Saturday, December 16, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! S. M. Spencer

DISCLAIMER


The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.

There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.


Author S. M. Spencer gallops in on a black and white pony! Let's see what she has to say. 

S. M. Spencer

author biography:

At the age of five S M Spencer's life changed when she was plonked onto a black & white pony for a photograph. From that day on all she wanted was a horse. She spent the next eleven years writing stories about the horses she pretended to ride through the rolling hills of coastal California until she got a job and bought her first horse at the age of sixteen.

In the 1980s her life changed again when her employer offered her a role in Australia. This was the beginning of an adventure of which she has never tired.

Still living in Australia she now writes from the semi-rural home she shares with her husband, horses, cats and dogs--not to mention the kangaroos that share the paddocks with the horses from time to time.

Her current series is the Copperhead Creek Australian Romance series. This is clean Australian contemporary/rural romance set within the Golden Triangle outside Melbourne.

She has also written a clean YA paranormal romance trilogy, Absent Shadows, which is set mostly in Australia.


The Interview!

Did you bring me anything?
A bowl of milk, lactose free of course, and a packet of dried sardines. Happy now?
Ability to breathe under water, ability to fly, or invisibility? Choose wisely.
Fly, of course. Those pesky birds, the ones that always think they’re smarter than me, would get quite the fright, don’t you think? Oh, and I often dream I can already fly, so I’d be a natural at it!
Your life is being made into a movie. Who plays you? Who plays your love interest? (or who plays your arch-enemy?)
Me – Penelope Pussycat and my love interest, Pepe’ Le Pew (I’ve really always been interested in him, I just like to play hard to get.)
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Cheese – or catnip, depending upon my mood.
If you could enter any fictional world, which would you choose?
101 Dalmations … I’d lock those puppies up … oh, no, um, I mean … let me think … Finding Nemo … I’d grab that slippery … uh, oh, not again … JUST KIDDING KIDS … how about Wonderland. Ah, that’s right. I’d wipe that smile off that sneaky cat in a moment!
You are faced with a powerful being who wants to challenge you to a contest. If you win you get your heart's desire. If you lose, a terrible punishment, and you are contractually obligated to play. What sort of contest do you choose for it to be? (Can be anything from a sword fight to a cook off)
A hair-ball (or for those that prefer, furr-ball) contest. Reckon I’d cough up a winner in no time!

You have to either change your hair color or your eye color, which do you change and to what?
The eyes have it! (ha, ha) But seriously, have you ever seen a cat with Elizabeth Taylor eyes? Nor have I!
If I were to invite you over, what snacks would you bring, keeping in mind that fruit and dried fruit are not snacks?
Sun-dried lizard, baked mice, followed by tuna in spring water and to top it off, more milk … or maybe I’ll change that to cream (nice to be decadent from time to time).
If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
If the world could be ruled by any creature, so long as it had four legs, which would you choose?
Hmph, if you can’t answer that one yourself, I don’t want to play with you any longer! Where’d I put that ball of yarn, anyway?



Connect with the Author



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Top ELEVEN Books of 2017



So, again, when I do these top lists, I choose to feature only Indies. Why? Because I read mostly Indies, and to me the purpose of this list isn't for me to say, "Oh, yeah, I also loved that best seller most everyone else liked," but rather to introduce my followers to some new voices they may not have encountered yet (or maybe you have but you haven't found anyone equally willing to SQUEEEE about them with you.
That said, a quick "shout out" to some traditionally published titles the probably would've made this list if not for that decision.
Let's call them honorable mentions:
Odd and the Frost Giants

The books here, while all professionally done, are the ones that made me personally the most happy for reasons I will try to explain below, but sometimes it is just a "gut feeling" that "this was a book I liked." I'm an extremely picky reader, and this year ... I apparently circled around the same group of authors ... because you will see several repeats on this list.
(throughout this post there will be affiliate links which will allow you to click through to Amazon)


Malcontent

by K. M. Carroll
Book one in this series had a high spot on my 2015 list, so book two getting on here was almost a given. This series continues to be fun, quirky, and heart warming, with real stakes but characters who don't make you want to slap them. I actually made this a top 11 just so I could get it on this list ... because it's my list, and I can do that. 



Dragonfriend

by Marc Secchia
I tend not to read many epics anymore because they are so time consuming and deal with large expansive casts and big "world saving" stakes, and I just prefer smaller, more personal stories. However, this story of a girl who befriends a saucy dragonet named Flicker and fights for her kingdom is incredibly personal and funny but on an epic stage with mountain sized dragons. 



Malicious

by K. M. Carroll 
Already to my first "repeat." Anyway, this is a great way to cap off the series. It keeps the tone of the previous two books but brings it to a satisfying conclusion. Definitely, read the whole series in a binge if you can. 



The Red Dragon Girl

by Lea Doue
These next three books gave me an awful time trying to sort them in order of "good to best." I switched them around a few times, but decided to go with this order because ... I actually don't remember now, but anyway, this is the third book in a fun fairy tale series that has DRAGONS in it. There are also a lot of fun, quirky moments that elevate it above a typical retelling. Just little things like a goose determined to raise baby dragons that make you go, "oooh, that's awesome." 



by Lea Doue
See ... even now I'm rethinking the order I put these dang books in. The Red Dragon Girl had goose dragon... and THIS had a really awesome love interest who was a soldier type and a side character who wears dragons in her hair ... should the goose dragon weigh more than the dragon hair accessories? I JUST DON'T KNOW ANYMORE!!!



The Midsummer Captives

by Lea Doue
I THINK I put this one first of the three because of something writery like a tighter plot or something ... but the others had slightly more dragons ... slightly ... What numbers? What do they all mean? Can these three books just share a spot on this list? If so, does that mean I only have nine books on this list instead of eleven? It's kind of appropriate that these books are about sisters because ... they just so obviously belong together. 




Lawless

by Janeen Ippolito
Moving on we find ... more dragons. I might have a problem.
Anyway, it's a good problem to have, and this one also has airships ... and snark ... and two charming male leads ... and did I mention dragons?




The Tomb of the Sea Witch

by Kyle Robert Shultz
Sometimes I just want to laugh, and this second book in the Beaumont and Beasley series is just clever. Incredibly clever. Plus with a dragon and lots of magicky magic ... also this is one of the few male writers I know who is doing a really good slow burn romance. It's very slow, but it's definitely there. 



Hearts Ablaze

by Janeen Ippolito 
... and we're repeating again.
All right, hear me out with this one. Do you know those romance tropes that make you hate romance?This book takes one of them (the captive bride), and "fixes" it, and makes it hilarious. This is a lot of fun.



Halayda

by Sarah Delena White
This one is NOT a repeat ... but probably only because I think it is the only book this author currently has out. A fun creative epic romp through Fae territory. So much magic. So many things. Lots of snark. Gets my number two slot.




I feel there should be some sort of big reveal thing here but I don't know what that would be so I'm just going to space down a bit, type in big font, and space some more ... 


Okay, that's done ...


My Favorite Book of 2017 isssssssssssssssss....







The Beast of Talesend

by Kyle Robert Shultz


Yep, I repeated again, but this is a really hilarious series that had me drawn in right from the start. It's funny, heartfelt, and quick paced with all the banter you could ever want.

Definitely earned the top spot.



So have you read any of these?

What were your favorite books this year?

Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Random Interview Saturday: Lara Wynter!

DISCLAIMER


The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.

There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.


Our next author appears in a puff of glitter (I hope she brought a roomba!). It's Lara Wynter!

Lara Wynter

Author Biography

Lara Wynter is an Australian writer who writes clean romance. She also writes YA fantasy under the name Lara Ann. She still believes in true love and happy endings.

Lara lives in Tasmania with her family, having moved to the island state in 2013. The stunning coastline and beautiful forests inspired her to set part of her series The Alora Chronicles here.

In her spare time, she enjoys wandering through national parks and chasing waterfalls with her family.



The Interview

In your opinion, which is the best space ship?
The Millennium Falcon was the first space ship that came to mind. And of course who could go past Han Solo as the pilot? I love Red Dwarf as well, so funny. So that would have to be my second choice.

If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?
Hmm, an eagle and a horse. Who wouldn’t want a pegasus? Or even a hippogriff. I would love a winged horse to be a real thing. It reminds me of Narnia and The Magician's Nephew. I love that story, when he rides over Narnia on the winged horse. Perfect.

What film era do you feel best represents your day to day life?
I’m going to go for film genre’s for this one. And like my books, it would probably be a bit of a mash-up. Part drama, part disaster, part romance. But it would be a fun family film and it would definitely have a happy ending.

Do you have a plan in case of a Grinch attack at any major holiday?
Lock the doors and turn out the lights so that he thinks no one is home? Or just have the Tardis standing by so I can fix things if they get out of hand.

If you had to write only in one crayon color for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Purple of course. "The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.” Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

If you could design a holiday, what would it be?
We definitely need a book public holiday so that I can have one day a year to sit at home and get through some of my TBR pile of books. Hmm…let’s make it a whole week.

What weather is your writing? A dark and stormy night? A sunshiny day?
Inclement weather. Partly because I just love the sound of the word. Inclement. Ahh lovely. Also, my writing goes for sunshine to darkness and back again. I love characters who overcome problems to live happily ever after. I’m a true romantic.

I know exercise is good for me, but it is not entertaining. What methods do you suggest for making workouts more fun?
Dancing! I used to teach ballroom and Latin dancing. So much fun you don’t even realise you’re exercising. I wish more people got to learn how to dance these days. Who wouldn’t love the idea of waltzing under the starlight with the man of your dreams? Luckily I have one of those who knows how to dance.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
What is the answer to the life the universe and everything?
If you don’t know the answer I suggest you read the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy (you’ll thank me later).




Connect with the Author!!!
https://laraannbooks.wixsite.com/alora

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

New Release Blast! Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess

New Release Blast!
Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess






Princess Bianca had never set foot outside the castle walls. Not once in her over-protected, pink, fluffy life. But when a dragon was spotted in the land and fear spread that the monster had conquered the king and his brave knights, Bianca realized that it was her duty to protect her kingdom. She will have to prove that she can be braver and stronger than anyone believed because the threat outside the protection of her castle tower was more dangerous and magical than she ever imagined possible, except in a fairy tale.
“Princess Bianca rules, in every way! This tale of intrepid discovery and determination will delight young readers and will dare those who deal with the dragons of self-doubt, frustration, and bullying to step out and challenge those menaces to a duel.”
New England Children’s Book Review -- Listed as a Favorite



Links for Meg Welch Dendler

Web site:
https://megdendler.com

Blog:
http://megdendler.blogspot.com

Newsletter Sign Up:
https://megdendler.com/readers-group-sign/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MegDendlerAuthor
https://www.facebook.com/KimbaBabyCat (Kimba fan page)

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6951290.Meg_Welch_Dendler

Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Meg-Dendler/e/B00BBNY5O2/ 

LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/meg-dendler-31562564

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/MegWelchDendler
https://twitter.com/KimbaBaby

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/MegWelchDendler/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/megdendler/

Books:
“Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess”
https://www.amazon.com/Bianca-Brave-Frail-Delicate-Princess/dp/0692920412/

“At the Corner of Magnetic and Main”
http://www.amazon.com/Corner-Magnetic-Main-Welch-Dendler-ebook/dp/B015YWEZFO/ 


"Why Kimba Saved The World"
http://www.amazon.com/Kimba-Saved-World-Cats-Mirror-ebook/dp/B00BB2S7AG/

"Vacation Hiro"
http://www.amazon.com/Vacation-Hiro-Cats-Mirror-Dender-ebook/dp/B00FGX6C5S/ 

“Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge”
http://www.amazon.com/Miss-Fatty-Cats-Revenge-Mirror-ebook/dp/B00KZ1YF5K/

“Max’s Wild Night”
http://www.amazon.com/Maxs-Wild-Night-Meg-Dendler-ebook/dp/B00W8FOKS8/

“Dottie’s Daring Day”
https://www.amazon.com/Dotties-Daring-Day-Meg-Dendler-ebook/dp/B01MS4CZM3/

Autographed Book Copies:
http://megdendler.com/purchase-autographed-books/

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Nix Whittaker

DISCLAIMER


The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.

There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.


An airship swoops in, guns ablazing. A rope ladder unfurls and down swings our next author, Nix Whittaker!!! 



Author Bio

Born in South Africa Nix Whittaker moved to New Zealand as a young teenager. Fascinated with the world of Fantasy and Science Fiction she consumed them all through her childhood and into her adulthood. When she ran out of books to read she was forced to start writing books just to feed her voracious need to read.

Now living and writing in New Zealand, her second home, she lives with her cats and dog in a picturesque rural setting. Where she can write to her heart's content.

The Interview!


You're walking along the seashore when you see something sticking out of the sand. What is it and how do you approach it?
A jellyfish called a blue bottle and very cautiously. When I was growing up we used to have those all the time on the beach and it made swimming almost impossible. Even though the water was warm like a bathtub. I now live in a place where there are no blue bottles but the water is freezing. I don't know if I'm nostalgic for the warm water or the blue bottles.

Technology or Magic?
Technology. I'm a super fan of fantasy but I wonder sometimes if throwing magic at a story is just a little lazy. I have dragons who can teleport and change shape in one of my books and it isn't magic but science that allows this. A little bit of entanglement and a touch of string theory. Not that I understand any of that kind of physics but I like solving the problem with something a little more intelligent than just they could do it because of magic. I think that is why when I do read urban fantasy I like the ones that have made magic clever or have put some real thought into it.

You have to trade places with one of your characters for a day. Which and why?
Hara, no, Gideon, No, definitely Hara. Hara is a genius that accidentally stole a pirate ship and caught the eye of a dragon. I like the idea of being a dragon but I would rather be super clever. And of course, flying around in an airship. Funny because I don't like flying but I would kill to spend a day in an airship. All steampunked up. That would be truly awesome.

In your opinion, which is the best space ship?
I can't decide Enterprise or the Death Star. The Enterprise is prettier but the Death Star is big enough to have its own gravity and of course big and scary. It depends. If I wanted to impress my ex I think I would go with the Death Star and scare the bejeebiz out of them but I think my everyday ride would be the Enterprise. I could so with a replicator instead of having to cook and do the dishes. 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
None, he'd contract it out so he could spend more time with his wife.

I think I need a new pet. What should I get and why?
A half llama, half fox called a Llamox. I like foxes and I like Llama's so one day my students in class drew me a llamox and now it is my go-to fictional pet.

If you had to board yourself up in a store to wait out the apocalypse, what store would you choose?
The Warehouse. It is a bit like Kmart but the New Zealand version. they have everything from food to clothes to lawn chairs. As a kid I used to spend hours just mucking around in there. Playing with feather boas and playing putt putt in the aisles until security moved us on. 

You have superpowers. What are they and what do you do with them?

When I was younger it was the ability to move things with my mind. Mostly because I would be reading in bed when it was bed time and I wouldn't want to get out of my cozy blankets to turn off the light and close the bedroom door. Now I want to have the ability to read minds. I would love to figure out what makes people tick.



Connect with the Author

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NaNoWriMo Winner! YAY ME!



NaNoWriMo was weird for me this year. When it started, I'd already been writing for a few weeks and had about 32,000 words written. If you have read my books, you've probably noticed that the majority of them aren't really that long. I'd say 60,000 words is about average, so the prospect of writing 50,000 more words on a 32,000 word manuscript just didn't seem likely.

I finished up tonight (I'm writing this on the 28th, but it will probably be published on the 29th, so maybe I should say "last night") having added in 59,999 words during the month of November. Part of me wants to try to find any excuse to add in a single word to make that 60,000 even. The other part of me is too tired to even look at the document. 










Spicebringer (the novel's title) stretched me in ways I wasn't expecting. Not only with extended word count (if you add the two writing sessions, pre-NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo together, it comes to just over 93,000 words) but with the themes of it.


I'm really hoping this will be something you guys all enjoy ... of course, we have a long road of edits ahead of us (don't we always).


Still thank you for staying tuned.


I'm not honestly sure what I am going to work on next ... so many options.


Thank you!


H. L. Burke

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Susan Bass Marcus!

DISCLAIMER


The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.

There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author. 

The next author rides in on a majestic griffin. It's Susan Bass Marcus!

Susan Bass Marcus


Author Bio:

Former award-winning museum professional and puppetry artist, Susan Bass Marcus writes fiction. Where Dragons Follow, out 2018 furthers Malevir: Dragons Return, a fantasy novel. Her short stories are online and in print, including the anthologies ‘After Hours;’ and ‘Fall into Fantasy,’ Cloaked Press.


The Interview!


You're walking along the seashore when you see something sticking out of the sand. What is it and how do you approach it?

Buried in the sand, up to its snout, I might find a sleeping dragon. My novel, Malevir: Dragons Return and its sequel, Where Dragons Follow (coming out in 2018), include both naughty and nice dragons, but I would not want to meet any of them on the seashore. I may be their ‘mother’ but they wouldn’t know me. Dragons are ill-tempered and require careful cultivating. Anyway, I’m more likely to meet a sea dragon on that beach, its neck bristling with long, supple spines, sharp black scales covering its immense body, and red eyes flaming a warning: “Move along, move along. Nothing to see here.”

Instead of dragons, I prefer a less threatening situation on a particular stretch of the seashore. I wander onto a tidal flat, a pool of water where many different animals thrive at low tide. The most engaging encounter I have is with a horseshoe crab. A strange creature, like an ambulatory metal helmet, this little one has ten eyes, two of which sit on the top of his curved exoskeleton, or shell.  So I look him right in one of those eyes and ask, “Excuse me, but why are you here?”

He waggles his long, delicate tail for a bit and answers me in a raspy, sea-weedy voice, “I am a living relative of trilobites. Their extinction happened 250 million years ago, about 50 million years after my kind evolved.”

“That’s not what I meant. Why are you here, on these tidal flats?”
The crab begins to dig in the sand, then pauses and waves a leg at me. “I am the advance guard and safety warden for this area. I recommend you leave immediately. Cetus, the sea dragon comes here every day at this time. I came here to warn everyone.”

Before I could ask another question, he buried himself in the soft, wet sand, as if to say, “I’m not sticking around either.” Would I stay or should I go?

When cats take over the world, how do you plan to win their good graces?

You haven’t noticed. The cats are in charge. Since I’ve written the first chapters of a novella describing the journey, rather the accident, that brought their species to Earth from the planet Zoocatron, two cats have adopted me as their scribe. I’m one of their favorite pet humans. Here’s the opening of the novella:

“A comet blew their ship off course. Rocking from the impact, their craft flung Tepunia from one side of the bridge to the other. She knew the ship’s gyro was failing and she extended her claws toward the console. Where was Schvart? Never nearby when she needed him. Just as her rear claw hooked the stabilizer bar, her lieutenant floated into the bridge from the passageway leading up to the ObHub.
“Schvart, grab the bar. I’m going topside.”
“Too late. The comet’s gone. The ice wind with it.”
The rocking subsided. Tepunia floated back to the console and clicked her claws on a broad sensor pad. Nothing. No affirmation light glowed. She tried again. Useless. The directionals were down. Only one navigation button remained lit.”

Describe your life (or writing) as a film genre.

A comedy with elements of drama and fantasy.

If you were the captain of a space ship, what would its mission be? Exploration? Colonization? Partying?

Think of all the training I’d need to be the captain of a vehicle leaving our solar system! If the ship were like Doug Adams' Heart of Gold in the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ I’d have to expect the unexpected, but that ship is completely robotic, so my training would be minimal. We’d be completing a reconnaissance flight to discover the Meaning of the Universe. Some unintentional partying would occur in flight and wherever we landed, but it would always worsen our circumstances. We’d cling to the hope of finding the answer to our quest, but not ‘42’ nor ¥. They didn’t work.

If you woke up tomorrow and realized you were now a dragon, what would you do first?

I would brush my fangs and teeth--with Sensodyne.

If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?

I love griffins and can’t imagine any improvement on that fabulous creature, but since you ask, I propose a humanocat. My Petunia is one of the smartest black cats on Planet Earth, but I’m sure she would love to have opposable thumbs and a bigger brain. The humanocat would also have strong, flexible feet on her hind legs to walk on all fours or on two legs. She also would enjoy the luxury of a prehensile tail. Her acute feline hearing would complement her vision, now enhanced with greater color perception. Scale: would she prefer to be 5’2” eyes of blue, or retain her ten-pound svelte figure? I’ll have to ask her.

Where’s my supersuit!?!?!?!? 
Silly, you left it at the dry cleaners

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
Unlike Buzz Lightyear, I do not have the answer to “Where is Beyond if it comes after Infinity?”



Connect with the Author!



Websites: www.malevir.com


www.malevir.com for ebook 
also Amazon Author Page for info and sales: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B019J8TFQ8

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: Fire and Ice Cream



Fire and Ice Cream 

by K. M. Carroll

Tianna Tokala is starting a new life in Carefree, Arizona, working in an ice cream parlor. She also has the magical ability to turn into a small dragon called a drake. All she wants is a quiet life where she can make ice cream with her wonderful ice breath.

But when her manager is found dead with a bowl of Tianna's Rocky Road ice cream beside her, Tianna springs into action. With a knack for observation and her enhanced drake hearing, she delves into her manager's smoky draconic past.

Aided by a secretive drake, a single mother, and a four-year-old dragon shifter, Tianna must unravel the web of lies that surround this dragonic death ... or there may be more fire than ice cream.

My Review

I had sort of given up on cozy mysteries because I find they are usually very light on the mystery. A lot of times they are solved almost by coincidence and the characters spend more time worried about recipes or shoes or flirting with love interests than actually solving anything. I'm not sure if this is the norm, or if I just picked out a bad batch to start with, but after three that fit this pattern of "MC goes on dates and eats food then at the end is handed the answer without doing any legitimate crime solving," I decided the genre wasn't for me. 
However, I did have faith in both K. M. Carroll as a writer (due to her YA Paranormal series which I enjoy), and I'm a real sucker for anything dragon, so I had to try this. 
I wasn't disappointed. This is a sweet, satisfying dish of murder and moderate mayhem with a character who actually looks for clues ... and yeah, she also eats food and makes ice cream (doesn't really go on dates, but that's probably coming). Definitely worth the read if you like a gentle mystery with some fantastic elements. 
The only thing that struck me as a little odd was the fact that everyone in this very familiar world is okay with their being dragons. I'm used to the magical beings hiding so the average person doesn't know they exist (though in fairness, if your magical being is as big as a dragon, hiding would be pretty dang hard), so it was kind of a surprise when the dragons and drakes were just out and proud ... yet the world was basically ours. I'd think having actual dragons would change history enough that the world would be slightly different (how does warfare go down in a world with dragons? Do dragon/drake issues affect politics? Are dragons all rich and powerful because humans are afraid of them or have humans just adapted?) That actually could all be explored/touched on in later books (and would probably be out of place in this genre), but it did make me want to read THAT book later.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Ruth O'Neil


DISCLAIMER


The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.


There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.


Today we welcome author Ruth O'Neil. Let's see if she brought us any tasty answers to snack on.


Ruth O'Neil






author biography

Ruth O'Neil has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications as well as a few books. When she's not writing or homeschooling, she spends her spare time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping, and hiking with the family.



The Interview!



When cats take over the world, how do you plan to win their good graces?

Duh! Feed them. That's the way I get myself in the good graces of people. Who doesn't like a good cat chow?


Describe your life (or writing) as a film genre.

Film noir comedy. Is there such a genre? Life is crazy, and I sometimes feel as if there is an over-the-top narrator always nearby, giving a play-by-play of my life.




If you had to get stuck inside a television show, what would it be?

Probably Little House On the Prairie. Some days I long for a simpler life. Maybe I would get more writing done if there weren't so many distractions. Maybe.


If I were to invite you over, what snacks would you bring, keeping in mind that fruit and dried fruit are not snacks?

A snack in my mind is actually more like a meal. My "snacks" would include barbecue ribs, chicken wings, crab legs, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and goldfish. I'm obviously not on a diet. Yes, I like messy foods. And I need the goldfish to go with my dessert – you know, that sweet and salty thing. Oh, and I can't forget something to wash all down with. Pepsi. Real Pepsi. Not diet.


If you could enter any fictional world, which would you choose?

I would probably make up my own world. I would want everything to be the way I want it. If a person annoys me, I can kick them out. And no, I don't have control issues… Ok, maybe I do.


Heads or Tails?

Heads. Heads are smarter than tails, and tails can't read books.


If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?


Horse and a bird. Oh, wait. Someone already did that. It's a Pegasus. Let me think… Hmmm…


What method do you suggest for dealing with dragons?

Put them to good use by giving them a job. Use them to fix your "snacks" from question four. Ribs and wings are great on the grill.



If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

Would you like to be given $10 million tax-free every year for the rest of your life? Why yes, yes I would!










Connect with the Author!


Blog - http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/


Website - http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor


Twitter - https://twitter.com/writerrutho


Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ


Buy Link for Christmas Devotional - https://www.amazon.com/Days-Christmas-Family-Devotional-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B01N1LTH26





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: The Tomb of the Sea Witch








by Kyle Robert Shultz


Private detective Nick Beasley used to be a debunker of magic--and a human being. Then he found out magic is real. The hard way. Now he's on the run from a powerful council of enchanters who want him dead, along with his little brother Crispin and the renegade enchantress Lady Cordelia Beaumont.

So when Cordelia suggests going undercover at a stronghold of the Council's power--the Warrengate Academy of Advanced Magic--Nick isn't exactly thrilled with the idea. Cordelia insists that the school may hold the key to Nick regaining his humanity: an ancient spell created by the Sea Witch from the tale of the Little Mermaid.

But the mission proves to be more complicated than Beaumont and Beasley had expected. An ancient threat is rising from the deep, bringing an army of the dead along with it. Shocking revelations send Nick, Cordelia, and Crispin on a harrowing journey under the sea.

The Sea Witch is not quite as dead as everyone believes...and her secrets will change everything.

Perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, Indiana Jones, or The Dresden Files, the Beaumont and Beasley series features high adventure in a world where fairy tales are history.



My Review

I'm really torn on whether I liked this one more or less or the same as the first book in the series.

Things I liked more:

More Crispin.

More fantasy creatures (some with large clubs).

A dragon!


Things that the other one did slightly better:

Tighter plot. This one felt as if it took a while longer to get going. Once it did get going it was really good.

This one is more intent on setting up sequels which is not really a negative, but it does leave one looking forward to future adventures more than absorbing the ones to come.

There was one point where a character had a moment of telling the other characters things about themselves that they didn't know which seemed a little less sophisticated than the rest of the story telling.


Things that I liked more or less the same:

Great characters.

Relationships between the characters which are realistic and lack frustrations of people being mean/petty to each other just for the sake of that--while still being reasonably good at pushing each other's buttons.

The humor is still awesome.

So ... probably the same star rating, but this book does feel like it is moving you between events setting up something bigger.


Definitely worth the read, though, and a lot of fun.


Purchase on Amazon

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Jennifer Arntson

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
Today's author dances in on her way to Mordor, but decides to stop and answer our questions.
Welcome Jennifer Arntson!


Jennifer Arntson

Author Bio

Author, dreamer, and sworn enemy of Caillou

Jennifer Arntson has a long history of crafting tales that people find unbelievable, but often true. As an observer of human and social development through the ages, a curiosity of faith, and dedication to the underprivileged of the developing world, Jennifer finds her creative outlet in stories and fables. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children, and a mini-farm of otherwise useless animals where the family eagerly caters to their every need.




The Interview




If you had a store, what would you sell?
I would sell ice cream. An ice cream shop is a place people come to take refuge from the heat, to celebrate something special, or just spend time with someone they enjoy. You can’t really go wrong with ice cream, unless you’re lactose intolerant, in which case I’ll serve you cake!
Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
That cannot be real! Seriously?
Your life is being made into a movie. Who plays you? Who plays your love interest? (or who plays your arch-enemy?)
I would like to be played by a witty Jessica Alba. My husband (my all time favorite love interest), would be played by a young Bruce Willis in denim cargo shorts and a dark t-shirt.
Did you bring me anything?
Did you bring ME anything?
Vs movies seem to be all the rage. If you had to put one together, what on screen match up would you like to see?
Dexter Morgan vs. Joffrey Baratheon (I think we all know who’d win…)
Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you'll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It's considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).
There in your torrid ear
Is a sound worse than the aye-aye balk
Feel it gnaw on the sebum
Licking the wounds of your
Shittah splinter
It weeps as a skitter
While the slagger drinks
The life of the skiddy-cock within
Do not be fooled, viper
This is no dream
Can you simply walk into Mordor?
No, but you can dance.


Favorite flavor (of what? EVERYTHING!)?
Pink

What method do you suggest for dealing with dragons?
Send someone else.


If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?



What’s your mantra?

Everyday above ground is a good one, unless you’re a mole on a starving feral cat farm.

Jennifer Arntson
Links

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram
Scavenger_Girl_Series
Pinterest
Twitter
(author) @JennArntson
(characters) @Una_Ashlund @Cal_of_Ashlund @Mar_of_Ashlund
#IAmAScavenger
Scavenger Girl Season of Atchem ISBN 978-0-9994-133-0-2