From the Mountaintop – Featuring, A.F. Stewart

A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. She has always had an overly creative mind, and an active imagination. She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart has been writing for several years, her main focus being in the fantasy and horror genres. She also has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories. She has authored and published several books, including Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1), Fairy Tale Fusion, Gothic Cavalcade, Ruined City, and the Killers and Demons series. In addition, she writes and publishes poetry, her latest volume being Horror Haiku Pas de Deux.
Her short stories have been published in the charity anthologies, Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In, Christmas Lites III, IV, V, VI, and VII. Also, tales from her pen have appeared in three anthologies by Xchyler Publishing, Mechanized Masterpieces, Legends and Lore, and Beyond the Wail.

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To promote her newest book, A.F. Stewart answered a fun, and very short Q&A. (See Below)

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Q&A

J.B.:  What about your story do you think will stick with readers long after they’re done reading it?

A. F.:  I hope the characters will stay with readers. I love a good memorable character myself, and I try to infuse my writing with interesting personalities. I believe my book, Ghosts of the Sea Moon, does have a lively cast with its motley crew of sailors and villains. I especially like the way the roguish main character Captain Rafe Morrow plays off his more straight-laced first mate, Elliot Blackthorne. And of course, there is the antagonist, the Goddess of the Moon, who is, I think, more complicated and misunderstood than evil.

J.B.:  Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

A. F.:  I do read them, good or bad. I think reviews are an excellent gateway into the world of readers. Good reviews are, of course, validation and a measure for what you did right, but bad reviews can be helpful in pointing out weaknesses and places where you need improvement in your writing. As a writer, you’d love everyone to adore your book, but that’s not feasible so I approach reviews as part of the constant learning process of writing.

J.B.:   What do you think makes a good story?

A. F.:  I think for a good story you need something universally relatable for the reader. Whether it’s a coming of age tale, or a quest for adventure, trying to fit in and find your place, dealing with tragedy, etc. a book needs to speak to a reader, give them a certain familiarity. For instance, with my book, even though there are sea monsters and magic, at the core there’s a sibling dysfunction and family dynamic that drives the storyline.

J.B.:   What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

A. F.:  The horror writer in me wants to say my immortal soul, but that’s a bit cliché, and I wouldn’t do it in any case (provided it was indeed a real option). Maybe I’d sacrifice a pinky toe; I keeping whacking them on the furniture anyway.

J.B.:   What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing this book?

A. F.:  I learned some interesting things about tall ships (most of the story takes place on an old-fashioned sailing ship) and how they maneuver. There are quite a few intricacies in how they dock, how they slow down while at sea, what sails to use in a storm, etc.. It was also surprising to learn how difficult it is to write battles between gods. It’s a delicate juggling act having them do more than toss energy balls at each other, while not totally destroy the world.

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Book Info:

 

Title: Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1)

Author: A. F. Stewart

Publication Date: January 13th, 2018 (on pre-order)

Paperback Price: $12.99 (projected release first week of January)

Digital Price: Pre-order and Release Price $0.99. Will go up to $2.99 on February 14th

 

TAG LINES:

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters.

 

Book Page: https://afallonblog.wordpress.com/saga-of-the-outer-islands/

Pinterest Book Series Board: https://www.pinterest.ca/scribe77/saga-of-the-outer-islands/

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/8cr7tSCeI0A

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Thank you for reading this new blog series. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Atomic Blonde – A Review

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Here I bring you a movie review. This blog is dedicated to book reviews, but occasionally I will feel the urge to review a film. Now is that time.

I was looking forward to watching this film. It looked like it would be a fun action film. I wasn’t thinking that it might be sexy, or flooded with car chases and tons of gun fights or anything, I just thought it would be intense.

The problem was it tried to be all of those things and a good story at the same time. What it managed to be instead was a muddled mess with absolutely no coherence at all. It was only intense in one scene and it was a flicker, a shadow of intensity. This occurred in the scene with the black umbrellas. I won’t say anymore on that scene as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

But what I will say is that the script writer couldn’t have written many scripts before because this was a terrible movie. Instead of leaving it in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing the people in charge opted instead on covering up the weak points with sex and nudity. This is a b-movie tactic. And a shameful one. I expected better of Charlize Theron and Sophia Boutella.

The fight scenes were the best part of the film as they attempted realism in how bloodied, bruised, and tired those participating got. But fights scenes shouldn’t be the best part of any story regardless. Even if a film is about boxing the actual boxing shouldn’t be the center point. You need a story. This movie didn’t have one.

0 out 5

 

Review of: LA LECHE AU PAIR – Tory, by Kay Brandt

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First let’s discuss the cover.

I dig it. It’s sexy in that it doesn’t give too much away while at the same time showing us a couple somethings. I like that.

Now for the story.

I will say right off the bat that at times the dialogue was a bit bumpy. At times, but not in a way that you’re thrown off. Usually I don’t care about that sort of thing with erotica as the point is to, well, you know. But Brandt is different. I expect great dialogue from every story. Now, is that possible every single time – no. It isn’t. Brandt is human not a frigging machine. So it’s fine. Anyway, enough about the dialogue.

The story is about a mom with breasts full of milk. Which is a painful thing she’ll have you know. And oddly enough, a sexy thing. I didn’t know I liked this genre until I read this story. As you can no doubt guess, the mom gets a relief of pressure and then some. It’s provocative, sensual, and also, kinda romantic. I liked the relationship built in this story. The milking was hot, the descriptions of it, the orgasms, it was all quite good. I’m being vague a little bit because I don’t want to tell you more than you need to know. No spoilers here, sweetie. There’s a hot twist involving the hunky, well, you’ll just have to read for yourself won’t you. Hehe.

4 out 5

It didn’t get a 5 out of 5 because some of the dialogue. I know I’m nitpicking, but some of the back and forth just fell a little flat. Nothing major, but it’s still worth of a 4 out of 5.

 

I review: Train Girl (From the short story collection, Twisted) – By Kristina Rienzi

Let’s talk about the cover

I dig it. It’s very appropriate for the story and looks fast-paced (as it should) and fun which is always good for a cover. You can see it below.

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The tips of my fingers used to be a ton sharper when writing reviews, but I’ve calmed down a bunch. So I would, before we begin this review, just like to say that the soon-arriving review isn’t a knock, isn’t a diss, isn’t meant as anything other than constructive feedback.

I did not like the story. Not for any lack of talent on the writers part, but because she got in her own way several times during the story. What I mean by that is that each time she lined up a twist, lined up a reveal, lined up something that would awe or deepen my interest she would manage to taint it somewhat or outright negative it to an anticlimactic finish.

I finished this story a long time ago, but because I didn’t like it, and kinda sorta know the writer, I wanted to make sure I was well thought out so as not to offend. That’s the last thing I want to do even if I don’t kinda sorta know the writer. I’m not an asshole. Well, I can be, but not always. And not now. The writer has talent. I want that to be known. In the story it was really the main characters thoughts that killed it for me. Inner dialogue is always good, but when the person literally tells you whats going to happen next, or at least guess correctly  instead of letting things play out so the reader to be surprised is not going to help a story at all. And it didn’t here.

If some changes were made, like a chunk of the giveaways in the main characters inner dialogue, the story could quite literally be perfect. Perfect because the mystery and tension would be there and the payoff entirely worth it and not at all a let down. With those changes this story could be an outright nail biter. I mean this sincerely.

2 out of 5

It isn’t a 1 because it has such great potential. It isn’t a 3 because of there being so many times when the moment was spoiled.

I’m not going away from this author, there’s too much promise in her. I bought “Again: A Short Story” and will be reading it soon.

My Review of – The Autobiography of Henry VIII, by Margaret George

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Wait, what?

That’s what you’re thinking. You’re confused. The Mad King wrote his own story? He has a autobiography? But it says it’s a novel by Margaret George. What the hell is going on? Calm down. It’s all very simple and interesting.

Margaret George brings King Henry VIII to life using recorded facts and wonderful storytelling. She put in years of research and it shows in this book. You are in his mind, feel every second of his life, see every second of it through his eyes.

The book is a roller coaster of emotions. You feel every possible feeling one could go through without imploding into a pile of dust or simply melting. At the end of it you feel as though you understand King Henry the VIII better. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him. He’s a product of his time. Religion and superstition warped him as much as anything else did. Mad yes, ignorant and gullible yes, but definitely a product of his time.  He did behave belligerently, and violently, but knowing what I knew before, and now after this story, I can’t help but think that he’d have been a different king if he wasn’t first raised to join the priesthood. Also the syphilis warped his brain. Both contributed rather forcefully to his behavior. The superstition about witches too played a part – well with Anne Boleyn at least. People really believed that crap back then, some still do unfortunately.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel far more sympathy for his wives then King Henry VIII himself. They had to suffer through him. I’m merely stating that I understand him better, and telling you that I think you will as well if you read/listen to this story. Of course you’d have to have a love for history and a special interest in the Tudors, other wise this book might very well bore you to absolute tears, or perhaps death.

5 out of 5

This is a remarkable book that I highly recommend.

 

My Review of: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

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First the cover: Fascinating and intriguing. I like it.

Now for the story:

This is a wonderful premise, and a story so unique (to me at least) that I couldn’t wait to get into it.  This story starts strong, the reader being brought into the world at a smooth, steady pace. But for me that pace wasn’t kept. The engine blew and it sputtered to the point that I lost interest. So much happens in the story and it’s all so wonderful and new, but then (for me) it became a case of same ole same ole. It’s as though the story reached the mountain top far before it was supposed to.

I enjoyed the first person. I got a  thrill from the world created by Cline, I really did so I urge you to read the story for yourself. Maybe you’ll reach the  top of that mountain later than I do. I did buy the book, and even though I couldn’t finish it, I will one day. I got to get my moneys worth after all. Now, I know you’re thinking that I shouldn’t review the book if I don’t know how it ends. But you’re wrong and the reason being is that I don’t care how it ends. I reached the summit of my interest and I’m good. I’m comfortable.

2 out 5

Hell Divers: The Hell Divers Trilogy, Book 1

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First the cover:  I like it. It’s powerful, striking, everything you’d want from a cover.

Now for the story itself.

I stuck it out to end. I know, probably not the best way to start – but I nonetheless begin so. The story is a clever one. The setting is post-apocalyptic. Surviving on land or sea is impossible. Too much pollution, too much radiation. Neither of which is what you want to come across – obviously. Humans had taken to the air in these great balloons, but all isn’t great. They need certain items to stay afloat – literally. So it’s up to these special divers (see the title for their, well, title) to go and retrieve these needed items. Only danger lurks on the surface, and not only on the surface but in the air ships themselves. This creates dual sources of tension, intrigue and action.

So what’s the problem?

You know, I can’t really put my finger on it. The story is solid. The characters are quite well done. There aren’t any lagging moments. For some reason or another I, the deeper the story went, grew less interested. The ending promised fresh adventures and some interesting ones at that, so I’m going to give the second a shot. Hopefully it builds off the first in bigger and better ways. Will it? Who the hell knows. This is a weird book, in the sense that it was good but didn’t hold me as surefootedly as other stories have, yet I want to continue on.

Conflicted much?

I’d say so.

3 out 5

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