Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review of The 24


                      
Review of The 24
(The Books of Kendra)             
Written by
Stephen Jennison-Smith

Reviewed by R. Murry


Jennison-Smith’s style of writing is cult bound.  He develops action scenes that bring the reader in, wanting to go on to see what next will happen to the main characters Kendra and his son Chelnuk. 

The reader must be attentive to absorb all the details of the other characters (Angels – good and bad, Giants – good and bad, and their followers.)  Stephen is careful with his presentation that helps as one continues to read this multi-level spirit/earth fantasy set in biblical times.

Kendra, the main character, has many abilities that humans are not endowed with because of his birth right.  This is another detail that should be understood when reading this adventure.  Most of his warriors are amazed of his abilities and faithfully follow him knowing he will be true to them – his charges.

This adventure keeps you entertained.  Heads roll a la Spartacus status.  Blood and prayer are the underpinning themes.  Bad blood against good blood of the giants involved in keeping each other’s existence perpetuated.  Hence, war is at hand to keep the trouble making giants at a controllable number.  Prayer is used to keep the faithful going into battle.

This second in Jennison-Smith’s series was enjoyable to read, but I would liked to have read a little more color in his prose.  This is a black and white series – good against evil that does have some shades of gray in it.  No pun intended.  The gray here is – who prays to the right god.

A good quick read that I recommend.  Where can people go to read Stephen's work?

Amazon at  http://tinyurl.com/StephenJennison-Smith
or samples and some shorter finished work on Wattpad  http://www.wattpad.com/user/StephenJennisonSmith
Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SJennisonSmith



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interview with Stephen Jennison - Smith


Interview with Stephen
Jennison-Smith,
Author of The 24

Questions by R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I started writing while I was training for work, The Battle of the Dragons. I have since looked at it and it now needs a lot of work before it can be published, my writing has improved that much. The next book was called The Coughing Pole which is now published under the title of The Crying Pennant. I wrote those 16 years ago. Now I have written 14 books and 15 short stories. I try to write about 500 words a day, except Sunday, unless I am drawing or sculpting.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I started to write a science fiction story when I was in Secondary School. One of the phrases I remember using was 'Until the star looked like a pin prick in a tea bag.'

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I suppose you could say my brother-in-law, for his code of honour is never to hit somebody until they have hit him. In the same way Kendra does not like to kill anyone until they have engaged him in battle.

What do you like about writing a story?

I’m finishing it. This is the hardest part, to tie everything up, to get to the word count. If I am writing a funny story then as long as I come up with a couple of jokes a day then I'm happy.

Can you tell us about your book?

The 24 is the second in the Kendra series. The first book was an introduction to him. This book takes him and his son on an adventure to destroy an army of 1,000 giants. Along the way they meet Semites who they help to train to be giant killers.

How did you come up with the story?

It is the sequel to Kendra and I had always planned to turn it into a series. The story developed as I put it on Wattpad but I was unable to complete it until recently because I had to finish writing the last book in the Arth Series. I did think about the episodic nature of 'Hawk the Slayer' and also 'The Magnificent Seven' and so tried to make sure mine, though being influenced by them, did not follow them completely.

What genre best fits for the book?

Action/adventure/fantasy.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I am planning the third book in the Kendra series called 'Kendra and the Wolf-Master' and am writing a piece of flash fiction called 'Serasel the Smith' where Kendra is taken to a different plane of existence to receive his sword.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

The best advice is to read the classics, look at how other authors construct sentences. Also keep writing.

Which authors inspire you?

I have read ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ as well as Asimov, Michael Moorcock, C.S.Lewis and Alan Moore graphic novels. I am also inspired by film and TV.

Where can people go to read your work?

Amazon at  http://tinyurl.com/StephenJennison-Smith
or samples and some shorter finished work on Wattpad  http://www.wattpad.com/user/StephenJennisonSmith
Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SJennisonSmith

Where can people find you on the internet?

http://stephenjennisonsmith.blogspot.com/

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

To thank my ardent fans for their continued following and the support of 
Author Roy Murry.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review of The Soul Keeper


                                      
The Soul Keeper                
Written by
Maree Ward-Russell

Reviewed by R. Murry



Maree has kept the story of a young lady named Melody with paranormal gifts alive and well.  The story goes on from book one into a plausible continuation that will endear you to Ms. Russell's style of writing that is colorful, as I noted in my review of The Transient  http://bit.ly/W8vGQa.

The universal spirits are in turmoil, the evil ones are trying to overcome the good spirits, and the events at Heartworth’s castle portal are bustling with the comings and goings of those spirits. 

Our young lady is a Soul Keeper, if you didn’t know.  To understand the full effect of a Soul Keeper, one must be of another power above her.  We get to meet her charge, a young or old ghost, which either way you interpret him – is young in spirit, but old in the number of years he has been a Transient.

His connection to Melody becomes knowledge soon after they meet, which becomes something as a delight to her – it’s a connection to her lover, another Transient.   What a world they live in?  If it wasn’t for those non-transient lovers, life would be so grand.

But they are lurking.  They produce havoc on Melody’s world and her beloved friends.  Not to mention the castle itself.  There are too many disrupting episodes to divulge.  So I’ll let you read the two books.  That way, you’ll get to enjoy what I have – a pleasant read with romance in the air on many levels and a conclusion to remember Forever and a Day.

A great read for the young and the young of heart.   

Read Maree’s books: http://amzn.to/1IuMduE

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Interview with Maree Ward - Russell


Interview with Maree Ward-russell
Author of The Soul Keeper –             

2nd book in The Castle Trilogy

Questions by R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I’m a 47 year old mother to five teens, a registered nurse and I’ve been writing stories in one way of another since I was about 10 yrs. old. I was raised in New Plymouth – a coastal city on the west coast, North Island of New Zealand but have spent the last 10 years living here in Auckland city. I love to travel and have had many trips overseas.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes – although I do recall I also have never completed it! It was a story about a nation of elves living at the bottom of a girls’ garden who enlist her help to save them from a terrible fate. “The Saving of the Eledenforth Elves.” 

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I have loved C.S Lewis from a very young age. I used to seek old wardrobes wherever I saw them. Since then Tolkien and in later years J.K. Rowling – not only for her incredible writing skill but also her ability to draw readers, young and old in a highly computerised age.


What do you like about writing a story?

When I’m completely losing myself in the fantasy, I’m happy.  Becoming someone or being somewhere that in today’s reality simply wouldn’t be possible and then sharing that with those who love this like me.

Can you tell us about your book?

I have several on the go; a bad habit of mine. Firstly I released Roses at Dusk – a paranormal suspense for Young adults; the first in a series called the Demonic Series. Just recently however, I have released The Transient. This is the first in The Castle Trilogy that is a teen fantasy romance about a young girl who moves from Australia to New York State to take up residence in a rundown castle, turned bed and breakfast with her dad. It is dripping with atmosphere, ghosts and villains with just a tangible hint of romance. In a way The Castle series is a prequel to The Demonic series as Roses at Dusk only came about when I felt the villains from The Castle Series needed a story of their own.  

What genre best fits for the book?

Teen – Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance.
                                                                            
Are you working on something new at the moment?

Several! I am trying to get Snowdrops Wilt at Dawn – the second after Roses at Dusk, completed. On top of that I have three other quite different projects. Firstly, a collaborative work with English poet A.V. Barber called Lion Hearts. This is a medieval romance set back in the time of King Richard, which uses a combination of poetry and narrative back story to tell the tale of a Knight and his maiden. I also invest a lot of time in The Dragons of the Yew Maze – a teen adventure for all ages, set in Kent, which is an action packed story of two kids helping to protect a young prince’s kingdom and Dragon crop from an evil Governor called Tyrone.  Finally – when I need a complete change of pace I am slowly working my way through a classical, steam punk mystery – called the Mystery at Bancroft Hall. – Phew!

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Don’t be put off by everyone else’s opinions or the system itself. You will never find a more fickle and subjective industry than literature; which is why there is very questionable material on occasions that find its way in to traditional high profile print while some extraordinary writers are struggling and passed over. Never give up, believe in what you do. Don’t read reviews and just keep WRITING… for the love above all else.

Where can people go to read your work?

Amazon, Smashwords – including all the usual additions like Kobo and Barnes and Noble. I also have three fan pages and a personal website along with Goodreads.com


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review of Reality Is Broken



Jane McGonigal's
Reality Is Broken                  

Why Games Make Us Better and
How They Can Change The World

Reviewed by R. Murry


The world around us is changing at a fast pace.  Can you remember when a TV wasn’t a flat screen or a telephone wasn't a cell?  What did we do without the internet?  Now we can communicate with literally thousands, if not millions, of people in a flash.

A question is posed: Are games, using the internet, leading us to reinventing civilization as we know it?  Ms. McGonial in her intelligent hypothesis would say yes.  She is not writing about those games that the gamer goes around killing everyone and wasting precious time.  What she proposes are games that are geared to resolving global problems such as famine, power, communications, social differences, etc. and making people feel happy about doing it. 

In her well detailed explanations, Jane reveals how these games full fill one’s need for happiness.  She does this by defining numerous ways a gamer is satisfied in reaching their particular goals albeit not reaching a final conclusion while a level of completing a personal accomplishment is felt - an achievement that the gamer is happy with.

Ms. McGonial introduces us to games that will or have made an effect on social norms.  I’ll just mention a few: CHORE WARS is a game where you win by doing work around the house and receive rewards for your due diligence.  THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS is one where you learn more about your community and smile a lot.  EVOKE is a game network for social innovation.  There are many others, some using the internet to change our world concept of each other.

The book is lengthy.  But if you can bear with some of the detail, you’ll be amazed at what Jane McGonial has written.  I watched her introduction the way games and gamers can make a difference in the world on http://www.ted.com/   I was impressed and purchased Reality Is Broken.
Here is Jane’s link: http://janemcgonigal.com/
   

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Star Reviews of The Audubon Caper


5 Star Reviews of The Audubon Caper
by Authors


Carol Marrs Phipps, author of Good Sister, Bad Sister

The Audubon Caper is a hair-raising, eye-opening story that you simply won't want to miss, particularly if you desire an inside glimpse into how one of our intelligence agencies conducts some of its covert operations.


Danny Kemp, author of The Desolate Garden wrote: 

I have read this book and can happily recommend it. A thoroughly enjoyable story told with conviction and expertise.


Rags Daniels, author of  Lallapaloosa, wrote:

'The Audubon Caper' is… utterly compelling, riveting, factual roller coaster ride.

If it doesn't make it to the big screen, I will devour my hat.

PS; I guarantee you will hate reaching the end.             

Faith HelenMortimer, author of many mystery novels wrote:

R. Murry has written a good book here with plenty to excite and interest the reader and adding reality to the story. The fluency and pace kept me on edge until the end. This was a most enjoyable read and if you like thrillers then this one could be for you.


Seumas Gallacher, author of SAVAGE PAYBACK others an says:
I've seldom been seduced by a story line right from the first page as I was with The Audubon Caper....

The fluency and pace keeps the reader on edge until the final page. It’s a most enjoyable read....

Kathryn Kimball Johnson, author of many romance novels/professor says on 
back cover of book:

“The Audubon Caper is a page turner.”

Vonda Norwood, author of many Erotic novels wrote:

This TRUE story is filled with SEX and LIES.  I LOVED IT.  I believe all the accounts in this exciting mystery are true and that the facts are all there... but am I right? I DON'T KNOW!!!

Theresa Brau, author of Groom and Doom and English teacher wrote:

R. Murry's The Audubon Caper is a fast-paced story. There are so many things going on in this creative non-fiction tale.  One of the greatest things about this book is that it's based on a true story…

Zoe Saadia, author of HIGHLANDER and many historical novels wrote: 

I was meaning to pick "Audubon Caper" for some time, but the moment I peeked into the sample chapter I knew I have to read this book. It gripped me from the very beginning, the author's way to address the reader in the friendly conversational way of someone telling you his story…

Cynthia J Smith, poet and author of Voices in my Head wrote: 

Mr. Murry writes so smoothly that the story flows from past to present without a ripple. His scenes of sex and drugs are reminiscent of the activities of that era but are written in such a way as to add to the story instead of becoming a major piece of it.

Larry B. Gray, author and blogger wrote: 

Do you want to read a book that you can't put down? Do you want a book that will grab you by the seat of the pants and will not let you go? The Audubon Caper by R. Murry is just the book for you. In this true
crime tale Roy Murry has pulled it all together into a fast past adventure tale.

Debbie McEwan author of fiction says:
Debbie wrote: "I've just finished this book and its brill! Will keep you guessing until the end and the author's notes are also intriguing."

The Audubon Caper can only be found on Amazon Kindle E-books  US http://amzn.to/1Nx1YgJ