Blog

“Wow. It’s quiet today,” someone says at work.

“Noooo! Don’t say that!” *I feverishly look for REAL wood, not that pressed wood crap, to knock on*

When you work in a shelter, you never, ever, comment on a quiet shift or you risk immediate karmic backlash. No. Instead, you ignore the quiet and when someone mentions it, you knock wood, flex, and stare the bad luck down like an alpha wolf about to go rabid if it dares to mess with you.

Then, twenty minutes pass and it gets busy anyway because that’s the nature of social work.

Hrumph.

Superstitions amaze me. No proof they work exists, but still, we insist on engaging in weird and embarrassing behaviour to prevent whatever bad thing we assume will happen if we don’t.

We insist on trying to override common sense and basic science by crossing our fingers for good juju. You don’t rely on absurd tactics to keep the strip from turning pink when birth control would’ve been the smarter option.

So where do these desperate attempts originate from? Our parents? They’re easy to blame, but they learned it from somewhere.

Some common ones in my world come to mind, so I started Googling.

The favoured ‘knock on wood’ to ward away the evil that is the busy work day, is said to derive from pagan times when spirits and deities lived in the trees. Touching or knocking on wood acknowledged and called upon them to bring about good fortune. I’ll never knock on wood again without thinking of little spirits living in the chair rails.

Food isn’t free from superstitions either. Say you get hand-talking about an episode of Wynonna Earp and how sexy Tim Rozon looks with a ‘stache as Doc Holliday and the salt shaker goes flying. Everyone knows spilling salt is a no-no, right? But why?

Salt used to be an expensive commodity, so spilling would be wasteful, but the tasty mineral has been used in many ancient rituals as well as modern rituals to cleanse or ward away negative spirits.

There’s also a connection to lies and treachery as in DaVinci’s painting of the Last Supper as Judas has spilled the salt.

 

Regardless of the reason for it being bad luck, you bet you’re scooping up every grain and tossing it over you left shoulder to reverse the bad juju and/or blind the dirty devil on your left shoulder. (Blow it a kiss while you’re at it. I hear he likes that.)

Some superstitions have long-lasting negative consequences. In the middle ages, black cats were said to be familiars of witches and, if they crossed your path, they’d block your path to God or Heaven. Countless black cats have been maimed or killed since then for no other reason than moronic superstitions.

The number 13 is another. Paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of number 13) is so puissant that buildings still refuse to label the 13th level as it is. The label assigned to the elevator button doesn’t change the fact that it’s still level 13. We know this, but we refuse to admit it. While the Chinese and Ancient Egyptians thought 13 was lucky, the rest of the world is deluded enough to pretend it doesn’t exist. Though there were those New Yorkers who started a trend of Thirteen Clubs in 1881 which consisted of facing every superstition related to the number. Guess what? Still alive. Well, now I’m sure they’re dead, but not because of their group.

In all parts of the world superstitions pop up for various reasons and make their way around the world.

  • Don’t sweep at night or you’ll sweep away your wealth. – West Africa
  • Pregnant women shouldn’t wear a lei or the umbilical cord will choke the unborn baby. – Hawaii
  • An itchy right hand mean unexpected money, but an itchy left hand means unexpected money loss. – Turkey
  • Throwing rice at the bride and groom encourages nearby jealous spirits to eat instead of bothering them. – China

Whatever the problem, we humans have a superstition to combat it. As glass half-empty as we try to be, we instinctually crave hope, and think that our problems can be solved by avoiding open umbrellas inside or, like myself, sleep with the open end of the pillow case to outside of the bed because having it on the inside leads to the potential of trapping in nightmares.

As long as they don’t hurt anyone or impede on rational functioning beyond minor embarrassment, I say let them stick around. I know I don’t plan on walking under any open ladders, so if someone wants to put snake skin in their wallet in hopes of becoming rich or wear the same unwashed lucky underwear all football season, then that’s their bees wax or…crotch rot as the case may be.

Do you practice any superstitions? Don’t worry, none are too odd to be repeated. Unless your superstition consists of repeating your superstition aloud, then send it via psychic messages. I’ll be waiting.

 

Resources:
http://www.weldonowen.com/blog/38-odd-superstitions-about-food-brooms-body-and-more

http://www.csicop.org/superstition/library/common_superstitions

http://psychiclibrary.com/beyondBooks/superstition-room/

http://www.csicop.org/superstition/library/common_superstitions

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

(My original post was on The Fabulous Fictionistas website.)


Which “V” word? You ask.

Vampires?

No, but you may stumble over a few in the dark on the way to kitchen for more snacks.

Vagina?

Pfft. Even if we Fictionistas are taking one each on our writing journey and at times listening to it’s gut feeling instead of our tummies.

Victims?

Sort of. Maybe. You’ll find many and we writers love to rack up the kill quotient and decimate the hearts of our readers for our own sick pleasure.

The “V” word I’m getting to is “VALIDATION”.

Boring after realizing vaginal intuition is a thing, I know, but stay with me.

As someone who works with an array of people, validation can be one of the strongest tools in my belt. We humans crave it. We like to pretend we don’t, but we do, and gaining such acceptance and understanding when it involves your passion? Lord love a duck, we crave this most.

You can close the shutters, ignore all forms of social interaction, and write yourself into early carpal tunnel, but then what?

We writers need validation for many things we don’t even realize. Here’s a fraction of the validation supportive writing communities can provide:
  • The fact everyone’s first draft is better toilet paper than publish worthy, yet you never get rid of even tiny nuggets of brilliance.
  • Staying up until the birds are singing to perfect a scene or finish revisions is worth the dark circles and week of walking like an octogenarian, because the result is more important than bathroom trips.
  • Rejection letters are received by everyone brave enough to put themselves out there. They are also considered a point of pride and a challenge, especially to some famous author who refused to take no for an answer.
  • Your browser history is a testament to hours of valuable research you’ll use 3% of and makes you look like a serial killer, arborist, and circus performer.
  • The mushy middle is a real thing on and off the page and many have tips on how to combat them both. We’re all wearing sweats anyway.
  • Sanity. With so many characters battling for attention in your brain, you’re not the only one to daydream and run your shopping cart into the kid in front of you. Chances are the wail and pissed of parents scowl proves an impressive character reference.
  • “We are all rubbish at this.” Validation from a writer friend. All of which validate our insecurities as a writer. We can’t be positive 24/7 and word brilliance tends to sprout from bouts of inner conflict. Sometimes we need other to kick your ass into gear, and this is okay.
  • That a shelfie ranks higher than a dick/tit pic. (I challenge you to send a shelfie in response to the next request seeking sauciness)
20160604_183919-1-768x877

Mmmm. Now you’re talking. Show me more.

  • Going without showering, a real meal, sleep, and physical interaction with another human is acceptable as long as you get your word count in.
  • There’s millions of writers out there recycling elements of the same stories, but there’s only one you. And yes, your vampire-fairy adventure mystery romance has an audience you’ll discover if you work hard enough to find it.

Get out there and find writers who you can share something with, even if it’s only how awesome your new notebook is and how your cat/dog/lizard is cock-blocking your writing time.

Everyone loves a nugget of what could have been, so I’m sharing a few small and unedited nugs from Soul Discovery. Made more difficult by the fact it’s a new release and I risk revealing too much.

#1.

Unfortunately the scene didn’t pertain to the forward motion of the story, so it was cut. I still envision the old man down in the park when I get to this part of the story.

Laundry tumbling, I lacked direction again. 5:30am was an okay good time to walk Bosco before he peed on the couch he was sniffing at and all she intended to do was hit up his favorite watering tree and scoot back to the apartment, but found the nagging urge to meander down the railway ties to where the dreams took place irresistible.

Maybe that was an unconscious plan all along. Regardless, he wouldn’t be down there, the dreams always took place in a rainstorm at night.. Now, the sky was alive beneath the rising sun painting variations of colour, the temperature change causing creek mist to hang like fog across the grass.

As I approached the right spot I she stopped and closed my eyes feeling my temples thrum with my heart. The morning air was crisp. The nights are still cool, enough I wished I’d worn a sweater. A shiver raced down my back causing a shudder and goose bumps to cover every inch of my body, only his face on the inside of my eyelids.

“Hey lady, gotta smoke?” called a gravel-thrashed voice.

I jumped and screeched like a little girl as the voice perforated my recall of the grey-eyed man. A homeless man in his fifties stood unshaven in clothing in desperate need of a good burning, the stink of cheap beer and urine wafted downwind.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to sneak up on ya.” His raised hands trembled.

“S’okay. Sorry, um…I don’t smoke.” Heading towards the stairs, cursing the dense idea to go down there at this time,  I scurried off as fast as I could.

“You don’t have to leave, sweetie!”

Ignoring him and sprinting up the staircase, I was embarrassed by how winded I was. I bolted so quick Bosco panted to keep up, no doubt confused at why we left without playing off the leash. He didn’t care about extra people no matter how bad they smelled.

Drained by foolishness, I retrieved my clothes from the dryer before they disappeared.

#2.

This one is confusing if you HAVE read the book because this depicts a time when Sophie worked at a women’s shelter as a counselor and Kim was a co-worker. In real life I work at a women’s shelter as a Women’s Advocate and was advised it would be a good idea to change Sophie’s profession to avoid any accidental correlations made with clients and/or coworkers. While this meant A LOT of changes including Sophie becoming a bartender while in school studying psychology, Kim being a neighbour and having a change in profession as well, and any and all scenes that occurred within the setting of the shelter. PAIN IN THE ASS but worth it.

Run ragged by the twenty or so clients and their children in the large old converted house, Kim had everything calmed down promising me a quiet night. Looking forward to seeing Kim relieve me at 7:30am, I gave Kim a tight hug, she looking like she wanted to stay and chat. Normally hugging was too personal for me, but over the month I got used to Kim’s touchy-feely personality and embraced her with ease.

Luckily, the night went by without crisis. Distributing medication, passing along sound advice, and everyone was in their rooms by midnight. Easy-peesy. Cleaning was the worst. Since nightshifts were a common Relief shift, I felt like the company’s personal Molly Maid. Unfortunately, when you’ve only been out of college for seven months, and hired before graduation, you suck it up and appreciate the experience.

After toilets, floors, and windows sparkled, all necessary paperwork complete, all client files updated, garbage cans dragged to the curb, and breakfast served, nightly tasks were behind me. The hour or so before Kim returned for the day shift was excruciating. As usual wasting the minutes reading made time zoom by, and when 7:30am came, I was so encased in the story I regretted putting it down.

 

#3.

We all seek answers to crazy dreams; ask a friend, your significant other, your mom, or in my case the internet. This is but a small scene of Sophie’s search for answers, removed since it was unfruitful anyway and didn’t lead the reader anywhere important.

An easy solution brought her a search engine result of over 100,000 hits claiming to interpret the unconscious. A promising website looked as hokey as one would assume a dream dictionary site could look. “Shadows” and “stranger” encompassed the premise surrounding this mysterious figure in the darkness. The result read, “The ‘shadow’ represented a part of the dreamer not yet recognized, a part that is hidden or repressed. The ‘stranger’ could be a helper trying to give the dreamer direction or advice.”

Until the next book comes out that’ll be all the peeks you get (maybe :-P). If you haven’t read it already here’s the link to find Sophie and see what really happened in the polished final version AVAILABLE NOW.

 

166_0.364980001452645463_sd_cv_hr

Sophie Saterlee has made it her mission to get her life together. Leaving behind an abusive relationship, she’s bartending her way through a psychology degree. Ultimate goal? A new, stronger sense of identity.

When a terrifying recurring nightmare begins to poison Sophie’s waking hours and threaten all her progress, once again she’s close to losing everything.
An invitation to a tea leaf reading party sounds like exactly the kind of distraction Sophie needs. But an innocent girls’ night out turns into a journey through a complex and treacherous world of magic.
To survive it, Sophie must forge uncomfortable alliances with arrogant Donovan and mysterious Caine. One of them is tied to her past, and the other fills her present. Both men might hold the key to her uncertain future.
There’s more going on in her little corner of the world than Sophie realizes, and the truth will change everything.

Heya creative people,

Sometimes inspiration hits at the craziest places, like the shower with no options to write things down. Ideally, your muse slides up to your shoulder and whispers sweet plot lines while you’re in front of the computer with swift fingers. (err…maybe not put quite like that). You know what I mean. A creative space is important and can welcome you into the proper head space to build captivating characters and worlds to better illustrate the story rolling around in your noggin.

I’ve been in my new home since December and this weekend I FINALLY got my office together. The basic elements were in place, but a constant mess with bare walls.

BEFORE - like I said...a mess.

BEFORE – like I said…a mess.

 

A few hours later, some art on the walls, and DVD rack turned book case, and a healthy dose of dusting and I’m left with:

AFTER! So much better.

AFTER! So much better.

 

It’s not a creative space without the creative works of Angelina Wrona and Sara Deck on my walls:

20160604_164816

My computer was coming on to me.

20160604_164759(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a gratuitous shelfie:

 

20160604_183919

 

Bosco approved:

20160604_173403

 

Do you have a space devoted to creativity? Let me see 🙂

I was tagged by @SpartaGus to reveal 20 facts about myself. You can find his here.

  1. When I was 13 I wanted to be an actress/model/singer, because you can’t choose just one. Duh!
  2. I hate hashbrowns. Potatoes in any other form is acceptable. Hashbrowns? May as well be cigarette ash.
  3. It’s possible I have an unhealthy obsession with journals.
IMG_2995

Many have been added to the collection since this picture was taken

 

4. My first kiss was at 15 on a high school production balcony, Spiderman style, while I was unknowingly high on shrooms (Friend of a friend dosed our pizza). Pretty sure the guy doesn’t even know.

5. In college I worked at Marineland for 2 summers in the Beluga Whale photo booth and got to feed them often (No, I didn’t see any evidence of animal abuse. Yes, I get asked that all the time).

6. Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite movies and I watch it twice a year. Halloween while carving pumpkins and Christmas while decorating the tree.

7. My first novel is being re-released today (June 1, 2016). A paranormal romance/urban fantasy ‘Soul Discovery, Soul Seer Chronicles, Book one‘. At least 5 more books to follow. 166_0.364980001452645463_sd_cv_hr

8. I’m allergic to exercise. Well, kind of. I have Food Dependent, Exercise Induced Anaphyalaxis. If I eat something on my Danger List and get my heart racing within 24 hours of eating the food, I go into anaphalaxis. I haven’t had an apple since ’99 and I crave them often. *sigh* Mmmm, apple pie.

9. I love hour glasses. They’re so pretty. One I have on a necklace is my favourite.

10. I married my high school sweetheart. (Not the shroom dude). It’s been almost 16 years and he continues to make me laugh everyday.

 

100_0528jaysami

13267749_10154546467968488_6566829612066874989_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. I worked at a pickle factory for about 2 seconds. The noise, smell, and motion sickness due to the conveyor belt, resulted in me fainting onto a cement floor. Not made for factory work.

12. I share my April 7th birthday with famous people like Russell Crowe, Jackie Chan, Billie Holiday, James Garner, and a handful of YouTube stars.

13. To support my brother in rockstardom I traveled with him and a busload of others to Florida on a puke-strewn party bus to see him compete in a battle of the bands during Canadian Spring Break. During, I didn’t drink any alcohol. (American pop tasted funny – ruined my rum – and I don’t drink beer or straight liquor) So my brother told people I was allergic to alcohol so they would leave me alone.

14. Halloween is my favourite holiday, but I haven’t celebrated it (except carving pumpkins) since I was 17 while underage drinking and wearing a purple fuzzy top-hat while pounding on peoples doors and being turned away.

15. I love pugs. This is obvious if you follow me for more than 5 minutes.

IMG_4157

My 2 loves. Bosco and his son Mortimer.

16. I’m 1of 6 women in The Fabulous Fictionistas who vlog, blog, and chat about reading, writing, publishing, and anything that tickles our entertainment fancy on our Youtube channel, website, Facebook, and Twitter.

17. Some of my favourite shows are Supernatural, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals – anything with supernatural/paranormal beasties in it. So many more I love are no longer around or were cancelled far too soon. I miss Haven and The fringe.

18. During my driving lessons I was in an accident. It wasn’t my fault, but my instructor was gone after that and I got a new one. The experience left me a nervous driver which is why I never get behind the wheel.

19. I’m a Senior Women’s Advocate at a women’s shelter and assist others facing struggles including habitual homelessness, addictions, mental health, abuse, and much more to help them move on to the next phase of their lives.

20. My ligaments are extra stretchy and my joints tend to partially dislocate under minimal pressure. As a kid they would pop out. As an adult it makes for a good party trick. 😉

There you go. I’m officially an open book. Don’t leave me hanging. Tell me a fact about you I don’t already know. Make it interesting 😀

Hey guys!

Huh? Well, that was easy. Arm in arm with the anonymity of a keyboard and editing options, saying hello to a bunch of strangers is simpler than blinking. Walking through the doors of McCormick Place in Chicago and seeing the thousands of people milling around ranging from readers, bloggers, authors, librarians, advertisers, publishers, and anything else you could possibly think of that’s related to the publishing world, PLUS the expectation to talk to them and make future contacts?

Cha’right bud.

Simple eye contact was a no-go. It granted permission for people to talk to you, to ask questions, to hand you something you might not want, and to seek something from you that you might not have to give.

Smiling was an invitation I couldn’t commit to so chances were my resting bitch face was securely in place.

Out of my comfort zone is, well, uncomfortable. Obviously. But I did push myself to make conversation when I had something to say and handed out a Fabulous Fictionistas bag with all the ladies info inside to at least 5 people. Okay, maybe 4. But they were a great marketing tool for someone comfortable reaching into the cavern of possible rejection.

Pointing out which Fabulous Fictionistas were the outgoing type was a cinch. They were the ones running around making contacts and finding old ones to reinforce plans. I’d like to think one day I’ll have the fortitude to do so as well, but this year – my first book conference and year as a published author – was not my year.

I did find ways to learn, even if observational rather than active.

I learned Disney had great breakfast foods and wearable swag.

 

Daphne and Sami-Jo enjoy the wonders of sustenance and wearable swag

Daphne and Sami-Jo enjoy the wonders of sustenance and wearable swag

 

I learned most companies had stacks of books to give to people and would rather have you take it than cart it back home. So I collected a crap ton of free ARCs (advanced reader copies).

20160516_141958

FREE BOOKS!

 

And had a wonderfully painful time of lugging them around and then fitting them in my suitcase and carry-on while remaining under flight weight requirements.

One thing the venue could have used was a reading nook to get cozy with them while you rested your sore bodies, but the most you got was the cafeteria.

So while it seems the event may have been a waste of time since the whole purpose is to network, it wasn’t. Learning is different for all and, in this case, I like to think of my experience as laying the foundation for future years and experiences of whats expected of me. I went in blind and emerged aware of my current limitations and of those peaks I’d like to reach.

Worth every penny.

Also, I got to meet ALL of The Fabulous Fictionistas. They are as amazing as they promised and I had an hilarious time getting to know them in person and learning a plethora of knowledge to use for my future as an author while we all work as a team on the path to rule the world.

BEA17 is in New York and I can’t wait to meet up again. Maybe 2017 will be the year I talk to more than 5 people.

As an introvert these things are difficult. Have any fellow introverts out there found ways to use this as an advantage? Or to bypass the shyness and do more than chat about the overpriced water? (Because I failed in that mission as well).

If so, let me know. 😀

 

Anyone who knows/follows me on social media is probably sick of hearing about my writing a book, especially when it’s taking a millennia to be real. Once I signed with Booktrope Publishing my hobby became a second job and “advertising” my progression through the trenches came with hesitance and excitement, so hopefully only a few have added me to their hit lists.

A year after signing with  BT (maybe more than a year…definitely more…Gah!) it has taken me to get my first book SOUL DISCOVERY, SOUL SEER CHRONICLES ready. Which sounds like it was a POS to begin with, maybe so, but she’s shiny and ready for release tomorrow.

Holy fuckbuckets full of demon tears, I’m releasing a novel, TOMORROW.

With a career devoted to helping others through their struggles, I sought out a dose of fantasy and stumbled upon a drive to weave stories while utilizing my experience to craft  characters. To see them on pages like so many on my personal shelves, pages I can touch and smell (you know us crazy readers and our book huffing issues), was a dream and now soon-to-be a reality.

The publishing process is a whole separate animal equipped with jagged teeth and claws on the body of a snarling multi-headed monster, a.k.a. my writing team. (Jokes, love you guys). And I haven’t even been released yet.  Next is me hiding under my writing cape and forcing myself not to check sales numbers and dodging hazards I’m sure my Book Manager hasn’t warned me about yet.

That’s okay, I love it. I love words and the feeling of when a story idea comes together. Being published is like being able to eat all the foods I’m allergic too without dying; a rush while flipping Death the bird. And I plan on enjoying it.

While I’m cheating death and hunkering down to get book 2 ready for consumption, you can follow the link I’ve peppered all over social media and now here, yes again, and order a copy of your own in either ebook or paperback.

Keep an eye out for future signing events, I’m sure I’ll be around somewhere, looking awkward and hopefully able to answer the question “What’s your book about?” without starting with “Ummmm”. No promises.

 

SOUL DISCOVERY
myBook.to/souldiscover

Sophie Saterlee has made it her mission to get her life together. Leaving behind an abusive relationship, she’s bartending her way through a psychology degree. Ultimate goal? A new, stronger sense of identity.

When a terrifying recurring nightmare begins to poison Sophie’s waking hours and threaten all her progress, once again she’s close to losing everything.

An invitation to a tea leaf reading party sounds like exactly the kind of distraction Sophie needs. But an innocent girls’ night out turns into a journey through a complex and treacherous world of magic.

To survive it, Sophie must forge uncomfortable alliances with arrogant Donovan and mysterious Caine. One of them is tied to her past, and the other fills her present. Both men might hold the key to her uncertain future.

There’s more going on in her little corner of the world than Sophie realizes, and the truth will change everything.

166_0.364980001452645463_sd_cv_hr

 

 

Click for Goodreads Page

Click for Goodreads Page

 

Genre: Horror > Terrorists > Zombies

 

Synopsis: When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills.  And that’s both a good, and a bad thing.  It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance….

 

My Star Rating:

5-star-rating

 

My Review:

Not into zombies? Don’t be turned off by the thought of ambling flesh-eaters, you’ll love this tale regardless.

As it reveals in the synopsis, Patient Zero follows Detective Joe Ledger’s experience on a special mission against a terrorist group creating zombies.  Remove the flesh-eaters and the terrorists could be releasing the plague or a nuke or herd of sex-crazed ducks, and you would still fall in love with Joe Ledger in Maberry’s story. The true danger is the terrorists, the zombies merely their chosen weapon.

Quick-thinker by nature Detective Ledger’s take-no-shit approach makes him a perfect protagonist and Jonathan Maberry has captured the action and chaos of an unbiased game changer affecting all who comes in contact with the threatening pathogen.

Taking on multiple perspectives throughout the novel, we the readers get a glimpse into many agendas led by task force fighting the good fight and the terrorists who have concocted a near-perfect plan.

While the novel includes a love story, it’s not one which slows the pace or makes you scream “Why are you kissing? There’s zombies behind you!” Not even close. Maberry has found the balance between action, love, science, and procedural covert tactics while keeping you flipping pages to see how it all turns out.  I finished it in only a couple sittings and although I haven’t read more in the series to date, I promise you I will be.

Where to buy:

www. Amazon.com

Author Bio and Contacts:

JonathanMaberryProfile-2-266x300JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

Website: http://www.jonathanmaberry.com

Twitter: @JonathanMaberry

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/72451.Jonathan_Maberry

Click for Goodreads Page

 

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Synopsis: In the first novel of C.S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there. Ransom discovers he has come from the ‘silent planet’ – Earth – whose tragic story is known throughout the universe…

 

My Star Rating:

4 stars

 

 

My Review:

This is my first experience with C.S. Lewis. Yes, I know, shame on me. Also, I never read the Narnia books, but a good friend and fellow author sent the first of this space trilogy to me for Christmas so it was added to the to-be-read pile. Again, not a Lewis follower, or even a huge science fiction fan, I was unsure of what to expect and found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Kidnapped and brought to an alien planet (Mars or otherwise) would have left me fetal and useless, but Ransom is an intelligent man. Once he meets some natives of the planet he integrates well and even learns their language. Besides Ransom’s impressive survival skills, I was drawn into the world of colour and creatures Lewis created and took a moment every few pages to sit back and explore the possibly of encountering these beings, visualizing them with ease.

The world around Ransom, even the trip to the planet itself, is captured with brilliant description as well as a knowledge of humankind which add a few layers of wisdom within the pages.

An excerpt: ‘Be silent’ said the voice of Oyarsa. ‘You, thick one, have told me nothing of yourself, so I will tell it to you. In your world you have attained great wisdom concerning bodies and by this you have been able to make a ship that can cross the heaven; but in all other things you have the mind of an animal.’

Considering some of those I’ve met or encountered in some form, I agree much of mankind is no better than the animals we cage.

I haven’t yet read the rest of the trilogy, but based on what I’ve read so far, I will be seeking it out.

 

Where to Buy: Amazon.com

 

Author Bio & Contacts:

1069006CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

 

Website: http://www.cslewis.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1069006.C_S_Lewis

 

 

 

 

24374551

Click cover for Goodreads Page

 

 

Genre: YA Thriller/Horror

 

Synopsis:

Violet Sumner has a stalker.
Between her largely dysfunctional family of two and the friends she doesn’t feel particularly close to, Violet thinks he’s the least of her problems. What she fails to understand is that the guy is no prankster and soon people turn up dead or missing. Because of her.
Things change when Violet’s best friend disappears and realization sinks in that the stalker means business. Denial put aside, Violet has no other option but to accept the help of police Sergeant Willard Kelley and his rather sweet protégé, to come to terms with the seriousness of the situation.
Yet nothing could’ve prepared her for her close up with the psycho.
Who will survive in this tale of obsession and misplaced devotion?

 

My Star Rating: 3-5stars

 

My Review:
Violet’s life was turned upside down at a young age by tragedy, but with ample caffeine and amusing snark she manages better than most. When odd things start happening, she fluffs it off as the lesser of problems in her life, until they become unavoidable and people start paying for her inattention.

 

Monica-Marie Vincent brings her readers on a journey with Violet as she navigates a cruel world and somehow picks up a stalker. While Violet tries to figure out what’s going on, we meet a cast of lovable characters, even ones you love to hate, with depth and intrigue that has you wanting to know more about them. Hard part is deciphering which one has the craftiness and psychopathic tendencies to unravel Violet’s already tenuous grasp on life.

 

Roses are Red…Violet is Dead is classified as YA, Violet being 17 years old, so readers should be aware of language and sexual references for that age group. Having been a 17 year old girl, I thought it was still rather tame, yet realistic, and enjoyed the honest banter. Violet is someone you could picture having out with around the cafeteria table, catching a movie with, and lounging at the local coffee shop and chatting with for hours.

 

If you’re looking for a teen thriller without the normal supernatural angles, pick up Roses are Red…Violet is Dead and get guessing who hatched the plan to get Violet’s full attention. I guarantee you’ll be wrong the first few guesses.

 

Enjoy an excerpt:
“Can I get a tall black coffee to go, please?” he asked as he whisked past me to the counter.
            Jordan nodded and grabbed the cup, casting a worried look in my direction. She hadn’t missed that I wasn’t comfortable with Colton. Her movements were swift, but for some reason they seemed like slow motion to me. It took everything I had to glance up at Colton’s face. Since when was he a fan of coffee?
            Colton’s posture was relaxed as he leaned on the counter, smirking in my direction. “Fancy meeting you here, Vi,” he fired off cockily. He chuckled as he handed Jordan money with one hand and took the coffee with the other.
            “Well, I’m here every morning. What’s your excuse?” I rolled my eyes as I put my hand on my hip, my spine straightening to my full height of five-foot-four.
            “Decided I needed a little ‘pick me up’. What’s better than a nice steaming cup of coffee?” He held up his cup like he was going to cheers with mine. I clutched my cup a little closer to my chest.
            “Didn’t you have to drive out of your way to get here?” I refused to meet his gaze.
            “Yeah, so?” He challenged.
            “So? Coffee isn’t even your thing.” I stepped back and held my chin up defiantly.
            “I wanted to come and see a friend. Is that OK?” He flashed his notorious megawatt smile.
            “Colton, we’re not friends. Shelby and I are friends. You and Blake are friends. But you and I, we’re not friends.” I gestured between us, emphasizing my point.
            “Yeah, because you are the only reason in the world that I would come here.” He licked his lips as he pushed himself into a standing position. A predatory smile emerged. “Aren’t we a little full of ourselves this morning?”
            I could feel all of the blood draining out of my face and into my feet. Feet that refused to move toward the door. Silently, I tried to will Jordan to say something, anything, but she had made herself busy behind the counter. My dry mouth couldn’t form any words to rebut what Colton had said. All that was missing was for me to be standing there in my underwear like one of those nightmares where you go to school naked, only I was standing in the middle of Starbucks.
            “It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to be such a bitch to me. I’m your best friend’s boyfriend. Maybe it’s time you come to terms with that.” A slow, smug smile spread across his face.
            “Whatever. I’m going to be late.” I tossed my hair over my shoulder, turned to wave at Jordan, and fled the store like he was chasing me.

 

 FREE GIVEAWAY! Follow the link for chances to win a signed copy!

Where to buy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1B2SLqV

B&N: http://bit.ly/1C2rAzb

iTunes: http://apple.co/1IfCSm3

Author Bio and Contacts:

headshot

Monica-Marie Vincent:
Monica-Marie Vincent writes Young Adult novels about troubled teens and even more troubled parents. She currently lives in Sacramento, CA although she would rather be in her home town of San Francisco. Thanks to her very put upon husband Monica-Marie is always well stocked with coffee, Diet Coke, and Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos, so she wouldn’t have to move away from her writerly lair to do mundane things like shopping.