March 31, 2011

Unread Interview: Mark Adair

Please welcome Mark Adair for this week's Unread Interview! Mark is the author of The Father's Child.
Unread Interview is a series where I feature authors whose books I couldn't accept for review because of time or logistics issues.

From AmazonJohn Truman, a bright, introverted, college student belongs to the New Dawn...he just doesn't know it yet. The plans of the 300-year-old, Oxford-based, secret society revolve around him, the final piece in their puzzle. He struggles with almost everything - the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world.
Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted. Are you ready?

1. Tell us a bit about your book.

First of all, May, let me just say thank you for the interview - thank You! I'm a fan of yours and I appreciate all that you do on your blog and elsewhere.

The Father's Child tells the story of a bright, socially-challenged genius named John Truman. He struggles with almost everything - the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. Unfortunately for John, the plans of a 300 year-old secret society known as The New Dawn revolve around and depend upon him and his friends. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world. Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

2. Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?

Yes May, I've written fiction on and off for many years - short stories, etc. I didn't entertain the thought of pursuing it more seriously until technology turned into a vampire and started sucking the life out of me. At that point, almost ten years ago, I reevaluated my...everything, and took a long, hard look at my passions. During that self interview I decided that I would stop giving lip service to writing and commit to making it my priority.  The Father's Child was birthed during those days.

3. Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?

I'm a bit anal about reading. One novel at a time is my limit. I can toss in a non-fiction book or two but I like to jump into a novel and swim around in its rivers and oceans. I read all sorts of books - suspense, thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy. And I like to mix it up. Recently I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. A little too dense in places for me but a well crafted story with interesting characters. 

4. What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?

Hmmm...I like dialog and I think it's one of my strong points. I love to watch characters interact or spar verbally. It can reveal or hide almost anything that I care to reveal or hide. So heavy dialog scenes interlaced with action are my favorite. On the other hand I find writing dense, detailed descriptive passages much more difficult. Sort of like painting a picture with a thousand words. I'd rather paint it with 100 words, mix in some intense conversation, and have someone's life hanging in the balance.   

5. Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?

It's been said that writers steal everything from one person or another but mostly from themselves. Actually, I just sort of made that up but you get the gist. I'm not sure that's completely accurate but I will say that I find parts of me in every character I write - good and bad. John Truman is a bright, introspective guy who struggles in any social setting. His buddy Paul smiles his way through everything, holding all things loosely and enjoying himself in almost every circumstance. The love of John's life, Susan, has deep spiritual underpinnings - a very solid, kind, selfless, loving person.
So I relate to John in that I'm relatively bright and introspective. If I didn't work at it I'd probably be introverted. I can over analyze things. But also, like Paul, I enjoy life and in general, I enjoy being around people. Like Susan I have spiritual underpinnings but I question mine relentlessly. It's a combination - characteristics that I have in common with them and characteristics that I wish I had in common with them.    

6. Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?

Erotica? I enjoy sex and writing of sex as much as the next person (maybe more) but keeping that sexual focus and tension throughout a book would definitely challenge me. Probably need quite a few breaks. :)

7. What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?

Sales! Just kidding...well, not completely. There's something affirming and encouraging about having a good sales day or week. Sort of like a high that lifts me up to a place where writing comes easy. The opposite can be true as well. However, my real inspiration comes from people and their interactions. People fascinate me. They can be brilliant and ridiculous in the same few minutes. Beautiful, loving, and cruel in the same conversation. And every single person has a unique vantage point, sense of humor, turn ons and offs, etc. Music inspires me as well...puts me in a mood and flavors my writing. In everything I've penned music plays an important role. It's very prominent in The Father's Child.
I write just about anywhere and anytime. Primarily in my study but I'm comfortable churning out story in a pub or coffee shop. I take plenty of music with me on my mobile in case the public areas overwhelm my senses. Often I will connect with a mood or experience in someone else's life and the words just start flowing out. I would say I'm a pretty emotional writer.    

8. What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?

I'm swiping some of this from my On the Way blog but I think it best sums up the answer to your question: I believe my suspense/thriller to be entertaining, thought-provoking, emotionally powerful, and on a very basic level beneficial for anyone who takes the journey. And others have confirmed that. The main character, John Truman, struggles with pretty much everything, but in the deep places of his heart he yearns to know one thing: who is he and why is he.
So I truly think you should read it. Not because it's the greatest novel of all time (that's purely subjective anyway) but because underneath the suspenseful and thrilling ride it gives the reader permission to look inside and ask questions about fundamental issues in their lives...questions that need to be asked and explored.
The Father's Child is different from anything you've read before - fresh, outside the box. I'm not guaranteeing you'll like it but I am guaranteeing that you've never read anything quite like it. It's a bit of a mind bender with pieces of thriller, suspense, mystery, romance, and even spiritual elements all worked together into one intriguing puzzle.

9. What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc.

I have plans. Unfortunately I have more plans than actual time to accomplish them all at once. Right now I'm a fifth of the way through the sequel to The Father's Child. I'm also a fifth of the way through a romantic suspense entitled ZAP. And a fifth of the way through another suspense novel, unrelated to either of those. Not to mention the other 4 or 5 ideas running around my brain. My current plan is to give The Father's Child another few months of love and attention before deciding with novel to jump into and finish up.

During this past month, sales have more than tripled so I'm keeping a close eye on that. If it continues to gain momentum over the next few months in all likelihood I will try to get the sequel up and running. Otherwise I might take on something unrelated and pick up the sequel later on.  
Thank you so very much, May, for the interview. Always a pleasure to spend time with you.

And thank YOU Mark for your time - good luck with, well, your book, sales and all that ;)

March 24, 2011

Unread Interview: RG Cordiner

Welcome R.G. Cordiner for this week's "Unread Interview".
Unread Interview is a series where I feature authors whose books I couldn't accept for review because of time or logistics issues.

From Amazon: They destroyed the mighty Mayan Empire. What hope for a few shipwrecked survivors?
A South American cruise. It should have been a once in a lifetime experience. And it was. But not in the way they imagined. Barely surviving a horrific shipwreck, the remaining passengers have to try and cope with finding food, water, shelter, let alone the constant arguments. 
And then there are the bugs. Not the sort that you squish and then get on with your day. Oh no. Toe biters, pond skaters, assassin bugs and harvestmen that drop down on top of their victims – all of these could be found in your garden. But on this lost island they are all at least twenty times their normal size. Trapped on an island with a six metre long giant centipede with armoured plates was not on the cruise itinerary. Now all they want is to get off – without being squished! 
Also available on paperback at Amazon and The Book Depository (with free shipping worldwide)

1. Tell us a bit about your book (s).

I have written 3 middle grade novels:

Treasure Lost is a rollicking pirate adventure involving 2 brothers and a giant reticulated python!
Bug Island is the story of a group of shipwrecked passengers who have to try and survive an island full of giant bugs, including a 6 metre long centipede!
Candy Wars: The Tooth Fairies vs The Candy King involves a brother and his sister who find themselves caught in a battle between the tooth fairies and an army of candy creatures!

2. Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?

I always was interested in writing but it wasn't until I started teaching that I started to write seriously.  The lack of exciting, contemporary books for kids led me to try and write.

3. Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?

I don't read anywhere near as much as I would like as I use any spare time I have for writing.  However, when I do read I like fantasy, such as Terry Pratchett, or books with a comedic slant, Ben Elton for example.

4. What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?

I love writing scenes involving action and cliffhangers - changing to a different scene just at a key moment.  I find the beginning of a story sometimes difficult to write as I am keen to get to the action!

5. Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?

Only in an aspirational sense - I like to live vicariously through them.

6. Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?


7. What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?

My wife.  I try and get up at 4am to write and then about 5:30 it is time to get ready to go to school (I teach 7 year olds)

8. What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?

If you want to read an exciting adventure, try one of my books!

9. What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc.

I am currently writing Candy Wars II: Sweet Revenge

Good luck R.G. with your books and any new ones you're writing. Thank you for your time!

March 20, 2011

Review: Pink Noise - Leonid Korogodski

I should've written this review long ago, but due to zillions of issues, I haven't managed to do so. Let's make this right now!

Pink Noise is a sci fi novel, by Leonid Korogodski, and it is hardcore sci fi, by the way.
I was impressed by the narrative style, which reminds me so much of Isaac Asimov and yet, so different. Poetic, visual.
The book tells us the story of Nathi, a posthuman doctor, who gets the mission of repairing a little girl's brain and "migrate" it to a posthuman state. Here, I must stop and explain: posthumans are simply people whose brain got "uploaded" to a central system and then they can live anywhere - on any machine conected to the central system. The story is set on Mars.

The girl has a Wish Faerie, though, a being that is inside her mind and prevents her from being directly plugged into the system, and being controlled. 
I'm not going to tell much about the story since, well, it is only 120 pages long, so anything I tell may be everything.
What amazed me was the book itself. The images were incredibly beautiful and the cover, the paper, everything made me think that there are a few reasons why paper books top ebooks anytime - these special editions. Ebooks can replace paperbacks, but really, the experience on reading a book as well thought as this one, makes you think you have a major need for paper.
The Dancer (a character a bit along the book) is a perfect mix of the human and posthuman e also Pink Noise itself is a chronicle of what we could gain but, more than everything, what we could lose if we all stopped being human. Is immortality worth it?

If you think about it, look at Egypt, they TURNED THE INTERNET OFF! And if they got as much control, imagine if all of our minds were connected there... Who would be controlling the system? And who would watch them? (who watches the watchmen kind of thing)

While the story is about 120 pages long, the book has over 100 pages of references: it is so sci fi, that it explains the whole science behind the book, how everything would be possible. It describes perfectly (or at least to me, I could visualize perfectly) Mars' atmosphere, the buildings, how they manage to breathe there and such.
If you're not a sci-fi fan, I do not advise you to read it. You'll get lost, you'll get bored. But if you ARE  sci fi fan, then you should run and get it now. It's spectacular, poetic, passionate.
I promise to get a new post up soon with pictures of the images inside the book, I think they're worth a post on their own.

If you're already in love with it, you can buy it on The Book Depository or Amazon

March 17, 2011

Unread Interview: Jack Hessey

So, today I'm starting a series of interviews, probably weekly, although I don't work well on a schedule, with authors whose books I couldn't accept for review, for one reason or another. I decided to give these authors some space either way, because I think it's fair. 

So, our first guest is Jack Hessey and his latest book is Steam Queen, a steampunk novel that sounds really interesting!

From Amazon: Europe is a dangerous, virtually lawless place. Armed bandits prowl the railway lines in their armed Steam Locomotive looking for easy marks, and heavily armed mercenary engines travel from town to town looking for work in a world where every day is a struggle for its civilians.

Erica, an emotionally disturbed girl from England finds herself joining one of these mercenary teams. What follows is a trek across Europe to where two mighty cities, each representing a different way of life, stand on the verge of a war which will shape the way Europe develops.

On one side are the Steam using traditionalists of St Vith, led by the charismatic and cunning General Roosje Cuvelier. On the other, stands the mighty Winterscheid Diesel Empire under the iron fist of the merciless Kaiser Sigmund Eisenburg.

Two vicious armies, treachery from her own allies and the world’s deadliest super-weapon are just a few of the dangers that Erica must face in her journey.

1. Tell us about your book (s)

Steam Queen: This is a steampunk novel set in an alternate universe where steam has evolved to be the world's major source of power and trains are used as weapons of war. Europe is a sort of almost lawless wasteland with railway lines criss-crossing the continent connecting all the little towns and cities. They're dangerous places to travel with bandits, mercenaries and hijackers preying on the trains travelling along.

It follows an emotionally disturbed girl called Erica who joins one of these mercenary teams and gets herself caught up in the middle of a war between a steam-using city called St Vith and a Diesel-power using town called Winterscheid. It's a sort of clash of cultures between the two and Erica quickly discovers that neither side is in the right and that in a war, both sides are capable of doing pretty nasty deeds.

On Angels Wings: A children's fantasy novel. It's a fairly light-hearted tale about a newly graduated Guardian Angel called Susie trying to protect Jill, a grumpy teenager. They both accidentally get on the wrong side of a rogue angel tasked with choosing people's destinies who sets out to kill Jill in revenge.

The rogue angel, Cassidy's attempts to kill Jill start out quite pathetic but eventually turn quite serious and sinister near the end. I sort of aimed for her to show just how far some people are willing to go in the name of petty revenge but, despite the somewhat dark ending, the book is pretty child-friendly and lighthearted. It's my mam's favourite of the two :)

2. Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and always fancied writing. I just never thought I’d be any good at it though. In 2009 though I just had an idea hit me for a book and so decided to try writing one. It was easier than I thought. Once I started writing the ideas just started flowing. Steam Queen was my first novel, I finished it in March 2010 and in I think July/August, I got a contract from Lazyday Publishing.
I wrote On Angels Wings whilst submitting Steam Queen to agents & publishers and submitted that to Lazyday Publishing too which also got accepted.

3. Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?

I possibly read too much! My favourite genre's are fantasy, horror and war. They've got to have something about them which stands out though. Like, I can't read most vampire books purely because the genre is so overdone and most of the vampire books I've tried are so unimaginative. Likewise, I can't really read one of the many LotR knock-offs.

My favourite fantasy books are Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines quartet and The Harry Potter series. The Mortal Engines series are excellent, really unique in terms of the setting and the characters which feature. Harry Potter I love the world that Rowling created and, she is the best in the world imo at making the reader care about the most minor of characters. All the characters in her novels are memorable, right-down to bit-part guys like Stan Shunpike and Fenrir Greyback.

With horror I love Richard Laymon's books. Especially The Travelling Vampire show which is a really underrated novel. It's fantastic and I heard there's a movie coming out soon which should be fun. The setting of the novel was great, so creepy and full of strange things that happen which didn't get a full explanation in the book and which didn't play a huge part in the overall story. It just added to the whole atmosphere and feel for the book, giving it a lot of depth.

War books, I'm a fan of real-life biographies. Just finished reading Sniper One by Dan Mills which is his account of the siege of CIMIC House in Iraq. I can't recommend it enough.

4. What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?

I quite like writing both action scenes and, scenes with a lot of interaction between characters. I find both of them to be really fun to write. Especially when writing scenes for Erica (From Steam Queen) interacting with different characters in the novel. Because of her unique, odd personality it made it a lot of fun.

My least favourite has to be emotional scenes. I always struggle to write them and they take a lot of editing to get right. Also, I know I would suck at writing romance scenes so I just leave romance out altogether. My stories so far have worked without it anyway.

5. Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?

Can't say I do really. Then again, I’ve never got the whole “relating to a character thing” Even in my favourite tv shows, book series, films, video games etc I've never really found characters to relate too. I always prefer the unique, quirky characters like Luna from the HP series and, Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer :)

6. Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?

Romance and Erotica. I don't read romance at all and know any romance scenes would come out at George Lucas levels of tacky. Both genre's just don't appeal to me at all. I know I'd get giggly or something if I tried writing any smut since I'm a bit immature.

I don't even have small degrees of romance in my books because I'm worried it'll turn out lame. It's just something I'm not capable of doing.

7. What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?

Haven't really got an inspiration. I just think of something and write. Haven't really got a special writing environment either. I just do my writing either in my bedroom, in the living room or occasionally if I've got free time at College. There's no special atmosphere or setting or anything that I need to be able to write.

8. What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?

The main character of Steam Queen kills a dog, beats up a child, cuts a man balls off, mutilates an enemy soldier, throws someone in a river, locks an enemy soldier in a sewer, kills two of her teammates, punished people for the slightest thing and yet still manages to remain interesting and gets the reader wanting her to succeed. She's awesome and I think she's a complete change from the cookie-cutter, good-guy characters who pop up in many YA books.

For On Angels Wings, it's a fun, light-hearted story about a useless, clumsy, Guardian Angel trying her best to protect (and annoy) a grumpy 15 year old girl whilst accompanied by a cowardly St Bernard Angel. It's just a fun book :)

9. What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc.

At the moment I'm currently submitting a superhero novel called True Hero? It's about a media-icon/celebrity superhero who is the most popular hero in the world suddenly struggling to cope when she realises she is a fraud. I've also submitted a number of short stories for anthologies/magazines that I hope will get published. Currently, I'm just waiting to hear back before starting a new project. If True Hero? gets accepted then I'll start on a sequel to that, if not then I'll start a new novel or, do a heavy rewrite of the book.

Thanks for your time, Jack and best of luck with Steam Queen - I know I am dying to read it ;)
Here's to hoping it comes out in print or I can get a cool e-reader soon ;)

March 10, 2011

Dia da Mulher e Carnaval

DISCLAIMER: My non-portuguese speaking friends must forgive me, but I must write this post in portuguese. It is something regarding brazilian economy, politics and all, so I just had to write in Portuguese.
Don't worry, this will remain an English language blog, aside this one entry ;)

Bom, depois desse pequeno aviso, vamos aos negócios.
A ideia desse post começou com esse vídeo abaixo, então peço que assistam, é rapidinho!

Uma coisa que eu nunca esquecerei da aula de História é a Política de Pão e Circo. Na Roma Antiga, para deter o povo, mantê-lo alienado, sem se revoltar, sem reclamar dos políticos corruptos, dos altos impostos, da escravidão, da falta de futuro, o governo aplicava a política Panis Et Circences - Pão e Circo - que consistia de fazer eventos no Coliseu e distribuir pão, o povo estava com a barriga cheia e distraído.
Voltemos ao Brasil atual. Bolsa Família como pão e Futebol, BBB, Novela e, mais que tudo, Carnaval como circo.
O povo alimentado e distraído  não nota o que os governantes fazem, não nota para onde o país vai e, mesmo se parar para analizar algo, muitas vezes será qual escola é campeã do Carnaval, que time tem mais chance de ganhar o jogo, quem vai sair do BBB, como aquela vilã da novela é malvada e o que vai acontecer com a mocinha agora... 

Agora, esse vídeo

O vídeo diz

Nós somos iguais, não 007?
O ano é 2011 e um homem tem mais chance de ganhar mais dinheiro que uma mulher,
mesmo fazendo o mesmo trabalho
você tem mais chance de entrar na política
ou de se tornar um diretor de uma empresa
como homem, há menos chance de você ser julgado por comportamento promíscuo
o que é tão bom quanto
e praticamente nenhuma chance de ser vítica de um ataque sexual
e, ao contrário das 31 mil mulheres no Reino Unido
que perdem seus empregos anualmente por causa da gravidez
não haveria praticamente nenhum risco à sua carreira se você escolhesse se tornar pai
ou se tornasse um por acidente
para alguém com tal gosto por mulheres
Eu imagino se você já imaginou como seria ser uma
o mundo mudou
mas os números permanecem estáticos contra nós
as mulheres são responsáveis por 2/3 do total de trabalho feito no mundo todo
mas ganham apenas 10% do total de renda
e são donas de 1% das propriedades.
Não é só apenas sobre dinheiro e poder
a cada ano, 70 mil meninas são negadas mesmo a mais básica educação
e um assustador 60 milhões são atacadas sexualmente no caminho para a escola
nós temos medo de andar nas ruas à noite
mas algumas de nós têm mais medo ainda de voltar às nossas casas
ao menos 1 em cada 4 mulheres é vítima de violência doméstica
e a cada semana, 2 mulheres no Reino Unido são mortas por um parceiro atual ou antigo
Então, somos iguais?
Até que a resposta seja sim, nunca devemos parar de perguntar.

E o que isso tem a ver com o carnaval? O que tem a ver é que justamente nesse ano, o Dia Internacional da Mulher caiu na festa mais masculina de todas, o carnaval. Música, bebida, mulher pelada. Um dia que seria para refletir, pensar no que está errado no mundo das mulheres, virou bagunça, barulho, sexo. Mulheres exibindo seu corpo, mostrando tanta roupa quanto neurônios (quase nenhuma).
Não tenho nada contra mulheres lindas, gostosas mesmo, exibindo seu corpo. Desde que o façam porque gostam, não porque a festa do carnaval exige, porque querem que os homens vejam, porque querem ganhar dinheiro. Não tenho nada contra mulheres que ficam em casa, não tem carreira - desde que tenham considerado as hipóteses e decidido, por si mesmas, o que queriam.
O que me incomoda não são as escolhas tomadas e as vidas vividas, mas sim as motivações. A mulher que fica em casa porque acha que é assim que tem que ser é vítima da sociedade, na minha opinião. Se ela QUER ficar em casa, criar seus filhos melhor, cuidar da casa, entre outros, beleza, é a escolha dela e por mais que eu não queira para mim, é problema dela. Agora... Fazer algo porque "acha que é assim que tem que ser" ou porque "é o que se espera" não pode, não deve existir.
Ainda há muito para se lutar, para se trabalhar e não podemos nos dar ao luxo de nos embriagarmos com o circo, pensando que há muito tempo depois do carnaval para pensar nisso. Pois depois do carnaval começa a se falar de páscoa, daí Dia das Mães, Dia dos Namorados, Dia dos Pais, dia das crianças e logo é Natal e Carnaval novamente e vivendo sempre para a próxima data, o próximo feriado acabamos nunca notando que o presente está passando e continuamos tão pobres de espírito, de mente e explorados como sempre.

Você quer ser enganado para o resto da vida? Eu quero conseguir enxergar claramente o que há na minha frente e o que estão fazendo. Posso não poder mudar, mas pelo menos eu vejo, eu sei, não sou conduzida como gado, não sou enganada.

March 03, 2011

Review: This Will Not Look Good on My Resume - Jass Richards

Jass Richards wrote the funniest book I ever read. And I can say that because I have NEVER ever laughed out loud literally with a book. And with This Will Not Look Good on My Resume I did. I laughed and people came asking me what was happening and I told them and they laughed too.

Or they were Mary Margaret. She heard a voice in her head. It was God. So the staff thought she was crazy. I thought they were jealous. Or just as crazy. And I told them so at the next staff meeting. 
“You all believe in God?” I asked, by way of explanation.
Of course. Nods and murmurs of assent all round.
“And you pray?”

Yes, indeed they did.
“But none of you hears voices, none of you hears God.”
No, we do not, of course not.
“So you spend your time—some of you, your life—talking to a god that doesn’t ever talk back. And,” I continued, “you don’t really expect him to.”
With very snarky and acid remarks, Brett (a very strong willed woman) keeps getting fired. But hey, at least she has fun. She has the most awful jobs, on the weirdest places - but's not because she can't get a better one, she's got a double degree in Philosophy and English... But her personality sort of won't let her be quiet - and that gets her fired continuously.My favorite job was the one I quoted above, the psychiatric facility... And dog walking. At least that one she was good at, no people. The least favorite was the Europe trip, it got a bit repetitive eventually.

Brett is a feminist canadian stubborn woman who doesn't hesitate in telling people her opinions - about anything and everything. She hates men. She believes - and I must agree - that it's their fault women are the way they are today (dumb as a doorknob) and that they're just DOING IT ALL WRONG. Sure, Brett WAY overreacts all the time. She exaggerates on her opinions, but's just for comedy's sake and to illustrate things we can't usually see if it's not overreacted.
Her remarks about life and the stupid things we do on a daily basis without noticing are really funny, the way she says those things that we are desperate to say (and our "shoulda said or shoulda done") just puts a smile on your face. 

While it is highly recommended for people with a dark sense of humor, feminists, guys who like to laugh at themselves or people who just enjoy life laughing at and with it, it is REALLY NOT recommended for people who take life seriously, get offended at things or, for some unknown reason, can't understand irony.

I can't describe how hilarious this is, so I'll leave you with a few quotes:

"Y'know why women can't play poker?" Mac asked, smiling nastily at me, rubbing in the exclusion. "They're no good at bluffing."
Hm. "Guess you've never had sex with a woman then, eh?"

But in Paris, cars always have the right of way. Even if the little green man in the light says it's okay to cross. Actually in Paris the little green man says "Okay-you can try-"

Florence is rather like Paris in its attitude toward pedestrians, because in Italy there are no sidewalks at all. Well, there are - but apparently they're for the cars.

At another company, temping as a lobby receptionist, I replaced all the goldfish in the ellegantly labelled 'Corporate Pond'. With piranha. (Though strictly speaking, I guess, 'replaced' isn't quite accurate)

You can buy This Will Not Look Good on My Resume with free shipping worldwide at the Book Depository: TWNLGOMR

Also, available in Kindle* and on Smashwords
   (for the price of a box of crackers)

Also available in print at Amazon
    (for under ten bucks)

Review: Hugo the Vampire - Bloody Kingdom by Gabriel Arruda Burani

** May contain spoilers of Hugo the Vampire - Lights on Dark Ages **

Well, it's always a pleasure to write a positive review for a book written by an author we love.

Last year, around August, I reviewed Hugo, the Vampire - Lights on Dark Ages and, despite some details - very short book, very heavy - I believe I made it clear that I liked it a lot. But now I can clearly say Bloody Kingdom overcomes it's predecessor on all points.

Starting on the "too short" factor. Bloody Kingdom is over 200 pages. Following with "too heavy", as the first book was short, it ended up having too much information on every line and getting heavy, hard to read, while Bloody Kingdom is much better on that issue, the author managed to extend just enough to explain what's necessary, no stolling, but not having "too much information at once".

We have, again, Hugo. But most characters are given as dead or at the end of "Light on the Dark Ages" or right at the beggining of Bloody Kingdom. Hemillia, the vampire, baroness, still shows up on this book and some other characters, but the most interesting adition is Sarah of Lyzonn - a female characte, but with attitude and authority like any other man on the story.

It's clear the writer's evolution and I'm glad to follow and help it, because Gabriel sent me a manustcript, actually, guys, I felt so important that way, receiving the book before everyone else ;) Both on the text construction and the plot evolution and time passages you see an incredible improvement.

The story talks about Hugo, after Hegon's death (see, spoiler), ruling as king. He rules with harmony, love and justice, but other people drag him to war and it's that war the book talks about the most. The battle descriptions are very well done, bloody enough and exciting without dragging for pages and pages with armies descriptions. Some questions about Hugo's family are answered, some aren't but we get to know more of the reality, geography and life of Beznã-Ateriza, we know more of Hugo, his wishes and personality... And his weaknesses.

The book is almost a "part 1", it ends with a hook, with no proper ending and drives me insane for the next one - and that is the major issue with reading things even before publishing, if, between the publishing of one and the other you wait several months in agony, imagine if you read it months before it gets published?

Stay tuned, those of you who haven't read Hugo, Lights on the Dark Ages, keep your eyes open, we're looking into ways of taking it the international ways ;)  I'll let you know.