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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Apparition Lake by Doug Lamoreux & Daniel D. Lamoreux

ApparitionYellowstone National Park is something of legend due to its beauty and majesty. It is known to be one of the first, if not the first, national park in not just the United States but the world. The scenic beauty of the land it encompasses draws visitors from all over the world. Many of them come to see the beauty of the famed Old Faithful Geyser and many of the other natural beauties. Of course with all that beauty people can be forgetful there is danger to be found as there are bears and other wildlife throughout the park as well.

The book Apparition Lake by Doug and Daniel D Lamoreux will take the reader into much of the beauty of Yellowstone. Their descriptions of the park will leave a yearning to go and visit the park as you read a tale that focuses on the chief ranger, one Glenn Merrill, and some vicious bear attacks.

The book opens with a scene out of the old west. A period in which the Native American’s had been forced to choose the life on a reservation, but not all accepted that life. A band of the Shoshone had disagreed with their leadership and gone back to the land that would become Yellowstone. This opening will help the reader get a glimpse on what has been lost to many and that is the ways of the old believes of Native Americans. A strong belief in Mother Earth and how we as a world need to remember all beings are part of a greater world.

The reader gets to witness an event which involves members of the band performing their own part. There will be drums, warriors and much more  in the ceremony. Silverbear is the one who leads the call to the Great Spirit asking for help against the white man who has been insulting Mother Earth by killing animals for their pelts. These devils were not killing to use the whole animal and this was against the Native American beliefs. They needed help and they were calling to their ancestors to deal with the white man. The opening passages will take the reader through this fascinating ceremony, before bringing you back to a more current timeline.

As we read into the modern world we find out about a bit of those potential dangers within the park. That danger is man who thinks it is ok to get very close to a bison and ask it to pose for a photo. An animal of that size does not understand English, let alone an invasion of its personal space. So a tourist is set for a short run and the description of the event left a smile on this readers face. Even up to the point where the tourist meets the chief ranger and gets a reminder of the dangers to be found with irritating a full grown bison.

During this point we are introduced to a theme that can be found throughout the book. The theme is that ignorance about park wildlife seemed to be a rule with many. A rule that could lead to dangerous repercussions and possibly death as readers will find out will happen to soon. The first being one of the bears of the park, but later things will get worse for the park, the rangers and those taking advantage of the wildlife.

What is Apparition Lake beyond the title of the book? This is something that readers will learn is another of the mysterious wonders of Yellowstone, at least in the book. The description by the brothers is well done and the lake itself is a bit of a mystery. The things that begin to happen around this lake will lead to far reaching events for those within the park.

The events I’m alluding to are things such as a man being mauled by a huge bear. This attack leads to the man’s death but although his wife witnesses the attack, and a photographer is snapping away at photos there is no proof it was a bear. How does that happen? What would drive a man to be so scared he dies in such a manner? Other attacks will get more gruesome, but never to disturbing. The reader will get the sense of the attack and its aftermath. It will be up to the reader to learn how the chief is going to solve these attacks. Along the way he will get help from some Native American’s in the area along with a wildlife biologist.

Apparition Lake is so well written it is hard to get a sense it was done by two people, and just not one writer. The stream of the book moves along well and it shows the brothers must have collaborated well in framing this book. The descriptions of Yellowstone may make readers wish they could see the locations themselves. The characters in the book are well developed, and this includes a local news reporter that has it out for the chief. To end this review I have to add that Doug and Daniel D Lamoreux had written the book previously. This is one of those rare times I don’t want to see the original book as I think this one is a great read brought to reader thanks to Creativia publishing.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Reading + Writing + Multiple Sclerosis = Frustration

WritingI don’t complain much on the blog when I write about my Multiple Sclerosis. I try to keep things positive and this is one of those times were I may lash out a bit. I’m going to be up front and honest about some emotion and although it’s not to terrible it’s more frustration than anything else. The frustration is due to a feeling of being neglectful of myself imposed duties to the blog I write.

By now you are either still wondering what am I writing about, or lost interest and waiting for the next post. Either way here we go folks so let me get to the true reason for the post and the subject.

I’m writing this blog post with my MS word zoomed in two hundred percent to give my eyes a break. My arms are a bit sore and my hands ache a tad as I type. Up to this point I have had to stop at least two times to close my eyes and reopen to focus and shake my hands and arms out. I’ve had to change my sitting position at least four times and hopefully by the end this will be the last time.

What is causing this discomfort and problems? It’s simple it’s the side effects of my Multiple Sclerosis. It can mess with SO much of the body and for me it’s been pretty light. However as temperatures cool and then rise, then repeat it hits my physically and sometimes emotionally. You add in the full moon that has come and gone and it’s worse than the world’s longest roller coaster.

My eyes have gotten blurry a few times, my arms ache and there is not much I can do with it. I try to save the energy for the fourty hour work week which makes blogging a bit difficult. This is where the frustration comes in as I try and get a new book out to all of you at least one time a month. It’s due to these factors I have been a bit off as of late in getting new product out to you.

Thus I finally had to blow my screen up and write this explanation and most importantly let people know I am not done, I have not gone away, but just a small break. I have some vacation from work and plan on using the time to relax and get back to form and back into my normal blog patterns.

In the between time let me share with you what I have waiting for my attention, and get the word started on these books.

First up I have Doug Lamoreux’s book, which he co-wrote with one Daniel Lamoreux (his brother), titled Apparition Lake. The book has been rewritten by the brothers and is going to be made available by Creativia Publishing. The book is a reimaging of what Doug called, “mistakes of youth”, and should be a great read. Doug’s other books can be found online and of course on Amazon.

I will follow that book up with one from Author Kate O’Connor titled, Mermaid. This book was released on March 21, 2013. The book is through Musa Publishing and a description of the book is posted below for anyone who may want to read it before I do.

WMERMAIDhen genetically engineered sea drone Coral saved two drowning humans, she didn’t expect to end up questioning the foundations of her world… but humans don’t seem as different as she’s always been told. With nothing ahead of her but mindless days of harvesting seaweed for World Food Co., she has to know why humans are free to choose and drones aren’t.

Coral’s only hope of transforming her future lies in taking on a battle her people gave up a century ago. However, each step nearer to drone freedom brings her closer to falling in love with Rob, the man she saved and heir to the company she is fighting to change.

Struggling to unravel politics and passion, Coral begins to realize that she stands to lose more than just a chance at being human. Both her life and Rob’s may just balance on whether or not they can create a world where drones can be free.

 

The last of the trifecta I have on my to-read list is the book, The Dragon and The Needle, by author Hugh Franks. This book came to me all the way from England, and borrowing the English vanacular, through the post. This is one of those times I received the paper edition of the book and thrilled that arrived. I have shared a book description below and this book is from the Book Guild Publishing.

DragonA mysterious syndrome is striking down political leaders across the Western world. Named Extraordinary Natural Death Syndrome, or ENDS, it has baffled medical experts. The Western prejudice against the mysteries of Oriental medicine, and the growing acceptance of acupuncture as an effective method of treatment, are just two of the contrasting approaches explored in the story.

A brilliant young British doctor, Mike, and a glamorous Chinese acupuncturist, Eleanor, become involved in finding the cause of ENDS. They think they are on the right track, but the implications are shocking. Could this be an audacious ideological plan for world domination? And how does Eleanor’s dead husband Chen fit in? When the secrets of The Dragon and the Needle are revealed, where will Eleanor’s loyalties ultimately lie?

 

You can see I have some books to read and do not plan on stopping for any long period of time. I just have to take this short break to let some pain go away and see 20/20 again. Good thing this eye issue doesn’t happen when driving and for those saying, Get your eyes checked, I did they are fine.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Multiple Sclerosis, Personal

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

RitaAuthor Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli is an author that calls Sardinia, Italy, home. She has quite a full plate of activities as she is involved in things from web development, biologist, writer, and so much more. It’s actually surprising that she had time to write Red Desert Point of No Return but we are fortunate writing is one of her many talents. You can find more about her in her English site at Anakina on blogspot.com. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook as well. Her home site is found here.

 

Question 1: What inspired you to write Red Desert – Point of No Return?

It was autumn 2011. I was completing the first draft of my very first novel, which I’m finally going to publish in November (in Italian), and at that time I was reading a novel by Robert Zubrin (the founder of the Mars Society) titled “First Landing”, which was about Mars manned exploration and colonisation. In the same period there was the launch of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. So in general it was a period in which I was keeping myself interested with Mars. Just after “First Landing”, I read “The Case for Mars” (non-fiction) by Zubrin. Then I completed that first draft, it was December, and I was looking for an idea for a short story or a novella that I wanted to publish on Amazon KDP, which had just arrived to Italy, just to try this publishing platform.

And there it was when an image appeared in my mind. There was an astronaut driving alone in the Martian desert. I didn’t know whether that was a man or a woman. He/she had a limited oxygen supply and I was wondering what he/she was doing there alone. That was when I started imagining the story of the Red Desert series; “Point of No Return” is just the first book of four.

My intention was to write a series of novellas, but then the story grew so much that the other books became novels (the third and fourth ones are quite long novels).

“Point of No Return” isn’t exactly the beginning of the story, actually it is in the middle of it. The whole series is written in a non-chronological order.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name names of your main characters?

Not the name but the initial. Most main characters (protagonist or co-protagonist) on my books have a name starting with A, like my nickname Anakina. So the protagonist of “Red Desert” is called Anna Persson (she is Swedish).

Don’t ask me why I do like that. I really don’t know!

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your memories?

Of course yes. I continuously take inspiration from my memories. The “write what you know” rule definitely applies here but in a more general meaning then most may think. There is a bit of me, my memories, my life in all characters. Sometimes it’s the memory of a place, or of a particular feeling, or of someone I know. Some experiences or features of many characters are taken from real people I have met in my life, sometimes just for one day.

I take all my memories, whether they are coming from real experiences or from those coming from books I’ve read or films/TV series I’ve watched, and I freely use them in my books.

For instance, when a character stands by the sea and I have to describe what they feel (what they can heard, smell, touch, but also their emotions), I just use my own memories regarding a similar situation but at the same time I identify with the character, so I adapt what I remember to the situation narrated in the book.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I remember that when I was a child I read “Momo” by Michael Ende. That book really affected me. It was about some entities stealing time from your life without you even noticing it. That was scary considering my age, but I still consider the idea quite scary even now. That was the very first book I couldn’t put down until I had finished it.

I also read a lot of novels by Agatha Christie when I was a teenager. I loved them.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

Fortunately, my books sell quite well in Italy and I’m continuously in touch with my readers mostly on Facebook and Twitter, many of them have written to me privately. Well, they say a lot of different things. What I like most is when they tell me that after reading the series they had the impression to have learnt something about Mars and space exploration in general. There was a reader who thanked me because my series made him get interested about space exploration again after a long time.

I also like when female readers contact me. Most of them are not into science fiction normally and they are happy to have given a try to my books because they made them discover a new genre.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

Actually I published my first printed book only on December 2013. It was an omnibus of the Red Desert series. I did it because my readers asked for it. They wanted to have a hard copy of the series and possibly to be able to give it as gift for Christmas.

Personally I wasn’t particularly thrilled. The book for me is what’s inside not the hard thing.

Instead, a great moment was when I first saw the Italian version of “Point of No Return” on the Kindle Store and definitely when I received the very first review.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Of course! After the Red Desert series, which I have written in Italian between 2012 and 2013, I’ve already published another novel, a crime thriller titled “Il mentore” (The Mentor), on May. My next novel will be published on November 2014. I’m currently writing the third draft. This is the novel I’ve been writing back in 2011. It’s titled “L’isola di Gaia” (The Isle of Gaia) and it’s in the same universe of the Red Desert series.

One day they will be hopefully published in English, too.

Moreover I wrote an action thriller in 2013 (during NaNoWriMo), which I’ll publish in 2015. I’m planning to write more books in the very next future. It’s my intention to publish at least two books per year in Italian.

Question 8: What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

I don’t like books with a morale. I don’t feel I have any title to send a message. The main topic of my books is the subjectivity of good and evil. There aren’t real heroes or villains in my stories. All characters are in a kind of shadow zone. Good is what the character holding the point of view in a specific scene thinks is good for them. You tend to find yourself agreeing with them, in most cases, even if what they think may be morally bad in real life.

The only “message” of my books is the absence of a real message. Everybody is right and wrong at the same time. I always keep a neutral position so as each reader is able to choose what they prefer, their own message.

It’s a way of showing the importance of differences and the need to respect them, to see the good and the bad in each of them without any general judgement.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

I perfectly know the future of Anna Persson, but I really can’t say anything about it. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m going to publish another book in the same universe of the series. Actually the Red Desert series is the first part of a bigger saga called “Aurora”. It will include “The Isle of Gaia” and three more novels I’m going to publish by 2020. Their titles will be “Ophir”, “Sirius”, and “Aurora. Although Anna is the main character of the entire Red Desert series, the other books of the saga will have different protagonists. Anyway Anna will be definitely involved until the end of the saga. So, sorry, I can’t say what will happen to her!
Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

Actually, there’s no dedication in my books, but there are some important acknowledges in the end matter. Beside the people working in my publishing team (test readers, beta readers, proofreaders, translation revisers for the English version and so on), I had to thank my partner Federico, who is continuously supporting me in this publishing adventure, and of course my parents, who became science fiction fans just for me.

 

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

Just one? That’s difficult.
One of the place I would love to go for a book tour, or just for tourism, is Australia. I don’t know why. I’ve never been there and it’s so far, so I’m curious to go there. I love travelling, I love visiting any place that I haven’t visited before (and even some places I have already visited), I love to learn about life and people there. I would spend all my life travelling if I had the chance.
A big dream of mine is to go cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula, but I doubt I can do a book tour there!

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Interview

 

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Independence Day, Multiple Sclerosis and a $10 dollar donation??

PostWhat does Independence Day have to do with MS? It’s probably one of the first questions that came to mind when the title to this blog post was seen. I know I asked myself that question when I started forming the idea for this piece. As for the Ten Dollar donation part, well you have to read to the end to understand, or just skip down.

Independence Day is a day that people around the United States celebrate with fireworks, parties, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics and so many other activities. The day is to commemorate the day thirteen colonies rose up, and declared their independence from British rule.

It’s a day that many have free of work, it’s a National Holiday and the celebrations can be seen all over the news. The fact is it’s a day that people forget a lot of their troubles and just celebrate with friends, neighbors, and family.

You see it’s a great reason to celebrate.

There are those of us with Multiple Sclerosis, and in fact any disease, are looking for our “Independence Day”. The day that we can finally celebrate a cure being found that will help us.

I am fortunate for the over 6 + years I’ve had MS I been able to carry on a mostly normal life. I get to do many of the things I enjoyed prior to my diagnosis. I can still mow the lawn, take a weed whacker around and shovel snow. There are days that I feel like crap but those are far and in-between what I consider my normal days.

There are others who are unable to do simple things such as go to the bathroom, take a walk, or even work. There are those who loved ones do not understand the disease and will even turn on those with the diagnosis. I have heard of families that will turn their back on their family members after they get an MS diagnosis as it is seen as a weakness.

Either way the one thing that so many try to do is find a reason to stay positive. So, is it wrong to want to find a day that we can celebrate a cure?

I realize from the way the World MS Day was covered in the United States it’s not the “disease” that gets all the press. We will occasionally see it show up, but when prime networks would rather celebrate an anchors birthday of mentioning MS Day. Well yeah.

I however keep going day by day being positive. I will NOT let MS dictate my life. It may make me stop and take a time out when I get tired, but I will finish what I started. My arms may tingle at times and give me the feeling I bit into a Peppermint Patty but hey I like them so cool.

I had planned to end this post in a different way, but then I got an email that just made my day.

Part of the content of that email is below and I know I may actually put myself out there and submit a video. If you know others with MS encourage them to take the time and do the same thing. What’s a minute of your time worth? In this instance a Ten Dollar donation to the MS society for just being yourself.

So here it is a chance for those with MS to help make a difference.

Healthline just launched a video campaign for MS called “You’ve Got This” where individuals living with MS can record a short video to give hope and inspiration those recently diagnosed with MS.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here: http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/youve-got-this

We will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to the National MS Society, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we’ll receive and the more Healthline can donate to MS research, support groups, treatment programs, and more.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Multiple Sclerosis, Personal

 

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