Saturday, August 27, 2011

Seeing Julia by Katherine Owen

I did enjoy reading this book, in fact had a hard time putting it down but I think that’s more because of the ‘train wreck’ syndrome feeling for the main character.  Julia is a mess.  Makes me feel so much better about my life.  I think her attitude towards her life and sometime outright whining kind of got to me after a while.  I would have like to of seen more dimensions to her other than her massive effort, failed, at the end to bring things together. 

I don’t like her disregard for motherhood and just had a hard time believing her attitude generally.  Granted I’ve never grown up with money so I don’t know how someone already spoiled and used to getting their way would react when put in this situation but some stuff in the story I just couldn’t conceive happening. 

I was happy for the ending and the way the author made it all come together. 

As a note to the author, the formatting towards the end of my copy was really bad.  There were words left out, major pieces of text missing, words missing and some places paragraphs repeated.  I don’t know if that is a result of the text/formatting of the book when you published it or if it just didn’t get edited properly … my guess is it’s a formatting issue.  Might check it out before many more copies are sold.

Overall, I think the concepts behind Seeing Julia are great and the author does a good job conveying the idea.  

Review by Sue Owen

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moonglow by Charlie Romo

Not only does this book take you inside the world of high fashion but it also gives a hard looks at same sex relationships.  There’s definitely a message here even though I felt the author may have played a little to the cliché side of the fashion world and promoted the lesbian relationships inspired by this profession.  Still, the relationships were real and the author shared the pain and immense highs that go with any pairing.  

Moonglow is well written and the story moves along even though there was a lot of exploring of feelings and stage setting.  I don’t think it was overdone however there might have been a character or two that could have been left out entirely.  Sometimes its so easy to get pulled into liking a character that its hard to see when they actually have no value to the story.

Generally, I liked this story.  There were no surprises but it was a nice, down home look at a different type of love and I think a good read.  I recommend it.
Review by Sue Owen

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Interview with Carlos Advincola

I happened across a young man in my travels that I thought you-all would like to get to know better.  Here's a sneak Interview of Carlos Advincola.  Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.  

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When I was younger I had a list of things I wanted to be:
1.       Jet pilot
2.       President
3.       Football player
4.       Wrestler
However, never on the list did I have to be a writer. Look at me now.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Sometimes in my spare time I'll spend an hour or half an hour to pray and read the Bible. My parents have always told me that through Christ, nothing is impossible. Without him my books would not have been born.
Tell us a bit about your family. My family has played a large part in helping me write my books. My parents always tell everyone that I was born with a pen in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. Both my parents are pastors. My father is a radio announcer while dear Nena, which means little girl (that's what my brothers and I call our mother) also writes books. She writes about God, family, love, relationships, the youth, and other things. Since I was little I've always wanted to write books dealing with my brothers and I saving the world. That's why I started writing the Ancient Warriors Series. Each of the characters in the books act just like my brothers.
When and why did you begin writing? I first picked up a pencil and started writing short stories when I was in the third grade. My teacher, Mr. Mendez, wanted us to make a short story of whatever came in our heads. I decided to write a story about my teacher saving the day in pampers. He actually enjoyed it. My friends would love to read my stories about how I would save the world and get the girl. I didn't write action books until I was in middle school.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future? I would love to see my writing making it big in movies, TV shows, video games, and much more. I truly believe my writing can reach those levels of entertainment.

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? I'm currently working on a series that has been in the works since elementary school. In 2010, the first book of the next best series, The Ancient Warriors Series was released. Pt. 1 #1 Ancient Warriors: The Resurrection was born and then in 2011, The Birth of Heroes (Ancient Warriors Book 2) was born. I call this the next best series because no one has seen a series like this one. I really don't know when I'll stop writing it. So many ideas keep jumping in my head. It's about four brothers trying to discover where their family came from while finding out that they're part of a powerful race of knights: The Ancient Warriors!

Can you share a little of your current work with us? The third installment of the Ancient Warriors Series is titled, The Lighting Prince. Here's what it's gonna say in the back of the book: When the Ancient Warriors were on the verge of being killed by a powerful demon, out of the skies appeared a forgotten hero. His name, The Lighting Prince. After rescuing the four young Ancient Warriors, the Lighting Prince tells them that in four weeks a powerful evil force will rise from the dead to annihilate them. Now it's up to the warriors and their new ally to search around the world to find the pieces of the mysterious evil force, the Black Knight. However, things don't seem right about the Lighting Prince. Can the Lighting Prince be trusted? Or is he only using the warriors so they can do his dirty work for him?

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I've always been fond of knights, swords, castles. Basically stuff dealing with the medieval times. After gathering information about knights and the medieval times from there I began writing the Ancient Warriors.

Thank you Carlos for sharing your insights and your wonderful books with us.  Look for a review on his 3rd installment of Ancient Warriors on this blog once it is released.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

Interviewed by Sue Owen

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Golden Mane by Sam Gilmour

This was an interesting take on an old theme.  Well getting old for me.  I’m done with vampires and werewolves.  However, the author took a whole new look at werewolves and gave them some powers, a quest to save the world and some very interesting personalities and companions.  

I really enjoyed reading this book because of the intricacies of the personalities involved and the fact that there was something new around the next corner.  Learning along with the lead character was perfect and it was done in such a way that it was interesting and made me feel that I wasn’t left behind.  I love the personalities that the author put into some of the characters and how utterly unpredictable it all was.

Adding the element of magic and the great interaction between players made this book for me.  Like I said, I’m done with vampire and werewolf books but this just didn’t have that kind of a feeling.  I was drawn in from the beginning and did enjoy reading it. 

There were a few slow parts and I’m afraid I have to say at least one or two characters that felt superfluous to the story … almost as if the author had an ulterior motive for adding them but it didn’t really detract from the story too much.  Great story and great read.  Definitely a must read for me.  

Review by:  Sue Owen

Monday, August 8, 2011

January Moon by Maureen Gill

I could not put this book down.  I was warned before reading it that it dealt with a sensitive subject matter particularly for a woman.   So I started reading this with some trepidation.  Maureen handled the subject straight forward, head on and without apology or embarrassment.  Without a doubt I will be doing research and helping to raise awareness of this serious and unacceptable practice.  

The story itself is a bit like Maureen.  Straight forward, head on and without embarrassment.  It was hard to read in places when dealing with the lowest scum of the earth and I’m sure it had to of been hard to write.  I felt pain in some places and tears flowed a few times which is not normal for me. 

The characters were more than believable and I was right there with them catching their backs as they confronted opposition.  I was pushing and encouraging when they needed it.  I reached for the phone a few times to give someone a call that I felt might benefit from a cheerful voice just to realize it was just a book.  Not that I would describe this as just a book.  It is far more than that.

The many sides of this book are obvious when you start reading it.  Relationships are not one-sided and Maureen certainly doesn’t paint a rosy picture of life here.  But what she does do is give you champions, heroes and villains and she guides you through the rough times and into the light.  I treasured every page and will re-read this book. 

I’m not sure if she adds the Trooper, Shadow and Wolf piece onto every version but when I read that I cried all over again.  What a beautiful memory she has chosen to share with her readers and a great insight into her personal life and this just makes me adore Maureen all the more. 

This is a must read and one of very few books that I will read again and again.  I kept having to check the cover to make sure I wasn’t reading a Dick Frances book.  It’s a great thriller and perfect study of human-kind at its lowest and best.

You can read more about Maureen and “January Moon,” as well as listen to radio interviews at her website

And please follow her writing at:
The Windy City Author:
Review by Sue Owen