Thursday, June 30, 2016

Takhayyal writing prompt 39: The Meeting

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.

I found this picture without a name, owner or anything on Pinterest. Can you tell me the story behind? Who is the woman? What happened here?
Get your Muse to wake up and surprise us both!






Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.
Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!

Let's IMAGINE!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When… Thoughts/Poem

When…


When the world conspires to stop you from being happy,
When everyone seems to know everything,
When they want to show you you're ignorant,
When everyone puts you down without a remedy,
When people come and go unaware of your inner turmoil,
When they see your tears and ask if you're happy
When they see you crying but just walk out like you're nothing
When your problems are your own, but others' are yours as well,
When your ship begins to sink, and none seems to be a worthy aid,
When everyone seems content with their lives, they move on to yours,
When people feel you're happy, so they direct their energies to making you miserable
When your happiness is not enough to steer in the direction you seek,
When your happiness is seen as a selfish desire,
When you want something so bad, everyone decides it's not right for you – as if they know,
When people decide they can foresee your future, but they can't even see your present,

When… when… when…
The list is endless


When you no longer want to put up with people's shit,
When all the world can rot for all you care
When your heart turns to stone,
When your anger builds,
When you truly become selfish


What will the world and all those people do then?
(Carry on with their BS)




 Written 29 June 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Be Still My Beading Heart – Book Review


Be Still My Beading Heart is a short mini-mystery standalone novella that is part of Janice Peacock's Glass Bead Mystery Series.

Bead maker Jax O'Connell goes to drop off a bead order and returns to find her car missing on Valentine's Day. She sees a tow truck moving away along with the new-on-the-job cute cop.

The short mystery does not involve a murder, making it extra cozy and light, but the mystery is of where Jax's car has disappeared to and whether or not she can get it back.

Jax is also lacking in the romance department. She says: "I usually didn't get much attention from the opposite sex, other than from my attitudinal cat, Gumdrop, but I don't think he counts, nor does Stanley the Bassett hound. The dog snuffled into the living room at that moment, sidled up to me, and gave me a slobbery kiss on the arm. That was probably the closest thing to romance I'd see this Valentine's Day."

The handsome Detective Zachary from High Strung, the first instalment in the series, whom Jax also thinks is hot in a Clark Kent/Superman kind of way makes an appearance.

At one point, Jax has to defend herself and what she uses cracked me up and I just wanted to give a thumbs-up to her and to Janice Peacock.

Be Still My Beading Heart is cozy and enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

Check out my book review of High Strung here


Friday, June 24, 2016

Black Water Tales' Exclusive Giveaway

It gives me great pleasure to announce that horror author Jean Nicole will be doing a giveaway on my blog for two sets of her Black Water Tales books.

Two winners will receive ebook copies of the two horror novels each. – Oh and I don't recommend you read them by night, all alone in your room. Just a warning from someone who has read one of the books! *a shiver runs down my spine*

The two books are: Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers and Black Water Tales: The Unwanted. They fall under the genres of: horror, psychological thriller and suspense.

Synopsis of The Secret Keepers

It's midnight when Regina Dean she receives a harrowing phone call. On the other end of the line a scratchy voice whispers, "They found her, Regina...they found her." Over the phone Regina learns that the corpse of her best friend, Lola Rusher, has been found and she must return to her, Godforsaken, hometown of Black Water for the funeral of the beloved girl who disappeared when they were both only sixteen years old.

Regina returns to Black Water and is reunited with a cast of old friends. Soon Regina realizes that the details revealed with the discovery of Lola's corpse do not make sense, especially the fact that Lola's body was dug up on the land of their childhood piano teacher.

Determined to lay Lola to rest, Regina launches her own investigation, but someone in Black Water warns Regina to STOP DIGGING. She is thrown into a race to solve the mystery before she loses her mind or meets Lola's fate. Though Regina's hometown is a fun house of disturbing characters and distorted images, the truth about what happened to Lola Rusher will be revealed along with a most unexpected and perverse secret that threatens to expose everyone in Black Water. Everyone knows something, but no one knows everything...


This is my 5-star book review of Black Water Tales: The Unwanted 

Some parts from the review and quotes:

Suspenseful and scary, Black Water Tales: The Unwanted nearly had me pick up the bad habit of nail-biting!
I liked how the author made the reader think that Blaire may be hallucinating or imagining things. It made me doubt that she might be the one who is psychologically unstable, with visions and a wild imagination. It also helped give a sense that the novel might be real or paranormal at some point.

"Unspoken questions filled the room, like ocean water pouring into the lower decks of a sinking ship, and suddenly everyone was rushing to escape."

Synopsis of The Unwanted

In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help… There’s something in the basement.


The GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a list of here of previous book reviews, guests posts by the author as well as excerpts from The Unwanted, which were part of a blog tour, that you can check out if you want.

About Jean Nicole:
I was born in the tiny, but lovable town of Centralia, IL which has a two screen movie theatre, one high school and still celebrates May Fete, so I had no choice, but to develop a fantastic imagination. Since childhood I have been writing everything from short stories to songs, but I have always aspired to compose a novel. Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers is my first novel and the first book in what will be a series of thriller novels. 
Philosophy was my study in college and I received a Bachelor of Arts in the subject from Florida International University. Writing is one of my most favored artistic pursuits, but my love for the arts does not stop there, I am also a vocalist and actress and participate in local theater in Houston Texas.

Connect with the Author via:


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rebecca Chastain completes the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles

Once again, it gives me great pleasure to feature author Rebecca Chastain, who - it seems - has been working round the clock these past months to complete her novella-trilogy The Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles.
Rebecca has just completed Secret of the Gargoyles, released 22 June 2016 and to celebrate is doing a giveaway. Three lucky winners will win the full trilogy.
Also as a celebration, the first instalment in the trilogy Magic of the Gargoyles is FREE from 22-24 June. Grab it here. Check out an excerpt from it here.

Secret of the Gargoyles (Book 3)


I place the lives of all gargoyles into your hands with what I am about to tell you…

In her brief career as a gargoyle healer, Mika Stillwater has faced some daunting challenges, but none have stumped her—until now. A strange sickness infects a handful of gargoyles in Terra Haven, rendering them comatose and paralyzed. Worse, the cure she seeks is shrouded in the gargoyles’ mysterious culture and the secret they guard with their lives.
Gaining the gargoyles’ trust is only the first step. To save the sick gargoyles, Mika must embark on a perilous mission into the heart of deadly wild magic to a place no human has ever survived...
The captivating conclusion to the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy, Secret of the Gargoyles will charm readers of all ages, especially those who love extraordinary magic and endearing gargoyles. 

The book is currently available for purchase here.



Previous books in the trilogy



Magic of the Gargoyles (Book 1)

Mika is a mid-level earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle insists Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika must jeopardize everything she’s worked so hard for to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…



Read an excerpt from Magic of the Gargoyles here.


Curse of the Gargoyles (Book 2)

Mika Stillwater isn’t known for her skills with combat magic. As a gargoyle healer, she spends her days mending broken appendages and curing illnesses in the living-quartz bodies of Terra Haven’s gargoyles. But when a squad of the city’s elite Federal Pentagon Defense warriors requests her assistance in freeing a gargoyle ensnared in a vicious invention, Mika jumps into the fray.

No one could have predicted that her involvement would ignite a chain reaction set to destroy the city, the world, and magic itself.

Release date: 18 May, 2016
Length: About 150 pages


THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Purchase links:

Buy links:



About the Author:
Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling fantasy author of A Fistful of EvilA Fistful of Fire and Magic of the Gargoyles. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Connect with Rebecca Chastain via her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


Read Nadaness In Motion's five-star book review of A Fistful of Evil here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Nothing Is Strange - Book Review


Nothing Is Strange by Mike Russell is a collection of 20 short stories, spanning various genres, but all sit under the roof of strangeness. Don't let the title of the book fool you.

Having taken a look at what several reviewers have said, I'm not alone in thinking of this as an odd book. I do recommend it however, if as a reader you don't mind being shocked or puzzled and occasionally having to read a few passages to confirm what you've just read. :D

"The Diaries of Sun City" is one of the most enjoyable pieces in the collection. It is about a man, name unknown, in the world of Sun City, where everyone keeps a diary, except him (/her). When the speaker buys a diary, they discover that the pages written at night disappear by morning. The ending is beautiful.

"Dunce" is a sad but emotional five-star story. I can't describe it but will only use one of the quotes at the end.

"I think that the tears I am crying now are the same as those. I didn't understand what was going on in the theatre and I didn't understand what was going on when the cone fell on her. I think that maybe we only cry because we don't understand what is going on. Maybe if we understood what is really going on we wouldn't cry at all, ever."

Though mostly strange, many of the stories are fun and some are deep, philosophical even, although the ending of several stories had me puzzled or surprised.

Of course, as is the case with short story collections, some pieces did not appeal to me. However, not all of those I have not mentioned here, I disliked. They are after all 20 short stories.

"The Miracle" is a glum but interesting story. For me, I felt it was a reflection of the state of indifference and coldness that many people are now in, whether regarding general accidents or on a broader scale, war.

"Escape from the Butcher's Shop" was a bit odd for me; however, it tackles the idea of confinement both physically and within a person's mind. It shows how people often confine themselves and are unable to see beyond their own knowledge and/or beliefs.

"Extraordinary Elsie" is just weird. However, it reminded me of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, while taking the waiting part to a whole new level.

"Mask Man" is a five-star story. I simply loved it, although I thought it was a bit scary at some point. It falls under the paranormal genre and was a good read.

Another five-star story is "The Unnameable Made Flesh," which – though in line with all the strangeness of the collection – is powerful and tackled a bit of politics and government oppression. Similarly, was "The Living Crown". I loved that one, which handles both government and self-oppression.

"Stan and Stan" is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Grey.

Other recommended stories in Nothing Is Strange include: "Barry and the Triplets" and "The Shining Flower".

While I can't say I have understood all of Mike Russell's stories, I can say that I have enjoyed reading many of them.

Nothing Is Strange makes odd, weird and strange lift their caps, and bow in astonishment.

You can check out "The Diaries of Sun City" here on the Nadaness In Motion, and "Dunce" on the book's official pagehere. 

Overall rating: 4.5 stars.

Note: I received a free copy of Nothing Is Strange from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About StrangeBooks/Mike Russell:

www.StrangeBooks.com is a new Indie publisher based in the UK. Their first publication is a collection of 20 mind-expanding short stories titled 'Nothing Is Strange'.
www.StrangeBooks.com believes in the transformative power of the story:
“We wish our readers the highest possible outcome from their reading experience. We believe that stories have the potential to be life-changing. So let us not limit the power of the story; let us read with an expectation of the highest possible outcome and allow every story to work its magic.”

Mike Russell, the author of Nothing Is Strange, adds this:
“For me, creating is discovering and storytelling is bringing into the world dreams that are universal. They come from a deep place; they want to be known and they want to help us. Storytelling is a way of turning the world inside out, which I believe it desperately needs.”
Inspiring, liberating, otherworldly, magical, surreal, bizarre, funny, disturbing, unique… all of these words have been used to describe the stories of Mike Russell so put on your top hat, open your third eye and enjoy… Nothing Is Strange!
Available from amazon here: viewBook.at/nothingisstrange

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fresh Starts by Kimberly Krey - Excerpt + giveaway


Fresh Starts
Fresh Starts by Kimberly Krey

Bree has had her fair share of difficulties. The loss of her parents, a not-so-recent divorce, and the disruption of her life caused by a stalker now who’s serving jail time. When the determined criminal finishes his sentence, Bree is sent into hiding. And while she’s doing all she can to steer clear of this frightening piece of her past, an old acquaintance enters the scene, determined to be part of her future.

amazon

Praise for Fresh Starts:
"Fascinating characters, heartwarming and steamy romance, and chilling suspense make for one incredible read!” Reviewer, Ruth Josse

“…all that you hope for in a gentle tug and pull of fearing the past and daring to hope for a better future. Kimberly Krey is masterful at helping us feel Bree's experience... Fresh Starts will keep you reading page after page until the heart stopping culmination.” Author Christene Houston

“...believable and intriguing. And as always...steamy and clean!” Jamie Lynn

add to goodreads

EXCERPT from FRESH STARTS

Say something, an inner voice pled. “Thanks for bringing up my things,” she blurted.

Greyson gave her a subtle nod and made for the stairs. He got to the landing, took two more steps, and then paused to look up at her where she stood in the doorway, paralyzed.

“Bree?” Tingling warmth gushed through her chest at the sound of her name in his deep, raspy voice.

“Mmm?”

His eyes locked on hers, and Bree was certain – by the look on his face, the very air about him – that if Greyson Law wanted to own the world and everyone in it, he could.

He lifted his chin, squaring his face with hers. “I’m going to see that you’re safe.”




Author Kimberly Krey
Kimberly Krey

Kimberly Krey specializes in writing "romance that's clean without losing the steam!"
She's a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry. She discovered her love for writing in college when given a creative writing assignment. She still remembers sitting in the lamplight's glow, crafting words to depict the vision in her head. That assignment sparked a passion within her. It took years to return to that passion, but now that she has, she counts it among her greatest blessings.

Krey is author of the top-selling Sweet Montana Bride series, as well as its companion series, Second Chances.




$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/30/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Takhayyal writing prompt 38: Waterfall

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.



Waterfall by theartofanimation.tumblr



Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.
Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.


If YOU have artwork or photography you'd like to feature as a writing prompt for two weeks on the blog, check the rules here and get in touch.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!

Let's IMAGINE!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rock The Vault: Celebrating The Urban And Rural Setting Thesaurus Duo


As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we're usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. Yet, there's a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we really need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Used to its full advantage, the setting can characterize the story's cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory...and that's just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories?

Well, there's some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.




In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Rural Setting Thesaurus: Ancient Ruins.




And there's one more thing you might want to know more about....

Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT.


At the heart of the Writers Helping Writers site is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.


Rock_The_Vault_WHW1




A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking...if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Author Robert Lampros brings you Last Year’s Resolution - Excerpt



Book: Last Year's Resolution
Author: Robert Lampros
Publication date: 25 April 2016



Synopsis:

Last Year’s Resolution is a novel about Edmund Stovender, a famous author who falls in love with Marie, a journalist who calls him for an interview just before the performance of his hit play. Their lives accelerate through an epic adventure testing their faith, strength, and love for each other, as they discover that their story might pivotally influence the fate of the world.

 
Excerpt from Last Year’s Resolution

Eddie spent the majority of his childhood as most children do, divided between mandatory school work and outdoor adventures with the other kids in his neighborhood.  He loved sports, but that love quickly faded at age thirteen when he took up smoking cigarettes, at which time he turned his attention to skateboarding and playing guitar. Proving successful at neither one of those activities, he spent more and more time reading books, watching films, and writing both fiction and nonfiction stories of his own.  By the time he graduated high school his writing had been published by a number of literary journals and featured in various newsletters, making his parents very proud.  After attending Illinois State University for two years, he dropped out to pursue his career full time, and moved to New York, because that’s what writers do.  Eight years later, Edmund Stovender was the author of three bestselling novels and a National Book Award-winning play, The Hopeful Sigh, then in its third year on Broadway.
This is where Eddie’s story begins:  He sits in a coffee shop, drinking a beer, a mile down the street from the theater where his play will soon start.  His phone rings.
“Hello?”
“Hi, Eddie?”
“Yes?”
“Eddie Stovender, the writer?”
“This is he.”
“Okay, hi.  My name is Marie, Marie Altnikov.  I’m a journalist with The Triune Times.”
“Sorry, I don’t do interviews with people whose middle and first names are the same.”
“You don’t—I’m sorry?”
“You said your name was Marie-Marie, I was making a joke.  Never mind, I’m an idiot.”
“Oh, ha-ha.  That’s… kind of funny.  I actually don’t want an interview, I’m calling because I’m going to see your play tonight, to review it for the Times, and I was hoping you could answer a few questions first.”
“How is that not an interview?  Answer a few questions, that sounds like an interview.”
She was silent for a moment.
“Hello?”
“I’m here.  Maybe it is an interview.  I hadn’t thought of it like that.  Do you have a minute?  I’m sorry to call you out of the blue like this.”
He checked his watch.  “Marie, the play starts in forty-five minutes.”
“That’s fine.  I only need ten, fifteen tops.”
“Excuse me, bartender, may I have another Blue Moon, please?  Sorry.  Alright, fire away.”
She cleared her throat and he heard papers rustling on her end of the phone.  “Question number one.  What inspired you to write The Hopeful Sigh, and what were your goals for this piece when you started writing?”
“Um…  Well, four years is a long time ago—that’s when I wrote the play.  Honestly, at the time I think I was trying to save the world.”
“Interesting.  And you thought writing a play could do that?”
“The right play, sure, if it performed its function correctly.”
“What is its function?”
“Sorry, Marie, I explained all this a long time ago in my other interviews.  Didn’t you read—”
“I don’t read newspapers.”
“But you write for one.”
“Yes, sir.  Do you mind answering the question again?  I’d appreciate it.”
“Sure, fine.  I thought The Hopeful Sigh, if I wrote it properly and it was performed properly, could help people realize… we’re not home yet.  The world we’re in now, it’s really just a stage, and what each of us does here, our work, our families, our dreams, the best parts of our lives, that’s what our true homes are going to be like, you understand?”
“Sorry, I’m writing… ‘what our true homes are going to be like.’  Okay.  I think I got it, like Heaven.  A place where dreams never die.”
“Exactly.  A place where nothing ever dies.”
“Question number two,” she said.  “Who is your greatest influence?”
“Whoa.  Can I do top three?”
“No, you have to choose one.”
“Why?”
“It’s the rules.”
“Then I’d have to say Shakespeare.  I mean everyone says Shakespeare, but it’s true, he really is the most influential writer we’ve got.  War, politics, love, faith, humor, betrayal, death, salvation…  It’s all there, packed into a neat entertaining format for real human beings to bring to life.”
“Lovely.  Well said, Mr. Stovender.”
“That’s what I do.”
“Question three, last one.  What would you say are the autobiographical elements of the play?”
“Huh.”
“If you don’t mind answering.”
“It’s not a matter of minding, it’s more whether or not it’s possible to answer.  Everything and nothing, really.  Nothing that happens in the play ever happened to me personally, but at the same time I feel like it all happened to me, like I’ve lived through those events somehow.  I don’t know.”  Eddie laughed, “Is that clear enough?”
“Not a problem.  I know exactly what you mean.”
“So, are we done here?”
“Yes, indeed.  Unless you’d like to add anything.”
He thought for a moment, watching the bubbles rise in his glass.  “Something I learned a few years ago, the first season, on opening night.”  He drank the last half of his beer.  “If you write a play that’s meant to take people up to heaven, you had better be willing to walk through hell.”
“Thanks for your time, Eddie.”
“God bless.”



Buy Last Year's Resolution via Amazon and B&N.

About the Author:


Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis.  He earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.  His books include Fits of TranquilityIlluminating SidewalksOm-BorkAfternoonEleven Floors, and What Is Sacred.  His latest novel, Last Year's Resolution, is currently available as an e-book and is set to be released in paperback in Fall 2016.


Connect with Robert Lampros via his Blog, Goodreads and Twitter account.