Volume IV Selection for the Indie Author Book Selection & Review

You may have heard that Dr. Wayne Dyer has died.

And you may have seen several of my posts where I discuss how much Dr. Dyer has meant to me over the recent years.

And you may have noticed that I often referred to him, this man who has meant so much to me and whose wisdom and guidance I so heavily relied upon, as the Greatest of Gurus and as my own Personal Pope.

And you may be aware, if you, too, are an admirer of Dr. Dyer, that he did not regard death with fear; instead, he looked at death as an opportunity for our everlasting soul to expand out of and away from this material, finite vessel we call our body, and return to and within the infinite and everlasting Soul of the Single Song (aka, the Universe (uni-verse – get it?)… Or something to that effect.

And you may understand, then, why I am a bit conflicted. One the one hand, I celebrate the release of Dr. Dyer’s Soul back into the infinite wild of its original and natural habitat. While on the other, me being a normal, irrational human being who can’t escape his Ego, ergo, he can’t escape his damning Desire nor his fear of Death, I am very bummed that he is no longer here on Earth, in his aged and deteriorating vessel of the human kind, being all sagacious and wise and a bit more than slightly goofy.

And you may predict, and rightly so, that, because of all this, I would want to try find ways to stay as close to the Essence of Dr. Dyer’s broad and deep Message and Meaning.

And you may realize, had you an opportunity to look over the submissions for this volume of the Indie Author Book Selection & Review, that several of the books are closely aligned to Dr. Dyer’s out there way of thinking.

To be honest, had Dr. Dyer still been with us, I probably would have selected G. N. Boorse’s DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS. Not only do I love the cover and his website and his write-up on the back of the book, I was also ready to read something as edgy and obscure as his book sounds. See, as advertised down below at my #Amreading widget, I #amreading Maupassant’s ALIEN HEARTS. And it’s all about (too much so) love and the psychological implications of infatuation. In other words, I’m having a hard time finishing it. And it was because Boorse’s book seems to be completely opposite from what I am now reading that I was planning on choosing his. That and, to be honest, I was also intending to choose his because, even though I occasionally write it, I rarely read poetry or abstract writing, such as K.D. Rose’s appears to be (it’s all too hard for my feeble mind to grasp), nor do I read, despite my affection for Dr. Dyer, “New Age” (for a lack of a better term) or self-help books, such as Avril Meyler’s appears to be.

But now, as things stand, the kind of books submitted by Meyler and Rose are exactly what I am yearning to read.

And out of the three books (two by Meyler – A MULTIDIMENSIONAL PARADIGM and A NEW HUMAN) and one by Rose – HEAVY BAGS OF SOUL), I am selecting for this volume of the IABS&R A NEW HUMAN because it looks to be the closest in content to what it is I want rattling around my brain right now.

I want to thank so very much all three authors for their submissions. I am very honored and humbled to be in such a position. And just because only one book has been chosen for this exercise of a literary contest of sorts, it doesn’t mean that I won’t read and review the others. I truly intend to do so.

Now, I’m not sure when my review of A NEW HUMAN will be posted – I still have to finish my current read, as hard as that may be, and review it (it was my intention to review it anyway – we’ll see…). Regardless, I will try to get things expedited and completed the best I can.

Again, thank you to G.N. Borse, K.D. Rose, and Avril Meyler.

And thank all of you for allowing me to use this opportunity to express my love and appreciation for the life and work of Dr. Dyer. May he enjoy all the infinite and everlasting heavenly rewards he so greatly deserves.

Peace.

 
 

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I HAVE NO VOICE AND I MUST WRITE: A Guest Post by Author K. D. Rose

I love caustic writers. They write how I think except they’re more witty. And incisive. And, um, better writers.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Check out Chuck Wendig’s piece called Dear guy who is mad because I wrote a gay character in a book.

Or try John Hartness, entitled: Why your self-published book looks like a pile of ass and won’t ever make you any money.

Or read any part of Kurt Brindley’s blog.

Just as important, and sometimes forgotten in bouts of unabashed sarcastic glee, behind the blunt force acerbic trauma these writers actually give a damn about other people. See Chuck Wendig’s week’s long thread where he offers advice to any question from other writers; look at the reveals and reviews that Brindley does and the opportunities he offers for guest posting and exposure; look at what John Hartness is doing underneath seeming asshattery– the advice in that post is golden.

I just don’t have that cred yet. Or maybe it’s balls. Okay, I literally don’t have balls, but what I mean is I don’t have anything to back up my opinions, and you know what they say about opinions…

I’m not sure how this devolved into genitalia.

Some of my writing meets acerbity half-way while trying to point out trends. The Re-emergence of the Book rightfully lambasts publishers but somehow lacks that arrow through the heart. Here it is republished most recently on Literative. The Next Big Thing in Tech asks similar questions on a different forefront. Here it is in Startupdope.

The title to the post your reading of course is a play on words from the great Harlan Ellison, still one of the best in-your-face writers I can think of. Why did I write that last sentence? Because someone might not get the title. Is this really writing? Or do I just write and forget people who don’t get it; they can just take the writing at face value. Welcome to Heavy Bags of Soul.



But why would someone who likes authors who don’t pull punches write a book like Heavy Bags of Soul? Half the book is codes.

Delving deeply into systems of belief requires codes no matter how one chooses to write about them. Each system has its own language, often meant to describe the very same principles or experiences as another system, though you’ll get a swat on the hand with a ruler if you say that out loud.

Metaphors are also codes. Live with it.

But I guess it doesn’t matter because everyone hates poetry, right?

I don’t think or write like many. I contemplate my world in a non-linear way. Putting it all together to make sense to someone else is tough. It’s not even like puzzle pieces; it’s like an invisible puzzle that changes shape depending on the connections you make and the analytical lines you can draw among them, and then you have to draw it for others… And then finally you
have to:                 SPELL         OUT          THE          CONNECTIONS.
 


“But I guess it doesn’t matter because
everyone hates poetry, right?”


 

Because I think and write like the Tasmanian Devil. You know. The cartoon one. Only…friendlier.

Oops.

I mean:

See? Doesn’t that tornado look friendly albeit slightly confused as to how it’s going to make sense of all the convoluted ideas it pulls in? Actually it looks pretty damn stressed out. Freudian much, KD?

When I do a shitty job at connecting these streams of what amounts to analytical dots (I was an analyst for the government), the writing is scattered and readers go “huh?” When I do a decent job, you get one of the articles like I mentioned above. When I do a brilliant job, you get a book so tightly connected that no one understands it. Welcome to the world, Heavy Bags of Soul. Welcome to obscurity, K.D. Rose.

I guess I really am a Jackess of all trades. Ah, you gotta love homonyms.

If you like that last bit, you’d like Heavy Bags of Soul.

***

I wanted to write a blog post titled: “When Sex Doesn’t Sell.” When you don’t use the words people have come to expect, when you don’t write to titillate but to translate, sex on the page can seem as obscure as Peter Higgs before March 2013. Insert supercollider sexual innuendo here. One day I’ll have to count and find out just how many poems in the book are actually about orgasms.



I revel in the succinct. Not just succinct but short and dense. And by dense I mean, packing mountains of information or wisdom into forceful passages that stand like mountains in slim volumes of work. Why? Back to the difference in thinking habits. Long and drawn out is the linear norm. A takes us to Z through a series of stops along the way that build upon one another to the conclusion. Slim volumes on the other hand—poetry is one key example— build vertically, with ever expanding circles, tangents, and some linear thrown in. Dense.

Have you heard of Steganography? Steganography is derived from the Greek words “steganos” and “graphein,” meaning covered writing. Overlay and overlay of information. I liken dense works to steganography and other forms of covert communication, such as the ability to reduce a large amount of writing to a simple point like a dot. Dense works are not covert by intent, their innate structure simply reveals layers underneath. Rimbaud’s entire life’s work could probably be displayed in 50 pages. The Upanishads, a sacred Sanskrit instruction on the entirety of the universe is about 100 pages. The point is sometimes the most efficacious way to communicate complexity and remain effable is to ingrain mountains on each individual word. Terse. Succinct. Vigorous. Forceful.

There is a very slim book called Flatland. It contains and explains dimensional concepts beyond its format of simplistic satire. The book created a cult following. Check out the brilliance sometime.
 


“One day I’ll have to count and find out just how many
poems in that book are actually about orgasms.”


 

Here’s some of the starkness that is my voice, encapsulated in a picture also currently in print.

But who wants to read poems of mourning or grief? No one. Who should? Everyone. It’s one of those unspoken things we all go through and never talk about.      TO      GET      YOU      THROUGH.      This one won Reader’s Favorite International Silver Medal Award for poetry. Which doesn’t mean a damn thing. Writing that just now made me feel like a talk show host. I may need to shower.

***

When my first book didn’t sell I started writing mainstream and got contracts with a publisher. Although my first contract was for an NA series, I found out the publisher really wanted romance. I learned about heat levels and equating them to specific naughty bits. I literally had to find a sex scene to read to figure out how to write one.

When the publisher went out of business I took out the sex though it was kind of hard to do considering each story centered on a sexual situation. The driving force for each was not actually sex, however. Hence the title: Anger’s Children. I have anger now and good reason for it, but I don’t want to release the Kraken so it was interesting to think of how others might experience that energy, tension, and release. The stories are still risqué though. There’s a lot of passion in anger.

Recently, I took my own advice on new technology, so right now I’m writing an interactive story called Kill Chain. Readers vote on what happens at the end. Chapter 1 is up so far. I managed to work myself into a corner in only one chapter.

These are free reads on a platform called Storyshift. I wrote an article about the platform and what it attempts here. Beware. The article is written in my “happy writer” voice. Somewhere along the way it became “the voice” everyone online uses. Non-offensive and perky, it makes me want to slit my wrists. After Heavy Bags of Soul, I turned from my own voice on the advice of the rest of the world online. Enter happy writer voice; superficial blogger voice, and Prozac delirium advertising voice.

I can write kind of normal in a way that doesn’t suck my soul into the abyss of lost credibility. It only took a forced topic for me to do so. Yet, it’s not really me.

I have an authentic voice. I’m not an exclamation point type of gal. Nor am I a smiley face emoticon breach from a Stepford psyche. My most recent book, The Brevity of Twit is a collection of three years of Tweets. If you dropped twenty believing it’s not the authentic me you’d lose that bet. It’s a thin volume. Apropos, the underlying point shows that communication, even deep understanding, can be conveyed within those 140 character bits. At my best I’m pithy and piercing.

Heavy Bags of Soul is also piercing. It is the collection and curation of thirty years of work. Maybe one day I’ll break it down and sell pieces to Reader’s Digest.

***

I learned today something worth remembering to me. To me, I say, because I relate everything to quantum physics and watch over science like a hawk. Insert your own joke there to make it Hawk-ing. You’re welcome.
 


“At my best, I’m pithy and piercing.”


 

Anyway, they finally found the answer to a question that had been posed since the 1600’s: when two pendulums are hung next to each other, why do they end up swinging in opposing directions within 30 minutes? The answer is sound waves. If you think this meaningless or unrelated to other physics or even, say, Focault’s Pendulum, scrounge up that term on Wikipedia and watch how fast the science moves from Focault’s original pendulum theory in the 1800’s to Minkowski space-time.

I make a Minkowski joke in one of my dialogues in Heavy Bags of Soul. It’s from what could be considered the most intellectual piece in there. My favorite though is an absurdist short story starring Heisenberg and Schrodinger. I wrote it based on the premise of an old joke but physics humor scares people off. You really only have to go skin deep though to enjoy it. It’s an absurdist play for god’s sake. Not that it’s an absurdist play for the sake of god. Erm, you get the idea.

Too much of that talk above could get me labeled as a screwball if it hasn’t already. I try to stay away from that. Here’s some down-to-earth science you might want to take an interest in: The Really Big One. “Down-to-earth” would be a joke, but now you’ve read the article so it’s not funny. Really not funny.

In the meantime, I’ll let physics explain why there is a slight possibility that the chair you’re sitting in could turn into a mushroom at any given moment. Then, as a non-screwball type, you can explain to me why, as I’m writing this, Trump is ahead in the GOP poll at 22%.

***

There. I think I’ve got it all out. Being a Tasmanian Devil Tornado and a pantser to boot, I never know the point to which I will arrive, only that I will get there. Despite doubts, upon arrival there is a cogent thread underneath. So shall we sum up?

  • Skewer Your Readers
  • Erotic Romance Sells
  • Read Heavy Bags of Soul
  • Campaign for Absurdist Humor

That was it, right?

Or just:

 

You must excuse me now, I have to go learn the MFA voice. It’s all the rage.



 

K.D. Rose is a poet and author who currently has published “Heavy Bags of Soul”, “Inside Sorrow”, “I AM”, “Erasing: Shadows”, “Anger’s Children: Three Shorts That Will Blow Your Mind”, “A Taste for Mystery: Two Novellas” and her new release, “The Brevity of Twit”.

Her poetry has been published in Candlelit Journal, The Voices Project, The Drabble, and showcased in the Tophat Raven Art and Literary Magazine. K.D.’s book, Inside Sorrow won the Readers Favorite 2013 international Silver Medal for Poetry. With fellow authors around the globe, KD was also a founding member of the e-magazine, INNOVATE.

K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. KD Rose is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Blog: authorkdrose.wordpress.com
Website: authorkdrose.com
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PUBLICATIONS

New Release:
The Brevity of Twit
Publisher Three Worlds Press
(links to all buy sites- Amazon, Kobo, etc)

Heavy Bags of Soul

Inside Sorrow

I AM (Poetry in Motion)

Angers Children: Three Shorts That Will Blow Your Mind


 
 

A Guest Post by Author J Hardy Carroll

It is my pleasure, privilege, and honor to present to you a whirlwind of wisdom and intrigue from the author of HAWSER, our IABS&R Volume 3 selection.


Or So You Say
by J Hardy Carroll

Tell me the truth, now.

You always dreamed of being a writer. Doesn’t matter whether your dream took the shape of Erica Jong in a penthouse sipping Moet while talking into a Dictaphone or Hemingway slouched over a café crème wearing down a stub pencil in a composition notebook.

Your dream isn’t of fame, of wealth or even of the admiration of your fellows.

No. Your dream is much simpler.

Your dream is to be paid for your unadulterated idea.

It is a strong dream, a storyteller’s dream, but it is a dream fraught with questions.

Who are you to tell a story?

What makes your idea worth anyone’s time?

How in God’s name can you call yourself a writer?

You know the facts. Writing badly is easy. It just comes. You’re so pleased with it. You are proud. Until you forget.

You forget that writing well is ridiculously hard, a series of tasks, many unrewarding and some downright unpleasant. Self-delusion lurks in every dark corner and all your worst tendencies get laid out naked on the slab in public view. Your clever clichés and trite situations and penchant to lecture form a kind of cesspool though which you wade, dragging for a story as though it was the body of a murder victim.

J Hardy Carroll, Writer, Poet, & Cartoonist

My, how you do go on.

But tell me the truth.

Secretly, you think you’re great. Admit it.

Well, maybe not great. Not yet. But good. Good enough to get published, anyway. Except for the fact that there aren’t any publishers these days willing to take a chance on somebody without an MFA from Iowa or Emerson or Columbia.

Or maybe it’s this: maybe you’re not so great. Maybe you are only great at lying to yourself.

So start another story. Maybe this time it will turn out better. Maybe this one will actually be something you can open in six months and read with a degree of pleasure or even pride.

Did you read that piece on Andre Dubus, about how he would take a year to write a single story, how he would trim 150 pages down to twenty, how one perfect sentence followed another?

Did you read about how Jack London pawned his bicycle for postage to send out his manuscripts only to have them come back months later with form rejection notices tucked inside the self-addressed stamped envelope?

Did you read about Annie Proulx writing cookbooks?

By the way, who in hell do you think you are?

You didn’t finish college. Your father was a professor who taught Chaucer and Beowulf and who never wrote anything down. You dedicated your first novel to him but he died before he got a chance to read it. In his life he finished only one short story, the one about his father called My Father’s Dreams that you read when you were in high school, the one that made you cry and wonder why your dad didn’t write more.

Or at all. Your dad could talk an acorn into an oak, but he never could finish anything. How many stories did he start and never finish?

Is this about him? Is that all there is to the dream? No? What, then?

Don’t give me that shit about how when you first read Faulkner, hacked your way though the twisted vines of his prose only to find yourself lost in a thicket, befuddled and a little angry, how you went back and started again, trying hard to not be bored, trying hard to be smart, trying not to give up and re-read that Trevanian book instead.

Don’t give me that shit about Faulkner being hard because there was that afternoon when you realized what the story was about, when you saw that the pattern of random rocks in the road was a secret code of musical notes scoring a symphony that only grew in richness over the span of years.

Don’t give me that shit about Vonnegut, either, about how you read Breakfast of Champions at the age of sixteen when you were so depressed you wanted to kill yourself. Don’t tell me that reading that book made you decide to go to the hospital instead of jumping off the parking structure of the Pioneer Hotel. The part where you were going to be polite and wrap yourself in garbage bags so as not to make too much of a mess is pretty funny—irony—but I still don’t want to hear it.

You know what? I don’t care. I don’t care what makes you want to do this thing. I am not interested in your ambitions to have people read your work. People read your work all the time, read it and like it.

I’m not interested in your quest for a perfection you will never achieve, not interested in your heroes or even your opinions on truth, war, love, loss, fatherhood, death or any of it.

So what, then? What interests me?

I’ll tell you.

It’s the act of writing. Writing every day, writing something. Think of the hummingbird. Think of the shark. Think of the way your heart is beating away in your chest at this very moment. No rest. Ever onward.

Don’t give me your reasons. Don’t give me anything. Don’t think about it. Don’t think at all.

Empty yourself out and get to it. You can think about it later.

And by God, you probably will, too.


 

Hawser
IABS&R Volume 3 Selection

hawescapes.com

Let’s give it a go, shall we…

I wasn’t planning on committing myself to another IABS&R round just yet; however, I made the mistake of picking up Indie Author J. Hardy Carroll’s novel HAWSER to casually leaf through it during a rare fit of nothing-to-do-ness. Well, you know how it goes – one thing page led to another and before I knew it I was hooked. Carroll gives us a very strong opening that pulled me right into the vibe of the story.

So, since there’s not much chance that I am not going to read Carroll’s book, we might as well go ahead and make it all official-like and call this the official IABS&R VOLUME 3 KICK-OFF post and away we go…

Any books that mysteriously appear in my post office box henceforth will be shelved until we complete this round and move on to IABS&R Volume 4.

I know, I know…I still have essays to write from my first commitment to Emerson. But, as I am not going to do any further Emerson reading until I feel I’ve said all I have to say about Nature, I am in need of something to read (other than the gore and bore of the daily news) so Carroll’s apparently interesting novel fills that void nicely.

If anyone else has reviewed or intends to review HAWSER, please let me know. I’d like to check it out and maybe reblog it here.

Righto, then. Off I go…

Wish me luck!

(It better be good, JHC…)
 

Hawser-bookcover

IABS&R Volume 3 Announcement
hawesescapes.com
Amazon

 
 

The IABS&R Volume 2 Selection Is…

THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA

by Paul Xylinides

Wild Horses of Hiroshima

Before I talk about why I selected Paul’s book, I first want to say thank you to all three authors who submitted their books for this round of the IABS&R. And, truly, each of the books, with their tight, eye-catching book covers and their interesting descriptions, could have easily been my selection. And while I will be reviewing Paul’s book for this round, I can surely see myself picking up copies of the other two books and reviewing them at a later date.
Continue reading “The IABS&R Volume 2 Selection Is…”

A Little Newsletter Love (002-14)

This current edition of love in the form of a newsletter provides a WEW recap of the week past, which includes links to most of my articles and photographs, as well as my musings of what I expect in the week, and days thereafter even, to come.

But more importantly, this edition includes links to the past week’s submissions to the Relating to Humans and IABS&R Volume 2 features. And these are:

Relating to Humans submissions:

TOTAL WAR OR TOTAL PEACE by Paul Xylinides, Political Issues

how it was by Gifford MacShane, Poetry

IABS&R Volume 2 submissions:

My GRL by John W. Howell

The Wild Horses of Hiroshima by Paul Xylinides

The 14th Mansion by Robert Mitchell

While Mitchell’s submission didn’t come in until after the Newsletter was already published, I figured, what the hay, I might as well include it here since we’re already discussing the topic of submissions…or something like that.

You can read edition 002-14 of newsletter love by clicking here.

And you can subscribe to receive future editions by clicking here.

Enjoy!


Look, I get it, okay. I understand that the primary reason to have a newsletter is to discuss things outside of the happenings of the website and to not redundantly post what’s going on with the newsletter on the website (was that redundant?). Unfortunately, the subscriber-ship to the newsletter is, let’s just say, not where I would like it to be. Which is why I’m harassing you about it here, and, more importantly, which is why I didn’t profile any subscribers’s websites or work in this edition – when I do I want to make sure the profiles are receiving their proper do with as many eyeballs as possible reading them. So, I’m considering holding off on any additional profiles until we reach 500 subscribers. We’re almost there, which is a good thing, and it would a be great thing if you would subscribe to help me reach that easily achievable goal.

Geez, did that sound as much like an annoying public radio membership drive plea to you as it did to me?

Sorry about that…

Anyway, hook and brother up and just go ahead and subscribe, will ya?

Right on?

Write on!

A quick check-up from the neck up…

I have absolutely no idea why I wrote that as a title for this post…

Tru dat.

But since it is what it is, I guess we might as well just go with it.

Just go with the Flow of the Is of the Now…

Oh boy…

Anyway, since you’re here I was wondering if you could do me a favor.

Well, the two features Relating to Humans and the Indie Author Book Selection & Review thingy are beginning to get a little love, meaning, there is stuff up there just waiting for someone to look at it…

So, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind stopping by every once in a little while or more and give a little of your own love in return.

I was wondering if you could read over the submissions in these features and, you know, “Like” those that you like. You know, give those Authors and Poets and Artists, all those Creators of the Sublime, a little support because, let’s face it, it can get a little scary putting our stuff out there like that in the open, all exposed and vulnerable like…

It takes a lot of courage sometimes to be original, to dare to be different and to be exceedingly loud and proud about it…

Yeah…

Can you do that for me?

Great.

Oh yeah…one other thing since you’re already here.

There are a lot of strange and interesting and wonderful and sad and scary things going on all around this petulant little planet of ours…

And I would love to know what your take is on all of it.

I mean…just look at all that is happening right now that will be defining this period of our lives – this Is of our collective Now – for years to come.

I mean…

Ferguson? How can something as tragic as what’s going on down there still possibly be?! I am very concerned about what could happen as a result of the forthcoming grand jury decision.

ISIS? I cannot even begin to get my head around that level of evil. But, really, what are all the historical drivers behind that beheading madness?

Russia and Ukraine? What in the fracas is going on over there?! I mean, it’s like déjà vu all over again, to quote that ever-prescient and wisely wry yogi-like Yogi of a Yankee guy…

Man*…

And that’s not even the tip of the terrible and towering iceberg…

It’s more like a minutely miniscule drop of condensation floating gas-like in the air looking for an iceberg to become…

So so much is going on right now…

So yeah, I was wondering…what do you think about all this madness of a mess that is happening Right. Now.?

I would love to know…

And not just because I’m an inquisitive querying kind of guy…

Which I def am…

But also because I believe you just might have the key…

That golden kernel of Karmic Truth…

That wise Way of how this wonderful world should wax…

Tucked right inside that magic of a marvelous mind of yours.

And, you know what…

I kind of feel it is incumbent upon you to share that wisdom with us.

You.

You have the responsibility for allowing us to know what it is You know to be true.

So we can, like you, be a better We like You.

I believe that.

Truly I do.

So please please please, share your Wiseness with us by submitting something, anything, to one of the Relating to Humans features.

And if you got something that just doesn’t seem to fit with any of the features already profiled…

Then hit me up through the Contact page and let me know.

Perhaps we can create a new Feature just to feature all of your amazing and fabulous features.

Can you do that for me?

Great.

 

*non-gender specific

 
 


RELATING TO HUMANS SUBMISSIONS >> CLICK CLICK
IABS&R VOLUME 2 SUBMISSIONS >> CLICK CLICK
A LITTLE NEWSLETTER LOVE >> CLICK CLICK

So yeah, about that book of yours, Author…

I’m not sure, but I think I may have mentioned before that I am kind of a slow reader.

I mean, if there were a speed reading contest and if I were the last contestant and our team’s winning was dependent upon, you know, me reading fast…

Well, I think you can guess how that contest would end.

Yeah, me as the losing team’s team loser because my reading is just…that…slow…

Don’t ask me because I don’t understand it.

But apparently, I’m finding, it’s not always that slow…

Because, apparently, I’m finding, it seems that with the right word arrangement, my reading speed increases significantly.

Because I’m finding, it seems, that apparently with my Current Read, you know, HANDS OF EVIL by Indie Author Melissa Barker-Simpson, you know, the inaugural selection of the Indie Author Book Selection & Review (or IABS&R (pronounced EYEABZER (Yeah, I know…but don’t blame me because I pleaded and pleaded for someone, anyone, to come up with a better name for it…but did anyone, someone? Nope. So now here we are, stuck with the IABS&R from now until who knows when this ride will end… But you know what? It could be worse. Yeah, that’s right…it could be that NaNoWriMo bullshiitake. I can’t even write that without cracking up. Or, it could be even worse than that…oh my god I can’t stop laughing now…it could be the NaNoBloMoFoSho horrible honk of a handle. Egads!)), for short), it seems, I’m finding, that apparently she has somehow managed to arrange the words in her book in such a way that I find myself zipping right through that thriller of a thriller. I’m talking shooting down ten Red Bulls and chasing those ten with ten 5-hour Energy Shots fast like reading. I mean, I’m reading so fast it makes this guy look like a star of one of those insanely slow Slo-Mo videos.

Yeah, it’s pretty darn good book, if you know what I mean.

Which got me to thinking…heck, if we’re gonna do another IABS&R we better get crackin’ because I’m gonna be done with HANDS OF EVIL faster than you can say I hate Christmas commercials airing before Thanksgiving.

Dang, you said that pretty fast.

See what I mean? We better hurry up and get our ho ho ho hustle on then, right?

So yeah, about that book of yours, Author…

Can I read it?

If so, then please meet me over at the IABS&R Volume 2 Call for Submissions page.

Melissa Barker-Simpson: Author of HANDS OF EVIL – Guest Post (A team is born)

Author Melissa Barker-Simpson
Author Melissa Barker-Simpson
Kurt kindly allowed me to hi-jack a little blog space to share my story – or at least a chapter or two. I’m sure by now you’re aware my novel, Hands of Evil, is the inaugural review in the new Indie Author Book Selection and Review feature (we really must help out with a new title!). Kurt’s Pick, The Review Challenge…something!

As you’ll be hearing more about the book (or certainly reading about it), I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and give you a little background on the novel itself. I feel I should add a disclaimer at this point, because I talk about my characters in a very real sense. It’s how I see them – all the jokes about authors are based on truth; we do hear voices in our head and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve been writing since I could first craft a sentence and it has remained my one true passion. That isn’t to say I don’t have others, but writing is a big part of who I am. I can’t put a number on the short stories I’ve penned over the years, most of them aren’t worth reading, but they helped me hone the craft and continue to do so. We never stop learning and why would we want to?

Hands of Evil is probably my favourite of the Morgan & Fairchild series (though it’s only the second!). About fifteen years ago a character began to develop in my mind; a protector. His very essence is that of a soldier and he dogged me relentlessly. His name is Brad Morgan and I guess you could say he is to blame for my obsession with all things military.

Hands of Evil by Ms Melissa Barker-Simpson

When I did create a world for him to conquer, although I saw value in the end result, it wasn’t everything I expected it to be. At the time I had a young family and writing took a back seat for a while. That’s not to say Brad left me alone! He remained stoic and determined, waiting patiently for me to flesh out his adventure and commit to sharing it with the world.

My brother, whom I adore, enlisted in the Army around the time I wrote the book and we talked regularly about his own experiences. I loved listening to him describe his life in the armed forces. The more I listened, the more I began to picture the sense of family in his squad – the unity. It was a connection I hadn’t considered and I knew instinctively it was the element missing from Brad’s story. He didn’t have his family.

I’m not a planner, I never have been. I give the power to my characters and allow them to tell the story. Then, when it’s done, I go back and use every tool in my arsenal to whip it into shape; plugging those plot holes and polishing the heart of the tale. A fellow writer once taught me the benefit of giving our characters a voice, and so I wrote a piece of free-form fiction, in which I allowed Brad to talk about his team.

Melissa Barker-Simpson Website
Visit with Mel at her website mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com

He introduced me to Kelvin Fairchild, his best friend and co-founder of Morgan and Fairchild. Almost immediately, Susannah McElvogue piped up; the undisputed leader of the group. She hasn’t quit since. I retold the original story, adding Brad’s team and Sins of the Father was born. It was never meant to be a series, and yet I couldn’t walk away from them. As soon as I came to the end of the novel, Brad faded into the background and another member of the team stepped up to the plate (I know, I’m mixing my metaphors!).

I’ve always had a soft spot for Jonathan Jukes (JJ). He takes far too much responsibility on his shoulders, and his personal demons have haunted him for a long time. He’s skilled, loyal and has a strength others can rely on. It is a pleasure to spend time with him. Hands of Evil is JJ’s story.

Thanks to Kurt for allowing me to share JJ with you. I’m excited to hear his thoughts on the novel, considering he is a military man. I may even get some tips for the third in the series, which I plan to publish next year. My brother has always been a sound advisor, and I pour over books relevant to the stories I’m planning. In this case it was all things related to close personal protection and the police force.

I hope you’re still with me at this point, and if you are, thanks for hanging in there!

It was a pleasure to stop by.

Mel

Mel-logo

HANDS OF EVIL – The Big Reveal!

Well, I ordered the bloody book right after it was selected as the inaugural selection for the Indie Author Book Selection & Review (that’s a lot of selections in one sentence).

And after I did I joked with Melissa Barker-Simpson (Mel to her friends and cool people like me) about how she, living in the United Kingdom, practically lived at the end of the universe.

Little did I know how right I was. Well, at least based upon the number of days it took for the book to arrive – nearly two weeks – it seems that it may very well have been dispatched from the end of the universe.

Anyway, it’s finally here and I am really really really excited to begin reading it. But before I begin, I was thinking that it would be fun to do a little reveal sequence of the book…you know, kind of in the spirit of those tech nerd reveals that all those cool tech nerds like to do whenever they get all giddy over their latest tech nerd toy that they just received.

So, without further ado, I introduce to you my introduction to author Melissa Barker-Simpson’s novel HANDS OF EVIL

Well, by the looks of this photo, maybe it's me who lives at the end of the universe...
Well, by the looks of this photo, maybe I’m the one who lives at the end of the universe…
Well, well, well...it's about bloody time
Well, well, well…it’s about bloody time
And that there is the author. No, not the package, the website...well, the tiny picture on the website
And that there is the author. No, not the package, the website…well, the tiny picture on the website
There it is! Looks like a legit book to me...
There it is! Looks like a legit book to me…
And the back cover with a very intriguing synopsis about some Jonathan Jukes guy...I'm guessing he has something to do with the story. Not sure though...
And the back cover with a very intriguing synopsis about some Jonathan Jukes guy…I’m guessing he has something to do with the story. Not sure though…
Printed in Germany... How cool is that?! Yeah, I'm easily impressed, I admit.
Printed in Germany… How cool is that?! Yeah, I’m easily impressed, I admit. You know us silly Americans of the US kind…
Yep, It's legit all right weighing in at a ... huh? Wait a tick... No page numbers? Uh oh...I'm gonna be so confused.
Yep, It’s legit all right weighing in at a … huh? Wait a tick… I don’t know how many pages it weighs in at since it has no page numbers. Must be a European thing…
And no Table of Contents either. This scares me. It's like walking into the forest without breadcrumbs....
Pretty slick in all its style and sleekness, no? (Did that “no” make me sound European? I hope so…

Well, how about that… I finally have a book to read. And to be honest, I’m pretty frikkin’ excited about it.

And I’m so grateful to Mel for participating in the book selection thing. So grateful, in fact, that I invited her to contribute a Guest Post to talk a little bit about herself and her writing process. That will be following right behind this post so please check it out and then check out Mel’s site afterwards. I think you’ll find that she has really built a solid author’s platform for herself. She really is a very impressive person and I am proud to now be able to call her a friend.

So off I go to immerse myself in a new adventure, courtesy of Mel and her labor of love, the novel HANDS OF EVIL.

WRITE ON!

Oh yeah…since I am now…finally…reading my new Current Read, I think it’s time we start thinking about our next Indie Author Book Selection & Review. I’m up for another one if you are!

HANDS OF EVIL by Ms Melissa Barker-Simpson has been chosen as the inaugural selection for the Indie Author Book Selection & Review

ORIGINALLY POSTED OCTOBER 27, 2014
 

A hearty congratulations are definitely in order…

To me!

For I am the fortunate Reader who has just set himself off on the path of what looks to be a very interesting and exciting literary journey.

Congratulations are also in order to all of you, everyone, both Authors and Readers, who took the time and had the consideration to either submit their book for the selection and review process or who conscientiously looked over each of the submissions and offered their highly selective choice(s), in the form of a “Like,” of which impressed them the most. Because that’s really what this is all about. Not so much what book I choose and review, but on all of us participating in this Indie Revolution that’s going on all around us, this technological declaration of independence. We can be part of the movement by supporting each other through the purchase of Indie Books and, most importantly, by reviewing the Indie books you buy. I look at this similar to the movement to buy local. The more you buy local, the more you support your community; and the more you support your community, the more your community grows and prospers and ultimately makes the world, near and far, a much better place for all of us.

Yeah, I’m a little bit passionate about all of this. Truly I am.

This is an exciting time for Art in all its facets.

And finally, and equally important, if not mostly, congratulations to Melissa, for she has truly written what looks to be a very compelling book of fun and adventure.

But before we take a look at her book, let’s refresh ourselves with the guidelines, as limited as they were, that this Selection & Review thing is operating under. Here is a cut from the the solicitation announcement:

Tell us a little bit about both your book and your writing self in the comments section. You know, a short synopsis of the story and a short Author bio. Include just enough stuff, and no more, that you think I’ll need to be compelled to tab right out of my cozy little site and rush off to find your ode to literary perfection.

Not much to it, really. But enough, evidently, to illicit a wonderful response of Authors looking to showcase their unique and special writing talents.

And that makes me very happy.

So here is Melissa’s response, her pitch, to our call for her ode to literary perfection:

I was so drawn in by your post, and the humorous, yet generous offer to read MY book (you were talking to me, right?), I just had to respond. So…onto the sales pitch.

A few years ago, after listening to my brother (a soldier) talk about the camaraderie among his troop, and all the fun and interesting things they get up to (the jibes, the antics, the general merriment), a few good men (ha ha) began to form in my head. A team, if you will, of the best of the best. They are all ex-military, and came together to form a security agency. I’ve always loved thrillers, particularly crime thrillers, so I put them through their paces and set them free to explore the world I created for them.

My latest release, Hands of Evil, is the second in the Morgan and Fairchild series. The team are called upon by a local murder investigation team, when a serial killer starts picking off interpreters. A particularly unpleasant person, who removes his victims hands after their death.

It’s not as gruesome as it sounds, or certainly not as graphic!

Thanks for the opportunity to tell you more about my work :-)

Here’s the link:

Hands of Evil by Ms Melissa Barker-Simpson
Hands of Evil: Morgan and Fairchild Series: 2

Yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking and I totally agree…

Awesomeness.

I don’t think it is necessary, or helpful, for me to go through a list of why I didn’t choose the other submissions.

What I will say is, based upon the guidelines we laid out, she did exactly what was needed to be done, and that was to compel me to want to read it.

And so did many of the other submissions. I really would like to read many, if not all, the books and stories. And who knows, maybe I will.

However, in my view, Melissa had all the elements of a successful proposal. She had a great pitch, she had a big cut of her book cover…and even just a quick glance around my site will tell you, even as verbose as I may be, I am a very visual guy. And, in addition to a successful pitch here, she has a wonderful website, professional as well as inviting, and a fully fleshed out Author’s Page at Amazon.

Yeah, I agree…

Quite the winning package.

Which is why her package of a pitch and proposal was my selection.

Congratulations, Melissa.

How about we all head right on over to Melissa’s website and offer her our congratulations in person, and take a look around a bit while we’re there:

mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com

So, off I go on a new reading adventure.

But it’s not over for you all. I hope and expect that you will look through the list of submissions and pick a book to read. And after you read it, review it, both on your website and at Amazon, at a minimum. And if you do that for me, for all of us, then the Literary Gods will look down upon you with great favor. And, in addition, if it’s a review that focuses less on what’s wrong with the book and more on what you learned from the book, then let me know, because I just might like to share it here with all the occasional readers and friends who stop by.

Will we do this again? I don’t know. I hope so. If you think we should, please leave a comment on this post to show your support for future Selections & Reviews. I would really appreciate knowing who is interested.

Okay?

And stay tuned for my review. I may have mentioned that I’m a bit of a slow poke reader so I am not about to predict when it will be up. But I’ll let you know.

All right?

Great.

Thank you, all. Thank you all very much.

Peace and Write On!