Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review of Subtraction

Review of SUBTRACTION   
Written by Andrew Peters

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

I don’t give books stars as my readers know. But I give this novel a thumbs up.

The Professor, the main character, in Mr. Peters’ novel Subtraction does some deductions to arrive at solutions to what seems to be a single death case.This one death case multiples into many.

Oh, the Professor is a math teacher and a non-detective who deduces. In his charming way, he performs services by helping clients who have a problem they don’t desire the police to get involved in. So Mr. Paris, the Professor, cleans up a problem for a client – somewhat of a sticky wicket that mushrooms into a continuous headache.

This is where the fun begins and its fast pace. With wit, but some consider terse and satiric, Mr. Paris tells this story of love, hate, and murder. Also, the reader gets a little taste of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and its organised crime world.

Mr. Peters’ writing is smooth and comical - quick moving paragraphs spaced and flowing into each other with ease. When Mr. Paris says something you won’t get lost in euphemisms, you’ll get the well constructed point.

It’s a quick and enjoyable read for a snowed in or rainy weekend.

Andrew Peter’s links are in his interview:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Interview with Andrew Peters

Interview with Andrew Peters  
Author of Subtraction

Questions: R. Murry      
Hello, Roy...thanks for inviting me back. I see you've decorated since I was last here...hope you restocked the fridge., no slice of lime.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Well, as you know, I’m a man of few words, most of them plagiarized. Since we last met, I've written another three novels, lost twenty pounds and bought two new suits. Sadly I then put on twenty-five pounds, so the suits don’t fit. I've become much less successful at writing and much less attractive to women. My cats still love me.

Can you tell us about your book?
This one is called “Subtraction” and its set in Las Vegas in the sixties. It features Mark Paris, who makes a living gambling small and assisting people who don’t know where else to go for help. He has quite an interesting back-story, but I’d prefer that people found that out for themselves. The book is as much about him as about the mystery.  story starts when he gets called up one morning by a vague acquaintance who’s woken up in bed next to a gorgeous blonde...who sadly appears to be dead.

I’ll leave the synopsis there, as I really do like readers to find out the story as it unfolds. .

Most authors complain about 1* I just assume that that guy bought the wrong book, or is too stupid to appreciate my brilliance. The ones I dislike most are the 5* reviews that insist on telling the reader everything that happens in the first hundred pages.

What genre best fits for the book?
I think this one’s as near as I’m likely to get to a straight crime story. Wry rather than funny, gris foncĂ© rather than noir.

Are you working on something new at the moment?
No, I wrote ten books and three Kindle-only novellas between June 2012 and August 2013, and I think I might be done now, In my opinion the last three were the best, and I’d hate to drop the standard. Maybe I’ll think about writing something else once Amazon sell out of the existing ones

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
You should really have listened in your English classes at school and read a lot of very good books from different centuries twenty years ago. It’s probably too late for you now. Find a different hobby.

If you decide to persist, discard all advice that quotes Stephen King, Elmore Leonard or Ernest Hemingway and especially ignore all advice from American “editors” about removing adverbs and only using “strong” verbs. If everyone did what they advised, every book would read the same - Bland.

Where can people go to read your work?
I have about ten things available now, short story collections, novellas and novels and they can all be found on my Amazon author page.
Do you have anything to add?
Merely to thank you once again for inviting me back...and to point out that my glass is empty.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review of Hot Property

Review of Hot Property
Written by Susanne O’Leary

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Life in Dublin is not rosy for Megan when she comes into an inheritance that a distance relative left her – a house on a beautiful country property. This hot property is not in livable shape, but many desire it.

Here the real story starts, moves into relationships that moles Megan’s character for the better, and leads her into a new career. There are road blocks to overcome; and Megan moves on with her new life in Kerry country.

Ms. O’Leary presents a well written story of the Irish country-side that leads the reader into the quiet world that goes on there. It is a life without the day to day craziness of the city. The pastures and ocean described are presented beautifully in her Irish prose.

The reader will get involved in Megan’s plight, cheer her on, feel her pain when she is let down, and relish in her accomplishments. Also, there is a surprising ending where she finds out who is her true lover.    

This is a read that will move you, make you happy, and sad at times. It is a complete read that flows along comfortably.  


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interview with Susanne O'Leary

with Susanne O'Leary, 
Author of 
Hot Property

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?  I was born in Sweden and live in Ireland (married to an Irishman). I started my writing career by writing non-fiction and wrote two books about health and fitness (I am a trained fitness teacher). While writing these books, I discovered how much I loved the actual writing process.

My then editor gave me the idea to write a fun novel based on my experiences as a diplomat’s wife. This became my debut novel, ‘Diplomatic Incidents’ (the e-book version is called ‘Duty Free’), published in 2001.

I wrote three further novels, ‘European Affairs’ (now as an e-book with the title ‘Villa Caramel’), ‘Fresh Powder’ (2006) and ‘Finding Margo’(2007). The latter two were published by New Island Books in Dublin.

In 2010, when the publishing industry started to decline, I broke away from both publisher and agent and e-published my back list, along with two novels that were with my agent for submission. Since then I have written and e-published five further novels and, as a result, now have twelve books out there in the e-book market worldwide.

I write mainly in the women’s fiction genre, some chick-lit, some contemporary romance, with two historical novels and two detective stories thrown into the mix. I enjoyed writing those but my first love is romantic fiction with a lot of humor and heart.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?  I wrote my very first story when I was twelve. I didn’t actually remember it, until I came across the wrinkly pages stuck into a book in mother’s apartment in Sweden recently. It was a little story about a schoolgirl. But my first adult story was Diplomatic Incidents that became my very first published novel in 2000.

Were you inspired by someone or something?   When I started my first novel, I thought it would be fun to write about my experiences as the wife of a diplomat and make it into a novel. And it was hugely enjoyable to poke fun at all those politicians and diplomats to whom I had to be oh-so-polite…I used fictional names, of course. Now, I’m mostly inspired by Ireland, its stunning landscape and people.

What do you like about writing a story?   It’s mostly the escape element. While I’m writing, I go into another world, where I mix with the characters I have invented. It’s also very much the setting in beautiful, magic places.

Can you tell us about your book?   Hot Property is about a woman who inherits and old house in County Kerry. At first, daunted by the huge and costly prospect of doing it up, she decides to sell it. But an unearthed old family scandal — and unexpected passion with a handsome solicitor — may keep her there just a little longer…

What genre best fits for the book?  It’s a Romantic comedy.

Are you working on something new at the moment?  Yes. I have just published the follow-up to Hot Property. Not exactly a sequel, more like a follow-on with some of the same characters but a new heroine and new people center-stage. 

This one is called Hot Gossip and it’s getting a lot of excellent reviews already. And now I’m working on number three in this series, which will be published in the late spring of next year.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?   Write from your heart in the genre you enjoy. Go slowly. Enjoy the writing and don’t worry too much about sales. Get your work read, edited and proofread. Polish, polish, polish. Don’t be in a hurry to publish. And, above all, find true joy in your writing. That is what makes it shine in the end.

Do you have anything to add?  I discussed my writing recently with a friend who told me my writing should be more commercial and that I had to plug into the ‘zeitgeist’ out there in order to sell more books. But I didn’t agree, that’s not why I write.

I feel I have to be true to myself and not glance sideways or upwards and then write to suit the market, whatever that is. I have to stay true to those who read my books and love them. If that’s a small circle, so be it.

I write from my heart and my experiences -  My observation of people and my surroundings. Little things spark ideas. Landscapes, light, nature, sounds, smells, fun dialogue, funny one-liners and quirky characters. All of that make up the rich fabric of my stories.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review of Conversations with the Golf God

Review of Conversations with
The Golf God written by
Robert K. Swisher Jr.

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Being an avid golfer since the age of fourteen, I found Conversations right on the mark when it comes to golf, golfers, and golfing. Conversations between a golfer called Shanks, which in golf terminology meaning someone who hits the little white ball all over the place, and the Golf God are absolutely funny.

Robert does a fine job in making the face to face meeting entertaining enough that a non-golfer would enjoy the Golf God’s game pontificating while drinking a can of beer. He tells his disciple Shanks how one is to conduct the business of playing golf in a hilarious way.

The true rules of the game are given, because the Golf God believes that there are too many rules now than there were in the beginning. That history is also given to Shanks along with a glossary laid down for all to read. There is no commandment other than, “Always rake the sand trap,” which is three of HIS 14 rules of golf.

This was an easy read for me because I know golf. But I assure you, it is a funny read for anyone who plays any individual sport. 

His links are in interview:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Interview with Robert K. Swisher Jr.

Interview with Robert K. Swisher Jr.,
Author of Conversations with
The Golf God

Questions from Author Roy Murry

I started writing in 1967 when I got out of Vietnam.  No, I was not an officer.  I was a radio operator in the infantry.  From then until now I have had about 2,579 odd jobs ranging from cowboy, mountain guide, bartender - a good one was dressing up as Uncle Sam in front of an income tax office.  During all of this I have written full time - sorry to say my college career was short. I have placed 14 traditional novels ranging from historical fiction, to contemporary, to young adult.  Several of these books were reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Best Sellers, Midwest Book Review and others.  Two were optioned but the movie deal did not go through but, I do not write format or slot fiction.  It makes the writing game harder but I write what pops into my head.

It was called Ned and was published in THE LONG STORY.  I also placed a lot of outdoor articles to magazines - mostly fishing.  I placed over 500 poems to literary magazines and many other short stories.  I no longer write short stories, articles, or poetry.  The muse is gone.  I am stuck on novels and relish reading rejection letters.  They seem to inspire me.  My first novel, THE LAND, was rejected 400 times before it found a home - it is still in print.  Go figure.

My high school English teacher that informed me after I told her I wanted to be a writer that my chances of being a published writer were slim and none - maybe not being able to spell, hating semi-colons, and flunking English had something to do with it.  I will not divulge her name but I did send her my first published novel that received great reviews.  Not nice I know but I have mellowed with age.

I have a love hate relationship with my books.  One day I love the process and the next I hate it, but even hating it I still hit the keys.  I have worked on books for a year and then erased them.  I have burnt some.  The ones I like I keep.  Besides the five books I have indie published I have six that keep begging me to send them out.  Once a year I take a few weeks and go through the process of contacting agents and publishers.  After that I don't mess with it.  The story from agents and publishers has not changed - everyone should read the book ROTTON REJECTIONS - it's funny and true.

I have been the head greens keeper at three golf courses around the country.  Golf helped pay for a lot of stamps to send out manuscripts.  I started playing when I was six years old.  Now at 66 I have a 4 handicap - not from the senior tees either.  I wrote CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GOLF GOD because I wanted to be serious and also funny. I had just finished a novel that left my brain dripping put of my right ear and I needed a break.  GOLF GOD is slightly political with some great tips about life and golf and a lot of absurdity - bit golf is absurd - think about it.  Trying to hit a round object straight with a club that is set at an angle and then getting angry when it doesn't ---- please?  It is almost as bad as trying to make a living as a writer.

At the moment a lady is editing a novel called HOPE - the story of a group of elderly people that learn how to fly.  I recently finished a novel titled THE LONELY COWBOY.  I am going over a novel I finished last year - HOW BRIDGE MCCOY LEARNED HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU - story of a man who walks two steps forward and one backward who has fallen in love but when he tries to tell the lady he loves her all he can say is I, I, I, Lo, Lo, and then he starts to choke -something about trust in this modern world. And I am half way through a novel titled VENT- where it is going I have no idea but I am enjoying it.  The six novels in my closet I am ignoring.  They started complaining they didn't like the tense they are written in so I am letting them stew for a while and get over it.


I taught a class at a university called THE REALITIES OF WRITING, go figure; I flunked out of college, but back to the point.  ADVICE - don't listen to too much advice.  I have seen books that show and don't tell.  I have seen books with little punctuation and some with so much they should have been a textbook.  I have seen books that use just, had, very and all that no-no stuff.  I have heard a zillion times write what you know.  QUESTION?  If you wrote what you didn't know it would be a blank page.  To write put your rear in a chair and write.  They invented editors to figure out all the other stuff.  JUST DO IT.

Libraries, Amazon and other sites, ordered through book stores.  The 5 books I indeed I did through kindle select.  It's free and they have the biggest market share and if you get lucky and a mainstream publisher wants to pick up your book all you have to do is unpublished.  I will say I made a lot of mistakes when I first jumped into indie but I am learning.  I have also made some good sales but that is from many years of writing - I have a mailing list.  I like the indie process but one must control the promo and keep writing.  My indie books have received from 5 to 2 stars - don't let bad reviews get you down - no big deal - if we were all the same we would be in a cult. I sell my indie books from $2.99 to $3.99 although I feel they should really go for about $8,000 each.

A lot of getting published is luck and hard work.  Don't give up.  Here is my author page, if you have any questions feel free to message me....  ....also leave a like...this face book is a funny thing.  The best to all of you.  Enjoy the journey - nothing in life is easy.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, if one of you will buy 85,000 copies of one of my books I will put you in my will and you can visit once a year after I have moved to the big island.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review of A Favorite Son

Review of A Favorite Son
Written by Uvi Poznansky

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Uvi’s writing is unique in this short rendition of a story as old as Abraham -wanting something that is not yours. The first born is the benefactor of their father’s fortune – lands, goats, and whatever are the items left behind by their father. The head of the tribe words are final. All other siblings must rely on the first born to take care of them.

It’s a basic theme that Ms. Poznansky has developed into a smooth and humorist read. The wife asks for a camel from the king, while he is on his death bed. She doesn’t want one of those automobiles they have out west. She begs for this comfort to no avail. Your son will provide for you the man replies.

That and other off the wall snippets will bring the reader to reality. However, the story resides in a wealthy man’s desert serfdom, where women have no say and only what he says rules. This is a problem with his wife who feels her favorite son should reap the benefits of first born since she thinks he is more equipped to rule over the tribe.

That woven into a deceit of an uncommon kind, propels the story forward to an understandable conclusion. Ms. Poznansky weaves a plot that is told by the second son, who instead in confronting the situation upfront, listens to his mother into a void he cannot handle.

Plot: enjoyable; Characters: believable; and the prose was easy to read.

Links are below: A FAVORITE SON
♥ Audio
♥ Print
♥ Ebook


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Interview with Uvi Poznansky

Interview with Uvi Poznansky
Author of A Favorite Son

Interviewed by R. Murry
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am an artist, a poet and a writer. In the past, my professional life has undergone several changes, as so many of us are experiencing in this day and age. I have a master of architecture from RPI in Troy NY. Later I have earned a Master of Computer Science from the University of Michigan. I love to extend my skills, reinvent myself and find out the common areas between different disciplines.

Can you tell us about your book?
This story is a present-day twist on the biblical story of Jacob and his mother Rebecca plotting together against the elderly father Isaac, who is lying on his deathbed, in order to get their hands on the inheritance and on the power in the family. This is no old fairy tale. Its power is here and now, in each one of us.

When you listen to Yankle telling his take on events, you will feel the bitter rivalry between him and his brother, and become intimately engaged with every detail of the plot. These are flawed, yet brilliantly fascinating characters. Yankle yearns to become his father's favorite son, and he sees only one way open to him, to get that which he wants: deceit.

"What if my father would touch me," asks Yankle. In planning his deception, it is not love for his father, nor respect for his age that drives his hesitation--rather, is it the fear to be found out. And so--covering his arm with the hide of a kid, pretending to be that which he is not--he is now ready for the last moment he is going to have with his father.

How did you come up with the story? 
I have long been fascinated with the story of Jacob and Esav. To me, it captures several layers of emotions which we all go through in our families: a rivalry between brothers, the way a mother’s love, unevenly divided, can spur them to action, to crime, even; and how in time, even in the absence of regret, a punishment eventually ripens. 

The story had been brewing in me for several years before I put pen to paper. Being an artist, I had expressed it through sculpture long before I wrote the words. So here you can see Yankle and his mother Becky, plotting to cheat the father. Out of a sense of shame, they are unable to look each other in the eye. 

Having been cheated, I found that the character I wish to explore is not the victim of the crime, but rather the perpetrator. What are his motives? Has regret set in? Does he love his father even as he is cheating him? Does he long for the early years when he still had a bond with his twin brother? 

I wrote the first chapter, Lentil Stew, and thought I got the story out of my system. But no, Yankle kept chatting it my head, demanding that I record his thoughts. I wrote the second chapter, and the same thing continued to happen. It was not until I wrote the last chapter, The Curse of the Striped Shirt, where I find a ‘poetic justice’ to conclude the story, that Yankle finally fell silent...

So when reading my story, do not seek clear distinction between heroes and villains: no one is wholly sacred, because--like Yankle, the main character here--we are all made of lights and shadows, and most of all, doubt.

Are you working on something new at the moment?
I thought you’d never ask! I am! And at this moment I am only two chapters away from finishing it. If you like biblically-inspired fiction, here is a new series soon to come your way, titled The David Chronicles. Volume 1 will be titled Rise to Power. In it I present the life of David like you have never heard it before: from the King himself, telling the unofficial story, the one he never allowed his court historians to recount!

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read your work aloud, first of all to yourself, so your words will flow in the rhythms of your voice and breathing. You may even tape your reading, and listen to it afterword’s. Then, read it in front of an audience. Listen not only to their comments, but during the read, listen if they gasp in the places you wanted them to gasp, if the laughed and cried where you intended the text to move them.

Then go back to the drawing table…

Which authors inspire you?
Surprisingly, I find poetry to be the greatest influence on my writing: I appreciate the nuances, the overloading of words, and the musical rhythms used in the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, the sonnets by Shakespeare, and the lyrical descriptions of Virginia Wolfe, to name but a few. I love The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and  Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, for their expressive use of ‘stream of consciousness’. I love reading the work of great playwrights like Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.

Where can people go to read your work?
♥ Audio
♥ Print
♥ Ebook

♥ Audio
♥ Ebook
♥ Print

♥ Audio
♥ Print
♥ Ebook

♥ Audio
♥ Print
♥ Ebook

Where can people find you on the internet?I invite you to visit my website, which is organized like an art gallery, with bronze and ceramic sculptures, paper sculptures, oil paintings, watercolor paintings, poems and short stories:

Also, stop by my blog, which is organized like a diary where I post almost daily, discussing anything that goes through my mind that morning--be it a poem, a story, a paper engineering project, advice on publishing and writing, and the latest news and reviews:

Last but not least, here is my Amazon Author page, where you can find my bio, two of my animations, and my books:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review of Crossroads

Review of Mary Ting’s

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

What would you give up for your soul? Love?  Ms. Ting weaves a young adult romance story where the heart and soul come into question in the main character’s life. Turning eighteen, in its self, is a moving event for a young lady.  

Claudia, our protagonist, after a traumatic occurrence, finds herself in another reality or in a dream. In this emotional limbo, she is confronted with answers to her questions that are in conflict with her understanding of reality.

Some of those questions are answered, but will love win over reality. The young have no fears when it comes to love, but reality always seems to set in at some point of time.

Ms. Ting has written an interesting adventure into the unknown, leaving the reader with enjoyable contentment and wondering what will come next in the series. You will want to read on and that means getting the next book in the series.

Well written, as always, Ms. Ting understands a young adult’s demeanor and puts it on the page. It was a little difficult for me at age 65 to understand at first, but I can see how a young lady will enjoy reading this somewhat mystical and dream like novel.

It’s a fine Christmas or anytime gift for the young women in your life. She will learn from the main character’s questions and the answers that are given to her by her Guiding Angel.  It’s leave one thinking.