I’m Back (Allix Booth)

After a long six months of being away from my blog, I have finally returned with some big surprises for you guys. I’m now officially writing under a pen name which as the heading says, “Allix Booth”. Since you guys were the ones that really sparked this new side of me to life throughout the last year, I want to extend an invitation to all of you to come check out my cover reveal event on Facebook happening January 31, 2016. “The Temperament Scepter”, will be the first book I have published in the last two years and it is a dark epic fantasy.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/423940761150267/

Please come check out the event it has an uploaded book teaser trailer of my new novel as well as information on the event. There will also be multiple guest authors taking over the event, which will be especially exciting because these guys have busted their tails on some truly remarkable pieces of work.

Interview with the Awethors Featuring Mary Buckham

Welcome to this week’s episode of Interview with the Awethors! I know it has been pretty quiet on this end of the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve been compiling a list of some awesome authors that pack a punch in their novels. Now, today I have USA Today’s Bestselling author Mary Buckham! Her world in The Invisible Recruits Series will bring you into a mysterious world of magic and discovery oneself.

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William: Thank you for joining me today, Mary. I appreciate you fitting me into your schedule this week! What inspired you to write the Invisible Recruit Series?

Mary: I was talking to a Terrorist Threat Assessment specialist (some plane trips are worth their weight in gold) and he was talking about the fact that here in the US the recruitment process for undercover operatives  eliminated some of the very people who can infiltrate foreign situations. He said the screening process often eliminated everyone except farm-bred boys who’d never been away from home. I thought it was a fascinating insight. Who would you recruit to blend in best in real life situations? So I created a cadre of female operatives who came from diverse backgrounds—a debutante, a hairdresser, a kindergarten teacher, a temp and a fortune-telling con artist—for a new kind of black ops group. The first book in the series featured the debutante and was published as a contemporary romantic suspense. The month before the second book in the five book series was released, the publishing line folded and I received my rights back for the final four novels. There were very few options for the types of stories I wanted to write—strong female protagonists, sexual tension without sex for the sake of sex, women finding out exactly how powerful they were when things got bad, until Indie publishing arrived. I added in paranormal elements as well as supernatural and preternatural aspects and resurrected the series.

William: Thank goodness indie publishing came along because your story is truly a page turner. I know following Alex’s adventure took me only an overnight read and I was hooked!

In the story you describe many different types of magic and cultures across the world, what type of research went into creating these different types of magic?

Mary: I loved reading myths and fairy tales growing up, especially stories from around the world, so I knew there was a rich heritage of magic to pull from when I first started writing the series with a half-witch, half-shaman protagonist. I made sure she wasn’t well versed in her magical abilities as part of her back story, so as she learns about the magic and her gifts, so does the reader. The important issue to me about using magic as a large story element is to make sure that magic has limits and consequences. Nothing I hate more than when a character has a get-out-of-jail free card, meaning that because she is in a certain situation I as the author suddenly make it easy for her to whip out a new magical spell or a way to use her magic. For Alex Noziak, her gift of magic is her greatest asset and her biggest bane. That keeps things interesting.

William: And that is why I enjoyed your story from front to back. There was too many situations where Alex had to discover herself with her skills. So is there a specific person in your life that inspired the idea for Alex Noziak?

Mary: : I think Alex is the kind of person a lot of women would like to be—willing to lead with her heart, deal with the consequences, and not really worry about keeping everyone happy. I don’t know that she’s an easy person to be around all the time, and often strikes sparks off her equally strong-minded teammates. But she’s a good person and she cares deeply about those who can’t always care for themselves. That keeps her vulnerable and kick-ass at the same time.

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William: Judging by the cover, she definitely looks kick ass in this series! When did you discover your passion for writing?

Mary: I knew I was always a storyteller but it wasn’t until I was an adult, and I lost a two-month old son to SIDS, and I had to find a reason to get up and take care of my three other children, that I had to find the kernel that became turning stories into novels. It was a promise I made to my son. He didn’t live long enough to leave something lasting, so I’ll do it for him.

William: I am so sorry to hear about your son. A very motivational and admiring way to remember him and bring a lasting life for him.

How does it feel to be a USA Today Bestselling author?

Mary: Shiney! Actually it doesn’t change a lot. You still have to face the blank page. Expectations increase because the title is a form of external validation that reassures readers who don’t know me personally that I might be able to write a good story. It doesn’t mean they’ll like my stories, but that I’ve paid enough dues and made enough sales, to warrant giving my work a try.

William: Do you have any upcoming releases for the readers to be excited about?

Mary: In January, 2016 Writer’s Digest is bringing out a print version of my Writing Active Setting book, titled, A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting. This means more writers around the world as well as libraries and bookstores will be able to order it. Plus, it’s chock full of new examples. So I am excited about that. I am currently working on two under wraps fiction projects, which I will be sharing on my Facebook mary.buckham.author and Twitter @MaryBuckham pages. I am in the midst of wrapping up my first set of online workshops to teach hooks to writers (You can find more info here: MaryBuckhamOnWriting) and already looking forward to the next series of classes that I will be creating. 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

William: You are truly a very busy woman and an adventure seeker! Where was your favorite place to travel?

Mary: I don’t think that there is one favorite place, because I like how varied and unique our world is. It’s hard to compare Bangkok with small town Missouri, or Santa Fe with rural England, as each has it’s own magic.

William: Are any of your stories inspired by your travels?

Mary: Absolutely! To me the more you travel the more you find common treads of humanity that link us together and speak to all of us. Some of my stories have locations that I have been to personally and others include places I plan to visit one day.

William: If you could have magical abilities, what would be your strength and why?

Mary: I would like the ability to instantly transport to any location. What a time saver! Except, I haven’t figured out how to carry my luggage.

William: Oh, that would be a time saver! Also, if it was me, it would take away that fear of flying I have.

For people who are searching for that magic touch in their writing, what advice do you have for them to be as successful as you?

Mary: Like many novice writers, when I started out I thought all I had to do was write the story and it’d be a story worth being acquired by a publisher. Wrong. Writing never gets easier. The doubts never go away. But the craft elements can be learned with enough attention and work. You have to do the work. There’s no getting around it. Some people sell their first novel and that’s wonderful. What we don’t hear is how many times that novel was worked and reworked before it went through editorial review boards and the editorial revision process.

William: And that about wraps it up for this weeks episode of Interview with the Awethors thanks to all the readers and writers joining in on this episode. Please check out Mary Buckham and give her the joy of sharing a piece of her magical world of The Invisible Recruits Series.

 

Also, check out her guides Writing Active Hooks.

If you would like to connect with Mary Buckham and find out more about her upcoming books, or you would like to purchase her books, go to the links below:

Twitter: @MaryBuckham

Facebook: Author Mary Buckham

Hooks Class: MaryBuckhamonWriting

 

If you’re an author looking to be featured on the Interview with the Awethors Seriesplease leave your inquiry at lloyd.jr@aol.com

Review: I’m Okay, You’re Not by Kim Mullican

Title: I’m Okay, You’re Not

Author: Kim Mullican

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

 

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Book Description:

Abby Remington has been locked up in a mental institution twice for suicide attempts she doesn’t recall. She’s not allowed to see her only surviving blood relative, her little sister Rachael. While she’s been deemed incompetent, her step-siblings, Cam and Brit, pilfer her fortune and keep her prisoner.

A doctor, who believes her delusions and hallucinations may be real, helps free Abby and Rachael from the clutches of their devious step-family. There’s a price to pay for freedom as the Abby and her little sister soon discover when Cam and Brit kidnap Rachael and sell her off to a mobster.

Abby discovers the true nature of her suicide attempts. She has to do everything she can to save Rachael, her own sanity and their fortunes from the clutches of their malevolent step-siblings. Help comes from an unlikely ally, but will it come in time?

How I Came Across This Novel:

Kim Mullican is actually an author that I follow on my blog. She had posted something the other day about delaying the release of one of her novels, and I was intrigued to check out one of her books. I went with the one that interested me the most first because if I like the book that’s the most interesting to me, then more than likely I’m going to check out the rest that maybe interesting but haven’t caught my interest just yet.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

I thought that a decent amount of the novel was focused a lot on money. Every chapter seems to fall under something about money which is fine, but it seemed to be the main focus. Every time some unusual event would happen it would always generate large and outrageous sums of money that has an unrealistic feel to it. 

I did have an issue with a scene where Abby was humiliating her step-sibling, Brit, at the club. I just don’t understand why Abby would feel this is necessary. Also, I think it would’ve been even better if Abby didn’t reveal herself at the club and just let Brit go home with this broke guy. Now that would’ve been hilarious to have dialogue about that with Abby and Brit in a different chapter.

Also, in the first chapter there were a few errors that made it a little distracting near the end of the chapter. I let it go and didn’t think any of it because that’s nothing that bothers me too much, but I found multiple typos as I got to the middle and conclusion of the novel that really started distracting me because I had to guess what words this author was using to form the sentences.

What I Liked About It:

By far, this book has been one of the best books I’ve read this year. I literally read it within a day. (I had to do it in two sittings because of some errands I had to run.) The first chapter really grabbed me when it started off inside of the mental institution. I find this intriguing because many questions pop in my head about why Abby Remington is in a mental institution.

The author did a great job with really making me hate the antagonists in this novel. It was almost like I was living inside the shoes of Abby throughout the novel, and I loved that feeling! I especially enjoyed the struggles she faced with trying to protect her little sister, then finding out some of the bombshell discoveries about her step-siblings really made me hunger to know more about the life Abby’s sister, Rachael,  lived through. I wish I could have read more about the lifestyle that Rachael lived through because I think this would’ve played a huge role in the character development. 

I really enjoyed learning about Bob. At first, I was questioning myself about who he was. It was actually pretty interesting to see all of these ghosts helping Abby throughout the book. This whole book makes me wonder if all of us have ghosts that protect us from danger. It was very thought provoking and I will definitely be reading another novel by Kim.

My Verdict: 4 Stars

I would have given this book five stars, but the distractions from the typos really made it difficult to stay focused on the key scenes that made this novel an amazing read.

 

 

Reviews for Authors

I had a post a week or two ago about reviewing author’s novels/stories. If you are interested in receiving a review from me, you can contact me here, or through my email. The criteria I base my reviews on are: character development, plot development, and mechanics. I would be highly interested in helping you. I base my reviews on a 5 star scale.

5 Stars- Amazing, engrossing, page turner

4 Stars- Well written, nice plot

3 Stars- A balance between nice and needs work.

2 Stars- Needs work. Couldn’t finish it.

1 Star- Bored to death, needs editing, and terrible character development. 

That’s my grade scale, and I will also try to balance my likes and dislikes about a novel. Also I mostly review, horror/science fiction/literature fiction/occasionally romance. I am open for more genres, but those are my favorite ones to review. If you have any questions, you may contact me at anytime. It may take a few for me to respond, but I will get to you eventually, and if I don’t. Send me another request after 30 days.

I will post my reviews on the kindle website or which ever website you would like my reviews on. I will have more descriptive reviews on here though.

Divergent: Movie Review

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Yesterday, Nadine and I rented the movie Divergent from Redbox. I had read the book a few months ago, and I enjoyed it, somewhat? I did have a few concerns about it that made me think the movie would not be as great as the book. I know books and movies are almost always different, but sometimes movies do take away from the beef of the story.(SPOILERS)

 

Dislikes:

I didn’t like some of the characters’ appearances in the movie. In the book, Four had piercings and tattoos. Yes, he had the tattoos, but where were the piercings on his face. It was almost like another one of Hollywood’s ways of saying looks do matter. I was thinking of the whole Tris and Four relationship being closely related to a Beauty and The Beast appearance. Four did have the intimidating talking points, but his looks just didn’t justify how the book describes him. 

In the movie, Will didn’t seem too interested in Tris, but in the book, it really describes and plays out their relationship better. It seemed like the conversations that Tris had privately with him showed that Will had some level of attraction with her. Even when she brings up things about Four. He even gets to the point, where he gets some what jealous and ends up trying to kill her with his other two fellow attackers. I think if there was a little bit of this relationship added more near the beginning of the movie, I think Will’s suicide would have made a lot more sense. At least in the book it did. Now, if you read the book, you know why he killed himself.

I had a issue with this through both book and movie. The faction Candor. What was the point in even creating this faction? I mean, honestly, I haven’t read the other two books yet, but you hardly hear anything about them. You have a few new people in Dauntless that talk about Candor cause that was their old faction, but why even have this faction if you hardly hear about them at all? I do hope we have a little more insight in this faction in the next book/movie because if there’s hardly anything about them until Allegiance, then I’d say there’s no point. Even Amity, what was the point of making that faction too? You have three factions, which of course are the three factions that Tris fits into. Abnegation, Eurodite, and Dauntless. It just seems pointless to have these other two factions. It makes it very confusing for the reader or watcher.

The ending, it was just terrible. Like so many questions pop in my head. Why didn’t they kill Jeanine? Why didn’t they kill Eric? What happened to all the factions? And why does the train always seem to be in the right place at the right time?

Also, the way Tris escaped her fears seemed to not be a challenge for her. I mean, seriously, tapping the glass wall of a tank and breaking ti with her finger? That in my opinion seems like an easy way of the writer trying to think of something more complex but gets writer block so she says “Screw it, let’s just break the glass with her finger. That’ll be enough fro the audience.” I understand there’s not much you can do in that situation, but there has to be another way of making that more difficult to escape from, even being Divergent.

 

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I really enjoyed seeing some of the settings that came from the book. Like the Pit, the game of Capture the flag. The weapons they used in that game really had me interested because of how the bullets were like the pain of a gunshot but for only a few minutes. We can say this almost sounds like paintball, but they were using darts.

I enjoyed the casting as well. I thought they were spot on with the casting. I really enjoyed seeing Kate Whitney play an antagonist. I would have never guessed she’d play it well.

The fights in the pit I enjoyed. Wish there was more of this like in the book because it would show how the ranking system worked. Especially, since that’s their lifeline to staying with the Dauntless. Also, I wish I would’ve seen more of the Dauntless-born. These guys were in the book, but the movie didn’t really show any of them. I’d put that under the dislike column.

 

Score 5/5:

2.5- Only because it didn’t have a lot of the key points in the book that would’ve helped to explain events better. If they had done this, I would’ve given it a 3.5.

 

The Interesting Things I’ve Accumulated

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This is my display of some of my graphic novels from The Walking Dead. I also have an abundance of comic books on the top shelf in my office but they weren’t as appealing as this bad boy!

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Here’s my Lord of the Rings signatures. The top one is a screenplay signed by the cast, and the bottom one is the two actors I didn’t get signatures from in the top one. I got these 3 pictures/ screenplays at Dragon Con four or five years ago.

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I bought this piece because Charles Adlard (The artist for some of Kirkman’s Walking Dead Comics) made this. I still haven’t framed it, but it’s a fantastic piece for my Walking Dead collection!

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This is an Assassin’s Creed poster for Black Flag. I like this because it was made by Todd McFarlane (Another artist that drew for Robert Kirkman) 

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And my most prized piece is the Stormtrooper helmet. I won this baby from my photographer when I donated to her friend’s charity. I love this because I mean, it’s Star Wars, nothing is more beautiful than this sitting on top of the shelf in your office while you find those inspiring words.

As you can see, I’m a bit of a nerd, but I love collecting things. It’s growing to be an almost dangerous hobby! Hope you guys enjoyed!

The Walking Dead

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I freaking love the Walking Dead. I don’t know if it is because it is set in my hometown, or that it is nothing like the zombie norm that I have ever seen. I don’t want to say that I am intrigued by the drama but in all honesty, I am. I mean, Robert Kirkman is my hero when it comes to the comic books. Now, the show has even made me more in love of with the zombie universe that he has created. Let me take you through a few highlights of why I love the show and comic book so much… (SPOILERS!)

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Okay, if you haven’t noticed already from all three of these comic selections from the Walking Dead, THE GORE. I mean, what makes Robert’s world of Walkers so crazy is the fact the humans are actually killing each other. If you’re asking yourself, “Why the hell would they want to kill each other?” Well, the answer is…

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A safe place to shelter themselves from the grotesque creatures that want to devour the innards of the human body. Everyone in the comic is always on a constant journey to find a home. Somewhere they can be safe and not have to worry about being killed by walkers. It seems like there is never a place that anyone can hide from these things. The reason being is that we all have the virus inside of us. So say, an elderly man dies of a heart attack, he doesn’t have any bites, and it’s all from natural causes. He will still turn into one of the walking dead. It’s almost an endless battle to survive because once we kill each other, we just come back to life ready to rip a jugular from our enemies throat. It’s freaking insane!!

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Rick Grimes is the main protagonist in this story and the Walking Dead staff, producers, and directors did it right when they cast Andrew Lincoln. I mean, how could you go wrong with an actor with a British accent. Andrew plays the role perfectly. A sheriff trying to find his family in the midst of an ever growing apocalypse. He has to face a lot of challenges along the way, but he some how gets through them with his wit and survival skills. 

He also seems to be the only one that actually DOES WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SURVIVE! If you watch the show or read the comics, he is the only character that actually puts his group before anyone else. Except his son and wife of course. Them two are his main concern. He kills his best friend, he locates safe places and forces his group to keep moving on, he also has a knack from running into weird characters on the road.

There are so many things that I could write that explain how awesome this story is but it all is going to still come down to the things I have already written. The virus being inside us already, the character drama, and just the casting. The casting was almost spot on with every character. I would suggest at least checking out the show if not the comic book. Both have different story lines but they are both very fun and interesting. I know Nadine and I make it a point to have the show recorded or be off work during the marathons on television.

Just remember, “Kill the Dead, Fear the Living.” quoted by Rick Grimes. Be safe!

Horizon: Aaron Lambright

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I’ve had a few people ask me about my characters in my novel from their roots to becoming a character to reasons they do the things they do. I’m going to start this all off with my protagonist Aaron Lambright.

Aaron Lambright is a twenty-four year old male. He is about 5’10 and has brown hair. He has a brother named Landon, who is his twin. Aaron is your in the norm kind of guy. He is a marine biologist who has suffered some troubling times in his past. He originally discovered a ship artifact nestling deep within the crevices of the ocean floor in the Arctic Ocean. He had to be funded by the Captain Glenn, who is a multimillionaire that makes his money off the ideas and knowledge of other sailors and scientists. I’ll be getting into more detail with him later.

Aaron was originally born in Cordova, Alaska, where he played music and hardly could survive off the tips he was making at local bars. He left home because his father, Weston Lambright was forcing him to join the Navy. (His father is a Navy Captain). He ran away from Cordova and took a plane to Australia, where he built a whole new life away from his home. He lives in the boat he collected as payment from Captain Glenn and resides there in the harbor of Sydney, Australia. Over the years since the discovery of the artifact, he has lived his days as a drunken sailor, who occasionally drifts off the The Great Barrier Reef with his assistant, Sandy. 

He discovered when he was nineteen that his mother was suffering from cancer and within months she had passed away. All of the lost time and vague memories brought Aaron to a point of inner destruction to lead him to where he is today. His father wants nothing to do with him because of his refusal to join the military. He is struggling with his relationship with Abigail and after a few events, emotions get rocky between the two. This leads to Aaron tilting his bottle of run more heavily and blacking out more often than not. 

 

The reason I wrote Aaron Lambright, in my own lost drunkenness years ago, was because I wanted to build a relationship with a character that was based off me in the past and in the future. His ship the Chanda II was a symbolic relationship between my ex-girlfriend at the time and how terrible I wanted to make things work, but she was so crazy I couldn’t make sense of anything she thought. I made the ship so dirty because my relationship felt dirty with her. It was almost like I was sucked into this black hole and couldn’t find a way out. Abigail saved him from his growing demise but their relationship has been a struggle. This relationship is based mostly off of some past relationships, but occasionally I’ll add bits of positive things that have happened presently in my own relationship.

I hope you guys enjoyed the insight on one of my characters. I’ll post more characters bios later. 

 

Everyone Needs a Good Eye

I haven’t been on here much today. I’ve been posting so much the last two weeks, I had to give myself a little bit of a break so i could get back to Eversoul. I also woke up at 4 am this morning to go to work and at 3:30 pm I was out like a light bulb. Terrible and overused metaphor, but I think I’ll be able to look passed it for this post. 

I had someone bring this to my attention today because my editor recently took a job with a company, and she is bombarded with work. Anyways, I’ve been searching for an editor for Eversoul, and a fellow author asked me, “If you do your own editing services for people, then why don’t you just edit it yourself?” Well, duh! I edit my work about four-five times before I even send it out to a second pair of eyes to look at, let alone an editor. I found that the best practice is to have a second, third, and even a fourth pair of eyes look at your work before you even think about publishing a novel. This is so that you don’t happen to accidentally miss something. I know I’m not perfect, so I definitely want that peace of mind knowing that someone is caring for my work and giving me their attention to detail as I would with any other author. So yes, you maybe an amazing editor, but you will still make a few mistakes here and there. Even is your missing that simple “s” on random pages.

Anyways, time to go get some groceries. I’m starving and Nadine is waiting for me to leave the computer. So here’s my post for the day. if I can fit another one in, I will, but I enjoyed all of your responses on the last few posts I’ve done. Thanks for taking the time to read and appreciate your thoughts!