The Juggler Strikes Again!!!!!

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Just when I thought it was safe to pick a book…..WHAMO! The Juggler strikes again!

That is what I am calling my evil alter ego…The Juggler. The Juggler is the guy that says “Yeah, sure, go ahead and start this book, but look at these other ones begging for attention!!!!” Welcome to my reading mind!

I think I know what brought the juggler out this time. I am recovering from a major bookgasm! I posted the review of The Black Tower by Louis Bayard, and yes, I still have that book lodged deeply in my brain.

That, or it could be that we are in the middle of a full moon cycle and that could be making my brain misfire a bit. Don’t worry, I am not going to sprout paws, fur, fangs, and go around killing townsfolk…or will I? In all seriousness, I get little sleep during a full moon, and I use that time to read, but my mind jumps from book to book in that process as well.

I know I will decide on a book, but that may be a little while out yet. While I am deciding, I will continue to read War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches. What is great about this book is it is an anthology, and the stories are short. So, if in  the meantime I do actually decide on a book, the stories will keep my reading mind occupied. They are a terrific blend of history and science fiction.

So, Juggler, what else do you have on deck?

I can’t wait to see!

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5 Questions with Mark Lawrence

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Mark Lawrence is the bestselling author of The Broken Empire Series, The Red Queen series, and The Book of Ancestor series. He was kind enough to take a few moments to answer 5 Questions!

It has been said that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. With that in mind, please answer the following questions.

-What book got you interested in reading?

Hmmm. I don’t think my memory stretches back far enough to answer that question. I expect I was hooked very early on. Dr Seuss’s work, Maurice Sendak with Where the Wild Things Are, Gene Zion with Harry the Dirty Dog. Books were like television … only with colour! (Yes, I’m that old.).

-Do you have a favorite genre to read?

I do! Fantasy. Gasp with surprise! I have read fairly widely in literary fiction and twentieth century classics though.

-Is there a book you have read more than one time?

As a child / teen I read many books many times. Now I read books only once. I guess I’ve read The Lord of the Rings more than I have other books. Watership Down has been read a few times.

-What got you interested in writing?

I started writing in the context of role-playing games first, and much later when I had less spare time I turned my hand to poetry, then short stories, then long stories.

-Was there a book of yours that was difficult to write? Which one was it and what made it so difficult?

Not really. I write once and don’t delete anything beyond a word or three here or there. The books I’ve written have all flowed out fairly easily. My longest book, The Liar’s Key, was the one where I felt most that it was getting away from me and had to be wrestled around to a conclusion.

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 1) by [Lawrence, Mark]King of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 2) by [Lawrence, Mark]Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 3) by [Lawrence, Mark]

Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War Book 1) by [Lawrence, Mark]The Liar's Key (The Red Queen's War Book 2) by [Lawrence, Mark]

The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War) by [Lawrence, Mark]

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor) by [Lawrence, Mark]Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor) by [Lawrence, Mark]

What Ninetoes is Reading….

I have a hard time choosing a book to read. I always have. I always will. Such is the bane of my reading life. It is who I am.

So, I THINK I decided on a book…

I have been a fan of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds for a very long time. I think I was nine years old when I first read it. So, we are talking 42 years of WotW love! That being said, I keep my eye out for new takes on Mr. Wells’ classic novel.

As I was scrolling thought the science fiction books on my e-reader, I came across Kevin J. Anderson’s War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches. It is an anthology of tales dealing with the martians coming at different times and places in the world.

Count me in!

So, I present to you, dear reader, my current read:

War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches

The Black Tower Review

The Black Tower: A Novel by [Bayard, Louis]

TITLE: The Black Tower

AUTHOR: Louis Bayard

GENRE: Historical Fiction/Mystery

PAGES: 329

Okay, I’m going to jump the gun and tell you that my first BOOKGASM of 2018 happened, and it’s title is The Black Tower! 

Set during the Reconstruction Period of France, The Black Tower tells the story of the hunt for Louis-Charles, the Lost Dauphin, son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Vidocq, leader of the newly formed plain clothes police department, and whose name sows fear into the French underbelly, enlists the aid of Dr. Hector Carpentier, to solve the mystery of if Louis Charles is dead (as all of France believes him to be) or alive….and this is all I can tell you about the book. If I say anything more, I am afraid I will give away the numerous surprises that are uncovered in this book.

Louis Bayard does an excellent job of bringing 1818 France to vivid life. You can smell the air, feel the street beneath your feet, feel the anguish of the citizens as well as the main characters. It is like he invented a time travel device, went back, spent some time there, and came back to tell us what he saw. The words flow by at a breakneck pace, the story surrounds you, turns your lights low, and sucks you in to one of the most delicious hostage situations a book can put you in. Yes, this book will hold you hostage, but that is probably the highest praise I can give.

The Black Tower consumed my thoughts, even in my sleep! I tried to figure things out, and just when I thought I had it figured out, the rug got pulled out from under me. I loved every moment of it! The only problem I had was when it ended!

Do yourself a favor, GET. THIS. BOOK…NOW!

5+ bookmarks out of 5!

5 Questions with Dayton Ward

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Dayton Ward is the author of numerous Star Trek novels. His newest one, Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures will be released on February 6, 2018. He was kind enough to stop by and answer 5 Questions!

It has been said that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. With that in mind, please answer the following questions.

What book got you interested in reading?

I have to pick just one? I honestly can’t remember “the” book, but books were a big part of my childhood. My parents were both big readers, and my uncle had this massive library filled with books of every sort. I remember reading through an illustrated edition of Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and just being riveted by the story and the photos and illustrations. I still have a copy of that book.

Do you have a favorite genre to read?

When I was a kid, I loved science fiction so I read Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and so on. My tastes expanded to include history and military history or the space program as well as various fiction genres like mysteries and thrillers, “men’s adventure” pulp titles, and whatever else looked interesting.

Is there a book you have read more than one time?

Again, just one? Along with A Night to Remember, I’ve revisited on countless occasions books like I Am Legend, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, A Man on the Moon, Catch-22, and at least a dozen others.

What got you interested in writing?

It was something I started doing as a creative outlet. I wasn’t that serious about it at first, but instead just writing goofy stories to share with friends. I entered the first Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest in 1997, with absolutely no thought or illusions that it might lead to where I am now. There are days I still don’t believe it all happened that way.

Was there a book of yours that was difficult to write? Which one was it and what made it so difficult?

They’re all “difficult” for one reason or another, even if we’re just talking about finding the time to write in and around a busy schedule. For many years, I was working full-time at an office job, so my writing was late into the evenings or on weekends. There were times I was seriously burning the candle at both ends, and it only got harder once my kids came along.

The most difficult book to write was Purgatory’s Key for the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy. I co-wrote that book with my frequent writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, in late 2015/early 2016. My mother’s health was failing during that period, and my wife was enduring some medical issues of her own, so I was facing all of that while trying to maintain a schedule and meet a pending deadline. I also had a short story to write around the same time, and all of that went off the rails when my mother died. So, for reasons which have nothing at all to do with the book itself, that’s the one which proved the most difficult to write.

Then there’s the book I’m writing as a tie-in to the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series, which is a whole other type of “difficult.” Maybe I’ll be able to discuss that, some day. 🙂

Title: Hearts and Minds, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Star Trek: Legacies: Book #3: Purgatory's Key, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Headlong Flight, Author: Dayton Ward

Title: Elusive Salvation, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Seekers: All That's Left, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Star Trek: Seekers: Point of Divergence, Author: Dayton Ward

Title: Star Trek: Discovery: Drastic Measures, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon's Arrow, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Star Trek: Waypoint, Author: Dayton Ward

Title: Star Trek: Vanguard #2: Summon the Thunder, Author: Dayton WardTitle: Star Trek Mirror Universe: Glass Empires, Author: David MackTitle: Star Trek: The Original Series: From History's Shadow, Author: Dayton Ward

Title: Star Trek #97: In the Name of Honor, Author: Dayton Ward

Title: The Last World War (Last World War Series #1), Author: Dayton WardTitle: Counterstrike (Last World War Series #2), Author: Dayton Ward

Rest In Peace Jack Ketchum

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Horror literature lost one of its finest writers. Dallas Mayr, better known to horror readers as Jack Ketchum, lost his battle with cancer.

Jack Ketchum was the author of Off Season, Off Spring, The Girl Next Door (which is based in a true story), The Woman (turned into a major motion picture) with Lucy McKee, Red, the Lost, and many others.

Thank you, Mr. Ketchum, for your words, your talent, your vision and your voice.

You will be sorely missed.

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