Interview with Author Sean Robbins

1- Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

“Who am I? I am Spiderman.”

Well, not really, but this should tell you all you need to know about me and my writing style.

I’m a huge Marvel (plus Game of ThronesStar Trek AND Star Wars) fan, which shows since my novel is loaded with pop culture references. If you are a sci-fi fan (I assume that you are, otherwise what are you doing here?) you will enjoy them tremendously. I even went full Deadpool in my first draft and broke the fourth wall multiple times, until my editor told it was distracting and kept taking her out of the moment. Shame. Those fourth-wall breaks were hilarious. Still, I can guarantee a few laugh-out-loud moments. Case in point: The “good” aliens in my novel are a race of pranksters, whose main goal in life is pulling other people’s legs (They have four legs, hence the slight change in the idiom). My favorite author is Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), which is probably how I ended up writing in a first-person POV with the same light-hearted, funny tone as he does. The fact that my MC’s name is Jim is purely coincidental though.

I am a university/college level English teacher, and including Canada, I have lived and worked in five different countries. I have met people from all around the world. Plus, my parents are from a different background, and so is my wife. As a result, diversity has become a major theme in my novel. My characters look like the bridge crew from Star Trek. One of my female characters even impersonated Uhura once, albeit posthumously.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I have got purely obsessional OCD. What this means is a thought enters my mind—usually something negative—and doesn’t leave. I end up having to think about it 5000 times a day, and once this starts, my life is ruined for a week, two weeks, a month, or six months. I’d tried a lot of different ways to get rid of this problem: therapy, medication, meditation… Nothing ever worked, until I read an article that said the people who had this problem had an overly active imagination, and it would help if they channeled it into something productive, like writing.

I’d always wanted to be a writer. This is literally a childhood dream, one of those you give up when you grow up. I had the story of The Crimson Deathbringer in my mind for years (even started writing it and stopped a few times). When I read that article, I was going through a tough time in my marriage (fighting with your wife is no fun, even for sane people), and my mind had gone into its life-destroying over-drive, so I told myself, “Well, you’ve tried everything else, let’s give this a shot.”

And then a miracle happened.

My mind put the same energy it used to put into producing BS and making my life miserable into coming up with stories. Ideas would come to me fast and furious, and I had to stop whatever I was doing several times a day to write them down. I’ve been OCD-free since then (I know, I sound like a recovering alcoholic). When TCD (cool, eh?) was finished, it took my out-of-control brain half a day to plan my second novel, which is about a nerdy scientist and a sexy female mercenary who use a time machine to defeat an alien invasion.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

To be perfectly honest, I’m not trying to send a message. All I want is to entertain my readers. If they are so absorbed in my story that they forget about real life and its problems (and hopefully laugh a few times) my job is done. That said, being a Star Trek fan, I hope my book presents the same themes of optimism and diversity as OST does.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I think I was 9 when I watched the first Star Wars movie, and I never looked back. I’ve been a big sci-fi/space opera fan ever since, so it’s only natural that I write the same genre.  

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d love to ask Jim how he manages to shrug off the most terrible things a human might suffer using nothing but humor!

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

My publisher, Creativia, has a FB page called Creativia Street Team. Members of this group helped a lot.

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7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Besides the one mentioned in question 2, I’ve started planning for TCD’s sequels.

Twitter is @seanrobins300
https://seanrobins73.wixsite.com/website

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Again, But Better by Christine Riccio Review

A young woman yearning to follow her dreams and overcome her shy nature finds herself far outside her bubble and struggling with new friendships, possible romances and a road very few travel in author Christine Riccio’s novel, “Again, but Better”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman yearning to follow her dreams and overcome her shy nature finds herself far outside her bubble and struggling with new friendships, possible romances and a road very few travel in author Christine Riccio’s novel, “Again, but Better”. 

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The Synopsis

From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

The Review

This was an amazing read from a wonderful new author. The author perfectly captures the raw emotional struggle of those who struggle with self-doubt and reservedness that makes it difficult to put one’s self out there for friendship, love or any social life whatsoever. As someone who frequently struggles with this to this day, it was a novel and protagonist that truly spoke to me and I believe many readers will be able to identify and relate to as they read this novel.

One of the fun and interesting aspects is the sudden introduction of a magical or supernatural element of the story halfway through the novel, taking readers by surprise. This story element does a remarkable job of bringing a new understanding not only to the characters but to the concept of fighting for your dreams and overcoming that struggle between shyness and confidence. Readers will love this new element of the novel and will grow more with the characters overall as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

This was a fantastic novel from a promising new author that has a deep understanding and command over the YA genre. Protagonist Shane is a beloved character that readers will instantly root for and relate to, and the novel itself is an evenly paced read that will keep readers on the edge of their seat as the narrative comes to its end. This is a top contender for YA Book of the Year, and a wonderful read that will have readers excited to read more novels from the author in the years to come. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Again, but Better” by Christine Riccio today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Christine Riccio has been on a quest to encourage more humans to read since the third grade. No one really listened until she started making videos about books on Youtube in 2010. Now her channel PolandbananasBOOKS has over 390,000 book-loving subscribers. She makes comedic book reviews, vlogs, sketches, and writing videos chronicling the creation of her own novel. She’s also one of the three YouTubers behind BOOKSPLOSION. Originally from New Jersey, Christine graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in Film and TV and now lives in Los Angeles, CA. Other hobbies include hot yoga and oatmeal. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/polandbananasBOOKS

https://www.instagram.com/xtinemay/

https://www.facebook.com/CMRproductionz/

https://www.christinericcio.com/

This Pale Mortal Shell by D. Elizabeth Ayers Review

A complex story of loss, betrayal, and romance plays out against the backdrop of a magic fueled thriller in author D. Elizabeth Ayers’ novel “The Pale Mortal Shell”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A complex story of loss, betrayal, and romance plays out against the backdrop of a magic fueled thriller in author D. Elizabeth Ayers’ novel “The Pale Mortal Shell”. 

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The Synopsis

A magical love triangle of lost souls that pits brother against brother and proves rock n’ roll never dies. 

Live fast, die young…then steal someone else’s body so you can do it all over again. That’s the plan for rock star Tristan Thorn when he leaves a will which states his wife and his half-brother must live together for three months in order to receive their shares of his estate. Tristan knows he will die before his time and he’s certain his little backup plan will be a success. 

After Tristan dies in a car wreck while being orally gratified by a hot groupie, Madison Thorn has no choice but to go along with her husband’s final wishes. She has no money of her own anymore and the $10,000,000 philandering Tristan left her will go a long, long way. Joseph Thorn has no desire to give in to his crazy brother’s whims. He doesn’t trust Tristan or Madison. But Joseph wants the cozy cottage in Cornwall which goes along with the deal. 

When Tristan’s ghost begins turning up at the cottage and starts taking control of Joseph’s body, Madison and Joseph must work together to stop Tristan before he destroys them all. But will they be able to do it before they fall in love? 

The Review

This is quite a powerful story. Jumping into the action immediately, readers are instantly thrust into the complex history of a rock legend who constantly cheats on his wife, the wife who never gave up on the hope of her beloved husband changing his ways until it was too late, and the brother struggling with years of betrayal while still trying to somehow honor his brother’s memory. Yet while these events immediately come to life, Madison begins to discover a whole secret life her husband hid from her, with strong ties to his family that no one will see coming.

This is definitely a book for adults, as the story delves into some pretty intimate moments that make this a passionate romance novel. While the use of ghosts, magic and the paranormal as a whole make the story engaging and intriguing, it is the growing relationship between Joseph and Madison that will instantly hook readers attention, and the complication of Tristian’s ghost drawing out the “will they, won’t they” drama that the author beautifully lets unfold in every chapter.

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The Verdict

This was a fantastic read and one of the best adult paranormal romances of the year. An evenly paced narrative that readers will instantly connect with, the author does a fantastic job of creating memorable and relatable characters that allow the reader to experience the romance and the supernatural elements of the story as if they are there in that situation as well. With twists and turns that will have readers hanging on every word until the very last page, this is a book readers do not want to miss, so be sure to grab your copy of “This Pale Mortal Shell” by D. Elizabeth Ayers today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre, D. Elizabeth Ayers set out to be a movie star, but ended up waiting on thousands of tables and brewing gallons of coffee for the tired masses. Her greatest claim to movie fame was being an extra in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (and yes, Virginia, you can see her!). She didn’t even admit that she might be a writer until she completed her first novel. Nowadays, she admits it freely and revels in the fact that she gets to play all the parts now! 

amazon.com/author/delizabethayers 

https://www.facebook.com/d.elizabeth.ayers/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.instagram.com/delizabethayers/

Crazy About Kurt by Will Link Review

A group of teens struggling to define themselves and their generation face life head on and deal with the unexpected loss of iconic singer and musician Kurt Cobain in author Will Link’s novel, “Crazy About Kurt”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A group of teens struggling to define themselves and their generation face life head on and deal with the unexpected loss of iconic singer and musician Kurt Cobain in author Will Link’s novel, “Crazy About Kurt”. 

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The Synopsis

Crazy About Kurt takes place over one night in the dirtbag suburbs of Long Island, and follows four friends who struggle with sex, identity and the inevitability of adulthood, all against the backdrop of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. In the vein of American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused, it is a meditation on a generation at a very specific time and place. It is steeped in pop culture, told with humor, emotion and nostalgia. This isn’t just a story for those 90’s kids who grew up on Tori Amos, Jurassic Park and The X-Files – it’s a story for anyone who’s ever been a teenager. 

The Review

This novel will instantly speak to anyone who lived as a teen in the 90’s. While the premise of the story revolves around the way Kurt Cobain’s death impacted the very generation that identified with him, the narrative dives so much more into the questions his death inspired. What makes a person the voice of a generation? Why do celebrities’s deaths have such a deep impact on us all? Most of all, how can one singer become the voice of a generation when most teens are still struggling to define themselves?

A story filled with humor, intimate connections and teenage angst, the author does a great job of creating an ensemble cast of characters that you either identify with or can connect with through personal experiences shared with them. The author also captures perfectly the mixed bag of emotions and reactions that come from a high profile death like Kurt Cobain’s was, and showcases how these events can force a generation to grow up much faster than they anticipated, forced to face life’s challenges head on in a way that most never experience.

The Verdict

This was a fantastic book that deserves to be read. Filled with teenage drama, emotional events anyone who’s lived through their teenage years can attest to, and a theme revolving around identity and defining your own life instead of letting others define it for you, this was a book that quickly became the voice of a generation all on it’s own, brimming with nostalgia and memories for anyone who lived through the 90’s. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of this amazing drama “Crazy About Kurt” by Will Link today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Will Link was born and raised on Long Island before moving to Los Angeles in 2005. He has been a filmmaker, screenwriter, essayist, critic, podcaster and performer. Crazy About Kurt is his first novel.

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-About-Kurt-Will-Link/dp/1729589472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544208089&sr=8-1&keywords=crazy+about+kurt 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43181339-crazy-about-kurt?ac=1&from_search=true

Twitter – @TheRealWillLink  @CrazyAboutKurt

The Gravedigger by Rath Dalton Review

A young boy’s struggles against an abusive father and a mother struggling to care for herself and him in WWII era America takes center stage in author Rath Dalton’s short story, “The Gravedigger”.

A young boy’s struggles against an abusive father and a mother struggling to care for herself and him in WWII era America takes center stage in author Rath Dalton’s short story, “The Gravedigger”. 

The Synopsis

A German boy, Dirk Armen Bohler, vies with his father during the depression years. Squeezed between poverty and a failed father figure, he struggles to find his place.

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The Review

In just a few pages, the author does a magnificent job of highlighting the struggles of women and children during a WWII era, especially those with absent or abusive fathers who sought only to take and never provide for their family. Mirroring the sudden encounter with a gravedigger, the young boy’s journey into adulthood and finding his place in the world is highlighted by his struggle to protect himself and his mother from their father, and to be the opposite of his father in every way. 

Between his father issues and the poverty that took many during the war by surprise, especially when rationing began, makes this quite an engaging read that feels like a personal character study of a young man that often went unnoticed in those days, and became quite heroes in their own right. 

The Verdict

This is a powerful and emotional tale told in a very short amount of time. For a reasonable price, readers are treated to a period drama like no other, capturing the raw vulnerability of those struggling back home during the WWII years while also showcasing a unique coming of age tale that highlights the strength and sacrifice many made during that tumultuous time. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copy of author Rath Dalton’s short story, “The Gravedigger”, today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Hello, if you read some of my work and enjoyed it, you might try posting a review on Amazon.com. Positive reviews help independent authors greatly. If you didn’t like what you read, feel free to email me at rathdalton@gmail.com and tell me where the holes are. It’s always good to get feedback. Thanks for being a reader.

– Rath Dalton

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WiqONi

Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman Review

A coming of age tale of a young girl facing the horrors of war during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi regime takes center stage in author Rina Z. Neiman’s novel “Born Under Fire”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A coming of age tale of a young girl facing the horrors of war during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi regime takes center stage in author Rina Z. Neiman’s novel “Born Under Fire”. 

The Synopsis

Born Under Fire is a historical novel that tells the story of a girl coming of age and her drive to excel despite the devastating effects of long-term war. Born in Jerusalem under British rule in 1928, Shula grows up in a world in turmoil as Hitler rises to power and nations enter into war. Amid a landscape of ancient stone ruins next to modern Bauhaus architecture, and desert scrub ending at newly verdant farmlands, Shula grows into her independence as the State of Israel is born. Based on historical documents and events, Born Under Fire is also about the context surrounding the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the horrors and dangers of growing up in a conflict zone. Shula battles grief and depression due to the shattering events affecting her, her family, and the entire world. Despite this struggle, her resilient spirit enables her to reach great heights as a concert pianist.

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The Review

This was a gripping tale that held no punches and spoke honestly about the rise of the Israeli state and the hardships endured by many during this era of history. Not only did it explore the violence plaguing the world at large during WWII, but the affects it had on the Jewish community around the world and the violence between other cultures and the Jewish people, (and even division amongst the Jewish people themselves), that arose due to this tumultuous time. Yet it’s the way the story is told that will instantly pull readers in, as protagonist Shula is shown from a young girl growing into a young woman and seeing the violence and changes happening around her and to her family.

Shula is what makes the story feel relatable and emotional. While many books and films/television programs will explore historical periods like WWII and give great insight into the period of time that saw so much death and destruction, they often lack the emotional struggle many people faced each and every day. Yet this historical fiction/drama showcases these struggles realistically and allows the reader to hang on to the author’s every word as Shula endures great loss, change and triumph throughout this tale. Not only do we see history through this young woman’s eyes, but readers also feel connected to her as she undergoes this coming of age journey that sees her find the inner strength and courage not only to face these everyday challenges during a time of war, but to reach for her dreams and fight to hold onto her passions in the face of so much loss and adversity.

The Verdict

This is a must read historical fiction novel. Many WWII novels that showcase the struggles of the Jewish people often will focus on the struggles of those immediately in danger from the Nazi regime. Yet in this novel readers get a new perspective on the Jewish community outside of Europe and instead on those establishing themselves in the growing state of Israel. Highlighting the cultural struggles as well as the violence endured during this time, readers will fall in love with Shula and the story of her life during this tumultuous era of history, making this a novel readers will not want to put down. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of “Born Under Fire” by Rina Z. Neiman today! 

Rating: 10/10

Born Under Fire is now available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Thrift Books.

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About the Author, Rina Z. Neiman

Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.

You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website https://www.bornunderfire.com/. Also, you may find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

— Blog Tour Dates

May 20th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog

Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!

https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog/

May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

May 23rd @ Bri’s Book Nook

Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri’s Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire to your reading list.

https://brisbooknook.com/

May 24th @ One Sister’s Journey

Today is a can’t miss review by Lisa over at One Sister’s Journey blog. She’s sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://www.lisambuske.com/

May 26th @ Reading Whale

You won’t want to miss today’s stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.

https://readingwhale.com/

May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica’s blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.

https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/

May 28th @ Helen Hollick’s World of Books

Join Helen Hollick’s Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.

https://www.helenhollick.net/

May 28th @ Book Collab Blog

Make sure you stop by Morgan’s blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://morganbray15.wixsite.com/mysite

May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/

June 1st @ The World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Can’t resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman’s incredible historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev’s blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 4th @ Amanda Diaries

Today’s stop is at Amanda’s blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire. 

https://amandalsanders1989.wordpress.com/

June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

June 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

June 8th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Today’s tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!

http://jessicasreadingroom.com/

June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life

Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess’ blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today’s stop over at author Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews the author.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 14th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Visit Wendi’s blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.

June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses

June 17th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 19th @ Inquiry and Beyond

Join Kathy on Instagram and on her blog PYP in Paradise as she reviews and features Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

https://www.instagram.com/InquiryandBeyond/

http://pypinparadise.blogspot.com/

June 21st @ Choices Blog

Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.

http://madelinesharples.com/

June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi’s blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.

A Shattered Lens: A Detective Preach Everson Novel by Layton Green Review

A tragic murder brings the past hurtling at detective Preach Everson in author Layton Green’s novel “A Shattered Lens”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A tragic murder brings the past hurtling at detective Preach Everson in author Layton Green’s novel “A Shattered Lens”. 

The Synopsis

A detective investigates the murder of a teenage golden boy that has rocked a small town–and the chief suspect is the victim’s mother.

Annalise Stephens Blue is a Creekville high school student with plans to become a world-famous filmmaker. As she begins filming an exposé of the town called Night Lives, she uncovers more than she bargained for: on the very first night of filming, she stumbles upon a murder in the woods, and flees the scene steps ahead of the killer.

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson is called to investigate the murder. The victim, David Stratton, is the town’s golden boy and high school quarterback. A modern version of what Preach used to be. Not only that, the boy’s mother is Claire Lourdis, a beautiful divorcée who Preach fell for in high school. She is also the main suspect in her son’s murder.

Despite the cloud of suspicion hanging over her, old feelings resurface between Claire and Preach, straining the detective’s relationship with his girlfriend Ari, a prosecutor in nearby Durham. As Preach delves into the secrets lurking beneath the surface of the town and searches for a missing girl who may have witnessed the crime, he must put his own feelings aside and pursue the answer to a terrible question: is a mother capable of murdering her own child? 

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The Review

For anyone who fell in love with the first book in this series, one of the first things readers will notice about this incredible sequel is how personal the story feels in comparison to the first story. Rather than tracking a growing serial killer, the story focuses on the unsettling death of a high school student, and showcases the struggle an investigator feels in a small town setting when the victim’s mother is not only someone Preach knew, but once had deep feelings for. Exploring the personal struggles of the detective and the hardships of finding the motive for the crime makes this a truly engaging story.

On top of the murder mystery angle of the narrative, it was fascinating to explore modern day criminal organizations and shady dealings that go on in rural or small town American cities. Showcasing a growing criminal element in this small town and seeing the chaos and corruption threatening the lives of a young girl who becomes an unwilling witness to a heinous crime, the author does a fantastic job of making this story relatable and more emotionally investing than even the first book, which is not an easy feat for anyone who loved book one in the Preach Everson series. 

The Verdict

This is a phenomenal murder mystery series that continues to both entertain and engage readers on a personal and emotional level. With relatable characters that instantly draw the reader into the story and a truly gripping murder mystery that will draw readers into many different directions until the shocking revelation at the books end, this is a novel that deserves your attention. Be sure to grab your copy of “A Shattered Lens” by Layton Green today. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have topped numerous lists (including a #2 overall Amazon bestseller) and have been nominated for major awards, including two finalists for an International Thriller Writers award. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade (even though he still resents having cut his hair for that first interview). He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door-to-door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there. Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Layton has traveled to more than sixty countries, lived in a number of them, and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map.

www.laytongreen.com

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