Release Day: BLACK HEART, RED RUBY

imageBLACK HEART, RED RUBY on sale now!

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

B&N

Continue reading “Release Day: BLACK HEART, RED RUBY”

Advertisements

LOVE IN A TIME OF MONSTERS IS OUT!

This is the post I’ve been waiting to write for years. YEARS! My fantasy novel, LOVE IN A TIME OF MONSTERS, is on sale!

LoveMonsters_FC_BNG copy

He has a monster problem

Scotland, 1867. When Rob Stevenson’s brother is killed—and eaten—in the forest outside their estate, Rob’s sheltered world is shattered by a monster infestation. Determined to keep his village safe, Rob’s first duty as laird involves hiring a professional hunter.

She kills monsters

The sole survivor of a massacre in the Congo, Catriona Mornay is rumored to have lost her mind in the jungle. In Edinburgh’s gas-lit streets, Cat’s skill as a hunter is unmatched. Her reputation as a killer of unnatural creatures, legendary.

Two worlds collide

Faced with a rising body count, Rob takes a chance on Cat, hoping that somewhere inside this tortured yet charismatic girl is the hero he’s been searching for. But in this shadow realm of secrets, lies, and underworld crime, their lives overlap in more ways than one. And in an age where harpies flock the sky and serpents rule the sea, it’s even possible for a boy and his hunter to fall in love.

But can their love survive in a time of monsters?

You can buy it here:

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

The ebook is cheaper than the price of popcorn chicken (or Girl Scout cookies for those of you who do not gorge yourself on popcorn chicken) and will net you hours of entertainment. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel a little scared and perhaps… a little sexy? I have a dirty mind, and while that’s no secret, aren’t you curious about my dirty mind when applied to a fantasy setting?

As an added bonus, if you buy the paperback version on Amazon, you’ll get the kindle version for $0.99.

I’m thrilled to share this book with you and hope you enjoy it! And once you’ve enjoyed it… please consider leaving a review (I won’t direct you to where, but allow me to point in Amazon’s general direction) to help others find my work and spread my dirty mind around… rather like herpes but in a more pleasant way.

 

 

The Secret of Ka

The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike

I have a secret crush on Christopher Pike, the mysterious author of those candy-colored teen thrillers of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Like Big Foot, Pike is something of an urban legend. I like to imagine he’s like lives in a haunted mansion by the sea and writes his novels at night…like the Phantom of the Opera! Some days I wonder if he resembles Harrison Ford, on other days—given his Star Trek pseudonym—he may look like Spock (from the new Star Trek movie. So pointy-eared, so logically sexy). Of all the authors I admire, C.Pike is the one I would most like to meet. If I play my cards right, he might call me his ANGEL OF FICTION!!!! He may also whisper in my ear: “Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in. To the power of the novels that I write. The power of the NOVELS OF THE NIGHT!!!!!!!!”
Which is why I hope he never stumbles upon this review…
The Secret of Ka. Sigh…

Oh Christopher Pike, why have you forsaken me? I know from experience that you’ve written 40+ novels, some great, some just okay, and some just plain bad. They can’t all be winners. Nobody will ever mistake The Secret of Ka for a winner…
So Sara is visiting her CEO father in Istanbul when she crosses paths with Amesh, a one-armed delivery boy with a one-note personality. The same could be said for Sara, and I don’t mean the one-arm part. They discover a magic carpet at her father’s job site and steer the rug to a remote island where they unleash a genie. This is all very Aladdin except, wait for it… genies are evil and they want your soul!
Fueled by a driving need to bring the jihad on the bastards who cut off his arm, Amesh morphs into a wish greedy fiend. He hijacks the magic carpet, marooning Sara on the island after eating all her power bars. Then, if memory serves me right, he kidnaps Sara’s dad at knife point. Despite the fact that she’s only known him for a day and he has all the makings of a homicidal maniac, Sara still loves him. He’s just so darn cute! Anyways, all is well because…oh what the heck… there are ALIENS involved. And by aliens, I mean *whispers* her dad is an alien, not from outer space, but from a fourth dimension race of snake people. Oh, and he’s not really her father.
I’ve come to expect WTFery from Christopher Pike. In fact, I rather like it when there’s helicopter chases or teens morphing into vampire bats as long as it’s entertaining. That’s not to say that The Secret of Ka didn’t have its moments. It did, however, lack the ‘cool factor’ and passion of Pike’s earlier books and I wonder if it’s because Secret of Ka read more like a middle grade novel than a YA. I miss the resourceful protagonists that used to populate Pike’s older novels; the ones who made elaborate plans that usually involves buying a shotgun without an ID or siphoning gasoline to blow up monsters. Alas, times have changed since the days Pike ruled the YA shelves and I guess he can’t write ‘80’s gore anymore.
This was not the worst novel I’ve ever read. It’s certainly not anywhere near the best. C-.
Damn my honesty! Now Pike will never call me his ANGEL OF FICTION!

Mockingjay (Non-Spoiler Review)

I don’t put my life on hold for any book. For Mockingjay, the final installment of Suzanne Collins’ brilliant Hunger Games Trilogy, I’ll make an exception. That is, I cannot live my life until I finish this series! Words cannot express my level of fandom. A transcript of my daily conversations may read like this:

Friend: “The clouds are especially fluffy today.”

Me: “Yes. Yes. It certainly is…READ THE HUNGER GAMES!”

(Friend backs away, terrified).

In the hierarchy of excitement, Mockingjay ranks last. It lacks the sense of urgency and intensity of the first two books, but the stakes are still high and by now the characters are like family; you want things to go well for them, and when things go awry, your heart starts palpitating as if you’re riding an emotional roller coaster to the abyss.

Only a few books can get me this worked up. I spent the better part of my reading time stressed out over Katniss’ fate, particularly with regards to the love triangle. I promise I will not spoil, but let’s just say love triangles are very excruciating for all parties involved, and by that I mean ME. According to the conventions of storytelling, it’s very obvious who Katniss will choose. Throughout Mockingjay I was head cheerleader for Team Mumble Mumble but deep down I felt like Captain Jack Sparrow steering his sinking ship into harbor: it’s a lost cause but I will still keep my head held high. Toward the end, my first reaction to Katniss’ choice was “THIS IS BULLSHIT!” Then “Sigh. Okay. The other guy grew on me and the last scene was so sweet I had to read it three times. Maybe I’ll re-read the series with a new perspective.” I pray this is vague and non-spoiler-y. Of course, Mockingjay is not so much about love triangles as it is about the brutality of war and what it does to those involved. It is also about ZMOG moments. Adhering to the non-spoiler route, I’ll just say that one character crossed over to the dark side and it broke my heart! In short, this book left me an emotional wreck and ruined me for other books.

A brief word on casting. Summer Glau of Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is my perfect Katniss. She’s already got an impressive list of dystopian film creds and she’s a walking contradiction of pretty/intelligent/athletic/graceful/vulnerable/tough. Chances are she’s too old to play Katniss but if they expect us to swallow Luke Perry as a teen in 90210, Summer as Katniss is not so far-fetched, right?

Thirst No. 2

Thirst No. 2 by Christopher Pike

I wish Christopher Pike wasn’t so mysterious so I could have a sneak peak at his wheel-o-plots. I’m convinced Pike works with a random shit generator or else I’m at a loss to explain the WTFery in Thirst No. 2.  Likewise, I secretly worship Pike’s storytelling genius. In the hands of a lesser writer, WTFery dizzies the mind. In the hands of Pike, it entertains the pants off me.

Thirst No. 2 chronicles the ass-kicking adventures of Sita, a five thousand year old vampire, and takes off where the NUCLEAR EXPLOSION vaporized the evil government base in Thirst No. 1.

World weary Sita tinkers with her Medieval-priest-lover’s alchemy force crystals, re-engineers her six stranded vampire DNA, and transforms herself into a lowly human.

Then she becomes preggers. The father, I should mention, is her teen lover who she thought perished in the gas tank explosion from the first book…or DID he?!!!

*Takes deep breath* Okay. So. Sita has the fastest pregnancy this side of Breaking Dawn and expels the demon child in a shower of gore goblets. The child is a modern scientific marvel and grows exponentially within a few weeks to the equivalent of a twenty year old. Also, she is evil incarnate. Also, she THIRSTS…

Meanwhile, Sita’s friend…the nun…experiences an immaculate conception and we learn through an ancient Egyptian prophecy, this child is the next messiah. But wait! Sita’s daughter was sent to kill the messiah and not even a cult with high power assault rifles could stop her. People are defenestrated off of skyscrapers.

See what I mean about WTFery?  Usually vampire stories are more or less predictable but this is so far from predictable it might as well be from another planet. Speaking of the extraterrestrial, this book ends with intergalactic time travel on a SPACESHIP.

I have nibbled on the Wonderland mushrooms and I like it.

A+

I broke up with Gormenghast…

The unthinkable has happened: Gormenghast the mini-series isn’t doing it for me. In order to fully grasp the enormity of this statement, I direct you to T.Y. circa 2001. I was 16 and INSANELY IN LOVE with Gormenghast and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I tapped the mini off PBS and would watch it EVERYDAY, sometimes twice a day until I had all the dialogue memorized and could re-enact every scene which I did…to myself.

There was the episode when I missed the opportunity to buy the book at B&N only to return the next day but Oh NO! Some other geek bought it so I bugged the clerk and he did a series of slow-mo internet searches only to tell me it’s out of print and I had the adolescent equivalent of a HEARTATTACK. But wait! He could order it from the publisher and I was wringing my hands “Please do!” So for months and beyond, I had B&N’s number on speed dial. Like a true stalker, I made sure to call them everyday while watching my worn out VHS and AOL searching Jonathan Rhys Meyers fansites.

I was prepared to go Captain Ahab in my quest for the complete Gormenghast experience. You may shake me by the shoulders: “This is madness!” To which I’ll reply: “This is FANDOM!”

In mid-November, the book came and I devoured it. Mervyn Peake never met an adjective or adverb he didn’t  like. I loved it, or, rather, having invested so much energy in acquiring the book, I forced myself to love it. Suffice to say, this Gormenghast obsession went on for years and ended with a collection of Gormenghast related purchases and a pile of ink jet JRM print-outs taped to my dorm room.

The point to this little story is that I worshiped Gormenghast and everything it represented. There was a five year period in which I forgot all about it but last night I watched it again and IT WAS NOT AS GOOD AS I REMEMBERED. Sob! To salt the wound, it was actually…cheesy. For instance, I use to think every actor was the shit. Now I see that, with the exception of JRM (who also overacted), everybody gesticulated like mimes.

I am not what I use to be! My tastes have changed. Have I matured? I’m as bummed as a child who discovered that Santa isn’t real.

I don’t even need to mention how RENT the movie isn’t doing it for me either. When they sing 525,600 mins, I am…unmoved. I don’t even want to La Vie Bohemie anymore.

What has become of me?

Thirst No. 1

Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike

Remember in Rambo II when Rambo spears some unfortunate evil dude and said evil dude BLEW UP? Something of that nature happens in this re-issue of a ‘90’s vampire classic. Rest assured, people will explode, sometimes spontaneously, sometimes on account of sniper rifles and rocket launchers, and, if you’re a pro at suspending your disbelief, Pike will take you on a high octane roller costar ride and then blow YOU up.

In a thinly veiled attempt to ride the YA vampire train to riches and glory, the publishers of Christopher Pike’s backlist have re-issued the first three novels (The Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice)  of his bestselling Last Vampire series in this thrilling pulp omnibus.

Sita is a five thousand year old vampire: blond, beautiful, and a certified badass. She’s also the last of the bloodsuckers and, as the story begins, she’s the new girl in Mayfair, a sleepy town in the Pacific Northwest. In history class, she meets Ray, a sensitive teen hunk and here I almost sent this book back to the library unread; I felt like I read this story before. In this case, I’m secretly beating a certain author who shall not be named with the plagiarism stick because I suspect Pike was probably rocking out to Nirvana when he penned The Last Vampire which is to say this chick came before that egg hatched at twilight. Plus, Sita glittered too…for logical reasons, radioactive fallout being one of them.

Out of loyalty to Pike, I soldiered through the “I drink blood and you must think this is unique” bit to the “So the lion falls in love with the lamb: I have no soul, but he has soul enough for two” crap and I am glad. There are…HELICOPTER CHASES, DEADLY FLUTE PLAY-OFFS, RABID VAMPIRE DOGS, and someone gets SPEARED with a JAVELIN (I do love a good spearing).

Let’s speak plainly. Ray—Sita’s mortal lover and ‘soul mate’—was such a sniveling wimp he makes Bella Swan look like Chuck Norris. I doubt I’m the only reader who felt this way, which is why it was so cool when Christopher Pike, probably sensing the inherent lameness of this character, BLEW HIM UP!!!! Have you ever come across a character you can’t stand and wish the author would make him or her (*cough* Bella) spontaneously combust and then the author READ YOUR MIND and plopped this annoying character next to a leaky gas tank and lit a match? This…and helicopter chases, is why Christopher Pike is the king of YA pulp.

Count me in for Thirst No. 2. I have to find out what happens after Sita launched the nuclear warheads and nuked Vegas. Don’t you dare laugh! The way I see it, vampire stories are already far-fetched; why not crank the lever to full-throttle and juice the horror/sci fi genre for all it’s worth? Pike holds nothing back. And it shows. I suspect Pike had as much fun writing The Last Vampire as I had reading it.

This series may win no awards, but an annoying character is blown up and that’s the biggest award of all. Suffice to say, many a coma-inducing classic could use an unnecessary explosion.

As for a rating, I give this a B+ for Blockbuster.