Celebrating the Release of “A Darker Slice of Life” – Author Interview

A Darker Slice of Life - A Flash Fiction Collection

I am so exited about the release of my new book “A Darker Slice of Life”, and wanted to share with you the Smashwords’ Author Interview today.

SW: When did you first start writing?
I began writing relatively early in life, first re-writing my favorite novels into scripts at 11, than writing for screenplays for our drama club.Since then, I have been writing in both English and German, for my blogs, various publications as well as for my personal pleasure.
SW: What is the story behind your latest book release?
I began to write flash fiction as a form of personal challenge. I wanted to see if I could write a complete story within such a small space, and to my surprise I fell in love with this format. While I do still and always will enjoy the freedom to write longer stories and novels, I find the shortness of Flash Fiction freeing, and a wonderful exercise crafting a theme down to its essence.. It never stops to amaze me to read the depth of stories written in such small space.
SW: What motivated you to become an indie author?
One of the most important lessons I learned as a writer, is to know when to let go off a project. It was important for me to move from holding on to the stories I love, to sharing them with its intended audience. Being able to use smashwords as a vehicle to do so, was a freeing experience. While I am not against working with agents and publishing houses – to the contrary – I consider it a privilege to be a part of a growing community of Authors who considered the freedom of indie publishing as their home.
SW: What are you working on next?
My next projects are two of completely different format and subject matter. The first project is a horror script focusing on psychological terror rather than the gory kind, and a the stand alone novel I am currently working on is called “The Farm”, and is a paranormal suspense romance.
SW: Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Heather Graham, Kay Hooper, Dean Koontz, and Neil Gaiman. I am hooked on Kay’s paranormal series, which center around an FBI Unit with special abilities.
SW: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing, I am assisting my husband with running our growing business, as well as homeschooling our children. Of course, I can not forget to mention the rescued members of the household, two wonderful dogs, and a very patient cat.
( A Darker Slice of Life is available on Smashwords for only 99 cents! Buy it here now!)

Self-Determination – A Haiku

Self-Determination - A Haiku

Self-Determination

no faith in the stars
destiny of our own make
creators of dreams

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

 

The last two days where were asked by Daily Prompt to write about Horoscope, first to create one, then to write our own from the past month. Which brought me to write the above Haiku, as well as the “horoscope” below:

Scorpio – Monthly Horoscope for the Month of October (and every month from now on)

This is a good month to do what every you choose to do. Make decisions based on your intuition and what feels right for your family. Be kind and considerate, show gratitude, and believe in your own dreams. If you follow this advice, you never have to read another horoscope again. You determine your life. Now stop reading horoscopes and follow your passion. You determine your future, not the stars.

That would be the horoscope I would write. 

Now go out there and live your dreams!

P.S. Two more days until the release of my Flash Fiction collection “A Darker Slice of Life”! I am so exited! Group hug to everyone who has been congratulating me all over social media, and to all of you whom have commented and read my flash fiction. You guys are awesome!

 

Book Review: The Herb Book by John Hurst

The Herb Book - A Review

Title: The Herb Book
Author: John Lust
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publishing Date:July 16 2014
Rating:4/5 Stars

Description:
Also known as “The Natural Remedy Bible,” The Herb Book provides a comprehensive resource for building a livelier, healthier, happier life. More than 2,000 listings offer remedies for ragged nerves, nightmares, and coughing fits as well as suggestions for adding spice to recipes, coloring fabrics, freshening breath, and a host of other benefits. Complete and concise descriptions of herbs, illustrated by more than 275 line drawings, offer the most comprehensive catalog of “miracle plants” ever published.
Written by an expert and pioneer in the field, this easy-to-use reference features three parts. The first presents introductory historical information and background for using the rest of the book. The second part features individual numbered listings of medicinal plants with their botanical descriptions and uses. The third part emphasizes the variety of uses for the plants listed in Part 2, including mixtures for medicinal treatments, nutritious and culinary plants, cosmetic and aromatic purposes, plant dyes, and other applications. The book concludes with a captivating look at plant-related astrology, lore, and legends.” (Description by Netgalley)

Overview:
I was really looking forward to finding a reference book that promised to be not only comprehensive and thorough, but included additional information, even if only in its basic form, to add to my library.
The book is large and detailed, reaching 480 eBook pages, with very specific and thorough information on many herbs, even those who are not too common, as well as their uses.

What I loved:
In addition to the information on the individual herbs, this book offers an extensive list of resources, which includes websites for further studies. The author also took his time to add information on the various methods of preparing herbal remedies, and did this in a more extensive way, than most reference books of this nature offer. I loved the addition of the astrological associations, as well as the tidbits of lore. It added a charm to the book, even if I would recommend to purchase separate and specialty volumes if you are interested in that subject matter.

What I did not like:
The illustrations where very basic. As they were called in the introduction, they are line drawings, nothing more. In order to really identify a specific herb from the visual clues given, or for those like me whom are visually oriented, a different volume would be more appropriate.

In all, I liked the book. It does deliver what it promises, an extensive and comprehensive catalog of herbs and their information. This is a resource to keep on our shelf, and enjoy over and over again.

This book was provided to me by Netgalley.

Book Review: Hamlet’s Ghost

Hamlet's Ghost - A Review

Title: Hamlet’s Ghost
Author: Jane Tara
Publisher: Momentum Books
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Release Date: July 24th, 2014
“Rhiannon Dee, a gorgeous witch, moves to a country town to reopen a theater and finds herself torn between the man who owns it, and his father who haunts it.

Kip Daniels has been haunting the Hamlet Majestic for thirty dull years, ever since the stage roof collapsed on him during what was meant to be his piece de resistance: his performance of Hamlet. All he really wants is to get to the end of the play, but that won’t happen while the theater stands abandoned and boarded up. He’s resigned himself to an endless limbo … until Rhiannon Dee moves to town to bring the theater back to life.

Rhi has fled a failed life in New York. She can’t find work as an actress. She’s overshadowed by her mother who has a hit TV show about witchcraft. Rhi is sick of being seen as a witch and intends to turn her back on the craft. But she quickly discovers she can’t escape her gifts, especially when she needs to use them to help one very sexy but sad ghost cross over. Surrounded by new friends and supportive townsfolk, Rhi breathes new life into the Hamlet Majestic, and helps Kip accept his death.

Hamlet’s Ghost is a story about those moments in life that define us, and how to truly move forward we must find peace with the past.”

I expected a unique book, and that is exactly what Jane Tara delivered. Well written, in a modern and fun voice, that made this one of the better reads of the year, Jane managed to grab my attention from the beginning, and never let it go. A light-hearted romance that is a part of the Shakespeare Sisters Series, but can be read as a standalone book (but why would you? This book will make you want to read all of them!) Jane Tara is a fresh voice in the sometimes stuffy world of romance. Well done!

Book Review: The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington

Book Review: The Life You Left

Title: The Life You Left
Author: Carmel Harrington
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Publishing Date: June 19th 2014
Rating: 3/5 Stars
“Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need…
Tell the children I love them.
Paul
It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the pack lunches and juggling baby Ella’s feeds.

There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.

Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her children’s questions about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate.

But it turns out she isn’t quite as alone as she thought she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks she’s finally been thrown a life line.

There’s just one problem with Edward: no one else can see him.

Edward is an angel. And he has a message for Sarah that will change her life and the lives of others forever. For it is only in the most difficult of times that Sarah can discover how strong
she truly is.

Set in a small coastal village on the beautiful Irish coast, The Life You Left is a story of redemption and the strength of love.”

An interesting premise, but the story is nothing special. While the characters are not awful, they are simply boring, from the main character Sarah Lawler to the Angel Edward. There is not much excitement in the book. It reminds me off one of those really lazy Sunday afternoons, when before having kids, we had nothing to do, and time to watch those movies that were on TV, just to keep from being too bored. The book did not excite me at all, but was not the worst thing I have read ever, it was simply flat, like those Sunday afternoon movies. With so many enticing volumes out there, this one had a premise that could have been built on. The thought of an Angel story got my attention, only to leave me wondering if there would be anything happening, that would exit me. It did not. HarperCollins has some really interesting romance and paranormal romance books to offer at the moment, this is not one of the better ones.

Book Review: Happy Lemons by Thomas Flindt

Happy Lemons - A Book Review

Book Review: Happy Lemons – How Laughter Breeds Success
Author: Thomas Flindt
Publisher: Pine Tribe Ltd.
Release Date: May 4th 2014
Rating: 5/5 Stars

This is a very unique approach to a self-help book, charmingly written, with an interesting view on how laughter can improve ones life, beyond the initial thought of “just feeling happy”/
Laced with exercises that range from embracing the little annoying habits of others, to learning to laugh at yourself, this book is practical, more practical than I originally have thought, when I received the volume.
I love being surprised by different approaches in self-help, as I have read many, and the genre is filled with books that increasingly sound the same. This book is lovely in its uniqueness and provides an insight into techniques such as Laughter-Yoga.
Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a fresh technique on how to improve ones life. I enjoyed the volume.