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20 Mar

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Guest Review & Giveaway: Moon Games by Shelly Frome

20 Mar

Moon Games by Shelly FromeMoon Games by Shelly Frome

Publisher:  Milford House Press (August 4, 2018)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Female Sleuth, Murder Mystery, Supernatural, Small-town Police Procedural
Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019
ISBN: 978-1620061848
Available in Print and ebook, 264 pages

Moon Games

 

 

 

Description 

At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing coed, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible.  The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to unravel.

 

 

Guest Review by Katy

I’ve just recently discovered Shelly Frome and have been working my way through his back catalog of books so that I can read them all. I love his writing style, his attention to detail and his clever dialog and descriptions. What a talent this man has for story telling and plotting. I feel like all of his books pull me in from the first page and don’t let go till the last! And this one was no different, of course.

 ‘Moon Games’ begins with the exciting pretense that a young girl has gone missing in the Carolina mountains. Miranda Davis is probably not the first person you’d select to go on a search for a missing person. For one thing, she’s a realtor and for another, she’s funny and somewhat scattered. Hardly a seasoned detective who deals with these sorts of things all the time. But she gets pulled into the mystery in much the same way that the reader does, and eventually she agrees to go up to the mountain with her partner, Harry, to have a look. However, there are some suspicious clues about the missing girl that don’t add up. Why was a strange tarot card shoved under the door of a local church lady? Who is the huge, hulking man they see on the mountain, and is he carrying the body of a woman? These are the kinds of questions that had me guessing till the last page.

I love a good mystery and, once again, Shelly Frome delivers just that. I highly recommend this book to all mystery fans like myself or anyone who enjoys a compelling, quick read. I can’t wait to read what Shelly Frome has in store for his next book! I feel like I’m becoming a huge fan of his as I go! ‘Moon Games’ gets 5 stars from me!

 

 

Praise 

“’Moon Games’ is an exceptional novel that will introduce the reader to the protagonist of the book, Miranda Davis who lives in a quaint town in Carolina, and it is here that she has a business. The reader will follow Miranda as she is approached by Cloris Raintree, a church leader who offers Miranda help in exchange for her help in finding a girl who went missing. As Miranda investigate the strange disappearance, more shocking truths are revealed and this book lovers is the premise of the sensational Moon Games.

The themes combined and laced throughout Moon Games perfectly compliment the atmosphere of the book and story.  As I read Moon Games, I found myself racing through it, turning the pages with haste thanks to the addictive nature. The story is unique and has the perfect combination of crime, suspense, and mystery which are all perfectly weaved together by the exceptional author.

Every event, character, and setting is well thought out and planned. Shelly Frome’s writing is detailed in the most immaculate of ways. It is beautifully written so that the reader will be able to immerse themselves in the story from beginning to end without difficulty.

Miranda is a character every reader will be able to root for, her grit and determination to not give up on the case is inspiring and will have many readers care about her. Being able to accompany Miranda on her journey was incredible, it was remarkable to witness her growth along the way and extraordinary to observe how she goes about solving the mystery and troubling situations she was faced with

Frome is an exceptional writer because he grabs his readers attention from the start very quickly and keeps them engrossed until the end. There are no long build-ups that drag in Moon Games; instead, the reader will be thrown into the thick of the story quickly, and the result of this is exciting (and slightly terrifying!).

Overall Moon Games is a superb novel that has everything a reader would want in a story; it has a thrilling narrative, magnificent plot development and excellent characterization that will thrill and excite its readers so of course, I have to award this impressive piece of literature five stars!”-  Aimee Ann, Red Headed Book Lover

“’Moongames’, the eighth mystery by respected author, Shelly Frome, covers a week around Halloween where a coed from a local college goes missing during a hike along the historic Southern Railway tracks that climb the Blue Ridge Escarpment over the Eastern Continental Divide, and the only one who seems to care is a frustrated real estate saleswoman, who must become her own detective agency if this girl is to be found alive.
Frome creates a series of colorful characters who are drawn into this quest, most against their wills, but who, never-the-less, contribute their own special talents to what would ultimately prove to be a race to the finish, with more hairpin turns along the way than the drive along the Amalfi Coast. The famous “Malecon” drive along Havana’s Atlantic shore even plays an important role in the ultimate outcome of this complicated, yet gripping tale of revenge, regret, and greed, with a dash of the Zodiac (thus the Moon) thrown in for good measure.”-       R. V. Helms, Amazon Review

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Gotta give him credit for trying to understand…

19 Mar

when we rarely understand ourselves.

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Book Review: Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy by Paula Finn

18 Mar

Behind every great television show is a group of professionals working at the top of their games—but no one is more important than the writers. And while writing comedy, especially good comedy, is serious business—fraught with actor egos, demanding producers, and sleepless nights—it also can result in classic lines of dialogue.

Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy is a collection of conversations with the writers responsible for some of the most memorable shows in television comedy. The men and women interviewed here include series creators, show runners, and staff writers whose talent and hard work have generated literally millions of laughs. In addition to Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Lear (All in the Family), this book features in-depth interviews with:

James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons)
Al Jean (The Simpsons, The Critic)
Leonard Stern (The Honeymooners, Get Smart)
Treva Silverman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
Ken Estin (Cheers)
Matt Williams (Roseanne, Home Improvement)
Dava Savel (Ellen)
Larry Charles (Seinfeld)
David Lee (Frasier)
Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Mike Reiss (The Simpsons)

From these conversations, readers will learn that the business of writing funny has never been all laughs. Writers discuss the creative process, how they get unstuck, the backstories of iconic episodes, and how they cope with ridiculous censors, outrageous actors, and their own demons and fears. Sitcom Writers Talk Shop will appeal to fans of all of these shows and may serve as inspiration to anyone considering a life in comedy.

Amazon

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have always enjoyed TV sitcoms, especially some of the older ones. I’ve seen The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond so many times that I know every episode. So, when I was offered a free copy of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, I was thrilled. 

Paula Finn interviewed many of the creators and writers of popular sitcoms mostly from the past. The result is an engrossing and amusing book full of stories about how each writer got his or her start, stories about the different stars, and certain favorite or interesting episodes. And, of course, these are writers of comedy so they are naturally funny. Also after each interview are quotes from different writers which made the book even better. 

What I found fascinating was how many characters were supposed to be on only one or two episodes and they became regular stars on the show. A good example is Reverend Jim played by Christopher Lloyd on Taxi who was my favorite character. 

This is a great book for anyone who enjoys comedy or is interested in sitcoms overall. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read it again in the future.

 

 

 

About the Author

Paula graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology.

As the daughter of Honeymooners writer Herbert Finn, she grew up in the culture, surrounded by the brilliance and wit of her father and his colleagues. A Los Angeles native and original “Valley Girl,” she has authored ten gift books including When Love Isn’t Easy and Make This Your Day. In the 1980’s, she made a name for herself as Blue Mountain Arts’ most prolific inspirational writer.

Once featured on ABC TV’s 20/20 show, her inspirational writings have been translated into several languages, and have been licensed worldwide on top-selling gift products. Over two million fans have reposted Paula’s most popular quotes on their personal and commercial websites. A former college English teacher and TV documentary researcher, she currently lives in Studio City, where she is Mom to “Puff Finn” the cat and is a favorite auntie to several of her friends’ dogs.

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18 Mar

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Someone Doesn’t Want You to Read These Books

17 Mar

A clever and creative incentive for teens to read!

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Savior by AJ Eversley

16 Mar

 

 

Author: AJ Eversley

Narrators: Chelsea Stephens, Steve Campbell

Series: The Watcher Series, Book 3

Publisher: Author AJ Eversley

Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult

 

 

 

The explosive conclusion to the Watcher Series will decide the fate of the entire human race.

Sawyer has been a Watcher. She’s been a Carbon. Now she must become their Savior.

With the inevitable return of Coleman looming, Sawyer knows their army is not enough. On a journey to convince an ally to join their war, Sawyer discovers why the stars have placed the fate of the human race in her hands. And she’s not alone.
Kenzie is her enemy. He is wrong and ruthless, and he’s tried to kill Sawyer more than once. Yet she still can’t stay away. Both drawn to each other in a way neither can explain, they must learn to trust one another as well as themselves if they want to survive. And soon, Sawyer will find she must trust in the stars to protect her and put her faith in others if she wants to live.

Find out who will survive, and if they can save humanity from a future painted black, in the epic conclusion of the Watcher Series.

 

 

 

AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

 

 

Narrator Bio

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an experienced voice actor with a talent for mystery, fantasy and YA novels. She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.

WebsiteTwitter

 

 

Narrator Bio

My first priority as a voice-over artist is to convey your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining and insightful manner; not distracting from your message, but enhancing your words. It is my personal goal to help your audience engage with the text in an immersive and memorable way.

As a techie with a passion for performance and a love of the written word, the voice-over industry called to me. I am now fortunate enough to be living my dream of audiobook narration from my home studio, in Calgary, AB, Canada.

 

 

Review

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by AJ Eversley. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Savior picks up a short time after the end of Carbon. Sawyer seems to have finally accepted the fact that she is a Carbon. She’s in a relationship with Max who helped her get through Kenzie’s death. But Kenzie is alive and has been turned into the enemy by Coleman so they have him in a cell with his powers controlled. Poor Sawyer truly loves Max but still has a bond with Kenzie that won’t let her go no matter how much she tries and despite the fact that he tried to kill her.

The characters are well developed and they’re as complex as “real” people. The main characters have gone through so much and they’re so strong, that it’s difficult to read about these further trials that they’re going through. Sawyer is in an impossible situation as far as her relationships are concerned and she doesn’t feel comfortable being the Savior. She wants to help others and doesn’t want to be the recipient of help from others, which is understandable given her nature. There are a lot of characters but it was easy for me to keep them separate.

The narrators do a great job. The primary narrator is Chelsea Stephens and she’s perfect performing Sawyer’s part with good timing and inflection. I was able to feel what Sawyer was feeling.

Savior is full of action, heartache, war, a couple of twists, and even a little humor. I was not able to put this book down the first time I read it and it was the same when I listened to it. There was so much happening throughout the book. I liked the ending, which is good after reading three books. 

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15 Mar

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Book Review: Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

15 Mar

1980s New York City. A paradox onto itself. Gritty and violent – yeah – but also crackling with excitement, intrigue and – especially – possibility. For a young guy open to that kind of energy, this was a city that could be absolutely intoxicating. 
Nineteen-year-old Joey Montaperto journeys over from his nearby downtrodden New Jersey town, seeking to escape the dreary negativity of his surroundings. Enrolling in a prestigious Russian drama school, he is determined to become the next great actor in the Stanislavski/Moscow Art Theater tradition. It doesn’t pan out exactly the way he plans, though, and after a time there, he hits the streets even more conflicted and alienated, seeking answers. 
He finds a gig as a nut vendor in a grimy Hell’s Kitchen location and dreams of a better life. Subsequently introduced to the ancient texts of Eastern spirituality (The Upanishads) by Vassant, an elderly, brilliant, but drunken Indian scholar who also works as a nut vendor, he becomes fascinated. When Vassant dies unexpectedly, Joey vows to continue his quest for a Master, joining an ashram in the city, while working at the connected health food store. Devoting himself entirely to the rigors of spiritual practice for the next year, he sits in daily meditation – until one day he is rocked by a major epiphany. 
Oh my God! I could sit here in my white yoga pants and meditate for the next 40 years, and still not reach enlightenment! Then what?! What about travel? Adventure? Life?! Upon that realization, he dives headlong into what he believes to be his true calling – stand-up comedy, embracing the comedy circuit and the whole lifestyle that ensues. While performing, he also hits the seedy Hell’s Kitchen bars – dancing, drinking heavily and mixing with the denizens – the pimps, prostitutes, dealers and other comics who populate the bar. He learns quite a lot from these characters, but still maintains his spiritual practice. 
Quickly rising up the ranks of the comedy scene, he is consumed by the lure of fame, by the rush of performing. Now, he has to get onstage. He is jonesing. This is his life. Out on the streets at all hours of the night, he has to defend himself against the hordes of crackheads roaming the streets, soon even relishing the violence, the rush of revenge. He gets involved in a romantic affair with the sultry Vanessa, a Puerto Rican former streetwalker – who is also transgender – and revels in that scene. It fuels the rush, but it’s still not enough. Nothing ever is. He can’t come down. Finally, disgusted with the comedy club scene, the comedy bookers, the rough streets, and his annoyance with no matter what club he goes to, it seems Jon Stewart and Dave Attell are already regulars there, blocking his way. 
A chance viewing of the movie ‘My Dinner With Andre’, makes a life-changing impression on him, and he becomes spellbound by the film, the book, and it’s conversations about exotic travels, and mystical experiences at the spiritual community, Findhorn. He excitedly applies, but finds it is way too expensive, and is sadly resigned to staying in the city. He is unexpectedly reprieved when he hears about Omega Institute, a holistic community in rural upstate New York. Abandoning everything, he then jumps on an Amtrak to begin the adventure of his life.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Joe Montaperto has had an interesting life. He’s from New Jersey and in the 1980s he studied acting in New York, among other things, before taking a class on improv and finally found his place in the world of stand up comedy. 

In Lovely Chaos, Joe shares the craziness of the life of a young man in New York in the 1980s. He’s a good storyteller and I enjoyed his stories. His writing is a little rough around the edges and tends to jump for one story to the other often, but he has great descriptions. He made me laugh a lot!

 

 

Joe reading from his first book

 

 

About the Author

Joe Montaperto was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family at the age of 11 to Roselle, New Jersey – where the subject of his first memoir – The Edge of Whiteness – takes place.
After studying acting at the Sonia Moore Studio of the Theater, he grew tired of the depressing Russian plays, and moved on to a job as a nut vendor in the Hell’s Kitchen streets, before studying to be a monk at a NYC ashram; eventually leaving to pursue both stage and film work in New York. Afterwards, embarking on what he believed to be his true passion – stand-up – on the city’s comedy circuit, where he worked with Jon Stewart, Dave Attell and John Leguizammo, among others, in the edgy, crack-riddled 1980’s. Drinking, dancing, and getting beat up by crackheads on the late night city streets, eventually led him to create a one-man show, Four Degrees of Disconnection, based on his experiences and some of the characters he encountered along the way, which ran at several theaters in Manhattan in the late 1990’s.
Burnt out from the intensity of the New York art scene, he set out on a long-awaited spiritual sabbatical, living at a couple of Buddhist monasteries before escaping to South America. There, he spent quite a bit of time exploring the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon jungle, teaching English and becoming involved in several eco-projects.
He has been an avid freeloader for many years at The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in upstate Rhinebeck, New York, among other establishments, and is currently featuring his second memoir, Lovely Chaos, in a planned trilogy, which explores his spiritual and stand-up comic adventures in the gritty streets of 1980’s New York.

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