Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Author Interview - Abyss of Chaos by David Beem

Describe your book in five words or less.

Cool/action/adventure/supernatural thriller.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

It’s all the cool stuff I’ve read or watched in the movies or on TV that touched me. It’s like, “what’s cool about Raiders of the Lost Ark?” and “What’s cool about Fringe?” and “What’s cool about Dan Brown?” all wrapped into one big bag of cool. In fact, I have it on reliable authority that your life will be cooler just by owning the book. You don’t even have to read it; the cool will rub off on you just by owning it!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. Religious extremism is bad. Moderates are good. People start messing up the minute they start doing extreme things in the name of God.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

Learning the ropes with marketing the book is definitely the hardest. Actually writing the book came very easily. I should clarify on the writing part: Before Abyss of Chaos, the longest thing I’d ever written was a five page paper! My former career was as a concert cellist, but I became disabled and can no longer do it. So I turned to writing, and found out it was a total blast! Thing is, when you make a career switch like that, one tends to be very forgiving towards oneself. I learn easily when a more expert writer tells me that something I’ve done wasn’t perfect because I never pressured myself to be perfect. I have no reason to be able to write at all, so criticism was far easier to take, and learn from, than when I made my life as a cellist. A lot of concert cellists practice as much as eight hours a day. So there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect. It’s similar to what I see a lot of writer’s doing to themselves, and that’s a tough way to learn and improve. Learning is most easily done when one adopts the spirit of the fool, assume you know very little and listen critically to the advice you’re getting from others. Good advice can come from all sorts of places.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Next is the sequel to Abyss of Chaos. I’ve got at least four more Max Sinclair books in me. Abyss of Chaos is the first in a trilogy, and I’ve got two definite ideas for a prequel. I’ve also got one other series idea and a few nonfiction ideas.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Well, I’m a fan of the cool, and I consider my genre more “the cool genre” as opposed to “action/adventure/supernatural thriller genre,” but since most retail outlets won’t let you select “cool” as a genre, I’ve got to use what’s there.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Nothing is better than the idea that someone, anyone, will read this book and enjoy it. If I’ve got even one other person out there who loves this book as much as I do, I’ll be happy.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I would love to be interviewed by a Star Wars fan site! The question would be: “Who shot first? Han Solo or Greedo?” Answer, “HAN SOLO!”

What was your road to publications like? I started playing cello when I was nine, and I knew I was going to be a cellist by 13. Concert cellists are made young. When I learned that I couldn’t do it anymore, it might have been very tragic if it weren’t for writing. When I started talking to my colleagues and friends about writing, everyone was expecting a “tell-all” or something about music. For me, that would have been a drag. It would have been a constant reminder of loss and I’d feel like a wounded animal waiting to die. Writing fiction, after making a career in what most consider “high art,” was liberating. Here was a professional opportunity to unbutton the vest, relax, and just write about stuff I thought was cool and fun. I think when you read the book you’ll agree that there’s a freshness and vitality that comes from an author who really loves what he is doing. So the road to publication was an unlikely one, in that three years ago I was still traveling the world with my cello, making recordings and that sort of thing. I never had the thought in my head that I’d be writing.

Author Bio

David Beem is the author of Abyss of Chaos, a forthcoming supernatural thriller which chronicles the adventures of the cellist, Maxwell Sinclair, and his aging archeologist godfather, Dr. Phineas Monroe. Formerly a professional cellist, David was a founding member of the Corigliano (1996-98) and Eykamp (2002-07) Quartets, Principal Cellist of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (2002-07) and member of the Euclid Quartet (2007-09).

His performances spanned three continents and his Corigliano Quartet Carnegie and Weill Hall debuts garnered critical acclaim from the New York Times and Strad Magazine. His relationship with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, John Corigliano, culminated in the South Korean premiere of the composer’s String Quartet No. 1. David has served on the faculties of Murray State University, University of Evansville, and Indiana University at South Bend.

David has recorded the string quartets of Bela Bartok, (2, 4 & 6) Frederick Fox’s Dawnen Gray, and Bernard Heiden’s Clarinet Quintet with James Campbell. Currently, David is hard at work promoting his first novel, Abyss of Chaos, even while producing its sequel, The Philosopher’s Game.

Please leave a comment on this post in appreciation of the author.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Are You Reading Monday? #29

Books I completed in the last week are:

*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

*Reading a lot of children’s book – I’m going to make a challenge of the titles found in 1001 Children’s Books to Read before I Grow Up (just need help with a button)

A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Mystery #1) by Lorraine Bartlett

Up Next:

Megasaurus by Thomas and Peter Weck (for review)
Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant (Loan – SIL)
The Diva Paints the Town by Krista Davis (Loan – SIL)
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark
The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham
Reviews posted this week:

I am still way behind in posting my reviews (doesn’t help major computer crash – had to buy a new laptop) am trying to get them up ASAP.

High Tide in Hawaii by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #28)
Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #27)
The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed
Stitch Me Deadly (An Embroidery Mystery #2) by Amanda Lee

Author Guest Posts/Interviews:
Author Interview/Giveaway - Abyss of Chaos by David Beem (August 31)

September is Author Month – Interview A Day/Guest Blog
Author Interview - The Magical King by Lev Grossman (September 1)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Pleating for Mercy by Misa Ramirez (Entangled Publishing) (September 1)
Author Interview - Dr. Elana Ashley (Dream Image Press, LLC) (September 6)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin (September 7)
Author Interview/Giveaway - A Quilt Shop Murder by Vanetta Chapman (September 16)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Lucky Girl by Cate Lord (Entangled Publishing) (September 17)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Stone Cold Seduction by Jess McAllen (Entangled Publishing) (September 18)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek (Entangled Publishing) (September 19)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Out in Blue by Sarah Gilman (Entangled Publishing) (September 20)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Thrill Me by Lucianne River (Entangled Publishing) (September 21)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Blood of the Deamon by Rosalie Lario (Entangled Publishing) (September 22)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Break Out by Nina Croft (Entangled Publishing) (September 23)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Resurrection by Boon Bruz (Entangled Publishing) (September 24)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The Marked Son by Shea Berkley (Entangled Publishing) (September 25)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Ward Against Death by Melanie Card (September 26)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Luck of the Devil by Patricia Eimer (Entangled Publishing) (September 27)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss (Entangled Publishing) (September 28)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne (Entangled Publishing) (September 29)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Mark of the Sylph by Rosalie Lario (Entangled Publishing) (September 30)
Author Interview - One Wish for Winifred Witch by Cheri Hallwood (TBD)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The Wedding Letters by Jason F Wright (Shadow Mountain Publishing) (TBD)
*Author Interview/Giveaway? – Gobble, Gobble by Cathryn Falwell (TBD)

December is Author Month – Interview/Guest Blog A Day
Author Interview/Giveaway - Shadowlander by Theresa Meyer (Entangled Publishing) (December 1)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Hushed by Kelly York (Entangled Publishing) (December 2)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lucianne River (Entangled Publishing) (December 3)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Shadow On The Wall by Pavarti Devi (December 3)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Under the Moon by Natalie Damschroder (Entangled Publishing) (December 4)
Author Interview/Giveaway - North of Need by Laura Kaye (Entangled Publishing) (December 5)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Girl Three by Tracy March (Entangled Publishing) (December 6)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek (Entangled Publishing) (December 7)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Touch by Jus Accardo (Entangled Publishing) (December 8)
Author Interview/Giveaway - The Fallen Queen by Jane Kindred (Entangled Publishing) (December 9)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro (Entangled Publishing) (December 10)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Busted in Bollywood by Nichola March (Entangled Publishing) (December 11)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft (Entangled Publishing) (December 12)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Night Series #2 by Lisa Kessler (Entangled Publishing) (December 13)
Author Interview/Giveaway – Radiant Desire by Inara Scott (Entangled Publishing) (December 14)
Author Interview/Giveaway - Jacob T Marley by R. William Bennet (Shadow Mountain Publishing) (TBD)

Special Blog Hop Giveaways
Back to School Hop (September 1 – 5)
Banned Book Week Hop (September 24 – October 1)
Spooktacular Hop (October 24 – 31)
Gratitude Giveaways (November 17 – 27)
Midwinters Eve (December 21 – 22)

Book Review - Stitch Me Deadly (An Embroidery Mystery #2) by Amanda Lee

Title: Stitch Me Deadly (An Embroidery Mystery #2)
Author: Amanda Lee
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
ISBN: 978-0-451-23251-0
Release Date: February 2011
Pages: 325
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: SIL Loan

Back Cover:
Opening an Embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, was a big deal for Marcy Singer. But it was nothing compared to coming face-to-face with a crafty killer.

Marcy is the proud owner of the Seven-Year Stitch, an embroidery specialty shop in the sweet small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Her best friend, Sadie, owns the coffee shop down the street, and here Irish wolfhound, Angus, is practically the shop’s mascot. But trouble strikes when an elderly woman brings an antique piece of embroidery to Marcy…and promptly dies of unnatural causes.

Marcy is convinced that the antique sampler holds a clue to an even older crime and that somebody may have killed hide it. Now it’s up to Marcy and her pals – two-legged and four-legged – to unravel this mystery.

My Review:
This book is actually better then her first (The Quick and the Thread). Marcy is once again caught in the middle of foul play at the shop. Mrs. Larson comes with a wonderful antique sampler and dies there in there on the spot. Marcy with the help of all her friends (Sadie, Ted, Todd, her mother and her trustiest friend Angus) try to solve the mystery.

“Find Ivy” the hardest part is figuring out what or who Ivy is …….

Book Review - Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne

Title: Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27)
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-439-54013-5
Release Date: 2002
Pages: 93
Genre: Young Adult Chapter
Format: Paperback
Source: Loan from Nephew

Back Cover:

It’s a time for giving thanks….when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to 1621 on the first Thanksgiving Day. The Pilgrims ask them to help get things ready. But whether it’s cooking or clamming, Jack and Annie don’t know how to do anything the Pilgrim way. Will they ruin the holiday forever? Or will the feat go on?

My review:

Still reading along with my nephew. This time they meet Priscilla Mullins and John Alden. The first Thanksgiving was actually a celebration of a shared harvest with the Indians and the Pilgrams. The Indians were kind enough to teach the Pilgrims how to plant corn and pumpkins and how to catch the clams. The majority of the Pilgrims died during the first winter after landing, so this truly was a celebration.

Although Jack and Annie do make a mess of what they are asked to do they do go away with an appreciation of the hard work that it took working together to survive.

Book Review - High Tide In Hawaii (Magic Tree House #28) by Mary Pope Osborne

Title:  High Tide In Hawaii (Magic Tree House #28)
Author:  Mary Pope Osborne
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-439-54014-3
Release Date: 2003
Pages: 96
Genre:  Young Adult Chapter
Format: Paperback
Source:  Nephew loan

Back cover:
Catch the Wave!
That’s what Jack and Annie do when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to a Hawaiian island of long ago.  They learn how to surf and have a great time – until strange things start happening.  Jack and Annie soon discover the cause: A tidal wave is  headed their way!  Can they help save their new friends in time?

My Review:  I love these stories reading along with my nephew this summer.  I like that there is always some historical or cultural aspect.  Here they Hawaiians are still living in traditional wasys.  While they are there they learn to surf  and hula.  The unthinkable happens when a tsunami comes along, but the quick modern thinking of the kids saves the day.

Book Review - The Summer we Came to Life by Debora Cloyed

Title:  The Summer we Came to Life
Author:  Deborah Cloyed
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 13-978-0-7783-1291-9
Release Date:  2011
Pages: 312
Genre:  Chick Lit (but on a more serious side)
Format: Paperback
Source:  Publisher for Review

Back Cover:
Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends – Isabel, Kendra, and Mina – on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous.  Together with their mixed bag of parents, they’ve created a lifetime of memories.  This year it’s a beach house in Honduras.  But for the first time, their clan is not complete.  Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.

For Samantha, the vacation just feels wrong without Mina.  Despite being surrounded by her friends – the closest thing she has to family – Mina’s death has left Sam a little lost.  Unsure what direction her life should take.  Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend’s surprise proposal, it’ll be the wrong one.

The answers aren’t in  the journal Mina gave Same before she died.  Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts.  Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation’s stories of love and loss, and Sam’s glimps int a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart.  And follow it.

My Review:
For me the book started out very slow and I wasn’t sure if I could get through it.  I finally hit the point where I couldn’t put it down about half way through.  Journal entry vs. current day and the physics were a little oft putting.

This is a story about 4 friends that started when they were children until now when they are in their 30s.  The girls thought it wasn’t right to do this with Mina missing, but in the end they all realize that she would have wanted it to stay the same.  The older generation (the mother’s) tell their stories of love and choices that they made.  It was a great way to realize how we are all connected no matter our age.

I like that the choices that we make connect us all.  It’s amazing the strong bond of “family” they have created through the years.  The book while it did wonder in places was good once it got to the end.  I was a book that made you think.

Not bad for a first book.