much it adds to the dreadfulness of the situations the characters find themselves in, but also how fittingly true some of it is to our everyday existence.

Overall, “NorthWest” is an impressive, stylishly written novel, which will satisfy many a reader’s taste. Whether you’re a science fiction or horror fan, you’re in for a treat. The author doesn’t mince his words and has no qualms about plunging the reader head first into the deep end of the fear-pool. The monsters in this book are shockingly frightening and will have you think twice before going on that next camping trip into the woods.

“NorthWest” can be read as a stand-alone novel, but because it follows the adventures of John Hazard, I’d strongly advise you to read “The Spirit Box” first and then immediately follow it up with “NorthWest”, so as to fully experience and appreciate the innovative and masterful writing of JH Glaze.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Amazon Kindle Lending & Borrowing



What Are Your Options?

So you’ve done the free thing and now your Kindle is loaded with tons of books you may not even want. How about getting books that interest you and still save you money? It just takes a little more time but in the end you'll have yourself some great books to read. Amazon offers three different ways you can actually borrow a book for your Kindle.




OPTION 1: SHARING BOOKS WITH FRIENDS  
 Someone with a Kindle can lend you a book that they’ve purchased or you can lend one that you’ve bought. Say you just finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and want a friend to read it. You can initiate a loan from “Manage Your Kindle” or the book's product detail page on Amazon.com. From Manage Your Kindle just click on the title and if the publisher of this title allows lending it will give you the option to select “loan this title.” You'll enter the borrower's name and e-mail address and an optional notification message. Or, simply click “loan this book” on the Amazon product page. *Note: Not all books off this option. Now, how do you know if a book you haven’t bought can be lent to you? Check under product details for “Lending: Enabled.” Then you just need to find a willing lender. You have two weeks to read the book.

OPTION 2: CHECKING OUT BOOKS FROM LIBRARIES
Public library books for Kindle are available at libraries in the United States that offer digital services from OverDrive. Check with your local library to see if they offer the service. Most libraries will let you check out a book for 7 or 14 days. Like regular libraries you may have to wait for a book to come back as only one copy of a book can be out at a time. Jan Brown, an avid reader and Kindle owner finds the system easy to use. She said, “I always check the books that are in the returned area of my library, that's one way I find some new reads that I can't seem to find on a search. I also click on an author's name after going to check one book's synopsis and it brings up all the other books by that author, another good way to find books.”

OPTION 3: AMAZON PRIME MEMBERSHIP
Kindle Owners' Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members allows eligible U. S. Amazon Prime members who own Kindle devices to choose from thousands of books to borrow for free. You may have noticed recently when browsing for books on Amazon that under the option to purchase the title there is another option “Read for free” for Prime Members.  You can also see eligible books directly from your Kindle by selecting Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. Paid members may borrow one book per month and there are no due dates.


To get you started, here are a few suggested titles that are available to borrow for free if you have an Amazon Prime Membership. (*status of book as prime eligible subject to change without notice)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon


The book that changed my life
By Barbara Silkstone

It was 1984. I had just graduated magna cum chatterbox from kindergarten. Okay so maybe I’m off by a few years. J

Florida Atlantic University was hosting the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Begun in 1980, this celebration brought together some of most talented writers from Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy. Guests at this event ranged from Stephen King to Isaac Asimov, Fritz Leiber, and my all-time hero, Theodore Sturgeon.

One of the legendary figures of the “Golden Age” of science fiction, Theodore Sturgeon was a regarded as the primary influence on Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut among other science fiction luminaries. Sturgeon wrote over 200 novels and short stories. He won the Hugo, Nebula and International Fantasy Awards. His book More Than Human (1953) was a classroom classic.

Science fiction writer, Damon Knight said of Sturgeon, “He was a superb stylist, and that was unusual when he began writing in the field. He had his own individual viewpoint of human relationships. I think he had a Messianic streak. He wanted to find ways that people could live together better.” Or to paraphrase Star Trek… to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Sturgeon wrote some of the early screenplays for Star Trek. The Vulcan Hand Greeting, “Live well and prosper” AND pon farr, the Vulcan mating ritual were all introduced by Theodore Sturgeon. When I bumped into him I had no idea about his Vulcan background - now it just adds to his mystique.

I discovered More Than Human when I was a child. I carried the paperback version with me everywhere. It became the seminal book that instilled in me the passion to write. Sturgeon  created a haunting, creditable last step in man’s evolution and I wanted to follow his lead.

With my battered but much loved copy of More Than Human, I approached Ted Sturgeon as he sat in the FAU auditorium. A slight, wizard-like man he beckoned me to sit with him while he signed my book. Under his signature he placed a symbol… a Q with an arrow through it. He was wearing a pendant with that strange symbol on it. His explanation: “Ask the next question. And the one that follows that, and the one that follows that. That’s how we realize our potential.”

He offered me the seat next to him. “Join us when he’s done,” he nodded to the author on the stage who was graciously signing books for hundreds of his adoring fans.  It took Stephen King over an hour to sign all the books presented to him. Sturgeon beamed like a proud parent.

Steve then stepped from the platform and walked toward us. Sturgeon, frail, took my arm and we exited the auditorium - King walking on my right and Sturgeon on my left.

Theodore Sturgeon seemed to channel pure energy even as he needed to brace himself on me. He leaned over, nodded at Stephen King and said to me, “Barbara, someday the world will recognize this young man as our greatest living American author.”

Looking up at all seven-feet of Stephen King, I know he said something humble… but for the life of me I can’t recall it. I was doing an out-of-body somewhere on Mount Olympus between two creative gods. It was an awesome moment.

Sturgeon died the following year. I still have my copy of More Than Human. Each time I read it the book has a profound effect on me. I dream of creating a story that would so mark my readers… for life.

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Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters ~ Wendy and the Lost Boys ~ London Broil ~ The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman. Visit her online at Barb's Wire.




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Friday, February 3, 2012

You could win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

~~~CONGRATS TASHA TURNER~~~


Sign up for this easy contest for fans of Quickie Book Reviews. Only 2 simple things required to enter. 


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Quickie Book Reviews is a fun fanpage and website where Readers get a voice. We feature reviews by readers for readers. And, there are lots of feature posts to participate in. Readers share their "Top 10 Books" list and you can even talk about a "Book That Changed Your Life."


*All submissions from 2/4 to 2/16 will be entered to win. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on 2/17. (Amazon Gift Card sent digitally via email)