Austen In August

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Magno Girl



Title: Magno Girl
Author: Joe Canzano
Publisher: Happy Joe Control
Pages: 320
Genre: Comic Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook
Price: Paperback $9.89/Kindle $2.99/Nook $2.99

When a Manhattan pizza maker is found dead in his own dough, Magno Girl enlists the aid of her biker ninja boyfriend to help solve the crime – and quickly discovers there’s more to the pie than meets the eye, including a sinister plot that spans the globe. 

Magno Girl leaps into action. After all, she can fly, she can fight, and she can use her fearsome superpower, the “Gaze of the Guilt,” to bring a hardened criminal to his knees. But the road ahead is hard. The city’s other superheroes despise her, and the cops don’t want her around, and her own mom won’t stop spitting out advice about marrying a “respectable guy” and trading in her crime-fighting career for a baby carriage—but is she attracted to “respectable guys”? And is she interested in emotional commitment? And will finding real love be her biggest challenge of all? 

Welcome to the world of Magno Girl, an absurd place filled with humor, action, and romance.

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 My Review:

This was a fun quick read. It took me a bit to get into it, because it's not a super serious book. It's meant to be funny and a little immature, which isn't something I'm used to reading. It's a light-hearted, tale about a female superhero in a town full of super heroes. They don't really take her seriously because she's not out to be famous, just help people.

I liked Mags (Magnolia) and I liked her boyfriend wanna-be, Ron. I liked how Mags was in it for helping people and doing right. She's definitely a unique character. Ron is good too, but was a bit stalkerish at times. He seemed super obsessed with the fame aspect of being a super hero, but I knew deep down he was a genuine guy.

The fight scenes were a little hokey and comical, but I think that fit the "feel" of the book. If anything, I wished there was more action. Otherwise, I think that those scenes were my least favorite. I'm not sure if it was the cartoonish qualities of the scenes, but they just felt...flat.

My only grump is that there isn't a whole lot of backstory about the characters. You're just kind of introduced to them and off you go! Obviously you learn more about them throughout the book, but I started off feeling a little put off by Mags aloofness and Ron's obsession with her. They grew on me, but a little intro to them would have been great. I hope in future books we get more background?

Anyway, if you're looking for a quick, fun read then Magno Girl is great.




Book Excerpt:
Magno Girl stared across the windswept roof. Her lips shimmered in the moonlight like a couple of beer-soaked cherries. From the depths of Manhattan below came the clanging sound of a city that was never satisfied.

Was she thinking about me? I was desperate to know.

I took a deep breath. “Mags, when can I see you again?”

She stared at me with those vivid green eyes. Her black hair, streaked with savage shades of crimson, billowed in the hot summer breeze.

“I’ll be around,” she said. Then she looked away. “I have to warn you, Ron. I’m not very good at relationships.”

I grinned. “That’s just one more thing we have in common.”

“Also, I don’t want to do any commercials for soft drinks. That’s definitely out.”

“No problem—the soft drinks can slide. What else?”

“Well, since you asked, I’d like to fight some crime. I’ve discovered an evil plot, and my superpowers might not be enough to handle it. Things could get crazy and absurd.”

“Hey, I want to help you with that. I’m totally on board!”

She smiled. “Okay, call me tomorrow. I’ve got a job for you.”

“Count me in.”

I puffed out my chest and stepped toward her, wanting to wrap my arms around her sleek body and kiss her long and hard—but she saw it coming, and she put out her hand and stopped me. She leaned forward and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

It was something, and it was good. My whole body felt electric.

“Just tell me what you need, Mags. Anything.”

There was a spark in her eye. “Sometimes I need to be left alone. We’ll talk soon.”

She leapt from the roof, her powerful body snapping like a switchblade as she dove into the death-black valley of bricks, glass, and steel. I briefly envied her ability to fly and then took the stairs to the street. I hopped on my chopper and rode to the liquor store.

I woke up alone the next day, with the morning sky vomiting its sunshine through the grimy window of my East Village apartment. I groped around for my phone and found it under a pile of empty beer cans. I fumbled a bit and finally made the call.

“Hi, Mags. It’s me.”

“Hi, Ron. Can you meet me somewhere?”

She sounded friendly, and for a second I felt like I was floating. But as usual, there wasn’t much talk.

“Any place you want. Did you eat breakfast?”

“Yeah, but it’s noon, so I guess we can eat lunch. I’m over on St. Mark’s.”

“I’ll be right there.”









About the Author
Joe Canzano is a writer and musician. He lives in New Jersey, U.S.A., in a house with a basement where he usually stays. Occasionally he leaves the basement and visits the kitchen. 
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he majored in English. His short stories have appeared in a half-dozen printed literary journals, as well as in the Akashic Books online series, "Mondays are Murder."  
He recently formed his own publishing company, Happy Joe Control, and published his debut novel, Magno Girl. 
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books (Day 1 and 2)

Bout of Books


I almost missed this! I didn't miss SOME of the first day, but I was busy with cleaning and a Band Parent meeting....WHICH YOU GUYS I'M NOW A BAND PARENT! Whoot!

Anyhoo, I finished up (didn't mark the page I started on yesterday) The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan. I started on The Dragon Reborn. So, there's that. I LOVE this series so much so far!

So here is where I'll update for today:

Book: The Dragon Reborn
Start page: 24
End Page:


Book: The Stranger by Lola White

*I am reading this one so I can help beta her sequel*


I do have a shittastic work week ahead of me, so chances are I won't be much use after my shifts, but I'll try to get as much in before as I can.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Bout of Books
About the 'thon:

" The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

I haven't set my reading list yet, but I should have it up soon. Are you going to sign up?

A Haunting Desire

AHD_1600
About the book:  

New Orleans, 1902

A killer walks the streets of New Orleans, eviscerating men and leaving them in the streets, and for madam Trula Boudreaux, it's bad for business.

Trula needs help but she’s not prepared for Zeke Barnes, the charming would-be savior who darkens her doorway—or the yearning he awakens. For while Trula knows well the delights of lust, she avoids love at all costs… Investigating the killer was one thing, but Zeke can't help but be enchanted by the gorgeous mystery woman who runs an exclusive brothel.

Caught between his duty to protect the city and his clear-as-day desire for Trula, Zeke sets about capturing Trula's heart—or at least a place in her bed. But with every moment Trula resists, Zeke falls into greater danger.

For his investigation into the haunted city and madam doesn't just risk his heart but both their lives.

Buy Links: Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Entangled

My Review:

This was a satisfyingly hot tale with a dash of the paranormal. I fell into the book pretty fast and finished it pretty quickly! The story itself is swift and grabs you. The characters, especially Trula (love that name!) are all very well fleshed out and interesting. I liked Trula from the start, though of course, her profession wasn't my favorite aspect. She's had a rough life, but she is still was kind to her girls. I liked seeing the rough on the outside, yet soft on the inside aspect of her character.

I do wish the paranormal aspect was intensified a bit more, and the mystery was a little more fleshed out, but otherwise I have no complaints about that. The writing was solid and the characters were, as previously mentioned, vivid and well developed.

All in all, this was a fun read. I enjoyed the heck out of it!


 Julie

 Author Bio:
 Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic.

 Author Links:  Website: * Twitter * Facebook




“You’re still here, Mr. Barnes.” Apparently he meant to continue plaguing her. He showed no sign of leaving. She wanted him gone, yet she was glad he’d stayed. Her lips pursed. She was annoyed and wasn’t precisely sure with whom.

“You keep late hours, Miss Boudreaux.”

She wandered about the room, too bothered by him to be still. Instead, she collected empty glasses and lined them up on the narrow table used for the bar.

“Nothing to say?” Zeke’s voice mocked her.

“It’s early. On the weekends, we stay busy ‘til dawn.”

“Well then, I imagine you still have plenty of energy.”

His eyes skimmed her body, lingering on her breasts. Her body tightened beneath his gaze and she silently cursed its betrayal. She yawned bigger than Diddy. “It’s a shame there’s nothing worth staying up for.”

He chuckled, a low sound from deep in his throat. Again her perfidious body responded. Heat pooled, tempting her to abandon the tenets that protected her. Worse, the accursed man raised an eyebrow and smiled as if he could detect her body’s yearnings from the comfort of his chair.

“Who are you and why are you here?” she asked. Real emotion colored her voice. Well, why not? His mere presence had bedeviled her all night. And now his eyes stripped the dress clean off of her. How dare he disturb her well-ordered existence? She had responsibilities. She didn’t need the distraction of a man who would leave her. She scanned the room. There were no more glasses for her to gather, so instead she collected ashtrays.

“I work for the government. I’m investigating the murders.” He’d deliberately misunderstood. “I think you know something about them.”

She paused, an ashtray filled with the soggy ends of Cuban cigars clutched in her hand. Could she hurl the dirty crystal fast enough to hit him with it? At the very least, a few cigar butts might mar the pristine whiteness of his shirt. She set the dirty ashtray down on a table with a resounding thunk. “I already told you, I don’t.”

He shook his head and a lock of his hair fell across his forehead. With a careless gesture, he brushed it aside.

Trula arranged the dirty ashtrays in a neat line so she didn’t have to look at him.

“I’d also like to know you better.”

Trula took a slow breath. “You seem to ignore answers you don’t like. I’m not available.”

“Ever?” Disbelief lurked in the gravel of his voice. That gravel—it was the sound of lust—dark and tempting and forbidden. Her heart leapt for her throat.

She squared her shoulders and stared straight into his eyes. “Never.”

AHD-JM Banner

Friday, July 31, 2015

Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil


Title: Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil
Author: David S. Arthur
Publisher: Brighton Publishing LLC
Pages: 395
Genre: Adventure/Thriller
India – 1947. In the heart of the jungle, death stalks the night. The authorities claim it is a man-eating leopard. The natives believe it is something far more terrifying—a creature that by day wears the skin of a man, but when craving human flesh becomes the demon…SHAYTAN! While on expedition to India, historical sleuth Richard Quizzenbury and his wife, Emily, suddenly find themselves on the hunt for a killer.
For his action-packed new thriller, SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL, Santa Fe novelist David S. Arthur combines adventure, mysticism, and history to transport his readers into a world in which time marches to the pulse of the cosmos; where the spiritual and the supernatural merge and reality shares equal footing with illusion. 
Fans of SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL are already expressing excitement and fascination for the new book, among them Tom Wright, prominent American film and television director (NCIS, Supernatural, Castle). “Man you really get into it! The cobra scene scared the @#$% out of me. This is Spielberg on steroids.”   
Seeking relief from the devastation of post-war Britain, Richard and Emily Quizzenbury embark on a tour of India.  They plan to initially spend a week in Bombay with Richard’s old Oxford chum, Victor Bloodworth, after which they will satisfy their appetite for adventure by exploring historical sites throughout the Indian subcontinent.
On their first night in Bombay, Victor informs the Quizzenburys that he has been asked to undertake the hunt for a man-eating leopard that has been terrorizing the inhabitants in a remote
area of the Indian Central Provinces. Victor is the illegitimate son of a wealthy Englishman, now deceased, who was by trade a legendary big game hunter. While Victor has long since rejected his father’s brutal profession, he is himself a skilled hunter and reveals his intent to help the people who are being threatened by the leopard. Although the villagers of the region believe the man-eater is a demon that they call Shaytan, Victor is convinced the leopard is actually being forced to prey on humans due to injury or old age. He wants to capture the animal alive and relocate it to a zoo for scientific study.
Quite unexpectedly, Victor invites the Quizzenburys to accompany him on the hunt, explaining that his uncle and spiritual mentor, Ashok Kahn of the Forest Guard, will join them as an expert Shikari guide. The Quizzenburys reluctantly agree, hoping Victor will be able to capture the beast as quickly as he anticipates, so they can be free to pursue their travels. However, the hunt for the leopard soon escalates into a terrifying struggle for survival during which many innocent lives are lost, as the hunters – and the Quizzenburys – become the hunted.

Shaytan is far more than just a jungle adventure,” Arthur insists. “It is about the ageless conflict between good and evil, the ruthless march of empires, the rise of the world’s great religions, the discovery of the New World, the laying of this century’s geo-political foundations, and the establishment of hostilities that are today’s headlines. And India was the epicenter of it all.”

According to Arthur, for Richard Quizzenbury – who is never without his books – the expedition becomes a quest for truth, which is his passion – the truth about history and religion and science – the truth behind our darkest nature as a species and our most primal fears and beliefs.

“For Victor it is far more personal,” Arthur explains. “Victor is half English, half Indian – with a Hindu background. He is haunted by the memory of his mother’s murder when he was a child, his father’s apathy toward him growing up, his bi-racial heritage and his uncertainty about his faith. His Uncle Ashok’s presence brings these conflicts to the fore.  Through their daily prayers and rituals invoking the ancient gods to guide and assist them, Victor’s search for personal redemption transcends the hunt; plunging him into the arcane realm of Vedic (Hindu) mysticism, in which the Hindu deities play a deciding hand in his life or death battle  against the beast.
As a writer, Arthur enjoys peeling back the layers of history, digging up the past, searching for answers to ancient riddles. “My intention is to entertain by taking my readers to exotic places they may never go and revealing things they might never know. In short, I write for the thrill of discovery, and I want my readers to share that experience.”

For More Information

  • Shaytan: A Journey Into Evil is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

My Review:

This book was fun and very interesting! I loved the way that David S. Arthur writes! The descriptions and the history are just incredibly vivid that you are basically IN the scene with the characters! I love it when a book can tug you in and  almost instantly makes you forget you're a reader and not really in the story (if that makes sense?) 

There are thrills and chills in this book that will definitely get your heart rate up, and some quirky conversations that will lighten the tension (but only for a little bit!) I also really enjoyed the themes that are on display in the book. (Good vs. Evil. Hunter becoming the prey.) These elements really made this book stand out.

This is a complex and well written story that will capture your imagination. You won't want to put it down until you have gobbled up every single word.


  

About the Author

David S. Arthur is an American novelist with a taste for international adventure and ancient history. THE KINGDOM OF KEFTIU: A MYSTERY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD was David’s first book to feature English historical sleuth, Richard Quizzenbury and his feisty wife, Emily. It is an archaeological adventure set in the Greek islands. His new novel, SHAYTAN–A JOURNEY INTO EVIL, continues the Quizzenbury Adventure series. Before focusing on fiction writing, David enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a writer, producer, and director of hundreds of film and digital video presentations, theatrical performances, concerts, and large scale audience events. David currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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