Book Review: Heir of Arcadia by Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins @DebAdams_Writer @Kim_Writes

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Title: Heir of Arcadia
Authors: Deborah Adams & Kimberley Perkins
Publisher: Rocket City Publishing
Publication Date: July 24, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Indiebound

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Heir of Arcadia
Deborah Adams & Kimberley Perkins
Rocket City Publishing, July 2020
ISBN 978-1-7325071-8-0
Hardcover

From the authors—

Can Collins and Quinn call a truce long enough to survive?

Quinn’s hectic job as a special agent keeps her busy, but never busy enough to tamp out her inconvenient attraction to CEO billionaire Julian Collins. He is usually the biggest pain in her side, but he can also be recklessly charming. When Collins asks her to open a secret investigation into his company, she worries that extra time alone with him might test her resolve to stay away.

Julian Collins always dreamed of being on Arcadia, a fictional world from his favorite video game. But lately, he’s been seeing things from the game in real life. He feels like he’s losing his mind, and now is not the time to go crazy. His company is going to be split into a dozen pieces if he can’t discover the secrets hidden in the Special Projects division.

After three years of quasi-friendship, Collins and Quinn have honed arguing into a true art form. As far as he’s concerned, she’s off-limits, but also quick-witted and sexy as hell. She’s the perfect person for the job.

As Quinn and Collins delve deeper into their investigation, secrets will lead them to things no one on earth can explain. Will they discover that searing hot kisses can be even more fun than well-placed insults when a whole new universe is spread before them?

Julian Collins is a man with two jobs, essentially, one as the very young CEO of the company he took over when his dad died a few years earlier and the other as guardian of his little sister, nine-year-old Serah. This young man has been through much more turmoil than most people ever see but he’s doing the best he can in both roles even though he’d much rather be playing a video game, Arcadian Fortress. After having left the running of the company up to others for too long, he’s now attempting to save it from being split up and he has suspicions about what might really be going on. Meanwhile, he’s having hallucinations, apparently seeing things in real life from the game.

Collins needs an investigator’s help and he trusts one person for that, Quinn Lehi. In her view, Collins is a highpowered playboy but, my word, the man was hard to ignore and he was Serah’s brother so she had to put up with him for the sake of the child they both adored. When Collins asks for her help, she agrees to investigate the Special Projects division of the company…and the adventure begins.

You might think a story focused on the inner workings of a giant corporation would be pretty boring but, in the hands of these two very creative authors, boring is not the word to describe this fast action adventure with vivid, charming and not-so-charming characters and a plot full of twisty turns. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2020.

About the Authors

DEBORAH ADAMS and KIMBERLEY PERKINS are authors of the Award-Winning Waypoint series. They are friends and coworkers sharing a love of coffee, literature, and teenagers saving the world. Both live in Huntsville, Alabama, working by day for a contractor supporting the Department of Defense, and by night writing spectacular adventures. For more information about Deborah Adams and Kimberley Perkins go to www.adamsperkins.com.

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Giveaway

Signed copy of Heir of Arcadia + $25 Amazon gift card

Enter here.

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Book Review: Zon by Maureen A. Miller @MaureenAMiller @YABoundToursPR

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Title: Zon
Series: Beyond #5
Author: Maureen A. Miller
Publisher: Maureen A. Miller
Publication Date: June 22, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks
Smashwords // Amazon // Indiebound

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Zon
Beyond #5
Maureen A. Miller
Maureen A. Miller, June 2020
ISBN 979-8639843747
Trade Paperback

From the author—

With a father from the planet, Ziratak, and a mother from Earth, Zon’s challenges are galactic. Zon doesn’t possess superpowers, though. If anything, he’s a bit of a klutz.

In Ziratakian folklore, the tale of the Temple of the Monarch has been passed down for generations. As legend has it, a series of miniature globes lead to the temple’s gate.

Folklore…nothing more.

Except, Zon knows of a cave with small globes in it. And with one clumsy mishap, he triggers the gate–opening a portal to other worlds.

A trip through this vortex transports him to Earth, where the first human he encounters is a young woman with challenges of her own.

This is a brand new saga, and a new generation. There is no need to read the BEYOND series. However, for readers of the series, you will enjoy this continuation of the epic science fiction adventure.

Zon is not your usual teenager having an identity crisis—his crisis comes about because he’s what we used to call, very crudely and meanly, a half-breed and that’s how most people see him. What makes him truly different from the kids we see around us is that it is his Earthling side that’s foreign. Zon is the son of an Earth-born human and a native of the planet Ziratak. Zak and Aimee are handsome people and well-respected but Zon, unfortunately, is not seen in quite as generous a light.

Zon does have one very good friend, JOH, and the two are inseparable, JOH being an android who understands his young companion very well. JOH is a good listener and he helps Zon get through his angsty times. One day, the two discover a portal to other worlds, eventually one that happens to be Earth on a different plane, and Zon and JOH’s excellent adventure begins. Naturally, they meet a girl, Cassy, and Zon will have to make a crucial choice that will affect the rest of his life.

Zon is a charming, lighthearted science fiction tale with an appealing plot and truly likeable characters, most especially JOH and it’s refreshing to have a teenaged boy as the protagonist. Also, if I ever get to experience having an android for a friend, I hope he or she will be half as interesting and funny as JOH. 😄

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2020.

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An Excerpt from Zon

Zon picked up on another sound. Hoofsteps. Footsteps. The tread of some unimaginable creature.

He spun, confused by the acoustics. As he swung back, he distinctly heard the approach from his right. Wrenching the utility beacon off his belt, he retreated a step towards the whirling shadows in the grove of trees.

A creature crested the hill, it’s blue beak the first thing visible.

“Oh!” It cried, lifting its head and freezing.

Zon swallowed, his legs paralyzed between flight and fight.

“You scared me,” a soft voice claimed. “I’ll just–go–”

The blue beak pivoted, although now he recognized it wasn’t a beak at all. It was a headpiece of some sort. The word eluded him, but he remembered seeing one before.

“Wait,” he called.

The figure halted, but did not look back.

“You speak–” he hesitated, assessing the slight profile, “—English?”

The hat snapped back and brown eyes narrowed under the shade of the brim.

Baseball hat! That’s what his mother called it.

“Uhh, yeah.”

The figure cocked its head.

She.

Not it.

He was pretty sure it was a female, but the slim figure was cloaked in oversized garments, and the long hair was pulled back by a twine, which was something the males on Ziratak did.

The brown eyes slid down his body.

“Your pants are moving,” she observed with a slight blush.

A nagging thump against his thigh alerted him that JOH was trying to get out. Zon slapped his hand down to still the motion.

“It’s just my droid.” He shrugged uncomfortably.

“Droid? Oh, your drone? Were you flying it?”

Her head tipped back and he saw a pale throat.

“Good day for it,” she murmured, and stared curiously at him.

English.

She was talking to him in English.

And she looked mecaw–human.

Zon took another glance around, hoping that his body eclipsed the swirling portal behind him.

“Is this Earth?” he asked, searching the trees, but not seeing any buildings.

The girl’s eyes flared in alarm. She stumbled backwards.

Inside his pants pocket, JOH demanded attention, his incessant vibration driving Zon crazy. He pulled open his pocket to give the droid a stern look. JOH’s animated face was replaced with a string of text.

This IS Earth!

Childhood alarms registered in Zon’s mind. The last time he came to this planet he was quite young. But he remembered his mother’s caution.

Don’t say you’re from another planet.

Most of the people on Earth don’t know much about intergalactic travel. They don’t know about life in other galaxies. And what they don’t know–scares them.

Remember, you are half Earthling.

On Earth your name is Jon. It is for your protection.

Half Earthling.

All that it meant was he was a Gorzot…again.

Encouraged that the female hesitated in her flight, he tried for a more reasonable approach.

“Umm, just kidding,” he fumbled. “I’m not from here.” Where’s here? “I’m visiting.”

A tentative glimpse over her shoulder, and the woman–girl–she looked young–more like his age–finally turned back to face him.

“I can tell.”

He felt awkward under her probing gaze, but he always felt awkward when anyone looked at him for too long.

“How can you tell?”

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About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.

Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.

Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!

Find more about Maureen at www.maureenamiller.com

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram // Bookbub

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Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift Card (International)
Signed copy of Beyond (US only)
Enter here.

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Waiting On Wednesday (139) @severnhouse

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that
spotlights upcoming releases that I’m really
looking forward to. Waiting On Wednesday
is the creation of Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Ghost Ups Her Game
A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel #9
Carolyn Hart
Severn House Publishers, August 2020
Mystery, Cozy, Supernatural

From the publisher—

After a busy morning dispatching emissaries from Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions to those in need, Bailey Ruth Raeburn is feeling flush with success. So when an urgent call for help comes through from her old hometown, she can’t resist taking on the mission herself. After all, what could go wrong?

With the shouted warning of her boss, Wiggins – “Irregular! Problematic!” – ringing in her ears, she arrives to face a shocking scene: Professor Iris Gallagher leaning over the corpse of her colleague Matt Lambert, the murder weapon clutched in her hand.

Bailey Ruth is only sent to help the innocent, but things are looking very black for Iris. With Wiggins breathing down her neck, and her old friend Police Chief Sam Cobb casting doubt on her every theory, Bailey Ruth must uncover the truth – or this could be the last trip to earth she’s ever allowed to make.

Why am I waiting so eagerly? We’ve all run into mysteries involving ghosts (although some mystery readers will avoid them like the plague we’re enduring right now) but when the sleuth actually is a ghost, well, that’s a whole ‘nother thing, isn’t it? Carolyn Hart has been on my list of top cozy and traditional mystery authors for a long time for a very simple reason—she never disappoints me, no matter which series. This one has enchanted me from the beginning with a terrific premise and a character I can’t help but love. 😊

To Mask or Not to Mask

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to make her case on why wearing a mask shouldn’t be a big deal.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.

sunny69@comcast.net   //  http://www.sunnyfrazier.com

America was founded on rebellion. The spirit has been there since Plymouth Rock, the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere took a horseback ride. But sometimes rebellion has to reign in and government has to step in.

The issue of wearing a face mask is dividing the country. Who woulda thought a simple piece of cloth could become so political? The logic is simple: covering faces lowers the risk of catching Covid 19 and may even prove to eliminate it altogether.

Until the government steps in and makes practices against the law with fines attached, some people consider it an infringement of their rights. It’s not a matter of “Live Free or Die” but “Live Free and Die.”

I remember a time when I played in the backseat of the car, jumping around, leaning over the seat to talk to my dad. When Ralph Nader published “Unsafe at Any Speed” in 1965, seat belts became de rigor. 12% of people refused buckle up, even with death stats in front of them. Then it became the law. Was it really worth a fine not to put a belt across your belly? Now we don’t even think about it.

Motorcycle helmets were required. Too many riders died in accidents. My sister, a trauma nurse, says they refer to bikes as “donorcycles.” Okay, so you couldn’t feel free, going down the highway with the wind through your hair and bugs in your teeth. Many defied the order and wore a version of a Nazi helmet. Technically it followed the law. Realistically, it did little in the way of protection.

On the other hand, there were few complaints about bike helmets and car seats for children. The first ones were rudimentary and probably did little to protect little ones. As technology and knowledge evolved, child safety seats became safe. Also, required by law.

Killing someone while driving drunk wasn’t considered a crime for a long time. After her daughter became a victim,  Candice Lightner created MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. In 1982, Reagan passed over 400 laws against DUI’s. It hasn’t stopped people driving inebriated,  but now there are check points, fines, jail and shame.

Do you take off your shoes at the airport? Now it’s required, with just a bit of grumbling. All because in 1975, one extremist made a shoe bomb. Did airlines overreact? Maybe. Do we comply? Yes.

For decades, smoking was a rite of passage. As kids, we played with candy cigarettes. Cartoons had people smoking. The movies made it glamorous, TV made it normal. It wasn’t until John Wayne died of lung cancer that people started taking warnings seriously. The Marlboro Man was less attractive. Banned in the workplace, restaurants and hospitals, smoking areas were designated to be inconvenient. Still, die-hard smokers braved the cold and rain to puff up. Rising prices were also a deterrent. Was it really worth it?

No one is rebelling against anything I’ve mentioned because it all makes sense now. Nobody wants to go back to a time when we hurt ourselves and others. Maybe it took the law, jail and fines to get people to comply, but nobody lost their freedom.

Besides, ask any woman: masked men are sexy!

   

Discussion Post: Blending genres

Crossgenre is way up there on my “favorites”
list and I especially love the Nightside series
by Simon R. Green. I also highly recommend
Oasis by Katya de Becerra and the
Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

Hooked From Page One

Welcome to my first discussion post. Recently I’ve been thinking about blending genres in fiction and how reading books that have done this has opened my mind to new ones. For me, when I read a thriller that does this, it always makes the book feel very fresh as it has taken me, the reader, somewhere where I haven’t gone before. It is a very good way of putting an original spin on a theme that has already been done. Readers of my blog will know that I mainly stick with crime and psychological thrillers. It’s a genre I feel comfortable with, but I do occasionally like to step my toe into something different.

Goldilocks: The boldest high-concept thriller of 2020 by [Laura Lam]

One book I’ve read recently which has done what I described above very well is Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This book is described as a thriller, and it certainly has aspects of that, but…

View original post 468 more words

Book Review: Disengagement by Daniella Levy @DaniellaNLevy

Disengagement
Daniella Levy
Kasva Press, March 2020
ISBN 978-1-948403-13-9
Trade Paperback

In 2005 Israel withdrew 8,000 residents from the Gaza strip and five settlements in northern Samaria. Neve Adra is a fictional settlement but this novel is based on the event called “the disengagement.” The settlement has twenty or so stone houses, some caravans, and a synagogue, surrounded by sand. Greenhouses are built, and crops are raised. After the 1967 Six Day War, Israeli government made an effort to establish a Jewish presence throughout Gaza. One of the masterminds was General Ariel Sharon.

Elected prime minister in 2001, Sharon promised a tough approach to protect the settlements.  He visited the local rabbi’s family and promised to defend their home. In 2003 he announced a plan for withdrawal from Palestinian territories, which caused uproar on the political right.

The chapters focus on different characters at different times. Narrators include a left-wing newspaper columnist; a Russian-born protest organizer; Rabbi Schlomo, who lost his leg in the Six Day War, and his family. His wife was reluctant to move to the settlement—in the early days there was no electricity, running water, schools, or transportation. There is tension between the Arab workers and the Jewish settlers. One of the young settlers, Aharon, is killed by a mortar shell to the greenhouse.

This is more than the story of a settlement in the Gaza. It’s about what it means to be disengaged from love, friends, neighbors, family and from deeply held beliefs.  It shows how listening to one another and learning from unexpected encounters can help to become connected.

The author lives in Israel and blogs about life as a religious Jew in Israel. Her family immigrated to Israel when she was a child.

Reviewed by Susan Belsky, July 2020.

Rules You Didn’t Know You Knew @JMmystery

Jeanne Matthews is the author of the Dinah Pelerin international mysteries published by Poisoned Pen Press. Like her amateur sleuth, Jeanne was born with a serious wanderlust. Originally from Georgia, she enjoys traveling the world and learning about other cultures and customs, which she incorporates into her novels. She currently lives in Renton, Washington with her husband who is a law professor. Where the Bones Are Buried, the fifth book in the series, is in bookstores now . You can learn more about Jeanne’s books at http://www.jeannematthews.com

Adjectives in the English language absolutely have to come in a specific order:  opinion-size-age-shape-color-origin-material-purpose and then the noun.  You know this rule instinctively whether you realize it or not.  Mark Forsyth points out our surprising secret knowledge in his delightful book The Elements of Eloquence.  “You can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife,” he says, “but if you mess with that word order in the slightest, you’ll sound like a maniac.”  It’s true.  A rectangular silver French old little lovely whittling green knife just doesn’t parse.  Apparently, textbooks that are used to teach English to non-native speakers spell out this rule in detail and students are required to memorize it.  I never had to learn this.  In fact I don’t think it was mentioned in any English class I ever took.  It kinda makes you wonder if language is somehow innate.

Of course there’s always an exception to frustrate the non-native student trying to master English.  Following the rule and putting opinion before size, the student would describe the wolf in Grimms’ Fairy Tales as a bad, big wolf.  We homegrown experts know that’s wrong automatically, without giving it a thought.  That’s because we’ve been obeying the rule of ablaut reduplication all our lives.  When you repeat a word with a different vowel, the order is always I before A before O, as in splish-splash, ding-dong, hip-hop, tick-tock, and tit-for-tat.  One does not zag-zig or flop-flip or cross-criss.  It’s the law.

Our ears seem pre-programmed for the rhythm of the tmesis.  Tmesis is the splitting of a compound word into parts by inserting another word, primarily for emphasis.  We say abso-blooming-lutely, never ab-blooming-solutely or absolute-blooming-ly.  We say un-freaking-believable, but it would sound odd to hear un-be-freaking-lievable.  An Australian author named John O’Grady wrote a poem about a town in New South Wales called Tumbarumba in which he made extensive use of the tmesis.  The poem concludes with a bloke “up at Tumba bloody Rumba shooting kanga-bloody-roos.”  Tumbarumba has since become a technical linguistic term meaning a word inside another.

Not only do we have an intuitive understanding of word order, but we’re whizzes with approximately twenty complicated tenses even if we can’t name them all.  Imagine having to explain to a French speaker that the English don’t usually use the present tense for things that are happening in the present.  “I walk my dog” doesn’t mean I’m doing it this minute.  It means I do it regularly.  If I were doing it now, I’d use the present progressive tense.  “I’m walking my dog.”  Having passed through the neighborhood with my dog on prior occasions and seen the warning signs on the lawns, I might remark in the pluperfect progressive passive, “I knew I’d been being watched.”

The phrasal verb is a breeze to us, but the bane of every would-be English speaker.  “I can’t put up with the guy I’m putting up at my house.  He’s such a put-on and his put-downs put me out.  And you wouldn’t believe the food he can put away.”  The various idiomatic meanings don’t faze us.  We can stick out this interloper’s stay, sort out his rude behavior, and deal with the problem even if we’re being put upon.

Then there’s the animacy hierarchy scale.  It indicates the decreasing order of humanness from human to animal to object and lets us know how to show possession.  My friend is human so I refer to my friend’s car rather than the car of my friend.  But when I visit her, I go through the door of her house.  The scale can of course be tinkered with to amusing effect as Clive James did in his poem, “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered.”

Hyperbaton is the rhetorical term for placing words out of order in a sentence and as Mark Forsyth takes pleasure in reminding us, it can make for some memorable lines.  But like a certain enigmatic, small, ancient, pointy-eared, green, Jedi Master, once you start breaking the rules, consume you it will.